Information on Use of Common Area Grounds

Recently there has been confusion regarding the proper placement and/or disposal of debris for Medford Township to pick up and discard. There have also been questions about what Members may or may not do in relation to altering the Common Area grounds. In order to ensure we are keeping Medford Commons beautiful, the Environment Committee would like to clarify and inform Members of the policy regarding these issues. The “Common Areas” refer to all areas other than the Members’ lots, the roads, the courts, and the lakes. The Covenants and By-Laws require the Board of Directors to manage the operation, care, upkeep and maintenance of the Common Areas. Likewise, Members are required to maintain their lot in a good state of repair.

The Board has developed policies regarding trees that require members to get WRITTEN permission from the Board before trimming, pruning or removing live trees on Common Areas near their home. Getting written permission simply means writing a letter to the Board, which can be addressed to Medford Commons Association, 11 Longhill Court, Medford NJ 08055. Planting of trees, shrubs or bushes in the Common Areas is prohibited without prior written permission from the Board. Planting without approval may require removal at the Member’s expense if it causes interference with mowing, easements or lack of compatibility with the plan for beautification of the Common Areas. Members should be familiar with their property lines and restrict their planting to that area. Any exceptions need to be approved in writing by the Board.

Members may cut the grass in a Common Area if they wish to harmonize the cutting with their own lawn, so long as it does not cause damage to the Common Area.

Members who clean up their lot and/or the Common Area around their lot must dispose of the leaves, branches, gumballs and other debris according to the directives found on the township website Because the township does not pick up debris regularly, placing debris in the Common Area to sit for months at a time causes both an environmental and aesthetic detriment to the Common Area for the other Members. This includes debris caused for any reason, even for natural causes such as storms. In short, nothing should be placed on the Common Area grounds. Doing so prevents the grass from being mowed or fertilized properly, and looks unsightly.

According to the township web site, natural debris (“brush”) should be disposed of in the following way. “Brush” includes the pruning of trees, shrubs, bushes, or vines. It does not include grass clippings, flowers, weeds, tree trunks, stumps, or leaves. Brush should be bundled and piled neatly at the edge of the property and cannot be placed in any roadway or sidewalk. It should not exceed 4-6 feet in length, and should not be any larger than 6 inches in diameter. Both brush, and non-brush vegetation (as listed previously) should be taken directly to the Neighborhood Services Drop-Off Facility located at 2 Commonwealth Drive (off of Gravelly Hollow Road, behind Bob Meyer Park). That facility is open every Tuesday morning from 7:00 to 11:30 am, every Thursday afternoon from 11:30am to 3:00pm, and on the 3rd Saturday of every month from 7:00am until 12:00pm for the disposal of any debris. If you are planning on removing any debris to take to the facility, we recommend you keep these days and times in mind. Members may also drop off any recycling materials (leaves, brush, grass clippings, TVs, computers) at the Neighborhood Services Recycling Facility Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 1:00pm.

In order to oversee the proper maintenance and appearance of the Common Areas for all, any Member who piles debris of any sort on the Common Area grounds will be fined $25.00 each day after written notification of the violation, until the debris is removed by that Member. If the debris is not removed within three days of receiving the written notification, the Board will hire a contractor to facilitate the debris removal at a cost not to exceed $200.00/hour, which will be assessed to the Member in addition to the daily fine.

Nothing said here is intended to discourage Members from helping to improve the appearance of our neighborhood. In fact, the Board encourages our fellow Members to take an active part in keeping our neighborhood beautiful. This notification is simply meant to ensure that debris is being disposed of properly so that all Members may continue to benefit from a beautiful Medford Commons.

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