Fairfax Deed Restrictions
DEED RESTRICTIONS Update 10.17.16
So here is an update on the deed restriction conversation that came up a few weeks ago.
1 - For years, the Officers of the Association were under the impression that our deed restrictions had expired because no one had gone down to the County office and recorder of deeds to update/renew the restrictions. So we were operating under the New Castle County Municipal Codes for all property related questions.
2- One of our neighbors at closing on their house, received a copy of the "old" deed restrictions and was under the impression that they were still active.
3- We investigated the restrictions, spoke with the county, etc and found out that our Deed Restrictions are indeed ACTIVE, due to a clause(?) written in them where they will automatically renew every 10 years unless someone from the board goes down to the county to change or dissolve the restrictions.
4- many of the codes are still relevant to today, but there are a few that need updating.
We know that this may be cause for concern or at least bring up many questions for those of us that are not in line with the deed restrictions. Please be patient as we try our best to update the deed restrictions and find the best solution to this unique situation. The codes are still enforceable, but we are not going to make people bring their properties into compliance right away since these were not enforced for years.
Here is our plan of action
1 - we will have a meeting to discuss the old deed restrictions and any updates that we feel are best to bring the restrictions up to date with the current need and state of the neighborhood.
2- any properties that are in violation after the update will be looked at on a case by case basis and given the opportunity to be given a variance, or will be asked to bring the property up to code in the event of repair/replacement of item in violation (for example - and this not one of them but i can not come up with an actual example ) .....if the restriction said fences can only be painted white, and there was a blue painted fence in the neighborhood - we would not ask the owner to paint the fence right away, but the next time it was painted, to paint it white....i hope this makes sense
3 - any property owner that wants to do something to their property that violates the deed restrictions once they are updated, will have an opportunity to apply for a variance. Each variance will be discussed on it's own merit.
I know that there will be many questions regarding this, all i would say for now is if you are planning a project at your home, please reach out to the board before you begin the project. We are not going to post the old restrictions and cause confusion when the new ones come out.
Remember, Deed restrictions are a good thing. they help us maintain the upkeep and beauty of the neighborhood.