Guidelines & Usage

Castle Park is a family resort with a unique spirit of goodwill and friendship among all of its residents. Its rules and regulations are developed out of our mutual consideration for the rights and feelings of others, children and adults alike.  Please familiarize yourself with the following:

The Mission of the Castle Park Facilities Committee is to provide recommendations for rules regarding the private use of our facilities (including grounds) that will protect and preserve our beautiful and unique properties for the enjoyment of Castle Park Association Members for years to come. All facilities usage must be scheduled in advance. Please contact Laurie Bustle at bustle@chartermi.net or (616) 886-6545 to plan any event using the following facilities: the Castle, Parking, Ebenezer's Barn, the Grounds, the Castle's Old Timer's Room and the Amphitheater.

RULES AND REGULATIONS  (To download, please click HERE.)

  1. Castle Park facilities are owned by all Castle Park Association members. Only members are eligible to rent Castle Park properties & facilities for private functions. These facilities may also be rented on behalf of their lineal ascendants and descendants ONLY (parents, children and grandchildren, including step children). The renting member must be present.
  2. No member may sponsor an outside party for a non-Association member.
  3. No events for fund-raising, or events that include the sale of merchandise are allowed unless 100% of the proceeds are designated to Castle Park. No events pertaining to social clubs, political or business groups will be allowed.
  4. No admission may be charged for Association member sponsored events.
  5. No event may conflict with the Association Social Calendar.
  6. The Association does not permit the serving of alcohol to minors.
  7. All Castle Park buildings are non-smoking facilities.
  8. Events need to end by 12:30 AM.
  9. Weddings may be held in the Low Season only.
  10. Notwithstanding the above, all rentals which include the six buildings listed above are subject to approval.

Please download the pdf version for more details.

 

MISSION STATEMENT:
In a close-knit cottage Association, it is important to be sensitive to our neighbors when undertaking a building project. Consequently, these architectural guidelines have been developed for cottagers to use when planning a new cottage or when expanding or altering an existing one. Following the guidelines will enable cottage owners to insure that their design is prudent and sound, and that it is sensitive to our regional and native environment and to the Castle Park community. Prior to undertaking any major project, the guidelines should be reviewed by the owners, their builders, architects and trades people.

PLEASE NOTE: It is strongly recommended that owners discuss their design intent with the Architectural Guidelines Committee both before and during the design process. Rather than dictate design decisions, it is the intent of the AG committee to assist the owner in meeting the guidelines.

ARCHITECTURAL GUIDELINES COMMITTEE:
The Architectural Guidelines Committee (AG Committee) is a subcommittee appointed by the Long Range Planning Committee,
under the auspices of the Board of Trustees.

GUIDELINES:
The architectural guidelines fall under five categories: Massing and Scale, Style, Relationships to Neighbors, Materials, and Landscaping.

Massing and Scale:
It is assumed that all new projects will be in conformance with local zoning and building ordinances. Within these limitations, we encourage owners to minimize the visual impact by

  1. Using several small masses rather than one large one
  2. Harmonizing the structure with the existing topography
  3. Making efforts to blend into the natural and built environment

Style:
Castle Park embraces a wide variety of architectural styles. The large majority of Castle Park homes were built before 1940, and we generally refer to them as cottages. Keep in mind that the "Cottage Style" is intrinsic to the character of Castle Park. We encourage designers to study the existing architecture and to make efforts to respect and complement the character of the park, with particular attention given to immediate neighbors.

Relationships to Neighbors:
The term "neighbors" includes not just immediate property owners, but the community at large. Owners and designers must take special care to be sensitive to neighbors with respect to minimizing visual impact, preserving views, and avoiding intrusions upon privacy both visual and auditory. We request that every design give attention to noise levels and visual privacy, for example, when locating such elements as air conditioning equipment, hot tubs, decks or patios, and pedestrian and vehicular access. In addition, exterior lighting should be evaluated with an eye toward keeping impact upon neighbors to a minimum. We strongly encourage owners to communicate with their neighbors before and during the design and construction process.

Materials:
Materials should be chosen to complement both the natural and built environment at Castle Park. Again, referring to existing cottages and the surrounding natural environment is a helpful way of meeting this goal. Natural, neutral, and muted colors are preferred. Strong colors are discouraged.

Landscaping:
All attempts should be made to maintain the character of the park with landscaping.

  1. In general, fences are discouraged where they limit the "openness" of Castle Park. Most of our fences add accent to road ways rather than divide property. There are many side/back doors in Castle Park that are on/over neighbors property lines. Fencing and landscaping should take into consideration not unduly containing your neighbor.  Appropriate fencing and wall sizes and materials include those that have historically been used in the Park. Walls and rails should be generally low and open in character, designed to minimize visual impact. Tall retaining or privacy walls are strongly discouraged. Preferred wall materials include landscape timbers, stone, and brick. Preferred fencing materials include open wooden rail and picket fencing, and traditionally styled cast iron. Chain link fencing is strongly discouraged.
  2. Trees are an important part of Castle Park and discretion should be used in cutting, trimming, or removing trees. We encourage owners to discuss tree work with their neighbors before proceeding. Consider the way debris disposal will affect neighbors.
  3. Signs should be limited to the function of identifying cottages. Size should be small to moderate in scale, and materials should complement the environment and be in harmony with the character of Castle Park
  4. Castle Parkers greatly enjoy the night skies, so it is important to keep ambient light levels low. Lighting should be generally subtle in character, designed primarily to light walkways and entrances. Security lighting or other exterior lighting should be respectful of neighbors in intensity, direction, and scheduling

Any questions regarding this matter should be directed to the chairperson of the Architectural Guidelines Committee.

To download the Architectural Guidelines, please click HERE.

The Association encourages Castle Park property owners to communicate intentions to sell property to other members of the Castle Park Association in an open and consistent manner. This should serve the Seller well by ensuring communication of their interest to the broadest possible audience of potential buyers within the Castle Park community. This policy would in no way preclude or otherwise limit any Seller from dealing with other potential buyers outside of Castle Park.

The Castle Park Manager or Board Vice President will make the Castle Park mailing list available to sellers to communicate their intent to sell property. The letter should list the property address, suggested price range, format and timeframe for submitting bids. It is recommended that the seller also include lot size, residence description and any other information deemed appropriate. A recommended sample letter can be provided to the seller upon request.

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