UG Covenants - The Declaration of Restrictions

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

The Declaration of Restrictions, first recorded in 1927 and since amended and extended through January 1, 2030, 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. There are different versions of the Declaration for residential and commercial properties.

The general purpose of the Declaration is to prohibit actions that would detract from the shared environment of the community. The Declaration is periodically renewed for successive periods of 20 years, provided that the owners of two-thirds of UG property agree.

The following is a non-comprehensive summary of key covenants of the residential Declaration. Property owners with legal issues should consult the full text. The residential Declaration:

  • Permits use of a home solely for residential purposes, except for a doctor or dentist.
  • Requires that a residence have a volume of at least 30,000 cubic feet.
  • Sets limits on the number of homes that may be built on certain lots and blocks
  • Requires that any new structure or any alterations to an existing structure, including architectural plans, materials, color schemes, paths, driveways, grading 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 a tree from any portion of a property without Association approval unless the tree is within 3 feet of a home's footprint and sets a $1,500 penalty per tree for unauthorized removal, as adjusted for inflation.
  • Prohibits the display of any sign without Association approval.
  • Prohibits lunch wagons, stands, and poles.
  • 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 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 owners to pay an annual assessment to the Association based on lot area -- currently limited to a maximum of 6.5 cents per square foot as adjusted for inflation and increasing to a maximum of 7.25 cents per square foot as adjusted for inflation as of January 1, 2020 -- with any unpaid portion becoming a lien on the property.

The commercial Declaration:

  • Lists dozens of specific types of businesses that may not be conducted.
  • Limits buildings to three stories and a height of 35 feet relative to Northern Blvd.
  • 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.
  • Prohibits removal of any tree without Association approval unless the tree is within 3 feet of the footprint of the building and sets a $5,000 penalty for unauthorized removal of a tree over 5 years old, as adjusted for inflation.
  • Sets a $5,000 penalty for any violation of the covenants as adjusted for inflation.
  • Requires that the rear wall of any building shall be of brick facing "of first class materials and workmanship."
  • Provides that a fence may be erected along the rear property line provided that its height is between 6 and 7 feet constructed 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 based on lot area -- currently limited to a maximum of 6.5 cents per square foot as adjusted for inflation and increasing to a maximum of 7.25 cents per square foot, as adjusted for inflation, as of January 1, 2020 -- with any unpaid portion becoming a lien on the land.
  • 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.
  • Repeats the provisions of the first part pertaining to amendment and failure to enforce restrictions.