Re: Architectural Review
From: Michael Barrett (
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 11:44:59 -0700 (PDT)
 At Liberty Village, Maryland we have had "issues", fortunately only temporary, 
over exterior changes that individual residents desired.  We have found that as 
an initial step for any proposed changes gathering and widely circulating 
relevant information is very helpful.  To this end we have used a checklist 
form (below and attached) which seems to capture the needed information.  This 
has been helpful in both informal and, where needed, more formal resolution of 
the issues.  If it seen to be useful, please use.  It is attached in both Word 
and Excel formats.

Another point: We had problems getting volunteers for our Design Review Team 
when it was perceived as having a "policing" function.  Now it has a specific 
mandate to facilitate changes - an excerpt follows:  

The mandate is to be positive, i.e. to try to facilitate implementation of 
members' wishes to enrich and improve the utility and appearance of their 
community surroundings, rather than negative and restrictive. The DRT will seek 
ways to enable a project to move forward rather than ways to stop it. The DRT 
will attempt to balance the desires of the individual with the wishes of the 

If friendly mutual agreement on changes, with DRT encouragement, is not 
forthcoming the issue can then get referred to the community business meeting 
for more formal resolution.  This way the Design Review Team is never in the 
ugly position of needing to say say no. 

Michael Barrett

                    Checklist from: _______________________ For: 

      Date: ________________
      Description of change or addition. Sketches, dimensioned plans, elevation 
drawings, real or simulated pictures

      What is the reason for the proposal? Who will benefit?
      Impact on the community at large - considering young, old, handicapped or 
      Impact on immediate neighbors - Do they agree with proposal?

      Impact outside the community

      Aesthetic: Appearance, noise & odor during construction and when complete.

      Traffic: effect upon vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian adult, child & animal 
traffic patterns.
      Effect of 2 to 5 years on growth, decay, utility, maintenance

      Initial cost: Estimate made, to be paid by?

      Ongoing maintenance costs: Estimate made, to be paid by?

      Implementation and schedule issues - who will do the work, when, are they 
appropriately qualified?

      List safety hazards, during construction and when complete.

      Environmental hazards to air & soil, animal & plant life, during 
construction and when complete.
      Liability: personal & community



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