In general, the AC hears appeals of architectural violations and reviews large alterations such as additions. The AC also reviews alterations that are not common or pre-existing in the neighborhood, are not in conformance with the Architectural Guidelines and are not architecturally and aesthetically appropriate for the architecture and color scheme of the lot. You will be notified of the meeting date and are encouraged to attend. Covenants staff may review alterations that have already been approved in the neighborhood, are in conformance with the Architectural Guidelines and are architecturally and aesthetically appropriate for the architecture and color scheme of the lot.
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Any exterior change requires approval prior to the alteration. This includes alterations in the yard and window replacements as well as any other exterior alteration. Please refer to the Architectural Guidelines for more information.
If the replacement will exactly match the existing element in appearance, dimensions, color and material no approval is required.
The Association Declaration Article IV, Section 2(E) requires AC approval prior to any exterior alterations. You agreed to abide by these documents when you purchased your property. In many cases, it is easier to submit for approval prior to the exterior alteration than to ask for approval after the fact.
Applications for exterior alterations should be submitted to the Covenants Department. An Exterior Alteration Application Form (PDF) must be completed and submitted with supporting documentation that explains the proposed alteration. Any color changes will require submission of a color sample and many alterations, such as fences, also require submission of a plat with the alteration clearly marked on the plat. The purpose of the documentation is to thoroughly explain your proposal. You must write what you are applying for on the form.
The Association is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm, with the exception of holidays and closures due to weather. Your application and supporting documentation may be dropped off during that time. If samples are not required, you can submit via email or fax to 703-497-7145. Once an application is received, Covenants staff will inspect the property and take photos for use during the review of the proposed alteration.
If the proposed alteration can be reviewed by Covenants staff and your submission includes all required information (dimensions, samples, plat, etc.), you will typically be sent a decision via regular mail within two weeks. This may be delayed during holidays and inclement weather; however, you will definitely be sent a decision within 30 days. If your application is urgent, such as a dangerous tree, please clearly indicate the urgency and reason on the application form.
If the proposed alteration is not architecturally or aesthetically appropriate for the lot, encroaches on neighboring property, is too large or conspicuous, is not in conformance with the Architectural Guidelines or is deemed to be an inappropriate material or color it may be denied. The AC may make exceptions for corner and pipe stem lots and lots with unique topography.
A decision made at an AC meeting is final and may not be appealed, whether or not you attend the meeting. A deferral may not be appealed. A denial issued by staff or an architectural violation may be appealed. You must submit an appeal statement to staff at least two weeks prior to the AC meeting to be placed on the agenda and have your appeal heard by the AC. The appeal must be in writing and clearly state the reason for the appeal. It can be submitted via email, fax (703-497-7145), regular mail, or dropped off at LRPRA (12350 Oakwood Drive).
A decision is valid for one year from the date of the decision letter. If the alteration has not been installed within one year, a new application must be submitted with all necessary documentation, samples, etc.
In most cases, a list of pre-approved items and colors does not exist because the colors were not transferred from the builders to the Association. Staff suggests that you apply for what you want, using similar items in your neighborhood as a guide. (Please note: Everything seen on other houses may not be approved.) You may submit more than one option if you wish. For example, you may submit three possible colors for your front door and have the decision determine which one you use.