The Lakes of Lafayette County Protective Covenants
A) USE OF LOTS, SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING
No lot shall be used except for single-family residential purposes. No building shall be erected, altered, placed or permitted to remain on any lot other than one detached single-family dwelling together with attached private garage and accessory building. To avoid confusion and misunderstanding, the term single-family is defined for the purpose of this document as the traditional family unit (ie. husband, wife, children, grandparents, grandchildren) further encompassing those couples living together as a family unit but not married.
No fence or wall shall be erected, placed or altered on any lot nearer to any street than the front sill line of the house. No fences will be allowed to extend from the property owner’s house to any of the lakes. Fencing shall be of suitable material and may be no taller than six feet from ground level.
Chain ink fencing is prohibited. All fencing must be approved by the Architectural Control Committee prior to construction.
C) HOUSE AND GARAGE SIZE, EXTERIOR FINISH
The heated and/or cooled area, exclusive of open porches and garages, shall be not less than 1,800 square feet. The total area under roof, including the garage, shall not be less than 2,300 square feet. For dwellings of more than one story, the ground floor shall contain a heated and/or cooled area, exclusive of the garage, of not less than 750 square feet, and the total area of the ground floor, in such instances, including the garage, shall not be less than 1,250 square feet. To that end each such structure must have a garage of not less than 500 square feet and must be attached to the dwelling structure.
All exterior finish must be a minimum of 60% brick, stone or masonry.
D) APPROVAL REQUIRED BEFORE CONSTRUCTION, NO UNDERGROUND OR LOG HOMES
No building shall be erected, placed or altered on any lot, nor shall any swimming pool, storage shed, fence or any other visible change to an existing building be made on any lot, until the construction plans and specifications and a site plan showing the location of the structure have been approved by the Architectural Control Committee. as to quality of workmanship and materials, harmony of external design with existing structures, and as to location with respect to topography and finish grade elevation. The review and approval or disapproval of the Architectural Control Committee shall be final. There shall be no approval granted for the construction of underground housing nor structure of log construction.
E) FOOTAGE SETBACKS
All corner lots shall have a minimum setback of 35 feet from each front lot line. All other lots shall have a minimum setback of 35 feet from the front lot line. No structures may be erected or extended in whole or in part within said setback area. No buildings or other structures on any lots shall be located closer than 15 feet to the side lot lines, or closer than 20 feet to the rear lot lines.
F) UTILITY, DRAINAGE & PERPETUAL EASEMENTS
All lot conveyances are subject to the reservations of the herein described perpetual utility and drainage easements. The perpetual right of maintenance and use for the creation, existence, maintenance and use of perpetual drainage, maintenance, and utility easements are forever reserved by the signatories here under for the use and benefit of the World and do not flow with the ownership of the lots either at the time of recordation hereof nor at the time of individual lot conveyances. A fifteen (15) foot perpetual utility easement on the sides of all lots is hereby provided for the use of all suppliers of public or private utility services or maintenance thereof, and such easements in said width shall be measured from each lot line, interior to the subject lot. Likewise, a fifteen (15) feet perpetual utility easement on the front of all lots, and a twenty (20) foot perpetual utility easement of the rear of all lots, is hereby provided, for similar purposes and similarly measured. These utility easements are applicable to all lots unless otherwise designated on the official plat of said subdivision.
G) NOXIOUS OR OFFENSIVE ACTIVITY
No noxious or offensive activity shall be carried on upon any lot, nor shall anything be done thereon which may be or may become an annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood.
H) TEMPORARY STRUCTURES, BOAT & TRAILER STORAGE, COMMERCIAL USE
No structure of a temporary character, trailer, tent, shack, garage, barn or other outbuilding shall be used on any lot at any time as a residence, either temporarily or permanently. Storage of trailers, boats, etc., must be maintained out of sight of people using the public streets or thoroughfares within the above described land. No structure nor activity may be undertaken for a commercial nature or for a commercial venture, however, offices are permitted in the home if the office does not require customers or clients coming and going from the home. Travel trailers, campers and/or RV’s are not allowed on the property for a period in excess of two weeks.
I) PETS, ANIMAL CONTROL
The keeping of animals shall be governed by the Municipal Ordinances of the City of Oxford, Mississippi, as if said Subdivision is within the municipal limits of said city. No animals, livestock or poultry of any kind or description, except domestic cats and dogs and customary household pets shall be kept on any lot. All household pets shall be controlled at all times. Such control shall be by means of fences, invisible fences or leashes. No pet shall be permitted to wander or roam unleashed. No kennels shall be placed or constructed on any Lot unless concealed from view by fencing and approved by the Committee prior to placement and construction. Owners of pets shall keep Lots and Common Areas free from pet waste. No household pets may be kept, bred, or maintained on any Lot for any commercial purpose. No household pet permitted to be kept under this section shall be kept in a manner which interferes with the quiet enjoyment of any owner.
J) TRASH, GARBAGE, SETTING OUT AND REMOVING CONTAINERS
No lot shall be used or maintained as a dumping ground for rubbish. Trash, garbage or other waste shall not be kept except in sanitary containers. All equipment for the storage or disposal of such material shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, and must be located in a place concealed from sight from the roadways. Trash containers may not be set out by the street more than twenty four (24) hours before scheduled collection, and must be removed within twelve (12) hours after collection.
K) SUBDIVIDING LOTS, ADJOINING LOTS, USING LOTS AS STREETS
No lot is to be further subdivided for the purpose of building more than one residence. However, nothing herein contained shall prevent a person who owns two (2) adjoining lots in the subdivision from treating the combined area of the two (2) lots as one (1) building lot, in which event the setback lines for the building purposes and utility easements shall be constructed and interpreted to apply to the outside lines of the two combined areas, not to the line which is common to both of the lots. No lot shall be sold for street purposes, or used as a street or easement, to adjoining property or lots or as access to any of the common areas or lakes.
L) UNUSED VEHICLES, NON-LAWN KEEPING/GARDEN MACHINERY
No unused, or non-currently licensed vehicles, wrecked vehicles or parts of vehicles are to be stored on the premises, and no machinery other than machinery common to garden use or lawn keeping or for the operation and maintenance of a residence shall be stored on the premises.
L-1) OUTBUILDINGS (STORAGE SHEDS)
Each lot is limited to one outbuilding.
Outbuildings of 100 square feet in area or less do not need permission from the Architectural Control Committee prior to being placed or constructed on a lot, They may not be of metal construction and must be harmonious in appearance with the existing home construction on the lot.
Outbuildings greater than 100 square feet in area, but not more than 240 square feet in area, require approval from the Architectural Control Committee prior to being placed or constructed on a lot. They may not be of metal construction and must be harmonious in appearance with the existing home on the lot.
Outbuildings in excess of 241 square feet in area require approval from the Architectural Control Committee prior to being placed or constructed on a lot. They may not be of metal construction and exterior siding must be a minimum of 60% brick or masonry to be harmonious in appearance with the existing home on the lot.
Existing outbuildings as of 1 February, 2015 that are 240 square feet in area, or less, and are not of metal construction and are harmonious in appearance with the existing home, are grandfathered-in under these covenants.
M) CONSTRUCTION TIME LIMITATIONS, DAMAGE TO PUBLIC ROADS, VEGETIVE COVER AT NEW CONSTRUCTION
All residences located on the respective lots shall be required to be completed within eight (8) months of beginning construction, including a concrete paved driveway. Any damages to the public roads or rights-of-way caused by lot owners in the construction of said homes and driveways shall be repaired and corrected by the lot owner or owners causing such damage within said eight (8) month period. Likewise each property owner will be required to maintain suitable erosion control during construction to prevent erosion into drainage structures, road ditches, the lakes or adjoining property. To that end, the lot owner shall be required to maintain the property in such a condition as to minimize offsite damage from erosion, sediment deposits and storm water. This requirement will be in effect from the beginning of site preparation and continue throughout the establishment of permanent vegetive cover. Establishment of permanent vegetive cover shall be completed within eight (8) months of beginning construction.
N) SATELLITE DISHES
In the event of the construction or installation of television satellite dishes on any of said lots within said subdivision, reasonable efforts shall be taken by the owners of said lots so affected, in each instance, to make the same as unobtrusive as possible, by the strategic placement of said dish upon said lot, the erection of a seclusion fence, the planting of shrubs, or other means, keeping uppermost in mind the natural beauty and surroundings of said subdivision. In no circumstance will any satellite dish be located in front of any dwelling structure or beyond the front sill line of the structure as extended to the side property lines.
O) PREFABRICATED BUILDINGS, ROOF TRUSSES
No prefabricated or pre-manufactured buildings or structures, except as noted in “l” above, shall be constructed or affixed, in whole or in part, on any portion of the lots, it being necessary to individually construct each dwelling or structure on the property, with the sole exception being the use of pre-engineered and constructed roof trusses.
P) UTILITY LINES UNDERGROUND
All utility service lines from the streets to the dwellings and other structures located on said lots shall be underground.
No signs shall be allowed in said subdivision except temporary signs, for example, designating a lot “For Sale.” Signs of a special nature, and for a period of less than seven (7) days, such as “Garage Sale” are also permitted. During election periods political signs may be placed in yards, however they must be removed within seven (7) days following the appropriate elections. In any event, said signs are to be no larger than ten square feet in size.
R) USE OF LAKES, BOATHOUSES, DOCKS, POLLUTION OF LAKES
As to all lots in said subdivision bordering a lake or pond:
1) The privilege of enjoyment and use of the recreational area and/or the lake or lakes is reserved exclusively to property owners current with all fees and or assessments of The Lakes subdivision;
2) One boathouse may be constructed whereby the same must extend onto or over the water of the owner’s lakefront property. All boathouses must be approved by the Architectural Control Committee prior to construction.
3) No gasoline inboard/outboard motors shall be allowed to be used on said lake or lakes. No boat shall be in excess of 16 feet in length;
4) No boats shall be anchored offshore when not in use, however boats may be secured to a dock that meets the requirements of 5.) below.
5) No piers shall be constructed in or over said waters of greater dimensions than 10 feet in width and 16 feet in length. The design of any pier or dock must be approved by the Architectural Control Committee prior to the commencement of any construction;
6) The three major lakes, Rock Lake, Forked Lake and Spring Lake, and their designated green areas are accessible to all lot owners that are current on all assessments and fees. Access areas to these three lakes will be designated on the plat of said subdivision. The remaining lakes throughout the development will be accessible only to the lots abutting said lakes.
7) In the interest of public health and sanitation, and so that the land herein above described may be benefitted by a decrease in the hazards of pollution, and by the protection of water supplies, recreation, wildlife, and other uses thereof by the owners of property in said subdivision, no part of the herein above described real property shall be used for any purposes that would result in the pollution of any standing bodies of water located therein, by refuse, sewage, petroleum products or other material that might tend to pollute said standing waters, or to otherwise impair the ecological balance of the surrounding lands.
S) INDIVIDUAL WATER SUPPLIES OR SEWER SYSTEMS
No individual water supply nor septic system shall be permitted on any lot. To that end, the sewage pumping units for each lot must meet the minimum requirements established by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, and the installation must be approved by the utility company providing sewer service to the subdivision prior to final hook up to the system and operation.
T) MAIL BOXES
Mail boxes shall be located at the edge of the pavement which abuts each lot and in accordance with United States Postal Authority regulations and be aluminum replicas of antique wrought iron. The design and composition shall be subject to approval by the Architectural Control Committee.
U) PROPANE TANKS
Propane gas tanks, except for small portable tanks intended for grills, etc., are not permitted.
V) ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL COMMITTEE
The Architectural Control Committee shall be comprised of three individuals who must be current residents of The Lakes, and current in all Association assessments and fees. Members of the Architectural Control Committee shall be elected by the members of the Homeowners Association by a simple majority vote of the voting members during the Annual Meeting of the members. Should a member of the Architectural Control Committee be unable to no longer serve on the Committee a replacement shall be designated by the Board of Directors and such replacement shall serve until replaced by the Board, or until elected or replaced at the Annual Meeting of the members of the Homeowners Association. A majority of the committee may designate a representative to act for them. Neither the members of the committee, nor its designated representative shall be entitled to any compensation for services performed pursuant to this covenant.
W) FAILURE TO MOW PROPERTY AND PENALTIES
Each property owner shall be responsible to maintain and to mow their property, and that portion of the street right-of-way that is between the owner’s front lot and the edge of the asphalt paving, and to the adjoining property line. Ground cover/vegetation may not exceed eight (8) inches in height on average. (This does not apply to “wooded areas.” The final definition of “wooded areas” rests with the elected Board of Directors of the subdivision.) Failure to mow and maintain individual property may lead to action on the part of the Homeowners Association. Such action may take place only after a majority vote by the Board of Directors, and may include financial penalties as determined by the Board. Penalties may not be invoked by the Board until after the property owner has been notified of such pending action by First Class mail thirty (30) days prior to such penalties being assessed by the Board. Penalties not paid in a time period as determined by the Board shall bear interest from the determined date at the rate of eight percent (8%) per anum. The total liability for payments in the nature of interest shall not exceed the units imposed by the usury laws of the State of Mississippi.
X) HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, ANNUAL ASSESSMENTS, RESPONSIBILITIES
By virtue of ownership of a lot or any interest therein (except as to lien holders and trustees and substitute trustees in deed of trust and mortgages) such owner shall be deemed thereby to be a member of The Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc., (hereinafter the Association). The Association shall be a duly authorized and chartered Mississippi nonprofit corporation charged with the authority to exercise, promote and protect the privileges, interest, property rights and general well being of the residents of the community and as such active membership in said association is mandatory of all lot owners. However, residents that are not current in all of their assessments, and or fees to the Association may not exercise the use of the lakes or the common areas. Each said lot owner by acceptance of a duly executed Warranty Deed to his or her respective lot(s) has promised to pay and shall become liable to pay, jointly and severally, to the Association such annual assessments in the sum of $100.00 per lot or as may hereafter be set by the Association. Such amount, at the option of the property owner, payable in full upon billing by the Association or equally divided into two payments of $50.00 payable January 1 and June 1 of the billed year. Such membership shall be appurtenant to and may not be separated from ownership of a lot or interest therein. These assessments shall be due and payable for the calendar year on or before the 1st. day of January, of that year.
Any assessments not paid within thirty (30) days after the due date shall bear interest from the date at the rate of eight percent (8%) per anum (the total liability for payments in the nature of interest shall not exceed the units imposed by the usury laws of the State of Mississippi).
The Association may bring an action at law against the owner personally obligated to pay the same or may foreclose the hereinafter described lien against the lot. Any and all legal costs and fees incurred by the Association shall be made a part of the lien, adjusting as necessary if the lien is renewed. The assessments shall constitute a lien against the lot.
The annual assessment levied by the Association shall be used exclusively for the purpose of promoting the health, safety
and welfare of the residents of the subdivision, maintenance and improvement of the Common area; and for paying the cost of labor, equipment (including the expense of leasing any equipment) and materials required for the management and supervision of the Common Area, including but in no way limited to the following:
1. the amount of all operating and managing expenses for operating the Common Areas;
2. the amount of all taxes and assessments levied against the Common Areas and Common facilities.
In addition to the annual assessments authorized above, the Association may levy, in any assessment year, a special assessment applicable to that year only for the purpose of defraying in whole or in part the cost of any construction, reconstruction, repair or replacement of capital improvement upon the Common Area, including fixtures and personal property related thereto, provided that any such assessment shall have the assent of sixty seven percent (67%) of the voting members in interest in person or by proxy at a meeting duly called for this purpose.
Not withstanding “w,” above, upon an affirmative vote of sixty seven percent (67%) of the voting members in interest in person or by proxy at a meeting duly called for this purpose, the Association may levy special assessments against individual lot owners, for reimbursement for repairs occasioned by the willful or negligent acts of the lot owners and not ordinary wear and tear.
All by-laws adopted and all actions undertaken by the Association shall be subject to these protective covenants and these protective covenants shall control and govern in the event any conflicts between such by-laws or actions and these restrictive covenants.
The Homeowners Association shall be the exclusive responsible party for the maintenance and upkeep of all levees, lakes, dams and outcall structures associated with any and all lakes, common areas and amenities located on common areas within The Lakes subdivision regardless of the existence of any right of way dedicated to Lafayette County for the purpose of a public road or street. Lafayette County will maintain only the required road and street surface improvements located within any dedicated right of way. Lafayette County reserves the right to close any portion of road or street located within dedicated right of way along any levee if it is deemed to be in the best interest of preserving the health, safety and welfare of Lafayette County.
Y) ENFORCEMENT OF THE COVENANTS, PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING
Enforcement of these covenants shall be by proceedings at law or in equity against any person or persons violating or attempting to violate any covenants herein contained, either to restrain violation or to recover damages. The Board of Directors shall retain the exclusive right to determine any and all in equity situations. Any owner of any lot in said Subdivision shall be vested with the rights under this paragraph.
Failure to comply with these covenants may lead to action on the part of the Homeowners Association. Such action may take place only after a majority vote by the Board of Directors, and may include financial penalties as determined by the Board. Penalties may not be invoked by the Board until after the property owner has been notified of such pending action by First Class mail thirty (30) days prior to such penalties being assessed by the Board. Penalties not paid in a time period as determined by the Board shall bear interest from the determined date at the rate of eight percent (8%) per anum. The total liability for payments in the nature of interest shall not exceed the units imposed by the usury laws of the State of Mississippi.
Z) COMPLIANCE AND WAIVERS
No failure or neglect on the part of any of the grantors, or of any owner of land embraced in said The Lakes subdivision, to demand full compliance with these covenants in the event of a violation shall be construed as a waiver of such violation or operate estoppel to restrain a continuance thereof; but any such restrictions, conditions, requirements or provisions may be enforced at any time notwithstanding violations thereof; nor shall a waiver of any such provisions, requirements, restrictions or conditions in any particular instance be deemed a waiver of any other default here under, whether of the same or a different nature.
AA) INVALIDATION OF SINGLE COVENANT
Invalidation of any one of these covenants by judgment or court order shall in no way affect any of the provisions which shall remain in full force and effect.
BB) COVENANT TIME PERIOD, PROCESS TO AMEND
These restrictions shall be considered as covenants running with the land, and shall bind the grantees, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns. The restrictions, conditions, covenants or agreements set forth shall continue until January 1, 2040 A.D. Upon said date, the same shall automatically extend and renew for successive twenty five year periods. Anything to the contrary notwithstanding, any restrictions may be changed, altered, amended or revoked, in whole or in part, by the owners of at least sixty seven percent (67%) of the voting members in interest by written instrument.
CC) EFFECTIVE DATE
These Protective Covenants shall be effective from and after the recordation hereof in the land records in the office of the Chancery Clerk of Lafayette County, Mississippi.