The water and sewer operations consist of:. The above stated tracts of land and personal assets have been transferred to the Beech Mountain Utility Corporation. I The tennis courts, swimming facilities, golf course and the clubhouse facilities are for the exclusive use of the members of the BMPOA Inc. With respect to any facilities which the general public might use, such as the ski facilities, the public is charged a use rate in excess of the charge to a BMPOA Inc. Approximately property owners at Beech Mountain pay membership dues and annual assessments to the Beech Mountain Property Owners' Association, Inc.
Defendants Seifart paid such membership dues and assessments for the fiscal years and , but did not pay such dues and assessments thereafter. Defendants Collins and defendants Moore and Cutter have never paid any membership dues or assessments to the Association. The district court granted defendants' motions for summary judgment.
From judgment dismissing the actions, plaintiffs appeal. The issue raised by this appeal is whether the covenants upon which the Property Owners' Association relies to assess defendants are sufficiently certain and definite to be enforceable. We hold that they are not. Accordingly, we do not address the question whether the covenants run with the land so as to be enforceable by parties other than the original grantor, Carolina Caribbean Corporation.
It is, of course, true that "[a] grantee, who accepts a deed containing otherwise valid covenants purporting to bind him, thereby becomes bound for the performance of such covenants.
Dosam, Inc. However, just as covenants restricting the use of property are to be strictly construed against limitation on use, Hege v. Sellers, N. Grayson, N. While counsel on this appeal have cited no decision of our own Supreme Court, and our own research has disclosed none, which has discussed the standard properly applicable in determining whether a particular covenant involving future assessments is sufficiently definite to be enforceable, courts of other states which have considered the question have stressed the necessity for some ascertainable standard contained in the covenant by which the court can objectively determine both that the amount of the assessment and the purpose for which it is levied fall within the contemplation of the covenant.
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Compare Kell v. Bella Vista Vil. Owners Ass'n. Sand Point Maintenance Commission, 48 Wn. Beekmere, Incorporated, N. Obviously, a covenant which purports to bind the grantee of land to pay future assessments in whatever amount to be used for whatever purpose the assessing entity might from time to time deem desirable would fail to provide the court with a sufficient standard.
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Examining the three covenants at issue in the present case, we find no sufficient standard by which to measure the defendants' liability for assessments. None of the covenants identifies with particularity the property to be maintained.
The first covenant, being the one incorporated by reference into the deeds for lots in the Ski-Way Tract of the Beech Mountain subdivision, refers to "reasonable annual assessment charges for road maintenance and maintenance of the trails and recreational areas," and the two other covenants refer more generally to assessments for "road maintenance.
Even more important is that there is nothing in the covenant which can guide the court should it be called upon to review the determination by the Property Owners' Association as to what particular roads and trails it elects to maintain. Two of the covenants refer to assessment charges for "recreational fees" or "recreational areas," but again no specific recreational areas are either described or referred to which are to be maintained.
Even though Carolina Caribbean Corporation owned certain recreational facilities at Beech Mountain at the time the defendants acquired title to their lots, the covenants do not refer specifically to those facilities or require that the assessments be used to maintain those particular facilities. Further, even if it be assumed that the defendants and others who purchased property at the time the original Articles of Incorporation of the Beech Mountain Property Owners' Association were on record had constructive notice of their contents, the statement in those articles of the purposes for which the Association was organized is equally as indefinite as the covenants themselves.
Indeed, the very breadth of corporate purposes stated in the amendment and the wide-ranging activities engaged in by the Property Owners' Association under authority of its amended charter furnish strong evidence that there is no clearly defined limiting standard by which the court can determine whether the assessment made in any particular year against any particular property owner is authorized both as to amount and purpose by the covenant applicable to his property.
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Homestead Exemptions The Watauga County Tax Assessor can provide you with an application form for the Watauga County homestead exemption, which can provide a modest property tax break for properties which are used as the primary residence of their owners. Additional exemptions might be available for farmland, green space, veterans, or others.
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