C. The Common Area

I.  What is Common?

In general, the common area consists of all property outside the inner surfaces of each residential unit; this includes all decks and attic spaces.  The master deed provides owners with an easement for the exclusive use of the deck and attic space that is directly attached to their unit.  (see regulations governing “exclusive use” areas below.)

More specifically, the Common Areas and Facilities of Drummer Farms Condominium include:

∙Land.  Slightly more than 21 acres.

∙Foundations, structural supports, exterior walls, roofs and common walls between units.

∙Facilities for the furnishings of utility services which are contained in the structural supports of the building and contained within any unit which serve parts of the condominium other than the unit.

∙Electrical meters and sill-cocks

∙Yards, lawns, driveways, walkways, all trees and shrubs in front of the building, steps, railings and lighting fixtures, and all gardens that are not in exclusive-use areas.

∙Sun decks and attic space.

∙Outdoor parking spaces, swimming pool, tennis court and outbuildings.

Owners are entitled to an individual interest in the common areas and facilities.

II.  Personal Use of Common Areas:

Several rules and guidelines govern personal use of Common Areas and facilities.  If you are guided by principles of common sense and consideration for others you will contribute to continuance of an atmosphere of harmony and cooperation that has traditionally graced this community.  Violation of the Rules and Regulations will result in fines and, possible, legal action.

Storage areas:

There is no designated area for storage of large household items, nor do areas exist for parking RVs, motorcycles, extra automobiles, etc.  All personal items must be stored inside your unit.  It is not permissible to store items on or under the deck.

Areas for exclusive use:

“Exclusive Use” areas are specifically defined as those common property areas to which an owner has direct access from his unit, for which there is an easement.  These exclusive use areas are the deck, attic space, bulkhead, and an area extending three feet around the deck to be used, if desired, for the planting of shrubs and gardens.

Additionally, the area 17 feet from the 3 foot line may be used for recreational and relaxation purposes only, under these same “exclusive use” provisions.  You are not permitted to plant, garden or place any structure in this area without receiving written approval from the Trustees.  Requests must be submitted, in writing and with a diagram of the proposed improvements.

The owner is responsible for maintaining the plantings in exclusive use areas.  Perennials, such as trees, shrubs and plants that existed when you purchased your unit came with the unit and you inherited the obligation to maintain them in a manner that is consistent with the aesthetic standards of the community.  They must not be an eyesore for your neighbors.  Moreover, your obligation in this regard does not end when you rent your unit.  If you, or your tenants, fail to meet this responsibility the Trustees will instruct Maintenance personnel to weed, trim and otherwise maintain these plantings and you will be billed for their time, and/or the same will be removed at the Trustees discretion.

Maintaining external appearances:

The architectural integrity of the buildings and units shall be preserved without modification.  No porch, deck or yard enclosure, awning, screen, antenna, or sign may be erected.  All lights, door knockers or other exterior hardware must conform to the architectural standards of this community.  You may not remove or replace shrubs, bushes or trees or other perennials planted near and around the front of the building.  There are no restrictions against planting low profile annuals in this location, so long as they do not significantly alter the standard appearance.

There shall be no clotheslines erected or drying racks placed on decks.  TV antennas are not permitted.  If you use the deck railings to dry items used in the swimming pools, please remove them promptly, once dried.  Contact the trustees regarding satellite dishes.

Pile firewood within the bounds of your exclusive use area, i.e., in the rear of your unit, and limit the quantity to that required for one season only.  If you must cover the piles, please avoid using blue or other brightly colored tarps.  Drab colors, such as brown are less unsettling to the eyes of your neighbors.

All windows, and window shades must be in good repair.  Torn and ragged shades must be replaced and windows must be regularly painted.  Shades and blinds should be kept at uniform heights throughout each unit.  You must seek approval from the Trustees before installing window air conditioners.

III.  Regular Use of Common Facilities

Roadways and parking spaces:

The roadways are private property, therefore residents and their guests are expected to abide by the speed limit in the community, which is 15 MPH.  This limit was determined to be safest for the children, joggers, walkers and pets who use these private roads.

Two spaces are allotted to each unit for the parking of duly registered passenger vehicles owned by occupants of the units.  In order to maintain the residential nature of the community, it is not permissible to park trucks and vans that are used for commercial purposes.  It is absolutely impermissible to regularly park vehicles displaying commercial signs.  Any motor driven vehicle that cannot operate under it's own power must be removed from the grounds within seventy-two hours after it is discovered that the vehicle will not function.

Residents who possess more than two vehicles must make arrangements with a neighbor to permanently use one of their unused spaces.  If this cannot be done, the extra automobiles must be parked off the property.

Guests may park along the roadways and near the inner circles of cul-de-sacs on a temporary basis only, and never overnight.  Please ask your guests not to park on lawns or landscaped areas at any time.

Our maintenance team requests that you park a short distance away from the edge of the grass during mowing season so as to allow easy passage of the lawn mover.  In winter, residents are asked to move all vehicles once plowing begins in their section.  If you plan to be away during the snow season kindly plan ahead, leave a set of keys with a neighbor or the maintenance supervisor.

Water:

One end unit (identifiable by the location of the water meter) in each building has the main water pressure valve that controls the water supply to the building.  Located in the basement, the valve is shaped like an inverted ice cream cone.

Maintaining septic systems:

We can avoid costly repairs or replacement of septic systems by exercising caution about what goes down the drains.  Please diligently observe the following:

∙Use liquid laundry detergent.  Powders tend to re-solidify in the leaching area and clog the pores of the soil.

∙If you are on heart medicine or chronic antibiotic therapy, inform maintenance personnel so that the contractor can counteract the effect that such medications have on bacteria levels.

∙Avoid placing toxins and solids down drains, such as:
Coffee grounds dewaxers
Egg shells  sanitary napkins/tampons
Cigarette butts  latex & oil-base paints
Small bones  prophylactics
Fat and grease

∙Beware of household cleaning chemicals that can kill essential bacteria in septic tanks, such as:
-toilet cleaners having blue or green dyes
-deodorizing cleaners with terpenes (pinene)
-chlorine bleaches, especially large volumes
-some scouring powder cleaners

∙Avoid using off-the-shelf additives, such as yeast, that are not specifically designed for septic pH levels.  These will not help the system.  In the unlikely event that bacteria levels are decreased, our contractor will provide the additives that are called for.

The swimming pool:

The swimming pool officially opens around the beginning of June and closes when the weather becomes too cold for swimming.  Residents and their guests are encouraged to enjoy the facility but must adhere to the regulations governing it's use.  These regulations are dictated by both the Acton Board of Health, The State Department of Public Health and the carrier of our Master Insurance Policy.  When residents and guests fail to follow the rules they jeopardize everyone else's access to the pool and can cause liability and financial problems for the Trust Association.  Drummer Farms conforms to the towns requirements for semi-public pools by listing one or more on-call lifeguards and may employ an on-site lifeguard during peak summer hours.

Please observe all of the following rules:

∙Any time a lifeguard is not present, anyone using the pool does so at his/her own risk.

∙At the times when a lifeguard is not present, parents or guardians should not let the children they are responsible for into the swimming pool if they are unable to adequately provide for their safety.

∙Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult 16 years of age or older.

∙The life guard is not a child sitter.  All children in the pool area must be under the supervision of a responsible adult.

A single, responsible adult is not permitted to supervise more than 3 children under the age of 10 years and /or 4 children maximum unless that adult is a certified lifeguard registered with the Town of Acton.

∙Individuals are not permitted to swim alone.  At a minimum, two swimmers must be in the pool enclosure at the same time, with at least one being an adult.

∙Anyone swimming alone, without a lifeguard or companion, is placing the Trust Association in a liability position.  It is the fiduciary responsibility of the Trustees to protect the association's assets.  Therefore, should you ever swim alone, you are doing so at your own risk and are knowingly in direct violation of the Rules and Regulations.

∙Guests must always be in the company of their resident host.  It is not acceptable to offer the use of the pool to relatives and friends if you will not be in attendance.

∙It is expected that, when hosting guests, you will consider the rights of other residents who desire to use the pool facilities.  Please limit the number of guests and the time you spend in the pool area if it becomes apparent that you are causing other residents to be inconvenienced.  If you plan to entertain a large group of guests (5 or more) you must follow the procedure governing “Groups of Guests,” below.

∙The gate must be locked at ALL times.

∙Dogs, or other animals, are not permitted inside the pool area at any time.

∙Do not bring glass objects into the pool area.

∙Do not bring large floats into the pool.  Children's safety floats are permissible.

∙Running, jumping and rough play in or around the pool area is absolutely not permitted.

∙All persons are required to take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.

∙No person with a sore, skin disease or communicable disease of any kind is allowed to use the pool.

Groups of Guests:

While you may use the pool to entertain a group of guests you must follow the procedure outlined below.  Failure to do so can result in ejection of all guests from the pool area:

FIRST: Schedule your function to occur outside normal peak usage times, e.g., late afternoon or on weekends.

SECOND: Procure the services of a certified lifeguard if you expect 10 or more people to be present.

THIRD: Obtain written approval from the Trustees.

FOURTH: Properly supervise the behavior of your guests and be sure the adult/child ratio is adequate.

FIFTH  Clean up

Obtain keys for the pool and the tennis court from the Maintenance Supervisor.  Use the tennis court at will but keep it clean and lock the gate behind you.

Pets:

The Drummer Farms leash law dictates that dogs must be leashed at all times.  You must walk the dog to wooded areas, and not allow them to defecate anywhere on landscaped or paved areas.  Should this occur you are expected to remove all droppings immediately.  Please be considerate of other residents.  Please also control pets when they bark or how.

Community activities:

The Trustees and residents sponsor an annual picnic on the grounds, usually held in early Autumn.  Yard sales are occasionally organized by teams of residents and are held on common areas with the approval of abutting owners.  Rules governing yard sales are simple, a)ensure that all affected residents are in agreement, b) obtain approval from Trustees and c) clean up afterwards.

Bulletin boards are located in each of the two mail huts and may be used to post notices of interest to all residents.  Please remove your notices when they've become outdated.