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Interior/Exterior Improvement Rules

The process, considerations and rules for making improvements to your Sea Pines property

Interior improvements that are cosmetic in nature (carpeting, painting, cabinet replacement, etc) do not require a Variance. However, it is to the homeowner's advantage to notify the Managing Agent of any changes made, as these items may be covered by Sea Pines' master insurance policy, and you will want the Managing Agent to have a record of them. This notification also helps notify Sea Pines management of the presence of workers and their trucks.

To facilitate this notification, we have developed a simple checklist called Notice of Intent to Perform Interior Work which should be completed and mailed or faxed to the Managing Agent prior to any work being done. Notice of Intent and Variance forms can be found on this website or through Mercantile Property Management.

For all other interior, exterior or Common Space changes, an Approved Variance is required. These changes include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Windows and doors
  • Decks and patio areas
  • Structural changes (ie, breaching/moving/removing an interior wall)
  • Any type of air conditioner. Thru-wall AC units have specific flashing requirements.
  • Propane gas fireplace insert or kitchen stove
  • Sheds
  • Other building alterations, such as plumbing or external lighting
  • Planting outside of patio area
  • Pruning [NOTE: DO NOT PRUNE WITHOUT AN APPROVED VARIANCE!!]

All requests for a Variance must be completed and mailed/faxed/handed (not emailed) to the Managing Agent or to the Grounds Committee representative for your condo phase at least 60 days before work is to commence. Work must not begin prior to an approved variance and any necessary town permits are secured. All work should be performed by a licensed, insured contractor. According to the Sea Pines Bylaws, the Grounds Committee (or FMB, as needed) has 60 days to decide on the variance request.

Please note that fines for failing to follow this process do exist and can become substantial. If the Managing Agent determines that work requiring a variance is being done which was not approved by a variance, the Unit Owner will receive a letter describing the violation from the Managing Agent and the work must cease. Starting when the letter from the Managing Agent is sent out, there is a $10 per day fine until a variance is submitted and fully approved by the Grounds Committee or the violations have been remedied.

Pre-existing non-conforming conditions will not be considered in evaluating requests for approval. It is our goal to maintain the over-all character and appearance of Sea Pines as it was when each of us was first drawn to it, while allowing homeowners to make kinds of improvements which will add to the individual comfort and enjoyment.

Completed variance request forms must be sent to:

Mercantile Property Management
email: mpm@mercantileproperty.com
Fax #: 508-759-5977
Mail: PO Box 790, Buzzards Bay, MA, 02532

Basic guidelines for the most commonly requested changes

DO NOT PRUNE WITHOUT AN APPROVED VARIANCE!