Perpetual Design and Quality of Life
Creating a vision, designing a neighborhood, building homes, and landscaping memorable features provides a quality of life full of promises. But how does this lifestyle maintain itself? This is typically the ongoing role of the Homeowners Association (HOA). Residents who invest in new homes and neighborhoods want to perpetuate their dreams, so strict controls are provided and attached to the ownership of homes in the form of Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), design guidelines, and design review, which are intended to last forever.
Astute HOAs often use professional assistance in their design review process and implementation of CC&Rs. A professional can be thorough, consistent, and reliable in measuring compliance to complex design documents and agreements.
FORMA has designed some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the industry and is often retained by various HOAs to assist in perpetuating the quality of life after construction is completed, and homeowners want to improve their property. These new improvements may be sensitive to neighbors who bought into a condition they like – any changes must be consistent and considerate.
It is not commonly understood that a community landscape is a growing environment and changes over time. Growth is healthy, but controlled growth is essential to maintain quality of life performance. Landscape features do not last forever – they must be replaced, refreshed, or trimmed to perform as originally designed.
Trees, in particular, are subject to growth issues. Everyone loves a mature tree except the person who receives the leaf litter from their neighbor’s deciduous tree or the firefighter who defends against wildfires. Selective replacement of landscaping is a normal healthy process that is not understood by everyone.
One other very real benefit of a HOA supported by a professional designer is the objective design review that keeps the “peace” between neighbors with conflicting tastes. Acting as a third-party review that focuses on the intent and literal interpretation of guidelines, allows the professional working for the HOA to maintain consistency in the quality of life expected.
It makes sense to engage a professional who has designed new communities with the things you love as a method
of preserving the quality of life in a neighborhood. Brian Millman is a long-time member of the Landscape Architecture team at FORMA. He has a number of HOA clients who strive to maintain their quality of life for the communities and neighborhoods that they manage; and Brian, with his team provide professional advice and direction on how to perpetuate good sensitive design.