Town Code Officer
AuSable Acres Architectural Requirements (revised 9/15/11)
The purpose of these Architectural Requirements for AuSable Acres (hereinafter referred to as AA) is to maintain a reasonable standard of visual appearance and construction quality in our community. From its inception in the mid 1960’s, AuSable Acres has set itself apart as an eclectic collection of homes in the Adirondack style (Chalet, A-Frame, Log Cabin, Adirondack Camp). These are still the permitted styles and describes the great majority of the homes in the Acres. These Requirements will help prospective home builders choose a design which will be readily approved by the Association’s Architectural Review Committee.
A building permit from the Town of Jay must be obtained, but a municipal building permit does not override local control of covenanted property. Plans for homes, garages and additions must be submitted to the AuSable Acres Property Owners’ Association (AAPOA) for approval BEFORE any site preparation is begun. This includes cutting of trees in preparation for building or driveway. The Association’s authority in this matter has been regularly reaffirmed by court order. Be aware of all the Covenants and Restrictions (C&R) which are a part of your deed, whether or not they have been included explicitly or only by reference. Note setbacks, the requirement of approval by the Association, and completion within 12 months. Upon completion of your home, homeowners must pay attention to the prohibition of debris, equipment, “auto graveyards” or commercial use, as provided for in the C&R.
All applicants will receive a written statement of acceptance or rejection of their plans. In the latter case, the applicant will receive reasons for its rejections and suggestions for
modifications that may lead to approval. If desired, the applicant will be given an opportunity to meet with the Architectural Review Committee for the purpose of a discussion which may lead to plan approval.
An observant inspection of the AA will reveal several homes which do not comply with the guidelines set forth below. These occurred during a period of no enforcement, either in the very early stages of the development or when the original developer was approaching bankruptcy and before the AAPOA assumed the responsibility for enforcement. However, the AAPOA will not allow perpetuation of these noncompliant practices. The great majority of property owners expect and depend on the AAPOA to enforce the Covenants and Restrictions in order to preserve the atmosphere for which they paid. The AAPOA has successfully gone to court to enforce the C&R.
First and foremost, the AA does not and should not imitate suburbia. The forest in which our homes are interspersed is the hallmark of the AA. Every effort should be made to preserve as many trees as possible in planning your building site. You must maintain a uniform buffer of trees no less than 15 feet from all property lines, excepting clearing for driveways. It is especially important to maintain or replant a substantial screen of trees along your property line. A site plan showing the areas to be cleared and the area to remain in its natural state must accompany all submissions.
Poured concrete or block foundations are required.
COLOR AND SIDING
In keeping with the goal of preserving the natural setting, the exterior siding should be an earth tone or forest tone, on the dark side, and unobtrusive. However, trim of brighter colors may be used. Siding material must be WOOD or STONE. Vinyl or aluminum siding is strictly prohibited on all structures. (See shed exception below.)
Steep roofs with large overhang are not only appropriate in northern, snowy regions, but a necessity. Roof pitches should be relatively steep, 5/12 or steeper. A roof overhang at the eaves of at least 18 inches is required with at least 24 inches at the gable ends.
SHEDS (Added 9/15/11)
Sheds may be erected on lots with houses for storage purposes. An Ausable Acres Property Owners’ Association building permit is required prior to the construction/ placement of a shed. A diagram showing the placement of the shed on the lot clearly indicating the size of the shed and it’s set back from adjoining property lines must accompany the permit application.
The preferred building material is wood. However, sheds that are 8’ X 10’ (80 square feet) or less can be constructed of other material such as vinyl or metal. Color schemes of materials used for all sheds shall be woodland tones that blend into the surroundings. In all situations, set back requirements must be adhered to.
Decks are almost universal among the homes in the AA. They are considered an extension of your home and must meet all setback requirements.
BUILDING AREA AND HEIGHT
The minimum main-level area of the house must be at least 560 square feet, not including deck. All buildings shall be limited to a height of no greater than 35 feet, as measured from the lowest ground elevation.
“House trailers” or mobile homes are specifically prohibited in the C&R. An owner is permitted to store (but not use) one recreational vehicle on their property. It must be stored as inconspicuously as possible.