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Architectural Control Can Raise Hackles in Condo, Homeowner Associations

2/25/1999  -  Alexandria, VA

Properly exercised design review or architectural control protects community association property values by creating and preserving an attractive community. But condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations may find themselves embroiled in misunderstandings, controversy or even lawsuits if architectural control is not handled properly, according to the Community Associations Institute.

To ensure that homeowners understand the role of architectural control, every community association should adopt a manual of design review guidelines including written procedures, objectives and standards that will:

Establish a workable system for the design review process; Clarify the association's governing documents; Inform homeowners of exactly what is required of them; and Create a basis for treating all homeowners fairly and reasonably.

"A successful design review program must be recognized by the community as a benefit - not a burden," according to Architectural Control: Design Review, Fourth Edition, one of 26 Guides for the Association Practitioner published by CAI. Written by Byron R. Hanke, a land planner and founder of CAI, and Richard S. Ekimoto Esq., a member of CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers, the guide covers writing guidelines, review procedures, architectural harmony considerations, violations, appeals and complaint resolution.

To order a copy of Architectural Control: Design Review or get information on CAI's nearly 100 publications, videos and brochures on community association management and operations, call CAI Central at 703/548-8600.

The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service providers.

Phone: 703-970-9235