Deercreek is one of the most prestigious and picturesque neighborhoods in North Florida. One of the functions that helps keep Deercreek looking great is the Architectural Review Board (“ARB”). The mission of the ARB is to “protect the value of the property and desirability of Deercreek Country Club by maintaining tasteful and aesthetically pleasing architectural and landscape designs that are in harmony with their surroundings and consistent in overall quality, while allowing for each owner’s individual taste.”
How does the ARB come into play in helping keep Deercreek beautiful? If you are doing any exterior modification to your home or landscape, you must file an ARB application through our property management company. The ARB applications and guidelines can be obtained from the DCCOA website or from our property manager’s Building Coordinator, Mr. Herb Boyett. The ARB reviews every type of project ranging from new home construction, to pavers, to solar panel installation, to the removal or planting of trees – anything that results in an exterior home or landscape modification. The DCCOA is over 30 years old, and as the community is nearly 100% built-out, we don’t see too many new home construction projects these days, so the mix of projects people are doing are different than they were 15 or 20 years ago. Given the construction maturity of our community, most of the projects the ARB sees these days are related to existing home or landscape modifications.
The DCCOA Board of Directors (BOD) fully understands that many of our Members are undertaking projects to enhance and improve their properties. In fact, the general desire of the BOD is to help our Members get their ARB projects approved and started as quickly as possible. To that end, we made a modification to our ARB model in our most recent property management contract to “fix” the cost of processing ARB applications. Historically, our property management companies have had “variable cost” models for processing applications (i.e., charging by the hour). This required the DCCOA to ensure that the processing costs were covered in the ARB fees. With a “fixed cost” model from the property manager, the BOD decided to stop making the ARB a “revenue center” and delivered the application cost savings directly to our Members. The ARB costs are now effectively a passthrough cost for DCCOA. With the recent changes, we managed to reduce ten of our ARB fees and only one of our fees increased from $25 to $50 to account for the vendor’s processing costs. Based on these changes, the BOD believes ARB application processing time will be more efficient and provide a better experience for our Members overall.
All the DCCOA governing bodies – the BOD and associate committees, including the ARB – are comprised entirely of volunteers who have invested their personal time to keep our community safe, beautiful and financially sound. The ARB reviews applications, conducts project inspection requests from Members to approve release of deposits, and also documents and maintains ARB policy guidelines for the DCCOA.
The ARB meets once per month (1st Wednesday of each month), and applications are due to the property manager the week prior (by 2pm the last Wednesday of the month, in order for the property manager to process the application). The property management company will review the application against our documented guidelines, collate the necessary application documentation, and submit the application to the Deercreek ARB for review. The ARB will either vote to approve or deny the application based on the DCCOA ARB guidelines. If a Member is not happy with the ARB’s decision on their application, the Covenants do provide them the ability to appeal the ARB’s decision directly to the BOD.
Please note that executing an exterior modification project without making an ARB application will have very dire consequences based on our Covenants, Rules & Regulations. Fines can be imposed for unapproved projects, and the Members could even be asked to undo the project at their expense. These rules are in place to prevent people from doing exterior modification projects without ARB review and approval. It pays to follow our rules and covenants – please make sure to file your application before starting your project.
Finally, the BOD would like to thank the departing ARB members for their service to the DCCOA ARB. In particular, the BOD thanks Mr. Skip Yauger for his many years of leadership on the ARB. The BOD also welcomes the incoming ARB members who have volunteered to serve the DCCOA ARB, and wishes them well as they move forward.
If you have any questions about making an ARB application or the ARB in general, please reach out to myself or to our Building Coordinator, Kishwa Milliner (Kishwa).
Thank you for reading and have a great day!
Thu, October 24, 2019
Did you know that any change to the outside of your home or property, whether landscaping, or colors, or roof, or additions must be approved by the ARB?
We all bought homes in this community knowing it was a covenant Restricted community organized to protect property values. Article 5 of the Deercreek Country Club Owners Association Covenants lays out and explains the process for architectural review of plans for new homes and improvements and change plans for existing homes in Deercreek.
Point your web browser to and then click on DCCOA Documents. Scroll down to DCCOA Covenant and click on the link and then scroll to page 8 and begin reading.
For detailed information on ARB Policies, criteria, pre-approved changes, and the application process point your web browser to and scroll to the bottom for an extensive list of page links on various ARB topics.
The ARB desires nothing more than to expedite approval of your projects. However, to do so, the ARB must understand your design and how it relates to your existing home. Therefore, the ARB requires a complete design submittal showing both before and after plans, elevations and sections, material selections, colors and patterns, landscaping, and photographs of your home and property, etc. Drawings must be to engineering drawing standards, clearly legible, with notes and dimensions. Hand-drawn sketches are not suitable for most projects.
Complete, well-documented project proposals are generally reviewed quickly, while incomplete submittals will be tabled until all the necessary documentation is provided.
ARB meetings are open to the community and may last from 45 minutes up to 2 hours depending on the number of projects requiring review and the quality of the project documentation you submit.
Please contact Deercreek’s ARB Coordinator at Property Management
Darryl Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org 904-592-4090 for information or questions.
Tue, November 27, 2018
The Deercreek Country Club Association ARB seeks new committee members. If you are a design professional (architect, interior designer, engineer, landscape architect, artist, art teacher, or graphic designer), and are looking for a way to contribute to your community, we have an opportunity for you!
The mission of the Architectural Review Board is to protect the value of the property and desirability of Deercreek Country Club by maintaining a tasteful and aesthetically pleasing architectural and landscape designs that are in harmony with their surroundings and consistent in overall quality, while allowing for each owner’s individual taste. The ARB endeavors to protect each owner’s investment in Deercreek Country Club by striving to limit the erosion of architectural integrity, by restricting the cluttering of the neighborhood aesthetic character, and by promoting good design.
The ARB is a permanent functioning authority established in accordance with the Declaration. It meets regularly to review, approve, modify or reject improvement to lots and homes.
The Arb had well established policies and procedures to expedite the review and approval of projects that are well-conceived and well documented.
Meetings let from 30 minutes to not more than 2 hours.
If you are interested, please send an email to Skip Yauger at and include a brief bio of your background, education and experience.
Sun, May 6, 2018
Are you planning any improvements to your home? Do you know what it takes to get the job done? Do you know if you need ARB approval for the project?
I have many neighbors asking me, “Nick do I need approval for this or approval for that”? To find out what projects need the ARB approval you can go to the Deercreek Owner’s Association website at . On the right hand side of the home page, click on the ARB link which will take you to the ARB home page where you will find a link on the right hand side of the page that says “Application Form/Fees”. Clicking on that link takes you to the form you will need to complete in order to secure approval for improvements/changes.
Some items are pre-approved (see the “Pre-Approved Designs” link on the ARB home page) but do require a $25 pre-approved submittals fee.
The ARB would like to assist you and ensure the application process goes smoothly. In addition to ensuring compliance with DCCOA association covenants and restrictions, the ARB also wants to ensure that you are getting the best possible results from your project as contractors can sometimes sell you jobs but do not understand the Deercreek HOA’s requirements. Delays in a project may occur if a homeowner doesn’t provide the ARB the necessary information/form to evaluate and approve a project—which is the last thing the ARB wants to happen!
So how do you make sure that your project goes smoothly through the application process? The best way is to make sure that the checklist attachments are complete. These are listed at the bottom of the application.
What things can delay your application? I am glad that you asked! The following list of items have contributed to delayed approval most recently:
- Poor photographs of the area that is in need of improving.
- Not including the dimensioned, to-scale drawings.
- Not including floor plans, elevation, and sectioned drawings for additions.
- For projects requiring roof additions, not providing drawings that clearly show how the addition will attach to the existing home.
- Landscape plans without quantity, gallon size, and species of shrubs/trees (if applicable).
- For tree removal-not including a gallon size and species of the replacement tree.
- Not including a proper survey of the property.
- Not including the checks required with the application.
- Not including good samples or pictures of materials such as paint, pavers, etc. to be applied to the project.
The list can go on but you get the point. The ARB would rather have all of the pertinent information for projects so that you can proceed promptly. And it also helps the ARB since we won’t have to spend additional time addressing your project. Besides, my wife waits on me for dinner and you don’t want to keep Millie waiting☺
Thu, March 1, 2018
The Architectural Review Board (ARB) is assigned the responsibility of maintaining the high standards of the original development and to keep our community consistent with other first class communities in the Jacksonville area. This is a tough job. We know that our homeowners want the best for our community, in addition to having their properties valued as high as possible.
As a DCCOA Board member and liaison to the ARB, I have a unique view of the ARB and the valuable service they provide for the Deercreek Country Club Owners Association.
It is frustrating to see the homeowner come to the ARB with a project, expecting that project to commence as soon as possible only to find out that they’re missing information required for the approval. No one on the ARB wants to delay a homeowner’s process when the homeowner wants to improve his or her property. I am writing this with hope that we can assist you in speeding up the approval process.
The covenants and restrictions provide details of what is permitted and what is not. You should refer to them before initiating a project. Here is an excerpt from the covenants and restrictions as it pertains to the ARB approval process:
“(ii) To require submission to the ARB of two (2) complete sets of preliminary and final plans and specifications as hereinafter defined for any improvement or structure of any kind, to be constructed by any person or entity other than the Declarant, including, without limitation, any building, dwelling, fence, wall, sign, site paving, grading, parking and building additions, alterations, screen enclosure, sewer, drain, disposal system, decorative building, landscaping, landscape device or object, exterior lighting scheme or other improvement described in Section 1 (“Proposed Improvement”) the construction or placement of which is proposed upon any Lot or Property. The ARB may also require submission of samples of building materials and colors proposed for use in the Proposed Improvement and may require such additional information as reasonably may be necessary for the ARB to completely evaluate the Proposed Improvement in accordance with the Declaration and the Architectural Planning Criteria.”
Above and beyond these, the ARB has published Policy Positions, Pre-approvals, Submittal Requirements lists, and have provided a convenient Submittal Application Form all online at: . All residents are encouraged to look at these documents to see how to expedite their project approvals and to do their part to maintain the high standards that our community seeks to retain.
That sums it up. In addition to that information, it is important to know that you should submit your application at least one week before the ARB meeting, along with checks for the fees and deposits. Many times, we find that homeowners know to provide proper surveys, complete documentation from the contractor, clear photographs, and for instance in the case of trees, the clear plan for replacement trees.
The application forms and fees are on the website. When items are in question, please contact the Associa/CMC for clarification.
Wed, July 26, 2017
With the upcoming political elections, we want to remind all residents that campaign signs (though they provide a supporter with a way to express themselves politically) are not allowed to be displayed in yards, windows or in any other format or location.
The association’s security force will remove all yard signs and Management will send notification letters asking that any window sign be immediately removed. If the sign is not removed, then a violation of the CCR’s will be issued.
Thank you in advance for your compliance with the community’s rules.
Thu, September 29, 2016
We all share the responsibility to protect our property values, maintain the aesthetics of our neighborhood, and ensure compliance with our community documents. The ARB would like to remind everyone that all exterior changes to your home (including landscape changes) must be submitted for approval prior to work commencing. Please refer to the Policy Positions and the Submittal Requirements published under the ARB section of our website www.deercreekcc.com.
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:
The last meeting of the year is scheduled for Thursday, December 10, 2015. The deadline (last opportunity) to submit complete applications will be noon of Thursday December 3rd. Plan ahead! Don’t wait until the last minute to submit, that way if anything is missing you will have the time to correct it.
Tue, November 10, 2015
The Architectural Review Board has published Policy positions to help homeowners, and their architects, designers, and builders, design proposed improvements to their properties that are in harmony with their surroundings and consistent with the overall quality of our community while allowing for each owner’s individual taste.
The architectural and aesthetic detail of each home addition, pool, pool enclosure, landscape plan, or any other improvement, is carefully reviewed by the ARB for total effect and design integrity. The goal is to protect the value of Deercreek Country Club properties and desirability of living here, by maintaining tasteful and aesthetically pleasing architectural and landscape designs. The challenge, of course, is that this is somewhat subjective, and one person’s idea of beautiful could be another person’s idea of atrocious.
The Policy positions were created over a period of years as a result of ARB reviews and consideration of specific projects that failed to achieve these objectives. As you review the Policy positions, try to imagine what a project might look like on your neighbor’s property that does not comply with these policies. Would you like to see a gold standing seam metal roof? Or how about a 10′ high wall in front of your neighbor’s home with a wood gate across the driveway? Or a home painted in my favorite team colors?
The ARB rarely denies approval of homeowners’ projects, but when this happens, it is usually because the plan submitted is poorly designed, fails to comply with the DCCHOA Covenants and Declarations, or does not comply with the ARB’s policy positions. Becoming familiar with these policies and complying with them will help you prepare a design for your proposed project that will, more than likely, be approved at the first review with little debate. Learn about the Policy Positions by going to the ARB website at:
Wed, July 29, 2015
Deercreek is built around a 285-acre wildlife and wetlands preserve. The Architectural Review Board considers the natural beauty of our area when reviewing landscaping, both hard and soft changes. One of the most important aspects of a community is its tree canopy. Trees provide shade, which cools the immediate microclimate, provides habitat for wildlife, and improves property values. The ARB is responsible for maintaining our tree canopy. Perpetual replacement of new hardwoods is necessary in order to compensate for the natural life span of existing trees. ARB policies require every property to have a minimum number of trees. When circumstances require healthy, unhealthy or dead trees to be removed, mitigation by planting replacement trees is generally required.
Additionally, many of the areas in our community border conservation easements which are set up to ensure a healthy environment for future generations. A conservation easement is a perpetual, undivided interest in property designed to conserve open space, to protect environmentally sensitive lands, and to promote wildlife habitats along with other considerations. Generally, mowing or trimming vegetation, removing dead trees, adding material such as grass clippings or dead plant material into the conservation easements and marshes is not permitted, and is subject to enforcement action by the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD).
The ARB is currently considering revisions to update the landscaping requirements for our community. These revisions may incorporate more “Florida-Friendly Landscape” guidelines, clarification of minimum landscape requirements, and may provide clearer guidance for homeowners who are dealing with landscape renovations and tree removals. Suggestions from members of the community are welcome and may be submitted by email Once the guidelines are updated and approved by the Board of Directors, they will become effective. The ARB looks forward to working together with residents in an effort to enhance the beauty of our community.
Fri, January 30, 2015