Jan 212018
✉ by Guy Scharf, Chair, Architecture Committee

Phone: (cell)

The Architecture Committee received 36 architectural requests in 2017. The most common requests received were for changes to exterior lighting, fences, gates, walls, and windows. Most of the requests were approved easily; a few required more extended discussion with the homeowner.

Another frequent request to the Architecture Committee is for a copy of the Approved Paint Colors. You can always find the current list of approved paint colors on our website at http://smve.org/approved-paint-colors. The approved list for 2018 will be included with the the Spring newsletter; if you print it and place it in a handy spot you’ll find it easily when needed.

To guide the Architecture Committee, as well as to help homeowners understand issues about some changes, the Committee published the Architectural Design Notes on our website. This document describes considerations that apply to specific issues such as adding a room, raising a wall, changing exterior lights, etc. We recommend that anyone considering a change read the part of this document that applies to their proposed change.

We also strongly recommend that anyone considering architectural changes first read Planning for Architectural Changes. Please remember that any external change to your house, walls, gates, lighting, paint, etc. requires Architectural Committee approval. The most difficult problems the committee deals with are changes that have been made without permission and which do not comply with standards. These problems could have been solved early and easily if the homeowner had contacted us when first considering a change. We’re always happy to work with you to find a solution you like that is compatible with our standards.

Whether raising a wall, changing a gate or front door, replacing a window, changing a post lamp or any external light fixture, adding an extension, building a BBQ in your back yard, etc. contact the ✉ Architecture Committee to gain approval for your project before starting work. (The Architecture Chair’s email is visible if you click the link at the top of this page and read the article in your browser.)

As more homes in SMVE are sold and new owners move in, there is an increase in interior remodeling. Most new homeowners have been very cooperative and requested the “Rules for Contractors,” which the contractors read and sign, stating that they are aware of our rules and agree to follow them. This results in many fewer complaints about roads and driveways being blocked, it avoids visible portable toilets, dumpsters, etc. Neighbors are much more amenable to improvements when they are less disruptive to the neighborhood.

We have streamlined the permission process so much of it can be accomplished by email. We do require contractors to sign a form that contains the HOA’s rules and expectations concerning parking, building materials, debris removal, etc. Talk to us first about your proposed changes and we’ll tell you what information we need.

If you need to trim the vegetation behind your rear wall to improve your views contact the ✉ Landscape Committee to get the forms and set up an appointment for a quote for the work. (The Landscape Chair’s email is visible if you click the link at the top of this page and read the article in your browser.)

A Landscape Committee member will work with you to have a representative from Cherry Landscape or another HOA approved tree trimmer – along with a representative from the Committee – to review the scope of work and quote a price to do the work. If you agree to the quote, they will set up a date (convenient to you) to have the work done. Remember that there are limitations as to how far into the common area we can trim trees as that is protected land.