Oak Hills Covenants – Should we enforce them?

The Oak Hills neighborhood was initially developed in the mid-1950s by V.F. Buchek and Associates on 170 acres of the T. C. Frost ranch. The neighborhood is divided into units bounded by Fredericksburg Rd./Babcock Rd./Callaghan Rd./Oak Hills Country Club/ N.W. Loop 410. The plats recorded for each subdivision unit include covenants and restrictions for building and development on each of the respective lots.

Oak Hills covenants are continually in effect unless a majority of owners of recorded lots agree to change them in whole or in part. Covenants are enforced by the filing a proceeding in court to restrain the violation of applicable covenants.

Some of the covenants and restrictions common to all lots within the Oak Hills subdivisions include:

  • Only single family residential homes may be built on any lot
  • No temporary residence (trailer or outbuilding used as a residence) is permitted on any lot;
  • Homes must be at least 75% to 90% masonry construction (varies by unit)
  • Minimum main residence floor space square footage requirements;
  • Building setback requirements;
  • Driveways must be surfaced with concrete, asphalt or similar material;
  • Activity that is noxious, offensive and generally a nuisance is prohibited;
  • Restrictions on walls or fences between the front line of the residence and street

The covenant dealing with the construction of fences has become somewhat controversial in recent years. Often, new homeowners are not aware that there are restrictions on fences. If the homeowner ignores a notice that a fence is out of compliance with covenants, it is then up to neighbors and OHCA to take legal action. This can be expensive all parties involved.

A question before the OHCA Board of Directors is: To what extent do Oak Hills residents feel strongly that covenants, particularly those dealing with fences, should be enforced? We want to know how YOU feel.

Survey available here

Detailed Summary of Oak Hills Covenants Here

 

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Greetings from Paul and Bernice Bonner

Bernice and I moved into the neighborhood at the beginning of last year. We loved the architecture and the winding streets, the beautiful trees and our lovely park and the stunning views of downtown just around the corner from our new home.  What we could not know before was that the warmth and sense of community shared by our wonderful neighbors is by far the most valuable aspect of Oak Hills.

One night a few months after we moved is an example of this:

You may remember there was a terrible storm that knocked out the power in the neighborhood. There was a tornado warning, so we grabbed our dog and cat and bottle of wine (priorities) and retreated to our downstairs room to wait out the weather. Sitting there in the dark with the wind howling and mobile phones sounding the weather alerts, we got a text message from our new friend, Megan Kromer, asking if we were alright. We spent the next 20 minutes messaging back and forth until the danger had passed but meanwhile, Megan, with her characteristic humor had made the tornado watch an enjoyable event! However, if we had been less lucky or had needed help we had a neighbor right there with us. And the Kromers had us too, if we had been needed.

As your incoming Safety and Security Officer for the OHCA, my hope is that we can continue to grow this sense of shared responsibility as caring for one another will be our most powerful tool in promoting a safe neighborhood for all of us. In the coming weeks, I hope to begin by simply following and expanding on the work of our new OHCA President, Phillip Baker, as well as starting a conversation with the rest of you who may have ideas as to how we ensure the safety and security of homes and families.  Here are just a few of the brainstorms/possibilities I have had as well as some work that is already being done:

  • City cooperation: The indefatigable Wendy Long has already initiated talks with the city to conduct a traffic study to explore ways we might limit speeders and nuisance cut-through drivers. Along with speeders, there is a possibility we could find ways to deter property crime. There are a number of strategies that could be suggested as the bureaucratic process continues, your input will be valuable and needed so that we can all decide  together how best to proceed.
  • OHCA stickers for cars. Many of the comments on Next Door related to Safety have to do with suspicious vehicles. Let’s promote the use of stickers, so that we know which cars belong here and which are passing through.
  • Garage Clean-Out Day.  A significant portion of property crime in the area has been opportunistic thieves going through cars in driveways. Of course, for many it may not be possible to put all vehicles inside. And, for many of us garages are being utilized more for storage than parking areas (The Bonner’s for example).  Maybe we could work together as a neighborhood, along with local student leadership organizations (Jefferson, Marshall in return for donations/food) and do a neighborhood-wide Garage Clean-Out/Donation day?
  • OHCA discounts for alarm installation/service.
  • Expanding, re-starting Neighborhood on Patrol.
  • Regular meetings with interested neighbors who would like to volunteer their time and energy to making our neighborhood safer than it already is!
  • Meeting our 5 closest neighbors (the two on each side and three across the street) and partnering with them to keep an eye out together. Credit to Lance Leone on this one.

In the coming weeks, I hope to begin by simply following and expanding on the work of our new OHCA President, Phillip Baker, as well as starting a conversation with the rest of you who may have ideas as to how we ensure the safety and security of homes and families.

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The Acorn Newsletter – October 2015 Issue

Here’s the latest Acorn.  Please send us any comments or questions.

Enjoy!

Acorn-10-2015 (1)

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National Night Out 2015

What is National Night Out?
Once upon a time, we kept our porch lights on. We opened the door even if we didn’t know who rang the bell. And we could always leave the back door unlocked during the day.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. Together, we are making that happen.
National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
What to Expect:
The event starts around 6 PM.  We will have visits from the San Antonio Police Department and Fire Department (possibly even a fire engine too!).  Mariachi Sol y Luna will provide wonderful music while we eat and enjoy each other’s company.  While you are there, you can learn more about the Oak Hills Citizens Association, a voluntary organization that aims to keep Oak Hills the wonderful neighborhood it is.
What to Bring:
Please come with a tasty salad or dessert to share.  We will provide hot dogs, pizza, and drinks.
Hope to see you there!
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PAWS updates

It’s been a busy month for our OH PAWS group.  The rain brought more than just green grass and downed trees – it also brought kittens.  Two kittens were rescued by Beth and Gary on Lazyridge from the watery ravine behind Southpoint Condos.  “Squinch” already has a home but “Little Bit” will need a home as soon as he is nursed back to health. (See flyer “Ditch Sentinels”)

A terrier nicknamed “Caper” is currently being fostered by Sandy Beran, our neighbor, but is looking for a new home.  Interested in adding this little guy to your family?  Flyer for Caper

Update on “Bo”:  Found at CVS parking lot on Fredericksburg Rd. and taken to the vet by Reagan Tucker, picked up by Debra Fryatt fostered by Sandy Beran and home found by Debra!!  Great work everyone!

It truly does take a village, or in this case, it takes Oak Hills!!!  Bo now lives happily with his new family and has recently returned from a vacation at the coast!!!  Many thanks to all who participated in this rescue and re-homing!

~Submitted by Debra Fryatt

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