What are architectural reviews, who does them, what is the purpose of a review, and what is the benefit to the homeowners of Fairway Pines?
Hopefully, the following will help clarify these and other questions:
1. What is an Architectural Review?
An Architectural Review is process set forth in the Covenants and Restrictions for reviewing and approving all additions, deletions, and modifications to one's house and lot within Fairway Pines. Technically, all changes are included, from landscaping to patios and decks, from changing the color of one's house or mailbox to adding a swimming pool. In some cases the review must be completed before Canton Township will issue a building permit.
2. Why is there an Architectural Review?
The Architectural Review process as well as the other Covenants and Restrictions were created and filed with Wayne County by the subdivision developer, Biltmore Properties, when the subdivision was founded back in 1993. They dictate how the subdivision is to be developed, maintained, and governed. Their purpose is to help ensure the continuity of the subdivision, to maintain the beauty of the homes and grounds, and ultimately to maintain and improve the property values. They are there to help protect the interests of both you and your neighbor. Many new subdivisions in the Detroit area have similar Covenants and Restrictions.
3. Why should I bother with a review now that my landscaping is completed?
First, only homeowners with approved landscaping and other architectural reviews are eligible to vote in the annual Board of Directors or other special subdivision elections, or serve as a member of the Board or on one of the subdivision committees. Second, if an issue would arise regarding landscaping or other modification, the review and approval could prove beneficial. Third, if the Board of Directors decide to take legal action against those not in compliance, you will not be affected. Fourth, you will stop receiving these annoying letters.
4. My house was landscaped when I bought it. Why do I need an Architectural Review?
Apparently, the builder and/or previous owner did not apply for a review and approval before the house was sold. Unfortunately, this omission does not excuse you from getting approval now.
5. It's my house and yard. I didn't agree to the Covenants and Restrictions when I moved in. Why should I pay any attention to them?
When you bought your home in Fairway Pines, you also bought into the Covenants and Restrictions. Even if the builder, title company, or former owner did not tell you about them, they still apply and are enforceable in a court of law.
6. Who does the Architectural Review?
In accordance with the Covenants and Restrictions, a committee has been established consisting of homeowners, like yourself, who have volunteered to perform this function. The committee reviews the submittal documents, perhaps visits the site in question, and returns their opinion to the Board of Directors who then responds to the submitter. The whole process should take approximately two weeks.
The committee is presently chaired by Stephen Gray from the Fairway Pines Board of Directors.
7. How do I find more information about Architectural Reviews?
Information on Architectural Reviews can be found in the Fairway Pines Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions
. This legal document applies to all 309 lots within Fairway Pines and a copy of it should have been given to you when you closed on your house. If you did not receive a copy or have misplaced it, an official version can be obtained from the Wayne County Register of Deeds.
8. How do I submit information for an Architectural Review of my landscaping?
Putting together information for a review can be relatively simple. If you have a copy of the plan that the landscaper provided listing the trees, flowers, shrubs, etc., submit it with any additional information you deem important. Be sure to include items such as patios, decks, sidewalks, and landscape lighting, that was part of the overall landscaping. A simpler option might be to just take photographs of each side of your house and submit them. In any case, send the information to the attention of the Architectural Review Committee, c/o Fairway Pines at Pheasant Run, P. O. Box 87275, Canton, MI 48187- 0275.