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Ensuring Success for the Design and Build Process

By Sara Garcia

One of the advantages of living in a covenant-controlled community is that there are rules in place to help protect property values. The Cordillera Ranch Property Owners Association (CRPOA) is tasked with making sure standards are met and the Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions (CCR’s) and the Design Guidelines followed. The Architectural Review Committee (ARC), more specifically, has the responsibility to ensure compliance when it comes to new construction or alteration of a property or any existing structure(s) in the community and will work collaboratively for the best outcome for both the property owner and the community. 

The ARC works on reviewing a wide variety of projects including new home construction, remodel projects, renovations and the addition of secondary buildings such as garages, casitas, cabanas and workshops. In addition, the ARC also reviews landscape plans, pools and fences and any other property improvements. The CRPOA office should be the first point of contact when property owners think of the aforementioned. It can provide all the information property owners need to get started.

Separate Design Guidelines exist for the Ranch Community, Clubs Village and The Springs and outline basic requirements and expectations of the review process. Each property owner should carefully review the Design Guidelines and CCR’s when considering a construction project or alteration to their property. The Design Guidelines also provide checklists and exhibits which specifically list the items needed to complete the submittal. All of these documents are located on the CRPOA website at www.cordilleraranchpoa.com.  

One important aspect is the CRPOA review and approval of custom builders who are allowed to work in Cordillera Ranch.  Each custom builder must meet specific minimum qualifications and standards in order to be approved to build. A company resume, proper insurance, a list of prior homes constructed and business and financial references are all required. We also have specific requirements for Architects and Designers who prepare the plans for the owners.

Once the builder and architect/designer have been approved, it’s time for what is typically a three-step design/construction approval process. Upon the CRPOA receiving all the proper documents and fees, a site meeting (Step 1) can be scheduled so the ARC, property owner, builder and architect/designer can collectively assess planning and expectations. This first step identifies location of the building setbacks, impact on trees and native vegetation, surrounding homes and neighbor privacy and allows for input related to the features and benefits of the property like the view and impact on the community as a whole. A complete set of architectural plans is required to initiate Step 2, the Preliminary Design Meeting. This allows the ARC to review compliance with Step 1 and on paper, determine if projects are placed within the allowed building envelope, review the architecture for minimum requirements, confirm compliance with the Design Guidelines and offer guidance to the builder, architect/designer and owner. The Final Meeting (Step 3) usually confirms any previously requested changes to the project.  All three meetings, or steps, require the builder and architect/designer to be present. This allows the ARC to directly communicate required changes to everyone involved and provides for a more seamless and expedited process.  

The Design Guidelines were originally created to help preserve the Hill Country atmosphere and set standards of construction in keeping with the vision to provide the best luxury home community in the region and protect property/home values. Although the guidelines have evolved over time, the vision for homes and the community has remained constant.  The results are evident as Cordillera Ranch continues to be one of the most desirable luxury custom home communities in the region. This can be credited to the diligence of the developer, governing documents, the Property Owners Association and the Architectural Review Committee.  

Please consult the CCR’s and Design Guidelines, this article is merely intended to summarize some of the highlights of the ARC process and is not in any way a comprehensive set of covenants or design guidelines. 

ARC Things to Know 

  The ARC meets on Tuesday afternoons to review plans; all plan submittals must be submitted with all completed documentation, exhibits, required fees and deposits at least 8 business days in advance in order to be on an ARC meeting agenda. Failure to properly submit any of the required documentation will prevent the ARC from reviewing the proposed project.

  The design must be done by an Architect, licensed by the State of Texas, or a Designer, registered with the Texas or American Institute of Building Designers. The Architect or Designer must be approved by the ARC. Before designing ANY improvements, require that your Architect and Designer review and understand the Design Guidelines and CCR’s.  

  The published Design Guidelines provide general information and direction. Please note that there are separate Design Guidelines for the Ranch Community, Clubs Village and the Springs of Cordillera Ranch so please make sure to refer to the one that applies to your property.

  The property owner is ultimately responsible for the compliance with design and construction requirements in the Design Guidelines and CCR’s, regardless of whether a third-party is hired to perform those services.

  Submitting plans to ARC for approval that include elements not in compliance with the Design Guidelines and CCR’s will likely delay the approval process.  

  Under no circumstance may construction of any kind (including site clearing) begin without explicit written approval from the CRPOA.

  Construction fencing is required on all projects to ensure construction traffic on the site is contained to specific areas so that the majority of the lot’s native vegetation is not disturbed.  Failure to maintain construction fencing or failure to ensure the native vegetative preserve remains undisturbed will result in fines to the property owner.

  Construction activity is allowed Monday through Friday between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., no work on Sunday or holidays, unless approved in writing by the ARC.