Know Your Property Easements

The association receives requests to review backyard structures on a regular basis. One requirement staff frequently has to remind owners of is to keep all structures 5 feet from the property line. This is not only a requirement by the association, but of the city as well. The association needs to have a plat map with the structure drawn on it to demonstrate that it is clear of the easement. The easement will be on the plat map. Another requirement to keep in mind is to keep free-standing structures 10 feet from the home. 

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15 Responses to Know Your Property Easements

  1. Valerie Romberg says:

    I have a question. So, an Arbor on a 50×100 foot lot w/ maybe 25 feet in back yard space needs to have one pole 5 feet from property line, and still be 10 feet away from the house? I am not getting that picture in my head, as I see appurtenant arbor/patio covers all over the place that are not 10 feet from the home. Or, do you mean….10 feet from adjacent home? Your article is confusing.

    • The community manager, Chris says, “This would involve a variance from the guidelines. This can be applied for through the Architectural Review Committee.”

    • For an arbor that is not attached to the home (free-standing), it must be 10 feet from the home and at least 5 feet from your property line. For an arbor that is attached to the home, it must be 5 ft from your property line. Keep in mind that some arbors may have the grand-father clause which would still be something the ARC or the Master Board granted for various circumstances. If you a homeowner is considering an arbor project that does not meet current guidelines, a variance can be requested through the ARC for consideration.

      • Valerie Romberg says:

        Thank you for your input on the 10-foot from-the-house issue being resolved via variance. This leads me to my next question: Has Beacon Hill association/ Valley Ranch community allowed (or will they consider) construction of solar powered patio cover by Equinox Louvered Roof patio cover with integrated gutter system. I can tell you they are NOT cheap and are beautiful; however it is made of all metal materials – more durable than cloth or wood. I would have it, of course, 5-foot from property line, and would need a variance for the 10-foot problem.

        I have had Equinox DFW out to my house twice now, and have looked at all other options for our home (back yard faces Sam Houston Park/no other residents.) Before I have them out for a final quote, now that I know exactly what I want, I would like to confirm/determine whether Beacon Hill / Valley Ranch will even consider such a request. You can see what I am referencing via equinoxroof.com.

    • Gregory Granello says:

      You see lots of pergolas that are neither 10 ft. from the house nor 5 ft. from the property line. I took a short walk and photographed a couple dozen and sent the pics to the ARC, and they told me that these were “grandfathered” or that they would “look into them.” I don’t believe either response. Be aware that you pay $200 to the ARC to review a proposal for an outdoor structure, which they pocket then likely tell you that you can’t do what dozens of neighbors have already done. Also be aware that if they DENY your proposal the next step is to appeal to the same people, who can invent new reasons for new denials. The Master Committee is the next step, and the experience will feel familiar.

      • The ARC is made up of two volunteers and a paid architect who specializes in HOA matters. They volunteer their time to ensure that submittals follow the CC&Rs and the ARC guidelines. The appeal is made to the Master Board, which is a separate entity. The Master Board recently eliminated the majority of fees except for those pertaining to swimming pools and attached structures. Valley Ranch is a 30 year old community with lots of history that does include items that have been “grandfathered” in due to rule changes and variances. The ARC is also authorized to approve variances in cases where, in its judgment, they are justified.

  2. The assocation will certainly consider your proposal. Submit an application to the ARC for review. It is solely up to the committee to decide. Make sure to get approval from your sub-hoa and a permit from the City of Irving as well. If the arbor is attached to your home there is a $200 fee required at the time of submission. Feel free to contact me at ksullivan@ccmcnet.com for more info on the process.

    • Gregory Granello says:

      Be aware that the ARC will cash your $200 check and DENY your application, either for the reasons being discussed in this thread, or others, which they (or the Master Committee) feel free to invent as they go along, at any point in the process. I wouldn’t recommend this process to a neighbor unless you are absolutely committed to the pergola or have some way of getting special treatment from the management company. Obviously that is possible (looking at the dozens of violations in clear view) but I have no idea how that is acquired.

      • The Architectural Review Committee is a volunteer committee that is very consistent with the guidelines and does its best to help owners achieve their goals with their homes. We suggest owners become familiar with the guidelines before submitting anything. The board cancelled all submission fees except for pools and attached structures.

  3. Gregory Granello says:

    Yes the obvious answer is that once you remove 10′ from house and 5′ from easement very few properties have space for an arbor or pergola. Valley Ranch is full of (attractive and functional) pergolas that violate these standards but the ARC will likely deny new requests as they did mine. I can’t know if they deny consistently or capriciously.The excuse that the nonconforming pergolas are “grandfathered” is nonsense as even a casual survey will make it clear that many are brand-new, built recently right to the property line, within a foot of the main structure and unattached.

    • Valerie Romberg says:

      Hi Gregory. Being denied based on those unreasonable requirements is my fear as well(particularly, given the tiny lot sizes in Valley Ranch.) However, if it is attached to the house, I wonder if that might circumvent the 10 foot offset requirement.

      Of course then, that causes issues with insurance coverage because the item becomes an addition versus an appurtenant structure, and will cause insurance rates AND likely property taxes to go up. Hopefully, Valley Ranch is kinder and gentler these days :) Perhaps Tracy can speak to this as well.

      • Greg Granello says:

        You understand the issues. The setback limitations on pergolas now effectively outlaw them for almost all lots, although some seem able to get them built anyway. Obviously some are grandfathered and some may have ignored the ARC and others may have been treated differently by the ARC, don’t know. But if you walk around the canals you can see many new ones in violation. I hope they get to keep them, I have no objection to any of them but I have given up my plans for one.

  4. Valerie Romberg says:

    I am happy to say that I submitted my request for Patio Cover via Equinox louvered solar patio cover, and received a prompt approval. It is to be attached to the house, which is fine with us! A Very Big Thanks to the ARC of Valley Ranch for a progressive response to a very sunny problem at the eastern exposure of the home!

  5. Why do I pay for 2 homeowner associations in Valley Ranch, both the master and Beacon Hill when I do not live in Beacon Hill?

    • lbrannon2014 says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Please contact our office at your earliest availability and we will research this matter for you, 972-869-1430. We’re available from 8am – 5pm.

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