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The Reston Master Development Plan designated certain groups of individual lots as residential "clusters." The owners of such properties are members of a cluster association. The cluster association owns and maintains cluster common property.
In addition to the Design Guidelines, each cluster also has specific design standards which apply to its individual properties. Cluster standards are the criteria for essential exterior elements of the cluster architecture. These standards usually define basic requirements or limitations regarding alterations and often describe acceptable design solutions.
The essential exterior elements of the cluster design were reviewed and approved by the DRB prior to construction. Records of the initial approvals and subsequent changes for colors, materials, doors, fences, decks, light fixtures and such are on file at RA and are available to cluster residents. These original standards are expanded and updated through the cooperative efforts of the cluster association, the DRB and the RA staff.
Cluster standards serve to sustain the consistency of design and the attractiveness of the neighborhood. Because the dwelling unit density is higher in clusters, continued design integrity maintains visual harmony among individual homes. High density also requires a greater degree of control regarding physical alterations. Because of the close relationship of one house to another within clusters, alterations and additions to one property may have a direct effect on adjacent property. The Design Guidelines, cluster standards and the review process may restrict individual choices for the benefit of the cluster's overall appearance and the protection of its individual residents.
Very often, an application which conforms to established cluster standards may be approved quickly and easily through the staff review process. In other cases, review by staff in consultation with a DRB member or by a DRB Panel may be required.
In most cases, the DRB follows the cluster standards in reviewing applications. However, the DRB may review specific applications for variations from the cluster standards, and may approve such request if, after consultation with the cluster, it considers the request to be appropriate to the conditions of that property or its visual impact is not significant in the established visual pattern of the cluster.
To inquire about changes to exterior of your property or to contact your property advisor, please email Covstaff@Reston.org or click here to find the phone number of your advisor.