Springdale Estates Association

Architectural Committee

Springdale Estates' restrictive covenants are a legal document you accepted when you purchased your property here. [If you have misplaced your copy, covenants for most properties are accessible on SEA's website, or can be obtained from the Architectural Committee (contact Paul MacDougal, 919-844-6531, arch@springdaleestates.org).] These covenants (Article IV) require that any new construction (house, addition, exterior remodeling, detached garage, outbuilding, deck, pool, fence, etc.) be reviewed and approved by SEA's Architectural Committee prior to beginning construction.

The purposes of this requirement are:

  • to maintain the architectural design integrity of our community as a whole
  • to assure that our residents do not incur unnecessary costs or delays by beginning projects that might ultimately have to be altered, modified, relocated, reconstructed, or abandoned due to failure to comply with setback requirements, construction regulations, code specifications, or related criteria.

The Request for Approval (RFA) Form is the "cover sheet" for submitting a documentation package to the Architectural Committee for any new construction project.  The RFA Form specifies the necessary documentation and signature requirements. Generally, an RFA will include a paragraph (or more) describing the project, including specifying materials, color schemes, etc., and appropriate site plans, elevations, floor plans, etc. Your RFA should be signed by you and your surrounding neighbors with a "line-of-sight" view of your project from their property. (Reviewing your RFA package with your neighbors is simply a courtesy to inform them about your project. A neighbor's signature (or refusal to sign) has no bearing on whether your project is approved.)  If you have any question regarding completing your RFA package, contact the Architectural Committee. RFAs are reviewed promptly by the Architectural Committee, and formal approval for your project will be provided in writing within 30 days of receiving your complete RFA submittal.

The Architectural Committee's purpose and intent is to assist and protect our property owners. Thank you for your support by complying with Springdale Estates' restrictive covenants requirements.

What activities need an RFA?

Not all construction needs approval by the Architectural Committee. What follows is a sampling of activities which do and do not require approval. This is not an exhaustive list, rather a general guideline.  The Architectural Committee expects homeowners to use good judgment and common sense, and consider that our neighborhood should always present a harmonious and homogenous appearance throughout. The Architectural Committee would definitely want to speak with a homeowner who intends to (for example) install a "hot pink" metal roof, install flashing neon exterior lighting, or place 3 dozen sundials or sculptures in the front yard. The Architectural Committee reserves the right to disapprove any RFA it believes defines a project that does not provide for "the most appropriate development and improvement of each lot.....(and following)" as per Restrictive Covenants Article II.

Interior Renovation

Interior work does not require approval by the Architectural Committee. You may be required to obtain City of Raleigh permits for the work.
  • Remodel kitchen, bathroom, bedroom
  • Interior painting, wallpapering, etc.
  • Adding a wood stove or fireplace insert
  • Adding a skylight or solar tube


Landscaping does not generally require approval. You may be required to obtain City of Raleigh permits for the work.
  • Removing trees, bushes, etc.
  • Planting trees, bushes, etc.
  • Putting in a stone pathway
  • Putting in a retaining wall
  • Putting in a fish pond
  • Change lawn to natural area or vice-versa
  • Add a statue or sundial


Maintenance of your property does not require approval by the Architectural Committee. You may be required to obtain City of Raleigh permits for the work.
  • Painting your house exterior
  • Replacing an appliance (Water heater, furnace, washing machine, ...)
  • Replacing your windows (with similar version)
  • Replacing your roof (with similar version)
  • Replacing your siding (with similar version)
  • Replacing your screened in porch (with similar version)
  • Replacing a fence (with similar version)
  • Replacing your mailbox
  • Repaving your driveway

New Construction

Any exterior construction which changes the appearance of your house requires an RFA and approval by the Architectural Committee. You will likely be required to obtain City of Raleigh permits for the work.
  • Room additions that are visible from outside the house
  • Adding a garage
  • Enlarging a garage
  • Adding a fence
  • Adding a driveway or turnaround to your driveway
  • Adding a deck
  • Converting a deck to a screened porch
  • Converting a screened porch to a sun room
  • Converting a garage to living space
  • Installing a swimming pool (above-ground or in-ground)
  • Adding a utility shed (storebought or stick built)
  • Changing your roof from shingles to metal roof (or other similar significant change in appearance)
  • Anything that significantly changes the appearance of your house
  • Building a big treehouse (Check with the Committee. A small treehouse is likely a "temporary" structure and will not require an RFA.)

Right of way along our roads

Do You Know Your Property Ownership Rights and Limits Along Our Roads?

Homeowners often assume their property lines along our roads go right up to the pavement edge. That is NOT correct. And it could lead to a visit from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), informing you that you must remove those beautiful shrubs you planted at the corner of your driveway, or that your basketball goal located near the street must come down. There is a popular misconception that you own the land all the way to the edge of the pavement. The truth is that the state actually owns a fairly significant strip of your front yard. (But if it makes you feel better, you do get to fertilize it, mow it, rake leaves from it, etc.!) This strip is known as the "right-of-way", and anything placed on that land (other than mail boxes, utility boxes, street signs, fire hydrants, etc.) is considered illegal. The NCDOT can require you to remove any plantings, structures, or equipment deemed to not comply with its regulations. The state owned right-of-way in Springdale Estates is typically 60 feet wide, or 30 feet to each side of the pavement's centerline. Our pavement is typically 20 feet wide, so this means that, measured from the pavement's centerline, the state owns the 10 feet of asphalt over to the edge of your lawn, PLUS the next approximately 20 feet into your yard. Note that in cul-de-sacs, due to wider pavement, the right-of-way may not extend nearly so far into your lawn. (NCDOT or a registered land surveyor should be contacted for accurate right-of-way measurements in these unique cul-de-sac situations.) So before you plant those new shrubs, construct a wall, build entry markers at the end of your driveway, place stones along the road's edge, or do most anything near the pavement, take a few minutes and measure 30 feet from the center of the road into your yard, to be sure your new project is located behind that state owned right-of-way. [NOTE: SEA's Architectural Committee does not make a practice of monitoring neighborhood properties to assure compliance with NCDOT right-of-way requirements. This article's purpose is simply to alert our property owners regarding NCDOT's residential right-of way regulations and the possible ramifications of non-compliance.]