Common Good Neighbor Guidelines and Policies

Community Policies That Guide Our Life Together

As residents of Epworth Forest, we all share in the responsibility of upholding certain policies designed to foster a safe, pleasant and neighborly environment. Many of these policies are those handed down from state and county governments, while some stem from the historical relationship between the property owners and the United Methodist Church, by which Epworth Forest was founded in 1924.

For easy reference, some of the most generally applicable ordinances have been assembled below, along with a few guidelines, which could be best described as "common courtesies" or "good neighbor policies."


For the protection of all Epworth Forest residents and guests, boat owners should exercise caution when operating their boats near the shoreline or the Conference Center swimming beach. State law prohibits boats from towing skiers or otherwise creating a wake within 200 feet of shore. Boat owners are responsible for knowing and obeying all other applicable boating regulations.

Hunting and Fishing:

Fishing on Lake Webster requires an Indiana fishing license. All property owned by the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church in Epworth Forest is a wildlife sanctuary. No hunting and trapping are permitted on these grounds.

Lakefront Easement and Piers:

An easement exists along all lake frontage in Epworth Forest for Property Owners and their guests to share water access to the lakefront for boating, walking, fishing, and swimming.

All persons using the easement are expected to show courtesy toward other individuals in the area and toward adjoining property owners.

The Epworth Forest Administration Committee (EFAC) is responsible for pier assignments. If you have questions about lake access, please contact the Epworth Forest Administration Committee, Inc. PO Box 214, North Webster, IN 46555 |,

Our good neighbor guidelines for piers are:

  1. Follow the rules established by the Pier Committee.
  2. Remember to pay your annual pier fee. The fee is used by the Pier Committee for administrative costs that help make pier placement and space availability fair for all.
  3. Access piers only via established fire/access lanes and along the walkway easement.
  4. Don't walk out on, dock your boat at, or swim from piers that belong to others without permission.
  5. Never leave boats, lake toys, fishing equipment, or other items on someone else's property without permission.
  6. At the end of the season, remove your dock from the waterfront unless you have expressed permission from the property owner.


State Law requires that all pets be kept on the owner's property or be kept under control with a leash by other means. Also, when exercising you pet, please respect the property of others and clean up after the pet. For sanitary reasons, pets are not permitted in the Conference Center swimming beach area. Stray animals should be reported to:

Animal Welfare League (Humane Society of Kosciusko County)
3489 E 100 S
Pierceton, IN 46562

(If a pet is picked up for running loose, it will be taken to the shelter)

Good neighbor guidelines for those neighbors who enjoy the love of a pet:

Good neighbor guidelines and policy for dogs:

Property Care, Maintenance and Improvements:

Well kept yards and homes create a safer and more enjoyable neighborhood for all Epworth Forest residents. Therefore, property owners are asked and expected to maintain their property in such a way as to enhance the beauty of Epworth Forest.

All garbage and trash should be disposed of properly. A number of private waste companies offer curbside garbage pick up service. These are listed in the local telephone directory. If trash is burned it must be in a covered container, according to law. Also, leaves should be burned only on the owner's property, not in streets, alleys, or easements.

Since Epworth Forest is under County jurisdiction, all plans for home improvements (additions, storage buildings, decks, driveways, etc.) must first be reviewed and approved by the Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission. Telephone: (574) 267-4444,

Our good neighbor guidelines for property care are:

1. To expect that property owners will have pride in their Epworth Forest property. Pride in property means property owners will act quickly to remove from their property:

2. To expect a commitment from each property owner to keep up property including cleaning and painting, to restore run down property, and to help each other tackle the issues of run down properties as good neighbors.

Burning on Your Property:

Because of the nature of our community and the closeness of the houses, extra care must be taken when doing open burning such as burning leaves. This is important to protect the health and wellbeing of residents as well as to prevent accidental damage to buildings and property.

The content and quantity of smoke generated by burning varies with the type of materials and conditions. However, all smoke contains pollutants -- some of which are toxic. These pollutants can harm your family's and neighbors' health and the environment. In addition, fires quickly create a nuisance and destroy property when they get out of hand.

It is always against the law for citizens to open burn trash such as plastic, batteries, rubber, disposable diapers, and painted or stained wood. In Indiana counties where air quality meets state and federal health standards, state law permits open burning of "clean wood products" such as leaves, branches, and paper. Some of the rules that must be followed are:

Visit to review all rules and regulations concerning open burning (See IAC Cite: 326-IAC-4 and Indiana Code Cite: 13-17-9). For more complete information, contact the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) at (800) 988-7901.,

Also visit for Kosciusko County Health Department information on burning.

Property Construction Damage:

Good neighbor guidelines for what to do in case of property damage to your property, by an outside contractor not working for you, but working on an adjacent property:

  1. Contact the offending general contractor or home builder's office and explain what happened and ask them to meet you on site to look at the damage. If the contractor is on site, it may be helpful to talk to the person in charge and ask them about the damage. (NOTE: You want to talk to the person in charge, not just any laborer on site.) Please keep in mind, if you get loud, upset, or irate with any of these people, you will NOT get the type of cooperation you are seeking. Please remain cordial at all times, while effectively resolving the issue at hand. Try to get this resolved with the offending party prior to taking the other steps mentioned below. Always follow up ALL conversations in writing for proper documentation of everything stated and the proposed solution.
  2. If nothing is getting accomplished directly with the offending contractor, you need to contract the future owner of the home being constructed and advise them of the problem that has taken place. Also advise them that you have already taken steps to get the problem resolved with the contractor, but they are not responding or taking care of the issue. Put the future home owner on notice that if the contractor does not correct the problem, they will be held responsible for the repairs. The person paying the bills is the only one with real leverage. You need to find out who the lending institution is for this project and put them on notice also. Try to get a response in writing from the lending institution that this will be repaired prior to the next payment to the home owner, who will in turn be paying the offending contractor.
  3. If all else fails, a lien will need to be filed on the property prior to the finish of construction and legal advice may need to be sought.

Using the Epworth Forest Conference Center (EFCC) Beach:

We strive for our residents and their guests to enjoy the beach facility while respecting the needs of the Epworth Forest Conference Center (EFCC):

Our good neighbor guidelines for using the EFCC beach are:

Using Other Epworth Forest Conference Center (EFCC) Facilities:

The Epworth Forest Conference Center has been a fixture in our community since its inception back before the turn of the century. Many of our residents have attended and even led various conference center activities and camping programs, and consider it part of their "home." Even so, it is important to remember that the conference center grounds are not really public property. They are privately owned by the United Methodist Church and reserved for the programs of the Conference Center.

The conference center staff generously allows residents to use outdoor facilities such as the tennis courts and basketball court at no charge when they are not in use for conference center programs. As a courtesy, please check with the conference center office before using these facilities to be sure they are not otherwise scheduled for use. If an EF staff member (they will have ID cards) asks that you relinquish use of the facility, please cooperate by leaving the area and allowing the EF staff to proceed with their program duties. Questions or concerns should be taken to the conference center office.

All indoor facilities such as conference rooms, meeting areas, etc., can be reserved for a fee and must be scheduled through the conference center office.

Traffic Safety, Road Use, and Parking:

Due to the large number of pedestrians in Epworth Forest, it is extremely important that all speed limits and other traffic control laws be carefully observed. Motorized vehicles, including snowmobiles, should be operated only on approved roads or on the owner's private property.

Unfortunately, the compact nature of our neighborhood does not afford lots of parking. All roads, alleys, fire lanes and other plotted right-of-ways (some of which are not paved) are to be kept clear of parked vehicles and other unnecessary obstructions. Residents and their guests must for the most part restrict their parking to their own property. Respect the property of neighbors by asking their permission before using the areas in front of their property. Additionally, be tolerant of your neighbors when their parking needs exceed their available space. Also, Epworth Forest Conference Center does not allow parking of non-program participants on their property. There are no "public parking" areas available.