The Arbors at Dogwood Creek

FAQ Answers


What is the "AIA"? Why not an "HOA"?
It stands for "Arbors Improvement Association" and is the formal name given to the homeowners organization in the documents filed by the developers of this subdivision - Sabine Investments.  In general, Homeowners Association is a more common term.



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How much are the the AIA (property owner) dues?
The current dues are $350 annually, per property.
Owners with multiple lots will owe that amount on each lot as the Arbors CC&R's does not allow plated lots to be merged.

These funds are applied to the managment of the subdivision: maintenance & erosion control of common areas, gate system, street lighting, Park lighting & watering, liability insurance, committee event expenses, road repairs, etc.

(Board and Committee member positions are all voluntary; no remuneration is paid from Arbors funds.)



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Why do we have an AIA or homeowners association anyway? Who gives them their authority?
When the developers created this subdivision, they filed documents with Bastrop county that established certain restrictions governing the use of, and activities on, the land. These type rules are generally known as "Deed Restrictions", and can be as loosely or strictly enforced as the residents of the community determine.  When 75% of the lots were sold, those documents dictated the developers to turn over control of the subdivision to an homeowners Association.

The State of Texas gives wide reaching authorities to homeowner associations.
It should be noted that in court of law, deed restrictions that are not enforced eventually become null and void. "Use it or lose it" can be applied to more than just muscle tone!



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I moved "to the country" to get away from rules!  Why do I have to adhere to deed restrictions?
You "live in the country" in the popular sense, but in reality you are residing in a deed restricted subdivision surrounded by (as yet) sparsely developed county land.

When you purchased your property, it was on the condition that you would accept the deed restrictions that are part of the property documents on file with the county. If you chose to ignore the deed restrictions the AIA has the legal right (as authorized by the State) to sanction you.



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Who and what is Pioneer Property Management?
This property management company, whose professional business is to administer to homeowner organizations such as we, has been hired by the AIA to assist in the many activities required to keep a subdivision running smoothly. Ie, taxes, utility and insurance invoices are received and paid, dues collected, liens filed, budgets prepared, legal files maintained, etc., etc. Many of these activities are required as per the Association By-Laws and are more effectively performed by a professional company rather than a resident volunteer group.

For more information as to what kind of activities a property management company handles, click HERE.



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What are the "CC&R's" I keep hearing about?  How do they differ from the "By-Laws"?
The developer of this subdivision - Sabine Investments - filed with the county certain restrictions governing the use of, and activities on, the land. These are commonly known as "deed restrictions" and are a part of the documents you received from the title company upon purchasing your property.

The official name for the Arbors deed restrictions is the "Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of the Arbors at Dogwood Creek". Each of the two developed sections in this community has a set of CC&R's, outlining restrictions on land use, structures, livestock, signs, etc. The Arbors Architectural Committee has the responsibility of interpreting and enforcing the CC&R's.

The BY-LAWS are a set of requirements filed by the developer of this subdivision outlining "how" the Association will be run: ie, meetings, board elections, terms of office, notices, etc. The By-Laws may be changed or amended by the Board as needed.

Copies of the CC&R's and the BY-LAWS can be downloaded HERE.



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So how long are the "deed restrictions" in effect?
Article 25: "These Covenants and Restrictions shall run with the land and shall be binding on all parties and all persons claiming under them for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the date these covenants are recorded with the County clerk of Bastrop County, Texas, after which time such covenants shall be extended automatically for successive periods of ten (10) years, unless an instrument signed by the majority of the then owners of the lots has been recorded, agreeing to change such covenants in whole or in part or to revoke them."
(Sec 1: filed July 21, 1997; Sec 2 filed: Jan 25, 1999)



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Are we a Gated Community or what?
At the annual Association meeting in August '03, a vote was put to the 119 members in attendance as to whether the Arbors would remain private (ie gated) or become public (turn control of the roads over to Bastrop County).

Bastrop County may not, by law, use tax payer money to maintain any roads that are considered private. Once turned over to the county (an irreversible action), and in return for road maintenance, the gates would have to be removed and the roads would have be open to the general public at all times.

At the annual meeting the vote was almost 2 to 1 in favor of maintaining our own roads and remaining a private community.

Note that a truly Gated Community restricts access 24 hours a day. Since the Arbors gates are open except at night, we could not be considered a bona fide Gated Community.



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If we're a private community, then who serves us for emergency and fire?
Just because the Arbors chose to maintain control over their own roads, does not mean that the County has no obligation to service this community for emergency and fire. After all, residents are still obligated to pay county taxes!

Private roads do not mean one can commit criminal activities with impunity. The County Sheriff's Office has the authority to investigate and make any necessary arrests in this subdivision on reported illegal activity.

The Elgin Volunteer Fire Department and 911 EMS serve the Arbors.

UPDATE: In November 2006, Bastrop County voters passed proposition ESD 1 to create an "Emergency Services District".
The District is a taxing entity and thus the costs for fire protection and ems will be spread among all residents, not just carried by those who donated to the volunteer fire dept. Results of this change will not be immediately visible as the taxing entity becomes functional, however it is estimated that within 2-3 years there will be outlays for new fire stations and equipment through the ESD. Meantime, the First Responders will continue to function as they do now.



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There sure is a lot of emphasis put on not parking/driving on the R.O.W and easements! What's with that?
It's not just for esthetics!
It's because the Arbors has very good roads, better than most in the county, and we must protect the road bed which is part of it.

Our subdivision is built primarily on sand, and though there may be "ribbons" of clay visible in some minor areas, the vast majority of our ROW, (Right of Way) bar ditches, drainage easements are all sand based.

Erosion starts when vegetation is killed or removed; rain washes the sand away from the road bed and eventually holes develop under the road. Then repairs become very costly....Better to control the erosion before it starts!!

For more information on easement erosion please see the Maintenance Erosion page...

Please help keep our easements green!

(For more information on the location of the Arbors easements and R.O.W, click HERE...)



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What is a Re-sale certificate? Under the Texas Property Code chapter 207, a Resale Certificate is used to disclose information of property owners Associations. Pioneer Property Management provides these certificates as needed.

Click HERE for description.



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Will I need to install a water softener?
This is a personal decision on the part of the homeowner.
However, new homeowners should be aware that this area has very hard water...our local water coop, aqua water, supplies out of wells drilled into the Wilcox-Carrizo aquifer. While the water is clean, it is hard enough to warrant a water softener.

The use of the softener will not only prevent mineral buildup in the pipes, but prevent the same mineral damage in various appliances that use water: ice makers, coffee makers, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, etc.

Here is the usgs.gov "water Hardness" Map



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How do I obtain a gate remote opener?
Gate remote openers are available through the Arbors maintenance committee at a cost of $15 each.
The Arbors will require identification to verify that you are a current property owner.

Please Contact the Maintenance Committee: mc.comm@arborsia.org.

Please Make your check payable to:  The Arbors Improvement Association.

(Note: property owners are responsible for providing/replacing their own gate remote batteries)



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What kind of septic system do I need?
There are two basic types of septic systems — Conventional (standard) and Alternative.

Site and soil conditions generally determine the type of system that should be installed.
Most Arbors properties have deep sand conditions. However, there are some ribbons of clay to be found running throughout this subdivision.  Your builder's septic subcontractor will dig a test pit to determine the best type of system to install on your property.

Those Lots which have adequate sand depths can accommodate the standard panel type; lots which have clay barriers will likely need an alternative system such as an Aerobic system. (Note: Aerobic systems must meet certain county requirements)



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What are the State/County requirements for an aerobic treatment septic system?
Bastrop county sets no rules on what type of septic system must be installed. (This decision is one the owner/builder must make as a function of the type of soil in which the system must be installed.)

Bastrop county does track the installation and maintenance of all aerobic sewage treatment systems and must follow the guidelines set forth by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The State/County has set rules for the installation and operation of the aerobic style system:
the original installation must be done by a licensed and registered installer and the system must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis (four times a year) by a licensed and registered septic system inspector.

It is the homeowners responsibility to hire this inspector and it is the responsibility of the inspector to send reports to Bastrop County Sanitation on your behalf that your system has been inspected and is in good working order.

Bastrop County has stiff fines ($250-500 per day) for systems that are reported as malfunctioning; Usually it's a neighbor that complains about the odor...

If you have any questions or complaints call Bastrop County Sanitation at 512-332-7276.

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NOTE: Most Arbors lots are large and have a sandy base. On those lots an Aerobic system is not needed, and a standard system utilizing a septic field can be used.

To learn more about aerobic septic systems, click HERE



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What are the rules concerning the installation of a satellite dish?
Article 11 of the Arbors CC&R's (Sections I & II) document a restriction against the use of satellite dishes.

However, an FCC rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996 prohibiting restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance, or use of antennas used to receive video programming.

The FCC rule applies to video antennas, including direct-to-home satellite dishes, that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas.

The FCC rule prohibits most restrictions that:
(1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use;
(2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or
(3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

If these prohibitions do not apply then the AIA will require that the satellite dish be placed in the backyard, or in such a location as to be out of sight from the street.

See http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html for more information.



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I would like to burn outdoors on my property - what should I know?

First: The Arbors falls under all Bastrop County rules including the county Burn Ban status.
However, because of the fire danger to neighbors, this subdivision has a policy of NO "clear" burning on any lot regardless of the County Burn Ban status.

The board has clarified "clear burning" as the wholesale burning of groundcover on a lot, or any debris resulting from the clearing of a lot prior to building a home, or improvement to an existing home.

Please check the Board Policy on Clear Burning by clicking HERE.
The burning rules outlined on the Builders Information page also apply to existing homeowners, IE:

D. FIRES: No unattended burning allowed!  Unattended burning on any lot will result in a fine for the lot owner.

Second: Bastrop County Emergency Management Dept. information on outdoor burning, including the Burn Ban Status can be found by clicking HERE.




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I have a drainage ditch on my lot. I've never seen any water in it, so why can't I fill it in?
The Arbors of Dogwood Creek is a master plan, literally carved out of virgin land never before developed. The drainage part of the plan was professionally engineered to service our community and properties surrounding the Arbors. (IE, the oversized culvert on Kingwood Dr was designed to allow for a controlled overflow from the large stock pond on property that borders the north side of the Arbors.)

The master Plat registered with Bastrop County clearly outlines drainage easements, upon which structures (and anything that impeds water flow) are prohibited.

In addition, the Texas State Water Administration law (under Title 2, Sub.B, Chap. 11, Subchapter C) addresses "Unlawful use, diversion, waste etc." and outlines the consequences of compromising the drainage design.

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