Believe it or not, livestock is prohibited in Whittier ($25 City fine per animal) and you cannot ride a horse on the sidewalk ($100 City fine).
In all seriousness though, Whittier residents are subject to restrictive covenants enforced by the Whittier Community Association (the HOA) and the City Code. The City of Frederick prohibits these activities and many others. The Whittier Association sometimes receives complaints from residents about the actions of their neighbors. Common complaints revolve around pets, parking, noise, and trash. Usually the best way to handle such problems is to talk to your neighbor about it. Sometimes pointing out the problems can lead to solutions. Communities usually have fewer problems when neighbors know and talk to each other. If you can’t resolve a problem by talking to your neighbor, the homeowners association can help with some issues, but lacks specific enforcement power in some cases (depending on the issue). .Since the City Code addresses many of these problems, another option is to call the City of Frederick police department. This article will point out a few of these laws and HOA rules. The laws are too complicated for a complete description here and this article does not constitute legal advice. For a more complete explanation you can view the ordinances that are city code at www.cityoffrederick.com.
City Parks Closed After 10:00 pm
- All city parks within Whittier are closed at 10:00 pm. Police regularly canvas park areas for compliance of this city ordinance.
- You are at risk of receiving a ticket from the police if you park against the flow of traffic. All streets in Whittier are city streets. It is a City Code violation and a $15.00 parking fine per incident. On a two way street you cannot park with the left wheels to the curb. For more information you can contact the City of Frederick Police at 301-694-2100.
- Article V, Section 2 “Owner’s Responsibility” says “Each owner shall keep each lot owned by him, and all improvements therein or thereon, in good order and repair and free of debris, including but not limited to the seeding, watering and mowing of all laws, the pruning and cutting of all trees and shrubbery, and the painting (or other appropriate external repair and maintenance care) of all buildings and other improvements, all in a manner with such frequency as is consistent with good property management. Each owner shall be responsible for the removal of snow, ice and debris repair, maintenance, and replacement of all walkways located on his property, including those walkways intended for common use and these walkways in the public ways along the frontage of each lot.”
Property and Lawn Maintenance
- Mowing, trimming, mulching and weed control of all grass and flowerbeds need to be done a regular basis during the warm months. This includes sweeping and removing debris from the sidewalks promptly and trees and shrubs must be maintained and not allowed to encroach on another owner’s property.
Leaving Items Out
- Leaving items such as trashcans, recycling bins, bikes, skating ramps and just “stuff” must be kept out of public view. Front and back yards should be kept tidy at all times; this includes fenced in back yards. Please refrain from storing items in public view. Items left on HOA property will be confiscated and discarded.
Animals on the Loose
- It is rare to see a dog roaming loose in Whittier without its owner and not on a leash but this cannot be said for cats. Cats fall under the same restrictions as dogs and must be accompanied by its owner and on a leash. This is a violation of the City of Frederick ordinance Sec. 3-26. There is a City penalty for each violation of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per animal. Residents can contact the Frederick County Animal Control nonemergency at 301-694-1544 to speak with an animal control officer. Also, if you know to whom the animal belongs you can send a note to Nancy Keen at Vanguard Management and she will send a letter to the owner of the animal.
- If you have a complaint regarding a barking dog day or night, you may call the Frederick City Police Department at 301-694-2100.
- Loud noises such as music coming from a car (running or not) or blaring music coming through a homes common walls or windows are not only annoying but fall under the city noise ordinance. It’s a reality when living in such close proximity with your neighbors that you will hear noises from time to time. Although if your having a consistent problem with noises such as loud TV’s, stereos, musical instruments, etc. try talking to your neighbor first. They may not realize that the noise is disturbing to you. If reaching out to your neighbor fails you may have to turn to calling the non emergency number of the City of Frederick police at 301-694-2100 or submit a written complaint to Nkeen@vanguardmgt.com. For those who like loud music or TV’s-ear phones work quite well!
- Unregistered, untagged, expired tags, abandoned cars or cars being worked on for maintenance are not allowed in Whittier. Article X states that all vehicles must display current registrations and tags unless they are stored in a garage and out of public view.
- Trailers, boats, and recreational vehicles are never allowed to be parked in public view in Whittier. Refer to the Architectural Control Guidelines for more information. Recreational vehicles and boats may only be parked on the city streets in the community for a continuous or intermittent period not to exceed twenty-four (24 hours), this is to allow for loading/unloading.
Safety Issues for children and Association Common Areas
- Residents, please remind children of your rules when it comes to playing outside particularly in/around the streets and parking lots. This obviously is not the safest place to play with cars coming and going. Our children’s safety is of the utmost importance to us all. Drivers need to especially vigilant when driving through Whittier-slow down! There have been reports that a few homeowners have had damage done to their cars from children’s bikes, balls, as well. Whittier is fortunate to have many tot lots and city parks which are much safer areas for play.
- Please remind your children for their own safety, not to climb on trees, bushes, brick walls or the mailboxes. With the exception of the mailboxes which are federal property and are subject to fines by the Postmaster due to damage; the HOA owns and maintains all common area. When anyone damages, litters or destroys common property it must be fixed. The management company has to hire a contractor to repair the problem but make no mistake about it; it is you the homeowner who ultimately foots the bill through increased homeowner yearly assessments. So what can you do? Please be the “eyes and ears” of the community and if you see someone littering or destroying property ask them to stop. If the problem persists and you can identify the address of the responsible party you can notify Nancy Keen so a letter can be sent to their residence. Expenses that the association incur due to damage done by someone else will be charged to the responsible party.
Illegal vehicles/scooters on Maryland Roads or HOA Property
- Maryland Law states it is illegal to ride mini bikes, motorized scooters, ATV, go carts, etc. on any city street. The HOA also restricts these vehicles from being ridden on our property as well. It is not to say if you have permission from a homeowner with a large farm/property/field that these vehicles cannot be ridden - just not in Whittier. So, what can you do? Call the city police at non-emergency number at 301-694-2100 or write to NKeen@vanguardmgt.com. With a complete description of the name of the rider & their residence along with a description of the vehicle will be needed so a letter can be sent out to the responsible parties home.
Common Area’s Reseeded and Aerated
- Classic Landscaping recently reseeded (October 2005) and aerated several identified areas of need in the townhouses including some of the “islands” located in the parking lots of the townhouse section. All residents: please refrain from walking on these areas until the seed is well established.
HOA Common Property
- The Whittier Community Association owns, operates and maintains the pools and common area and establishes and enforces rules regarding the use and appearance of all common property in the community. By law, each household (homeowner) in the community is automatically a member of the Association. As a member, each household pays dues to cover things such as common area maintenance and pool operations and is subject to rules promulgated by the Association. Regardless if the property is owner occupied or rented, the exact same rights and responsibilities apply to all residents when using common property. The common area located in Whittier is private property that is maintained for the use and enjoyment of all residents of Whittier in activities such as playing, walking, swimming, and jogging but this does not mean that anything goes! Please respect this property just as you would your own by not allowing anyone to destroy it by leaving trash and litter, climbing and pulling on common areas landscapes, or damaging any area of common grounds. Should you as a resident of Whittier see anyone, adults or children, misusing (e.g., vandalizing, littering, etc.) HOA, city, or any property for that matter within Whittier please notify Nancy Keen at Vanguard with the name of the person and their home address so she can send them a letter to alert them of the problem. If the activity is suspicious in nature or against the law contact the City of Frederick Police department immediately.