The Environmental Control Committee

Any permanent exterior changes you make to your property must receive prior approval from the Environmental Control Committee, which handles requests from WHOA homeowners who wish to make improvements to the outside of their homes. ‘Improvement’ is defined very broadly and includes any addition, alteration, or change to a building, yard, or fence. An easy test to determine if something needs approval by ECC is that, if the improvement can be seen by a neighbor, it needs approval before the change is made. Please do not schedule contractors until you have written approval from the ECC.

To submit a request to the ECC, send a signed letter to the ECC Chair (Elizabeth Book, 3815 Williamsburg Circle, 512-348-2990, elizabeth@rbinky.com) together with two sets of plans and specifications of the changes. Letters and plans can be hand-written. They can be delivered by hand or by mail. They can be delivered as attachments to e-mails as long as one of the attachments is a scanned copy of a signed request. Requests for homes that are not occupied by the homeowner must come from the homeowner rather than the occupier.

It is important that the request provides enough information for ECC members to understand exactly what is proposed. Therefore, the request should provide full details of ‘before’ and ‘after’ states, which can include, for example, photos of ‘before’ and plans or brochure pictures of ‘after’. For instance, if you want to install a storm door, include a picture of the exact model you wish to install.

The ECC chair distributes the request to the committee members. Approvals or denials are based on a majority vote of the members. According to our CC&Rs, the ECC may take up to 45 days to make a decision. However, our aim is to respond to the homeowner as soon as possible, and it is rare for more than two weeks to elapse before a response is provided. All requests receive a signed letter of approval or denial from the committee. Complex requests take longer to assess, so the sooner requests are submitted the better.

Two types of requests deserve special mention:

        Fence replacements: there is a fence policy posted on the WHOA website that defines exactly what is expected for each home. The ECC will approve requests only for fence replacements that conform to the fence policy. Because the policy is so detailed, requests need state only that the replacement will conform with the policy and do not need to include plans of ‘before’ and ‘after’ states.

        Window replacements: in general, requests for window replacements will be approved only if the new windows are the same color and style as the old windows; it is very important that requests for window replacements include full brochure details of the intended replacements.

The specific authority of the ECC is found in Article XI of the CC&Rs. If you have any questions about how to make a request, please contact the ECC Chair.

If you need to repaint an exterior portion of your house, or a walkway railing or front door, there are specified colors for these projects, to keep all exteriors in the community the same. To obtain the paint, contact one of the Grounds Committee Co-Chairs (Frank Dewhurst, 512-343-1102, fbdewhurst@att.net or Ernest Street, 512-529-2896, ewjstreet@aol.com). They will provide the paint at no charge to you. When you are finished using it, please return it.