Frequently asked questions

here are answers to the top HOA questions

Your HOA’s specific rules and policies are in the Governing Documents (Articles of Incorporation, Declaration, Bylaws, etc.), which provide comprehensive information about the association’s operations, as well as the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), which detail its policies and procedures on architectural guidelines, pets, parking, noise, amenity usage, rentals, HOA dues, non-compliance fines and much more. To view the Articles of Incorporation, Declaration, Bylaws and other information about this topic, visit the Home Owners page of this site.

Yes. Anytime you are thinking of making a change to the exterior of your home you must first submit a request to the Architectural Change (ARC) and receive written approval prior to making the change.

A few examples of exterior changes are:

  • Color of siding, trim and shutters
  • Mailboxes
  • Decks/Patios
  • Removal of trees
  • Storage buildings
  • Fences
  • Replacement windows
  • Major Landscaping and decorative yard rock
  • Changes or additions to entry doors
  • Fountains, wishing wells, ponds, etc.
  • Major landscape changes/additions
  • Flags/Flag poles – non house mounted
  • Parking pads

* You should consider that any addition or modification to anything on your property should be addressed to the architectural committee to determine if a formal review document must be submitted. This includes the attachment of devices and details previously not on the structure including satellite dishes.

The Association has adopted Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to your home. These guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well. Violations of these guidelines may result in action by the Board of Directors, as explained in detail in the Architectural Guidelines.  In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change, without written approval of the Architectural Committee, as applicable, there are consequences which are detailed in the guidelines.  To view the Architectural Guidelines and other information about this topic, visit the Home Owners page of this site.

Garbage pick-up is generally on Tuesday, but could fall on another day depending on Winter Weather and Holidays. Each resident is responsible for putting their garbage and recycling cans back in a non-visible location. Recycle materials will be collected every other week. Please click on this link to see the Town of Cornelius leaf and yard waste preparation guidelines

Yes, again, guidelines are in place to enhance and maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well. A few examples of why a resident might receive a reminder:

  • Mailbox needs repair or paint or numbers not visible
  • Mildew on house, driveway or fence
  • Trash cans visible
  • All signs on lawn
  • Overgrown lawns
  • Storage of wood, ladders, etc. along-side of a home
  • Storing trailer, boat or mobile home in driveway or on the street (must be stored in the garage)
  • Debris (wind-blown or not). Debris and trash on a homeowners’ lot or sidewalk in front of one’s home is the residents’ responsibility.

Only if it does not have a visible or noticeable presence.

Yes. It is understood that from time to time each homeowner may have guests who may need to park overnight. However, all residents are required to park in their driveway or garage.

No, unless they fit in the standard garage. There are rules for temporary parking and for visitor parking in your Governing Documents.

The Town’s Noise Ordinance covers a wide range of different sound reproducing devices that could be perceived as excessively disturbing and unreasonable. Some of the areas covered by the ordinance are mechanical devices, animals, sound amplification devices such as radios or public address systems, discharging of firearms or other exploding devices. A suggestion would be attempt to resolve these types of disputes by engaging in a conversation with your neighbor, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, please contact your local police department for further assistance. Neither the board nor Hawthorne is able to assist in these matters related to neighbor-to-neighbor disputes. If you have other concerns, please contact the property manager at Hawthorne Management.

You can obtain your household pool pass a few ways: at The Stratford Forest open board meeting, pool opening day and or by contacting the pool committee at

No. It is always illegal to burn garbage and household trash. The Open Burning Rule in North Carolina prohibits much outdoor burning and sets conditions for allowable fires. Under the rule, it is always illegal to burn trash and other non-vegetative materials. Violators can be fined up to $25,000 or more.