Why is Architectural Review required?
The primary reason that homeowner associations are established is to maintain the property values in a community. The major way this is accomplished is through the architectural review process. We have all purchased homes in a premier neighborhood which has property values well above the average. High standards were originally set for both the quality of building materials as well as the architecture and landscaping. Rules and requirements were established in the CC&Rs (see Amendment I), to assure that these standards were maintained. Specifically, Amendment I states: “No improvement or landscaping shall be commenced, erected, placed or altered on any Lot until the construction plans and specifications showing the nature, shape, heights, materials, colors, and proposed location of the improvement have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Architectural Review Committee.”
What are the consequences of making changes without approval?
Under the Bylaws of the Association, the Board is required to take action if a violation comes to its attention.
According to our attorney, the primary legal remedy available is restoration. This means, requiring that the property be returned to compliance, possibly through removal of the change. According to our attorney, the courts routinely uphold enforcement of the CC&Rs, with the court costs paid by the loser if a lawsuit is filed.
If a homeowner delays or refuses to bring the property into compliance, fines can also be assessed. (One homeowner, in an admittedly unusual situation, paid over $20,000 in fines over several years, but ultimately brought the home into compliance.)
What requires an ARC?
Technically, any change to the exterior of the house or the landscaping requires an ARC.
Practically, repair with the same material and minor changes are allowed without an ARC. Homeowners are encouraged to inquire of the management company whether an ARC is required, for their protection.
How does an ARC help the homeowner?
Getting an ARC approved gives the homeowner assurance that requirements were met and avoids a challenge in the future. And the Architectural Review Committee sometimes has information on issues with certain building materials that can save the homeowner problems.
Note: Architectural requirements are different for different phases of Barrington Heights…Just because you may have seen something approved in one phase does not mean it is allowed under our governing documents in your phase.
What is the process?
- Fill out an ARC form.
- Follow the directions, including submission of samples as required.
- Once the Committee receives the form and all required information, a decision is made within 15 business days.
Note: For fastest approval, include specific names of material and samples with the original application. (Samples are required for composite roofing, stone veneer, paint, deck stain and certain other materials.) The most common reason for approval delays and denials is that samples have not been submitted!
For questions concerning the ARC process and what requires an ARC, please contact our Community Manager, Sara Cole, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 503-670-8111, ext 5220.
What are Design Guidelines?
Under our governing documents, the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) is authorized to set standards for materials which go beyond the specific standards written into the CC&Rs. The Design Guidelines list the standards that the ARC has formally adopted.