Frequently Asked Questions
Published by The Lakes Homeowners Association Architectural Control Committee
We have published this guide in order to answer some of the questions that our residents might have. If you don’t find your answers here contact the Homeowners Association President or any member of our Board Of Directors. Their names and numbers are listed on our internet site, and in the issues of The Lakes Newsletter.
(Please note that this FAQ is meant as a convenient and quick reference guide for homeowners at The Lakes. The answers herein our based on our covenants. This is not a legal document. The final legal reference are The Lakes Covenants and our Homeowners Association By-Laws as filed with Lafayette County, State of Mississippi.)
Architectural Control Committee (11)
Yes. You will need approval from the Architectural Control Committee. It is not necessary to go into extreme detail. They will want a simple sketch showing the location of the fence, height and material. You may not start your project until your plans have been approved and a signed Approval Letter has been given to you.
The Architectural Control Committee, guided by our covenants, reviews the plans for all new construction, additions, fences, swimming pools etc. Their final decisions are final and not review-able, however they must respect the guidelines of our covenants.
It depends. Our covenants restrict the lots to “single family residential purposes.” That language alone prevents residents from opening up a “store front” business. Also, you may not have a business that “… may become an annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood.” In addition our covenants state that “No structure nor activity may be undertaken for a commercial nature or for a commercial venture …” However, all is not lost. You may run a business out of your home, or have an office in your home, “… if the office does not require customers or clients coming and going from the home.”
It means that there are legally binding “covenants” that act as guidelines for construction, additions, fences, swimming pools etc. The covenants also address property maintenance in addition to other items that may affect your property. The Lakes Covenants are a legal document that have been filed with Lafayette County. As a property owner at The Lakes you are legally bound to comply with these covenants. You will have been furnished a copy of these covenants when you purchased your property or home at The Lakes and they are a part of the deed to your property.
Our covenants are protective, not restrictive, in that they are intended to maintain the appearance of the subdivision and protect your property value. (As an aside, all subdivisions in Lafayette County are covered by covenants as required by the Lafayette County Subdivision Regulations.)
Emergency Services (1)
Fire hydrants are strategically located throughout The Lakes however these can only be activated by Punkin Water. The Lakes is served by the Lafayette County Volunteer Fire Department. Our nearest fire station is on Hwy 6, about 5 miles to our east. They will respond with pumper trucks sufficient to put out any house fire and call in reserves if necessary.
Like all covenant communities, The Lakes is like our Nation in that we are a republic. The Association has a Board of Directors that is directly elected on an annual basis by our property owners. The Board in turn elects a President who runs the day to day affairs of the Association and reports to the Board.
The President’s position does require some personal time and our owners appreciate their service- which, like the Board members, is voluntary and without any pay. Board members usually only need to spend an hour or so each month at the Board meetings. Architectural Control Committee members will need to spend whatever time is required to review new construction, additions, fences etc. The head of the Architectural Control Committee spends more time as he/she must evaluate, recommend or not recommend to the other members and draw up the approval letters.
Beautification Committee (appointed):
Works to improve the appearance of The Lakes.
Public Works Committee (appointed):
Works to interface homeowner’s needs for electricity, gas, water, sewer and internet service.
Social Committee (appointed):
Plans social activities for our community.
Covenant Compliance Committee (appointed):
Responsible for individual compliance with The Lakes covenants.
Architectural Control Committee (elected by the homeowners):
Reviews and approves all new construction, additions, fences, etc.
Old Lake, Crooked Lake and Horseshoe lake are surrounded by private property and are accessible, and usable, only by the property owners that own the property around each lake. Rock Lake and Spring Lake each have land that is not a part of our subdivision that abuts them. Under Mississippi law if you have legal property access to a lake you may use the entire lake. So, our residents may use the entirety of Rock and Spring lakes, as may the owners of the property outside of our subdivision that have land that abuts those lakes.
The “Common Areas” are designated for the use and enjoyment of all residents of The Lakes whose annual assessments are current. The two prime common areas serve Rock Lake and Spring Lake. Boats may be launched from both locations.
The pavilion located on the east end of Rock Lake is for the use of our residents.
Look at the location of the mailboxes on your street. On some the Post Office allows them to be on both sides of the road, on others they are supposed to be on the same side. We are not certain why this is so. In any event place your mailbox on the same side as the others on your street, close enough to the road where it can be easily accessed by the mail-person, yet not so close to the road that it presents a hazard to passing traffic.
New Construction (5)
Yes. Lafayette County requires that all new construction in subdivisions:
1. Have a building permit
2. Post a copy of that permit in the front yard, visible from the street
3. Have a portable toilet on the site
4. The contractor must be licensed by the state of Mississippi
5. The plumbing and electrical contractors must also be licensed by the state
6. Smoke detectors must be hard-wired
7. House numbers must be visible from the street
These, and other items will be listed on the Approval Letter from the Architectural Control Committee issued to the contractor or the owner of the lot before construction begins.
No problem. Plans will have to be submitted to the Architectural Control Committee for approval first. One of the things that they will look for is that external material used for the addition will be harmonious with your existing structure, and that the addition is a minimum of 60% brick, stone or masonry.
Submit your plans to the Architectural Control Committee. The Committee is really not concerned about the interior layout of the house, only how the exterior appears and that the construction meets the guidelines of our covenants (items c, d, e, f among others in our covenants). These items, along with others, will be addressed in the Approval Letter issued to the contractor or lot owner prior to construction.
You may start grading on your property, however you may not start any slab/foundation work until your plans have been approved by the Architectural Control committee and you have a signed letter of approval from the committee.
They may not be metallic. You may erect any shed that is 100 square feet or less without permission from the Architectural Control Committee. If you want to build a storage building/shed greater than 100 square feet you must submit your plans to the Architectural Committee for approval prior to starting construction. Also, buildings larger than 100 square feet must match the architectural style of the home and be a minimum of 60% brick, stone or masonry that matches your home.
You should never pour or flush down any of the following:
* Explosive or flammable material
* Kitty litter
* Aquarium gravel
* Strong chemicals or toxic, caustic or poisonous substances
* Degreasing solvents
* Diapers, feminine products, or cloth of any kind
* Fuel or lubricating oil, paint thinner or antifreeze
* Plastic objects
* Seafood shells
Each home has its own “holding tank.” That’s it outside your house with the round green cover on it. Inside of the “holding tank” is a system that is kind of like an upside down garbage disposal. As the level rises in the tank a float switch engages that turns on a grinder -the “garbage disposal”- and a pump. The pump forces the fine slurry from the grinder through an underground pipe to the main line that runs along the street outside your house. At the street your home’s line connects with the main sewer line through a check valve. Once in the main line the content is pumped by your pump, and the pressure from other resident’s pumps via the main line to a holding pond that is located just east of Punkin Road near our south entrance. In addition there is a lift station on the south side of Lakes Drive North.
The contents of the holding pond are treated over time and released as it is converted into potable water by the system.
The Lakes has its own Sewer System which is currently supervised by BancorpSouth who is negotiating with an independent party to operate both the sewer lagoon and the sewer lines, including ownership, maintenance, billing for services, etc. At the time of this FAQ edition the bank has not sold the service to an operator and that is why our residents do not pay a monthly fee.
The Lakes water supply is furnished by the Punkin Water Association. The water comes from wells owned by the Association. Distribution and pressure is from two water towers; one just south of highway #6 a few miles to our west, and one is located in The Lakes at the top of the hill on Rock Springs Drive. http://punkinwater.com/