Architectural Review Board Application Procedure
All applications to appear before the Architectural Review Board should be accompanied by appropriate support materials at the times specified. Late or incomplete applications cannot be placed on the ARB agenda. The applicant bears the responsibility of ensuring that all applications are complete and on time. The agenda is set two weeks prior to each meeting. It is not uncommon for applicants to appear before the ARB at two or more meetings. This may be necessary if documentation is inadequate or substantial design revisions are required.
Two groups of submission materials are required: materials to be mailed by the applicant to all ARB members and DPZ staff prior to the meeting, and materials to be used during the presentation before the ARB. Based on the complexity of the proposal, the ARB, through the DPZ staff administrator, may waive or modify some or all of these requirements.
Types of Review
The ARB conducts two types of review—informal and formal. The ARB will review development concepts or proposals and give general guidance at an informal "workshop" session. There is no formal recommendation made by the ARB at a workshop session and the only requirement for supporting materials is that the idea be clearly presented whether in written form, drawings, or other graphic form. Supporting documentation may be mailed to ARB members prior to the meeting but this is not a requirement for a workshop session.
When the ARB formally reviews more fully developed and detailed proposals, every aspect is looked at in terms of protecting the heritage resources and historic character of the district. In addition to exterior architectural design elements—such as form, material, and color—elements to be reviewed will include plans for site design, grading, clearing, parking, travelways, access points, landscaping, outdoor lighting, signage, fences, walls, and other site features. As a practical matter, all elements of a proposal need not be reviewed at the same time. This is the choice of the applicant. When the formal review of each element of the proposal–site design, architectural design, landscape design, for example, is completed, the ARB will recommend approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval. Their recommendation and comments will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting or meetings at which the review takes place.
Materials to be Mailed to ARB Members by Applicant
A package containing a completed application form and a description of the proposal should be mailed by the applicant to each ARB member and two copies to DPZ staff TWO WEEKS before the meeting at which the applicant wishes to present the proposal. An address list of the ARB members and DPZ staff is available by e-mail or fax (call the DPZ staff administrator, 703-324-1380 (TTY 711, Virginia Relay). Some proposals are more complex than others and the documentation presented should reflect this. At a minimum, documentation should clearly communicate to the ARB, and for the record, the nature of the proposal and its impact on the historic character of the district. DPZ staff will be able to clarify this for each applicant. If the nature of the submission makes it appropriate, copies of the following should be mailed:
If more detailed information is available, this may be included in the package.
Additional Materials to be Used in Presentations Before the ARB
To facilitate presentations and review by the board, it may be appropriate to mount drawings on illustration or foam-core boards. Please bring your own audiovisual equipment if necessary for your presentation. Contact DPZ staff if you have special needs.
Materials for the Record and for Review by other Agencies
As approved by the ARB, two copies of all drawings (folded, not mounted) and other application materials (with the exception of actual product samples or models) should be given to DPZ staff. One copy will be included in the record and the second returned to the applicant for required permitting or review by other County agencies as appropriate.
For complex or phased projects, certain elements of a proposal, such as a site and grading plan, may receive preliminary approval by the ARB prior to approving all elements of a proposal. However, before a building, sign, or other construction permit may be granted by a County reviewing agency, all elements within its jurisdiction (per Part 2, Section 7-200 of the Zoning Ordinance) must be approved by the ARB. If the building permit submission differs in any way from that approved by the ARB, the applicant must bring all relevant materials back to the ARB for re-approval.