ACC FAQ

How do I know if I need a permit?

When in doubt, request a permit. A quick email or phone call to the Riverwalk Management Company (CIA 281-852-1700) - would quickly answer if you need a permit. However, here is a partial list of the type of items that need a permit (PARTIAL):

  • Site prep (includes undercutting, underbrush clearing and tree removal)
  • Tree removal
  • New building construction (residence, covered patio, garage, barn, shed, guest house, outdoor kitchen, Pergola, green house, etc.)
  • Deck and/or non-covered patios
  • Fences or walls
  • Driveways, walkway, and other paved flatwork
  • Skylights, solar panels
  • Pool, spa, and ponds
  • Exterior building modifications (painting, renovation of the exterior of existing building)

Do I need a permit to do Site Preparation or Underbrush clearing?

YES, a permit is required prior to commencement of any site preparation work on the property, including underbrush clearing. A fine will be imposed based on fee schedule for site preparation and tree clearing without a permit. Site Preparation activities shall follow the guidelines as included in the “Site Preparation, Tree Removal and Landscaping Resolution” as approved by the POA Board of Directors on September 23, 2014. This complete document can be found HERE

This permit requires owner/builder have ditch erosion control measures in place and any damage to the ditch is repaired.

County installed culverts must be in place.

The owner/builder must maintain proper drainage once clearing or under brushing begins until permanent grass is back in place.

Brush or debris piles must be properly disposed of within thirty (30) days. Burning of trees and brush is prohibited and will result in an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER AND FINE BASED ON SCHEDULE.


What does Riverwalk consider to be Site Prep or Underbrush clearing?

Underbrush is defined as low lying brush, saplings, shrubs and low vines.

Brush or debris piles must be properly disposed of within thirty (30) days. Burning of trees and brush is prohibited and will result in an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER AND FINE BASED ON SCHEDULE.


What are the guidelines for Site Preparation?

  1. Property owners are responsible for ensuring a Site Preparation Permit has been obtained from the ACC prior to commencement of any Site Preparation activities on their property. A fine will be imposed based on the schedule for site preparation without a permit.
    1. A site preparation permit may be obtained by completing the ACC Permit application and submitted to the current Riverwalk Management Company (CIA).
    2. Application must include proposed sites of clearing as well as future positioning of any proposed structures on a plot plan.
  2. This permit is issued for site preparation/tree clearing ONLY. Site preparation/tree clearing can NOT commence until the following requirements have been met:
    1. This permit requires a county installed culvert. No work can be done until county installed culvert is installed. Montgomery County requires culverts across the roadside drainage ditch. The culvert size and grade for each lot is designated by the Montgomery County Engineers Office and will be installed by Montgomery County after the purchase of the culvert(s) by builder/owner.
    2. Erosion control measures (TCEQ website: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/permitting/waterquality/attachments/401certification/erosion.pdf) are in place after culvert installation and prior to clearing being approved.
    3. Mark trees to be KEPT with pink engineer/flagging ribbon
    4. ACC site visit to confirm/approve trees to be removed
    5. Approved building packet.
  3. No clear-cutting of trees on any property will be allowed.
  4. No living tree greater than ten (10) inches in diameter, as measured at a point two (2) feet above natural grade, may be removed with the exception of the following conditions:
    1. Is located up to twenty-five (25) feet from a house or other existing or proposed permanent structure;
    2. Can be demonstrated to pose a safety hazard to persons or property;
    3. Is considered an invasive and hazardous tree or plant; or
    4. Has been determined to be damaged, diseased or otherwise hazardous.
  5. Brush or debris piles must be properly disposed of within thirty (30) days. Building permits will NOT be approved until this is complete. Burning of trees, brush, trash and/or building materials is prohibited and will be considered a violation. Additionally, digging of holes for burning or burying of trees, stumps, debris or trash is NOT permitted. If Site Preparation is permitted and commences along with or immediately prior to new construction, then the owner and/or contractor have thirty (30) days to remove debris before being subject to the violation review process and/or penalties.

Do I need a permit to remove a tree?

Yes. The following are the guidelines for removing a tree:

  1. No clear-cutting of trees on any property will be allowed.
  2. No living tree greater than ten (10) inches in diameter, as measured at a point two (2) feet above natural grade, may be removed with the exception of the following conditions:
    1. Is located up to twenty-five (25) feet from a house or other existing or proposed permanent structure (i.e. garage, swimming pool, pool decking or recreation area such as a playground or garden);
    2. Can be demonstrated to pose a safety hazard to persons or property;
    3. Is considered an invasive and hazardous tree or plant; or
    4. Has been determined to be damaged, diseased or otherwise hazardous.

Can I remove a dead or deceased tree from my property, regardless of size, without first obtaining a permit?

Yes, but ONLY when the Dead or Deceased tree can be demonstrated to pose a safety hazard to persons or property. To be on the safe side, an Application for a Permit should be submitted to CIA, prior to removal of any tree.


Do I need a permit to put a garage, shed or out building on my property?

Yes. Absolutely NO construction or modification shall commence on a lot in Riverwalk until the ACC has approved in writing a completed application form based on the final construction plans. The owner of record is ultimately responsible for compliance with the Riverwalk Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions and the ACC Building Requirements. Applications need to be submitted for the following, but not limited to: Residence, Garage, Guest House, Fence, Deck, Storage, Pool, Pond, Pergola, and other forms of construction to the property. NOTE: sheds, garages, buildings (which include eaves overhand) cannot encroach build lines, easements. or septic spray fields.


What are the requirements for building a shed?

Submit an ACC application with the following attachments: plot plan with specific location of structure (indicating plot plan with build lines), dimensions of structure, materials to be used, color of structure, sample picture of what structure will look like (manufacturer’s literature, color photos or brochures are acceptable). If a concrete pad is to be poured for structure, a Montgomery County permit is required, however an open pavilion or pole barn is exempt from obtaining a Montgomery County permit. It is always best to contact Montgomery County Permit office for clarification.


Do I need a permit to paint the exterior of my house?

Yes. Before painting the exterior of dwelling or any other permanent structures on an owners' lot, a permit must be submitted to ACC for approval.


Do I need a permit to build a wall or fence?

Yes. All walls and fences, if any, must be approved prior to construction by the ACC and shall not be closer to front street property lines than the front building set-back line, except that decorative fencing may be installed between the street and the front building set-back line provided that same is approved prior to installation by the ACC. Any erection of any wall, fence or other improvements on any easement is prohibited. The fence shall not cross the side or back property line. No electric barbed wire, barbed wire, or temporary fences shall be allowed. Driveway entrances may be constructed of masonry columns, ornamental iron or similar materials in harmony with the Dwelling on said Lot as may be approved by the ACC. The Owner of any lot upon which the Developer has constructed a fence shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of said fence.

Submit an application to the ACC with the following: plot plan indicating where wall or fence will be located (include measurements), height of wall or fence, material to be used, sample picture of material, color and company to install fence.


What kind of fence am I allowed to build?

Wrought Iron for front, wrought iron, chain link, privacy wood fence, concrete/stucco, and brick. The following is an example of type of fences not allowed: barb-wire, chicken-wire, hog-wire, fabric or tarps, plastic fencing, etc.


Do I need a permit to install irrigation?

No. We suggest that you call 811 prior to digging up area for safety purposes.


What are the build line guides for building on a waterway or lake front lot?

Please refer to the deed restrictions for specific build line details.


What’s the purpose and rules for build lines?

A deed restriction that prevents encroachment on neighbor’s property, continuity and uniformity of neighborhood.


Where do I find the application forms?

On the Documents page located HERE


What are the fees for applying for a permit?

A non-refundable permit fee of $50 is required when applying for a residence, guest house and garage.

Residence, guest house and garage permits require a $2,500 builder deposit and a $1,500 landscape deposit. The builder and landscape deposits are refundable contingent on compliance with deed restrictions.

If a Variance is requested and granted, a $150 (non-refundable) fee is required.


Do I need permit to install a swimming pool?

Yes, an ACC permit is required. When filling out the ACC application, the following is also required to obtain a swimming pool permit:

  • Include with the application a plat of your property clearly indicating the location of proposed pool. The plat should indicate distance between pool and build lines/property lines.
  • If the pool will also include decking or surrounding surfaces, please note on plat drawing and indicate on application.
  • Drawing/pool design as provided by pool builder.
  • Pool builder name.

NOTE: No County permit is required. County building codes do require excavated holes to have safety protection. Pools cannot encroach easements build lines or septic spray fields. Care must be taken to protect drainage ditches during construction.


If I install a swimming pool or pond, am I required to construct a fence around it?

No. While the deed restrictions do not require a fence, for the safety of everyone in the neighborhood and your own personal liability, it is strongly encouraged.


What is the purpose of the ACC?

The ACC was established for the sole purpose to oversee and govern all new architecture, building construction, new additions and alterations to structures in Riverwalk. The ACC helps to protect the values of the land in Riverwalk. The goal of the ACC is to encourage the construction of homes and structures of good architecture design, quality and proper size in accordance to the deed restrictions and building requirements. Approval or disapproval of construction based on matters of harmony of external design as compared to existing and proposed structures, location, topography or finished grade elevation will be decided by the ACC.


Someone posted a Red Tag or Stop Work Order Tag on my property. What do I do now?

Stop work immediately and call CIA Services at 281-852-1700


What is required to get an application approved for a new building/structure?

Complete application request form located HERE. The completed application must include the following:

  1. Approved building packet: Fully completed copy of the ACC application, signed by both the builder and the homeowner. Please complete the application form, sign and enclose checks for the application fee and deposits, if applicable, and return with plans PRIOR to any construction to: C.I.A. Services Inc. 8811 FM 190 Bypass Rd. Ste. 200 Humble Texas 77338 - Attn: ACC. Applications can be found online at http://ciaservices.com/cia-community-request-1.php?id=64863
  2. Two (2) full-sized sets of blue prints professionally drawn to include all of the following:
    1. Floor plan, electrical plan and foundation plan
    2. Site plan / building plans must clearly identify soffit overhangs on all 4 elevations so ACC can clearly verify no building line encroachment. Foundation plan alone will not suffice.
    3. Living space and total square footage
    4. Submit elevation drawings that demonstrates each of the 4 sides of the exterior of the structure to be built, which must indicate exterior material used (51% brick or other approved masonry products)
    5. Site/plot plan prepared by a professional engineer, architect, builder or surveyor, which clearly illustrates the following:
      1. Position of residence on the lot
      2. Location of garage, driveway, fences, sidewalks, pools, ponds, etc.
      3. Building front, side and rear setback lines
    6. Clearly PRINT your name, address and your LEGAL DESCRIPTION on your sets of plans
  3. One (1) Lot Survey
  4. Original Montgomery County Building Permit. No exceptions. You can call 936-539-7836 for the forms and fee amount.
  5. Paint color samples of house and trim
  6. Stone and/or masonry material samples (color photos or brochures are acceptable)
  7. Roof material sample/manufacturer’s literature (color picture) or specifications
  8. Two (2) sets of landscaping plans or sketches drawn to include the items as required in the “Site Preparation, Tree Removal and Landscaping Resolution”
  9. Plan Review Fee - A check or money order from the PROPERTY OWNER in the amount of $50 payable to Riverwalk POA. This is a Non-Refundable plan review fee (required for residences, garages, shops, and guest homes).
  10. BUILDER’S COMPLIANCE DEPOSIT - A check or money order from the BUILDER for $2,000.00 payable to Riverwalk POA. No checks will be accepted from the home owners. This is a BUILDER’S construction compliance deposit, which is fully refundable providing that the finished house is deemed to be in compliance with the restrictive covenants and the building plans that were approved. This deposit can be forfeited by the builder to defer expenses in conjunction with infractions to the approved development plan and the CC&Rs solely at the discretion of the ACC. ANY FORFEITURE IS FINAL!
  11. LANDSCAPE COMPLIANCE DEPOSIT - A check or money order from the PROPERTY OWNER for $1,500.00 payable to Riverwalk POA. This is a landscape construction compliance deposit, which is fully refundable providing that the finished work is deemed to be in compliance with the restrictive covenants and the landscape plans that were approved. This deposit can be forfeited by the owner to defer expenses in conjunction with infractions to the approved plan and the CC&Rs solely at the discretion of the ACC. ANY FORFEITURE IS FINAL!

How long is a permit valid?

One (1) year from date of approval.


How much are the fines associated to an ACC building violation?

The following is the ACC fine schedule.

$500 per violation - Commencement of construction, including House, Guest House, and Garage, without an ACC permit. The fine is levied and a STOP WORK ORDER is placed on the property.

$250 per violation - Building a Fence, Deck, Storage, Pool, Pergola or Pond without an ACC Permit. The fine is levied and a STOP WORK ORDER is placed on the property.

$500 per day - Continuing construction after a Red Tag- STOP WORK ORDER has been placed on the job site.

$1,000 per tree - Tree clearing without a permit will be fined $1000 per tree greater than ten (10) inches in diameter, as measured at the point two (2) feet above natural grade. This fine is applied to new building.

$1,500 per violation - Pouring slab prior to receiving approval of the form survey submitting to the ACC.

$500 per violation - Removal of any Red Tag- Stop Work Order or RED TAG/STOP WORK ORDER has been placed on the property.

$500 per violation - No Portable Potty – 10 days grace period to rectify the violation before the fine is levied. Removal of any Red Tag or RED TAG/STOP WORK ORDER is placed on the property.

$500 per violation - Burying/Burning brush, trash, building construction debris.

$250 per violation - Noise violation on a construction site, first offense given a verbal/written warning.

$500 per violation - Not adhering to the ACC Building Requirements.

$500 per violation - No metal roll off dumpster on construction site - 10 days grace period to rectify the violation before this fine is levied and a STOP WORK ORDER is placed on the property.

$500 per violation - Site must be kept clean and free of debris and debris piles – 10 days grace period to rectify the violation before this fine is levied and a STOP WORK ORDER is placed on the property.

$500 per violation - No displayed permits - 5 days grace period to rectify the violation before this fine is levied.

$500 per violation - Equipment or Materials stored or housed on lots adjoining the building site or on other lots owned in the Riverwalk subdivision, or on roads will be fined $500. 5 days grace period to rectify the violation before this fine is levied.

$500 per violation - Roads or paths made through other lots to obtain ingress or egress to or from the building site will be fined $500.


From a noise perspective, what are the approved construction building hours?

Construction starting and ending times are as follows: Monday through Friday from 7:00AM and ending no later than 7:00PM. Saturday and Sunday and holidays work cannot start until 9:00AM and must end not later than 7:00PM. There will be a warning for the first offense and then a fine will be levied based on the ACC Fine Schedule. Owners/Builders should ensure that workers’ radios are kept at a reasonable level.


Can building equipment, trucks or materials be place or stored on lots adjoining the building site or on other lots owned in the Riverwalk subdivision or roads?

No. No Equipment or Materials may be placed, stored or housed on lots adjoining the building site or on other lots owned in the Riverwalk subdivision, nor may roads be made through other lots to obtain ingress or egress to or from the building site, nor may vehicles be parked on adjoining lots without specific written permission from the owners of those lots. Approval to build is NOT approval to trespass on the neighbor’s property.


How do I get my builder or landscape deposit back?

Fill out the Completion of Construction form found in the Amended Building Requirements form located HERE

ACC committee will inspect the site to confirm the following:

  • You must have completed all construction (including driveways) to comply with Deed Restrictions and approved plans.
  • Your construction area must be cleaned and ready for inspection by the ACC.
  • There must be no brush piles or construction debris left on property or pushed into neighboring property.
  • There must be no concrete washout in ditches or other areas on the site.
  • Dirt areas in the front yard disturbed by construction must be at a minimum raked level.
  • Permanent utility (water, electric) hook-ups must be connected, the temporary power pole removed, and the septic system completed.
  • All other fees or fines must be paid, including your yearly “maintenance fee.”

Complete the Compliance Deposit Refund Form, mail or deliver to C.I.A. Services, Inc. office or the Riverwalk Security Office, Attn: CIA Services, for processing.

After receipt of the application for refund, the ACC will inspect the site to ensure that all requirements are met. Files will be reviewed to ensure that no “maintenance” fees, late charges, Constable assessment, or fines are owed. If this request has not been received within ninety (90) days of completion of construction, the builder/owner shall consider the deposit forfeited.


What do I need to do prior to starting construction on my new residence?

Obtain the following:

  • ACC permit to underbrush.
  • ACC permit for site preparation (tree removal, etc.), a county culvert permit and installation per Montgomery requirements.
  • ACC and Montgomery county permit to build house.
  • ACC and County permits must be posted until project completed. Expired permits must be resubmitted for re-approval.
  • Metal roll off dumpster
  • Portable toilet
  • Temporary electric poll - service lines from the transformer or source of feed to the meter location of said lot.
  • Culvert(s) installed by Montgomery County (ditches kept free of debris)

Do I need a permit to put in a pond?

Yes. Fill out an application and submit to ACC for approval. We suggest that you call 811 prior to submittal application, as well as digging, to confirm location is safe for excavation.


Do I need a permit to put in a well?

Yes. No water wells shall be made, bored or drilled, nor any type or kind of private system installed or used except upon approval of the ACC, county and any required governmental authorities.


Do I need a permit to put in a retaining wall?

Yes. All walls must be approved prior to construction by the ACC. Any erection of any wall on any easement is prohibited.

Submit an application to the ACC with the following: plot plan indicating where wall will be located (include measurements), height of wall, material to be used, sample picture of material, color and company to install fence.


I’m remodeling my house; do I need a permit?

No, so long as the remodeling is being done to upgrade existing facilities/structure as originally submitted to ACC for approval. Additionally, the residence needs to remain a single-family dwelling and non-commercial status.

Yes, if you are remodeling the outside of your house you need to review the building permit requirements in the deed restrictions and submit a building permit application.


What is the difference between a form survey and a site survey, and how do I obtain a form survey?

A site survey shows property boundaries and any recorded easements. You obtain copy at title company when you close on property or house loan. A form survey shows location of house before concrete poured. Either provided by builder in his scope of work or contracted through a bonded surveying company.


What is a landscaping plan and what does it require?

Using your residences’ plat/site plan, indicate location of trees, shrubs, flowers, and grass in relationship to the home. Hand drawn sketches on your plat/site plan will be accepted.


Is there an approved plant list for landscaping? If not, are there any specific plants that would not be approved as part of a landscape plan?

No invasive plants are to be planted. For a list of invasive Texas plants can be viewed at: www.texasinvasives.org/plant_database/


If I am replacing a fence, roof, paint, etc., with exactly the same as it currently exists, am I required to submit for approval?

Yes. All permanent structures or any structure or addition must be approved by the ACC. An owner or contractor must submit an application to ACC for the following, but not limited to: Residence, garage, guest home, fence, deck, storage, pool, pond, greenhouse, pergola, and other forms of the property. All permits are valid for one (1) year and non-transferable. They must follow all deed restrictions.


Is a permit required for improvements in your backyard that will not be visible from the street?

Yes, if the improvements to your backyard include the following:

  • Building, patio, garage, barn, shed, guest house, Pergola, etc.)
  • Fences or walls
  • Slab
  • Pool, spa, and ponds
  • Well

No, if your backyard improvements do not include the building of structures and is NOT visible from the street.


Is a permit needed for fill dirt to be brought in to level the lot?

Yes, fill out an application site prep and submit to ACC for approval.


Does the ACC have regularly scheduled review meetings?

Yes, the ACC meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. However, if the meeting date falls on a holiday week, the meeting date may be changed. If there is a change to the date, a notification will be posted on the Riverwalk website. If you are submitting an ACC application for review, please submit applications and supporting materials to CIA by the 1st and/or 3rd Wednesday of the month. Submitting the applications in advance allows CIA time to review and confirm that all of the necessary documents and materials are received.