What are the governing organizations of West Lyon Farm?
West Lyon Farm has three independent organizations which govern the operations of West Lyon Farm: West Lyon Farm Condominium Association (WLFCA), Weaver Street Tax District (WSTD) and Lyon Farm Residents Association (LFRA). The three organizations’ boards work closely together in developing their individual annual budgets and independent reserve requirements. Each organization contracts the services of the same managing agent and accountants while the day to day operations of each entity are conducted by the onsite Property Manager, Grounds Manager and Operations Coordinator who collectively supervise the grounds and facilities crew.
What is West Lyon Farm Condominium Association (WLFCA) and what are its responsibilities?
West Lyon Farm Condominium Association (WLFCA or The Association) comprises 155 residences of which 124 units are detached dwellings and 31 units are townhomes. Each residence is assigned its own driveway and garage. The residences are located along the Loop Road and in cul-de-sacs. The entrance to each cul de sac is identified by a sign marked A through Q. The unit's house number, located above the garage door, is the unit address and designates your Section (i.e. Unit 318 is in Section Three). There are six Sections with each Section being represented by at least one person elected from within each Section to the twelve-member Board of Directors. The WLFCA Board convenes monthly in the West Barn and Unit Owners are encouraged to attend these meetings. The fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of the following year with Association common charges due in the first month of each quarter. Individual common charges are calculated by multiplying WLFCA annual budgeted revenue by the percentage of ownership interest allocated to a Unit as described in Schedule A-2 of the WLFCA Declaration.
What is the Weaver Street Tax District (WSTD) and what are its responsibilities?
The Weaver Street Tax District (WTSD) was formed in 1978 for the purpose of providing certain municipal services to the residents within its jurisdiction, such as road repair, shade and ornamental trees, street lighting, snow removal, flood control and trash collection, which would otherwise be an expense of WLFCA. West Lyon Farm is within the jurisdiction of the WSTD, and all residents pay taxes to WTSD. The organization has its own governing documents overseen by its own nine member Board of Directors. WSTD operates within the same fiscal year as WLFCA, and its taxes are due in the second month of each quarter. Individual taxes are calculated by multiplying WSTD annual budgeted revenue by a percentage based upon a Unit’s assessed value as determined by the Town of Greenwich relative to the assessed value of all Units at West Lyon Farm.
What is the Lyon Farm Residents Association (LFRA) and what are its responsibilities?
The Lyon Farm Residents Association (LFRA) was formed in 1975 to own and operate the recreational, cultural and social facilities to be shared jointly by the residents of East and West Lyon Farms. All West Lyon Farm unit owners are members of the Lyon Farm Residents Association (LFRA). Facilities to be enjoyed by LFRA members and their guests are the East and West Barns, East and West swimming pools, two outdoor gas grills, two tennis courts, a playground area and an artificial turf putting green. The Barns and gas grills may be reserved through the Managing Agent subject to availability. LFRA also has its own governing documents overseen by its own Board of Directors comprised of seven members from West Lyon Farm and two members from East Lyon Farm. The Board meets at least quarterly, has the same fiscal year as WLFCA with dues payable in the first month of each quarter. Individual dues are calculated by dividing the number of LFRA memberships (192) into LFRA annual budgeted revenue.
Who is the managing agent for West Lyon Farm?
Westford Real Estate Management is the Managing Agent for West Lyon Farm and provides financial services which include preparing financial statements, developing WLFCA, WSTD and LFRA annual operating and reserve budgets, and providing monthly financial reports for the WLFCA, WSTD and LFRA Boards of Directors. The Managing Agent makes the payroll, bills WLFCA common charges, WSTD taxes and LFRA dues, and coordinates settlement of insurance claims with the Association's insurance broker. Administratively, the Managing Agent organizes the work order system, updates census information, distributes vehicle identification decals and arranges Barn rentals and gas grill reservations in addition to preparing resale documents, lease agreements and enforcement letters.
What recreational facilities are available at West Lyon Farm?
The Lyon Farm Residents Association (LFRA) owns and operates the recreational facilities shared jointly by residents of West Lyon Farm and its neighbor East Lyon Farm. These include:
- West and East barn-style party and meeting spaces
- West and East heated swimming pools
- Two outdoor gas grills
- Two tennis courts, pickleball
- A small playground area
- An artificial turf putting green
For what items is West Lyon Farm Association responsible ?
The West Lyon Farm Association is fully responsible for Common Elements. Simply put, common elements are the land, every building other than the units, and all improvements.
What are the responsibilities of unit owners?
Unit owners are to maintain, repair, remove and replace at his/her expense items identified as a Limited Common Element. In some cases, however, there are several Limited Common Elements for which the Association assumes responsibility as a Common Expense in order to establish a uniform appearance and standard of care such as foundations and roofs; siding and trim; gutters and leaders; garage doors and their operating mechanisms; occasional grounds keeping of planting beds and, unless previously modified by a unit owner, entryway steps and stoops, walkways and trash bins.
Limited Common Elements for which unit owners are responsible include:
- Entryway steps, stoops, walkways and trash bins if previously modified by a unit owner
- Walkway and exterior light fixtures including bulb replacement
- Decks and patios
- Railings and steps to decks and patios
- Awnings and handrails
- Skylights, windows, exterior doors and shed roofing over kitchen doors
- Door bells, alarm systems and motion sensors
- Chimneys and exhaust vents, including dryer vents
- Interior of garages and garage pedestrian doors
- Outside water spigots, underground irrigation systems and exterior water barriers
- Foundation drainage, foundation waterproofing and sump pumps
- Pots, planters and planting beds located appurtenant to a unit or garage
What is the policy on renting units at West Lyon Farm?
A lease, although renewable, may not be for a period of less than six months nor more than twelve months. All leases must be in writing and filed with the Association. All leases are to include the document by which the tenant acknowledges receipt of and agrees to comply with all WLFCA, WSTD and LFRA rules and regulations and by which the owner of the Unit assumes responsibility for the conduct of tenants and guests. This document is available through the Managing Agent. Subletting is not permitted.
Why are the governing documents so detailed and important?
WLFCA, WSTD and LFRA are legal entities subject to Connecticut General Statutes with which West Lyon Farm governing documents must comply. The governing documents, and in particular the WLFCA and LFRA Rules, are vital to upholding the reputation and enhancing the value of West Lyon Farm.
- They allow for the three Boards to safeguard the style and character of the community.
- They allow for staff to manage operations in the approved interests of the community.
- They allow for residents to seek relief from the misconduct of other residents and actions improperly taken by a Board of Directors.
Who serves on the various Boards and how do committees function?
Soon after the WLFCA, WSTD and LFRA annual meetings in June at which new Board members are elected for the next fiscal year, an updated list of Board and committee members is distributed to the Unit Owners. Committees advise and make recommendations to the Board of Directors on policy matters and specific tasks relating to their mission statements. Committees are not authorized to act on behalf of the Board or the Association. Committee mission statements are available through the West Lyon Farm office.
If I am dissatisfied with the performance of the Association or with the actions of another resident, what recourse do I have?
All formal complaints are to be made in writing to the WLFCA Board of Directors. Monthly Board of Director meetings provide residents the opportunity to address the Board directly. Each Section is served by a Director who may be contacted to informally speak on the issue as well. In considering a complaint, the Board of Directors will look to its governing documents for a remedy but will not involve itself in disputes among residents in the absence of a violation of the Rules.
At all times, residents are asked to be considerate of other residents and shall conduct themselves in a civil manner towards staff while refraining from directing or restricting the work activity of any employee of the Association.
How do I know if capital reserves are adequately funded?
The WLFCA annual budget is to include the establishment and maintenance of what the Board of Directors considers to be, in its reasonable business judgment, an adequate reserve fund for the periodic maintenance, repair and replacement of Improvements to the Common Elements and those Limited Common Elements that the Association elects to maintain. LFRA establishes a reserve for the maintenance, repair and replacement of its recreational facilities and WSTD does the same to meet its municipal obligations. Annual budgets are approved by the membership of each entity at the Annual Meetings in June.
What is the significance of a Limited Common Element?
WLFCA has four components: the Common Interest Community, the Units, the Common Elements, and the Limited Common Elements.
Common Interest Community is the real property which includes the land, every building and all Improvements.
Unit is a physical portion of the Common Interest Community designated for separate ownership or occupancy as described by boundaries establishing the interior space of a residence.
Common Elements are the land, every building other than the units, and all Improvements.
Limited Common Elements are those portions of the Common Elements allocated by the Declaration for what amounts to be the exclusive use of a particular unit for which the Unit’s owner is responsible to maintain, repair, remove and replace. In all other respects, Limited Common Elements are under the control and supervision of the Board of Directors subject to the provisions of Notice and Hearing.
The significance of a Limited Common Element is the responsibility of the Unit’s owner to maintain, repair, remove and replace the Limited Common Elements allocated to that unit. A list of Limited Common Elements can be found in the WLFCA Declaration, Article VI, Section 6.1. The Association assumes responsibility for some Limited Common Elements as a Common Expense in order to establish a uniform appearance and standard of care such as foundations and roofs; siding and trim; gutters and leaders; garage doors and their operating mechanisms; occasional groundskeeping of planting beds and, unless previously modified by a Unit Owner, entryway steps and stoops, walkways and trash bins. Driveways are under the control of WSTD and are not Limited Common Elements.
How do I know which plantings are my responsibility as Limited Common Elements and which are the responsibility of West Lyon Farm as Common Elements?
The plantings for which the owner of a Unit is responsible are situated in planting beds of a defined perimeter that are considered by the Board to be located appurtenant to the Unit or its garage. In the event that such a planting bed is located out of the Unit Owner's immediate view but impacts an abutter’s line of sight, the Board of Directors may grant control of the planting bed to the abutting Unit subject to written consent by each Unit Owner.
West Lyon Farm is responsible for all trees, shrubs, ground cover and lawns outside of planting beds located appurtenant to a Unit or its garage. If it becomes uncertain whether West Lyon Farm or the owner of a Unit is responsible for the maintenance, removal or replacement of a planting on common ground due to its location relative to a Unit or its garage, the Association shall consider the following options:
- Assigning responsibility to the owner of the Unit for the cost of maintaining, removing or replacing the planting subject to the requirements of Notice and Hearing.
- Maintaining or removing the planting at West Lyon Farm expense with the cost of an approved replacement planting to be at the Unit Owner's expense.
- Assigning responsibility to West Lyon Farm for the cost of maintaining, removing or replacing the planting with the type, size and timing of a replacement to be at West Lyon Farm expense and discretion.
Who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of my deck? May I store items under my deck?
Your deck is a Limited Common Element for which you as the owner of the Unit are responsible. The Association inspects your deck annually. The inspection will note conditions that require repairs to be made by you as the Unit Owner. You may not store items under your deck. Residents may not place any furniture outside of their units other than on an approved deck or patio. Additionally, residents may only use neutral colored fitted furniture covers and dark brown or dark green tarps to cover exterior furniture on decks and patios.
What is the process by which snow is removed?
The grounds crew will make every effort to clear the roadways, driveways and walkways in a safe and timely manner as weather permits and to assure that fire, police or ambulance crews will have access to the property in an emergency.
Vehicles parked along roadways and in driveways create obstructions that will inhibit the safe and timely removal of snow and ice. Snow removal operations proceed as follows:
- Loop Road and Entrance – Kept open at all times.
- Cul-de-sacs – Cleared after the Loop Road is plowed. Steep cul-de-sacs are salted as deemed necessary.
- Driveways – Cleared after the cul-de-sac has been plowed.
- Walkways – Depending on the severity of the storm, a minimum of one walkway and snow accumulation blocking garage doors will be cleared.
- Storm Follow up – Snow cleared from in front of mailboxes, fire hydrants, storm drains and catch basins. Walkways widened and ice melt applied after the storm has stopped.
- Should it become necessary for a resident to have his walkway and driveway cleared outside of the normal rotation, the resident may call the WLF office at (203) 531-4220 on the day before the predicted storm. In the event the office is closed, the resident may leave a request for the Grounds Manager via e-mail. The grounds crew will make every effort to respond to a request while providing safe and timely service throughout the Community. The Association is not responsible for damage caused to Unit Owner installed sprinkler systems and walkways during snow removal operations.
Is there a limit to the number of automobiles a resident may park on the property?
In a reasonable effort to address the parking needs of all those who reside in West Lyon Farm, the Association allows owners of a Unit to park or garage one more vehicle than the total number of occupants licensed to drive who are documented with the Association as residing in the Unit. All such vehicles must be operable, registered with DMV in the name of an occupant residing in the Unit and properly display an Association decal. Visitors to a Unit are not allowed to park a vehicle on the Property for longer than the length of their stay.
My driveway is large enough to park my cars, may I use the garage for storage?
The garage may be used for storage to the extent that stored items do not compromise the ability of the garage to park the number of vehicles for which it was built.
What can be done if the automatic feature of a garage door does not function?
In the event of a power outage or other malfunction, call the West Lyon Farm office during business hours for assistance. When asked to do so by a resident, the Association will provide instructions on how to manually raise the garage door by locating and pulling down on the emergency release cord which disengages the automatic mechanism.
Who is responsible for maintaining gutters and drains?
There are approximately two and one-half miles of gutters at West Lyon Farm, not including leaders (downspouts) and associated drain lines, which the Association maintains as a Common Expense in order to ensure peak performance through a uniform standard of care. The Association also maintains and repairs as a Common Expense soil erosion and storm drains, including field drains designed to remove standing water before it can inundate the soil.
Unit Owners are responsible for the drainage of water which collects around the foundation of a Unit if it is determined by the Association that such water is not the result of poorly designed or improperly maintained storm drains, gutters, leaders and drain lines. Upon approval by the Board of Directors, Unit Owners may install at their own expense foundation drainage in the form of exterior drains, footing drains, foundation waterproofing or interior drains and sump pumps to address the infiltration of water within the lower boundary of a Unit. The Association’s insurance policy does not provide coverage for damage to a Unit from flooding of ground water into a Unit.
May I use a portable generator during a power outage?
Portable generators are not allowed for use except during a power outage to operate a recharging system connected to a basement sump pump or interior electrical backup system. Please refer to WLFCA Rule Section 2.9 Flammable Liquids and Section 2.11 Backup Power Systems for additional information.
How are trash and recycling managed?
Trash barrels will be kept in place inside the trash enclosure of each Unit. Pickup will be from those locations only. The trash enclosures are to be kept neat, clean and free of debris. Christmas trees, landscape and gardening rubbish may be placed near the curb and away from the garage door of each Unit on the first work day of each week for pickup by Association staff. Long term storage of rubbish in the Units or in Limited Common Elements, such as garages, is
forbidden. Unit Owners with bulky or excess rubbish will dispose of it themselves. Recycling bins may be put out overnight and are to be retrieved the next day. Check with the West Lyon Farm office regarding the schedule for recycling pickup.
Can unit owners make architectural or landscape changes?
West Lyon Farm has developed formal procedures for Unit Owners to request an architectural change to a Unit or to change the landscaping in planting beds located appurtenant to a Unit. These procedures require committee review of detailed plans and final approval by the Board of Directors before any work may commence. It is strongly recommended that Unit Owners consult with West Lyon Farm staff in advance of submitting such a request. All architectural and landscaping changes made to a unit by its owner become the responsibility of each owner to maintain.
Where can realtors go for more information?
Do I need to purchase homeowner's insurance for my unit?
West Lyon Farm provides some insurance, but it is up to each individual unit owner to speak with his or her insurance broker to determine to what extent additional coverage is advisable.
Are there rules regarding pets?
Pets must be led on a leash when outdoors. Owners are required to pick up after pets; bags and disposal bins are installed on the loop road. All pets required to be licensed with the Town of Greenwich must also be registered with WLFCA. Any pet causing an unreasonable disturbance may be removed from the property. Outdoor enclosures for pets are prohibited as is outdoor feeding of wildlife with the exception of approved bird feeders.