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May 31, 2018

Declaration of Restrictions

Word of the day

Declaration of Restrictions

A statement of all the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that affect a parcel of land. When recording the subdivision plat, restrictions may be noted on the map or plan or, if numerous, on a separate document called a declaration. The restrictions usually aim for uniformity by requiring all lot owners to comply with certain building standards and conform to certain restrictions. For example, the CC&Rs may require lot owners to construct homes valued over a certain amount or to obtain prior design approval from a designated architectural control committee. Once recorded, these restrictions in the declaration run with the land and bind all future lot owners unless terminated by a lapse of a specified time or by agreement of all benefited parties. An owner can enforce the restrictions against any other owner who violates any of the restrictions.

The following are typical provisions of a declaration of restrictions:
  • “Each building or other structure shall be constructed, erected, and maintained in strict accordance with the approved plans and specifications.”
  • “No building shall be located on any lot nearer than 35 feet to the street lot line, nearer than 30 feet to the rear lot line, or nearer than 10 feet to the side lot lines.”
  • “No building or structure shall be more than 25 feet in height as measured from the highest natural grade at any point on the perimeter of the foundation of the structure to the highest point of the roof.”
  • “No animals, livestock, or poultry of any kind shall be raised, bred, or kept on any land ■■ in the subdivision except by special permit issued by the board of directors. However, a reasonable number of dogs, cats, or other common household pets may be kept without the necessity of obtaining such permit.”
Restrictions may not violate public law, such as referencing race or religion. They should be carefully drafted to avoid ambiguity. For example, if trailers are prohibited, does that prohibition also exclude mobile homes? Does the word structure include a swimming pool or fence? What is a home business?

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