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(a) Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this section is to provide suitable land for large retail development. Suitable land includes, but is not limited to, lots with proper access to arterial roads and highways, locations and sufficient acreage to accommodate appropriate stormwater and soil/erosion management practices, as well as adequate water and sewerage service. Furthermore, the intent of this chapter is to:
(1) Minimize the massive scale of large retail buildings to ensure that development is compatible with and does not detract from Fairborn's character, scale, and sense of place;
(2) Ensure that building material and colors are aesthetically pleasing and compatible with materials and colors used in adjoining neighborhoods and developments;
(3) Ensure that multiple building entrances for customer are provided and that such entrances provide orientation and character to the building;
(4) Reduce the visual impact of large parking areas;
(5) Require that parking areas, driveway aisles and walkways provide clean, safe, convenient, and efficient access for vehicles and pedestrians; and
(6) Mitigate the visual and noise impacts on surrounding neighborhoods caused by lighting, outdoor storage, trash collection and off-street loading.
(b) Applicability. The regulations in this chapter shall apply to any new construction 75,000 gross square feet or greater in a single building retail development or 100,000 gross square feet or greater in a multiple building retail development, regardless of the number of building tenants. A large retail development shall include a single use or any combination of uses from the following categories as defined and regulated by the NC Neighborhood Commercial, Community Commercial or General Commercial Districts:
(1) Retail and Service;
(3) Financial Institutions;
(4) Trade and Services;
(5) Retail Sales and Services; or
(6) Personal Services and Business Services.
(c) Conditional Use and Planned Unit Development Approval.
(1) Any new large retail development identified in Section 1128.30(b): Applicability, shall be conditionally permitted in the GC General Commercial District, and therefore shall be approved by Council in accordance with the conditional use provisions of Chapter 1132: Administration, Process and Procedures.
(e) Facades and Exterior Walls.
(1) Facades shall be articulated to reduce the massive scale and the uniform, impersonal appearances of large retail buildings and provide visual interest that will be consistent with the City's identity, character and scale. The intent is to encourage a more human scale that Fairborn residents will be able to identify with.
(2) Facades greater than 100 feet in length, measured horizontally, shall incorporate wall plane projections or recesses having a depth of at least three percent of the length of the façade and extending at least 20 percent of the length of the facade. No uninterrupted length of any façade shall exceed 100 horizontal feet.
Figure 1128 A: Illustration of wall plane projection and recess requirements.
(3) Ground floor facades that face public streets shall have arcades, display windows, entry areas, awnings, or other such features along no less than 60 percent of their horizontal length.
(f) Detail Features.
(1) Buildings shall have architectural features and patterns that provide visual interest at the scale of the pedestrian, reduce massive aesthetic effects, and recognize local character. The elements in the following standard shall be integral parts of the building fabric, and not superficially applied trim or graphics, or paint.
(2) Building facades must include a repeating pattern that shall include no less than three of the elements listed below. At least one of these elements shall repeat horizontally. All elements shall repeat at intervals of no more than 30 feet, either horizontally or vertically.
A. Color change;
B. Texture change;
C. Material module change; or
D. Expression of architectural or structural bay through a change in plane no less than 12 inches in width, such as an offset, reveal, or projecting rib.
(1) Variations in roof lines should be used to add interest to, and reduce the massive scale of, large buildings. Roof features should complement the character of adjoining neighborhoods.
(2) Roofs shall have no less than two of the following features:
A. Parapets that conceal flat roofs and rooftop equipment such as HVAC units from public view. The average height of such parapets shall not exceed 15 percent of the height of the supporting wall and such parapets shall not at any point exceed one-third of the height of the supporting wall. Such parapets shall feature three-dimensional cornice treatments.
B. Overhanging eaves, extending no less than three feet past the supporting walls.
C. Sloping roofs that do not exceed the average height of the supporting walls, with an average slope greater than or equal to one foot of vertical rise for every three feet of horizontal run and less than or equal to one foot of vertical rise for every 1 foot of horizontal run.
D. Three or more roof slope planes.
(h) Materials and Color.
(1) Exterior building materials and colors comprise a significant part of the visual impact of a building. Therefore, they shall be aesthetically pleasing and compatible with materials and colors used in adjoining neighborhoods.
(2) Predominant exterior building materials shall be high quality materials. These include, but are not limited to:
D. Other native stone; or
E. Tinted, textured, concrete masonry units.
(3) Facade colors shall be low reflectance, subtle, neutral or earth tone colors. The use of high intensity colors, metallic colors, black or fluorescent colors is prohibited.
(4) Building trim and accent areas may feature colors brighter than permitted on the facade, including primary colors, but neon tubing shall not be an acceptable feature for building trim or accent areas.
(5) Predominant exterior building materials shall not include the following:
A. Smooth-faced concrete block;
B. Unfinished concrete;
C. Pre-fabricated steel panels; or
(1) Entryway design elements and variations shall give orientation and aesthetically pleasing character to the building.
(2) Each principal building on a site shall have clearly defined, highly visible customer entrances featuring no less than three of the following:
A. Canopies or porticos;
E. Raised corniced parapets over the door;
F. Peaked roof forms;
H. Outdoor patios;
I. Display windows;
J. Architectural details such as tile work and moldings which are integrated into the building structure and design; or
K. Integral planters or wing walls that incorporate landscaped areas and/or places for sitting.
(3) Where additional stores will be located in the principal building, each such store shall have at least one exterior customer entrance, which shall conform to the above requirements.
(j) Side and Back Facades.
(1) All facades of a building which are visible from adjoining properties and/or public streets shall contribute to the pleasing scale features of the building and encourage community integration by featuring characteristics similar to the front facade.
(2) All side and back building facades which are visible from adjoining properties and/or public streets shall comply with the requirements of Section 1128.30(e): Facades and Exterior Walls.
(1) Large retail buildings shall feature multiple entrances. Multiple building entrances reduce walking distances from cars, facilitate pedestrian and bicycle access from public sidewalks, and provide convenience where certain entrances offer access to individual stores, or identified departments of a store.
(2) At least two sides of a large retail establishment shall feature customer entrances. The two required sides shall be those planned to have the highest level of public pedestrian activity, and one of the sides shall be that which most directly faces a street with pedestrian access. The other of the two sides may face a second street with pedestrian access, and/or a main parking lot area. All entrances shall be architecturally prominent and clearly visible from the abutting public street. Movie theaters are exempt from this requirement.
(l) Off-Street Parking. Off-street parking shall be regulated by Chapter 1130: Parking and Loading, and as follows:
(1) Off-street parking areas shall provide safe, convenient, and efficient access. Parking shall be distributed around large buildings in order to shorten the distance to other buildings and public sidewalks and to reduce the overall scale of the paved surface. If buildings are located closer to streets, the scale of the complex is reduced, pedestrian traffic is encouraged, and architectural details take on added importance.
(2) No more than 50 percent of the off-street parking area for the lot, tract or area of land devoted to the large retail establishment shall be located between the front facade of the large retail establishment and the abutting streets (the "Front Parking Area"). The Front Parking Area shall be determined by drawing a line from the front corners of the building to the nearest property corners.
(3) No single parking area shall exceed 120 spaces unless divided into two or more sub-areas by a building, internal landscaped street, driveway aisle, or landscaped pedestrian way.
(m) Sides and Rear of Building.
(1) The rear or sides of buildings often present an unattractive view of blank walls, loading areas, storage areas, HVAC units, garbage receptacles, and other such features. Architectural and landscaping features mitigate these impacts.
(2) The minimum setback for any side or rear building facade shall be 35 feet from the nearest property line. Where the side or rear yards faces adjacent residential uses, an earthen berm, no less than six feet in height, containing at a minimum evergreen trees planted at intervals of 20 feet on center, or in clusters or clumps, shall be provided.
(n) Outdoor Storage, Trash Collection and Loading Areas.
(1) Loading areas and outdoor storage areas exert visual and noise impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. These areas, when visible from adjoining properties and/or public streets, shall be screened, recessed or enclosed. While screens and recesses can effectively mitigate these impacts, the selection of inappropriate screening materials can exacerbate the problem. Appropriate locations for loading and outdoor storage include areas between buildings, where more than one building is located on a site and such buildings are not more than 40 feet apart, or on those sides of buildings that do not have customer entrances.
(2) Areas for outdoor storage, truck parking, trash collection or compaction, loading, or other such uses shall not be visible from abutting streets.
(3) No areas for outdoor storage, trash collection or compaction, loading, or other such uses shall be located within 20 feet of any public street, public sidewalk, or internal pedestrian way.
(4) Loading docks, truck parking, outdoor storage, utility meters, HVAC equipment, trash collection, trash compaction, and other service functions shall be incorporated into the overall design of the building and the landscaping so that the visual and acoustic impacts of these functions are fully contained and out of view from adjacent properties and public streets, and no attention is attracted to the functions by the use of screening materials that are different from or inferior to the principal materials of the building and landscape.
(5) Non-enclosed areas for the storage and sale of seasonal inventory shall be permanently defined and screened with walls and/or fences. Materials, colors, and design of screening walls and/or fences and the cover shall conform to those used as predominant materials and colors on the building. If such areas are to be covered, then the covering shall conform to those used as predominant materials and colors on the building.
(o) Pedestrian Flow.
(1) Pedestrian accessibility opens auto-oriented developments to the neighborhood, reducing traffic impacts and enabling the development to project a friendlier, more inviting image. This section sets forth standards for public sidewalks and internal pedestrian circulation systems that can provide user-friendly pedestrian access as well as pedestrian safety, shelter, and convenience within the center grounds.
(2) Sidewalks at least eight feet in width shall be provided along all sides of that lot that abut a public street.
(3) Continuous internal pedestrian walkways, no less than eight feet in width, shall be provided from the public sidewalk or right-of-way to the principal customer entrance of all principal buildings on the site. At a minimum, walkways shall connect focal points of pedestrian activity such as, but not limited to, transit stops, street crossings, building and store entry points, and shall feature adjoining landscaped areas that include trees, shrubs, benches, flower beds, ground covers, or similar materials.
(4) Sidewalks, no less than eight feet in width, shall be provided along the full length of the building along any facade featuring a customer entrance, and along any facade abutting public parking areas. Such sidewalks shall be located at least six feet from the facade of the building to provide planting beds for foundation landscaping, except where features such as arcades or entryways are part of the facade.
(5) Internal pedestrian walkways provided in conformance with subsection (o)(3) above shall provide weather protection features such as awnings or arcades within 30 feet of all customer entrances.
(6) All internal pedestrian walkways shall be distinguished from driving surfaces through the use of durable, low maintenance surface materials such as pavers, bricks, or scored concrete to enhance pedestrian safety and comfort, as well as the attractiveness of the walkways.
(p) Central Features and Community Spaces.
(1) Buildings shall offer attractive and inviting pedestrian scale features, spaces, and amenities. Entrances and parking lots shall be configured to be functional and inviting with walkways conveniently tied to logical destinations. Bus stops and drop-off/pick-up points shall be considered as integral parts of the configuration. Pedestrian ways shall be anchored by special design features such as towers, arcades, porticos, pedestrian light fixtures, bollards, planter walls, and other architectural elements that define circulation ways and outdoor spaces. Examples of outdoor spaces are plazas, patios, courtyards, and window shopping areas. The features and spaces shall enhance the building and the center as integral parts of the community fabric.
(2) Each retail establishment subject to these standards shall contribute to the establishment or enhancement of community and public spaces by providing at least two of the following:
A. Patio/seating area;
B. Pedestrian plaza with benches;
C. Transportation center;
D. Window shopping walkway;
E. Outdoor playground area;
F. Kiosk area;
G. Water feature; or
H. Clock tower, or other such deliberately shaped area and/or a focal feature or amenity that enhances such community and public spaces.
(3) Any such areas shall have direct access to the public sidewalk network and such features shall not be constructed of materials that are inferior to the principal materials of the building and landscape.
(q) Delivery and Loading Operations.
(1) Delivery and loading operations shall not disturb adjoining neighborhoods, or other uses.
(2) No delivery, loading, trash removal or compaction, or other such operations shall be permitted between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. unless the applicant submits evidence that sound barriers between all areas for such operations effectively reduce noise emissions to a level of 45 dBL, as measured at the lot line of any adjoining property.
(r) External Lighting.
(1) On-site lighting in all unenclosed areas shall not disturb adjoining neighborhoods or other uses.
(2) Light design and installation shall emphasize low-level uniform lighting to avoid abrupt changes from bright lights to darkness. In addition, the development shall conform with all other provisions of the Zoning Code specific to lighting on private property.
(s) Modifications to Design Standards. Council may modify any standard regulated by this chapter under the following circumstances:
(1) The strict application of the standard would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties or exceptional and undue hardship upon the owner of the affected property; or
(2) The alternative site planning and building design approach meets the design objectives as stated in the standard, equally well or better than would compliance with the standard; and
(3) In either of the foregoing circumstances, the modification may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good.
(Ord. 34-17. Effective 12-7-17.)