(A)   Purpose. Commercial development appearance review shall be required for all proposed commercial or office development in all zoning districts. Compliance with the requirements for commercial development appearance review shall be required in addition to the requirements of the underlying zoning district. The purpose of commercial development appearance review is:
      (1)   To promote the town’s economic viability by encouraging commercial development that enhances the character of the community;
      (2)   To enhance and protect property values by encouraging excellent design; and
      (3)   To encourage architectural freedom, imagination and variety and to encourage creative design solutions that will enhance the town’s visual appearance.
   (B)   Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
      APPEARANCE REVIEW COMMITTEE. The Committee responsible for ensuring that proposed commercial development complies with the appearance review standards for proposed commercial development.
      PROPOSED COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT. All new exterior construction or addition which adds square footage associated with commercial uses except for maintenance, minor repairs, restoration and temporary structures. Commercial uses includes all retail, business and office uses.
   (C)   Site plan.
      (1)   A site plan prepared by a registered engineer or architect shall be submitted for all proposed commercial development.
      (2)   The site plans shall be drawn to scale and shall be accompanied by a narrative, as appropriate, showing and outlining the following:
         (a)   Name and address of applicant and site;
         (b)   Scale and north point;
         (c)   Total land area of site in square feet;
         (d)   Property boundaries;
         (e)   Location and dimensions of parking areas;
         (f)   Number of off-street and on-street parking spaces required by regulations and proposed;
         (g)   Location, use, elevations and dimensions of proposed buildings and buildings within 50 feet of the site boundaries;
         (h)   Location and dimensions of proposed easements, conduits and rights-of-way;
         (i)   Existing and proposed materials, including the type of plants, landscaping and plant size, number and spacing;
         (j)   Type, height and location of night lighting;
         (k)   Location and height of proposed signs; proposed setbacks of signs, elevation of each face of the proposed sign; size of letters and graphics; colors and frame materials and details;
         (l)   Loading areas and facilities;
         (m)   Pedestrian access;
         (n)   Location, height and details of walls and fences;
         (o)   Curb cuts; and
         (p)   Designation of the kind, color and texture of all exterior materials.
   (D)   Appearance review.
      (1)   Commercial development appearance review by the Appearance Review Committee shall be required for all zoning permits and special exceptions for proposed commercial development to ensure conformity with the appearance standards.
      (2)   Appearance Review Committee.
         (a)   Purpose. The Appearance Review Committee shall be responsible for making recommendations on zoning and special exception permit applications for proposed commercial development.
         (b)   Membership. The Appearance Review Committee shall consist of the members of the Planning Commission.
         (c)   Organization.
            1.   The Chairperson of the Planning Commission shall serve as the Chairperson of the Appearance Review Committee.
            2.   The Appearance Review Committee shall operate under the procedures and rules that govern the actions of the Planning Commission.
   (E)   Appearance standards.
      (1)   Relationship of building site.
         (a)   The proposed commercial development shall be designed and sited to accomplish a desirable view as observed from adjacent streets.
         (b)   Parking areas shall be enhanced with decorative elements, building wall extensions, plantings, berms or other innovative means to screen parking areas from view from the streets.
         (c)   Utility services shall be underground.
      (2)   Relationship to adjoining areas.
         (a)   Adjacent buildings of different architectural styles shall be made compatible by use of screens, sight breaks, materials and other methods.
         (b)   Landscaping shall provide a transition to adjoining property.
         (c)   Texture, building lines and mass shall be harmonious with adjoining property. Monotonous texture, lines and mass shall be avoided.
      (3)   Landscaping. Landscaping shall conform to § 151.075 and other sections of this chapter.
   (F)   Building design.
      (1)   Architectural style is not restricted. Quality of design and compatibility with surrounding uses shall provide the basis of the evaluation of the appearance of a proposed commercial development.
      (2)   Materials shall be of good architectural character and shall be harmonious with adjoining buildings.
      (3)   Materials shall be suitable for the type and design of the building. Materials which are architecturally harmonious shall be used for all exterior building walls and other exterior building components.
      (4)   Materials and finishes shall be of durable quality.
      (5)   Building components, such as windows, doors, eaves and parapets, shall have appropriate proportion and relationships to one another.
      (6)   Colors shall be harmonious and shall use compatible accents.
      (7)   Mechanical equipment or other utility hardware on roof, ground or buildings shall be screened from view with materials harmonious with the building.
      (8)   Monotony of design shall be avoided. Variation in vegetation, detail, form and siting shall be used to provide visual interest.
   (G)   Signs.
      (1)   Signs shall conform to the provisions of §§ 151.090 through 151.107.
      (2)   Every sign shall be of appropriate scale and proportion in relation to the surrounding buildings.
      (3)   Every sign shall be designed as an integral architectural element of the building and site to which it relates.
      (4)   The colors, materials and lighting of every sign shall be harmonious with the building and site to which it relates.
      (5)   The number of graphic elements on a sign shall be held to the minimum needed to convey the sign’s principal message and shall be in proportion to the area of the sign.
      (6)   Each sign shall be compatible with signs on adjoining plots or buildings.
      (7)   Corporation logos shall conform to the criteria for all other signs.
   (H)   Miscellaneous structures. Miscellaneous structures and hardware shall be part of the architectural concept of the project. Materials, scale and colors shall be compatible with the building and surrounding uses.
(Ord. 97-04, passed 12-19-1996)