Architectural Review Committee (ARC)
ARC Committee Contact:
Members of the ARC Committee are:Tom Jones
707 695 5712
For information about applicable County Codes: PRMD: 707 565 1900
For concerns about a vacation rental in Diamond A: 707 565 1904
For concerns about other potential code violations: 707 565 3391
For reports of "disturbance of the peace": 707 565 2121
The Diamond A Neighborhood Association has an Architectural Review Committee (ARC). The objective of the ARC is to help all residents comply with applicable CC&R’s and County regulations. This committee should be consulted before any improvements of your property are initiated. The ARC is able to work with Diamond A residents to facilitate obtaining proper permits from Sonoma County PRMD (Permit and Resource Management Department).
All structures in the Diamond A Ranch Estates subdivision are subject to the established Codes, Covenants and Restrictions (CCRs) for each respective unit. Although the specific restrictions for each unit vary slightly, the following guidelines apply to all areas:
- No building, structure, or fence shall be placed upon a property until the plans and specifications have been submitted to the Architectural Review Committee (ARC).
- The ARC is expected to respond in writing within 30 days after submission of the plans.
- Planned alterations as well as new structures are expected to be "in harmony" with existing structures within the particular Diamond A Ranch Estate unit.
- Residences, outbuildings, pools, and fences must be sited to avoid encroaching on existing easements.
- Fencing should be in compliance with county regulations for setbacks, which depend on fence location and height. Fences should not encroach on equestrian easements or roadway easements
- Additional details about height of structures as well as placement of structures on parcels can be reviewed in the CCRs for each unit
- All additions as well as all new structures must comply with the Taylor Sonoma Mayacamas Scenic Guidelines.
- Highlights of the Guidelines include:
- Exterior lighting should be downward facing, fully shielded, and located at the lowest possible point to the ground to prevent glare and light pollution.
- All structures should be "substantially screened when viewed from public roads.."
- Existing vegetation or existing topographical featured should be utilized to screen site development
- Additional vegetation to further shield structures should be either indigenous or of a similar character and must be of sufficient size and density to screen the structure within 10 years of planting
- Since the "Tri Mountain" Guidelines were only promulgated in late 2013, many sites in the Diamond A Ranch Estates may not fully comply with them. However, every effort should be made to adhere to these guidelines to avoid possible problems with Sonoma County agencies.
Launching a project.
Based on the precedents established by Sonoma County and carefully documented in the Taylor/Sonoma/Mayacamas (MTN) standards (Sonoma County ordinance 26-90-120), the ARC conducts reviews for:
- New homes
- Substantial expansions to existing single-family homes
- New "appurtenant" structures, including:
- New Accessory Dwelling Unit
- Any new utility building for which a permit is required
- Changes of use for any existing structure
ARC reviews are designed to help the property owner who is planning any project that falls under one or more of the above categories
- When an application for a project is submitted to Permit Sonoma, it often triggers a request from Permit Sonoma to the ARC for a written review
- Past experience has demonstrated that more timely action on the part of Permit Sonoma can result from a "pre-emptive" ARC review that allows the property owner to incorporate ARC suggestions and modify design submissions in ways that document compliance with Sonoma County and with applicable CCRs.
The ARC strongly recommends the following for property owners planning construction:
- Engage the ARC early in your planning
- The ARC is able to review detailed designs in digital format. Plans submitted to the ARC will not be released to anyone else
- The ARC will review plans and provide guidance within 5 business days of receipt of plans.
- Engage close neighbors
- The ARC will supply necessary contact details for neighbors most likely to be affected by construction noise and traffic and/or by any noticeable change on your street
- The ARC will notify neighbors most likely to be affected that construction will be taking place on your property; the notification will include your contact details
- The most satisfactory engagements with all likely to be affected neighbors include sharing your plans. Since some neighbors may not be adept at reviewing electronic design documents, you may find it better to arrange for a face to face meeting in order to review printed documentation
- Upon review, if any likely to be affected neighbor has any concern, they should address those concerns directly to you; concerns may also be shared with the ARC and appropriate staff in Permit Sonoma
- Rely on the ARC for advice if issues arise during the course of your project