Do you have a question you would like to have addressed? Send your question to “Ask ACCES” and mail OR email to the GVCA Office. ACCES Committee members are residents who have volunteered to help enforce the architectural rules, and they endeavor to enforce the rules evenly.
1. What does ACCES stand for?
2. Where can I get a copy of the rules and forms?
3. In the Condominium Associations, who must sign off on requests for ACCES approval?
4. How can I speed up approval by ACCES?
5. Do I need approval to replace the flooring on my deck?
6. Can I cut down a dead tree on my property?
7. What can we do about a house that is an eyesore?
8. Our neighbor appears to be violating ACCES rules – what can be done?
9. What kind of exterior lighting is permissible in GV?
10. Does exterior lighting require approval?
11. Do I need approval for an Invisble Fence by ACCES?
12. I’m planning some landscape changes – what do I need to do before proceeding?
13. What are the rules regarding grilling in Greenwood?
14. Is it OK to feed wild animals in Greenwood?
15. Where should residents dump their bags of pet waste?
16. What can we do about others who don’t pick up after their dog?
17. Where can I store firewood?
18. Where can I store my compost?
19. Are we allowed to take dead wood from the GVCA Common Areas?
20. Where can we get firewood?
21. People are using the Common Area – can we make changes to it?
22. What GVCA Committee has jurisdiction over the Common Areas?
23. Can I dump grass and leaves in the Common Areas??
24. Can I blow leaves into the GVCA Common Area?
25. What should I do with my spring cleanup or fall yard waste?
26. If GVCA can put up signs, why can’t I put them up?
27. Are political signs permitted in Greenwood?
28. How do we show support for a candidate or issue?
29. What are the ways that I can I pay my semi-annual fee to Greenwood Village Community Association?
30. I’m thinking about selling my home – what are the regulations about signs and open houses?
31. Why are our semi-annual fees are going up?
32. What is the Reserve Study and how does it affect us in Greenwood Village?
33. Why does Greenwood Village have so many rules?
34. Why does GVCA want my email address? How will it be safeguarded?
35. Can my contractor file an ACCES application on my behalf?
36. I don’t think any of the mailboxes are nice enough – can I get a different one or even create my own design?
37. I did some modifications to my property but didn’t file an ACCES application – I got a letter from GVCA telling me that this is a violation. Do I have to file an application even though the job is done? What happens if the application is not approved?
38. What types of retractable awnings are permitted for use in Greenwood Village?
39. I’ve noticed what I think is a violation of the ACCES rules – what can I do about it?
Architectural Control Committee for Existing Structures
The ACCES rules and forms are posted on this website and are also available in the GVCA Home Owner Documents book you received when you purchased your home. Copies are also available from the GVCA office or by calling 330-467-7036. The latest version of ACCES rules, dated 4/20/2004, provides a complete list of items that need approval. Common items which do not need approval are listed as well. Completed forms should be submitted in a timely manner to the GV Office for action by the ACCES committee.
- Condominium owners must have written approval of their condominium associations or management companies before submission of either form to the ACCES Committee.
- ACCES Approval forms are available online or on the black desk by the women’s locker room when the Clubhouse or pool is open.
- Permit to Conduct a Home Industry, Profession, Religious or Educational Enterprise within the Properties’ forms are available from the GVCA office.
- The ACCES Committee meets on the first Tuesday of the month and approval forms have to be submitted to the GVCA office at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
Each condominium association has designated specific office holders and/or management companies to approve requests to go the ACCES committee. An owner requesting ACCES review and approval should contact their respective association board president and/or management company to learn who must sign off on the owner request.The list of approving office holders and management companies is available online or in the GVCA office.
The quickest way to have your project approved is to plan ahead before you submit the application to ACCES. Remember the process normally takes a month to get a response. Guidelines for ACCES approval include:
- DO NOT DO the project first and then seek ACCES approval later for it may mean doing the work over again.
- Check and review the requirements for your project in the ACCES booklet, get the estimates you want and obtain the necessary details for the project.
- If you are using a contractor to do the work, make sure their project scope and materials will be in compliance with ACCES reguations.
- Complete the ACCES application form, attach documentation, drawings, etc.
- Obtain necessary approval:
- Condominium owners must get approval from their respective condominium association.
- Projects can be submitted to ACCES without approval as long as approval arrives before the ACCES meeting. Check with the association to obtain submittal deadlines.
- Single-family homeowners need neighbors sign-off on the request form, but you do not need their approval (although it helps). Their sign-off shows ACCES you talked to your neighbors about your project.
Yes, ACCES approval is needed to replace the decking without regard to the type of replacement material.
Removal of a tree – dead or alive – requires the approval of ACCES. ACCES has authorized the GVCA Manager to do approvals for the removal of dead or dying trees. Typically, ACCES requires planting a replacement tree somewhere on your property to preserve the park-like appearance of Greenwood Village. Call the GVCA Manager if you have questions about your tree, or if a tree on GVCA Common Open space is a concern.
There best thing is to talk to your neighbor, explain the issue, and suggest how to alleviate your concern. No one wants to be a bad neighbor, and they simply may not realize others find their home or yard an eyesore. Most likely they will quickly remedy the problem, if asked politely. After you talk to your neighbor, if you still have concerns, you can refer your issues to ACCES in writing, and ACCES will do their best to resolve the issue. (ACCES does not respond to anonymous messages.) If you do write, please refer to the ACCES rule or rules you feel apply to your concerns.
Check the rules posted on the website first:
- Determine if the violation is covered by the rules.
- Understand the nature of the violation.
- Write a brief letter to the ACCES Committee detailing your concerns.
ACCES members are neighbors who have volunteered to help enforce the architectural rules, and they endeavor to enforce the rules evenly. However, there are 1,507 homes in Greenwood Village, and if they do not know of a problem, they cannot address it. In a sense, you are all volunteers for ACCES, and you all have a stake in helping maintain Greenwood’s standards. So if you see a problem, let ACCES know. Send ACCES a note, with the location, the problem, and how best to contact you, as ACCES cannot respond to anonymous complaints.
Something that makes Greenwood Village a special place to live is the dark night sky that allows one to see the stars from your own property. ACCES encourages the use of full cutoff lighting that does not light up the night sky. See the Exterior Lighting Guidelines on the website in the ACCES Procedures and Rules book, section III. M., for more information. Permanent lighting requires ACCES Approval.
The addition of any lighting does require ACCES approval; it does not make any difference if you plan to use solar powered or hardwired lights. The key issue in lighting is to focus the lights on your own property, and take care not to light adjacent properties or the street. Light shining off your property can adversely affect surrounding residents preference for privacy and serenity, as well as hurt the nighttime atmosphere of Greenwood. There are a number of companies who can provide expert assistance in the planning & installation of such lighting.
- Installing lights on GVCA common areas is not allowed.
- Installing lights on condominium common areas requires the approval of your association as well as ACCES.
ACCES is responsible not just for architecture changes, but also changes in use. An invisible fence is a change in the use of your property, and ACCES wants to ensure it will not adversely affect other people in Greenwood. It is one of the few approvals that are conditional, meaning it can be revoked if the conditions of the approval are not honored. To have your invisible fence approved:
- Submit an ACCES Request for Approval Form.
- Attach an accurate map showing your lot lines. Be sure the map shows the invisible fence location drawn one or more feet inside ALL the lot lines.
- Lots typically start 25 – 30 feet from the center of the street. The township owns the 10-15 feet of lawn between your property and the curb and uses it for utility easements. Keeping the invisible fence this far away provides a safety buffer between your dog and people walking on the street, not to mention the mail carrier. It is a good idea not to enclose your front sidewalk and door inside the fence, so delivery people can reach your front door without entering your dog’s territory.
- Temporary border markers during the training period of the dog are allowed, but all other invisible fence signs are prohibited.
- Please be aware that having an invisible fence does not stop other animals or small children from entering. It also does not absolve dog owners of their responsibility to be in control of their dog at all times, so never leave you dog alone outside.
ACCES can revoke the approval if your dog repeatedly (three or more times in 12 months):
- Is left outside when no one is home.
- Barks for more than 5 minutes at a time.
- Runs through the fence and leaves your property.
Residents who install an invisible fence must be fully aware of the added responsibility they are assuming for the behavior of their dog, as well as the risks to their pet.
- Replacing some plants in an existing bed:
Replacing existing shrubs and plants in an existing bed does not need ACCES approval. However, a major change to the overall design of the bed does need ACCES approval.
- Creating a new landscape bed with trees, shrubs and perennials to screen my home from the street and afternoon sun:
Before you create a new landscape bed, you need ACCES approval.
- Planting several individual evergreen or deciduous trees spaced several feet apart (not in a large landscape bed):
If you simply plant trees each in their own planting spot, you should seek ACCES approval, and if the mulched areas around the trees will be contiguous, it is a considered a new bed and needs ACCES approval.
- Enlarging some existing landscape beds with shrubs or perennials:
Before you enlarge an existing bed, you need ACCES approval.
- Planting a small vegetable garden by enlarging a landscape bed:
If you want to plant vegetables among or within an existing bed, you do not need ACCES approval. If you create, convert, or enlarge a landscape bed for a vegetable garden or anything else, you need ACCES approval.
- Putting up a fence made of deer netting to protect my garden. Do I need ACCES approval for any or all of this?
You are allowed to wrap deer or bird netting over or around individual plants or bushes to protect them. However, using netting or a fence to enclose an area, such as a garden, is prohibited. ACCES suggests you participate in the Community Garden as a better alternative to a vegetable garden in your backyard.
- Plantings near the street that block visibility or create a safety issue must be cut back or removed.
Grills do not require ACCES approval. However, if you live in a condominium, you need to check with your condo association to see if they have rules regarding grills.
In 2005 the State of Ohio added a new rule to the fire code. The rule states: Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction. Open-flame cooking includes gas grills and fire pits, and every condominium and deck in Greenwood is considered to be of combustible construction. This rule only applies where three or more units are attached together, so it does apply to most condominium owners in Greenwood. Although this rule does not apply to single-family homes or to free-standing condominium units, it is still wise advice to use your grill at least 10 feet from anything that burns (i.e. buildings, decks, trees, or leaves).
A. It depends on the animal. Many residents feed the birds, especially in the winter. Generally, this is a good thing. However, we live next to a national park, with many other wild animals. Most have a natural healthy fear of humans. Feeding wild animals causes them to lose their natural fear and encourages them to associate homes with food. Soon the deer are eating the landscaping, raccoons are knocking over trash cans, and skunks are nesting under decks. Living this close to the park and the common areas, some of this will happen anyway, but that is no reason to encourage it. ACCES does not prohibit feeding wild animals, but it does STRONGLY discourage it. ACCES also has a rule against creating a nuisance, which could apply if your feeding of the animals creates a nuisance for your neighbors.
Bags of dog waste should ALWAYS be taken back to the dog owners’ residence and put in their garbage. Discarding cleanup bags anywhere else in Greenwood Village is prohibited and wholly unacceptable. Bags of dog waste have been found by the phone service boxes making it difficult for repairmen to fix your phone line, hanging in trees, within the common areas, laying in the street, and even floating in the lake and down by the waterfall! (If thrown in the sewer, that is where bags end up.) When you walk your dog, carry a cleanup bag and take the bag back to your residence for disposal with your garbage.
If you see anyone leaving their dog’s waste and are not comfortable asking them to pick it up, or if they refuse, please call the office 330-467-7036. If you have enough information to identify the person and are willing to be a witness, we can take action. Under Ohio law, littering is a serious offense, punishable by up to $500 and 60 days in jail.
Single family homeowners may store reasonable amounts of neatly stacked wood on firewood racks on their property without ACCES Approval. Condominium members may also store reasonable amounts of neatly stacked firewood in any area approved by their condominium association without ACCES Approval. Firewood is not allowed to be stored on GVCA or CVNP property. ACCES reserves the right to require changes if the firewood storage interferes with neighbors. If covered, cover must be earth tone in color (tan, brown, or dark green).
Compost piles are permitted, but must be on your own property, so know the location of your property lines. Containers or covers must be earth tone in color (tan, brown, or dark green). Locate compost at least 5 feet from trees to prevent damage. Compost piles do not need ACCES approval, but ACCES may require you to move them if they interfere with your neighbor, or appear to be killing a tree. Check with your neighbors to find the best location before you begin
Residents are not allowed to cut down any trees on GVCA property. Leaving the wooded Common Open Spaces in a natural state is part of the beauty of Greenwood. Dead trees, falling leaves and their decay provides nutrients for trees and plants and are part of the natural cycle of a forest. Also, liability and safety concerns prohibit the removal of any trees from GVCA property by residents. Occasionally, GVCA will remove a dead or dangerous tree. If you would like that wood, contact the GVCA office and let us know. Please do not help yourself without asking. Contact the Cuyahoga National Park Service about taking firewood from the Cuyahoga National Park.
Check the local paper for ads. Summit County requires licensing of all persons selling firewood. Ohio law states a cord is the only appropriate unit of measure for firewood. A cord of wood is 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. or 128 cu. ft. Advertising must include license # and cord or fraction thereof. You can also contact local tree removal companies. Sometimes they will give away wood so they do not have to haul it away.
All the GVCA-owned common open spaces are just that, spaces (often wooded) that are open to all residents and their guests to enjoy in common with their fellow residents, which does mean people can walk in them. These areas add beauty and privacy to Greenwood, and are to be treated like park property (take only pictures, leave only footprints). Do not clear the common spaces, do not mow them, and do not remove trees, make trails, or dump debris on them. Driving off-road in the common areas is also prohibited in Greenwood. If you have any concerns or questions, call the GVCA office, especially if someone is damaging the common spaces.
The GVCA Landscape Committee has the responsibility for the Common Open Areas, Marshall Lake and the landscaped areas around the Clubhouse, Tennis Courts, and median strips along the roads in Greenwood. The Landscape Committee is the ACCES equivalent for the GVCA property.
No, that land belongs to GVCA and it is classified as “Common Open Space” for the enjoyment of all Greenwood residents. Do not alter it in any way, especially by dumping. It is our Green Space – a natural area that contributes to the beauty of Greenwood.
Leaves prevent erosion while nourishing and watering the trees, so we encourage you to leave the leaves on your own property where possible, to help your trees grow. Otherwise, you should properly dispose of all yard waste by bagging it for pick-up, not by dumping it on GVCA property. If you should happen to blow some leaves onto the GVCA property, make sure they are not in piles, especially around trees, and are spread evenly over the floor of the forest. If it blends unnoticed into the forest, there will not be a problem. However, creating big piles of leaves or piling leaves around trees, will be cause for making you clean it up. Most important, do not go past your property and clear off GVCA property, leave it leafy.
Condominiums take care of the spring and fall cleanup for their own properties. For Single Family Homeowners, Republic Waste Services has an unlimited contract with Sagamore Hills, so they will pick up whatever you have to throw out, as long as the bundles or bags are under 4 feet long and under 50 lbs. each. Your neighbors appreciate it when you dispose of your yard waste properly!.
The purpose of the sign policy for Greenwood Village is to maintain a commercial-free environment in a residential setting. The sign policy was recently revised based on recommendations from our attorney to ensure that the policy is enforceable. All signs require approval by the Greenwood office before posting.
No political signs of any kind are permitted in Greenwood Village. New sign rules were issued May 18, 2010 and can be found in the ACCES Rules on this website.
Come to Candidates Night at the Clubhouse – watch the website and newsletter for details. In addition, working for a candidate or on a campaign issue is a time-honored process in a democratic society.
You can pay your semi-annual fee by check or by through the online banking bill payer program at your financial institution. GVCA does not have the capabilities to accept credit card payments. The semi-annual fee invoice is mailed to your home address in December and June of each year.
For online banking, the information you will need is:
Address: 830 Village Club Drive
Sagamore Hills, OH 44067
Account numbers are included on your invoice.
Greenwood bylaws do not allow posting of signs outside of the unit. One 11 x 14 inch “For Sale” sign is permitted in the window of the unit. Contact the GVCA office if you are having an open house. GVCA Board approved Greenwood “Open House” signs are available for posting at no charge. Many potential buyers stop by the clubhouse looking for homes for sale. They check the newsletter and our website for the latest listings, so be sure to place a free ad here, as well as on the clubhouse bulletin board.
Click here to download the Open House Sign Rental Document.
The semi-annual fee is subject to increase annually. The Board of Trustees changes the fee in conjunction with the budgetary needs of Greenwood Village. In 2011, the Board commissioned a Reserve Study to comply with Ohio Law [ORC – 5311.081 (A) (1)]. Based on the study, the Board adopted a plan to fully fund the reserves required to maintain the major capital items of Greenwood Village. This plan established a set of small increases in the semi-annual fees for 5 years, running from 2012 t0 2016, subject to review each fiscal year. In the second year of the plan, the Board reduced the amount of the increase to $10.00 because of additional income.
The need for a Reserves Study is based on the Ohio Reserves Law [ORC – 5311.081 (A) (1)]. The law mandates that an association must enact a budget to replace capital items without the necessity of a special assessment. The Board of Greenwood Village contracted with a professional company to examine Greenwood’s capital items and examine their condition, estimate their useful life and calculate replacement/repair costs, and project costs over a 30 year period.
Based on this study, the Board adopted a plan to achieve full funding of reserves over a 5 year period beginning in 2012. Accordingly, the Board sets aside funds annually to go into a reserve account so that the funds are available when the need for a capital item needs to be repaired or replaced. The Reserve Study plan adopted by the Board greatly diminishes, but does not entirely eliminate, the need for a special assessment in the future.
Each of the property owners in Greenwood is also an owner of the common property (Clubhouse and its component parts, Pools, Lake, Tennis Courts, and Common areas), and as such, shares the responsibility to pay for the maintenance of the property amenities we all enjoy. The Board of Trustees is the designated body to execute this responsibility on behalf of all the owners.
Greenwood’s rules are grounded in the Declarations under Governance on the GVCA website , which set up rules about the property use, the housing to be built, and how the property was to be governed [Board of Trustees]. Over time, the Board established the specific ACCES rules that provide standards for housing and property, insuring a level of uniformity that would support the property values and continue the image of Greenwood Village as a place one wants to live.
Refinements of rules evolved from the experience of the community over time. The elected Boards further established rules to ensure compliance and established fees to ensure continuous maintenance of the community and village faciities. Overall, Greenwood’s rules are designed to maintain the quality of the housing and the appearance of the entire property.
One of the most important responsibilities of GVCA is to communicate with its owners/residents. Having your email address allows GVCA to immediately notify you of community –wide alerts or new postings to the GVCA website. Your email address will be used only for these purposes. It will not be sold or shared with vendors, and electronic safeguards will be put in place to protect your privacy.
Only the residence owner, who is responsible for following the rules and regulations of Greenwood Village can file an ACCES Application.
ACCES-approved mailboxes are either:
a. the standard US Postal Service approved rural metal mailbox with a separate opening or space for non-US Mail, or
b. the Rubbermaid Step 2 mailbox.
See the drawings in Specifications for Single Family Home Mailboxes in the ACCES regulations on this website.
Any mailbox design that deviates from these standards requires an application be filed with ACCES prior to installation.
Note: The separate opening for newspapers and non-US Mail cannot be a pipe or newspaper logo box with the attached to the post.
Q: 37. I did some modifications to my property but didn’t file an ACCES application – I got a letter from GVCA telling me that this is a violation. Do I have to file an application even though the job is done? What happens if the application is not approved?
An owner should never make changes to their property without first checking the ACCES regulations posted on the website, and the condominium association rules if the unit is a condo. Changes to a property that are made without ACCES approval may have to be removed, or changed at the owner’s expense to meet the posted regulations.
The unit owner should read and take along a copy of the Rules and Guidelines for Retractable Awnings when shopping for an awning.
Only awnings that meet the standards for the frame and fabric ( warranted for a minimum of 10 years), that are equipped with an electric motor and manual hand crank, and that are equipped with a wind sensor and certified to withstand wind loads of at least 20 mph are permitted to be installed. All retractable awning manufacturers do not meet the Greenwood standards.
All residents are encouraged to report alleged complaints so that Greenwood’s property standards are maintained. There are 1,507 homes in Greenwood Village, and if they do not know of a problem, they cannot address it.
If you suspect a violation:
- Check the ACCES rules on the website. If it appears to be a violation, you must write out a report of the alleged violation and submit it to the GVCA office.
- The report must include the location and a description of the violation, along with your name, address, and phone number, so that the violation can be properly investigated.
- ACCES will not consider any oral or anonymous reports of alleged violations.
- The ACCES Committee will investigate your allegation, and take appropriate action. The committee may contact you if necessary.