A Message from the ARB

Hilton Head Island is a beautiful place. With that in mind, the goal of property development in Palmetto Dunes is – and always has been – to achieve a visually pleasing blend of natural beauty and man-made improvements. The covenants established guidelines to ensure the properties in the community maintain certain standards and provided for an Architectural Review Board (ARB) to implement the architectural guidelines.

The ARB’s mission is to contribute to maintaining the quality of life of residents and guests by assuring that residential construction, remodeling and landscaping is designed and built to high aesthetic standards consistent with the neighborhood character, overall ambiance, and natural environment of Palmetto Dunes.

Most exterior alterations or improvements, including painting, re-roofing, tree trimming and removals, door/window replacements, etc., require an ARB permit. When an application for a permit is submitted, the entire property is subject to an ARB inspection to ensure it meets current standards. If deficiencies are found, issuance of the ARB permit may be contingent upon the owner’s agreement to bring the property into compliance with the current ARB Design and Construction Guidelines (D&CGs). This information can be found in the D&CGs, as well as on the application itself. Inspections are performed by the ARB which are different from the Baseline Inspections or Closing Inspection Reports that are conducted by Covenant Compliance.

The Covenant Compliance inspections are based on the covenants and properties are only inspected from viewable common areas (such as roadways, lakes, lagoons, golf courses, beach access walkways, and pathways). ARB inspections are based on the D&CGs where the entire property is inspected.

Below is a list of the most common violations of the ARB Design & Construction Guidelines. If you anticipate initiating an ARB application you may want to consider addressing these deficiencies if they apply to you.

Top 5 Common ARB Deficiencies:

  • Lack of foundation plants – All foundations (e.g., house, deck, garage, service yard, etc.) shall be landscaped on all sides (even if it cannot be seen from a common area and a neighboring property). Foundation plants shall provide a minimum of 50% foundation width and height coverage at installation.
  • Lack of ground coverage – Leaving some areas in their natural state may be appropriate. Natural state refers to a natural leaf ground cover. These areas shall still be kept free from weeds, vines and debris. Designated natural areas may use a natural bed of leaves/pine straw/mulch as the ground coverage material. No exposed earth is allowed. Sod may be used as well. For properties that border the lakes or lagoon, sod may not be used within the 20-foot OCRM wetland buffer. Only native-approved ground coverage can be used in the buffer.
  • Lack of pool screening – Pools and spas should be landscaped to fully screen them from the lagoon, lake, golf course, street, common areas and/or adjacent properties. Evergreen vegetation must be used to offer screening year-round. Mature vegetation is to be used so it offers screening upon installation.
  • Lack of a service yard – Electric and gas meters, heat pumps, air-conditioning equipment, water heaters, generators, above-ground propane tanks, outdoor showers, cable and telephone boxes, irrigation boxes, pool equipment, garbage receptacles and similar exterior equipment must be located within an attached service yard and screened from view. Service yards should be designed to complement the house. Lattice or similar see-through material is not acceptable. Overlapping siding, stucco or louvers are acceptable. Service yards must be painted as they cannot be left in an untreated condition. Service yards must meet the setback requirements of the residence. Landscaping around the perimeter of the service yard is required.
  • Lack of finishing on decks/porches/stairs – All vertical elements of a deck, porch, or stairs (including facia, risers, posts, enclosure beneath a deck, etc.) need to be painted or stained. Clear/semi-clear stains cannot be used for vertical elements.

We hope this information is helpful and allows property owners to proactively address items prior to submitting an ARB application.

The association appreciates your continued reinvestment in the community. Palmetto Dunes remains a very desirable place to live and invest, and we thank you for your contribution!

Please contact Monica Stites, Community Standards Manager, with any questions at (843) 785-1109 or at mstites@pdpoa.org.

– On behalf of the ARB