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Subject: ARC not being consistent-pool
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MaryC31
(Ohio)

Posts:6


06/09/2018 6:17 AM  
We have an Architectural Review Committee(ARC)as part of our development. These are single homes- not condos. The rules are very vague and say the Architectural Review Committee can deny any improvement on aesthetics, alone. The board is made up of 3 members, two of them are husband and wife and the developers. The issue is we want to put in an inground pool (no rules against it). My yard is very sloped, they ask for elevations, but there are no written rules on what elevation has to be. It will be even with house base level. Retaining walls will be toward the back wooded lot. Previously, I submitted a pool plan and the elevations were even higher than the ones we are proposing now (it was approved), but it was in the back of the house. Our house is on a wooded lot, no one would even see the pool, regardless of where we put it in the backyard.

We also said, we'd put in any landscape they want. There are several pools in the neighborhood. One neighbor has her pool on the side of her backyard. We are proposing the same (our pools are very similar, she has retaining walls too, only difference is our elevation). Another person, did not get approval and put their pool on the side of their yard (not even the back yard-it appears the plan was to ask for forgiveness, rather than permission). ARC was angry but did not make them tear it down. They are making them put landscape around it and retroactively approved it.

We are trying to do everything the right way, but they are giving us tons of push back, when others have been allowed. There are specific rules set forth in the ARC that have been broken-nothing is done. There are no specific guidelines for what we want to do (other than it has to be inground) and ARC can deny it on aesthetics alone. People have hot tubs and playsets on the side of their backyards, that they were supposed to get approval for, they did not-nothing done.


This seems very arbitrary and capricious to us. An abuse of power. They are not being consistent or reasonable. Again, no one will even be able to see the pool, so not sure how the aesthetics are an issue? You can see all the other people's pools Not to mention, the pool will be beautiful. Any thoughts?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7534


06/09/2018 8:11 AM  
Well what works for one situation does not work for another. For example: We had a member with a portable basketball goal in their driveway. Many of the kids came to play. The location was one where one could see the kids and was not a threat to any homes from a stray ball. Although basketball goals are not exclusively prohibited as we have one in the common area by the pool, they are scrutinized.

Now fast forward a year. The neighbor across the street whose kid has been playing at that goal for years, got on the opposing basketball team at school. The parents requested a basketball goal of their own. Which they could not place in their driveway as it was directly across from the other one. (Just 15 feet). So they requested approval for one to be placed around the corner of their home. Which happens to be the WORST place possible in anyone's imagination to place a basketball goal ever! It would be on the inside of a blind sharp curve that went to the dumpster. Plus their house would been hit and possible windows broken.

So these are 2 homes just 15 feet from each other. Were we being "unfair" with our decision of saying no? The layout of their area included a huge drop off of a ditch just a few feet from the goal. We ended up denying their goal. They threw a fit. We had to move the other neighbor's goal. I ended up just moving it to face the other HOA owned one in the common area. However, that one was never playable and no one ever used it.

When I hear "Well so-so got approved and they are nick-picking us....". I tend to think there may be a difference that justifies the decision your not mentioning. If I wrote there was a 15 feet distance between the 2 homes with the basketball goal, would you think how unfair the HOA was being? Or did you need to know there was a sharp curve and a deep ditch?

Former HOA President
MaryC31
(Ohio)

Posts:6


06/09/2018 8:22 AM  
none of those issues apply here. One house away has a pool and mine would be nearly identical. She gave me her plans. If anything the other pool and landscape obstructs our shared neighbors lake view. My pool would not obstruct anything. No one will even be able to see my pool. There is not even a rule it can't be seen. Her pool went in just a few years ago. Same members, no rule changes. There are also other pools in the neighborhood. I honestly think the developer is pissed the people down the street didn't get the proper approval and put their pool on their side yard (not backyard) and he is taking it out on us. He is not making them rip it out. He is putting us through stuff, he has not put anyone else through. They haven't even rejected it yet. But he came and looked at my property (didn't do this with others), and he was walking around shaking is his head "no" the entire time, so I'm doing my homework and preparing for a response. Again, I'm not breaking ANY rules or specified guidelines. Others break the rules all the time and get to keep their desired changes.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15889


06/09/2018 8:26 AM  
Be polite and ask for a hearing with the committee.

At the hearing be polite and thank them for their service.
Then ask that they reconsider.
Explain that you are not asking for anything that hasn't been approved for others. In fact, point to utilizing the same plan that was approved for a neighboring property by this committee.

If they still deny, you may need to consult an attorney.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:440


06/09/2018 3:28 PM  
It doesn’t sound like you have provided the requested drawings, contours, drainage, elevation ...did I misread?
MaryC31
(Ohio)

Posts:6


06/09/2018 4:17 PM  
We submitted, but honestly, we screwed up on the drawing. A very experienced contractor is doing the work but he drew up a very simple drawing. They want a lot of detail, so we had a family member fill in some of the details and they put the wrong numbers in. Its been frustrating because they wont talk to us, they just want the plans submitted and to respond in writing. We just want a little direction on what is allowed and we are not communicating well. I'm just going to hire an architect. Hope it's not wasted money. I think I'm going to change the entire plans anyway. There is no sun where we were proposing and I think if we change it we can have smaller retaining walls.
MaryC31
(Ohio)

Posts:6


06/09/2018 4:17 PM  
We submitted, but honestly, we screwed up on the drawing. A very experienced contractor is doing the work but he drew up a very simple drawing. They want a lot of detail, so we had a family member fill in some of the details and they put the wrong numbers in. Its been frustrating because they wont talk to us, they just want the plans submitted and to respond in writing. We just want a little direction on what is allowed and we are not communicating well. I'm just going to hire an architect. Hope it's not wasted money. I think I'm going to change the entire plans anyway. There is no sun where we were proposing and I think if we change it we can have smaller retaining walls.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15889


06/10/2018 6:09 AM  
I understand the reason for a paper trail.

I understand the frustration if others are unwilling to listen to your perspective.

My suggestion, offer a letter of explanation the next time you submit the plans. Explain that you are willing to work with the Committee but would appreciate some guidance from them.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:440


06/10/2018 3:42 PM  
Pools are a big deal ... and a lot can go wrong. They are an extremely popular item to end up in court with contractors.

If this were my community, and I have been on boards in several, I would insist on nearly architectural grade plans ...including elevations, etc, that connect accurately with the survey, or a new survey showing everything possible. Frankly, low quality drawings, with people filling in details, is a scary situation.
MaryC31
(Ohio)

Posts:6


06/10/2018 4:01 PM  
That's what I'm working on. I've actually learned a lot since my post and an architect is coming Tuesday. My house is somewhat new, a little over 3 years. I have the survey from the builders, would that not still be accurate? I cant quite match it up with the elevation lines the auditor has. Is one likely to be more accurate than the other? My contractor found the best elevation. He used a machine (I don't know what its called).

Funny thing is, they denied a portion of something, they approved last year. That approved plan was horrible. 11 foot retaining walls in some spots. I didn't understand then, what I do now. I'm glad I didn't spend a fortune to ruin my yard. Their last denial ended up a gift too, changing the entire thing. I moved the pool and working with the slope. The highest retaining wall now should be 4ft.

The frustrating thing is their communication, its causing harsh feelings on both sides. They don't want to talk with me, they just want things submitted over and over again, that they deny. I see why they denied them now, but it would be nice if they'd just have a conversation with me.

I'm still fearing a fight. The rules are very vague. I feel good about the new plan, I just need the architect to bring it to life.

GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:440


06/10/2018 4:22 PM  
Likely the reason they don’t want a conversation with you is that you would not be able to provide the hard information they want - sometimes Board or ARCs will all W discussion, but only if you have the builder/architect there and they have suitable technical staff or members to communicate effectively.

If they have a lot of activity, having hard data first may be the best they can do.
MaryC31
(Ohio)

Posts:6


06/10/2018 4:51 PM  
That was part of the problem. I was middle man between the contractor and person doing the drawing. And as a lay person, I didn't understand it and the drawing came out wrong (I have more of a handle on it now and an architect coming). There was nothing wrong with the plan (although, I came up with a much better one).

As a homeowner we just heard "no" and thought we were getting picked on. One walk of the property or conversation would have saved a lot of everyone's time and frustration. Oh well, it's on track now.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > ARC not being consistent-pool



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