Filed in the land records of Carroll County is the "Declaration of Covenants, Easements, Changes and Liens" for our properties. One way these covenants affect us is that they limit the things we can do the exterior of our properties without prior approval of the Architectural Committee of the Homeowners' Association (essentially ourselves). The covenants also sets down, in legal terms, things that we are not allowed to do at all.
The purpose of these guidelines is to translate our legal do's and don'ts into understandable terms for the residents of Carrolltowne. To develop these guidelines, our Architectural Committee reviewed the covenants. The Architectural Committee and the Board of Directors (your neighbors) want to ensure that everyone had as much freedom as possible to use and improve their properties, and to help keep Carrolltowne the attractive community that it has always been.
The last time that these guidelines were distributed was with the Community Directory in 1993, and the Committee felt that, with the many changes in ownership and the increasing number of absentee landlords, a new edition was needed.
IMPROVEMENTS ALLOWED - NO ADVANCE APPROVAL REQUIRED
The Architectural Committee has developed the following list of improvements that can be made without requesting the Committee's prior approval. These improvements must be constructed and located just as they are stated; otherwise the Architectural Committee must be contacted before starting work. Remember... as the property owner you are responsible for applying for, paying for, and properly displaying all necessary Carroll County building permits for the proposed improvements. THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT A BUILDING PERMIT.
- Storage sheds less than 150 square feet of floor space, swing sets, sandboxes, decks and patios, if,
- they are located in the rear yard area, behind the line running along the back of the house, and
- they are constructed and colored to be compatible with the exterior of the house, with the exception of children's play equipment.
- Exterior painting, and roof replacements, if compatible with the exterior colors of the house, and the exterior colors of adjacent houses. If you live in a semidetached home, you must contact the Architectural Committee before changing any exterior color.
- Vegetable gardens if,
- they are located in the rear yard area of the property and do not extend beyond the side sight lines of the house, and
- neatly maintained, weeded, and not over 250 square feet in area.
- Rock gardens, if the rocks are left in their natural colors
- Fences, if
- they are located in the rear yard area of the property, behind the line running along the back wall of the house, and
- they are not higher than four feet (4'), and
- they are constructed of wood.
- Short sections of ornamental wooden fence in the front corners of properties.
- Hedges or plantings used to form a property divider are permitted if neatly trimmed and maintained, and are located along the rear and side property lines only, and do not extend farther forward on the property than a line running along the front wall of the house.
- Standard sized TV antennas attached to the house. The Tele-communications Act passed by Congress removes the previous restrictions on satellite dish-type antennas, up to thirty-nine inches or one meter (39" or 1 m.) which previously existed in the Covenants. Dishes larger than thirty-nine inches or one meter are still prohibited. When installing such dishes, the Committee asks that every possible effort be made to minimize the visual impact of the installation to the neighboring properties and to passers-by, and that installation be made as far to the rear of the property as possible without degradation of signal reception.
- Basketball backboards, if attached to the garage, the carport, the rear wall of the house, or adjacent to the parking pad or driveway.
IMPROVEMENTS WHICH ARE GENERALLY ALLOWED, FOR WHICH ADVANCE APPROVAL IS REQUIRED
Any improvements other than the ones described in the preceding section above must be approved in advance. Some examples of the types of improvements that require advance approval are, but not limited to;
- Driveways and parking pads, including the widening of existing facilities.
- Permanent barbecues
- Swimming pools, three feet or greater in depth, whether above or below ground.
- ALL OTHER EXTERIOR BUILDING ALTERATIONS OR ADDITIONS WHICH ARE VISIBLE FROM THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE
To request approval of a proposed improvement you must submit the following information to the Architectural Committee. Please remember when submitting your requests that the Committee meets monthly, and although emergency decisions are sometimes possible, sufficient time should be allowed for the Committee to evaluate your request.
- Rough or hand drawings and/or a copy of your site survey ( do not send us the original) showing the dimensions of the improvement for which approval is requested, and its location relative to the owner's dwelling, to the boundaries of the lot on which it is to be built, and its location relative to any improvements on adjacent lots; and
- A description of the material to be used in constructing or installing such improvements, and
- Any other pertinent information needed by the Architectural Committee in its consideration of such request.
Requests for approval can be sent to The Carrolltowne Association, P.O. Box 463, Eldersburg, Maryland 21784.
The following types of improvements are NOT permitted in the Covenants and will NOT be approved:
- Awnings of any type or description, other than on the rear wall of the house.
- Chain link fences
- Exterior clotheslines of any type or description, whether temporary or permanent.
- Plastic or artificial yard ornaments and decorations in front yard areas; including but not limited to such things as plastic geese, pink flamingos, religious statuary, cement deer, trolls, etc.
- Dish antennas larger than thirty-nine inches or one meter (39" or 1m.), and other oversized television or radio antennas whether attached to the house or free standing, such as amateur radio antennas.
- More than one storage shed per residence.
OTHER PROHIBITED USES OF A NON-IMPROVEMENT NATURE
Our Association Covenants also include some "prohibited uses" for which the Architectural Committee is responsible for overseeing. Like the other architectural guidelines, these were established to help maintain and to enhance the appearance and value of Carrolltowne homes. Any exemptions to these uses must be approved by the Architectural Committee and the Board of Directors. Since these restrictions are largely based upon the Carroll County zoning laws, exemptions would be extremely doubtful and very difficult to obtain.
- Each home is to be used as a SINGLE FAMILY residence. Absolutely no professional or commercial use is permitted.
- All structures must be kept in good repair and appearance. Each home must maintain a lawn of no longer than four inches (4") in length and landscaping must be neatly maintained.
- When improvements are undertaken, all building materials and refuse must be kept out of sight and odor free.
- No "wild" or "barnyard" animals or fowl may be kept on any property. No more than two dogs and/or cats may be kept in a single dwelling or lot.
- Absolutely NO house trailer, trailer, camper, camping trailer, boat, boat trailer, or truck (other than pickup or van) may be parked on any lot, driveway, parking pad, street or parking area within the boundaries of the Carrolltowne community.