The Greens bans new satellite dishes Existing ones allowed to remain CENTRAL -- Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

September 30, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- James Crabbs of Uniontown Road doesn't like satellite TV dishes, and he supports a ban on adding new ones to roofs or yards in The Greens of Westminster.

"They're a bad-looking thing to set in the yard, as far as I'm concerned," Mr. Crabbs said.

Mitchell Gentry of Wampler Lane doesn't own a satellite dish, but opposes banning the dishes on individual rights grounds.

"That should be the owner's priority," he said. "People in the community are not judges, they're not the law, they're not God."

Robin Shamer of Mayfield Court has had a satellite dish in her back yard for four years. So when she learned that a ban on the dishes was part of proposed covenant changes up for a vote by Greens property owners, she got worried.

"I didn't know if it would be grandfathered," she said. "I was going to be upset" if she and her husband were told to remove the dish.

Mr. and Mrs. Shamer and their neighbors who have satellite dishes may keep them, but new ones will be banned under an addition to the covenants -- the development's rules governing exterior appearances -- that was narrowly approved by property owners in the Westminster subdivision.

In a mail-in vote conducted this summer, Greens homeowners voted 52 percent to 48 percent to ban new satellite dishes.

They also endorsed a "grandfather" clause that will allow current owners of satellite dishes to keep them.

The impetus to change the covenants came from residents, said John S. Kaylor, president of The Greens Homeowners Association.

"There were a lot of suggestions from households about things they felt were wrong with the covenants, things they wanted changed," he said.

A committee appointed by the association's governing board compiled residents' suggestions into a proposal for four additions and four changes to existing covenants. The process went on for about 18 months before the proposed changes were submitted to the voters, Mr. Kaylor said.

Greens residents gave the widest margin of approval to a requirement that pet owners must pick up their animals' excrement at least once a week. The residents endorsed that proposal by 91 percent to 9 percent.

The idea got no opposition from dog owner Bonnie Zito, a Glenbrook Drive resident. "I clean up after my dog every day," she said.

Mrs. Zito said she also supported barring additional satellite dishes.

The property owners approved creation of a variances committee that will review individual requests for exemptions from the covenants. Mr. Kaylor said he will accept nominations for the committee at an association board meeting in October or November.

New covenants adopted in the vote include requirements on residents to:

* Place refuse outdoors only in trash containers.

* Place discarded appliances for city pickup out on curbs no earlier than the night before the scheduled pickup.

* Put sheds only on concrete, crushed stone or treated lumber pads.

The owners voted to loosen restrictions on fence heights, raising the 42-inch maximum to 48 inches for wooden fences and 60 inches for chain-link fences.

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