Any changes to the exterior of a property requires pre-approval from the Board of Directors or the appointed Architectural Committee. Failure to obtain approval can lead to fees being assessed until the property is brought back into accordance with the CC&Rs.
To assure a fast turnaround of any architectural request, it is important to complete the request in its entirety. Fence and utility buildings require a copy of property survey and/or a GIS plot map that enables the board or committee to ensure the placement of the improvement is in accordance with the community’s governing documents. Hand drawn sketches, photos, and software renderings to do not fulfill this requirement unless they are combined with the required property survey or GIS plot map.
There are ramifications that can cost you money and cause problems even after the sale of your home. At the time of sale, North Carolina requires a disclosure form asking if the owner is aware of any easements or encroachments on the property. Failing to disclose information about a fence or building that is on a neighbor’s property could result in an unnecessary liability for the owner. Note: even if both current property owners mutually agree to the encroachment, potential buyers may see this as unacceptable and could compromise your ability to sell your property.
A survey is defined as a document that shows the exact boundaries of a property, including lot lines and placement of improvements on the property. Although not all lenders require that the purchaser obtain a property survey at the time of purchase, it is highly recommended that a survey is performed. If your proposed improvement is anticipated to be located within 3′ of your property line (such as a new fence or shed), you should strongly consider hiring a civil engineer to perform a survey to ensure you do not encroach on your neighbor’s property.
Charlotte Mecklenburg’s website offers a Geographic Information System that allows you to print a plot map of your property including a footprint of the residence as well as other building additions recorded by the city. Please note that this is just a helpful illustration tool and does not replace the need for a property survey to obtain specific, legally binding, property dimensions.