Download the entire
Guidelines are not permitted
to be reproduced for the purpose of resale.
(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
About the Application Process:
Responsibility & Authority
What are the Covenants?
How Does the Architectural Process
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
How Closely Must I
Adhere to the Guidelines in this Book?
Very Important Advice
Checklist for Exterior
Exterior Alteration Application (PDF
* 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.
Air Conditioning Units*
Basketball Backboards and Poles
(Installed & Portable)*
(Residential) And Smokestacks
Enclosed Rear Yards
Flag Poles & Brackets
Garden Plots (Residential)
Gas Grills (Permanent)
Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters & Downspouts
Lamppost & Exterior Light Fixtures
Leaf & Tree Debris
Mold, Mildew & Algae
Patio & Walkway
Trash, Trash Containers & Recyclables
Painting and Staining
Parking and Storage of Vehicles, Boats and Trailers
Radon Remediation Pipes
Real Estate Signs
Properties, Boarders, Shared Living
Satellite Dishes and
Sliding Glass Doors
Townhouses, Condominium and Similar Multi-Family Dwellings
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
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
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
Why Do We Have
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
If 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:
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
What if I Don't Wait for
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.
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
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.
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
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
Howard County Licenses and Permits 313-2455
Rental Housing Licenses
Howard County Dept. of Planning & Zoning
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
neighbors 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)
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
Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. to