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Plans Review and Approval Process  

The Dearborn Hills Civic Association is responsible for ensuring compliance with our neighborhood Deed Restrictions. The Deed Restrictions are not as wordy and as you might expect and every home owner should familiarize themselves with them before starting any projects, or if they have questions about what others may be doing to their properties.   We often discover that homeowners are unaware that the DHCA has to review any of the projects that they submit to the city for permitting and review.  Most often in fact homeowners are contacting us after going to the city where they found out they have to be approved by the association first.

The DHCA board tries to maintain about three plans reviewers who are either Directors or Trustees on the DHCA board, one serving as the lead contact.  The current reviewers are listed on this website under DHCA Board.  Each Plans Reviewer has an ink stamp issued to them by the association for approving plans, and their signatures are on file with the city for verification.

Copies of plans are usually hand delivered to one of the Plan Reviewers for approval.  Sometimes this can be at the site where the work is to be performed and any questions can be addressed with the homeowner in advance.  I personally like to see the location, when possible, as it makes it very clear that we are all talking about the same thing.

Plans are reviewed for compliance with Deed Restrictions and consistency with the neighborhood aesthetics and continuity. We do not review for the engineering or building code compliance which is the responsibility of the city.  We’re not concerned with interior features; where walls will be located or bathroom amenities. Nearly all of our reviews are about the exterior appearance and the property itself.

At times the Deed Restrictions may be more restrictive than the City Ordinance. Example: The City of Dearborn restricts fences to 5 feet in height in residential areas with exceptions where property abuts commercial or major traffic. Dearborn Hills restricts fences to 4 feet in height.   Our goal is to protect and maintain the interests of the residents of Dearborn Hills.

The most often dealt with plans are for fences. Very often residents will seek taller fences for their pets or privacy. Unfortunately they’re often disappointed when they are denied by the association. The purpose of the 4 foot rule is to maintain a sense of community and openness.  While some may prefer to 6 foot fences their decisions affect the rest of the neighborhood and what we think is an asset.

The association has thirty days from the time plans are received to respond with an approval or rejection.  It is our goal to make the process straightforward;  if everything is in order with the submission and the plans meet the requirements and restrictions, most can be approved in less than this timeline.  Complex renovations, additions, or new construction can take up to the maximum thirty days.
 
 
 
Current Plan Reviews:
 
24910 Fairmount - A proposed second story rear addition at 24910 Fairmount, set upon an existing main floor family room addition, has been approved.  Plans have been delivered to the adjacent neighbors as a courtesy, in accord with our updated DHCA Plan Inspection procedures
 
If you have any questions, contact plans@dearbornhills.org.
 

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