Architectural Design and Review

Every property within the Oella Homeowners Association is governed by a covenant that requires that any proposed external change to a structure or grounds be approved prior to being undertaken (Article IV of the 1984 Declaration of Restrictions and Grant of Easements).

Inquiries and requests for proposed external changes in a property should be directed to the Oella Architectural Review Committee c/o the management company. Contact information for the management company can be on the Contact page.

The ARC will investigate each proposal, through discussions with the homeowner, visits to the property, and independent research. The ARC tries to work with homeowners to develop mutually acceptable solutions, and prefers to follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation for Preserving and Restoring Historic Buildings. The ARC attempts to render a definitive decision within 30 days of submission of a proposal. Submitted request that allow time for proper review (see application deadline below) as well as documentation such as plans, pictures, paint chips, manufacture specifications, etc, that will aid the ARC in its decision is appreciated and will help expedite a response.

ARC Meeting Schedule and Application Deadline

ARC Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month, at 6:30 PM in the Westchester Community Center.

In order to allow time for the ARC to review applications prior to the regularly scheduled meetings, there is an application deadline of 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting. Any applications received closer than 72 hours to the meeting will not be considered for approval at the meeting, and will be disapproved pending review at the next monthly meeting.

What needs Review?

So what kinds of things will need ARC review? Basically, if you want to do anything that alters the appearance of your house or property, you should contact us for advice.
Examples of the kinds of things you should ask about are:

  • Repainting anything on the outside of your house.
  • Changing any of the components of any outside door or window.
  • Replacing any siding.
  • Adding or changing any kind of structure (for example, any additions, any building, shed, patio, fountain, pool, pond, tree, shrubbery, paving, curbing, landscaping, fence or wall, sign or signboard).
  • Any kind of masonry repair or repointing of brick.
  • Altering the appearance of your roof, such as changing the type or color of any of the roofing material and adding vents or satellite dishes or skylights.
  • Any new landscaping, including removal of any trees or large shrubs or laying out new flowerbeds or terracing.

Architectural Review Process

Please see the following document for a description of the Review Procedures.

Architecture Guidelines Document

The Board of Directors of the HOA is pleased to make available the Oella HOA — Design Guidelines Document and associated amendments. Note that this is a living document and will be appended to as new guidance is documented.

The most recent update was in April 2014. Follow the link below for more information.


Additional Documents

Change Request Form

ARC Report to Board, March 2014: ARC report concerning use of Renewal by Andersen windows in Victorian Duplex houses.

Permit Information

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that you or your contractors have obtained the required permits.

Permits are required for additions, decks, new fences, or replacement fences of greater height, sheds greater than 120 sq. ft. or in Chesapeake Bay critical area), plumbing & electrical upgrades, pools larger than 15 ft. in diameter.

No permit is required for replacement roofs, windows, and doors.