Architectural Design Guidelines and Deed of Restrictions for the Taal View Heights Farmlot Community in Talisay, Batangas

Danilo A. Silvestre


Many of the leading developers in the Philippines have commenced the development and marketing of farmlot communities in areas surrounding the National Capital Region. Some of the more significant of these are found in nearby outlying provinces as Cavite, and Batangas.

The concept behind such developments is the provision of an alternative non-urban residential lifestyle which focuses on an agricultural base of activities.  This is targeted on the so-called “gentleman” or “weekend farmer” whose primary urban residence is in Metropolitan Manila and its suburbs.  A secondary market also exists among retirees, both local and expatriate, “Balikbayans” and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). 

The physical development concept comprises the development of “farmlots” as opposed to purely “residential lots” with plot areas in excess of seven-hundred fifty (750) square meters, and generally ranging within the one thousand (1,000) square meter range.  The gross footprint of any residential structure is generally limited to twenty percent (20%) of the gross plot area.  Other than these basic restrictions, the provisions of the National Building Code remain largely applicable.

The Department of Natural Resources (DENR) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) are also responsible for establishing and implementing development guidelines and standards for Farmlot Subdivisions.

As in most open-market residential subdivision developments, developers normally draft and issue a Deed of Restrictions that is appended to and is legally integrated with the Lot Title.  As such a lot owner is legally bound to abide by the controls and limitations embodied in the Deed of Restrictions.  In addition, most subdivisions also issue a set of Subdivision Guidelines which augment and further define the scale and character of residential construction within the subdivision.  Though usually enacted by the developer, the Subdivision Guidelines are eventually turned over to the Home Owners’ Association (HOA) for implementation and enforcement.   Theoretically, there are legal avenues that make it possible for the Subdivision Guidelines Home Owners’ Association to eventually revise or modify the Subdivision Guidelines. On the other hand, it is more difficult to enact subsequent revisions to the Deed of Restrictions, since these form a legal component of the Lot Title.

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