Oxfordshire HOA


Posted in: Oxfordshire

Update:  Code Enforcement was called and inspections took place on several dates thus far.  The first inspection resulted in a code violation warning to the owner/builder requiring certain items to be addressed, including the overgrowth of the lot and construction materials left on site.  On August 14, the property did not pass the follow-up inspection and the owners/builders were given an additional 48 hours to comply.  We noted not attempt to correct the issues and are awaiting updates from Code Enforcement as well as Environmental Agents with regards to the issuance of citations/fines.  Updated information as to current status was unavailable at this time.  We will post updates as information becomes available and we work to correct this problem. 


I called the Mint Hill code enforcement officer, Marjorie Nichols, today (January 20) about the unfinished house at 5500 Crown Hill Drive. She was very nice but not expecially helpful. It seems that the county is the main enforcement authority and she wasn't really on top of what the county was doing. She did say that the building permit for the property doesn't expire until May, which surprised me since I previously had understood it to be October of last year. I asked her what happens if the permit expires and there is still no resumption of work on the unfinished house. Ms. Nichols said she really didn't know. She suggested that it might be an "HOA matter." She doesn't seem to know if the town itself has any authority to deal with a house on which construction is stalled for an extended period of time. I'm trying to learn more myself. In the meantime, I would urge the HOA to apply some heat to this process. The unfinished house is not only an eyesore at the main entrance to the subdivision, is is potentially a safety and health hazard. There is a fairly tall concrete wall on the property and a kid could easily fall off of it. Also, I'm sure water gathers on the property, which can provide a breeding ground for insects. Our neighborhood is too nice to have a blight such as this. If indeed the owner did get his or her building permit renewed, I can't help but wonder how and why. Construction on the property began well over a year ago and nothing has happened for along time other than some cleanup activities sparked by previous complaints.. I'd very much like to know what if anything the HOA can provide in the way of an update. Many thanks.

I had another conversation with Marjorie Nichols, the Mint Hill code enforcement officer, and she told me that the town indeed has legal authority to clear the lot in question if the owner fails to resume construction and the permit expires. She said there is an ordinance covering that. She said the process takes a long time, however. She said she has put the matter on her calendar for June 1, the month after the current permit expires. I also talked to a county official who explained that the county's only authority has to do with permits and inspections and that anything beyond that would be up to the town. Of course there is still the option of filing a civil suit if we can't get the town to act. I don't know why construction on that house ground to a halt. The county official I spoke with didn't know either.

She suggested that it might be an "HOA matter." 


Ron, many thanks for calling the town and posting this information!  Re HOA, I'm frustrated by the wording in the Covenants:  "Construction must be completed within one year, except for the written consent of the Declarant [HOA], which agrees to give if the delay is due to circumstances reasonably beyond the control of the lot Owner."


So all the owner has to do is plead some vague difficulty or other (which no doubt she has) and she's off the hook.


 - Dave

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