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Architectural Guidelines
 
 

Covenants Committee

The Wood Acres Covenants and Architectural Guidelines

Including APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENTS  
 
 
The Wood Acres Covenants

            Starting in 1939, when the first lots were platted and the first houses were built, developer Albert Walker recorded in the land records at the County Court House in Rockville, Maryland, perpetual, restrictive covenants binding on each lot conveyed within the Wood Acres subdivision.  The same printed set of covenants was used for each group of lots in Wood Acres, except that for lots platted in and after June of 1950, the Fourth and Eleventh articles were replaced with new ones covering different subjects, as a result of certain FHA and VA regulations following the Supreme Court's 1948 ruling on the unenforceability of racial covenants.  Certain minor technical changes were made in several other articles at the same time.  The actual covenants are reproduced on the following pages.

            The Wood Acres Covenants contain many absolute prohibitions concerning use of the land; most of these should be obvious and are also prohibited by the local zoning ordinances.  The covenants which are of greatest relevance today are thus the ones requiring written approval of the Covenants Committee of the Wood Acres Citizens Association, Inc. (WACA) for the erection of any improvements, fences, or walls or for the making of any changes in the exterior design of your home, as set forth particularly in the First, Second, and Eighth Articles of the covenants.

            WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM THE COVENANTS COMMITTEE, ACTING FOR THE WOOD ACRES CITIZENS ASSOCIATION, INC., IS THUS NECESSARY BEFORE MAKING ANY ADDITIONS OR EXTERNAL ALTERATIONS, OR CONSTRUCTING FENCES OR WALLS.  ALL APPLICATIONS REQUESTING SUCH APPROVAL SHOULD BE MAILED OR DELIVERED TO THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE COVENANTS COMMITTEE, AS LISTED HEREIN.   Chairpersons of the Covenants Committee are listed, with address and phone, on the Board of Directors page in the Wood Acres Directory and on this website, and you may contact any Board member for further information about how to submit an Application.

            There are various enforcement procedures available in case of violations of the covenants.  An injunction may be obtained by the Wood Acres Citizens Association or an affected neighbor to halt construction and require removal of the portions already completed.  Transfer of property may be delayed or prevented.  An action for civil damages may be instituted.  The association has traditionally received excellent cooperation from Wood Acres residents and, therefore, the community has had few occasions to take legal actions.   Please remember that these covenants are designed to protect and enhance property values for all of the residents of Wood Acres, not just an individual home owner.   Your cooperation and compliance with the covenants and guidelines is greatly appreciated and helps to foster a better sense of community and rapport with your neighbors.

            Applications must be accompanied by detailed plans and specifications, as explained in the First Article of the covenants.  Although the Covenants Committee attempts to act upon requests as promptly as is reasonably convenient, please submit Applications with plenty of lead time, forty days should be allowed (and perhaps longer for larger scaled additions and significant regarding of lots, etc.).

            As a guide to residents who wish to make improvements on their lots, the Wood Acres Citizens Association has prepared Architectural Guidelines, which are included immediately after the text of the covenants themselves (see Architectural Guidelines, Sections I. through VII.).  Careful reference should be made to them in the early consideration of any improvements.  A copy of the Architectural Guidelines should be provided to the architect/design professional/builder preparing plans for any improvements.  In addition, members of the Covenants Committee, some of whom have considerable expertise in zoning and architectural planning and design, are pleased to meet with residents during the planning stage and advise them with respect to their contemplated improvements.  It is strongly recommended that applicants considering major additions submit architectural plans and elevations along with exterior details prepared by their architect/design professional/builder clearly identifying the improvements during the early phase of design, prior to directing their architect/design professional/builder to proceed with the final construction documentation.  This enables the suggestions and recommendations of the Covenants Committee to be easily incorporated into the design at an early phase of the project, which ultimately expedites the approval process and may save the applicant the expense of redesigning their home improvements.

 

 The Wood Acres Covenants After 1950

RESTRICTIVE TERMS, COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, AND AGREEMENTS REFERRED TO IN THE WITHIN CONTRACT AND MADE A PART THEREOF

 

            FIRST.  That said lot or lots shall be used exclusively for private dwelling-house purpose; that no improvements of any character shall be erected thereon, and none begin, nor any change made in the exterior design of such improvements after original construction has begun, unless and until the architect designing the same; the cost, type and size thereof; the materials to be used in the construction, the color scheme; the plans, specifications and details thereof, and the lot plan, showing the proposed location of the dwelling and driveways upon the lot, shall all have been approved in writing by Wood Acres Construction Corporation, or its successors, and copies of the said plans, specifications, and details, shall have been lodged permanently with said company.

           

            SECOND.  No outbuildings, except a private garage for the exclusive use of the owner, shall be erected, placed or suffered to remain upon said premises; nor shall such garage be erected, placed or suffered to remain upon said premises, unless and until the size, type, cost, materials of construction, color scheme therefore, the plans and specifications for such structure, and the location of said garage upon the lot shall have been approved in writing by the said Wood Acres Construction Corporation, or its successors; nor, unless the written consent of said company be first had and obtained, shall any such garage be erected, placed or suffered to remain upon said premises, nearer to the side lines of any adjoining lot than the side lines of the dwelling, except however, that where it would be impracticable to locate the garage upon said premises without violating the foregoing provisions, by reason of the dimensions of the lot, then said garage may be located thereon in such place as the Wood Acres Construction Corporation, or its successors, shall direct.

           

            THIRD.  No place of public entertainment, apartment house, flat, boarding house, nor building designed for the residence of more than one family, and no hotel, tavern, dance hall, or other resort, shall be erected, established, conducted, maintained or suffered to remain upon said premises.

           

            FOURTH.  As a condition to granting its written consent to or approval of any improvement, change or resubdivision for which such consent is required by any paragraph hereof, Wood Acres Construction Corporation may require the reimbursement to it of any expenses actually and reasonably incurred by it for architectural, engineering or other services requisite thereto.

 

            FIFTH.  It is hereby agreed and understood; that the rights herein reserved to Wood Acres Construction Corporation shall pass with equal force and effect to, and inure to the benefit of its successors as defined in paragraph ELEVENTH hereof; but in the event that such rights, having passed to successors, shall thereafter terminate in the hands of such successors, or, if such right shall not have been transmitted to successors, that in the event that the ownership and control of such rights shall pass from Wood Acres Construction Corporation, either by reason of the appointment of a receiver, assignment for the benefit of creditors, bankruptcy, or by sale under legal process of any kind, or otherwise, the provisions for consents by Wood Acres Construction Corporation or its successors herein provided for shall be deemed to be sufficiently obtained, if obtained from a majority of the owners of the lots which are subject to substantially similar restrictions as the property hereby made subject thereto, and shall adjoin or face such lots upon both sides of the street or streets, and within a distance of five (5) lots from the side lines thereof.  The said Wood Acres Construction Corporation or its successors shall have the right to enforce any restriction herein contained by appropriate action in any Court of competent jurisdiction.  The covenants, conditions and restrictions hereby imposed being for the benefit of all owners of lots in the Wood Acres subdivision, any owner or owners of lots in said subdivision which are subject to restrictions substantially similar to those imposed shall have concurrent rights to enforce the same by appropriate action in any Court of competent jurisdiction.

           

            SIXTH.  No nuisance, advertising sign, billboard, or other device shall be permitted, erected, placed, or suffered to remain upon said premises; nor shall the premises be used in anyway for any purpose which may endanger the health, or unreasonably disturb the quiet, of any owner of the adjoining or adjacent land.

           

            SEVENTH.  No heating apparatus in, or for, any building upon the premises hereby conveyed, shall be fired and operated with anything other than smoke free fuel, unless such apparatus be equipped, operated and maintained with adequate devices that eliminate smoke.

           

            EIGHTH.  No line fence, or wall, of any kind shall be erected, placed, or suffered to remain upon said premises, unless and until the written consent of the Wood Acres Construction Corporation, or its successors, be first had and obtained therefor.

           

            NINTH.  Only one dwelling house shall be erected, placed or suffered to remain upon the land hereby conveyed, unless the land shall be subdivided into smaller lots, but the land shall not be so subdivided unless and until the plat showing such proposed subdivision shall have been submitted to the Wood Acres Construction Corporation , or its successors, and the written consent of said company for such subdivision has been first obtained.  The Wood Acres Construction Corporation, or its successors, shall be the sole judge of whether or not such subdivision shall be permitted, and if the subdivision of said land is made, the protective covenants herein contained, shall apply to each of the lots in which said land shall be subdivided.

           

            TENTH.  The Wood Acres Construction Corporation, or its successors, expressly reserves to itself, and its successors, the sole and exclusive right to establish grades and slopes on the land hereby conveyed and to fix the grade at which any dwelling shall hereafter be erected, or placed thereon, so that the same shall conform to a general plan.

           

            ELEVENTH.  The covenants, conditions and restrictions herein enumerated are a part of the general plan for the improvement of the Wood Acres subdivision, substantially similar covenants, conditions and restriction have been placed of record from time to time in respect of the sections of such subdivision heretofore developed, and it being contemplated that substantially similar covenants, conditions and restrictions will be placed upon sections of said subdivision to be hereafter developed.  Wood Acres Construction Corporation is the assignee and successor of and to all rights reserved unto Westhaven Development Corporation in certain sections of such subdivision in respect to which covenants, conditions and restrictions have been heretofore recorded.  At any time or times, Wood Acres Construction Corporation may assign the rights herein reserved to it unto any person, persons, or corporation by written instrument duly placed of record, and thereupon, such assignee or assignees shall be deemed to be the successors of Wood Acres Construction Corporation with respect to all rights reserved to it thereunder, including all provisions for consent and approval, the establishment of grades and of resubdivision, and the right to enforce the provisions hereof by legal action; and the successors from time to time holding such rights shall have like authority to assign and reassign the same and thereby to designate successors to such rights.

           

            TWELFTH.  The herein enumerated protective covenants, conditions, and restrictions, shall run with the land, until the first day of September, 1965, in any event; and continuously thereafter, unless and until any proposed change shall have been approved in writing by the owners of the legal title to all the land on both sides of the street within the block in which is located the property, the use of which is sought to be altered by said proposed changes.

 

 

Architectural Guidelines, Sections I. through VII. 

I.          INTRODUCTION

            One of the many benefits of living in our neighborhood is the quality and harmony of our homes surrounded by an established wooded environment.  This aesthetic quality has been preserved over the last sixty years through covenants that run with the land and legally bind all residents.  It is the combination of these covenants, plus the friendliness of neighbors working together, which make our neighborhood such a nice place to live.

            The primary purpose of the Covenants is to preserve and enhance property values throughout the Wood Acres neighborhood by enforcing consistent architectural and landscape design standards for homeowners implementing improvements to their property and homes.  These guidelines are intended to provide guidance to homeowners considering renovations about the Committee’s likely interpretation of the Covenant standards. These Guidelines are not hard and fast rules, and the Committee may exercise discretion in the application of these Guidelines in the particular circumstances of any particular application, taking into account special conditions of topography, foliage, lot plan or safety.  The Committee understands that it cannot predict the structural, design and material innovations that will be presented in applications in the years to come.  However, certain issues have come up with enough frequency in recent years that we have tried, for the sake of applicants and their neighbors, to identify key issues.  It is our belief that everyone will benefit if more of the Covenants Committee’s thought processes are recorded. 

            These Guidelines encourage the use of qualified architects, design professionals, and builders to create sensitively designed home improvements throughout the neighborhood using quality building materials and appropriately crafted details and construction standards.  PLEASE REVIEW THESE COVENANTS AND GUIDELINES WITH YOUR ARCHITECT AND/OR CONTRACTOR PRIOR TO THE SUBMISSION OF YOUR APPLICATION TO THE COVENANTS COMMITTEE.   Applicants often find that an early stage review of these covenants with their architect and/or contractor results in a better design plan and greatly expedites the Application and construction process.  

 

II.        BASIC PROCEDURES

            A.  Covenants Committee.  Several covenants govern the permissible improvements, which can be made on a Wood Acres lot.  In order to ensure compliance with these covenants, the Board of the Wood Acres Citizens Association has created a Covenants Committee composed of current Wood Acres homeowners to review and approve all proposed improvements.  This Committee meets regularly once a month to review and act on Applications submitted by homeowners for proposed  improvements.

 

          B.  Standards.  The Committee publishes these Guidelines to assist homeowners in determining in advance whether a contemplated addition or alteration is likely to be approved or disapproved by the Covenants Committee.  These guidelines are intended as a broad statement of applicable standards.  However, special conditions of topography, foliage, lot plan or safety may cause the Committee to grant exceptions to these Guidelines.  The burden to establish grounds for granting such exception is upon the applicant.  (Alternatively, a homeowner may use the procedure set forth in the twelfth article of the covenants to obtain an exception to the covenants).  It is also the sole responsibility of the applicant to abide by all applicable local zoning and building code requirements.  Lack of compliance may lead to legal action.

 

            C.  Types of Improvements.  The following improvements are representative (but not inclusive) of projects requiring approval by the Covenants Committee: fences, landscape wall installations, major regrading and landscaping of lots, decks, conversion of garages to living space, conversion of screened porches to living space, new porch entrances, one and two story additions, freestanding structures such as garages, sheds, play structures or tree houses exceeding 10 feet in height, and other similar modifications to the structure involving the movement of exterior walls.  Certain improvements are prohibited.  For prohibited structures and limitations to improvements see Sections III. through VII.

 

            D.  Application and Consultation with Neighbors.  Prior to the commencement of work on any structural change or improvement including those noted in II., C., a homeowner is required to submit an Application to the Committee and receive approval.  In accordance with the FIRST Covenant and where the improvement involves major structural changes to the exterior of the house, the Committee requires that the applicant include with the Application photographs of the existing house and surrounding properties and architectural drawings prepared by a licensed architect or design professional in sufficient detail to enable the Committee to visualize clearly the proposed completed structure.  The Committee encourages the applicant to provide any additional information, which he/she feels would be useful to the Committee in making its decision.  In addition, the Committee requires evidence that the proposed improvement has been discussed with the homeowner's neighbors who would be affected by the improvement and that any objections have been adequately documented.  This usually includes neighbors on both sides and behind the homeowner and other nearby lots, which would view the proposed improvement, but can include other neighboring lots, depending upon the size of the improvement and the configuration and topography of the lots involved.  Remember that your proposed construction may impact the value of your neighbor's homes as well.  Members of the Covenants Committee may ask to make a personal inspection of the premises and discuss the proposal with the applicant so as to better evaluate the Application request.  Nearby neighbors may also be contacted for their views on the proposed improvement.  The Committee will determine whether any objections or specific concerns of neighbors to the proposed changes are reasonable and justified. 

 

1.      Applicant Responsibilities.  It is the responsibility of each applicant to inform their neighbors who may have a direct view of the proposed home improvement, such that the affected neighbors have a thorough understanding of those improvements.  The applicant shall meet and discuss any concerns the neighbors may raise during the review of such home improvements.   Please allow your neighbors at least five (5) business days to review and consider your request prior to asking for their signature on your Application.

 

2.      Neighbor Responsibilities.  It is the responsibility of each neighbor reviewing an Application to have a thorough understanding of how the applicant’s proposed home improvement may affect their property.  If any concerns exist, the neighbors reviewing the proposed home improvements shall make note on the proposed Application or provide attached correspondence for the applicants’ and Committees’ review and action.   Neighbors must advise the Covenants Committee during the Application process if they are opposed to specific elements of a proposed construction.  

 

            Figure 1 indicates the adjacent neighbors that should be consulted to review the applicants proposed construction or improvement.  Signatures from those neighbors indicated are required on the Request for Approval of Improvements form in Section VIII.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neighbor 1

 

 

Neighbor 2

 

Neighbor 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neighbor 4

 

Applicant

 

Neighbor 5

 

 

 

 

 

Neighbor 6

 

Neighbor 7

 

Neighbor 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street

 

 

                                                                

                                                              Figure 1

 

            E.   Review Process. The Covenants Committee currently meets on the first Thursday of each month.  Applications should be submitted to the Chairperson of the Committee at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting.  To facilitate the review process we request that all Application materials be submitted in electronic pdf format, including Application forms containing applicant, neighbors and architect’s signatures, site photographs, site plan and architectural drawings.

           

            Please minimize the electronic file size of your application as best as possible since these attachments will be forwarded to Committee members in advance of the meeting. This allows the group to prepare for the meeting, and when necessary, visit the site to better understand your proposed home improvement. Address your email application to joseph.ruocco@som.com. Upon receipt of your email we will quickly review to determine if any additional information is required prior to the meeting.

           

            If no Applications are received one week prior to the monthly meeting, the meeting may be cancelled at the discretion of the Chairperson.  Because the Committee may have questions or concerns about details in your Application, which might require the Application to be resubmitted at a subsequent meeting, you should submit your completed Application to the Committee at least forty days prior to the scheduled commencement of any construction (perhaps longer for major projects).  After the Committee has reviewed an Application, it may approve the Application (with or without recommendations), disapprove the Application (with or without recommendations), or require further information from the applicant.  The Committee will promptly communicate its decision to the applicant via telephone and confirm in writing via email.  The Covenants Committee's approval is for the purposes of the neighborhood legal covenants only, and is not an approval or substitute for compliance with local zoning and building codes or other requirements of the county or state; such requirements are the sole responsibility of the homeowner or applicant’s agent.  The Architectural Covenants Committee approval is good for a period of twelve months; afterwards, if construction has not yet commenced, a new Application must be submitted.  (Approvals received during November, 2004 will have until November, 2005 to commence construction.)

 

            F.   Maintenance.  Maintenance of existing conforming structures and refurbishing to like-new condition does not require Covenant Committee approval.  Replacement of windows or doors without modification to the existing structure does not require prior Committee approval.  To the extent possible, window types and exterior dimensions shall be similar to existing window sizes and styles to harmoniously unify the new addition with the existing house.

 

III.       GENERAL CRITERIA

            A.  Appearance.  In evaluating an Application, the Committee gives due consideration to the appearance of the improvement as viewed from the public way and as viewed from all adjacent lots.  Please be considerate of your neighbors and remember that the aesthetic quality of the home improvement should accrue to everyone’s property value.  The basic requirement for any improvement is that it should attractively blend with the residence in question and with the other homes in the area.  The choice of materials, quality of construction and exterior painting and other finishes must match or closely blend with the existing structure.  Generally, the Committee evaluates the potential effect of any construction upon:

 

                  a.   the immediately adjoining lots to the sides and rear;

                  b.   other nearby lots, which also view the proposed improvement; and

c.       the neighborhood as a whole, with particular reference to the preservation of

      established trees and its open character and friendly atmosphere.

 

B.     Debris.  The homeowner must ensure that construction will cause a minimum of inconvenience to his/her neighbors and other members of the community.  If a dumpster is required in connection with the project, the dumpster (where possible) must be located in the homeowner's driveway.  In situations where a dumpster needs to be located on the street, the dumpster must be located as close to the curb as possible and may not obstruct traffic.  Such dumpster must be marked with reflectors at both ends to improve visibility at night.  Arrangements must be made by the homeowner to avoid overflow of the dumpster and removal of debris on a regular basis.  Where no dumpster is used, the homeowner must take the necessary steps to have debris kept in one location, preferably off the street, and collected on a regular basis.  Also, where possible, the homeowner must encourage the contractors to park in front of the homeowner's house, without blocking the street or interfering with the neighbors' access to their homes.

 

C.     Hours of Work.  Exterior construction is often loud and can constitute a nuisance to neighbors.  Montgomery County law, as of November 2004, permits construction activity, including roofing, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays and 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekends.  However, as a matter of courtesy, homeowners are urged to restrict loud construction activity (e.g., hammering, operation of motorized equipment, etc.) until after 8:00 a.m. on weekdays.

 

D.    Construction Schedule.  The applicant and contractor are required to establish the construction schedule (tentative start and tentative finish dates) and list these dates on the Application for the neighbor’s and Committee’s review.  The applicant will advise the contractor of the work hours in section C. above and that applicant and contractor shall promptly complete the work so as to minimize disruption to the neighborhood.

 

IV.             FENCES AND LANDSCAPE WALLS

In general the Committee encourages the use of hedges and other planted vegetation such as bushes, shrubs and trees to define borders, but acknowledges that in some cases residents may prefer fences for safety reasons.

A.  Fences.                

                  1.   Height Limitations.  Fences will be limited to 60 inches in height.

 

                  2.   Location.

                        a.  Fences must not extend into the front yard (i.e. closer to the street than the front of the house).

 

                        b.  Corner lots must not contain a fence that extends closer to the curb than the front face of the house on the adjoining lot.

 

3.      Type

 

                        a.  In order to present a harmonious appearance to the neighborhood, owners shall endeavor to erect fences that are compatible with those already existing in the immediate area.

                        b.  Fences must be made of natural materials.  Picket or rail fences, in natural finish or painted to match or blend with the color scheme, shall be approved.  Stockade or shadowbox fences are strongly discouraged, since such fencing inhibits the "open" character of the neighborhood.

                        c.  Chain link fencing, light wire fencing are prohibited.

 

4.   Facing.  Fences must be constructed so that the finished side faces the neighbor's property.  The Committee encourages fences that look finished on both sides.

 

            B.  Landscape Walls.

 

1.      General.  The same principles of location applicable to fences apply to above-grade walls.  Retaining walls are also subject to approval by the Committee.

 

2.      Retaining walls should blend in with the adjacent landscaping.  Walls greater than 4 feet in height should be tiered or bantered to reduce the visual impact of the structure upon adjacent neighbors.

 

3.      Type.  Natural weathered fieldstone or brick are strongly favored for all walls. 

 

a.       Treated landscape timbers are generally favored for smaller scaled walls provided that any portion thereof that is visible from the front of the property or by any neighbor with a direct line of sight into the applicant’s lot is partially shielded by shrubbery or landscaping.

b.      Above-grade exposed cinder block and exposed concrete block are prohibited.

c.       Simulated stone landscape blocking is disfavored relative to genuine stone; however newer technologies for synthetic stone materials will be considered on a case by case basis.

 

V.        STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN EXISTING DWELLINGS

 A.  General. The design and the materials used on all structural changes to existing dwellings must be compatible with those of the existing house.  The Committee subjects a proposal to the following considerations:  (1) size and location; (2) proximity to the lot lines; (3) topography; (4) existing foliage; and (5) distance from neighboring homes.

 

B.  Conversion of Garage.  The design for the conversion shall  be compatible with that of the existing house.

 

C.    Enclosure of Screened Porches and Entrance Additions.  The foregoing principles of care described in section V., D. are applicable here.

 

D.    One & Two Story Additions

 

1.      Building Elevations

 

a.       Expansive and uninterrupted (bare) exterior walls are strongly disfavored.  The applicant shall carefully design the addition to minimize the extent to which exterior walls are empty of windows; where interior design renders exterior windows impracticable (e.g. kitchen cabinets, refrigerator or range) other means of exterior architectural articulation (e.g. trellis for plantings) may be requested by the Committee to add visual relief to the elevation.

b.      Additions shall be supported by continuous foundation walls.  Discontinuous foundations, exposed masonry piers or treated landscape timbers supporting additions, with unenclosed space beneath the proposed addition, are prohibited.

c.       Second story additions shall have gutter lines that match the gutter lines of the existing second floor.  The use of dormers and intersecting gables should be used to provide the desired interior wall height.

 

2.      Windows & Doors (Includes Replacement of Existing Windows)

 

a.       To the extent possible, window types and exterior dimensions shall be similar to existing window sizes and styles to harmoniously unify the new addition with the existing house.

b.      Windows with true divided lights or simulated divided lights are in the Committee’s view, most consistent with the Wood Acres colonial style.  Muntins installed internal to insulated glass windows are disfavored, unless exterior and interior applied muntins are provided to replicate simulated divided lights.  Muntins should be colored to match color of existing window muntins.

c.       Fixed and casement windows are permitted, provided they are broken down into smaller glass lights by  muntins as described in V.,D., 2., b.

d.      Shutters on the front elevation of the house should be provided at windows to closely match original shutters.  Shutters or window ornamentation on side and rear elevations of the house are generally favored.

e.       Large expansive (picture) windows or doors without glass dividers are disfavored.

f.       Glass doors with true divided lights or simulated divided lights are strongly favored as described in V.,D., 2., b. 

 

3.      Exterior Elevation Materials

 

a.       Brick to match the existing brick size is favored. Natural undressed stone is favored as accent.  Synthetic stone materials are disfavored.

b.      Finished wood and cement board clapboard siding are permitted.  Aluminum or vinyl clapboard siding are also permitted, provided aluminum and vinyl extrusions or other components are not exposed at the perimeter of doors and windows, base of siding, roof eaves and corners of house, and the installed siding authentically matches wood clapboard siding.

c.       Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems (EIFS) or stucco is disfavored.

d.      Latticework at crawlspaces is prohibited, unless concealed by shrubbery.

 

4.      Roofs

 

a.       The slope of the roof for entry porches and additions should approximate the slope of the existing main roof structure where feasible.

Main roof should be asphalt, slate, fiberglass or simulated slate shingles made from rubber or fiberglass to closely approximate the texture of the original Wood Acres shingle roof.  Smaller roofed areas such as entry and side porches and projecting bay windows should be the same as main roof or copper.

b.      All exposed flashings shall be either pointed into brick or stepped to match the vertical and horizontal mortar joints of the brick.  Copper flashing is favored.

 

5.      Entrances

 

a.   Front entry steps and walks from driveways and the street built with natural stone and/or brick are favored.

 

6.      Mechanical & Electrical Equipment

 

a.       Exterior air conditioning, heating and other mechanical units should be located at the rear or side of the property and be shielded from view from any public way by use of  shrubbery or other vegetation.

b.      Electric service, telecommunication service panels and water meters should be installed in discreet locations on the side elevations of the house and mounted as low as possible relative to adjacent grade consistent with prudent utility practices.

c.       Radon reduction ventilation shall be integrated into the addition and vented discreetly to minimize the public visibility of the system.

d.      Permanent floodlights mounted on the house and directed towards the street or an adjacent lot are disfavored.  Pathway lighting is encouraged in lieu of floodlights.

e.       To the extent practicable, satellite dishes or other similar antennae mounted within the lot, on the house or in view from the street or any neighbor’s lot shall be located and camouflaged to reduce or eliminate the visual impact that the antennae may have upon the neighborhood.

f.       Permanent air conditioning and heating units protruding from walls of the structure are prohibited.

 

E.   Decks, Patios, Terraces and Swimming Pools

 

1.      Large decks due to their size and height relative to adjacent grade shall be viewed by the Committee as a permanent structure and designed appropriately as an integral feature of the house.  The applicant should consider appropriate design strategies to visually harmonize the appearance of the addition to the existing structure (e.g. use of appropriate exterior finish materials to match those of the existing house may be preferable in lieu of treated landscape timbers).  Use of proportionately mature shrubbery or trees providing privacy for both the applicant and all neighbors with a line of sight towards the deck may be required to mitigate the visual impact of the deck.

 

2.      Patios and terraces on grade should use natural stone or brick as the patio surface.  Patios shall be screened with shrubbery or trees providing privacy for both the applicant and all neighbors with a line of sight towards the patio.

 

3.      Poured-in-place concrete finishes are disfavored for patio and terrace floors.

 

4.      Latticework at underside of elevated decks is prohibited, unless concealed by shrubbery.

 

5.      Above-grade swimming pools are prohibited.

 

F.    Driveways

 

1.      Concrete (stamped or otherwise), blacktop, brick, and landscape pavers are favored.

 

G.   Trees and Landscaping

 

1.      Tree removal does not require Committee approval.  Tree removal and site clearing associated with new additions requires approval by both neighbors and the Committee. Preservation of existing trees shall be a positive factor in the Committee’s evaluation of any home improvement.  The Application shall identify all trees to be removed, including specimen, diameter and height for the neighbors and Committees review, such that the neighbors are well advised of the impact that the removed vegetation may have on their lot (e.g. increased sunlight, reduced privacy).

 

2.      All drainage pipes extending beyond three feet from house downspouts to the driveway or street shall be constructed of durable piping material, concealed below grade and terminated such that no water flows onto adjacent lots.

 

3.      Drainage pipes shall not terminate onto adjacent lots.

 

4.    Regrading of existing site shall not direct water from a homeowner’s property onto an adjacent lot.

 

VI.       OUTBUILDINGS

 

            A.  In General.  Due to the size of the Wood Acres' lots, only one outbuilding (including an existing garage) is allowed.

 

            B.  Small Attached Sheds.

 

                  1.   General.  Sheds attached to the house are generally preferred over the free standing sheds referred to in Section VI., C.  The design and materials used in the construction of the shed shall be compatible with the existing house.

 

                  2.   Location. Sheds shall be placed at the rear of the house and properly screened by shrubbery.  Sheds attached to the sides of the house, which are visible from the public way are disfavored.

 

                  3.   Color.  The shed shall be painted to match the trim on the house, unless the shed is constructed of brick or stone.

 

4.   Size and Design.  The Committee recognizes that such factors as zoning setbacks from lot lines, proximity to an adjacent house, topography, and foliage require flexibility of size and design. Generally, the smaller the shed, the more likely the Committee will approve the project.

 

            C.  Small Free-Standing Sheds.

 

General.  Please note sheds are subject to zoning setback requirements.  Free-standing sheds set within a lot should be carefully planned since these structures are highly visible to adjacent homeowners.  Sheds with architectural character are favored over more utilitarian looking structures.

                 

                  1.   Size and Height Limitations. The dimensions of these sheds must not exceed reasonable requirements for storage or greatly exceed the size of sheds in the immediate vicinity of the house.

 

2.  Location.  The shed may not extend closer to the front yard than the rear line of the house, except on corner lots.  Corner lots will be considered on a case-to-case basis, but in no event shall approval be granted for any shed which would be located closer to the curb than the front face of the house on the adjoining lot.  The screening of sheds by use of appropriate shrubbery is required and must be outlined in the Application.

 

3.  Color.  Sheds shall be painted to match the trim on the house or otherwise to blend in with surrounding structures.

 

4.  Maintenance.  Owners shall maintain all sheds to prevent public nuisance and unsightly appearance.

 

5.  Prefabricated Sheds.  The Committee will consider applications for prefabricated sheds where the shed is finished with wood or a material which provides the appearance of wood.

 

D.  Children’s Play Structures.

 

Although temporary play structures less than 10 feet high are exempt from Covenants approval, the selection of children’s play structures should be carefully planned since these structures are highly visible to adjacent homeowners.  The color of play structures exceeding 10 feet in height, including canvas tenting, should be selected for compatibility with vegetation and to blend with the environment.

 

VII.     REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING DWELLINGS

 

Following the occurrence of substantial damage or destruction to an existing residence by fire or other force majeure event, Applications in accordance with the Covenants and these Guidelines shall be approved for rebuilding substantially the same house.

 

In the event the owner desires to demolish and rebuild an existing structurally sound house, the owner is required to retain a licensed architect to prepare the design consistent with the spirit of the original Wood Acres house plans and in accordance with these Covenants and these Guidelines for the adjacent neighbor’s and Covenants Committee’s review. 

 

In deference to the size of Wood Acres lots and the close proximity of houses to each other within the neighborhood, the design for the new house shall maintain the general scale and character of the pre-existing house with the understanding that the overall size of the house may be enlarged in square footage in accordance with the local zoning ordinance and in accordance with the Covenants and these Guidelines.  Floor-to-floor heights are limited in accordance with these Guidelines and take precedence over the local zoning ordinance relative to building height.  The proposed design for a house to replace the pre-existing house shall abide by the Covenants and these Guidelines contained herein.  The proposed design for the new house shall be presented to the Committee with the originally prepared architectural drawings of the pre-existing house.  These original architectural drawings shall be used as a reference for the Committee relative to evaluation of house location within lot, floor-to-floor height, overall massing of the new structure, scale and proportion of doors and windows, slope of roofs and use of building materials.

 

A.   If the floor area for the new house exceeds that of the preexisting house, then the applicant shall design the house such that:

 

1.         The length of the front elevation shall not exceed the length of the pre-existing house’s front elevation (including the pre-existing front porch) unless setbacks are provided that visually breaks down the volume of the house.

 

2.         The length of the side elevation shall not exceed the length of the pre-existing house’s side elevation unless the new elevation is broken down into smaller modules composed of a pair of pitched roofs to match the width of the pre-existing side elevation and pitched roof.

 

3.         Excessively long side and rear elevations without exterior wall setbacks between the first and second floors, or such elevations without the use of dormers and other means of architectural details are disfavored.

 

4.         The floor-to-floor height shall match the pre-existing house’s floor-to-floor height.

 

5.         For lots with garage basements, the basement floor elevation may be set at a lower elevation than that of the pre-existing basement floor, provided the new basement floor elevation is higher than the adjacent street elevation.  The first floor elevation of the new house may not be set at a higher elevation than the pre-existing first floor elevation.

 

6.         The existing lot grading may be revised provided no drainage is shed onto adjacent lots, and privacy is maintained between the applicant’s lot and all adjacent properties.

 

B.   To satisfy the Application requirements contained herein, the applicant shall submit complete architectural floor plans and exterior elevations together with a three-dimensional physical or computer generated model and/or renderings showing all abutting existing neighbor houses and surrounding grade and landscaping for the neighbors’ and Committee’s review.  The Committee may require, depending upon the scale of the proposed design, additional design documentation to complete the review of the Application.

 

Wood Acres Covenants Committee: Revised November, 2004

 

Application

for Approval of  Construction/Improvements    

 

Submittal Date:  ___________

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All owners and renters of Wood Acres homes must comply with the Wood Acres Covenants that run with the land and legally bind all property owners in the neighborhood.  Renters are required to obtain the owner’s approval and signature on the Application.

 

This form shall be used when any alterations of the property or the exterior of the house as described in Section II.(C) of the Guidelines are planned.

 

Prior to completing the following form, please review the additional instructions and suggestions included as part of this Application.

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TO:         The Covenants Committee of the Wood Acres Citizens Association

 

FROM:     ____________

               (Name)

                 ____________

               (Address)

               ______   ____

               (Home phone)                                                    (Work phone)

               ______

               (email)                                                           

 

1.            Improvement(s)   (Please Check):

               _____     Fence         _____  New       _____ Replace Existing

               _____     Garage Conversion to:  _______________

               _____     Enclosure of Screened Porch

               _____     Excavation/Landscaping/Retaining Wall

               _____     Shed/Garage

               _____     Deck

               _____     Play House/Tree House

               _____     Exterior Expansion:  _________________

               _____     Second Story Addition

               _____     Other:  ____________________________

 

2.                        Anticipated Starting Date:  ______________________, 20___.

(Please allow forty days for approval.)

Anticipated Completion Date: _____________________, 20___.

 

3.                        Description of Materials to be used and Appearance (e.g. brick, wood, natural stone, landscaping or reference enclosed architectural drawings): 

____________

____________

 

4.            Required Documents  (please attach and check boxes):

 

               Detailed DrawingsFor fences, sheds, decks, retaining walls and other site improvements, showing all dimensions and materials for proposed improvement.

 

               Architectural DrawingsFor exterior changes to residences, showing elevations of each side of the residence that is being altered.  Must show dimensions to scale and indicate, with specificity, exterior materials.

 

  X          Site PlanFor all improvements, showing exact location of the proposed improvement in relation to the existing house and property lines.  Must indicate the dimensions of the footprint of the improvement and the names or addresses of all contiguous property owners.

 

  X          Color PhotographsFor all improvements, showing proposed residence or site prior to commencement of project.  Photographs should be taken at a distance to show each side of the residence that is being altered or impacted by the improvement in relation to the adjacent properties.

 

5.            Dumpster will be used:                     _____ Yes, Location _______________________ 

                                                                           _____ No

 

Note:  The undersigned Applicant(s) acknowledges and agrees that, if a Dumpster will be used, the Applicant(s) shall ensure that the Dumpster is emptied on a regular basis.  The Dumpster shall be clearly marked with reflectors and other marking devices on all sides facing the street for nighttime visibility.  The Dumpster shall also be located in such a manner as to reduce encroachment into the street.

 

6.            Portable Bathroom Facility will be used:       _____ Yes, Location ________________ 

                                                                                          _____ No

 

Note:  The undersigned Applicant(s) acknowledges and agrees that they will endeavor not to use a portable bathroom facility and, if such a facility must be used, that it will be located in the back of the property to reduce visibility from the street.

 

7.            Neighbors/Contiguous Property Owners

The Association makes its own independent appraisal of the intended improvements, but also takes into account the concerns of adjacent neighbors.  The homeowner shall provide their neighbors with advance copies of the items listed in Section 4 above and obtain their explicit comment below, as a prerequisite for Covenants Committee review and approval.  In all cases the neighbor(s) should be allowed to review the plans for a minimum of five (5) business days and then initial this form below to indicate their approval or specific concerns.  Where concerns are expressed, the Covenants Committee will attempt to contact the neighbor to discuss their concerns.   Neighbors may also express their concerns to the Covenants Committee by letter which shall be held in confidence by the Committee if so requested.

 

Neighbors/Contiguous Property Owners Consent:

 

                                                                           I have reviewed the plans.

                                                                           I have indicated my concerns,

Names and Addresses:                                                     if any, below, or stated “None”:

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

 

 


Additional Space for noting specific concerns for the Covenants Committees Review:

 

_______________

_______________

_______________

_______________

_______________

_______________
 

8.            Attachments:  Please attach any other items that may assist the Committee.

 

The undersigned Applicant(s) and architect/design professional/builder have read and understand the Wood Acres Citizens Association (“WACA”) Covenants and Guidelines and agree to abide by them and this Application as approved by the WACA Covenants Committee.  We further certify that the information contained herein is true and correct to the best of the Applicant’s and architect/design professional/builder’s knowledge and covenant to cause the improvement to be built in accordance with the description provided herein and in compliance with the Wood Acres Covenants, Guidelines, and this Application.  We understand it is our responsibility to inform the WACA Covenants Committee, prior to proceeding with the work, of any design or building material changes made, which are contrary to those represented on the Application submitted herewith.

 

 

              

Signature of Applicant:_______                                                     

 

Date:  __________________, 20___

              

              

Signature of Applicant’s Architect/Design Professional/Builder:                                                

 

________________   

 

Date:  __________________, 20___

              


Application INSTRUCTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS

 

1.      Committee Meetings

§ When:  The Covenants Committee usually meets first Wednesday of every month.

§ Notice:  Phone one of the Committee Chairmen to give advance notice of your intention to file an Application.  Meetings may be cancelled if notice of an Application is not received by one week before the scheduled meeting.

§ Plans:  Have your architect, draftsman, building or fence contractor deliver final plans to you well in advance of time needed for circulation to neighbors and submission to the Committee. Illegible hand-drawn documents are disfavored.  The Committee recommends printing to 8-1/2” x 11” format to facilitate photocopying for distribution of multiple copies to neighbors and at least two (2) copies to the Committee.  Incomplete Applications will be deferred until the following month’s meeting unless received in time to request clarification.

§ Complete Application:  Deliver your complete Application to one of the Chairpersons of the Covenants Committee no later than the one-week preceding the meeting.

§ Applicant Questions:  Although Applicants are not generally invited to attend the Covenants Committee meetings, the Committee recommends that you make yourself available by phone between 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. so that one of the Committee Chairman may phone if questions arise during the meeting.

 

2.      Fences, Retaining Walls, Outbuildings

§ Site Plan:  It is acceptable to draw on site plan indicating location of fences or retaining walls.  All critical dimensions should be indicated (e.g. height, distance from boundaries, etc.).

§ Elevations:  Please supply simple color brochure photographs or diagrams illustrating type of fence or retaining wall and materials to be used.  If regrading will be involved, more detailed plans may be required showing relationship of newly proposed grade relative to existing grade.

 

3.      Home Improvements

§ Drawings:  Have architect/draftsman develop ¼” scale drawings and print on 8-1/2” x 11” or other easily reproducible size.  In addition, extensive one and two story additions require ¼” scaled plans and elevations from the design/construction set of documents (blueprints). 

§ Site Plan:  Show building footprint (with dimensions) relative to property lines.  Indicate affected neighbors by house number.  Street names should be shown on site plan.

§ Floor Plan:  Distinguish proposed improvements from existing structure.

§ Building Elevations:  Show all sides of structure being improved with details such as exterior window treatments (e.g. shutters, muntin dividers), exterior cladding materials (e.g. brick, natural stone, clapboard siding) and roofing materials (e.g. asphalt or slate shingles).  Clearly distinguish new construction from the existing construction.

§ Photographs:  Please provide color photographs to enable the Committee to better visualize the house in the context of the neighborhood.  For example; if you are considering an addition to the side or back of your home stand as far away from your lot as possible and photograph the front and back of your home to include the picture of abutting neighbors homes as well.

 

4.      Make It Easy On Your Neighbors

§ Make Your Submission Understandable:  While certain items are required for your Application, you may also supplement your Application with additional items that will assist your neighbors and the Committee to understand better your proposed addition or improvement.   Such supporting materials often expedite the approval process.  

§ Consult with your Neighbors:  To avoid miscommunication and other difficulties that may arise during the construction process, the Committee suggests that you try to meet with your neighbors to discuss the proposed improvements and the construction process (instead of just dropping off the form).  A good dialogue between neighbors is essential for the process to proceed smoothly and the consideration of your neighbors is an important input for the Covenants Committee.