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Egress Window

City of Scottsdale is requiring that I install 1 egress window in a 1st floor bedroom where the current windows do not meet current code but did when the house was built in 1970. There are 2 identical windows facing the street in this bedroom and I requested that the HOA allow me to widen only 1 of the windows by 4 inches to comply with code and receive my building permit for unrelated work . No actual construction is being done in the 1st floor bedroom. The HOA wants both windows widened, which doubles my cost to comply with the city mandate. Does the HOA have the authority to require that both windows be widened and make me incur double the cost?

1 Response

  1. dennisl

    Daniel,

    Unfortunately HOA’s have broad latitude relative to maintaining the ascetics of the community. While technically they would have to have established some type of standard relative to consistent window sizes to make such a request the arguments of they are simply trying to maintain the ascetics of the community that is part of their charter. While week most courts have deferred to the decisions like this by the ACH or the board. You have two options, first since you noted that your project has nothing to do with the bedroom typically Scottsdale will only look at code upgrades for areas being affected by the specific permit. Why the size of these windows is being considered relative to a totally unrelated project is a mystery to me. You may be able to go back to Scottsdale’s one stop permitting office and convince them that these windows are totally unrelated to the project, and ask them to remove this condition for permitting. Now if you are adding another bedroom to the house then that could be reason for them to question the code compliance for all existing bedrooms. While it is never bad to try once a condition is applied to a permit application Scottsdale is not likely to change their mind.
    The second option is to see if any other home in the community has dissimilar windows as part of the front facia of the house. If some exist than what you are proposing is not inconsistent with the standards of the community, already approved by the association. You would ask to have a hearing on your request directly with the board and try and convince them to drop this unnecessary requirement and expense. Make sure that the hearing before the board is held in an open meeting of the board, and get as many other homeowner friends and neighbors as possible to attend that hearing.

    Dennis

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