"Covenants "are a short name used for "Covenants, Condition and Restrictions" (CC&Rs) that describe "rules" governing a number of conditions which the owner must abide by as well as a number of conditions which cannot be allowed. They run with the land and apply to all present and subsequent owners. They are designed to not only protect the values of the real estate involved, but also to provide assurance that all owners within the area will abide by the same conditions in order to create and maintain a compatible and attractive group of individualized, quality homes.
WHAT DO THE COVENANTS COVER?
A general description of the developer's plan such as "Single Family Residences," a size and quality requirement including material and exterior color, positioning on lots, etc, and a number of prohibitions against permitting garbage to accumulate, parking junk vehicles, boats or trucks, obstructing neighbors views with tall trees, fences or high roof lines, etc are included.
HOW TO GET A COPY OF YOUR COVENANTS?
You should have received a copy of your covenants when you purchased your home, so check you closing documents and escrow papers.
The Covenant Review Committee (CRC), a standing committee of the Somerset Community Association (SCA) and is comprised of three SCA Board Members and two non-members. The CRC is elected to assist owners in matters regarding interpretation and compliance with the terms of the covenants in the Somerset area.
MODIFYING YOUR HOME OR YARD
All modifications to the exterior of property should be reviewed by the CRC. The objective of the CRC is to allow as much individuality as possible while maintaining the character of the neighborhood. Examples of exterior property change that must be reviewed by the CRC are noted on remodel Forms A and B, see CRC Forms & Documents.
The covenants in most divisions give the Building/Architectural Control Committee (now the CRC) authority to approve the exterior color. The CRC will rely on the individual lot owners to choose colors that produce a harmonious effect in the neighborhood for CRC review. Contact the CRC to advise them of your planned changes. Major Remodel Request Form Minor Remodel Request Form
It is important to notify the CRC and let it review the extent of your planned changes before work is started. When in doubt, contact the CRC.
WHAT DOES THE COVENANT REVIEW COMMITTEE DO?
The committee will assign a member of the CRC to review the proposal, discuss any areas of concern with you and render a decision or recommendation as quickly as possible.
HANDLING COMPLAINTS AND VIOLATIONS
If an owner believes a neighbor is violating the terms of the covenants what should be done? The first thing to do is talk with the neighbor-owner pointing out the condition that you believe creates the violation. Most matters can be resolved with friendly conversation. If a difference of opinion still remains, then send a "Neighbor Complaint Form" with a description of the problem to the CRC along with a copy to the respondent. With view-related problems, it is also helpful if a photograph is submitted. Neighbor Complaint Form Following the receipt of the written Neighbor Complaint Form, the CRC will assign a member or members to represent the committee and an investigation will begin. The situation will be discussed with all the parties and considered by the committee. Consideration will be given to compliance with terms of the covenants as well as the existing viewpoints and positions of lot owners. The committee will send the findings to all parties. If a party is dissatisfied with the committee's decision, the committee will recommend that the party contact the City of Bellevue Mediation Program office http://www.ci.bellevue.wa.us/mediation.htm or seek other legal options.
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