Your Winston-Salem HOA should have an architectural committee. Your bylaws or CC&Rs will establish the committee and indicate their scope of work.
In general, the architectural committee can be expected to maintain the architectural harmony and the structural integrity of the community. This is the committee that will review applications for any new paint colors, modifications to homes, additions, renovations, or architectural changes throughout the community.
The HOA board will generally appoint members to this committee. Let’s take a look at the specific roles and responsibilities of your architectural committee.
Role of the Architectural Committee in Winston-Salem HOAs
Every HOA works hard to provide a uniform, consistent look to their community. When it comes to home exteriors, landscaping, and even paint colors – there are always going to be restrictions on what homeowners can and cannot do. A resident who moves into an HOA community understands that there is a certain way their home must look. This is to protect home values and create architectural harmony throughout the community.
The architectural committee takes this seriously, and its goal is to contribute to the curb appeal of the neighborhood and increase property values.
The architectural committee will consider and approve architectural changes. This is their main role. There will be an application and approval process listed in your bylaws or CC&Rs, and those need to be followed by the committee, the HOA board, and the homeowners.
In addition to reviewing these requests and either approving or denying them, your architectural committee will be responsible for:
- Identifying violations of the architectural guidelines in the community and bringing those homeowners into compliance.
- Enforcing standards written in the governing documents.
- Proposing changes to the board when existing standards no longer make sense.
- Educating homeowners on the guidelines and the process for submitting applications.
The committee should make a report during the annual meeting to the entire association.
Guidelines the Architectural Committee May Enforce
Written standards and guidelines for the architectural committee to enforce are always found in governing documents.
Every HOA has its own set of standards. Some associations will allow homeowners to paint their houses any color they want, while other associations will maintain a list of potential colors and not entertain any other options. Some will have rules about fences, electric vehicles, and landscaping. Personal property on balconies may be allowed or disallowed.
In some cases, federal law prohibits the HOA and the architectural committee from overstepping their scope. For example, federal law requires HOAs to allow satellite dishes. Your committee cannot prohibit them, but they can restrict their location, require them to be screened from view and regulate their size.
Helping boards establish committees and oversight is one of the things we do best as Winston-Salem association management experts. If you’d like some help with your architectural committee, please contact us at Capstone Realty Consultants. We can talk further about the role and responsibilities of that committee.