Architectural Review

Environmental Control Committee

Meet the ECC

All improvements to property in LLA must be reviewed and approved by the Lake Linganore Association (LLA) Environmental Control Committee (ECC). Please note, West Winds, Woodlands Preserve, Linganore Garden Condos, and Audubon Condos are governed by an HOA in addition to LLA. Their HOA determines additional ECC guidelines.

Before beginning any project, property owners are required to seek approval. This includes but is not limited to new home construction and home additions; construction of decks, fences, patios, porches, sheds, roof/siding and exterior color changes; window and front door changes, modifications to landscaping and tree removal, installation of pools and play equipment.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Member Portal or obtained from the LLA Office. Each application bears a fee.

If you have questions about ECC application forms or other ECC topics, please contact your Village Manager (Meet the Staff).

CDA Construction Drawings: Attention Contractors

If you are a general contractor in Lake Linganore, it is important to remember that all projects within the five CDA Villages must be compliant with SWM systems outlined in our CDA Construction Drawings.

Please educate yourself, and utilize our CDA Resources prior to beginning work in the community. The CDA Villages are Coldstream, Meadows, Balmoral, Pinehurst, and Nightingale. Designs for all other villages should be on file at the county DPW.

Who Makes the Rules?

In the past, and often still, Developers established specific requirements as to what a building should look like – usually called the Covenants. As time passes, these ideas are outmoded as materials and trends advance. What was great in one generation became passé in the next. To overcome this drawback, allow for innovation, keep design up to date, give Owners and their Architects and Builders maximum flexibility, the concept of our ECC was adopted. No hard or fast rules as to size, cost, materials, or appearance, but allow wide latitude with a design-capable Committee, the ECC, to weigh each building as to whether it meets that test of “good design”.

Thus Article VI of the Covenants provide for an Environmental Control Committee (ECC) to review, and approve or disapprove, every structure or improvement, including landscaping, tree removal, design, and colors.

This Committee has broad powers to use its’ judgment to ensure that all improvements in LLA will enhance the appearance, livability and therefore the property values in our community. These powers are to be taken seriously, as they have consequences affecting the living environment of the Members, as well as the Members investments.

The concept of a Committee exercising judgment in matters of design allows more latitude for the Owners and their Designers to express themselves and meet their particular requirements. New and varied ideas can be better incorporated than if explicit covenants were set forth as to size, price, materials and other elements affecting the design.

Since judgment is to be rendered setting limits on design expression, it is imperative that the Members of the ECC be capable in matters of design, and that the staff serving the Committee be sensitive to the Committee concepts, willing to interpret and carry out the findings of the Committee, and to faithfully execute them in a professional manner.

The ECC does not concern itself with the interior of buildings. Its’ only concern will be to see that the proposed exterior of all structures, and all improvements to properties, meet the standards set. Neither will the ECC consider, nor pass, the structural adequacy of any building – which will be left to Architects, Engineers and Code Enforcers. It will, however, be concerned about how buildings and other improvements related to the land upon which they are to be sited. The authority of the Committee will be exercised relating to the appearance of everything on a site, by whoever did, which can be seen from any part of Lake Linganore.

The decision of the ECC has the force of a covenant particular to the specific lot about which it was made. The work of the ECC is completed when the structure is completed as approved. The ECC is a deliberative body, rendering judgment respecting applications made to it; it is not a policing body. Once a decision is made, it will fall to the duty of other enforcement mechanisms in the Association to police compliance. Thus, there is a clean line (completion of the structure and site as approved) between the duties and powers of the ECC and a Covenant Compliance Committee (CCC). The Board, the ECC, and staff have the duty and authority to require compliance with the decisions of the ECC.

Village Managers first review applications. Village Managers can approve applications that abide by the design guidelines. Applications that differ from the guidelines are given to the ECC to review at their monthly meeting.

The following articles and sections of the CCR require action by, or involve, the ECC: Article VI in its entirety wherein the ECC is created and empowered; Article VII, Sections 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 26, 27 and 31; Article VIII, Section 1; Article IX, Sections 1 and 2; and Article X wherein enforcement of the Covenants is provided for, including decisions of the ECC.

Article VI gives power to the Board of Directors to receive and act on any application in lieu of the Environmental Control Committee. Alternatively, the ECC appointed by the Board is empowered to make decisions regarding the visible construction or destruction on any lot or parcel. Action by the Board will be taken only in such circumstances as when there is no existing ECC, or when the ECC refers a difficult or controversial decision to the elected Board, or when the Board formally instructs the ECC to refrain from considering an action which the Board chooses to consider.

Although there is no explicit provision in the Covenants for an appeal from a decision by the ECC, reconsideration and appeal are now permitted. Once the Board of Directors renders a decision following an appeal, it is final.

The ECC will adopt and publish Environmental Control Design Standards and Application Procedures as approved by the Board of Directors. Forms, including checklists designed to assist Members and Builders, and to improve the ease of administration, will be created from time to time by the ECC. Information is setting forth items, which can be approved by the Administrator without further reference to the Committee, will be published.

The Board shall establish the amount of an application fee used to defray part or all of the cost of administering the ECC, and a schedule of liquidated damage dollar amounts levied for infractions. The Board may take such other actions as it deems necessary to address infractions or damages if the liquidated damages are not accepted as sufficient remedy.

The purpose of the Environmental Control Committee (ECC) is to allow Members of the Lake Linganore Association a maximum opportunity for flexibility and innovation in planning improvements on their land while ensuring a high quality of design which will enhance their visual living environment and improve the economic value of their property. Alternatives such as fixed design standards, and no standards at all, were considered and rejected in favor of employing a skilled Committee to render judgment, their only criteria being the quality of design, enhancing life and economic value. Under the Covenants (CCR), the ECC has substantial responsibilities assigned to it, together with authority to carry out those responsibilities.

In general, these Design Standards have been prepared to guide the construction of improvements within the Association, consistent with the following objectives:

  • The best possible living environment
  • In buildings of enduring beauty
  • In a community of unparalleled excellence
  • To promote respect and sensitivity for the natural environment.
  • To encourage consistency and continuity of design while allowing flexibility for achieving creative design solutions.

These Design Standards are intended to implement further the architectural controls outlined in the Declaration, and shall in no event be deemed to limit, modify or amend any specific provision of the Declaration. In the event of any conflict between the Declaration and these Design Standards, the terms and provisions of the Declaration shall control.