What in the world is design review?

July 3, 2020
Renderings of new homes from David Weekley Homes and KB Home, Baseline's home builders

Before we get to the nuts and bolts of design review, stop for a moment and think back to the first time you drove through Baseline. What did you fall in love with? Was it the beautiful tree-lined streets? The uniquely designed parks around almost every corner? The variety of architectural styles among the homes?

Chances are, whatever it was you fell in love with, you realized pretty quickly that Baseline had a distinct look and an unmistakable sense of community.

Now fast forward 10, 20, even 30 years from now. What do you hope to see when you drive through your community Here’s where design review comes into play.

In short, design review maintains today and for many years to come, the Baseline quality and community you fell in love with.

The individuality of your home is key to neighborhood character, but let’s face it, we all have different tastes and styles. The design review process provides consistency in the quality of all exterior home modifications, emphasizes the natural characteristics of the area, and supports the community vision.

Design review not only maintains the vision of Baseline, it also protects your home investment. The standards at Baseline are deliberately high to help preserve the value of your home.

So here’s the scoop: If you want to make additions, modifications, or improvements to the outside of your house, you’ll need to get prior approval from the Design Review Committee. Exterior modifications include landscaping, a pool, shade structure, solar panels, sun screens, a security door, storage sheds, and outdoor lighting, to name a few.

It’s a collaborative process. The Design Review Committee works in partnership with residents to make the experience as smooth as possible for you.

Here are a few tips to consider before you submit a Design Review application:

  • First, review the residential design guidelines that apply to your village, even if your vendor feels confident s/he knows them. Then contact your Baseline Community Life team if you still have questions. Reviewing the guidelines will give you more realistic expectations when working with your vendor. Even if your modification meets the guidelines, you still need review and approval from the Design Review Committee before you begin any work.
  • Don’t assume you can make a modification just because someone else did. You may have noticed your neighbor made an exterior modification, but that doesn’t mean it was approved nor that it will work for your home.
  • Plan a realistic timeline with your vendor. The Design Review Committee typically meets weekly and has 30 days from the date a completed application is submitted to review and provide a written response to the homeowner. Complete, clear, and thorough applications can be returned much sooner.
  • It’s much easier to go through the Design Review process before you make a modification. We’ve had the unfortunate experience of residents making a modification based on the design guidelines, then having to remove the modification at their own expense.

The design review process is really about finding that sweet spot where personalizing your home intersects with the established design guidelines and the greater vision of Baseline.

Your design review one-stop-shop is all online:

  1. Start by checking out the design review webpage.
  2. Read the residential design guidelines that apply to your village. (Save time! The guidelines are searchable by key term.)
  3. Fill out a Design Review Application.

Questions? Contact your Baseline Community Life team.