Questions and Answers About Restrictions That Apply in Middle Plantation
(Note that clicking on any of the questions will take you to the the answer}
What is a Declaration of Restrictions, and Why Should I Care?
What are the Typical Restrictions on Properties in Middle Plantation?
How Can I Find the Declaration of Restrictions that Applies to My Property?
Are there blanket waivers for some of the restrictions that are outdated?
How can I Obtain an Approval If I Need One?
Is an Approval from the MPCL Architectural Review Committee the Same as a Building Permit from the City of Virginia Beach?
Is It Possible to Get a Temporary Waiver of Restrictions If I Need it?
What Happens If the Architectural Review Committee Turns Down an Application for Approval? Can I Appeal?
What Happens If I Don’t Get an Application for Exterior Modifications or Ignore a Notice of Violation of Restrictions?
If I Don’t Understand the Restrictions or Process, Where Can I Turn for Guidance?
Q: What is a Declaration of Restrictions, and Why Should I Care?
A: Middle Plantation was built over the course of many years in 10 separate phases and subphases called parts. The developers had a vision for the community that they wanted maintained. To do so, they incorporated Declarations of Restrictions into the deeds as each phase or part was developed and the properties sold. As one of the documents puts it, the Declaration of Restrictions exists for “...the express purpose of keeping said subdivision desirable as a residential community, and uniform in architectural design…”
The Declarations of Restrictions act similar to easements. They bound the first owners of the properties and all subsequent owners to a series of restrictions on how the properties may be modified and the activities that can take place on them.
As the developers left the scene, they assigned the Declarations to the Middle Plantation Civic League. In effect, the binding agreements are now between the civic league and the current property owners.
Each phase document did not contain exactly the same set of restrictions. Consequently, some activities that are restricted in one part of Middle Plantation are not restricted in others. To know which restrictions apply to your property, you must know the development phase your property is in. See question three below for an easy way to do that. Alternatively, you can consult your deed.
Q: What are the Typical Restrictions on Properties in Middle Plantation?
A: The spreadsheet below summarizes the principal restrictions for each phase and part of the community. WARNING: This is a summary for the community’s general information. The spreadsheet is not comprehensive and should not be relied upon when considering whether to request property modification approvals or assess whether activities you intend to take on your property may be in violation of the restrictions. In either case, the Architectural Review Committee urges you to read the Declaration of Restrictions that applies to your property. An easy way to find and read the Declaration is described below.
Q: How can I Find the Declaration of Restrictions that Applies to My Property?
Click here for detailed instructions.
Q: Are there blanket waivers for some of the restrictions that are outdated?
A: Yes, some restrictions and requirements, such as for wooden crawl space vents, have been superseded. Clicking this here will take you to the page listing all the blanket waivers approved by the Board of Directors.
Q: How can I Obtain an Approval If I Need One?
A: Email the Middle Plantation Civic League Architectural Review Committee at email@example.com with a brief description of your project. We will guide you through the process. We urge you to contact us before you consult with architects or contractors. You should not assume that the Architectural Review Committee will grant approval just because an architect has designed the project or a contractor assures you that approval will not be a problem. Under several of the Declarations of Restrictions, the committee has up to 30 days to approve a project. If you contact the committee just before construction is about to start, your project could be seriously delayed.
Q: Is an Approval from the MPCL Architectural Review Committee the Same as a Building Permit from the City of Virginia Beach?
A: NO! The processes are entirely separate. Approval from the Architectural Review Committee does not imply that the City of Virginia Beach’s office of Permits and Inspections (P&I) will permit a project. The reverse is also true. Approval by P&I does not imply approval by the Architectural Review Committee.
The committee urges property owners to obtain P&I permits. The consequences of not doing so can be substantial financially and can delay your project. P&I regularly patrols Middle Plantation.
Q: Is It Possible to Get a Temporary Waiver of Restrictions If I Need It?
A: The committee may issue a temporary waiver if you describe the need and the duration of the request. For example, the restrictions prohibit boats from being parked in driveways. However, if you need to park your boat over a weekend to complete a repair the committee may issue the waiver. If you exceed the waiver period without seeking a renewal, the incident will be regarded as a violation.
Q: What Happens If the Architectural Review Committee Turns Down an Application for Approval? Can I Appeal?
A: Yes. Should the committee reject a request for a project approval or a request for a temporary waiver of restrictions you may appeal to the Board of Directors of the MPCL. You should request the committee to provide instructions on the review process when you receive the committee’s notice rejecting your request.
Q: What Happens If I Don’t Get an Approval for Exterior Modifications or Ignore a Notice of Violation of Restrictions?
A: This happens rarely, but it does happen. The Architectural Review Committee will make several efforts to persuade the property owner to correct violations. If the property owner does not respond or refuses to observe the restrictions, the committee will recommend to the Board that legal counsel be engaged. Ultimately, litigation may be required.
For exterior modification approvals, the committee will contract the property owner and request him or her to submit a request for approval. If the property owner ignores the request or if an approval is denied and the property owner proceeds with the project, the committee will recommend to the Board that legal counsel be engaged. That could lead to litigation.
Q: If I Don’t Understand the Restrictions or Process, Where Can I Turn for Guidance?
A: Contact the Architectural Review Committee. We are always ready to explain the restrictions and guide you through the process.