ZONING & LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to be in compliance with the Cloverdale Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (DCCR) and Jefferson County ordinances prior to requesting Cloverdale ARC Approval(s).

Jefferson County’s website was changed during 2015 – the following links may help our homeowners  find current ordinances available at:

Jefferson County Ordinances:

http://www.jeffersoncountywv.org/county-government/ordinances

Jefferson County Planning & Zoning Department

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Cloverdale HOA as members of the then JCOHOA, currently Eastern Panhandle Organization of Homeowners Associations (EPOHOA) submitted the following Comments/Changes for the Jefferson County Subdivision Regulations 4/10/2010 Jefferson County HOA Members of more than 2,500 homeowners were represented by Pete Appignani, President, EPOHOA

Comments/Suggestions for Jefferson County Subdivision Regulation Changes

  1. Pleased with the addition of Homeowners Association in several sections throughout the revised regulation.
  1. Noted the following in the subdivision regulations to be revised:

Sec. 2.4 Subdivision Road & Common Area Ownership & Maintenance

 A. A Homeowner’s Association must be established without delay as soon as 50% of properties are sold. Membership in the association is mandatory for all property owners within the subdivision. The developers shall dedicate all common lands (SWM Basin, roads, right-of-ways, etc.) to the Homeowner’s Association. A note to this effect is required on the Final Plat.

 B. A Common Interest Ownership Agreement must be established to provide for the maintenance of commonly owned land, including, but not limited to the private road system within the subdivision. This Common Interest Ownership Agreement must be developed in accordance with the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act of West Virginia.

The County/Planning Commission places enormous responsibilities on the HOA but DOES NOT ensure that the HOA can function to meet those responsibilities imposed on the HOA.

The purpose from a planning commission perspective appears to be to establish the HOA as the sole party responsible for roads and common areas including drainage and other easements (i.e., the county and the state are not responsible for the maintenance of these structures).  Whether or not the HOA is capable of actually functioning appears to be overlooked.

The planning commission should be required to perform an independent legal review of the covenants and should be cautious approving any exceptions or exclusions to the Common Interest Ownership Act.  This issue is really hurting several HOAs in Jefferson County which were granted exemptions to the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act in the covenants and they can not get a firm legal opinion on how to govern their community because of the exemptions. It has cost significant legal fees and other problems and will cost additional legal fees to resolve.

  1. The issue relating to proper covenants should also be addressed in the changes you are currently making (i.e., the discussion at the Form on Foreclosures) and the covenants should be carefully reviewed legally and from a common sense viewpoint. The Planning Commission should carefully read the covenants to see that they make sense and allow the HOA to function now and in the future.  HOA dues and assessments (e.g. reserve fund, snow removal, etc.) should be sufficient to meet the long term needs of the community.  Ask yourself if the covenants make sense and if the community can function with the covenants proposed. We are finding that many covenants were slanted to help the developer/real estate agents in selling homes to the detriment of the community.

The State adopts the standard version of the Act with changes promulgated by special interests, the developer then imposes exemptions and/or exceptions to the Act and the County may impose additional requirements that conflict with the Act.  How does one expect the HOA to function with all of these conflicts?  The covenants, along with exceptions and/or exemptions to the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act, if not carefully and cautiously implemented, will only serve to take away many of the rights of property owners who live in homeowner associations.  The Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act effectively places the homeowners under the rule of a “private corporate government”, albeit made up of members of the community.  A private corporate government, which has not been given the proper tools to effectively administrate and govern their communities.

  1. Another issue concerning covenants is that they contain provisions that are unenforceable; however, the County will not become involved.

Sec. 20.103 Private Restrictions

The provisions of this Division are not intended to replace any deed restriction, covenant, easement, or any other private agreement regarding a parcel of land. All such restrictions shall be enforced by the parties to the restriction. The County shall not enforce or become involved in the enforcement of such private restrictions, and, in the review of development proposals, the County will apply only its regulations to evaluate the proposal. [1] All subdividers shall submit the proposed private restrictions to the County with or before submitting the final plat or site plan. Covenants shall be consistent with the requirements of the County Zoning Ordinance and these Subdivision Regulations.

Division 21.400 Covenants and Deeds

Covenants shall be provided by the land owner to cover the operation and maintenance of a subdivision or site development. If there are associations, the covenants shall either contain all the needed rules for the association or reference a document that does. If lots or condominium ownership is contemplated, deeds for each property are required. The County shall review these documents to ensure they do not conflict with County laws. If the covenants or deeds do not conflict with County laws they should be approved. The County in no way waives its rights to enforce violations of law later learned of or determined to exist. County approval in no way indicates County assistance in enforcing these covenants, which the County will not do.[2] Covenants and deed restrictions shall also serve as a means of limiting further development of lands set aside as open space to satisfy the cluster and planned development requirements or standards identified in the zoning ordinance.

  1. Suggestion –  the Jefferson County organization of Homeowners Associations, Inc., work with the Planning Commission to come up with a draft version of Covenants for future developments.  It’s not going to help those of us with covenants now, but it would be a great way to help future HOA’s.
  1. 2008 Amendments to Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act.

UCOIA Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act 2008
>>> AMENDMENTS TO UNIFORM COMMON INTEREST OWNERSHIP ACT
(274 pages 1.12MB Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)


UPDATE: Written by Senators Snyder and Klempa Tuesday, 06 March 2012 10:20
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 38
… to study whether the State of West Virginia should revise its current Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act
(By Senators Snyder and Klempa)
[Originating in the Committee on Interstate Cooperation]


pursuant to: West Virginia Code, Chapter 36B

  1.  I will forward a copy of the “standard” act to the Planning and Zoning Department and to the Planning Commission (via John Maxey).  The amendments contain comments, explanations and other notes that help clarify the sections of the Act.  I do not believe the State of WV has adopted these amendments.

[1] Where in the planning approval process does the County ensure that the covenants are in compliance with CHAPTER 36B, Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act?

[2] This is an apparent Contradiction

 

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