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The following design review criteria are in addition to the specific regulations and requirements set forth in the underlying zoning districts. All proposals in the Heritage Overlay District shall comply with the following design review criteria. Further, the design review criteria are applicable to all landmark properties as defined in Chapter 150.03 wherever located in Montgomery and are applicable to the landmark itself, the underlying real property, and any improvements thereon:
(A) Design Review Criterion # 1 BUILDING HEIGHT, SHAPE, SCALE. Ensure that building height, shape and scale are appropriate to the District, the era and the architecture of the building.
(1) Minimum building height shall be two stories for the front elevation(s) facing a street. Maximum height for elevation(s) facing a street shall be determined by the existing skyline of adjoining buildings and/or across the street, and in no case shall exceed 25 feet as measured from the grade line to the gutter. Additional stories may be permissible for the rear or side elevations when lower grade lines allow, but in no case shall exceed 40 feet as measured from grade line to gutter.
(2) A building's vertical and horizontal dimensions shall be in proportion to each other without over emphasis of either dimension. Horizontally long buildings shall be broken up, through the use of recesses or setback variations, to cause the elevation to appear as a series of proportionally correct masses.
(3) Overall building mass shall be in appropriate proportion to adjoining buildings, the lotupon which the building is intended, as well as other similar buildings in the district.
(4) For new construction, the top of the exposed foundation shall, to the extent possible, be set within 10% of the average height of the foundation of the building on either side.
(B) Design Review Criterion # 2 ROOFLINE, CONTOUR, CORNICE. Ensure that roofline, contour and cornice are appropriate to the District, the era and the architecture of the building.
(1) The roof of a primary structure shall be gabled and/or a shed roof. On a two-story building, a flat roof with a gabled appearance may be permitted.
(2) For a gabled roof, the height of the gable shall not be less that one-quarter of the building height as measured from the grade line to the gutter. An attached shed roof may have a lower pitch than the roof over the main structure.
(3) For new construction, the cornice shall be strong, well articulated and well proportioned.
(C) Design Review Criterion #3 WINDOWS, DOORS. Ensure the rhythm and character of windows and doors are appropriate to the District, the era and the architecture of the building.
(1) The shape and configuration of windows and doors shall be based on historic and traditional design. Window panes shall be divided into smaller panes; 6-over-6 and 2-over-2 double-hung sashes are typical. The first and second story openings shall have a strong relationship to one another. Alterations to window or door size or shape may be permitted on landmark buildings only to the extent that such a change would bring about greater historical accuracy.
(2) Window and door openings shall occupy about 25% to 30% of the front elevation of a residential building.
(3) Window emphasis shall generally be vertical with the height of a window being approximately two times its width. The spacing between windows in historic structures is usually between one and two times the width of the window. If spacing is less than one times the width, shutters shall not be used. Shutters shall be constructed of wood or a composite that has the look and feel of wood. Solid vinyl shutters are prohibited. Shutters shall be proportioned as if they would cover the entire window opening if closed. They shall be operable or mounted on hinges.
(4) (a) Windows may be fixed or operable. Window openings in masonry buildings shall be configured with traditional components: sill, lintel, and trim.
(b) Windows shall be glazed in clear glass rather than tinted glass. Narrow-line windows are prohibited. Snap-on grilles or grilles in airspace are prohibited. All-windows shall be made of wood or a composite that has the look and feel of wood.
(5) In addition, the following criteria apply:
(a) Landmark property. Windows repair is preferred. When replacement is necessary, the replacement shall be an all-wood window or a composite that has the look and feel of wood. If the original window was divided into smaller panes, then the replacement shall mimic that pattern and it shall have true divided lights. Replacement windows shall match the original window in dimension, proportion and profile. On additions, simulated divided light sashes may be used.
(b) Contributing property. Window repair is preferred. When replacement is necessary, the replacement shall be an all-wood window or a composite that has the look and feel of wood. Replacement windows shall match the original window in dimension, proportion and profile. Simulated divided light sashes may be used.
(c) Design-consistent property and new construction. Simulated divided light sashes shall be used except as provided in division (C)(5)(d)1. of this section. Extruded aluminum-clad or vinyl-clad wood windows and composite windows that have the look and feel of wood are permitted.
(d) Non-contributing property. Aluminum-clad or vinyl-clad wood windows and composite windows that have the look and feel of wood are permitted.
1. Display windows on the first story of commercial buildings, may be larger than those typical of residential buildings and are not required to be subdivided. The first story windows shall show symmetry and proportion to the building and relate to the windows of the second floor. The length of a hypothetical rectangle that encompasses all first story windows and doors shall be the same length as that of a rectangle, which encompasses all second story windows. Commercial buildings may have a greater amount of building elevation occupied by windows and doors than residential buildings.
2. The main entry of a building shall preferably face the street. The entry of a corner building may face the street or be at an angle to the street. Entries may be flush with the building or recessed.
3. For residential and commercial buildings, doors shall be constructed of wood or a composite that has the look and feel of wood and be paneled, either solid or with glass panes. Door trim shall be compatible with window trim. Transoms above doors with glass panes and side lights may be permitted. On residential buildings, doors shall be about the same width as the windows. On commercial buildings, rear service doors may be wider than windows and may be constructed of metal. On commercial buildings, four or six paneled steel doors will be allowed when required by the Fire Code.
4. Interior storm/screen windows are preferred. Exterior storm/screen windows made of wood or painted aluminum may be allowed as an alternative to replacing existing sash or on a new unclad sash.
(D) Design Review Criterion #4 MATERIALS. Ensure the use of construction materials appropriate to the District, the era and the architecture of the building.
(1) Appropriate construction materials include brick, stone, natural wood clapboard, wood board and batten, wood shingles, and traditionally applied stucco. Vinyl, aluminum, and steel siding and exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS, aka synthetic-stucco) are prohibited. Smooth fiber-cement siding and trim may be used on new construction, as a replacement on non-landmark property, and on additions to any property including landmark property. Materials for windows and doors are covered in Design Review Criterion # 3.
(2) Brick masonry in new buildings or additions to existing buildings shall have brick and mortar joints similar in color, size, and texture to historic examples in the district. The preferred color for brick is in the red-orange range. Variations in color may be used to reduce the mass of a large building. The color shall be uniform rather than mottled or speckled. Unpainted brick is preferred, unless the building has been previously painted.
(3) Clapboard siding shall run horizontally, and shall have appropriate lap exposure.
(4) Slate, copper, wood, or standing seam metal roofs are preferred. Asphalt-fiberglass shingles may also be used but shall be uniform in color. When replacing roofing, every effort shall be made to duplicate the original roofing material. A rubber roof may be used on flat roof, if approved by the Landmarks Commission. Solar shingles may be used, if approved by the Landmarks Commission. A rubber roof may be used on flat roof if approved by the Landmarks Commission. Solar shingles may be used if approved by the Landmarks Commission.
(5) Awnings. Shed awnings are permitted and shall be of a traditional design. Curved awnings are prohibited. Cloth or synthetic materials that replicate woven cloth are preferred. Vinyl and shiny plastic materials are prohibited. Colors for awnings shall be uniform and should complement the surrounding buildings, streetscape and/or other street furniture in the area. Fluorescent colors are prohibited. Awning signs are permitted in compliance with Chapter 151.30 and § 151.1405(G); however, signs hanging from an awning are prohibited.
(E) Design Review Criterion #5 COLORS. Use paint colors appropriate to the District.
(1) Paint serves two purposes - aesthetic enhancement and protection against deterioration. Paint colors shall relate to the style and period of the building and to the traditional character of the District. In general paint colors for buildings shall be muted rather than vivid.
(2) In the early 19th century, white and light neutral colors were favored; then in the late 19th century colors darkened and palettes broadened, until the early 20th century brought a return to white and light colors. Greek Revival homes typically had white exteriors and dark green or black doors and shutters, while Victorian dwellings were enhanced by rich color treatments such as browns, olives, blues, ochres, and grays with contrasting colors for trim and decorative details.
(3) The simpler the building design, the fewer colors should be used on it, with a maximum of three different colors on a building unless appropriate to the architecture of that era. The body of a building should be painted all one color. However, variations in paint color may be used to reduce the mass of a large building.
(4) The body and trim of the building shall be painted different, but complementary colors. However, for late 19th century buildings, trim may be painted the same color as the body in a lighter or darker shade.
(5) Colors shall complement a building's materials - whether brick, wood, or stone - as well as the colors of abutting buildings.
(6) The city maintains a color chart of historic colors that should be used as a guide in picking appropriate colors. For guidelines on colors for permanent and sandwich board signs, see Design Review Criterion #7.
(7) A flat or satin finish shall be used on the body, and semi-gloss on windows and trim.
(F) Design Review Criterion #6 STREET FURNISHINGS. Use landscape elements and street furniture appropriate to the District.
(1) Improvements in the public right-of-way shall conform to the City of Montgomery's Heritage District Streetscape Plan. The following standards shall apply to all street furnishings maintained, erected, or placed in a public right-of-way or which are placed upon private property but are open to and visible from any public right-of-way.
(2) Street furniture, including tables, benches, chairs, sidewalk enclosures and waste containers shall be of a traditional design and shall be complementary to the surrounding buildings streetscape and/or other street furniture in the area.
(3) Wrought iron, wood, and aluminum or powder coated steel which gives the appearance of wrought iron are preferred for street furniture. Fiberglass, recycled plastic, galvanized steel, and concrete products are prohibited. Synthetic teak, synthetic/resin wicker, virgin resin poly lumber and polypropylene resin may be considered by the Landmarks Commission on a case-by-case basis. Black PVC is a permitted material for movable sidewalk enclosures if approved by the Landmarks Commission.
(4) Colors for tables, benches and chairs shall be muted and use an earth tone consistent with the natural material. Furniture shall be one color, except that furniture made in different materials may have a different color for each material used.
(5) Waste and recycling containers. Containers that are made from recycled plastic shall only be permitted in locations that are not visible from Montgomery, Cooper or Remington Roads. Black, green and gray are the preferred colors for waste or recycling containers. Bright colors and high sheen finishes are prohibited. Containers shall be a single, solid color.
(6) Planters. Wood or terra cotta is preferred. Man-made materials that mimic a natural material may be considered by the Landmarks Commission, when appropriate. Colors for planters shall be muted and use an earth tone consistent with the natural material.
(7) Umbrellas. Cloth or synthetic materials that replicate woven cloth are preferred. Vinyl and shiny plastic materials are prohibited. Colors for umbrellas shall complement the surrounding buildings, streetscape and/or other street furniture in the area. Fluorescent colors and mounted lighting are prohibited. Umbrellas shall be of traditional design and a single, solid color. Signage is regulated by Chapter 151.30.
(G) Design Review Criterion #7 SIGNS. Use sign design appropriate to the District.
(1) Signs shall comply with the regulations in Chapter 151.30.
(2) Signs shall respect the overall architectural composition of the building and its scale, while not overwhelming the façade.
(3) Sign colors shall be harmonious with the building's materials and colors. Sign colors shall relate to the style and period of the building and to the traditional character of the District. In general sign colors should be muted rather than vivid. Paint shall be flat, satin or semi-gloss.
(4) Corporate identity colors or logos may be permitted and shall be used with restraint.
(5) Sign letter styles and heights shall be appropriate to the District and respect the overall composition of the sign.
(6) Wall signs shall be affixed on a continuous, flat, vertical, opaque surface and cannot project more than six inches from the building surface. Signs shall not cover architectural features.
(7) Wall signs shall not extend higher than the bottom of the sill of the second story window, or above the lowest point of the roof, or over 25 feet above grade whichever is lowest. Wall signs shall be at least six inches from the lintel, sill or other trim of the windows above and below.
(8) No more than one right angle sign, projecting not more than four feet, is allowed for each business establishment. The bottom of the sign shall be at least seven feet above the ground level (sidewalk). The top of the sign shall not extend higher than the bottom of the sills of the second story window, the lowest point of the roof, or 25 feet above grade, whichever is lowest.
(9) Window signs shall only be applied directly to the inside surface of the window glass. The letters shall be four inches or less and symbols shall not be larger than eight inches.
(10) Signs shall have a simple design. Wall and projecting signs shall not have more than three lines of lettering. Ground signs for multi-tenant commercial buildings are restricted to two lines of lettering per business. Ground signs for single occupancy buildings may contain four lines of type plus a line for the address. Landmarks Commission may approve additional lines for institutional ground signs, if appropriate.
(11) Signs may be externally illuminated. Neon lighting, internally illuminated, and backlit signs are prohibited. Ground signs shall include the street address.
(12) Sand-blasted wood signs are preferred. Sign materials may be of wood, cast metal, poly-metal, natural stone, brick, or glass, with painted faces or letters. Other materials that have the look and feel of wood may be approved by the Landmarks Commission, if appropriate. Plastic signs are prohibited. Vinyl or plastic letters may be approved, if appropriate.
(H) Design Review Criterion #8 ACCESSORY STRUCTURES. Ensure that accessory structures enhance, yet be subordinate to the primary structure in size, scale, and architectural detail.
(1) All accessory structures shall be limited to the rear yard and shall not exceed one and one-half stories in height. Roof style shall be limited to either gable or shed roof designs. Flat or gambrel roofs are prohibited; however, a flat roof may be permitted as part of a covered porch, if approved by the Landmarks Commission.
(2) Garage doors shall be made of wood or a composite that has the look and feel of wood. Separate doors shall be used for each bay. Exceptions may be made for the replacement of existing, non-conforming garage doors.
(3) Decks, patios and porches shall be compatible with the era of the building.
(a) For landmark and contributing buildings, masonry and concrete patios directly on grade are permissible. Porches are permitted if they are compatible in design to the rest of the building and the era. The deck of new porches shall not be more than four feet above grade. Porches in conjunction with walk-out basements are discouraged. Above-grade decks are not permitted as additions to landmark and contributing buildings.
(b) For other buildings, masonry and concrete patios directly on grade are encouraged. Walk-out basements or porches are discouraged. Decks are permitted, but shall be painted or stained (not clear) and be compatible with the era of the building. Vinyl is prohibited but other materials may be considered if appropriate.
(4) Arbors, trellises, fences and other accessory structures shall be of a natural material. If they are made of wood, they shall be painted or stained (not clear). They shall be designed to be compatible with the era of the building. Vinyl is prohibited but other materials may be considered, if appropriate.
(5) Solar panels.
(a) Solar panels that are not visible from a public right-of-way may be permitted if approved by the Landmarks Commission.
(b) Roof-mounted solar panels shall be installed to match the slope of the roof. In the case of a flat roof, solar panels may be angled if approved by the Landmarks Commission.
(c) Removal of historic materials or features, such as dormers or chimneys, for the installation of solar panels is prohibited.
(d) Roof-mounted solar panels shall be positioned behind existing architectural features, such as parapets, dormers and chimneys, to limit their visibility and preserve the integrity of the building. Final layout of solar panels and mechanical equipment associated with solar panels shall be approved by the Landmarks Commission
(e) Roof-mounted solar panels and mounting systems shall be compatible in color with the existing roof materials. Mechanical equipment associated with the panels shall be treated to be as unobtrusive as possible.
(f) The installation and removal of solar panels shall not damage the historic integrity of the building.
(g) Free-standing solar panels may be permitted in the side and rear yard, in compliance with the setback requirements for accessory structures, if approved by the Landmarks Commission.
(I) Design Review Criterion #9 LIGHTING. Use exterior lighting appropriate to the District in type, design, location, and quantity.
(1) Lighting shall be used in a very limited manner and only to highlight architectural details on a building, illuminate a sign, or illuminate walkways, outdoor dining areas and/or parking areas.
(2) The use of incandescent, natural gas, or halogen lights is allowed, but colored, flashing or neon lights are prohibited. LED lights are permitted if they emulate incandescent bulb in form and color and are enclosed in a traditional light fixture. Other lights may be considered if appropriate. Lighting shall also comply with other sections of this Code. See Design Review Criterion #7 for allowable lighting for signage.
(Ord. 5-2010, passed 7-7-10; Am. Ord. 16-2013, passed 11-6-13; Am. Ord. 5, 2020, passed 4-1-20)