Exterior Modification Request

Request to Modify the Exterior

The exterior of each of our buildings has a direct impact on the living experience of every current and future Co-owner. Therefore, there is an application and approval process for every modification request.

Purpose of Review Process

Improvements enhance the value of our property.

Improvements enhance the value of our property.

The Board has fiduciary responsibility to the Association of Harbour Towne Condo owners (HTCA Co-owners) to maintain or enhance the value of the Association’s assets which consist primarily of the buildings and grounds of the condo development. Decisions regarding Exterior Improvements should support enhancing the overall value of the condo development which is ultimately determined by Co-owners desiring to live or purchase in Harbour Towne.

  • The goal is for Co-owners to continue to invest in and upgrade their units and be supportive of the HTCA budget. Harbour Towne wants to maintain its reputation as a highly desired location for future owners.
  • To support this goal, flexibility regarding exterior improvements for individual units is balanced with enhancing the Harbour Towne development as a whole.
  • The unique size, style and location of each unit will be considered regardless of modification decisions on other similar units.
  • Wherever possible, the Board wants to approve Co-owner modification requests that meet the established criteria. Severe restrictions and extreme conformity in all matters Is not the image Harbour Towne wants to project.
  • The Board strives for consistent decisions over time and across different Board memberships unless there is a good reason for deviation. For example, at one time homes installed TV antennas and used clotheslines for drying clothes. With the advent of cable TV and clothes dryers, a new Board has the responsibility to rescind prior Board decisions that permitted this.
  • Whenever the Board is made aware of a non-approved Exterior Modification, it will investigate & make a determination while being sensitive to the various issues.
  • The Board intends to make all decisions based on the framework and criteria described here, and to not be influenced by personal relationships or biases.

Potential Outcomes

After review, the Board will select one of these four options:

  • DENIED: The Modification Request is denied.
  • APPROVED: The Modification Request was approved.
  • LIMITED VARIANCE: These come about from a Co-Owner Request or an identified Infraction. All limited-variance Modification Requests must be returned to acceptable condition based on a future trigger, typically selling the unit.
  • PERMANENT VARIANCE: These come about from a Co-Owner Request or an identified Infraction. No future actions are required.

Unless denied, all Exterior Modifications carry a burden of responsibility such that the current and all future Co-Owners will maintain the modification, and remedy any damage caused by the modification.

Decision Criteria

The following criteria are published to help Co-owners understand the process used by the Board to review requests. The purpose for this criteria is listed above.

Appearance

  • Building Design: Does the modification blend in as if it was part of the original design of the building?
  • Consistency with Community: Does the modification maintain a uniform, harmonious exterior appearance, especially from the perspective of those who may or will see the modification on a daily basis (from the road and adjacent or “across the pond” unit owners)?
  • Multiplication: If all units that qualify for this modification are modified, how will the development look?

Materials

  • Perceived Quality: Are the replacement materials of quality equal to or greater than the original?
  • Cost of Ownership: Does the replacement material have a significantly lower cost-of-ownership?

Maintenance

  • Cost of Ownership: Does the modification increase any expenses or long-term costs to the Association grounds/landscaping or building maintenance, repairs, or replacement?
  • Projection across Community: If all units that qualify for this modification are modified, how will additional expenses impact Co-owner dues?

Co-owner Perceptions

  • Experience: Does the modification detract from the experience of other Co-owners?
  • Fairness: Were the majority of prior, similar requests approved or denied?

Procedure

EMR Process FlowClick the thumbnail image for a flow chart of the process. The steps below must be followed to obtain board approval for any project:

  1. Submit modification in CCIS Request System.
  2. The Building Committee may contact the Co-owner and give them the advantage of understanding the standards before the start of the process.
  3. An Exterior Modification Application must be turned into Gerow Management. If you don’t grab the form with that link, search the website for: Exterior Modification Application.
  4. A description, using a diagram, photo, or explanation showing work to be completed needs to be turned in with the Application.
  5. Any contractor hired by the Co-owner must be insured for liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance. A copy of the contractor’s liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance must be furnished with the Application, unless already on file with the Management Company. Here is our list of Preferred Service Providers.
  6. Any contractor hired by the Co-owner must be licensed as appropriate.* A copy of the contractor’s license must be furnished with the Application, unless already on file with the Management Company. Here is our list of Preferred Service Providers.
  7. Prior to work commencement, a building permit must be obtained (where applicable) and a copy furnished with the Application.
  8. If there is any damage to the building or other part of the property caused by this exterior modification, now and in the future, it will be the responsibility of the Co-owner to restore the building or property to its original condition, or to remediate as determined by the Board of Directors.
  9. Some exterior modifications require approval of materials. By way of illustration and not limitation, the types of gutters, windows, sliders, screen doors, and garage doors all must come from an approved list or be specifically approved by the Board of Directors.
  10. No work shall be started until written approval of the Exterior Modification has been received from the Board of Directors.

*(From the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, State of Michigan)

In the state of Michigan, a person who contracts with a property owner to do residential construction or remodeling on a project whose total value is $600 or more, including material and labor, is required to be licensed as either a Residential Builder or a Maintenance & Alteration Contractor. A Residential Builder may build a new home from the ground up or do any kind of repairs. A residential Maintenance & Alteration Contractor is licensed to perform only specific trades and services.

The following activities fall under the licensure requirements: Carpentry, Concrete, Excavation, Insulation work, Masonry, Painting & Decorating, Siding, Roofing, Screen & Storm Sash, Gutters, & Replacement windows/doors/garage doors.

Bylaw Authorization

Harbour Towne Condominium Association By-laws, Article VI, Section 3. A, in part: No Co-owner shall make repairs or alterations in exterior appearance or make structural modifications to any Unit (including interior walls through or in which exist easements for supports or utilities) or make changes in the appearance or use of any of the Common Elements, Limited or General, without the advanced written approval of the Board of Directors, including but not limited to, exterior painting, replacement of windows, or the erection of lights, awnings, shutters, doors, newspaper holders, mailboxes, spas, hot tubs, decks, structures, fences, walls, landscaping, playground equipment, yard fixtures or adornments or other exterior attachments or modifications.