The Architecture Committee (AC) has been handling a number of requests for changes to fence lines in Grand Oaks, and we take each request on a case-by-case basis. While we appreciate owners wanting to maximize fenced yard space, we balance that with issues around neighbor sight-lines, security, and setting precedent. Moving a side fence forward, especially on those lots that are very narrow and/or on a curve, can dramatically alter the space and proportion of the view from a neighbor's living or dining room. We have turned down requests on multiple occasions where the new fence would be very close to a neighbor's window. We have also had Austin Police Department (APD) representatives tell us that flat fence lines between homes provide less ease (corners are easier) for bad guys climbing fences, and create less shadows where people might hide.
There are a number of requests coming in for screening for trash cans on sides of homes. Please know that we prefer the smaller options (just masking the cans) to any larger plan that might create a place to stash too many things that might be better in a yard or garage. Also, we prefer the screens to match house siding. Finally, as with fences, we are disinclined to approve anything that is right outside a neighbor's window. It might be worth considering which side of your home is on the "garage side" of your neighbor when considering your placement options.
On the paint topic – we are having a growing number of requests for shades of gray/charcoal in the community. Please know that requests for the identical color of a neighbor's home are unlikely to be approved. And yes, we are still trying to keep the original community colors predominant in the look of the neighborhood.
FINALLY, and most important of all, if you request AC approval after or during a change you may be paying to re-do paint or landscaping. This has happened, and continues to happen. We do not approve things because they are done, and we hate to tell owners they must incur more expense because they jumped the gun. This past month we had an owner that had to paint part of a home three times because of a failure to wait for approval. And when it comes to paint, you must tell us WHAT PAINT GOES WHERE. We get apps that say "repainting, colors attached" but they do not say where each color is to be applied. We don't guess, and you will be asked to resubmit (as many times as it takes) to get it right.