Town Crier Articles

Reminders from the Architectural Review Committee
Posted on June 1, 2024 6:57 AM by Architectural Review Committee
Spring and summer bring the end of the school year, summer vacation and - - yes - - dealing with necessary maintenance on our homes. Homes in New Town are part of the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) and are subject to certain rules and restrictions regarding alterations to their exteriors.
NTRA’s governing documents establish the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) which is charged with the responsibility of preserving the aesthetic appearance of the community to help protect the value of the homes. To carry out this purpose, the ARC has established guidelines for approving modifications to the exterior characteristics of a home and/or improvements to a lot. Here are reminders of a few of the requirements.
Obtain ARC Approval BEFORE Starting: It’s important to remember that an owner must submit an application and obtain ARC approval before starting construction or renovation that changes the exterior appearance of the property.
Projects that Require an Application: An Application and approval are usually required for routine maintenance projects such as painting (new color) and re-roofing, and are always required for projects such as the addition of patios or other hardscape features, fences, storm doors, generators, solar panels, trash can enclosures and other exterior changes. General guidelines for these and a number of other exterior changes can be found in NTRA Policy 4.1, Architectural Review Committee Guidelines/Standards. If in doubt, contact NTRA’s Managing Agent.
Owners should not rely on the appearance of other NTRA residences as assurance that their project will be approved. Due to differences in home types and great variation in lot sizes and configurations the ARC must sometimes make a determination on a case-by-case basis; NTRA’s governing documents expressly allow for such consideration.
Installation of certain ARC-approved features may result in other requirements. For example, owners installing a fence must provide a buffer zone if required by the landscaping contract then in effect, and installation of a fence may limit certain landscaping services. More details about a homeowner’s landscape responsibilities can be found on the website in NTRA Policy 9.2, Landscape Services and Responsibilities
When requesting approval, homeowners are responsible for submitting accurate descriptions and drawings for their proposed project. Sometimes projects are given conditional approval and homeowners should take care to ensure that all conditions for their project are followed.
ARC Application: The ARC Application and Instructions can be found on the NTRA website. A completed ARC Application must be submitted to Chesapeake Bay - the NTRA's management company, not to ARC members directly or through the NTRA ticketing system. Applications must be submitted at least one week before the ARC meeting which is held on the second Monday of 
each month at 4:00 p.m., in order to allow sufficient time for review. (We encourage applications to be submitted earlier.)
Other Requirements: ARC approval is based on the aesthetics of the proposed change. The owner must follow all James City County codes and setback requirements and is responsible for contacting the appropriate utility companies before digging. A building permit may be needed. ARC approval is not a certification of structural integrity.
The ARC Benefits the Community: NTRA’s governing documents established the ARC to help maintain the value of investment in NTRA property. Of course, this is important to all of us. The ARC appreciates owners’ efforts to follow the ARC’s Guidelines so that we will all benefit from a New Town experience that is both enjoyable and rewarding.
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