Architectural Review Board

The Architectural Review Board (ARB) ensures residential construction and renovation activities are of high quality design and materials and in general conformity with the style and design of surrounding structures. The ARB conducts design and material reviews of additions, alterations and improvements to existing residential structures, and will also review the design, material and compatibility of new residential construction. Decks, fences, window replacements and roofing shingle replacements for all existing homes are currently exempt from review by the Architectural Review Board.

The ARB includes three regular members who must be Brentwood residents and licensed architects. The members are appointed for two-year terms by the Mayor with approval of the board of Aldermen. The ARB meets at 6:30 pm on the third Thursday of the month. 

Brentwood residents interested in serving on the Architectural Review Board may apply using the Volunteer Interest Form (PDF).

Meeting Schedule (PDF)
View Agendas and Minutes
Application Form (PDF)

The Board reviews each submission using three guiding principles:

  1. The Massing of the project.  Massing in Architecture is the general shape and size of the building.  We review submissions and discuss if they are significantly larger or smaller than the neighboring homes and if there are improvements that could be made so the new project "fits in" with the neighbors.
  2. The Materials of the project.  What materials are visible on the outside of the residence?  Will it be the only house with vinyl siding on a whole block of brick houses? Does it fit in with the neighbors?  Please note the materials and colors on the elevation drawings.  Include information about siding or brick, color and type of shingles, windows, trim and any accent features.
  3. The Context of the residence.  What do the other residences and buildings around the project look like?  Does the proposed project fit in with it's neighbors?

Another significant consideration of the Board are houses where the garage faces the street.  Any home with a "garage front", or "snout house" is of particular interest and you can expect that it will be reviewed in detail.  We understand the current direction in residential development is to try to provide a 2 car garage with easy access to the interior of the home.  However, in many existing Brentwood neighborhoods, this is not the predominant style.  Therefore out of consideration for the existing context of the neighborhoods, the board is concerned that measures should be taken to eliminate or lessen the appearance of the garage in proposed designs. 

As an example, if a lot is sized properly to allow the garage to be entered from the side or rear of the home, this is the preferred solution.  If the lot dictates that the garage must face the front, it's prominence in the  design of the house should be treated with care.  Note: The board understands that a significant number of "builder plans" are bought from catalogs or predesigned stock offerings.  We would encourage developers to consider other options than a "typical snout house" when selecting a design. 

In general, the garage should NOT be the main focus of the front of the house.  Balancing the size and location of the front porch with the garage is essential, preferably with the porch or entry in front of or least equal to the garage location.  Carriage style garage doors, trim packages, careful consideration of roof lines and other measures are appreciated and may be required by the board.

The Board will often have informal discussions with applicants to assess if an application is in general conformance with the principles above.  These "hot seat" discussions do not require applications or formal submissions.  They typically held after the official meeting closes and are not binding, they do not guarantee that an official submission will be passed. Please bring enough sketches, photos or schematic designs to illustrate to the board the deign intent for the project.

Staff Liaison

Building Official: 314.963.8607