Monthly Matters
What you can and cannot do to your Arbor Grove Unit without prior approval
Posted on May 27, 2024 6:00 AM by Admin
With Spring in the air and summer approaching fast, sometimes our neighbors get antsy and want to treat their home exteriors in the same way they did their previous homes. Living within a planned unit development with a formal homeowner’s association is a new experience for most of us. 
Many are used to making decisions and trying to make changes, forgetting that we have Declarations, Bylaws, and Community Guidelines/Policies for all to follow.
Want to paint your interior? Great.  Want to replace your carpet or hardwood floors? Great. Want to move where your sink and dishwasher are currently located? Not So Great! 
To make major revisions to your unit, which require changes to the original slab, you must have the architectural plans reviewed by the Architectural Committee (Maintenance Committee) and approved by the Board.  
It may seem like a pain, but the homeowner does not own the slab, the roofline, etc.  All of us owners together own all the exteriors of every building in Arbor Grove, including the pool, clubhouse, and grounds. The only thing we do not own together is our interiors, from drywall in, doors and windows. The Architectural Committee will ensure any structural changes to a unit are made by a licensed, insured, and bonded contractor.  Use whomever you want to work on the portion of our home that you own – again, drywall in.
As far as the exterior of your unit – also referred to as common and limited common areas – also requires approval for any changes.  The Rules Committee reminded us that:
“No changes, alterations, or additions may be made to the unit exterior or landscaping or any limited common area without the prior review and approval from the board.” 
Want to change your landscaping?  First, submit your plan to the landscape committee. If you do get consent and approval, you can certainly move forward.
Want to add an additional set of bushes, a tree, etc.? While the approval process is the same as changing out the current landscape, the homeowner has additional responsibility. They will be solely responsible for removing/replacing the additional bushes/trees should they get sick or do not survive. If the Association is put in the position to remove the additional landscape, the homeowner will be invoiced for the Association’s expenses.
If homeowners around Arbor Grove added additional landscaping plants, trees, etc., you would be forcing your fellow neighbors to pay the additional cost of maintaining those additions. This is why there is a process. 
Now, if you are one who likes to ask for forgiveness instead of permission – please be aware: “In the event of any change, alteration, or addition to the exterior unit or landscaping is made without prior board approval – well – you have to restore your unit to the original condition at your expense.” Warning, it will cost you. 
Last, but not least, many aren’t aware that exterior sculptures, statues, exterior fountains, and any yard ornaments must have prior approval from the board (typically goes through Landscape committee as delegated by Board). Want to have a US Flag – absolutely – we support that. Just know how and where you display your flag also needs prior approval according to our Community Guidelines.  Remember – we are talking about a US Flag. No other flags may be flown. 
Whew, that’s a lot of information, but hopefully, it's easier than re-reading the entire Declarations, Bylaws, Covenants, Guidelines, and Policies. These documents are always available and easy to access on our website.  
The best thing to remember is to utilize the website and reach out to the landscape committee, maintenance committee, and/or board of directors to confirm any changes or additions you want to make to your home. Everyone will be more than happy to help you and ensure we are all following the same set of rules and guidelines we all voted into place.  
Comment By: Sally Dorn
Posted on May 27, 2024 2:06 PM
A good reminder. We all wish to be good neighbors.