Co-Chairs: Kira Tokarz and Marlayna Bush
Design Review Procedures Renovations/Modifications
If you plan to renovate, improve, or modify your unit, you need to submit a "design review request" to the Board of Directors for approval. The process is described in detail in the "Design Review Procedures" of the Residents Handbook. Routine maintenance or minor alterations do not require approval (e.g. plaster/drywall repair). Painting, wallpapering, carpeting do not require approval. Appliance replacement does not need approval (e.g. a new refrigerator). A major new appliance does need approval (e.g. a washer-dryer installation). Window replacement requires approval. When in doubt, it's a good idea to request approval to be on the safe side: the Board and Covenants Committee are biased in favor of upgrading and improving units as long as safety and stylistic concerns are met. A rule of thumb is: if the changes affect only the unit interior, unit owners have wide latitude as long as neither adjoining units nor building structural integrity are affected,
Design review approval is a three-step process: 1) submission of request to the Management Office; 2) review and recommendation by the Covenants Committee; 3) review of request with Covenants recommendation by the Board for final approval.
Taking each step in turn:
- The Management Office receives your request (or "proposal"). It can contain any materials that accurately and adequately convey what you plan to do: you would probably include a cover letter with a textual overview of the work. Proposals commonly include: contractor proposals, signed contracts, diagrams, pictures, vendor brochures, other specifications. If Covenants or the Board do not have enough information to evaluate your proposal, you may be asked for additional materials or be contacted by phone. One requirement not described in the Handbook: we ask that all work be done by licensed, insured, and bonded contractors. License and insurance information are commonly included in requests.
- Covenants will review your proposal as to its safety, stylistic conformity (e.g. windows), and structural soundness, possible effects on the building and adjoining units, and just generally its consistency with the requirements spelled out in the "Design Review Procedures". Once there is enough information to evaluate, Covenants will issue a recommendation: to "approve" or "disapprove". Partial approvals are also possible. In 90% of cases, Covenants issues a recommendation within 7-10 days of receipt.
- At its next scheduled meeting, the Board will take up your request along with Covenants' recommended action. Unit owners frequently attend to respond to questions Board members may have. Final approval is then voted by the Board. The overwhelming majority of proposals are approved.