A printed copy of this document should not be considered current.  Refer to the Hamlet website or an association representative for the current version.

Hamlet at Southbridge Homeowners Association

Summary of Covenants, Rules and Guidelines

The Hamlet covenants, rules and Guidelines are in place to protect each owner’s investment in their property from negative impact by those around them. These rules are designed to provide common sense guidelines to ensure that happens. They are also in place to provide a clear definition of what is acceptable in terms of home alterations and uses that affect your neighbors. Any alteration, especially in relation to decks, additions, and other permanent improvements is subject to Architectural Review and must be approved by the Board of Directors. This is supplemental to any city, county, and state regulations.

The rules are designed to be more specific the larger the impact to neighbors. Small improvements such as grass or flowers are at the discretion of the homeowner. However, a tree planted on the property line impacts your neighbor. As the improvements begin to affect surrounding neighbors the rules become more stringent and the oversight becomes greater. The board is the final arbiter in these cases but does not take the place of communication between neighbors. Prior to bringing an alteration to the board it is expected you would talk with your neighbors about it. They are the most directly affected by the improvement, they should be the first to know.

1. Rules of common decency apply. No property shall be occupied and used in such manner as will cause a nuisance, nor unduly restrict or interfere with the use and quiet enjoyment of the property by other owners and occupants and their invitees. Loud music or improvement projects late into the night directly impacts those around you. Unless you have the tacit approval or participation of those effected these activities should be confined to daytime hours. (section 7.9)

2. All lots shall be used for single family residential only. This rule is meant to restrict anyone utilizing their house to host business in lieu of a retail outlet. Home offices or home based businesses are permitted such as a cosmetics or book selling business based at home but mobile in nature. No lot shall be subdivided. (section 7.1-7.5)

3. Mailboxes will be maintained by the association and should not be altered.

4. All fences require board approval. Fences have a distinct impact on your immediate neighbors, they should be discussed with those neighbors first. Pets can usually be restrained with relatively inexpensive invisible fences. If you wish to build a fence, the preferred design is rustic rail or decorative wood. (section 8.1-8.4)

5. Vehicles used for the purpose of construction, delivery or repair work shall be permitted on a temporary basis. Trucks larger than one ton, all boats, trailers, campers, RV’s, buses or delivery vans shall not be stored or repaired upon any lot for a period in excess of ten (10) days unless entirely confined within a structure located on such lot and the door of said structure is kept in a closed position. (section 7.6)

6. Most TV antennas can be installed in an attic. Exterior antennas or large satellite dishes exceeding 1 meter in diameter require board approval. (section 8.1.1)

7. Almost all of the Hamlet houses have third car garage stalls, attics and basements that are your primary storage areas. If you have the need for outdoor storage it should be as unobtrusive as possible. Vinyl patio bins, lockers, and small storage containers are allowed so long as they are within 1 foot of the back of your house. Storage sheds require board approval and must be permanent.  Storage sheds shall be located on a solid base such as a concrete slab, asphalt slab or paver base or the shed shall have a solid reinforced flooring system integrated with the structure walls. The structure shall not be elevated above ground level on all sides. Storage sheds shall be the same in appearance/materials as the roof and siding on the main house, and smaller than 10’x12‘. Play forts, swing sets, and play/dog houses must be to the rear of the main dwelling. (section 8.1-8.4)(rules section 5.7) (Replaced with the following 6/15/2020)

7. Almost all of the Hamlet houses have third car garage stalls, attics and basements that are your primary storage areas. If you have the need for outdoor storage it should be as unobtrusive as possible. Vinyl patio bins, lockers, and small storage containers are allowed so long as they are within 1 foot of the back of your house. Storage sheds require board  approval and must be permanent.  Storage sheds shall be located on a solid base such as a concrete slab, asphalt slab or paver base or the shed shall have a solid reinforced flooring system integrated with the structure walls to prevent uplift and sliding action from wind sources. The structure shall not be elevated above ground level on all sides.  Storage sheds shall be the same in appearance/materials as the roof and siding on the main house and with dimensions not to exceed 160 square feet of floor space and in height no more than 10 feet at the centerline of the roof pitch. Storage sheds shall be unobtrusive and set back to the rear of the residential lot, but no closer than 5 feet from the side, rear, or easement lot lines.  To request Board approval, submit plans of the proposed shed showing the design plans to include, size and height, roof type, foundation type, finishing material and location and orientation of the shed with-in the residential lot and distance to lot and/or easement lines.

Play forts, swing sets, and play/dog houses must be to the rear of the main dwelling. (section 8.1-8.4)(rules section 5.7)

8. Each property shall maintain a lawn in compliance with current city codes and regulations.

9. Each property shall maintain a tree in the front yard which is 2 ½" or greater in diameter.

10. Temporary signs are permitted. No permanent signs allowed without approval by the Board of Directors. (section 5.7)

11. Sport Courts or other permanent recreational surfaces require approval by the Board of Directors. Considerations include the location on the lot, drainage and encroachment upon easements.

12. Permanent swimming pools, in or above ground, require board approval. (section 5.7)

13. All woodpiles shall be either uncovered or covered with tarpaulins of dark (green or black) color and shall be properly secured. (section 5.7)

14. No animals, livestock or poultry of any kind shall be raised, bred or kept on any lot except for dogs, cats or other household pets which may not be kept for commercial purposes. (section 7.8.2)

15. All rules also apply to Common Areas. Nothing shall be altered or constructed in or removed from the Common Areas adopted by the Association. (section 3.1.3)

16. Vegetation and trees surrounding ponds, marshes and wetland areas, whether located on a Lot or on Common Elements (if any), and whether natural or otherwise, shall be maintained in substantially the same condition as originally established. No cutting, mowing, trimming, draining, dredging or other alteration of such areas and items shall be permitted.

Section 8.3- Remedies for Violations

. The Association may undertake any measures, legal or administrative, to enforce compliance with this Section and shall be entitled to recover from the Owner causing or permitting the violation all attorneys' fees and costs of enforcement incurred by the Association, whether or not a legal action is started. Such attorneys' fees and costs shall be a lien against the Owner's Lot and a personal obligation of the Owner. In addition, the Association shall have the right to enter the Owner's Lot and to restore any part of the Dwelling or Lot to its prior condition if any alterations were made in violation of this Section, and the cost of such restoration shall be a personal obligation of the Owner and a lien against the Owner's Lot.