AN Address of distinction in bloomfield hills, michigan

Foxcroft Subdivision

Foxcroft Architectural and Building Guidelines

1. Introduction

The purpose of the Foxcroft Architectural and Building Guidelines is to provide current and prospective Foxcroft property owners and residents with information to maintain Foxcroft’s attractive quality and character.  This document contains the guidelines for building projects involving the renovation,

remodeling or replacement of residential structures in the Foxcroft subdivision. These guidelines define building standards and explain the process for approval of building plans as established in Paragraph Seven of the Foxcroft Deed Restrictions associated with each Foxcroft lot and applicable to all Foxcroft residents and property owners.  Foxcroft residents should be familiar with the Deed Restrictions and Foxcroft Improvement Association By-Laws.  These guidelines are separate from but supplemental to the Bloomfield Township building code and building permit processes.

2. Foxcroft Architectural Character

Foxcroft encompasses one of the oldest and most established neighborhoods in Bloomfield Township, and is well known for its unique charm and character. The architectural style of Foxcroft is varied throughout the Subdivision, and represents a cross section of some of the more respected American styles, each of which reflects a building style contemporary with the time of development.  Foxcroft is comprised of several sections. The first development, known as Foxcroft I, is composed primarily of New England-style two story and Ranch-style homes. Foxcroft II is characterized by greater variety and in some cases, larger homes. Foxcroft III and IV contain the most recent construction with several contemporary-style homes.

Foxcroft Architectural and Building Guidelines

3. Foxcroft Review and Approval Process

All building project plans must be reviewed and approved by the Foxcroft Building Committee prior to the plans being submitted for approval by Bloomfield Township and a building permit issued by the Township. Work may not commence before project approval is obtained from both Foxcroft and Bloomfield Township. Foxcroft residents must ensure that building plans are submitted for review by the Foxcroft Building Committee prior to review by Bloomfield Township. In addition, Foxcroft residents are responsible for making sure that their building projects follow the approved building

plans.  Building projects that proceed without Foxcroft Building Committee approval or that do not follow approved plans risk work stoppage until approval is granted. See Paragraph Seven of the Foxcroft Deed Restrictions.

The Foxcroft Review and Approval Process follows:

a. Complete a Foxcroft Building Project Application, which may be found on the Foxcroft website:, or obtained directly from a member of the Foxcroft Building Committee. Committee members are identified on both the

Foxcroft website and in the Foxcroft Improvement Association resident directory.

b. Contact either the Foxcroft Building Committee Chairman or Secretary to schedule a preliminary review of the building project. This review often consists of a conversation with members of the Building Committee regarding the intended building project specified in the completed Building Project Application, and will provide initial feedback to the owner regarding acceptability of the project.

c. Upon initial approval, return the Application to the Foxcroft Building Committee Chairman or Secretary along with three copies of the plans. The plans should be the complete, identical set that is being submitted to Bloomfield Township for a building permit.

d. The Foxcroft Building Committee will contact the applicant or their architect to schedule a meeting to review the plans and either approve them and affix the Foxcroft Building Committee stamp, or reject the plans with suggested changes pending revision by the applicant to comply with Foxcroft Building Guidelines.  Follow-up meetings with the applicant and/or their architect to review suggested changes will be scheduled as needed by the Foxcroft Building Committee Secretary.

e. The Foxcroft Building Committee will retain one copy of the approved plans in order to monitor the project’s compliance with the plans. Any post-approval modification to the approved plans must receive advance approval by the Foxcroft Building Committee using the above process before such modifications commence.

f. As a courtesy, Foxcroft residents are encouraged to notify neighbors of planned construction activity. In some cases residents must obtain formal written approval from neighbors prior to commencing construction activity.

4. Definitions

The following definitions shall apply to the Foxcroft Subdivision and the Foxcroft Architectural and Building Guidelines.

a. ALTERATIONS shall mean any construction or renovation to an existing structure or landscape other than temporary repair.

b. ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER shall mean the basic detailing, architectural rhythm, appearance and historic period of a building, or group of buildings or structures, including site and landscape development.

c. ARCHITECTURAL STYLE shall mean the characteristic form and detail, as of surrounding structures.

d. EMERGENCY REPAIRS shall mean any and all repairs necessary to create an intact building or structure due to a recently occurring natural disaster, including but not limited to a flood, tornado, lightning, or hail.

e. FAÇADE shall mean that portion of any exterior elevation on the building extending from grade, eaves or roof and the entire width of the building elevation.

f. SCALE shall mean a proportional relationship of the size of parts to one another and to the human figure.

5. Design Standards

New homes and alterations to existing homes shall be respectful of the Architectural Character of Foxcroft as described in Section 2 above.

a. Fencing in yards shall be wrought iron, wooden picket or rail, or fencing of a similar period style and shall be no more than 48 inches in height. Chain link and solid "stockade" fencing, or fencing of plastic or other synthetic materials shall not be permitted on any property. Natural stone or brick walls are permitted, provided they are compatible with the material of the primary structure or landscape.

b. New or replacement walks and driveways shall be constructed so that color and texture duplicates the original as nearly as possible. Driveways shall be asphalt or other period-correct paving material i.e., brick as approved in advance by the Foxcroft Building Committee. Wood, mulch, or other organic materials are not acceptable for driveway paving. Loose gravel is permitted provided that it is contained so as not to flow onto adjacent roads, drives or landscaped areas.

c. Existing street trees shall be preserved and maintained. When a tree dies or is damaged beyond repair or salvage, it shall be removed as soon as possible and preferably replaced with a like species. Foxcroft Improvement Association shall be consulted for the removal and/or replacement of all trees greater than six (6) inches in diameter as measured six (6) inches from adjoining terrain. See Foxcroft Deed Restrictions Paragraph Eleven.

d. All new developments including residential infill shall be required to include trees in the overall development, unless site constraints prevent their placement.

e. Period-appropriate post lighting shall be in character with the neighborhood, and lighting fixtures shall be focused specifically on walks, entries and drives.  Supplemental lighting and security lighting fixtures shall be mechanically shielded so as to prevent light from reaching nearby lots, structures or streets. Brightness as measured in lumens shall not exceed that required to light the area(s) immediately proximate to the structure or lighting device, e.g. lamp posts.

f. New lighting installations shall be designed to be compatible with the neighborhood character and shall be of a similar style.

g. Turf grass shall be the predominate landscaping material. Natural rock, stone and gravel shall be used as an accent element and not the main focus. The use of colored stone or other such materials or those of artificial composition is not permitted.

h. Hard surfaced patios and terraces are prohibited in the front yard.

i. All buildings shall be set back from the street uniformly to present a continuous façade line along the street, except that minor recesses or projections for entries, arcades and similar elements may be acceptable. Where a continuous façade line is not available, structures shall be setback within five feet of the existing setback line average along that side of the street within that block. In any case, setbacks must conform to Bloomfield Township ordinances.

j. Existing windows and openings, wood roofs and/or trim, and architectural features shall be retained.

k. Use of florescent or neon paint colors as a primary or trim color on the exterior of anybuilding is prohibited.

l. Additions to buildings shall be compatible in appearance by coordinating style, materials, scale and detail with the original buildings.

m. All structures shall incorporate the architectural detailing and materials (such as windows and bays) used in adjacent structures in order to ensure compatibility with surrounding buildings.

n. All building designs shall be compatible with the historical architectural character within Foxcroft; all remodeling or rehabilitation of exteriors shall ensure the visual integrity of the building, and be compatible with the overall architectural character of

the district.

o. Secondary or accessory structures are prohibited.

p. Existing doors and windows may be replaced with new products of comparable design and updated material.

q. Mechanical or electrical equipment shall be hidden or screened from street level view, and be soundproofed within Township code. This includes emergency power generating equipment.

r. Buses, campers, boats, trailers and recreational vehicles and commercial vehicles shall not be parked anywhere in the Subdivision.

s. No satellite dish or similar device is permitted in the front yard or on any street-facing façade of any building including building roofs.

6. General Design Criteria

These criteria apply to all situations involving new construction, additions and remodels of residential uses.

a. The orientation of the front façade of the primary structure shall be oriented in a manner that allows the main entrance to be clearly identified from the street.

b. Where entrances are placed perpendicular to the street, the entry point shall be clearly denoted through the use of walkways and porches.

c. Porches, when utilized, shall be oriented toward the primary street frontage in an architectural style and scale compatible with the primary structure.

d. Decks, when utilized, shall be adjacent on a façade of the primary structure not facing a public street. Decks shall be made out of wood or composite material that accurately simulates wood. Plastic or shiny decking material is prohibited.

e. Windows and doors shall maintain the architectural character of the structure they are a part of. The proportions of windows shall be similar to those already utilized in the structure.

f. Wheelchair accessible ramps, when used, shall be constructed with materials that are compatible with the primary structure; and shall be landscaped for reasons of safety and aesthetics if deemed necessary.

g. Deteriorated or damaged architectural features shall be repaired rather than replaced and shall be preserved in place. Replace historic features in-kind when restoration is not an option.

7. General Building Form and Heights

a. The height and appearance shall be generally consistent with residential structures in the area of Foxcroft in which it is located. See Section 2 above.

8. General Roofing Requirements

a. Roofs on residential buildings shall be compatible with adjacent residential buildings.

b. Sloping roofs such as gables and hips shall be appropriate to the area of Foxcroft.

c. Dormers may be used when appropriate to the building style and scale.

d. Eaves shall be comparable to eaves found in the area of Foxcroft

e. Allowable roofing materials include wood or composite shingles when appropriate in scale and texture to those traditionally found in the subdivision.

9. General Exterior Finishes

a. Horizontal and vertical siding are appropriate in most cases. All siding shall be wood and shall have a weather-protective finish. Synthetic materials such as aluminum, vinyl, or fiber-cement siding are allowed provided that the siding conveys a scale, texture, and lap dimension similar to that traditionally found in Foxcroft. The use of highly reflective materials is not allowed.

b. The use of masonry materials shall be allowable provided the use of these materials is historically appropriate to the style and character of the residence.

c. Brick shall have a modular dimension and have texture and scale similar to those traditionally seen in Foxcroft. The use of jumbo bricks is not allowed.

d. Natural stone shall be used when historically appropriate to the style and character of the building. Stone shall have qualities similar to those traditionally found in Foxcroft.

e. Tile and stucco shall be used only as secondary materials and when historically appropriate to the style and character of the building.

f. Alternative materials may be allowed provided they are similar in scale, proportion, texture and finish to those traditionally found in Foxcroft. In addition, these alternative materials shall have a proven durability in locations and climates similar to Oakland County.

10. New Construction and Additions

a. New construction and additions shall have setback that confirm with Township requirements.

b. Roof-top additions must be set back from the main elevation and shall not overhang lower floors of the existing structure.

c. Dormer additions must be in character with the primary structure design.

d. All additions shall be at the rear of the existing structure or set back from the front façade.

11. Accessory Structures and Uses

a. Detached garages are prohibited unless connected to the primary structure with a “breezeway”, which is a common feature documented in many early Foxcroft designs.

b. Garage additions shall not have a garage door visible from the front façade of the building.

c. Porte cochères are allowed and shall be designed to fit with the architectural style and scale of the primary structure.

d. Carports or other similar material shall be set back from the front façade of the main structure and must be compatible with the general architectural character of the primary structure.

e. Signage:

    1. Street signs shall be limited to street names and direction as legally required.

    2. A small residence address sign may be attached to a lamp post or individually mounted on a landscaped area

        provided the sign is in keeping with the general character of Foxcroft.

    3. Commercial or political signs of any type are prohibited. iv. “For Sale”, “For Rent”, or Realtor-placed signs arepermitted.

    4. Illumination of signs is prohibited.

Residential Construction Code of Conduct

A FOXCROFT BUILDER is defined to include the property owner, the general contractor and all subcontractors. The property owner is responsible for all activities on their property and the conduct of all contractors and subcontractors.

1. The Foxcroft Builder as a guest in the community.

Foxcroft Builders are expected to conduct themselves as guests in the Subdivision. Foxcroft residents have a right to the quiet enjoyment and use of their property. Foxcroft Builders are expected to operate within the Foxcroft Improvement Association and Bloomfield Township restrictions and ordinances, and should make every reasonable effort to operate in the least disruptive fashion possible as to equipment operation, noise of operation, employee behavior, and cleanliness and safety of site. Bloomfield Township ordinance allows construction activity to take place Monday through Saturday between 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

2. Good communication is important.

Foxcroft Builders should communicate with their neighbors to explain their proposed project, expected duration of construction time span, and names and telephone numbers of contacts.  Additionally, builders should work to avoid problems by determining if adjoining properties have concerns or problems with the proposed project that could be remedied before the project starts.

3. Foxcroft Builders must manage construction sites and maintain their safety.

Foxcroft Builders must manage construction sites to minimize safety risks to their neighbors.  Site management includes controlling material and equipment deliveries so as not to overload the site or right-of-way or create unacceptable noise or traffic conditions. Excavation for footings and foundations are expected to be timed so that construction follows as quickly as possible to minimize the safety risks of open unprotected excavation. Construction vehicles are to be parked on the building site driveway, not on the front lawn, or the street near the project.  Parking is not permitted in front of residences, on greenbelts, or in any manner that impedes emergency vehicles. Portable restroom facilities and solid waste disposal dumpsters should be placed on the building site so as to minimize impact to neighboring property. Portable restrooms are to be in the rear of the property or in the garage if possible. Site Dumpsters should be located in the rear of the lot where practicable. Building materials should be stored in the rear of the lot and in as small an area as possible to minimize the impact on neighbors.

4. Foxcroft Builders need to familiarize themselves with Bloomfield Township Codes.

Foxcroft Builders are expected to be familiar with the Bloomfield Township codes and follow them. The Foxcroft Improvement Association will work with Bloomfield Township to identify violations and pursue their enforcement. Foxcroft restrictions prohibit the placement of signs on the property that promote the builder, architect, lender or subcontractor, or any activity related to the building project.