Q. When are assessments due?
A. Assessment invoices are mailed out by or before February 1st, and the payment is due March 1st. If not received prior to April 1st, an 8% late fee is added to the assessment, due and payable for that year. Follow-up invoices are sent at the end of the year to those who still have an unpaid balance. If the assessment remains unpaid for two consecutive years, a lien is filed against the property. In addition to the annual late fee of 8%, there is a $75 charge for the removal of each lien. If unpaid assessments continue to accumulate, despite repeated notices and a lien, the property owner can be taken to court, and required to pay the outstanding balance and the court costs.
Q. How are assessments calculated?
A. The regular assessment is computed at a rate of $.50 per front foot. The current special assessment is computed at a rate of $4.50 per front foot. Corner lots are assessed on the basis of one-half of the total frontage of the front and side of the property. Link to Indenture
Q. What does my assessment pay for?
A. Assessments are used to pay for all street, curb, and sidewalk maintenance and repair. In addition, assessments cover the cost of planting and maintaining all street trees, the maintenance of common grounds, and street cleaning and street plowing.
Title Companies and Realtors
Q. Who should I contact for assessment information for a closing?
A. Requests should be faxed to 314-743-8100, Attn: Kim Bufe. A written response will be faxed back with assessment information and amounts past due.
Q. The title company has found a lien on the property. Who should I contact to get the lien released at closing?
A. Contact a Trustee for information and fees required to release the lien. A lien release will be prepared and filed by the Trustee within 30 days of receiving funds unless other arrangements are made.
Q. What kind of work requires a building permit?
A. A building permit is required to: construct, alter, enlarge, repair, replace, move, remove or demolish a structure including accessory structures such as decks, fences, retaining walls over 18 inches in height and storage sheds more than 50 square feet in area. Permits are also required for non-dish radio or television antennae more than 12 feet in height or dish type antennae more than two feet in diameter.
Q. What kind of information do I need to apply for a building permit?
A. The application for a building permit requires two trustee signatures, an estimate of building costs, along with two copies of a site plan drawn to scale (with sufficient clarity, detail and dimensions) showing the location of the proposed construction and the existing structures on the lot. The site plan must include the distance from the new construction to the adjacent property lines, and all zoning requirements must be met. For fence permits the location of the proposed fence must be indicated on the site plans. Residential fences are limited to six feet in height and may not be placed in front of yards. In some instances, it will be necessary to have the plans prepared by a licensed architect or engineer. In addition to the plot plan, two copies of construction drawings must be submitted for review. The construction drawings must be extremely detailed in nature, drawn to scale or fully dimensioned. These drawings must accurately reflect the project which is to be constructed and clearly depict that information.
Q. How far in advance and where do I go for a building permit?
A. Building permits require seven to ten working days for processing. The permits may be applied for in the Department of Community Development on the fourth floor of City Hall, 6801 Delmar Boulevard, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Q. How do I get a trustee’s signature?
A. Call one of the trustees to arrange a time to drop off all of the required information for the permit or come to a monthly meeting at the Centennial Commons Board room at Centennial Commons.
Q. How do I dispose of leaves, grass, twigs, plants, or small brush from my property?
A. Yard waste is collected by the city at the curb along with trash and recycling. Residents must place leaves, grass, twigs, plants, or small brush in 30-gallon biodegradable bags, and each bag must have a yard waste sticker attached. Click here to find information on obtaining stickers
Q. When can I rake leaves out into the street?
A. In the spring and fall, the city offers a leaf rake-out program. Rake leaves to the curb the weekend before your collection week. Look for special leaf collection schedules in the subdivision’s newsletter, on the back of the city calendar or visit the University City Website.
Q. Who cares for the trees along the streets in private subdivisions?
A. The subdivision is responsible for the care and maintenance of all trees on their right of way. Home owners should contact their subdivision trustee directly with any tree related matters.
Q. Will the subdivision plant a new tree in front of my house when an older tree is removed or lost in a storm?
A. Yes, if the area will support a new tree.
Q. Will the subdivision pick up downed limbs from private property after a storm?
A. No, the property owners must dispose of any debris from privately owned trees at their own expense. Limbs less than three inches in diameter may be cut into 4-foot lengths and bundled for collection by the Sanitation Division.
Q. My next door neighbor’s tree grows across the property line and overhangs my house. Will the subdivision force them to prune their tree?
A. No. However, the property owner has the legal right to remove any overhanging branches back to the property line.
Q. Why doesn’t the subdivision prune trees located on the easement between properties?
A. Although an easement is given by the property owner to the utility companies to maintain power lines, the property owner retains ownership of the easement, and any trees on it. The subdivision only owns the property on the street right of way; consequently, the subdivision only maintains trees that are located in the street right of way.
Streets, Curbs and Sidewalks
Q. Who maintains the streets, curbs and sidewalks?
A. The subdivision is responsible for the maintenance of all streets, curbs and sidewalks. Home owners should contact the trustees directly with any streets, curbs and sidewalks related matters. In 2003, the Board of Trustees voted to begin a street repair project that will update the streets and curbs within the subdivision over the next several years.
Q. Does the subdivision repair potholes?
A. Yes, potholes will be repaired in the Spring.