This page contains information regarding Philosophy, Violations and Fines, Enforcement, and an Optional Hearing as applied to the Covenants, Bylaws, Architectural Guidelines of the Heron’s Forest Property Owners Association. Unofficial copies of the relevant documents can be viewed here.
When the Heron’s Forest subdivision was developed it began with a concept and a goal. The concept was to develop a community that would preserve the natural beauty of the property with homes in harmony with the environment. The goal was to develop a unique subdivision that would be the most desirable in Pensacola to live in – then, now and in the future. Strict covenants, Bylaws and Architectural Guidleines were written with this concept and goal as the essential commitment.
Each of us, in our own way, was attracted to Heron’s Forest. We were drawn to its native forest, the landscaping of individual properties, and the overall appearance of the subdivision. Our expectation was that the natural beauty, appearance and tranquility would be maintained. Also, we fully expected our investment to increase in value. However, we may have given little thought about how this would happen. We may not have envisioned how much work would be required. We probably didn’t consider our individual contribution and responsibility. As property owners it was/is our responsibility to research Heron’s Forest which includes reading the Covenants, the Bylaws, and the Architectural Guidelines.
Some will say “I wasn’t given a copy of the Covenants, Bylaws and Architectural Guidelines.” This may be true. Regardless, it is the property owner’s responsibility to seek out this information. Our goal can not be achieved without the cooperation of each and every member of the HFPOA. It is our responsibility, as property owners, to cooperate by adhering to the Covenants, Bylaws and Architectural Guidelines. When we pick up behind our pets as we walk through our neighborhood, refrain from putting signs in our yard, parking in our driveway rather than the street, and maintaining our landscaping; we are making our individual contribution to the beauty and safety of the place in which we live.
One of the main responsibilities of the elected Board of Directors is adherence to the Covenants, Bylaws and Architectural Guidelines. The Board accepts this responsibility and is making every effort to meet the expectations of the membership. The Board does encounter some resistance as they attempt to meet their responsibilities due to property owners not being aware of the specifics of the Covenants, Bylaws and Architectural Guidelines. Again, it is the responsibility of the individual property owner to know the “Do’s and Don’ts.”
With all that said the HFPOA Board of Directors is asking for the cooperation of each property owner. Please read the Covenants, Bylaws and Architectural Guidelines. They do exist and are available. Help us preserve Heron’s Forest. We can’t do it without you!
Note: Tom Pyle, our former treasurer, wrote this timeless letter in February, 2005
Violations and Fines:
Posting gate code to the public: $100
· Parking violations: $50
· Pool violations: $50
· Tennis Court Violations: $50
· Damage to amenities: $100 plus repair costs
· Pet violations: $50
· Cutting trees without approval: $100 per tree plus restoration costs
· Safety violations: $50
· Landscaping violations: $50 plus restoration costs
·HFPOA Violation Enforcement Process
The Enforcement Process has been updated in January 2016
HFPOA Violation Enforcement Process
The HFPOA Board of Directors approved this process. JANUARY 2016
1. A violation is observed by or reported to the Property Manager.
2. Property Manager notifies the Board of Directors by email of the reported violation.
3. Board directs Property Manager to send the “First Notice of Violation” letter to the property owner with copies, if appropriate, to tenant and Rental Management Company by email, if available, and by US first class mail. This letter should be friendly and non-threatening in tone and should specifically identify the problem and expected corrective action. Email copy of all notices of violation to Board members.
4. If violation is not corrected in a reasonable period of time, the property manager will send the “Second Notice of Violation” by US first class mail to property owner and, if appropriate, Rental Management Company. This letter will inform the property owner of the following:
A. A fine will be levied if the violation is not corrected within 14 days Or a reasonable time period if owner requests an extension based on circumstances. The extension must be requested within 7 days of receipt of the letter.
B. For reports requiring immediate cessation of the violation, the letter will state a fine will be levied upon report of the next verifiable violation. These violations include: excessive speed, pet excrement disposal, pool or sports court rules, nuisance behavior, or any violation, which the Board determines immediate action is required.
C. The property owner can appeal to convene a hearing of three peer members, selected by the property manager, prior to the fine being levied. This appeal process must be expeditiously carried out.
5. Property Manager notifies Board that the specified time period has expired. Board decides to levy fine and notifies Property Manager to send “Notification of Fine” letter by US Mail to property owner and, if appropriate, Rental Management Company. The letter will contain the following information:
A. The fine of ______$ has been levied by the Heron’s Forest Property Owners Association for violation of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions to which you are legally bound.
B. Fines are due on receipt of this notification. Fines not paid within 30 days of notification shall accrue interest at the highest legal rate as determined by the Association treasurer.
C. The property owner can appeal in writing by US mail to convene a hearing of three Appeal Committee members, selected from a pool of 5 t0 7 volunteer home owners that are non BOD members, after the fine has been levied. The appeal process must be expeditiously carried out. Property Management will set up date and time of the appeal between the home owner and Appeal Committee Chairperson, and HFPOA Secretary.
6. After 60 days of nonpayment, property owner forfeits access to common areas and HFPOA voting rights. At this time, Board will convene to decide to take action, at owner’s expense, to correct violation in accordance with the Declaration, Article V, and Section 11.
7. When fine exceeds $500 the amount due will be turned over to the HFPOA lawyer for collection, all lawyer fees will be paid by the property owner.
Note: Three members of the Association from the pool of 5 to 7 Appeal Committee will comprise the Appeal Pane. Relatives of the petitioner, HFPOA Board Directors, or employees of the Property Management Company will be excluded. The Appeal Panel will be advised their decision sets precedence for future violations of a similar nature.
The HFPOA Board approved this process JANUARY 2016.