Golfview Hills Homes Association

Golfview Hills is a community of homes governed by several legal documents commonly known as the Declarations, Covenants, and By-laws. The Covenants provide that they can be amended every ten years. March 1, 2015 is the next deadline for amending the Covenants. As an introduction to the start of the amendment process for 2015, there follow some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about these fundamental documents.

One of the basic distinctions to keep in mind is the difference between regulation of the use of homeowners’ private lots in Golfview, and regulation of the use of the public spaces such as the parks and lakes. The Board has the current authority to adopt rules and regulations governing the public spaces, but, with certain limited exceptions, only the homeowners currently can approve new rules, regulations, and covenants that govern use of their private lots.

What are the Declarations?

The Declarations are the constitution of Golfview. They create the Golfview Hills Homes Association by legally describing and binding the real estate that is part of Golfview. They also spell out the powers and duties of the Association (i.e., the Board.) They set forth the annual budgeting process, require homeowner approval of the budget, and provide for assessments to fund the budget and liens against lots to secure payment of the assessments.

The Declarations, along with the Covenants, are recorded with the Du Page County Recorder of Deeds as a public document, and would be noted on the title report of any lot in Golfview.

What are the powers granted to, and duties imposed on the Association in the Declarations?

The Association’s power and duties are to manage and maintain the Association public spaces – the parks *1, lakes and entrances to Golfview – and to enforce the Covenants. This includes Board power to make rules and regulations relating to use of the lakes and Association parks. A recent change in Illinois statutory law also gives the Board power to assess reasonable fines for violation of rules, regulations, and covenants.

The Declarations also empower the Association to cut the grass and remove weeds on any lot that fails to do so, and to impose a lien on the lot for the costs.

When and how can the Declarations be amended?

The Declarations can be amended at any time to grant new powers to the Association or impose new duties on it. Amendments to the Declarations require the written consent of two-thirds (2/3rds) of all the lots in Golfview.

What are the Protective Covenants?

“Covenants” is short-hand for the legal term “covenants running with the land.” The Covenants are contracts that attach to the land and bind each successive owner and occupant of the land. They impose certain restrictions and duties on ownership and use of the private lots in Golfview, and confer the right on both the Association and other lot owners to enforce those restrictions and duties.

Is there an overview of the restrictions imposed by the Covenants?

In summary, the Covenants:

• Require Association approval of plans for any building, fence, or shed.

• Limit the use of property in Golfview to single family residential dwellings.

• Contain front yard and side yard setbacks, including a minimum 10 foot side lot for buildings, and a minimum lot size of 10,800 square feet.

• Prohibit uses that are unlawful, noxious, or a nuisance.

• Require the removal of trees infected with Dutch elm or similar diseases.

• Prohibit free-standing sheds, shacks, etc. without Association approval, and prohibit the use as a residence of garages, basements, trailers, tents, shacks, and other structures.

• Limit the keeping of animals other than household pets.

• Require the removal of trash and rubbish from lots.

• Limit the display of signs on lots.

• Require the maintenance of open site lines between 2’ and 6’ above the roadway at corner lots.

• Prohibit gravel and dirt driveways and the parking of vehicles except on driveways and in garages.

• Regulate the placement of fences.

• Limit the parking and placement of trailers, boats, motor homes, recreational vehicles, portable signs, solar panels, and satellite antennas on lots.

• Regulate the erection of sheds.

Are there any Covenants that are out dated?

The original Covenants date to 1953. The current Covenants were last amended 20 years ago in 1995. Examples of outdated Covenants include:

• A covenant requiring a minimum construction cost of $50,000 and a minimum house size of 800 square feet.

• A covenant limiting houses to single story and two-car garages

Does the Board have any authority to make rules and regulations pertaining to the private lots in Golfview?

The Covenants authorize the Board to make rules and regulations regarding their enforcement. The Covenants also authorize the Board to make rules and regulations that are not inconsistent with the Covenants concerning these specific topics:

• The keeping of dogs, cats, and household pets

• The removal or storage of trash

• The erection and construction of fences

• The placement, erection, and construction of equipment sheds

When and how can the Covenants be amended?

The Covenants provide that they can be amended once every ten years by the written consent of a majority of all the lots in Golfview. The current Covenants will automatically renew for a 10-year period unless amended prior to March 1, 2015.

What are the By-Laws?

Golfview Hills Homes Association is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation. Every corporation has by-laws, which set forth the rules for how that corporation governs itself. For example, the By-laws:

• Divide Golfview into 15 areas and provide for the election of a Director from each area.

• Specify who can vote (one vote per lot).

• Set the time and place of annual meetings, and the required quorum.

• Provide for special homeowner meetings and notice of meetings.

• Dictate the method of voting at homeowner meetings.

• Set forth the composition of the Board, election, tenure, and filling of vacancies.

• Provide for regular and special board meetings, meeting notices, and quorum for Board meetings.

• Specify the officers of the Association, their election and tenure.

• Contain limitations on liability of homeowners, directors, and officers and provide for Association indemnification.

A separate article of the By-laws deals with contracting authority, issuance and signing of checks, deposit and investment of Associations funds, the maintenance of books and records, and audits.

When and how can the By-laws be amended?

The By-laws can be amended at any time by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of the owners of all the lots in Golfview. The By-laws are not recorded and are not a public document.

*1 The Association owns Zimmerman Park, the strip of land along the lake adjacent to Wiseman Park, and Jackson Park. The Golfview Hills Park District, a governmental entity, owns Wiseman Park, the Prairie, and Armstrong Woods.