Brittany Riley 0

The Cotswolds ARC Petition

107 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
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Our Architecture Review Committee (ARC) has deemed small garden flags inappropriate for our community on the basis that it devalues our homes and has ordered their immediate removal. One of the things that is nice about walks around the neighborhood is being able to see small and tasteful lawn ornaments which usually depict my neighbors allegiances to universities and local schools.

Did you know that the ban of garden flags is not a covenant, it is not a "rule" of our community. Rather, the ban is the personal preference of a (one person) committee on the HOA Board that decided flags shouldn't be allowed. It is believed that eliminating flags is the first step in the process of eliminating ALL lawn and garden art altogether. While there is agreement that there should be some parameters in place for the regulation of said art (to eliminate the possibility of someone having dozens of items on display), it is not agreed that a 100% ban from the Board is warranted. There are residents who have flown garden flags and displayed other pieces in their flower beds that are of value to them for many years. The fact that these items have never been an issue in the past should not be arbitrated today at the whim of one person's opinion.

With this petition it is proposed that garden flags and small, tasteful lawn ornaments be allowed so long as the following guidelines are followed: no more than one flag per townhome lawn and no more than two flags per single family home. Flags should not be faded or torn, should not display any inappropriate images or wording (no wording that infringes on any persons federally protected rights), and shall be no larger than 18" x 12.5" . Lawn ornaments shall follow the same numerical allowance and shall be no larger than 20" x 28" (to accommodate a bird bath).

We live in a community where the Board should be acting to protect our property values by governing items that make a difference such as structures and paint choices. As such, our options for individuality are severely limited. Having a small lawn ornament and/or a garden flag should therefore be allowed, especially given that these items can be removed very quickly and easily and therefore do not devalue the property in the slightest. There are more serious issues in the community that the ARC is failing to address. Many of the yards are not being tended properly, with an overgrowth of weeds and untended shrubbery. The ARC seems to be "majoring in the minors" by putting such a heavy focus on garden flags when so many yards need to be brought into compliance.

Even if you have no plans to plant a garden flag in your own lawn, please consider signing this petition to support the right to have some individuality in the neighborhood and to send a message to our Board that we would like the right to make small and insignificant choices such as this on our own volition.

Please be advised that the current ARC is not generating approvals with the due diligence of past committees, when an approval was given only upon visual inspection with regards to most requests (i.e., paint chips were required for painting requests, fencing lines were viewed prior to approvals for fencing). This ARC chair is giving arbitrary approvals over the phone without ever visiting the resident or property to evaluate.

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