ARTICLE XV ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL
Section 1. Architectural Control Committee ("Committee"). So long as the Declarant is either a Class A or Class B voting member of the Association, the Declarant shall act as the Architectural Control Committee ("act as the Committee") created by this Article XV (even if the Development Period has ended) unless the Declarant elects not to act as the Committee. If the Declarant is acting as the Committee, the Declarant shall have all authority and perform all functions given to the Committee by these Declarations and applicable law; all references to "Committee" in this Article XV shall apply to the Declarant while acting as the Committee.
If the Declarant is still a voting member of the Association but elects not to act as the Committee, then (i) if the Development Period has not ended, Declarant shall appoint a Committee to function as the Committee and (ii) after the Development Period, the Board shall appoint the Committee. At such time as the Declarant is no longer a voting member of the Association, the Board shall have the authority to appoint the Committee provided for by this Article XV The Committee, when appointed, shall consist of not less than three (3) and not more than five (5) Members. It is not a requirement that Members of the Committee be (1) Owners or (2) Members of the Association.
Section 2. Jurisdiction and Purpose. The Committee or the Declarant as set forth herein, shall review proposed plans and specifications for Residences, accessory structures, fences, walls, appurtenant recreational facilities (e.g., hot tubs, basketball courts, tennis courts, swimming pools, and bath houses), or other exterior structures to be placed upon the Properties. No exterior addition, structural alteration, or exterior structures of any kind may be made until plans and specifications showing the nature, kind, shape, height, material and location of the proposed structure or alteration have been submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Committee. The Committee shall also review proposals to change the exterior color homes in the Plat. The Committee shall determine whether the exterior design and location of the proposed structure, alteration, or color change harmonizes with the (1) surrounding structures, (2) surrounding natural and built environment, and (3) aesthetic character of other homes in the Plat.
Section 3. Membership. Except as provided in Section 1 of this Article XV, the Committee shall be designated by the Board An election to fill a newly created position on the Committee or a vacancy on the Committee requires the vote of the majority of the entire Board. However, the Board is not obliged to fill a vacancy on the Committee unless the membership of the Committee numbers less than three (3) persons.
Section 4. Designation of a Representative. The Committee may unanimously designate one or more of its members or a third party to act on behalf of the Committee with respect to both ministerial matters and discretionary judgments. The decisions of such individuals are subject to review by the entire Committee at the request of any member of the Committee.
Section 5 Donation of Time. No member of the Committee shall be entitled to any compensation for services performed on behalf of the Committee. Committee members shall have no financial liability resulting from Committee actions.
Section 6. Address of the Committee. The address of the Committee shall be at the registered office address of the Association.
Section 7. Voting. Committee decisions shall be determined by a majority vote of the members of the Committee.
Section 8 Submission of Plans. All plans and specifications required to be submitted to the Committee shall be submitted either in person or by mail to the address of the Committee in duplicate. The written submission shall contain the name and address of the Owner submitting the plans and specifications, identity the Lot involved, and the information contained in Exhibit "B," as generally outlined below:
- The location of the structure upon the Lot;
- The elevation of the structure with reference to the existing and the existing and finished lot grades;
- The general design;
- The interior layout;
- The exterior finish materials and color, including roof materials;
- Other information which may be required in order to determine whether the structure conforms to the standards articulated in this Declaration and the standards employed by the Committee in evaluating development proposals.
Section 9 Plan Check Fee. All individuals submitting plans to the Committee shall be obliged to pay a reasonable plan check fee to cover the administrative costs of reviewing such development proposals, It will be necessary to pay the plan check fee upon submitting plans and specifications to the Committee, A plan check fee of $50.00 viin be charged to review plans and specifications for Residences. A fee of $25.00 will be charged for the review of other structures, or for previously reviewed plans within the project. After the Development Period, the review fees may be changed by vote of a majority of the Board, to cover reasonable review costs.
Section 10. Evaluating Development Proposals. The Committee shall have the authority to establish aesthetic standards for evaluating development proposals. In addition to such standards, in evaluating development proposals, the Committee shall determine whether the external design, color, building materials, appearance, height, configuration, location on the Lot, and the landscaping of the proposed structure (the "design elements") harmonize with (1) the various features of the natural and built environment, (2) the aesthetic character of the other homes in Belmont Woods, and (3) any other factors which affect the desirability or suitability of a proposed structure or alteration (collectively the "approval factors") The Committee shall decline to approve any design in which (1) the design elements fail to harmonize with the approval factors described in the previous sentence or which fail to meet any aesthetic standards promulgated by the Committee, (2) impacts adversely on nearby Properties and Common Areas, or (3) is of a temporary or non-permanent nature. Committee determinations may be amended by majority vote of Committee members.
Section 11 Exclusions. So long as the Declarant is either a Class A or Class B voting member of the Association. the Declarant shall have the right to waive the plans and specifications review for builders in Belmont Woods. Any such waiver shall not exempt said builder from any of the standards or restrictions contained in these declarations.
Section 12. Approval Procedure. Within fourteen (14) days after the receipt of plans and specifications, the Committee shall approve or disapprove the proposed structure. The Committee may decline to approve plans and specifications which, in its opinion, do not conform to restrictions articulated in this Declaration and criteria (including those in Section 10 of this Article XV) or to its aesthetic standards., The Committee shall indicate its approval or disapproval on one of the copies of the plans and specifications provided by the applicant and shall return the plans and specifications to the address shown on the plans and specifications In the event that no disapproval of such plans and specifications is given within fourteen (14) days of submission, then the plans shall be deemed to be approved In any event, the Association shall hold the Committee members (and the Declarant, if' acting as the Committee) harmless from any actions taken (or actions not taken) relative to the approval, disapproval, or non-action on any plans submitted for review "Non-action" on the part of the Committee shall not exempt the applicant from any of the provisions of this Declaration or the restrictions articulated herein. By purchasing a Lot in Belmont Woods, the Owners agree that to the extent permitted by law, the Declarant shall have no liability to the Owners or the Association for any actions taken, or actions not taken, while acting as the Committee.
Section 13. Compliance with Codes/Environmental Laws.
- In all cases, ultimate responsibility for satisfying all local building codes and requirements rests with the Owner and contractor employed by the Owner. The Committee has no responsibility for ensuring that plans and specifications which it reviews comply with local building codes and requirements. The owner shall hold the Committee members (and Declarant) harmless in the event that a structure which the Committee (or Declarant) authorizes fails to comply with relevant building and zoning requirements or these covenants and restrictions contained herein. No person on the Committee or acting on behalf of the Committee, nor the Declarant acting as the Committee, or anyone acting on behalf of the Declarant, shall be held responsible for any defect in any plans or specifications which are approved by the Committee or Declarant nor shall any member of the Committee of any person acting on behalf of the Committee or Declarant be held responsible for any defect in a structure which was built pursuant to plans and specifications approved by the Committee, or by the Declarant.
- Neither the Declarant, the Committee, nor any member of the Committee, nor the Association, nor anyone acting all behalf of the Committee or the Association, shall have any responsibility for compliance by Owner (or any agent, representative, guest, or invitee of Owner) with any environmental laws, regulations, or rules, including, but not limited to, those relating to hazardous waste and placement of underground oil storage tanks.
Section 14. Variation. The Committee shall have the authority to approve plans and specifications which do not conform to these restrictions in order to (1) overcome practical difficulties or (2) prevent undue hardships from being imposed on an Owner as a result of applying these restrictions, However, such variations may only be approved in the event that the variation will not (1) detrimentally impact the overall appearance of the development, (2) impair the attractive development of the subdivision or (3) adversely affect the character of nearby Lots Granting such variation shall not constitute a waiver of the restrictions articulated in this Declaration Variations shall only be granted if the Committee determines that the variation would further the purpose and intent of these restrictions. Variations shall only be granted in extraordinary circumstances.
Section 15. Enforcement. The Association (including the Declarant on behalf of the Association), Board, or any Owner shall have the right to bring suit for judicial enforcement of a determination of the Committee, or, after the Development Period, to seek an order requiring the Committee to exercise its authority, and perform its functions, under this Article XV In any judicial action to enforce a determination of the Committee, the losing party shall pay the prevailing party's attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, and other costs incurred in connection with such a legal action or appeal (see Article XVI, Section 5).
Section 16. Committee/Declarant Liability. The Association shall hold the Committee Members and the Declarant, if acting as the Committee, harmless from any actions taken (or actions not taken) under any previous of this Declaration, including, but not limited to, actions taken (or not taken) under Articles XII, XIII and XV of this Declaration By purchasing a Lot in Belmont Woods, the Owners agree that, to the extent permitted by the law, neither the Declarant (nor any officer, director, or representative of Declarant), nor the Committee (nor any member of the Committee) shall have any liability to the Owners or to the Association for any actions taken, or actions not taken, while acting as the Declarant or the Committee under this Declaration.
"Non-action" on the part of the Committee or the Declarant shall not exempt the applicant from any of the provisions of this Declaration or restrictions contained in this Declaration.