When does architectural review go too far?

Some winning arguments for getting design choices approved

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DEAR BENNY: We bought a house in August 2009 and for one year our designer/architect was drawing the blueprints and obtaining the local city approvals. After we were approved, we started construction. Now we are stuck because our Architectural Review Board (ARB) does not approve of the exterior doors.We have shown the board many options, and for every single door our ARB chairman is telling us that it is not appropriate and he does not like the door because it does not have enough of a traditional look. We complied with every single exterior design he wanted, which made our project much more expensive. Right now we are facing a stalemate. Please help us. --Marianna DEAR MARIANNA: I assume from your letter that you live in a homeowners association that has a requirement that any new (or remodeled) construction on the outside of the house must be approved by the association's ARB. This is a controversial area throughout the country and there has been a lot of litigation over ...