Chapter 18.41


18.41.02    Intent and Purpose.

18.41.04    Applicability.

18.41.06    Content of Required Plans.

18.41.08    Procedure for Architectural Review.

18.41.10    Criteria for Architectural Review and Approval.

18.41.11    Building Architecture

18.41.12    Administration of Approved Architectural Plans.

18.41.14    Revocation and Expiration of Architectural Review.

18.41.02 Intent and Purpose.

It is hereby found and declared that the City of Norco lies in a natural setting of rural, scenic and historical beauty; that this rural environment generates a strong characteristic for development of Norco as a new equestrian focal point in Southern California; that this unique rural environment and historically significant location contributes a material economic advantage to the citizens, business, and industry within the City and particularly to the property owners who reside therein; that the City of Norco is in the midst of a significant, if not its greatest, rate of growth and development and that the development of the community in an orderly manner with compatible uses and appearances of structures within and between zones and with the natural rural environment is necessary to maintain such historic and economic advantage, to stabilize, protect, and maintain property values, to encourage permanence of desirable residential areas, to promote trade and commerce, and to assure a continued sound economic growth of the City and well being of its economy and its people.(Ord. 801, 2003)

18.41.04 Applicability.

While encouraging the broadest possible range of individual and creative design and without depriving a property owner of an efficient and full use thereof which is otherwise lawfully allowed, the use and development of property in those zones wherein this chapter is referred to, and all Conditional Use Permit and Variance Applications shall be governed by this chapter. Architectural Review is found to be necessary to assure that the nature and appearance of any use and development will be compatible and harmonious with the use and enjoyment of surrounding properties and will not have a material or substantially deleterious effect upon the historic, economic, social, and cultural well-being and development of the community or the peace, health, safety, and general economic welfare of its inhabitants. (Ord. 801, 2003)

18.41.06 Content of Required Plans.

The Plans to be submitted for review under this chapter shall contain all the elements and data required in Chapter 18.40 (SITE PLAN REVIEW). In addition, the plans shall include all exterior elevations and architectural features; the nature, texture and color of all materials to be used; and such other information as may be required by the Planning Director to enable the Planning Commission to make a proper review and take action thereon. (Ord. 801, 2003)

18.41.08 Procedure for Architectural Review.

Plans submitted for review under the terms of this chapter shall be submitted and reviewed concurrently with and subject to all the terms and conditions of plans submitted for Site Plan Review. All of the regulations of Section 18.40 (SITE PLAN REVIEW) shall apply. (Ord. 801, 2003)

18.41.10 Criteria for Architectural Review and Approval.

In addition to those criteria listed in this chapter, the Planning Commission (and City Council on appeal) shall consider and weigh: The nature of specific uses, in particular zones and geographic areas, and the requirements of utility with respect to the structures proposed for uses; site dimensions with relation to the structures proposed and the required utility thereof; the adequacy and conformity and harmony of external design, colors, materials, and architectural features with neighboring structures and use of the improvements proposed on the parcel with improvements existing or permitted on neighboring sites, and compatibility with established design parameters such as those outlined in specific plans.(Ord. 801, 2003)

18.41.11 Building Architecture

Building architecture shall reflect a desired western theme and identity. Qualities that reflect the western theme can be described as rural, informal, traditional, rustic, low profile and equestrian oriented. Conversely, qualities that are inconsistent with the western theme are urban, formal, contemporary, sophisticated, and massive. The following elements shall be considered during the architectural review process:

(1)    Building Forms and Massing:

(a)    Building height shall be limited to twice the building width, or 25 feet, whichever is smaller;

(b)    The basic building form shall be square or rectilinear, accentuated with a covered porch or walk;

(c)    Large buildings should be divided into smaller, distinct masses by horizontally staggering walls, changing the roof line, inserting windows and doors, and applying wood siding in different directions;

(d)    Flat silhouettes should be avoided. Buildings and building complexes should be of variable heights to add visual interest;

(e)    Right angles shall predominate over curved walls or arches;

(f)    Massing, window patterns, support posts and roof forms shall be symmetrical or symmetrically spaced;

(g)    Openings in walls shall not exceed 40 percent of any wall surface;

(h)    Expression of floor levels in structure and ornamentation is encouraged through the use of such features as second floor balconies, upper level windows and exterior staircases.

(2)    Permitted Materials:

(a)    Uniform materials and consistent style shall be reflected on all exterior elevations;

(b)    The primary exterior material of the building shall appear to be wood siding or adobe. Plaster, river rock, flag stone, wrought iron, and brick may be used for architectural accent material only. Where materials other than wood are used to simulate the look of wood, they shall be of a high quality, and constructed such that architectural detailing also simulates the look of wood.

(c)    Where wood is utilized in exterior elevations, it shall be pressure treated.

(d)    Roofs shall be constructed of metal, concrete or asphalt tiles that simulate wood shingle. Spanish tile may be utilized where it is compatible with the architecture of the building. Standing seam metal roofs may be used behind a western-themed parapet false front wall, provided that the metal roof is not visible from the front elevation;

(e)    Exterior siding, rafter tails, beams, posts, trim and decking may be constructed of rough sawn lumber;

(f)    The underside of eaves, porches and boardwalks shall be wood planking;

(g)    Exterior paving materials for courtyards, patios, and other outdoor gathering areas may utilize brick, interlocking concrete pavers, quarry tile, fired “mexican” pavers and stone;

(h)    Chimneys shall be constructed of brick, except for wood burning stoves, in which case exposed flues are permitted.

(2)    Restricted and Prohibited Materials:

(a)    Highly finished wood shall be restricted to ornament and areas subject to human contact such as railings, unless otherwise approved;

(b)    Use of wood lattice shall be limited to small areas;

(c)    The use of metals shall meet approval of the Planning Commission and shall not have a shiny surface. As noted above, standing seam metal roofs may be used;

(d)    The use of vinyl, masonite, and aluminum siding may be used when they are simulated to look like wood;

(e)    Porcelain, plastic, and other manufactured materials are prohibited, except in fixtures, end caps on railings, and other similar locations;

(f)    Exposed metal columns are prohibited;

(g)    Prefabricated metal stairs may be permitted, provided they maintain a “wrought iron” appearance;

(h)    Asphalt shall not be permitted for courtyards and patios.

(2)    Permitted Colors:

(a)    Stains on unpainted wood shall be used whenever possible; stains or paints which provide the appearance of weathered wood are acceptable;

(b)    Primary building colors shall be earth tones of hues such as brown, beige, and gray; accent colors shall also be in earthen hues, but may include colors such as sky blue, forest or sage green, barn red, white, black and other colors which compliment natural wood and do not detract from the western appearance of the buildings;

(c)    Darker and lighter shades of the same color used on the building walls are encouraged to enhance building ornamentation and trim;

(d)    Exposed gutters, downspouts, flashing, sheet metal, vent stacks and pipes shall be painted to match adjacent roofs or walls to minimize their visibility.

(3)    Restricted and Prohibited Colors:

(a)    The use of “barn red” coloring shall be limited to barn-like structures;

(b)    Except for small areas of ornamentation and trim, inappropriate colors include bright primary colors, pinks, oranges and lavenders;

(c)    The use of more than one accent color shall be discouraged;

(d)    Fluorescent colors are prohibited.

(4)    Style Elements:

(a)    Post and beam construction shall be used for front entries and as otherwise feasible; wood posts shall be a minimum of 6x6 inches;

(b)    Knee bracing at posts shall be used for balconies and overhangs;

(c)    Balconies, boardwalks, and covered porches shall have wood railings 30 to 32 inches in height from the decking;

(d)    The use of wood ornamentation at building cornices, the tops and bottoms of wood posts, eaves, balconies, and building corners is encouraged;

(e)    The use of decorative elements such as weather vanes, windmills, trellis structures and wood ornamentation is encouraged.

(2)    Façade Detailing:

(a)    Plaster is permitted on building walls not visible from the street, and shall not exceed 40 percent of the building’s exterior surfaces;

(b)    Horizontal siding shall be a minimum of 6 inches in width, and shall be one of the following types: horizontal “v” joint, channel joint ship lap with a minimum 3/8 inch channel, or beveled;

(c)    Vertical board and batt siding shall have a minimum 8 inch spacing between 1 by 2-inch bats; rough-sawn sheets may be utilized;

(3)    Entries and Doors:

(a)    Building entries shall be accented architecturally through color, framing, and roof variations;

(b)    Building entries that are recessed or which project outward with roof overhangs are encouraged;

(c)    Doors with windows shall have the appearance of divided sash, with the appearance of small individual panes (preferably not exceeding 168 square inches, and not more than 13 inches on a side), the width of rectangular panes shall be shorter than their length;

(d)    Doors shall not exceed 7 feet in height and 3 feet in width; “Dutch” and “saloon” type doors are encouraged;

(e)    Doors shall be constructed of wood or have the appearance of wood construction, unless otherwise approved;

(f)    Doors shall be trimmed with wood; the use of brightly colored and elaborate trim elements and patterns are discouraged.

(4)    Windows:

(a)    Windows shall not exceed 40 percent of any wall surface;

(b)    All building front windows shall be divided sash, unless otherwise approved; individual panes shall not exceed 18 horizontal inches in any single dimension, and window pane lengths shall be greater than widths;

(c)    If windows other than divided sash are approved, glazing shall be divided by sections of wall or columns, rather than be continuous;

(d)    Window frames shall be wood or wood finish; metal windows may be utilized only if they are made to have the appearance and proportions of divided wood sash;

(e)    Window glazing shall consist of transparent glass, lightly tinted glass, lightly reflective solar glass with a reflective factor of 30 percent or less, or stained or etched glass; highly reflective glass, dark tinted glass, and colored glass are prohibited;

(f)    Window decorations such as shutters and planter boxes are encouraged;

(g)    Awnings are not permitted.

(5)    Roofs:

(a)    Principal roof forms shall be gable, gambrel, hip or shed;

(b)    Flat roofs are permitted where screened by a decorative parapet;

(c)    Roof slopes shall generally by from 3:12 to 6:12 with greater slopes permitted for gambrel roofs, as approved;

(d)    Roof overhangs exceeding 18 inches are not permitted unless part of a covered walk or porch structure;

(e)    The underside of eaves shall utilize exposed rafter tails with a minimum thickness of 2 inches where a fascia board is used, and 4 inches where no fascia is used or where exposed on the underside of a porch or covered walk;

(f)    The use of fascia boards is encouraged;

(g)    Tower elements, chimneys, cupolas, exposed wood beams, roof overhangs, and trellises are all acceptable and encouraged roof features;

(h)    Skylights and solar panels are permitted but shall be integral with the roof slope and design of the building;

(i)    Aluminum frames for solar panels on roofs are prohibited unless they are completely hidden from ground level view.

(11)    Parapets:

(a)    Parapet roofs and varied parapet height for multi-tenant buildings are encouraged;

(b)    Parapets shall completely screen roofs and all roof mounted equipment from view from the adjacent right-of-way;

(c)    Parapets shall not be more than 5 feet above the main roofline;

(d)    Parapets shall be finished on all sides except the rear of the buildings;

(e)    Parapets shall match the main building in material, color, and finish;

(f)    Parapets shall utilize ornamental wood trim or a cornice at the top.

(12)    Site Use:

(a)    Architectural and site features that accommodate equestrians, pedestrians, and outdoor public use are encouraged within front setbacks, along with landscaping;

(b)    Careful and creative landscaping to enhance, to highlight, and strengthen the design characteristics of the building and land use

(13)    It is further noted and declared that a decision to substantially modify or deny plans submitted for review under this may result from plans based upon significant use of the following colors, materials, design features, and elements which are not generally illustrative and reflective of and compatible with the natural setting of the scenic and historic beauty and rural environment of the City of Norco and City’s desire for a western motif; and which could have a deleterious or adverse effect on surrounding property and the peace, health, safety, and general economic welfare of the inhabitants, businesses, and industries:

(a)    Bright, shiny, or non-textured metal on exterior surfaces; porcelain, plastic or similar surfaces of non-earthen hues;

(b)    Bright, fluorescent type or non-earthen tone colors;

(c)    Exposed mechanical equipment, including vents and exhausts;

(d)    Nondescript or boxy building without façade or other recognizable characteristic or distinctive style or theme; any building design that is dominated or intended to be dominated by signs or commercial advertising;

(e)    Lighting accentuating or intending to accentuate advertising or not shielded and not arranged to reflect away from adjoining properties;

(f)    Paper, cloth, plastic, and metal flags or other devices electing display purposes;

(g)    Extensive chain link fencing without off-setting landscaping features;

(h)    Unscreened or unobscured loading docks and trash and service areas;

(i)    Plastic or artificial plants or landscaping.(Ord. 801, 2003)

18.41.12 Administration of Approved Architectural Plans.

The issuance of a building permit pursuant to and following Architectural Review shall be in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 18.48 (Enforcement) of this Ordinance. Where a question arises as to the administration of specific sections of this chapter, or where there is a substantial change from the original Architectural plans, the matter or plans shall be resubmitted to the Planning Commission subject to all of the provisions of this chapter, as if it were a new Architectural Review. (Ord. 801, 2003)

18.41.14 Revocation and Expiration of Architectural Review.

The provisions of Chapter 18.46 (Revocation and Expiration of Permits and Variances) shall apply. (Ord. 501, Sec. 2, 1983)