ARB Information


To download a PDF of ARB information, click here.

Architectural Review Board (ARB)
Shipyard is one of the most beautiful tracks of land on Hilton Head, and through the efforts of the Architectural Review Board, the Shipyard Property Owners’ Association strives to maintain a balance with development and the natural surroundings. The Architectural Review Board’s responsibility, as required in the Covenants, is to assure the orderly development and renovation of any structure within the plantation.  The ARB is made up of owners and a staff architect whose job is to review all new construction, tree removal, additions, landscaping, renovations, and substantial exterior construction within Shipyard.  The Committee meets once each month.  The ARB Office and pertinent forms and guidelines are located at the Shipyard Welcome Center at 10 Shipyard Drive.

All Shipyard property owners, (this includes all private residential, condominium, commercial and timeshare), must adhere to the ARB Guidelines as required by the SPOA Covenants.

A. Architectural Review Board Jurisdictions
The Shipyard Property Owners’ Association (SPOA) Architectural Review Board (ARB) has jurisdiction over the following:

1.   Vertical and Horizontal construction, including but not limited to:

  • Building
  • Walls
  • Fences
  • Garages and carports
  • Driveways
  • Parking areas
  • Signs
  • Roof
  • Pools
  • Permanent sculptures placed in yards, on buildings, or on patios
  • Playground equipment
  • Satellite, TV dishes, or antennas
  • Decks, patios, terraces, and screened enclosures
  • Changing exterior surfaces
  • Awnings and shutters (side & hurricane, all window coverings)

2.  Dredging and Fill Operations for Shaping of Land Areas and Drainage as well as all Site Preparations

3.  All New Construction

  • Residential, Commercial, or Multifamily Addition
  • Garages
  • Room Additions
  • Pools and Spas
  • Pool Enclosures
  • Porch or Patio enclosures of any kind
  • Driveways
  • Decks, Patios, and Porches

4.  All Alterations – Major and Minor

  • •New Doors
  • •Window Replacements
  • •Decks, Patios, and Porches
  • •Exterior Stairs
  • •Service Yards
  • •Porch and Screen Enclosures of any kind
  • •All Landscape Features (trellis work, walkways, etc.)

5.  Remodeling or Altering the Exterior of Existing Structures including:

  • Repainting – new or same color
  • Reshingle – new pattern or color and same pattern or color
  • Decks or Stair repairs
  • Addition of any kind

6.   Removal of Trees that are six (6) inches or greater in diameter at four (4) feet above existing development grade.

7.   Demolition of any Structure

8.   All Exterior Lighting

9.   All Landscaping

10. Building Heights and Design Guidelines


B.    Submission Procedures
Applications must be submitted to SPOA – ARB on forms provided in the Appendix of this document or in the ARB office.  The initial submission whether conceptual, preliminary or final must include the appropriate fee for the type of work proposed.  The fee schedule is included in this document.  For additional information call the ARB Administrator at (843) 785-3310 ext. 226.

C.   Plans Approval Procedure
Submit Preliminary Plans, Final Plans and Exterior Colors and Materials to the ARB, which will review them for completeness.

  1. The ARB meets on a monthly basis at the Welcome Center or as indicated. The ARB will act on most minor submissions within two weeks of receipt of the plans.
  2. The ARB will notify the applicant in writing of the results of the review procedure.  If the ARB’s decision is negative, it will explain the decision and make suggestions for corrective action. Oral representations of any decisions will be non-binding on the part of the  ARB.
  3. All plans and documents submitted to the ARB, pursuant to these procedures, will remain the property of SPOA. Under no circumstances will the plans and documents be returned.  Special visual aids, such as models, photos, slides, and renderings are encouraged and will not become the property of the SPOA, but must be reclaimed within ten days of the review meeting.
  4. The decisions of the ARB are final.  The ARB decision may be  appealed as described in Section 1.6 of the ARB Guidelines.


D.  Requirements and Guidelines for Proposed Projects

(1) Full Size Lot Setbacks

• 50 feet – from a golf course or lagoon and oceanfront property line
• 35 feet – from street or road property line
• 20 feet – from all other property lines, including rear if not golf course, lagoon or deep water
• Pools – 40 feet from golf course or rear of property line; 20 feet from side property line

The ARB has the authority to grant variances from these guidelines when they are justified by special circumstances, such as irregularly shaped lots, cornerlots, and retention of specimen trees for aesthetics or other reasons.

(2) Patio Lot Guidelines – Misty Cove, Kingston Cove & Kingston Dunes
Dwelling units constructed on patio lots must be constructed to utilize a patio wall as designated on the plat. The patio house emphasizes an indoor-outdoor use relationship and full utilization of the site for living purposes. The main architectural element of every patio home is the patio wall. The design criteria for the patio wall require greater imaginative utilization than simply a straight wall or fence. Architects are encouraged to optimize the “private garden-court” character of the patio home where the wall enclosure is employed to provide privacy and obtain a maximum utilization of living space. No window or opening is allowed on the patio wall side of the house, and no overview of the adjacent lot (on either side) is allowed. Skylights will be considered by the ARB if deemed appropriate. The patio wall must be at least 6 feet in height above the adjacent first floor level or above natural grade beyond the house walls and is normally located three feet inside the designated lot line. The length of the wall should normally extend to within 10 feet of the front and rear property lines and may extend the entire length of the lot — except for golf course patio lots, where the rear patio wall must remain at least 30 feet (exception Misty Cove) from the golf course property line. All other setbacks for patio homes vary depending on the location.  Please contact the ARB to find setbacks for specific lots.

(3)   Shipyard Building Permit
Once the ARB has issued its Final Approval, the applicant has paid all required Fees and Deposits, and all Town or State permits are acquired, the ARB will issue a Shipyard Plantation Building Permit for construction.  No work may be performed without a Shipyard Plantation Building Permit.  A copy of the Building Permit is located in the appendix, and when issued, it must be posted in clear site during any project.

(4)   Approval Period
Approvals are issued for a period of ninety (90) days.  If construction has not commenced within the ninety days following approval, the applicant must resubmit the plans for construction for reconsideration to the ARB.  Failure to resubmit will result in cancellation of all approvals.

(5)   Inspections
The SPOA ARB Architect or Staff conducts six inspections: Stakeout, Batter Board, Foundation, Framing, Landscape and Final.  No building project, dredge, fill, remodeling, site clearing, etc., may proceed unless a permit certifying that stage of construction is in full display on the property.  Request for all inspections must be made 5 business days prior to the day of inspection.  Construction may not progress to the next stage without inspection approval.  For request, call 785-3310 ext. 226.

A.  Stakeout (String) Inspection
Prior to final ARB approval, the applicant must request a Stakeout Inspection to the ARB Administrator.  This inspection must be performed prior to any clearing or other site work on property.  The Stakeout must show all building corners, driveways, walks, service yards, property lines, and setback lines.  Trees to be removed must be flagged in red. Following the approval of the Stakeout Inspection, the ARB will issue a permit to clear and proceed with construction of batter boards.

B.  Batter Board Inspection
When the batter boards are in place but before slabs or footings are poured or work of a permanent nature begins, the applicant must request a Batter Board Inspection.

C.  Foundation Inspection

D.  Framing Inspection
When Framing is completed, the applicant must request a Framing Inspection.  When ready to make the request from the Town of Hilton Head, the Architectural Review Board Office must be notified.

E.  Landscape Inspection
When completed, the ARB landscape architect will inspect the lot for compliance with approved plan and submitted drainage plan.

F.  Final Inspection
When the applicant is ready for the Certificate of Occupancy, the applicant must request a Final Inspection by a representative of and the staff architect of SPOA ARB.  Final inspection to include compliance with all plans.


(6)   Appeal of Decisions

    1. The applicant may appeal the decisions of the ARB according to the following procedures:
    2. The applicant receiving a negative decision is encouraged to revise the plans in accordance with written recommendations from the ARB and resubmit them to the ARB for approval, with written comment.
    3. If the applicant is unable to comply with the requirements of the ARB or feels that the requirements are overly stringent, the applicant may request a hearing before the Architectural Appeals Board.  Such a request must be made in writing and should be directed to the President, SPOA, who will appoint an Architectural Appeals Board to review the application.
    4. The Architectural Appeals Board will consist of a minimum of three (3) members, none of whom may be members of the ARB.  The SPOA President will chair the Architectural Appeals Board.
    5. The Chairman of the Architectural Appeals Board will convene a meeting of the Architectural Appeals Board within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the request.


(7)   Changes in the Project – Change Orders

    1. If after the ARB has granted final approval and the applicant wants to make changes to the project that would affect any exterior design, materials, or elevation, the applicant must submit revised, detailed plans to the ARB.
    2. The ARB will review the changes and issue a final approval for the changes.  Implementation of any changes may not proceed until change is approved in writing by the ARB.
    3. The ARB will accept two changes to final approved plans.  Any additional change will incur a $50.00 review fee.


(8)  Architectural Review Board Fees
Application Fees for Construction and Ongoing Maintenance for All Regimes, Single-Family, Multi-Family, and Commercial Residences in Shipyard

Commercial/Multi Family Units $ 2,500.00
Single Family Residence-
Up to 3,000 square feet/
50 per additional square feet & above
$ 1,000.00
Additions or Major Alterations $750.00 -1,000 sq. ft. plus
$500.00-less than 1,000 sq. ft.
Pools & Spas $ 500.00
Minor Construction $ 100.00
New Deck, Stairs, Service Yards,
Porch Enclosures, Privacy Walls
New Color Paint-Requires Inspection
$ 50.00
New Color Shingle-Requires Inspection $ 50.00
Minor Alterations & Repairs
New Doors, Window Replacement, Satellite TV, New Signage, Fences, Driveways
$ 50.00
Re-staining (Same Color) $ 25.00
Re-roofing (Same Shingle) $ 25.00
Tree Removal
1-5 trees
5-10 trees
Over 10
$ 35.00
$ 75.00
$ 100.00
No Shipyard permit fee is required for tree removal in regimes, commercial or multi-family units.  A Town permit is required for those entities.  A no charge Shipyard permit will be issued upon the Shipyard ARB’s receipt of the Town permit.
Demolition $ 250.00

*All Multi-Family Buildings, Commercial Entities, Regimes-The ARB fees for multi-family, commercial and regimes are per building not to exceed $500.00. All exterior work must be permitted.


(9) Deposits
Deposits are required from both the property owner and the contractor for all new construction, major renovations, commercial or residential, including foundation work, garages, pool, and spas.  These deposits are due upon approval of plans and before SPOA ARB issues either a clearing or a building permit.  Make checks payable to SPOA ARB.  A performance bond in lieu of a cash deposit is acceptable.

Deposits are refunded unless fines or penalties have been imposed due to non-compliance with the SPOA Covenants and ARB Guidelines.  Property Owner deposits are refunded within fourteen (14) days of final inspection and with full compliance with the approved plans, including the landscaping, the removal of all construction debris, and the total restoration of common areas abutting the property.

Deposits from the contractor are refunded within approximately fourteen (14) days of final inspection and with full compliance with the approved plans, including decks, walkways, driveways abutting common areas, with the removal of portable toilet/trash receptacles, construction material, debris, contractor sign, and completion of repair to common areas damaged or built on in the construction process.


Residential – New Construction (Homeowner) $5,000.00
Residential – New Construction (Contractor) $4,000.00
Commercial or Multi-Family (Homeowner) $7,500.00
Commercial or Multi-Family (Contractor) $7,500.00
Major Alterations requiring foundation work, including pools and garages (Homeowner) $2,000.00
Major Alterations requiring foundation work, including pools and garages (Contractor) $2,000.00


10.  Covenant Compliance & ARB Guidelines For All Projects
The property owner, contractor, and landscaper will observe the SPOA Covenants and the ARB Guidelines during the construction period and insure that all subcontractors do likewise.  Fines and/or penalties for non-compliance will be imposed.  If necessary, a stop work order will be issued for repeated non-compliance.  Some of the Covenants and Guidelines are listed below.

  1. The property owner is ultimately responsible for contractor/subcontractor adherence to all SPOA Covenants and ARB  Guidelines.
  2. Adherence to the site/house/landscape plans as submitted to and approved by the ARB is required.  Any changes to the approved plans must be submitted to the ARB along with a set of revised plans.  Without exception, these changes must be approved by the ARB before any changes are made to the site.
  3. Plan approvals are dated and are in effect for ninety (90) days from the date of the approval.  Construction must begin within the (90) days of plan approval and must be completed within one (1) year after commencement.  Landscape installation must begin within thirty (30) days following completion of the house, decks, walkways, and driveways and must be complete within thirty (30) days of receipt of Certificate of Occupancy.
  4. Lot clearing is not permitted until the ARB Building Permit has been issued by the ARB, the Town of Hilton Head Island Building Permit has been issued, and both permits are posted by the contractor, adjacent to the contractor’s sign.
  5. The contractor is responsible for providing water and electrical service at the job site before starting work that requires the use of water and electrical service. Using water and electricity from neighboring properties is strictly prohibited.
  6. All work is to be performed Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm.  Weekend work is permitted on Saturday between 8:00am and 5:00pm, but the work must be quiet work inside the house.  A permit is required for Saturday work and must be applied for before 12:00 Noon on the preceding Friday. Saturday work is at the contractor’s/subcontractor’s risk.  Noise or complaints from neighboring property owners will require that Security shut down the job for the day.  No work is permitted on Sundays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or National Holidays.
  7. The site must be kept in good appearance at all times.  Construction areas must be cleaned and free of debris at the end of each day or the job will shut down.  No burning or dumping of any kind is permitted.
  8. Store all materials on the building lot, not on adjacent property.  Access to the building lot via an adjacent property is not permitted.
  9. All vehicles used by contractors/subcontractors must display a valid commercial decal and will not be permitted access to Shipyard Plantation before a commercial decal is issued.  All such vehicles must be parked off the roadway and on the building lot.
  10. All Shipyard Plantation speed and traffic regulations must be obeyed.
  11. Noxious or loud music or behavior will not be allowed on the building site or within Shipyard Plantation.
  12. Any cost of repairs or maintenance to offsite areas, such as neighboring lots, roadways, bike paths, right of ways, etc., that are damaged in the construction process are the responsibility of the contractors/landscapers.
  13. Upon completion of final inspection all dumpsters and toilet facilities are to be removed.


 A.  Shipyard Plantation ARB Compliance & Construction Penalties and Fines

Violation Penalty
Failure to construct the project in accordance with approved plans until revised plans are received/approved. $1000
and stop construction
Clearing without a posted ARB permit $1000
Tree pruning, trimming, or removal without a posted ARB permit and Shipyard approval. $1000
Failure to submit an as-built survey prior to construction $500
Violation of any sign rule $50 /day
Failure to submit a foundation survey before vertical construction is begun $1000 and work stopped until
survey is received and approved
No trash receptacle on site $50/day
Failure to deposit trash in receptacle $50/day
Failure to cover dumpster $50/day
Overflowing trash receptacle $50/day
No portable toilet on site/failure to enclose portable toilet $50/day
Failure to barricade trees or inadequate barricades
Or non-maintenance of barricades during construction
Tree damage due to improper care during construction
and replacement of tree
Use of privately owned property (adjacent home sites)
Without providing the ARB with written prior permission from the owner
Use of water or electricity from neighboring properties $50/day plus reimbursement of expenses to owner
Use of exterior materials/colors not approved by the ARB $500 & change to approved colors
Failure to install approved landscape/drainage plan Case-by case basis
$500 & expenses
Legal or other expenses incurred Actual costs
Work without permit $500/stop work till permit is obtained
Failure to request due inspections before work continuation $500


B. Summary of Shipyard Plantation Property Owners’ Association Covenant Fines


Fine Category         1st OFFENSE          2ND OFFENSE
Violations                 $50.00                   $100.00









Unkempt yard/home

Landscape Debris

Damage Common Area

Contractor Dumping

Play Equipment


Warnings: Before any fines are issued, an owner will receive a written warning of the offense. Continued non-compliance after 2nd offense will result in Board approved fines on a daily basis until the stated offense is brought into compliance.

Appeal: An appeal process will be determined and available to all owners.

Time for Offense to be brought into compliance:

    1. First offense 30 days from receipt of regular letter.
    2. 2ND offense after 30 days of non-compliance and owner must pay first fine.
      15 days to bring offense into compliance and has an additional 50.00.
    3. After 45 days of said offense in non-compliance.
      A fine of $100.00 will be issued every two weeks. Until the offense is brought into compliance and all previous fines are paid by the owner.