Important Information for Homeowners
Deed Restrictions Vs Zoning: The entire area of Myers Park was developed in stages and is comprised of more that 100 “subdivisions” each with specific criteria applying to houses in that particular area. These deed restrictions were established many years ago, but are applicable in current times. Many people confuse zoning requirements with deed restrictions, and both apply to individual properties. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg building standards department controls zoning but has no jurisdiction of deed restrictions. The Homeowners Association attempts to monitor and preserve the deed restrictions, as they are important to each homeowner’s investment.
Set backs: In most cases set backs established by deed restrictions are more stringent than zoning. In both cases the set backs are measured from the property line (from the edge of the City’s right-of-way which is almost always the back of the sidewalk), and the distance from a structure to the street curb is not the relevant measurement.
Trees: All of the trees outside of the property line belong to the City of Charlotte and the City is responsible for trimming and maintenance of these trees. In the last few years, the Homeowners’ Association through its membership and the Myers Park Foundation have contributed money to encourage the City to replant the trees lost to age, disease, storms; hopefully to retain the rhythm and spacing of the original landscape design by John Nolen. The City is also responsible for all of the trees and landscaping in the street medians, and is currently on a program to do some additional planting of trees, but has modified the median landscaping to a simpler concept (mostly grass) to reflect Nolen’s original design and to reduce maintenance costs.
Parking: Parking in medians is prohibited and very dangerous to landscape and surface roots of trees. A fairly recent City ordinance prohibits parking in front lawns or side yards on corner lots. These parking spaces must be designed and paved for that purpose. The original Myers Park concept envisioned an urban “park” with large green lawns bordering every street to the front of the residences. There has been a recent practice to place circular driveways and other parking facilities in the front lawns which is often driven by people filling their back and side yards with new additions. While parking in the front and side yard areas detract from the sylvan character of the neighborhood and is discouraged, it is not prohibited by the deed restrictions nor zoning.
Ground Coverage: With residential expansions, paved parking, and some new construction, there is a tendency to cover much of the lots with buildings, drives or other hard surfaces. A City zoning ordinance requires a minimum of sixty-five percent of a residential property to be “open space.” Several parcels in the neighborhood seem to push or exceed these limits, and monitoring the percent of ground covering is another goal of the Association.
Unity of Street Design: In addition to front yard setbacks, there are frequently deed restrictions limiting a residence to be no closer to the street than the neighboring residences, somewhat independent of any setback measurements. Not many violations of this concept are evident, but it may influence someone’s desire to add to the front portion of their house. All areas also have restrictions on the height and character of fences anywhere in their front yards.
Water Detention and Runoff: The basic concept of any land development is that water should flow in its normal natural course, but without harm to any neighboring property. As land is disturbed and covered by new buildings and paving, this increases the rate of flow and the possibility for erosion. The City is responsible for collecting storm water at the edge of the street and taking care of all distribution thereafter. Side and backyard walls, driveways, downspouts, etc., should direct the water to the street face rather than to adjoining properties.
If you have questions about these issues or additional items you want to bring before the Board, please feel free to contact any member of the MPHA Board or the Myers Park Foundation.