Home Improvements

The Board of Directors utilizes the services of a professional architect for the review of all architectural submissions. The Architect operates as an extension of the Board and under the provision of the covenants and restrictions of the Bear Brand at Laguna Niguel homeowner's association, to review and approve renovations to properties within the bounds of the community to help maintain a standard of quality for the residents of Bear Brand Ridge.

Homeowners should be aware that, prior to making any improvements to the exterior of your property or residence, an application must be submitted to the Management Company so that each project can be reviewed for compliance against governing CC&R’s and Architectural Standards. In most cases, these applications are approved; however some projects may require modifications to better complement the architecture of the residence, the style of the neighborhood, or the appearance of surrounding properties. For example, many exterior paint schemes are available for use within the community, however not every scheme is suited to every style of home, nor would the same scheme be appropriate for two adjacent homes. Such provisions are designed to maintain the overall aesthetics of the neighborhood.

Once an application is submitted, the Management Company will forward a completed architectural application to the Architect. A written response will be generated within 30 days to document the outcome of the review process. If approved, the project may commence immediately. If additional information or project modifications are requested, resubmissions will be given priority in order to expedite the approval process. To best achieve a timely response, be clear and descriptive in your project narrative, provide detailed plans that depict the final appearance and structural elevations, and include pictures or samples of materials or colors (paint samples should be applied to the home).

If the association becomes aware of a situation where a homeowner has made an exterior improvement without prior approval, the property owner will be notified with a request to submit an application for project review. If the improvement is found to be out of compliance with the architectural and/or neighborhood standards, changes will be requested in order to bring the property back into compliance. Homeowners in this situation are usually unaware of the governing restrictions; however, a failure to cooperate with the association in these matters can lead to a hearing before the Board of Directors and the assessment of a fine.

If you are wanting to submit an application, please go to my.managementtrust.com for the latest guidelines and forms such as an architectural application, notice of completion form, guidelines and paint information.

Frequently Asked Architectural Questions:

1. What should my application include? A narrative description, paint color names and surface locations, site plans, elevation plans, example pictures of materials or structures, and other detailed diagrams are extremely helpful. In this age of digital cameras, the more detail the better. Even a picture of your existing home can help expedite the review process. Remember that you’re proposing an improvement project to a committee that has no idea of your intentions.

2. Why do I have to include a $500 submittal fee? The Submittal Fee of $500 must accompany all architectural submissions and may be refundable in whole or in part, as determined by the Board of Directors, based on any costs incurred for review, damage to the Association common area or a lack of compliance to architectural plans approved by the Architect or Board of Directors. Architectural plans submitted without the required fee are not reviewed and will be returned to the Owner as an incomplete architectural submission. MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: Bear Brand Ridge Association

3. Where do I submit my application? Your completed application and the $500 submittal fee should be sent to The Management Trust, 15661 Red Hill Ave, Ste. 201, Tustin, CA 92780 or emailed to Audrey Stanford at Audrey.stanford@managementtrust.com.

4. Where do I find the CC&R's? They are available here on the website under the “Governing Documents” tab or you can contact the management company to purchase a physical copy of the covenants, conditions and restrictions.

5. Where do I find the Rules and Regulations? They are available here on the website under the “Governing Documents” tab or you can contact the management company to purchase a physical copy of the Architectural Guidelines and Procedures.

6. What if I have other questions? Contact our Community Manager (Alexandra Volman) or CSS (Audrey Stanford) at The Management Trust.

Every homeowner should also be aware of these compliance requirements for Bear Brand Ridge:

  • Mailbox: Should be in working order with standardized numbers and have a functioning flag.
  • Lawn Care: Grass and vegetation must be kept maintained in a neat and attractive manner.
  • Garbage Cans: Must not be visible from the street.
  • Unsightly Items: Inoperable vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles, trailers, trash, building materials, garden implements, etc. must be concealed from common area view from the street.
  • Satellite Dishes: Should be hidden from front elevations.
  • MLGW Green Box: Must be screened with living shrubs and/or small fence on all sides so it is not visible from the street.
  • Utility Meters: (gas/electric) need to be either screened with fence, greenery or painted to match the brick or trim.

If there is ever any doubt about, please contact the management company.