Frequently Asked Questions

Lampposts and Lanterns

The DCCA Board is aware of the problems many residents are having with their aging lamposts and with the rising cost of replacement lamps for their front yards. As these are required by neighborhood covenent, the board has been concerned that maintaining these has become a burden, and the cost of the handmade copper lamps has become extremely expensive. With this in mind, the board approved a new post lamp and a new lamp post.

New lamp posts may be obtained from The Woodwright Company, toll free 1-877-887-9663. The approved post is the 5″x5″x8′ Square Chamfered Post. The posts from this company are designed to be installed over an inground PVC pipe to prevent rotting at the base.

Residents may now replace their lamps with model #OL1008ORB from Murray Feiss, .

There are a couple similar lights from this company, so be aware that the approved one is 31″ tall with an oil rubbed bronze finish. This lamp may be obtained from University Lights on 15-501

Downing Creek residents may purchase this light and others from them at builder prices by telling them you are from Downing Creek. The price was around $227, plus tax and shipping, as of September 2011.

If your original lamp just needs minor repairs, you may be better off  sending it back to the manufacturer. You are also welcome to replace a broken lantern with a new handmade copper one like the original, but these are considerably more expensive. Please contact Garden Magic in Raleigh at (919) 821-1997 for details.

Real-Estate and Other Signs

Can I post real-estate or garage sale signs in the neighorhood?
Temporary signs no more than 24″x36″ may be posted in your front yard at any time provided they are well maintained and not offensive to your neighbors. You may NOT place signs along Downing Creek Parkway except between Friday evening and Monday morning. Signs which are not removed by noon Monday may be removed by the Property Manager or by our landscape maintenance crew.
What about other kinds of signs?
Downing Creek does not permit signs unrelated to neighborhood activites to be posted on DCCA owned property along Downing Creek Parkway. This includes political endorsements, pizza sales, and contractors.  These signs may be removed by the Property Manager at any time.
More about Political Signs
Political signs which are less than 24″x36″ and not offensive may be placed in your front yard. Please be courteous to your neighbors if you are considering multiple signs. No political signs may be placed on the Parkway, and all political signs must be removed after the election.

Animals

My neighbor’s dog barks all night. What can I do?
Excessive dog barking is a violation of Durham City Ordinances, Section 11-1(b)(3). Please call  Durham Animal Control at 919-560-0630 during normal business hours to file a complaint.
I saw a dog running loose.
Durham has a “leash law” for dogs. If you see a dog running loose which you do not recognize, do not approach it. Call Animal Control at 560-0630. If you know the dog, please call the dog’s  owner first.

If you believe the animal poses an immediate danger, then call 911.

A cat is tearing up my garden, etc.
My neighbor’s cat/dog poops in my yard, etc.
A animal which is a “nuisance” should be reported to Animal  Control. We request that you contact your neighbor, the animal’s  owner, and give them a chance to correct the situation before  you report them.
There’s dog poop all over the grass along Downing Creek Parkway.
It is against the law in Durham for animal owners to allow their  animals to eliminate on private property without permission.  The walking paths and the grass along the parkway and the areas  around the ponds belong to the Downing Creek Community Association, and we most certainly do NOT grant permission to use these areas for pet elimination. If you see a dog owner who does not clean up after their dog, please inform them of the law. If you know the person and they do not comply, please report them to Animal Control at 560-0630.

Paint

Do I have to get permission before I paint my house?
Yes, you must fill out, submit, and in most cases wait for an approval on your

Architectural Modification Application
prior to painting your house. Repainting in the same color requires only one copy and does not need to wait for approval. Changing the paint color requires that the application be reviewed by the Architectural Review Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
How long does approval take?
We request that you give us 30 days to review your application. This allows us to work around potential vacation schedules and if necessary hold a meeting to review your request.
Does it really take that long?
We are frequently able to approve things faster when the colors being requested are on the approved palette and used in a traditional manner. But we make no guarantees. Please do not schedule your painter for next week, then expect us to rush your approval.
How do I know what colors are on the approved palette?
You call the property manager at 968-1303 or email to prop_mgr@downingcreek.org

to request a loan of the paint book. The paint book  also includes several suggested paint schemes suggested by a designer should you have trouble picking your own.
I saw another house in Downing Creek the color I want.  Does that mean I can paint my house that color?
Precidence does not guarantee approval.
Can the DCCA really tell me what color I can paint my house?
Yes, we can. The covenants which give us the right to approve colors and many other things around the neighborhood are legal documents which are attached to your property deed. When you bought your house, you agreed to follow the rules.
Are there any other guidelines I should consider when picking my colors?
The Board can make it’s decision based on any factors it considers relevent, including aesthetic opinion. Here are some of the major things we consider. This list is not guaranteed to be complete.
  • Look at the paint chip in exterior light, preferably on both a sunny and a cloudy day.
  • Paint chips cannot be evaluated in the evening under incandescent light.

    Blues and yellows in particular seem to look a lot brighter on the house.

    When in doubt, it’s a good idea to purchase a quart of the color and paint a small sample on the house to evalute in several lighting situations, and at

    several distances.
  • The Board may require seeing a sample painted on the house when we are in doubt.
  • In general, neighboring houses should be painted in different colors for visual interest.
  • A paint color should complement the colors of adjacent homes.
  • Contrasting trim is found on most homes in Downing Creek and is highly encouraged. Contrasting color may be lighter or darker, and contrast may be

    strong or subtle.

Roofs

Do I need approval to replace my roof?
Replacing a roof with dark grey architectural asphalt shingles is treated as a repaint in the same color. You must file one copy of the ARC application, but you do not need to wait for approval.
Any other colors or materials are treated as a repaint in new colors. Please file 6 copies of the ARC application with details about your choice and wait 30 days for review. If you are requesting a color or material that has not been used elsewhere in Downing Creek, please allow extra time for review.