NORTH RIVER SHORES VARIANCE APPROVAL
The original architects and developers of North River Shores recorded setbacks on the Original Deed of each property in order to maintain the view and aesthetic of each owner. These setbacks are unique to each property. The side setbacks are generally 15 feet, but can vary depending on the property. In order to determine the setback of a particular property you must obtain a copy of the first recording of the deed (Original Deed). Guidance on how to get a copy of the Original Deed can be found in the FAQ section of this web site. The Board of Directors has developed a variance process consistent with by-laws by which members can request relief from the covenants and deeded setbacks. If a property owner wishes to build improvements on the property that will encroach into the deeded setback they may apply to the Board of Directors for a variance to do so. Many such variances have been approved. The following guidance is provided to assist property owners with the variance process. The Board of Directors changed its policies in 2013 to allow a contract purchaser (Buyer) to apply for a variance prior to closing on the sale.
If you need additional assistance please call our NEW eVoice message system (772)-692-3939 and leave a message for the Deed Restriction Committe Chairmen or Vice President.
VARIANCE REQUEST OVERVIEW
Approval of variances of the NRSPOA Covenants and Restriction or Deeded Setbacks is a two part approval process. The variance must be approved by at least 15 of 20 (75 percent) of nearby or potentially affected property owners, prior to a vote by the Board of Directors (Board). The Board's decision on variances is final.".
The variance petitioner will need to prepare a variance petition package containing the following documents:
- The current "Warranty Deed", to the subject property identifying the current owner(s) of the property or a copy of the contract for purchase if the petitioner is not the current title holder.
- Original Deed indicating the recorded setbacks on the subject property
- A recent boundary survey of the subject property
- Site plan or drawing(s) showing accurately the proposed improvements, construction, or modification(s) (drawn to scale clearly indicating the requested variance(s))
- Proposed variance petition letter describing the requested variance
- Variance processing fee
This variance process is intended to be anonymous, so petitioners are strongly advised NOT to contact their neighbors personally or indirectly regarding a variance petition. If coercion or intimidation is discovered the variance application will be denied.
The variance application package must be submitted to the Deed Restriction Committee Chairman for review and approval of the package format and content. Once the Deed Restriction Committee Chairman has indicated to the petitioner that the variance package is complete the variance petition package and application fee shall be sent to NRSPOA PO Box 3154, Stuart, FL 34995 for processing and mailing.
The submission of an incomplete or incorrect variance petition package to the Deed Restriction Committee that requires repeated re-submission of a corrected package or additional information shall be accompanied by an additional review fee to continue with the variance process.
If the variance request is approved, it is the Petitioner's responsibility and at petitioner's expense to record in the Martin County Public Records a written Release of Deeded Restriction signed and sealed by the Board of Directors. An official recorded copy of this release must be provided to the Board of Directors.
If approved, the petitioner shall notify the Deed Restriction Committee within 30 days of approved construction completion and shall provide any "As-built" surveys or Record Drawings as required by Martin County Building Department. Unauthorized construction in violation of the covenants and restrictions, recorded setbacks, or approved variance shall be considered an intentional act to be resolved by litigation and/or all other available means.
VARIANCE APPROVAL PROCESS
After making their initial request known to the NRSPOA, the petitioner or legal representative shall prepare a variance petition package. The petitioner shall provide all sufficient maps and or factual information concerning the requested variance(s), so that the property owners can easily and fully comprehend what they are being asked to approve. Drawings, sketches, and/or photos, if needed to accurately explain present and desired conditions, should be included and described in the variance request package. If multiple variances are sought, each separate variance shall be described. For Example: A variance from the side lot set back that involves both side lot lines should each be described separately and clearly. Urgency and extenuating circumstances, explained by the Petitioner, are encouraged. If the petitioner needs additional information to prepare the variance package, petitioners may inquire directly to the Board.
Petitions will be mailed to 20 designated nearby and or affected member properties. To facilitate this, the petitioner is responsible for providing 22 hard copies of the variance petition package and one digital copy of the complete variance application package in PDF format and the application fee to the NRSPOA, PO Box 3154, Stuart, FL 34995. Twenty (20) copies will be mailed to member properties, one (1) copy will be mailed to the Chairman of the Deed Restriction Committee and one (1) copy will be mailed to the President of the NRSPOA Board of Directors.
Each of the 20 designated member properties will have a ten (10) business day period for petition review & response. After at least 15 business days, a second letter is to be sent to non-responders by Certified Mail with Return Receipt notification. When all responses are received, they will be evaluated, and a final decision as to the granting of a variance will be rendered by the Board. The Covenants and Restrictions require a favorable response from at least 15 of 20 (75 percent) of the designated 20 member properties, whereupon the Board may agree to release the property from the requested restriction(s) and/or deeded setbacks. The Board is empowered to withhold approval, if coercion or intimidation is discovered, or if it is deemed in the best interest of the community as a whole, irrespective of favorable responses on the petition from designated member properties. The Board's decision is final.
The NRSPOA accounting firm will circulate by regular mail the variance request package and response instructions to each designated property owner asking them to indicate their desires "GRANT or NOT TO GRANT the variance", sign, and return variance request form to them. Property owners who do not respond within ten (10) days will receive a second variance request letter from the NRSPOA accounting firm by both regular and certified mail. Said second letter, clearly states that if no response is received within 30 days, the NRSPOA will assume the non-response is approval of the variance request. During this time, the designated 20 property owners may direct questions to the Chairperson of the Deed Restrictions Committee at (772) 692-3939.
If the variance request is approved, the Board will provide a signed and sealed written Release of Restrictions, and it is the Petitioner's responsibility, at his/her own expense, to record this document in Martin County Public Records. Any release granted will be considered null and void if the recorded copy is not provided to the Board WITHIN 60 DAYS of the date the release of restriction is granted.
If you have questions about this variance process, please contact the Deed Restriction Committee Chairmen or Vice President at: 772-692-3939.