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Home Improvements



In most cases, homeowners who wish to alter exterior of their homes or their yards must follow a formal set of procedures to secure approval before work begins. Examples of improvements requiring approval include, but are not limited to:


  • permanent or installed additions or alterations to any building

  • installation of fences, walls, etc.

  • grading, excavation, or rearranging of the surface of any lot, or the installation of drain pipes, with particular attention to effects on drainage

  • construction of any driveway, walkway, or patio

  • alteration, removal or paint color changes of any exterior surface, including front doors, garage doors, house trim, etc.

  • planting, removal or rearranging of any landscaping elements exceeding 3 feet of mature growth

  • installation of doors, decks, sheds, awnings, window air-conditioners, lights for security or garden, lamp posts, outdoor jacuzzis, pools, fountains, or hot tubs.


The following improvements are automatically approved in advance without the need for written application:


  • Storm doors, provided that they comply with our preapproved designs  

  • Replacement windows, provided that they comply with our preapproved designs (located at the bottom of this page)

  • Plantings which do not exceed 3 feet of mature growth

  • The replacement of an existing approved feature with an identical feature

  • The repair or restoral of an approved feature to its condition when new.


This document provides simple guidelines to help you in gain approval for your project. This summary is provided for your convenience and is not an official document. The controlling documents are the "Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions, and Easements for McLean Mews, Fairfax County, Virginia," and the Resolution of the Board of Directors, #84-7. It is strongly suggested that you read these documents for your own protection.




If you wish to make an improvement to the exterior of your home or yard, begin by filling out an APPLICATION FORM. Forms may also be obtained from a member of the Environmental Control Committee. This form has spaces for all the items of information required under Resolution #84-7. Please note that in your application you must affirm that you have discussed your plans with the owners of each lot adjacent to your own.


After you have filled out the APPLICATION FORM, please attach TWO sets final plans and detailed specifications for the proposed improvements. One or both of these may be photocopies. These plans need not be of architectural quality unless you propose to make structural modifications to your home. However, the drawing must be sufficiently clear and detailed, and in accurate scale to make your plans clear to the members of the committee who must evaluate them. Submit your completed APPLICATION FORM, together with the two sets of plans and specifications, to the Chairperson of the Environmental Control Committee.




The Committee has 15 days in which to act on your application from the date it is placed in the hand of the Chairperson. The Committee will schedule a meeting to act upon your application. You will be given at least 5 days notice of the time and place of this meeting. The rest of the community will also be informed of the meeting and given a brief summary of the improvements you propose. You may be present at the meeting, but it is not required. All members of the community who may have an interest in your request may attend and give their opinions concerning it.


The Committee may make a decision on your application at its initial meeting or a later one, but in any event the total time for the decision will not exceed 25 days from the date your application was received. There are four possible decisions:





  • RETURN OF THE APPLICATION WITHOUT PREJUDICE (usually because the submitted information is incomplete or unclear).


You will be notified in writing of the Committee's decision, which is valid for two years. If you disagree with this decision, you may appeal it. Please refer to the complete formal documents to review the appeals process.




You are expected to follow the plans as approved. A variation from the submitted plans could result in a violation of the Association's requirements and the necessity for you to remove your improvement.




If you have any questions, please contact any member of the Board of Directors or the Environmental Control Committee.


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