Oxford Place   

Fort Mill, SC          

2005 Autumn Newsletter

Another exciting year is underway in Oxford Place.  A warm welcome to all of our new residents!


If you haven’t sent us your email address, please do.  Currently about 50% of neighborhood residents have provided an email address to oxfordplace@gmail.com.  Occasionally, we send out time critical information that can not wait for the next newsletter.  In August, several crimes of opportunity took place.  Five unlocked vehicles parked in driveways were opened.  Two garages were also entered because they were either left open or the garage opener from the unlocked vehicle was used.  For the most part only ashtray change and a few items of little value were taken.  However, a laptop computer was taken from one vehicle.  We immediately sent an email to warn residents to lock their vehicles and double check their garages at night.  No further incidents have been reported since August.  In the past we have also sent information about zoning hearings, garbage company issues, lost/found pets, neighborhood announcements, meeting postponements, maps & property info, etc.  We will protect the privacy of your email address and will only use it for issues deemed important by the Oxford Place Board.

Rapidly Reaching Completion

Oxford Place has come a long way since the first homes were built in 1998.  Almost every lot has a home or construction is underway.  Many of the remaining undeveloped lots are for sale.  Below is a breakdown:

Street			Lots Undeveloped     Total Lots     Percent Complete
Kingston Way			0		12		100% 
Doe Ridge Lane			0		17		100%
Croyden Court			1		21		95%
Savile Lane			2		26		92%
White Chapel Court		1	         8		88%
Oxford Place Drive		2		11		82%
Cabin Creek Court		2		11		82%
		TOTAL		8	       106		92%	

The owners of undeveloped lots have greatly benefited from the stewardship of the neighborhood.  Two lot owners, who had previously complained about paying the same annual fee as residents, recently sold their lots for over twice what they paid for them.  One 2 acre lot in Oxford Place recently sold for $85,000.  Home values have also greatly appreciated.  If you eventually face a situation where you have to sell your home, don’t sell yourself short.  Some real estate agents like a quick sale and may not estimate an appropriate price.

You have probably noticed the new Fort Mill town limits sign on Doby’s Bridge Road.  A new development has been approved to the immediate west and north of Oxford Place West.  The developer negotiated a deal with the town to have their huge tract annexed.  The tract stretches from the new Dominion Bridge neighborhood (which has also been annexed) to the edge of Oxford Place.  From what we understand, the developer will be allowed to build 1000-2000 homes on 500 acres, will get water & sewer and will benefit from town oversight as a Planned Development rather than having to face re-zoning scrutiny, etc.  The town will receive 20 acres for a future elementary school and will receive more tax revenue.  Be careful driving on Doby’s Bridge Road.  Fort Mill Police are now frequently patrolling their new territory.

Architectural Review...

In addition to being required, obtaining approval from the Architectural Review Committee protects you.   Construction or alteration of any building, improvement, or structure, or a variance regarding one the covenants and restrictions requires Architectural Review Committee approval. 

Per item 24 of the “Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for Oxford Place” - If any person shall violate and or attempt to violate any of the covenants herein set forth, it shall be lawful for any other person or persons owning or having interest in any portion of said subdivision to institute and prosecute any proceeding in law or equity against such person or persons to restrain such violation or to recover damages or other compensation for such violations.”

If you sell your property, be sure to inform the buyer about the existence of the C&Rs.  3 of the 6 new homes under construction in Oxford Place began without prior architectural review approval.  The Architectural Review Committee had to pursue property owners to obtain Architectural plans for these three homes under construction.  If the new construction had violated the C&Rs and had to be reworked, it could have been very costly to the property owner (square footage; 90% brick, stone, or stucco; cement driveway; side facing attached garage, etc.).

In the past, we have not put active C&R concerns in our newsletter believing they were private matters rather than matters for the entire neighborhood.  However, it appears that this policy has led a few residents to believe the C&Rs are not being taken seriously or actively enforced.  Recently two C&R violations (not detailed here) have been resolved.   Two C&R issues in progress are detailed below.  The homeowners were notified that we would be including brief information about the issue in this newsletter.

Lot 86 Cabin Creek Court - The property owner has been slowly constructing a house for almost 4 years.   The Oxford Place C&Rs require exterior construction to be completed within 6 months.  Members of the homeowners’ board and the architectural review committee have met with the property owner every 3-6 months over the past 3 years.  Each time the owner states he will stucco the house and complete other exterior construction by a certain date in the future.  In August 2005, we sent the homeowner yet another letter.  This time we included a timetable and spelled out the actions that we would have to take if the timetable was not adhered to.  We recently met with the homeowner to inquire about why a deadline was missed.  He asked for an extension to December 20, 2005 to demonstrate he was actively working on the exterior construction by putting stucco on his house.  If he has not begun to put stucco on the house by December 20, the homeowners association will be pursuing the matter in small claims court.  The filing of a small claims suit with the Fort Mill Magistrate will cost the neighborhood $25.   Once we obtain a judgment of up to $7500, we will work with the property owner to use the judgment to correct the C&R violations.

856 Savile Lane - Over a year ago, the owner added a second gravel driveway to the property.  In August, the architectural review board visually approved the design of the driveway as long as a concrete wearing surface was added and a reinforced concrete pipe was used near the street.  Recently the owner decided to return the gravel driveway to a natural state by November 30, 2005.

During our annual meeting in March 2006, we will discuss C&Rs.  If you would like to revise parts of the C&Rs, add to them, or delete from them, this can be done with a vote from a two-thirds of all residents.  If you need a copy of the Oxford Place C&Rs or a copy of the Oxford Place Bylaws, or have a C&R question or concern send an email to oxfordplace@gmail.com or call a board member or a member of the Architectural Review Committee.

The members of the Architectural Review committee are:

Laura Bradford   802-xxxx   628 Kingston Way
Roger Guchone    547-xxxx   603 Kingston Way
Lenny Sernulka   548-xxxx   805 Savile Lane
Johnny Webster   802-xxxx   202 Oxford Place Drive

The will be happy to any questions and offer advice on any construction project you plan to undertake.


We have recently had a few questions about what types of signs are allowed in Oxford Place and where they can be 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.  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 this rule in the C&Rs.  The attendees made it clear that Oxford Place does not want to allow directional signs at intersecting streets or in the median or near the entrance signs.  Afterwards an abundance of signs were removed from the entrances and median of neighborhood.

When signs are occasionally placed near our entrances, we quickly remove them.  Note that the C&R sign regulations also apply to individual lots in the neighborhood.  Advertisement signs are prohibited except for signs no more than 4 feet x 4 feet advertising the sale of real estate.  Signs that are prohibited include signs advertising a product you are selling, signs advertising a company completing construction on your house, a sign about the person doing your landscaping, political signs, signs advertising your church or club, etc.

Street Lights

If you notice a problem with a street light near your house please call York Electric at (803) 684-4248.  No need to report a street light problem to a board or committee member.  York Electric is usually very prompt.   We understand that this phone number is also on each pole.  If you notice a problem with an entrance light or an entrance sign, please contact a board member or email us at oxfordplace@gmail.com.

The 2005 Board Members...

Clif Armstrong 547-xxxx  1422 Doe Ridge Lane
Angie Bivens   547-xxxx  1059 Croyden Court
Frank Collins  547-xxxx  1026 Croyden Court
Bob Katz                  802-xxxx 824 Savile Lane
Libby Pretty   548-xxxx   611 Kingston Way
Frank Reitz    802-xxxx   417 White Chapel Court 

If you would like to serve on the board, attend meetings as an alternate, or serve on the entrance landscaping committee or architectural review committee, we can still make room.  Please call or email us. 


The landscaping committee has done a good job improving the entrance lights and landscaping in 2005 while staying within budget.   Despite our successes, we have faced several landscaping challenges this year.  We had to replace a defective well pump.  Mullis Drilling installed our wells about 1 ½ years ago.  We also had to repair parts of the irrigation system.  Evidently someone at Rising Waters forgot to use glue on one of the PVC pipes.  As you can imagine, we were not happy and resolved the matter as best we could.  We will be also be repairing a few of the entrance light fixtures in the near future.  We have shattered glass in three of our eight fixtures.   Truck traffic continues to run over the new grass, but it isn’t quite as bad as in previous years. 

Without the initial cost of entrance lighting next year and the cost of unexpected repairs, we plan to further improve and protect our entrances in 2006.

A few residents have asked about the history of our landscaping.  When Oxford Place was first created, the developers of the neighborhood mowed and maintained the entrance areas and the fronts of unoccupied lots.  The developers wanted the neighborhood to look presentable in order to sell lots at the prices they set.  At the time, most properties were either owned by the developer, or were vacant lots owned by individuals.

By the Spring of 2002, the Oxford Place Property Owners Association had been created and the developer transferred neighborhood responsibilities to all Oxford Place property owners.  At that time, the neighborhood association chose to discontinue mowing the fronts of vacant lots, except for the 4 entrance lots.  Three of the entrance lots were vacant at the time, and we did not feel they would be mowed otherwise. The association continued to mow the fronts of the entrance lots to one degree or another in 2003 and 2004.

The Oxford Place Property Owners Association has triangular easements that encompass the areas around each entrance sign.  The Association has a right to enter these triangular easements and maintain and improve the property as the neighborhood sees fit.  Although, we have a right to maintain and improve the triangular easement, it is not a requirement.

Residents who attended the 2005 annual meeting gave valuable input and voted on putting additional money towards improving and maintaining the front entrance easement areas.  Comments were well received.  One comment was that if we can maintain more than the just the triangular entrance easements at little or no cost, we should continue to do so.   We found it would be more costly for the neighborhood association to maintain individual properties whether they are the fronts of entrance lots, sides of corner lots within the neighborhood, or the fronts of vacant lots. 

We realized that there were other issues to consider and took them into account.  (1) If a landscaper mows the entire Dobys Bridge Road frontage, the mowing would be more consistent from week to week.  (2) If some property owners only mow once a month or do not do a good job, it will reflect poorly on the neighborhood.   However, it was agreed that these issues concern all property owners.  We expect all property owners to mow and maintain their entire property weekly and to do a good job.  What if a nearby neighbor seldom mowed or maintained their property?  This would be a problem for all residents on the affected street.  For 2005, we decided to focus only on the areas where we have an easement.