ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (Chairperson Skip Watkins, firstname.lastname@example.org):
MIPOA’s Architectural Review Committee seeks to preserve the aesthetic charm and natural beauty of Mason’s Island. To this end, its function is to recommend approval or disapproval of new construction and changes to existing property, including additions, modifications, outbuildings and fences. The Architectural Review Committee considers the suitability of new construction to its lot, the immediate neighborhood and the community. For this reason each building is considered individually. The style of a house is secondary to pleasing proportions and suitability to the site. It is important to know that the Committee has no enforcement power; it serves in an advisory role to homeowners and the Company. All property owners are encouraged to discuss their plans with the Architectural Review
Before a new building or addition is undertaken, it is recommended that the Owner and/or Architect meet with the Town’s Planning Zoning and Building Officials to understand the many code-related issues that, among other things, affect setbacks, septic systems, access and height. In addition, the requirements of the Owner’s Land Deed should be reviewed and Masons Island Company deed restrictions understood. It is the responsibility of property owners to obtain all necessary permits regarding construction from the Town of Stonington.
When property owners decide to build a new house or remodel an existing one, they should obtain a copy of the detailed guidelines for building in the District. This information is available from the Company or the Chair of the Architectural Review Committee. The deeds for most properties within MIPOA’s boundaries provide that any construction plans be drawn by a registered architect and be approved by the Company. Owners of such properties are required to submit preliminary plans to the Company for approval. Preliminary plans are reviewed by the Company and by the Architectural Review Committee. The Committee submits its recommendations regarding such plans in writing to the Company and the Company in turn will provide written approval or disapproval to the property owners.
Although both the Company and the Committee endeavor to move quickly, review of construction plans can take a week or two in the best of circumstances. Disagreements are generally resolved through discussion between the owners, Company representatives and the Committee Chair, but inevitably consume additional time. Property owners should take this process into consideration when planning their projects.
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE COMMITTEE (Chairperson Patty Copp, email@example.com):
MIPOA’s Property Maintenance Committee has established guidelines to encourage District property owners to maintain the appearance of their houses and grounds to a standard appropriate for the area. It also facilitates dialogues between property owners and conducts other activities to help accomplish its goals. Property owners who believe they have a grievance are expected to address their issues directly with their neighbors as the first step and, the Board believes, best route to problem resolution. If this approach fails to produce acceptable results, MIPOA, upon request, stands ready to clarify.
The Property Maintenance guidelines are:
- Loud, disturbing and excessive noise is not allowed before 6:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and before 8:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m. on Sunday. Clotheslines are not to be visible from neighbors’ properties or roads.
- Construction and renovation projects are limited to the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- Use of power lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws and similar equipment are to be limited to the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. If possible, please limit noise on Sundays.
- While many of the water sports (i.e. kayaking and sailing) are typically quiet and slow, Jet Skis, Personal Watercraft and Sea Doos are completely the opposite. While we appreciate the diversity and endless fun on the water, excessive noise is something that remains a distraction from our tranquil environment. Limited use of jet skis near our shores would be greatly appreciated.
2. Garage Sales, Estate Sales, Tag Sales and similar sales are prohibited.
3. Posting of ALL SIGNS is prohibited, including but not limited to realtors’ “open house” and “for sale” signs, workmen’s signs (builders, renovators, painters, roofers, etc.) and political advertising.
4. PROPERTY APPEARANCE
- Reasonable property appearance, landscaping maintenance and neatness of grounds are to be sustained.
- Raked leaves should be kept from blowing onto neighbor’s property.
- Sometimes material (i.e. telephone books) is left by the mailboxes as a means of distribution. We understand why it has been done; however, if these items are not claimed within one week of their distribution, we would suggest removing them.
5. Landscaping overgrowth should not block neighbors’ views. Property owners are reminded that as neighbor’s views become obscured, enjoyment of their properties may diminish and property values may be adversely affected. Property owners are advised to document by photograph and written description their views (in each season) as soon as possible after acquiring their property as the basis from which to address matters involving future maintenance of those views.
A provision in many deeds permits the Masons Island Company to enter those properties for the purpose of pruning trees and bushes in a reasonable manner to maintain views from adjoining properties. The deed provisions also require Company approval for plantings along road lines.
Property owners are encouraged to contact the Company when planning landscaping projects. From time to time the Company clears the rights of way and the roadsides. Please contact the Company if you have a request regarding maintenance of a particular location.
When dealing with disagreements between neighbors regarding view maintenance, the Committee and the Company will always attempt to strike a balance between view maintenance and privacy concerns. The Chair of the Committee will advise all parties in writing as to the suggested course of action.
6. Effective January 1, 2013, Senate bill, SB440 addresses the application of fertilizers containing phosphorus on established lawns. Property owners are strongly encouraged to make every effort to minimize use of chemicals on their lawns, trees, yard plantings and gardens. Most pesticides are harmful to the environment, and chemical fertilizer runoffs accelerate the growth of undesirable algae in the Ice Pond and the ocean.
7. Boats over 20 feet in length, house trailers, recreation vehicles, tractors and backhoes, farm equipment, business vehicles and inoperable autos are not to be stored on properties. The Board recommends that all boats and trailers be stored in garages or board years or a commercial storage facility. If boats of less than 20 fet in length are stored outside, the Board recommends they be stored off the road and out of sight from neighbors to the extent possible and that their covers be of dark green or brown (not bright blue or white).
8. Exterior house lights should not shine into neighbors’ windows or create any unnecessary glare. If possible, use a time and be mindful of your neighbors wanting to enjoy the evening skies without the glare of lights.
9. It is nice to feel that leaving a bike or wagon unattended for hours is safe on Mason’s Island. Items should be labeled and identified with the owner’s name. When items are left for extended periods of time, it is very helpful to know to whom the item belongs.
NEWSLETTER COMMITTEE (Chairperson Tommy Thomason):
MIPOA utilizes an email distribution software program for official MIPOA and MIFD communications. It is also available to MIPOA members for announcements, requests (e.g. lost articles or animals), articles and photographs of general interest, etc. of a non-profit nature.
WELCOME COMMITTEE (Chairperson Martha Ficke):
The Welcome Committee provides new property owners with a welcome package of information along with a reusable shopping bag featuring a Masons Island image.