Covenants/By-laws

Covenants | Click here for by-laws

This page is boken into two sections.  The first section is important covenants, which lays out the most common covenants likely to affect residents.  The second section is a complete copy of the neighborhood’s covenants.

Important Covenants

Secret Woods Home Association, Inc. has and will always enforce its Covenants and Restrictions.  Always check with the Board of Directors or the Architectural Review Committee before adding any structure to your home.

Please make every attempt to keep up the outside appearance of your home including fences, garage doors and yards.  Two items that are always discussed that the neighbors would like improved include neighbors parking  their automobiles in the street and dog excrement in yards of owners without dogs.  Please understand that lot owners without dogs do not wish to be faced with the dark side of pet ownership.

Loss of Privileges
Property Rights, Article IIb

(b) The right of the Association to suspend the voting rights and right to use the recreation facilities of an Owner for any period during which any assessment against his Lot remains unpaid, and, for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days, for any infraction of its published rules and regulations.

Non-Payment of Dues
Covenant for Maintenance Assessments, Article IV Section 8

Any assessment not paid within thirty (30) days after the due date shall bear interest from the due date at the rate of ten percent (10%) per annum or at the maximum legal rate, whichever is higher.  The Association may bring an action at law against the Owner personally obligated to pay the same or foreclose the lien against the Property. No Owner may waive or otherwise escape liability for the assessments provided for herein by non-use of the Common Area or abandonment of his Lot.

No Building, Fence, Wall or Other Structure Commenced
Absolutely No Radio Aerial, Television Aerial, Antenna or Electronic Devices on Property
Absolutely No Mailboxes, Newspaper Boxes or Other Receptacles
Absolutely No Window Air conditioners facing the street
Covenant for Architectural Control, Article V

No building, fence, wall or other structure shall be commenced, erected or maintained upon the Properties; nor shall any exterior addition, change or alteration of any structure be made; nor shall any radio, television aerial or antenna or other exterior electronic or electrical equipment or device be installed on the Properties; nor shall any mailbox, newspaper box or other receptacle of any kind for use in the delivery of mail, newspapers, magazines or similar materials be installed or located on the Properties; nor shall any window air conditioner be placed in any window facing a street until the plans and specifications showing the nature, kind, shape, height and materials, and location of the same shall have been submitted to and approved in writing as to harmony of external design and location in relation to surrounding structures and topography by the Board of Directors of the Association or by an Architectural Control Committee composed of three (3) or more representatives appointed by the Board.

In the event said Board or its designated committee fails to approve or disapprove such design and location within thirty (30) days after said plans and specifications have been submitted to it, approval will not be required and this Article will be deemed to have been fully complied with.  This Article shall not be applicable to any such activity conducted by or on behalf of the Developer and Builder.

No Sheds, Shacks or Trailers
Covenant for Architectural Control, Article V, and Section 12

No shed, shack, trailer, tent or other temporary or movable building or structure of any kind shall be erected or permitted to remain on any Lot. However, this paragraph shall not prevent the erection of a temporary office and other buildings during the period of actual construction of the main residence and other buildings permitted hereunder, nor the use of adequate sanitary toilet facilities for workmen during the course of construction.

Likewise, any contractor or salesperson may maintain a trailer or portable construction shack of  attractive design on any Lot used in connection with the construction or sale of houses being built in the subdivision for no longer than thirty-six (36) months.

No Signs, Unless “For Rent” or “For Sale”
Coventant for Architectural Control, Article V, and Section 15

Not more than two dogs or two cats or four birds (excluding parrots) or four rabbits may be kept on a single Lot for the pleasure and use of the occupants, but not for any commercial or breeding use or purposes. If the animal or animals become dangerous or an annoyance or nuisance in the neighborhood or to nearby property or destructive of wildlife, they may not thereafter be kept on the Lot.

Birds and rabbits shall be kept caged at all times. If you have recently moved to Jacksonville, the city has very strict animal control regulations.

Yards must be maintained, included mowed, edged and shrubs clipped
Covenant for Architectural Control, Article V, Section 16

Each Lot Owner shall prevent the occurrence of any unclean, unsightly or unkempt conditions of buildings or grounds of any Lot or unit which shall tend to decrease or adversely affect the aesthetic appearance of the development of specific areas therein.

No Commercial Signs on Cars
No Boats or Offensive Objects
No Trailers
Article VI, Use Restrictions, Sections 8

Except for occupant’s private automobiles bearing no commercial signs, no wheeled vehicles of any kind, boats or any other offensive objects may be kept or parked between the paved road and the residential structures except as hereinafter provided.  Such vehicles or objects may be kept completely inside a garage attached to the main residence. Private automobiles of guests of the occupants may be parked in such driveways during the times necessary for pickup and delivery service and solely for the purpose of such service.  No wheeled vehicle or boat shall be kept or parked in front or side yard of any lot. No trailers shall be maintained or kept on any Lot other than completely inside a garage.

Association may correct violations
Removal and correction expenses to be paid by Lot Owner
Article VIII, General Provisions, and Section 1

Wherever there shall have been built or there shall exist on any building Lot any structures, building, thing or conditions which is in violation of these Covenants and Restrictions, the Association shall have the right, but no obligation, after ten (10) days written notice has been given to the Property Owner of such violation, to enter upon the Property where such violation exists and summarily to abate, correct or remove the same, all at the expense of the Owner of such Property, which expense shall be payable by such Owner to the Association, on demand, and such entry and abatement, correction or removal shall not be deemed a trespass or make the Association liable in any way for any damages or account thereof.

Association may take legal action
Lot Owners found in violation will pay legal fees
Article VIII, General Provisions, and Section 6

If any person, firm, corporation or other entity shall violate or attempt to violate any of these Covenants and Restrictions, it shall be lawful for the Association or any person or persons owning any Lot on said land to (a) prosecute proceedings at law for the recovery of damages against those violating or attempting to violate such Covenants and Restrictions; and, (b) prosecute proceedings at equity for the purpose of preventing or enjoining all or any such violations, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that the Owner or occupant of any residence on any Lot shall not have the right or cause of action for damages or to maintain a proceeding in equity or any claim whatsoever against any building and/or construction company for violating Section 3, Article VI, of the Covenants and Restrictions.  The remedies contained in this paragraph shall be construed as cumulative of all other remedies no or hereafter provided by law.

The failure of the Association to enforce any Covenant or Restrictions or any obligation, right, power, privilege, authority or reservation herein contained, however long continued, shall in no event be deemed as a waiver of the right to enforce the same thereafter as to the same breach or violation thereof occurring prior or subsequent thereto.  Lot Owners found in violation of these restrictions shall be obliged to pay a reasonable attorney’s fee to the successful plaintiff in all actions seek to prevent, correct or enjoin such violations or in damage suits thereon. All restrictions herein contained shall be deemed several and independent.

The invalidity of one or more restrictions or any part thereof shall in no way impair the validity of the remaining restrictions or part thereof.

Rules Adopted By the Board of Directors

Satellite Dish Requirement (unanimously passed June 16, 1997)

Resolved, that

1. Satellite dishes should not be visible from the street.
2. Permission in writing must be received from any property owner who may view the dish.
3. The size of the satellite dish should be 25″ or less.

Fence Construction and Maintenance – Architectural Review

The Board of Directors on July 8, 1997 RESOLVED, that fences must be:

1. Installed with the good side facing the outside.
2. No fence may be over 6 feet tall.
3. Must be natural wood color or those colors approved by Architectural Review.
4. Fences must be kept to the side of home or back yard.
5. The location of any fence must be approved by the Board.
6. All fences must be kept in good condition and broken parts must be repaired.

Infraction Letters

Beginning in 1997, the Board of Directors began issuing Infraction Letters to neighbors who violated the Covenants and Restrictions.  The first letter is a reminder letter informing the lot owner of the type of infraction and what measures may be taken.  If the existing infraction is not corrected in the time allowed, a second more formal letter notifying the homeowner of pending action to be taken.

If this final letter is ignored, the Board has provisions to take this infraction to an attorney to begin legal proceedings.

This process was started as an effort to keep our neighborhood special. Please understand that if you receive an infraction letter, that you are not being singled out. Finally, the Board is prepared to take final action on those who do not comply with the Covenants and Restrictions. If one lot owner is allowed to breach the Covenants without action, it opens a window of opportunity for repeat occurrences.

As a neighbor in Secret Woods Home Association, you have all signed these Covenants and Restrictions at your real estate closing, stating that you comply with these rules. Home Association Covenants and Restrictions are highly respected among the state court judges and strictly enforced.

Childish Pranks Vs Vandalism

In 1997, your home association was required to pay for repairs to the pool bathrooms that were caused by vandalism. The vandalism included tearing toilet roll holders from the walls, ripping wallpaper and breaking water pipes. Other damage around the neighborhood occurred including the removal of one of the mailbox light fixtures.

Please remind your children that damaging property is a crime (not a prank) and also that they should report strange children in our neighborhood who may be damaging items. It may be these children that are giving Secret Woods children a bad name.

At the January 1998 Board meeting, a neighbor sadly described how her yard had been the target of toilet paper wrapping. This, too, is not a prank, but damages the property and the look of the entire neighborhood.

Speeding

The speed limit inside Secret Woods should be 15 to 20 miles per hour. At this speed you can enter the neighborhood and arrive at the last house in the back of the neighborhood within a minute and a half. Please report speeders to the Home Association. Small children are playing near the roads, and we do not need a tragedy to focus our attention on this issue.


Complete copy of the covenants begin here

Vol 5800pg  750

Official Records

 

DECLARATION OF COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, EASEMENTS

AND RESTRICTIONS FOR SECRET WOODS

THIS DECLARATION, made on the date hereinafter set forth by NORTH FLORIDA BUILDERS, INC., a Florida Corporation, hereinafter referred to as “builder”; and REAL FUND DEVELOPMENT CORP., a Florida Corporation, hereinafter referred to as “Developer”, said parties hereinafter collectively referred to as “Declarants.”  There are or may be other persons who hold fee simple title or liens against the Properties, who shall not be Declarants, but who shall join in the execution of this instrument to subordinate their rights in the Properties.

W I T N E S S E T H :

WHEREAS, Declarants are the owners of the Properties, except Lot 8, described on the plat of Secret Woods, as recorded in Plat Book 39, Pages 39, 39A, 39B, 39C, and 39D, of the current public records of Duval County, Florida, hereinafter referred to as the “Properties.”

NOW, THEREFORE, Declarants, hereby declare that all of the Properties, including Lot 8, Secret Woods, described above shall be held, sold and conveyed subject to the following easements, restrictions, covenants, and conditions, which are for the purpose of protecting the value and desirability of, and which shall run with, the real Properties and be binding upon all parties having any right, title or interest in the described properties or any part thereof, their heirs, successors and assigns, and shall inure to the benefit of each owner thereof.

ARTICLE I

DEFINITIONS

Section 1: “Association” shall mean and refer to the Secret Woods Homeowners Association, Inc., its successors and assigns.

Section 2: “Owner” shall mean and refer to the record owner, whether one or more persons or entities, of a fee simple title to any Lot which is part of the Properties, including contract sellers, but excluding those having such interest merely as security for the performance of an obligation.

Section 3: “Properties” shall mean and refer to the properties described on the Plat of SECRET WOODS, according to plat thereof recorded in Plat Book 39, pages 39 through 39D, inclusive, of the current public records of Duval County, Florida, and such additions thereto as may be hereafter brought within the jurisdiction of the Association.

Section 4: “Common Area” shall mean and refer to all real Property (including the improvement thereto) now or hereafter owned or maintained by the Association for the common use and enjoyment of the Lot owners.  The Common Area owned by the Association at the time of the conveyance of the first Lot is more particularly described on the Exhibit “A” attached here to and by this reference made a part hereof.

Section 5: “ Lot ” shall mean and refer to any plot of land shown upon the aforesaid recorded subdivision map of the Properties, with the exception of the Common Area.

Section 6: “Declarants” shall mean and refer to North Florida Builders, Inc., a Florida corporation, and Real Fund Development Corp., aFlorida corporation, their successors or assigns should said successors and assigns acquire more than one undeveloped Lot from Declarants for the purpose of development.

Section 7: “Stormwater Management System” shall mean and refer to the designed features of the Properties which collect, convey, channel, hold inhibit or divert the movements of stormwater, as more particularly described on Exhibit “B” attached hereto and by this reference made a part hereof.

ARTICLE II

PROPERTY RIGHTS

Section 1: Owners’ Easements of Enjoyment.  Every Owner shall have an easement of ingress and egress and right of enjoyment in and to the Common Area owned by the Association which shall be appurtenant to and shall pass with the title to every Lot , subject to the following provisions:

a)                  the right of the Association to charge reasonable admission and other fees for the use of any recreational facility situated upon the Common Area owned by the Association;

b)                  the right of the Association to suspend the voting rights and right to use the recreational facilities of an Owner for any period during which any assessment against his Lot remains unpaid, and, for a period not to exceed sixty(60) days, for any infraction of its published rules and regulations;

c)                  the right of the Association to dedicate or transfer4 all or any part of the Common Area to any public agency, authority or utility for such purposes and subject to such conditions as may be agreed to by the members.  No such dedication or transfer shall be effective unless an instrument agreeing to such dedication or transfer signed by two-thirds of each class of members has been recorded.

Section 2: Delegation of Use. Any Owner may delegate in accordance with the By-laws, his right of enjoyment to the Common Area owned by the Association and facilities to the members of his family, his tenants or contract purchasers who reside on the Property.

Section 3: Lake and Water Rights. All lakes and ponds within said Property constitute a portion of the Stormwater Management System for Secret Woods.  Fishing, swimming and boating of any type are prohibited on all lakes and ponds situated within said Property; and Owners of Lots abutting any lake or pond shall maintain the Lot to the water’s edge.  Owner shall maintain such Lot so as to prevent any erosion of embankments, and in the event Owner fails to maintain said Lot as aforesaid and as more specifically recited in Article VII herein, the Association shall have the right, but not the duty, to enter onto said Lot and perform the necessary maintenance at Owner’s expense.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP AND VOTING RIGHTS

Section 1. Every Owner of a Lot which is subject to assessment shall be a member of the Association.  Membership shall be appurtenant to and may not be separated from the ownership of any Lot which is subject to assessment.

Section 2: The Association shall have two classes of voting membership:

Class A: Class A members shall be all Owners, with the exception of the Developers and Builders, and shall be entitled to one vote for each Lot owned.  When more than one person holds an interest in any Lot , all such persons shall be members.  The vote for such Lot shall be exercised as they determine, but in no event shall more than one vote be cast with respect to any Lot .

Class B: Class B member (s) shall be the Developer and Builder and shall be entitled to three (3) votes for each Lot owned.  The Class B membership shall cease and be converted to Class A membership on the happening of either of the following events, whichever occurs earlier:

a)                                    When the total votes outstanding in the Class A membership equal the total votes outstanding in the Class B membership; or

b)                                    On December 31, 1990 .

 

ARTICLE IV

COVENANT FOR MAINTENANCE ASSESSMENTS

Section 1. Creation of the Lien and Personal Obligation of Assessments. The Declarants, for each Lot owned within the Properties, hereby covenant, and each Owner of any Lot by acceptance of a deed therefore, whether or not it shall be so expressed in such deed, is deemed to covenant and agree to pay to the Association:  (1) annual assessments or charges;  (2) an initial capital contribution to the Association in the amount of $800.00 to defray operating costs of the Association; and (3) special assessments for capital improvements, such assessments to be established and collected as hereinafter provided.  The annual and special assessments, together with interest, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, shall be a charge on the land and shall be a continuing lien upon the Property against which each such assessment is made.  Each such assessment, together with interest, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, shall also be at the personal obligation of the person who was the Owner of such Property at the time when the assessment fell due.  In the event there is more than one Owner of any givenLot , all owners of such Lot shall be jointly and severally liable for the entire amount of the assessment.  The personal obligations for delinquent assessments shall not pass to his (or their) successors in title unless expressly assumed by them

Section 2. Purpose of Assessments. The assessments levied by the Association shall be used exclusively to:  (1) promote the recreation, health, safety and welfare of the residents in the Property;  and,  (2) for the improvement and maintenance of the Stormwater Management System, Common Areas, and entranceways into said Property from Goodnow Road and Tiger Hole Road and located on Lots 1, 111, 126 and 127, including, but not limited to, fences, landscaping and other improvements thereon for the beautification of said entranceways together with the two islands located in the public right-of-way at each of said entrances.

Section 3. Maximum Annual Assessment. Until January 1 of the year immediately following the conveyance of the first Lot to an Owner, the maximum annual assessment shall be $120.00.

 

a)                                    From and after January 1 of the year immediately following the conveyance of the first Lot to an Owner, the maximum annual assessment may be increased each year not more that 10% above the maximum assessment for the previous year without a vote of the membership.

b)                                    From and after January 1 of the year immediately following the conveyance of the first Lot to an Owner, the maximum annual assessment may be increased above 10% by vote of two-thirds (2/3) of each class of members who are voting in person or by proxy at a meeting duly called for this purpose.

c)                                    The Board of Directors may fix the annual assessment at an amount not in excess of the maximum.

Section 4. Special Assessments for Capital Improvements. In addition to the annual assessments authorized above, the Association may levy, in any assessment year, a special assessment applicable to that year only for the purpose of defraying, in whole or in part, the coast of any construction, reconstruction, repair or replacement of a capital improvement upon the Common Area, including fixtures and personal property related thereto, provided that any such assessment shall have the assent of two-thirds (2/3) of the quorum at a meeting duly called for this purpose.

Section 5. Notice and Quorum for Any Action Authorized Under Section 3 and 4. Written notice of any meeting called for the purpose of taking any action authorized under Section 3 or 4 shall be sent to all members not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days in advance of the meeting.  At the first such meeting called, the presence of members or of proxies entitled to cast sixty percent (60%) of all the votes of each class of membership shall constitute a quorum.  If the required quorum is not present, another meeting may be called subject to the same notice requirement, and the required quorum at the subsequent meeting shall be one-half (1/2) of the required quorum at the preceding meeting.  No such subsequent meeting shall be held more than sixty (60) days following the preceding meeting.

Section 6. Uniform Rate of Assessment. Both annual and special assessments must be fixed at a uniform rate for all Lots and may be collected on a monthly basis.

Section 7. Date of Commencement of Annual Assessments; Due Dates. The annual assessments provided for herein shall commence as to a Lot on the first day of the month following the conveyance of the Common Area to be owned by the Association to the Association, excepting however that there shall be no assessment due on any Lot which is vacant or any Lot which is improved by an unoccupied, unsold home in which Declarants own any interest.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, those Lots from which Declarants derive any rental income or hold an interest as Mortgagee or Seller under an Agreement for Deed, shall be assessed in the same manner and amount as owner occupied Lots, prorated as of and commencing with, the first day of the month following the execution of the rental agreement, mortgage or Agreement for Deed or upon a tenant’s entry into possession, whichever shall first occur.

Initial annual assessments shall be adjusted according to the number of months remaining in the calendar year.  The Board of Directors shall fix the amount of the annual assessment against each Lot at least thirty (30) days in advance of each annual assessment period.  Written notice of the annual assessment shall be sent to every Owner subject thereto.  The due dates shall be established b the Board of Directors.  The Association shall, upon demand and for a reasonable charge, furnish a certificate signed by an officer of the Association setting forth whether the assessments on a specified Lot have been paid.  A properly executed certificate of the Association as to the status of assessments o a Lot is binding upon the Association as of the date of its issuance.

Section 8: Effect of Non-payment of Assessments; Remedies of the Association. Any assessment not paid within thirty (30) days after the due date shall bear interest from the due date at the rate of ten percent (10%) per annum or at the maximum legal rate, whichever is higher.  The Association may bring an action at law against the Owner personally obligated to pay the same or foreclose the lien against the Property.  No Owner may waive or otherwise escape liability for the assessments provided for herein by non-use of the Common Area or abandonment of his Lot .

Section 9: Subordination of the Lien to Mortgages. The lien of the assessments provided for herein shall be subordinate to the lien of any first mortgage.  Sale or transfer of any Lot shall not affect the assessment lien. However, the sale or transfer of any Lot pursuant to mortgage foreclosure or any proceeding in lieu thereof, shall extinguish the lien of such assessments as to payments which become due prior to such sale or transfer.  No sale or transfer shall relieve such Lot from liability for any assessments thereafter becoming due or from the lien thereof.

Section 10. Except Property. All properties dedicated to and accepted by a local public authority or private utility provider and all properties owned by a charitable or non-profit organization exempt from taxation by the laws of the State of Florida shall be exempt from the assessments created herein, except however that no land or improvements devoted to dwelling use shall be exempt from the assessments created herein, (except as described in Section 7 of this Declaration).

 

ARTICLE V

ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL

No building, fence, wall or other structure shall be commenced, erected o9r maintained upon the Properties;  nor shall any exterior addition, change or alteration of any structure be made;  nor shall any radio, television aerial or antenna or other  exterior electronic or electrical equipment  or device be installed on the Properties;  not shall any mailbox, newspaper box or other receptacle  of any kind for use in the delivery of mail, newspapers, magazines or similar materials be installed or located on the Properties;  nor shall any window air-conditioner be placed on any window facing a street until the plans and specifications showing the nature, kind, shape, height and materials, and location of the same shall have been submitted to and approved in writing as to harmony of external design and location in relation to surrounding structures and topography by the Board of Directors of the Association or by an Architectural Control Committee composed of three (3) or more representatives appointed by the Board.  In the event said Board or its designated committee fails to approve or disapprove such design and location within thirty (30) days after said plans and specifications have been submitted to it, approval will not be required and this Article will be deemed to have been fully complied with.  This Article shall not be applicable to any such activity conducted by or on behalf of the Developer and Builder.

 

ARTICLE VI

USE RESTRICTIONS

Section 1. Land Use and Building Type. Unless approval in writing is given by the Developer and Builder prior to the cessation of Developer’s and Builder’s Class B membership in the Association, and except as authorized by Section 6 of this Article, (a) no Lot shall be used except for residential purposes and for associated purposes such as for easements and for storm drainage; (b) no building shall be erected, altered, placed or permitted to remain on any Lot other than on e detached single-family dwelling not to exceed two and one-half (2 ½) stories in height and a private garage for not more than two cars; and,  (c) no building situated on any Lot shall be rented or leased separately from the rental of the entire Lot;  provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent Developer and Builder from subjecting any Lot to a right-of-way for road purposes or to road or utility easements and, if a Lot is so burdened, the Developer and Builder may elect not to apply the restrictions herein, or some of them, to such Lot.

Section 2. Easements.

 

(a)        The Developer and Builder hereby reserve an easement privilege and right on, over and under the easements shown on the Plat of SECRET WOODS to erect, maintain and use electric and telephone wires, cables, conduits, water mains, drainage lines or drainage ditches or drainage lakes and ponds, sewer and other suitable equipment for drainage and sewage disposal purposes or for the installation, maintenance, transmission and use of electricity, gas, telephone, lighting, heating, water, drainage, sewage and other conveniences or utilities (whether such easements are shown or said Plat to be for drainage, utilities or other purposes).  The Developer and Builder shall have the unrestricted right and power of alienating and releasing the privileges, easements and/or rights referr4ed to in the paragraph.  The Owners of the Lots subject to the privileges, rights and easements referred to in this paragraph shall acquire no right, title or interest in or to any wires, cables, conduits, pipers, mains lines or other equipment or facilities placed on, over or under the Property which is subject to said privileges, rights and easements.

(b)                In the event that any Lot in the said Plat is subdivided, then the side Lot line will be deemed to have been moved according to its new dimensions and the former side line easement, as well as the side line restriction in Section 5, Article VI, will be deemed to follow on each side of the new Lots thus created.

(c)                Within the aforesaid easements, no structure, planting or other material shall be placed or permitted to remain which may damage or interfere with the installation and maintenance of utilities or which may change, obstruct or retard the direction or flow of water through drainage channels in the easements or in existing drainage ponds and lakes.  The easement area of each Lot and all improvements in it shall be maintained continuously by the Owner of the Lot , except for those improvements for which a public authority, the utility company or the Homeowners’ Association is responsible.

(d)                Easements for vehicular and pedestrian ingress and egress and for the installation, operation and maintenance of utilities and drainage facilities are reserved in, under, over and through all streets, roads, drives, courts, lanes, ways and rights-of-way on the aforesaid recorded Plat. These easements shall be terminable in whole or in part by a local public authority or utility of the applicable easement area.

(e)                Vehicular ingress and egress is prohibited over and across “Non-access Easements” as reserved on the aforesaid Plat of Secret Woods.

Section 3. Motorists’ Vision to Remain Unobstructed. No fence, wall, hedge, shrub, bush, tree or other things, natural or artificial may be placed or located or maintained on any Lot if the location of same will, in the sole judgment and opinion of the Association, unreasonably obstruct the vision of the motorist upon any of the streets.

Section 4. Minimum Square Footage for any Principal Residence. No residence which is the principal residence on a Lot shall be erected or allowed to remain on any Lot in SECRET WOODS unless the square footage of heated living thereof, exclusive of porches, garages and storage rooms, shall equal or exeed 1,500 square feet.

Section 5. Set Back for All Structures. No building shall be located on any Lot nearer than twenty (20) feet to the front Lot line (except in the case of a corner lot where a font setback of 20 feet shall be provided on one frontage, and a setback of 10 feet shall be provided on the other frontage) nor nearer than 10 feet to the rear lot line, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that those portions of Lot 16 through 27 29 through 40, 72 through 90, 102 through 103, and Tract “C” inclusive, which are designated as an Unobstructed Easement as shown on the Plat of Secret Woods shall not be filled, developed or fenced and no structure or any other improvement of any type shall be placed on said portion of Lots 16 through 27, 29 through 40, 72 through 90, 102 through 103, and Tract “C’, inclusive.  No building shall be located nearer than 5 feet to any side lot line, provided that the combined side years shall not be less than 15 feet.

Section 6. Other Structures. No other improvements or structure, whether attached or detached, shall be erected or placed on a Lot without the prior written consent of the Architectural Control Committee.

Section 7. Resdubdividing or Replatting. Developer reserves the right to resubdivide or replat any Lot or Lots shown on said Plat including, but not limited to, the right to resubdivide or replat any Lot for right-of-ways, road purposes and easements, provided that no residence shall be erected upon, or any resident allowed to occupy said replatted or resubdivided Lot or fractional part or parts thereof, having an area less than the Zoning Regulations for the Consolidated City of Jacksonville, Florida, and the restrictions herein contained shall apply to each Lot as replatted or resubdivided except any Lot or Lots resubdivided for road purposes or easements.

Section 8. No Parking of Vehicles, Boats, Etc. Except for occupant’s private automobiles bearing no commercial signs, no wheeled vehicles of any kind, boats or any other offensive objects may be kept or parked between the paved road and the residential structures except as hereinafter provided.  Such vehicles or objects may be kept completely inside a garage attached to the main residence.  Private automobiles of guests of the occupants may be parked in such driveways, and other vehicles may be parked in such driveways during the times necessary for pickup and delivery service and solely for the purpose of such service.  No wheeled vehicle or boat shall be kept or parked in front or side yard of any Lot .  No trailers shall be maintained or kept on any Lot other than completely inside a garage.

Section 9. No Overhead Wires. All telephone, electric and other utility lines and connections between the main utilities lines and the residence and other buildings located on each Lot shall be concealed and located underground so as not to be visible.  Electric service is provided by the City of Jacksonville, Florida, through underground primary service lines running to transformers.  The Developer and Builder have provided underground conduits to serve each Lot extending from the point of applicable transformer to a point at or near a Lot line, and such conduit to each Lot shall be, become and remain the property of the Owner of the Lot .  Each Lot Owner requiring original or additional electric service shall be responsible to complete at his expense the secondary electric service conduits, wires (including those in the conduit provided by the Developer and Builder), conductors and other electric facilities from the point of the applicable transformer to the residence or other property of the Owner of each Lot .  The Owner, from time to time, of each Lot shall be responsible for all maintenance, operation, safety, repair and replacement of the entire secondary electrical system extending form the applicable transformer to the residence or other building on his Lot .

Section 10. Completion of Commenced Construction. When the construction of any approved building is once begun, work thereon shall be prosecuted diligently and continuously until the full completion thereof.  The main residence and all related structures shown on the plans and specifications approved under Article V hereof  must be completed within eight (8) months after the start unless such completion is rendered impossible as the direct result of strikes, fires, national emergencies or natural calamities.  At the commencement of construction, the property Owner shall install at his expense a suitable paved driveway from the paved portion of the abutting street to the location of his garage entrance.  During the construction on any Lot , all vehicles involved in such construction, including those delivering materials and supplies (except those trucks large or heavy enough to damage said driveways) shall enter upon such Lot from the street only at the driveway.  Such vehicles shall not be parked at any time on the street or upon Property other than the Lot on which the construction is proceeding.

Section 11. No Picnic Areas Prior to Construction. No picnic areas and no detached outbuildings shall be erected or permitted to remain on any Lotprior to the start of construction of a permanent residence thereon.

Section 12. No Sheds, Shacks or Trailers. No shed, shack, trailer, tent or other temporary or movable building or structures of any kind shall be erected or permitted to remain on any Lot .  However, this paragraph shall not prevent the erection of a temporary office and other buildings during the period of actual construction of the main residence and other buildings permitted hereunder, nor the use of adequate sanitary toilet facilities for workmen during the course of construction.  Likewise, any contractor or salesperson may maintain a trailer or portable construction shack of attractive design on any Lotused in connection with the construction or sale of houses being built in the subdivision for not longer than thirty-six (36) months.

Section 13. Residing Only in Residence. No trailer, basement, garage or any outbuilding of any kind other than a guest house or servants’ quarters, even if otherwise permitted hereunder to be or remain on a Lot, shall be at any time used as a residence either temporarily or permanently, except that a trailer may be used for office purposes during the period of construction of the main residence.

Section 14. Signs.

(a)                No sign of any character shall be displayed or placed upon any Lot except “FOR RENT” or “FOR SALE” signs, which signs may refer only to the particular premises on which displayed, and shall be of materials, size, height and design approved by the Architectural Control Committee, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.  The Owner of any Lot violating the provisions of this paragraph shall correct said violation upon notice from Developer or the Association.

(b)                Nothing contained in these Covenants and Restrictions shall prevent the Developer or Builder or any person designated by the Developer or Builder from erecting or maintaining such commercial and display signs and such temporary dwellings, model houses and other structures as the Developer or Builder may deem advisable for development purposes.

Section 15. Pets. Not more than two dogs or two cats or four birds (excluding parrots) or four rabbits may be kept on a single Lot for the pleasure and use of the occupants, but not for any commercial or breeding use or purpose.  If the animal or animals became dangerous or an annoyance or nuisance in the neighborhood or to nearby property or destructive of wildlife, they may not thereafter be kept on the Lot .  Birds and rabbits shall be kept caged at all times.

Section 16. Upkeep and Maintenance of Dwelling and Lots. Each Lot Owner shall prevent the occurrence of any unclean, unsightly or unkept conditions of buildings or grounds on any Lot or unit which shall tend to decrease or adversely affect the aesthetic appearance of the development of specific areas therein.

Section 17. No Offensive Activities. No illegal, noxious or offensive activity shall be permitted or carried on on any part of any Lot , nor shall anything be permitted or done thereon which is or may become a nuisance or annoyance to the neighborhood.  No trash, garbage, rubbish, debris, waste material or other refuse shall be deposited or allowed to accumulate or remain on any part of any Lot or upon any Lot or Lots contiguous thereto.  No open fires or incinerators for burning of trash, leaves, clippings of other debris or refuse shall be permitted to be on any part of any Lot or road right-of-ways.  All garbage shall be kept in receptacles and they in places on the Lots as determined and approved by the Architectural Control Committee.

ARTICLE VII

LAKES AND PONDS

Section 1. Maintenance. Certain Lots contained within the Properties are adjacent to or contain Lakes or Ponds constituting a portion of the Stormwater Management System for SECRET WOODS.  The Owner of each such Lot shall maintain the Lot so that grass, plantings or other lateral support of the embankment shall prevent erosion of the embankment and so that said embankment shall be kept in a clean, neat and orderly condition; however, the height, grade and contour of the embankment shall not be changed without the prior written consent of the Architectural Control Committee.  The cost of maintenance of the embankments and land areas abutting the actual water line of the Lake or Pond areas shall be solely the cost and expense of the Owner of said embankment or land area.  The Association shall maintain all such Lakes and Ponds below the actual water line so as to control the growth of and eradication of plants, fowl, reptiles, animals and fish in a manner as may be consistent with reasonable Lake and Pond maintenance for the preservation of said areas as a part of the Master Drainage System for the Properties and for the preservation of said areas so as to aesthetically benefit the Owners of all Lots located in SECRET WOODS.

Section 2. Structures. No docks or other structures shall extend into the Lake or Pond areas without the prior written approval of the Architectural Control Committee.

Section 3. Activities. No fishing, swimming or boating of any type shall be permitted on Lakes or Ponds situated within the Properties.  No activities constituting a nuisance shall be conducted upon the Lakes or Ponds and no rubbish, trash, garbage, or other discarded items shall be deposited in the Lakes of Ponds.

Section 4. Access for Maintenance. The Association, its authorized agents and assigns shall have an easement for ingress and egress to, from and upon the Lakes and Ponds located in SECRET WOODS for the purpose of inspecting and maintaining said Lakes and Ponds in accordance with the terms of this Declaration.

Section 5. Maintenance of Other Easements of Stormwater Management System. All other elements of the Stormwater Management System that are not maintained by the City of Jacksonville shall be maintained by the Association.

ARTICLE VIII

GENRAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Association May Correct Violations. Wherever there shall have been built or there shall exist on any building Lot any structures, building, thing or conditions which is in violation of these Covenants and Restrictions, the Association shall have the right, but no obligation, after ten (10) days written notice has been given to the Property Owner of such violation, to enter  upon the Property where such violation exists and summarily to abate, correct or remove the same, all a the expense of the Owner of such Property, which expense shall be payable by such Owner to the Association, on demand, and such entry and abatement, correction or removal shall not be deemed a trespass or make the Association liable in any way for any damages or account thereof.

Section 2. Approval of Developer. Wherever in these Covenants and Restrictions the consent or approval of the Developer or Builder is required to be obtained, no action requiring such consent or approval shall be commenced or undertaken until after a request in writing seeking the same ahs been submitted to and approved in writing by the Developer or Builder by Registered Mail with return receipt requested.  In the event that the Developer or Builder fails to act on any such written request within thirty (30) days after the same ahs been submitted as required above, the consent or approval of the Developer or Builder to the particular action sought is such written request shall be presumed; however, no action shall be taken by or on behalf of the person or persons submitting such written request if the request violates any of the Covenants and Restrictions herein contained.

Section 3. Declarants May Designate a Substitute. The Declarants shall have the sole and exclusive right at any time, from time to time, to transfer and assign to, and to withdraw from, such person, firm or corporation as it shall elect, any or all rights, powers, privileges, authorities and reservations given to or reserved by the Declarants by any part or paragraph of these Covenants and Restrictions or under the provisions of said Plat.  If at any time hereafter there shall be no person, firm or corporation entitled to exercise the rights, powers, privileges, authorities and reservations given to or reserved by the Declarants under the provisions hereof , the same shall be vested in and be exercised by the Architectural Control Committee.  Nothing herein contained, however, shall be construed as conferring any right, powers, privileges, authorities or reservations in said Committee except in the event aforesaid.

Section 4. Amendments for Additional Restrictions. The Developer reserves and shall have the sole right (a) to amend these Covenants and Restrictions, (b) to include in any contract or deed or other instrument hereafter made any additional Covenants and Restrictions applicable to a particular Lot, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that any amendments or additions to these Covenants and Restrictions shall conform to the general purposes and standards of the Covenants and Restrictions herein contained, and (c) to release any Lot from any part of the Covenants and Restrictions which have been violated (including without limiting the foregoing, violations of building restriction lines and provisions hereof relating thereto) if the Developer, in its sole judgment, determines such violations to be minor and insubstantial.

Section 5. Amendment With Consent of Owner and Effective Period. The Covenants and Restrictions of this Declaration shall run with and bind the land for a term of twenty (20) years from the date this Declaration is recorded, after which time they shall be automatically extended for successive periods for ten (10) years.  This Declaration may be amended during the first twenty (20) year period by an instrument signed by not less than ninety (90%) of the Lot Owners and by Declarants until the Class B membership of Declarants in the Association shall cease, and thereafter by an instrument signed by not less than seventy-five percent (75%) of the Lot Owners.  Any amendment must be recorded.

Section 6. Legal Action on Violation. If any person, firm, corporation or other entity shall violate or attempt to violate any of these Covenants and Restrictions, it shall be lawful for the Association or any person or person owning any Lot on said land to (a) prosecute proceedings at law for the recovery of damages against those so violating or attempting to violate such Covenants and Restrictions;  and, (b) prosecute proceedings at equity for the purpose of preventing or enjoining all or any such violations or attempted violations, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that the Owner or occupant of any residence on any Lot shall not have the right or cause of action for damages or to maintain a proceeding in equity or any claim whatsoever against any building and/or construction company for violating Section 3, Article VI, of these Covenants and Restrictions.  The remedies contained in this paragraph shall be construed as cumulative of all other remedies now or hereafter provided by law. The failure of the Association to enforce any Covenant or Restrictions or any obligation, right, power, privilege, authority or reservation herein contained, however long continued, shall in no event be deemed as a waiver of the right to enforce the same thereafter as to the same breach or violation thereof occurring prior or subsequent thereto.  Lot Owners found in violation of these restrictions shall be obliged to pay a reasonable attorney’s fee to the successful plaintiff in all actions seeking to prevent, correct or enjoin such violations or in damage suits thereon.  All restrictions herein contained shall be deemed several and independent.  The invalidity of one or more restrictions or any part thereof shall in no way impair the validity of the remaining restrictions or part thereof.

Section 7. Severability. Invalidation of any one of these Covenants and Restrictions by judgment or Court Order shall in no way affect any other provisions which shall remain in full force and effect.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, these Covenants and Restrictions have been executed on this __________ day of  ___________, 1984, by Declarants, acting by and through its undersigned officer who is thereunto duly authorized.

 

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