Frequently Asked Questions


Where to Find Replacement Items Specific to DC

Due to age, our lamp posts, lanterns and mailbox posts are starting to need replacing.  As mandated in the Covenants of each homeowner in Downing Creek (with the exception of homes at the end of Carriage Way, formerly “Downing Woods”) it is your responsibility as the current owner to ensure an approved lamp post and lantern are in place.

Lamps and Lamp Posts: 

Replacement Lamp Posts - There are two approved Lamp Posts to choose from.

Madison 5"x5" Vinyl Lamp Post:   By New England Arbors - Available through Amazon: $99 + Free Shipping -   This 5"X5"X72" lamp post is made of high quality vinyl that is installed over a pressure treated 4X4.  It comes with a 20 year warranty.

Square Chamfered Post:  By The Woodwright Company, toll free 1-877-887-9663. This 5″x5″x8′ Square Chamfered Post made from western red cedar. The posts from this company are designed to be installed over an inground PVC pipe to prevent rotting at the base. The cost of this post is $250 + $40 Shipping.  There is an additional $40 for painting.

Replacement Lanterns:

Galena Outdoor Post Lantern Model #OL14407SBL:  By Murray Feiss must be the 29″ tall option with a sable finish and 4 candelabra Torpedo 60w Max lights. 

Available from  University Lights (919) on 15-501  Downing Creek residents may purchase this light and others from them at builder prices by telling them you are from Downing Creek. The price was $283, plus tax and shipping, as of September 2019. 

Available through Amazon for $255 + Free Shipping.

Original Light:  McLean Lighting Works, - 396 294-6994.  If your original lamp just needs minor repairs, you may be better off sending it back to the manufacturer. Depending on the issue, it may be worth it to contact them about repairs.  You are also welcome to replace a broken lantern with a new handmade copper one like the original, but these are considerably more expensive.

Mailbox Posts:

Mailbox posts must be the type with the newspaper box attached.  We have purchased them before through a carpenter, Curtis Riggins (919 730-9040).  He will make mailbox posts meeting the specifications of Downing Creek  for $350 and $380 with a new mailbox.

Real-Estate and Other Signs

Can I post real-estate or garage sale signs in the neighorhood?
Temporary signs no more than 24″x36″ may be posted in your front yard at any time provided they are well maintained and not offensive to your neighbors. You may NOT place signs along Downing Creek Parkway except between Friday evening and Monday morning. Signs which are not removed by noon Monday may be removed by the Property Manager or by our landscape maintenance crew.
What about other kinds of signs?
Downing Creek does not permit signs unrelated to neighborhood activites to be posted on DCCA owned property along Downing Creek Parkway. This includes political endorsements, pizza sales, and contractors.  These signs may be removed by the Property Manager at any time.
More about Political Signs
Political signs which are less than 24″x36″ and not offensive may be placed in your front yard. Please be courteous to your neighbors if you are considering multiple signs. No political signs may be placed on the Parkway, and all political signs must be removed after the election.


My neighbor’s dog barks all night. What can I do?
Excessive dog barking is a violation of Durham City Ordinances, Section 11-1(b)(3). Please call  Durham Animal Control at 919-560-0630 during normal business hours to file a complaint.
I saw a dog running loose.
Durham has a “leash law” for dogs. If you see a dog running loose which you do not recognize, do not approach it. Call Animal Control at 560-0630. If you know the dog, please call the dog’s  owner first.
If you believe the animal poses an immediate danger, then call 911.
A cat is tearing up my garden, etc.
My neighbor’s cat/dog poops in my yard, etc.
A animal which is a “nuisance” should be reported to Animal  Control. We request that you contact your neighbor, the animal’s  owner, and give them a chance to correct the situation before  you report them.
There’s dog poop all over the grass along Downing Creek Parkway.
It is against the law in Durham for animal owners to allow their  animals to eliminate on private property without permission.  The walking paths and the grass along the parkway and the areas  around the ponds belong to the Downing Creek Community Association, and we most certainly do NOT grant permission to use these areas for pet elimination. If you see a dog owner who does not clean up after their dog, please inform them of the law. If you know the person and they do not comply, please report them to Animal Control at 560-0630.


           Do I have to get permission before I paint my house?

Yes, you must fill out, submit, and in most cases wait for an approval on your
Architectural Modification Application prior to painting your house. Repainting in the same color requires only one copy and does not need to wait for approval. Changing the paint color requires that the application be reviewed by the Architectural Review Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
How long does approval take?
We request that you give us 30 days to review your application. This allows us to work around potential vacation schedules and if necessary hold a meeting to review your request.


Does it really take that long?
We are frequently able to approve things faster when the colors being requested are on the approved palette and used in a traditional manner. But we make no guarantees. Please do not schedule your painter for next week, then expect us to rush your approval.


How do I know what colors are on the approved palette?
You call the property manager at 968-1303 or email to
to request a loan of the paint book. The paint book  also includes several suggested paint schemes suggested by a designer should you have trouble picking your own.


I saw another house in Downing Creek the color I want.  Does that mean I can paint my house that color?
Precidence does not guarantee approval.


Can the DCCA really tell me what color I can paint my house?
Yes, we can. The covenants which give us the right to approve colors and many other things around the neighborhood are legal documents which are attached to your property deed. When you bought your house, you agreed to follow the rules.


Are there any other guidelines I should consider when picking my colors?
The Board can make it’s decision based on any factors it considers relevent, including aesthetic opinion. Here are some of the major things we consider. This list is not guaranteed to be complete.


  • Look at the paint chip in exterior light, preferably on both a sunny and a cloudy day.
  • Paint chips cannot be evaluated in the evening under incandescent light.
    Blues and yellows in particular seem to look a lot brighter on the house.
    When in doubt, it’s a good idea to purchase a quart of the color and paint a small sample on the house to evalute in several lighting situations, and at
    several distances.


  • The Board may require seeing a sample painted on the house when we are in doubt.
  • In general, neighboring houses should be painted in different colors for visual interest.
  • A paint color should complement the colors of adjacent homes.
  • Contrasting trim is found on most homes in Downing Creek and is highly encouraged. Contrasting color may be lighter or darker, and contrast may be
    strong or subtle.


Do I need approval to replace my roof?
Replacing a roof with dark grey architectural asphalt shingles is treated as a repaint in the same color. You must file one copy of the ARC application, but you do not need to wait for approval.

Any other colors or materials are treated as a repaint in new colors. Please file 6 copies of the ARC application with details about your choice and wait 30 days for review. If you are requesting a color or material that has not been used elsewhere in Downing Creek, please allow extra time for review.

Yard Waste:

What do I do with my yard waste?

Common areas are not a place to dump yard waste, however, there are two ways to deal with yard waste. For additional information, please call Durham One Call 919 560-1200 or visit their web pate at

  • Subscribe to Durham Yard Waste Service:  For $7.50 a month, Durham Waste Management will pick up your yard waste every week.  After subscribing, all you have to do is put them in your  your bin and roll it out to the curb on the scheduled pick up days.  If you have larger limbs, you can bundle them up and put them on the curb for pick up. Subscribers are allowed to extra large pick ups in a year. 
  • Non Subscriber Drop Off:  If you are not a subscriber to Durham's Yard Waste Service, you can drop your yard waste off to a Waste Transfer Station.