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MASON’S ISLAND PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION

PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION

Copies of these Procedures and Guidelines shall be made available to members by the Association, and, through the Mason’s Island Company, to prospective purchasers and renovators of property, as well as to realtors, architects, and others who may be concerned.

INTRODUCTION

The function of the MIPOA Architectural Review Committee (‘Committee’) is to assure, in the interests of all current and future property owners, that each proposed individual construction project is suitable to the particular lot, to the immediate neighborhood, and to the whole Mason’s Island community. The Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Mason’s Island Company, which makes all final decisions of approving and disapproving plans.

The Committee consists of four members, each of whom is a year-round resident of the Mason’s Island Fire District, appointed by the President of the Mason’s Island Property Owners Association, with the approval of the Board of Directors of the Association, for overlapping three-year terms. None of them serves on the Committee for a period exceeding six consecutive years. Each year the President of the Association designates one of the members of the Committee as Chair, but no one may serve as Chair for more than three consecutive years.

The Committee may designate one of its members as secretary, and, in the absence or disability of the Chair, shall designate one of its members to act as chair pro tern. The Committee acts by vote of a majority of its four members. There is no voting proxy.

In its review and consideration of all plans and specifications submitted to it, the Committee seeks to encourage:

--tasteful originality, diversity, and individuality in the external appearance of both traditional and contemporary design;

--informality rather than formality, with the house complementing rather than dominating the landscape;

--retention of as much as is practicable of the natural ground coverand healthy trees; and

--avoidance of similarity among neighboring houses.

All parts of these Procedures and Guidelines apply, as appropriate, to all future construction--of dwellings, fencing, and other improvements--and to all current and future alterations and additions or changes affecting the external appearance of properties.

The Committee shall seek to be consistent and reasonable in applying the criteria and procedural requirements set forth below.

(A property owner considering an isolated minor alteration or addition may request the Committee to waive one or more of the standard requirements set forth below. After review of the project, the Committee may, by majority vote, waive one or more requirements.)

 

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

1.   Except by special permit properly issued by the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission, the only construction allowed shall be of one one-family dwelling on each lot (that may include a private garage forming part of such dwelling) that shall never be used for any other purpose than a single-family dwelling.

2.   The foundation shall be at least as distant from each property line as minimum allowed under the Stonington Zoning Regulations or by a properly granted variance therefrom or, if greater, as has been established for the particular property by the Masons Island Company.

3.   All applicable easements shall be respected, including any sight easements previously granted in writing by the Masons Island Company.

4.   The right of the Masons Island Company to approve, remove or trim trees along or near the street line shall be respected.

5.   All roofing material shall be not less than 280 pounds per square and of a color compatible with the color(s) of the body and the trim of the house itself.

6.   For non-waterfront properties, the highest rooftree shall be 24-30 feet (depending on slope, vegetation, and neighboring houses) above the natural grade as averaged along the longest dimension of the house. For waterfront properties, the highest rooftree shall not be more than 24 feet above the natural grade as averaged along the longest dimension of the house.

7.   The extreme top of any chimney shall be not less than two feet nor more than four feet above the rooftree if the roof has a pitch of more than 1/8, or in the case of a roof with lesser pitch, not less than three feet nor more than five feet above the highest point where such chimney pierces the roof.

8.   Sufficient screening shall be established and maintained to assure maximum privacy, and minimum annoyance, for and from current or possible neighbors, particular attention being given if a driveway is close to the side line of the property.

9.   The Committee’s recommendation for approval shall normally be withheld from any plan that presents, or that with the possible future addition of dormers or other changes could present, any elevation giving the appearance of three full stories.

10. The Committee’s recommendation for approval shall normally be withheld from any plan that calls for the use of aluminum siding or for the external use of artificial paneling designed to give the appearance of brick or stone.

11.  All receptacles for garbage and refuse shall be concealed from view from any road and neighbors, and clothes drying and fuel containers shall be reasonably concealed.

 

EXTERNAL APPEARANCE, MATERIALS, SAFETY

1.    All exterior materials and finishes shall be appropriate to the style of design, and shall conform to the samples thereof that are to be submitted with the proposed plans, to be retained by the Committee, and returned after completion of the work. Shingle siding or clapboard other than white cedar, left to weather, is discouraged because of the strong probability of undesirable discoloration. Bona fide brick or natural stone is acceptable. Preference is given to wood clapboard or shingle, stained or painted in one neutral or muted tone, with trim and sash and (if desired) cornerboards in one or two harmonious or contrasting colors.

2.    Exterior details shall be consistent with each other, and, in a traditional house, consistent with. the accepted standards of that period.

3.    The area of foundation exposed shall normally be not more than twelve inches above finished grade, regardless of the finish thereof.

4.    Any exposed chimney shall be finished in brick or natural stone, unless an exposed metal flue is obviously consistent with the contemporary overall design.

5.    All chimneys shall be capped with durable metal screen or mesh with apertures not greater than one-half inch in any dimension, to discourage flying sparks and nesting birds and animals.

6.    At least one frost-free silicock shall be readily accessible and so situated to be of greatest value in case of fire.

7.    Provision shall be made to discourage normal runoff from downspouts and sealed driveways from flowing onto roads and/or adjacent properties.

8.    Exterior lighting fixtures shall be of such number, type, location and wattage, and so angled, as to minimize possible annoyance to neighbors. The sources of floodlights and spotlights should not be visible from outside the property boundaries.

9.   Adequate storage space for all outdoor equipment--screened and covered, but not in a separate structure--shall be provided.

 

PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS

1.   Site clearance and construction work of any sort shall commence only after written approval of final plans and specifications has been received from the Mason’s Island Company, except for minimum necessary test holes, clearance needed for the equipment to bore such hole, and removal of brush and trees less six inches caliper when measured four feet above grade.

2.   Construction plans shall be submitted to the Committee for consideration and recommendation, and by the Committee to the Company for its approval, before they are submitted to such government agencies as Building Officials of the Town of Stonington, the Water Resources Commission of the State of Connecticut, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, for their approval. Approval by any governmental agency does not assure recommendation by the Committee or approval by the Company. All of the criteria and procedures set forth in these guidelines are wholly independent of any government agency; it is to the owner’s advantage to obtain Committee recommendation and Company approval of plans before seeking any governmental approval. If, to obtain required governmental approval(s), significant changes are required in the plans and specifications previously recommended by the Committee and approved by the Company, then all such changes should be promptly and fully reported in writing to the Committee, which will not unnecessarily withhold or delay its recommendation.

3.   Prior approval by the Masons Island Company of all Construction plans is required by deed restriction running with most of the property lying within the geographic bounds of the Mason’s Island Fire District (as those bounds may from time to time be adjusted) that now is or formerly was, or in the future may be, owned by the Masons Island deed restriction. All such plans shall be submitted first to the Committee for consideration. As The Masons Island Company, which endorses these guidelines, has the right of final approval, it will discuss its position fully with the Committee before either approving plans that the committee has not recommended, or disapproving plans that the Committee has recommended.

4.   All plans submitted to the Committee shall be dated, in duplicate, and shall bear the name of the person or organization preparing them. If the proposed construction is of a dwelling, such person must be a registered architect currently licensed to practice in Connecticut, and each sheet of the plans submitted shall bear the imprint of his or her official seal, and each page of the external specifications subject to Committee recommendation shall also bear such imprint. If the plans for the dwelling have not been developed by a particular architect or firm of architects for use by the owner on the particular property, the Committee may require that a currently registered Connecticut architect shall be retained to assure proper adaptation of the plans to the particular property, including but not limited to placement, and height of foundations.

PRELIMINARY PLANS

To be considered by the Committee, preliminary plans shall be submitted before final plans are submitted. At its discretion, the Committee may suspend the requirement for preliminary plans if the proposal is for other than a new dwelling. Preliminary plans shall show the addresses and phone numbers of the owner and the architect, and shall include:

1.   A plot plan, prepared and signed by a currently certified engineer, showing accurately, at a scale of not more than eight feet to the inch:

--natural and proposed finish grade contours at intervals of not more than one foot;

--the location of the dwelling existing on each adjacent property, and the nearest limits for future construction, on each adjacent property;

--location of fences

--the outline of the area within which construction is allowable on the particular property;

--the precise location of the area within the distances from the particular foundations to all property lines; and

--the precise location of the septic tank, the leaching field(s) and reserve leaching area; of driveway(s), patios, fences (and height thereof), landscaping retaining walls and embankments; and of all other significant outside changes.

        The plot plan, desirably, should also show:

--all existing trees of six inches or more caliper when measured four feet above natural grade, indicating which are to be removed and which are to be protected and saved;

--type and location of trees and shrubs the planting of which is proposed within ten feet of any property line, including street frontage; and

--all significant rock outcroppings.

2.   The floor plans, at a scale of not more than four feet to the inch;

3.   At least four elevations, at a scale of not more than four feet to the inch, each of which shows:

--natural finish grades, and areas of exposed foundation;

--all doors, windows, roof overhang, gutters, downspouts, silicocks, exterior lighting fixtures, and other roof features; and

--the height in feet of rooftrees(s) and chimney(s) above the lowest and the highest natural grade at the foundations.

4.   The specifications only for roofing materials, gutters, downspouts, sash and trim, chimneys and siding, with appropriate samples on the actual material of exterior colors, all properly identified with owner’s name, and dated. Such samples shall be retained by the Committee for future reference until completion of the project, when they shall be returned. The specifications shall also state the right of any Committee member to examine the work in progress and to see the plans and specifications being used by the contractor(s), so long as these activities do not unreasonably interrupt the work.

5.   On receipt of complete preliminary plans and exterior specifications in duplicate, the Committee shall forward both sets to the Company within two weeks for its consideration, both sets being marked or otherwise designated ‘recommended’ by the Committee’ or ‘recommendation’ withheld by the Committee.’ Incomplete preliminary plans shall be returned to the owner with the deficiencies noted, No further action shall be taken by the Committee until revised preliminary plans and exterior specifications are submitted, in duplicate.

6.   Preliminary plans and exterior specifications shall not be recommended by the Committee on the understanding that particular changes therein will be made thereafter.

7.   If the Committee withholds recommendation of preliminary plans and exterior specifications, it shall forward to the Company a notation of which specifications the Committee finds to be unacceptable. In such a case the owner and/or architect may request a meeting with the Committee, at a mutually convenient time and place within three weeks of the date of such letter to the Company, for the purpose of resolving differences.

8.   When preliminary plans and exterior specifications are recommended by the Committee, each sheet of such plans and each page of such specifications shall be so stamped, dated, and signed on behalf of the Committee, or otherwise formally recommended, with a notation that final plans and exterior specifications, consistent with the approved preliminary material, should be submitted to the Committee within sixty days of such date of recommendation.

9.   If such final plans and exterior specifications are submitted to the Committee later than sixty days after the date of recommendation of the preliminary material, the Committee may consider that they represent a new project, to be considered as preliminary plans.

FINAL PLANS

Final plans and exterior specifications that are found by the Committee to vary significantly from the approved preliminary material may be considered as preliminary plans for a new project.

1.   Final plans and exterior specifications shall conform to all the requirements above and shall be processed by the Committee in harmony with the criteria set forth in these guidelines.

2.   At its discretion, the Committee may require, before recommending final plans and specifications, that (a) the corners of the proposed construction be marked on the site by stakes each bearing sufficient identification to relate to the final plans, and/or (b) ribbons or other harmless identification put on each tree in the construction area, of six inches or more caliper when measured four feet above natural grade, distinguishing those that are to be removed from those that are to be protected and saved.

3.   If the final plans and exterior specifications recommended by the Committee are to be significantly affected by any subsequent change or change order, these shall be submitted to the Committee in duplicate before the fact, and shall be subject to the Committee’s prompt consideration and recommendation.

4.   Construction shall normally commence within six months of the date of Committee recommendation of final plans and exterior specifications, and then shall proceed to completion without unreasonable delay. For specified and sufficient reason the owner may request a longer period for commencing or completing construction, that the Committee shall not unreasonably deny.

5.   During the course of the work there shall be minimum obstruction of roadways by materials, equipment or workers’ vehicles. All equipment, trash and extra material shall be promptly removed when no longer needed at the work site.

6.   All plans and exterior specifications used by the contractor(s) shall be copies of those bearing evidence of the dated final approval by the Company. Absence of such approved plans at the site, or possession of other plans at the site by any contractor or his employees, may be considered as evidence of nonconformity with the approved plans and exterior specifications.

7.   Questions and complaints from owners of adjacent properties and others who feel they may be adversely affected by a particular proposal need be considered only if submitted in writing to the Chair of the Committee, for such response as the Chair or the Committee deems proper in the circumstances.

 
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All information is from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed by seller or agent. Offering is subject to error, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of the purchase by owner. We urge independent verification of each and every item submitted to the satisfaction of any prospective purchaser. Although care was exercised in obtaining and verifying this material, parties reviewing same should seek advice from tax counsel and legal counsel.