Frequently Asked Questions
I know my neighbor got approval for his project a couple months ago. How do I see that request?
If your state or association dictates, homeowners are allowed to see all requests during the submittal and approval process. You may also add your comments on any request during this time. After a request is finalized (approved or denied) it goes into archive status and you should contact your association (or the property management company serving your neighborhood) to have access to archived data. Once your association or property management company verifies that you have the right to access, they will authorize ARC Tracker to assign you an "auditor" role for a period of time and you can review all past requests while that role is active.
What do the different request statuses mean?
- Submitted - When a request is first created it will have a status of "Submitted".
- Under Review - The ARC may choose to change the request to "Under Review" which will lock the request details so that no further changes can be made by the requester. In some neighborhoods, changing the request to "Under Review" will start or reset the clock on automatic disposition of the request if not acted on by the ARC. This time window varies per association covenants.
- Approved/Denied - When the request is voted on by the committee a status of either "Approved" or "Denied" is assigned to the request.
- Approved (Override) - Depending on the policies of your neighborhood, this status might be allowed which indicates that insufficient votes were recorded in ARC Tracker to document an approval but the ARC chairperson manually approved the request reflecting knowledge of the will of the committee.
- Pending Approval/Denial - If a request is voted on within the "early approval" window (default is 2 days), the request is held in "pending" status for the remainder of the window. The reason for this is to give fellow homeowners time to see and comment on the request. This sort of transparency may actually be required your state.
- Canceled - A status of "Canceled" indicates that the request was withdrawn or that the committee is "returning" it to the homeowner without processing.
- Begin Work - If your neighborhood is using "Post Approval Processing" then initial approval by the committee is designated as "Begin Work". This means that the committee has approved your request but will need to review the work after it is completed to ensure it has met the agreed-upon terms. It is the homeowner's responsibility to log in and indicate that the work has been completed (see next status)
- Complete - If your neighborhood is using "Post Approval Processing" then requests that have been finished need to be reviewed by the association for acceptability. The requesting homeowner indicates that the work is done by logging in and indicating that the work is finished. This puts the request in a status of "Complete". The committee can then update the request to a final status of "Approved" when they are satisfied.
I can see requests other than my own request. Does this represent a violation of privacy?
State law requires the architectural review and approval process to be open to all members of the community. This may make intuitive sense to you as a means of protecting the community from partial or discriminatory actions. ARC Tracker complies with this statutory requirement by providing open access to, and allowing open comment on, all requests during the time they are being reviewed by the committee. Once requests are voted on and closed, they are no longer visible to the community. Access to those archived requests require a written request to your association. Please note that personal information such as email addresses and telephone numbers are never displayed to other homeowners viewing requests.
I don't have a scanner. How can I attach my drawing to the ARC request I am submitting?
There are a number of alternatives to the traditional "scanning" method of attaching documentation for submittal online. One convenient alternative is to utilize your mobile device (smart phone, tablet) with a camera to take a picture of the document. You can then either launch ARC Tracker on that device if it is web-browser enabled with internet access or else you can email the photo to yourself and open that email on your computer saving the photo to your computer. If you want to get the best quality image using your smart phone for scanning you might want to consider following these instructions: How to scan documents with your phone
Many digital cameras these days have the capability of downloading or wirelessly transmitting the photos stored on the camera to a connected computer.
Another alternative is to utilize the services of a local copy/print service (such as Fedex-Kinkos) or office supply store that can scan your document(s). Those services can put the scanned images on a USB drive or can email them to you.
If you are using a vendor to work on your project they are often able to provide you with an electronic version of any plot plans, surveys, or design documents they developed for your particular project. You could even have them upload it to ARC Tracker under your login (we recommend changing or setting your password after they complete their work)
Lastly, I bet one of your neighbors has a scanner :)
Why can I see requests that are not mine and why can’t I see all past requests?
As a homeowner you can see all your own requests at all times. You will also be able to see requests from other homeowners WHILE the ARC is processing those requests. After a request is closed it is archived and not available to view unless you request access to the ARC Tracker archives. Requests for access to the archives should be directed to your association or to the management company engaged by your association.
How can I use my phone to scan documents in?
Here is a great link on scanning documents to PDFs using your phone.
Why are desired start dates unavailable for selection
The ARC for your community needs time to review your request. You are asked to accommodate this need by planning your start date to be AFTER a reasonable time period is allowed for the review to take place. If the ARC finishes its review early and grants approval of your request before the review period is up, remember that you can begin your work as soon as the ARC gives you approval to proceed. In such a case, you will not be held to the desired start date in your request. If you need to start work earlier than the earliest start date that can be selected, choose the earliest date and then put a message in the "Special Exceptions" field letting the ARC know that you have extenuating circumstances that necessitate an expedited approval. The ARC can then decide if your circumstances warrant an expedited processing of your request.
I've submitted my email to open a new account but have not received a confirmation email
There are a number of reasons why confirmation emails may be failing to get through. Try the following troubleshooting steps:
1. Verify that you typed the email address correctly. To do this, carefully re-enter your email address on the User Login page and click "Login". If you get a screen which allows you to "Register a new ARC Tracker Account" then it is possible that you mis-typed your email address previously. Follow the instructions to "Register a new ARC Tracker Account" and look for the confirmation email. If, however, you get a screen with the message, "It looks like you already made an account with us but it's not confirmed yet...." then you DID type your email address correctly before and there is a different problem. Go to step #2
2. Check your spam folder. Some email services will automatically flag unknown emails as junk mail. If you find the ARC Tracker email in your spam folder, move it to your inbox and flag emails from arctracker.com as "not junk mail".
3. Some email services allow users to block emails from any unrecognized sources. AOL has a feature like this. If your email is set up in this way, add "arctracker.email" to your "safe" email list and then you should be able to receive our emails.
4. If all else fails, feel free to contact us at ARC Tracker. Send us an email and then follow up with a phone call if you don't hear back. 201-208-2272. By sending us an email it will allow us to reply back and test the ability for you to receive emails from us.
How do I log in and create a request in ARC Tracker
Your neighborhood has to be signed up for ARC Tracker and you need a valid email address. See our video tutorial on how to sign up and create a new ARC request.
Aren't we legally supposed to have an ARC meeting?
ARC Tracker IS an ARC meeting. The ARC Tracker "meeting" for your community began the day that ARC Tracker was implemented for your community and is ongoing as you read this. We've coined the term "Perpetual Virtual Meeting" (PVM) to describe the fact that using ARC Tracker is like an ongoing ARC meeting that you can participate in at any time, day or night. An ARC Tracker meeting is open to the entire community and just like a physical meeting, you have a voice and can comment or question on any request. In the real world, you used to see a notice posted somewhere in your community that informed you of the location, date, and time of an upcoming physical ARC meeting and would have to plan to attend to see what requests were being reviewed. In the ARC Tracker world, you can log in at any time to see requests being reviewed and you further have the ability to "subscribe" to ARC requests being submitted for your community so that whenever a new request is submitted you get an email notification.