August 1, 2019

Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Part 3

Our most recent posts have focused on the concept of an Architectural Control Committee (ACC).  We explored the basis for forming an ACC, and the typical size/structure of the Committee.  Now let’s forge ahead and discuss the actual scope of responsibilities that the ACC will be tasked with undertaking, and how it will function.

The primary role of the ACC will be to provide oversight to the Association by ensuring that any exterior modification or alteration initiated by an Owner is aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.  Those type of projects would include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Installation of outbuildings/sheds
  • Expansion/addition to the footprint of home or garage
  • Pergolas and patios
  • Driveway/parking pad expansions
  • Repainting house (particularly when changing original/existing colors)
  • Significant landscaping alterations/additions (typically defined as impacting over 25% of yard)
  • Reroofing (particularly when converting product type i.e. shake shingle to asphalt shingle or tile)

It is equally important to take note of activities that the ACC won’t or shouldn’t have any influence over. Short of unusual circumstances involving shared wall communities (townhomes/condominiums) the ACC will NOT involve itself with interior residential modifications/remodels.  Nor will it concern itself with rear yard landscaping improvements that are not visible from the front street view and/or situated behind a fence.

There are no “hard and fast” rules defining the specific scope of what the ACC should or should not involve itself with, but the aforementioned guidelines provide starting point from which an individual ACC can expand (or contract) its influence.  Exercise good judgement, and focus on the areas of your community that will most impact value.  

We have all heard the horror stories about HOA’s and ACC’s that attempted to insert themselves into the lowest level of minutia in their community.  Don’t become one of “those” ACC’’s – set reasonable expectations for the level of involvement required and define those guidelines in writing that your Owners can understand.    Doing so will ensure that your Committee serves a meaningful and (believe it or not) appreciated role setting the structure of a well-run HOA.

Coming up, we will focus on the internal tools an ACC needs to operate smoothly, including well defined standards/guidelines and clearly communicated methods for Owners to submit projects for review and approval.