Covenant Enforcement

The Potomac Farms neighborhood is a covenant controlled community subject to the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (the Declaration). The Declaration document was executed by the Developer of Potomac Farms on February 28, 2002 and filed in the Adams County Clerk and Recorder's Office on March 7, 2002. All 406 single family home lots became subject to the Declaration document on the date the Declaration document was executed.

Each lot is subject to the covenants, conditions and restrictions provided in the Declaration. Section 3 (General Restrictions and Covenants) and Section 4 (Architectural Approval) contain the specific restrictions applicable to each lot.

 


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Restrictions and Prohibitions Applicable to Lots

Section 3 of the Declaration Document contains the restrictive covenants. The rules and guidelines contained in the Architectural Guidelines are based on these covenants.

Lot Modifications Requiring ARC Approval

Section 4 of the Declaration Document and the Architectural Guidelines lists the modifications and improvements to lots that require the approval of the Architectural Review Committee.

Architectural Review Committee (ARC)

The ARC is comprised of homeowners who volunteer their time serving on the Committee. The ARC Chairperson is appointed by the District's board of directors and other members of the ARC are appointed by the ARC. Although positions on the ARC are not elected positions, the District's Board has oversight authority over the ARC. (The ARC reports to and receives its rule-making authority from the District's Board.)

The ARC's primary responsibilities include the following:

  1. Review and approve (or deny) written architectural requests submitted by homeowners;
  2. Maintain and update the Architectural Guidelines and Standards for the neighborhood;
  3. Monitor homeowner lots to ensure compliance with the Architectural Guidelines and Standards.

Covenant violation guidebook

The District board must exercise a great deal of judgment to determine what constitutes a lot that is “maintained in a clean, attractive, and slightly condition and in good repair.” [Section 3.2] Lots that are not "“maintained in a clean, attractive, and slightly condition and in good repair” are in violation of this lot maintenance requirement. To better define and communicate its expectations regarding “clean, attractive, and slightly condition and in good repair” conditions, the Board has published a Covenant Violation Guidebook that establishes standards for lot maintenance. The Board encourages homeowners to review this guidebook so they can better understand the standards established by the District regarding lot maintenance.

The Covenant Violation Guidebook (a copy of which can be downloaded from the District document library webpage) provides guidance on issues such as:

  1. What constitutes excessive weeds in rockbeds and planters
  2. What constitutes excessive oil stains in a driveway
  3. What constitutes adequate care of the lawn
  4. What constitutes adequate maintenance of flowerbeds and planters

Common Lot Maintenance Violations

The nine most commonly noted violations within neighborhoods are as follows:

  1. Excessive weeds in the rockbeds and planters
  2. Turf disrepair (i.e. bare dirt areas or significant thinning of the grass)
  3. Low overhanging tree branches over the street and/or sidewalk (City ordinances require branches be trimmed up to 8 feet)
  4. Excessive weeds in the lawn
  5. Failure to move trash cans to the backyard or garage
  6. Excessive oil stains in the driveway
  7. Dead/dying trees
  8. Inadequately maintained flower beds and planters
  9. Excessive weeds in the driveway and/or sidewalk section separators

Homeowners who are mindful of regularly monitoring and correcting these types of violations on their lots are much less likely to receive violation notices from the District.

Rental Properties

Owners are responsible for maintaining their Lots in a manner that reasonably complies with the covenants and restrictions contained within the Declaration Document. The Board holds Owners who rent or lease their homes responsible for the reasonable maintenance of their lots—regardless of any contractual maintenance arrangements that may exist between such Owners and their renters or their property management companies.

Owner Responsibilities

The Board expects Owners, who use the lots as their primary residence, to be responsible for the reasonable maintenance of their lots—regardless of the Owners’ business, vacation or other schedules that may cause the Owners to be away from their lots for extended periods of time. Also, Owners are responsible for being familiar with the covenants and restrictions contained within the Declaration Document and the Architectural Guidelines and the Board’s interpretations of the various covenants and restrictions as provided in the Board’s Covenant Violation Guidebook.

Enforcement Process

The District Board, through its management company, performs neighborhood inspections approximately two times per month. For all lot violations noted during neighborhood inspections, the District will send out letters notifying the owners of the nature of the violation and the date on which it was observed. In addition, homeowners are subject to fines when recurring violations of the same type are identified on their lots.

The notice and fine schedule for covenant enforcement is as follows:

First Notice

Written courtesy notice

Second Notice

Second courtesy notice

Third Notice

Written notice of $25 fine

Fourth Notice

Written notice of $50 fine

Fifth Notice

Written notice of $100 fine

Sixth and
Subsequent Notices

Written notice of $100 fine and intent to file lien and/or turnover to attorneys

Please note that based on the above notice schedule, Owners are allowed at least one month to correct any violations on their Lot before fines begin to be assessed on the Owner's account. The District Board allows homeowners fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the second written notice to correct the violation. If, on a subsequent inspection, the violation has not been corrected, the next notice in order will be sent to the homeowner.

Fines are not assessed on a homeowner’s account until after the homeowner has an opportunity for a hearing (see below). If the homeowner does not request a hearing within ten (10) days of date of the second written notice, the related fine may be assessed on the homeowner’s account.

LEGAL FEES

After a third notice regarding the same open property maintenance violation, the District may turn over a property any time to the District’s legal counsel to initiate legal action against the homeowner (including filing a covenant lien and obtaining a judgment in court). In addition to addressing any judgement that may be obtained by the District against a homeowner, the homeowner must reimburse the District for any legal fees the District incurs related to the enforcement of a violation (in addition to paying any violation fines assessed by the District).

Black-out Period & Reset Conditions for Yard Maintenance

Per the District Board's covenant enforcement policy, yard maintenance deficiencies are subject to violation notices between May 1st and October 31st each year. For the 6-month period between November 1st and April 30th, violation notices will not be issued for such deficiencies. Yard maintenance-related violations that remain open and uncorrected as of October 31st will be carried forward and treated as a continuous violation when such deficiencies are subject to inspection beginning after May 1st.

Hearing

Homeowners who receive violation notices may request a hearing before the District's board to present evidence, testimony and present witnesses to support their case. Homeowners must submit their request for a hearing within 10 days of the date of the second notice.

A request for a hearing can be submitted via email or via regular mail to the District Manager.

Changes to or Termination of the POTOMAC FARMS Declaration Document

Homeowners may conduct a vote in accordance with the Declaration Document to change or terminate the covenant-controlled community. In accordance with the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (Section 33.3 of the Colorado Revised Statutes) and Article XII of the Declaration Document, approval from 67% (or 272) of the 406 lot owners within Potomac Farms must be obtained to pass any proposed changes to or termination of the Declaration Document.

DISCLAIMER - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The information contained on this page is incomplete and only intended to be a summary of certain key provisions of the District's Covenant Enforcement Policies and Procedures and the District's Collection Policies and Procedures. Homeowners are responsible for carefully reviewing the District's policies and procedures (posted in the public document library on this website) to understand the District's and homeowners' respective responsibilities and rights regarding the enforcement of covenants, conditions, restrictions, rules applicable to the use and enjoyment of their properties.