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Subject: Architectural Review Committee--defined
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MichelleW
(Texas)

Posts:25


07/01/2006 6:54 AM  
My small Texas 10 unit condo is in a developing neighborhood. It was built in 1982 and like many condos, very little exterior upgrade has occurred over the years to keep us looking fresh and well-kept. Because the neighborhood is changing around us for the better, I know we need to probably do some major improvements "to keep up with the Jones" who are developing new condos/townhouses in the neighborhood. I, as the president of our HOA, want to work closely with our new MC to develop a 5 year plan as to how we can improve our property without breaking the banks of homeowners in the process. In recent months, the Board has been given a really hard time about making ANY improvements regardless of how small (i.e., painting our gated entrance gate from black to green to match our other exterior accent color, replacing a light in the entrance way with a more safety conscious flood lamp, etc.). The complaint has been that these things need "architectural approval" because we are "changing the exterior appearance of the property and that requires all owner's input". I'd like to establish an architectural review committee to put together a "master plan" for the property to which they would present to the Board and/or owners, but I'd like more input on just how much power such a committee has and if it is, in fact, true that in order for us to move forward with other exterior improvements (i.e., removing some old exterior stairwells with a more modern appearance, eventually removing our aged cedar shingles and moving toward a stucco or other such exterior, etc.) we need majority vote of owners or who? Also does such a committee come from present owners, the Board, external people, or whom?
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


07/01/2006 7:13 AM  
Michelle, the Board usually appoints members to the ARC (or whatever name is designated for your Architectural Committee). If your Declaration allows non-members on the ARC, which many do, you could use the MC to perform this function; or appoint other members and have a Board member chair the ARC; or whatever else works for you.

Generally, it is best not to have the Board serve as the ARC, even when you only have 10 units, because this leaves no opportunity for a member to appeal a decision by the ARC.
LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


07/01/2006 6:56 PM  
People resist change.

I would expect that if major changes are to be made, especially if there is a pricetag attached...you will want to involve homeowners. Perhaps have a meeting for this purpose and get together real numbers on suggestions for improvements, a multi-year plan, estimated property value increase from improvements, and actual cost per owner.

Poepl may be scared by the 'unknown' cost of sweeping improvement plans. I know I always feel better when I have an idea of the (monetary) ballpark.

Lisa
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