Welcome to the Aquia Harbour Property Owner's Association website. After you register, you may want to spend a bit of time reviewing the "tutorials" forum.
AHPOA business office closed to walk-in traffic.Drop box available outside office front door. No cash please. Email AHPOA@aquiaharbour.org or call 540-659-3050 for more information.
CONSTRUCTION MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES, AQUIA HARBOUR
1. Application for Building
Persons desiring to build any structure or improvement whatsoever to be erected on or moved upon any lot within the Aquia Harbour Subdivision shall:
a. Submit an “Application for Construction Approval" and two sets of detailed plans with specifications showing the proposed location thereof on any lot or lots, the Construction material, the roofs and exterior color schemes. Any later changes or additions thereto on any lot shall be subject to and shall require the approval of the ACC in writing before any such work is commenced.
b. Certify on the face of both sets of house plans and on the copy of the "Application for Construction Approval", that the house to be erected is not an adjacent look-alike.
(1) Groups of homes that are of identical or near-identical physical exterior lack the diversity of individual aesthetic values that are required to meet the harmony of the Aquia Harbour environment.
(2) To prevent more than two homes built to the same exact style or plan from being constructed within the same general view.
c. An Application for Construction Approval for a new residence will not be considered by the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) unless that portion under "Certificate", which requires signature by the prospective resident, is actually signed by the prospective resident. In the event there is no prospective resident, the certification may be signed by the Builder.
d. All applications for exterior Construction or remodeling that requires County approval must be accompanied by an approved Stafford County Building Permit. All applications impacting on waterways and/or wetlands, will be accompanied by permits from the County Wetlands Board and Army Corps of Engineers. In some cases, those agencies will provide a statement to the effect of “No Permit is Required.”
e. During Construction the CVO, or his representative, is granted permission to enter the subject property for purposes related to him/her performing job related activities.
2. ACC Review - Approval or Denial
Upon completion of the review, the applicant will be notified of the ACC decision by separate correspondence. If approved, the approval will be signed on both sets of plans; one set of plans will be remitted to the applicant and one set will be retained by the Aquia Harbour Property Owners Association. Should a contractor or property owner commence Construction on a new house, addition, or exterior improvement without the prior approval of the ACC this act in itself shall be sufficient grounds for denial of the "Application for Construction Approval". Matters that are relative to the unauthorized commencement of Construction within the Aquia Harbour Subdivision will be referred to the Legal Compliance Committee (LCC) for resolution.
3. Building Fee and Bond
Each proposed contractor shall be assessed, against each lot in the Aquia Harbour Subdivision on which a single family residence is to be constructed, a one-time building fee of $10,000, and a building bond of $5,000.
a. Such building fee and bond shall become due and payable in cash or separate checks at the time the building plans and site plan of the lot on which the residence is to be constructed are submitted to the ACC.
b. Until such time as the contractor assessments hereby imposed are paid in full, there shall be no Construction of the aforesaid single family residence on the lot in question, nor may site work commence.
c. Site plans submitted to the ACC will not be approved until the building fee and bond are paid in full.
d. Construction permits are normally granted for a period of six months. Under unusual circumstances, an extension of up to six months may be granted. If Construction is not completed by that time, the applicant will be required to submit a new application, with a time duration of six months, with a reissue fee of $1,000. At the end of this period, if Construction is not yet completed, a new request and building fee will be required, with the same time constraints as set forth earlier in this paragraph.
e. Should a Builder or Owner sell the lot during the period in which the Building Permit is still in effect, the new Owner/Builder may assume the permit providing the original plans are adhered to. Should there be a revision of plans, a new permit will be required. Should the permit have expired at the time of sale, the permit will not be transferable and a new application and building fee will be required.
f. When it has been determined that Construction has been completed (see 4 (b) below) that portion of the bond money remaining will be refunded to the payee.
g. Should an existing Home become a total loss due to fire, a natural disaster, or some other indeterminate event, and should the lot owner, or subsequent lot owner, apply for a building permit to replace the dwelling on approximately the same footprint, the building fee may be waived by the ACC. Any major change to the footprint could result in the instatement of the building fee.
4. Construction Compliance
All Construction within Aquia Harbour Subdivision must comply with Stafford County Ordinance now in effect or as amended from time to time, as they pertain to private property development and must meet or exceed all of the following criteria established for Aquia Harbour, which may be more restrictive than Stafford County’s requirements:
a. Landscaping Plan
(1) A landscaping plan in two copies must accompany the Application for Construction Approval.
(2) The basis for the Landscaping Plan will be the site plan or a reproduction of same and will show:
(a) Location of the building.
(b) Outlined in red ink, those portions of the lot where land disturbing activities will take place. "Land disturbing activities" is defined in paragraph 5, Construction Procedures Aquia Harbour.
(c) Outlined in green ink, those areas where land disturbing activities will not take place.
(d)With appropriate symbols, the grading plan of the lot to show fill excavation. This may be accomplished by the use of contour lines and a narrative.
(e) Details on measures to be taken to control erosion and/or water flow. The statement “Erosion control as necessary” will not be acceptable.
(f) Show any other measure to be taken to restore the lot to a status consistent with a community of wooded lots.
(3) The Landscaping Plan will either be drawn to scale with the scale indicated, or, distances indicated from boundaries. Size of plantings need not be drawn to scale. Distance from buildings to lot boundaries will be shown.
b. Construction Completion
(1) All building exteriors must be completed within six months from the date the Construction commences.
(2) The building period commences when excavation is begun or when building materials are delivered, whichever occurs first.
(3) The building is not considered as being completed by the ACC until final grade and headwalls have been installed.
(4) When a residence constructed on any lot, excluding headwalls, has been substantially completed (90%) and no suit or complaint has been filed with the purpose of enjoining the Construction therefore or seeking the enforcement of Restrictions and Covenants, AHPOA, By‑Laws, Construction Maintenance Procedures, or any other regulation pertaining to Construction Procedures or changing the appearance of lots within the Aquia Harbour Association, then it shall be conclusively presumed that such residence has been constructed in compliance with all provisions pertaining to Construction or lot appearance changes.
c. Where Building is in Progress
(1) During Construction, builder must contain unusable building materials, general trash and debris on each building site, in an orderly manner and under control at all times.
(2) Under no condition shall trash and debris be moved from one building site to another.
d. Construction Equipment and Vehicles
(1) Tracked vehicles of any type are prohibited on all paved road surfaces, to include the unloading/loading of such vehicles from/onto flat bed equipment on the paved road surface, at the Construction site.
(2) To help preclude damage to road surfaces, earth which is inadvertently transported from the Construction site onto the roadways by the wheels or attachments of Construction equipment and vehicles shall be immediately removed.
(3) Failure to comply with the proper cleaning of roadways will force the AHPOA to have this accomplished and all costs billed to the contractor/owner.
e. Space Devoted to Living Purpose
(1) Space devoted to living purposes shall be:
(a) Measured on the perimeter of the exterior walls;
(b) Exclusive of roofed porches, terraces, garages, carports, and other outside buildings and unfinished basements.
(2) Ranch or One Story House
A minimum of 1,200 square feet of living space
(3) Multi‑story Houses shall have a minimum of 1,600 square feet of living space distributed among all floors in such a way that the finished structure shall be aesthetically compatible with adjoining homes in the immediate and adjacent area.
f. Roof Pitch
A minimum pitch of 4 inches to the foot is required, and deviations must be approved by the ACC (e.g. roofline for a Spanish decor design).
g. Entrance Ways/Headwalls/Culvert Pipes/Ditches (Illustrations, Page 1-13 & 1-14)
(1) Design Specifications/Application Process:
The new Construction or alteration of any existing entrance way, headwall, culvert pipe, ditch, or parking pad must receive the prior approval of the ACC. All entrance ways leading from a roadway onto a Lot must include culvert pipes with headwalls, which comply with the more detailed specifications set forth below in this section and as may be required by the ACC in any approved Application for Construction Approval.
(a) Suitable Materials: Headwalls shall be constructed of either concrete, pressure treated 6x6 lumber, or approved stone blocks. All culvert pipes shall be made of double wall plastic. Any other material must be expressly approved by the ACC.
(b) Headwalls shall be stabilized with deadmen, braces, or other methods consistent with industry standards. Headwalls shall extend a minimum of 5-1/2 inches below the bottom of the culvert pipe and at least to the top of the ditch line.
(c) The "Application for Construction Approval" shall describe the dimensions and building materials to be used in the Construction of the entrance ways, headwalls, ditches, parking pads and culvert pipes. The Application for Construction approval must include a site plan showing the location of the proposed improvements, including all entrance ways, headwalls, ditches, parking pads and culvert pipes.
(d) The size of the culvert pipe that will be approved depends upon the Lot location and must receive express approval of the ACC.
(e) Headwalls shall be installed during the first grading operation and the entrance way shall be maintained as a gravel surface during all phases of Construction, repair or alteration, so as to ensure that the Common Area roadways are clean and clear.
(f) The entrance way and any parking pad surface at the ditch line must be at least level or slightly below the adjacent road surface. The grading of the Lot, with the exception of the entrance way, shall be at least two inches below the adjacent road surface at the road ditch line.
(g) Parking pads adjacent to the road (culvert parking pads) may be constructed with gravel, asphalt, concrete, stone or pavers. Under no circumstance will a dirt parking pad be approved.
(2) Maintenance and Repair Obligations:
(a) All entrance ways, headwalls, culvert pipes, parking pads and ditches shall be the sole maintenance (which includes routine and periodic cleaning, resurfacing, landscaping, weeding and clearing), repair and replacement responsibility of the applicable Lot Owner, at his or her own cost. Such responsibility shall include ensuring proper drainage to and from the applicable Lot and that no negative impact occurs to the Common Areas, including roadways, and/or neighboring Lots arising out of or related to the culvert pipes and ditches. If a Lot Owner fails to comply with these responsibilities and the Common Areas sustain damage, the Lot Owner shall be responsible for paying the costs of any required remedial work to restore the Common Areas to their original condition, or as close as possible thereto.
(b) Any approval to install any portion of an entrance way, culvert pipe, headwall, parking pad, or drainage ditch upon any portion of the Common Areas shall be a grant of permission to use the Common Area in favor of the Lot Owner for only this limited purpose and in accord with the terms and conditions of the approval rendered.
(c) The Lot Owner shall bear all responsibility for ensuring that water from the Lot, including driveway extensions, shall not drain onto the roadway.
(d) The Lot Owner shall bear all responsibility for keeping culvert pipes and ditches serving the Lot clean and open, allowing water runoff to flow uninterrupted and without causing damage to the adjacent roadway.
(e) All Lots are subject to a two foot setback with a minimum of four feet of open space between lots for the purpose of permitting adequate distance for clean out equipment and for surface water to enter the drainage pipes.
1. Fences that are limited to that portion of the property behind a line parallel with the front of the house may be of any Construction not in excess of six feet in height or as otherwise restricted by Stafford County Codes. All fences shall be constructed face out unless a waiver is granted by the ACC.Exception: Industrial or agricultural fencing that could cause injury to people or animals, such as barbed wire, razor wire, or high‑voltage electric fencing, will not be approved.
2. Fences that extend in front of a line parallel with the front of the house must be limited to those of open Construction and be of wood, painted ornamental metal, or vinyl and no more than 4 feet high. Open Construction is defined herein as a fence which can be sighted through from any angle of view. It has been determined that vertical board fences, e.g. “picket fences”, do not adequately meet the open Construction requirement defined above. Under no circumstances shall chain link fencing be allowed for installation in front yards.
It is the responsibility or the property owner to properly maintain the appearance of the fence through power washing, paint or stain as appropriate. Fencing in disrepair will be referred to the CVO.
i. Retaining Walls
(1) Retaining walls along Aquia Creek or dredged channels tributary to Aquia Creek shall be constructed of adequate materials and located along the channel bank within the normal high and low tide limits.
(2) Plans for such Construction shall be submitted for approval to the ACC before Construction begins, together with a permit for the same from the Army Corps of Engineers, the County Wetlands Board, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and Department of Environmental Quality.
j. Boat Docks
(1) No docks or piers or mooring shall be constructed to extend into the canal or waterway so as to obstruct more than 20 feet of said waterway when a boat is fastened to the pier or dock.
(2) A clear channel of at least 30 feet in width with a depth of 4 feet at mean low water level must be maintained for purposes of safe navigation.
(3) Shall be constructed in compliance with the regulations of the Army Corps of Engineers governing applications for the issuance of permits for such structures.
(4) The property line of the lot must be within the mean high and low tide limits. If the property line falls on AHPOA common area property, permission must be obtained from the AHPOA before constructing a dock.
(5) Any piers extending into the navigable waters of Aquia Harbour, will be the floating dock type. The owner will cause to have at the end of the pier and at each 20 foot increment toward the shore, a warning red light visible within 360 degrees. The light(s) will be on from sunset to sunrise and at other times where visibility is less than one-quarter mile when so declared by the local NOAA radio weather station or any Coast Guard marine forecast. This is not applicable to the Aquia Harbour or any other subsequently constructed marina amenity within Aquia Harbour.
k. Pools and Water Features
Any above-ground, or in-ground pool, hot tub or water features with water depth greater than 24 inches, placed within Aquia Harbour must be properly safeguarded so as to prevent harm to an individual who might wander into the pool or water feature area. The requirements for pool safety measures are the same as for Stafford County. The county requirements can be obtained from the county courthouse.
5. Soil Erosion And Sedimentation Control
The topography in Aquia Harbour varies from flood plains contiguous to the Aquia Harbour Creek to area of steep slopes running up to the Aquia Creek watershed divide. This requires activities to conserve existing ground cover and trees. By a Board of Directors resolution passed in December, 1977, all land disturbing activity related to house Construction in Aquia Harbour must be done in accordance with the Stafford County Soil and Erosion and Sedimentation Ordinance. Where significant grading and clearing operations are planned for any house Construction, an erosion and sedimentation control plan must be submitted to the ACC as defined in the ordinance: "Land disturbing activity shall mean any land change which may result in soil erosion from water or wind and the involvement of sediments into Stafford County waters or onto land in the County, including, but not limited to, clearing, grading, excavating, transporting, and filling of land."
a. Certain Aquia Harbour lots in the low lying portions of Aquia Creek and Austin Run may be subject to flooding.
b. The following requirements of Stafford County for developing and building upon lots in the Aquia Harbour floodway area:
(1) The Developer build a berm on all lots for which he currently holds title.
(2) The berm built by the developer be done in segments which are to be approved by the Community Development Department.
(3) The Developer provide fill material for those lots which have already been sold.
(4) The Developer notify current lot owners of lot development requirements.
(5) The Developer advise all potential buyers of the development requirements prior to sale.
(6) The grading plans and compaction certifications be submitted prior to the issuance of building permits.
(7) The site work required by the approved plan be accomplished prior to the issuance of building permits.
(8) The Developer provide a bond or other appropriate guarantee to ensure the completion of the improvements on his lots and the common improvements such as culverts, etc.
c. The current lot owners must notify any potential purchaserof the possible flood hazard and the development requirements.
6. Propane Tanks
In-ground and above ground propane tanks can only be installed in compliance with Stafford County Ordinances. Tank spacing, depth, and set backs from buildings and property lines are dependent upon tank capacity. Check Stafford County Ordinances before submitting requests for tank installation to the ACC. Such requests to the ACC must certify that the tank installation complies with applicable Stafford County Ordinances and must be accompanied by an approvedStafford County Permit by size. Where possible in the interest of safety, it is recommended that the tank be installed as far from the house as practicable.
7. Subdivision of Lots
Requests for the subdivision of lots for the purpose of constructing more than one house on a lot shall be approved provided such subdivision conforms to the Restrictions and Covenants of the Association and extant Stafford County Ordinances with respect to minimum lot size (width, depth, and density per gross acre). However, pipestem lots are not allowed. A pipestem lot is a lot which does not abut, other than by its driveway which affords access to the lot, Association owned property on which lies a duly platted roadway.
Paragraph 3(c) of the Restrictions and Covenants state that no porch or projection on any part of any building shall extend nearer than forty (40) feet to any private roadway rights-of-way, or nearer than ten (10) feet to the property line of any abutting property owner, nor within fifty (50) feet from the mean high water line of Aquia Creek.
Per section 3, subsection c, of the Restrictions and Covenants of the AHPOA, the ACC agrees that steps that do not extend more than 10 feet from the front of a house or porch will not be considered projections for determining setback compliance.
Variances to the above procedures may be granted under special circumstances – such as a safety issue, setback issue or drainage issue. Variances otherwise will normally not be approved.
(1) Signs, of any nature, will not be placed within the Aquia Harbour Subdivision without prior approval of the ACC, except as indicated in subparagraphs below. Additionally, sign permits must be obtained from Stafford County, as applicable. A copy of the Stafford County Zoning Ordinance, which contains specific sign permit information, is available for review at the Aquia Harbour Property Owners Association (AHPOA) Office.
(2) In general signs are discouraged in the Aquia Harbour Subdivision; therefore, the type of signs that are allowed shall be very limited.
(3) No signs shall be erected or maintained on any lot except:
(a) Such signs as may be required by legal proceedings. (Approval not required).
(b) Temporary signs (i.e., two weeks or less) that are designed to advertise community functions within the Aquia Harbour Subdivision; only one sign, not to exceed four square feet in size, and the bottom of which is not higher than two feet from ground level.
(c) Such signs used by the real estate industry to advertise the sale of property; only one sign per site, not to exceed four square feet in size, and the bottom of which is not higher than two feet from ground level.
(d)During the period of Construction of any building or other improvement, one job identification sign per site to include lot number not to exceed four square feet in size and the bottom of which is not higher than two feet from ground level is required.
(e) Model Home signs are restricted to only one sign for any contractor and shall not:
1. Exceed four feet by eight feet in size.
2. Exceed six feet in height from ground level.
3. Be lighted in any way.
(4) All signs shall be strategically placed as not to obstruct the view of pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic.
(5) All signs must be attractively constructed and maintained to project an attractive appearance.
(6) Request for approval:
(a) All applicants are required to complete one copy of the Aquia Harbour ‘Sign Permission Form’.
(b) The Association staff will review the application to ensure that the proposed location, dimensions and content of the sign(s) conforms to Aquia Harbour sign regulations.
(c) If the sign(s) meets all the applicable AHPOA regulations, approval will be issued in the form of a stamp for each sign to be erected. In cases where the sign(s) cannot be brought in to the AHPOA office, a label with the appropriate approval stamp will be issued. The stamp will indicate the date of the event and the staff member’s initials. This stamp is to be placed on the front of the sign.
(d) The application form will be signed and dated by the staff member. A copy will be kept on file, the original given to the Aquia Harbour Police Department and a copy given to the applicant.
(e) Signs are to be removed within 24 hours of the event.
11. Dumpsters and Temporary Storage Containers
Homeowners are required to submit an application to the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) prior to placing a dumpster or temporary storage container, e.g. PODS/Smart Box, on their property. Homeowners will be limited to one dumpster or temporary storage container on their property at any one time. Homeowners are required to state the dimensions of the dumpster or temporary storage container, and provide a plat indicating where the dumpster or temporary storage container will be placed on the property. If possible, the dumpster or temporary storage container should be placed in the rear of the Home. Dumpsters and temporary storage containers will be approved for a maximum of 90 days. The committee will entertain an extension if circumstances justify more time.
12. Free-Standing Carports, and Certain Prefabricated Metal or Plastic Structures
The AHPOA Restrictions and Covenants, paragraph 2, (e), state that proposed buildings or other structures not in harmony with the general surroundings will not be approved. For the purpose of these building procedures, prefabricated metal or plastic carports, and any carport not attached to the dwelling (regardless of material), shall be considered to be in this category, and normally will not be approved.