Chapter 14.37
ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW AND SITE AND DESIGN APPROVAL

Sections:

14.37.010    Purpose.

14.37.015    Architectural and site and design review.

14.37.020    Authority.

14.37.025    Application.

14.37.030    Project design review.

14.37.035    Design approval criteria.

14.37.040    Required findings for approval.

14.37.045    Appeals.

14.37.050    Enforcement.

14.37.055    Expiration of design approval.

14.37.060    Fees.

14.37.065    Public notice.

14.37.070    Applicability.

14.37.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the design review process set forth in this chapter is:

A.    To promote the orderly and harmonious development of the city’s existing and new residential neighborhoods;

B.    To ensure that any proposed alterations or demolition of structures designated as historic will be subject to design review; and

C.    To require commercial, industrial or institutional projects to comply with consistent design standards.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.015 Architectural and site and design review.

The community development director, planning commission, or city council shall perform the functions of architectural review and site and design approval as set forth in this chapter.  The planning commission may request the opinion of design professionals (i.e., architect, landscape architect, urban design professional, historic building specialist or registered civil engineer) when considering complex, controversial or otherwise significant projects.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.020 Authority.

Prior to the issuance of any building permits for new construction, alterations, or additions to any residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional building, the community development director shall review the plans submitted for each proposed project to determine if it requires architectural review or site and design approval subject to the requirements of this chapter.

A.    Residential Projects.

1.    Architectural review and approval by the planning commission shall be required:

a.    For the demolition, alteration or reconstruction of, or addition to, any residence or accessory structure listed as an historic resource as provided in Chapter 14.39;

b.    For any new residential structure(s) and landscaping within a planned unit development project unless specific design criteria or development standards are adopted in conjunction with a planned unit development plan, or a homeowners’ association architectural review committee has been established for the project area; and

c.    For any new residential structure or modifications to an existing structure requiring a parking exception, variance, use permit or other discretionary approval by the planning commission;

2.    Architectural review and site and design approvals by the planning commission shall be required for the construction of any multiple-family residential structure with more than two units on a single building site, and for additions, significant exterior alterations or improvements to any multifamily structure and/or site.

B.    Nonresidential Projects.

1.    Architectural review and/or site and design approval by the planning commission shall be required for nonresidential structures as provided below.  For the purposes of this section, “nonresidential” projects shall be considered those structures intended for commercial, industrial, institutional or mixed-use purposes.

a.    For the demolition, alteration or reconstruction of, or addition to, any nonresidential structure listed as a historic resource as provided in Chapter 14.39;

b.    For any new nonresidential structure(s) and landscaping within a planned unit development project unless specific design criteria or development standards are adopted in conjunction with a planned unit development plan, or a homeowners’ association architectural review committee has been established for the project area;

c.    For any new nonresidential structure or modifications to an existing structure requiring a discretionary permit such as a parking exception, variance, or use permit where new construction, exterior building modifications or site improvements are proposed; and

d.    For signs and sign programs as specified in Title 15.

2.    Architectural review and site and design approvals shall be required:

a.    For the construction of any new nonresidential structure and associated site improvements including landscaping and parking lot plans;

b.    For the change of an existing residential building to any nonresidential use;

c.    For any change in the intensity of use of an existing building resulting in significant exterior modifications or site improvements, additional floor area and/or need for additional parking spaces.

C.    For any development that does not require architectural review or site and design approval by the planning commission pursuant to this section, the community development director shall review the plans to determine conformance with the findings and standards for review set forth in this chapter.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.025 Application.

A.    Application for architectural review and/or site and design approval shall be made on a form provided by the planning department and submitted for staff review.  Staff shall review the application for completeness and conformance with the single-family residential design guidelines (where applicable).  Staff shall advise the applicant within thirty days of the submittal date of any additional information or materials required to make the application complete.

B.    The application shall be accompanied by such maps, samples of proposed colors and exterior materials, location and types of all signs to be placed on the building, site plans, all elevations and other drawings as are necessary to enable the community development director, planning commission, or city council on appeal to make determinations as set forth in this chapter.

C.    There shall be no separate application for staff design review, which will take place in conjunction with the application for any required discretionary approval or building permit(s).  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.030 Project design review.

A.    The community development director, planning commission, or city council on appeal shall evaluate each of the items listed below to determine that the proposed project is not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter, the general plan, or the single-family residential design guidelines (where applicable).  The community development director, planning commission, or city council on appeal may review:

1.    The character and quality of design;

2.    The design and aesthetic compatibility with neighboring properties and uses including visibility and effect upon view at all site lines;

3.    Site development characteristics including but not limited to the building(s) coverage, setbacks, height, location on the site, scale, and use of open space;

4.    Other on-site improvements including but not limited to parking and other paved areas, landscaping, lighting, signs and graphics, artwork, sculpture, fountains and other artistic features;

5.    The building materials and colors;

6.    The pedestrian, equestrian, bicycle, and vehicular circulation;

7.    The disturbance of existing topography, trees, shrubs, and other natural features;

8.    The accessory structures, including garages, sheds, utility facilities, and trash and recycling enclosures;

9.    Building exterior features including but not limited to the lighting, stairs, ramps, elevators, downspouts, flues, chimneys, exhaust fans, air-conditioning equipment, elevator equipment, fans, cooling towers, antennas, and similar structures placed upon the roof or the exterior of the building which are visible from the street or any building in the immediate vicinity, the sunshades, awnings, louvers, and any visible device for deflecting, filtering, or shielding the structure or interior from the elements, the balconies, penthouses, loading docks, and similar special purpose appendages and accessory structures;

10.    Energy efficiency and renewable energy design elements including but not limited to exterior energy design elements, internal lighting service and climatic control systems, and building siting and landscaped elements;

11.    Such other features as affect the design and ultimate appearance of the work as determined by the approving authority.

B.    Requirements which are more restrictive than the development standards set forth in the city’s zoning code may be imposed on a project when the community development director, planning commission, or city council on appeal concludes such requirements are necessary either to promote the internal integrity of the design of the project or to assure compatibility of the proposed project’s design with its site and surroundings.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.035 Design approval criteria.

In carrying out the purposes of this chapter, the community development director, planning commission, or city council on appeal shall consider in each specific case any and all of the following criteria as may be appropriate:

A.    Where more than one building or structure will be constructed, the architectural features and landscaping thereof shall be harmonious.  Such features include height, elevations, roofs, material, color and appurtenances.

B.    Where more than one sign will be erected or displayed on the site, the signs shall have a common or compatible design and locational positions and shall be harmonious in appearance.

C.    The material, textures, colors and details of construction shall be an appropriate expression of its design concept and function, and shall be compatible with the adjacent and neighboring structures and functions.  Colors of wall and roofing materials shall blend with the natural landscape and be nonreflective.

D.    The design shall be appropriate to the function of the project and express the project’s identity.

E.    The planning and siting of the various functions and buildings on the site shall create an internal sense of order and provide a desirable environment for occupants, visitors and the general community.

F.    Roofing materials shall be wood shingles, wood shakes, tile or other materials such as composition as approved by the appropriate design review authority.  No mechanical equipment shall be located upon a roof unless it is appropriately screened.

G.    The proposed development shall be compatible in terms of height, bulk and design with other structures and environment in the immediate area.

H.    The proposed design shall be consistent with the applicable elements of the general plan.

I.    If the project site is located in an area considered by the committee as having a unified design character or historical character, the design shall be compatible with such character.

J.    The design shall promote harmonious transition in scale and character in areas located between different designated land uses.

K.    The design shall be compatible with known and approved improvements and/or future construction, both on and off the site.

L.    The planning and siting of the various functions and buildings on the site shall create an internal sense of order and provide a desirable environment for occupants, visitors and the general community.

M.    Sufficient ancillary functions provided to support the main functions of the project shall be compatible with the project’s design concept.

N.    Access to the property and circulation systems shall be safe and convenient for equestrians, pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

O.    The amount and arrangement of open space and landscaping shall be appropriate to the design and the function of the structures.

P.    Landscaping shall be in keeping with the character or design of the building, and preferably clustered in natural appearing groups, as opposed to being placed in rows or regularly spaced.

Q.    Where feasible, natural features shall be appropriately preserved and integrated into the project.

R.    The landscape design concept for the site, as shown by the relationship of plant masses, open space, scale, plant forms and foliage textures and colors, shall create a desirable and functional environment and the landscape concept shall depict an appropriate unity with the various buildings on the site.

S.    Plant material shall be suitable and adaptable to the site, shall be capable of being properly maintained on the site, and shall be of a variety which would tend to be drought-resistant and to reduce consumption of water in its installation and maintenance.

T.    The design shall be energy efficient and incorporate renewable energy design elements including, but not limited to:

1.    Exterior energy design elements;

2.    Internal lighting service and climatic control systems; and

3.    Building siting and landscape elements.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-08-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.040 Required findings for approval.

The director of community development, planning commission, or city council on appeal shall determine from the data submitted whether the proposed project will be in conformance with the provisions of this chapter and the single-family residential design guidelines (where applicable), and shall approve the application upon making a positive finding.  The application may be disapproved, may be approved as submitted, or may be approved subject to conditions, specified changes and additions.  In approving any project, the director of community development, planning commission, or city council on appeal shall find in the affirmative the following:

A.    That such buildings, structures, planting, paving and other improvements are so designed and constructed that they will not be of unsightly or obnoxious appearance to the extent that they will hinder the orderly and harmonious development of the city; and

B.    That such buildings, structures, planting, paving and other improvements will not impair the desirability or opportunity to attain the optimum use and the value of the land and the improvements, or otherwise impair the desirability of living or working conditions in the same or adjacent areas; and

C.    The project has been designed in conformance and consistency with the single-family residential design guidelines (where applicable).  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.045 Appeals.

Determinations made pursuant to this chapter by the community development director may be appealed to the planning commission pursuant to the requirements of Chapters 1.25 and 18.20.  Determinations made pursuant to this chapter by the planning commission may be appealed to the city council pursuant to the requirements of Chapters 1.25 and 18.20.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.050 Enforcement.

A.    All conditions of approval imposed by the community development director, planning commission or city council on appeal shall be incorporated into the final project plans prior to the issuance of building permits.

B.    All conditions of architectural review and/or site and design approval, where granted, shall be implemented in construction of projects with approved building permits.  Unless otherwise modified by the approving authority, site and design permits shall include as a condition of approval that all conditions of design review approval shall be included in project plans submitted for building permit, and shall be implemented in the construction of the project according to approved plans.

C.    The community development director shall be responsible for enforcement of this chapter.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.055 Expiration of design approval.

Design approval made in conjunction with any discretionary permit shall expire upon the expiration date of the discretionary permit.  If no other discretionary permit is required, the design approval shall be null and void and a new application shall be required if a building permit has not been issued and construction has not commenced within one year from:

A.    The date of the architectural review and approval once the ten-day appeal period has passed; or

B.    The date of the city council or coastal commission decision on appeal.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.060 Fees.

Fees for processing applications under this chapter shall be established by resolution of the city council to compensate for actual costs of the processing.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.065 Public notice.

Notice of review by the planning commission of architectural review and site and design permit requests shall be placed in a newspaper of general local circulation at least seven days prior to the planning commission meeting.  Notice of appeals hearings shall be similarly published at least seven days prior to the planning commission meeting at which the appeal shall be considered.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-8-11 §5(part), 2011).

14.37.070 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable in all zoning districts, and in all planned unit developments.  (Ord. C-2015-02 §1(part), 2015: Ord. C-08-11 §5(part), 2011).