CREATION AND DEVELOPMENT FACTS
The original property now generally referred to as “Forest Lake” consisted of various
plots of land between Cashua Drive and Alligator Road. It is bounded by Twin Church
Road at the west end and what is now known as Mallard Pointe at the east end. Included
within are two areas that were known as “MIDDLE SWAMP BANCH” and “PIKE BRANCH”.
See County Tax Maps 075, 076 and 101, also the original land survey by Ervin Engineering
dated July 8, 1958. Neither of these were considered “navigable streams” at the
time and were later so declared by experts. See decision of the Attorney General
dated August 24, 1981 (WL 167930 SCAG)
The original property owners were: Edward L. Young, James N. Young, J.B. Wiggins,
C.M. Parrott, J. Foster Jeffords, Robert McKay, Dolores McKay Framer, Robert Hepburn,
Clement Hepburn, Sarah H. Mitchell, Mamie H. Smoot, Louise Ward (Gassaway &
Guilford heirs), Mildred J. Bateman and William C. Bateman. All wives later transferred
their Dower rights.
A development company was created on June 4, 1959 named “FOREST LAKE OF FLORENCE,
INC.” with J. Foster Jeffords, President and Edward L. Young, Secretary.
(SC Charter No. 32747 - defunct March 6, 1985) Agreement was made with numerous
land owners to allow their property to be flooded. The owners on the East side of
Knollwood Road did not want to be part of the development of the lake and did not
become part of the new development company.
A Dam was constructed in 1960 (?) at the East end of property owned by Tony Hall
and the Ratliff family. See County Tax Map 101, Parcels 20 and 22 and also Map 101-5.
Tony Hall’s property is now known as Mallard Pointe and the land owned by the Ratliff
family (Map 101, Parcel 9) was recently sold to Mr. Phillip Lowe of Forest Lake.
The dam sits on their property. Agreement for access to the dam by the Forest Lake
Home-owner association was later obtained
The property that was flooded by the dam was originally known as “Middle Swamp”
and subsequently became known as “Forest Lake”. The name was selected by Mr. Edward
Young. It was to be developed as a subdivision. It’s development would only cover
the land areas West of Highway 103. The area east of the highway would be developed
separately. Those owners only wanted a lake and did not concede to any covenants
by Forest Lake of Florence, Inc.
Two (2) lakes were actually created by the dam. The area covered by water is approximately
220 acres overall --160 west and 60 east. . The lakes are separated by a county
road (Knollwood Road) and a bridge built by the Highway Department. The road (Knollwood)
became part of Florence County and is maintained by the County. In 2002 the causeway
between the two lakes was named after a Forest Lake co-founder, Mr. J. Foster Jeffords,
deceased in 2004. The Middle Swamp stream disappeared –becoming part of the lake.
Each side developed their land separate and apart from each other. The east side
eventually became “Waterford on Forest Lake” and “Mallard Pointe” and recently “Forest
Lake Shores”. The area West of Highway 103 stayed with the name “Forest Lake” proper
and later added “Forest Lake Pointe”. Each is a separate subdivision and pays taxes
independent of the other.
Prior to the formation of the lake all property owners West of Highway 103 (Knollwood)
conveyed their property into a development corporation, Forest Lake of Florence,
Inc. Ed Young and Foster Jeffords began dividing it into lots. Property owners East
of Highway 103 did nothing for the time being –they simply acquiesced to the flooding
of their lands. They retained ownership and did not deed any property to Forest
Lake of Florence, Inc. In the 1980’s they formed a development company, Waterford
on Forest Lake, Inc. and began development under the subdivision name “Waterford
at Forest Lake”. The lakebed appears on Tax Map 101, Parcel 20. Taxes on the lakebed
are paid by Craig D. Stewart, Folline Guilford, et al. –descendants of the original
owners (Ward and Gassaway families). Thirteen (13) lots are lakefront property.
See Tax Map 101.
Numerous lots West of Highway 103 ( Knollwood ) were deeded by the original owners
to Forest Lake of Florence, Inc. for future development. See document titled “Deed
and Agreement” executed November 10, 1964 and recorded in Deed Book A19
Pages 387 and 388 dated March 24, 1965. Streets were created around the lake and
named Lakeshore Drive and Forest Lake Drive Each street is comprised of approximately
85 lots i.e., about 170 total on the lake itself. The first house was built by Foster
Jeffords for his personal use. It is located at 3350 Forest Lake Drive. Various
easements were also created for signage and for boat access to the lake. See comments
under “Boat Ramps, Easements and Rights of Way” below.
Groups of lots were sold by the original landholders some of which became separate
communities. All landowners agreed to cooperate in the development of their properties
by adhering to the original covenants and restrictions. Forest Lake South was created
by Ed Young in the 1970’s by the sale of approximately 100 lots. See Tax Map 101-3.
Also, Forest Lake West was created in 1988 by the sale of 25 lots, most of which
were owned by the Hepburn family. None are on the lake. It was developed by Michael
Brandeis and access to the lake was allowed by the addition of a boat ramp on Lakeshore
Drive. See Tax Map101-4. Both Forest Lake South and West later developed their own
covenants and restrictions.
The land area adjacent to the dam on the North side was developed by Tony Hall and
William Atkinson d.b.a. Bath Partners in 1991. The development became known as “Mallard
Pointe”. Six (6) lots abut the lake. See Maps 101-5, 101-11 and 101-12.
Separate covenants and restrictions were adopted.
The West end of Forest Lake was, and is still being developed by William Bateman
and family. It has been named “Forest Lake Pointe”. See Tax Maps 76-07, 76-08, 76-11
and 76-12. Separate covenants and restrictions apply.
The last remaining shore area (owned by the Ratliff family) is east of Highway 103
(Knollwood) and across from the Waterford community (see Tax Map 101, Parcel 9).
It was purchased in January 2003 by a Forest Lake resident, Mr. Phillip Lowe. The
land was cleared and canals dug to increase waterfront lots. Sixty-two homes are
The community is known as “Forest Lake Shores”. Separate covenants and restrictions
apply and a separate homeowner association is planned. Forest Lake Homeowners Association
of Florence maintains an easement through the property for access to the Dam (for
which it is responsible).
The original development corporation, Forest Lake of Florence, Inc., enacted various
restrictions governing the development of their property (West of Highway 103) both
for the lakebed and the property surrounding the lake .. See document titled “Agreement
and Restrictive Covenants Relating to Forest Lake Subdivision” dated March
27, 1964 recorded in Deed Book A-19 Page 389 on March 24, 1965. Their property
is defined as all areas West of Highway 103. The restrictions do not apply to areas
East of Highway 103 (now known as “Waterford”).
The restrictions run for a period of twenty-five (25) years, i.e., until 1989 and
automatically renew for twenty (20) years (expiring in 2009). Changes can only be
made by “a majority of the then owners”.
A modification of the Restrictions (covenants) was made on December 31, 1964 concerning
minimum frontage and square feet requirements for various lots adjacent to the lake
that could not meet the new Restrictions due to irregular shoreline conditions.
See document titled, “Agreement Modifying Restrictive Covenants Relating to Forest
Lake Subdivision” dated December, 1966 and recorded in Deed Book A44 Page
124. The lots in this agreement were identified as follows:
- Edward L. Young
Ervin Engineering - July 15, 1964
- J. Foster Jeffords
Ervin Engineering - February 23, 1966
- Jesse B. Wiggins
Ervin Engineering - March 15, 1966
- C.C. Hepburn
Ervin Engineering - April 26, 1966
- C.M. Parrott
Ervin Engineering - June 17, 1966
These lots are shown in the County Tax Map No. 101.
All property within 1000 feet of the lake are included in the original covenants
and any property beyond that up to Cashua Drive and Alligator Road must also follow
the restrictions. An easement is reserved over the rear five (5) feet of all lots
for utility installation and maintenance.
Separate restrictions were adopted by various other owners of land surrounding Forest
Lake when they developed their property, e.g., Forest Lake Pointe and Mallard Pointe.
Nothing less restrictive was to be adopted. One of these owners is Edward L. Young
who developed much of his land under the name “Forest Lake South”. A portion of
his land was developed under the original Forest Lake of Florence, Inc. restrictions
(the portion along Lakeshore Drive ). Further back from the lake however, the Forest
Lake South community was developed in separate “phases” each having it’s own covenants
Forest Lake West was also developed privately (by Michael Brandeis) and follows
restrictions that have been modified from the original Forest Lake ones .. Several
other property owners have adopted restrictions of their own, e.g., Dr. Bill Pollin
on Lakeshore Drive . An example of some of the differences is that Dr. Pollin allows
3 car garages whereas Forest Lake restrictions allow only a 2 car garage. Note: A
collection of all surrounding community covenants and restrictions should be reviewed
for compliance with Forest Lake covenants and restrictions, i.e., to be sure no
conflicts or contradictions exist.
The Forest Lake covenants and restriction restrict access to the lake West of Highway
103 to members of the Forest Lake Homeowners’ Association and their guests. This
is also covered in another founding document, the “Grant of Authority” from the
owners to the homeowner association. Property owners East of Highway 103 ( Waterford
) are not bound by these restrictions. However, they have chosen to abide by most
terms of the FLHA restrictions over the years. The association (FLHA) issues yearly
boat stickers indicating membership and legal use of the lake. Outsiders are warned
by signs that the lake is private and permits are needed.
For a period of time, these property owners (Ratliff’s) began selling tickets to
the general public to fish on their side (East) of the lake. This implied that the
lake was open to the general public and much trespassing began (on both sides).
In 1982 a trespasser was taken to Court and the private status of Forest Lake upheld.
The privacy ruling was also upheld by the Office of the Attorney General by opinion
dated August 24, 1981. Cite as 1981 WL 157930 (S.C.A.G.) in which it was stated
that the owner of the lakebed “has exclusive right to use and control that part
of the lake which lies above his land”. The association could only control access
to that portion of the lake in which it owns the bed. Forest Lake of Florence, Inc.
paid property taxes on the lakebed (West of Highway 103) for many years and now
the association does as the new owner. The lakebed on the other side, i.e., East
of Highway 103 is not owned or controlled in any way by the Forest Lake Homeowners
Association. However, residents now honor the lake as private and abide by most
FLHA restrictions. In 1992, after much arguing, the Ratliff’s agreed to no longer
provide a public landing on their side of the lake (East). This was in exchange
for FLHA members agreeing not to fish within 100 feet of his property.
The other side of the lake –the East side ( Cashua Drive side) was owned by three
or four individuals and was developed separately. It became a community known as
“Waterford at Forest Lake”. It was developed by______________? Membership in the
Forest Lake Homeowner’s Association has been allowed for those wishing to use the
lake and pay yearly dues. They do not maintain an association of their own.
An invitation was also made in 1992 to Mallard Pointe residents to join the Forest
Lake Homeowner’s Association. Six or seven lots there actually touch the lake.
(Access to the lake)
A. West Side of Lake
When owners of the lakefront property began dividing their lots for sale, various
areas were excluded and designated as “boat ramps” to allow access to the lake for
members of the homeowner’s association. Two common areas exist on Lakeshore Drive
and one on Forest Lake Drive . Several privately owned areas of access exist also.
The common areas (maintained by the association) are (1) the north corner of Lakeshore
Drive and Knollwood Road, (2) A strip of land identified as Lot 166 on Lakeshore
Drive (Map 101) between Evelyn Mills and Larry Matthews, (owned by the Hepburn family)
(3) a strip of land on Forest Lake Drive identified as Lot 40 (Map 101) between
the Coxe resident and Mady residence. This one is owned by the Jeffords family and
has been designated for permanent use as a boat ramp for association members.
Private areas (lots) exist on both Lakeshore Drive and Forest Lake Drive that are
used as boat ramps by their owners. One is on Lakeshore Drive (facing McLaurin Drive
between lots 93 and 96) and is owned by the Parrott family. Another is on Forest
Lake Drive (next to the Vesco residence, lots 80 and 81)) and is jointly owned by
three of four individuals nearby. The association has no responsibility for either
B. East Side of Lake
Another boat ramp is in the Waterford community (between lots 267 and 121) and is
owned by ___________? It is not currently maintained by the association. The association
did agree to pay for a concrete ramp sometime in the 1990’s.
C. Forest Lake Pointe
Access for Forest Lake Pointe residents is provided through an easement by the developer
Billy Bateman. It is located on Osprey Drive between the Smith and Andreson residences
(lots___ and ___).
Responsibility for the common boat ramps was later given to the homeowners association
for care and maintenance. Taxes are paid by the Homeowners’ Association for the
ramp at the corner of Knollwood Road and Lakeshore Drive and taxes on the other
two are paid by the private owners.
Concrete ramps were provided by the association at four locations. Fencing, gates
and signage has been provided at the three common area ramps. Security locks are
maintained at each of these sites and keys are issued to FLHA members for a $10
Yearly boat stickers are issued by the Association for dues paying members and signs
are maintained warning that the ramps are private.
Several other vacant lots exist around the lake that can provide access to the lake.
No boat ramps exist there however. One is next to the Blohm residence at 3322 Forest
Lake Drive , Lots 62 and 81 owned by Kathleen Baskin.
Due to trespassing by outsiders and concerns over privacy, various homeowners got
together and tried to have the lake declared a sanctuary. This effort was headed
by Ms. Verdie Jeffords, wife of the lake’s co-founder J. Foster Jeffords. The group
asked their State Representative, Mr. D. Malloy McEachin to introduce a bill which
might accomplish this. The S C Attorney General also was asked to render a formal
opinion concerning the privacy status of Forest Lake .
Once the privacy status was established it paved the way for sanctuary status. On
March 7, 1980 the area known as Forest Lake was officially declared a sanctuary
by the Attorney General. See Act No. 328 of the SC Statutes at Large. This was amended
later by Act No. 561 in 1988. It declares that wildlife be protected and firearms
not be used on the land or waters of Forest Lake .
Forest Lake Homeowners Association works closely with the Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) to monitor the sanctuary status. Signs are posted giving the telephone
number of DNR to call if violators are found. Two persons in the community have
been appointed Wildlife Deputies to assist the DNR. Namely, Mr. James Revell and
Mr. William Pearson. Fishing licenses are required by anyone using the lake (members
included). Violators can be fined by DNR.
EASEMENTS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY
An easement is reserved by Forest Lake of Florence, Inc. over the rear five (5)
feet of every lot West of Highway 103 ( Knollwood ) for utility installation and
maintenance. See original “Agreement and Restrictive Covenants” from 1964.
An agreement was made with Florence County Memorial Gardens, Inc. on December 31,
1964 for a right-of-way for a road through their property. See document titled “Agreement”
dated December 31, 1964 recorded in Deed Book A-19 Page 388 on March 24, 1965. The
road was never built and the contract became null and void. Note that paragraph
6 of this document grants an easement and right to back the waters formed by Forest
Lake of Florence, Inc. over its property “up to and including the high water mark,
as shown on the Forest Lake plat made by Ervin Engineering Company, such right or
easement to continue for so long as the said Forest Lake exists and is maintained
as a lake.”
Paragraph 7 of this document further states that “any and all certain restrictions,
covenants and agreements among certain landowners and Forest Lake of Florence, Inc.
which have been made or maybe caused to be made have no effect or control over the
lands owned by (us)” Note: the cemetery property abuts the land surrounding the
lake. It does not actually touch the lake.
A major Dam break occurred in August 1991. In the course of litigation concerning
construction and repairs made to the dam, it was determined by the Association that
regular and permanent access to the dam (on the Ratliff and Hall property) was needed.
An agreement was made with the Ratliff family in 1992 giving the Association a right-of-way
over their property to provide for access to the Dam (which the Association is responsible
for maintaining). A “limited easement” is provided. The agreement is titled “Memorandum
of Agreement” and was executed May 5, 1992 and recorded in the County records July
13, 1992 in Deed Book 366, Page 185. It is now in force with the new owner, Phillip
Lowe, developer of Forest Lake Shores .
No agreement exists with Mr. Tony Hall, owner of the other half of the land the
dam sits on. He has however, provided a strip of land 10 feet wide to provide access
to the lake.
for Mallard Pointe residents. See Tax Map 101-5. Access to the dam by vehicle from
his land is not practical. In 1992 Mr. Hall offered to give the land that the dam
sits on to the Forest Lake Homeowners Association. It was never acted on and he
continues to pay the taxes.
Easements are maintained for signage at various entries to the lake. Specifically
at the corners of Lakeshore Drive and Forest Lake Drive and Knollwood Road . One
is recorded with the Deed of property owner Glenda Rawls (Tax Map 101-3, Lot 118)
and the other with the Deed of property owner Rick Saunders on Forest Lake Drive
(Tax Map 101, Lot 120).
Additional signage is located at the entries to Forest Lake South. One is at Knollwood
Drive and Julia Drive and the other is at Alligator Road and Lunn Drive . Both areas
contain 20 foot “buffer” zones allowing the signage. A sign exists at the entry
to the Waterford community; however, it is not clear if an easement for it exists.
It is maintained by the residents of Waterford .
An easement is maintained by Mr. William Bateman (developer of Forest Lake Pointe)
providing access to the lake for Forest Lake Pointe residents. See Maps 76-12 and
Areas are marked “Drainage Easement”. He also maintains an easement for signage
at the entry to Forest Lake Pointe off West Palmetto Street .
In approximately 1981, Forest Lake of Florence, Inc. turned over management and
supervision of the lake to a homeowner’s association. Authority was formally given
to this association by a “grant of authority” (see below). The association was named
FOREST LAKE HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION. Some of the original members were several
of the property owners e.g., Ed Young and J. Foster Jeffords, co-founders. Other
homeowners on the new Board were Melvin Burns and Lavern Blohm . Both reside on
Forest Lake Drive.
The lake was successfully maintained by the homeowner’s association under its grant
of authority from 1964 until approximately 1985. In 1983 the association incorporated
under the name Forest Lake Homeowners Association of Florence, Inc. It seemingly
became the legal owner of the property sometime in 1985 when the original development
organization, Forest Lake of Florence, Inc. decided to step out of the picture and
turn management over to the homeowner association. The development entity then went
into “forfeiture” per the Department of Revenue. See letter to Mr. Edward Young
dated November 15, 2002 by Frank M. McIntyre. A verbal response was made by Mr.
Young stating that Forest Lake of Florence Inc. had long ago “washed it’s hands
of responsibility” and turned everything over to the Association.
No document transferring ownership from Forest Lake of Florence, Inc. to the Association
was ever prepared. Under the direction of Mr. Frank McIntyre, a resident and FLHA
Board member, and a local attorney Mr. D. Malloy McEachin , a proper deed was prepared
in 2003 finally transferring the lakebed to the Association. It is a new Deed done
“after-the-fact” and was recorded January 19, 2004 at Book A813, Pages 903 &
904. Mr. Edward Young and Mr. J. Foster Jeffords both signed the document as officers
of the defunct Forest Lake of Florence, Inc The homeowner’s association became the
official legal owner by this document.
The homeowner’s association was incorporated May 6, 1983 under the name Forest
Lake Homeowners Association of Florence . See Certificate of Incorporation
filed with Secretary of State under “Eleemosynary File No. 18,308” (Same as a Charter
No.?) This corporation is in “good standing” as of November 2002 per the Secretary
Various new communities were invited to join the Association over the years. Specifically,
Forest Lake South in 1979 and reaffirmed in 1998 due to expansion of that community
beyond 1,000 feet from the lake. Mallard Pointe residents were invited to join in
1992 and Forest Lake Pointe residents were invited as part of the development of
that community by the Bateman’s. Forest Lake Shores (Phillip Lowe) has elected to
make FLHA membership mandatory.
The current Forest Lake Homeowners Association consists of 9 regular member and
one alternate. Terms of office are for three years. Board meetings are held monthly
and a formal annual meeting is held in January of each year. Various standing committees
are maintained for management purposes.
GRANT OF AUTHORITY
Management and supervision responsibility for the lake was made by the original
owner/ developers Forest Lake of Florence, Inc. to the Homeowners Association by
a document titled “Grant of Authority” dated October__, 1981. It provides
for the private recreational use of the lake by members of the Association. It states,
Forest Lake of Florence, Inc, wishes to grant management and supervision responsibilities
for use of the lake waters to the Forest Lake Homeowners Association…. to preserve,
protect and maintain the lake, dams, structures, access to, use of, and management
and supervision of the lake water known as Forest Lake.
4. The Forest Lake Homeowners Association shall be responsible in association with
the property owners generally, to appropriately maintain and protect the cleanly
appearance of the said portion of the lake and shoreline.
5. ….for recreation, fishing, boating, and the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the
The grant was to continue “indefinitely” so long as the homeowner association acted
appropriately , i.e., did it’s job. The Grant of Authority probably became moot
in 1985 when the original owners stepped out of the picture, turning everything
over to the Association. Once the lakebed was officially transferred to the association
in 2003, this document has little meaning. It is helpful in determining the scope
of responsibility of the association. See additional comments under “Homeowner’s
A constitution was adopted in October, 1981 (verify date). It clearly gives the
owner’s association responsibility for land use and development beyond just “the
waters of the lake” It states, among other things, that the association should “seek
to improve and protect the area from objectionable developments within and adjacent
to the neighborhood”. The effect of this over the years has been to cause the association
to act as an zoning board –taking it into areas not contemplated in it’s formation.
The constitution does however help define it’s jurisdictional area –1,000 feet around
The constitution is based on a grant of authority from the original owners (Forest
Lake of Florence, Inc.) and as such, can no longer stand on it’s own . If the Homeowner’s
Association is in fact, the owner, then a new constitution should be drafted.
The Homeowner Association Bylaws were written in October, 1981 (verify). The original
document essentially covers only administrative matters, e.g., membership, dues,
elections, officers, committees, etc. They do not define the basic scope of responsibility
of the association, as most by-laws do.
Most of the management and responsibility guidelines for Forest Lake have been included
in the Association’s “Grant of Authority” and the original “Agreement and Restrictive
Covenants”. Like the Constitution, the By-laws do not reflect the “owner “point
of view and should be redrafted.
Most of the above documents are outdated. Life in 1964 was very different than it
is now and 40 years of experience have shown the need for change. It will take a
substantial effort on the part of the association.
FROM “OVERSEER” TO OWNER
A NEW FOCUS
The natural process of evolution has caused many changes to the original concept
of a beautiful lake in Florence County . Different demographics have caused many
differing points of view of what a lakefront community should be. Should it be a
“fisherman’s paradise” or just a pretty place? How involved should the homeowner
Protecting our interest in the Dam is of paramount importance. The dam is what has
created “ Forest Lake ”. Yet, it sits in an area where we have no jurisdiction.
This simply does not make good sense. With part of the land that it sits on recently
sold, we need to be sure our agreement (for access) with the owner is still valid,
and, ask why we don’t have a similar agreement with Tony Hall? ( owner of the other
part of the land the dam sits on).
From a legal point of view, most of the original Forest Lake documents are now outdated.
They do not speak from the (new) owner’s point of view. We are no longer just an
“overseer” – we are the true owner.
Forty years of history have evolved and we are still fighting some of the same problems
from twenty years ago. Maybe there are lessons to be learned from the many professionally
managed associations cropping up. Perhaps our volunteer management techniques have
seen their limit.
I have accepted a new position with the association called “Forest Lake Historian”
to help preserve our history and to help keep us moving in the right direction.
Let’s keep moving forward!
Frank M. McIntyre,
Board Member, Historian,
Forest Lake Homeowner’s Association of Florence
Oct. 2003, revised, Dec. 2004, July, 2005.