Why are there Architectural Applications for HOA Communities?
The Architectural Control Committee or more commonly referred to as ACC, is a standing committee within a homeowner’s association. The purpose of appointing an ACC committee to the association is to maintain the architectural character and integrity of the community. The committee is composed of a group of homeowners that reside in the HOA and have willingly volunteered. In some cases, the committee is composed of the existing Board of Directors of that association. The sole purpose of the ACC committee is to review submitted applications from owners that want to make modifications to their homes or exterior property.
Homeowners that reside in an HOA must submit a completed ACC application and receive approval prior to starting any work. According to the associations CC&R’s the committee must diligently approve or deny the owners application request for modifications. Often this mandatory process can be frustrating and inconvenient for homeowners that reside is the HOA. However, the ACC plays a huge role as they ensure that the community retains curb appeal, uniformity, and overall increases in property value.
Typical scope in which an ACC Application is required
If it pertains to the exterior of your home, it is most likely that an ACC application is required. Here are some of the most common ACC request by homeowners:
· Exterior paint finishes/colors
· Structural improvements like height, design, and replacement
· Landscape improvements
· Hardscape or Pools
If unsure that the scope of your project requires an ACC approval, it is highly advised to contact your management company prior to starting any work.
Common process of approval for an ACC application:
The process for Architectural changes may vary from one community to another but the general guidelines are as followed:
1. Submitting application for review
2. Committee Review
To initiate the process, the homeowner must submit a completed ACC application. This form will ask for the details of the project, plans, dimensions, pictures, permits, examples of materials, and even neighbor awareness signatures. Once everything is filled out completely this will get submitted to the Architectural Committee for review.
During step two, the committee reviews your plans and makes sure that the proposal submitted fits within the communities CC&R’s and maintains the original architectural theme designed for the association. The committee will carefully examine that the application has been completed and all documents required have been submitted, such as permits and signatures. During this time, they may reach out to the owner for additional questions and information to make sure standards are met based on the community guidelines.
The final step is the decision process in which the Board of Directors will submit their vote based on the information gathered. Typically, once an ACC request is submitted, there is 30 days to review and submit their vote. The approval or denial of the owner’s request will be sent to the owner notifying them of the communal decision made by the Board. In some cases, the approval may be conditional in which the details of the condition should be written out and explained for the homeowner to follow.
Typically, a request is denied if it does not follow community CC&R’s or disrupt community curb appeal. If an ACC application is denied owners can evaluate their submitted proposals and review feedback for future submissions. In this case it is advised to re-visit the plans submitted and apply the feedback given by the committee for future application requests.
For more information on Architectural Changes or the application process, please contact Alliance Association Management today!