Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Friday, April 19, 2019
Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: update decade old architecture guideline
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
YuanL
(Colorado)

Posts:6


04/04/2019 1:35 PM  
hi,
we are with a matured community of 25-year, There are many new houses built around us, and new changes in demography.
so the board proposed to update our decades-old architecture guideline to keep us relevant and attractive.
We reached out to many design company. However, none has any experience with this. I doubt we are so unique, there must be many success stories about reviving an old community...
Any suggestion of where to start?
Thanks
YuanL
(Colorado)

Posts:6


04/04/2019 1:52 PM  
For example
our current guideline requires that all the windows have a grid, which lots of people hate.
it also requires a certain color for the garage door, which also irritates several people.
I can see there are two forces, to make the community age-friendly, also make it contemporary. There must start with community engagement, for sure.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/04/2019 3:00 PM  
I would first ensure the Board, via your CC&Rs, has the right to make changes to the architectural control guidelines ... knowing the Board has the authority to do this, and specifically how the guidelines relate to the CC&Rs is essential.

This is a big undertaking - having a qualified attorney analyze your documents would be a good and safe first step.

If it turns out you are solid ground in doing this, I would put together a committee of 2-3 supporters or each basic "look and feel" - then, give them 90 days to collect thoughts from owners, and put together an assessment. Should then be provide to the Board and the Board should give direction what to do next - and, I would strongly recommend transparency throughout this process.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6308


04/04/2019 3:24 PM  
George's advice sounds very good. And sometimes, architectural Guadines can be changed by the board of directors or even the Architectural Committee. In other documents it might be that the whole membership (owners) have a voice.

Nowadays, HOAs are using Survey Monkey for a lot of things.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8195


04/04/2019 3:25 PM  
Yuan

What type buildings/homes/units are you? As an example, in a multi unit building windows (even those with a grid) should all look alike for continuity purposes. Could be the same with garage door color.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6308


04/04/2019 3:26 PM  
Sorry, Yuan, I should clarify. I meant the Onwers must vote on your ARC Guidelines because your CC&Rs might say so.
YuanL
(Colorado)

Posts:6


04/04/2019 3:36 PM  
Thank you all

We have no problem changing the guideline. We do it routinely, rain barrel, backyard farm, solar panel, etc.

Just this is different. We are no expert and we want to see if there are some professionals (landscaping or architect company) who can give us some insight: what changes are future-proof, at a reasonable cost.

We sure can now declare all the garage doors should be certain textile or color when a homeowner replace it. However, whatever pattern we decide will last for another 20 years (before the next wave of replacement). Or windows, which last many decades. It is kind of ... overwhelming to think about it.

This is why we need some expert's decision to fall back on, if someone challenges the decision (there definitely will be)

We are a community with about 2500 single family houses and about another 300 multi-unit condos.


RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:578


04/04/2019 4:18 PM  
..... We have no problem changing the guideline. We do it routinely, .....



Then, Prima Facie, the guideline is arbitrary and capricious and therefor unenforceable.


Any actual restriction(s) must have a basis in or actually be in the Declaration of Protective Covenants and Restrictions.


? What does the corporate attorney say ?
YuanL
(Colorado)

Posts:6


04/04/2019 4:35 PM  
The things that I listed were all new: no backyard rain barrel was allowed in Colorado 20 years ago, nor Solar Panel was a thing, nor anyone wanted to start a farm in their backyard.
It is a matured and prosperous community. Anyway, we know what we are doing. Just when new communities are popping up next to us, and our demography changes, we need to adopt something out of our caliber.

Let's not sidetracked, please.

I want to know if any HOA has updated their Architect Guideline to accommodate for the aging design, or to accommodate the changing demography. Most design companies we visited throw their hands in the air since no one has done it before, which is very puzzling.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/04/2019 4:43 PM  
Yuan,

Since many of us have been through these sorts of things, it is far better to find out FIRST if your documents are in order - if they are not, and your board starts to modify requirements and processes, they may end up in court.

You sound as confident as many are when they ask something specific in this forum - but, as the information is more understood, there are many issues that pop up.

Again, I believe most here would recommend you carefully review your documents, the way they link (or don't link) together - then, prior to making changes, consult with an attorney to better understand the paths that are allowable, legal and that will keep you out of court.

Do you have a reserve fund with a line item for legal fees?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/04/2019 6:09 PM  
Personally, if you have a guideline about the style, material and color of garage doors, I think the Association is a little too involved and must desire cookie cutter homes (all look the same) vs. having any personality based on the owner. As you pointed out, this type of control tends to set the tone and may disallow the use of better products as new technology and methodologies become available.

That said, I was involved in updating our guidelines. The process took a over a year but had community support when it was finished.


The process we used was:

1) An inspection of all properties identifying discrepancies.

2) A summary of the inspections identifying the common violations (as this gave us a chance to see what was commonly being violated and likely needed changed)
Example: 80% had garden hoses stored in their flowerbeds. Wrote a guideline allowing this providing it was hidden from view.

3) As a committee, we wrote a document that showed the existing guideline, any proposed changes to the guideline, rational for the change or for not changing.
Note: the committee, among themselves, insisted on wording that had unanimous consent from the committee members.

4) Submitted 1st draft to Board.

5) Board reviewed and made changes as they saw fit.

6) Board published proposal (in the same format they received it) to entire membership asking for feedback.
Feedback could be provided at a special general membership meeting, via email or via a forum (similar to this one) that the Association had.

7) Based on feedback, changes were made.
Note: based on feedback, the board actually held a survey of one controversial guideline.

8) Revised proposal was sent to the attorney for review and comment.

9) Based on attorney comments, changes were made.

10) Board voted and published adopted changes to the membership.


TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/04/2019 6:17 PM  
Posted By RoyalP on 04/04/2019 4:18 PM
..... We have no problem changing the guideline. We do it routinely, .....



Then, Prima Facie, the guideline is arbitrary and capricious and therefor unenforceable.




Granted, guidelines are not restrictions.

Guidelines establish the criteria for approving/disapproving requests for exterior changes submitted to the approving authority.


Process:

1) Request submitted
2) Does request violate covenant? Yes - disapprove, No - go to #3
3) Does request violate guideline? Yes - disapprove, No - go to #4
4) Is request similar to others that have been approved? Yes - approve, No - go to #5
5) Is request keeping with design of community (colonial style for example)? Yes - approve, No - go to #6
6) Does request distract from the design of the community? Yes - disapprove, No - consider approval
7) etc.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/04/2019 8:06 PM  
Since windows with grids last for 40 years or so, and now you want to have guidelines that push non-grid windows, I question why you have guidelines at all? Same theory goes for the garage doors. Once people start painting other colors, why have guidelines at all? Its going to be a hodgepodge of different things over different years anyway.

Look at it from another perspective.......Why not simply push membership to get rid of the architectural guidelines?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/04/2019 8:30 PM  
Steve,

Uh no ...

The neighborhood developers wanted guidelines and likely most folks bought in that neighborhood because there were guidelines ... why would it seem reasonable or desirable to eliminate the guidelines?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/04/2019 9:14 PM  
Pick a theme and keep to it. Example our HOA theme is old New England fishing village. Sounds odd for Alabama. It basically means houses painted muted colors and off white trim. Developers usually have a theme in mind when developing. It maybe craftsman style or color scheme....

You want to keep the theme cohernt and easy to identify. Rain barrells may be kind of country sheek. A designer may be able to help develop theme or color scheemes. Consult one of them.

Former HOA President
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:334


04/05/2019 8:33 AM  
Several owners of single family homes in an association we managed approached the management company regarding their desire to update certain architectural guidelines. Their request was taken to the BoD; it was underscored by the fact some of the guidelines had already been the subject of requests for a variance.

The Declaration language allowed the Board to make changes to certain architectural standards, using the words, " . . . or as agreed to by the Board" at the end of the defining paragraphs.

The Board appointed a committee to consider changes to color pallettes for doors, trim, and portions of two story homes not covered by brick. Other architectural standards such as windows with and without grids, expanded shingle colors, trash tote storage, and similar matters were also reviewed. The committee was also charged with the responsibility for developing guidelines for items the Legislature required HOAs to allow, such as solar panels, rain barrels, etc. Owner input was also solicited.

One of the committee members was an architectural design consultant, she provided invaluable guidance regarding colors which would update the mid 90s colors to those used in 2016 and yet would still retain the same general 'look' of the association as Melissa described.

Updating the standards can be done, without setting off a turf war. Owner input and participation is necessary, in fact vital. You should ensure the changes may be made under your documents, and you should ensure any changes made to your state Property Code or other laws are incorporated.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8195


04/05/2019 8:41 AM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 04/04/2019 8:30 PM
Steve,

Uh no ...

The neighborhood developers wanted guidelines and likely most folks bought in that neighborhood because there were guidelines ... why would it seem reasonable or desirable to eliminate the guidelines?




I agree. One must have standards or all he!! breaks loose.
YuanL
(Colorado)

Posts:6


04/05/2019 9:34 AM  
Thanks, George, for your recommendation.

I forwarded the information to the board so we can go revisit the procedure again. It is always better to do it sooner.

We do have some budget for this line item. We have been contemplating the idea of revision for years, and both homeowners and the BoD are getting frustrated. Your reminder is great, and is greatly appreciated
YuanL
(Colorado)

Posts:6


04/05/2019 9:41 AM  
Thanks, Tim
It is very helpful
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/05/2019 9:44 AM  


I agree. One must have standards or all he!! breaks loose.




Most of america does NOT live in a HOA and all hell does not break loose.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2825


04/05/2019 12:54 PM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 04/05/2019 9:44 AM
Most of america does NOT live in a HOA and all hell does not break loose.

Yes, but most of the people who post and contribute here DO live in an HOA or Condomimium setting. Anyone who feels like they can't live with restrictions shouldn't buy a condo or HOA property.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/05/2019 6:00 PM  
Steve,

It matters to me ... HOAs have provided safety in down markets, and additional value in up markets. HOAs have ensured my neighbor can’t paint their house pink. HOAs have provided a social context. HOAs have provided pooled funding to prevent big companies from poisoning streams that ran through our neighborhood, HOAs have provided a political context to ensure neighborhood safety, security and transportation were me.

If you don’t support HOAs and their value, in this forum, you are on the wrong forum.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/05/2019 8:14 PM  

If you don’t support HOAs and their value, in this forum, you are on the wrong forum.


Every HOA is different. Some only share a road. Some tell you what type of window you can have. No two are the same.

If your trying to cyberbully me right out of here, your wasting your breath.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/05/2019 8:19 PM  
Ha, funny.

Ya need to reread the purpose of this forum.

There are forums where you can be non-supportive of HOAs, it’s just that the purpose this one is to help in a positive way.

Again, to be clear, no one can force you to stay or leave; however, each time you go negative, I’m going to make sure the OP knows you are neither representative, nor aligned with the purpose of this forum.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/05/2019 8:21 PM  
I was simply thinking logically about the architectural guidelines...

If you have 10 houses and the guidelines change every 10 years and 1 owner updated their house every 10 years, and the others did not, you could have 10 completely different looking homes in the HOA. It doesn't appear that is the goal of this particular HOA.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/05/2019 8:23 PM  
each time you go negative, I’m going to make sure the OP knows you are neither representative, nor aligned with the purpose of this forum.


Not being negative. Simply being realistic.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3424


04/05/2019 8:44 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 04/05/2019 8:19 PM
Ha, funny.

Ya need to reread the purpose of this forum.

There are forums where you can be non-supportive of HOAs, it’s just that the purpose this one is to help in a positive way.

Again, to be clear, no one can force you to stay or leave; however, each time you go negative, I’m going to make sure the OP knows you are neither representative, nor aligned with the purpose of this forum.



WOW, you have hurt my feelings.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/06/2019 5:57 AM  
Probably not possible.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3424


04/06/2019 7:57 AM  
NOPE
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:578


04/06/2019 8:11 AM  
Probably not possible. ~ NOPE.



Ergo, it IS possible.




Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > update decade old architecture guideline



Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!



News Articles Provided by: Community Associations Network
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
HindmanSanchez Legal Notice:  (For messages posted by HindmanSanchez) This message has been prepared by HindmanSanchez for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Members of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us confidential information unless you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in our firm. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado only.

Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement