With most community associations, governing documents outline specific rules for physical improvements and modifications a member can make to their property. To ensure those guidelines are upheld, an Architectural Review Committee (ARC) is generally appointed. Their purpose is making sure the community maintains a cohesive appearance by following the guidelines, which in turn helps to maintain property values and aesthetics.

If your community has an ARC, read on to see how they can utilize various features on the website to manage this important function in your community.

Get to know the ARC

First, you'll want to inform your community that you have an Architectural Review Committee and who its members are. To do this, we recommend adding this information to the "Committees" page on your website. An example of how this could look is provided below:

Organize committee docs

After you've added this to your “Committees” page, create a folder on your website to group together all ARC related pages. This way, members can easily navigate to this section on your website if they have a question or need to submit a request to the ARC. More information on the types of pages you’ll want to include in this folder are provided below.

Guidelines

We recommend uploading your community’s architectural guidelines to the website as a “single document page” or to a “Documents” page if there are multiple files. Both the ARC and community members will need to have access to these guidelines to ensure the proposed changes align with what is allowed. The guidelines should also provide information about the application procedure. This way, members are clear about how to go about submitting proposed changes, and what to expect from the ARC.

Architectural Request Form

Once the members have had a chance to review the guidelines to make sure what they’d like to do aligns with them, they’ll need to submit their proposal to the ARC. To provide them with an easy way to do this, use the “Custom Form” page type to create an Architectural Request Form members can fill out and submit to the ARC from your website.

The “Custom Form” page is fully customizable, so you’ll decide which prompts, prompt types, and details are necessary to gather all of the information from your members to review their request. You can also select whether a field is required or not, making sure you don’t miss any important information!
After you’ve created the form, the last step is to add the recipients. To make sure all committee members receive submitted forms, create a group for the Architectural Review Committee and add that group as the recipient.

Below is an example of how this form could look:

Discussion

The received requests will then need to be discussed and approved by all committee members. To keep this discussion centralized on the website and easy to reference, create a “Forum” page that is restricted so only the ARC group can access and contribute to the conversations. An example of how this page could function is provided below:

Follow up

When the Architectural Review Committee has arrived at a decision and is ready to respond to the member, we recommend reaching out to them from a community-branded email account specially created for the ARC committee (e.g., arc@exampledomain.com). If you haven’t already created a community-branded email account for this committee, check out how to do so here!

Wrapping up

The Architectural Review Committee plays an important role in the community by making sure the homes and common areas are well kept and align aesthetically. By employing the organization and pages mentioned above, this information can be centrally located on the website, easily accessible to members, and will help this committee run more efficiently and effectively.