Guide for New Residents
University Gardens is an unincorporated area of (currently) 211 families that dates back to 1926. Each property deed in the community has attached a restrictive covenant, known as the Declaration of Restrictions, that sets forth certain restrictions on the use of the land. A separate Declaration of Restrictions is attached to the deeds of the commercial properties on Northern Blvd.
Most residents choose to be members of the University Gardens Property Owners Association, which is governed by its own set of Bylaws. It enforces the Declaration through a seven-member, elected Board of Directors. The Board generally meets at least once a month, except in midsummer. Those meetings are closed, to permit candid discussion of sensitive topics.
The Association also owns certain common property, including the entrances to University Gardens and the Pool & Tennis Club. You must be an Association member to participate in Association meetings or to be eligible for membership in the Club. The Annual Meeting of the Association, at which the Board of Directors is elected and the budget presented, is held in February. Minutes of these meetings are published on this website. Sometimes a Special Meeting is called to consider a specific topic.
The laws that govern residents of University Gardens are primarily those of the Town of North Hempstead, headquartered at 200 Plandome Rd. in Manhasset. A Town Council meets monthly to consider a planned agenda, and the meetings are open to the public. Where Town laws and the Declarations conflict, as in minimum setbacks or in tree-removal restrictions, the more stringent requirement applies. Besides the Town itself, several special Districts exercise jurisdiction here: the Lighting District, the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire District, the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District, and the Belgrave Water Pollution Control District (sewers). Police protection is provided by the Nassau County Police Dept.
The Town owns the streets and all property 25 feet to each side of the street center lines, including the sidewalks and the medians. Thus it is responsible for maintaining the streets and traffic signs, the sidewalks, the trees planted on the medians, and, through the Lighting District, the street lamps. Because the street signs are custom designed for University Gardens, the Association is responsible for their maintenance.
The M-L Water District is responsible for maintaining the water mains that serve University Gardens up to and not including the service pipes that connect the mains to individual houses. The Belgrave Water Pollution Control District is responsible for maintaining the sewer lines up to and not including the drain pipes that connect individual houses to the lines.
The Declaration of Restrictions imposes an Annual Charge on each property based on the size of the plot(s). Currently that charge is 5.5 cents per square foot. In addition, Association members pay annual dues, currently set at $50 per property. Both charges are billed at yearend for the following year. For information on how the money is spent, see the Budget page.
The Declaration of Restrictions imposes limits on what can be built, and how renovations can be made, in University Gardens . The most pertinent explicit restrictions have to do with size of structure, setbacks, tree removal, and use of the property. However, the Declaration requires that all building and renovation plans be approved by the Association's Board of Directors. While the Declaration is not prescriptive as to structure design or building materials, it does require that new and renovated buildings be "in harmony" with the neighborhood.
Construction and renovation plans must also meet the requirements of the Town's Buildings Dept.
For details on all local rules and restrictions, consult the Town Regulations page and click on the links to Curb Litter, Dogs, House Numbers, Noise, Parking, Recycling, Sidewalk Obstruction, Sidewalk Repair, Sewer Use, Tree Removal, and Water Use.
You must make individual arrangements for certain services. For detailson those services, consult the Local Services page and click on the links to Education, Emergency Preparedness, Fire Protection, Library, Mail Services, Medical Emergency, Security, Sewage Disposal, Snow Removal, Street Cleaning, Street Maintenance, Tree Service, Water, and Wideband.
For information on how to get around locally, click Community Links.