Pink or beige? That is the question faced by many association architectural control committees. These committees are responsible for establishing and preserving curb appeal for the community and protecting property values. The controls established by this committee will enhance the community’s attractiveness and functional utility.

What a community deems appropriate varies widely. For instance, a community in California deemed a backyard volcano acceptable, while another association in Florida said No to a backyard vegetable garden.

To maintain uniformity, architectural control committees review all proposed property improvements or changes and either approve, reject or suggest changes to plans in accordance with the community’s governing documents or established standards. In many communities, the committee recommends a course of action to the board. If the committee approves an application for change, it may need to inspect the property to monitor progress.

Covenant committees may issue violation notices, conduct hearings and hear appeals. Ensure consistent enforcement and approval by staggering committee members’ terms, so that experienced volunteers can help out newcomers. Require the whole committee to approve changes. Though the committee will rely on volunteer expertise, try to find design professionals who will serve on or advise it. If the community has trouble locating volunteers, consider hiring a consultant to review guidelines and provide advice on controversial topics.