Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) office? How can I contact ACC staff?

The Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Coordinator works out of the Administration Office, which is located in the SVCA Clubhouse at 4 Clubhouse Circle. Committee members are volunteers from the community. Hours of Availability:  9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.,   Monday through Friday You can contact the ACC/Common Area Coordinator at 360-734-6430 or email them here

Once I’ve filled out a request form for the ACC, how do I turn it in? When will they review it and when do I get an answer?

The ACC typically meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month.  To have your request reviewed you will need to submit it by 12:00 Noon on the  prior Thursday For example, you would need to have it in by October 8th to be reviewed at the meeting held on Thursday October 15th.

The first meeting of the month is being held remotely, at 9AM click here to get the zoom link.
The second meeting of the month is in person at the Dance Barn, 8 Barn View Ct. at 6PM

NOTE:  New construction (single family home or addition) plans must be received at least 15 business days in advance of ACC meetings, by scheduled appointment with ACC/Common Area Coordinator.

To submit your request, you can use the following methods:

  • Drop-off:  SVCA Administration Office, during open hours or through night drop.
  • Mail:  4 Clubhouse Circle Bellingham, WA 98229.  Please address your requests to SVCA, Architectural Control Committee.
  • Email

Receiving a response from the ACC: All applicants will receive a response letter by mail 7-10 days after the meeting.  The meeting results and minutes will also be posted online 2-3 business days after the ACC meeting. Members are welcome to attend any Committee meeting, contact Administration for assistance.

Past and upcoming meeting information is also available online. Click HERE for the ACC meeting page.

Do I need to get permission to build a shed/greenhouse/swingset on my property?

Yes, any change to the exterior of your home requires ACC approval. You’ll need to fill out an Exterior Alteration Request, which is a one-page form. On it, you’ll indicate any changes that may affect soil drainage and overall appearance. ACC members will consider the topography and aesthetics of your neighborhood in your request, as the goal is to preserve the health and beauty of our home. You can find all ACC request forms here.

Do I need approval to paint or roof my home? What if I am repainting/re-roofing my home with the same colors?

You’ll need to use the Exterior Alteration Request to give the Committee an understanding of the change you wish to make. Include paint chips and/or roofing samples, photos, diagrams, or any applicable information to help your neighbors volunteering on the committee to visualize the improvement you’d like to make.

Repainting or re-roofing, and repairs of all kinds using like-for-like materials do not need ACC approval (as long as the original color or concept was approved at some point).

Pre-approved paint colors (Click Here) will be approved immediately upon receipt of the Exterior Alteration Request. Black and white are considered as pre-approved trim colors.

You’re welcome to request any color you like, but please be aware that colors outside of the approved palette will require consideration and may not be approved.


Do I need approval to remove tree limbs? Is there a size or height criteria?

According to the SVCA governing documents and Whatcom County code, you can limb up to 25% of the foliage without obtaining permits.  If limbing is to exceed 25% of the foliage, then you must obtain a Whatcom County permit and provide a copy with your ACC request prior to commencement of work.  Requests are subject to the ACC Guidelines relating to trees.

What if the tree isn’t on my property?

If you would like to apply for limbing or removal of trees belonging to a neighbor, you must be able to provide their written consent with your application.

If the tree in question is on property owned by Sudden Valley, staff will evaluate and rate the tree according to Forest Management guidelines. Depending on the rating, the tree will be removed or listed for future removal.

What if a tree poses an immediate risk of injury or property damage?

Report any hazard trees to staff by calling (360) 746-8431 during business hours, or (360) 319-8200 after hours. 

Staff will make a determination about removal of trees or the process by which approval should be granted. SVCA employees staff members with training in recognizing hazardous trees.

How do I apply for Tree Limbing or Removal?

Tree Request forms are available at the Administration Office or through the link above. If your request includes removal of an evergreen tree 12-inches in diameter or greater or a deciduous tree 8-inches in diameter or greater, then you must obtain a Whatcom County Tree Removal Permit prior to applying to the ACC.  Applicants must mark all tree with ribbon (no spray paint) before they can be reviewed.

On the form please include a diagram indicating the location and number of trees, and include a detailed description of the proposed work along with a Whatcom County permit, if applicable.  Please also be clear on the type of limbing proposed, whether it involves removal of only dead limbs, removal of the lower limbs, or selectively thinning the upper crown of the tree. Please also note that topping or windowing trees is generally not allowed in Sudden Valley.

I think a resident may be violating the ACC Guidelines or performing work without ACC approval. Who should I contact?

Staff works to ensure compliance through positive outreach and proactive education. When a residence or property is found to be out of compliance we work with the property owner to find the best means of reaching a successful resolution. In many cases, a simple adjustment or application to the ACC will resolve a compliance issue. In situations where irrevocable damage has occurred or the resident is unwilling to work with SVCA staff additional action such as fines may result.

If you are concerned about a violation of ACC policies, or any other rule, you may submit a private complaint form to the Administrative Office. Staff there will forward your concern to the appropriate department manager.

Emergencies or criminal activity should not be reported via this form – always call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Applying for Review

Sudden Valley Community Association’s governing documents task the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) with the responsibility of reviewing proposed projects on platted lots which involve removal and trimming of trees and vegetation, construction of new homes or additions, and other projects which alter the appearance of the lot. If you are uncertain whether or not your project requires ACC review please contact staff at (360) 734-6430.

If your project requires ACC review you will need to submit a review request form. There are six request forms which correspond to various activities. Forms must be submitted to the staff at least one week prior to the ACC meeting. Forms can be submitted by mail, email, and fax or by dropping the request off at the administration office.

Sudden Valley Community Association
4 Clubhouse Circle
Bellingham, WA 98229

Phone: (360) 734-­6430
Fax: (360) 734-­1915


The ACC will review the request form and conduct a site inspection to ensure that the proposed project is compliant with the Association’s governing documents. Sudden Valley residents are invited to attend ACC meetings which start at 9:00 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month via Zoom and 6:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month located in the Dance Barn.  All applicants will receive a response letter 7­ – 10 days after the meeting. The meeting results and minutes will also be posted online 2-­3 days after the ACC meeting.

ACC Forms

Please print the appropriate form, fill it out, and drop it off at the Admin Office. You can use the night drop box below the Admin window to submit your request after business hours.