Homeowner’s Guideline for Remodels and New Construction
Neighbor Signoff

Statement on Building Remodels that affect Views

For over half a century, the Innis Arden Club Board of Directors has administered the prerequisite in Restrictive Mutual Easement (Covenant) 4 for Board review and approval of “all proposed buildings, structures, and exterior alterations.” Covenant 4 makes particular reference to “the effect of the buildings or other structures or alterations therein as planned on the outlook of the adjacent or neighboring property, and the effect or impairment that said structures will have on the view of the surrounding building sites…”  This provision, applied on a case by case basis, will result in disapproval of construction that in the Board’s considered judgment would diminish views or be deleterious to neighboring properties’ outlooks.

Over-all, Covenant 4 grants the board broad authority to refuse to approve any design, plan or color.  Comments from the owners of neighboring properties (within 250 feet*) concerning a proposal will be taken into account by the board but will not be dispositive.  In keeping with the Covenants’ goal of maintaining over the years the common plan they establish for Innis Arden, the Board may approve a proposal despite nonsupport by neighboring properties and may decline to approve one even when it has neighboring properties’ support.

* Here is a measuring tool which will allow homeowners to check to make sure that all of the property owners within 250′ have signed off.  

The Innis Arden Club, Inc.
Building Plans Committee Policy Statement
link to printable format

This Policy was originally adopted August 1971, with minor changes to Section 7 and the addition of Section 8 in January, 1988. Section 5 added in September 2001. Bolded sections of this policy are effective March 27, 2007.

1. “RESTRICTIVE MUTUAL EASEMENTS” were established by the GRANTOR when the three Innis Arden plats were filed. These easements are intended to maintain certain standards within the areas. Included is 1) the requirement for the submission of plans by an applicant for the construction of any residence, outbuilding or other structure, or any alterations of said structures upon the building sites and 2) a Covenant and View Preservation Amendment compliance agreement. Approval power was at first reserved to the Grantor, but was subsequently transferred to the Board of Directors of the Innis Arden Club, Inc. (March, 1954)

2. A set of plans, prepared by an architect or competent house designer, which normally will include: site location of buildings and adjacent affected areas; front, rear and side elevation, including heights relative to the existing (preconstruction) ground level and a plan view of each floor, shall be furnished by the applicant to the Board. Such plans shall indicate the existing and proposed footprint of the structure as well as the existing roof line. The building plans and/or panoramic photographs shall also indicate the location, configuration and height of the structures on either side of the proposed building. The site plan shall indicate the minimum distance from the proposed building to each property line.

3. If the proposed building plans result in an increase in height, width, or depth of the structure so as to affect the outlook from neighboring residences, the applicant shall erect visual aids which mark the height, width, and depth of the proposed building, including the height of chimneys. Such visual aids shall be in place for at least a thirty (30) day period prior to the meeting at which the plans will be considered by the Board. The purpose of this requirement is to clearly show the impact of the remodel or proposed new building to affected neighbors and Board members.

4. The Innis Arden Board of Directors requires the presentation of the plans on any addition or new home to the owners of adjacent and affected peripheral properties (within 250 feet). Completion of the Neighbor Signoff is required. This is done primarily to give members of the Board assistance in considering all aspects of the proposal. It is the entire responsibility of the Board to approve or disapprove. Neighbors do not have approval or veto power on proposed building plans.

5. A consideration will be that compliance with the covenants is met, including the View Preservation Amendment. Compliance violations may be grounds for application denial.

6. Representatives of the Board shall view the proposed building site from affected neighboring properties prior to the meeting at which the plans will be considered. Principal facts which the Board considers are front, rear and side yard setback requirements which are clearly set forth in the restrictive mutual easements. Also considered is possible infringement of view of the neighbors and whether the structure(s) will be in harmony with the neighborhood.

7. The restrictive mutual easements give the Board thirty (30) days in which to act. The Board shall only approve proposed plans at a public meeting of the Board after notice was published in the Innis Arden Bulletin stating that the plans would be considered at such meeting. The purpose of this requirement is to give members of the community an opportunity to comment on the proposed plans. While it is the Building Plans Committee’s objective to present a recommendation to the Board at the first opportunity of plans and to assist property owners by giving them a prompt reply, this cannot always be accomplished within the restrictive time limitation. If the 30 day limitation will be exceeded before final action can be taken then it is necessary that, prior to the expiration of the thirty day period, the Chairman of the Building Plans and Committee draft a reply acknowledging receipt of plans on a specific date and denying approval at that writing; and further stating that this adverse action is required because of time limitations imposed by the restrictive mutual easements, and does not indicate what the Board’s final action will be.

8. Upon final action by the Board, the application, whether approved or denied, will be returned within 10(ten) days to the applicant stating the Board’s position.

9. Approval of plans shall be subject to Conditions and Warranty of Compliance. If there are trees on the property possibly blocking neighbors’ views, visual aids such as balloons, aluminum disks etc. must be installed near the top of the trees in order to aid identification.

10. For purposes of enforcement of the view preservation covenant, the permissible height of the trees on applicant’s property shall be no higher than the height originally allowed under the view protection covenant. This will be recorded as a deed amendment at the King County Recorder’s office.

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