The Community Relations Department continues its overall emphasis on education to reach out to new owners and longtime residents in our community. Potential Covenant violations come to the POA’s attention through distinct endeavors: by the Security Department, the members of the Covenants Committee, and Property Owners and support from the POA’s Architectural Review Board. The Covenants staff works cooperatively with our homeowners to encourage personal responsibility in the maintenance of their property, which enhances and influences the Plantation community as a whole. Monitoring of our protective Covenants involves many different facets, which fall into four basics categories: people, pets, parking, and property.
During 2019, the Community Relations Department investigated and processed 1,317 non-moving Covenant violations. Of the violations reported, over fifty percent were fine letters forwarded to Residents and Contractors who were non-compliant. An influx of abuse of guest passes and pet violations caused the vast majority of violations to be issued by Security. The Covenant staff communicated with residents by forwarding letters and/or emails, phone calls, and in some cases personal site visits were made to address our concerns. A fresh start and an opportunity to follow through lead to positive momentum for the betterment of the greater community. During 2019, the POA Board of Directors adopted the Short-Term Rentals guidelines for Rules and Regulations and Covenants Restriction Policy for the POA staff. The adopted Rules and Regulations were forwarded to the POA Attorney to be filed with the Beaufort County Land Records. As with all things, change is inevitable, and the Covenants staff looks forward to the contributions of its volunteers
A lighter approach to Covenants’ compliance is featured in a monthly article in Plantation Living starring “Harry Heron” who is the Master Covenants Bird and the voice of reason and compliance. He often focuses on current trends and problems we have in our neighborhoods. Harry comments on day-to-day compliance issues and may offer solutions to our homeowners’ concerns. Harry will continue to comment on harmonious living by focusing on compliance with the leash laws, and residents and their guests being more responsible pet owners, vehicle parking resolutions, abuse of guest passes, rules of conduct and behavior.
Harry did see an increase in abuse of guest passes, in which Covenants and HHP Security has become more consistent with levying fines and other penalties against violators. Guest passes will only be issued to visitors for a specific non-commercial purpose of visiting a Resident. Our commercial vendors are periodically reminded that all service providers must purchase the required day passes, monthly, or yearly decal, even if it is just for an estimate. Compliance with this requirement will eliminate the number of guest passes being used for commercial vendors, and alert residents of how the misuse of the guest pass policy can cause yearly assessments to increase. Harry also mentions the convenient amenities that are provided by the Plantation such as the landscape drop-off area. This outstanding benefit provides a pleasant and easy way for residents to dispose of their landscape debris in an environmentally sound manner. This helps to eliminate the illegal dumping on common property and open space areas.
The Holiday Lighting Contest/Driving Tour featured a wonderful display of homes decorated for the Christmas and Hanukkah seasons. The holiday spirit was alive and well in 2019. It was a popular experience for our residents to share with their families and guests. Our discounted yearly Realtor Decal ($25) continues to be a success. Realtors are provided with an information packet that highlights the many different amenities to assist them when showing property within the Plantation. Also included is a welcome packet for the realtor’s prospective homebuyers, with loads of Plantation information that is consistently updated. The Covenants staff assists the Security Department with daily entries made into the Incident Report Log, gathers data for monthly reports, graphs, tracking trends, juvenile activity, researches, and gathers reports for pending cases, posts information of Covenant violations to monitor, manages the Emergency Card Information database, and posts weekly Realtor Open Houses for compliance.
The Community Relations Department continues to communicate, educate, and work with homeowners. The task of demonstrating the value of sustaining our community, both aesthetically and functionally, is our ongoing mission. These practices and programs are focused on sustaining a harmonious living and protecting and enhancing every member’s property values. The reasonable enforcement of our governing documents, and arming and advising residents with equitable solutions to issues, is designed to assure residents that their investment will continue to grow and be protected throughout the years. The objective continues to be keeping our community an attractive and pleasant place to call home.