Marilyn Estates History

History of Marilyn Estates subdivision

Marilyn Estates was developed in 10 Sections with the first Section (I), the 5400 blocks of Lymbar and Cheena, begun in September 1957. Section V included the 5400 blocks of Queensloch, Paisley and South Braeswood and the 9700 blocks of Kit, oasis and Braesmont (odd numbers only). Sections VI through X comprised the 5500 blocks. Deed restrictions for the last section, X, were filed Aug. 9, 1962.

These deed restrictions, many of them similar, were devised by the builder to guide the orderly development of the subdivision. However, they lacked ease of enforcement for maintaining the subdivision.

Bringing problems to light

The subdivision encountered a number of events during its history that provided a strong motivation to update, amend and combine these 10 sets of deed restrictions into one stronger, more enforceable set to govern all residents.

In the early 1980s, one home due to settling suffered severe structural damage and the owner chose to abandon it. Not only was it unsightly, but it became an attraction for vagrants and a risk to children attending Johnston Junior High. Trying to deal with this situation highlighted the limitations in enforceability of the original deed restrictions.

When Section V was developed, the Braeswood Assembly of God occupied the property at the corner of Braesmont and South Braeswood. As the church outgrew this facility, it moved and sold the property to the Southwest Hebrew Academy. The school also prospered and needed more space. It wanted to buy an adjoining home on Braesmont, tear it down and use the land to expand the playground or use as a parking lot for the faculty. Interestingly, the Section V residents asserted their deed restriction rights and denied this intended use. However, had they approved, the residents across the street in Section X on Braesmont, could have done nothing about it.

Meyerland faced a similar situation in that a real estate development firm wanted to buy up a majority of homes in one of its sections near the shopping center. As majority owner, the firm could then vote to convert those blocks into commercial property and develop apartments. The property owners in the adjoining sections could do nothing – fortunately, the plan was not consummated.

Also, in Meyerland near Chimney Rock, a house burned and the elderly owner died. The heir and the insurance company could not agree on restoring the house, and the unsightly mess persisted for several years.

Working for a solution

Marilyn Estates learned from these events and from studying deed restrictions from other subdivisions. The revision process in 1995 was truly a community affair involving a number of motivated residents.

A committee of 20 residents developed the amended Marilyn Estates Deed Restrictions and 21 residents developed the By-Laws. When completed, the documents were submitted to all the subdivision residents and passed overwhelmingly – even though only a simple majority was needed.

The Deed Restrictions govern land use in the Marilyn Estates Subdivision and the By-Laws govern the actions and operations of the Marilyn Estates Association, which has the responsibility to maintain and enforce the Deed Restrictions.

Several years ago, due to the abuses of several homeowners’ groups, the Texas Legislature created laws protecting individual homeowners from such abuses. Our revised and amended deed restrictions already in place had the checks and balances to prevent such problems – such as open meetings, open records, no secret actions, etc. Read them and see why we believe we’ve done a pretty good job.