Declaration of Restrictions

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The first portion of the Declaration, described here, covers UG's residential properties.

Caution: The Declaration, as presented here, is believed to be subtantially accurate, but it is presented for information only. If in any respect this presentation differs from the document filed with Nassau County, that document supersedes this presentation.

The Declaration of Restrictions, drawn up in 1928 and since amended and confirmed, puts limits on what University Gardens property owners can do with their property. It is part of the deed to each parcel of land and, in legal parlance, "runs with the land"--that is, it is transferred automatically to each new owner as the land changes ownership.

The purpose of the Declaration is to prohibit actions that would detract from the physical attractiveness of University Gardens. The Declaration is periodically renewed, for successive periods of 20 years, provided that the owners of two-thirds of UG property agree. The current period ends on January 1, 2030.

Following is a summary of the restrictions that are most relevant today, now that University Gardens is almost fully developed. It is not comprehensive, and property owners contemplating building new houses or other structures should consult the full text.

The Declaration:

  • Prohibits operation of a business except for a doctor or dentist.
  • Requires that a residence have a volume of at least 30,000 cubic feet.
  • Requires that any new structure or any alterations to an existing structure, including color; schemes, paths, driveways, and landscaping, be approved by the Association.
  • Establishes minimum setbacks of 30 feet from the front street, 20 feet from a side street, 10 feet from a side property line, and 20 feet from the rear property line--with certain exceptions for garages, eaves, porches, steps, and bow, bay or oriel windows.
  • Restricts driveways to a maximum width of 15 feet, allowing a flare to 20 feet at the curb.
  • Prohibits removal of any tree without Association approval unless the tree is within 3 feet of the footprint of a proposed or existing structure that has been approved by the Association, and sets a $1,500 penalty per tree for the removal of any tree more than five years old (currently interpreted as 5 inches in diameter).
  • Prohibits the display of any sign without Association approval.
  • Prohibits lunch wagons, stands, and poles.
  • Empowers the Association to prohibit the entry into University Gardens of anyone it deems undesirable.
  • Empowers the Association to enter upon the property of a violator of these Restrictions and to remove, at the owner's expense, any structure in violation.
  • Provides that the Association may annul, waive, or modify any of these provisions upon written consent of the owners of more than half of the lots shown on the original map.
  • Provides that if the Association fails to enforce any restriction that failure may not be deemed a waiver of its right to enforce that or any other restriction.
  • Requires payment by property owners of an annual assessment not to exceed five cents per square foot of property owned, with any deficit becoming a lien on the property.

The second portion of the Declaration, described here, covers UG's commercial properties fronting on Northern Blvd.

The Declaration:

  • Lists dozens of specific types of businesses that may not be conducted on UG's commercial plots.
  • Limits buildings to no more than three stories, and limits the maximum height of a building above Northern Blvd. to 35 feet.
  • Provides that no part of any structure may be closer than 15 feet to the rear property line.
  • Provides that no building, fence, wall or other structure may be erected or altered without approval by the Association.
  • Requires that the rear wall of any building shall be of brick facing "of first class materials and workmanship."
  • Provides, however, that a fence may be erected along the rear property line, provided that its height is between 6 and 7 feet above the ground level of the property to the south and that it is conducted of "tight-woven saplings of "first class" material.
  • Provides that all gas, electric, water, telephone and other connections to any building shall be at the owner's expense.
  • Reserves easements to the Association.
  • Requires owners to pay an annual assessment to the Association not to exceed five cents per square foot of area.
  • Provides that any sign erected must be approved by the Association.
  • Prohibits display of any goods outside buildings.
  • Requires that any business in a building be conducted in a "first class" manner.
  • Permits the Association to exclude objectionable people from the premises.
  • Repeats the provisions of the first part pertaining to amendment and failure to enforce restrictions.

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