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What is an architectural control committee?

Cedar clad cottage nestled in the woods at Brickyard Creek

How is it that some places you walk or drive through have a feeling of warmth and a sense of belonging, so much you think, “I could live here,” while other places elicit no human emotion other than one that asks, “How do I get out of here?”

Places that feel uncomfortable are generally void of architectural organization. Often these communities are planned with good intentions but need more control to survive disconnected architects or buyers who think only of their property rather than how their design might best fit into the surrounding landscape. They fail to become vibrant communities based of integrity and character and often fall into neglect or abandonment.

You know how special and inviting a community can be if you’ve been to places like Woodstock, Vermont; Bar Harbor, Maine; Carmel, California; or other small communities that have been smartly developed to give residents and visitors a unique experience. You’ll also learn, upon inquiry, how expensive homes and rentals are within these communities.

A well-charged and engaged Architectural Control Committee protects value, identity, and architectural integrity while simultaneously ensuring a sense of place, the comfort of surroundings, and the overall health of the community it serves.

The communities mentioned above share these characteristics:

First is a strong sense of place. They never try to be all things to all people. They know what they are—and what they are not. The identity associated with neighborhoods with a strong sense of place is so powerful there is no need to hide their blemishes; on the contrary, they become part of what makes the community authentic.

The second quality is pride. With a clear identity and vision, many residents become fiercely protective of what they have.

Cedar clad cottage nestled in the woods at Brickyard Creek
A BYC home blending with its wooded environment

Third, thoughtful guidelines help the community maintain its character.

Fourth, there must be a commitment to fairly enforce the rules and guidelines.

Most modern developments have architectural guidelines enforced by the homeowner’s association through a committee called the Architectural Control Committee (ACC). BYC started with a clear identity and vision.  This helped us formulate a plan to maintain a vibrant and relevant community. We need to understand the importance of architectural consistency and choose to comply with established guidelines to retain the character of Brickyard Creek.