October 9, 2019

Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Part 6

This post will be the last in our series regarding how to establish an effective ACC process. We hope that the information provided has been useful and relevant to your Association!

By this point in the process you should have your Committee formed, hopefully have some basic design standards/guidelines in place, and a format/process by which your Association owners can submit requests. Now…the fun begins!

As your ownership submits requests it is important to“stick” to your guns from the outset and maintain a consistent approach. Owners will tent to want to skirt the process by not supplying adequate information, or not using the approved format for submitting….or any number of variables that can make life hard for youCommittee. Be reasonable but firm, and insist that the process you’ve established be followed.

While there is no one best/only method for reviewing and approving ACC submittals, a majority (vs. unanimous) approach is preferred. In any volunteer group of 5 or 7 Committee members, you will undoubtedly be faced with a variety of backgrounds, professions, experiences and opinions to deal with. Don’t be afraid to disagree in a healthy manner, but at the end of the day decisions must be made, and a majority vote is your most likely and fair way to move decisions forward. Unanimous decisions sound good on paper….but are difficult if not impossible to achieve!

As your Committee makes decisions you will of course need to relay those decisions back to the submitting owner. Be profession, gracious but firm in your decisions and the manner in which they are communicated. There WILL be occasions when submittals are denied. Justify your denials based on the procedures and guidelines you’ve established, and owners will understand and be accepting of the decision. Consistency is the key!

Perhaps one of the most important foundations to keep in mind as you evolved and fine tune your Association’s ACC process is to ALWAYS remember that your Committee is made up of generous and well-meaning VOLUNTEERS who are giving of their time to help better the community. Your ACC process will undoubtedly have some stumbles and fumbles along the way. Keep your chin up and remember that you and your Committee members are all just volunteers doing their (unpaid) best to help the Association. Keep things on track to the best of your abilities, knowing that the great majority of your owners appreciate your efforts and will support your decisions.  

Stay strong…and good luck!!