Originally issued 1999, updated July 2022
Traditional Architectural Designs
Scale, Balance and Height
Footprint New Construction
Setbacks Accessory Use Structures
Roofs Fences
Windows Play Structures
Shutters Sign Restrictions
Doors Decks and Pools
Exterior Hardware and Lighting Paving
Exterior Materials and Details Landscaping
Additions Ground Mounted Mechanical/Electrical Equipment

  • Appropriate architectural styles for homes in the Village include traditional American and European designs from the 19th century and earlier.
  • Design details must be consistent with the architectural style of the home.
  • Additions and other improvements must be designed to be "seamless," meaning they must appear to have been built as part of the original structure in the same architectural detail, with appropriate scale, balance and proportion.
  • New construction must utilize an architectural style compatible with that of existing Village homes in order to blend into the neighborhood. Refer to Architectural Style Groups and A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia & Lee McAlester for information regarding acceptable styles.

  • The home’s mass, scale and height are to be appropriate for the site and in harmony with the mass, scale and height of adjacent or neighboring homes. • The mass of the home shall be focused in the main structure; secondary elements should be of lesser height and mass.
  • These Architectural Guidelines do not set a limit on maximum roof height. However, roof heights (measured grade to peak) should maintain harmony with the balance, scale and proportion of existing and adjacent or neighboring Village homes. When reviewing a proposed roof height, the Board of Trustees may consider some or all of the following factors, both with respect to the proposed residence and other homes in the immediate area: (1) architectural style of the house, (2) eave height, (3) ridge height, (4) lot elevation, (5) distance between houses, (6) applicable building code requirements, and (7) other factors that may affect overall height. If an architect, developer, or homeowner anticipates a proposed residence will have an absolute roof height that is significantly higher than the roof heights of other homes in the immediate area, the Trustees strongly encourage preliminary discussions between the interested party(ies) and the Village Manager. These discussions should take place when the home design is still in the concept stage.
  • A properly-scaled streetscape, showing how the proposed construction will appear in relation to neighboring homes, may be required. The purpose of this requirement is to allow the Board to evaluate the size, height, scale, massing and location on the lot of the proposed construction in relation to the neighboring homes.

  • The maximum allowable footprint for new construction or home renovation is based on the size of the lot and expressed as a percentage of the lot's square footage. Footprint refers to the area of the lot covered by structures with footings, including (but not limited to) the home, garage, covered porches, covered terraces and any unattached structures with footings. See Exhibits 2 and 3 for footprint guidelines.
  • New construction or improvements to any property shall not exceed the maximum allowable footprint for the property unless the Board of Trustees approves a variance. In order to grant a variance, the Board shall make a determination that the requested variance meets one or more of the following criteria:
    • There are special or unique circumstances particular to the land, building or structure involved that are not applicable to other land, buildings or structures in the neighborhood.
    • The special or unique circumstances or conditions do not result from actions of the applicant, and the variance is the minimum necessary.
    • The granting of a variance will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of these Guidelines and will not be injurious or detrimental to the neighborhood. 

  • Front and side setbacks vary depending on a lot's location in Bloomfield Village and the Deed and Restrictions that apply to the lot. 
  • Setback requirements may be different for the house and any unattached accessory structures.

  • Roof pitches of the main structures, wings, and dormers are to be consistent or complementary.
  • Roof pitches and fascia trim are to be appropriate for the architectural style of home.
  • Roof styles (hip, gable, etc.) are to be consistent and/or complementary throughout the structure.
  • One roof material of consistent pattern, texture and color is to be used except for accents (e.g. copper bays).
  • Solar panels that contrast with the primary roof material are not acceptable. Solar roofing may be acceptable if it is similar in appearance to traditional shingles or metal roofing. Solar roofing shall be similar in appearance to adjacent roofing materials. Mounting hardware and wiring for any solar roofing must be hidden from view. Ground-mounted mechanical equipment servicing solar roofing must be located directly adjacent to the house, preferably in the rear, and fully screened from street and neighbor view.

  • Frames shall appear to be of wood (may be clad), and of high quality appearance.
  • Windows on all elevations shall include full muntins in a pattern and number consistent with the home’s historical architectural style.
  • Window designs shall be complementary and consistent throughout the home. Window size shall be of proper scale to home. The scale of frame to glass area shall reflect historical proportions.
  • Window placement shall be balanced and purposefully integrated into design. Window placement shall make all areas visible from the street appear to be living areas, including the garage.
  • Muntin patterns shall reflect the historical character of a home’s architectural style and must be consistent throughout the home. In most Village architectural styles, multiple horizontal and multiple vertical muntins on most windows are required.
  • The color of window sashes, frames and muntins should reflect the historical style of the home. In general, light window colors are required unless the historical architectural style of the home is characterized by darker frames/sashes/muntins (such as in Tudor homes). For example, the windows of homes in the Colonial or Colonial Revival styles have historically been characterized by lighter window frames/sashes/muntins. Dark windows on Colonial or Colonial Revival homes in the Village will not be approved.
  • Glazing (glass) shall generally be clear and untinted; small areas of etched, frosted or translucent glass may be acceptable when part of a stained-glass or other decorative window, door or sidelight. 

  • Shutters are required for Village homes, except for those architectural styles for which shutters are not historically used (Tudor, for example). For windows without shutters, trim and other detail around the window shall be sufficient to provide a finished look to the window.
  • Shutter colors shall be complementary to other colors used on the home; the shutter color shall provide contrast with the color of brick, siding or stone upon which the shutters are installed.
  • Shutters should be properly proportioned, generally one-half of the width of the window on which they are installed. 

  • The main entry door shall be of traditional design, consistent with the style of the home and appear to be of wood construction.
  • Service doors at side and rear shall be compatible with the design of the home.

  • Exterior hardware and lighting shall be of traditional design and material, and complementary with home design.
  • Lamp posts, if used, shall be consistent with the architectural style and lighting on the home.
  • Low-voltage garden or pathway lighting is permissible when part of a landscape design and where mechanics are discreetly installed. Acceptable pathway lights shall have less than 4 inches of ground clearance, with limited visibility.
  • Exterior lighting, including light poles, landscape lighting, and lighting attached to the home must be shown on architectural and landscape plans submitted to the Board for approval. Lighting intensity and color shall be specified.
  • Exterior lighting shall be positioned in a manner that does not unreasonably invade neighboring properties. Lighting shall not exceed 0.5 foot-candles as measured at the lot line. Internal lights that are directed outside are prohibited.
  • The color and intensity of exterior lighting shall be consistent with the vision of a “beautiful, harmonious private residence section.” Colored architectural and landscape lighting is prohibited.
  • The distribution of upward exterior lighting shall be controlled to the effect that it is used solely for the purpose of decorative enhancement and does not expel undue ambient light into the nighttime environment.
  • Soffit lighting above the first floor is strongly discouraged.
  • Installation of a satellite dish antenna requires approval by the Board. The antenna must be hidden from view of the street and be of a neutral color. No large dishes (over 18” diameter) are allowed.

  • Architectural details should emphasize historic design.
  • The use of pediments and other exterior details is encouraged to enhance the appearance of each home and to provide opportunity for variety in home detail.
  • Exterior materials shall be of high quality with traditional appearance and color that suggests an historic origin. Such materials shall be consistent with the architectural style of the home.
  • Where the exterior is other than brick or stone, the exposed foundation is to be brick or stone on all elevations.
  • This guideline is intended to permit brick with natural coloring, painted brick, natural stone, lap siding of wood or quality substitutes, shake siding with a uniform bottom edge, and stucco and half-timber or quality substitutes.
  • This guideline is intended to exclude the use of board and batten siding, reverse board and batten siding, plywood, shake siding with an uneven bottom edge, and rough sawn siding and trim.
  • Chimneys must be of traditional construction and faced with stone or brick in a manner consistent with existing chimney(s) and the style of the home. Prefabricated chimneys faced with siding are not allowed. Chimney caps shall be proportionate and of quality materials.
  • Front yard accessory structures such as lighting piers, gates, fences, and walls will generally not be approved.

  • Additions must be designed to appear "seamless", meaning they must look as if it were built at the same time as the original structure.
  • Conformity to lot line setbacks is necessary unless a variance from such setback is obtained from the Bloomfield Village Board of Trustees and Bloomfield Township.

  • Garages shall be attached to the primary structure through a significant portion of a common wall, and rear-entry garages are preferred.
  • No front-entry garages will be permitted.
  • Side-entry garages are discouraged but may be approved by the Board if all of the following conditions are met:
  1. Extreme site limitations exist which restrict the use of a rear entry.
  2. Methods are utilized to minimize the view of the garage entrance from the street and neighbors.
  3. Adequate evergreen landscaping material is used to screen the view from the street and neighboring property. 
  • On corner lots, the garage shall be located to minimize view from adjacent properties and evergreens may be required as a supplemental screen if appropriate.

  • The Deed Restrictions require prior approval of changes to the exterior color scheme of the home. If an exterior color change is planned, contact with the Village Manager for approval prior to proceeding is required. In many cases, the Village Manager may review and approve a color change if color samples are provided. Any change considered to be non-harmonious or precedent setting will be reviewed by the Board.
  • It is recommended that homeowners evaluate color changes by painting samples on the house to view in a large area and in different light conditions.
  • Repainting the house, including siding, trim, shutters, doors, windows in the existing color scheme is considered a repair and does not require prior Association approval.

  • All the guidelines set forth herein are applicable to, and will be required of, new construction.
  • The design, scale, height, mass and materials used in new construction must be consistent with other Village homes of similar style in order to maintain the traditional nature of the Village. Many original house plans are on file at the Village Hall, and it is recommended that homeowners and their architects review these plans in order to achieve conformity with architecture used during the time the Village was developed.
  • The Village was developed in twelve sections that each have different lot sizes and character. Therefore, a home that is appropriate in one location may not be appropriate in another.
  • Certain traditional house designs may be appropriate for neighboring communities but would not be compatible with the original homes in the Village. Please see the Architectural Style Groups in Exhibit 1 which provide further detail regarding architectural styles that are considered appropriate.
  • The home shall be positioned so that the front is parallel to the street in a manner consistent with neighboring homes, except on corner lots with frontage on two streets.
  • Construction of a new home should be completed within one year of commencement of construction to minimize the disturbance to neighbors.
  • Homeowners shall submit a properly-scaled streetscape showing the proposed new construction in the context of the neighboring homes. The purpose of this requirement is to allow the Board to evaluate the size, height, scale, massing and location on the lot of the proposed new construction in relation to the neighboring homes, and to assess whether the new home is harmonious with the neighborhood.

  • Accessory use structures include, but are not limited to, pergolas, gazebos, cabanas, outdoor fireplaces, covered terraces, outdoor kitchens, built-in fire pits, elevated decks, play structures and other structures not attached to the primary home.
  • Accessory use structures shall be located fully behind the house. Such structures are subject to separate requirements for setbacks from property lines. Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Village have different setback requirements, both of which must be followed or a variance obtained.
  • Accessory use structures must be constructed of high-quality materials, complementary to the primary home. Such structures shall be of size, scale and location on the lot to be harmonious with the primary home and neighboring properties.
  • Covered accessory use structures are included in the footprint square footage for purposes of the maximum allowable lot coverage on any given lot.
  • Accessory use structures shall be screened from neighbor and street view using evergreen plantings maintained in healthy condition.

  • The use of fences is overwhelmingly discouraged, except where required by Bloomfield Township or state law. Trees, shrubs, and plants are the preferred choice for providing privacy and screening. Fencing is inconsistent with the development of Bloomfield Village into a beautiful harmonious private residential section, which is the purpose of the Deed Restrictions that apply to each lot. Privacy or security concerns do not constitute a practical difficulty that would justify a variance. As such, new fences and gates will generally not be approved, unless required by law.
  • State law requires a fence to enclose a pool. Pool fences should enclose the pool, not the entire rear yard.
  • If a fence is approved, it shall be black “wrought iron” style.
  • If any chain link or other non-conforming fencing is replaced, it shall be replaced with a black “wrought iron” style fence.
  • With the exception of pool fences, a fence may not exceed four feet in height. Pool fences may not be taller than the minimum height prescribed by Bloomfield Township ordinance or state law.
  • Landscaping shall be used to screen fencing from neighbor view. Evergreen plantings must also screen fencing from street view where practical.
  • Front yard fencing is prohibited.

  • Play structures should be placed behind the house so as to conform with setbacks and to minimize view from street and neighbors. Landscaping will be required to screen the structure from neighbor and street view.
  • Trampolines and other movable play apparatuses shall be located behind the house and screened from neighbor and street view.
  • The height and size of play structures should be compatible with lot size, available space and setbacks. Play structures must be maintained in good repair at all times.

  • Only one sign per address shall be displayed at any time. The maximum sign size is five square feet of surface area, with a maximum height of four feet, measured from the ground to the highest point on the sign and/or sign post. Wooden or wood-like sign posts shall be black and shall be proportionate to the size of the sign.
  • Signs shall be of temporary usage only ("For Sale" and "For Lease" only). Contractor’s signs are not permitted.
  • One sign identifying the builder or general contractor for a new house under construction will be permitted in Bloomfield Village in accordance with the size and height requirements set forth above.

  • Pools, hot tubs and decks shall be fully located behind the house to minimize the view and noise from adjacent properties and approval of same is required by the Board of Trustees.
  • Evergreen plantings shall screen pools, hot tubs and decks from view.
  • Deck materials, finish, and design shall be complementary to the home.

  • Circular driveways are not permitted in most sections of the Village since they are inconsistent with the vision to maintain an open lawn with a pleasant vista undisturbed by detractions.
  • Parking areas, other than a driveway, may not be constructed in front or side yards.
  • Paving of street right-of-way with any material including brick, rock, stone, concrete or asphalt is prohibited, except as needed for driveway access and sidewalk.
  • Paving of driveways should be limited to that which is required for ingress and egress and any additional paving for the purpose of providing additional parking is not allowed.
  • Driveway width should be proportionate to the size of the lot. Maximum driveway width is twelve feet in the front and side yard.
  • Repair and replacement of driveways are subject to review and approval.

  • Every effort must be made to preserve existing mature trees and shrubs during new construction or renovations. Where mature trees are removed for construction, homeowners shall provide replacement trees of appropriate size elsewhere on the property.
  • Street trees (located between the street and the sidewalk) are an important element of the character of the Village, and should be replaced once they become diseased or in decline. Approval by the Road Commission of Oakland County is required to plant, remove or replace street trees.
  • Homeowners must submit preliminary landscape plans together with architectural plans for Board review of the project. New landscaping shall be sufficiently large as to blend with the established neighborhood.

  • Ground Mounted Mechanical and Electrical Equipment, referred to as GMMEE, includes, but is not limited to, air conditioning condensers, permanently-installed stand-by generators, and equipment servicing solar roofing. Wind turbines are not permitted.
  • GMMEE units are considered accessory structures and should be placed adjacent to the house.
  • GMMEE shall not be placed in front yards. On corner lots, GMMEE may be placed in the secondary front yard if a rear yard placement is not feasible and it is fully screened as set forth below.
  • Location of GMMEE in the rear yard is preferred. GMMEE may be permitted in the side yard if a rear yard placement is not possible due to code requirements or other site issues, provided it meets the side setback requirements.
  • GMMEE located in the side yard, or secondary front yard, must be fully screened from view upon installation through the use of evergreen plant material at least the height of the equipment. Such evergreen plant material must be maintained in a healthy condition.
  • GMMEE must meet the setback and noise requirements of Bloomfield Township.