More than 20 percent of exterior home projects aren’t reviewed or approved by the El Dorado Hills Community Service District’s Design Review Committee so the group’s kicking off a “Did You Know” campaign to spread the message — it’s worth it to follow procedure.
“Basically anything that would impact the exterior of your home and neighbors is subject to review and approval,” said El Dorado Hills resident and volunteer chairman of the DRC Allan Priest.
This includes new roofs, landscaping, exterior paint color, sheds, windows, swimming pools, additions and more. Priest said he’s seeing more applications for additions and new roofs lately and they committee recently reviewed 11 applications for solar panels.
The DRC currently reviews 35 villages in El Dorado Hills subject to the DRC’s covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). Some villages have elected their own HOA or architecture review committee, including Serrano, Waterford, Promontory, Summit and Highland Hills.
“Anything else defaults back to the CSD,” said Priest.
When you buy a home, personal tastes are trumped by CC&Rs, yet Priest said offenders usually don’t know this.
“Honestly, 80 percent of the time, people just don’t know they need to go through this approval process. They didn’t receive the CC&Rs or it’s part of a big stack of papers they never read,” said Priest. “We’re trying to work with the Realtors and title companies to make sure new homeowners are given those copies.”
There is a sliding scale of application fees based on the project, said Priest. Landscaping and pool application fees are $85; roof and paint fees are approximately $50. The application fee doubles if the project isn’t reviewed in advance.
“Every property owner in El Dorado Hills pays a $10 per year fee on their property taxes for CSD DRC enforcement,” said Priest.
DRC application fees go into a CSD account to fund the review process. The district staffs one full-time and three part-time employees.
If you are anxious to get started on a project, the application and review process is speedy, said Priest. An application must be submitted by Thursday at noon to be on the agenda for the next Tuesday morning’s public DRC meeting, where projects are reviewed and either approved or rejected.
“By that Tuesday morning you’ll have your approval and you can be on your way,” he said. “You don’t need to attend the meeting either.”
Priest said 95 percent of projects are approved the first go around and the committee is open to pre-project questions.
“If a resident asks, we’re happy to give opinions and recommend products that would work for their particular village. That eliminates that worry,” he explained.
The DRC is currently looking for one more two-year-term volunteer member. Priest said he signed up because he was intrigued after he built a home in 2000 and went through DRC. “I thought it was a good process for maintaining the character of the neighborhood,” he said.
Though not required, it’s preferable volunteers have backgrounds in architecture, building design, civil engineering, construction, development, landscaping, surveying or other building industry trades.
The DRC meets every Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. in the El Dorado Hills CSD parks conference room at 1030 St. Andrews Drive. For more information about DRC or to download a project review application visit edhcsd.org or call 916-933-6624.