Chapter 17.27
ARCHITECTURAL AND DESIGN REVIEW

Sections:

17.27.010    Purpose.

17.27.020    Projects subject to architectural and design review.

17.27.030    Authority.

17.27.040    Preliminary consultation.

17.27.050    Concept plan review.

17.27.060    Plans to be submitted--Application.

17.27.070    Application review.

17.27.080    Approval, special conditions, and findings.

17.27.090    Expiration of plan approval.

17.27.100    Compliance with conditions of approval.

17.27.110    Architectural and design review criteria and standards.

17.27.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is:

A.    To protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the city by promoting orderly and harmonious growth;

B.    To carry out the goals, policies, and programs of the Lakeport general plan with respect to land development and community design;

C.    To ensure that new development occurs in accordance with the provisions of this title;

D.    To recognize the correlation between land values and aesthetics and to provide a method by which the city may manage this correlation to the benefit of the community;

E.    To lend stability to land values and investments by implementing consistent design standards and guidelines;

F.    To ensure that future development is attractive and harmonious with Lakeport’s unique character and community identity;

G.    To encourage excellence in design for all new development which harmonizes style, intensity, and type of construction with the natural environment and respects the unique features of each site and the surrounding area;

H.    To promote high quality design that enhances the entire community, is consistent with the scale and quality of existing development, and is harmoniously integrated with the natural environment;

I.    To discourage the development of individual buildings which dominate the surrounding area or attract attention through inappropriate colors, mass, or architectural expressions;

J.    To upgrade the appearance, quality, and condition of existing improvements in conjunction with new development or remodeling of the site; and

K.    To preserve buildings and areas with historic or aesthetic value and maintain the character and scale of the city. (Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.020 Projects subject to architectural and design review.

Architectural and design review is required for all new proposed commercial, industrial, multifamily residential, institutional, or similar buildings for the proposed exterior remodel of buildings that result in altered appearances, additions, extensions, or enlargements, and for all proposed residential to office/commercial conversion projects. No building permit or other entitlement for a parking lot, a new structure, or the remodel, alteration, or enlargement of an existing structure, shall be issued until the site plan, the architectural elevations, landscape plan, and related plans have been reviewed and approved by the planning commission or community development director as provided for in this chapter. (Ord. 821 §1(part), 2003: Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.030 Authority.

Authority to approve plans for projects subject to architectural and design review shall be authorized as follows:

A.    Administrative Approval. The community development director is authorized to review and administratively approve:

1.    Change of Use. A change of use in an existing nonresidential building involving no new construction upon the finding that the use and site meet the requirements of this title and that all standard public improvements are existing.

2.    The painting or repainting of all commercial, industrial, multifamily, institutional, or similar buildings.

3.    Single-family dwellings and additions thereto.

B.    Minor Architectural and Design Review. The community development director is authorized to review and decide upon applications for minor architectural and design review involving the following:

1.    Small Projects. New uses, renovations, remodels, or additions to existing nonresidential structures which do not exceed four hundred square feet in gross floor area or that do not involve alterations to more than twenty percent of any one or more exterior side(s) of the structure.

2.    Duplex residential units.

C.    The community development director may refer to the planning commission any project application which involves a significant policy issue or that cannot be decided upon at a staff level. The planning commission shall then assume authority for the review and decision of the project application.

D.    Planning Commission. The planning commission is authorized to review and decide on all other plans for commercial, industrial, multifamily residential, and institutional structures, and the alteration or enlargement of existing commercial, industrial, multifamily, and institutional structures except as provided for in subsections A and B of this section.

E.    No condition of the architectural and design review approval shall impose requirements pertaining to use, density, floor area ratio, creek setbacks, parking and loading, and similar requirements that are more restrictive than those required by the applicable zoning district on a valid use permit or variance. (Ord. 903 §3, 2016: Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.040 Preliminary consultation.

Preliminary consultation between the project sponsor and the community development department staff to discuss applicable standards and design guidelines is recommended and may be initiated by requesting an appointment at the community development department. (Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.050 Concept plan review.

Prior to the submittal of a formal application for architectural and design review, the project sponsor may submit a less detailed development plan for review by either the staff or the planning commission. Concept plans will be informally reviewed by the staff or planning commission and comments generated as to issues, concerns, and necessary modifications. (Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.060 Plans to be submitted--Application.

The property owner or an authorized agent shall submit clearly drawn and well-prepared plans as part of an application for architectural and design review.

Plans for major architectural and design review shall be prepared by a licensed architect, engineer, or designer. In all cases, the application shall include the following:

A.    A site plan drawn to scale showing the proposed location of structures and other improvements including driveways, pedestrian walks, off-street parking and loading areas, landscaped areas, fences, walls, and other proposed project improvements. Site plans shall indicate the location of entrances and exits, the direction of traffic flow of the off-street parking and loading areas, parking spaces, loading berths, and the areas for turning and maneuvering of vehicles. The site plan shall also show the location(s) of exterior lighting, trash enclosures, location and size(s) of water and sewer lines, storm drainage facilities, fire hydrants, property lines, setbacks, service areas, storage or work areas, and any other detail necessary to depict the project.

B.    An architectural drawing or rendering drawn to standard architectural scale showing all elevations of the proposed structure(s) as they are intended to appear upon completion of the project. The drawing shall detail the proposed use of building materials, windows, doors, and other architectural features in a way that will allow the planning commission, staff, and the general public to understand the project and the inter-relationship of the various components. A color rendering of the proposed structure, building material samples, and proposed paint colors shall also be submitted.

C.    A landscape plan for the project indicating existing and proposed vegetation, the location and design of landscaped areas, irrigation facilities, plant size and spacing, and all other landscape features. A tree report may also be required.

D.    A grading plan indicating existing and proposed grades (contours) on the site, retaining walls, or other soil stability issues.

E.    For painting or re-painting projects, a color rendering of the building, color chips, color charts, or similar graphic plans shall be submitted showing the primary color to be used on the structure along with trim and accent colors.

F.    An optional floor plan showing the inter-relationship between the inside function of the building and outside improvements. (Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.070 Application review.

Architectural and design review applications considered by the planning commission shall be reviewed at a public hearing in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 17.29. The planning commission shall consider the application at the most appropriate meeting date within sixty days following a determination by the community development director that the application is complete. The community development director shall publish a notice in the local newspaper, at least ten calendar days in advance of the meeting, giving the application number, the applicant’s name and address, the proposed action, the location, and assessor’s parcel number along with the date, time, and place of the public hearing.

Prior to approval of an administrative or minor architectural and design review, and not less than ten calendar days prior to the proposed issuance, the community development department shall notify owners of contiguous properties immediately adjacent to the said project and/or additional properties as determined by the community development director. Notification shall be given by mail or delivery.

The written notice shall declare that the requested administrative or minor architectural and design review may be issued without review and decision by the planning commission if no written request for review is filed with the community development department within ten calendar days of the date of mailing.

If no request for review and decision by the planning commission is filed with the community development department, the administrative or minor architectural and design review may be issued by the community development director.

If a request for review by the planning commission is filed with the community development department pursuant to this section, the community development director shall schedule a public hearing before the planning commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Notification of said public hearing shall adhere to the requirements of Chapter 17.30. (Ord. 903 §4, 2016: Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.080 Approval, special conditions, and findings.

The planning commission or community development director may approve, conditionally approve, or deny an application for architectural and design review. The planning commission or community development director shall review proposed applications for consistency with the architectural and design review criteria and standards included herein and shall require any conditions necessary to meet the purpose of this chapter in order to attain compliance with the criteria set forth herein.

A.    The planning commission or community development director shall make the following findings in approving an architectural and design review application:

1.    The proposed project is consistent with the purposes of the Lakeport zoning ordinance.

2.    The project is in substantial compliance with the design criteria.

3.    The project is consistent with the Lakeport general plan.

B.    The planning commission or community development director shall make findings (reasons) in denying an architectural and design review application.

C.    After a decision is made on an architectural and design review application, the community development department shall forward a letter to the applicant indicating the decision and listing any conditions or required changes in the project design.

D.    Appeals of the community development director or planning commission’s decision shall be processed in accordance with Chapter 17.31 of this title. (Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.090 Expiration of plan approval.

Architectural and design review approval shall lapse and become void after one year following the date of the approval unless a building permit is issued and construction is begun. The approval may be extended for up to one year by the original decision-making body provided that the application for an extension is filed with the community development department prior to the expiration. (Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.100 Compliance with conditions of approval.

Applicants who have received approval for architectural and design review shall comply with all conditions of approval and maintain the project in accordance with the required conditions at all times. Failure to comply with the conditions will result in a violation of the municipal code.

Prior to issuance of a building permit for the project, final site plans, landscape and irrigation plans, and other plans, where required, shall be approved by the community development director. The final plans shall be fully implemented prior to final building permit inspection of the project. If implementation of final plans have not been completed on such date, an extension of time for completion may be granted by the community development director if implementation is secured by an agreement and posting of adequate security.

Proposed changes, modifications, and alterations in the design or appearance of an approved project shall be submitted to and approved by the city. Minor changes (see Section 17.27.030(B)) may be approved by the community development director. All other changes, modifications, and alterations shall be submitted to and approved by the planning commission. (Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)

17.27.110 Architectural and design review criteria and standards.

Projects subject to architectural and design review shall be in general compliance with the following criteria.

A.    Criteria Promoting Harmony of Design of Buildings.

1.    New buildings should be generally consistent with the scale, form, and proportion of existing development. This can be done by repeating existing building lines and surface treatment and requiring some uniformity of detail, scale, proportion, textures, materials, color, and building form.

2.    The use of unusual shapes, color, and other characteristics which cause new buildings to call excessive attention to themselves and create a jarring disharmony should be avoided or reserved for structures of broad public significance.

3.    New buildings should strengthen the particular design features of their locale by, for example, framing views, enclosing open spaces, or continuing particular design features or statements.

4.    The height and bulk of new buildings should relate to the prevailing scale of existing development to avoid overwhelming or dominating it.

5.    The existing building line of a structure (at the street line) should be maintained unless a proposed setback conforms to an overall design plan or is part of a larger development plan.

6.    The relationship of structural mass to voids (windows or doors) of a front facade should relate to adjacent buildings.

7.    If several storefronts are located in one building, they should be unified in design treatment; e.g., design of windows and door openings, use of materials and color. All storefronts should include display windows with a sill height not more than two feet from grade.

8.    Building additions should be designed to reflect the existing building in terms of scale, materials, fenestration, and color. A change in scale may require a transitional design element between the addition and the existing building. Facade renovations should include as few different materials as possible.

9.    Adjacent buildings of different architectural styles should be made compatible by such means as materials, repetition of certain plant varieties, screens, and sight breaks.

B.    Criteria Promoting Creativity and Diversity of Design.

1.    Monotony of design in single or multiple building projects should be avoided. Variation of detail, form, and siting should be used to provide visual interest.

2.    Architectural design is not restricted. Evaluation of the appearance of a project should be based on the quality of its design and relationship to surroundings.

C.    Criteria Regarding Building Design.

1.    Where large structures are proposed, massing should be broken up through the use of setbacks and other design techniques. Buildings with excessive blank walls are discouraged. Variation in color, trim, and building materials is encouraged in these situations. Building offsets shall be provided along each building to relieve the visual effect of a single long wall. Roof lines should also be varied. An individual building should use a combination of story heights to provide further visual relief. The development should incorporate masonry chimneys, cupolas, dormers, skylights, or belvederes.

2.    Buildings should be designed so that the roofs are visually less dominant than the walls.

3.    The orientation of buildings to provide access through rear entrances is allowed when the rear facade receives appropriate design treatment.

4.    New buildings should be oriented or designed with setbacks to minimize shadows falling on public or semi-public spaces.

D.    Criteria Regarding Building Details.

1.    A human scale should be achieved at ground level, at entryways, and along street frontages through the use of such elements as windows, doors, columns, and canopies.

2.    Mechanical equipment or other utility hardware on roofs, the ground, or buildings should be screened from public view with materials harmonious with the building, or they should be so located as not to be visible from public view.

3.    Building components, such as windows, doors, eaves, and parapets, should be in proportion to one another.

4.    The structural lines of a building and its material should be retained at the storefront level, for instance, brick piers and columns should be carried down to street level.

5.    Roof shape (flat, hip, mansard, or gable) and material should be architecturally compatible with the rest of the building and should reflect the area pattern.

6.    Materials should be selected for suitability to the type of buildings and the design in which they are used. Buildings should have the same materials, or those that are architecturally harmonious, used for all building walls and other exterior building components wholly or partly visible from public ways. Materials should be of durable quality.

7.    Metal awnings are not recommended. Awnings should have solid colors complimenting the exterior building colors. Awnings should be in scale with the building design.

8.    Facade renovations should not destroy or cover original architectural features of a building. These details are often vital to the proper proportion of the facade. The city encourages the removal of false storefronts.

9.    In renovations, natural, unpainted brick should be retained. Painted brick, if weathered and losing its paint finish, can be stripped using chemical solutions. In many cases, painted brick should remain painted to protect the older, softer brick.

10.    Brick and stone facades should not be covered with artificial siding or panels. Generally, no material will look more appropriate on a facade than what was originally used.

11.    Roof cornices should be retained, repaired, replaced, or added as they cap or terminate a building. When replacing or adding windows on a facade, use window and window trim of the same size and character as the original.

E.    Criteria Regarding Building Color.

1.    In general, no more than three colors should be used on a building: the base color, the major trim, and the minor trim. The base color should be the natural color of the masonry or a primary paint color. The base color should relate harmoniously with the base colors on contiguous or close by buildings.

2.    Light base colors will visually project and lessen the importance of the building mass. Darker base colors tend to visually recede and emphasize the trim. The major trim color is used on the decorative elements which serve to define the facade of the building. These include the upper and lower cornices, window caps and sills, and storefront columns.

3.    When the base color of the building is a natural brick, the major trim color should be related to the brick color. When the base color is painted, the trim color should complement the base color. The minor trim color should be used primarily as an accent to highlight the architectural details of the facade. Window frames and other trim elements can be emphasized by the minor trim color. Sometimes two colors can be used as a minor trim color depending on how much detail exists.

4.    General Building Color Guidelines.

a.    Use more subtle colors on larger and plainer buildings.

b.    Use more colors and more intense colors on small buildings and those with elaborate detailing.

c.    Relate paint colors to natural materials found on the building.

d.    Relate paint colors to existing elements found on the building such as signs or awnings.

e.    Encourage contrasting colors which accent architectural details.

f.    Encourage colors which accent entrances to the building.

g.    Avoid the most intense hues of a color.

h.    Avoid using more than one vivid color per building.

i.    Avoid using colors that are disharmonious with colors found on adjacent buildings.

j.    Within the CB district, use historically appropriate colors.

F.    Criteria Regarding Buffering, Incompatible Uses.

1.    Project features that may have negative impacts upon adjacent properties should be buffered from the adjacent properties. Screening should be provided for roof equipment; parking and loading areas shall be screened from residential areas; garbage and dumpster areas shall be enclosed; landscaping shall be used to soften the impact of parking and loading areas.

2.    In areas where parking lot paving abuts the sidewalk, raised planters can be used to partially screen parking areas. Low fencing can provide maximum screening while adding an attractive and decorative element to the streetscape.

G.    Criteria Regarding Lighting. Exterior lighting, when used, can enhance the building design and the adjoining landscaping. Lighting standards and building fixtures should be of a design and size compatible with the historic character of the area, building, and adjacent areas. Lighting shall be restrained in design and excessive brightness avoided. Lighting must not create glare or shine into street right-of-way.

H.    Maintenance Criteria.

1.    Continued good appearance depends upon the extent and quality of maintenance. The choice of materials and their use, together with the types of finishes and other protective measures, must be conducive to easy maintenance and up-keep.

2.    Materials and finishes shall be selected for their durability and wear as well as for their beauty. Proper measures shall be taken to protect against the elements, neglect, damage, and abuse.

3.    Provision for washing and cleaning of buildings and structures, and control of dirt and refuse, should be included in the design. Improvements that tend to catch and accumulate debris, leaves, trash, dirt, and rubbish shall be avoided.

I.    1. Landscape Design Guidelines. Landscape design guidelines in site planning are based on three considerations: (a) landscaping serves multiple functions; (b) landscape design should be consistent with good design principles; and (c) landscaping must be sensitive to the characteristics and maintenance concerns of the most common landscaping material, namely plants.

2.    Landscape Functions.

a.    The most common function of landscaping is aesthetic. Through the use of plantings and other landscaping elements, a site may be made more pleasing and/or undesirable views may be hidden. Landscaping can help unify the composite parts of a site, blend inharmonious land uses, and buffer incompatible uses. Landscaping can compliment the design of a building, add color to the built environment, or soften spaces or surfaces that appear cold or unwelcoming.

b.    Landscaping may be used to control soil erosion, reduce harsh unpleasant sounds, remove pollutants from the air, control glare and reflection, and slow the effects of erosive winds.

c.    Shade trees and windbreaks are examples of landscaping elements used for climate control. Plants increase human comfort by shading the sun’s rays and intercepting solar radiation.

d.    Landscaping elements can also block and divert winds or channel them through narrow openings. When the prevailing wind direction shifts with the season, a summer breeze can be captured and winter winds and rains diverted with careful placement of plantings and buildings. Long, thin walls are the most effective windbreaks, particularly if they are not completely impenetrable. (Ord. 796 Att. A(part), 1999)