Section 4: Architectural Review

Review Criteria

The Architectural Control Committee reviews all submissions for exterior changes on the individual merits of the application. Review criteria must take into account the type of structure and the property characteristics.

The Architectural Control Committee's design decisions are not based on any individual's personal opinion or taste.  The committee will base its decision on the following criteria which represent, in more specific terms, the general standards of the covenants.

1)        Relation to the Quail Valley Common Areas. Fencing, in particular, can have damaging effect on open space. Other factors, such as removal of trees, disruption of the natural topography and changes in rate or direction of storm water run-off may also cause an adverse effect.

2)        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.

 3)        Location and Impact on Neighbors. The proposed alteration/addition should relate favorably to the landscape, the existing structure and the neighborhood.

 4)        Scale. The size (in three dimensions) of the proposed alteration should relate well to adjacent structures and its surroundings. For example, a large addition to a small house may be inappropriate.

 5)        Color. Color may be used to soften or intensify visual impact. Parts of the addition that are similar to the existing house such as the roof and trim must be matching in color.

 6)        Materials. Continuity is established by use of the same or compatible materials as were used in the original house. Aluminum or vinyl siding on the addition must be consistent with the original house. On the other hand, an addition with siding may be compatible with a brick house.

 7)        Workmanship. Workmanship is another standard which is applied to all exterior alterations. The quality of the work should be equal to or better than that of the surrounding area and comply with Montgomery county building codes and/or prevailing trade practices. Poor workmanship can create safety hazards and can be visually objectionable to others. (The Architectural Control Committee assumes no responsibility for the safety of new construction by virtue of design or workmanship).

 8)        Timing. The majority of alterations may be constructed or installed by residents themselves rather than a contractor. However, projects which remain uncompleted for long periods of time are visually objectionable and can be a safety hazard for neighbors and the community. All applications must include an estimated start and completion date. Projects must be commenced within six (6) months and completed within six (6) months after commencement, or within such longer period of time as may be specified by the Architectural Control Committee.

Architectural Change Application

The Architectural Change Application (ACA) that the Architectural Control Committee will use to review all proposed architectural changes is shown in Appendix A. This Architectural Change Application must be properly completed, submitted and approved prior to construction start.

Note: It is the owner's responsibility to obtain a Montgomery County Building Permit and to comply with all county building code requirements. The Architectural Control Committee does not review applications for building code requirements.

Review Procedures

All properly completed Architectural Change Applications should be mailed or faxed to the management agent at the following address:

Quail Valley HOA

c/o Comsource Management Inc.

3414 Morningwood Drive

Olney, MD 20832

Fax – 301-924-7340

The property manager will review the application to verify it is complete within seven (7) days of submission and will forward all complete applications to members of the Architectural Control Committee.  If information pertinent to the review of the Architectural Change Application is missing, the application will be marked "incomplete" and returned. If the application is complete, the review process will then begin.

The Architectural Control Committee is required to respond to the homeowner requesting the change within thirty (30) days from receipt of a properly completed ACA by the management agent. The Architectural Control Committee review decision will be either sent by letter to the address of the homeowner listed on the Architectural Change Application or verbally through face-to-face contact with the management agent.

It is not acceptable for a member of the Architectural Control Committee to communicate the answer to the homeowner via the telephone. If thirty (30) days lapse without notification, the homeowner's Architectural Change Application is considered approved as submitted.

Enforcement Procedures

The management agent, a member of the Architectural Control Committee or a designated representative will conduct periodic inspections of the project while it is under construction to insure compliance with the approved application. Any unapproved deviation from the Architectural Change Application renders the project non-compliant and will be dealt with by the Architectural Control Committee. On completion of the project, the homeowner is required to contact the Architectural Control Committee within fifteen (15) days to conduct the final approval inspection. Final approval requires full and complete compliance with the stated specifications of the approved Architectural Change Application.

If the homeowner proceeds with any exterior changes not approved by the Architectural Control Committee, the Architectural Control Committee has the right to initiate legal action by the authority of the covenants and/or the Maryland Property Owners Association Act. If a homeowner fails to complete an Architectural Change Application and proceeds with the architectural change anyway, then the Board of Directors has the right to initiate administrative and/or legal action by the authority of the covenants and/or the Maryland Property Owners Association Act.

Appeal Procedures

A homeowner that does not receive approval for a proposed architectural change has the right to appeal the decision. The homeowner appeal process is through the Board of Directors. The management agent must receive the appeal in writing from the homeowner within fourteen (14) days from the denial of a proposed change. The homeowner is entitled to a hearing before the Board of Directors. Two-thirds (2/3) of a quorum of the Board of Directors must vote in favor of the homeowner to reverse the decision of the Architectural Control Committee.

Quail Valley HOA,
Nov 15, 2011, 1:41 PM