Bear Valley Springs Association

Environmental Control Committee

The Environmental Control Committee (ECC) consists of volunteer BVSA members in good standing appointed by the BVSA Board of Directors, and is comprised of three committee members and two to three “associates” and/or “trainees.”

The ECC is authorized to review and approve or disapprove all proposed work and applications for grading, excavation, building and/or remodeling, painting, etc., of all houses and outbuildings and other improvements (including fencing) in our community. The ECC does not issue building permits nor do the ECC’s application and approval requirements replace or supersede Kern County building permit requirements.

The ECC concentrates on preservation, protection and enhancement of the quality of life in Bear Valley Springs by endeavoring to ensure that all applications are compatible with the C&Rs and the other BVSA Governing Documents.

The ECC staff, (who are employed by the Association), are there to help you with all inquiries relating to ECC matters (submittals for various projects, complaints, ECC violations, etc.). If in doubt about when the ECC needs to be involved with a project you are doing on your property, please call one of our ECC staff members at 821-5537, ext.  222, 211, or 214.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you can't find the question/answer you are looking for on this page, give us a call at the Association Office
661-821-5537.

ECC? What is that?

ECC stands for Environmental Control Committee. The ECC’s goal is to preserve, protect, and enhance the

quality of life in Bear Valley Springs by ensuring that all residential lots are compatible with the C&R’s and

other governing documents. The ECC reviews any changes being made to the exterior of your lot including:

  • Painting
  • Fencing
  • Trimming or Removal of Oak Trees
  • Roofing
  • Building or Remodeling of the exterior of a home or accessory structure
  • Installing sheds, chicken coops, shelters, or other accessory structures
  • Solar panels
  • Excavation/grading
  • Pods/Construction Trailers/Tarp-like Accessory Structures or other Temporary Storage
  • Signs including Address & Real Estate Signs

We also approve permits for Garage/Yard Sales and Occupation Permits. Lastly, we do send out Requests for Cooperation (aka violation notices) if there is something on your property that is not in compliance with the ECC or BVSA rules.

The goal of these responsibilities is to keep the properties in our valley blending in with the natural beauty of the surroundings, enforcing the rules of our governing documents, and maintaining a standard of living reflective on the value of all properties. The ECC Rules are available in the Association office or can be found in the Document Library.

How do I file a complaint on another property?

Complaints can be made by filling out a complaint form and turning it into the Association office. An online ECC Complaint form can be found on this site or you may pick one up at the Association Office. The ECC Field Representative will then check on the complaint, and if found to be in violation, the ECC will send a Request for Cooperation letter to the Property Owner which begins the violation process outlined below.

Unfortunately, due to our BVSA Confidentiality Agreement, we are not able to disclose to you the outcome of your complaint.

How do I submit my project for approval? How long does it take to know if my submittal has been approved?

Submittal forms can be picked up at the Association Office Monday through Friday from 8:30am-5pm and can also be found on this site under the Document Library. Forms must be signed by the Property Owner and turned in with detailed plans, paint swatches, and plot maps, depending on the nature of your project. Our staff is always willing to assist you either in the office, or by phone at 661- 821-5537 X222 or X 211.

Submittals received by Friday will be reviewed by the ECC the following Wednesday. Property Owners can call on Wednesday afternoon for the  status and a letter will be mailed out the following day.

I filed a complaint. Why has nothing been done?

Because of the nature of the violation process, there are several reasons why it may seem like nothing is happening. It could be that the Field Representative could not find anything in violation of the ECC or BVSA Rules. It could be that a Request for Cooperation has been sent and the Property Owner has yet to respond, resulting in additional notices and ultimately Board Hearing, disciplinary actions, fines, etc. It could be that the Property Owner has requested and been granted an extension to comply. Due to the BVSA Confidentiality Agreement, we are unable to disclose if and at what stage another Property Owner is in this process.

I received a Request for Cooperation (a.k.a. Violation letter). Now what?

When you receive a Request for Cooperation, you have several options.

  1. You comply with the request – For example, you paint your trim or fix your fence or remove the blue tarp, etc. Once you’ve complied, you simply fill out the Cooperation Request Response form (available on this site or included with your letter) letting us know you’ve complied and return it to the Association office (fax and email is also acceptable). The ECC Field Representative will go out to make sure that you’ve complied. Unless you receive a phone call or letter telling you otherwise, no further action is necessary.
  2. If you will require additional time, you would fill out the Cooperation Request Response form (available on this site or included with your letter) and check the section that you request more time to comply and the reason. You can choose up to 90 days. The ECC will review your request and send you a letter with their decision to accept your extension request.
  3. If you feel you need more than 90 days, depending on the type of violation, you could complete a submittal form for the project which would extend the amount of time you have to complete your project. Simply complete the submittal form as outlined above.
  4. If you dispute the request, you can contact the Field Representative or request a meeting with the ECC to discuss the matter. Again, you would fill out the Cooperation Request Response Form or just call the Association Office.
  5. You can ignore the request which will result in a second notice. Eventually your file could be forwarded to the Board of Directors for a disciplinary hearing which may result in fines or suspension of amenity privileges.

I received a Request for Cooperation (aka Violation Letter). Did my neighbor file a complaint against me?

The short answer is that we cannot tell you as complaints are filed anonymously. However, as an Association, we only average about 5 complaints per month. With over 3,500 lots and an average of 40+ violations per month, the majority of violations are written because of routine checks from our ECC Field Representative.

Oak Tree Questions - Do I need ECC approval to trim storm damaged oak trees or to remove misteltoe?

As Fall and Winter approach, we could experience storm and wind damage to not only our oak trees but other varieties as well. For the branches that break off you do not need a permit to trim the excess branch off. If you wish to do any other oak tree trimming apart from the storm damage, you will need to submit for an oak tree trim approval. If you are just trimming mistletoe, no submittal is needed. However, if you will be removing major branches or an entire tree, you will need to complete a submittal form and receive approval from the ECC. These forms may be obtained at the BVSA office and are available in the Document Library on this site. Of course, take any safety measures necessary. For emergency action tree trimming, approvals can be processed in 24 hours or less. For further information, please call the ECC Staff at 821-5537 ext. 222 or 211.

What colors can I paint my house?

Subtle earth tone colors that blend in with the natural surroundings are the goal. White, blue, gray with blue undertones, yellow, intense reds, oranges and some greens are not approved colors. Colors must also have a light reflective value (LRV) of 60 or less. The LRV has to do with the brightness of the color.

The ECC staff is happy to help you in determining the LRV of your desired color. We also have a book available in the Association office with a list of the colors that were approved from recent years if you would like help in narrowing down your color choices.

What does the ECC Field Representative do?

Our ECC Field Representative’s responsibility is to regularly monitor properties for compliance. It’s not a popular job, but a necessary one. There is a regular schedule that is followed so that over the course of regular intervals each area of the valley is checked. For most violations, the violation is documented with a photograph. The Field Representative verifies if Property Owners have complied with previous Requests for Cooperation. Inspections are completed for houses that are in escrow to make sure they are in compliance before an ownership change is finalized. Lastly, the Field Rep monitors and finalizes larger projects that require a deposit such as new home construction, remodeling, or building of accessory structures over 120 square feet to determine if the deposits are ready to be refunded. You will recognize the Field Rep as a white vehicle with the BVSA logo on the side.

What is the Violation Process?

The goal of the violation process is not to impose discipline in the form of fines or suspension of amenity privileges, but for compliance to the ECC and BVSA rules.

  1. The ECC Field Representative notes an area of non-compliance and takes a photo to document (as applicable). The ECC sends out a letter to the property owner.
  2. The Property Owner has 30 days to comply, request an extension, or submit for the project.
  3. If there is no response from the Property Owner, a Second Notice is sent out. The Property Owner then has 15 days to comply, request an extension, or submit for the project.
  4. If there is still no response from the Property Owner, the file is forwarded to the Board of Directors for disciplinary action. A letter is sent to the Property Owner notifying them of the date of their Hearing. Property Owners may attend the hearing and meet with the Board. The Board may determine disciplinary action in the form of fines or revoking of amenity privileges.

Who is on the ECC?

The ECC is currently comprised of a combination of volunteer Members in good standing along with BVSA staff members. This combination of volunteers and staff has helped the ECC to strive for consistency, increased knowledge of our governing documents, the ability to research previous ECC decisions, and effectively communicate with Property Owners.

Why is the house down the street painted an "unapproved" color?

There could be several reasons for a house that is painted an unapproved color. The rules on colors that are approvable have changed over the years and different Committees have interpreted the rules differently.

  • Some colors were approvable when they were submitted for, but have now faded to an un-approvable color. In these cases, the ECC may request that the Property Owner submit for a new color when they are ready to repaint.
  • Some colors end up looking very different on a whole house than they looked on the little chip the ECC was given.
  • And, some owners have painted their homes an unapproved color and may be in the violation process.

Due to the BVSA confidentiality agreement, we are not able to let you know exactly what is happening with any property except for your own.