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A traditional neighborhood development (TND) is a type of planned unit development (PUD) that contains both residential and nonresidential uses. A TND is a conditional use in the underlying zoning district and is a development that substantially meets the guiding principles of traditional neighborhood development design as set forth in this section. TNDs, by their very nature, are built in a more urban, compact configuration. Accordingly, many of the setback, bulk and off-street parking requirements, requirements dealing with accessory dwelling units, and the one principal use per lot requirement that may otherwise be prescribed for the underlying zoning district are hereby either relaxed or waived. Similarly, many of the subdivision standard requirements found in § 153.395 of this chapter are also waived.
(A) Purpose and intent. The purpose and intent of this section is to set forth guiding principles for traditional neighborhood development design and to allow relief to some of the PRD/PUD standards in §§ 153.215 and 153.216 when the developments are found to substantially meet the guiding principles of this section.
(B) Guiding principles. For organizational purposes, the guiding principles have been divided into six categories; however, most principles relate to multiple categories. A TND must substantially meet each of these principles. Where the development application does not meet a particular principle, the applicant shall submit written justification substantiating why that principle cannot be met, unless the principle is described as optional. The guiding principles are as follows.
(1) Public realm principles.
(a) The central element of traditional neighborhood design is the emphasis and weight given to the public realm (the streets and plazas, and the public open spaces such as parks, playgrounds, greens and natural areas, together with semi-public spaces which frame the public realm and provide transition between public and entirely private spaces).
(b) TNDs feature well-designed public spaces, special emphasis on public and cultural buildings, and special design treatment for vista terminations.
(c) A sense of enclosure is maintained along the public street through an appropriate ratio between the height of building fronts and the distance between buildings on opposite sides of the street. Where the street frontage consists of single story buildings or open space, street trees can be a substitute for front building walls to maintain this sense of enclosure.
(d) Nonresidential buildings are set at or very near the sidewalk. In most situations, the same is true for attached housing. Single-family homes have relatively shallow setbacks, typically one-fourth to one-third the lot width. Encroachments are allowed for porches, steps, bay windows and balconies.
(e) The public realm shall be appropriately landscaped. Unless good landscape design would otherwise dictate, each street shall be provided with an orderly regimen of street trees of substantial nursery stock, which will grow quickly to provide a street canopy. Planting strips wide enough to accommodate street trees typically separate sidewalks from street roadways. See division (B)(2)(f) below.
(f) Single-family home lots in TNDs are typically smaller and narrower than in conventional subdivisions. A substantial amount of land area savings from reduced lot sizes is dedicated toward common areas.
(g) 1. Narrower lots necessitate alternative treatment of certain fixtures that can diminish the aesthetic quality of the public realm. A system of rear access lanes (alleys) can provide garage access at the rear of the lot. This is especially preferred for lots less than 50 feet in width. When built to a 16-foot standard with a 24-foot right-of-way, the alley can also serve as an appropriate location for electric, gas, cable television and telephone equipment as well as access for garbage pickup and mail delivery. On lots at least 50 feet wide, alternate, less preferred methods of garage access include (in descending order of preference):
a. A front driveway accessing a garage behind the house or near the back of the lot;
b. Turning the garage so that it does not face the front (provided the garage is flush with or set behind the front building line);
c. Setting the garage at least 20 feet behind the front of the house; or
d. Providing special architectural treatment to the house to visually de-emphasize a garage at the front.
2. Where alleys are not available, other measures shall be taken to hide utility equipment; however, fire hydrants are always located on the fronting street, ideally situated on planting strip bulb-outs at intersections.
(h) TNDs are designed so that there are linkages between the private realm and the public realm while protecting private spaces. Single-family detached homes typically have front porches large enough for sitting (with a six- to eight-foot minimum depth), and attached dwellings typically have sitting porches or front stoops. Always for single homes served by alleys, and where feasible and designed appropriately for town homes, private spaces are protected at the rear using privacy devices according to the development guidelines. The bottom floor of any dwelling whose sidewalk-facing wall is within five feet of the sidewalk shall be elevated sufficiently above the sidewalk to provide additional privacy inside the dwelling.
(i) TNDs are designed to feature vista terminations at multiple locations. Vistas can terminate to important buildings, parks and greens, civic features in a “town” or “village” center, a carefully sited dwelling, a curve in the road, natural green edge, distant objects and scenery, and other features as appropriate. Entry into the community usually uses an important vista termination to provide a sense of place arrival.
(j) Utility wiring shall be underground and decorative street lighting fixtures are encouraged, but not mandated.
(2) Transportation system principles.
(a) TNDs always have a connecting web of streets, typically provided by a grid or modified grid street pattern. The street system is organized in a comprehensible network hierarchy that forms an orderly discernable neighborhood structure.
(b) Cul-de-sacs shall be avoided unless natural site or site boundary conditions require them. In those situations, special street design features such as street eyebrows and cul-de-sac loops are encouraged instead of standard ball-end cul-de-sacs.
(c) Curved as well as straight streets are allowed; however, each must contribute to the connecting web. Where possible, curved streets maintain the same cardinal orientation. Long blocks shall be avoided with the average block length in a TND being no greater than 600 feet; the average block perimeter shall be 1,800 feet.
(d) While the sense of enclosure described in division (B)(1)(c) above will help to reduce traffic speeds, additional design measures will be needed to slow traffic. Examples of the measures include the features as bulbing out the curb line at intersections, traffic circles or roundabouts, streets no wider than necessary to provide adequate access, design for and encouragement of on-street parking, and safe but unconventional street geometrics. The internal streets shall be designed to feel safe driving at a speed no more than 25 mph. Note: Street requirements of § 153.395 of this title are waived in TNDs.
(e) 1. Back-to-back street widths within a TND are as follows.
A main street in a TND with marked parking on both sides
Secondary streets with marked parking on both sides
Other through streets with marked parking on one side
Standard streets with unmarked parking allowed to stagger from side to side
Low density local streets with unmarked parking on one side
One-way streets with parking on one side
Public residential alleys with commercial alleys typically being 24 feet
2. Where possible, streets are encouraged to narrow to 22 to 24 feet at intersections and at mid-block cross walks. Curve radii at intersections shall be ten to 20 feet, depending on street function. Standard vertical curb is preferred, and it is required on all residential streets without driveways (auto access is provided via a rear alley) and all commercial streets. NOTE: One-way streets, although allowed, are strongly discouraged.
(f) TNDs shall always be designed to be walkable and pedestrian-friendly communities in the fullest sense. They shall contain sidewalks on both sides of the street and, in addition, may contain a network of off-road walking and bike trails. Sidewalks are well separated from the roadway with planting strips that are planted with indigenous, mostly deciduous shade trees (on commercial streets sidewalks may extend to the curb with street trees planted in grates or other sufficiently sized planting space). Planting strips shall be a minimum of six feet in width, but may be reduced to no less than four feet in width in situations that are both unusual and difficult. Sidewalks shall be a minimum of four feet in width on residential streets, with wider widths on commercial streets.
(g) TNDs always have multiple points of ingress and egress from collector and arterial roads. The street system shall also flow seamlessly to adjoining neighborhoods, both existing or planned in the future.
(h) TNDs are never gated communities.
(i) Off-street parking lots should generally not front along a public street. On-street parking shall be provided throughout the development and particularly so on streets with commercial buildings and/or attached housing. Where additional parking is needed, it is usually provided behind buildings in the interior of the block. The calculation of parking needs for nonresidential uses will always take into consideration available on-street parking. Parking lots shall include shade trees and no space in a parking lot shall be further than 60 feet from the trunk of a large tree. Each large tree shall be planted in a planting area sized and shaped to enable healthy growth. Pedestrian access from interior block parking area is best provided via a mid-block passageway to the street front. This passageway can also be used for other activities such as front entrances for small shops, access to second floor apartments, outdoor dining, outdoor vendors and outdoor display of plants, flowers and other appropriate items for sale.
(3) Mixed use principles.
(a) TNDs shall contain a significant mixture of principal uses (both residential and nonresidential).
(b) TNDs shall also contain a mixture of residential types.
(c) TNDs should be designed to offer housing at a variety of affordability levels. Allowing garage apartments and granny flats at the rear of single home lots, in accordance with the development’s private guidelines (whether rented or not) is encouraged. These innovative (but historically traditional) housing forms help to accommodate family situations and promote income diversity within the TND.
(d) Live-work units (shop or office at the street level and residence at the second level) and upper-story apartments over ground-floor businesses are encouraged.
(e) In TNDs, denser housing and live-work units are typically located closer to the neighborhood center with a transition outward to less dense housing such as detached single-family homes. This principle should not be construed to discourage the careful blending of housing types as this transition occurs.
(f) Schools and churches are encouraged to locate within a TND as is the provision of pedestrian and bicycle routes to connect to the facilities inside or outside the TND.
(g) Where buildings are on both sides of the street, similar building types should face each other to the greatest degree possible. Single-family detached houses, townhouses, live-work units, apartment buildings and store buildings are examples of building types.
(h) TNDs are expected to provide some on-site and/or adjacent to site employment opportunities. This can include employment in the services and stores within the TND, live-work units (the owner dwelling over his or her shop or office), or larger employment centers such as office buildings.
(4) Architectural principles.
(a) The architectural style within a TND shall respond to the surrounding fabric of buildings and spaces and to local traditions. The principle that structures should be seamlessly linked to their surroundings (within the TND) transcends the issue of style.
(b) Any principal building within a TND shall exhibit principles of human and pedestrian scale and shall contribute appropriately to the pedestrian life of the street. Front yard setbacks and the amount of off-street parking located in a front yard shall be minimal.
(c) Architecture within a TND shall reflect styles that are complimentary of each other. Private development controls shall assure a variety styles or sub-styles that serve to compliment each other while providing for overall consistency and reflection of the principles of traditional neighborhood design.
(d) Commercial buildings shall typically take on a “shop front” type appearance and shall be joined by common walls. The buildings shall be set with the front and entrance at the sidewalk along the street. The buildings shall typically be two or more stories high. (Typically, uses on upper floors or occupied by residential and offices uses. However, the city may allow “low-impact” retail uses such as bookstores, restaurants, music stores and the like to occupy a second story.) Commercial buildings shall not face intersecting streets with blank walls.
(e) Building articulation and setback encroachments for porches, stoops, steps, bay windows, bay windows and awnings, balconies and other features that form the transition between the public and private realms are encouraged.
(f) Corner-lot homes should face the front door to the larger street (unless the street is a thoroughfare), except for an end-unit townhouse or row house, which may turn the corner with its front (unless the side street is an alley). Fronting a townhouse on both the primary street and the intersecting street with two doors and/or wrap-around porch is encouraged.
(5) Neighborhood center principles.
(a) TNDs shall have at least one defined neighborhood center. Neighborhood centers typically feature uses such as shops and services, live-work units, attached dwellings, apartments over businesses, a formal open space such as a village square or green, or public/civic buildings (church, community building/center and post office are examples).
(b) Automobile oriented uses are typically not found in a neighborhood center and drive-through facilities are strongly discouraged (with exceptions made for bank drive-through windows.)
(c) A public gathering space such as a plaza, green or square is usually present along with one or more focal features in or near this public space such as a clock tower, fountain, monument, bandstand and/or public art which serve to terminate vistas and define the community.
(d) The TND neighborhood center is ideally located near the geographic center of the development; however, it may also identify itself jointly with a thoroughfare bordering the TND (and therefore, be located near this major road or be linked to this road with an entrance street) in order that businesses within the center may more easily attract patrons from outside the development. This can serve to improve chances for economic success of the TND center. Ideally, the neighborhood center is no farther than one-fourth mile radius of most dwellings; however, a neighborhood center that is within 2,400 feet of 80% of the dwellings in the TND is acceptable in order to allow the center to identify itself jointly with an adjoining thoroughfare.
(e) Development form in the center typically reflects the traditional Main Street or town square vernacular of Lincolnton as described in division (B)(5)(d) above and parking is provided in accordance with division (B)(2)(b) above.
(f) Other civic uses are encouraged, including schools and day care centers; however, the uses shall take on design features and lot sizes in keeping with traditional principles and a walkable community. Office employment may occur at the TND center or along major roads adjoining the TND.
(g) At least one site, prominent in its location, should be reserved at or near the neighborhood center, for an important community or civic building such as a community center, church, school, amenity center (club house and recreation facility) or community hall.
(6) Open space and natural site characteristic principles.
(a) A TND shall always have one or more public open space areas such as greens, village squares, parks and playgrounds. They may also have substantial amounts of natural or semi-natural open spaces that typically feature more informal amenities such as walking/bicycling trails and picnic areas.
(b) There is always a significant civic space such as a town square, green, commons or plaza in a neighborhood center within the TND.
(c) Small parks or greens shall be distributed throughout the TND, usually within 1,000 feet walking distance of any dwelling within the TND.
(d) Pre-existing or natural water features should be retained and made a community asset.
(e) Major tree stands shall be incorporated into public open spaces, wherever feasible.
(f) The neighborhood design shall adapt itself, as much as possible, to the existing topography to minimize the amount of grading necessary to achieve a viable street network.
(g) Parks, plazas and commons shall be equipped with proper furnishings and shade trees to encourage outdoor sitting, human interaction and people watching; while some common areas should be grassed and left open (except for street trees) to encourage the types of leisure/recreational activities that require open areas.
(C) TND design standards.
(1) The TND shall have a minimum area of ten acres and shall be served by public water and sewer.
(2) The TND may contain the following types of residential dwelling units:
(a) Single-family detached dwelling units;
(b) Lot-line houses;
(c) Village houses;
(d) Patio houses;
(e) Twin houses;
(g) Atrium houses;
(h) Multi-family developments; and
(i) Dwellings located on the second story (or higher) over ground floor commercial uses.
(3) The TND can contain the following types of nonresidential uses: all permitted and conditional uses allowed in the N-B Neighborhood Business Zoning District except mini-warehouses.
(4) Where TND commercial uses adjoin residential uses outside the TND, or when TND non-single family residential uses adjoin single-family residential uses outside the TND, screening in accordance with § 153.046 shall be provided on the adjoining portion of the TND. Otherwise, screening for a TND shall not generally be required. Notwithstanding, the City Council may require screening in any other situation along the boundary of a TND or inside a TND as a condition for approval wherever it deems appropriate for the protection of adjoining properties or to establish necessary transition.
(5) Where parking is provided by private drives for individual dwelling units, space shall be provided for parking at least two cars at each dwelling unit. This requirement may be reduced to one car per dwelling where on-street parking is designed into the street system.
(6) Except for rear access alleys, driveways and parking drives/aisles, private streets are not allowed in TNDs.
(7) Off-street parking areas and all internal streets shall provide safe and convenient access for emergency service and refuse collection vehicles and other service and delivery vehicles.
(8) Any TND containing 50 or more dwelling units shall have at least one point of ingress and egress onto a major or minor thoroughfare as depicted on the most up-to-date version of the city’s thoroughfare plan.
(9) The initiation of the nonresidential phase of a TND may follow at any time after the initiation of construction of at least 25% of the non-multi-family (i.e., detached) residential dwelling units.
(10) Nonresidential buildings shall observe setbacks of 30 feet minimum along any external project boundary that is not a street and a minimum of zero feet where a street right-of-way is the external boundary.
(a) Typical building front elevations representing the various building types proposed within the development shall be submitted for approval.
(b) Cross-section drawings of typical street areas from building profile to opposing building profile. A typical profile for each building type is needed.
(c) A copy of draft or model private building and lot design controls proposed for the TND shall be submitted for approval. This document will be referenced in the approval action. Actual final design controls to be used can be approved in the formal plan submission.
(d) In approving a conditional use permit for a TND, the City Council shall find, in addition to the findings set forth in § 153.237(B), that the proposed TND substantially meets the guiding principles for TNDs as set forth in division (B) above.
(Prior UDO, § 12.5)