Architectural Review

The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) meets on the first Wednesday of the month at the Carderock Springs Swim and Tennis Club at 7:30 pm. If you are considering an addition or exterior modification of your home, you are required to submit your plans for review beforehand. Initially, these can be early conceptual plans. As the project becomes more defined, homeowners should return for another meeting to review construction drawings with specific elevations. Additionally, the ARC may make recommendations and want to see amended drawings and details. ARC meetings are open for any and every community member to attend, whether you are renovating, planning to renovate, or interested in listening.

The reason for having an Architectural Review is because legally binding covenants run with the land of every lot in Carderock Springs. Per the covenants, any outside modification or addition to the structure on a lot must be reviewed and approved in advance by the Architectural Review Committee (ARC). This may include, but is not limited to, the following:  additions, alterations, fencing, sheds, exterior color schemes, and hardwood tree removal.

The purpose of Carderock's covenants is to:

  • Maintain the community's architectural integrity
  • Preserve the community's scenic and natural beauty
  • Protect homeowners' property values

The Architectural Design Guidelines are comprised of photographs, diagrams, descriptions, and examples to help homeowners and/or their architect develop plans that conform to the covenants.

ARC Design Guidelines (last updated October 2007)

The Property Modification Application process begins by submitting your application with two sets of plans by the 20th of the month prior to the ARC monthly meeting. Please contact ARC Chair Scott Wilets at  and inform him that you are submitting materials for review. The ARC will confirm receipt and schedule a review for the following meeting.

Property Modification Application

Our community has committed to an Architectural Vision Statement. In Carderock Springs, the built environment is harmonious with the natural landscape. We, the residents of Carderock Springs, declare that as we maintain, alter and expand our homes, we will:

  • Respect the tradition of simple buildings of modest homes;
  • Be conscious of, and deferential to, existing proportion of openings, horizontality and projection of roof lines, and relationships of windows and walls;
  • Enhance the heritage of the vegetation of our neighborhood, preserving the valuable natural hardwood forest growth;
  • Extend the modern tradition by insisting on contemporary design, while avoiding the overtly decorative.

Carderock Springs' covenants also require approval before removal of sound hardwood trees. Cutting down trees affects the look and feel of the neighborhood for all homeowners, not just the person on whose lot they grow. Many residents feel strongly about tree preservation. It is most important to talk with the neighbors whose property has views of any trees you wish to remove. The courtesy you show will come back to you in the future.

Before you cut down a hardwood tree 9 inches or more in diameter at shoulder height, you must receive approval from the Tree Committee. Contact: to seek approval. Approval, however, is not required if the tree is dead or in an emergency situation, i.e., in immediate danger of falling on the house or other personal property or endangering personal safety. “Hardwood” trees are mostly deciduous, including oak, maple, tulip poplar and cherry, but also include some evergreens, such as holly and boxwood. If you are not sure whether the tree is a hardwood, please contact the Tree Committee at . See more details on the process of Removing a Tree and in the Tree Preservation Guidelines.

dollar sign

You may qualify for a tax credit by applying to the Maryland Historical Trust because Carderock Springs is a designated historic community!