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Exterior Alteration Application

  [the Village of Long Reach]

8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia, Maryland 21045
Tele 410/730-8113 or 301/596-3265 • Fax 410/730-5882
E-mail info@longreach.org
Sarah B. Uphouse, Administrator

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Architectural Guidelines

  

Download the entire
Architectural Guidelines

Guidelines are not permitted to be reproduced for the purpose of resale.
(PDF Format)*
(Please note, this document is 60 pages long and may take some time to download on a dial-up connection)

Or you may view the Guidelines online by following the links below:

About the Application Process:
Responsibility & Authority
What are the Covenants?
How Does the Architectural Process Work?
Why Do We Have Architectural Controls?
What is the Regular Application Process?
What is the Fast Track Application Process?
How to Submit your Application
What if I Don't Wait for Approval?
What is the Process for Covenant Enforcement?
How Closely Must I Adhere to the Guidelines in this Book?
Very Important Advice
Checklist for Exterior Alteration Applications
Exterior Alteration Application (PDF Format)*

* These downloads require Adobe Reader.  If you don't have the Adobe Reader program, you can download it free of charge from www.adobe.com.

Architectural Guidelines:

Air Conditioning Units*
Animal Shelters
Attic Ventilators
Awnings
Basketball Backboards and Poles (Installed & Portable)*
Birdbaths
Carports
Chimneys (Residential) And Smokestacks
Clothes Lines
Commercial Properties
Compost Piles*
Decks*
Decorative Objects
Dog Runs
Driveways
Enclosed Rear Yards
Entrance Doors
Exterior Lighting
Fences*
Flag Poles & Brackets
Fountains
Garages
Garage Doors
Garden Plots (Residential)
Gas Grills (Permanent)
Gazebos
Gutters and Downspouts
Hot Tubs/Whirlpools
House Numbers
In-Home Business
Landscape Edging*
Maintenance
    Bulk Items
    Cul-de-Sacs
    Driveways
    Fences
    Grass
    Gutters & Downspouts
    Holiday Decorations
    House Numbers
    Lamppost & Exterior Light Fixtures
    Leaf & Tree Debris
    Mold, Mildew & Algae
    Paint
    Patio & Walkway
    Roof
    Screens
    Shrubs
    Sidewalks
    Siding
    Snow Removal
    Street Trees
    Tarps
    Trash, Trash Containers & Recyclables
    Trees
    Vehicles
    Woodpiles
    Windows
Major Exterior Building Alterations
Open Space
Other Alterations
Painting and Staining
Parking Pads
Patios*
Parking and Storage of Vehicles, Boats and Trailers
Plantings*
Play Equipment
Political Signs
Ponds/Fountains
Porches
Pools, Private
Privacy Screening
Radon Remediation Pipes
Rain Barrels
Real Estate Signs
Rental Properties, Boarders, Shared Living
Restyling
Retaining Walls
Rock Gardens
Roofing
Satellite Dishes and Antennas
Sheds*
Siding*
Signs
Skylights*
Sliding Glass Doors
Solar Collectors
Storm Doors
Storm Windows
Sun Trellises
Tear Down/Rebuilds
Townhouses, Condominium and Similar Multi-Family Dwellings
Tree Removal
Walkways
Windows


Responsibility and Authority

The Long Reach Village Covenants state that anything which materially changes the exterior appearance of any lot and/or structure in Long Reach, any use other than the originally intended use of any lot or structure in Long Reach, and any matter which involves the maintenance of any lot or structure in Long Reach is subject to the review of the Long Reach Architectural Committee.

The Long Reach Architectural Committee has the authority to require property owners to abide by the provisions of the Village Covenants and by the Guidelines and procedures described in the following pages.


What Are the Covenants?

The Long Reach Village Covenants are one of the many pieces of paper you (or your landlord) received at the time of settlement on your property. We hope you have read and understood them; if not, portions are summarized in this book. Copies of the Covenants and Guidelines are available at Stonehouse, in the Long Reach Village Center.

Each of the other villages in Columbia has similar covenants, or contracts. They assure the residents of certain minimum standards for land use, architectural design and property maintenance throughout their village. They also provide for your membership in the Columbia Association, Inc. (CA), and the Long Reach Community Association, Inc. (LRCA), and establish the mechanism for the operation of these associations.

These Covenants run with the land as part of your deed of ownership and cannot, as a practical matter, be changed. They are a contract between the Village Association, as represented by its elected Board of Directors (the Village Board) and the residents, and between each resident and every other resident of the Village. Thus, when dealing with the Covenants and the architectural control process you are dealing with your friends and neighbors in the Village of Long Reach. It is our intent and duty to help you in every way to obtain the fullest enjoyment of your property and common CA-owned property, consistent with your obligations to other residents.


How Does the Architectural Process Work?

Your Covenants provide for an Architectural Committee (AC). Since the duties of the AC are many and varied, it is assisted in routine architectural control matters by a volunteer Resident Architectural Committee (RAC). Both the AC and the RAC are volunteers appointed by the Village Board.

In addition, the Village employs Covenant Advisors who are available at Stonehouse to assist with Exterior Alteration Applications, complaints and inquiries on architectural and maintenance matters and who also carries out certain duties associated with Covenant enforcement.


Why Do We Have Architectural Controls?

Many people who have lived in communities without architectural controls have seen or experienced a well maintained, well-decorated house next to one which has been allowed to deteriorate or has a lawn strewn with junk. These are, of course, extreme circumstances but none of us wants to live near or have to look at an eyesore. The architectural controls in the Village Covenants are designed to prevent excesses and abuses, while affording flexibility in property use.

If you want to make exterior alterations, including landscaping, or would like to start an in-home business, your first step is to consult the Guidelines in this book. They will tell you what requires a formal application as well as helping ensure that your planning is complete. If you have questions, consult the Covenant Advisor.


What Is the Regular Process?

Once your application has been received at Stonehouse, it is previewed by the Covenant Advisor for completeness. If the Covenant Advisor notes that required information is missing, he/she will return the application to you by letter, and let you know what is missing. When the application is deemed complete, it will be stamped received, given a log number and placed on the agenda.   All meetings of the RAC are open to all residents and meetings are held every other Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. An occasional date shift may occur due to a holiday.

At the RAC meeting, your application will be presented and discussed. You will be invited to join the discussion if you attend. At the first meeting after submittal, the RAC previews your application, decides if a site visit or more information is necessary. During the second meeting after being submitted, the RAC may take several actions: vote to approve the application, to approve with stipulations or as amended, to approve as an exception to the Guidelines, to postpone for added information or a site visit, on applications with multiple changes approve some and deny some, and, finally they may vote to deny the application. Whichever action the RAC takes, you will be notified by mail within a few days and you may call Stonehouse to find out the results. If your application was denied, this mailing will detail the steps you need to take if you wish to appeal.

Applications under consideration for the regular process must be submitted by noon, two Wednesdays before the meeting at which it will be on the agenda. E.g., an application submitted by noon on Wednesday, March 15 will be previewed on March 15 and will be on the agenda for a vote March 29.


What Is the Fast Track Process?

Only certain exterior alterations may be reviewed under the Fast Track application process. This process was developed to shorten processing time for certain standard exterior alterations. Please check the Guideline book to see if your particular alteration may be considered under the Fast Track process. Any application from a townhouse or condominium must include the local association signature with Approval or Disapproval circled on the application.

All applications for consideration under the Fast Track process must be submitted by noon, any Monday Stonehouse is open. The application form for the Fast Track process is the same form used for all exterior alteration requests plus one page. The Covenant Advisor will review the submitted application for Fast Track eligibility and completeness. The application must be complete at the time of submission for consideration under the Fast Track process. This includes plot plan, color or materials samples, drawings, all pertinent measurements, adjacent and signatures of four visually affected property owners surrounding the applicant's property are required, etc. The neighbors’ signatures are required for the Fast Track process due to the inability to notify neighbors by post card. The decision to move an application to the regular process is final.

If the application is complete and meets the criteria for Fast Track review, it will then be approved or disapproved by a member of the Architectural Committee. You will be notified by phone on Thursday no later than 4 p.m., with confirmation in writing.

If your application is not complete or not eligible for the Fast Track process, it will automatically be shifted to the regular process and reviewed at a regularly scheduled RAC meeting. The decision to shift a Fast Track application to the regular process is final.


How to Submit Your Application

After you have studied the Guidelines, complete and submit your application, using the special forms for either Exterior Alterations or for In-home Business.  In addition, several worksheets are available to help assist you in preparing your application.  A copy of each form is included in this booklet and copies are available at Stonehouse, the Village office.

Be sure that your application is complete and clear and has all the necessary signatures - including your own. A helpful checklist for completing your Exterior Alteration Application is enclosed in this booklet.You can deliver or mail your completed applications or you can fax them, 24 hours a day, to 410/730-5882.

ANY APPLICATION SUBMITTED WITHOUT ALL REQUIRED INFORMATION WILL BE NEITHER STAMPED "RECEIVED" NOR LOGGED IN AND WILL BE RETURNED TO THE PROPERTY OWNER(S) FOR COMPLETION.

Submit applications early, allowing four weeks for processing. All applications require processing and must be received two weeks prior to an RAC meeting to be on that meeting's agenda. During the processing period, you can obtain any necessary permits or variances required by Howard County.

PLEASE NOTE: HOWARD COUNTY AND LONG REACH VILLAGE HAVE INDEPENDENT APPROVAL PROCESSES AND APPROVAL BY ONE DOES NOT RELIEVE YOU OF THE RESPONSIBILITY TO OBTAIN APPROVAL OF THE OTHER.

When your application is submitted at the Village office, it will be assigned a log number and a brief description of your proposal will be listed on the village website, www.longreach.org, and/or posted at the Village office. Your neighbors will be notified by post card that you have an application pending.

At the RAC review meeting, your application will be presented by a member and you will be invited to join the discussion if you attend. At that meeting your neighbors and any other Village resident will have the opportunity to offer comments in support of or in opposition to your application. From there, your application, with the RAC's recommendation for final action, goes to the Architectural Committee. If your application is approved, that approval is final and you should receive a copy in the mail within 10 days, authorizing you to start work.

Exceptions
While exceptions to these Guidelines may be denied at the first hearing, approval of an exception can be granted only after consideration at two consecutive RAC meetings.

Appeals
I
f you, the applicant, want to appeal an unfavorable action by the AC, your request must be submitted in writing within 10 days after you receive written notice of that action. Appeal requests should be addressed to:

Architectural Committee
Long Reach Community Association
8775 Cloudleap Court
Columbia, Maryland 21045

The AC as a whole will then arrange to hear the appeal. Their decision is then legal and binding and can only be changed in court.

Once your application is approved, all of the work specified must be completed within 120 days once the work has started.  If you decide not to carry out the project or some emergency arises to delay work, advise the Covenant Advisor promptly, in writing. Failure to keep your file up-to-date and accurate can cause complications when the property is sold.

Although this process may seem complex and rigid, it is one that works because our residents, including those on the AC and the RAC, are interested and cooperative. Every effort is made to help applicants and to find compromises where necessary. Hundreds of applications are speedily and satisfactorily approved each year and only a handful are appealed.


What if I Don't Wait for Approval?

If you start an alteration or in-home business without first getting written approval of your plans, you do so at your own risk. If you fail to submit an application or if your application is modified or turned down, you may face the cost of removing the alteration plus legal costs. The Covenants provide means for placing such costs as a lien against your property. These circumstances may also arise if your property has been altered without approval before you purchased it.

In cases such as these, every effort is made to work out a reasonable solution to the problem. The best solution, however, is prevention. If you are buying or selling a property, call the Covenant Advisor and ask for a Letter of Compliance for the property. After you own it, make sure you have approval before starting work.


What is the Process for Covenant Enforcement?

Enforcement of the Village Covenants is the job of every resident but the routines are carried out by the Covenant Advisor. When architectural complaints are brought to the attention of the Covenant Advisor, they are kept confidential and investigated as soon as possible. If a violation is confirmed, the property owner is contacted and asked to correct the problem, either by removal or submission of an application or, in the case of a maintenance problem, by repair. Our experience has been that most problems are corrected at this stage.

If this contact does not result in action, the property owner will receive formal notification requesting action and if the problem is not corrected within the stipulated time, legal action may be initiated.


How Closely Must I Adhere to the Guidelines in this Book?

The Covenants give to the Architectural Committee the responsibility to set rules and procedures for architectural control, and the power to interpret the Covenants and allow exceptions to their requirements. The Guidelines presented here have been written by the Resident Architectural Committee and the Architectural Committee as part of that first responsibility then formally approved by the Village Board.

Based upon the policies and previous decisions of the committees, the Guidelines will tell you what is most likely to be approved in typical circumstances and also give you important information on how to prepare your application (see sample in the back). Special circumstances regarding your property may allow the approval of an application which might be denied for another location or the denial of one which might be approved for somewhere else. The fact that your plan has been approved for use at another location does not mean it is automatically approved for you.


Very Important Advice

Contractors
All Exterior Alteration Applications will be considered for final approval by the Long Reach Architectural Committee only if the following information is provided:

Are you your own contractor? (yes or no)

If no, you must provide the name, address and telephone number of the contractor.

Miss Utility
Before digging, call Miss Utility (1-800-257-7777) for free information on location of gas, power and telephone lines.

Howard County Permits
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE APPLICANT TO OBTAIN ALL NECESSARY PERMITS AND APPROVALS FOR ANY PROJECT. LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND LONG REACH VILLAGE HAVE SEPARATE AND INDEPENDENT PROCESSES. PERMISSION FROM ONE DOES NOT GRANT APPROVAL FOR ANY OTHER AUTHORITY.

Some of the agencies that may require separate applications are listed below. Please ask if your project requires any other type of license or permit when you contact these offices:

Howard County Licenses and Permits 313-2455

Building Permits
Electrical Permits
Plumbing Permits
Contractors Licenses
Rental Housing Licenses
Solicitor/Peddler Licenses
Traders Licenses

Howard County Dept. of Planning & Zoning 313-2350
Howard County Information & Referral 313-3000

One Final Note

The RAC and AC members and the Covenant Advisor are, in the final analysis, human beings. We are proud of our accomplishments and embarrassed by our errors. We need your help and cooperation in every facet of our work.


Checklist for Exterior Alteration Applications

Exterior Alteration Applications cannot be processed and voted on unless all required information is included. Please note the list below and submit your application only if all information is included.

  • Name, address and work and home telephone numbers.
  • Neighborhood.
  • Type of house, design of house and current colors of roof, siding, shutters, door, garage door and trim.
  • Signature of your townhouse or condominium association, if applicable, on the application with Approval or Disapproval circled.
  • Description of changes desired.
  • Color chips, drawings with all measurements, plot plan with proposed changes clearly marked, etc.
  • Name, address and telephone number of your contractor.
  • Your dated signature and that of any tenant(s).

For Fast Track: All information above plus visually affected neighbor’s signatures. Applications submitted for the Fast Track without all required information included at the time of submission will be moved to the regular process. For information on specific alterations which are eligible for the Fast Track, please see the Architectural Guideline book.

ANY APPLICATION SUBMITTED WITHOUT ALL REQUIRED INFORMATION WILL BE NEITHER STAMPED "RECEIVED" NOR LOGGED IN AND WILL BE RETURNED TO THE PROPERTY OWNER(S) FOR COMPLETION.

 You can contact Darlene Brown & Maryann Cohea, Covenant Advisor, at

Long Reach Community Association
8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia MD 21045
410/730-8113 or 301/596-3265
FAX:  410/730-5882
EMAIL:  info@longreach.org

Monday - Friday        9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
 

GUIDELINE 1 
AIR CONDITIONING UNITS

Fast Track process available

1.  Applications shall be required for all air conditioners, including window units.

2.  Applications shall include a description, drawing and/or picture of the unit and related equipment, and their location.

3.  Air conditioners shall be located as close to the rear of the house as possible.

4.  Air conditioning units shall be adequately screened. Screen plantings should permit adequate air flow.

5.  Generally, window and wall units will not be approved.



GUIDELINE 2
ALTERATIONS WITHIN ENCLOSED REAR YARDS


In cases such as townhouses where an entire rear yard is enclosed within a 6-foot privacy fence, applications are not required for ground-level decks, patios, landscaping and permanent gas grills, provided none of the alterations extend above the top line of the privacy fence.

GUIDELINE 3
ANIMAL SHELTERS AND DOG RUNS

No Fast Track process available

1.  Applications are required for all dog runs and animal shelters.

2.  Dog runs and animal shelters should be located behind the house, preferably attached to the house, but as close to the house as possible. However, if circumstances permit, the dog run may be located at the side of the house. It should be situated so as not to be an inconvenience or nuisance to the neighbors. To insure the privacy of adjacent neighbors, dog runs and animal shelters shall not be located near property lines.

3.  It is recommended that the fencing material be wood left natural, stained an earth tone or painted to match the house. If other fencing exists on the property, fencing for dogs should be the same type and color.

4.  The size should be proportionate to the size of the house and lot.

5.  Approval is contingent upon residents' commitment to keeping the area clean and to maintaining the structure in good condition.

6.  Applications shall contain the following information:
    a. signatures of all adjacent property owners,
    b. site plan showing the relationship of the dog run or animal shelter to the dwelling, adjacent homes and property lines, and other identifiable landmarks,
    c. detailed drawings of the shelter or run, including dimensions,
    d. list of materials to be used,
    e. color chip, and
    f. picture and/or drawing of proposed dog run and/or shelter.

7.  Residents should familiarize themselves with local ordinances covering the proper treatment of animals that are allowed out of the house.
 

GUIDELINE 4
ATTIC VENTILATORS

No Fast Track process available

Applications are not required for attic ventilators provided that all the following provisions are met:

1.  They are roof-mounted, located on the least visible side of the roof and do not extend above the ridge line.

2.  No part of the ventilator protrudes more than 12 inches above the roof surface.

3.  All exposed parts are painted to match the color of the roof.

4.  Blocking air flow through the ventilator, if necessary, is done from the inside of the ventilator.



GUIDELINE 5
AWNINGS AND SUN TRELLISES

No Fast Track process available

1.  Applications are required for all awnings and sun trellises.

2.  Sun control devices shall be compatible with the architectural character of the house, in terms of style, color and materials. Cloth and/or wood are the preferred materials. Metal, fiberglass and plastic awnings will not be allowed.

3.  Awnings are to be of straightforward design, of a solid, natural color, and without embellishments such as fringes, contrast trim, etc. However, awnings with very little or no visual impact may have stripes that are natural in color or that complement the house and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

4.  Awnings and trellises shall be consistent with the visual scale and architecture of the house to which they are attached. The location of any awning or trellis should not adversely affect views, sunlight, or natural ventilation of neighboring properties.

5.  If awnings are to be removed, pipe frames, etc. must also be removed and repairs made as necessary.

Applications must include a site plan, scaled elevation, and roof plan showing the location of the awning or sun trellis in relation to the house. Dimensions, color, style, method of attachment (where applicable), and a description of the material and/or a manufacturer’s drawing must be included.

GUIDELINE 6
BASKETBALL BACKBOARDS AND POLES (Installed and Portable)

Fast Track process available

1.  Applications are required for all basketball backboards and poles. Signatures of four property owners surrounding the applicant’s property are required.

2.  Applications shall contain the following provisions:
    a. If behind the house: the backboard is firmly attached to the house, carport or garage, or is on a freestanding pole not within 10 feet of the rear and/or side property lines and not extending forward of the rear line of the house (see sketch below).
    b. If on the driveway: the backboard must be firmly attached to the house, carport or garage or on a freestanding pole not within 10 feet of the nearest property line and must be closer to the house than to the street with a minimum of 10 feet to the street (see sketch below).


 

     c. The backboard shall be clear, white or painted to match the color of the area to which it is attached. A marker square of a contrasting color is allowed.
    d. The entire unit, including the backboard, rim, net and pole, shall not exceed 12 feet in height.

GUIDELINE 7
CHIMNEYS (RESIDENTIAL) AND SMOKESTACKS

No Fast Track p

rocess available

1.  A complete application is required for all residential chimneys, flue and smokestack (hereafter all referenced as chimney) installations.

2.  Exterior chimney installations shall be in harmony with the applicant's and surrounding houses.

3.  Masonry or siding enclosed construction is encouraged as the most architecturally appropriate style for chimneys.

4.  Where there is an existing chimney on the house, specific details on both existing and the proposed chimneys must be provided (see paragraph 7).

5.  Chimneys which exit through a wall or foundation or which run vertically along a wall shall be of brick or stone masonry construction or shall be boxed-in with materials which match the exterior wall in style and color.

6.  The following guidelines apply to chimneys which exit through the roof:
    a. Conspicuous locations on the front slope of the roof should be avoided.
    b. The chimney should be boxed-in if located on the front slope of the roof ridge or any other location visible from the street.
    c. Chimneys located on the rear slope of the roof and not visible from the fronting street may not need to be boxed-in.
    d. Exposed metal must be painted black, dark brown or the roof color.
    e. The height of the exposed metal section or the boxed-in chimney should be limited to the minimum permitted by the County building and fire codes.

7.  The following guidelines apply in addition to those above when there is an existing chimney on the house (other than a builder-provided, through-the-roof installation for the central heating system). Special care is needed to arrive at an architecturally suitable design when a second chimney is to be added. While each case must be considered separately, the following guides should be considered:
    a. Dissimilar chimneys should not be used unless it is impossible to see both at the same time.
    b. When a second chimney is to be added on the same end of a house as an existing boxed-in chimney, both flues should be run through the same enclosure.

8.  All flashing must be painted to match the adjacent surface.


GUIDELINE 8
CLOTHES LINES


Only umbrella or retractable clothes-hanging devices are permitted and do not require an application. These, however, must be removed from view when not in use, unless they are enclosed by a privacy fence or other structure which has been approved by the Architectural Committee.

GUIDELINE 9
COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES
No Fast Track process available

1.  Applications are required for all new construction and any changes to existing commercial property. New commercial construction shall be a two-step approval process.

2.  The design for new commercial construction or changes to existing properties must be compatible with and of generally the same style, materials and color(s) as that on existing neighboring commercial properties.

3.  Landscaping for all commercial structures must be compatible in size and type with the landscaping of existing neighboring commercial properties. Shrubs and trees shall be kept pruned so as not to limit access to the entryways or view of the windows of the structure or to appear out of proportion to the size of the structure.

4.  Advertising and promotional signs and posters installed on the inside of the windows may cover no more than 20% of any window surface area.

5.  Lighting fixtures installed attached to the structure, along an entryway or in any parking area(s) must be of the same style, size and color as lighting fixtures existing on neighboring commercial properties.

6. TWO-STEP APPROVAL PROCESS
    a. Step One Approval - Approval of GENERAL CONCEPT AND PLAN: This application shall contain the basic information as noted above. Approval of this preliminary application does   not constitute authorization for the construction or renovation of said structure to commence.
    b. Step Two Approval - Within 60 days after obtaining the Step One approval, the resident must submit a copy of the approved Howard County building permit along with a statement that Howard County did not require any exterior changes to the original application or the County did require exterior changes to the plans in the original application and these changes are . . . This statement must include all measurements, drawings, color samples, etc., pertinent to the application.

GUIDELINE 10
COMPOST PILES
Fast Track process available


A compost pile is a contained, properly maintained area for decomposition of plant materials such as grass clippings, leaves and wood, not simply a dumping area. Because lots are small in Columbia and odors or pests are a primary concern, compost piles should not be used for household waste and should be turned regularly to speed composting.

1.  Applications are required for all compost piles.

2.  Compost piles shall be located in the rear yard, within the side lines of the house and at least 10 feet from the rear property line.

3.  Compost piles shall be containerized and no more than 4 feet square and 3 feet high.




GUIDELINE 11
DECKS, PATIOS, RETAINING WALLS AND WALKWAYS
Fast Track process available for some Decks & Patios*

1.  Applications shall be required for all decks, patios, retaining walls and walkways.

2.  The design, location and size of the structure shall conform to the design of the house and its relationship to neighboring dwellings. Decks (including stairs) on townhouses shall extend no more than 14 feet from the rear wall of the house to the outside edge of the deck.

3.  Decks, patios, retaining walls or walkways should disturb the existing contours as little as possible. Terracing is to follow existing land contours and should be built in small increments or a safety railing should be provided.

4.  Railing height must fall between 36 and 42 inches.

5.  Applications shall include the following information:
    a. drawings showing the size, style and elevation of the structure and details of any railings, benches, planters and/or steps planned,
    b. list of materials,
    c description of the treatment to be applied to the materials (though it is recommended that materials be left natural or stained, in certain circumstances, composite* deck materials will be considered in earth tones, gray, or white colors that match the existing house), 
    d. description of proposed installation or changes to exterior lighting,
    e. site plan showing the relationship of the structure to the house and other adjacent structures,
     f. description of any plantings to be removed or moved for the construction of the structure, and
    g. description of any equipment, such as meters or heating and air conditioning sources, which will be relocated.

*Fast Track Requirements
Decks eligible for the Fast Track process must meet all criteria above in addition to the following:
1.  Decks must have square or rectangular floors constructed of pressure treated wood or composite and be in the tan, brown or gray color range and 2" x 2" picket railings.

2.  Patios must be square or rectangular, constructed of unpainted concrete, brick, pavers, or slate, pressure treated wood or composite and be in the tan, brown or gray color range.

*Composite - denotes man-made materials

GUIDELINE 12
DECORATIVE OBJECTS, EXTERIOR LIGHTS AND HOUSE NUMBERS  FLAG POLES & BRACKETS
Fast Track process available for Brackets*

1.  Applications shall be required for all exterior decorative objects whether they are natural or man-made.

2.  Typical exterior decorative objects include, but are not limited to, birdbaths, wagon wheels, sculptures, fountains, ponds, sundials, rocks or rock gardens, flagpoles (flagpoles will be approved up to a maximum height of ten feet), low flower and shrub border fencing, freestanding poles of any type, banners with their brackets and items attached to approved structures.

3.  Natural exterior decorative objects (such as driftwood and stones) will be considered for both front and rear yards.

4.  Generally, man-made decorative objects will be considered for the rear yard only.

5.  Objects will be evaluated on siting, proportion, color and appropriateness to surrounding environment. Applications must include:
    a. site plan,
    b. detailed drawing or picture of the object,
    c. color and material, and
    d. any additional information that will be helpful in the review of the application.

6.  Exterior lights or fixtures not included with original structures require written approval. Exterior replacement fixtures that are in keeping with the style of and are attached to the house need not be applied for.
    a. Security lights must be able to be aimed and must be aimed onto applicant’s property only.
    b. Applications for landscape lighting should include a site plan showing the location of each light, a picture or detailed drawing of the lighting, the dimensions and a description of the materials of which it is made.

7.  House numbers and sign posts not included with the original structure require an application except in the following cases:
    a. numbers are hung from existing gas or electric exterior front yard lamp post and the sign containing such number is no more than 12 inches in length and 4 inches in height;
    b. the house number is attached to the house, overhang of the house, or garage and does not exceed 12 inches in length and 4 inches in height;
    c. the style matches the original house numbers.
    All house numbers should be visible from the street and in a contrasting color from the background to which they are attached.

8.  Banners are defined as a piece of material attached to a staff or bracket displaying seasonal designs, characters, clubs or organizations, etc. Banners may be displayed in brackets attached to the garage, front the of the house or the rear of the house. There shall be no more than two (2) banners per property.

*FAST TRACK Requirements for Flag/Banner Brackets
Brackets eligible for the Fast Track process must meet all the criteria above in addition to the following:
1.  Brackets may only be attached to the wall adjacent to the garage door, the front entry door or the front porch. No more than two brackets per dwelling.

GUIDELINE 13
DRIVEWAYS & PARKING PADS
No Fast Track process available

1.  Applications are not required for repairing or replacing already approved driveways or parking pads with the original construction material with no change in size, shape or grade. However, applications are required for all other repairs or replacements.

2.  An application is required if there will be any change in materials, size, shape, or grade including extensions and parking pads.

3.  In general, driveways and parking pads must be constructed of portland cement concrete or a comparable composite material for reasons of maintenance and appearance. Exceptions may be considered in certain circumstances (eg. extremely long driveways, use of pavers) but strictly on a case-by-case basis. Materials of all driveways in the vicinity will be considered. Loose driveway materials (e.g., crushed stone) are prohibited.

4.  Applications shall include the following provisions:
    a. A site plan showing the dimension of the existing driveway or parking pad and details of the proposed changes.
    b. Its relationship to adjoining structure, property lines, streets, sidewalks (private and public).
    c. A description of the materials to be used.

NOTE: Howard County requires an Entrance Permit for any driveway work done in the County right-of-way.

GUIDELINE 14
FENCES
Fast Track process available for Townhouse Privacy Fences*

1.  Applications are required for all fencing.

2.  Applications must include the following information:
    a. fence style (split rail, paddock/estate, picket, board-on-board) and materials,
    b. color of fence and house,
    c. dimensions,
    d. site plan showing the relationship of the fence to adjacent houses and open spaces and to property lines, including dimensions, and
    e. any other information that would be helpful in the review of the application, i.e., house materials or landscaping.

3.  Fencing shall match existing fencing on adjacent properties.

4.  Gates must match the fence in material, style and color. Gates must open inward unless property outside fence is also owned by resident applying.

5.  Solid or opaque fences may not exceed six feet in height; split rail shall not exceed 48 inches measured from the top edge of the top rail; estate or paddock style fencing shall not exceed 42 inches in height measured from the top of the post.

6.  As a rule, opaque (e.g.,, board-on-board) fencing will be approved only if located near the dwelling.

7.  Picket fences are permitted no further than 3/4 of the distance from the house to the property line and may not exceed 42 inches in height.



8.  Property line fences are generally discouraged, with the exception of townhouses. Townhouse owners should be aware that townhouse associations may have additional requirements or restrictions. Please contact your association officers.

9.  Property line fences and fences distant from the residence shall be two or three rail type fences.

10.  Property line fencing shall not extend forward of the rear line of the house.

11.  On corner lots and flag lots (houses fronting on a common driveway), property line fences shall not extend past the side line of the house on the side of the house facing the street or the rear line of adjoining houses (see examples A and B).



12.  Wire fencing (14 or 16 gauge), if applied for and approved, shall be applied to the inside of the fence and may not extend above the top of the top rail.

13.  A Howard County building permit may be required.

14.  Although front yard fencing is discouraged, it may be approved if used for purposes of protection, entrance definition or privacy, if architecturally unified with the main structure and not inconsistent with the landscape and neighborhood. However, chain link fencing and combination hedge and wire mesh fencing will not be approved.

15.  All fences must be installed face or board side out, post side in.

*Fast Track Requirements for Townhouse Privacy Fencing
Townhouse privacy fencing (board-on-board style) is the only fencing eligible for the Fast Track. Applications must include all of the above.

GUIDELINE15
GARDEN PLOTS (RESIDENTIAL)
No Fast Track process available

1.  Written approval is not necessary for garden plots provided the following conditions are met:
    a. plot is located between the rear line of the house and the rear property line;
    b. size does not exceed one-quarter of the rear lot or 150 square feet, whichever is smaller;
    c. plot grade does not exceed a ratio of 2 feet to 100 feet;
    d. water flow does not damage lower-lying property; and
    e. plot contents shall be limited to those items that have a mature height of 3 ˝ feet or less (Columbia Gardeners garden plots are available for those who wish to plant larger gardens, as required for corn and other items on a grander scale).

2.  Applications are also not required for small plots placed at the back of the house so long as they do not extend more than 3 feet from the house and do not exceed the length of the house. This area is to allow owners to grow some items taller than permitted by item 1e above, without having to have a Columbia Gardeners garden plot. This area need not be included in the limitations in item 1b above.

3.  When an application is required, applications shall be submitted on a yearly basis. Previous upkeep and maintenance will be of primary importance in review of renewal applications.

4.  Planting areas shall be properly maintained at all times and after the first frost all affected material shall be removed. At the end of the growing season, all dead plants shall be removed and the ground put back to the original grade. It is suggested that the bare earth be covered with straw, mulch or similar cover to prevent soil erosion.

5.  Screening of gardens can be done with fences or natural plantings provided they are in accordance with their respective guidelines.

GUIDELINE 16
GAS GRILLS (PERMANENT)
No Fast Track process available

Gas grills need not have a formal application if:

1.  The grill is located behind the rear line of the house in an area not more than 15 feet from the rear of the house, is at least 10 feet from the rear property line and is at least 7 feet from any side property line; and

2.  The grill is permanently installed in a concrete base.

GUIDELINE 17
GAZEBOS
No Fast Track process available


All gazebos require an application.

An application should include:

1.  A site plan showing the proposed location of the structure.

2.  Drawings showing the size, style and elevations of the structure and details of any railing (railing height must not exceed 42 inches), roof design, benches, etc.

3.  List of materials

4.  Description of any treatment to be applied to the material. Gazebos attached to a deck must have the same finish as the deck, freestanding gazebos must be consistent with the style-type, roof and color of materials on the house.

5.  Description of any new or to-be-moved plantings, and

6.  Description of any equipment, such as meters or heat and air-conditioning sources, which will be relocated.  The size of the gazebo must be in proportion to the deck if attached and/or to the house.  A gazebo must lie at least 10 feet from the property lines or within the building restriction lines, whichever is greater and may not come forward of the rear line of the house. The gazebo walls must not exceed 8 feet in height. 

(Please refer to Guideline 25 - Painting & Staining for any additional requirements.)

GUIDELINE 18
GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS AND RAIN BARRELS
No Fast Track process available


An application is not required for adding or replacing gutters and downspouts provided:

1.  There is no color change; and

2.  They are permanently affixed to the house.

3.  No application is required for any gutter covering provided they match the existing gutters.

4.  All drain extensions must be buried below ground
.

An application is not required for adding or replacing a rain barrel provided:

1. Rain barrel(s) do not extend forward of the rear line and the side line of the house.

2. Rain barrel(s) may be positioned no further than 12 inches from the house.

3 Rain barrel(s) size must not exceed 65 gallon capacity and 48 inches in height.

4 Color of the rain barrel(s) must match either the siding color or the downspouts.

5. No more than two (2) rain barrels located on the property.


An application is required for all other alterations that do not meet the above criteria.

Adequate screening will be required for all rain barrel(s) that do not meet the above criteria. (Please refer to the guideline on Privacy Screening for additional requirements.)

GUIDELINE 19
HOT TUBS AND WHIRLPOOLS
No Fast Track process available


1.  Applications are required for all hot tubs and whirlpools.

2.  All hot tubs and whirlpools shall be located in the rear yard, within the rear lines of the residence, and not more than 20 feet from the back of the house. The applicant’s lot shall be of sufficient size that the tub does not create a substantial acoustical or visual impact on adjacent property owners.

3.  Applications shall include:
    a. a site plan showing the location of the tub or whirlpool in relation to existing structures and the property lines, and adjacent dwellings;
    b. signatures of all property owners surrounding the applicants’ property
    c. the materials, type, color and dimensions (include a manufacturer’s drawing and/or photograph, if available);
    d. details of proposed screening/landscaping plans;
    e. an explanation of the disposal of waste water.

4.  Additional screening with fences and landscape buffers such as shrubs may be required to reduce the impact on adjacent property owners. (Refer to guideline on Privacy Screening.)

5.  Waste water shall drain into the existing plumbing of the residence, and adequate drainage will weigh heavily in the approval.

6.  All designs of the hot tubs or whirlpools must include a lid with a locking mechanism for safety during periods of non-use.

7.  All hot tubs and whirlpools located on townhouse/condominium property will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

GUIDELINE 20
IN-HOME BUSINESS
No Fast Track process available

1.  "No profession or home industry shall be conducted in or on any part of a lot or in any improvement thereon on the property without specific written approval of the Architectural Committee."* An In-Home business is defined as any business conducted on a residential lot, except for licensed in-home child day care as provided in the Maryland Homeowners Association Act. Sheltered housing and assisted living are considered an in-home industry and thus require an application. An In-Home business approval once secured is not transferable to a new owner or new location.

2.  In-home businesses are discouraged in the Village of Long Reach.

3.  "The Architectural Committee, at its discretion, upon consideration of the circumstances in each case, and particularly the effect on surrounding property, may permit a lot or any improvement thereon to be used in whole or in part for the conduct of a profession or home industry."*

4.  "No such profession or home industry shall be permitted, however, unless it is considered by the Architectural Committee to be compatible with a high quality neighborhood."*

5.  No sign or other advertising device of any nature shall be placed on the lot.

6.  A special application is needed and obtainable at Stonehouse in the Long Reach Village Center.

7.  All applicants must include information on:
    a. storage of business-related materials,
    b. distribution of products and materials,
    c. impact on neighbors of traffic and parking,
    d. number and type of deliveries required,
    e. operating hours, and
    f. any other information that would be helpful in the review of the application.
    g. Signatures of all property owners abutting and directly across the street from the applicant’s property are required.

8.  An applicant for any in-home business must reside on the property.

-NOTE: Permission from the Howard County Zoning Board is also a requirement for the operation of such businesses. Architectural Committee consideration is contingent on obtaining approval.

*Long Reach Village Covenants, Section 11.02

GUIDELINE 21
MAJOR EXTERIOR BUILDING ALTERATIONS
No Fast Track process available


1.  Applications are required for all major exterior building alterations to structures or property. Major building alterations include but are not limited to, construction of garages, carports, rooms, porches (both screened or regular) and other additions to a house. These major alterations require a Howard County building permit and the Two-Step Process, as outlined in paragraph 4 below.

2.  The architectural character or theme of any structure should remain consistent with itself and others around it, particularly with townhouses and other attached units. That is, once the character is established, whether it is traditional or contemporary, no portion should be changed or added which could conflict with or change the character of the structure.


3.  All applications shall include:
    a. signatures of all property owners surrounding the applicant’s property,
    b. site plan to show the location of the proposed structure, distances from neighboring structures, property lines and other identifiable landmarks,
    c. detailed drawings and plans to include exterior elevations, exterior footprint, floor plans, changes in grade, etc., showing the relationship of the proposed structure to the existing dwelling and other buildings, and
    d. specifications for exterior materials, to include type of siding on existing and proposed structures, color of existing house and trim, color samples of proposed structure and trim, exterior lighting arrangements, color of existing and proposed roof, and color and style of existing and proposed windows.

4.  TWO-STEP PROCESS
    a. Step One Approval - Approval of GENERAL CONCEPT AND PLAN.
This application should contain the basic information in paragraph 3 above. Approval of this preliminary application does not constitute authorization for the construction of said structure.
    b. Step Two Approval - Within 60 days after obtaining the Step One approval, the resident must submit a copy of the approved Howard County building permit along with a statement that Howard County did not require any exterior changes to the original application or the County did require exterior changes to the plans in the original application and these changes are . . . This statement must include all measurements, drawings, color samples, etc., pertinent to the application.

GUIDELINE 22
MAINTENANCE


1.  The Village Covenants (Article VI) provide that each owner shall keep his lot and all improvements thereon in good order and repair, including but not limited to, seeding, watering, mowing, pruning and cutting of all trees and shrubbery, and the painting or other appropriate external care of all buildings and improvements. This shall be done in a manner and with such frequency as is consistent with good property management. Including but not limited to:
    a. Bulk Items
Bulk items are not to be stored or accumulated on any lot (including carports). Store bulk Items out of sight or discard them. Do not cover items with a brightly colored tarp.
    b. Cul-de-Sacs
Adjacent homeowners are responsible under Howard County Code for the mowing and maintenance of the grass area between the sidewalk and the street. Maintenance of the cul-de-sac islands is also the responsibility of the residents.
    c. Driveways
Driveways that are deteriorating need to be repaired or replaced. An approved application may be required.
    .d. Fences
Fences should be in good repair, standing straight with no broken or missing boards and no peeling paint. An approved application is required for new fences, removing fences in some cases, or a change in style.
    e. Grass
Grass should be mowed and trimmed on a regular basis during the growing season. Tall weeds and overgrown vines should be trimmed or removed. Landscaped areas should also be kept free of weeds and overgrown plant material.
    f. Gutters & Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts should be in place and secure, with no peeling paint. Gutters should be clean of tree debris and dirt. All drain extensions must be buried below ground. An approved application may be needed for new gutters.
    g. Holiday Decorations
Holiday decorations should be removed within 14 days after the holiday.
    h. House Numbers
House numbers must be on every Lot or house and must be easily visible from the street. Do not paint house numbers on the curb (Howard County does not allow house numbers to be painted on the curbs). An approved application may be required for new or replacement house numbers.
    i. Lampposts & Exterior Light Fixtures
Lampposts should stand straight and should be free of rust. Light fixtures should not be crooked or have missing or broken light bulb coverings. Globes to cover the light bulbs should always be in place. An approved application may be required when replacing or adding new light fixtures.
    j. Leaf & Tree Debris
Yard, roof and gutters should be cleared of leaves and debris on a regular basis during the respective seasons. Raking leaves and debris into the street, surrounding properties, open space or ravines is prohibited. An approved application is required for compost bins. Do not cover leaf piles or debris with a tarp.
    k. Mold, Mildew & Algae
Mold, mildew and algae should be removed from all structures.
    l. Paint
There should be no peeling paint or rotted wood on structures. An approved application is required when any structure or trim is to be painted or stained a color different from its existing color. The new paint or stain is considered to be different if the color itself changes (for example, yellow instead of green) or if, while the color remains the same, it is lighter or darker than the original. No RAC approval is necessary for repainting or re-staining when the color remains the same, provided the existing color has been approved by the Resident Architectural Committee.
    m. Patio & Walkways
Patios and/or walkways that are crumbled or raised should be repaired or replaced. An approved application may be required.
    n. Roof
The roof should be in good repair and of all one color. There should not be any accumulation of debris on the roof. An approved application may be required when replacing the roof.
    o. Screens
Screens should be in good repair and fit properly.
    p. Shrubs
Shrubbery should not be overgrown for the size of the structure. Dead shrubs should be removed and properly disposed of. An application may be required for planting shrubs.
    q. Sidewalks
Sidewalks should be in good repair with no crumbling or heaving. The maintenance, including snow removal, of adjoining sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owner under Howard County law. This means if your lot abuts any section of a sidewalk, you are responsible for that portion of the sidewalk. Maintenance of the grass area between the sidewalk and curb are also the responsibility of the adjacent property owner and should include appropriate mowing, trimming, weeding in the same manner and frequency as regular lawn care.
    r. Siding
Siding should be securely intact and free of rotting wood, dirt and mold. An approved application is required for all siding.
    s. Snow Removal
Sidewalks must be shoveled within 48 hours after the snow has fallen and is the responsibility of adjacent property owners and regulated by Howard County Code.
    t. Street Trees
Problems with street trees should be brought to the attention of Howard County Bureau of Highways by calling 410/313-7450.
    u. Tarps
Brightly colored tarps are not allowed in the open on any lot.
    v. Trash, Trash Containers & Recyclables
The following is a direct quote from Section 8.06 of the Long Reach Village Covenants: “If trash or other refuse is to be disposed of by being picked up and carried away on a regular basis, containers may be placed in the open, on any day that a pickup is made, at such a place on the lot so as to provide access to persons making such a pickup. At all other times such containers shall be stored in such a manner so they cannot be seen from adjacent and surrounding property.”  Trash containers should have secure lids on them. Except for scheduled trash day, containers should not be stored in view. No refuse, trash or bulk items/materials may be accumulated or stored on any lot. Trash should not be put out earlier than the afternoon prior to pickup day and should be stored out of sight by sunset of the trash collection day.  Information on the use of the Howard County landfill may be obtained by calling 410/313-5410. For other trash information call 410/313-SORT (7678).
    w. Trees
Dead trees or branches should be removed from the property. It is the property owner’s responsibility to keep all trees abutting sidewalks/pathways pruned to allow pedestrian passage. An approved application is required for all tree removal.
    x. Vehicles
Boats, trailers, inoperable vehicles, commercial trucks, vehicles without current registration, or any similar items are not allowed in the open on any lot. Vehicles may only be parked on driveways, parking pads or the street and may not be parked on the lawn or other areas of the lot.  Campers, recreational vehicles and motor homes may not be stored in the open on any lot. Storage in open carports is not permitted. Consult the telephone directory for alternative storage locations. Renovation of vehicles or major repairs may not be undertaken except in enclosed garages. Only minor emergency repairs such as changing a tire, batteries, etc. are permitted.
    y. Woodpiles
Woodpiles should be neatly stacked inconspicuously and never covered with a brightly colored tarp. Woodpiles are not acceptable in front of the front line of the house or on driveways.
    z. Windows
Window frames and sills should be kept in good repair and painted. Panes that are broken or fogged due to broken seals should be replaced. An application may be required for windows.

GUIDELINE 23
OPEN SPACE


1.  Unauthorized use of open space is prohibited.

2.  Open space areas are not provided as avenues for entry or exit to residential property by heavy equipment.

3.  Contractors and/or residents are responsible for damage to open space areas resulting from such activities as construction and storage and delivery of materials.

GUIDELINE 24
PAINTING AND STAINING
No Fast Track process available


1.  A complete application is required when any structure or trim is to be painted or stained a color different from its existing color. The new paint or stain is considered to be different if the color itself changes (for example, yellow instead of green) or if, while the color remains the same, it is lighter or darker than the original. No RAC approval is necessary for repainting or re-staining when the color remains the same, provided the existing color has been approved by the Resident Architectural Committee.

2.  Color samples are required for all painting or staining. Samples should be no smaller than 3˝ x 5 inches and include the paint manufacturer name and the paint color, number and type of finish (i.e., flat, satin, etc.).

3.  Residents are discouraged from adding colors when two or more colors (such as door, trim or main house color) already exist.

4.  Houses in Long Reach fall into two general categories - contemporary and traditional.
    a. The use of land or earth tone colors will be encouraged in the repainting or re-staining of contemporary houses. However, it is recognized that changing styles and personal preferences influence each family’s choice of color. In cases where the choice is not in the land color range, the prime consideration will be whether the house will continue to blend in a contemporary way with its surroundings.
    b. Newly built, traditional houses in Long Reach have been finished in a wider range of colors than have contemporary houses. Many are paler, pastel colors or white, while others are brighter (high saturation) colors, especially blues and yellows. These are colors that traditionally have been used to differentiate - contrast - the house from its natural landscape and to set the house visually apart from its neighbors. Paler and brighter colors, as well as land colors, for traditional houses will be considered in the color ranges presently existing in the surrounding neighborhood.
    c. When adjacent units, such as duplexes or townhouses, share an exterior material of the same color, every effort must be made to re-paint/stain or re-side with the original color unless adjacent properties agree simultaneously to repaint/stain or re-side in an approved new color. When weather damage to one side of a duplex requires re-siding, the new siding must match as close as possible to the original style and color. The exteriors of townhouses may not be changed from the original design.
    d. Garages, carports and outside storage areas (e.g.,, sheds) MUST be repainted/stained or re-sided at the same time as the house and must match the house color siding exactly. Houses having shared carports or garages must maintain the same trim color on the shared unit.

GUIDELINE 25
PARKING AND STORAGE OF VEHICLES, BOATS AND TRAILERS
No Fast Track process available


1.  Major vehicle renovation or repair shall not be undertaken except in enclosed garages. Outside storage on residential property of vehicles not properly tagged and/or without current registration is prohibited. This also applies to partially disassembled vehicles and other similar items.

2.  Boats, trailers, inoperable vehicles, any vehicle without current registration, or any similar items shall not be parked or stored in the open on any lot.

3.  Campers, recreational vehicles, commercial vehicles shall not be parked or stored in the open on any lot without prior written approval by the Architectural Committee. Exterior Alteration Applications are used for this purpose.
    a. All applications seeking exceptions must be accompanied by a plan for screening which might include fencing and/or planting.
    b. Exterior Alteration Applications are required for the parking of motor vehicles on other than the driveway or approved parking pad.
    c. A commercial vehicle is one which has signage anywhere on the vehicle, is larger than a 3/4 ton van or pick-up truck or has attached or visible equipment such as ladders, tools, etc.

 

GUIDELINE 26
PLANTINGS & TREES
Fast Track process available for Landscape Edging*


Plantings
1.  Applications will be required for all plantings, except:
    a. FOUNDATION PLANTING: any planting within 4 feet of foundation of house, entrance walkway, garage or approved patio or deck and proportional at maturity to the size of the house, and
    b. MISCELLANEOUS PLANTING: planting of one or two trees or shrubs such that they do not at any time form a living fence.

2.  Excavating an area for a design or grouping will constitute a landscape plan and an application will be required (note exceptions in items 1a and 1b above).

3.  Using decorative objects (i.e., rocks, railroad ties, border fences, landscape edging) around plantings requires an application.

4.  Applications shall include a description of the types and sizes of trees and plant material, including size of plants at maturity, and a site plan showing the relationship of plantings to the house and adjacent dwellings, the size and shape of flower/shrubbery beds, type of ground cover, and other preexisting landscaping.


Trees

5.  Any tree that presents an imminent safety hazard should be reported to the Covenant Advisor. An application is required to remove a tree with a circumference of 19 or more inches, measured at a point 2 feet above the ground (equivalent to 6" diameter). This provision applies to all such trees, whether alive or dead. All trees removed from a property and/or new tree plantings are recorded in the individual property files
Applications for tree removal(s) as a general rule shall include a plan for replacement(s). This shall apply if:
    a. there are fewer than three (3) trees on a single-family lot, excluding street trees planted by the County;
    b. there are no trees in the front yard except street trees planted by the County; or
    c. there is no tree in front of the adjacent townhouses of a multi-family dwelling.


6.  Stumps from removed trees must be at ground level or below. The intent is that there be no sign that a tree was ever there.

7.  Signatures of visually affected neighbors are required for any tree removal.

8.  Naturally wooded lots are not to be thinned out in such a manner as to render them out of character with the rest of the immediate neighborhood.

9.  No approval is required when a tree is fallen because of severe weather. The resident is required to contact the village office so a notation can be made in the property’s lot file.

Trees not recommended for planting are: Silver Maple - brittle; Bradford Pear - prone to split and snap in rough weather; Sweet Gum - the spiked balls; Weeping Willow - roots seek out water in pipes; Hybrid Poplars - very shallow and invasive root system; Austrian Pines - all in this area are suffering and dying from Tip Blight Disease. THIS LIST IS USED BY HOWARD COUNTY AND THE STATE OF MARYLAND.

*Fast Track Requirements for Landscape Edging
Applications eligible for the Fast Track must include all of the above and shall be for the items listed below only:
1.  Landscape edging of wood, stone or brick. This edging must be of a style to harmonize with the style of the house. Separate areas to be edged must be edged with material of the same style, color, etc.
2.  Simple planting schemes.

NOTE: It is suggested that residents refer to the booklet Residential Planting published by the Rouse Company, 1970, before submitting an application. Copies are available for review at Stonehouse in the Long Reach Village Center.

GUIDELINE 27
PLAY EQUIPMENT
No Fast Track process available


1.  Applications are required for all play equipment, play houses, etc.

2.  The equipment should be located within the extended lines of the house and no more than 20 feet from the rear of the house or 2/3 the distance from the house to the rear property lines, whichever is less (see sketch).

3.  The overall size of the play equipment should be proportionate to the site (i.e., not seem in any way to dominate the site or stand as a primary feature of the lot). Unless there are extenuating circumstances, multiple, permanent items of play equipment must be concentrated in one area of the rear of the property.

4.  It is recommended that plantings or fencing be used to screen equipment from view of adjoining properties (see Guidelines on Planting and Fencing).

5 . Wooden equipment is encouraged: plastic equipment is discouraged.

6.  The main body of the play equipment is required to be natural wood color, brown, green or grey. An attached slide and/or swing seat and the canvas top attached to some play sets may be a color other than natural wood color, brown, green or grey.

GUIDELINE 28
POOLS, PRIVATE
No Fast Track process available

1.  Private pools are generally discouraged because there are very few locations in residential areas where they can be placed without adversely affecting adjacent properties.

2.  The two types of private pools that may be acceptable for the Village are:
    a. children's wading pools (those that can be emptied at night) that do not exceed 18 inches in depth and whose surface area does not exceed 36 square feet, and
    b. in-ground pools that are more than 18 inches in depth and whose surface area exceeds 36 square feet.


3.  The Village of Long Reach prohibits above-ground pools.

4.  Children's wading pools (2a above) do not require an application. Applications are required for all other pools. Because large pools (those that are 24 inches deep or have a surface area of 250 square feet or more) require a Howard County building permit, the Two-Step Approval Process, outlined in paragraph 9 below, must be followed.

5.  Size of pools should be based on lot size, be in reasonable proportion to the house and conform to Howard County building codes.

6.  A 6-foot solid privacy fence compatible with the style of the dwelling shall be required to enclose the pool and other related facilities. Approval of the fence is contingent upon completion of the pool.

7.  Pools shall be located behind the house.

8.  All applications for private pools shall include:
    a. signatures of all property owners surrounding the applicant's property, and
    b. site plan showing location and dimensions of the pool, other equipment, fences, etc., in relation to the applicant's property lines, adjacent dwellings, and other identifiable landmarks.

9.  TWO-STEP APPROVAL PROCESS
    a. Step One Approval - Approval of GENERAL CONCEPT AND PLAN.
This application should contain the basic information in paragraph 8 above. Approval of this preliminary application does not constitute authorization for the construction of said structure.
    b. Step Two Approval - Within 60 days after obtaining the Step One approval, the resident must submit a copy of the approved Howard County building permit along with a statement that Howard County did not require any exterior changes to the original application or the County did require exterior changes to the plans in the original application and these changes are . . . This statement must include all measurements, drawings, color samples, etc., pertinent to the application.

GUIDELINE 29
PRIVACY SCREENING
No Fast Track process available


1.  Applications are required for privacy screening of any type. A screen is considered to be any permanent or semi-permanent structure that limits viewing of a given area.

The Architectural Committee may require landscape or fence screening as part of, but not limited to, the following exterior alterations; clothes lines, antennas and satellite dishes, basketball units, compost piles, animal shelters and dog runs, garden plots, heating and air conditioning units, hot tubs and whirlpools, lawn ornamentation, patios and walkways, play equipment, pools, sheds, rain barrels and storage units.

The purpose of this guideline is to ensure that the property rights of others are not compromised because of a resident’s exterior alteration. While there are numerous types of shrubbery and fencing material that would screen a structure, the Resident Architectural Committee (RAC) may recommend a certain width, height, and type of landscaping/fencing material for a particular alteration.

2.  Applications shall include:
    a. Site plan showing the relationship of the privacy screen to existing structures and the property lines, and adjacent dwellings;
    b. a scale drawing of the object to be screened and the location, variety, width, height, and description of landscape screening (including elevations if relevant);
    c. descriptions should include the size of the tree/shrub at planting and the projected size at maturity;
    d. with fences, include the material of the fence, the height, style and color. (Please refer to the guideline on Fencing for additional requirements.)

GUIDELINE 30
RADON REMEDIATION PIPES
No Fast Track process available


No application is required for radon remediation pipes provided:

1.  The pipe is in the rear of the house,

2.  The pipe is extended all the way to the roof line,

3.  The pipe matches or blends with the exterior to which it is attached.

All others require an application.

GUIDELINE 31
RENTAL PROPERTIES, BOARDERS, SHARED LIVING
No Fast Track process available


1.  Howard County requires the licensing of any rental unit and an inspection of the premises. All known rental units are reported to the County. Property Owners are held responsible for the property’s covenant compliance and disclosure of requirements to tenants.

2.  Transient roomers or boarders will not be permitted, nor the keeping of more than two roomers or boarders within a unit. (A transient is defined as a person not having a valid lease for more than six months.)

3.  A residence may not be subdivided, partitioned, have additional kitchens or efficiencies, or separate and exclusive entrances. All occupants must have equal and unrestricted use of the common area.

4. Vehicle parking is a prime concern, especially in high-density areas. Vehicles should not exceed the number of spaces assigned to the dwelling unit.

GUIDELINE 32
SATELLITE DISHES AND ANTENNAS
No Fast Track process available

SATELLITE DISHES
No application is required if all the following conditions are met:

1.  They are not larger than one meter (39 inches) in diameter.

2.  They are installed in the least visible location and in such a manner as to blend with the surroundings.

3.  They are not installed on a pole or mounting device exceeding 12 feet in height.

4.  The cables and wires are secured in an inconspicuous manner.

5.  The color and finish of the dish result in minimum visibility.

TELEVISION BROADCAST ANTENNAS
No application is required for television broadcast service antennas if all the following conditions are met:

1.  The antenna is 12 feet or less in height.

2.  The combination of antenna and any mounting device is 12 feet or less in height.

OTHER ANTENNAS
An application is required for all other outdoor antennas. Generally, only one exterior antenna will be allowed per lot. No tower or mounting device may be utilized.

1.  They should consist of a single vertical unit with no horizontal, diagonal or circular elements.

2.  Their height, including mast, should not exceed 10 feet when measured from the surface on which they are mounted.

3.  Approval will be based on visibility of the antenna to surrounding properties and the public.


GUIDELINE 33
SHEDS
Fast Track process available for some Sheds*


1.  Applications shall be required for all sheds and outdoor storage sites. This includes any permanent structure built to house tools and provide extra storage outside the existing house and any temporary storage units or containers. The Committee's review will be influenced by the extent to which the shed complements existing structures in design and siting.

2.  The Committee refers applicants to Residential Storage Sheds, published by The Rouse Company, 1974, which is available for review at Stonehouse in the Long Reach Village Center.

3.  Sheds should be located behind the house, as close to the house as possible, and preferably attached to the house. However, if a location such as the back of a lot in a heavily wooded area is preferred, the Committee will give it consideratio
n.



4.  Materials will be the same as those used for the house, i.e., wood for wood-sided houses and aluminum for aluminum-sided houses, of the same quality and color. The structure must be compatible in architectural style with the house.

5.  Roofing material shall match house roofing material.

6.  Any shed attached to a fence must match the fence. All others must match the house.

7.  If the house is restyled, sided or any color change made, any existing shed shall match. Decorative embellishments (e.g.,, eagles, etc.) will not be permitted.

8.  The size should be based on lot size, slope, conform to Howard County building codes and be in reasonable proportion to house or fenced area. Sheds should generally not be larger than 100 square feet.

9.  Generally, only one shed is allowed per property.

10.  Townhouse sheds will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the townhouse/condominium association before submission to the Long Reach Community Association.

11.  Plastic paneled storage containers/sheds (i.e., Rubbermaid®, etc.) for units in townhomes or condominiums do not require an exterior alteration application if the storage containers are placed either abutting the privacy fence and/or the rear wall of the house, do not exceed a height of six (6) feet or the height of the privacy fence if less than six (6) feet. Please check with your respective townhome/condominium association to ascertain if any further restrictions apply. These storage containers on single-family house lots must be placed abutting the rear wall of the house and are not to exceed six (6) feet in height. There will be only one (1) plastic paneled storage container/shed allowed per property. No other exterior storage sheds are allowed in combination with these types of storage containers/sheds.

12.  All applications shall include:
    a. site plan showing relationship of the shed to the house and property lines,
    b. picture and/or detailed drawing of the shed, including shed dimensions, style and locations of door(s) and/or windows,
    c. list of materials to be used, and
    d. color of shed, along with the house and trim colors.

13.  Any shed approved not attached or adjacent to the rear of the house should be completely screened from other lots and/or the street by evergreen plantings. A minimum size of a two-gallon container is required.  (Please refer to the guideline on Privacy Screening for additional requirements)

14.  Applications shall be required for all temporary storage units (e.g.,, PODS) that will be placed on the lot longer than fourteen (14) days.

Fast Track Requirements
Sheds eligible for the Fast Track process must meet all criteria above in addition to the following:

1.  Sheds must be no larger than 6' x 6' in floor size and attached to the rear of the house.

NOTE: Call the Howard Co. Building Permits Office, 313-2455, for information.

GUIDELINE 34
SIDING, ROOFING AND RESTYLING
Fast Track process available for some Siding*

1.  A complete application is required for all siding, roofing or restyling. No RAC approval is necessary for re-roofing when color remains the same as the original or previously approved color and material.

2.  Material and color samples must be provided.

3.  It is the owner's responsibility to find out whether proposed materials meet Howard County building and fire codes.

4.  If the proposed material differs in color or texture from the existing material or if it results in change in architectural style, it should be consistent or compatible with the style and color of materials on houses immediately surrounding it. It is the responsibility of the applicant to check which styles and colors have been approved.
    a. When adjacent units, such as duplexes or townhouses, share an exterior material of the same color, every effort must be made to re-side/re-roof with the original color unless adjacent properties agree simultaneously to re-side/re-roof in an approved new material. When weather damage to one side of a duplex requires re-siding, the new siding must match as close as possible to the original style and color. The exteriors of townhouses may not be changed from the original design.
    b. Garages, carports and outside storage areas (i.e., sheds) MUST be re-sided/re-roofed at the same time as the house and must match the house color siding/roof shingles exactly.


5.  The style of existing trim work at soffits, corners, eaves, windows and doors, and of accent panels, shutters or other stylistic features should be retained in the siding design. This will be considered an important requirement where these elements contribute to the visual continuity of the neighborhood by evoking similarities in style among nearby houses. Where new construction meets old, materials being used should blend together.

6.  Applications shall include the standard information plus a description of proposed treatment of outbuildings, such as sheds. Siding or painting of such structures may be required.

7.  In those cases where residents wish to alter the stylistic features of the existing facade (for example, by replacing rough, vertical-groove panels with smooth, horizontal clapboard siding or by adding shutters or accent panels), the Architectural Committee will render a decision based on:
    a. the size and shape of the residence in relation to existing and proposed materials,
    b. compatibility to and the variety of styles and materials of the houses immediately surrounding the residence, and
    c. the overall visibility of the residence from nearby public and private properties.

Fast Track Requirements for Siding
Siding eligible for the Fast Track process must meet all criteria above in addition to the following:

1.  No change in style or materials, e.g.,, horizontal to horizontal, vertical to vertical, vinyl or aluminum to vinyl or wood to wood.

GUIDELINE 35
SIGNS

An application is not required for political signs, temporary signs such as garage sale signs if in addition to being in compliance with the Howard County Sign Ordinance, they meet the following criteria:

Realtors are permitted to use their logos, trademarks and color schemes.

1.  “For Sale” or “For Rent” signs do not require applications provided the following guidelines are met:
    a. signs should be no larger than 20 inches by 28 inches;
    b. signs shall be erected on posts of sufficient strength to avoid bending or warping;
    c. signs shall stand no more than 4 feet above the ground;
    d. no more than one sign shall be erected on any given property, unless it is a corner lot or of sufficient size - larger than one acre - to warrant two signs (two signs are the maximum allowed); and
    e. signs shall be maintained in good condition.

2.  Off-site directional signs (open house/ garage sale) are permitted as follows:
    a. one off-site sign will be allowed at the intersection closest to the house for sale; and
    b. the signs shall remain standing only during hours of the open house/ garage sale.
    c. Signs shall not be posted on trees, light poles, street signs, or official village neighborhood identification signs.

3.  No “Sold” or “Under Contract” signs or strips across “For Sale” signs are permitted in Columbia.

4.  Political Signs may not be posted in the community’s common areas and must meet the criteria of Howard County, Maryland, and Federal law.

5.  Standard home security signs may be attached to the front of the house. Freestanding home security signs up to 12 inches square are permitted under the following conditions:
    a. Signs must be mounted on a metal stake or wood post located no further than 10 feet from the house.
    b. Only one such sign may be placed in front of the house. Another may be placed in the rear of the house.

No sign shall interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic, obstruct traffic sight lines, or otherwise impair safety. The sign must be at least 20 feet from the adjacent curb or street.
No other signs shall be permitted on any lot without submission of and approval of an application.

GUIDELINE 36
SKYLIGHTS
Fast Track process available for rear roof line only*


1.  A complete application must be submitted for all skylights.

2.  Skylights must meet the following requirements for approval:
    a. dome shall be made of clear materials, such as acrylic, glass, Lexan, fiberglass or thermalized glass (acrylic);
    b. dome height can vary from an almost flat 2-inch rise with 2-inch flashing to 12 inches (5-inch rise most popular);
    c. frame should be of aluminum;
    d. skylight shall be self-flashing (have its own aluminum mount); and
    e. domes may be of single, double or triple construction.

Fast Track Requirements
Skylights eligible for the Fast Track process must meet all criteria above in addition to the following:

1.  Skylights must be for a rear roof line only.

GUIDELINE 37
SOLAR COLLECTORS
No Fast Track process available


1.  Solar collectors can represent a large visual impact on a structure due to their size. Therefore, it is important to properly integrate the collector into the design of the house to give maximum advantage to the user with minimal design impact.

2.  Large collectors on a sloping roof shall appear to be flush with the roof and not laying on top of it. Collectors on a flat roof shall be set back and concealed with a parapet unless integrated into the roof design of the structure. Small collectors may be laid on top of a sloping roof and finished to look like a skylight.

3.  Collectors shall be constructed of glass with wood or metal trim. All trim shall be painted to match the background color of the roof or house to conceal it. Plexiglass is not acceptable as it sags and yields an unsatisfactory appearance. All pipe work shall be concealed.

4.  All applications must include a site plan plus elevations of the house showing the appearance of the collector. Details must show how the collector edges will meet the roof.

5.  Freestanding collectors normally should be located behind the structure and completely concealed from the road, neighboring properties and open space or worked into another architectural element.

GUIDELINE 38
TEAR DOWNS/REBUILDS

An application is required for all tear downs and/or new construction* and must include:
(*For new construction involving the tear down of an existing structure, application and approval is required prior to demolition.)


1.  Plot/survey plan showing the current and proposed footprints of the new house in relationship with and measurement to all abutting property lines.
2.  Color photographs of all sides/elevations of the existing structure(s).
3.  Elevation drawings of all sides of the new structure(s) indicating the placement of windows, door, any skylights, rooflines, porches and/or decks, all trim detail, railings, gutters and down spouts, etc.
4.  List of exterior building materials with detailed descriptions, color samples, etc. for the roof shingles, siding, trim, light fixtures, doors, decking, walkways, etc.
5.  Elevation and above view plans of any proposed hard or soft landscaping. Grading should be done so as to maintain the original drainage patterns.
6.  Drawings indicating the scale and style of the proposed structure(s) compared to those of all neighboring structures on all neighboring lots.
7.  Timelines with anticipated starting and completion dates for demolition, construction and landscaping.
8.  Clearly marked corners of the structure for any site visits to be done by the Resident Architectural Committee.
9.  For any anticipated tree removal, see page 30, Plantings and Trees, of the Architectural Guideline book for criteria and requirements for application.
10.  All applications should include the signatures of abutting and visually affected property owners.
11.  All structures on a particular property must be of the same style, materials, colors, etc.

All applications for tear downs/rebuilds are required to obtain a Howard County building permit and to go through a Two-Step Process.

1.  Step One Approval - Approval of GENERAL CONCEPT AND PLAN. This application should contain the basic information listed in numbers 1 through 9 above. Approval of this plan does not constitute authorization for the tear down and construction of said structure(s).


2.  Step Two Approval - Final Approval Within 60 days after obtaining the Step One approval, the resident must submit a copy of the approved Howard County building permit along with a statement that Howard County did not require any exterior changes to the plans approved in Step One and these changes are attached to the building permit. The application will be on the agenda for its final vote at the first meeting after the submission of said building permit and statement.
    Any major/substantial changes, required by Howard County, to the plans approved in Step One, will require a second positive Step Two vote. The decision as to whether the changes  are major/substantial will be made to the Resident Architectural Committee.

GUIDELINE 39
TOWNHOUSES, CONDOMINIUM AND SIMILAR MULTI-FAMILY DWELLINGS
No Fast Track process available

1.  Applications are required for exterior alterations.

2.  The Resident Architectural Committee shall consider each application based on the Long Reach Village Guidelines. However, when other guidelines or regulations are in effect, such as townhouse, condominium or county, the most restrictive shall take precedence.

3.  The original architectural character or theme of any unit shall remain consistent with itself and others around it, particularly with townhouses or other attached units. Once the character is established, whether traditional or contemporary, no portion should be changed or added which would conflict with or alter the character. In the case of attached units, the standard should be the buildings within the surrounding areas, in order to maintain the original continuity. For example, for townhouse units, the addition of elements such as lighting and decorative fixtures, canopies, awnings, etc., shall be considered in the context of the original architecture and the impact of the proposed changes on adjacent structures.

4.  When townhouse or similar associations maintain an architectural review process, that association’s representative must sign a resident’s application before it is submitted to the Long Reach Community Association.

GUIDELINE 40
WINDOWS , EXTERIOR DOORS, STORM DOORS AND GARAGE DOORS
No Fast Track process available

Storm Windows & Storm Doors
1.  An application is not required for storm windows and storm doors, provided all the following provisions are met:
    a. style matches the style of the house,
    b. color either matches or blends with the house or trim,
    c. storm windows do not overlap existing window molding, and
    d. storm doors and windows do not have bars, cross-hatching or filigree.

2.  Storm window trim must match window trim color and be consistent in style with the house. If one window on a side of a house has a storm window, all on that side must have a storm window.

Windows & Sliding Glass Doors
3.  Replacement windows and sliding glass doors require no application if there is no change in color, size or style. E.g.,, if you have 3-foot by 4-foot, white, double-hung windows with grids, you must replace them with 3-foot by 4-foot, white, double-hung windows with grids.

4.  Style of replacement window and sliding glass door must match house style.

5.  Sliding Glass Doors must have the same frame color as the windows in the house.

Garage Doors
6.  Replacement garage doors require no application provided the style, color, materials and window configuration, if any, match the original.

7.  The garage doors on houses having shared garages must match in style and color.

Exterior Doors
8.  An application is required for all exterior doors. An exterior door must be compatible in style with the house and match either the siding, trim or shutter color. Only one color is allowed, no contrasting trim.

NOTE: Townhouse and condominium association may have further restrictions on storm/screen/windows and doors. The most restrictive guidelines shall apply.

GUIDELINE 41
OTHER ALTERATIONS
No Fast Track process available


It is impossible to anticipate all possible exterior changes. If no guideline seems appropriate for the project you propose, a complete application must be filed. Emphasis should be placed on proper scale, materials, color and impact on neighboring properties.

 

 

 

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