Oxford Place   

Fort Mill, SC          

2006 Spring Newsletter

Thank you for attending the Oxford Place Property Owner’s Meeting held on Tuesday, February 21. The neighborhood had a great turnout as 56 of 106 properties were represented. This constituted a quorum and allowed the neighborhood to vote on 2 amendments to the bylaws and to hold official elections! This newsletter provides a summary of the items discussed and the outcomes reached at the meeting. During the past year Oxford Place has gained many new residents. Welcome to the neighborhood! This newsletter is a little larger to provide newer residents with more history and background information on various issues and items discussed at the meeting.


One entrance of Oxford Place West (east side) has been continually damaged by truck traffic. A proposal was made to put attractive boulders at the entrances for landscape protection. The proposed boulders would be short as to not impede the view of the entrances, but wide so they could not easily be moved. The residents of Oxford Place East were asked if these types of boulders were needed to protect the entrances of East. Since Oxford Place East has experienced little truck damage, none of the residents of East in attendance were in favor of adding boulders to the entrances at East. Placing boulders at the entrance to Oxford Place West was approved by over 60% of those in attendance. The landscaping committee may wait until the county utility work is complete before installing the boulders.

Ample money was approved in the budget to address other landscaping concerns at the entrances and the recreation lot. Bob Katz agreed to serve on the board and act as head of the landscaping committee for 2006. Residents in attendance who expressed an interest in being part of the landscaping committee are as follows:

Bob Katz         802-xxxx
Jayne Guchone    547-xxxx 
Winston O’Reggio 802-xxxx
Greg McMillan    396-xxxx

If you would like to join the committee or would like to forward landscaping or lighting comments to the committee please email us at oxfordplace@gmail.com or call Bob Katz.

Entrance Lighting

The landscaping committee will initially be responsible for improving the entrance lighting. Mike Mead, a resident and electrical engineer, has agreed to provide suggestions for improving the lighting.

A goal of the landscaping committee will be to set up a process to replace entrance light bulbs, repair fixtures & address electrical/sensor issues in a timely manner. The committee may consider making this one of the duties of the landscaper or may find another solution such as converting the system to low voltage. A low voltage system would require less frequent repairs and bulb changes. Money was set aside in the budget to specifically address lighting concerns.

Bylaw Amendments

ARTICLE XVI of the Oxford Place bylaws reads as follows. "These Bylaws may be amended, at a regular or special meeting of the members, by a vote of a majority of a quorum of members present in person or by proxy. In the case of any conflict between the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws, the Articles shall control." With a quorum present, the neighborhood voted on two amendments.

Two amendments to the bylaws were proposed at the annual meeting. The first proposal was to add item (g) and (h) to ARTICLE IX Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors, Section 1 and item (g) to section 2. This proposal was approved by over 60% of those in attendance.

Section 1. The Board of Directors shall have the power to:

  1. levy fines against property owners who continue to willfully violate provisions of the Oxford Place Covenants & Restrictions after receiving 30 days notice of the violation(s). After a property owner is given 30 days written notice, the Oxford Place Board of Directors shall have the power to issue fines of $50 per month for each violation for the first three months. After the first three months, the fine will be increased to $100 per month for the next three months, $200 per month for the three months thereafter, and doubling the fine for each successive three month period thereafter. The fine will constitute a continuing lien upon the property and if not paid within 30 days after the due date thereof, shall bear interest at the rate of ten percent per annum until paid. The property owner in violation will be responsible for all charges incurred in collecting the fine.
  2. give a property owner up to 90 additional days to correct the violation depending on the nature of the violation. The Board of Directors shall also be able to negotiate, compromise, or arbitrate with a property owner to encourage compliance with the Oxford Place Covenants & Restriction. Examples include, but are not limited to: reducing assessed fines if the property owner brings the property into compliance within a specified time period.

Section 2. It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to:

  1. give a property owner in violation of the C&Rs 30 days written notice to correct the violation(s) before levying fines for such violation(s). The Board of Directors also shall give a property owner an opportunity to meet with members of the board of directors to appeal or explain the C&R violation.

The above amendment was proposed to encourage all residents to comply with the C&Rs in a timely manner and to reduce the necessity of the neighborhood having to take serious C&R matters beyond small claims court. Note that the board of directors does not actively police the neighborhood. The board assesses and addresses complaints from residents as they are brought to the attention of the board.

The second proposal was to change the quorum requirement from 50% to 40% of properties represented. The proposed requirement change concerned section 4 of ARTICLE IV Meetings of Members. This proposal was approved by over 60% of those in attendance.

Section 4. The presence in person or by proxy at the meeting of members entitled to vote forty percent (40%) of the votes of the membership shall constitute a quorum for any action except as otherwise provided in the Articles of Incorporation, or these Bylaws.

Per the bylaws, the board of directors is assigned the duty of maintaining the common areas (landscaping, lighting). It makes sense that the general plan for how these common areas will be maintained should be discussed at the annual meeting. There are certain actions where the bylaws specify that vote is required, such as amending the bylaws and holding elections. A quorum is needed before holding an official vote.

In years past when a quorum was not present at the annual meeting, the board of directors more or less received guidance about maintaining the common areas. The votes by 35%-40% of the members were more or less guidance votes that the board abided by. In the past when a quorum was not present, official elections could not be held and the previous board of directors was forced to remain in place. However, the board accommodated new volunteers by having incumbent board members resign, so anyone nominated could take their place.

A few neighbors who voted against the change stated they were not comfortable with 40% of the neighborhood making decisions for the rest of the neighborhood. Therefore we felt this item required further explanation. All property owners (100%) are asked to attend the annual meeting and asked to participate. All property owners have the option of providing a proxy vote to the board or to a neighbor before the meeting. All property owners are asked to call board members to ensure their concerns are heard. In addition, all property owners who attended the meeting were asked to serve on the board of directors.

A resident offered a suggestion to accommodate neighbors who may unable to attend a future annual meeting. The resident asked that the board prepare a list of items that will be put before a vote before the February 2007 annual meeting. The list would be mailed to all residents before the meeting and used as a ballot (and a proxy form if necessary). The new board plans to do this before the February 2007 meeting. We do need to note - sometimes attendees may raise motions to vote on items that would not on the pre-meeting ballot. Also slight revisions to ballot items may be suggested and voted on at the full meeting. It is always beneficial to attend the meeting and make your voice heard.

The board will email a copy of the revised Oxford Place Bylaws to every resident who has provided us with an email address. We will also email a copy of the Oxford Place Covenants and Restrictions. Please send an email to OxfordPlace@gmail.com if you have not previously provided us with your email address. If you do not have an email address and would like a copy of the revised Oxford Place Bylaws or a copy of the C&Rs, please give one of the board members a call.

Covenants & Restrictions

Other than the Bylaw amendment, three issues were discussed regarding Covenants and Restrictions. First, we asked attendees if gravel driveways should be allowed in Oxford Place. None of the residents in attendance showed any support for allowing a gravel driveway in Oxford Place. Given this, the board will be taking further action to address a gravel driveway that a resident has installed on his property. The resident had previously stated that he would "remove the gravel driveway and return it to its natural state by November 30". Unfortunately, the resident has not done so.

Secondly, the neighborhood discussed a property on Cabin Creek that has been under construction for over 4 years. The foundation was laid in November 2001. The owner has a Certificate of Occupancy and has been living in the partially constructed dwelling since early December 2005. Per Item 1 of the C&Rs "Once construction of a residence has commenced, the exterior thereof, including finished siding material, shall be completed within 6 months thereafter."

The members of the board of directors and the architectural review committee have communicated with the property owner every 3-6 months over the past 4 years. Each time the owner has agreed to stucco the house and complete other exterior construction with a prescribed timeframe. The latest date that was agreed upon was December 20, 2005. Since the owner had not resumed any exterior construction by the end of January 2006, the board of directors filed a small claims complaint with the local magistrate on February 7, 2006. The cost of filing the small claims complaint was $80 and the neighborhood is seeking a judgement of $7500.

On February 15, 2006, the board received a letter from the owner. In the letter, the homeowner indicated his intention to first complete the interior second floor of the home. The homeowner also spoke at the neighborhood meeting. He did not address the exterior construction of his property and we had to move on to other topics due to limited time. The board asked the attendees if the neighborhood should continue with further steps to remedy this situation and received overwhelming agreement from the attendees.

After the neighborhood meeting the board of directors met with the homeowner and could not obtain a guarantee that the exterior construction would be completed in a timely manner. Unless the property owner sees to the diligent and immediate completion of the exterior construction of the home, the board will continue pursuing further remedy.

Lastly, we were also asked about an empty lot on Croyden Court with overgrown weeds and scattered bricks lying about. We recently sent the owner a letter and hope they will soon rectify the problem. York County Ordinance 56.67 [Control of rank vegetation and overgrown property] reads as follows: "(D) Unimproved property. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any vacant unimproved property in developed residential, unincorporated areas of the county which abut developed property or public streets on at least two sides to: (1) Permit or allow weeds, noxious growth, brush, or similar vegetation to grow to a height of two feet or more."

Since the bricks have been scattered about the lot for about 6 months, they are considered debris and also need to be cleaned up. Item 12 of the C&Rs addresses unsightly debris.


In 2005, the neighborhood paid $7,483 for electricity and related items. The neighborhood has 20 street light poles. The developer had York Electric install the light poles at no charge to them. Unfortunately, there is a charge to the neighborhood. Since we do not own the 20 street light poles, the monthly fee covers more than just electricity. It also includes maintenance. We also have 8 lights at 4 entrance signs, and we have 2 wells. The 2006 amount for electricity should be similar to 2005.

In 2005, the neighborhood paid $12,849 for landscaping, maintenance, and entrance light repairs. This included the monthly charge of $450 for the landscaper to maintain the entrances. We also had to replace a defective well pump and make a repair to the irrigation system. We now have warranties on both well pumps. The entrances were in horrible shape at the beginning of 2005 and extra money was committed to improve them. Money was also needed to replace several broken entrance lights. One broken light set pine needles on fire and burned 2 bushes before the fire department arrived. We had to replace the pine needles and the bushes.

Neighborhood teenagers have been mowing the recreation lot every 2 weeks during the growing season. Our teens are getting older and going off to college. If you know of any teenagers who would like to be added to the mowing list, send an email to OxfordPlace@gmail.com. A gravel area on the recreation lot is impeding mowing, so we may have remove or relocate some of the gravel. We will also need to add mulch to the swing set area and possible make some other minor improvements.

For 2006, the neighborhood put $12,000 in the budget for landscaping. Without the challenges of 2005, the 2006 figure should give the landscaping committee ample money to make significant improvements to the entrances. We also have a separate item budgeted for entrance lighting repair and improvement. This should help to assure that all entrances have attractive working lights at all times.

In 2005, the neighborhood paid $2,260 for insurance. We have 2 policies. One policy covers liability and property. The other covers lawsuits against the neighborhood. For 2006, we will maintain the same 2 policies. The Insurance and Other Legal Fees item contains extra money for 2006 to cover any extra legal expenses the neighborhood may have in 2006. The Printing & Supplies budget item is $600 for 2006. The neighborhood also has a reserve of $3,500 in 2006 to cover unexpected shortfalls and to ensure bills are paid. In 2007, it is possible we may have a surplus at the end of the year which would be factored into the 2007 budget.

Annual Fee

We are pleased to announce that we have collected 100% of the annual dues owed to the neighborhood for the past two years. One property owner who did not pay for 2004 & 2005, ended up paying 2 years of back payments plus late fees and penalties at the settlement table last year. The property owner was actually quite happy to do so, because she sold her lot for almost 3 times what she paid for it. Vacant lot owners benefit greatly from the annual maintenance of Oxford Place. Annual maintenance protects property values.

Since the formation of the neighborhood association in 2001, the annual fee for only one property has not been collected. That property was in foreclosure and if the association had put a lien on the property, it would not have resulted in payment. We were also unable to collect $45 from an owner who sold his property 6 months after the association was created.

As we have polled other neighborhood associations in the area, we have found Oxford Place has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, annual fee. One of the reasons for the low fee is that Oxford Place does not contract out any of the management activities of the association. We need volunteers to continue to make this work.

At the annual meeting, the board called for a vote on an annual fee of $245 for 2006. The fee was approved by over 60% of those in attendance. We also received a positive response to setting the fee at a higher level such as $275, and if paid early the payee would receive an early bird discount. However, due to vocal objections from some of the attendees, we decided against implementing a higher fee with an early bird discount this year.

So please pay your annual fee in a timely manner. When a property owner does not pay by the deadline, a volunteer has to write a personal letter requesting payment. This takes a great deal of time. If you are unable to serve the community in 2006 at least be considerate of the time volunteered by your neighbors.

At the meeting, a resident asked about this history of the Oxford Place annual fees. The amounts were as follows 2005 - $225, 2004 - $210, 2003 - $150, and 2002 - $145. In 2002 we were still receiving some support from the developer. In 2003, we hired an inexpensive landscaper, but eventually had to cancel his services because funds were needed elsewhere. 

Architectural Review

The Architectural Review Committee will retain the same members as last year

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

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, or stucco; cement driveway; extra walls etc.) and some other common sense guidelines (not a duplicate of house next door, etc.). The architectural review committee is happy to answer your building questions or concerns.

Neighborhood Directory

Several residents at the meeting asked for a copy of the neighborhood directory. If you would like a copy, please send us and email at OxfordPlace@gmail.com. More information about Oxford Place properties and owners is also available at www.yorkcountygov.com. Click on GIS Online Mapping & Property Search.

The 2006 Board members

At the annual meeting a call for nominations and volunteers was made for 2006 Board members. Angie Bivens, Frank Collins, Bob Katz, and Libby Pretty stated they were willing to serve on the board in 2006 or remove their names from consideration if others would step forward. The neighborhood was fortunate to have two additional residents volunteer to serve in 2006, Angela Alfredson and Kelly Wascher. Frank Collins withdrew his name from consideration and agreed to assist the 2006 board in any way needed. The 5 nominees were presented to the floor without objection and were appointed as the 2006 Board of Directors.

The board members for 2006 are:

Angela Alfredson 548-xxxx  1013 Croyden Court
Angie Bivens     547-xxxx  1059 Croyden Court
Bob Katz         802-xxxx   824 Savile Lane
Libby Pretty     548-xxxx   611 Kingston Way
Kelly Wascher    396-xxxx  1431 Doe Ridge Lane

We made a special call for residents of Oxford Place East to volunteer to serve on the board. Unfortunately, at the annual meeting, the neighborhood did not have any volunteers from East.

Per the Bylaws - Any officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Board, the President, or the Secretary. Also per by Bylaws – Any vacancy may be filled at any time by a majority of the remaining directors. The new board may find it beneficial to make room for a board member from Oxford Place East or may find it advantageous to have a previous board member in an official role to assist with an ongoing issue such as the small claims court matter. The board wanted to make residents aware of this possibility in advance. If a member chooses to resign for the above reasons, the intention is that the resigning member would continue to attend board meetings, assist the board, and possibly be re-appointed later in the year.

In one of her first official duties, Kelly Wascher is looking for a solution to the road surface problems in the cul-de-sacs at the end of Savile Lane, Doe Ridge Lane, and Croyden Court. The pavement has deteriorated and the county needs to address the situation. The board will move quickly to address the removal or paving of the gravel driveway at the end of Savile Lane, since the gravel driveway is spilling into the roadway and contributing to the problem.

With such a large turnout, the 2006 board was unable to personally meet and talk to everyone in attendance. Having a quorum was great, but it also has its downside. We really enjoyed the personal interaction in previous years. Please give us a call or send an email to OxfordPlace@gmail.com if you have something on your mind. Does anyone want to host a street meeting to discuss issues pertinent to your street? Board members would be happy to attend a meeting with residents on your street. Just let us know if you are interested.