Chapter 17.63
ARCHITECTURAL AND SITE REVIEW

Sections:

17.63.010    Purpose.

17.63.020    Architectural and site review committee.

17.63.030    Required when.

17.63.035    Exemptions from design permit requirement.

17.63.040    Application.

17.63.050    Maps and drawings.

17.63.055    Visualization requirements.

17.63.060    Fee.

17.63.070    Design permit approval.

17.63.080    Hearing and notice.

17.63.090    Considerations in review of applications.

17.63.100    Conditions.

17.63.110    Findings and decision.

17.63.120    Notification of approval.

17.63.130    Time limitations on approval.

17.63.140    Transfer of approval upon change in use.

17.63.150    Conformance to approval and site supervision.

17.63.160    Appeal to city council.

17.63.170    Hearing on appeal.

17.63.180    Revocation.

17.63.190    Council review.

17.63.200    Amendments.

*    Prior ordinance history: Ords. 388, 448, 494, 515, 517, 556, 564, 575, 589, 613, 659, 677, 718, 724, 757, 762, 767, 794, 809 and 853.

17.63.010 Purpose.

The intent of architectural and site review is to secure the general purposes of this title and the general plan and to maintain the character and integrity of the neighborhood by promoting excellence of development, preventing undue traffic hazards or congestion, encouraging the utilization of solar energy, and encouraging the most appropriate development and use of land in harmony with the neighborhood. In fulfilling its intent, architectural and site approval may result in the placement of reasonable conditions which exceed the basic development standards listed elsewhere in this title, on the design permit which accompanies the architectural and site review process. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.020 Architectural and site review committee.

A. The architectural and site review committee shall consist of six members as follows:

1. Architect;

2. Landscape architect;

3. Building official;

4. Community development director or designated planning staff;

5. Public works director;

6. Historian.

B. The architect, historian, and landscape architect members of the architectural and site review committee shall be appointed by the mayor; however, a majority of the city council may remove the architect, historian, or landscape architect. At the first meeting of the city council following the effective date of the ordinance codified or amended in this section, the mayor should appoint the architect, historian, and landscape architect members, whose terms will expire one month after the certification of any regular election of city council members. The mayor, at his or her discretion, may appoint an alternate architect, alternate historian, and alternate landscape architect member to serve in the absence of the regular architect or landscape architect. A majority of the city council may remove the alternate architect, alternate historian, and alternate landscape architect. The terms of the alternate architect, alternate historian, and alternate landscape architect will expire at the same time as the terms of the regular architect and landscape architect. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.030 Required when.

A design permit for architectural and site review is required for the following structures, uses or significant building changes:

A. Any use or structure requiring architectural and site review in the applicable district regulations;

B. Any use requiring a conditional use permit or variance;

C. Any use requiring architectural and site review by a condition of a previous permit;

D. Any use of factory-built or modular built housing in a district;

E. The establishment of solar energy systems as provided in Sections 17.81.120 and 17.81.130;

F. Any dish-type antenna which is larger than twenty-four inches in diameter, except the following:

1. Those located in a rear or side yard which are: (a) not visible either from the public right-of-way upon which the property fronts; or (b) not visible from the ground level of the adjacent properties,

2. Those located upon flat roofs which: (a) do not exceed twenty-four inches in height above the roof and have no dimension which exceeds twenty-four inches,

3. Those located on sloping roofs where: (a) no part of which exceeds the height of the highest part of the roof, and (b) no dimension of which exceeds twenty-four inches,

4. Those entirely prohibited by Section 17.81.140. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.035 Exemptions from design permit requirement.

A. First-floor additions at the rear of a home which are not visible to the general public; do not exceed four hundred square feet; do not exceed fifteen feet in height (eight feet maximum plate height); and which utilize matching or compatible building materials.

B. A single accessory structure of less than eighty square feet, less than nine feet in height, with no electrical or plumbing fixtures. (Ord. 882 § 3, 2005)

17.63.040 Application.

Application for architectural and site review shall be filed with the community development department, which shall prescribe the form of application and data to be filed with the application. The application shall be signed by the property owner. Except where such information is obviously of no use to the community development department staff or planning commission, such applications should include an evaluation of whether the proposed project:

A. Makes maximum use of solar energy potential;

B. Totally or partially blocks sunlight to the south roof and wall of adjacent buildings;

C. Utilizes most appropriate placement of solar energy systems;

D. All plans for development or any other type of building and planning for four or more residential units or for any commercial use shall be designed or produced by a licensed architect or civil engineer. All such building or architectural design drawings shall be stamped and signed by a licensed architect or civil engineer. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.050 Maps and drawings.

Maps and drawings shall be submitted to indicate the following:

A. A topographic map and site development plans or a staged development master plan showing:

1. The siting of all structures on subject property and on adjoining properties to show that privacy, light and air are preserved, so as not to be detrimental to the orderly and harmonious development of the city,

2. Landscaping and/or fencing of yards and setback areas and use of landscaping and/or walls or fencing for screening purposes,

3. Design of ingress and egress so as not to interfere with normal traffic flow on abutting streets,

4. Off-street parking and loading facilities,

5. Disposition of drainage on the site and in the sidewalk-exempt easement areas,

6. Designation of areas to be computed as usable open space, including balconies, roof decks, patios and other spaces or areas at grade, as appropriate,

7. Designation of location of existing fire hydrants;

B. Drawings to scale of the exterior elevations and/or perspective drawings of the buildings or structures under consideration;

C. Preliminary floor plans, to scale, of the buildings under consideration;

D. Calculation and identification on the plans of all areas included in the FAR. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.055 Visualization requirements.

The city of Capitola shall have the authority to require an applicant to carry out certain visualization techniques in order to assist with city and public review of a proposed project. Projects subject to the visualization requirements includes those designated pursuant to visualization guidelines adopted by resolution of the city council. Projects proposed for major development sites, or within or adjacent to defined vista points or visually sensitive areas, or which request a height variance, or for which the city determines that carrying out visualization will assist with the development review process, shall carry out visualization techniques for the proposed development in accordance with guidelines adopted by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.060 Fee.

An application fee for architecture and site review, culminating in approval or denial of a design permit, shall be established by the city council resolution. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.070 Design permit approval.

Design permits identified in Section 17.63.030 of this chapter shall be considered at a public hearing as outlined in Section 17.63.080; following review and consideration by the architectural and site review committee as determined necessary by the community development director/zoning administrator.

A. The community development director/ zoning administrator shall be authorized to approve or deny design permit applications for:

1. First-floor additions up to four hundred square feet (although certain single-family residential additions of this type are exempt under Section 17.15.030(C)(1);

2. Minor repairs, changes and improvements to existing structures which use similar, compatible or upgraded quality building materials, on structures which are not historic resources;

3. Additional accessory structures beyond the single eighty square-foot or less in size accessory structure which is exempt as per Section 17.15.030(C)(2).

B. The planning commission shall be authorized to approve or deny design permit applications for:

1. All new residential dwelling unit construction;

2. Upper floor additions;

3. Additions of more than four hundred square feet;

4. Design permits accompanied by a request for conditional use permit, variance, or minor land division;

5. All design permit applications referred by the community development director or appealed from the community development director/zoning administrator’s decision. (Ord. 882 § 1, 2005; Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.080 Hearing and notice.

Design permit applications for architectural and site review may be heard by the architecture and site review committee without the notice required by other provisions of this title. The city planner shall arrange with the applicant a time and place of meeting between the applicant and the committee.

A. Consideration of design permits for architectural and site review by the community development director/zoning administrator, shall be carried out at a duly noticed public hearing for which neighboring properties (both owner and occupant) within one hundred feet of the subject property are notified, ten days in advance of the hearing, by mail and by posting the site with the time and date of the meeting.

B. Consideration of design permits for architectural and site review by the planning commission, shall be carried out at a duly noticed public hearing for which neighboring properties (both owner and occupant) within three hundred feet are notified by mail and the site is posted with the time and date of the meeting. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.090 Considerations in review of applications.

The considerations of the architectural and site review committee, community development department, and/or planning commission shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

A. Considerations relating to traffic circulation, safety and congestion;

B. Considerations relating to outdoor advertising:

1. The number, location, color, size, height, lighting and landscaping of outdoor advertising signs and structures in relation to the creation of traffic hazards and the appearance and harmony with adjacent development;

C. Considerations relating to landscaping:

1. The location, height and materials of walls, fences, hedges, trees and screen plantings to insure harmony with adjacent development or to conceal storage areas, utility installations or other unsightly development,

2. The planting of groundcover or other landscape surfacing to prevent dust and erosion,

3. The prevention of unnecessary destruction of existing healthy trees,

4. Usable open space shall be reviewed both with respect to area and quality of landscape development;

D. Considerations relating to site layout:

1. The orientation and location of buildings, decks or balconies, and open spaces in relation to the physical characteristics of the site, the character of the neighborhood and the appearance and harmony of the buildings with adjacent development such that privacy of adjacent properties is maintained;

E. Considerations relating to drainage:

1. The effect of the site development plan on the adequacy of the storm and surface water drainage to both the site and adjacent property,

2. Connection to existing drainage systems,

3. Incorporation of permeable driveway materials and other means of retaining stormwater runoff on site and reducing non-point source pollution through use of grassy swales and other water quality enhancement measures;

F. Considerations relating to architectural character:

1. The suitability of the building for its purpose,

2. The appropriate use of materials to insure compatibility with the intent of the title;

G. Considerations relating to fire prevention:

1. Sufficient and suitable access to all areas for emergency vehicles,

2. Proper location and spacing of fire hydrants;

H. Considerations relating to excavation and grading;

I. Consideration relating to landscape maintenance:

1. The proper maintenance of landscape planting to encourage healthy growth and the replacement of dead plants until all plants are established,

2. The committee may require a one thousand dollar performance bond for a period of one year beginning from the date of final inspection;

J. Protection of historic features and vistas;

K. Considerations related to encouraging utilization and protection of solar energy, including:

1. The orientation of the lot,

2. Height of proposed building,

3. Distance between proposed building and south wall of adjacent structure(s),

4. Extent to which adjacent building(s) will have solar access to south roof and/or wall,

5. Extent to which adjacent south facing wall(s), roof top(s), and solar collector(s) are shaded by the proposed structure(s);

L. Consideration of design guidelines for special commercial or residential areas contained in the general plan, coastal plan, area plans or other approved design policies;

M. Review of floodplain areas as designated on the flood boundary map in accord with the standards of Chapter 17.50 and with this title;

N. The committee will require enclosed garbage areas of an adequate size to provide for garbage and recycling storage and collection for the project, unless an exception is made for individual containers in small residential projects. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.100 Conditions.

The community development director/zoning administrator or planning commission shall consider all recommendations of the architectural and site review committee. The granting of a design permit for architectural and site approval by the community development director, zoning administrator or planning commission may include such conditions as deemed reasonable and necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter, the zoning ordinance and the general plan. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.110 Findings and decision.

Upon a finding by the community development director, zoning administrator or planning commission that the application subject to conditions imposed will:

A. Secure the general purposes of this title and the general plan;

B. Maintain the character and integrity of the neighborhood; the design permit for architectural and site approval, shall be granted subject to such conditions as deemed necessary; otherwise, it shall be continued or denied. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.120 Notification of approval.

Upon grant of a design permit for architectural and site approval, the community development director/zoning administrator shall prepare and deliver to the applicant a formal notice stating the fact of the grant and any conditions attached thereto. Such notice shall not be delivered until the period for appeal has expired. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.130 Time limitations on approval.

A. In any case where an approved design permit has not been activated by the issuance of a building permit or otherwise used, within two years after the date of granting thereof (or within such other period of time which may be prescribed in the permit), or within any extension granted pursuant to Section 17.82.160, then without further action, the permit will expire. Such termination will take effect without further city action if a timely request for extension of time has not been made or is denied. Any interruption or cessation beyond the control of the property owner shall not result in the termination of such right or privileges.

B. For purposes of this section, “used” has the definition set forth in Section 17.60.090(B). (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.140 Transfer of approval upon change in use.

A design permit for architectural and site approval may transfer to subsequent tenant(s) of the site/structure if the use for which the approval was granted is changed, however the community development director shall not approve transfer the approval to a new use if he or she finds that the changed use does not meet the requirements of this section. If the director does not reissue the approval, a new application must be filed. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.150 Conformance to approval and site supervision.

The city planner shall perform site supervision as part of the building permit procedure for developments for which architectural and site approval has been granted, and the city planner shall follow through to ensure that all provisions and conditions of the architectural and site approval are complied with. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.160 Appeal to city council.

A determination of the community development director/zoning administrator with respect to a design permit for architectural and site review may be appealed to the planning commission. A determination of the planning commission with respect to a design permit for an architectural and site review is appealable to the city council. The appeal shall be in writing and shall give reasons for the appeal and specifically state where the findings or procedures were in error. If the appeal is by the applicant, there shall be no fee for filing such appeal. If the appeal is by others from an approval by the community development director/zoning administrator or planning commission, the fee for filing such appeal shall be set by city council resolution. In the absence of such a request being filed with the planning commission or city council within ten working days after determination by the community development director/zoning administrator or planning commission, such determination is final. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.170 Hearing on appeal.

In any appeal before the city council in an architectural and site review matter, consideration by the council shall be limited to the evidence and matters presented at the original hearing before the planning commission; provided, that the city council may, by motion duly passed, elect in its discretion to grant a hearing de novo. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.180 Revocation.

A. The planning commission may, after holding a public hearing, revoke or amend a design permit for architectural and site approval for either of the following reasons:

1. That the approval of the permit was based upon false information submitted by the applicant;

2. That the permit is being exercised contrary to the terms or conditions of approval, or in violation of this title.

B. The violation of any of the conditions imposed by the community development director/zoning administrator or planning commission in connection with the granting of a design permit for any architectural and site approval shall constitute a violation of this title, and shall be subject to the same penalties as any other violation of this title. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.190 Council review.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the actions of the planning commission are subject to review by the city council at its discretion. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)

17.63.200 Amendments.

A property owner may petition to amend a design permit for architectural and site approval by filing a new application. (Ord. 873 § 21 (part), 2004)