Oxford Place   

Fort Mill, SC          

2003 Autumn Newsletter 

Wow! What a year so far. Houses have been built or are underway on over 75% of the lots in Oxford Place and the landscaping improvements recently implemented on many properties is simply beautiful. If you have refinanced lately, you probably already know that Oxford Place home values are rapidly rising.

And now a word from our sponsor...

We are occasionally contacted about adding free advertising to the newsletter. The topics range from real estate to landscaping to piano lessons. We do not feel it is appropriate for the board to endorse selected companies or services. Plus, we often have to cut back on the amount of material to assure the newsletter fits on one or two pages. When contacted, we suggest the party put a flyer in the neighborhood newspaper tubes.

Give me a sign...well not here...

We have recently had a few questions about what types of signs are allowed in Oxford Place and where the can anchored. Signs advertising anything but real estate in front of the property for sale are prohibited in the Oxford Place subdivision. The Oxford Place covenants and restrictions (C&Rs), Item 20 explains the rule for signs. If you need a copy of the C&Rs send an email to Oxfordplace@elvis.com and we will email the C&Rs to you. At a meeting held in February 2002, a builder and real estate agent asked us to explore exceptions to Item 20 with the residents in attendance. The 40 or so neighbors in attendance strongly voiced that we did not want to make any exceptions to the C&Rs. The attendees made it clear that Oxford Place does not want or allow directional signs at intersecting streets or in the median or near the entrance signs. Afterwards an abundance of advertising signs were removed from the entrances and median of neighborhood. We do not have jurisdiction over the property on the other side of Doby’s Bridge Road.

For the past three years a window blind company has nailed hideous yellow signs to trees and telephone poles up and down Doby’s Bridge Road. Each year, we quickly removed the signs placed near our entrance. This year we called the county for help. Since these types of signs clearly violate county ordinance, the zoning enforcement officer for our area gave the company a call and instructed them to remove all signs on Doby’s Bridge Road within 3 days or face fines. No more yellow signs...

The Recreational Experiment...

From the ballot distributed to property owners last January, it is clear that some residents have a strong interest in improving the recreation lot and other residents have a strong opinion that we should not spend any additional money on the recreation lot. We may have found a compromise. It will not cost any additional money, but will eventually provide funds to permanently improve the lot. Residents who want to improve the recreation lot will have to sacrifice fertilizing, seeding, aerating, and professional mowing for 2 years. We will ask older teenagers in the neighborhood to mow the lot every 2 weeks from May 1 to September 30. The money saved will be set aside to improve the lot at the end of two years. We will consider this an experiment. If having teenagers mow the lot is not working out, we will return to the professional landscaper. If you know of one or more responsible older teenagers who would like to mow the recreation lot, please send an email to oxfordplace@elvis.com or call one of the board members. We are thinking about $50 per mow would be the going rate. We are requesting that the parent of one of the teenagers would coordinate the scheduling. This should be a win-win situation for all residents. There is no additional cost, yet the eventual permanent improvements to the recreation lot will increase your home value.

The Landscaping Dilemma...

After much research and discussions with landscaping professionals, and many residents, we have concluded that it does not make sense to add landscaping and plant grass at the entrances if we do not have a water source. Everyone we talked too has unanimously recommended that we add a well and irrigation system in front of East and West. The big question is how do we do this without temporarily raising the annual fee ($150).

First we cancelled the landscaper for the remainder of the year. He was very capable, but we could not justify retaining his services for the fall and winter. Aerating, fertilizing, and seeding would not help our entrances without a water source and protection from large trucks. This saved us $2155 when you subtract money for the pine needles we refreshed. We have very little reserve left for 2003 since the entrance lighting cost a little more than expected, but we can add $1000??? from what will be left from the reserves. Next year we expect to have $2500 set aside for reserves that can be spent on wells, irrigation, and landscaping. We can borrow money from the recreation lot set aside savings for another $1500???. This will give us a total of $7000??? after the neighborhood fee is collected in 2004.

Our rough estimate of the total cost is $6000?? for 2 wells, $2000?? to go under 2 entrances, and $5000 for 4 small irrigation systems. This is a grand total of $13000?. So we are short $6000?. Divided by 107 lots equals $56 additional per lot for just 2004. Or we can hold off on the irrigation systems for a year. We could ask the landscaper or residents to keep up with the watering for one year. In 2005, we may have $2500 in reserve plus borrowing $1500 from the recreation lot set aside to apply toward the irrigation systems. We will still be short $1000 and have yet to plant anything in two years. Plus without a reserve, we are not prepared for the unforseen. Landscaping maintenance cost overruns, big tree falls in common area, entrance sign repair, liens, are all possibilities.

[the last two paragraphs have too much detail since we really don’t have answers at present. I’d like to include as much as we definitely know, but I will need to change part of it to read, we are currently exploring the cost and alternatives and will have exact numbers ready for a vote in February 2004.]

Even though we have been mowing much of the property along Doby’s Bridge Road, the neighborhood only has an easement for a triangle around each entrance sign. We want to turn over landscaping to the lot owners for the areas where we do not have an easement. However, we first want to gauge neighborhood opinion. Is it worth the extra cost of mowing more along Doby’s Bridge Road to assure a more uniform neighborhood appearance or should we just expect the entrance lot owners to keep up their lots. [delete this - January 2004 item...]

The Architectural Review…

A friendly reminder that all Oxford Place mailboxes must be the uniform standard mailbox that you will find in front of the properties of all current residents. One company that provides this type of mailbox is Carolina Mailboxes Inc. 704-845-0850. This company paints a gold house number on the mailbox.

Laura Bradford  802-xxxx   628 Kingston Way
Roger Guchone   547-xxxx   603 Kingston Way
Johnny Webster  802-xxxx   202 Oxford Place Drive

Per item 27 of the C&Rs - No construction, reconstruction, remodeling or alteration of any building, improvement, or structure shall be commenced without prior written approval. Basically the architectural review committee wants to make sure plans meet the conditions of the C&Rs (square footage, 90% brick, stone, stucco, cement drive, extra walls etc.) and some other common sense guidelines (not a duplicate of house next door, etc.). Also note that item 2 of the C&Rs states - Once construction of a residence has commenced, the exterior thereof, including finished siding material, shall be completed within (6) months thereafter. All Oxford Place property owners buy lots with these conditions in place and want to protect home values. The members of the Architectural Review committee will be happy to help you with any questions or concerns.

Several residents have contacted us about one property. 1407 Doe Ridge Road is being foreclosed. In October, the Bank of York will take possession, immediately landscape the property and place it on the market.

The 2003 Board Members at your service...

Our thanks to Frank Reitz for serving on the board for the past 6 months. Due to an extended work assignment in Las Vegas, Frank Reitz felt it would be best if he stepped down for the remainder of this year. We hope to have Frank back on the board in 2004. At the neighborhood meeting in February, only six people expressed an interest in serving on the board. To fill the vacancy, Dan Warren has agreed to return to the board for the next six months. Again, we extend an offer to anyone who wishes to serve on or assist the board to please contact us. We appreciate any help we can get.

Clif Armstrong   547-xxxx   1422 Doe Ridge Lane
Angie Bivens     547-xxxx   1059 Croyden Court
Frank Collins    547-xxxx   1026 Croyden Court
Heather Ratliff  548-xxxx   1426 Doe Ridge Lane
Dan Warren       802-xxxx   1226 Cabin Creek Court

If you have any questions or concerns, please give any one of us a call or you can email us at OxfordPlace@Elvis.com.


Any recreational vehicle, boat, trailer or camper trailer must be parked so as to be screened so that it cannot be viewed from nearby tracts or the street.