What is the ACC?
Every property deed in Greenbrier comes with a set of restrictive covenants, essentially a list of “do’s and don’ts” that govern the exterior appearance of a home, its square footage and its property. These covenants were put in place to ensure that Greenbrier would maintain its beautiful appearance. The Architectural and Covenant Committee (ACC) was formed to ensure that homeowners comply with these covenants and guidelines.
If you don’t live in an HOA, (see box), but you live somewhere else in Greenbrier, then you must follow the Greenbrier ACC review process prior to making most changes to the exterior of your property. To complicate matters, Greenbrier was built in stages. Each stage, or Section, has its own set of covenants but the Guidelines interpreting those covenants apply to all ten (10) sections within Greenbrier. You must work with the Greenbrier ACC whether you are a member of the GPOA or not.
Changes to the exterior of your home must comply with the restrictive covenants and guidelines and need to be submitted to the ACC for approval before you start making the changes. Changes include, but are not limited to adding a fence, replacing a roof, changing paint color, installing a flagpole, replacing windows, exterior doors, a driveway or garage door, adding solar panels, swimming pool, storage shed, addition, or satellite dish and removing trees.
HOAs Have Separate Covenants
When Greenbrier was developed, Weyerhaeuser set aside about 55% for individual homes, 37% of the acreage for the golf course, and 8% of the acreage for seven Homeowners Associations (HOA) sub-divisions within Greenbrier. These include Carmel, Emerald Point, Evergreen on the 6th, Fairways West, Fairwoods, Innisbrook Court, and Pinehurst Place. Each of these seven HOAs has its own governing body, covenants, and guidelines. If you live in one of these HOAs and wish to make a change on the exterior, contact your HOA president or HOA ACC.
Exceptions: You do not need to submit an ACC application if you are replacing or repairing your mailbox because you must follow the specific Mailbox Guidelines or if you are using the identical paint color or roofing material that was there originally and it had already been approved.
The duties of the ACC center on covenant and guidelines compliance, education, plan approvals, onsite inspections and other building and site matters to protect the quality of living, appearance, and character of Greenbrier.
Members of the ACC are appointed by the Board for a term of one year and may be re-appointed. The Board will endeavor to have a committee membership composed of one representative per Section. The Committee may work with its counterparts in the neighborhood HOAs in Greenbrier upon invitation or on common issues, such as drainage.
The Committee advises the Board. All approvals or denials come from the Board. The ACC is authorized, at any time, to suggest variances in individual situations and additional requirements or clarifications to deal with changing conditions and technology. Such variances and interpretations of restrictions shall be approved and granted by the Board and shall not replace, subvert, or contradict the spirit of the covenants of record.
The Committee maintains a library of all appropriate covenants and related guidelines, regulations, policies, and practices in effect in the community. This includes the approved procedures for application, plan, review, inspection, appeal notification, complaint handling, and correction of violations.
How does the ACC process work?
1.) The homeowner shall:
- Review the covenants and guidelines to make sure the request complies with them.
- Complete the appropriate ACC application form, attaching sketches, photos, and/or samples of material as directed.
- Submit TWO copies of the completed application and, if construction is involved, one (1) copy of building plans to Greenbrier Property Owners Association Architectural and Covenants Committee, P. O. Box 13943, New Bern, NC, 28561 or hand-deliver the application to the ACC Chairperson or place it in the GPOA mailbox located next to the water fountains at The Emerald.
2.) It is recommended that the homeowner keep one copy of the completed application for his/her records. The homeowner is encouraged (but not required) to attend ACC Review meetings and GPOA meetings when seeking approval or review.
3.) The thirty (30) day decision period required by the covenants begins when the completed forms with all supporting material is received by the ACC. The ACC Chair will note the date of receipt on the application form. If the application form is not complete, it will be returned to the applicant and the applicant will assume responsibility for the delay.
4.) The ACC Chair will forward completed applications and plans as soon as possible to a member of the ACC who will conduct a physical onsite inspection of the location based on the plans submitted. Here are some of the criteria they will be investigating.
- Exterior Changes: Types of materials that will be used, do the materials comply with covenants and guidelines, do the materials fit the character of the neighborhood
- Tree Removal: Reason for removing trees, number of trees to be removed, location of trees, number of trees left on property, whether trees will be replaced with other trees or vegetation, proper tree flagging, consistent application of tree cutting policy, wetlands restrictions and natural buffer zone protections
- New construction: This involves much more. Follow this link to find out more.
5.) After the ACC member has performed the inspection and is satisfied with everything, any pertinent notes are added to both copies of the application and it proceeds to the ACC for review. The ACC generally meets once a month, usually a week in advance of the GPOA meeting. See the calendar to find out when meetings will be held. One of three things will happen next:
- If the ACC review finds that all is in order, the application is delivered to the GPOA liaison person for GPOA review.
Note: The Chair or his/her designee is responsible for informing the homeowner of the ACC recommendation of the application to the GPOA Board for their consideration at the next GPOA Board meeting. This is NOT an approval; it is just moving the application forward in the process. The homeowner will be encouraged to attend that GPOA Board meeting.
- If the ACC finds that more information or clarification is needed, the application is returned to the homeowner to complete and then resubmit.
Note: The Chair or his/her designee is responsible for informing the homeowner of the ACC’s need for more information before any recommendation may be made on the application.
- If the ACC finds that the application does not meet covenant and/or guideline specification, the homeowner is informed. The homeowner may amend the application, withdraw the application, or ask ACC to submit it to GPOA Board with those deficiencies noted. If a variance is suggested, see #7 below. The homeowner should be encouraged to attend that GPOA Board meeting.
6.) After the ACC review is complete, the application proceeds to the GPOA Board for action. One of four actions will occur:
- The GPOA Board formally approves the application as submitted. The GPOA Board sends one approved application copy to the homeowner and one copy to ACC for their files.
- The GPOA Board denies the application. The GPOA Board sends one denied copy of the application to the homeowner with the reasons for denial noted and informs the homeowner of their access to an Appeals Process and one copy is sent to ACC for their files.
- The GPOA Board offers approval with conditions different from the original application, The GPOA Board sends one approval with altered conditions to the homeowner and one copy to ACC for their files.
- The GPOA Board tables the application for further investigation. The GPOA Board must notify the property owner of the reasons for tabling and act on it at the follow meeting.
7.) If the requested change will involve a variance, there must be an open hearing, which may not be held until all contiguous property owners have been informed by the GPOA Board of the date, time, and nature of the variance hearing.
How does the Appeal Process Work?
- Any applicant or his/her assigns may appeal the decision of the Greenbrier Property Owners Association Board of Directors.
- It is recommended this appeal be reviewed at a meeting of the Board of Directors.
- Careful notes are to be taken during this appeal process to insure an accurate record of the proceedings.
- Anyone submitting information regarding any appeal matter must be identified.
- The Chair of the ACC and at least one member of the original review team must be present.
- Any discussion regarding the appeal may be made during an Executive Session of the Board of Directors with only the Board members present. Any action of the Board must be taken in Open Session.
- The GPOA President or the Board liaison assigned to the Architectural and Covenant Committee shall review carefully the wording of the decision. The homeowner submitting the application shall be given written notification of the Board of Directors’ decision.