Volunteer: Board of Architectural Review

Term: Three years; two-term maximum
Frequency of meetings: Two per month (Monday evenings)
Approximate length of meetings: Two to three hours, depending on issues under consideration
Establishment and Charge: Village Code Chapter 18

What does the Board of Architectural Review do?

The Board of Architectural Review (BAR) is responsible for preserving and promoting the character and appearance of buildings within the Village of Scarsdale.  BAR decisions often have a long-lasting impact on the look and feel of the community, and are intended to preserve and promote the character and appearances and conserve the property values of the village.

BAR members consider applications for exterior alterations to existing buildings, as well as review the exterior appearance of proposed new construction. Not only does their review include architectural design elements, but also the structure’s relationship to the site, including such dimensions as landscaping, certain fencing, and sometimes signage. Striving to balance private property rights and community quality of life, the BAR supports projects that respect Scarsdale’s overall character, including its identity as a Village in a Park, and do not adversely affect the functioning economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.

What is expected of members?

Members are expected to listen, be fair-minded and reasonable, and offer constructive assistance to foster agreement among the parties involved in a particular project. At times, the BAR’s role as an intermediary is important in helping to smooth or resolve neighborhood conflicts associated with proposed projects. Further, due to the lasting physical impact of their decisions and the need to provide applicants with timely, fair consideration of their proposals, members must be committed to impartial and reliable community service.

To prepare for each meeting, members are expected to review building and design plans, as well as perform site visits to properties being considered; this process typically takes one to two hours.

Because BAR decisions are binding and cannot be rendered without a quorum present, regular meeting attendance is essential.

What professional, volunteer, and/or personal experiences have been helpful to Board members?

BAR Members have benefited from experience in architecture, building/construction, and interior design.