Our association’s governing documents require association approval before a member may make a physical improvement or modification to the member’s property or to the association’s common area. Such improvements and modifications are regulated by the association’s architectural standards. Administering the architectural standards and the application/approval process are tasks that are performed by the association’s architectural board (committee).
One of the main functions of architectural standards in a community is to help maintain property values. The authority to regulate a homeowner’s right to make improvements or modifications to their property derives from the governing documents.
Architectural standards generally control modifications to the exterior of the property. However, a homeowner will be allowed to make improvements and modifications to the interior of the property, so long as it does not alter the property’s structural integrity.
If a homeowner would like to make an exterior change to their property in the form of an addition or modification, they will need to follow the formal process established by the association. The review committee will review their proposed changes and determine whether they are consistent with the community guidelines.
Requests for architectural variances—changes that would constitute a departure from the stated criteria in the guidelines— will typically not be permitted. However, the governing documents may provide for variances in extraordinary circumstances or cases of severe hardship.
1. Applying for architectural review board approval – The application will request a description of the property location and details of the proposed project, such as specifications (materials, shapes, professional plans) and work schedule.
The application will also request a list of documents to be submitted with the application, including copies of architectural plans, permits, and surveys. The application must be filled out completely and signed by the owners, once all documentation is collected the packet should be delivered to the community manager to be included in the “ARB” (Architectural Review Board) meeting. All applications must be submitted by the Wednesday before the meeting, otherwise they will be included in the following months meeting.
2. Committee Review – The review committee generally meets monthly to review applications for approval. Under its operational rules and fiduciary duties to the association, the review committee will review the application for compliance with set guidelines.
If the governing documents permit variations in certain circumstances, the architectural review committee will review the plans to determine whether the proposed changes meet the required standard.
3. Decision – According to the Declaration, the committee has forty-five (45) days to render a decision. All decisions will be written and mailed to the owner within ten days of the meeting.