The Greater Northwood Covenant Association (GNCA), a six-neighborhood covenant association, was established in 1931 by the Roland Park Montebello Company to establish and enforce a set of land use restrictions set out in the Northwood Deed and Agreement. These covenants restrict the exterior alterations of the home, the use of the land and require an annual payment of an assessment for community maintenance and improvements.
The Northwood Deed and Agreement was recorded in the land records in 1931 and again in 2017. (The new recordation may be found in the Maryland Land Records, Book 18945, Page 207-217.)
The Northwood Deed and Agreement’s restrictions are in effect for all the homes in the six “Founding Constituent Improvement Associations” in perpetuity. Some of the deed’s restrictions applied to how the homes’ exteriors could be kept (such as how high one’s awning could be) and others to land use (such as restrictions on soap-making on the property).
The neighborhoods also bear the unfortunate history of having implemented racially restrictive covenants in 1931. These exclusionary and reprehensible covenants were struck from our deeds and specifically repudiated, condemned and nullified by the Association, helping create the diverse and welcoming communities they are today.
In 1972, Amended Articles of Incorporation and By-laws were filed to establish an incorporated entity to carry out the rights and obligations of the Northwood Deed and Agreement. The Deed and Agreement was refiled in 2017 to ensure that modern title companies can easily locate it when preparing for a real estate closing. Regardless, these covenants are in effect and legally binding from 1931 on in perpetuity for all homes in the covenant area.