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Home » Announcements » General Interest » Garden Villas Civic Association Votes to Begin Legal Action on Deed Restrictions.

Announcements

Garden Villas Civic Association Votes to Begin Legal Action on Deed Restrictions.

9/27/2012
Architectural Improvement
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Garden Villas Civic Association Votes to Begin Legal Action on Deed Restrictions. 

 

What is a Deed Restriction and why should we care? Deed restrictions are written agreements that restrict, or limit, the use or activities that may take place on property in our subdivision. These restrictions appear in the real property records of Harris County. They are private agreements and are binding upon every owner in the Garden Villas subdivision. All future owners become a party to these agreements when they purchase property in deed-restricted areas.

 

The primary purpose of most deed restrictions is preserving the residential character of a subdivision by keeping out commercial facilities. Since we prefer to live in a wholly residential environment, deed restrictions are highly desirable and actually increase our property values. Our GV deed restrictions legally prohibit a person from operating certain types of businesses from their home.

 

 Garden Villas has had Deed Restrictions since the founding of the neighborhood in 1926 and have been renewed every 30 years since then. The last renewal was 1999. For the past several years, Garden Villas neighbors met about these issues with our Deed Restrictions and enforcement of the Chapter 10 Code of Ordinances (Residential Building Standards) with City of Houston Departments. We all had seen violations of the property deed restrictions and construction without building permits.  We all lived near sub standard renovations and the construction of additional residential units that have take place at an alarming pace, undermining the integrity of our single-family neighborhood.

 

GVCA board established a group of board members and residents called Neighborhood Standards Committee to focus and on track enforcement by providing additional information to the various City of Houston departments. In addition we provide information back to residents regarding complaints. Three main objectives of Neighborhood Standards are: 1) to reduce the illegal building without permits by reporting these directly to City of Houston Public Works for enforcement, 2) refer violations of deed restrictions to CoH Legal Department, 3) communicate notice to realtors that Garden Villas is a Deed Restricted Community. We have made significant progress on all three goals however the deed restriction enforcement by the City Legal Department has lagged behind based on work load and recent legal interpretations. After several meetings with the City of Houston Legal Department and City Council Member James Rodriguez, we have found it necessary to reassert our property rights for enforcement of the Deed Restrictions as we are authorized to do under State laws. The GVCA Board of Directors unanimously approved the hiring of the law firm of Novelli, Harvie & Maduzia to take legal action on selected violations in the Garden Villas Subdivision. The first lawsuit for compliance was filed in September against a Garden Villas property owner for the violation of constructing a second residence on their property. Mr. Harvie of the law
firm will be our speaker at the November civic association meeting and will answer any questions about our deed restrictions. However he cannot specifically address the status or details of this case or pending cases.

–Tom Brents Garden Villas Civic Association Board Member at Large and Chairperson of the Neighborhood Standards Committee. 

 

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Contact Person: Brents, Tom


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