What in the world is Design Review?

December 2016 | Related Categories: Resident News & Events

Before we get to the nuts and bolts of Design Review, stop for a moment and think back to the first time you drove through Eastmark. What did you fall in love with? Was it the beautiful tree-lined streets? The uniquely-designed parks around almost every corner? The variety of architectural styles among the homes? Chances are, whatever it was you fell in love with, you realized pretty quickly that Eastmark had a distinct look and an unmistakable sense of community.

Now fast forward 10, 20, even 30 years from now. What do you hope to see when you drive through your community? Here’s where Design Review comes into play.

In short, Design Review maintains today and for many years to come, the Eastmark quality and community you fell in love with. The individuality of your home is key to neighborhood character, but let’s face it, we all have different tastes and styles. The Design Review process provides consistency in the quality of any exterior home modifications, emphasizes the natural characteristics of the area, and supports the community vision.

“Planned communities are designed with an overall vision of the character and lifestyle they want to evolve into,” says David Davis, Principal at Dale Gardon Design, an architectural firm working on the Eastmark master plan. “For example, Eastmark is planned using some of the tried-and-true traditional design principles that make neighborhoods safe, comfortable and attractive, but differentiated by including ideas that bring a 21st century progressive vision to the community. This is what makes Eastmark distinctive.”

Design Review not only maintains the vision of Eastmark, it also protects your home investment. The standards at Eastmark are deliberately high to help preserve the value of your home. Says Davis, “The design guidelines are created and administered to ensure the community grows with the ever-elusive feel of ‘timelessness,’ that in turn protects homebuyers’ investments by ensuring values continue to get stronger over time.”

So here’s the scoop: if you want to make additions, modifications, or improvements to the outside of your house, you will need to get prior approval from the Design Review Committee (DRC). Exterior modifications include landscaping, a pool, sun shades, a security door, storage sheds, and outdoor lighting, to name a few, are all considered exterior modifications. It’s a collaborative process, the DRC works in partnership with residents to make the experience as smooth as possible for you.

Here are a few tips to consider before you submit a Design Review application:

  • While your vendor may feel confident in the Design Guidelines, it’s in your best interest to first review the official Eastmark Design Guidelines, and then ask the Eastmark Residential Association, Inc. if you still have questions. Reviewing the guidelines will give you more realistic expectations when working with your vendor. Even if your modification(s) ‘meet’ the guidelines, you still need review and approval from the DRC before any work can start.
    You may have noticed your neighbor made an exterior modification, but that doesn’t mean it was approved nor that it will work for your home.
  • The DRC tries to meet once a week and has 60 days from the date a completed application is submitted to review and provide a written response to the homeowner, so plan a realistic timeline with your vendor. Completed, clear, and thorough applications can be returned much sooner.
  • It’s much easier to go through the Design Review process before you make any modifications. We have had the unfortunate experience of modifications being made before Committee review that based on our guidelines have had to be removed at the expense of the homeowner.
  • The Design Review process is really about finding that sweet spot where personalizing your home intersects with the established design guidelines and the greater vision of Eastmark.

Your Design Review one-stop-shop is on Eastmark.com:

  1. Start Here
  2. Eastmark Design Guidelines (Save time! The guidelines are searchable by key term.)
  3. Application

Questions? Contact the Eastmark Residential Association.

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