Chapter 18J.50


18J.50.010    Goals. Amended Ord. 2020-102s

18J.50.020    Applicability. Amended Ord. 2020-102s

18J.50.040    Site Design. Amended Ord. 2020-102s

18J.50.080    Building Design and Placement. Amended Ord. 2020-102s

18J.50.010 Goals. Amended Ord. 2020-102s

The goals of design review within the South Hill Community Plan area are to:

A.    Improve the visual and functional quality of new commercial, industrial, and residential developments. This will be accomplished through the implementation of design standards that are intended to restore and enhance the aesthetic character of the plan area and improve the integrity and function of on-site critical areas;

B.    Encourage well designed buildings and sites;

C.    Provide a menu of design standards that allow an applicant to choose from a variety of styles that fit the desired character of the plan area;

D.    Communicate to land use applicants the goals of the plan area and the role that design review takes in implementing the plan; and

E.    Incorporate into permit approvals a clear listing of all conditions and required improvements prior to final permit issuance.

(Ord. 2003-11s § 3 (part), 2003)

18J.50.020 Applicability. Amended Ord. 2020-102s

A.    This Chapter shall apply to any development activity that is required to obtain building or development permits or approvals, unless otherwise exempted by PCC 18J.10.040.

B.    This Chapter contains design objectives, standards and guidelines for the following aspects of development: building design and Unified Design Elements for the Meridian Corridor.

C.    The following table identifies the regulated activities and the type of design review that shall be addressed:


Table 18J.50.020-1. Type of Review Required for Regulated Activities

Review Type

1. New Civic, Commercial, Industrial, and Non-Residential Use Permit

2. Civic, Commercial or Industrial Expansion > 60% of building value (1)

3. Residential (Attached Single and Multi-Family)

4. Land Divisions of ≥ 5 Lots and Residential Use Permits (2)

5. Land Division of ≤ 4 Lots (2)






18J.50.040 A.







18J.50.040 B.

Unified Design Elements for the Meridian Corridor






18J.50.080 A.1.

NC/ROC/HRD/MHR zones: Building Placement


18J.50.080 A.2.

Building Design and Architecture



18J.50.080 B.1.

Urban Village (UV) zone: Building Placement


18J.50.080 B.2.

Building Design and Architecture



18J.50.080 C.1.

CC/AC/MUD/EC zones: Architectural Concept



18J.50.080 C.2.

Architectural Relationships




(1)    Commercial and industrial expansion includes any interior improvements to an existing structure. The 60 percent calculation is cumulative over time and is calculated based on the "Building Valuation Data" table compiled by the International Code Council and published in the Building Safety Journal, as used by the Building Official.

(2)    Single-family detached development at a density greater than 6 du/net acre shall meet the design standards set forth in Chapter 18J.17 PCC.

(Ord. 2014-42 § 5 (part), 2014; Ord. 2012-2s § 8 (part), 2012; Ord. 2010-70s § 15 (part), 2010; Ord. 2009-98s § 7 (part), 2010; Ord. 2009-18s3 § 7 (part), 2009; Ord. 2007-85s § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2007-6 § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2005-84s § 3 (part), 2005; Ord. 2004-52s § 5 (part), 2004; Ord. 2003-11s § 3 (part), 2003)

18J.50.040 Site Design. Amended Ord. 2020-102s

Site Design objectives and standards are intended to ensure the built environment is integrated with the natural environment and to provide connections, (road, pedestrian, and trail) to the surrounding land uses.

A.    Mailboxes.

1.    Design Objective – Mailboxes. Provide safe, accessible, and weather-protected mailbox areas.

a.    Standards.

(1)    All mailboxes shall be clustered and lockable consistent with USPS standards and designed in a manner that is complementary with other design elements. Cluster mailboxes shall be constructed of, or faced with, materials and colors similar to the primary structures of the development.

(2)    Cluster mailboxes shall have weather protection elements (e.g., roofs or within enclosed buildings). (See Figure 18J.50-16)

FIGURE 18J.50-16

B.    Unified Design Elements for the Meridian Corridor. The Meridian Corridor is defined as the core of South Hill through the length of the South Hill Community Plan area (see Map 18J.50-1). Within this core area, the intent is to ensure a unified appearance and consistent application of functions and design elements. The standards in this Section apply primarily to new development and redevelopment proposals. Remodeling and expansion of existing uses shall be required to comply with these standards when the value of the remodel or expansion is 60 percent or greater of the existing building value as calculated in accordance with the International Building Code.

1.    Design Objective – Roadway Design and Streetscapes within the Meridian Corridor. Require consistent streetscapes, including street trees, within the Meridian Corridor and adjoining areas.

a.    Standards for North, Central and South Meridian Corridor Circulation Areas.

(1)    Roadway Frontage Improvements. Development proposals occurring on parcels within the boundaries of the Meridian Corridor that front upon certain roadways shall be required to construct frontage improvements. When appropriate, low impact development best management practices (LID BMPs) should be utilized in the frontage improvements. These frontage improvements are intended to create a consistent, unified streetscape within the core commercial area and to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety.

(a)    Roadways subject to frontage improvements are illustrated on Maps 18J.50-2 through -4 and include 128th Street East, 132nd Street East, 136th Street East, 144th Street East, 152nd Street East, 160th Street East, 168th Street East, 176th Street East, and, Meridian Avenue East.

(b)    The required frontage improvements shall include curb and gutter, a minimum 4-foot wide planting strip, and sidewalk. Street lighting shall also be installed. Refer to Figure 18J.50-19A for further illustration of the required frontage improvements.

(c)    When determined necessary by the County Engineer, the construction of the frontage improvements may also require reconstruction of the public roadway to the centerline (half-street improvement) or beyond in order to ensure a proper transition of the frontage improvements (primarily curb and gutter) into the existing roadway surface.

(d)    The Hearing Examiner shall have the authority to grant a deviation to the requirement for curb and gutter through the Site Plan Review (SPR) process upon a demonstration that the following criteria are met:

(i)    Installation of curb and gutter will result in the need for additional roadway improvements beyond the centerline or beyond the property boundaries and that the construction of the additional roadway improvements will result in a significant economic hardship to the property owner or require acquisition of new right-of-way beyond the development's boundaries. The need for additional right-of-way shall be verified by the Pierce County Engineer.

(ii)    The deviation is the minimum necessary to eliminate the economic hardship or address the right-of-way acquisition problem.

(iii)    The Pierce County Engineer determines that the granting of the deviation will not result in the construction of a substandard roadway or create a safety hazard.

(e)    The frontage improvements set forth in paragraph (b) shall be wholly or partially waived whenever it is determined that these improvements will be provided by a County or State roadway project which is fully funded for construction and identified within the County or State transportation improvement plan. Developer responsibility to construct, or contribute to the construction, of any roadway improvements pursuant to requirements of the State Environment Policy Act shall continue to apply.

(f)    Frontage improvements shall be limited to the installation of street lighting only whenever curb, gutter, and sidewalk have already been provided by a previous improvement to the County or State roadway.

(2)    Species of Street Trees Required. The street tree species identified in Table 18J.50.040-1 shall be installed along the specified roadways when installing required landscaping along the frontage of roads for development projects. The species required for street trees along the roadway frontage for a specific development shall not be used elsewhere in the landscaping for that development. These street trees shall be located on private property immediately adjacent to the public right-of-way as illustrated in Figure 18J.50-19A.

(3)    Public Roadways. New and reconstructed roadways developed by the County and not associated with a development project shall be designed and built according to the roadway cross-section design and plan view identified in Figure 18J.50-19A and the road construction standards of Title 17B and its associated manual except as follows:

(a)    176th Street East shall not be subject to the requirements for a 4-foot-wide buffer strip. Requirements for curb, gutter, and sidewalk adjacent to the travel way and street lighting shall continue to apply.

(4)    Meridian Corridor Landscaping. New plats, commercial, industrial, civic, or other non-residential development and redeveloping properties within the Corridor shall be subject to the following standards:

(a)    From 120th Street East to north of 176th Street East the following landscaping shall be installed along roadways subject to frontage improvements:

(i)    Evergreen shrubs at a rate of 1 per 5 lineal feet of lot line, interspersed throughout the landscape strip in clusters or uniform rows. Individual shrub spacing shall be no greater than 8 feet on center, with no more than 15 feet between clusters;

(ii)    Deciduous trees at a rate of 1 per 25 feet of lot line, interspersed throughout the landscape strip in clusters or uniform rows. Minimum mature height shall be 35 feet.

(iii)    Groundcover shall be provided. Groundcover should be composed of native and drought-tolerant vegetation when site conditions warrant.

(iv)    Landscape strip width shall be 20 feet or the width of the required setback, whichever is less.

(b)    South of 176th Street East to 187th Street East, an L4 buffer shall be provided along roadways subject to frontage improvements.

MAP 18J.50-1
Map of Meridian Corridor

MAP 18J.50-2
North Meridian Corridor Circulation Area

MAP 18J.50-3
Central Meridian Corridor Circulation Area

MAP 18J.50-4
South Meridian Corridor Circulation Area

Table 18J.50.040-1.

Street Tree Species Required – Meridian Corridor


Street Tree Species Required

128th St E

Green Ash

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

132nd St E

Honey locust

Gleditsia triacanthos

136th St E

Katsura Tree

Carcidiphyllum japonicum

144th St E

American sweet gum

Liquidambar styraciflua

152nd St E

Flowering callery pear

Pyrus calleryana

160th St E

Flowering Cherry

Prunus serulata

168th St E

European hornbean

Carpinus betulus

176th St E/

Sunrise Blvd E

Norway Maple

Acer platanoides

Meridian Ave E

"Red Sunset" Red Maple

Acer rubrum

FIGURE 18J.50-19A
Meridian Corridor Typical Road Cross-Section

2.    Design Objective – Circulation within the Meridian Corridor. Develop a system of internal private roadways within development proposals which facilitate travel within and between commercial areas and abutting properties as a means to reduce traffic on the County roadway system and to better define the core commercial areas.

a.    Until such time as Pierce County develops a site specific circulation plan for properties within the Meridian Corridor, all non-residential development proposals shall be required to provide automobile connections to adjacent non-residential properties through the use of cross access easements, common entryways, shared internal roadways and parking lots, and similar techniques. These connections shall be arranged to provide for a series of internal circulator roads which allow movement between neighboring sites without needing to utilize adjacent arterial roadways.

b.    Internal circulator roads shall include curb, gutter, sidewalk, planting strip, defined crosswalks, and street lighting as illustrated in Figure 18J.50-19B.

FIGURE 18J.50-19B
Meridian Corridor Typical Internal Circulatory Road

3.    Design Objective – Street Furniture and Lighting Design. A specific unified design shall be utilized for street lighting, street furniture, and similar streetscape improvements provided within the Meridian Corridor.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Street lighting, street furniture, and similar streetscape improvements required pursuant to PCC 18J.50.090 and .100 shall be located on private property and shall be of a specific unified design within the Meridian Corridor as follows:

(a)    Internal Street Lighting. Street lighting inside developments in the Meridian Corridor shall have a black powder finish, and be 16 to 24 feet in height. See required lighting style in Figure 18J.50-19C.

(b)    Light Poles On-Site. On-site light poles and fixtures shall have a black powder finish and be 12 to 16 feet in height. See required lighting style in Figure 18J.50-19C.

FIGURE 18J.50-19C – Lighting Styles

(c)    Benches. Benches shall be 6 to 8 feet in length, made of steel or aluminum and powder-coated in a black finish. See the required bench style in Figure 18J.50-19D.

FIGURE 18J.50-19D – Bench Styles        

(d)    Bollards. Bollards shall be 36 to 40 inches in height, cast iron or cast aluminum and powder coated in a black finish. See required bollard style in Figure 18J.50-19E.

FIGURE 18J.50-19E – Bollard Styles

(e)    Trash Receptacles. Trash and litter receptacles shall be made with steel slats and powder coated in a black finish. See required trash/litter receptacle style in Figure 18J.50-19F.

FIGURE 18J.50-19F – Trash Receptacle Styles        

(f)    Bicycle Racks. Bicycle racks shall be made of continuous, round pipe or steel bar and finished in black. See required bicycle rack style in Figure 18J.50-19G.

FIGURE 18J.50-19G – Bicycle Rack Styles    

(g)    Planters. Planters shall be made of metal with a black, powder coated finish. See required planter style in Figure 18J.50-19H.

FIGURE 18J.50-19H – Planter Styles

(2)    External Street Lighting. Street lighting shall be provided along public streets in the Meridian Corridor. Lighting shall comply with the design requirements in Title 17B and is accompanying manual.

(3)    Transit Shelters. Transit shelters shall be made of metal with a black, powder coated finish. Transit shelters shall be of peaked-roof design as illustrated in Figure 18J.50-14.

(Ord. 2018-68s § 6 (part), 2018; Ord. 2012-2s § 8 (part), 2012; Ord. 2010-70s § 15 (part), 2010; Ord. 2009-98s § 7 (part), 2010; Ord. 2007-85s § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2007-6 § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2006-9s § 2 (part), 2006; Ord. 2005-84s § 3 (part), 2005; Ord. 2004-58s § 7 (part), 2004; Ord. 2004-114s2 § 2 (part), 2004; Ord. 2004-52s § 5 (part), 2004; Ord. 2003-61 § 3 (part), 2003; Ord. 2003-11s § 3 (part), 2003)

18J.50.080 Building Design and Placement. Amended Ord. 2020-102s

The Building Design and Placement standards are intended to guide the placement and design of commercial, industrial, civic, or other non-residential development within specified zones. All new commercial, civic, or other non-residential and industrial developments and remodel projects for which the improvement value is 60 percent or greater of the building value as calculated by the Building Official in accordance with the "Building Valuation Data" table compiled by the International Code Council and published in the Building Safety Journal, or other national standard shall meet the standards of this Section.

A.    Neighborhood Centers (NC), Residential/Office – Civic (ROC), Moderate-High Density Residential (MHR), and High-Density Residential Districts (HRD).

1.    Design Objective – Building Placement. Ensure the architectural and site design is compatible with and integrated into surrounding residential neighborhoods. Facilities shall be provided in NCs, ROCs, and HRDs that allow pedestrians to utilize the center.

a.    Height Standards.

(1)    The height limit of structures shall not exceed that of the surrounding residential zones for all above zones except Residential/Office-Civic (ROC).

b.    Building Placement and Compatibility Standards.

(1)    All setbacks for developments shall be the same as the adjacent residential zones.

(2)    Principal store entrances shall be within 35 feet of the right-of-way.

c.    Guidelines.

(1)    Development should interact with the street and provide a connection to the street. The connection to the street is enhanced through designs incorporating many windows and doors opening onto the street, through the use of window displays (not signs) and details like potted plants and awnings. (See Figure 18J.50-25)

FIGURE 18J.50-25

(2)    Lighting should be no more than that of the surrounding residential uses. After hours lighting should be greatly reduced.

2.    Design Objective – Building Design and Architecture. Design buildings to incorporate features such as facades, roof forms, porches, window treatments, and architectural detailing that exemplifies surrounding residential architecture. Avoid the use of standardized "corporate or franchise" style in the design of buildings.

a.    Building Entry Standards.

(1)    Entrances shall incorporate one of the following building elements:

(a)    Dormers;

(b)    Porches;

(c)    Porticos (See Figure 18J.50-26); or

(d)    Arches.

FIGURE 18J.50-26

b.    Building Roof Standards.

(1)    Buildings shall be designed with gable, gambrel, or hip roof forms. (See Figure 18J.50-27)

FIGURE 18J.50-27

(2)    Roof planes shall be varied by using gable ends and/or dormers.

(3)    The use of flat, mansard, dome, or butterfly roof forms, is prohibited. (See Figure 18J.50-28)

FIGURE 18J.50-28

c.    Architectural Detailing Standards. At least one element from each of the following categories shall be included in the design of all new buildings and accessory structures.

(1)    Cornice details;

(2)    Trim details;

(3)    Timber details;

(4)    Knee bracing.

d.    Window Standards. (See Figures 18J.50-29, 18J.50-30, 18J.50-31)

FIGURE 18J.50-29

FIGURE 18J.50-30

FIGURE 18J.50-31

(1)    Window patterns shall be characterized by vertical proportions with horizontally oriented rectangular forms prohibited. Windows should emphasize the first floor.

(2)    The area of first story windows on street front elevations shall be at least twice the area of second story windows along the same side of the building. This standard does not apply to multi-family development.

(3)    One of the following window treatments shall be used:

(a)    Bay windows;

(b)    Stained glass;

(c)    Multi-paned windows, or the appearance of multi-pained windows, in one over one, two over two, or four over four patterns.

(4)    Windows sills shall be situated at least 2 feet above the interior finished floor.

(5)    The use of reflective or mirrored windows is prohibited.

(6)    Window trim shall be used. (See Figure 18J.50-32)

FIGURE 18J.50-32

e.    Guidelines.

(1)    Encourage architecture that is contextual or harmonious in character to single-family residential uses through the use of color, materials, textures, and landscaping. Development should provide focal points for neighborhoods and enhance the identity of the neighborhood.

(2)    Architecture should be similar to single-family residences.

(3)    Existing single-family structures should be considered for conversion prior to demolition.

B.    Urban Village (UV).

1.    Design Objective – Building Placement. Buildings must be close to the street to encourage pedestrian interaction and usage.

a.    Height Standards.

(1)    Buildings shall not exceed 70 feet in height.

b.    Building Placement and Compatibility Standards.

(1)    Buildings shall be setback no greater than 30 feet from all property lines abutting rights-of-way. Where building placement within 30 feet of property lines abutting right-of-way is not possible due to the presence of the utility easement which prohibits building construction in this area and it is determined that the easement cannot be relocated, the setback may be increased to the minimum distance needed to locate the building outside of the easement area. Only those easements granted to a public entity or a private electric, natural gas, water, or telecommunications provider shall be considered by the Department in determining whether or not to grant the setback increase.

(2)    Seventy-five percent of building face that is directed toward the street must be within 30 feet of one property line adjacent to the right-of-way, except as provided in subsection (1) above.

(3)    Parking located between a building and the primary commercial street shall not exceed 40 percent of the street frontage. The remaining 60 percent shall be occupied by either the anchor building or satellite buildings. Where an anchor or satellite building cannot be located along part or all of the 60 percent of frontage due to the presence of non-buildable utility easements meeting the criteria set forth in subsection (1) above, a reduction in the 60 percent building frontage requirement may be granted. In such cases, open space shall be provided in lieu of the building frontage in order to encourage pedestrian interaction with the site. The required open space shall occupy the area in place of the required building frontage, shall have a minimum depth of 30 feet, and shall contain one or more of the following features:

(a)    Walls and planters that can be used for seating;

(b)    Seating sheltered from the elements;

(c)    Seating with views of street activity, scenery, or open spaces;

(d)    Fountains or sculptures;

(e)    Plazas and courtyards; or

(f)    Canopies and awnings.

(4)    Buildings shall maintain a street level interest while they continue to rise in height and intensity. Large monolithic buildings shall be avoided. If a large building is required, the building shall be visually broken up into readily identifiable parts through the use of architecture and walkways.

(5)    Developments shall emphasize intersections and take advantage of the additional pedestrian and vehicular traffic by orienting an entrance toward the corner of the parcel. (See Figure 18J.50-33)

c.    Guidelines.

(1)    Building setback lines should be maintained. Adjacent buildings should abut a similar setback line. Where a building does not abut a property line, walls, railings, planters, or other built or landscape elements should be used at the property line to maintain the continuity of the street front.

FIGURE 18J.50-33

2.    Design Objective – Building Design and Architecture. Design buildings to be visually interesting and inviting to pedestrians.

a.    Building Design and Architecture Standards.

(1)    To maintain pedestrian interest, all buildings must have at least 25 percent of a street façade made up of windows.

(2)    Buildings shall not have a street frontage of greater than 55 feet without an entrance or a four foot shift in the depth of the façade. If a shift is being used, it must be for at least 10 feet of street frontage and shall contain landscaping such as large shrubs or trees. Facades greater than 55 feet in length must include at least one 3 foot transition in height every 30 feet.

(3)    To maintain street level interest, each face of a building fronting a street must equal or exceed the number of points required below based on the length of parcel frontage on each side.

(a)    Points required:

(i)    Less than 51 feet of parcel frontage – 1 point

(ii)    51 feet to 150 feet of parcel frontage – 2 points

(iii)    151 feet to 450 feet of parcel frontage – 3 points

(iv)    More than 450 feet of parcel frontage – 4 points

(b)    Developments may earn points for each façade in the following ways:

(i)    Individual mural greater than 10 percent of wall area, not including windows (1 point)

(ii)    Windows occupy more than 50 percent of the first floor façade and 30 percent of higher stories (1 point)

(iii)    Canopy or awning above entrances (1 point)

(iv)    Canopy or awning running the length of street frontage and extending 5 feet into the setback (1 additional point)

(v)    Individual sculpture or fountain located outdoors, within 15 feet of right-of-way and with a volume box (height x depth x width) greater than the length of street frontage (1 point)

(vi)    Vertical trellis with climbing vines or plant material covering more than 10 percent of the street façade (1 point)

(4)    To encourage pedestrian use of the sidewalk by incorporating at least three of the following pedestrian-scaled features into the site design:

(a)    Walls and planters that can be used for seating;

(b)    Seating sheltered from the elements;

(c)    Seating with views of street activity, scenery, or open spaces;

(d)    Fountains or sculpture;

(e)    Plazas and courtyards;

(f)    Canopies and awnings. (See Figure 18J.50-34)

FIGURE 18J.50-34

(5)    Buildings shall have a clearly defined entrance visible from the street, by including at least three of the following:

(a)    Recessed entry;

(b)    Roof line emphasis;

(c)    Windows above entry;

(d)    Canopy of awning above entry; or

(e)    Ornamental molding, or decorative finish materials.

(6)    façade designs within the Urban Village shall include some contemporary translations of traditional commercial façade elements, by including at least two of the following:

(a)    Recessed entries;

(b)    Kick plates;

(c)    Plate glass display windows; or

(d)    Transoms.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Plazas and open spaces should be located with maximum southern exposure to maximize the number of hours with sunlight.

(2)    Plazas should have a number of building entrances abutting it to increase the number of people and level of outdoor activity.

(3)    Awnings and canopies should be permitted to extend up to 3 feet into the setback.

C.    Community Center (CC), Activity Center (AC), Mixed Use District (MUD), and Employment Center (EC). The purpose of this Section is to encourage better design in commercial, industrial, civic, and other non-residential building projects without restricting architectural creativity. These standards are geared at developments which are both auto and pedestrian oriented and creating buildings and site designs which appeal to both. While still allowing architectural originality the following standards and guidelines will assist in reducing the overall bulk and appearance of large developments. This Section applies to developments in the Community Center, Activity Center, Mixed Use District, and Employment Center zones. Building standards are intended to create a predictable environment for developers while maintaining a high quality of design.

1.    Design Objective – Architectural Concept. Architectural style for new construction and additions is not restricted. Rather, the evaluation of the project should be based on the quality of its design and its relationship to its surroundings and should be unique and reflect the desired character of the community. Project designs shall provide a cohesive and consistent visual identity for all buildings and accessory structures in a development while responding to functional characteristics of the project. Architectural gimmicks and fads such as neon outlining and backlit awnings are to be avoided.

a.    Standards.

(1)    All new and remodeled buildings within a multi-building complex shall achieve a unity of design through the use of similar architectural elements, such as roof form, exterior building materials, colors, and window style.

(2)    Independent storage buildings, parking structures and other accessory structures shall match the principal building(s) in form, color, and use of materials and detailing.

(3)    In the Community Center and Activity Center zones, a parking area may be located adjacent to an abutting street right-of-way if it is equal to or less than 50 percent of the street frontage. The remaining 50 percent shall be occupied by either the anchor building or satellite buildings.

(4)    In the Mixed Use District and Employment Center zones, a parking area may be located adjacent to an abutting street right-of-way if it is equal to or less than 60 percent of the street frontage. The remaining 40 percent shall be occupied by either the anchor building or satellite buildings.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Tenant entrances in a multi-tenant building should be accentuated with similar or complementary design elements such as wall surface materials, window arrangement, color treatment, awnings, and roof forms.

(2)    The use of complementary architectural elements should be considered for transitions to existing buildings on adjacent sites.

(3)    Building materials used for site features such as outdoor furniture, lighting, fences and screen walls should be consistent in architectural character with the primary on-site structures.

2.    Design Objective – Architectural Relationships. Provide for visual and functional continuity with adjacent and neighboring commercial, industrial and residential structures that exhibit a level of architectural quality consistent with these design standards and guidelines. The scale of large commercial or industrial structures located adjacent to residential neighborhoods should be reduced, have increased landscape buffers, or incorporate design features that will make the structures more compatible.

Architectural elements and details should be used that reduce the perceived size of a building and provide a more human scale. New buildings and additions should be designed to incorporate architectural details consistent with the character of the building. There should be a clear and understandable relationship between the overall massing of the building and its architectural elements.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Each face of a building shall incorporate elements based on the building's gross square footage that equal or exceed the number of points found in Table 18J.50.080-1 – Points Required for Each Building Face Based on Building Size. Projects shall be required to incorporate any combination of features as provided in Table 18J.50.080-2 – Relating Design and Scale of Building Elements to the Building's Overall Form and Massing.

Table 18J.50.080-1 – Points Required for Each Building Elevation

Based on Building Size

Building Size

Points Required for Every Building Face

Less than 10,000 square feet

4 points

10,000 to 40,000 square feet

5 points

Greater than 40,000 square feet

7 points

1.    A building with five or more faces requires a SPR site plan review for compliance with the intent of the design standards. Building faces which do not face customer parking areas, public street, and which are used only as service areas may subtract 2 points from those required in Table 18J.50.080-1.

Table 18J.50.080-2 – Relating Design and Scale of Building Elements to the

Building's Overall Form and Massing

Element 18J.50.080 C.2.


a. Horizontal shifts for walls >80' in length (1)

 Width of shift >20 percent of wall length


 Width of shift >30 percent of wall length


 No walls >80'


FIGURE 18J.50-35

b. Vertical shifts of single run of ridge, cornice, or fascia >50'

 Transition in height >4'


 No single runs >50'


FIGURE 18J.50-36

FIGURE 18J.50-37

c. Single stand of trees within 20' of building (maximum 4 points per face) (2)

 Planting bed for a single stand of trees must be a minimum of 320 square feet in area and 8' in width


FIGURE 18J.50-38

FIGURE 18J.50-39

FIGURE 18J.50-40

FIGURE 18J.50-41

FIGURE 18J.50-42

FIGURE 18J.50-43

d. Individual Mural (maximum 3 points)

 Square footage > 10 percent of wall area


 Square footage > 25 percent of wall area


e. Individual Sculpture or Fountain Adjacent to Wall (maximum 2 points per face) (3)

 (.25 x (Perimeter + Height)) > 10 percent of wall length


f. Windows and Doors

 Square footage > 30 percent of wall area


g. Canopy or Awning

 (Length) > 10 percent of wall length


 (Length) > 25 percent of wall length


FIGURE 18J.50-44

h. Decorative Masonry, Distinguishable etchings or relief, pillars, or columns (4)

 Area covered > 10 percent of wall area


 Area covered > 25 percent of wall area


FIGURE 18J.50-45

i. Visual wall terminus or cornice required on all building sides

Pitched roof with fascia

FIGURE 18J.50-46



FIGURE 18J.50-47


Projecting Cornice

FIGURE 18J.50-48


j. Vertical trellis with climbing vines or plant materials adjacent of walls

Area covered > 10 percent of wall


 Area covered > 25 percent of wall


(1)    The depth of the shift shall be equal to or greater than 4'0". To assure that footprint shifts are evenly distributed across the building façade, shifted wall planes shall have a width proportion of between 1-to-1 and 3-to-1 of the width of adjacent wall planes on the same façade. Horizontal shifts, when required, shall be reflected by a shift or alteration in the roof design.

(2)    The stand may include existing or planted trees and shall be in addition to required perimeter and internal parking lot landscaping. A stand of trees shall consist of a minimum of three trees, with a minimum caliper of 2", or 12' in height. Trees may also be in separate tree wells within 20' of the building and bed.

(3)    Wall area behind water plume will count toward wall coverage percentage.

(4)    Solitary line etchings given a 1' wide band as credit.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    New projects are encouraged to achieve a scale and building character that achieves the desired commercial or industrial appearance outlined in the Community Character Element of the South Hill Plan.

(2)    New projects should be of a similar height, dimension, and setback to existing adjacent development that conforms to the design standards and guidelines of this Chapter.

(3)    Architectural details should be used that are consistent with the architectural character of the overall building and development.

(4)    A visual terminus should be provided on tops of buildings in the form of cornices, parapets, or other architectural features.

(5)    Smaller business activities should be clustered to reduce the appearance of a large building's bulk. (See Figure 18J.50-49)

FIGURE 18J.50-49

(6)    Continuous awnings that conceal important architectural elements, or conflict with the character of the building, are discouraged.

(7)    Awnings should maintain the visual horizontal appearance of a street front by aligning the bottom edge.

(8)    Backlit awnings, designed to double as lighted signs, is discouraged.

(9)    The use of durable, high quality materials that contribute to the overall appearance, ease of maintenance, and longevity of structures is encouraged.

(10)    Windows should be included on upper stories to avoid blank upper walls.

(11)    Building components such as windows, doors, eaves, and parapets should have good proportions and relationship to one another.

3.    Design Objective – Pedestrian-Oriented Features. Reduce the impact of large buildings by designing at a human scale and ensuring pedestrian infrastructure.

a.    Standards.

(1)    At least one primary building entry shall be oriented to a public street or intersection.

(2)    Primary building entrances shall be clearly visible or recognizable from the right-of-way through at least two of the following:

(a)    Recessed or protruding entry,

(b)    Roof line emphasis such as a decorative cornice or parapet roof.

(c)    Canopy, marquee, or awning above entry.

(d)    Unique decorative molding, or lintel above doorway.

(e)    Contrasting finish materials.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Building entries should be enhanced with a combination of landscaping, weather protection, pedestrian amenities and architectural features.

(2)    The use of covered walkways is encouraged between structures.

(Ord. 2017-89s § 6 (part), 2018; Ord. 2007-85s § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2007-6 § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2006-9s § 2 (part), 2006; Ord. 2004-114s2 § 2 (part), 2004; Ord. 2004-52s § 5 (part), 2004; Ord. 2003-61 § 3 (part), 2003; Ord. 2003-11s § 3 (part), 2003)