X.C. Major Improvements



  1. REQUESTS. Only the member may make the request in writing to the GHI Technical Services Office. A request form is available from that office. Requests made by contractors are not acceptable since the member is responsible to GHI for conforming to the established standards. Incomplete information causes delays in the approval of the request. Requests by a member for any new permits shall not be processed until any outstanding violations of GHI rules and regulations by the member which have been cited by staff are corrected.
  2. SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS. All drawings and specifications must be complete and accurate enough to show exactly the work that is contemplated. A list of specific submittal requirements is included in the GHI Alterations Request Package available from the Technical Services Office. The following is an overview of the types of information required by GHI in order to grant approval.
    1. GENERAL. When requesting permission for decks and additions, members must submit detailed drawings and specifications including a section and elevation drawing, a floor plan of the unit and proposed addition, and a plot plan of the unit's yard (available from GHI)

      . Elevations of additions must include such details as the height and type of windows and doors. All requests must state who is planning to do the work, and the license numbers of any contractors. Approximate starting and completing dates shall also be included. For all additions and certain other improvements, the written consent of all adjacent neighbors is required. Technical Services may also request other information, including insurance certificates for contractors, depending on the nature of the contemplated work.

    2. STRUCTURAL. If the removal or alteration of any interior or exterior wall or structural component is contemplated, the contractor's drawings or engineering specifications must be submitted and must show sufficient detail. These types of alterations require extra care because partitions and other walls are often load bearing, supporting the upper structure, and integral to the structural integrity of the building.
    3. ELECTRICAL. If wiring modifications are planned, a layout sketch showing the location of new service, method of installation, and the materials used must be submitted. Sketches should include information on all new circuits created, and receptacles, lights and switches, and appliance services should be
      numbered to correspond to new or existing circuits.
    4. PLUMBING. If plumbing modifications are planned, schematic diagrams for supply and waste and vent plumbing must be submitted. These should specify sizes and materials of all piping. All penetration through the roof, floor, and in walls should be indicated.
    5. EQUIPMENT. Catalog data on all windows, doors, skylights, prefab fireplaces, and major appliances must be submitted.
    6. MATERIALS. All materials must be specified, including lumber types and sizes. The color of exterior siding and roofing must also be specified.
    7. LANDSCAPING. Major landscaping improvements (e.g. ponds, pavers, patios, retaining walls, grade changes) require written approval. This is because even small changes could cause drainage problems. Pavers are acceptable without staff review and written approval, provided that they do not negatively affect drainage. Catalog data, descriptions, installation drawings must be submitted to convey the concept of the installation.
  3. APPROVAL. All requests for additions must be accompanied by the written consent of each adjacent neighbor. This is required because the view, sunlight, and air circulation of each neighbor is affected. If an adjacent neighbor should refuse permission, the request shall be referred to the Board of Directors.  Screening or enclosure of an original porch requires the permission of GHI and the written consent of adjacent neighbors, except where screening or enclosure consists solely of adding a door to the existing porch.

    Approval is granted by GHI for improvements and alterations based upon the information submitted by the member, preliminary inspections made by GHI personnel, and the criteria listed in these rules and regulations. Staff has the prerogative to refer any issues, whether or not explicitly clarified within these rules, to the appropriate committee and/or the GHI Board of Directors.

    All additions must also meet the requirements of Prince George's County and City of Greenbelt codes as amended. Any work that requires a County permit also requires a City permit. Electrical work and plumbing work must also meet the requirements of Prince George's County and the City of Greenbelt or W.S.S.C. respectively. Approval is granted by GHI in writing by a GHI Building Permit. After GHI approval is obtained, building permits and electrical permits from Prince George's County and the City of Greenbelt, and plumbing permits from W.S.S.C. may then be obtained. Practically all work proposed will require a County, City, or W.S.S.C. permit. (The County and the City will not issue a permit without first having GHI approval.) MEMBERS, NOT CONTRACTORS, MUST MAKE CERTAIN THAT PROPER PERMITS HAVE BEEN OBTAINED AND THAT COPIES HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED TO GHI BEFORE WORK MAY BEGIN.

    Non-permanent improvements (e.g. sheds, fences, etc.) in areas of traditional yard beyond GHI property boundary lines require a GHI permit and a Permit for Construction in the Right-of-Way from the City of Greenbelt.

    When considering exceptions to these rules, the Board of Directors is not bound by any exceptions granted in the past. For information on the process of requesting an exception, see part XX, Policy of Exemption to Regulations.
  4. INSPECTIONS. The GHI Building Permit will indicate which inspections are required. A chart on the back of the Building Permit form reminds members that GHI inspections run parallel to County inspections, that is, whenever a County or W.S.S.C.inspection is required, GHI must also be notified by the member. Spot inspections while addition or improvements are under construction may be made by the GHI Inspector to insure compliance with applicable County and W.S.S.C. codes and GHI rules and regulations. The member must notify the Technical Services Office when the improvement or addition is completed so that GHI can make a final inspection. It is recommended that final payment to a contractor not be made until GHI has made a final inspection.