Why is a written Letter of Approval from the Homeowners’ Association needed prior to making any exterior improvements?

The Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions and By–Laws of the Crystal Tree Homeowners’ Association require a homeowner to obtain a written Letter of Approval from the Homeowners’ Association prior to making any exterior improvements to their property. It is the obligation of the elected Board Members of the Homeowners’ Association to uphold the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions and By–Laws of our Association. It is important to assure uniformity and an esthetically pleasing community, to preserve our property values, to maintain proper adherence to the Village of Orland Park’s building and zoning codes, to obtain the insurance requirements that protect our community, and to be certain that the materials that are being used meet the high quality standards expected; these are many examples of the reasons why it is necessary for these procedures to be followed by all homeowners. A written Letter of Approval is a document that assures that the approval process was properly followed by the homeowner when an exterior improvement was made. This letter should be kept on file by the homeowner with other important documents.

Why is an Architectural Review Fee required when requesting a change or update to the exterior of my home?

Due to the complex nature and the professional skills needed in the process of reviewing and approving Architectural Requests within our community, the Board of Directors drafted new Architectural Guidelines and a new Architectural Review Fee Schedule in 2010. This was done according to the Crystal Tree Homeowners’ Association By–Laws, Article IV, Paragraph 1 (B). This Fee Schedule was adopted and approved at the December 17, 2009, Homeowners’ Association Board of Director’s Meeting, and has been in effect as of January 1, 2010. To keep these fees affordable to our homeowners, the Board of Directors has varied the fees according to the complexity of the requested approval. This is a change from in the past, when fees were assessed at $250.00 per Architectural Review, regardless of classification.

How long does it take to receive a written Architectural⁄Landscape Approval for exterior improvements from the Homeowners’ Association?

The Architectural Committee and the Landscape Committee have 30 days to respond to the homeowner from the day all documents and forms have been submitted for their review. In most instances, this process is completed much sooner, but this would depend upon the volume of approval requests that are being processed at one time and other unforeseen factors. For example, it is important to note that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to FULLY complete all forms and submit ALL information that is necessary for the approval process. If forms are submitted with missing information, they will be returned to the homeowner for completion, which will cause unnecessary delays. It is highly recommended that, whenever possible, homeowners submit their requests for approval well in advance of any projects anticipated, to avoid delaying contractor scheduling.

Why are sash only and insert replacement windows not acceptable for window replacement for townhomes in our community?

Sash only and insert replacement windows are offered, and sometimes promoted by window salesmen, for townhome window replacement in our community. Although these window products have their place in certain applications, they do not work well to resolve the problems of window deterioration in our community. In many instances, the window frame deterioration and subsequent water leakage around windows and into the window wall structures has been going on for some time, and has created rotting and mold problems. When sash only and insert replacement is done, the window frame is not removed, therefore, the problem of rotting structures and mold will not be visible. This solution does not address the window repair properly. Window manufacturers do not recommend the installation of these types of windows into window frames that are deteriorated, rotted, or beyond repair. The decision to eliminate sash only and insert replacement windows was made to protect our homeowners’ investment. This is why full–frame window replacement is required.

My mailbox is in need of repair…what should I do?

If you are a Townhome Owner, and you have noticed that your mailbox definitely needs some TLC, please notify our Property Manager to request the proper repairs.

If you are a Single Family Homeowner, in need of a mailbox replacement, please be aware that specific rules apply to the type of mailbox that is approved. These approved mailboxes are available through our Property Manager for purchase at a reduced cost to the Homeowner, and the installation is performed through the Homeowners’ Association at no additional charge.

Please take special note that the Homeowners’ Association cannot be responsible for mailboxes that have been damaged by vehicles or vandalism. The Homeowner must attempt to recover such losses through the responsible parties.

What should I be aware of concerning coyote sightings within our community?

We’ve been hearing of coyote sightings within our community.  Noticing the increasing coyote population is just a part of the natural co–existence between wildlife and people sharing the great outdoors, but are you aware of some general, common sense safety rules when living in harmony with them?

  • One of the most important rules to keep in mind is not to feed or attempt to feed these wild creatures.  This only will serve to decrease their natural fear of people, causing them to be attracted to our home boundaries, thus encouraging close encounters and increasing the risk to children, pets and adults.  Even unintentional feeding, such as leaving garbage cans unsecured, keeping untidy bird feeders that attract small rodents, and leaving pet food outdoors can serve to attract the appetite of these opportunistic feeders.
  • Though we already have specific rules for pets in our community, it is important to again remind everyone of the following: For your pet’s safety, always walk them on leash and be sure that pets are never left loose or unattended for even short periods of time.  (FYI: Small dogs and cats can be especially vulnerable.)

Being aware is important, but let us not overlook some positive attributes of these interesting creatures.  They help to control the rodent population and the Canadian geese population (as goose eggs are a natural food source for their diet).

What is the appropriate driving etiquette when approaching the brick pedestrian crosswalks within our community?

Crosswalks & Pedestrian Right–of–Way:

When we repaved our streets, we also put in crosswalks at key locations.  They are both aesthetic and practical since they are more efficient than stop signs.  Please recognize that pedestrians have the right–of–way at these intersections.   Drivers should stop when pedestrians are present.  If there were stop signs, all vehicles would have to stop all the time.  Enjoy the benefit, but honor pedestrian’s right–of–way when people are present.

How do I dispose of bulky items for garbage pickup? How do I dispose of old paint and other hazardous materials?

Regular garbage pickup will not accept bulky items such as discarded appliances, water heaters, construction materials, large rolls of carpeting, etc., as a part of normal pickup services.  You must contact our scavenger service to schedule a special pickup.  Please make the special arrangements required in advance, and avoid leaving these items curbside for prolonged periods.   Residents should also be aware that if there are any additional charges for this service, it is the responsibility of the homeowner.  For more information on scavenger service “Curbside Pickup” for large trashclick here.

Hazardous waste of any kind, including paint, should never be poured down any drainage systems such as sinks, storm sewers, etc. (Did you know that our storm sewer systems drain into our ponds and hazardous waste would contaminate our ponds?) Some common examples of hazardous waste include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Automotive products (antifreeze, fluids, motor oil)
  • Batteries (home and car)
  • Cathode ray tubes (TVs, computer monitors)
  • Fluorescent light bulbs and ballasts
  • Household cleansers
  • Medicines
  • Mercury (thermometers, thermostats)
  • Paints, latex and oil (must be dried)
  • Pesticides

It is very important to be aware that there is a proper way to discard paint.   In the past, we have had damage to our streets when residents have left unused paint at the curb for garbage pickup without following the proper procedure.  This has resulted in the garbage truck leaving a trail of dripping paint on our private streets.  

Our scavenger service offers “At Your Door Special Collection Service” for the proper disposal of hazardous waste.  For more information, click here.

Why must I remove and store all lawn ornaments, flower pots, statuary and landscape light fixtures before the winter season?

The snow removal crews clear the snow from all townhome driveways and service walkways and must have the ability to pile snow at the edge of the driveway and sidewalks. With the snow cover, and particularly during heavy snow falls, the contractor cannot always see these items to avoid damage. Lawn ornaments and lighting can be damaged by snow removal equipment or by the weight of the snow if these items are too close to the area in which the contractor is working. In addition, some lawn ornaments will not hold up to the drop in temperature and excessive moisture. Please protect your personal property by storing these items for the winter. The contractor will not be held responsible for the cost to replace these items if they are in the work area.

What must be done to help avoid damage to the wiring of my landscape lighting during normal landscape maintenance?

Please be reminded that low voltage wiring must be buried deep enough during installation, by your lighting contractor, to properly protect your landscape lighting.  It is understandable how this wiring cannot be easily seen within the planting areas.   Our landscape contractor cannot be held responsible for unintentional damage due to improper installation while performing the normal duties necessary to maintain the appearance of your landscaping.

Can I request “special” scheduling for the painting of my townhome?

In fairness to all townhome residents, please note that the painting of townhome units will be followed as scheduled.   These Painting Schedules are listed on our website (see “Townhome Painting” in the navigation menu).  Simply put, the granting of “special requests” is unfair to your neighbors and our community as a whole.  There will be no exceptions to this painting policy.

Why doesn’t the Village of Orland Park Police Department patrol the streets of Crystal Tree with as much frequency as other areas of Orland Park?

This question has been asked of the Chief of Police of Orland Park. The response has been that the community of Crystal Tree has the lowest crime rate in the Village. This may be affected by the fact that we live in a gated community and have a roving patrol during evening and early morning hours. Because the streets are private, the Crystal Tree Homeowners entered into a “Police Agreement” with the Village a number of years ago to give the police department authority to patrol the streets and to enforce the State of Illinois Vehicle Codes within our community. The police will respond to the Board’s request for patrols on a periodic basis and in the event of suspected criminal activity, the police should be contacted and will respond to your call for assistance. Homeowners should remain cognizant of the exposure for liability and personal injury while driving in the community and should obey the traffic signs and speed limit of 20 mph.

As a resident of Crystal Tree, why must I have a transponder to enter at the gatehouse?

The left lane serviced by the guard on duty is for guests, vendors and other resident services so that nonresidents can be properly cleared for entrance to the community. This procedure adds a level of security and control over who gains access to Crystal Tree. The right lane is dedicated to entry by homeowners. The gate in the resident lane operates automatically with a transponder and frees the guard to give attention to vehicles entering in the left lane. All residents should have a transponder for each vehicle housed on the property. If your transponder is not working, you may obtain a replacement or a license plate transponder for those vehicles where the windshield will not permit the use of the window transponder. Failure to obtain a transponder, or not replacing a transponder that is not working properly, will result in slowing traffic patterns, as the resident will be required to utilize the guest lane when entering the property.

How do residents enroll to receive important community email alerts?

It is easy to enroll for community email alerts right on our website: www.crystaltreehoa.com
We encourage all residents to take advantage of this important step to stay informed of what is currently happening within our community.  It is also an indispensible way to receive time sensitive information and announcements.   A one–time registration is all that is necessary to continuously be included when important community information becomes available.

I tried to contact our Board Members⁄Web Designer by “replying” to a community email alert and never received an answer…what happened?

Community Email Alerts/Website Updates are automated and generated as a one–way communication path to our residents through our Web Designer. Any “reply” to these automated alerts are not read or monitored, and therefore will not receive a response. If you have a community concern, please be reminded that all community issues are addressed through our Property Manager.