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  1. #1
    jjholmquest Guest

    homeowner will not mow his grass

    What is the name of your state? Michigan

    I live in a subdivision that has a pond with an island and bridge as the commons area. One of the property owners has pond frontage on close to half of the pond and he is refusing to mow the edge, he doesn't like geese and says the grass will keep them off his yard. Last summer the weeds were 2 feet tall or more. The others with frontage keep the grass mowed and the area looking attractive. We had a meeting of our Association last night to discuss this and many other issues. The homeowner in violation came prepared with an "open letter to all members" he has expressed his intention to sue the association for trespassing if we hire someone to mow his grass. He says the building and use restrictions are not enforceable and the other pond frontage owners are in violation of the building and use restricitions because their grass is not harmonious with his.


    Building and Use Restrictions Clause:

    Maintenance of unimproved property - No parcel of property shall be allowed to remain in an unkempt condition. All parcels of property shall be kept in a condition harmonious with adjacent parcels and in keeping with the natural appearance of the parcel where appropriate. All grass and other growth shall be maintained and cut to reasonable heights at reasonable intervals where appropriate. In the event the parcels of property are not properly maintained, the Architectural Committee is authorized to contract for the necessary maintenance and charge the property owner with the cost for performing the required maintenance.
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Re: homeowner will not mow his grass

    Originally posted by jjholmquest
    What is the name of your state? Michigan

    I live in a subdivision that has a pond with an island and bridge as the commons area. One of the property owners has pond frontage on close to half of the pond and he is refusing to mow the edge, he doesn't like geese and says the grass will keep them off his yard. Last summer the weeds were 2 feet tall or more. The others with frontage keep the grass mowed and the area looking attractive. We had a meeting of our Association last night to discuss this and many other issues. The homeowner in violation came prepared with an "open letter to all members" he has expressed his intention to sue the association for trespassing if we hire someone to mow his grass. He says the building and use restrictions are not enforceable and the other pond frontage owners are in violation of the building and use restricitions because their grass is not harmonious with his.


    Building and Use Restrictions Clause:

    Maintenance of unimproved property - No parcel of property shall be allowed to remain in an unkempt condition. All parcels of property shall be kept in a condition harmonious with adjacent parcels and in keeping with the natural appearance of the parcel where appropriate. All grass and other growth shall be maintained and cut to reasonable heights at reasonable intervals where appropriate. In the event the parcels of property are not properly maintained, the Architectural Committee is authorized to contract for the necessary maintenance and charge the property owner with the cost for performing the required maintenance.

    ======================================


    My response:

    Did you have a specific question?

    IAAL
  3. #3
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the post.
  4. #4
    jjholmquest Guest
    Can the association enforce the mowing based on the current wording? Or is it as he says unenforceable?
  5. #5
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by jjholmquest
    [B]Can the association enforce the mowing based on the current wording? Or is it as he says unenforceable?

    **A: current wording of what? Where did that paragraph come from? What specific document did it come from? Did the HOA make it up or is it from the CC&R's? If from the CC&R's, it it my opinion that the document would speak for itself.
  6. #6
    jjholmquest Guest
    We don't have a CC&R what we do have is a document which is labeled "Building and Use Restrictions". The specific clause is listed below:

    Building and Use Restrictions Clause:

    Maintenance of unimproved property - No parcel of property shall be allowed to remain in an unkempt condition. All parcels of property shall be kept in a condition harmonious with adjacent parcels and in keeping with the natural appearance of the parcel where appropriate. All grass and other growth shall be maintained and cut to reasonable heights at reasonable intervals where appropriate. In the event the parcels of property are not properly maintained, the Architectural Committee is authorized to contract for the necessary maintenance and charge the property owner with the cost for performing the required maintenance.

    Would it be considered trespassing if we hired someone to mow his grass?
  7. #7
    jjholmquest Guest
    The original land developers drafted the building and use restrictions and they were required reading before we could purchase our land.
  8. #8
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by jjholmquest
    [B]The original land developers drafted the building and use restrictions and they were required reading before we could purchase our land.

    **A: did the Buyers have to sign this? If there are no CC&R's and the Buyers did not sign agreeing to the required reading clause, then the clause in not enforceable upon the property owners.
    I suggest you review your title report for recorded restrictions.
    I do not believe that a project such as yours has no recorded restrictions.
  9. #9
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    My response:

    Regardless of where this "restriction" appears, it is one of the most vague, ambiguous and unintelligible paragraphs I've read in a long while. Was the author a "Flower Child" of the 1960's?


    Building and Use Restrictions Clause:

    Maintenance of unimproved property - No parcel of property shall be allowed to remain in an unkempt condition.

    MY RESPONSE: What does THAT mean? What's "unkempt" for one person, is beauty to another. And, by who's opinion is something "unkempt"? Does it change from season to season too? Where's the definitions of words and phrases?



    All parcels of property shall be kept in a condition harmonious with adjacent parcels and in keeping with the natural appearance of the parcel where appropriate.

    MY RESPONSE: Again, this phrase is vague, ambiguous and unintelligible. What does "harmony" mean, and by whose or what definition? The use of the word "harmonious" is definitely "Flower Child" verbiage.



    All grass and other growth shall be maintained and cut to reasonable heights at reasonable intervals where appropriate.

    MY RESPONSE: I can't even begin to understand THIS sentence. What does "reasonable height" mean? What's a reasonable "interval"? And, who or what defines "where appropriate"?



    In the event the parcels of property are not properly maintained, the Architectural Committee is authorized to contract for the necessary maintenance and charge the property owner with the cost for performing the required maintenance.

    MY RESPONSE: "Properly maintained"? Who's responsible for THAT value judgment? What if the property owner doesn't agree with the "AC" decision as to the meaning of "Properly maintained"?


    In summary, with the way that entire paragraph is written, it's entirely impossible to know whether someone is in keeping with, or in violation of, such "restrictions". Your neighbor is absolutely correct, and I'd fight you tooth and nail also. There's just no way to "measure" all of these value judgments, and to determine whether YOUR definition of beauty and maintenance, per the paragraph, is the same as MY definitions of beauty and maintenance. I would have no idea what would be expected of me as a homeowner in your little enclave.

    Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one man's garbage dump is another man's gold mine, and other such sayings.

    I thinks it's back to the drawing board for you folks.

    IAAL
  10. #10
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Must be the Woodstock clause.

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