Property Exterior Changes
Guidelines to Restoration, Preservation and Building of Homes in Rodgers Forge
Rodgers Forge is proud of its designation as a National Register Historic District Community and as such its Guidelines are informed and directed by the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Properties.
Each Rodgers Forge property owner is governed in the use of his or her property by the restrictive covenants where applicable in the community. The purpose of the covenants is to preserve the architectural uniformity which exists in the community, which, in turn, enhances property values.
The Board of Governors is under an obligation to see that these restrictions are fairly and uniformly enforced. To that end, the Board reviews any and all requests for alterations to the exterior of homes in Rodgers Forge. When contemplating any change to the exterior of a home, homeowners and/or renters should consider that Rodgers Forge is a community with historic character where people live in close proximity, so any exterior change will have an effect upon all neighbors within view, as well as the community as a whole.
To complete the Application Form online, please click below.
To print out an application form and mail it instead, click here. Please mail to:
RFCA Architectural Committee P. O. Box 571 Riderwood, Maryland 21139
Authority of the Board of Governors of The Rodgers Forge Community, Inc., to Govern Changes Made To the Exterior of Homes in Rodgers Forge.
“No Residential Structure Shall Be Erected, Placed or Altered on Any Building Plot in this Subdivision until the External Design and Location Thereof Has Been Approved in Writing by the James Keelty Realty Corporation, its Successors and Assigns”
The Board of Governors of the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc., now fills the role once reserved to the James Keelty Realty Corporation, the original developer of Rodgers Forge, in these matters. That role was assigned to the RFC, Inc. by a deed executed January 18, 1960, and recorded in the Land Records of Baltimore County at Liber 3666, Pages 357 and 358. See the Appendix for details on Authority To Enforce. To see the original deed click here.
It is the position of the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc., Board of Governors, that architectural standards may be applied, as part of a continued common plan for the Rodgers Forge community. Residents should understand that they should have written approval from the Board in hand prior to signing any contracts for improvements and before filing an application with Baltimore County either for a variance or a permit, and obviously prior to proceeding with any actual exterior changes, alterations or improvements to the property. Following the procedures outlined herein will avoid potential unnecessary delays, fees and possible fines and court costs.
THE PRIMARY DIRECTIVE TO FOLLOW, IN ITS SIMPLEST TERMS, IS:
All exterior renovations, replacements and improvements to Rodgers Forge homes must receive prior written approval from the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc. Architectural Committee before any work is begun.
Proper Procedures For Application Approval
The guidelines that follow outline those changes that are or are not acceptable. The members of the Architectural Committee judge, in session, exceptions that fall outside the guidelines on their merit. Homeowners and/or renters who have their proposed changes denied by the RFC, Inc. should consider meeting with the committee to determine what remedies need to be made to proceed with their proposed changes.
When contemplating any changes to the exterior of a home, owners and/or renters should consider that Rodgers Forge is a community with historic character where people live in close proximity, so any exterior change will have an effect upon all neighbors within view, and may not be acceptable or aesthetically compatible with those homes in their group. Before submitting applications to the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc. Architectural Committee, it is suggested that residents should take the time to describe and explain to their neighbors what changes they have planned. Although this is not a requirement for approval, it is the neighborly thing to do and reinforces a commitment to our spirit of community caring and cooperation.
It is the responsibility of the homeowner or renter to request approval from the RFC, Inc. for any changes to the exterior of the property using an approved form, a copy of which is found in the last section of this publication, in every issue of the monthly Rodgers Forge Newsletter, and on the Rodgers Forge Community website at www.rodgersforge.org.
Guidelines For Changes In Various Home Features
The guidelines that follow form the basis for decisions made by the Architectural Committee. The Architectural Committee is empowered by the RFC, Inc. Board of Governors to vary from the specific guidelines on a case-by-case basis due to factors such as: individual lot size or shape, location of the home within Rodgers Forge and how it is situated, or architectural conventions within the vicinity of the home.
Additions To Homes
- Additions are not permitted. It is the responsibility of the RFC, Inc. to preserve the original home designs as integral to its primary mission “to maintain enhance, and protect the high standards of the Rodgers Forge neighborhood.” Hot tubs are not permitted.
- Canvas and in solid dark green color only. The style of the awning should be shown when the application is submitted.
- Ice sheets or winter covers in solid dark green are preferred but opaque and clear are acceptable.
- A drawing of the deck, showing dimensions and position, should be submitted with the application. No contract for construction should be signed prior to receiving approval from the RFC, Inc. with specifics approved.
- Allowed only in the rear area of the house and constructed of wood.
- May not extend beyond rear sidewall of any end of group home. May not be wider than the width of any home, less 6″ to 18″ on each side of the home.
- Under any circumstances, all decks require a Baltimore County Building Permit. Must meet Board approval and County regulations as regards: setback, height, width, depth and materials used. Click here for Baltimore County’s Desk Construction Guidelines
- Sizes and dimensions are limited, but 8 to 10-foot projections from the rear wall of the house, including steps, are usually acceptable. The actual distance that a deck, including steps, may project from the home varies within different sections of Rodgers Forge and in a few locations up to 12-feet is permitted. Whatever the precise final dimensions, it must be an open projection (on three sides) and may not have a roof or be enclosed.
- Lattices under the deck are permitted but not encouraged as it has been found that they promote pest harborages.
- Decks 4 feet in height or lower must have rodent wire, gravel or concrete beneath the deck to prevent pest harborages.
ALL changes must be submitted to and approved by the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc.
- Height limited to a maximum of 6 feet.
- Should be of natural wood or wood appearance. White picket fences approved.
- Design should include open space between the vertical boards. Shadow box or board on board fences with offset of alternating boards are permitted.
- May not be in the front of the house and may not extend toward the front of the house beyond a line even with the rear wall of house.
- Must meet Board approval and Baltimore County regulations regarding size, materials, appearance and configuration.
- The unfinished side of the fence must face to the homeowner, and not be visible to neighbors on all sides. Natural weathering is preferred to painting the fence any color other than white.
- There are special safety and traffic concern requirements for end of block homes. Baltimore County Code prohibits stockade and solid wood fences on these homes as such fences block the vision of drivers and pedestrians as they round corners.
- Must be in keeping with original design and group harmony.
- Typical white or brown metal and copper downspouts are acceptable if they replace in kind.
- Landscaping should be in keeping with the traditional design of the neighborhood including appropriate trees, shrubbery and flower garden plantings.
- Work done in the rear of a home may be more individualistic but it is suggested that, as with the front side of the home, it should be in keeping with the current look of most existing homes in Rodgers Forge.
- These are discouraged in front yards. If ornaments are displayed, they must be well blended in with and appropriate to adjacent landscaping and vegetation.
- The personality of Rodgers Forge is such that front lawn landscaping displays should conform to a theme that is sedate rather than garish.
- Temporary signs, displays and decorations that are seasonal or for a special occasion such as announcing a birth are permitted provided they are removed after a reasonable period.
ALL changes must be submitted to and approved by the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc.
Paint Colors For Doors , Trim , Shutters
- White trim is preferred on doors and windows. Black doors and shutters are acceptable.
- Paint chip must be submitted with application if color is other than white. Certain selected muted colors referred to as “Williamsburg” colors are generally acceptable for doors and shutters but not colors that approach the realm of the bright primary colors in the spectrum.
- While parking pads are generally discouraged, it is recognized that many parts of Rodgers Forge have inadequate parking. Parking pads are allowed only on the rear of homes and should be parallel to homes. Pads must be completely within the home’s property line and as unobtrusive as possible.
- In every case, the homeowner must apply to the RFC, Inc. to ensure their parking pad design conforms to Baltimore County Code.
- May be constructed in the rear yard only.
- Must be brick, masonry, concrete, flagstone, loose pebbles or stone chips.
- Must be even with the ground to discourage burrowing by animals
- May need a Baltimore County building permit if more than 100 square feet.
- Hot Tubs are not permitted in Rodgers Forge yards.
ALL changes must be applied for and approved by the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc.
Slate or a Board-approved fiberglass which replicates existing roof should be specified:
1. Natural Slate: Slate (to match existing)
2. Artificial Slate: Certaineed Symphony Colonial Gray
3. Ecostar Majestic, Federal Gray Inspire Slate Gray #703
4. Fiberglas Shingle: Certainteed Grand Manor Colonial Slate
5. GAF Camelot ll Antique Slate
The artificial materials selected have been chosen because they resemble slate, and they are high quality materials. Any material not listed above may not be approved for roofing within Rodgers Forge. Please understand that when the RFC, Inc. originally began to accept shingles as a substitute for slate, the materials that are available today were not available at that time. As a result, the RFC, Inc. has rightfully upgraded its acceptable products to the current new and improved products and will continue to do so as new, acceptable products come on the market. This is another example of trying to maintain the high home values of our neighborhood and it is a very good idea to ask roofing contractors for the names of local customers who had their roofs installed some years ago, and then check for feedback. It is important to recognize that some shingles installed years ago that were previously acceptable are no longer approved, and would not be acceptable by today’s standards.
NOTE: Check the manufacturers’ printed materials or web sites for technical data and recommended installation guidelines.
- Dishes should be no larger than 18″ in diameter and may be located only on the rear of homes.
- Dishes may not be visible from the front of the home. That is, no part of the dish should protrude above the top of the roofline.
- Satellite dishes also fall under the purview of Baltimore County regulations.
Sheds and Bins
- Sheds and bins may be placed only in the rear yard. NO side yard sheds or bins are allowed under Baltimore County regulations.
- Sheds and bins are not allowed for homes that have garages.
Sidewalks and Porches
- New screened porches are not allowed.
- Porches must replicate the original when replaced.
- Porch and sidewalk railings must be metal/wrought iron and painted black only. Black aluminum railings are acceptable.
- Front and side street sidewalks must be concrete.
- Front porches may not be used for storing firewood, bikes, refuse, etc.
Solar System Installation
- Solar panels should be placed in areas that minimize their visibility from the public thoroughfare.
- Solar panels must not require alterations to significant or character‐defining features of a historic resource, such as altering existing rooflines or dormers.
- Solar panel installations should be reversible, avoiding solar roof tiles, glazes and laminates if possible.
- Solar panels must be mounted no higher than a few inches above the roof surface.
- Solar panels must be set at angles consistent with the pitch of the roof, keeping a low profile, and must not extend beyond the existing roofline.
- Solar panels and equipment must have non-reflective finishes.
- Any mechanical equipment attached to the building fascia must be painted the same color as the fascia.
- Solar panels must not be located in the front yard or front roof facing a primary street.
- Solar collectors must comply with the requirements of Maryland’s statewide building codes as well as any local codes.
In addition, the applicants are required to submit the following:
- Photographs of the house and existing roof, in context
- Proof of valid local business licenses for all contractors and subcontractors
- Detailed roof plan drawing of proposed installation – must be to scale, and include all dimensions
- Technical specifications and color of solar collectors
Windows and Doors
- Must be in keeping with original group and neighborhood design and replicate the original windows and doors of the home.
- Must include six over six muntins (mullions) in standard windows.
- New bay windows where no window currently exists or bay windows that replace standard windows are not approved.
- Bay windows must have muntins (mullions). Some original windows had four over four muntins. These, as replacements in kind, or new six over six muntins are approved.
- When replacing windows it is important to retain decorative trim where it exists.
ALL changes must be applied for and approved by the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc.
Basic Procedure When Applying For Changes
Step 1 (Preliminaries): The resident creates a plan for the change that is consistent and compatible with other homes in the vicinity of his home. Residents may wish to discuss such plans with neighbors in order to gauge their reaction although the assent of neighbors in no way guarantees Board approval.
Step 2 (Application): Prepare an application that abides by the attached guidelines, with supporting materials, as needed, to be submitted to the RFC, Inc.
Step 3 (Submitting the Application): Submit the application (found on page 43 of this publication) to the Architectural Committee. The application may be scanned to a PDF file and E-mailed to rodgersforge.org and/or sent via first-class mail to: Architectural Committee, Rodgers Forge Community, Inc., P. O. Box 571, Riderwood, Maryland 21139. Once the application is received, the resident is notified of its receipt by E-mail, telephone or first-class mail.
Step 4 (Decision): The Architectural Committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month. Applications received by the 20th of the month before the meeting will normally be acted upon at that month’s meeting, unless further study is needed. Residents are welcome to attend the meeting of the Architectural Committee when their application is considered. (Residents are welcome at any meeting of the Architectural Committee, and are encouraged to join the committee if interested in having input on architectural decisions in the community.)
Step 5 (Decision Notification): If the decision is favorable, with or without modifications, a letter will be sent to the resident in a timely manner; and the resident may begin work immediately upon obtaining the approval notification and proper permits, if any are required, from Baltimore County.
Step 6 (Denials): If the Architectural Committee denies the application (or parts of the application) a letter from the Architectural Committee will be sent to the resident stating specifically the reasons for the denial within as feasible a time period of the decision as possible.
Step 7 (Appeals): If the decision is unfavorable, or if the resident wishes to request review of the modifications made by the Architectural Committee, the homeowner may appeal in writing to the President, or Vice-President of the RFC, Inc., by 9:00 PM on the Monday prior to the next regular meeting of the Board of Governors, to ask that the homeowner’s appeal be placed on the agenda for the meeting, held the second Wednesday of every month, normally in the cafeteria at the Dumbarton Middle School.
Step 8 (RFC, Inc. Board’s Role in Appeals): At the regular monthly Board meeting of the RFC, Inc., a representative of the Architectural Committee will briefly present the Committee’s view of the proposal and specifically state the reasons for the denial. This portion of the meeting is restricted to members of the Board of Governors. After the closed session, any residents making an appeal may then briefly present the reasons they believe their proposal meets the architectural standards of Rodgers Forge, and present reasons as to why their proposal should be allowed. The Board-at-large will ask questions of the homeowner then go into closed session for discussion on the proposal brought by the homeowner, and then will vote on the appeal.
Step 9 (RFC, Inc. Board’s Decision on an Appeal): The decision, by majority vote of the Board, is considered the final action of the Board. (The homeowner may request, or the Board may on its own motion decide, to hold the final decision until the following month, in order to permit further discussion or modification.)
Authority To Enforce
The foregoing statement appeared in all original property deeds for Rodgers Forge homes. The community association became the successors to the Keelty Corporation when the James Keelty Company, Inc. assigned and transferred all powers and rights to enforce any and all restrictions imposed on the entire development known as Rodgers Forge to the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc. (also commonly called the Rodgers Forge Community Association) by deed and agreement on January 18, 1960. This deed and agreement is recorded in Baltimore County Land Records Liber 3666, Page 357. Each year, the Board of Governors of the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc. appoints an Architectural Committee, which is authorized to approve or disapprove any and all alterations to the exterior of homes in Rodgers Forge. The committee follows established procedures for accepting and reviewing requests for alterations to the homes.
Slightly differing design features emerged in the construction of the various stages of the Rodgers Forge development as it was being built. This sometimes causes confusion as to what particular changes and alterations are acceptable for a specific home. Over many decades, patterns of approval for various Rodgers Forge subsections by the Architectural Committee have been established and these currently constitute the norm. It should also be noted that features that were approved in the past might not be acceptable today due to not testing well over time or the changing tastes of the community.
The information on this website is a result of the dynamics of the general consensus of the community as a whole, as interpreted by the RFC, Inc. Architectural Committee. The dictates of the covenants and restrictions now enforced may, therefore, be said to comprise the combination of: Baltimore County Code, Baltimore County Zoning Restrictions, tenets of the original Rodgers Forge Covenants that have been continually applied and the whole history of decisions by the Architectural Committee resulting from applications for changes submitted by Rodgers Forge homeowners dating from 1960 to the present.