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Covenants

Potomac Falls is proud of its long-standing tradition to maintain one of the region’s premier communities by adhering to a set of standards for the land and its homes.  These covenants, which are attached to the property deed of each home in Potomac Falls, are intended to ensure the consistency and beauty of the neighborhood.  They are listed here in their entirety.

(UPDATED 2005)

1. LAND USE AND IMPROVEMENTS

(a) No land shall be used except exclusively for private dwelling purposes.

(b) No building, structure or improvements of any kind shall be placed, erected or permitted to remain on any lot other than:
(i) on detached single-family dwelling not to exceed 2 1/2 stories in height,
(ii) a garage,
(iii) a stable or other outbuilding incidental to the residential use of the lot, and
(iv) a fence; subject, however, to the terms and conditions herein contained.

(c) No building, including outbuildings or structure shall be placed, erected, altered, improved or permitted to remain on any lot, nor shall any changes be made in the exterior design of any building, including outbuilding, or structure on any lot until the building plans therefore, the materials to be used in the construction, the color scheme, the cost, type and design, the plot plan showing the location of such improvements, and the intended use thereof, have been approved in writing by the Architectural Control Committee, hereafter Committee.

(d) No line fence or wall, or fence or wall used for the purpose of dividing or enclosing a lot, in whole or in part, shall be placed, erected or permitted to remain on any lot, or any portion thereof, except hedge, shrubbery, stone, brick, ornamental iron, mortised post and split rail, or plank, which do not exceed four (4) feet in height, except with the written consent of the Committee.

(e) No lot or any portion thereof shall be used or maintained as a dumping ground for rubbish. Trash, garbage, refuse, or other waste material shall be kept in a storage area, screened by appropriate planting or otherwise, and shall be kept in sanitary containers.

(f) In connection with any stable which is kept or maintained on a lot, all manure must be stored and kept in a concealed manure pit or in a storage area, screened by appropriate planting or otherwise, and shall be kept in a sanitary enclosure.

(g) All incinerators shall be kept in a storage area screened by appropriate planting or otherwise; and all incinerators and other equipment for the storage or disposal of rubbish, trash, refuse, or other waste material, shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.

(h) All dog runs or dog walks shall be installed and maintained in an area screened by appropriate planting or otherwise, and the same and all dog kennels shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.

(i) No manure pit or other enclosure for manure, compost pile, incinerator, dog kennel, dog run or dog walk shall be kept or maintained nearer than 25 feet to a rear lot line or side lot line.

(j) No animals, except horses and family dog and cat pets, and no chicken or other fowl shall be kept or maintained on any lot or any portion thereof, except with the written consent of the Committee.

(k) No lot shall be subdivided in any manner or sold in any manner other than in the whole, except with the written consent of the Committee.


2. SIGNS AND NUISANCES

(a) No advertising sign, billboard or other similar device shall be placed, entered or permitted to remain on any lot.

(b) No lot, or any portion thereof, nor any buildings, including outbuildings, or structure, or any improvements placed, erected or permitted to remain thereon, shall be used in any manner as to constitute a nuisance, or used in any manner for any purpose so as to endanger the lives, health and comfort of, or unreasonably disturb the peace or quiet of an owner or occupant of the adjoining property or the neighborhood.


3. ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL COMMITTEE

(a) The Architectural Control Committee herein above referred to is composed of three individuals and shall exercise the powers herein above defined. Whenever Committee approval shall be required under the terms hereof, such approval shall be in writing. If the Committee shall fail to act within 30 days after the submission to it of any matter, in the manner and form herein provided, or if no action to enjoin a proposed construction is taken prior to the completion thereof, or if any such construction shall have been completed and the Committee shall fail to take the necessary action to complete the removal thereof within a period of 60 days after learning of the same, approval will not be required and the applicable covenants, conditions and restrictions will be treated as having been complied with. No charge of any kind shall be exacted by the Committee from any owner of a lot for services performed pursuant to these covenants.

(b) Upon violation of any restriction or condition or breach of any of the covenants contained herein which shall give a right of action to the Grantor to abate such violation, the Committee, in addition to all other remedies, shall have the right to enter upon the land, upon or as to which such violation or breach exists, and summarily to abate and remove, at the sole expense of the owner thereof, any building, including outbuildings, or structures, thing or condition that may be or exist thereon contrary to the intent and meaning of the terms and conditions of these covenants, and in such event, neither the Grantor, its successors or assigns, nor the Committee, or any member thereof, shall be deemed guilty of any manner of trespass for such entry, abatement or removal.

(c) The powers and duties of the Committee shall cease when all the lots in every subdivision, platted and recorded under the name Potomac Falls, and thereafter acquired by the Grantor, shall have been sold and the Grantor has notified all lot owners that no further development of the Potomac Falls area will be undertaken by it. Thereafter, any approval required of the Committee in these covenants shall not be required, but nothing herein contained will be deemed to preclude the lot owners from appointing, from among their members, a similar Committee; and in the event such committee is appointed by the lot owners, the Committee shall turn over to it all its data and records free of any charge.


4. LAND OCCUPANCY

(a) In view of the sizable investment of the Grantor, W.C. & A.N. Miller Development Company, as the developers of Potomac Falls subdivision, its continuing financial interest until the Potomac Falls area shall have been completed, its many years of experience in subdivision work, and the marketing of dwelling houses, and for the purpose of maintaining each property sold and the surrounding properties in the several Potomac Falls subdivisions as a desirable upper-class residential area, no lot shall be occupied, or used as a dwelling or residence for or by any person or persons other than the Grantee herein and members of his family, except for such persons who may be employed as domestic servants of the Grantee for the terms or terms of such employment, unless and until such occupancy shall have the approval of the Grantor, its successors and assigns, and upon the character and desirability of any proposed occupant from a standpoint of:
(i) confidentiality with the then existing property owners in the Potomac Falls subdivisions, and
(ii) financial ability to maintain the standards of the Potomac Falls residential Community.

(b) Notwithstanding the unlimited right of approval accorded to the Grantor, its successors and assigns, in sub-paragraph (a) above, approval may not be withheld if a majority of the owners of record, of lots which are subject to these restrictions, and which face or adjoin the lot involved, within a distance of five (5) lots from the side lot lines thereof, on both sides of the street on which such lot is situated, shall file with the Grantor, a request in writing that such occupancy be permitted.

(c) The Grantor expressly reserves the right to divest itself of the right of approval provided for in subparagraph (a) hereof, at any time, by giving thirty (30) days written notice of its intention to do so to each owner of record of a lot in any of the Potomac Falls subdivisions which have been platted and accorded in the Land Records of Montgomery Country, and thereafter acquired by the Grantor; and thereafter such right of approval may not be exercised by the Grantor but nothing herein contained shall preclude a majority of the owners of record of any of the aforesaid lots to agree and covenant inter se that they shall, in like manner, enforce the same restriction.

(d) Any violation of this restriction shall be abated and restrained by the Grantor and may be abated and restrained by any lot owner of record in any of the Potomac Falls subdivisions, by appropriate proceedings in a court of equity.


5. REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS

After all the lots in the Potomac Falls subdivisions, as platted and recorded in the Land Records of Montgomery County, have been sold, and written notice given to the lot owners of record in the several Potomac Falls subdivisions that no further development will be undertaken by the Grantor, a majority of then lot owners of record shall have the right to remove or annul each and every of the covenants, conditions and restrictions herein contained with the exception of such covenants, conditions and restrictions as impose easements and right-of-way upon each lot for the benefit of other lots.


6. RIGHT-OF-WAY AND EASEMENTS

(a) In the Deed of Conveyance conveying each lot, Grantor will reserve for itself, its successors and assigns, a right of-way ten (10) feet in width, which, in its sole judgment, may be at the rear lot line or at either or both the side lot lines of each lot, or a combination thereof, to be used for the purpose of construction and maintenance of poles, wires and conduits for the transmission of electricity for lighting, telephone, and other purposes, and for the necessary attachments in connection therewith, and the public and private sewers, storm water drains, land drains, pipes and other methods of conducting and performing any public or quasi-public utility or function beneath the surface of the ground, including underground cables or conduits for electrical and telephone services.

(b) The Grantee herein, at his sole cost and expense, shall keep and maintain the above right-of-way free and unobstructed by fences, gates or the like, and shall likewise keep the same free from trash, refuse, weeds, and undesirable vegetation, so as to permit the ready traversing thereof. And the Grantee, by the acceptance of this deed, hereby expressly agrees that the same when connected with similar rights-of-way over adjoining lots, may be used as a foot and bridle path.


7. SEVERABILITY

Each and every one of the covenants, conditions and restrictions herein contained shall be taken as independent and not dependent covenants. Invalidation of any of these covenants by judgment or court order, shall in no manner affect any of the remaining covenants, conditions or restrictions, which shall continue to be binding upon the Grantor and Grantees, their heirs, successors and assigns.

If any covenant herein contained shall be invalidated by judgment or court order, then a majority of the lot owners of record in the several Potomac Falls subdivisions may, by duly executing and recording a written instrument so providing, reinstate any such covenant, condition or restriction, and from and after the date of recording such written instrument, the reinstated covenant, condition or restriction shall be deemed and treated for all purposes as constituting a neighborhood agreement, and shall be binding upon the inure to the benefit of all the then lot owners of record in the several Potomac Falls subdivisions and all future purchasers of a lot or lots.

The acceptance of this deed shall be evidence of the contract of every such lot owner, his heirs and assigns, to be bound by such neighborhood agreement executed for the purpose of reinstating any covenant, condition or restriction even though such lot owner shall not have subscribed to the written instrument setting it forth.


8. MASCULINE, FEMININE, SINGULAR AND PLURAL

The masculine shall be read in the feminine, and the singular shall be read in the plural whenever the person or the context shall plainly so require.


9. DEFINITIONS

Whenever the name POTOMAC FALLS is used herein, the same shall be construed to include any subdivision plated and recorded in the Lands Records of Montgomery County under the name GREAT FALLS ESTATES and thereafter acquired by the Grantor. The term Grantor, as used herein, shall be construed to mean the W.C. & A.N. MILLER DEVELOPMENT COMPANY; and the term Grantee, as used herein, shall mean the original Grantee from the W.C. & A.N. Miller Development Company, and as well, any successor Grantee of the same.

Potomac Falls Homeowners Association, PO Box 59143, Potomac, MD 20859

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