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Deerfield News Connection

June 16, 2024

 

Working Together to Safeguard Deerfield Resort's Future: 

Understanding Zoning Laws and CCRs

 

 

A Personal Perspective

 

When it comes to where you live, the rules and regulations governing land use and development play a crucial role in shaping your community. Two key players in this field are Zoning Laws, and Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCRs). While both aim to regulate land use, they differ in authority, scope, and enforcement mechanisms.

 

Zoning laws are established by government authorities and apply universally across a jurisdiction, providing a broad regulatory framework. In contrast, CCRs are private agreements specific to individual communities, enforced by homeowner associations (HOAs). Together, zoning regulations and CCRs create a comprehensive system that ensures orderly development and operations within residential areas.

 

Why CCRs Matter for Deerfield Resort 

 

Unincorporated areas of Campbell County, Tennessee lack zoning laws to regulate land use, leaving property owners to make independent decisions. Without a government framework, there’s nothing to prevent incompatible developments from cropping up next to each other. This is where CCRs become crucial—they are the primary tool Deerfield Resort requires to maintain order and protect property values. While CCRs don’t carry the same legal weight as zoning laws, they are essential for Deerfield Resort, ensuring our community develops in a way that preserves its character, quality of life, and property values.

 

The Importance of Strong CCRs for Deerfield Resort

 

CCRs are vital for maintaining the character and standards of neighborhoods like Deerfield Resort. If detailed and comprehensive, they would empower us to shape our community, ensuring it remains desirable and attractive. Currently, the CCRs established by Fields Development Company for the HOA are the only property protections residents have. However, our existing CCRs are not detailed enough to effectively preserve land use and property values. Scott Fields, President of Fields Development Company, acknowledged in deposition that he wished he could have prevented or controlled some recent land use activities, but the existing CCRs did not grant him the authority to do so. 

 

The Developer’s Responsibilities

 

Fields Development Company failed in its fiduciary duty to Deerfield Resort homeowners by not developing CCRs that protect our community's interests. With knowledge of the absence of zoning laws in Campbell County, they had an even greater responsibility to safeguard those interests. During the developer control period of the HOA, it was their duty to ensure comprehensive and protective CCRs. However, Fields Development Company's CCRs lack sufficient detail, leaving residents vulnerable to incompatible land uses and poor maintenance standards. This oversight has undermined Deerfield Resort's integrity and jeopardized your property values.

 

Moreover, Fields Development Company's unilateral amendments to the CCRs over 38 years, conducted without property owner involvement, raises concerns about their compliance with the fiduciary duties owed to all who purchase property in Deerfield Resort. These amendments have failed to adequately protect our large lakefront community's interests.

 

What This Means for Deerfield Resort Property Owners

 

For each property owner, the absence of zoning laws combined with weak CCRs has significant implications. Without these protective measures, there is no structured way to control or influence property development or use. This lack of regulation can lead to incompatible land uses,  lowering property values and diminishing the community's appeal and tranquility. Uncertainty about future developments can erode confidence among property owners, deter investment, and increase conflicts over land use.

 

The Urgent Need for Action

 

Deerfield Resort faces substantial risks due to the absence of zoning laws and inadequate CCRs. Detailed and comprehensive CCRs are urgently needed to provide clear guidelines and standards for property use, architectural design, and maintenance responsibilities. HOA developed CCRs offer property owners a voice, as well as security and predictability, ensuring the community's long-term viability.

 

The urgency of this situation cannot be overstated. Each new development without adequate oversight increases the risk of irreversible changes that will permanently alter Deerfield Resort's character. The current lack of detailed regulations may lead to a disjointed mix of property uses (for example, a campground/RV park), undermining the community's cohesive atmosphere and deterring potential buyers.

 

Taking Action

 

By supporting efforts to establish more detailed CCRs, you can prevent negative outcomes and ensure Deerfield Resort remains a desirable place to live. Your involvement can lead to stronger property protections and a higher quality of life for all residents. Don't wait for these issues to worsen—get involved today to safeguard our community and your investment.

 

Stay informed and engaged by regularly monitoring updates on our webpage regarding legal actions and CCR changes. Communicate openly with all of your neighbors to raise awareness and better understand these critical issues affecting us. Together, we can protect the interests and integrity of our community for the benefit of all residents.

 

5th Amended CCRs filed by Fields Development Company, May 2, 2024

Amended CCRs Aug 2018

 

Amended CCRs Aug 2000

Amended CCRs Dec 1986

Original CCRs April 1985

For more information or to get involved, please visit our webpage or contact us through the email link below.

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