Cedar Lakes FAQ
The following are examples of some of the more common questions that are asked by people in the community, together with answers to such questions as set out in the deed restrictions and covenants registered on title to our properties. While these answers are intended to provide some guidance, they do not replace the formal rules and, to the extent there is any discrepancy, the formal rules (of course) take precedence.
When will the other Cedar Lakes phases be released? Phase 1 is now sold out. There are 6 available lots for purchase in Phase 2 of Cedar Lakes. Due to the recent decision by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the village boundary will not be extended at this time and will have to wait to be decided on at the next comprehensive review by the City of Ottawa. As a result, Phases 3-5 cannot go forward until the boundary is expanded and there are no guarantees that this will happen.
Can I reserve a lot in one of the subsequent Cedar Lakes phases? Lot reservations for lots in subsequent phases are not available at this time; however, you can request to keep your name on a mailing list for information relating to lots in Sunset Lakes communities.
What common amenities will be available at Cedar Lakes? The phases 3, 4, 5, and a comprehensive amenity package was contingent on the City of Ottawa or the OMB approving a village boundary expansion. Both have refused. The developer is currently reviewing the impact of the OMB decision not to expand the village boundary. A final decision as to the location of the common area will be made prior to the end of 2017.
The lot map shows a large proposed park near Stagecoach Road. Is this a commonly-owned property? What will this park be used for? This area will be a city park for all to use. Proposed plans include a small play area, parking, and sports fields.
Will there be a Cedar Lakes Owners Association? Yes, there will be a Cedar Lakes Owners Association.
Will residents be required to pay an annual fee each year? How much will it be? Where do these funds go, what are they used for, and to whom do I pay the fee? The by-laws and covenants provide that the owner of each property within Cedar Lakes, regardless of whether there is a home yet built on the site, is required to pay an annual fee to CLOA. The initial owners association fees will be set at $180 per lot per year. If phases 3-6 proceed, then additional recreational facilities may be provided by the developer. At that time, the membership fees would likely be increased to what the other SLD communities currently pay.
The funds are used to permit the Association to maintain common amenities owned by the Association, which benefit all of the residents. These fees will also permit CLOA to create a reserve fund which is available to CLOA if the association faces particular needs of a significant dollar cost.
How big will the lakes be at Cedar Lakes? The lake closest to Stagecoach Road is approximately 8 acres in size and the lake to the western side of the community is approximately 1-1.5 acres.
Are the lakes man-made? The lakes are all man-made and spring fed.
How deep are the lakes? The lakes are dug approximately 4 metres deep.
Are there any fish in the lakes? Fish seem to come into the lakes naturally. The lake establishes its own ecosystem, which makes for an amazing natural feature within the community.
Who tests the water in the lakes? The Owners Association monitors water quality.
What gives the lakes their beautiful colour? Minerals dissolve in the water, giving it that colour. All of the lakes have a different colour. It is their natural colour and no dyes are used.
Who will own the trails in the community and what are my responsibilities? The land on which the trails are located is, in some cases, owned by the homeowners’ whose homes are adjacent to the trails. In other cases, the land is owned by the Cedar Lakes Owners Association. Where the trails are on one of the resident’s property, it is important to remember that while all of the Cedar Lakes residents have the right to use the pathway, you should respect the owner’s property. For example, always pick up after your dogs. Try to keep bikes and strollers on the pathways and out of lawns and gardens. And respect the fact that no motorized vehicles (summer or winter) are permitted on the pathways.
While the trails are maintained by the Cedar Lakes Owners Association, if you own property adjacent to the trails it is your responsibility to ensure that nothing from your property (i.e., vegetation or man-made structure) poses a hazard to anyone using the trails.
My brother thinks our trails would be ideal for a “go-kart” type of all-terrain vehicle and wants to buy one for my son on his birthday. Is this permitted? For the safety of all who use the trails in the community, no unlicensed vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorized trail bikes or motorized personal watercraft are permitted to be used in the community.
We own waterfront property in the community. What are our rights and responsibilities?
While the owners of property on the lakes and ponds in our community have a direct link to these bodies of water, it is important to remember that the lakes and ponds are an integral component of the community and important to all of us. This is one of the reasons that our community has implemented a “no pesticide” and “organic fertilizer only” policy so that the quality of our water can be maintained. It is also why there are certain restrictions in place in respect of development of the waterfront. Specifically:
- The waterfront itself cannot be altered in any way without the consent of CLOA.
- No boathouses, docks or rafts are permitted without the consent of CLOA.
How will the design review applications work for Cedar Lakes? Should I apply for a building permit and a design review at the same time? Your residence represents a major investment. The quality of your home and your neighbour’s home will be very important to you, not only to protect your investment, but also to maximize your overall enjoyment of your home and community. The purpose of the Design Review Process is intended to ensure long-term community quality. Designs acceptable will provide more architectural interest than usually found in tract-designed or production homes. Designs for every home in Cedar Lakes must be reviewed under the Design Review Process of the developer or its appointee and accepted before construction begins. It is not the intent of the Design Review Process to make judgments as to what is or is not beautiful or to unduly hamper or restrict the owner. Rather, the Review Process is intended to promote individual creativity, encourage owners to thoroughly plan their home and to allow for the coordination of architectural diversity to create a blend of home styles which enhance the neighbourhood. The Design Review Process is supplemental to the requirements outlined in the Covenants and Restrictions for each community which provide the legal basis for reviewing and accepting design proposals.
In terms of applying for a building permit, it is generally a good idea to get a design review pre-consultation before you spend the money on official plans for design review submission. This way, if any amendments must be made, you know of these changes before being in possession of the official plans.
For more information on the step-by-step process for design review, click here.
I want to do some major landscaping work on my property this summer. Is there anything in particular I should be aware of? Our community, like all newer subdivisions, has been engineered so as to ensure that the normal water run-off from our properties is such that it does not negatively impact our neighbours’ ability to enjoy their properties. As a result, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Changing the slope of your property is not permitted, especially if it alters the drainage pattern of the lands so as to impact on neighbours, etc.
- Ditches and swales are to be maintained (not filled in) and must be kept clear of debris so as to permit drainage.
In addition, any major landscaping work requires written pre-approval from the Cedar Lakes Owners Association, especially if it involves any changes to existing elevations or the planting of hedges or building of any fences or other such structures. Plans must be submitted and designs approved before work begins. For some ideas of what is and what isn’t normally accepted, click here.
We love our trees, but a few are dying and we want to cut them down and replace them. What are the rules? There are restrictions on the cutting down of trees: no living tree greater than 4 inches in diameter can be cut down, except in relation to the erection of a building or the installation of a septic system, without the consent of the Cedar Lakes Owners Association.
As well, the use of trees as a “hedge” requires prior design approval by the Cedar Lakes Owners Association.
We noticed that there are very few streetlights in the subdivision. For safety and esthetics, what are the rules regarding lighting? To improve safety in our community and to add to the esthetic appeal, each of us is required to install and maintain two automatic photo-cell operated lawn lamps at the edge of the laneway and within 1.5 metres of the street limit.
We have invested a lot of time and money first in building our home and now in its maintenance and upkeep. What rules exist to ensure others do the same? While everyone admittedly has a different idea of exactly what an “acceptable” standard is in terms of what our homes should look like and how we should maintain our properties, our deed restrictions give us a baseline and provide some guidance by specifying the following:
- No external television antennae are permitted.
- Satellite dishes must be adequately screened from view from road and neighbouring properties, and are not to be installed without prior consultation with and written approval of CLOA.
- No exterior clotheslines are permitted unless adequately screened.
- No signs, billboards or other advertising materials are permitted without prior CLOA approval.
- No house, gardens or grounds are to be left in an unsightly or untidy condition.
- Properties cannot be used for exterior storage.
- No vehicle of more than ½ ton capacity can be parked on the property, nor can any derelict vehicle, motor home, bus or commercial vehicle.
- No lawn and garden maintenance equipment, storage sheds or play structures are permitted on the front yard without written approval of CLOA.
How can we be sure that people take these rules seriously? What happens if someone is ignoring the rules? What sanctions exist? The community has adopted a process (see Bylaw Compliance) to allow residents to bring forward concerns to the CLOA board for consideration. In fairness to all members of the board, concerns of this nature should be well-considered and brought forward in a formal way, either in writing (by using this form) or in person to a member of the board (and not informally in passing on the street or at the pool). If a formal concern is raised to CLOA by a homeowner, the concern will be considered by the board at its next meeting.
If a homeowner is in breach of the rules, there may be a variety of reasons. If he or she is simply unaware of the rules, the CLOA board will assist in advising them of the rules so that they can comply in the future. If a homeowner is aware of the rules and/or, once informed by CLOA of the rules, chooses not to “fix” the breach, the CLOA board will determine to what extent enforcement of the rules are appropriate. Enforcement may range from a decision to not pursue the matter in any formal manner at one extreme, to a decision to institute legal action against the homeowner at the other.
Where a breach exists and is not fixed by the homeowner despite CLOA’s requests, the CLOA file which is maintained for each of our properties will, for the property in breach, be updated to include a notation of such breach.
The CLOA website will be updated to include a section encouraging potential purchasers of property in Sunset Lakes, through their legal counsel, to request from the CLOA board a “status certificate” for the property. The status certificate will specifically list any arrears in fees and any non-compliance with rules of which notice has been given to the homeowner so that the potential purchaser knows if he or she is buying a property where there may be an “issue” to be resolved. Accordingly, noted breaches of the rules will potentially hinder the ability of any homeowner to convey title to their property without first taking steps to rectify any breach.
Much has been made about the environmental commitment at Cedar Lakes. Can you summarize what we can and cannot do? Click the following link for a website that provides guidance as to what can and cannot be used when we care for our lawns. As indicated above, we all share a concern as to the potential impact that the use of pesticides and non-organic fertilizers may have on the quality of the water in our lakes and ponds. In addition, there is considerable concern over the potential health impact the use of such products can have one our well-being, particularly on children and adults whose health is otherwise at risk.
Regardless of the motivation, the rules provide that no fertilizer or lawn chemicals of any kind shall be applied to our properties, without the consent of CLOA. While CLOA has specifically given its consent to the use of organic fertilizers and corn gluten, all other products are prohibited.