The “protective covenants” of the Wexford Property Owners Association were created to help preserve the integrity and value of the Wexford subdivision. These covenants, recorded by the original developer in 1987, establish regulations that enure to the benefit of all homeowners. Among other things, the covenants (1) define easements; (2) control the location of structures, uses and buildings through an Architectural Control Committee; (3) establish membership in the association; and, (4) establish covenants and assessments in favor of the association. All Wexford homes are subject to the declarations of this document. Homeowners should have received a copy of the covenants in the closing documents of their home purchase. The following is a facsimile of the original document filed for record with Clerk of Superior Court of Columbia County.
DECLARATIONS OF PROTECTIVE COVENANTS
THIS DECLARATION OF PROTECTIVE COVENANTS, made and published this 9th day of February, 1987, by RICK ROGERS DEVELOPMENT CO., INC., a corporation under the laws of the State of Georgia, hereinafter referred to as “DEVELOPER” and “WEXFORD PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.”, a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Georgia, hereinafter referred to as “THE ASSOCIATION”.
WHEREAS, the DEVELOPER is the owner and developer of: ALL THOSE LOTS OR PARCELS OF LAND, WITH IMPROVEMENT THEREON, SITUATE, LYING AND BEING IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA, COUNTY OF COLUMBIA, BEING DESIGNATED AS LOTS I THROUGH 53, INCLUSIVE OF WEXFORD SUBDIVISION AS SHOWN ON A PLAT PREPARED BY W. R. TOOLE ENGINEERS, INC., DATED November 14, 1986 AND RECORDED IN THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT COLUMBIA COUNTY, GEORGIA, IN PC A, SLIDE 279 #5, REFERENCE BEING MADE TO SAID PLAT FOR A MORE COMPLETE AND ACCURATE DESCRIPTION AS TO THE METES, BOUNDS, DISTANCES AND LOCATIONS OF SAID PROPERTY.
WHEREAS, the DEVELOPER desires to develop on said property a residential community to be known as “WEXFORD SUBDIVISION”, and hereinafter referred to as “WEXFORD”, and has deemed it desirable for the preservation of the value of said property to create and organization to which shall be delegated and assigned as hereinafter set for the power of maintaining and administering the community properties, right of ways hereinafter set forth in this agreement, and also to perform any other functions that may be desirable to improve the enjoyment of living in WEXFORD; and
WHEREAS, the DEVELOPER has caused the ASSOCIATION to be incorporated under the laws of the State of Georgia for the purposes of exercising the powers and functions aforesaid; and
WHEREAS, it is the interest, benefit and advantage of the DEVELOPER, the ASSOCIATION and to each and every person who shall hereafter purchase a lot in said subdivision, that certain Protective Covenants governing and regulating the use and occupancy of the same, and certain easements, reservations, and servitutes be imposed upon said property, and the same be established, set forth and declared to be covenants running with the land,
NOW, THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the premises and the benefits to be derived by the DEVELOPER, the ASSOCIATION, and each and every subsequent owner of any of the lots of said subdivision, the DEVELOPER does hereby set up, establish, promulgate and declare the following Protective Covenants to apply to all of said lots and to all persons owning said lots, or any of them hereafter;
The following words and terms when used in these Protective Covenants or in any amendment hereto shall have the following meanings:
(A) DEVELOPER” shall mean and refer to RICK ROGERS DEVELOPMENT CO., INC.
(B) “LOT” shall mean and refer to any subdivided parcel of land located within the property shown on the aforementioned subdivision plat and any amendments thereto recorded in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court Columbia County. Georgia, on which has been constructed a single family detached dwelling or which is unimproved in intended for use as a site for a single family detached dwelling.
(C) “OWNER” shall mean and refer to the owner of any interest 1n any portion of the property, members of his family residing within the property, his personal representatives, heirs, assigns, successors, tenants, guest,. invitees and licensees.
(D) “PROPERTY” shall mean or refer to the land heretofore described or to any portion thereof and to any land which may in the future be subjected to these Protective Covenants.
(E) “RECREATIONAL AREA” shall mean and refer to the land designated recreational area on the aforementioned plat including She lake shown on said plat and any other land which may be designated recreational areas in the future and subjected to these Protective Covenants.
DRAINAGE AND UTILITY EASEMENT. DEVELOPER reserves unto itself a perpetual, alienable and releasable easement and right on, over and under the ground to erect, maintain and use electric service, community antenna television, dire, cables, conduits, drainage ways, sewers, water mains and other suitable equipment for the conveyance and use of electricity, telephone equipment, gas, sewer, water drainage or other public conveniences or utilities on. in or over the rear ten feet of each lot unless otherwise indicated on the aforementioned plat and the five feet inside of each aide lot boundary line. All utilities are to be layed underground whenever it is practical to do so. In the event of the resubdivision or the altering of any lot under the provisions hereof this easement shall apply to the Lot as altered or resubdivision unless the installation of drainage or utility facilities have been substantially completed, in which event the easement originally reserved shall apply.
DEVELOPER also reserves unto itself an easement under, over and across the front fifteen feet of each Lot unless otherwise indicated on the aforementioned plat for the same purposes as stated in the preceding paragraph to be used only when necessary for the rerouting of the utilities or public conveniences referenced above where same would otherwise be placed within the right of way of the streets on the property when doing so would require the removal from said right of way of any tree with a trunk diameter of six inches or more.
The rights herein reserved my be exercised by the DEVELOPER or any
licensee thereof, but this reservation shall not be considered an obligation
of the DEVELOPER to provide or maintain any such utility or service.
Location of Structures, Uses and Buildings
(A) Single family residential use. No portion of the property shall be used for commercial or merchantile purposes. Each Lot shall be used for residential purposes exclusively. No more than one single family detached dwelling may be erected on any Lot.
(B) Trailers and Mobile Homes. No trailer, mobile home, or satellite receiver shall be permitted on any Lot at any time. No bus, truck, motor home, recreational vehicle, boat, camping trailer, boat trailer, or other type of trailer may be parked on any Lot or on any street upon which any Lot fronts without the prior written consent of the Architectural Control Committee. No
attic, garage, or any outbuilding shall be used for residential purposes, except that servant or guest quarters may be provided as part of or accessory to a main residential building and shall conform to it in exterior design and quality. This provision shall not prohibit the conversion of a garage into sleeping quarters which are incorporated as part of the main residential building.
(C) Altering lot boundaries. No Lot shall be subdivided, or its boundary line changed, nor shall application for same be made to Columbia County, except with the written consent of the DEVELOPER. However, the DEVELOPER hereby expressly reserves to itself, its successors or assigns, the right to replat and change the boundary line or subdivide any Lot or Lots owned by it in order to create a modified building Lot or Lots; and to take such other steps as are reasonably necessary to make such replatted Lot suitable and fit as a building site including, but not limited, the relocation of easements, walkways, right of ways, private roads, bridges, parks, and other amenities to conform to the new boundaries of said replatted lots, provided, however, no Lot originally shown on a recorded plat shall be reduced to a size more than 10% smaller than the smallest Lot shown on the aforementioned recorded plat. The provisions of this paragraph shall not prohibit the combining of two or more contiguous Lots into one large Lot. Following the combining of two or more lots into one larger Lot, only the exterior boundary lines of the resulting larger Lot shall be considered in the interpretation of these Protective Covenants.
(D) Location of building on Lot. No building of any kind or character shall be erected on a Lot nearer the street than the minimum building line as shown on the recorded subdivision plat; nor shall any building of any kind or character be erected within ten feet of any side property line of a Lot.
(E) Recreation area. Except as herein provided, the recreational area, including but not limited to clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, and lake as now developed or as may hereafter be developed shall be for the exclusive use, benefit and advantage of each and every owner of a Lot in this subdivision. No power boats, including boats propelled by outboard gasoline motors will
be permitted on any lake or waterway. Swimming shall not be permitted in said lake. Except. for lakefront lot owners, access to the lake shall be limited to the area shown as “recreational area” on said plat.
(F) Architectural Control Committee/Submission of Plans, Etc. An Architectural Control Committee, hereinafter called the “ACC” has been duly set up and appointed by the DEVELOPER, to exercise such jurisdiction and functions with respect to all Lot. in WEXFORD or as may be delegated to it under the charter and bylaws of the ASSOCIATION and such as may now or hereafter by amendment be additionally bestowed upon it by terms of this agreement. Plans and specifications for all proposed improvements upon the Lots must be submitted in writing to the ACC, which is hereby vested with the full power and authority to approve or disapprove the same in whole or in part, or require the modification of the same as it may, in its discretion, deem proper. No construction or other improvements of any kind may be undertaken without its prior written approval. The ACC shall have, the right to refuse to approve any building plans, specifications, site plans, or grading plans which are not suitable or desirable in its sole opinion for any reason, including purely aesthetic reasons. In so passing upon building plans, specifications, site plans or grading plans the ACC shall take into consideration the suitability of the proposed building, the materials of which it is to be built, the location on the Lot of the proposed building and any other improvements, the harmony of the building as planned on the outlook from adjacent or neighboring portions of the subject property. All fences, walls, barbecue pies, detached garages, and other accessory buildings or recreational facilities shall be approved in writing by the ACC prior to construction as to design, material, and location and shall be constructed in general conformity with the architecture of the main dwelling and out of materials which conform to the materials used in such main building. The ACC may require building plans and specifications be submitted including but not limited to the following: Foundation plans, section details, floor plans of all floors, elevation drawings of all exterior walls, roof plans, material specifications end site plans showing locations and orientations of buildings on the Lot, with all setbacks indicated, in such detail as may be required by the ACC in its sole discretion. Plans and specifications shall show driveways, service courts or areas, parking or any other buildings, improvements or facilities to be constructed. Neither the main residential building nor accessory buildings may be constructed on any Lot without the full and active supervision of an architect or building contractor. There shall be a minimum of 7,350 square feet of heated space for improvements located on Lots 17 through 53 inclusive.
Membership in the ACC shall be solely by appointment of the DEVELOPER until all of the Lots which are now or may hereafter be made subject to these Declarations shall have been improved by the construction of a residential building unless said DEVELOPER shall in its sole discretion earlier assign its rights of appointment to the ASSOCIATION. Thereafter, right of membership appointment shall be assigned by the DEVELOPER to the ASSOCIATION.
(G) Preservation of trees and vegetation. Since living trees and shrubs contribute to the aesthetic value of WEXFORD, no tree or shrub with a trunk diameter in excess of six inches may be removed from a Lot without the written approval of the Architectural Control Committee. Approval for the removal of trees and shrub. located within ten feet of the approved site for such dwelling will be granted regardless of trunk diameter size unless removal will substantially decrease the beauty of the property. In order to obtain approval for the clearing of a building site, the owner must stake out upon the Lot the proposed location of the planned improvements for inspection by the Architectural Control Committee.
(H) Clotheslines. No clotheslines, drying racks, or fences used for drying clothes shall be constructed or maintained any where on the property.
(I) Keeping of animals. No poultry, swine, cows, goats, horses, mules, or other farm animals shall be maintained on any Lot and no vegetable garden may be planted except in the rear or backyard of any Lot. No more than three pets (such as dogs, cats, etc.) may be kept on any Lot except with the written permission of the DEVELOPER. Any vegetable garden shall not have any area larger than 200 square feet.
(J) Hobbies. The pursuit of hobbies or other activities, including without limiting the generality hereof, the assembly and disassembly of motor vehicles and other mechanical devices, which might lead to disordered, unsightly or unkept conditions shall not be used or undertaken on any Lot.
(K) Waste Materials. No Lot shall be used or maintained for a dumping ground for rubbish. Trash, garbage, or other waste shall not be kept except in sanitary containers. All incinerators or other equipment for the storage or disposal of such materials shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition and shall not be visible from any street or from any adjacent Lot.
(L) Fences and Hedges. No fence, wall, hedge, shrub, bush, tree or other thing, natural or artificial, shall be placed, maintained, or permitted to remain on any Lot or area if the location of such obstructs the vision of the motorist on any adjacent street or lane, and thus creates a traffic hazard.
(M) Garages. With the exception of Lots 1 through 16 inclusive, no garage shall open on the front or street side of any dwelling. The ACC shall have the right to waive this requirement if found necessary because of topography and ground condition. or In the case of a corner lot.
(N) Mail Box. A uniform mailbox purchased by the residents shall be used for all lot. in WEXFORD. No mailbox, stand or property identification sign may be erected unless they have received DEVELOPER’S prior written consent.
(O) Completion of construction within one year: The exterior of all buildings or other structures must be completed within one (1) year after the construction of the same shall have been commenced, except where such completion is impossible or would result in great hardship to the owner or builder due to strikes, fire, national emergency, or natural calamity.
(P) Driveways and walks. No breaks shall be made in any curb or gutter on or adjacent to the right of way of any street for the purpose of constructing any driveway, walk or other means of ingress to and egress from a Lot unless the apron of such driveway or walk shall be constructed of a permanent paving material, which is structurally and aesthetically compatible with the curb or gutter being broken and the adjacent street. Such driveway or walk shall tie in with the street curb and/or gutter in such a manner that a hazardous condition is not created. There shall be no break in the curb for a rear entrance to Lots 1 through 3 and Lots 13 through 16 inclusive from Wexford Drive.
Membership in the ASSOCIATION and voting rights of its members.
(A) Membership. All owners of a single family residential building Lot or Lots in WEXFORD shall thereby become members of the ASSOCIATION for so long as such ownership continues. Provided, however, that no person or corporation in taking title as security for the payment of, money or for the performance of any obligations shall thereby so become entitled to membership. Ownership of property as qualification for membership is defined herein as follows: Ownership of any Lot under recorded deed, whether the owner is occupant or not, or ownership under a bond for title or contract of purchase, If the same be accompanied by an actual occupancy of the Lot in question. Ownership within the meaning and intention hereof shall cease upon the sale of any such Lot to another by the owner thereof. Sale of any such Lot within the meaning hereof shall mean and shall be effective upon the recording of any deed conveying such Lot to another, or the termination of occupancy of the property by the owner thereof accompanied by the giving of such owner to another of a bond for title or contract of sale with respect to such Lot.
The DEVELOPER shall be a member of the ASSOCIATION so long as it owns one or more residential Lot as shown on the aforesaid plat, or of any additional Lots made subject to these Declarations.
Members of the ASSOCIATION shall consist of two classes, Class A members and Class B members, who respectively shall have the right:, voting privileges and duties as set forth in the corporate charter or bylaws of the ASSOCIATION and as hereinafter set forth, to-wit:
(1) CLASS A members shall initially consist of the DEVELOPER, who shall be entitled to voting privileges, in the amount of one (1) vote for each residential Lot owned by it in WEXFORD, or in additional real estate made subject to these Declarations.
(2) CLASS B members shall consist of all other owners of residential Lots in WEXFORD other than the DEVELOPER. CLASS B members shall not have voting privileges until the DEVELOPER shall have conveyed 70 per cent of the residential Lots as shown on the aforementioned plat, at which time CLASS e members shall automatically become CLASS A members. In the event that a CLASS B member shall own more than one contiguous lot upon which only one residence is constructed, such member, upon becoming a CLASS A member, shall be entitled to only one (1) vote and shall likewise only be subject to the imposition of dues and assessments calculated for a single Lot pursuant to ITEM V of these Declarations provided said residence is partially physically located on each such contiguous Lot. A corporation owning one or more Lots in WEXFORD shall have one (1) vote for each such Lot owned, but no member, stockholder, director, employee or officer of such corporation shall acquire thereby any rights individually to become a member of the ASSOCIATION.
B. Duties of the Association. It shall be the duty of the ASSOCIATION to impose and collect such dues, assessments, and other charges as it may deem necessary, in accordance with ITEM V, hereof, and to landscape and maintain the beautification of ell entrances to, medians and street island, of WEXFORD, as well as the green areas, recreational areas, retention ponds shown on the plat thereof. In addition, the ASSOCIATION shall also repair and maintain all entrances, walls and all streets and storm drain systems of said Subdivision located in the easement areas and rights of way therefor, as well as the entrance apron to WEXFORD as it may exist within the right of way of Fury’s Ferry Road. The ASSOCIATION may, In its discretion have the additional duty of requiring all Lot owners to ma intain their property in accordance with the standards set forth herein.
COVENANTS AND ASSESSMENTS IN FAVOR OF THE ASSOCIATION
A. Imposition of Assessment. Each member of the ASSOCIATION, as defined in ITEM IV of the Declarations, obligates himself., herself, or itself and by the ownership of single-family residential lot in WEXFORD shall be deemed to covenant and agree to pay the ASSOCIATION when due the annual or special assessment for any dues or charges established hereby or by its Board of Governors from time to time hereinafter provided. A licensed Building Contractor shall pay one-half (½) the annual residential lot assessments as charged by the said Board of Governors. Said Building Contractors shall not have the use of the amenities located within the recreation areas of WEXFORD. In no event shall ownership by the DEVELOPER of any residential lot In WEXFORD, including any additional area or areas added in the future,
be construed as imposing upon the DEVELOPER the duty or obligation of paying any dues, assessments, other charges in the ASSOCIATION for such lots, or acres.
Each residential building lot on the aforementioned plat of Wexford shall be made subject to a continuing lien to secure the payment for each annual or special assessment or charge when due. In addition thereto, the owner of each lot. at the time of commencement by him, her,
or it, shall execute and deliver to the ASSOCIATION a security deed conveying such owners lot as security for the performance of the obligation to pay such annual or special assessments or charges, which security dead shall be in such form and contain such provisions as the ASSOCIATION shall prescribe. Each such security deed shall provide that the lien created thereby shall be subordinate to the lien of each and every security deed given by an owner
of a Lot in good faith and for value to any lender to secure the indebtedness of such owner, but shall be subordinate only to assessments or any dues or charges owed by such owner to the ASSOCIATION which becomes due between the date of the security deed given by the owner to a lender and the date of a sale made pursuant to some other right given to the holder thereof under the laws of the State of Georgia. No sale or conveyance of a Lot, whether voluntarily or involuntarily made, by or in the name of any owner, shall operate to extinguish the obligation of the owner as a member of the ASSOCIATION to pay the sums owed by such owner to it.
B. Amount of the Assessment. Such annual or special assessment or charge shall be in an amount to be fixed from year to year by the Board of Governors of the ASSOCIATION. Such annual assessment is subject to be changed by majority vote at the annual meeting of the ASSOCIATION. Also, special assessments may be imposed by majority vote at an annual meeting or special meeting of the ASSOCIATION called In accordance with its bylaws.
Each such annual assessment shall be due and payable as determined by the ASSOCIATION. Special assessments imposed in accordance with these Declarations and the bylaws of the ASSOCIATION shall be due and payable at such time as the ASSOCIATION designates. .
The ASSOCIATION, its successors or assigns, shall maintain such reserves out of said fund as it in its sole discretion shall deem necessary to meet future contingencies. The said ASSOCIATION, its successors or assigns, shall render an annual accounting to each contributor.
The annual assessment may be modified at any time before the beginning of the ensuing fiscal year, as may be established for the fund by the ASSOCIATION, its successors or assigns, by the presentation of a written resolution to the ASSOCIATION, its successors or assigns, bearing the signature of a majority of the Lot owners and the holders of contracts to purchase Lots, developed and undeveloped, Which shall set forth precisely the modification requested. Said resolution shall set out a reasonable and feasible plan for providing and financing the service being modified.
In proportioning the assessment, the ASSOCIATION, its successors and assigns, shall take into consideration the services and the quantity thereof provided to the owners of WEXFORD, as well as the services provided to Lots undeveloped, and developed and not sold, and shall attempt to proportion the annual assessment in accordance with the service and benefit being received by the assesses.
(C) Use of the Assessment. The amount so paid to the ASSOCIATION shall be a permanent fund to be administered by the ASSOCIATION and may be used for the payment of expenses incurred for the following purposes:
(1) Maintenance and cleaning of the private streets and islands;
(2) Maintenance of entrance signs, entranceways, medians, and green areas of WEXFORD, Including the entrance apron located with the right of way of Furys Ferry Road;
(3) Maintenance of any recreational areas now existing or hereafter developed.
(4) For such purposes as set forth in the corporation charter of by-laws of the ASSOCIATION as they now exist or as the same may be hereafter amended;
(5) For such other lawful purposes as the Board of Governors of the ASSOCIATION shall determine.
(D) Dedication of Streets, etc. to the ASSOCIATION. The DEVELOPER shall convey title to the streets, medians, street islands, green areas, storm drain system and recreational areas of WEXFORD to the ASSOCIATION at such time as the DEVELOPER, in its sole discretion deems proper but no later than such time as eighty percent (80%) of the residential building Lots in WEXFORD shall have been conveyed or made subject to a contract of sale from the DEVELOPER. Said streets, medians, etc. shall be maintained by the ASSOCIATION in perpetuity as private ways and shall never be dedicated to Columbia County.
These Declarations and agreements shall be effective immediately upon the filing of the same for record in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court of Columbia County, Georgia; and shall thereupon run with the land and be binding upon all persona or through the DEVELOPER for twenty-five (25) years from the date of filing; and shall be continued automatically and without further notice from that time for a period of ten (10) years thereafter for successive periods of ten (10) years each without limitation, unless within six (6) months prior to the expiration of any such successive period of ten (10) years thereafter, a written agreement executed by the then record owners of not less than 50% of the Lots then subject to these Declarations shall be placed on record in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court of Columbia County, Georgia, in which agreement any of the aforementioned covenants, restrictions, reservations, servitutes and easements may be changed, modified, waived or extinguished in whole or in part, as to all or any part of the property then subject thereto in the manner and to the extent therein provided.
In the event any such written agreement of change or modification be fully executed and recorded, the original covenants, restrictions, reservations, servitutes and easements as therein modified shall continue in force for successive periods of ten (10) years each, unless and until further changed, modified or extinguished, in the manner herein provided.
So long as the DEVELOPER shall hold to any portion of the herein before described property, or to any additional real estate added to the scheme of the development herein set forth in accordance with these Declarations, the DEVELOPER as well as their successors and assigns, or heirs and assigns, as the case may be, shall have, and are hereby granted, the exclusive right, exercisable at any time and from time to time, to amend or to grant exceptions to these Declarations and to waive, repeal or vary these Declarations in any one or more respects whenever in the sole and controlled opinion of the DEVELOPER, such waiver, repeal or variance shall not be materially detrimental to the general nature In development of WEXFORD as a residential area.
Remedies for violations of these Declarations
(A) Remedies. In the event of a violation or breach of any of the Declarations and restrictions contained herein by any owner, or agent of such owner, the owners of the Lots in WEXFORD or the ASSOCIATION or any of them jointly or severally shall have the right to proceed at law or equity including but not limited to injunctive relief, to compel the compliance to the terms hereof or to prevent the violation or breach of the covenants herein contained or recover damages for such violation. In addition to the foregoing, the DEVELOPER or the ASSOCIATION have the right, whenever there shall have been built on any Lot in the Subdivision any structure or other condition. created which is in violation of these restrictions, to enter upon the property where such violation exists and summarily abate or remove the same at the expense of the owner, if after 30 days written notice of such violation, it shall not have been corrected by the Lot owner. Any such entry and abatement or removal shall not be deemed a trespass. The failure to enforce any rights, reservations, restrictions or conditions contained in these Declarations, however long continued, shall not be deemed a waiver of the right to do so hereafter as to the same breach or as to a breach occurring prior or subsequent thereto and shall not bar or affect its enforcement. Provided, however, that a violation of any such covenants or restrictions shall not constitute a forfeiture or reversion of title hereunder.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the DEVELOPER has caused these presents to be executed by its duly authorized corporate officer and its corporate seal affixed, and hereunder sets its hand and seal this 9th day of February, 1987.