FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers to FAQs about covenants and guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

We’ve included answers to frequently asked questions from neighborhood residents—including three of the most popular topics: fences, chicken coops, and sheds—plus other topics that come up from time to time. Wherever you see text in italics, it is directly quoted from the Cedar Springs protective covenants. 

Is HOA approval required to build a fence on my property?

Yes. To get approval, contact the HOA board and let them know you want to install a fence. You’ll need to confirm that you have obtained a city fence permit as well as provide the plan for where the fence will be located on your property.

Board approval has historically been limited to black vinyl-coated steel chain-link fences.

No fences shall be erected on any lot without the prior written approval of Cedar Springs.

Is HOA approval required before building a deck on my home?

Yes. Contact the HOA board to request aproval to build a deck.

Any modification, remodeling, extension or expansion, including screen porches, decks, and storage facilities must have the approval of Cedar Springs.

The changes, additions, alterations and modification must be approved by Cedar Springs and must reasonably conform to the nature, character, style and structure of the units in the Addition.

Are there HOA rules regarding trampolines or play structures?

Not specifically. However, the HOA board strongly advises that trampolines be secured to the ground to avoid damage to other homes in case of high winds. (Case in point: Derecho 2020.)

It is expected that play structures/swingsets be maintained and in good condition.

Are above-ground swimming pools allowed in Cedar Springs?

Yes, if they are 40 or fewer square feet of surface area.

The protective covenants state that a homeowner may not have a pool larger than 40 square feet of surface water above ground.

Because most public pools were closed in 2020, the board approved a waiver to this covenant for the summer of 2020 only.

If a homeowner buys one of these larger pools, it must be covered and the ladder removed when not in use, and all pools are to be taken down at the end of the season (September 15, 2020).

This waiver was approved for 2020 only. It does not guarantee the waiver will be granted next year or in future years.

What are the restrictions regarding sheds or outbuildings?

Protective covenants for all parts of Cedar Springs say that no sheds, pet runs, or other outbuildings or structures of any kind may be erected on any of the lots within the addition.

The intent of the restriction against sheds, to our knowledge, was to prevent a wide range of sizes, styles, and building materials, and avoid disputes about whether a given shed does or doesn’t match the character and style of the surrounding neighborhood.

There are cases where sheds were built without prior knowledge of previous HOA boards. The HOA has been advised by legal counsel that it has the right to require that a shed be removed.

North Liberty allows chicken coops within city limits. Does Cedar Springs have restrictions against these?

Yes.

The board has received complaints about several chicken coops that have sprung up in Cedar Springs. The HOA covenants state that “no sheds, pet runs or other outbuildings or structure of any kind may be erected on any of the lots within the Addition.”

Covenants also state that “no outdoor pet facilities may be kept or maintained on any lot. Any pet making a disturbance on a regular basis which disturbs the tranquility and character of the neighborhood shall be considered a nuisance and shall be subject to removal pursuant to these restrictive covenants.  No animals, livestock or poultry of any kind shall be kept, bred or maintained for sale or any commercial purposes.”

The board realizes the City of North Liberty allows chickens in city limits. However, the HOA covenants take legal precedence in Cedar Springs, and chicken coops do not comply with the restrictions against sheds, other outbuildings, or any kind of structures.

Is on-street parking allowed in Cedar Springs?

No.

HOA covenants state that “No campers, boats, trailers, trucks, or other motor vehicles, or other recreational vehicles, shall be maintained, parked or kept more than 48 hours for any purpose on any lots or roadways within the Addition, except within the enclosed garage.”

Is it permissible to operate a daycare center out of a home in Cedar Springs?

No.

Covenants say, “No business other than a professional occupation operated solely by family members occupying the residence shall be conducted in any dwelling located in the Addition. No noxious or offensive activity shall be carried on in the Addition nor shall anything be done in the Addition which may be or become an annoyance or nuisance in the neighborhood.”  

Do the covenants allow an owner to lease their property to tenants?

No.

“No owner of a lot may lease the residence on a permanent basis or for a temporary lease of more than one (1) year to any person or entity,” according to the HOA covenants.

Further, “Each residence shall be used and occupied only for a single family or two-family dwelling purposes and other common living arrangements, but in no event shall living arrangements exceed two persons per bedroom unit.”

Contact the HOA

Have a question or concern? Contact the HOA board by email, regular mail, or by completing the form at right.

P.O. Box 781
North Liberty, IA 52317

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