Here is a quick update from the Lazybrook Mom’s Club on Halloween.
You may have noticed a Lazybrook deed restriction prohibiting all yard signs with the exception of Real Estate signs of a specified size. The LCC would like to clarify Texas Law regarding this restriction as it relates specifically to Political yard signs.
The Texas State Election Code (Title 15. Regulating Political Funds and Campaigns, Chapter 259. Political Signs) defines the law regarding the placement of political signs. Section 259.002 (b) specifically restricts property associations from prohibiting political signs during an election.
“a property owners’ association may not enforce or adopt a restrictive covenant that prohibits a property owner from displaying on the owner’s property one or more signs advertising a candidate or measure for an election”
This means that our deed restriction regarding signs does not apply to political signs during an election. You are allowed to place political signs in your yard but you must follow the rules laid out in the election code:
- Signs must be on private property, no right-of-ways or easements
- Signs may only be up for a period of 90 days prior to the election and must be removed no later than 10 days after the election
Property associations are permitted to enforce or adopt covenants that govern the following restrictions on political signs:
- Must be ground mounted
- Only one per candidate
- Restriction on sign material and size (4 ft x 6 ft)
- Must not threaten public health, safety or violate the law
- Must not contain language, graphics or any display that an ordinary person would find offensive
- Should not be accompanied by music, sounds or streamers that could distract drivers
Please follow these restrictions when placing your signs out of respect for your neighbors.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT IS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2020
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. This is a critical goal in 2020!
The National Association of Town Watch introduced National Night Out in August of 1984 through an established network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and volunteers across the nation. Annually, neighborhoods across the nation host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts or various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more. However, this year, it is recommended that we coordinate smaller National Night Out events that follow local CDC guidelines and thus do not involve sharing food and beverages or gathering without social distancing and wearing masks.
Given that the Houston area is still experiencing high rates of COVID-19, it is recommended that we consider alternate ways of coming together. This could include:
1. Preparing or ordering food for our local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel for delivery on Oct. 6, 2020.
2. Organizing caravans or parades through the neighborhood.
3. Planning a virtual NNO and inviting the Chief, Sheriff, Mayor, etc.
4. Turning porch lights on throughout the community.
Please contact your Lazybrook Block Captain (see the next page for a list) or Megan Mooney (email@example.com) to help “host” an event or join in planning to support our local first responders! We would love to find creative and safe ways of getting to know each other better while enhancing our neighborhood and the people who serve our community!
Anyone who has lived in Lazybrook the last several years has likely noticed that more and more older houses are getting scooped up by homeowners or investors, who are then doing major renovations either for themselves or for resale. While this is generally a great thing for the neighborhood and its value, this also exposes us to situations where certain people attempt to ignore our neighborhood’s deed restrictions. This is not legal, and anyone who violates these restrictions is subject to litigation by either the City of Houston, Lazybrook Civic Club, or both.
Lazybrook is a deed restricted neighborhood and the Lazybrook Architectural Committee actively enforces all these guidelines with help from the City of Houston as needed. Because our neighborhood was developed over time, there are a total of seven different sections, each with a unique set of deed restrictions. These restrictions include, among other things, requirements regarding:
- Maximum construction height (1, 1.5, or 2 story homes)
- Construction material (51% brick or 100% brick)
- Construction setbacks from property lines
As a reminder, anyone doing exterior construction must get written approval of plans from the Architectural Review Committee.
The Civic Club is a group of volunteers, and with the turnover rate of homes in our neighborhood it is very hard to stay aware of everything going at all times. We need your help to keep our neighborhood safe from any blatant rule
violators by keeping an eye out on your street for any ongoing projects. If you see something that looks like a violation, report it to the Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible so we can address it.
Check out our new website and review the deed restrictions page if you need more information regarding the section you live in or any of its specific requirements at: http://www.lazybrook.org/deed-restrictions/
In recent months, you may have noticed some construction in the neighborhood that is in violation of the Deed Restrictions. Specifically, there is one home on TC Jester Blvd (Section 5) which is in violation of multiple restrictions and one home on Tannehill Drive (Section 2) which is in violation of the brick percentage restriction.
The Lazybrook Civic Club is actively enforcing the restrictions and has recorded a “Notice of Non-Compliance” with Harris County in the real property records for both of these properties. The City of Houston has also filed suit against the home on TC Jester for (i) constructing a 2-story home in a section limited to 1.5-story in height, (ii) constructing a porch that encroaches the front building setback line, (iii) failing to obtain necessary building permits, and (iv) failing to stop work after receiving a Stop Work Order from the City.
The owner of the home on Tannehill Drive is currently trying to pass an amendment to the Section 2 Restrictions, which would lower the brick percentage from 100% to 51%. In order to pass this amendment, the majority of homeowners in this section must agree to the changes by signing a petition.
These individuals are not looking to make Lazybrook their home in which to raise a family, but are only thinking about how quickly and inexpensively they can turn a quick profit (by taking certain short-cuts, such as not installing brick siding to their homes). To be clear, these individuals, who have no intention of being your neighbor beyond how quickly they can flip and sell the house, they are the only ones who gain by this. They are taking advantage of our long adherence to the deed restrictions which have been in place for over sixty years.
For instance, property appraisers in Texas value all brick homes at a minimum of 6% – 8% higher than homes with alternative siding such as stucco or hardy siding. Deed restrictions by their very nature are intended to benefit all those who live in a subdivision by protecting our collective property values. If we collectively want to protect our property values, we must all agree to abide by the deed restrictions. We agreed to this when we purchased our homes in Lazybrook, including items such as brick percentage because this has a direct correlation on our home values.
We strongly and emphatically encourage each and every one of you to not sign any petition agreeing to change our deed restrictions, because at the end of the day, the only property value you will be harming will be your own.
Contributions by Lazybrook residents
Ben Dolan and Paul Thannisch
Please consider volunteering to help the Civic Club.
We are looking to fill the following positions:
Block Captain Chair
2 Block Captains – Learn more at Block Captains
Super Neighborhood Representative
Please e-mail the appropriate e-mail address in the directory if you are interested in volunteering for a position.