Rules and Regulations for Yard Appearance
Our CC&Rs, Article XI, Owner’s Responsibilities outline the requirements and responsibilities of homeowners which include landscaping as noted in Article XIII, section 3, 6, 10. The Board of Directors has approved the following Rules and Regulations that expand upon and clarify the CC&Rs.
Homeowner property typically goes to the sidewalk or street if no sidewalk is present. Except for noxious weeds and trimming behind back wall, these rules focus primarily on property visible from the street (front yards).
Homeowners shall be responsible for their lots as follows:
- A desert theme must be maintained and the amount of plantings should blend in with surrounding lots and not present an appearance inconsistent with the neighborhood.
- All visible homeowner property shall be landscaped with decomposed granite and/or decorative rock.
- Trees and plants shall be pruned and trimmed regularly so yards give a well-maintained appearance.
- Rocks and gravel from the homeowner’s lot shall be removed from sidewalks, driveways, and the asphalt pavement in front of each lot.
- Weeds and “volunteer” plants shall regularly be removed from landscaped areas and from concrete joints and sidewalks.
- Trees and shrubs overhanging the street and sidewalk shall be pruned to ensure no physical or visible impediment to pedestrians and vehicles. A minimum vertical clearance of 15 feet over the street and 7 feet over the sidewalk is recommended.
- Displaced soil caused by erosion from homeowner property onto common areas and streets should be prevented.
- Plant debris, tree pruning, shrub trimmings, and dead foliage shall not be allowed to accumulate anywhere on the homeowner’s lot or be put in common areas.
- Invasive (noxious) grasses, plants, or trees that spread seeds into neighboring areas shall be removed. These invasive grasses, plants, or trees should be removed from visible property as well as back yards as their existence can result in seeds spreading into common areas or neighboring lots. Currently Bermuda grass, Buffelgrass, Fountain Grass, Onionweed, and Desert Broom are designated as invasive along with the African Sumac tree. Lists of other plants designated in Arizona as noxious here:Arizona Noxious Weeds.).
- Trees on homeowner property are responsibility of homeowner. Consider periodic maintenance (thinning, crowning, removing mistletoe) by a reputable arborist. Trees and shrubs shall not encroach on sidewalks, driveways, water, sewer, or irrigation systems. Tree maintenance should not occur during bird nesting season (typically Feb-September). Please perform tree maintenance October-January.
- Trees and plants shall not be planted in, trimmed, nor removed from common areas by homeowners without the prior approval of the Landscape Committee Representative.
- Homeowners with flat graded areas directly behind their rear walls in the common area are permitted to remove weeds, dead branches, and low shrubs within 12 feet of the wall or in the width of the flat area (whichever is less) in order to establish a firebreak. However, homeowners must not trim any mature trees in this area. (If in doubt, ask the Landscape Committee Representative what you can remove yourself.)
- Homeowner can remove any invasive species listed in 9 above (bufflegrass, desert broom fountain grass, onionweed, etc.)
- Homeowner can remove brittle bush, prickly pear or other plants less than 3′ high to create a fire break of 10-12 feet only if the ground is flat.
- Homeowners may not touch trees (Palo Verde, Mesquite, Acacia, etc.) or cactus.
- Homeowners who would like trees behind their back wall (located in the common area) trimmed to improve view must submit a written request to the Landscape Committee. If approved the work will be paid for by the homeowner directly to the authorized landscaper. Only trees located within approximately 25 feet of homeowner back wall will be considered for tree trimming. (See Process for Trimming Trees on HOA Property for Homeowner View and also see 2016-2017 Tree Trimming Approval Form.)
- The homeowner is responsible for the appearance of his lot even though it may be rented or vacant for extended periods.
Homeowners may be fined up to $250.00 and/or $10.00.day for violation of these rules plus the cost of remediation. Repeat offenses within one year may result in fines being doubled.
Approved at SMVE Board Meeting 5/22/2017 ✉ Kathy Mitton, Chair Landscape Committee