Building a New Fence: Navigating Homeowners Association Regulations

Undertaking a fence construction project can be a significant improvement for your property, providing both privacy and enhancing your home’s curb appeal. However, if you reside within a community governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA), it’s crucial to understand the specific regulations and processes that pertain to fence construction. In particular, you will need to secure approval from your HOA’s Architectural Review Committee, which assesses your fence plan, property survey, and fence specifications.

Understanding Your Homeowners Association Regulations

Before embarking on your fence project, it’s essential to carefully review your HOA’s regulations, which are typically outlined in the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions). These regulations lay out the rules and guidelines for property improvements, including fences. Pay close attention to any restrictions on fence height, style, materials, and placement, as this knowledge will be instrumental in ensuring your fence project aligns with your HOA’s expectations.

HOA Architectural Review Committee

Most HOAs have an Architectural Review Committee (ARC) responsible for assessing and approving or denying requests for architectural changes, including fences. This committee ensures that any exterior property changes adhere to the established guidelines. To initiate your fence project, you will usually need to submit a formal request to the ARC.

Fence Plan

Your fence plan is a fundamental part of your proposal. It should include comprehensive details about your fence design, such as its style, materials, height, color, and its intended location on your property. Many HOAs have specific guidelines regarding these aspects, so make sure to refer to your CC&Rs for this information.

Property Survey

A property survey is a document that delineates your property’s boundaries and dimensions. It is essential for planning a fence as it helps determine the fence’s placement. The ARC will require a copy of your property survey to ensure your fence does not encroach on common areas or neighboring properties.

Fence Specifications

Fence specifications encompass the technical details of your fence, such as the type of wood or materials you intend to use, the fence’s height, and any additional features like gates or decorative elements. Providing these specifications will help the ARC gain a better understanding of the visual impact and quality of your proposed fence.

Submitting Your Request

Once you have your fence plan, property survey, and fence specifications ready, it’s time to submit your request to the ARC. The process for submitting these requests can vary from one HOA to another, so make sure to follow the specific guidelines outlined in your HOA’s regulations. You may need to complete an application form and provide any required fees.

Review and Approval Process

The ARC will conduct a thorough review of your fence proposal. They will evaluate how your plans align with the community’s aesthetics and guidelines, considering factors like uniformity and overall appeal. Be prepared for this process to take some time, as committee members may need to meet and discuss your proposal before reaching a decision.

It’s essential to be open to feedback and potential modifications to your fence plans to ensure they meet the HOA’s criteria. Once your proposal is approved, you can proceed with your fence project. If the ARC requires revisions or has concerns about your proposal, be prepared to work with them to address those issues.

Building a new fence within an HOA-regulated community necessitates careful planning and adherence to established regulations. By understanding your HOA’s rules, preparing a comprehensive fence plan, providing a property survey, and detailed fence specifications, you enhance your chances of securing approval from the Architectural Review Committee. While navigating the approval process may require time and effort, the end result will be a fence that not only enhances your property but also aligns with your community’s aesthetic standards and guidelines, contributing to the overall appeal of your neighborhood.