Architectural Guidelines

Article 4 – Site Requirements


The Architectural Guidelines are updated regularly. For the MOST UP TO DATE GUIDELINES, please consult the official PDF which can be found at the top of the main Architectural Guidelines page.

4.1 Impervious Area: All lot improvements (driveways, walkways, building footprints, fencing, patios, etc.) with the exception of raised wood decking and the water surface area of pools, must be within the allowable impervious area assigned to each lot as indicated below:

  • Lots 1-304, 347-368, 376-426: 3200 square feet of total impervious area allowed
  • Lots 305-346, 483-514: 2600 square feet of total impervious area allowed
  • Lots 369-375, 427-482, 515-525: 3000 square feet of total impervious area allowed

The following rules apply to the calculation of impervious area in Cannonsgate at Bogue Sound:

  1. The full building footprint must be counted as impervious or Built Upon Area (BUA).
  2. The area under roof overhangs shall not be counted as BUA. Downspout extensions must stop at least 30′ from Mean High Water (MHW) to allow an opportunity to sheet flow.
  3. The full area under covered porches even if it covers pervious decking is considered BUA.
  4. Garden or retaining walls covering more than 100 SF are to be calculated based on the area over 100 SF only. Where all walls on the site have a total footprint of less than 100 SF, they are exempt from the calculation.
  5. Concrete driveways, patios and utility pads (HVAC equipment and electrical transformers placed on pads on the ground) are to be counted in the BUA calculation.
  6. Permeable pavement may, under certain circumstances, be approved. Option 1: A design by a registered Engineer or Land Surveyor by the State of North Carolina. must be submitted to the Cannonsgate HOA Management firm (CAMS) as a Minor Permit Application for review and approval. Option 2: If permeable pavers are utilized, a submitted design consisting of Concrete Pavers over 2 inches of #8 Aggregate over 8 inches of #57 Aggregate will be acceptable to satisfy the stormwater storage requirement of the NCDEQ Stormwater Design Manual.
  7. Sidewalks and driveways are considered BUA, with the following stipulation: Sidewalks which are constructed by the developer adjacent to roads that have been constructed by the developer as shown on the approved plat are not to be counted against the lot’s BUA allocation. That portion of a sidewalk and a driveway, or everything else that is constructed by the lot owner within the right-of-way, must be considered BUA for that specific lot.
  8. Open decks and steps are not counted as BUA if the ground beneath the decking is not concrete or some other impervious material. Loose Pea gravel below decks where it is not subject to compressive loads may be considered pervious. Where access is given to areas below decks for storage, those areas shall be considered in the BUA calculation if covered with gravel or pavement. See also # 10 below.
  9. Where wood decking is used in place of driveways, walkways or patios, they shall be elevated above the grade (or a trench constructed below the decking) to not be considered BUA. Decking placed directly on the ground is considered no different than asphalt or concrete and must be counted as impervious or BUA.
  10. Pea gravel used in landscape applications is not considered BUA unless it is subject to compaction. Gravel is specifically included as an impervious surface and counted as BUA.
  11. Interlocking concrete pavers and other forms of ‘permeable’ pavement may receive credit against BUA. Credit to be received must be based on calculations performed and sealed by a Professional Engineer or Land Surveyor registered as such by the State of North Carolina.
  12. Culverts are generally installed on a bed of gravel, but the gravel is not directly driven over, and therefore, not subject to compaction according to DWQ sources. The actual impervious driveway area above the pipe is all that needs to be counted as impervious or BUA at culvert locations.
  13. The pervious area above an underground storage tank is counted as pervious. It shall not be counted as impervious in the BUA calculation.

4.2 Setbacks: Setback requirements from property lines are established in these Guidelines and by Specific Site Zoning and are subject to public utility easements, drainage easements, landscape easements and rights-of-way. All front setbacks noted are from road rights of way, not curbs. No part of the home including front steps may encroach on a setback, with the exception of (1) the eaves may extend up to one foot across a side yard setback, and (2) Brick veneer foundation wall no taller than the top of the ground floor may extend up to 5 inches across a side yard setback. Driveways, patios, and sidewalks may encroach on a setback and a fence may be placed along a property line. All homes must meet minimum setback requirements, as set forth in the recorded plat, deed restrictions, governmental regulations, and as follows:

  • All “Charleston” styled lots (lots numbered 131-525) shall comply with minimum setback requirements as follows (where build-to is stated, the front setback of the residence shall be built to the specified dimension from the property line. On lots 438 to 465, the front setback line is also the required build-to line.):
    • Front Yard Build-To Line: 20’
    • Side Yard Setback: 5’
    • Rear Setback: 5’
  • “Double Lots” (two lots combined to form one new lot) in the “Charleston” style whose main residence is constructed mainly on one half of the property as seen from the road shall comply with the minimum setback requirements and build-to outlined above.
  • “Double Lots” (two lots combined to form one new lot) in the “Charleston” style whose main residence is constructed more or less equally across the new lot as seen from the road shall comply with the minimum setbacks and build-to requirements below:
    • Front Yard Build-To Line: 20’
    • Side Yard Setback: 10’
    • Rear Setback: 10’

All “Low Country” styled lots (lots numbered 1-130) shall comply with minimum setback requirements as follows:

Front Yard Setback: 35’

Side Yard Setback: 10’

Rear Setback: 10’

“Double Lots” (two lots combined to form one new lot) in the “Low Country” style whose main residence is constructed mainly on one half of the property as seen from the road shall comply with the minimum setback requirements outlined above.

“Double Lots” (two lots combined to form one new lot) in the “Low Country” style whose main residence is constructed more or less equally across the new lots as seen from the road shall comply with the minimum setback requirements below:

Front Yard Setback: 35’

Side Yard Setback: 15’

Rear Setback: 10’

The CARC reserves the right to require alternate setbacks, to be determined at time of the CARC review, in order to preserve particular view corridors, or to account for unusual topography, natural site features, or other extenuating circumstances.

4.3. Deleted

4.4. Construction Entrance: The property owner/contractor is responsible for keeping dust and dirt off the road and for maintaining the construction entrance to the lot.

4.5. Material Storage: All construction materials must be kept within the property lines and street rights-of-way must be kept open for vehicular access to all sites. Temporary storage structures must receive approval by the CARC prior to their use. Storage structures may not be used as living or office quarters. Materials must be stored on site in a manner that anticipates severe weather arriving at any time.

4.6. Vegetation Protection: All existing trees or other vegetation shown on the plans, or required by the CARC, to be preserved shall be protected prior to commencing construction with a construction fence placed at the drip line, fully around the tree. It will be the financial responsibility of the applicant to mitigate or restore any disturbed areas and to keep the barriers in good repair during construction.

4.7. Dumpster and Site Clean-up: A commercial dumpster is required on site immediately following initial site grading in order to keep a neat and clean construction site and for the disposal of all refuse associated with the construction program. At the end of each workday all construction materials must be stored neatly, and trash placed in the dumpster, which shall not be filled past the top of the dumpster rim. Fabricated wood or wire bins are not permitted. The builder is encouraged to utilize the services of a disposal company that is environmentally friendly by using recycling and composting techniques. The services company shall have a severe storm management plan in place for removal of dumpsters from the neighborhood no less than 24 hours before the arrival of known severe weather. The agreement for such services shall be provided by the homeowner’s builder prior to the arrival of the dumpsters on site. Materials not placed in dumpsters may be removed by the HOA with the expense billed to the owner. Sites shall be cleaned of debris at the end of each workday. Fires for burning of trash are Not Permitted.

4.8. Toilet Facilities: Each construction site is required to have a job toilet and it must be placed inside the home site area in the least conspicuous location with the door facing away from the street. The units shall be properly maintained so as not to pose a nuisance. A storm policy is required similar to that stated in article 4.7. Secure the porta-toilet to prevent over-turning. Fine for failure is $300.00/day.

4.9. Potable Water: Water Meter must be installed at the onset of construction and maintained throughout the course of the work.

4.10. Drainage: Storm water runoff must be directed to the existing natural drainage features or to storm drainage facilities. The installation of silt fence on lots adjacent to a water or drainage feature is required. All silt fence installation shall be in accordance with Appendix C.

4.11. Mailbox: Mailboxes are not permitted.

4.12. Driveways/Walkways: Natural concrete with a broom finish, concrete, or brick pavers may be used subject to approval by the CARC. The mixing of different types of materials (i.e., poured concrete and concrete or brick pavers) is prohibited. Unpaved strips within driveways consisting of grass, loose gravel, or any other material is also prohibited. Asphalt & gravel driveways are prohibited. Driveways shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Cannonsgate Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions and all requirements of the NC Department of Transportation. The drive shall be splayed at the end of the apron except when adjoining community sidewalks. A concrete culvert must be installed if the driveway crosses a drainage swale. Additional measures are required if the driveway crosses a certified Wetland.

4.13. Exterior Lighting: CARC approval is required for all exterior lighting fixtures except recess can lighting on porches. Exterior lights shall be appropriate to the theme of the design and in keeping with historic precedence. Exterior lighting shall be directed toward the house and be of low wattage (limited to 2,000 lumens) to minimize glare sources to neighbors and other homeowners. Lighting for walkways generally must be directed toward the ground. Lighting fixtures shall be dark colored so as to be less obtrusive. Any deviation from the aforementioned guidelines or use of high-wattage, spotlights, floodlights, or ballasted fixtures (sodium, mercury, multi-vapor, fluorescent, metal halide, etc.) requires CARC approval. The CARC may take into consideration the visibility and style of the fixture and on the home. Lighting of walls can be achieved by use of eave or ground recessed fixtures. Landscape lighting should be concealed where possible by ground recessing or placing in shrub beds. Colored lights are prohibited, except as temporary holiday decorations installed 30 days ahead of and 14 days past Christmas Day. Post mounted light fixtures will be considered on an individual basis. Spillover of light on to neighboring property shall be avoided and lights shall be shielded where necessary.

4.14. Flagpoles: Yard-mounted flagpoles are not permitted on any portion of the Properties.

4.15. Official Flags: Owners may, during daylight hours, display one official flag of the United States of America and one official flag of the State of North Carolina, not to exceed 4’ x 6’, attached to their home without the approval of the CARC. No other flags are permitted.

4.16. Fountains: CARC approval is required for all fountains. Fountains require a Minor Projects application.

4.17. Garages: All residences shall have a fully enclosed garage designed to accommodate at least two vehicles when garage doors are in the closed position. Such garages shall be compatible with and complementary to the main residence in Architectural style, material, color. Each garage entry must be through a single width door. Garages shall be finished on the inside. Double garage doors are prohibited except on lots 40 feet wide or less. For all garage doors, hardware shall be applied to create the appearance of carriage style doors. Double garage doors must have hardware installed to create the appearance of two separate doors. Garage doors, either single or double, must present a carriage-house appearance and include overlays, be of high-quality construction and materials (such as aluminum or fiberglass), and carry a lifetime warranty on the finish. Approved Garage Doors are:

  • Clopay Carriage House Doors
  • Carriage House Doors Company Old Fort, NC
  • Fimbel Architectural Door Specialties
  • Marvin’s Carriage House Garage Doors
  • Overhead Door Co. Impressions Collection and Courtyard Collection
  • Haas Garage Doors 
  • Amarr Garage Doors 
  • Hormann Garage Doors 

4.18. Hot Tubs and Saunas: Installation of Hot tubs or saunas are subject to Part A Minor Projects Review. All mechanical equipment necessary for the operation of any hot tub or sauna must be located in the rear or side yard and shall be screened from the street and neighboring units by a fence, wall, or landscaping, such screening to be in accordance with these Guidelines and approved by the CARC. High noise generating pumps and motors may require full masonry wall sound screening, a requirement determined solely by the CARC.

4.19. Applications for hot tubs, Jacuzzis, saunas and spas shall be accompanied by a screen or fence plan and a plot of the property with the improvements indicated thereon and evidencing compliance with the above criteria.

4.20. Pools: CARC approval is required for the construction or installation of pools. Pools are considered a Major Project. Pools must be located in the rear yard and must be an integral part of the residence and landscape. Landscaping shall be provided around any retaining wall and such wall and landscaping must be an integral part of the overall landscape plan. All mechanical equipment necessary for the operation of any pool must be located in the rear or side yard and shall be screened from the street and neighboring residences/buildings for sound isolation. Screening is to be submitted to and approved by the CARC.

Above ground pools are prohibited.

Pools on Adjacent Lots are allowed subject to the following conditions being met:

  • A copy of the recorded plat from the Carteret County Register of Deeds Office showing the showing the combining of two or more lots into one single lot will be required prior to the granting of project approval by the CARC.
  • Pools must not be visible from the street. They can either b shielded by a structure, courtyard wall, or combination thereof.
  • If a structure is used for screening, it will need to span the entire width of the buildable area of the lot or be a combination of a structure and courtyard wall and must connect to the primary residence. The structure must be of the same color, material, and style that is generally recognized as complimentary to that of the main residence. Roofing materials shall match those of the main residence. (Ref. Article 5.6 of the Architectural Guidelines).
  • If a courtyard wall is used for screening, it must be connected to and constructed in such a way as to be an integral part of the primary residence. All courtyard wall designs must be a minimum of 6 feet above finished grade.
  • Design of the subject structure or courtyard wall will require approval from the CARC prior to the beginning of construction of the project.
  • The project must be completed within 13 months of starting construction.
  • CARC approval of the pool, structure, and any courtyard walls will be considered as one major project. Only one application and a $ 750.00 review fee will be required.
  • Architectural Review Fee for Pools and Accessory Structures – Considered a Major Project: $750.00. Applies to review of pools, spas and major hardscape modifications that are not included with the initial submittal for a new residence. There is no refund of this fee. Use Application Form Three “Major Projects.”


  1. Site Plan at 1/4″ = 1’0″ scale to include:
    a. Foundation &/or pier locations of house
    b. Driveways
    c. Trash containers and HVAC enclosures MUST be located on plan and be constructed of materials that complement the home, are aesthetically pleasing and functional.
    d. Existing accessory structures.
    e. Pool, pool equipment, deck, or pool enclosures and fencing.
    f. Any other enclosures or improvements
    g. Landscaping Plan integrating pool with home and screening pool from street.

4.21. Ornaments and Statues: Lawn ornaments, statuary and outdoor sculpture must be submitted for CARC approval as a Part B Minor Project, in advance of installation and are prohibited in front and side yard areas unless concealed within a privacy wall. Approved ornaments installed in rear yard areas or behind privacy wall must be placed to not be visible from adjacent lots.

4.22. Antennae & Satellite Dishes: Part A Minor Project: No exterior antennae are allowed. One small and inconspicuous Satellite dish which is installed upon or adjacent to any residence, and is screened from adjacent properties and the street, and is integrated with the residential structure and surrounding landscape, is permitted and does not require CARC approval. Such equipment shall be located only inside or rear yards that are not adjacent to a street and shall be located as inconspicuously as possible.

4.23. Exterior Wires & Cables: No exposed exterior wires or cables of any kind are permitted, except as may be approved on a case by case basis for lightning protection and other services.

4.24. Garbage Containers: Garbage containers, when stored in side or rear yard and must be kept screened from view from the roads and adjacent lots. No front yard storage is permitted.

4.25. Walls & Fencing: Part A Minor Project: Walls and fencing should reflect the architecture of the residence. Special consideration should be given to the design and placement of the wall or fence from neighboring home sites. No fencing will be erected or permitted to remain between the street right-of-way and the applicable minimum building setback line, as approved by the CARC. Chain link fencing will not be allowed.

All metal fences shall be aluminum and of a post and picket design with a minimum overall height of 48 inches, with a minimum post dimension of 2 inches square. All posts must be set in concrete in accordance with the current edition of the North Carolina Residential Code. Proposed fence designs consisting of wood or brick columns with metal or wooden rails and pickets will be considered by the CARC on a case-by-case basis.

All walls and fences, including description of materials, must be approved by the CARC prior to installation. Any fencing and/or walls to be installed shall be shown on the site plan. Fencing brochure pictures must be submitted digitally and approved by the CARC.

4.26. Patios & Decks: Major Project. Patios, decks, deck railings, and deck supports shall be substantial in appearance, and reflect the style and Architectural detail of the residence. Decks and patios shall be constructed of materials that are generally acceptable as complementary to the residence. Decks and patios shall be designed and installed as an integral part of the residence or patio area. Any such decks or balconies must be located so as not to obstruct or diminish the view of or create an unreasonable level of noise for adjacent property owners. Construction shall not occur over easements unless specifically approved by the utility company having jurisdiction and must comply with the applicable governmental requirements.

4.27. Delete

4.28. Accessory Buildings: Owners shall obtain CARC Part A Minor Projects approval prior to construction of any accessory building or permanently installed playhouses, doghouses, gazebos, green houses, whether built during initial construction or after. Accessory buildings shall meet the following criteria:

  1. An accessory building must be of the same color, material, and Architectural style as the main residence, or of color, material, and style that is generally recognized as complementary to that of the main residence. As accessory building’s roofing materials shall match those of the main residence. See Article 5.6.
  2. Any utilities servicing accessory buildings shall be installed underground.
  3. Accessory buildings generally shall be located in the rear one third of the yard as long as it does not front onto a street, or encroach on a setback and shall be incorporated as an integral part of the landscape plan, shall not unreasonably obstruct any adjacent neighbor’s views of the ponds, open areas, or other amenities, and must be screened by a fence or vegetation.
  4. Freestanding metal utility sheds or storage sheds are not permitted.
  5. A playhouse shall be considered an accessory building if it measures more than 30 square feet, is more than 6 feet high from peak to ground or is constructed on a concrete slab or footing. All playhouses and playground equipment must be located in the rear yard, within setbacks and screened from view from adjacent properties and the street and must be muted or natural colors as opposed to bright primary colors. Tree houses are not permitted.
  6. Dog houses shall not be visible from the street or adjacent properties, placed inside setbacks, and shall be muted or natural colors. CARC approval may require screening or landscaping. Dog lots, dog runs, and dog kennels are not permitted.
  7. Docks: The addition of docks is not permitted.

4.29. Recreational Equipment: All recreational equipment, including, but not limited to, tennis courts, and playgrounds must be approved by the CARC as a Part A Minor Project prior to installation on any lot. The CARC will require photographs or other means of illustrating the appearance of equipment. Recreational Equipment may not be located forward of the front set back. No equipment may be placed less than 25’ from any property line, unless screened from view of adjacent properties.

4.30. Recreational Vehicles: All boats and recreational vehicles (i.e. campers, motor homes, etc.) must be kept in a garage. NO outside storage will be allowed except for the HOA controlled boat storage area.

4.31. Birdbaths, Birdhouses, and Bird-feeders: CARC approval is not required for the rear yard installation of a birdhouse, or a bird-feeder that is less than one foot wide by one and a half feet tall, or a birdbath that is three feet tall or less, including any pedestal. Placement in any front or side yard requires CARC Part B Minor Project approval.

4.32. Clotheslines: No clotheslines are permitted on the exterior of homes or on any lot.

4.33. Signs:

A. Signs: All signage must be in accordance with the Cannonsgate Signage Guidelines below. One security sign may be permitted in the front yard located either adjacent to the driveway or in close proximity to the front entrance of the main dwelling.
B. One builder/owner sign approved by the Cannonsgate HOA and permit board shall be allowed. The builder sign shall be erected on the lot/parcel prior to the commencement of any work, including clearing or grading and must display the lot number. The Builder sign shall be securely erected, and no signs or permits shall be placed in/on trees. The builder sign shall be removed immediately upon the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy unless a longer period is granted in advance by the CARC. Only the sign approved by the CARC will be permitted. Only one Builder sign or one “For Sale” or Realtor sign will be permitted. NO SEPARATE SUBCONTRACTOR SIGNS ARE PERMITTED. THE BUILDER SIGN MAY INDICATE “NO TRESPASSING” WITHIN ITS TEXT. NO OTHER SIGNS ARE PERMITTED.

4.34 Criteria for the Development of Homes along the ICW: The Development Permit issued by the State of North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (Permit number 120-88) made specific requirements for the discharge of water on lots along the ICW. In adhering to the intent of the permit, homes along the ICW must be graded to allow water to pass along the sides of the homes and into the ICW. The finished garage floors are typically required to be elevated and as such, driveways must be configured to allow the water to discharge to the road.