Chapter 18.82


18.82.010    Purpose.

18.82.020    Definitions.

18.82.030    Applicability.

18.82.040    Application procedures.

18.82.050    Review procedures.

18.82.060    Design standards.

18.82.070    Standards for large scale commercial retail development.

18.82.080    Appeals.

18.82.090    Enforcement.

18.82.010 Purpose.

A. Purpose. The standards contained herein are intended to:

1. Protect the character and desirable living conditions of the town through careful site planning that minimizes the impacts of new construction on environmental features and existing development;

2. Encourage site planning and building design that integrates design within the site and establishes a sensitive relationship between the elements of the site plan and contextual features of scenic, environmental or cultural significance;

3. Preserve the visual amenity of the town for residents and visitors, especially through the enhancement of building aesthetics; and

4. Promote high quality compatible development that reflects the scale and architectural character of southwestern building styles. [Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1999-01 § 1.]

18.82.020 Definitions.

A. Certain terms used in this chapter shall be defined, for purposes of this chapter only, as follows:

1. “Accent color” means a color used in details or trim that contrasts with the base color.

2. “Affected homeowners’ association” means an association of homeowners which is registered with the planning and building department and represents a residential area close to a proposed development.

3. “Base color” means the overall, main, or predominant color.

4. “Compatible” means to be in agreement; to fit in architecturally; to not visually conflict with a street scene, view, or adjacent development.

5. “Complement” means to support or make complete; in design, to create a harmonious effect through contrast.

6. “Conforming structures” means permitted structures with proper building permits which complied with zoning requirements at the time of their construction.

7. “Considerations (C)” means issues and concepts that an applicant should consider in preparing a plan. Their omission is not grounds for rejecting a plan, but their inclusion or recognition is encouraged and may assist in overcoming certain presumptions and in gaining acceptance for a plan.

8. “Presumptions (P)” means standards that, in some way, have been incorporated or overcome. A plan submitted for design review is incomplete if it does not demonstrate such compliance.

9. “Requirements (R)” means standards contained in this and other sections of the zoning code and specific plans. Requirements are not discretionary. Requirements must be satisfied by any plan prior to design review and building permit approval. There is no administrative process to overcome a requirement. If it cannot be satisfied, an applicant may seek relief through the variance process.

10. “Saturated color” means intense, concentrated, brilliant color.

11. Types of Development. Standards are applied to different types of development as shown in the number reference following the standard. Development types are commercial (1), industrial (2), and utilities/institutional (3). [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1999-01 § 1.]

18.82.030 Applicability.

A. General Provisions.

1. Design review applies to all public and private facilities which require a building permit (including utilities) in commercial and industrial developments in all zoning districts in the town. Building permit applications and development plans shall comply with these standards. The only complete exceptions are:

a. Exterior alterations or changes to existing development begun prior to the effective date of this section;

b. Interior alterations or improvements which do not affect exterior building appearance; and

c. Development submitted for plan approval prior to the effective date of this section.

2. Applicability by Use. Design standards are to be applied to specific types of development including commercial (1), industrial (2), and utilities/institutional (3). The level of compliance (R, P, or C) and applicability to types of development (1, 2, or 3) are noted following each standard.

3. All elements of design review are subject to development review in accordance with the Sahuarita zoning code and conformance with the general plan.

4. In the event of conflict between this section and any other provisions of the zoning code, the more restrictive requirement shall apply. [Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1999-01 § 1.]

18.82.040 Application procedures.

A. Preliminary Review.

1. Prior to submittal of a design review application, the applicant shall meet with town staff to discuss the following items:

a. Impact on surrounding properties;

b. Visual appearance;

c. Functional relationships;

d. Conformance to the design standards.

B. Application and Compliance Review.

1. An application shall be made on forms provided by the town and shall be accompanied by the required fee, three copies of the plans, including elevations which clearly show all exterior features of all building sides (including alternative elevations), site plan, samples of paint and trim colors, roof and detail tiles, and photographs, if available, of similar products built by the same company.

2. Fees for specific types of design review shall be charged in accordance with the adopted fee schedule.

3. The planning and building director or his/her designee shall review each application for compliance with established standards and review procedures and shall formally accept as complete or reject the application within five working days.

4. Town review of complete applications shall be accomplished within 15 working days after the application has been formally accepted for review. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1999-01 § 1.]

18.82.050 Review procedures.

A. Design standards are listed in STC 18.82.060. The standards reflect desired goals and policies for the town. Design approval by town staff is required prior to the issuance of a building permit. The standards include Requirements (R), Presumptions (P), and Considerations (C).

1. Overcoming a Requirement. There is no administrative process to overcome a requirement. If it cannot be satisfied, an applicant may seek relief through the variance process.

2. Overcoming a Presumption. A presumption that may be unsuitable for a given project may be waived if an applicant can demonstrate to the town staff that there is a good reason why the presumption is inappropriate. The town staff may approve an alternative that achieves the intent of the presumption. Appropriate reasons for overcoming a presumption include:

a. Demonstrating that in this instance the underlying design principles will not be furthered by the application of the presumption;

b. Showing that another design standard is enhanced by not applying the presumption;

c. Explaining the unique site factors that make the presumption unworkable.

Increases in the cost of development generally will not be an acceptable reason to waive a standard or determine a standard is inappropriate.

In the event that a presumption is not incorporated or overcome, an appeal may be filed by the applicant with the town council in accordance with STC 18.82.080.

3. Considerations. Inclusion of considerations is encouraged, but omission is not grounds for denying plan approval.

4. Town staff may request additional information or require modifications of the proposed design as necessary to perform a complete review and obtain compliance with this section. [Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1999-01 § 1.]

18.82.060 Design standards.

A. Overall Design Character.

1. All construction will promote a southwestern architectural theme compatible with the area and in scale with the low-profile character of the desert. (P, 1, 2, 3)

2. Mobile, manufactured or modular buildings shall comply with applicable design standards. All units shall be constructed and installed in accordance with standards established by the state, as amended from time to time, or the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act for manufactured structures. (R, site-delivered only, 1, 2, 3)

3. Finished floor elevations shall not be greater than one foot above the average finished grade as measured five feet out from the building footprint. (R, site-delivered only, 1, 2, 3)

4. Subdivision street layouts shall incorporate design approaches which promote visual interest and mitigate monotonous linear corridors or streetscapes. Employ varied building setbacks to enhance the streetscape where linear streets are necessary. (P, 1)

5. Design side and rear building facades with attention to architectural character and detail comparable to the front facade, particularly if rear and side facades are visible from streets, common areas, or adjacent properties. (P, 1, 2, 3)

6. Main structure walls over 250 square feet shall carry detail such as window openings, shadow relief, approved painted designs, murals, etc. (C, 1, 2, 3)

B. Building Materials.

1. Permitted exterior finished materials include plastered unit masonry, brick, adobe, stucco, slump block, split or textured decorative block, rammed earth, concrete tilt (permitted for Types 1 and 2 only), rough sawn wood, and masonite. Other materials may be proposed and shall be subject to approval by the town staff. (R, 1, 2, 3)

2. Any alterations of exterior surfaces or features that do not conform to the above standards shall be submitted for approval by the town staff. (R, 1, 2, 3)

3. Concrete tilt up construction shall incorporate detailing including scoring and accents as approved by the town staff. (R, l, 2)

4. Ground setting and skirting of buildings is required on site-delivered buildings. These elements shall be architecturally integrated with the main structure. (R, site-delivered only, 2, 3)

5. Accessory structures shall use materials consistent with the primary structure on the site. (R, 1, 2, 3)

6. Finished building materials must be applied to all exterior sides of buildings and structures. (P, 1, 2, 3)

C. Roofs.

1. Visible roof colors and materials must conform to the overall southwestern character and must be approved by the town staff. Manufacturer’s samples shall be submitted for town staff approval. (R, 1, 2, 3)

2. All vent pipe stacks and any equipment protruding above the plane of the roof and visible from public streets, common areas or public property must be painted and/or screened to match the roof as approved by the town staff. (R, 1, 2, 3)

3. Visible roof covering materials shall be wood shake shingle, architectural grade asphalt shingle, gravel, concrete tile, clay tile, or architectural grade metal roofing. Other materials may be approved by the town staff based on compatibility of these materials with adjacent development or impacts on visual quality. (P, 1, 2, 3)

4. Overhead screens, shade covers, patio roofs, car ports and other similar structures shall be constructed of materials and color compatible with the main structure. (P, 1, 2, 3)

5. Excessive pitches (over six inches of rise in 12 inches of run) uncharacteristic of southwestern architectural styles will not be permitted on primary roofs. Domes or other roof forms may be approved by town staff based on their impact on visual resources and adjacent development. (P, 1, 2, 3)

6. Building heights and massing should be varied in order to provide visual relief and to maintain views. (P, 1, 2, 3)

D. Colors.

1. Any repainting or redecorating of exterior surfaces that does not conform to these standards shall be submitted for approval by the town staff. (R, 1, 2, 3)

2. White, titanium white, and similar colors with a reflectivity of 70 percent or greater shall not be permitted as a primary exterior color for any building and structure. (R, 1, 2, 3)

3. Accessory structures shall use colors consistent with the primary structure on the site. (R, 1, 2, 3)

4. Accent colors shall complement the base colors of structures and may include bright or saturated colors subject to town staff approval. (P, 1, 2, 3)

5. The exterior colors of all buildings and structures must be approved by the town staff based on submitted manufacturer’s color chips. Bright, saturated and/or primary colors will not be permitted except as accents. (P, 1, 2, 3)

6. Submittals must include sufficient detail of the exterior color scheme, including all exterior surfaces.

Exterior colors must be compatible with other buildings in the immediate vicinity or neighborhood. (P, 1, 2, 3)

E. Building Orientation and Site Design.

1. Building orientation and design should maximize energy efficiency, minimize heat gain, and consider the impact of shade on adjacent areas and uses. (P, 1, 2, 3)

2. The proposed building orientation should relate to other buildings on the same site in regard to vehicular and pedestrian circulation. (C, 1, 2, 3)

3. Proposed building orientation should respect the orientation of surrounding buildings and the orientation of surrounding streets. (C, 1, 2, 3)

F. Fencing and Walls.

1. Fencing materials shall be compatible with main structures and adjacent fencing materials. Chain link fencing is only permitted where it currently is the prevalent fencing material, unless it is not visible from public streets. (R, l, 2, 3)

2. Chain link is permitted in industrial applications that are hidden from public rights-of-way and not visible from adjacent property that is zoned for nonindustrial use. (P, 2)

3. Walls over 75 feet long and three feet high that are visible from the street shall have varied alignment and articulation (jog, notch, curve, etc.). (P, 1, 2, 3)

4. Except as expressly provided in this code, barbed wire may be used on fences or walls only for security purposes in the B-2 General Business Zone and the I-1 and I-2 Industrial Zones, provided the wire is more than six feet above ground level. (R, 1, 2, 3)

G. Machinery and Equipment.

1. Roof-mounted mechanical equipment shall be screened by a parapet of sufficient height or other screening device and painted so that it will appear as an integrated part of the building. (R, 1, 2, 3)

2. All machinery, fixtures or equipment of any type, including but not limited to heating, cooling, air conditioning, pool and refrigeration equipment, and propane and water storage tanks, must be screened from view from public streets, common areas, or public property. Vegetative screens may supplement but do not replace structural screens, fences, or walls. (P, 1, 2, 3)

3. Screens or concealing devices shall be opaque and integrated architecturally with the design of the building or structure, shall not have the appearance of a separate piece or pieces of machinery, fixtures or equipment, and shall be constructed and positioned in such a manner so they are level and plumb with horizontal and vertical building components and shall be structurally stable in accordance with sound engineering principles. (P, 1, 2, 3)

4. Reduce the negative visual impacts on neighbors of solar energy devices by integrating solar techniques into the overall building design and concealing and screening panels and ground-mounted equipment. (C, 1, 2, 3)

H. Window Treatment. No aluminum material or other reflective material may be installed in windows which are visible from streets, common areas, or adjacent public and private property. Windows, window frames, and exterior window coverings or treatments used to shield or decorate openings must be approved by the town staff. (P, 1, 2, 3)

I. Parking and Circulation.

1. Safe and unobstructed pedestrian walkways and linkages shall be incorporated in parking lot design. (R, 1, 2)

2. Multiple parking access points from major streets should be minimized to maintain safe traffic flow. Entries should be located as far as possible from street intersections. Retail complex entries should be consolidated to eliminate excess curb cuts and be clearly delineated through the use of plant massing, repetition of landscape or architectural elements and patterned concrete or pavers. (P, 1, 2, 3)

3. Parking shade structures should complement the architecture and colors of the primary buildings. (P, 1, 2, 3)

J. Service Areas.

1. All refuse containers shall be visually screened with a minimum six-foot-high wall of material which matches the building architecture, so that it is not visible from streets or adjacent property. Enclosures shall include wrought iron or similar gates which serve to further screen refuse containers. (R, 1, 2, 3)

2. Locate unsightly and noise-generating elements away from adjacent residential property. (P, 1, 2, 3)

3. Commercial and industrial service areas shall be concealed from public view behind buildings or screened through the use of landscaping or screening walls. Vegetative screens may supplement but do not replace structural screens, fences, or walls. (P, 1, 2, 3)

K. Utilities. In new developments, all utility lines shall be underground. If existing utility lines are to be relocated, replaced, or upgraded, they shall be reinstalled or installed underground unless otherwise approved by the town council under the provisions of the town’s Type 2 conditional use procedures. (R, 1, 2, 3)

L. Outline Lighting. Outline lighting of a building, excluding temporary decorative holiday lighting, is prohibited. [Ord. 2017-127 § 1; Ord. 2015-105 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1999-01 § 1.]

18.82.070 Standards for large scale commercial retail development.

A. Development Scale. Commercial development with any building greater than 80,000 square feet gross business area as a single freestanding use or in conjunction with other uses on a lot(s) or parcel(s). For the purpose of determining the applicability of the 80,000-square-foot floor area threshold, the aggregate square footage of all adjacent stores, which share check stands, management, a controlling ownership interest, or storage area, shall be considered one establishment, e.g., a plant nursery associated with a general merchandise store, such as a home improvement store.

B. Applicability of Standards. In cases where any standard for large scale commercial retail development is determined to be inconsistent with other standards within the town of Sahuarita Zoning Code or other of the town’s development requirements, the more stringent standard or requirement shall be applicable.

C. Development Standards.

1. Circulation.

a. The development shall have direct site access to a freeway frontage road, or to an arterial road or collector road with not less than four lanes (two travel lanes in each direction), and no access shall be permitted from a local street.

b. A traffic impact analysis must be submitted to development services. This analysis must be prepared using the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Trip Generation Guidelines and must be prepared by a traffic engineer or similar transportation professional.

c. Sidewalk Standards.

i. Sidewalks along sides of the large scale commercial retail development abutting a public street shall be at least four feet in width. The four-foot sidewalk requirement is in addition to the required bufferyard.

ii. Sidewalks, no less than eight feet in width, shall be provided along the full length of the large scale commercial retail development along any facade featuring a customer entrance, and along any facade abutting public parking areas. Such sidewalks shall be located at least six feet from the facade of the building to provide planting beds for landscaping, except where features such as arcades or entryways are part of the facade. Landscaping shall include minimum two-inch caliper size trees placed 20 feet on center or in equivalent groupings with five-gallon shrubs per tree.

iii. A continuous internal pedestrian walkway, no less than four feet in width, shall be provided from the public sidewalk or right-of-way to the principal customer entrance of buildings in the large scale commercial retail development. At a minimum, walkways shall connect focal points of pedestrian activity such as, but not limited to, transit stops, street crossings, and building and store entry points, and shall feature adjoining landscaped areas (a minimum of six feet in width) that include four trees per 100 feet, shrubs, benches, flower beds, groundcovers, or other such materials for their entire length. Requirements for parking area landscaping as contained within STC 18.75.040 shall also be adhered to.

2. Setbacks.

a. For any building with a loading area directly facing a residentially zoned area, a minimum 200-foot setback from the property line on the same side as the loading area contiguous to an existing residential use;

b. For any building without an exposed loading area directly facing a residentially zoned area, 100-foot setback from the property line on side(s) of the building contiguous to a residentially zoned area;

c. For building sides not directly facing residentially zoned areas, minimum 60-foot building setbacks from the property line;

d. Minimum 25-foot setback for parking areas adjacent to local, arterial, or collector streets;

e. For temporary outdoor sales displays, 250-foot setback from property line contiguous to a residentially zoned area;

f. For trash collection or compaction, 100-foot setback from property line contiguous to a residentially zoned area;

3. Landscaping and Screening.

a. When the large scale commercial retail center is contiguous to a residentially zoned area, a minimum 60-foot landscape bufferyard, with a minimum of 15 canopy trees per 100 linear feet shall be required. A six-foot decorative masonry wall, which may be placed at the property line, is required unless height and location are otherwise agreed upon by a signed agreement with the contiguous property owners;

b. Landscaping within parking areas shall conform to requirements of STC 18.73.030(N) in addition to landscaping required along internal pedestrian walkways as included in this subsection (C)(3);

c. The landscaping plan shall include water harvesting features for water to be used in the development;

d. Outdoor storage of materials will be confined to rear of, and immediately adjacent to, buildings and all stored materials shall be screened from view with opaque materials;

e. Loading Area Wall. When required per STC 18.73.040 (Screening and Bufferyard Requirements) or STC 18.75.060 (Off-Street Loading Requirements), a loading area screening wall shall be a minimum 14-foot-high wall measured on the dock side and shall include an extended cap detail that is a minimum of two-brick courses of eight inches each; and

f. Outdoor Storage, Push Carts. Push carts made available for use by the public may be stored in temporary cart corrals located within the parking area of the retail center during normal business hours. Push carts must be stored inside the building or in an outdoor enclosure that is fully screened so as not to be visible from the property line or street.

4. Permanent Outdoor Garden Sales.

a. Products sold outdoors shall be screened so as not to be visible from property line or street. Screening shall consist of a decorative finish that is complementary to the primary building.

b. Decorative screen material(s) may be used only in garden center but shall not exceed 50 percent of the screened area. Decorative screening may include landscaping and/or alternative materials as may be approved by the planning and building department.

5. Architectural Design Standards.

a. Facades and Exterior Walls. Facades greater than 100 feet in length, measured horizontally, shall incorporate plane projections or recesses having a depth of at least three percent of the length of the facade and extending at least 20 percent of the length of the facade. No uninterrupted length of any facade facing a public street/roadway shall exceed 100 horizontal feet.

b. Ground floor facades that face public streets/roadways shall have arcades, display windows, entry areas, awnings, or other similar features along no less than 60 percent of their horizontal length.

c. A building facade that faces a public street/roadway must include a repeating pattern that shall include no fewer than three of the elements listed below. At least one of these elements shall repeat horizontally. All elements shall repeat at intervals of no more than 30 feet, either horizontally or vertically.

i. Color change;

ii. Texture change;

iii. Material module change;

iv. Expression of architectural or structural bay through a change in plane no less than twelve inches in width, such as an offset, reveal, or projecting rib.

d. Roof Lines. Variations in roof lines should be used to add interest to, and reduce the massive scale of, large buildings. Roof features should complement the character of adjoining neighborhoods, and also incorporate the following:

i. Roof lines shall be varied with a change in height every 100 feet in the building length.

ii. Parapets, mansard roofs, gable roofs, hip roofs or dormers shall be used to conceal flat roofs and rooftop equipment from public view. All rooftop equipment shall be concealed from public right-of-way view adjacent to the property. Alternating lengths and designs may be acceptable and can be addressed during the preliminary development plan.

iii. The average height of parapets shall not exceed 15 percent of the height of the supporting wall, and shall not at any point exceed one-third of the height of the supporting wall. Parapets shall feature three-dimensional cornice treatments.

iv. Roofs shall have no fewer than two of the following features:

(A) Overhanging eaves, extending no less than three feet past the supporting walls;

(B) Sloping roofs that do not exceed the defined average height of the supporting walls, with an average slope greater than or equal to one foot of vertical rise for every three feet of horizontal run and less than or equal to one foot of vertical rise for every one foot of horizontal run;

(C) Three or more roof slope planes.

e. Materials and Color. Exterior building materials shall be aesthetically pleasing and compatible with materials used in adjoining neighborhoods. Predominant exterior building materials shall be high quality materials. These include, without limitation: Brick; wood; sandstone; native stone; stucco; adobe; exterior insulation and finish systems (EEFS); tinted, textured, concrete masonry units or block.

White, titanium white, and similar colors with a reflectivity of 70 percent or greater shall not be permitted as a primary exterior color for any building or structure. Bright, saturated and/or primary colors, and neon tubing, will not be permitted except in limited applications such as trim or accent area.

i. Predominant exterior building materials shall not include the following: Smooth-faced concrete block, tilt-up concrete panels, prefabricated steel panels.

6. Noise. When the large scale commercial retail development is adjacent to a residentially zoned property, the following noise restrictions shall apply:

a. Deliveries, loading, unloading, idling, or similar operations shall not occur between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless the activity occurs within a fully contained loading bay or on a side of a building that does not face, partially or completely, the residential use; and

b. Trash removal or compaction, or similar operations, shall not be allowed between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

7. Odors. Odors generated by the large scale commercial retail development shall not intrude upon adjacent residentially zoned areas, and any potential odor emissions from food preparation or chemicals that may create a nuisance beyond the property line shall require the submittal, and approval by town staff, of an odors mitigation plan. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-060 § 8; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 2005-11 § 1.]

18.82.080 Appeals.

A. The decision of the town staff may be appealed by the applicant to the town council within 30 days of the decision. Notice of an appeal shall be published in a newspaper of local circulation, available to adjacent property owners and affected neighborhood associations.

B. The applicant shall submit a letter describing the nature of the appeal and what specific provision of this chapter is in question along with the fee (nonrefundable) as per the adopted fee schedule.

C. The town council shall uphold or reverse the staff’s decision, and may add, subtract or modify conditions of design approval. [Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 2005-11 § 2; Ord. 1999-01 § 1. Formerly 18.82.070.]

18.82.090 Enforcement.

In order to provide for compliance with this section prior to the issuance of certificates of occupancy for applicable projects:

A. Town staff shall perform an inspection of the property for compliance with the approved design plans;

B. Inspection shall be accomplished within five working days of a written request filed at the planning and building director’s office;

C. Penalties for noncompliance with this section shall be in accordance with Chapter 18.95 STC (Compliance and Enforcement). [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 2005-11 § 2; Ord. 1999-01 § 1. Formerly 18.82.080.]