Am I allowed to alter the preserve areas that border my property?
Generally no. Nearly all of the preserve areas that border individual properties are protected by our agreements/easements with the St Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and the State of Florida. These restrictions are spelled out in your community documents - Covenants & Restrictions. This also applies to the preserve areas located in common areas of the neighborhood. Owners may not clear, plant, knock down, dump, or build structures of any kind (including play forts) in the preserve areas. Violations can result in significant fines to the owner, as well as to the HOA (all of us) for failure to enforce our covenants. You may, however, continue to trim any preserve overgrowth back to your property line. In addition, if you feel a damaged, diseased, or dead tree poses a risk of falling on or damaging your property, you are encouraged to contact the Management Company and request that it be cut down. This is reviewed, approved, and paid for by the HOA at no direct cost to you. These trees are generally not removed, but are knocked back into the preserve, in accordance with the requirements.
Are we allowed to drive Golf Carts in Sawmill Lakes?
Unfortunately, no. County ordinances prohibit the use of unlicensed/unregistered motorized vehicles on our roadways. This includes motorized scooters, dirt bikes, and golf carts. Exceptions have been made in certain "golf cart" communities where rules have been established regarding lighting, registration, and driver age, but SML is not one of these county approved communities.
Can I bring my child's sports team to the SML field for practice or games?
The SML sports field may only be used by organized league teams for practice or games if the league/team submits an application along with proof of insurance. The application form is located on the website under HOA Documents. Contact Marsh Landing Management with further questions.
Can I fish in the ponds in SML?
If you live in SML, then yes you can! You can fish in the ponds from any common embankment or from the back of your home if you back up to a pond. You may not go behind other homes to fish without their permission, though, because that is private property from the house to the water line. Residents may report you as trespassing if you do this. If you do not live in SML, you may only fish when you are with an SML resident as this is a private community.
How do I rent the SML Clubhouse facility?
You must be a resident of SML to rent the clubhouse facility. First, it's advisable to contact Marsh Landing Management to check on availability. If it's available when you want it, download the form to rent the clubhouse which is located on the HOA Documents & Forms page. Fill it out and submit it to our Property Manager at Marsh Landing Management. You are required to pay a small fee unless your organization is a non-profit group like Scouts. And you are required to leave a sizable deposit which is held until it is verified that there has been no damage to the facility, and you have returned the key. You must pick up and return the key at Marsh Landing Management.
How do I send an email to the SML Board?
Click here to find the email address for the SML Board. Please note that this email account is monitored frequently, but should not be used for urgent situations needing immediate action. If you have an urgent need to reach someone, contact Marsh Landing Management directly. Please be courteous when communicating with the Board. They are your neighbors and are volunteering their time for our benefit.
What day is recycling, yard waste & household trash picked up?
Recycling is collected on THURSDAYS. Bins should be put out at the end of your driveway anytime after 7:00 pm on Wednesday eve. Only the county issued BLUE recycling bins may be used. Bins should be placed at the curb in the proper direction for automated lift.
Yard/Green waste is also collected on THURSDAYS. Yard clippings, green bags, branches, palm fronds, etc., should be put out for collection any time after 7:00 pm on Wednesday eve, but should not be left along the curb or street prior to that. Store yard waste close to your house before Wednesday eve as best as you can. Always ask contractors to take clippings away with them.
Household waste/trash is collected on FRIDAYS. Cans (with lids) should be put out at the end of your driveway after 7:00 pm on Thursday eve.
ALL cans and bins must be stored inside or behind approved enclosures and may not be visible from the street or by neighbors other than at collections times.
All details can be found on the St. John's County website. Our waste disposal contractor is Republic Services. You can find links on our Helpful Links page.
What happens during a major storm to drain water from SML ponds and roads?
Stormwater in SML is designed to flow primarily into our stormwater retention ponds. Our retention ponds are inter-connected by underground drainage pipes. The water flows by gravity ultimately to the pond located next to the sports field, and then through a pipe to the ponds at Plantation Oaks and then on to Odoms Mill. From the Odoms Mill retention pond, water flows by gravity over a weir/spillway into the large stormwater drainage canal located along Canal Boulevard. Prior to and during large storm events, additional control valves are opened at the OM pond to allow flow into the canal, lowering the pond water level, and allowing the water in all 3 communities to flow at maximum capacity. The valves are proactively used throughout peak storm season to maintain lower than normal pond levels and maximize retention capacity.
A large water pumping station is located in the drainage canal which pumps stormwater out of the canal into the Intracoastal Waterway, preventing the canal from filling, so long as storm surge levels from the IW do not reach levels exceeding the pumps. The pumping station is owned, maintained and operated by the Landrum Road Canal Authority (LRCA). Under the terms of a stormwater discharge/drainage agreement with the LRCA, we pay annual fees to support the operations of the pumping station, as does PO, OM, Plantation, the schools, and other local properties draining into the canal.
The drainage system which serves our 3 neighboring communities is primarily a retention system, with gravity flow into the canal. Water from our system is not "pumped" out into the canal. The interconnected system was designed and constructed by the property developer responsible for building our communities. The SJRWMD is the government agency which approved the drainage system design, issued the drainage permits for each community after construction, and also established the legal drainage easements and restrictions in our communities to which we are all legally bound. While the drainage system is designed to manage large storms, and it has performed well in various storm scenarios to date, we remain in a flood designated zone and are at risk for storm conditions exceeding the capacity of our system. Severe storm conditions could result in flooding. Evacuation orders issued by the County should always be followed and taken seriously.
What should I do about SML mail and billings if I don't live in Sawmill Lakes year round?
It is your responsibility to maintain proper mail forwarding service with the Post Office. You remain responsible for all notices and billings, even if they are not successfully forwarded or delivered. You can avoid missing payments for assessments/dues by either pre-paying your account at the beginning of each year, or establishing an automatic bank draft to satisfy your dues.
What should I do when I see something that needs attention or repair, like an irrigation leak, something broken at the playground, leaking faucets or showers at the clubhouse, broken glass at the pool, street lights that don't come on at night, etc.
Contact Marsh Landing Management and report it ASAP. Our Property Manager performs a property inspection weekly, but our residents who walk or drive by daily will notice things right away. We are ALL paying for community repairs through our annual association dues. Don't wait for someone else to report it - it could turn into something more costly or create more damage. And repairs made quickly keep our community a great place to live. Examples of things you should report include: street lamps not lighting properly or staying on in the day, water leaks at the clubhouse bathrooms or pool showers, broken toilets, irrigation leaks or unusual running times/periods, roadway holes or hazards, dying fish, evidence of activity in a preserve area (which is illegal), entrance lights out, damage to lift station, etc.
What's the code to get into the clubhouse bathrooms?
If you are a resident and registered user of the website, you can find the bathroom code on the page titled HOA Documents & Forms.
Where do I find the mailbox specs for SML?
You can get the details of the mailbox requirements by going to the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) Guidelines. These Guidelines are posted on this website under HOA Documents & Forms.
Who do I contact for approval if I want to make a change to the outside of my house?
If you want to change the color of your house, door or trim paint, put pavers in your driveway, add or remove a large tree, add a fountain, or anything else significant on the exterior of your home or property, including pool installation, you most likely are required to get approval from the Sawmill Lakes Architectural Review Committee. The Architectural Review Guidelines are a formal document of the community which you should have received when you purchased your home. This document is also on our website if you click here. To begin the process, submit an application for architectural change. This form is available on our website under HOA Documents & Forms, or from Marsh Landing Management. Instructions for submitting the application are on the form. Any questions about the process should be directed to our Property Manager at Marsh Landing Management. Action without prior approval could result in considerable expense to reverse and could also result in fines.
Who should I call if I see a large alligator in SML?
Alligators larger than 4 feet are considered a threat in residential areas and will generally be removed from the community upon request. You must first contact the County by calling 866-392-4286 and let them know of your request. The County will give you an "authorization to trap" control number. Next, contact Marsh Landing Management, let them know the location of the alligator, and provide the control number given to you by the County. Marsh Landing Management will contact the trapper with the authorization number. Don't delay though; those buggers move around. Yes, this process may seem cumbersome. Here's why it's done this way. Marsh Landing Management can not initiate a request to trap and remove an alligator in SML. A resident must make the request with the County. The County will not contact the trapper for us. We must go through our management company, Marsh Landing Management, to hire and pay the contractor/trapper.