Skip to code content (skip section selection)
The UV Urban Village Zoning District Classification is intended to create mixed use development that is economically vital, pedestrian-oriented and contributes to the place-making character of the built environment. This classification offers the unique opportunity to provide quality and long-lasting retail, office and residential uses in an organized layout that encourages the full range of access by patrons and users, and offers innovative high-quality design of structures, public amenities and pedestrian facilities. The development and design standards set forth in this section are intended to accomplish the following purposes:
(A) Provide safe and convenient access to shopping and other essential services to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, motorists, and persons with disabilities.
(B) Provide effective traffic flow through access management and improved internal and external connectivity.
(C) Create a built environment that serves to enhance gateway corridors, preserve historic heritage, promote economic development and an improved tax base for the city, and celebrate Franklin’s distinction from other towns and cities.
(D) Promote sustainable use of limited land and investment resources through the following means:
(1) Encouraging higher building densities;
(2) Allowing efficient shared parking areas, making cost effective use of existing infrastructure;
(3) Showcasing innovative high-quality development;
(4) Providing adaptive reuse of under-performing retail properties;
(5) Ensuring multi-modal transportation access;
(6) Ensuring internal and external connectedness;
(7) Developing a durable framework of infrastructure and built structures that can accommodate future renovations; and
(8) Re-establishing the public realm, civic pride, and sense of community ownership in new developments.
(E) Procedure. The reclassification of property to UV Urban Village shall constitute an amendment of the zoning map which may be initiated only by the owner(s) of a legal interest in the affected property, any person(s) having an interest in the property by reason of a contract with the owner(s), or an agent authorized in writing to act on behalf of the owner(s).
(1) Pre-application conference. Every person proposing to apply for creation of a UV Urban Village District is required to meet with the Planning Director prior to the submittal of such application. This conference is intended to provide the applicant with an opportunity to discuss requirements, standards and procedures and to identify and solve potential problems for the proposed application. The applicant shall bring a sketch plan for the project showing, at a minimum, the location, the existing and proposed transportation network, phasing, general development plans and a written synopsis of the development proposal. The pre-application conference shall take place at least one week prior to submitting of an application to create an Urban Village District.
(2) Application. Creation of an urban village district shall be initiated by means of an application for rezoning to a UV Urban Village District.
(3) Master plan.
(a) Applicants for creation of an urban village district project are required to submit a master plan for the entire development that indicates the following:
1. The general street network;
2. The proposed land use configuration within that network;
3. Phasing boundaries if phasing is proposed;
4. The ultimate proposed development intensity (including the number of residential units and gross square footage of all nonresidential uses) for the entire development and for each phase;
5. A conceptual landscape plan;
6. Proposed setback, height, signage, architectural and other design standards for the overall project and for proposed uses;
7. Building elevations or perspective drawings to demonstrate proposed building character; and
8. A conceptual stormwater plan for the development.
(b) For initiation of this zoning classification, properties may fall under more than one ownership so long as there exist covenants or other legally binding agreements that address cross-access, cross-parking and other similar issues affecting joint operation of the projects.
(c) Traffic impact analysis. A traffic impact analysis is required for all urban village projects and shall be submitted with the application to create the urban village.
(d) Subsequent review. After the establishment of the urban village district, individual development projects within the district shall be subject to development plan review in accordance with §§ 152.050 - 152.062. In addition to the development plan requirements contained in §§ 152.050 - 152.062, applicants shall comply with the design submittal requirements contained herein.
(e) Modifications. Revisions to approved urban village district master plans may be approved by Town Council or by the Town Manager, or his or her designee, depending on the type of revisions being requested. The Town Council shall review any revisions to a master plan that increase the overall development intensity, change the proposed mix of uses by increasing or reducing any use category by 10% or more, or increases maximum building heights from that shown on the approved master plan. Additionally, the Town Council shall review any revision to a master plan that results in a decrease in the amount of perimeter open space or perimeter parking lot buffering, or in a 25% or greater reduction in the number of proposed blocks from that shown on the approved master plan. For the purpose of determining overall development intensity, one residential unit shall be regarded as the equivalent of 500 square feet of office floor area; one residential unit shall be regarded as the equivalent of 200 square feet of commercial floor area; and 1,000 square feet of office space shall be regarded as the equivalent of 350 square feet of commercial. For other uses, the Planning Director shall determine the equivalency factor.
(F) Permitted uses. Unlike other planned development districts, the application for a special use permit for an urban village district is not required to specify intended uses other than the amount of retail or office space and the number of residential dwelling units. The applicant may, however, choose to limit such uses, to impose restrictions on those which are allowed, and to have such limitations and restrictions incorporated into the special use permit issued for the development. Unless limited as noted above, the following uses are permitted by right in the UV Urban Village Zoning District Classification, provided they meet all requirements of this section and all other relevant requirements of this chapter.
(1) Accessory dwelling units (SR).
(2) Accessory uses and structures.
(3) Adult day care centers registered with the NC Department of Human Resources.
(4) Adult day care homes.
(5) Animal hospitals and clinics as long as they contain no outdoor kennels.
(6) Banks and other financial institutions.
(7) Bed and breakfast facilities.
(9) Business services.
(10) Child care centers (SR).
(11) Child care homes.
(12) Civic clubs and fraternal organizations (SR).
(13) Cultural arts buildings.
(14) Dance, health and fitness facilities.
(15) Dry cleaning and laundry establishments containing less than 6,000 sq. ft. of floor area.
(16) Funeral homes.
(17) Governmental buildings.
(18) Home occupations (SR).
(19) Hotels and motels.
(20) Laundries, coin-operated.
(21) Lawn and garden centers.
(22) Live/work or mixed use buildings in which any of the business uses described in this subsection occur on the first floor and residential uses occur on upper floors.
(24) Mobile food vending (SR).
(25) Multi-family dwellings and apartments three to nine units.
(26) Multi-family dwellings and apartments ten-plus units.
(27) Music and art studios.
(28) Neighborhood community centers.
(29) Newspaper offices and printing establishments.
(30) Offices, business, professional and public.
(31) Parking lots and parking garages.
(33) Personal services.
(34) Places of worship.
(35) Public utility facilities (SR).
(36) Recreational facilities, indoors.
(37) Repair services, miscellaneous.
(38) Residential dwellings, single family.
(39) Residential dwellings, multi-family.
(40) Residential dwellings, two-family.
(42) Retail stores (not including automobile, manufactured home, farm equipment, gasoline, and boat and heavy equipment sales).
(43) Schools, business, technical and vocational.
(44) Schools, elementary and secondary.
(46) Tasting rooms.
(47) Theaters, indoors or outdoors but not including drive-in theaters.
(G) Development standards. Some development standards for the UV Urban Village District are specified in this chapter. Where no standard is specified, it is incumbent upon the applicant to propose development standards which, if the Town Council concurs, will be incorporated into the project. The following standards shall apply to development within the UV Urban Village Zoning District Classification.
(1) Density. Residential density for an urban village district shall be established by the Town Council in consideration of surrounding land uses and the existence of adequate public facilities. The maximum density which may be approved shall not be otherwise limited except by other standards such as building height, parking, landscaping and buffering, open space, and traffic impact.
(2) Structure size. The maximum size of any structure shall be established by the Town Council in the special use permit for the project.
(3) Area. The minimum area required to establish an urban village district is three acres.
(4) Lot size. There is no minimum lot size required for an urban village district; although, the applicant may specify minimum standards in its development document.
(5) Lot width. There is no minimum lot width required.
(6) Setbacks. There are no minimum setback requirements within the Urban Village Zoning District Classification; provided, however, setbacks shall be established around the perimeter of the district sufficient to protect adjoining properties from the impacts of proposed development within the district.
(7) Height. There are no maximum height restrictions. The applicant shall propose minimum and maximum height restrictions for all building types and locations.
(8) Design considerations. Design is critical to the creation of an Urban Village District and to achieving the goals of this classification. The design considerations set forth in this section are intended in some instances to guide project design and in others to provide specific design requirements, and the text is intended to make this distinction clear. In general, the use of the term “shall” indicates a specific design requirement, whereas the term “should” indicates design guidance. In order to obtain a special use permit to develop an Urban Village, an applicant must demonstrate, among other things, that the design of the proposed development (1) meets the specific standards contained herein, (2) is generally in harmony with the design guidelines contained herein, and (3) will result in a development which is consistent with the purposes set forth herein.
(a) General site arrangement. Structures shall be placed and arranged so as not to adversely affect adjacent property. Adverse effects shall include, but are not limited to, the removal of lateral support on adjacent property, the creation of hazard, nuisance, danger, or inconvenience, or unreasonable loss of privacy. Development shall be arranged so as to be visually harmonious within the district. Insofar as is practicable, developments should be arranged so as to preserve or enhance vistas. Urban villages shall be oriented around one or more significant public spaces, such as parks or plazas.
(b) Physical integration of uses. All urban villages shall be designed and developed to provide an appropriate interrelationship between the various uses and structures within the development. Residential and commercial uses may be located within the same or adjoining structures.
(c) Preservation of natural features and open space. Permitted flexibility in lot sizes, setbacks, street alignments and widths, and landscaping shall be utilized to preserve natural features and drainage patterns and to provide open space.
(d) Architectural character. The rich architectural vocabulary of the Town of Franklin presents a wide variety of development opportunities using traditional forms while avoiding any perception of monotony. Each building proposed for an urban village district shall have a well-proportioned form consistent with the building use, and its construction materials. Materials shall be durable, attractive and compatible with the architectural vernacular of the region. Massing of the building(s) shall create a building envelope that reflects simple, clearly articulated building volumes.
(e) Building orientation. It is preferred that primary facades face the adjacent street or significant public space. Apartment buildings and buildings containing commercial or institutional uses shall have a main entrance facing a connecting walkway with a direct, safe, pedestrian connection to the street. Where the main entrance does not face the adjacent street, buildings shall nonetheless be designed to provide an attractive streetside facade.
(f) Building placement. Buildings shall be situated with regard to pedestrian and vehicular connectivity. Apartment buildings and buildings containing commercial or institutional uses should be located close to the pedestrian street with off-street parking behind and/or beside the building. Important mountain vistas and/or views of significant historic sites should be protected and accentuated.
(g) Privacy considerations. Elements of the development plan should be arranged to maximize the opportunity for privacy by the residents of the project and minimize infringement on the privacy of adjoining land uses.
(h) Architectural details. Architectural elements like openings, details, bulkheads, posts, and other architectural features shall be used to establish human scale at the street level. On corner lots, the applicant is encouraged to provide a building entry, additional building mass, and distinctive architectural elements at the corner of buildings. Windows, doors, columns, eaves, parapets, and other building components shall be proportional to the overall scale of the building. Windows shall be vertically aligned wherever practical. The appearance of all exposed facades (not just the streetside facade) is important and shall be addressed in development design.
(i) Building walls. Buildings shall avoid long, monotonous, uninterrupted walls or roof planes on their visible facades. It is preferred that this design goal be achieved by means of building wall offsets, including projections, recesses, and changes in floor level, and roofline offsets. Such offsets add architectural interest and variety and can assist in creating human size proportions. Parapets shall be designed as integral to the mass of the building. When multiple wall materials are combined on one facade, the designer is encouraged to place the heavier material(s) below.
(j) Building entrances. All buildings should include well-defined entrances facing the street at regular intervals. An operable entrance on each primary facade should be provided to encourage access by pedestrians. For buildings on corner lots, an entrance may be placed at the corner, thereby eliminating the need for side entrances.
(k) Internal access and connectivity. The site shall be traversed by a network of internal streets built according to city standards. Internal streets should seek to avoid cul-de-sacs and dead end roads and other features that hamper connectivity. However, roads may terminate at a monumental structure or green space. In such cases a sidewalk or other connection must be provided to ensure the goals of connectivity. In addition, internal streets are also required to have sidewalks and street trees. If a bus line serves, or is expected to serve, the district, a bus shelter is required. Larger projects may require more shelters as determined by traffic impact analysis. Connectivity is a goal of the internal street system and external connections to areas outside and adjacent to the urban village should be created where possible. Only one driveway per block face is allowed. Detached single-family housing and duplex housing are exempt from the driveway restriction. Parking access from alleyways, however, is encouraged.
(l) Block length. Block length may vary but shall not exceed 500 feet in length. For blocks on local streets that are 350 feet or longer, a mid-block pedestrian street crossing is required which may also include a parking lot driveway and/or pedestrian passageway between two or more buildings, and shall have curb extensions (bulb-outs) for ease and safety of pedestrian street crossing. Collector streets may also require mid-block pedestrian crossings as noted above.
(m) Pedestrian zone and sidewalks. The pedestrian zone is the area between the street curb and the building edge or, for access roads, the street curb and the right-of-way area. The pedestrian zone includes sidewalks, street trees and other pedestrian amenities. The pedestrian zone will generally be 15 feet wide but may be wider depending on the setback pattern. Sidewalks in urban village districts shall be required along one side of access streets and both sides of internal streets throughout the development. If appropriate to the design of the village, greenway paths may be substituted for sidewalks in residential areas to provide connections. The sidewalk shall be a minimum of seven feet wide in the Urban Village Zoning District Classification. In solely residential areas containing less than eight units per acres, sidewalks are only required to be five feet wide. With institutional and public uses that have an increased setback, a sidewalk shall connect the building facade entrance with the street. The sidewalk may be as wide as the entire pedestrian area. Arcades, awnings, outdoor dining, shelters, seating areas, fountains, street trees, additional landscaped areas and other pedestrian amenities may be a part of this pedestrian area so long as seven feet of clear walking space is maintained. The pedestrian area may also be used to create an area for waiting, pick-up and drop-off. At locations such as intersections and other crosswalks, curb extensions (bulb-outs) are required to create safer pedestrian crossings.
(n) Parking/loading standards. Parking and loading facilities shall be reviewed at the master plan level. The applicant shall demonstrate that the amount of parking proposed is adequate to serve the needs of the district and is located and designed in such a fashion that it does not detract from the overall appearance of the district or unreasonably interfere with pedestrian activity.
1. Amount of parking. Owing to the possibilities for shared use of parking, the number of parking spaces in the urban village district should not exceed the minimum parking requirements for the district computed by means of the formulas contained in (D)(8)(n)3.
2. On-street parking. On-street parking is required for all local streets and for collector streets and shall count toward meeting parking needs for the district. On-street parking may take the form of parallel or angle parking and shall be built according to city standards.
3. Off-street parking. Applicants for rezoning to the UV Urban Village Zoning District Classification shall propose a master parking plan which shall provide sufficient parking for the entire project consistent with requirements of this section. Off-street parking lots are encouraged to be provided at the side or rear of buildings or the interior of a block of buildings and not closer to the street than the edge profile of the structures. No more than 20% of parking that is provided in an urban village district may be in the form of stand-alone surface lots not located to the side or rear of buildings. Off-street parking shall not be adjacent to street intersections. No parking is permitted in any setback area. Individual uses in the urban village district are not required to provide off-street parking or loading.
4. Loading standards. Urban village districts may share off-street loading facilities and are therefore allowed to provide these facilities at half the rate listed for the applicable uses. On-street loading spaces may be counted towards the project loading requirements.
(o) Street trees. Street trees are required in the pedestrian zone and along access roads at an average of one tree every 30 feet for mid-story and under-story trees, and one tree for every 40 feet for canopy trees. In selecting street trees, priority should be given to long-lived species proven to function well in urban settings with a form and branching pattern compatible with the space and type of adjacent traffic. Trees may be planted in minimum six-foot by six-foot pits. Tree frames and grates are not required but are recommended especially near store entrances, other sidewalk constraints, points of ingress, egress or public gathering areas. If tree grates are not used, an organic surfacing material shall be used to level the surface of the tree pit with the sidewalk. This material shall receive regular maintenance. To offer flexibility in the tree planting requirement, trees may be planted in planting strips adjacent to the curb edge of the sidewalk. Planting strips shall be no narrower than six feet wide. Planting strips may include grass, flowers and other plant material where appropriate. Planting strips may not be appropriate in pedestrian gathering areas.
(p) Landscape/buffering standards. Landscaping and buffering shall be in accordance with §§ 152.170 - 152.179 except as noted herein. Parking lots shall include interior and perimeter tree plantings made up of deciduous trees at a rate of one tree for every 1,500 square feet of vehicular use area. No parking space may be farther than 45 feet from a tree. No shrubs are required for interior plantings for parking lots that are behind, to the side or located at the interior of the block of buildings. Parking areas adjacent to roadways require buffering from the street as specified in §§ 152.170 - 152.179 with the exception that the planting area will be eight feet wide. Stand-alone parking lots shall comply with all applicable landscape and buffering standards except that trees shall be provided at a rate of one tree for every 1,500 square feet of parking and parking spaces shall be no further than 45 feet from a tree. Shrubs are also required as per the regular schedule. Landscaped islands within parking lots should be a minimum of 162 square feet in area with a minimum width of eight feet if they are to include tree plantings. Residential structures within an urban village may have up to a 100% reduction in buffering requirements from the rest of the urban village. Buffering for urban village district projects is measured and reviewed from the parcel lot lines used to establish the district and not on an internal lot by lot basis.
(q) Open space standards. Functional open space enhances circulation within a site and contributes to the site’s aesthetic qualities. All open space should be designed to be accessible and usable for occupants and invitees of the development. An urban village district shall have an open space ratio of not less than 0.30. Open space includes any portion of the site not covered by a building or vehicular use area and any common space meeting the standards listed in the subsection below.
(r) Common space standards. Common space is intended to shape the design and character of a project through a connecting system of pedestrian areas that create a relationship among the various components of the built environment. It shall be designed to create areas where workers, residents and shoppers, as the case may be, are directly or indirectly invited to gather, browse, sit, interact or congregate. It shall be arranged as community space with open areas, landscaping, seating facilities and lighting fixtures which provide for safety and visual effects. Common spaces are intended to be places for social interaction and, thus, may include impervious surfaces. Unless interior common space is approved by the reviewing authority, common space shall be out-of-doors. Common space design shall comply with the following:
1. Size. At least 10% of the acreage of a site shall be devoted to common space. Common space shall count toward meeting open space requirements for a project.
2. Trees. One tree shall be planted for each 500 square feet of common space. Trees shall have a minimum caliper of three to three and one-half inches measured six inches above ground at the time of planting.
3. Utilities. All utilities service lines and connections shall be underground.
4. Seating. Seating shall be provided to accommodate workers, residents, and/or shoppers. Seating may be accomplished in whole or in part using planters or other similar structures.
5. Amenities. Common space for a development shall include two or more of the following amenities: ornamental fountains, stairways, waterfalls, public art, arbors, trellises, planted beds, drinking fountains, clock pedestals, public telephones, awnings, canopies, informational kiosks, and similar structures.
(s) Stormwater treatment. Applicants shall propose, install and maintain a stormwater treatment system for the district which, at a minimum, meets the requirements contained in §§ 152.190 - 152.199. Applicants are encouraged to utilize best management practices, such as green roofs, stormwater gardens, and the like, to develop a system which treats stormwater efficiently and effectively, and which does not detract from the appearance of the district.
(Ord. passed 10-1-07; Am. Ord. passed 10-20-08; Am. Ord. passed 6-2-14; Am. Ord. passed 10-5-15; Am. Ord. passed 2-1-16; Am. Ord. passed - - )