Guideline No. 07 – Basketball Equipment (Portable, Permanent, Attached)

An Exterior Alteration Application must be submitted for any and all basketball equipment, freestanding or attached; temporary or permanent.

Application Requirements

The application must include:

  • A plot plan showing the location of the basketball unit.

Note: Applications without a diagrammed plot plan will not be accepted.

  • Description of proposed unit.
  • Description of the backboard color.
  • Manufacturers drawing or photograph.
  • Color of the pole.
  • Height of the rim.
  • A description of how and where the equipment will be anchored (for attached units).
  • Signature of affected neighbors.

Approval

Your Exterior Alteration Application for free-standing, portable or permanent basketball equipment will most likely be approved if you meet the following conditions:

  1. The backboard is a quality, commercial one.
  2. The backboard is clear, white, graphite (gray), with hoop, stripe and net.
  3. The proposed placement provides reasonable visual and noise consideration for neighbors.
  4. Appropriate screening is proposed (where applicable). See GUIDELINE No.47-SCREENING.

Front of House Placement

  1. Placement is at the side of the driveway away from the applicant’s house toward the side property line.
  2. The basketball equipment is no more than 20 feet or less than 3 feet from the front of the garage, and no more than 4 feet from the side line of the driveway.
  3. There is a minimum of 7.5 feet between the backboard and the side property line and a minimum of 20 feet or half the length of the driveway (whichever is less) from the front property line in the backboard.
  4. The basketball hoop faces the driveway.
  5. You have obtained written permission of all owners if you have a shared driveway.

Rear of House Placement

  1. Placement is 10 feet or more from the rear and side property lines (although this placement will be considered on a case-by-case basis).

Note: BASKETBALL EQUIPMENT IS NOT AND WILL NOT BE APPROVED IN THE HOWARD COUNTY RIGHT OF WAY (ROW: the street, the sidewalk, street tree easements, and the cul-de-sacs). Residents with complaints about basketball equipment in the County right-of way may contact Howard County at 410-313-7450.

Guideline No. 26 – Hot Tubs and Whirlpools

An Exterior Alteration Application must be submitted for all hot tubs and whirlpools.

Application Requirements

The application must include:

  • A site (plot) plan showing the location of the hot tub in relation to the applicant’s house, property lines, and adjacent dwellings.

Note: Applications without a diagramed plot plan will not be accepted.

  • Signatures of all adjacent property owners who would be visually or acoustically affected by the hot tub.
  • Dimensions, type, and color of proposed materials.
  • A manufacturer’s drawing and/or photograph, if available.

Approval

Hot tubs and whirlpools will most likely be approved if the following criteria are met:

  1. The tub does not create a substantial acoustical or visual impact on adjacent property owners.
  2. The hot tub will be located in the rear yard within side site lines of the residence, and not more than 20 feet from the back of the house.
  3. The hot tub does not protrude more than 3 feet above the adjacent ground or deck level and is made of material that will blend with surrounding structures.
  4. Additional screening with fences and landscape buffers such as shrubs are proposed to reduce the impact on adjacent property owners if necessary. See GUIDELINE No.47 – SCREENING.
  5. The hot tub or whirlpool is proportional to the Lot and other exterior structures.

NOTE: Hot tub, whirlpool and fencing requested for townhouse or condominium property will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Guideline No. 35 – Play Equipment

An Exterior Alteration Application is required for the following:

  • All play equipment over 8 feet in height and/or over 10 feet in length.
  • Sandboxes more than one foot above ground and/or over 25 square feet.
  • Tree houses, forts, doll houses and trampolines.
  • All play equipment not made of natural wood, regardless of size.

Application Requirements

Application must include:

  • Site (plot) plan showing the location of the play equipment.

Note: Applications without a diagramed plot/plat plan will not be accepted.

  • Description of the play equipment.
  • Manufacturer drawing or photograph, if available. include:

Approval

Your application will most likely be approved if the following criteria are met:

  1. All equipment is in proportion to lot size.
  2. The overall size of the equipment is proportionate to the area and does not dominate the site.
  3. The equipment is inconspicuously located in the rear yard area at a reasonable distance (7.5′ to 10′) from side and rear property lines.
  4. If natural wood play equipment is proposed; or if; metal play equipment is proposed, it is painted a dark earth tone color (brown, green).
  5. Equipment is located in the rear of the house and within lines defined by the sides of the house extended to the rear.
  6. Play Equipment is within 20 feet from the rear of the house or 2/3 the distance between the rear of the house and the rear property line, whichever is closer to the house.
  7. Fencing, planting, or landscape screening have been proposed, required. See GUIDELINE No. 17- FENCING or GUIDELINE NO. 47-SCREENING.

Approval not required

An application is not required for swing sets and play equipment if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Total height of 8 feet or less.
  2. Total length of 10 feet or less.
  3. Located at the rear of the house and within the lines defined by the sides of the house extended to the rear.
  4. Within 20 feet of the house or 2/3 the distance between the rear of the house and the rear property lines, whichever is closer to the house.
  5. The swing set or play equipment is made of natural wood.

An application is not required for sandboxes if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Total height is one foot or less above ground.
  2. Area is 25 square feet or less.
  3. The sandbox is within 20 feet of the rear of the house or two-thirds the distance between the rear of the house and the rear property line, whichever is closer to the house.

NOTE: Townhouse and condominium associations may have further restrictions on play equipment so please check with your local association. The most restrictive guidelines will apply.

Guideline No. 36 – Pools

An Exterior Alteration Application must be submitted for all pools except portable children’s wading pools that can be emptied at night and do not exceed 36 square feet.  A two-step approval process outlined below is recommended for all in ground pools.

Application Requirements

Applications must include:

Pool Part 1:

  • A site (plot) plan showing the location of the pool and its associated equipment.

Note: Applications without a diagramed plot/plat plan will not be accepted.

  • Map showing location of all neighboring dwellings which will have Visual and Acoustic access to the pool.
  • Signatures of all neighboring dwellings which will have visual and acoustic access to the pool.
  • Schematic or sketch, with dimensions, showing:
  1. Deck Areas
  2. Patio
  3. Lighting
  4. Walkways
  5. Fence
  6. Additions as result of pool
  7. Other structural change e.g. fire pits grills kitchens, etc.

Pool Part 2:

Application must include:

  • A site (plot) plan showing the location of the pool and its associated equipment.

Note: Applications without a diagramed plot/plat plan will not be accepted.

  • All information from Part 1.
  • Signatures of all neighboring dwellings which will have Visual and Acoustic access to the pool.
  • Copy of the approval of the Howard County application.
  • Grading plan.
  • Landscape plan.
  • Screening plan.

Approval

Your application will most likely be approved if the following criteria are met:

  1. Size of the pool is of reasonable proportion to the house, lot, and other structures on the lot.
  2. Fencing surrounding the pool must meets the requirements of the River Hill Architectural Guidelines and Covenants. Howard County has specific requirements pertaining to fencing surrounding the pool area. Contact the County for specific fencing requirements.
  3. Approval of the fence is contingent upon completion of the pool.

NOTE: Above ground pools will not be approved.  The applicant must demonstrate that the lot’s size, shape and topography are suitable for a pool. The RHAC may deem some lots unsuitable for a pool.  An approved Howard County Building permit does not constitute authorization for the construction of the pool nor does the approval of the preliminary application constitute authorization for the construction of the pool.