MASON’S ISLAND PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION
PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES
FOR CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION
of these Procedures and Guidelines shall be made available to members by
the Association, and, through the Mason’s Island Company, to prospective
purchasers and renovators of property, as well as to realtors, architects,
and others who may be concerned.
function of the MIPOA Architectural Review Committee (‘Committee’) is to
assure, in the interests of all current and future property owners, that
each proposed individual construction project is suitable to the
particular lot, to the immediate neighborhood, and to the whole Mason’s
Island community. The Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the
Mason’s Island Company, which makes all final decisions of approving and
Committee consists of four members, each of whom is a year-round resident
of the Mason’s Island Fire District, appointed by the President of the
Mason’s Island Property Owners Association, with the approval of the Board
of Directors of the Association, for overlapping three-year terms. None of
them serves on the Committee for a period exceeding six consecutive years.
Each year the President of the Association designates one of the members
of the Committee as Chair, but no one may serve as Chair for more than
three consecutive years.
Committee may designate one of its members as secretary, and, in the
absence or disability of the Chair, shall designate one of its members to
act as chair pro tern. The Committee
acts by vote of a majority of its four members. There is no voting proxy.
review and consideration of all plans and specifications submitted to it,
the Committee seeks to encourage:
--tasteful originality, diversity, and individuality in the external
appearance of both traditional and contemporary design;
--informality rather than formality, with the house complementing rather
than dominating the landscape;
--retention of as much as is practicable of the natural ground coverand
healthy trees; and
--avoidance of similarity among neighboring houses.
parts of these Procedures and Guidelines apply, as appropriate, to all
future construction--of dwellings, fencing, and other improvements--and to
all current and future alterations and additions or changes affecting the
external appearance of properties.
The Committee shall seek to
be consistent and reasonable in applying the criteria and procedural
requirements set forth below.
(A property owner
considering an isolated minor alteration or addition may request the
Committee to waive one or more of the standard requirements set forth
below. After review of the project, the Committee may, by majority vote,
waive one or more requirements.)
1. Except by special
permit properly issued by the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission,
the only construction allowed shall be of one one-family dwelling on each
lot (that may include a private garage forming part of such dwelling) that
shall never be used for any other purpose than a single-family dwelling.
2. The foundation shall
be at least as distant from each property line as minimum allowed under
the Stonington Zoning Regulations or by a properly granted variance
therefrom or, if greater, as has been established for the particular
property by the Masons Island Company.
3. All applicable
easements shall be respected, including any sight easements previously
granted in writing by the Masons Island Company.
4. The right of the
Masons Island Company to approve, remove or trim trees along or near the
street line shall be respected.
5. All roofing material
shall be not less than 280 pounds per square and of a color compatible
with the color(s) of the body and the trim of the house itself.
6. For non-waterfront
properties, the highest rooftree shall be 24-30 feet (depending on
slope, vegetation, and neighboring houses) above the natural grade as
averaged along the longest dimension of the house. For waterfront
properties, the highest rooftree shall not be more than 24 feet above
the natural grade as averaged along the longest dimension of the house.
7. The extreme top of any
chimney shall be not less than two feet nor more than four feet above the
rooftree if the roof has a pitch of more than 1/8, or in the case of a
roof with lesser pitch, not less than three feet nor more than five feet
above the highest point where such chimney pierces the roof.
8. Sufficient screening
shall be established and maintained to assure maximum privacy, and minimum
annoyance, for and from current or possible neighbors, particular
attention being given if a driveway is close to the side line of the
9. The Committee’s
recommendation for approval shall normally be withheld from any plan that
presents, or that with the possible future addition of dormers or other
changes could present, any elevation giving the appearance of three full
10. The Committee’s
recommendation for approval shall normally be withheld from any plan that
calls for the use of aluminum siding or for the external use of artificial
paneling designed to give the appearance of brick or stone.
11. All receptacles for
garbage and refuse shall be concealed from view from any road and
neighbors, and clothes drying and fuel containers shall be reasonably
APPEARANCE, MATERIALS, SAFETY
1. All exterior
materials and finishes shall be appropriate to the style of design, and
shall conform to the samples thereof that are to be submitted with the
proposed plans, to be retained by the Committee, and returned after
completion of the work. Shingle siding or clapboard other than white
cedar, left to weather, is discouraged because of the strong probability
of undesirable discoloration. Bona fide brick or natural stone is
acceptable. Preference is given to wood clapboard or shingle, stained or
painted in one neutral or muted tone, with trim and sash and (if desired)
cornerboards in one or two harmonious or contrasting colors.
2. Exterior details
shall be consistent with each other, and, in a traditional house,
consistent with. the accepted standards of that period.
3. The area of
foundation exposed shall normally be not more than twelve inches above
finished grade, regardless of the finish thereof.
4. Any exposed
chimney shall be finished in brick or natural stone, unless an exposed
metal flue is obviously consistent with the contemporary overall design.
5. All chimneys shall
be capped with durable metal screen or mesh with apertures not greater
than one-half inch in any dimension, to discourage flying sparks and
nesting birds and animals.
6. At least one
frost-free silicock shall be readily accessible and so situated to be of
greatest value in case of fire.
7. Provision shall be
made to discourage normal runoff from downspouts and sealed driveways from
flowing onto roads and/or adjacent properties.
8. Exterior lighting
fixtures shall be of such number, type, location and wattage, and so
angled, as to minimize possible annoyance to neighbors. The sources of
floodlights and spotlights should not be visible from outside the property
9. Adequate storage
space for all outdoor equipment--screened and covered, but not in a
separate structure--shall be provided.
1. Site clearance and
construction work of any sort shall commence only after written approval
of final plans and specifications has been received from the Mason’s
Island Company, except for minimum necessary test holes, clearance needed
for the equipment to bore such hole, and removal of brush and trees less
six inches caliper when measured four feet above grade.
2. Construction plans
shall be submitted to the Committee for consideration and recommendation,
and by the Committee to the Company for its approval, before they are
submitted to such government agencies as Building Officials of the Town of
Stonington, the Water Resources Commission of the State of Connecticut,
and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, for their approval.
Approval by any governmental agency does not assure recommendation by the
Committee or approval by the Company. All of the criteria and procedures
set forth in these guidelines are wholly independent of any government
agency; it is to the owner’s advantage to obtain Committee recommendation
and Company approval of plans before seeking any governmental approval.
If, to obtain required governmental approval(s), significant changes are
required in the plans and specifications previously recommended by the
Committee and approved by the Company, then all such changes should be
promptly and fully reported in writing to the Committee, which will not
unnecessarily withhold or delay its recommendation.
3. Prior approval by
the Masons Island Company of all Construction plans is required by deed
restriction running with most of the property lying within the geographic
bounds of the Mason’s Island Fire District (as those bounds may from time
to time be adjusted) that now is or formerly was, or in the future may be,
owned by the Masons Island deed restriction. All such plans shall be
submitted first to the Committee for consideration. As The Masons Island
Company, which endorses these guidelines, has the right of final approval,
it will discuss its position fully with the Committee before either
approving plans that the committee has not recommended, or disapproving
plans that the Committee has recommended.
4. All plans submitted
to the Committee shall be dated, in duplicate, and shall bear the name of
the person or organization preparing them. If the proposed construction is
of a dwelling, such person must be a registered architect currently
licensed to practice in Connecticut, and each sheet of the plans submitted
shall bear the imprint of his or her official seal, and each page of the
external specifications subject to Committee recommendation shall also
bear such imprint. If the plans for the dwelling have not been developed
by a particular architect or firm of architects for use by the owner on
the particular property, the Committee may require that a currently
registered Connecticut architect shall be retained to assure proper
adaptation of the plans to the particular property, including but not
limited to placement, and height of foundations.
To be considered by the
Committee, preliminary plans shall be submitted before final plans are
submitted. At its discretion, the Committee may suspend the requirement
for preliminary plans if the proposal is for other than a new dwelling.
Preliminary plans shall show the addresses and phone numbers of the owner
and the architect, and shall include:
1. A plot plan,
prepared and signed by a currently certified engineer, showing accurately,
at a scale of not more than eight feet to the inch:
--natural and proposed finish grade contours at intervals of not more than
location of the dwelling existing on each adjacent property, and the
nearest limits for future construction, on each adjacent property;
--location of fences
outline of the area within which construction is allowable on the
--the precise location of the area within the
distances from the particular foundations to all property lines; and
precise location of the septic tank, the leaching field(s) and reserve
leaching area; of driveway(s), patios, fences (and height thereof),
landscaping retaining walls and embankments; and of all other significant
plot plan, desirably, should also show:
existing trees of six inches or more caliper when measured four feet above
natural grade, indicating which are to be removed and which are to be
protected and saved;
--type and location of trees and shrubs the planting of which is proposed
within ten feet of any property line, including street frontage; and
significant rock outcroppings.
2. The floor plans, at
a scale of not more than four feet to the inch;
3. At least four
elevations, at a scale of not more than four feet to the inch, each of
--natural finish grades, and areas of exposed foundation;
doors, windows, roof overhang, gutters, downspouts, silicocks, exterior
lighting fixtures, and other roof features; and
height in feet of rooftrees(s) and chimney(s) above the lowest and the
highest natural grade at the foundations.
4. The specifications
only for roofing materials, gutters, downspouts, sash and trim, chimneys
and siding, with appropriate samples on the actual material of exterior
colors, all properly identified with owner’s name, and dated. Such samples
shall be retained by the Committee for future reference until completion
of the project, when they shall be returned. The specifications shall also
state the right of any Committee member to examine the work in progress
and to see the plans and specifications being used by the contractor(s),
so long as these activities do not unreasonably interrupt the work.
5. On receipt of
complete preliminary plans and exterior specifications in duplicate, the
Committee shall forward both sets to the Company within two weeks for its
consideration, both sets being marked or otherwise designated ‘recommended’ by the
Committee’ or ‘recommendation’ withheld by the Committee.’ Incomplete
preliminary plans shall be returned to the owner with the deficiencies
noted, No further action shall be taken by the Committee until revised
preliminary plans and exterior specifications are submitted, in duplicate.
6. Preliminary plans
and exterior specifications shall not be recommended by the Committee on
the understanding that particular changes therein will be made thereafter.
7. If the Committee
withholds recommendation of preliminary plans and exterior specifications,
it shall forward to the Company a notation of which specifications the
Committee finds to be unacceptable. In such a case the owner and/or
architect may request a meeting with the Committee, at a mutually
convenient time and place within three weeks of the date of such letter to
the Company, for the purpose of resolving differences.
8. When preliminary
plans and exterior specifications are recommended by the Committee, each
sheet of such plans and each page of such specifications shall be so
stamped, dated, and signed on behalf of the Committee, or otherwise
formally recommended, with a notation that final plans and exterior
specifications, consistent with the approved preliminary material, should
be submitted to the Committee within sixty days of such date of
9. If such final plans
and exterior specifications are submitted to the Committee later than
sixty days after the date of recommendation of the preliminary material,
the Committee may consider that they represent a new project, to be
considered as preliminary plans.
Final plans and exterior
specifications that are found by the Committee to vary significantly from
the approved preliminary material may be considered as preliminary plans
for a new project.
1. Final plans and
exterior specifications shall conform to all the requirements above and
shall be processed by the Committee in harmony with the criteria set forth
in these guidelines.
2. At its discretion,
the Committee may require, before recommending final plans and
specifications, that (a) the corners of the proposed construction be
marked on the site by stakes each bearing sufficient identification to
relate to the final plans, and/or (b) ribbons or other harmless
identification put on each tree in the construction area, of six inches or
more caliper when measured four feet above natural grade, distinguishing
those that are to be removed from those that are to be protected and
3. If the final plans
and exterior specifications recommended by the Committee are to be
significantly affected by any subsequent change or change order, these
shall be submitted to the Committee in duplicate before the fact, and
shall be subject to the Committee’s prompt consideration and
4. Construction shall
normally commence within six months of the date of Committee
recommendation of final plans and exterior specifications, and then shall
proceed to completion without unreasonable delay. For specified and
sufficient reason the owner may request a longer period for commencing or
completing construction, that the Committee shall not unreasonably deny.
5. During the course of
the work there shall be minimum obstruction of roadways by materials,
equipment or workers’ vehicles. All equipment, trash and extra material
shall be promptly removed when no longer needed at the work site.
6. All plans and
exterior specifications used by the contractor(s) shall be copies of those
bearing evidence of the dated final approval by the Company. Absence of
such approved plans at the site, or possession of other plans at the site
by any contractor or his employees, may be considered as evidence of
nonconformity with the approved plans and exterior specifications.
7. Questions and
complaints from owners of adjacent properties and others who feel they may
be adversely affected by a particular proposal need be considered only if
submitted in writing to the Chair of the Committee, for such response as
the Chair or the Committee deems proper in the circumstances.