Construction and Development Guidelines – Columbus, OH USA
SECTION ONE – GENERAL GUIDELINES
The COLUMBUS development project is intended to create a relaxed living community in harmony with the area’s natural environment and the community itself.
1.1 OBJECTIVES FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
In general terms, all home sites should be designed to take advantage of the scenic views. Open areas and large glass enclosures are suggested in order to give the impression of “bringing the outside in.”
It is also important for the homeowners and planners to take into account seasonality of the weather in USA. The area has a 4 month long period where there is minimal precipitation, known locally as the “Gold Season”. Open areas with measures taken to protect against the wind and rain should be taken into account during the rainy season. Also, careful planning of water resources and landscape choices of plantings which require as little water as possible are recommended.
1.2 SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES
Homeowners are encouraged to carry out responsible sustainable practices, from the initial stages of breaking ground for construction through the entire building process by utilizing locally manufactured, sustainable building materials whenever possible. It is important to strive to preserve the natural beauty of the project’s setting. Trash recycling is highly encouraged. As general guidelines, homeowners can follow these practices:
1.3 COMMUNITY CARE
During the construction period, owners must make sure that the construction crews working on their home sites do the following:
SECTION TWO – THE REVIEW BOARD
2.1 Architectural Review Board
There shall be established a COLUMBUS Architectural Review Board (ARB) that will be in charge of establishing and enforcing development and design guidelines for the overall benefit of all the homeowners of the community. Any substantial modifications to the site, residences, ancillary structures and any other new building or improvements must be approved by the ARB prior to doing any work. The ARB shall consist of at least three homeowners who by virtue of their education, training or experience are qualified to review construction designs. They shall be elected for a one year term by a majority of the homeowners at an annual meeting that is held every year on March 15 or at such other time as a majority of the homeowners shall determine.
Each homeowner who is not in default shall be entitled to vote at the annual meeting for members of the ARB, either in person or by written proxy. The number of members on the ARB may be increased by a majority of the homeowners at the annual meeting. Any increase in the number of members to be elected to the ARB shall take place immediately. Should any vacancy occur during the one year period, the remaining members on the ARB may fill that vacancy until the next election occurs.
2.2 RESPONSE TIME
The ABR will review any application of home design from any of the homeowners within twenty-one (21) days from its receipt. The applicant must provide to the ARB the list of required details or drawings as set forth in Appendix A. If the ARB has not informed an applicant whether his/her application has been approved or rejected by the thirtieth (30th) day after it was submitted to the ARB, the application will be deemed approved. Owners who choose from the pre-designed homes set forth in Section 2.4 below will be exempt from seeking ARB approval.
2.3 AUTHORITY OF THE ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD
The ARB has the authority to reject any project that does not comply with the Design Guidelines. The ARB shall not be liable for any expenses incurred by the homeowner and/or its consultants as a result of a rejection by the ARB because a proposed project does not comply with the Construction Design Guidelines.
2.4 PRE-DESIGN MODEL HOMES
Pre-design COLUMBUS house models fully comply with the Construction Design Guidelines set for the community. Any owner who chooses to build one of the pre-design house models will not need to obtain ARB approval.
Submission of any design other than those pre-design COLUMBUS house models will have to go through a review process by the ARB. There will be no charge by the ARB to review an application whether it be an initial application, a change to an initial application that had been approved previously, or a resubmission of an application that had been rejected previously.
The ARB has the authority to issue Stop Work Notices to any construction site that is not complying fully with the construction development guidelines set forth in this document. Any expenses incurred by the owner in order to comply with the construction guidelines or that were incurred while construction was halted shall be borne by the owner. Any owner who has been issued a Stop Work Notice, must prepare and submit to the ARB a detailed plan of what action will be taken to bring the project in compliance with the construction development guidelines (hereinafter referred to as the “remedial plan”).
Within fourteen (14) calendars days of receiving said remedial plan, the ARB may approve it in its entirety, partially approve it, or reject it. If the remedial plan is rejected in whole or in part, the owner shall submit a subsequent remedial plan to the ARB which addresses that portion of the plan that was previously rejected. The ARB shall accept or reject any such remedial plan(s) submitted by an owner within ten (10) calendar days after receipt; provided, however, the ARB may take an additional ten (10) calendar days, for a total of twenty (20) calendar days, in which to review the remedial plan if the ARB determines, in its absolute and unfettered discretion, that additional time is needed. In the event that the ARB fails to render a decision as to the remedial plan by the end of the time period set forth in this Section 2.6, then the remedial plan shall be deemed approved.
After a project has been approved by the ARB, any substantial changes to the general layout, the outside design of the home, or to the site improvements must be submitted to the ARB for its review and approval. The ARB shall issue its decision to said requested change(s) within ten (10) calendar days after receipt; provided, however, the ARB may take an additional ten (10) calendar days, for a total of twenty (20) calendar days, in which to review said proposed changes if the ARB determines, in its absolute and unfettered discretion, that additional time is needed.
In the event that the ARB fails to render a decision on the proposed changes by the end of the time period set forth in this Section 2.7, then the proposed changes shall be deemed approved. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this Section Two shall be construed to require any owner to submit any plan to the ARB regarding the design, building materials utilized, or any other facet concerning the interior of the home.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, each homeowner shall be responsible for insuring that any home or other structure constructed on the premises shall be in accordance with all applicable building codes and regulations and any municipal and environmental requirements that are in affect at the time that the home or structure is built.
SECTION THREE – SITE DEVELOPMENT
3.1 General Homesite Development Guidelines
By law, all homesite building pads shall constitute no more than fifteen percent (15%) of the total lot and will be used for single family homes only. Homes may have detached elements but must be joined by one single roof in order to maintain the look of a single structure. No home or part thereof, such as pools, decks, gazebos, or any other type of structure that has walls or a roof shall be built within (a) five meters of any road front, (b) three meters of lateral property lines, (c) five meters of any back property line, or (c) ten meters of any creek or river. In addition, without the ARB’s prior approval, no house may be higher than 12 meters (two stories). All utilities leading from the main connection on each property to the home must be underground.
3.2 Existing Trees
Any tree on any of the properties that has a trunk which is less than six inches in diameter at its thickest point, may be cut to clear areas or building pads. Any tree on any of the properties that has a trunk which is greater than six inches in diameter at its thickest point, may be cut down but only if the owner has obtained a tree cutting permit issued by the MINAE.
3.3 Planting New Trees
There is no prohibition to planting new trees on any property located in the COLUMBUS community.
3.4 Outside and Landscape Lighting
Homeowners may utilize any landscape lighting system available provided that they adhere to the following conditions:
3.5 Architectural Styles
The COLUMBUS community is open to different architectural styles including Spanish Colonial style or any variation thereof, such as Spanish Hacienda, Spanish Mission, or Contemporary Tropical designs.
All roof surfaces have to be covered in clay roofing tile of any style and color. Shingle roofs are permitted. There will be no exposed sheet metal, corrugated steel or tile look-alike metal sheets on roofing surfaces.
The outside of the home may be of any color desired by the owner as long as the color maintains the aesthetic harmony of the development. Outside colors shall be submitted to the ARB for its review and approval before they may be applied to the home.
3.8 Outside facing materials
Any number of materials may be used for the outside wall surfaces on the homes. These materials include natural stone in any variation, brick facing, rough-edged stones, or wood board facings. However, no exposed metal or any metal-related facing will be approved.
3.9 Garbage Disposal
Each homeowner must deposit garbage inside a large plastic container with sealing lid so as to avoid foul smells and to keep from attracting wild animals such as raccoons, street dogs, and some large birds from rummaging through the garbage and creating a mess. On the planned days where the garbage collection rounds are made, owners must take out their plastic container(s) to the outer edge of their property, where the collection service will take the garbage bags from the containers and leave the empty containers at the property edge.
3.10 Minimum Construction Size
The minimum size of a home that can be constructed on a lot shall be no less than 2000 square feet (188 square meters).
SECTION FOUR: COMMUNITY OPERATION
4.1 Common Use Areas
There will be several areas of common usage in the COLUMBUS community. These common use areas will consist of the following:
(a) roads that run throughout the community;
(b) areas in the community that contain the water supply equipment and distribution systems, irrigation system equipment, etc.;
(c) The main entrance area which includes the guards’ quarters and any attached buildings; and
(d) Recreational areas such as swimming pools, tennis courts, etc. which may be built for the use of the general community.
4.2 Home Owners Association
Maintenance of the common use areas will be the responsibility of the COLUMBUS Home Owners Association (“HOA”), which will charge an annual fee that is calculated to cover all expenses related to the maintenance, upkeep, security, and administration expenses associated therewith, including the expense involved in retaining a management company by HOA to perform the foregoing duties and responsibilities. The HOA shall consist of at least five homeowners who are elected for a one year term by the homeowners at the annual meeting that will be held on March 15 of each year or at such other time as determined by a majority of the homeowners. Each homeowner who is not in default shall be entitled to vote at the annual meeting, either in person or by written proxy. The number of members on the HOA may be increased by a majority of the homeowners at the annual meeting. Any increase in the number of members to be elected to the HOA shall take place immediately. Should any vacancy occur during the one year period, the remaining members on the HOA may fill that vacancy until the next election occurs. The HOA shall hold at least one meeting every six months and shall give notice of the date and time of the meeting(s) to all homeowners. Any homeowner who is not in default may attend HOA meetings.
4.3 Home Owners Association Fees
The annual fee which homeowners shall pay for the general maintenance and operation of the community will be calculated by the HOA and billed by January 1 of each year. All HOA fees shall be paid by January 31 of every calendar year. All new buyers shall pay HOA fees, but their first year payment will be prorated to the number of months left in the year. All HOA fees can be paid directly to the COLUMBUS HEIGTHS ESTATES Home Owners Association, or via wire transfer to the local bank account(s) of the COLUMBUS Home Owners Association. Owners making payment by wire transfer shall pay any and all wire-transfer related bank charges.
4.4 Default Accounts
Homeowners who do not pay their entire HOA fees by January 31 of each year will be deemed to be in default. A homeowner shall have until March 1 to cure the default. If the HOA fees are not paid by March 1, then the HOA shall assess an interest charge of one percent (1%) per month on the unpaid balance until such time as all HOA fees have been paid in full.
In addition, HOA has the authority (a) to suspend any and all basic services that the administration controls to that homeowner; (b) to deny the homeowner and his/her guests access to any and all recreation-use common areas such as swimming pools, tennis courts, hiking trails, forested areas, etc. All services shall be reinstated to the homeowner once all HOA fees plus any interest thereon, and reconnection expenses, if any, are paid in full.