ANNUAL MEETING DECEMBER 8, 2022
December 8, 2022
8125 Ashland Way
The Woodlands, TX 77382
We have presented these proposed changes to our Deed Restrictions at two General Meetings and one Special Meeting to solicit your feedback as a property owner. We are now circulating a petition to adopt the restriction updates as provided below. 67% of all property owners must vote in favor within one year in order to adopt the proposed update.
1. WHY ARE CHANGES TO OUR DEED RESTRICTIONS PROPOSED?
*Recent court rulings in Montgomery County have stated that Property Owner Associations cannot prohibit home offices, and Deed Restrictions must be specific as to what is not allowed.
2. WHAT IS STATED IN OUR CURRENT DEED RESTRICTIONS?
The current deed restrictions state in Section 2, g: “In no event shall any residential tract be used for any business purpose.” Issues related to this current deed restriction include: • Our legal advisors indicate that it will be difficult to legally enforce this deed restriction as it is currently written. • Without the ability for legal enforcement, the value of our properties could decrease. • No one can maintain a home office (such as work from home once in a while) or conduct a home industry (such as a real estate business or an Amway or Mary Kay business) from the home, even if there is no business activity visible from the road. • It maintains our subdivision as a strictly residential neighborhood.
3. WHAT CHANGES ARE PROPOSED?
The revisions would make a new section 3: “3. BUSINESS USE
Business use of property in Woodlane Forest is prohibited, with the exception of home offices that are based out of an otherwise-permitted residence and that comply with the requirements below: a. The lot and improvements are used primarily for residential purposes by the property owner who is the business owner/operator. b. The street address of the business is not advertised in a public medium (e.g., newspaper, radio, internet, television, yellow pages, sign on a vehicle or trade journals) or in any other public manner. c. While they are in the Woodlane Forest subdivision employees of the business cannot do work for the business, with exception of owners and family members residing in the home.
d. The business does not have clients, customers, vendors, or other persons who travel to the home in connection with the operation of the business. e. The operation of the business does not cause noise, dust, light, vibration, odor, or pollutants that emanate onto any adjacent property in an amount that does or may reasonably constitute a nuisance to an adjacent property owner. f. The business does not have business truck(s), tractor(s), trailer(s), or other business vehicles, equipment or supplies parked in front of any residential building line. g. The business does not have any sign or other writing on the lot displaying the name or identity of the business that is visible from any street, except customary signs attached to a vehicle which do not include the home address. h. The business is not conducted upon any portion of the lot that is visible from a public street. i. The business is compatible with and does not infringe upon the residential character and/or the property values of the surrounding neighborhood.”
Issues related to these proposed changes include: • It would permit home businesses to be conducted in the neighborhood but not impact the residential quality of the subdivision – the businesses would be “invisible.” • It would permit business vehicles to be parked on the property, but they would be behind the front line of home. • The proposed changes are very specific about what is and is not permitted, and would be enforceable in a court of law. • It would, in itself, not lead to a decrease in the property values in the subdivision.
4. HOW DO OTHER COMMUNITIES HANDLE BUSINESSES?
Lake Windcrest: Article III, Section 3.01 “…and no Lot shall be used for business, educational, religious or professional purposes of any kind whatsoever, nor for any commercial or manufacturing purposes. Provided, however, an Owner may maintain a home office In a dwelling with no advertising signs or regular visits by customers or clients.”
The Woodlands: Section 13.02: Restrictions for Residential Lots. No profession or home industry shall be conducted in or on any part of a Lot or in any Improvement thereon on the Property without the specific written approval of the D.S.C. The D.S.C., in its discretion, upon consideration of the circumstances in each case, and particularly the effect on surrounding Property, may permit a Lot or any Improvement thereon to be used in whole or in part for the conduct of a profession or home industry. No profession or home industry shall be permitted, however, unless it is considered by the D.S.C. to be compatible with the neighborhood.