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Policy on Maintenance of Dwellings & Properties

Policy on Maintenance of Dwellings and Properties

Lincolnshire Fields (LF) is one of the premier subdivisions in Champaign Urbana.  It is comprised of several subdivisions that were developed over a period of 50 years with covenants in effect for each. The Lincolnshire Fields Homeowner’s Association (LFHA) was organized to promote the health, safety, and welfare of its members.

While there are differences among the LF subdivision covenants, there are many commonalities.  This policy reflects the common elements of the covenants and the preferences of most of owners as evidenced by their actions. It addresses issues not covered in the covenants regarding the maintenance of properties.

This policy statement gives owners an easily accessible source of information regarding the Lincolnshire Fields Homeowner’s Association’s (LFHA) expectations for the maintenance of properties located in Lincolnshire Fields. The policy is based on provisions in the covenants under which owners are “bound by reasonable rules and regulations of the Association”.  Further the LFHA Bylaws state that the LFHA “has been organized to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the members” and has the powers  “To do anything that, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, will promote the common benefit and enjoyment of the members of the Association and to enforce any and all covenants, restrictions, and agreements applicable to the areas” and “to collect any fees and assessments owing from any member”.

Maintenance of structures
Homes and other structures shall be maintained in good repair.  Painted or stained surfaces should not be chipping or peeling. Roofs should be in good condition with no missing, damaged, or excessively worn shingles. Fences should be well maintained (not have missing boards, not be leaning or falling over, and if painted should not be chipping or peeling).  Broken or cracked window glass and torn screens should be replaced and windows should not be boarded over. Swimming pools should be properly maintained, debris should be regularly removed and the water treated to control algae and insects such as mosquitoes.  The preference is for exterior surfaces (roofs, doors, garage doors, etc) to be finished in a color consistent with the color pallet typical of LF structures.  The preference for roofing materials is shakes, asphalt shingles or materials that appear the same as asphalt shingles (vividly colored, metal colored roofs are highly discouraged).

Landscape Maintenance
A poorly maintained landscape not only negatively affects the appearance of that property; it also adversely affects the appearance of the area in which it is located. Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of trees, bushes, shrubs, ornamental grasses, and any other vegetation located on their property.  Thus it is expected that lawns will be well maintained, mowed to not more than six (6) inches in height.  Leaves should not be raked or blown onto the street as they are a fire hazard and can clog drains.  Borders and flowerbeds should be weeded regularly.  Weeds taller than 12 inches should be removed.   Bushes and shrubs will be trimmed so as to not be over grown. Generally, they should not obstruct more than 2/3 of the view of a window. They should not obstruct a sidewalk or driveway or infringe on a neighboring property. Trees are a major long-term determinant of the general appearance of the subdivision and thus planting trees is encouraged.  Dead trees are both unsightly and a safety issue and should be removed.  Dead limbs should be pruned from trees.
Planting trees in the parkway, the area between the street and the sidewalk, is recommended if the space is seven (7) or more feet wide.  Owners should contact the Champaign Township office to get approval before planting in the parkway. A list of recommended trees is available on the LFHA web site (lincolnshirefields.com).
Vegetation, trees or shrubs must not prevent the free and unobstructed travel of pedestrians upon a public sidewalk.  The branches of trees extending over a public sidewalk should be trimmed to a height of no less than eight (8) feet above the sidewalk. Vegetation at intersections must be trimmed as to not negatively affect traffic or pedestrians safety by impairing the visibility or passage of pedestrians or vehicles.

New structures and additions to existing structures
The Architectural Control Committee (ACC) must approve new structures as well as exterior additions and major renovations to existing structures. The ACC is charged to assure that proposals meet covenant requirements and will benefit and enhance the residential development of Lincolnshire Fields.  Structures are defined as any building, shed, fence, deck, elevated patio, basketball court, tennis court, swimming pool or any similar structure. Approval is not required for interior renovations, exterior painting, masonry repairs, or replacement of windows, doors or roofs The ACC will assure that the proposed structure is consistent with the existing dwelling’s design and materials, is within the setback limits, and that it does not interfere with the sight lines of the golf course, lakes, neighbors, or any other features of interest. Fences shall be aesthetically pleasing from both sides, such as a shadow box style wood fence. Approval by the ACC will assure that all LFHA requirements are met, minimize the potential for complaints by neighbors, and avoid legal action by the Association.  A County building permit may also be required.

Commercial activities
Lincolnshire Fields is a residential community and thus commercial and similar activities are not allowed.   Livestock may not be kept on a property.  An occasional yard/garage sale is allowed, as is a home office so long as it does not involve regular meetings with customers or clients.

Yard signs
Yard signs should be not larger than 3 sq. ft. (18 x 24 inches).  Realtor signs may be displayed.  Signs identifying contractors serving the home should be displayed only for the duration of the work being done. Signs supporting political candidates or issues may be displayed from 60 days prior to an election until one week after the election.

Lighting
Lincolnshire Fields was developed without streetlights. In order to provide lighting to discourage criminal activity and to provide for the safety of individuals walking the sidewalks at night, each homeowner is required to have a functioning post light or equivalent illumination in the front of the home.  The light(s) shall be equipped with a device that turns the lamp on at dusk and off at sunrise.  Traditional decorative holiday lighting is welcomed as it adds to the festive atmosphere of the neighborhood. The holiday lights and décor shall be removed after the holiday season.

Vehicles
A vehicle may not be parked overnight on the street. Vehicles may not be parked on the yard or similar surface. Vehicles such as campers, motor homes, boats, and trailers as well as non-operative vehicles (a vehicle without current license tag, with deflated tires, or not fully equipped to operate on a public street) may not be parked outside.

Garbage service
Each property shall have regular garbage service. The garbage/trash containers shall have tight fitting lids and shall not be visible from the street or sidewalk except when placed near the street for pick up by the garbage service provider.

Yard debris
Junk, trash, debris, equipment, and other items not in use shall not be left in the yard.  This includes junks auto parts, appliances, building materials, tires, paper, cardboard, plastic, and landscape waste such tree or brush trimmings.  Items not in use include such items as camping equipment, ladders, bicycles, and toys.  Generally, any equipment, materials, or furnishings not normally used outdoors may not be stored outdoors.  Leaves and other landscape waste shall not be burned; it may be taken to the Township burn site or bagged for Township pickup.

Compliance
An overwhelming majority of homes comply with the requirements set forth herein. Instances of owners not in compliance may be brought to the attention of the Association.  The following procedures may be followed:

  1. Owners may lodge a complaint with the president or any member of the Board who shall forward the complaint to the board president.

  2. If the complaint is regarding an issue that has not been considered by the Board, the president shall seek guidance from the Board as to the action to be taken, if any.  (The intent here is that the president need not contact the Board every time an issue is brought to the attention of the board – for example, if the complaint is that a car is parked on the street at night, the president need not run it by the Board.)

  3. If the Board agrees that there is a violation the president will indicate to the owner that a complaint has been received and ask that action to remedy the problem be taken by a specified date.  

  4. If the owner does not comply, the President may present the issue to the Board for action.  Among the actions the Board may consider are:

                       a.     Direct the President or another member of the Board to continue to work with the owner to seek a

                               remedy.
                       b.     If appropriate, refer the issue to the Champaign County Township or the County Health or Zoning and

                               Planning Commissions authorities for action.
                      c.      If there is a violation of the covenants, the legal actions specified therein may be followed.
                     d.       The Board may contract to have the problem remedied and invoice the owner.   (This is an action that 

                               the Board has used in the past in cases such as mowing unkempt lawns.)
                    e.        If after several requests for action to be taken the owner has not complied, the Board may assess a

                              monthly compliance incentive fee.

  5.     Any assessment or costs of remedial actions will be added to the owner’s annual assessment.  
  6.     At any point in this process, an owner may meet with the Board to discuss any of the above actions or decisions.

Adopted by LFHA Board September 12, 2017

Architectural Control Committee

A Control Comm

Each of the several Covenants documents provides for the existence of, purpose for, and membership of the Architectural Control Committee.  Please consult your specific Covenants for details as that document details specific requirements and limitations for your area of Lincolnshire Fields.  (NOTE:  The membership of the Architectural Control Committee contained in each of the Covenants documents is outdated.)
 
​If you are planning modifications to your home and/or lot that will change the external appearance of your property, you should contact the Chair of the Committee before you begin your modification.  The Chair will review your plans to ensure that they meet the requirements of the covenants for your specific area.
 
Use the “Contact Us” link on this website to reach the President of LFHA who will refer your question to the Chair of the Architectural Control Committee if necessary. 

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