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  1. #1
    miscovenant Guest

    covenant revisions

    What is the name of your state? Montana

    We bought property in a restricted subdivision (covenants) in 1997 and built a house and landscaped the property in accordance with the covenants (obtained Architectural Committee approval). The landscaping is natural, rather than "upscale". Once or more neighbors who don't like it have repeatedlly attempted to charge us with covenant violations - unsuccessfully. In fact, they attempt to charge us with violations when other, clear violations exist with tacit approval - selective enforcement and abandonment at their finest!

    They are taking a new tack - they are writing (as members of the CCR committee) new covenants which disallow everything we have done in building and landscaping and allowing other violations to become legal as they now exist. They are outlawing "natural landscaping", requiring houses to be bigger than ours is, providing easements which give them access to all parts of the property (including the residence) and require residents to be "Owner and immediate family" only (no unmarried or gay couples, no resident not a member of the "immediate family"). Yet they are making no provision for "grandfathering" existing homes and landscaping.

    Not only are these new proposals clearly discriminatory and punitive, they violate the following levels of nongovernment and government - the existing covenants (only the original owner can change them), the homeowners' association bylaws, city zoning definitions, state constitution (right to privacy) and federal fair housing laws. Is there legal action we should take at this point, or should we wait to see if these proposals "pass", and then do what? Frankly, we are sick of this ongoing harassment and want to know what we can do.
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Re: covenant revisions

    Originally posted by miscovenant
    What is the name of your state? Montana

    We bought property in a restricted subdivision (covenants) in 1997 and built a house and landscaped the property in accordance with the covenants (obtained Architectural Committee approval). The landscaping is natural, rather than "upscale". Once or more neighbors who don't like it have repeatedlly attempted to charge us with covenant violations - unsuccessfully. In fact, they attempt to charge us with violations when other, clear violations exist with tacit approval - selective enforcement and abandonment at their finest!

    They are taking a new tack - they are writing (as members of the CCR committee) new covenants which disallow everything we have done in building and landscaping and allowing other violations to become legal as they now exist. They are outlawing "natural landscaping", requiring houses to be bigger than ours is, providing easements which give them access to all parts of the property (including the residence) and require residents to be "Owner and immediate family" only (no unmarried or gay couples, no resident not a member of the "immediate family"). Yet they are making no provision for "grandfathering" existing homes and landscaping.

    Not only are these new proposals clearly discriminatory and punitive, they violate the following levels of nongovernment and government - the existing covenants (only the original owner can change them), the homeowners' association bylaws, city zoning definitions, state constitution (right to privacy) and federal fair housing laws. Is there legal action we should take at this point, or should we wait to see if these proposals "pass", and then do what? Frankly, we are sick of this ongoing harassment and want to know what we can do.
    **A: hire an attorney to write then a letter basically telling them to F off.
  3. #3
    tmwdeg Guest
    What they do must be in accord with public policy and cannot be unconscionable. Even if they don't specifically write a grandfather clause, grandfathering is generally considered to be in effect.

    Anyone who has more specific knowledge, please help calm this person so s/he doesn't worry themselves to death. Go see an attorney like you were advised.
  4. #4
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Catatonic State
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    Writer, also have your attorney review the CC&R's as some of the restrictions may be illegal and unenforceable.

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