Architectural Guidelines

Academy Heights Covenant of Restrictions

Academy Heights is an attractive and desirable community.  The houses are well constructed and maintained.  Residents enjoy good property values and a high standard of life.  The reason: The Covenant of Restrictions are respected and enforced.  In 1949 Academy Heights was planned as a distinguished housing development.  To maintain this status, restrictions affecting the outside appearance of the homes were imposed on present and future owners and occupants.  By purchasing a home in Academy Heights, you have agreed to comply with these Restrictions, even if you were not informed of or did not receive a copy of the Restrictions at settlement.  The Covenant of Restrictions, a part of your deed, is an official document recorded among land records of Baltimore County.  Briefly, the Restrictions state: “No additions or alterations of any exterior part of the property can be made until plans showing the kind, nature, shape, height, colors, materials and location of such additions or alternations be submitted and approved by the Academy Heights Civic Association Board of Governors.”  Homeowners are expected to maintain the exterior of their homes in good condition and make necessary repairs as needed.  The Board of Governors has the right to ensure that these repairs and maintenance are performed so as to preserve good property values and the integrity of the community.  Over the years, many requests for improvements have been submitted.  Therefore, the Academy Heights Civic Association Officers and Board Members adopted the following guidelines to assist homeowners with frequently requested alterations:

  1. All gutters and down spouts must be of copper construction or aluminum painted white or brown.

  2. All windows, except basement windows, must have a grille pattern matching the original windows, dividing the window into 12 equal sections; smaller windows in side bays divided into 4 equal sections. Glass block may be used for basement windows.

  3. All exterior trim and doors MUST be white and of original design. Any glass in exterior entry doors must be clear glass. Rear-facing basement entry doors may be of original design or may be replaced with a solid, six (6) panel door for increased security, if desired. Trim and doors must be free from peeling paint and no bare wood may be visible. If trim is to be covered with either aluminum or vinyl, it must conform to the original design.

  4. All front entrance ways must have a storm door.  All storm doors must be either aluminum or wood, painted white, and at least half of the construction open for glass or screen.

  5. Porches: front porches and steps must be of original design and constructed of concrete. Back porches and decks must not exceed 19'6" wide by 9' deep. All back porches and decks should be made of steel, concrete, wood or alternate building material. Alternate building materials are subject to approval by the Architectural Committee on a case-by-case basis. Steel porches and railings must be painted forest green or black. Wood porches and railings must be painted gray, white or unpainted if constructed of pressure treated lumber. 

  6. Front porch railings must be forest green or black. (wrought iron only)

  7. Mailboxes must be black, green or brass. If black or brass they attach to the brick in front of the home just below the house numbers or if green to the side of the porch railing if it is green.

  8. House numbers must be black or brass, placed on a white piece of wood and attached to the brick in front of the home just below the porch light.

  9. Front porch lights must be black or brass.

  10. Awnings:

    • Awnings, front and side of the property, must be seasonal of canvas or cloth only.  Forest green color only with edge trimmed in white or green. The awnings must be removed for the winter season. The supports and poles may remain standing through the year.

    • Awnings, rear of property, may be of any variety or type desired by the homeowner, but they must not be visible from the front of the home or extend beyond the house line. If canvas, green or brick in color; if metal, green or white.

  11. Roofing materials for town homes must be natural slate, gray or black in color.  Synthetic slate, gray or black in color, may be used for roofs of garages with the style and color subject to Board approval.

  12. Fences may be constructed only in the rear of property or side yard of end unit properties and must not extend beyond the chimney at the end of group homes. The fence must be chain link or picket style.  Fences may not exceed a height of 48”.  Chain link fence color must be forest green, silver, or galvanized steel. Picket fences may be painted or treated with a protective stain with the color subject to Board approval.  Picket fences must have some space between pickets, that is, solid privacy fences are prohibited.

  13. Storage sheds must be in the rear of the property only and must not be visible from the front of the property. Sheds must not exceed 8’ in height AND must not exceed an overall volume of 512 cubic feet.  For example, an 8’ x 8’ by 8’ shed would have a volume of 512 cubic feet.

  14. Swimming pools must be temporary in the rear of the property and removed in the fall and winter seasons.

  15. All masonry foundations must be painted white, gray or sandstone.

  16. Attic vents must be in the rear of the house, not visible from the front of the home and painted brown or black.

  17. The use of DBS, MMDS and TVBS satellite dishes is acceptable. Dishes may not exceed 30 inches in diameter. Approval for installation, including location, must be received from the Architectural Committee 30 days prior to installation. Refer to satellite dish installation guidelines.

When planning an improvement or change to your property, you MUST SUBMIT a plan of your project to the ARCHITECTURAL COMMITTEE 30 DAYS BEFORE you begin work. The burden is on the homeowner, not the Board of Governors. The Architectural Committee will review the application and issue a letter of approval or denial as the application may warrant. Restrictions violations may be reported by any resident to the Board of Governors or any member of the Architectural Committee. Report violations promptly. The neighborhood will benefit from the elimination of an unsightly or dangerous condition and the homeowner may be spared a costly removal if warned in time. Enforcement is handled by the Civic Association, who will investigate the complaint and, if necessary send a violation notice. The homeowner is given 60 days to correct the violation. If not corrected in this time frame, the Association’s attorney will begin legal action. The violating homeowner will be responsible for any and all legal fees incurred by the Association to correct the violation.


This list is NOT exhaustive.


Approved by Board of Governor’s vote; March 3, 2020; Retyped March 4, 2020

Architectural Committee Chair: John O’Ferrall - Contact -