§ 159.51  ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD.
   (A)   Purpose and scope.
      (1)   The purpose of the Architectural Review Board is to assure high standards for the aesthetic quality of development and/or redevelopment in commercial and multi-family housing areas of the city; to promote orderly and harmonious development in the city; to enhance and promote living and business conditions within the city; and to assure that natural features are appropriately preserved and integrated with development projects.
      (2)   For the purpose of confirming compliance with standards established in the Towne Center Overlay District and all relevant provisions of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, as amended, the Architectural Review Board will address size, color, and aesthetic considerations of signage; tree, water body, and natural area considerations; energy efficiency of designs; colors, materials, and architectural styles of designs; design, irrigation, and maintenance of landscaping; quality, character, and scale of design; building material suitability; accessibility considerations; and visibility and effect on view at all sight lines.
   (B)   Created; members; officers.
      (1)   The Architectural Review Board (ARB) shall consist of seven members who are citizens of the city and who are not members of the City Council, the Board of Adjustment, or the Planning and Zoning Commission. Each member of the Architectural Review Board shall be appointed by a simple majority vote of the Council and shall serve for terms of two years, or until reappointed or replaced by action of the Council.
      (2)   If possible, four members shall be professional architects, landscape architects, engineers, or the equivalent in training for executing the purposes of the Board. The Council shall appoint a Chairperson of the ARB to serve concurrently with the term of the Mayor.
      (3)   The Council shall approve two alternate members who are citizens of the city and who shall serve in the absence of one or more regular members.
      (4)   A city staff member will be appointed by the City Manager to serve as the Secretary to the Board. The Secretary shall attend to all correspondence, send out or cause to be published all required notices, attend all meetings of the Board, and compile all required records. The Secretary shall maintain a log of cases with the name of applicant, the number of the case, other necessary information, and the final disposition of the case. The Secretary shall also take minutes of all proceedings, noting the members present and the vote of each member on each case. The minutes and other records of the action of the Board shall be public record and kept in the city offices.
   (C)   At will removal from the Board. Any Board member can be removed from office, with or without cause, by the Council at will.
   (D)   Conflict of interest.
      (1)   Any member of the ARB, or any consultant retained by the ARB, who has a substantial interest, as defined in Tex. Local Gov’t. Code, § 171.002, in the business entity or property for which an application is being processed; who is related to the applicant by first, second, or third degree of consanguinity or affinity, as those terms are defined in Tex. Gov’t. Code, Ch. 573; or who has a vested interest in the outcome of an ARB decision, must recuse himself or herself from participating in the architectural review process of that application.
      (2)   Whenever any Board member, alternate, or any staff member serving the Board becomes aware of any conflict of interest in any case to come before the Board, he shall promptly notify the Chair of such conflict of interest. If the Chair finds that conflict of interest clearly exists, he shall disqualify the Board member from acting in the case and shall cause the circumstances to be entered into the record of a meeting and shall arrange for an alternate to serve.
   (E)   Meetings. The ARB shall meet monthly or as requested by the Chair. All formal ARB meetings shall be open to the public and posted in accordance with state law.
   (F)   Actions of the Board. All acts of the Architectural Review Board shall require a majority vote of the voting members present, and a quorum for meetings shall be at least five members. The Architectural Review Board shall have the powers and duties specified in this section and shall comply with the procedures specified in this section.
   (G)   Annual report to City Council. The Architectural Review Board shall send a report not less than once a year to the Council to communicate concerns of the Board with respect to the city's plans, policies, ordinances, and procedures as those affect the projects which the Board reviews.
   (H)   Purposes of architectural review. The goals and purposes of architectural review are to:
      (1)   Promote orderly and harmonious development of the city;
      (2)   Encourage the attainment of the most desirable use of land and improvements;
      (3)   Enhance the desirability of living and business conditions in the city;
      (4)   Promote high aesthetic quality of development in the city;
      (5)   Assure that natural features are appropriately preserved and integrated with the development; and
      (6)   To serve in an advisory capacity to the City Council and to provide information that will assist the Council in making difficult design decisions.
   (I)   Considerations. The Architectural Review Board may consider the following when reviewing projects within its jurisdiction:
      (1)   Whether the design is compatible with the immediate environment of the site;
      (2)   In areas considered by the Board as having a unified design character or historical character, whether the design is compatible with such character;
      (3)   Whether the design promotes harmonious transitions in scale and character in areas between different designated land uses;
      (4)   Whether the planning and siting of the various functions and buildings on the site create an internal sense of order and provide a desirable environment for occupants, visitors, and the general community;
      (5)   Whether the amount and arrangement of open space are appropriate to the design and the function of the structures;
      (6)   Whether access to the property and circulation thereon are safe and convenient for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles;
      (7)   Whether natural features are appropriately preserved and integrated with the project;
      (8)   Whether the materials, textures, colors, and details of construction and plant material are appropriate expression to the design and function and whether the same are compatible with the adjacent and neighboring structures, landscape elements, and functions;
      (9)   Whether the landscape design concept creates a desirable and functional environment; and
      (10)   Whether plant material is suitable and adaptable to the site, capable of being properly maintained on the site, and is of a variety which would tend to be efficient in its installation and maintenance.
   (J)   Reviewable items. In applying the standards set forth in this section, the Architectural Review Board may review each of the following items of the proposed project:
      (1)   Uses and functions as they relate to the design of the project and adjacent uses;
      (2)   Compatibility with neighboring properties and uses;
      (3)   Visibility and effect upon view at all site lines;
      (4)   Aesthetics;
      (5)   Quality of design;
      (6)   Building materials;
      (7)   Color;
      (8)   Site development characteristics including, but not limited to:
         (a)   Lot size;
         (b)   Building coverage;
         (c)   Setbacks;
         (d)   Building height;
         (e)   Location upon the site;
         (f)   Open space; and
         (g)   Pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle circulation;
      (9)   Environmental factors including, but not limited to:
         (a)   Noise;
         (b)   Emission of smoke, fumes, and odors;
         (c)   Fire safety, life safety, and fire access;
         (d)   Disturbance of existing topography, trees, shrubs, and other natural features; and
         (e)   Water percolation, grading and drainage, and impermeability of soils;
      (10)   Building and building components including, but not limited to:
         (a)   Stairs, ramps, escalators, moving sidewalks, elevators, or downspouts on the exterior of buildings;
         (b)   Flues, chimneys, exhausts fans, air conditioning equipment, elevator equipment, fans, cooling towers, antennae, or similar structures placed upon the roof or the exterior of the building;
         (c)   Sun shades, awnings, louvers, or any visible device for deflecting, filtering, or shielding the structure or interior from the elements; and
         (d)   Balconies, loading docks, or similar special purpose appendages or accessory structures;
      (11)   Accessory structures, including garages, sheds, utility facilities, and waste receptacles;
      (12)   Other on-site improvements including, but not limited to:
         (a)   Parking and other paved areas;
         (b)   Landscaping;
         (c)   Lighting;
         (d)   Signs and graphics;
         (e)   Artwork, sculpture, fountains, and other artistic features; and
         (f)   Entryways to subdivisions;
      (13)   Energy efficiency and renewable energy design elements including, but not limited to:
         (a)   Exterior energy design elements;
         (b)   Internal lighting service and climatic control systems; and
         (c)   Building siting and landscaped elements; and
      (14)   Such other features as affect the design and ultimate appearance of the work, as determined by the Architectural Review Board.
   (K)   Hearings and recommendations.
      (1)   At the time and place set for hearings, the Board shall hear evidence for and against applications. The Board may continue hearings from time to time to a date and time certain, as needed, to properly assess the applications.
      (2)   The Architectural Review Board shall recommend to the Planning and Zoning Commission that the design for a project be approved, disapproved, or approved with modifications, including the imposition of conditions by making findings in accordance with the standards contained in this section and such additional standards as may be adopted and published from time to time.
      (3)   The Architectural Review Board shall then submit a formal report containing its recommendations to the City Council.
   (L)   City Council actions. The Council may consider the recommendation of the Architectural Review Board. The Council may take one of the following actions:
      (1)   Disapprove the project;
      (2)   Approve, or approve with modifications to the project; or
      (3)   In its discretion, refer the application back to the Architectural Review Board.
(Ord. 181127B, passed 11-27-2018)