I. OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL INFORMATION: Page Objectives of Centre Ridge Regent Architectural Guidelines 3
Protective Covenants 3
Role of the Centre Ridge Regent and Architectural Review Board 3
What Changes Must Have ARB Approval 3
ARB Review Criteria 4
Amendments to the Architectural Guidelines 5
Site Plan/Plat 5
Review Procedures 5
Enforcement Procedures 6
Maintenance Requirements 6
Estoppels Certificate 7
II. THE APPLICATION PROCESS 8 & 9
III. MAJOR EXTERIOR CHANGES
Patios and Decks 10
Solar Collectors 11
Storage Sheds 11
Greenhouses and Screened Porches 11
Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs 12
Recreation and Play Equipment 12
Garage Doors 12
IV. MINOR EXTERIOR CHANGES:
Air Conditioner — Exterior Units 12
Attic Ventilators and Metal Flues 13
Bee Keeping 13
Compost Piles 13
Dog houses, Runs and Animal-Entry Doors 13
Exterior Decorative Objects 13
Exterior Lighting and Electronic Insect Traps 13
Exterior Painting 14
Gutters and Downspouts 14
In-home Businesses 14
Landscaping and Vegetable Gardens 14
Permanent Grills and Barbecue Pits 14
Sidewalks and Pathways 15
Storage of Boats, Trailers, Campers, Mobile Homes or Recreational or Commercial Vehicles 15
Storm and Screen Doors 15
Sun Control Devices 16
Trash Cans 16
Tree Removal 16
I. OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL INFORMATION
A. Objectives of Centre Ridge Regent Architectural Guidelines This document’s objective is to guide members, occupants and the Architectural Review Board (ARB) in maintaining and enhancing Centre Ridge Regent’s environment. The guidelines described in this booklet address improvements for which members most commonly submit applications to the ARB. They are not intended to be all-inclusive or exclusive, but rather to serve as a guide to what is permissible. The specific objectives of this booklet are:
1. To increase members’ awareness and understanding of the Covenants
2. To focus on all exterior alterations made by owners
3. To describe the organizations (Regent, Board of Trustees, ARB) and procedures involved with the architectural standards established by the Covenants
4. To illustrate design principles which will aid residents in developing exterior improvements that are in harmony with the immediate neighborhood and the community as a whole
5. To assist residents in preparing an acceptable application to the ARB
6. To relate proposed exterior improvements to the objectives of the Centre Ridge Regent and its Protective Covenants
7. To provide uniform guidelines to be used by the ARB in reviewing applications
Definitions: “Owner” - the record holder of the title of the property
“Regent” - Centre Ridge Regent.
“Members” - of the Regent are owners and occupants. Occupants may be owners or lessees or renters of the property.
B.Protective Covenants The basic authority for maintaining the quality of design in Centre Ridge is founded in the Covenants, which are a part of the deed to every property in Centre Ridge and are found in the recorded Centre Ridge Regent Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions (hereinafter “Declaration”). The intent of Covenant enforcement is to assure residents that the standards of design quality will be maintained. This, in turn, protects property values and enhances the community’s overall environment. Every Centre Ridge property owner received a copy of the Covenants at settlement. All too frequently, the owner does not read this information. Since these Covenants “run with the land”, they are binding on all owners and occupants, whether or not they have been read. They should be periodically reviewed and fully understood. The Covenants established the Centre Ridge Regent and the Architectural Review Board (ARB).
C.Role of the Centre Ridge Regent and the Architectural Review Board The role of the Centre Ridge Regent, of which every owner is a member, is not only to own and maintain open space, but also to conserve and enhance the resources of the total community.
The Regent accomplishes these functions in a variety of ways, one of which is by ensuring, through the ARB, the retention of harmonious, though diverse, design qualities of the community. Surveys of planned communities show that providing this assurance is reflected in the preservation and enhancement of real estate values and is of prime importance to residents.
The ARB performs its task of ensuring aesthetic quality of the homes and their environment by establishing and monitoring the architectural review process.
The ARB ensures that proposed exterior alterations comply with the objectives set forth in the Covenants. This involves regular review of all applications for exterior alterations submitted by owners.
D.What Changes Must Have ARB Approval? Article VI of the Declaration explicitly states that all exterior alterations require the approval of the ARB:
“Conditions for Architectural Control. No improvements, alterations, repairs, change of paint colors, excavations, changes in grade or other work which in any way alters the exterior of any lot or common area or the improvements located thereon from its natural or improved state, existing on the date such property was first subject to this Declaration shall be made or done without the prior approval of the ARB. No building, fence, wall or landscaping in lieu thereof, shall be commenced, erected, maintained, improved, altered, made or done on such property without the prior written approval of the Architectural Review Board.”
This paragraph explicitly states that any change, permanent or temporary, to the exterior appearance of one’s property must be approved by the ARB prior to the start of the project. Further, once a plan is approved, it must be followed or any modification to an approved plan must be approved according to Article VI, Section C, prior to beginning or constructing any modification to an approved plan. Any construction or exterior change not in conformance with the guidelines may result in a violation notice. This may subject the owner to various sanctions such as monetary charges; loss or suspension of privileges, including use of common area facilities, correction of the defect at owner’s expense, or court action.
It is important to understand that ARB approval is not limited to major alterations such as adding a room or deck to a house, but includes such items as changes in color and materials of existing construction, etc. Approval is also required when an existing item is to be removed. If you are uncertain whether the improvement or repair requires an application, you should contact the community manager.
Each application is reviewed on an individual basis. There are no “automatic” approvals, unless provided for specifically in these Guidelines. A member who wishes to construct a deck identical to one already approved by the ARB is still required to submit an application.
From time to time the ARB may approve an application as an exception due to specific or unique factors involved in that particular application. Approval of an application based on exception does not and is not intended to set precedence for future applications or similar requests.
E.ARB Review Criteria The ARB evaluates all submissions on the individual merits of the application. Besides evaluation of the particular design proposal, this includes consideration of the characteristics of the housing type and the individual site, since what may be an acceptable design of an exterior in one instance may not be in another. Design decisions made by the ARB in reviewing applications are not based on any individual’s personal opinion or taste. Judgments of acceptable design are based on certain criteria, which represent in more specific terms the general standards of the Covenants, including but not limited to the following:
Validity of Concept The basic idea must be sound and appropriate to its surroundings
Design Compatibility The proposed improvement must be compatible with the architectural characteristics of the applicant’s house, adjoining houses, and the neighborhood setting. Compatibility is defined as similarity in architectural style, quality of workmanship, similar use of materials, color and construction details.
Workmanship The quality of work should be equal to or better than that of the surrounding area. Poor workmanship, besides causing the owner problems, can be visually objectionable to others. It is the Community’s expectation that alterations will be completed to maintain a sound structure and aesthetic value throughout the life of the alteration. It is also the Community’s expectation that all structures, landscaping and other alterations will be maintained in a fashion that ensures their structural soundness and aesthetic/visual qualities.
Timing The alteration authority granted by the approval of the application to the ARB will be revoked automatically if the alteration requested has not been completed within the shortest time period specified by either the Fairfax County Building Permit, if applicable, or as specified by the ARB approval letter, or as provided in the Declaration. Location and Impact on Neighbors The proposed alteration must be compatible with the landscape, the existing structure and the neighborhood. The primary concerns are access, view, sunlight, ventilation and drainage. For example, fences may obstruct views, breezes or access to neighboring property. Decks or larger additions may cause unwanted shadows on an adjacent patio property or infringe on a neighbor’s privacy.
Scale The size (in three dimensions) of the proposed alteration must be compatible with adjacent structures and surroundings. For example, a large addition to a small house may be inappropriate.
Color Color may be used to soften or intensify visual impact. Parts of the addition that are similar to the existing house, such as roofs and trim, must be matching in color.
Materials Continuity is established by use of the same or compatible materials as were used in the original house. The options may be limited somewhat by the design and materials of the original house. For instance, vertical wood siding on the original house should be reflected in an addition. On the other hand, an addition with wood siding may be compatible with a brick house.
F.Amendments to the Architectural Guidelines These Guidelines may be amended from time to time, at any time, to provide clarification or to reflect changed conditions or technology.
The ARB will conduct a periodic evaluation of the Guidelines to determine if amendments are required. Owners may submit to the Regent written requests for changes to the Guidelines. Upon review, the ARB will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Amendments will require final adoption by the Board of Trustees. Any changes to the Guidelines will be communicated to each homeowner/member in writing. While a change in the Guidelines may be communicated in the Centre Ridge newsletter or through other methods, the official and final Guidelines are those documented in the most current edition of this booklet, as amended or updated from time to time.
Applications The application forms provide information that may be useful in determining the scope and detail of the proposal. All applications must be signed by the homeowner and include the signatures of the four adjacent or impacted property owners to indicate awareness of the proposal. Their signatures do not reflect approval —just awareness.
All information requested on the application as specified in these Guidelines must be completed; otherwise the application will be denied as incomplete and will be returned.
H. Site Plan A site plan is required as part of most applications. A site plan is a scaled drawing of your lot (site) that shows exact dimensions of the property, adjacent properties if applicable, and all improvements, including those covered by the applications. Contour lines are required where drainage is a consideration. In most cases, the site plan for single applications should be developed from the plat plan provided to you when you purchased your home. More complex applications may require larger-scale (20- or 10- scale) blowups of the plat plan of county-approved development of site plans.
I. Review Procedures All applications shall either be mailed to Centre Ridge Regent, 14275 Uniform Drive, Centreville, VA 20121-2397 or delivered to the Community Center office located in building by the pool.
The community manager will check each application for complete information. If information, which is required or pertinent for review of the application, is missing, the incomplete application will be returned to the member applicant as disapproved, requesting that the application be completed as to content. An incomplete application will not be accepted for review and will be deemed to be automatically disapproved by the ARB.
The completed application will be forwarded to the ARB for review. The ARB will make a final determination of whether or not the application is complete or if additional information is required based on the proposal. If the ARB determines that the application is complete, the review process begins.
The application will be reviewed by a quorum of the ARB. The ARB must act upon all applications within 45 days of receipt of a completed application.
Applicants with special cases that require an interpretation will be notified and asked to be present for the meeting concerning their case. Any applicant may attend the ARB meeting.
The decision of the ARB will be sent by regular U.S. Mail to the address on the application, whether or not the applicant attends the meeting. If the application is denied, the ARB decision may be appealed within ten (10) days of receipt of the ARB decision.
An appeals procedure exists for those affected by an ARB decision: the first appeal is to the ARB; any second appeal is made to the Board of Trustees.
To initiate the appeals procedure, the applicants or other affected residents must submit a written request to the ARB for an appeal within ten (10) business days of the applicant receiving the ARB decision. The ARB has twenty (20) business days to review the appeal. Appeals to the Board of Trustees will be heard if the applicant or those affected feel that the ARB failed to meet any of the following criteria:
1. Acted in an arbitrary manner inconsistent with the Declaration and the Architectural Guidelines;
2. Did not provide the applicant with a fair hearing; or
3. Did not follow proper procedures in the administration and the review process.
The second and final appeal to the Board of Trustees must be initiated within ten (10) business days of the applicant receiving the ARB appeal decision. The Board will consider the appeal in conjunction with the standards contained in the Centre Ridge Regent covenants and Architectural Guidelines. Applicants and other interested parties may appear before the Board in conjunction with the appeal. The Board of Trustees will issue its decision on the appeal within 60 business days of receipt of the appeal and will provide written notice of its decision to all affected parties and the ARB.
J. Enforcement Procedures The Covenants (Article III, Section 4) require the ARB to ensure compliance of all lots with Centre Ridge’s architectural standards. The Board of Trustees has adopted the following enforcement procedures:
I. All violations, to the extent possible, will be confirmed by a site visit by the Community Manager andlor ARB member.
2. If, within three (3) business days, no contact has been made, a violation notice will be sent by regular U.S. mail.
3. If the violation is not resolved within fifteen (15) calendar days after sending the written notice, a second written notice will be sent by certified mail.
4. If the violation is not resolved within fifteen (15) calendar days after the sending the second written notice, a notice will be sent by certified mail informing the resident of the time and place of a hearing by the ARB concerning the violation.
5. If the violation cannot be resolved by the ARB, the violation will be turned over to the Board of Trustees with a recommendation for legal action or other action as permitted by law.
6. Vehicles kept in violation of applicable rules will be tagged with a notice stating that unless the vehicle is brought into compliance within 2 days, legal action will be initiated against the resident in violation. Inoperable vehicles will be tagged with a notice that they will be towed.
K. Maintenance Requirements Property owners are responsible for maintenance of all structures and grounds on their property. This includes, but is not limited to, such items as mowing grass, removal of trash, structural maintenance and overall appearance.
Violations of maintenance standards are violations of the Covenants and are pursued under Article VI of the Covenants.
Dumping of debris or lawn clippings on common areas and open space is prohibited.
I. Dwellings and Structures Members are responsible for maintaining the exterior of their dwellings and any other structures on their lots, such as decks, fences, sheds, and playground-type equipment.
While it is difficult to provide precise criteria for what the Regent deems as unacceptable conditions, the following cases represent some of the conditions that would be considered a violation of the Covenants:
A) Peeling paint on exterior trim.
B) Structures with water damage or dry rot
C) Dented mailboxes, or mailboxes in need of repainting.
D) Playground equipment which is either broken or in need of repainting.
E) Fences with either broken or missing parts.
F) Sheds with broken doors or in need of painting or other repair.
G) Decks with missing or broken parts, or parts in need of restaining.
H) Foundations in need of repainting.
I) Dented, loose or missing siding or gutters
J) Cut or missing window screens
K) Garage door windows with trash bags or similar items in lieu of curtains
L) Holiday or seasonal decorations left up 30 days after the holiday
Most residents would not allow any of the above conditions to exist, as they seek to preserve and protect their investment in their homes and to limit their personal liability by keeping all improvements on their lots in good condition. The Regent expects that residents will do all maintenance necessary to prevent any of the cited conditions from occurring in Centre Ridge.
2. Mowing Turf areas need to be mowed at regular intervals, maintaining a maximum height of six inches and a minimum height of two inches. Planted beds must be kept in a neat and orderly manner.
3. Lawn and Garden Fertilization
Special care should he taken not to over fertilize or to fertilize lawns and gardens where there is the chance of harmful runoff.
4. Trash Removal Residents are responsible for picking up litter on their property as well as debris on open space that originated from their property.
Removal of trash and debris from all Centre Ridge Regent areas accumulating from resident usage will be completed as necessary. The removal of trash costs Centre Ridge Regent; however, voluntary neighborhood cleanup, in addition to controlling litter at the source, saves everyone money.
5. Erosion Control and Drainage Management Residents are responsible for seeing that their lots are protected from erosion, and that storm-drain structures are not blocked so as to cause additional erosion problems. Residents are responsible for maintaining proper drainage through their property, and for not blocking or hindering natural drainage from adjoining properties.
6. Pesticides and Herbicides Pesticides and herbicides may be applied according to label instructions for the specified problem. Emphasis should be placed on organic/biodegradable materials to ensure the least harm to the natural environment. Care in application is extremely important. Avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides if at all possible, but when necessary, use with caution and follow instructions.
7. Estoppels Certificate An Estoppels Certificate is required by the Covenants (Article VI) to be completed and issued to your settlement attorney prior to the closing of the sale of your home. This certificate provides information on the current status of assessment payments and on the existence of any architectural violations.
Any exterior alteration that has been made since the builder completed his approval plan must have an approved Architectural Review Board application in the lot file for that address. Lack of an approved application constitutes a violation.
The Estoppels Certificate helps to protect the future buyer against unknown problems with past owners’ architectural changes. If everything is in order, it also protects the seller from potential lawsuits involving violations of the Covenants by subsequent owners.
To obtain an Estoppels Certificate for your property, call the Centre Ridge Regent, or their management representative, as soon as you know your settlement date.
II. THE APPLICATION PROCESS
All information requested on the application form as specified in these Guidelines must be complete. If the application is not totally complete, the application will be considered incomplete, disapproved, and will be returned to the applicant for completion. In addition to those listed below, project-specific requirements may he identified under each specific category. The homeowner is responsible for adhering to all guidelines and requirements outlined in this document.
The application form provides information that may be useful in determining the scope and detail of the proposal. Applications must include completion of the following: (located on the front of the application)
1. A general list of proposed changes
2. Name of home owner
3. Complete address of home
4. Centre Ridge section and lot number of home
5. Work phone number of owner
6. Home phone number of owner
7. Proposed start date of project
8. Estimated completion date of project
9. Indication of whether the alteration is proposed or existing
10. Description of changes desired. For example: color, style, location, size, and materials. “See attached” is not sufficient description. Plans or descriptions must include accurate dimensions and measurements, materials used, location and all other details requested in the Architectural Guidelines. The Centre Ridge Home Owners Regent has designated specific color schemes and translucent stains that are acceptable.
11. Home owner’s initials next to the Deck, Fence, and/or Patio statements if applicable
12. Signatures of property adjacent or impacted owners. The signatures of adjacent or impacted property owners are needed and necessary to confirm awareness of the proposal. Their signatures do not reflect approval; just awareness.
13. Signatures of all owners of the lot for which the application is being submitted.
14. The date of the application.
In addition to the above, the application form provides (on the reverse side) a list of specific items needed to complete the application process. These include:
1. Site Plat: A site plat is required as part of most applications. A site plat is a scaled drawing of your lot (site) that shows exact dimensions of the property, adjacent properties if applicable, and all improvements, including those covered by the application drawn to scale. Contour lines are required where drainage is a consideration. In most
cases, the site plat for single applications should be developed from the plat plan provided to you when you purchased your home. More complex applications may require larger-scale (20- or 10- scale) blowups of the plat plan of county- approved development or site plans.
2. Detailed drawings or plans (sketches, scale drawings, photos, catalog illustrations, architectural plans)
The application must include drawings of fences and gates. Detailed drawings must show the exact location of the proposed alteration (deck, addition, decorative object) to the home, property lines and adjacent homes.
3. Elevation of deck. Need to indicate height from deck floor to the ground.
4. Railing height.
5. Railing design detail, number of starburst and space between rail pickets.
6. Description of materials. Rust-resistant hardware shall be used in all construction, improvements and fences.
Painted or colored hardware other than black is prohibited.
7. Paint sample (if applicable)
8. Deck storage statement
9. Storm door color. Color of front/rear door, color of house door/house trim, picture of door REQUIRED,
Special Note to Applicants: The Code of Virginia The Code of Virginia requires that your home and any accessory structures on your property comply with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC). By reviewing plans, issuing permits and performing field inspections for alterations and improvements to your property, the Office of Building Code Services (OBCS) and the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPW&ES) help you comply with the provisions of the law.The County permit process is a separate application process from that of the Centre Ridge Regent Architectural Review Board (ARB). Approval from the ARB does not indicate approval by the County. Similarly, approval by the County does not indicate compliance with the standards set forth in the Centre Ridge covenants.
In the event that Fairfax County ordinances require more stringent criteria than those outlined in these Guidelines, Fairfax County ordinance will apply. Applicant is solely responsible for compliance with any and all Federal, State, or local codes. Statutes. Ordinances or building codes, including obtaining any and all necessary permits and approvals.