Design Guidelines - An Overview

Taliesin Associated Architects prepared the land planning for Desert Mountain and the philosophy behind its development is the sensitive integration of the lifestyle of man to the Sonoran Desert environment. Its goal is the subtle blending of people, structures and the existing desert into a harmonious and aesthetically-pleasing community with substantial emphasis placed on the preservation of major portions of the natural desert as a unifying theme throughout the community.

The main function of Desert Mountain's design guidelines is to preserve, protect and enhance community quality and integrity. The following is a brief overview for your immediate reference of how and why the Master Design Committee functions at Desert Mountain.

Design guidelines are critical to any community whose integrity is dependent on maDesign Review Houseintaining a predetermined level of quality. The standards set forth in our design guidelines are intended to encourage a caliber of design and construction that minimizes less desirable homes and establishes a community that will retain its marketability and appeal over time. At Desert Mountain, this also means preserving the unique Sonoran Desert terrain on individual homesites and in common areas to the fullest extent practicable. For example, areas disturbed during construction are required to be replanted with native desert vegetation.

Several features make Design Review at Desert Mountain a thorough and comprehensive process. When lot owners are ready to start their home, they are encouraged to select an architect capable of producing a plan for their individual lot that meets the Desert Mountain criterion of "site specific" design.

Once lot owners have selected their architect, a pre-design conference with the Master Association's Design Review Director is scheduled. This conference is intended to avoid potential misunderstandings regarding how the design guidelines apply, and to provide a foundation upon which the architect prepares his or her preliminary presentation. Upon approval of the items submitted in the preliminary presentation, the final submittal, which includes civil engineering, landscape and selection of color and materials, is prepared for review by the Committee. All preliminary and final proposals are submitted to the Design Review Director by appointment.

Construction may begin after the Committee's final approval and a conference with the contractor and the Design Review Director to ensure an understanding of construction guidelines. Final approval is not automatic; an architect is required to resubmit plans and drawings when the Committee requests revisions. A Height Certification, sealed by a Civil Engineer, will be required at the completion of framing to verify overall compliance with the approved drawings, and a final inspection of the exterior is done when construction is complete.

This process requires a high level of involvement and cooperation among the owner, architect, builder and Design Review Director. The end result, it is hoped, are homes of superior quality, comprising a community which will increase in desirability throughout the years.

The purpose of the Committee is to evaluate each proposed design, alteration, addition or improvement for appropriateness to its own lot in the context of the design guidelines and the village as a whole. The Committee may determine that what was found acceptable in one situation may not be acceptable in another. The goal is that the appearance and character of all residences and other improvements harmonize with and enhance their natural and man-made surroundings rather than to dominate and/or contrast sharply with them. In all cases, all proposals must be reviewed and approved by the Committee and no construction activity of any kind may commence until the Committee has granted Final Approval and all Pre-Construction requirements have been satisfied.

The design guidelines cover a wide spectrum of topics from paint color and material selection to building height and approved plant selections. Artwork is included in the guidelines, as is lighting, as both are very important and often added at a later date. All of these items require approval.

The Committee meets on the first and third Thursday morning of every month. All submittals require an appointment with the Design Review Director in order to be included on the agenda. Please contact Dana Bondon at 480-635-5605 to set up an appointment.

When you are contemplating a change anywhere outside of your home, please contact the Design Review Department for the appropriate process. All additions, changes, corrections, modifications to anything on the exterior of a home requires approval by the Design Review Committee prior to implementation. Please feel free to call the Design Review office at 480-635-5605 with any questions you may have.