The SVHOA Board of Directors has the authority to make and change rules governing architectural review of member properties. However, because the Directors consider the individual project guidelines to be important statements of community standards, they prefer to change them only if this is most members’ wish. Accordingly, we are seeking your opinion on two proposed changes to the guidelines adopted in December 2006:
1. The “grass only” rule. The current guideline is “Grass must remain in the strip between the street and sidewalk of homes.” The issue is that a significant minority of our neighbors has violated this rule by replacing all or part of the grass in this area. For example, some homeowners have added a small garden around the mailbox post, some have installed paving stones in the grass, and some have replaced all the grass with other plants and mulch. Should the Board force these deviations to be removed, or change the rule to accommodate them?
2. Solar panels. The current guideline states “Solar Collectors. These units should be installed on side or rear-facing roof elevations only, flat to the roof to minimize visibility from neighbors.” The Going Green committee points out that this rule would prevent some members from installing solar equipment, since only the front of their home provides a suitable installation site. Should we permit solar panels on the front of a home if that’s the only practical location?
We are aware that these questions raise high passions on both sides. One side prizes consistency of the streetscape above all else – Enforce the rule! The other side claims environmental concerns make the rule inappropriate for today – Change the Rule! What do you think?
These two topics are on the agenda for the Annual General Meeting.