Chapter 18.59


18.59.010    Purpose.

18.59.020    Definitions.

18.59.030    Applicability.

18.59.040    Process.

18.59.050    Exemptions.

18.59.060    Model design approaches.

18.59.070    Northwest design.

18.59.080    Americana.

18.59.090    Industrial agriculture.

18.59.100    Low impact and environmental design.

18.59.010 Purpose.

The City of Ferndale has established standards for the development of nonretail commercial and industrial structures in view of public rights-of-way within certain zones and overlay areas, for the following purposes:

A.    Promoting creative and functional approaches to building and site design.

B.    Administering design guidelines that are complementary to retail guidelines adopted in Chapter 18.58 FMC but which also acknowledge the range of uses possible in these areas.

C.    Establishing regulations that allow significant flexibility for the purpose of functional and cost-effective design.

D.    Permitting the collective design of a variety of private and public structures to create a unique and attractive sense of place.

The City’s requirements are intended to be flexible, so as to provide direction to applicants without establishing a design theme or regulations that tacitly encourage design repetition. Instead, Ferndale has identified several approaches to design that may be adopted or interpreted by the applicant. These approaches are described in FMC 18.59.060 through 18.59.100, and refer to illustrations and photographs within the Non-Retail Design Manual, adopted by reference in this chapter.

Adherence to the specific design approaches listed below is not required, although the applicant is required to notify the City of their design approach by utilizing one of the designs listed, or by developing a new approach.

Regardless of the approach to design, an applicant must identify and utilize at least four of the design elements described below, in one or more design categories (or by utilizing additional architectural or design elements that are not listed). (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.020 Definitions.

“Design approach” means an architectural style or method that includes a combination of design elements, or is typified by certain themes, materials, or appearance.

“Design element” means the basic features of a building, site construction or design that is representative of one or more design approaches or architectural styles. Design elements may include, but are not limited to, individual material types or sizes, colors, building massing, adoption of traditional building design, the use of awnings, window patterns and sizes, rooftop or wall ornamentation and/or modulation, architectural lighting, engagement with the street, and more. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.030 Applicability.

In those zones or overlays adopting this chapter by reference, all new nonresidential developments that are visible from the public right-of-way and are not subject to the City’s retail design standards (Chapter 18.58 FMC) shall be required to incorporate elements and guidelines contained within this chapter. Design approaches or design elements that are not listed below may be considered, but must demonstrate the following:

A.    The design element/approach is visible from the public right-of-way.

B.    The design element uses materials or colors that are distinct from but complementary to the primary siding material.

C.    The design element/approach departs from or modifies typical building design by providing additional articulation to the structure.

D.    The design element/approach has been incorporated into the overall design and achieves a specific purpose, which may be functional or simply decorative.

E.    At a minimum, the design element/approach is utilized throughout the facade area(s) visible from the public right-of-way, or is of sufficient size to serve as a focal point of the structure.

F.    The design element/approach engages with the abutting street(s) in a manner which portrays street-facing facades as the front or side of the building, rather than the rear of the building.

G.    Signs, whether attached to the building or freestanding, shall be at a scale and height that does not overwhelm the building itself.

H.    Landscaping, lighting and overall site design shall be utilized to enhance structures within the site by lessening the appearance of blank walls, accentuating architectural features, and softening the site in general. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.040 Process.

All applicants for projects that must comply with this chapter shall provide the City with a narrative describing their proposed design approach. This narrative must also include those specific design elements that have been incorporated into the building and site design. The City will review this proposal in coordination with a review of the proposed site plan or building permit, whichever is submitted first, and will incorporate conditions requiring adherence to the proposal in permit documents. If changes are required, the City will work collaboratively with the applicant to identify modifications that may be necessary to achieve compliance. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.050 Exemptions.

The following development actions are encouraged to incorporate the elements of this chapter but are not required to do so:

A.    Normal repair and maintenance of existing structures and sites.

B.    Tenant improvements to existing structures valued at less than 25 percent of the assessed value of the structure.

C.    Structures and sites built in compliance with Chapter 18.58 FMC. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.060 Model design approaches.

The City of Ferndale has identified several model design approaches, or architectural styles. These styles are described in more detail in order to provide specific guidance to applicants. Applicants may demonstrate that they have incorporated one or more of these design approaches into their proposal, or may identify or create an unlisted design approach pursuant to FMC 18.59.030. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.070 Northwest design.

Northwest design seeks to incorporate the natural landscape as well as natural materials such as wood and stone into the overall design of the structure and surrounding area. Large windows are utilized to take advantage of light and may sometimes be used for passive solar heating. These windows also serve to create an external glow on grey days and at night. Northwest design is also influenced by Japanese, Craftsman, and Arts and Crafts design.

A.    Bold use of contrasting/complementary materials: wood and stone, wood and metal, glazing, interior lighting as a complement to exterior.

B.    Use of exposed (especially horizontal) beams.

C.    Use of materials that enable structures to “glow” even in rainy weather.

D.    Significant window cover at entryways, including floor to ceiling windows, sometimes with contrasting steel or wood beams. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.080 Americana.

Americana design embodies architectural designs from the early to mid 20th century, reinterpreted based on new technologies and materials. This design typically utilizes brick, stone or other structural materials as a primary building facade. While these structures often feature multiple stories, significant emphasis is placed on the first story and may include large picture windows, large entryways that lend a pedestrian-oriented feel along the street, and even color or material changes. Multi-paned glass is a predominant feature above the first floor, and rooftop features are utilized to hide mechanical equipment or to accentuate the height of the structure. Permanent metal awnings and exterior lighting accentuate architectural or aesthetic features in inclement weather and at night. Americana design is influenced by Modernism, Streamline Moderne, and Prairie School.

A.    Multiple windows, or paned windows, create an appearance of density or urban-ness.

B.    Ornamentation along rooftops, around windows and doorways frames the building and offsets the primary color or building material of the structure.

C.    With the exception of ornamentation and roofs, there is substantial symmetry in the overall design.

D.    Window sizes decrease, ornamentation increases with height to create the illusion of taller structures.

E.    Stone or brick is primary building material, wood or metal is used for accents.

F.    Horizontal vegetation or painted wall signs may be used to accent architectural features. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.090 Industrial agriculture.

This approach typically includes sloped or mansard roofs juxtaposed by a smaller number of relatively large windows, often combining wood or metal as either the primary building material or as a method to accentuate the primary building material. Depending upon the application, brick, sandstone, or limestone (or similar materials) may be used as the primary building material and may be used to evoke the spirit and design of mid-century railroad facilities, warehouses and factories. Depending on the proposed design, large overhangs and exposed beams may also be featured.

A.    Sloped, curved, or mansard roofs featuring dormers, clerestories, or second stories to break up the expanse of the roof.

B.    Exterior platforms, or the appearance of platforms, are framed by columns with even spacing along the building’s facade.

C.    Metal and wood are utilized simultaneously.

D.    Windows are typically square, or oriented vertically.

E.    Porticos, clock towers, and/or other rooftop features are used to break up roof expanses and add visual interest.

F.    Bay doors visible from the public right-of-way include similar architectural elements of typical doors.

G.    Silos, water towers, or other similar accessory structures (or design elements) may be incorporated into building or site design. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)

18.59.100 Low impact and environmental design.

Sites following the low impact and environmental design approach are directly informed by individual site conditions and opportunities. Buildings may be oriented to the path of the sun and windows or awnings are designed for more than aesthetic purposes. Skylights and windows enable natural lighting throughout much of the structure. Site design highlights curved walkways, integration of landscaping, stormwater and wetlands, where practical, and includes low-maintenance vegetation throughout. Building and site design includes, but is not limited to, recycled and/or recyclable materials. Developments following this path may seek LEED or EAGLE status and frequently incorporate other design approaches, in addition to the environmental elements described below.

A.    Ample vegetation, exceeding landscaping standards adopted by Chapter 18.74 FMC and utilizing trees for natural cover from the elements. Landscaping with native plants of the Pacific Northwest reduces maintenance costs and the spread of invasive species.

B.    Curving, natural designs and avoidance of sharp edges. Use curves in landscaping, pathways, or building design to create areas such as a courtyard.

C.    Organic landscaping, which follows the landscape and builds with it, not against it.

D.    Use of sustainable materials and, if practical, local products.

E.    Utilize natural lighting by having large windows and skylights; also known as daylighting. Orient the building based on the rotation of the sun’s path to maximize natural light to reduce the use of artificial light.

F.    Use permeable surfaces if practical, and design site with stormwater mitigation and wetland protection in mind.

G.    Add outdoor seating and gathering spaces for employees and customers.

H.    Pathways and sidewalks draw visitors and employees to the building entrance. (Ord. 1902 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2015)