§ 159.041  SITE PLAN REVIEW.
   (A)   Purpose.  The purpose of these regulations is to promote orderly growth and development in the City of Noblesville and to insure that such development is done in a manner harmonious with surrounding properties and consistent with the general public welfare and with the policies in the Comprehensive Plan.
   (B)   Authority.  The Technical Advisory Committee may, in accordance with the procedures and standards set forth in this section and other regulations applicable to the district in which the subject property is located, review and make written recommendation with regard to any application requiring a site plan.
   (C)   Site Plan Approval Required.  Site plan review by the Technical Advisory Committee in accordance with this section shall be required in the following situations:
      (1)   In connection with any development or redevelopment for which this chapter requires a Conditional Use Permit, Variance, Improvement Location Permit, Subdivision Approval, and any Planned Development Approval.
      (2)   In connection with any redevelopment or minor modification consisting of 35% of the market value of a premises, except for the initial construction of a single- or two-family detached dwelling unit, or any structure accessory thereto.
      (3)   In connection with any development, redevelopment or minor modification in an Historic Preservation Overlay District.
   (D)   Procedure for Review and Recommendation.
      (1)   Pre-application Conference.  Refer to § 159.046, Pre-filing Application Conference.
      (2)   Technical Advisory Committee Review.
         (a)   Application.  Applications for a site plan review shall be filed in accordance with the requirements of § 159.040.
         (b)   Action by Department of Planning and Development.  Within seven days after receipt by the Department of a properly completed application, the Director of Planning and Development or his or her designee shall forthwith transmit such application to the Technical Advisory Committee for hearing and review.
         (c)   Public Meeting.  The Technical Advisory Committee shall hold a public meeting on the application in accordance with the requirements of § 159.040.  The site plan, construction drawings (civil plans) and all other required documentation shall be reviewed for conformity with this chapter and all other applicable regulations.
         (d)   Action by Technical Advisory Committee.  Each member of the Technical Advisory Committee shall provide a written report and recommendation either (i) endorsing the site plan as submitted; or (ii) endorsing it subject to specific modifications; or (iii) not endorsing the site plan.  The endorsement of the Technical Advisory Committee shall then be forwarded to the appropriate administrative body for final determination.
         (e)   A pre-construction meeting shall be held within six months from the date of the Technical Advisory Committee meeting. Within 60 days after the issuance of the ILP, earthmoving and installation of infrastructure shall begin. Should the issuance of the ILP and construction activity not begin within the above noted timeframes, the TAC approvals shall lapse and become null and void thus requiring the re-submittal of said plans including new filing fees, project plans, and application(s) and other supplemental documents as required.
   (E)   Standards for Site Plan Review.  The goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan or other applicable Noblesville planning documents shall be utilized in the review of site plan applications.  In addition, the Technical Advisory Committee shall only recommend approval of the site plan submitted pursuant to this division (E) on the basis of specific written findings directed to one or more of the following standards:
      (1)   The arrangement of the structures on the site allow for the effective use of the proposed development.  Furthermore, such arrangement is compatible with development on adjacent property and shall minimize potential impact on the provision of municipal services and utilities.
      (2)   The arrangement of open space and landscape improvements on the site create a desirable and functional environment for patrons, pedestrians, and occupants.  The arrangement preserves unique natural resources where possible and respects desirable natural resources on adjacent sites.
      (3)   All circulation systems provide adequate and safe access to the site and are compatible with public circulation systems minimizing potentially dangerous traffic movements.  Pedestrian and auto circulation are separated insofar as practical.  Site curb cuts have been minimized.
      (4)   Proposed parking areas or lots are designed, located and screened to minimize adverse visual impacts on adjacent properties. Parking lot drainage does not adversely affect neighboring properties. Perimeter parking lot screening and internal landscaped islands have been utilized where feasible.
      (5)   Landscaping design shall create a logical transition to adjoining lots and developments, screen incompatible uses, and minimize the visual impact of parking lots on adjacent sites and roadways.  Plant materials selected can withstand the microclimate of the city.
      (6)   Site illumination has been designed, located and installed so as to minimize adverse impacts to adjacent properties.
      (7)   Reasonable drainage or erosion solutions have been created which properly integrates the site fully and satisfactorily into the overall existing and planned drainage system serving the city.
   (F)   Additional Standards for Non-Residential Uses, Except in I-2 and I-3.  The city requires design review of all non-residential building construction including new structures, additions to, alterations of, or modifications of any existing structure or building, which is located within a non-residential zoning district. The purpose of these design principles is to outline for the benefit of applicant the expectations of the city regarding design and style of development in all non-residential districts.  These principles are intended to provide a general understanding of the criteria applied to the design review process. Each structure is considered unique and will be judged on the following design principles.
      (1)   Purpose.
         (a)   The architecture shall be of high quality, enduring, and promoting a sense of character for the building street wall.
   Building walls shall reflect high-quality architecture and complement the surrounding development(s). Building walls shall not be too simple or too ornate and shall:
            1.   Provide those qualities in the environment which bring value to the city;
            2.   Foster an attractiveness and functional utility of the city as a place to live and work;
            3.   Preserve the character and quality of our heritage by maintaining the integrity of those areas which have a discernible character;
            4.   Protect certain public investments in the local area;
            5.   Encourage a mix of uses and design;
            6.   Promote pedestrian accessibility and safety; and
            7.   Minimize visual clutter and blight.
         (b)   All new structures shall relate to the community's history, culture, and/or geography. Time, place, and culture, work to create endless variations on the themes of the city.  Shape and form of a structure is accomplished through architectural design. The following massing requirements shall be incorporated in any proposed structure:
            1.   Building silhouette. Shall have similar pitch and scale to the roofline of adjacent structures.
            2.   Spacing between the buildings. Shall include setbacks or notches between the primary facades that frame the structure.
            3.   Setback from property line. Shall include setback area of adjacent structures.
            4.   Proportion of windows and bays, doorways. Shall include vertical and horizontal elements tied together in bands across the facade.
            5.   Proportion of facade. Shall be similar in area and height to width ratios.
            6.   Location and treatment of entryway. Shall create a visual commonality between structures.
            7.   Exterior materials. Shall include similar materials and treatment of adjacent structures
            8.   Building scale. Shall include height and configuration compatible with adjacent structures.
            9.   Landscaping. Shall tie the structure to the site and define spaces.
            10.   Shadow patterns that form decorative features.  Shall include the light and dark surfaces from materials used and the projections from windows, bays, etc., and recesses, and setbacks that create visual breaks.
            11.   360° architecture (refer to definition, § 159.016).
      (2)   Design principles.  The design of the building should be kept simple and materials and details should be consistent. Avoid a gaudy design.
         (a)   Avoid long, straight building shapes that are uninviting and do not contribute positively to the streetscape.
         (b)   Detail shall be an integral part of the building design and use consistently throughout.
         (c)   The exterior building design shall be coordinated on all elevations with regard to color, materials, architectural form, and detailing to achieve design harmony and continuity.
         (d)   Shadow patterns created by architectural elements such as overhangs, projections, reveals, and awnings are strongly encouraged.
         (e)   Buildings shall be broken into a series of volumes that lessen the volume and mass of the building by stepping back upper levels or integrating projections and recesses into the design
         (f)   Structures located toward the front of the property serve to visually narrow wide streets. Unifying the area with site amenities can lessen the impact of the automobile and encourage pedestrian use.
         (g)   Protection of adjacent neighborhoods, in particular the location of parking, driveways, outdoor lighting, trash bins, landscaping, signage, development bulk standards, fencing, and the general character of the surrounding development shall be considered when incorporating the architectural design and materials.
      (3)   Relationships (architectural).
         (a)   New buildings shall respond to the existing streetscape. The relative proportion of the building to its neighboring existing buildings and pedestrians shall be maintained or enhanced when new buildings are built or existing buildings are remodeled or altered.
         (b)   Buildings shall be designed to create interesting outdoor spatial relationships.
         (c)   Production design common to restaurants, hotels/motels, convenience markets, banks, etc. are strongly discouraged.
         (d)   The standard national franchise design is unacceptable and shall be retrofitted to compliment the local character and surrounding community. Architectural transplants from other communities are neither appropriate nor desirable.
         (e)   Building heights, configurations, color, texture, and materials shall be consistent among all buildings in a specific development and/or area.
         (f)   Building entries shall be accentuated with strong definition.
         (g)   Upgraded rear and side elevations, those exposed to public view, shall have a level of quality and detail consistent with the front elevation of the building.
         (h)   An identical design of at least one publicly exposed elevation of the building cannot be repeated within a series of three buildings on either side of the street. An identical building is one that an ordinary observer would find the differences between the two elevations to be imperceptible when viewing the elevations as a whole or unless instructed to detect the differences, an ordinary observer would conclude that the two elevations are the same.
         (i)   Building facades that are blank or windowless shall be prohibited.
         (j)   Rooflines of existing structures or adjacent properties shall be considered in the design to avoid clashes of materials and styles. The visual continuity of roofs and their contributing elements such as parapet walls, coping, cornices, etc., shall be maintained in the building development or redevelopment.
         (k)   The roofline shall be designed in conjunction with the mass and facade so that the building and its roof form a consistent composition.
         (l)   Roof penetrations shall be minimized by grouping plumbing vents and ducts together.
         (m)   Sloped roof shall be a minimum of 6/12 pitch.
      (4)   Relationships (site).
         (a)   Building design shall be fitted to the natural contours of the site. Natural features of the site, such as natural drainage ways, wooded or forested areas, rock formations, etc. shall be preserved.
         (b)   On wooded sites, buildings shall be carefully situated to take advantage of the shade and energy conservation provided by the trees.
         (c)   The impression of the buildings tucked into, rather than superimposed on, the natural landscape shall be created.
         (d)   The view of the building from the street and surrounding areas shall be as important as the view available to the building occupants.
         (e)   Buildings shall be located according to the natural characteristics of the site to avoid destroying sensitive natural areas.
         (f)   Buildings shall be designed to harmonize with the existing topography, thereby minimizing land disruption.
         (g)   Grading shall be held to a minimum and should complement natural landforms.
      (5)   Materials and colors.
         (a)   Building colors should be compatible with the adjacent buildings and neighborhood and shall reinforce the visual character of the area. The color scheme shall be coordinated with the neighboring buildings and the city as a whole. The intent is to unify the look of the buildings and/or area without resorting to a "rubber stamp" type of approach.
         (b)   The color of the building shall not be such that the building is competing for attention. Building colors shall be subdued and not "garish" and shall not in any way become a "signing" of the building or site
         (c)   Integral coloring of the building materials is encouraged. Differentiation of the color shall relate to the materials and/or the plane.
         (d)   The number of materials on the exterior building shall be limited to prevent visual overload.
         (e)   Use of warm, muted, earth-tones shall be used on the body of the building. More intense hues may be used as accent colors and for the highlighting of architectural elements.
         (f)   Relate the paint colors to the natural material, colors found on the building, such as brick, terra cotta, stone, tile, wood, or cast iron. Brick and stone shall be left natural in all zoning districts except those buildings located in the DT Downtown Zoning District that can be painted with approval from the Director of Planning or his or her designee.
         (g)   Colors for building walls and storefronts shall be compatible for the shops that occupy a multiple-storefront building. The use of different colors to identify individual shops within a single structure is prohibited, as it is visually disruptive and obscures the overall composition of the facade.
         (h)   Material samples and color samples for the buildings shall be required to be submitted with the building permit application.
         (i)   Maximum number of colors on a single building is three.
         (j)   No blank walls are permitted for all building elevations. All building elevations not facing a public right-of-way shall have a minimum of 20% of the walls having glazed areas or a glazed appearance.
         (k)   Storefronts shall consist of a maximum of 75% of the primary facade.
Hand-laid clay brick
Tile or masonry
Faux wood grain, vinyl and aluminum siding
Native stone
Integral color CMU - 50% maximum
Gypsum reinforced fiber concrete, PERMITTED for trim elements only
Wood-lap siding (horizontal configuration) smooth or rough-sawn finish (maximum 30%)
Stucco/EIFS (maximum 50%)
Split-faced block (maximum 20%)
Decorative split-faced block (maximum 40%)
Metal for beams, lintels, trim elements and ornamentation only
      (6)   Exterior walls (architecture).
         (a)   Exterior walls greater than 40 feet in length shall break any flat, monolithic facade with discernible architectural elements such as recessed windows and entrances, projections, arcades, balconies, cornices, bases, pilasters, columns or other architectural details or articulation combined with changes in materials to provide visual interest and pedestrian scale. Building designs, roof lines, or facade treatments that are monotonous shall be prohibited.
         (b)   Exterior wall materials shall be consistent horizontally.
         (c)   Exterior wall materials/architectural changes shall be provided with constructional logic.
         (d)   Brick or stone shall specify the pattern, color, type, and finish number of brick or stone to be used.
         (e)   All materials shall specify the pattern, color, type, and finish of materials to be used.
         (f)   The ratio between the width of the street corridor or internal drives, as measured between the opposing building facades, and the height of the walls of that corridor, measured as the foundation to eaves dimension, plays in important role in the human scale in the streetscape. The ratio shall generally be a width that is two to three times the height of the defining walls or edges.
         (g)   Building sites shall accommodate pedestrians and shall be centered on pedestrian traffic as opposed to vehicular traffic.
         (h)   Pedestrian walkways at intersections shall be clearly defined with contrasting surfaces.
         (i)   Major commercial developments shall include a system for internal pedestrian movement as well as being linked to city-wide systems.
         (j)   If concrete is used for the pedestrian areas, it shall be textured or patterned.
         (k)   For major developments, the building materials including color of the initial building shall continue the theme among the other buildings. Colors may change in hue only.
      (7)   Roofs.
         (a)   Roofs shall be compatible with the building's architecture including roof shape, color, and texture.
         (b)   Gable or hip roofs.
         (c)   Any pitched roof shall be a minimum of 6/12 to 12/12 slope.
            1.   Large overhangs shall be a minimum of 12 inches.
            2.   Large roof areas shall have more than one plane.
            3.   Roof pitches for overall porches shall be in keeping with the principal building having a minimum slope of 3/12.
            4.   Wood shakes, slate, concrete tiles, fiberglass shingles, asphalt composition shingles (artificial shingles).
            5.   Earth toned colors, dark hues (browns, blacks and maybe reds or grays).
         (d)   Parapet roofs shall be permitted only to conceal roof top mechanical equipment and shall be extended a minimum of one foot beyond the height of the rooftop mechanical equipment. All roof top mechanical equipment is to be hidden from public view.
         (e)   Gutters and downspouts should be internal. However, if exposed shall be painted to match the adjacent wall or roof materials.
         (f)   Roof-top screens used for hiding roof-top mechanical equipment or other accessory objects shall match the roof and/or shingle color on the building.
      (8)   Windows (all).
         (a)   Windows shall not span vertically more than one story and shall not span across building structural elements such as walls and mechanical spaces between the floors.
         (b)   Windows shall be separated by mullions, columns, piers or wall sections that are a minimum of seven inches wide.
         (c)   Windows shall not be closer than three feet to a building corner.
      (9)   Doors (all).
         (a)   Primary entrances shall be delineated having major architectural features so that they are clearly identified as entry points, fronting the primary access street, and are pedestrian accessible. A portico, arcade, awning, projection, recess, or similar architectural features shall be provided to shelter the primary entrance.
         (b)   Primary building entrances shall connect to a sidewalk with a pedestrian walkway.
         (c)   Doors shall not be recessed more than three feet behind the shop front windows and shall have a clear view and path to a 45° angle past the perpendicular from each side of the door.
         (d)   Roll-down security gates, door, and windows shall be prohibited within view of the public.
   Permitted Materials (entrances)
Anodized aluminum, wood, clad wood, vinyl, or steel
Glass at the ground story shall be clear or lightly tinted with at least 90% light transmission. Specialty windows may utilize stained, opalescent, or glass block (maximum one per facade)
Screen frames shall match window frames
Doors shall be steel, wood, or wood clad
Translucent glass - 30% maximum
      (10)   Lighting.
         (a)   Design and intensity of lighting shall be architecturally integrated with the building style, material, and color.
         (b)   All parking lot and internal street lighting shall provide shield covers to direct the light in a downward manner.
         (c)   See §§ 159.140 through 159.148 and §§ 159.200 through 159.208 for additional requirements.
      (11)   Fencing.
         (a)   Fencing shall consist of wrought iron or brick or stone and be complemented with appropriate landscaping to break up the length and solidity of the fencing. This does not include fencing of outdoor storage areas in an I-1 zoning district as regulated by §§ 159.105 through 159.109.
         (b)   The maximum height of fencing shall be as provided in this chapter for said district in which the fence is constructed.
   (G)   Effect of Positive Recommendation.
      (1)   The recommendation of approval, or approval with modification of a site plan shall not authorize the establishment or extension of any use nor the development, construction, reconstruction, alteration, or moving of any building or structure, but shall merely authorize the preparation, filing, and processing of applications for any permits or approvals that may be required by the ordinances of the City of Noblesville.
      (2)   A copy of every approved site plan shall be filed with the Department of Planning and Development and the development of the site shall be in substantial conformity with such approved and filed plan.
   (H)   Limitations on Site Plan Approval.  Subject to an extension of time granted by the Director of Planning and Development, no recommendation of approval, or approval with modification of a site plan shall be valid for a period longer than one year unless a Building Permit is issued and construction is actually begun within that period and is thereafter diligently pursued to completion or unless a Certificate of Occupancy is issued and a use commenced within that period.
   (I)   Adjustments to Site Plan During Development.
      (1)   Minimum Necessary Adjustment.  Any adjustment approved pursuant to division (B) of this section shall be consistent with the intent and purpose of this chapter and the site plan as approved, shall be the minimum necessary to overcome the particular difficulty and shall not be approved if they would result in a violation of any standard or requirement of this chapter.
      (2)   Minor Adjustments.  During the development of the site, the Director of Planning and Development, with the aid of the Technical Advisory Committee, may authorize adjustments to a site plan when such adjustments appear necessary in light of technical or engineering considerations first discovered during actual development.  Such minor adjustments shall be limited to the following:
         (a)   Altering the location of any one structure or group of structures by not more than ten feet or one-fourth of the distance shown on the approved site plan between such structure or structures and any other structure or any vehicular circulation element or any boundary of the site plan, whichever is less.
         (b)   Altering the location of any circulation element by not more than ten feet or one-fourth of the distance shown on the approved site plan between such circulation element and any structure, whichever is less.
         (c)   Altering the location of any open space by not more than 20 feet.
         (d)   Altering any final grade by not more than 20% of the originally planned grade.
         (e)   Altering the location, by not more than 20 feet, or type, without reduction of total number, of landscaping elements.
      (3)   Major Adjustments.  Any adjustment to a site plan not authorized by division (I)(2) of this section shall be considered to be a major adjustment and shall be granted only upon formal application for site plan review.
(Ord. 62-12-95, passed 1-22-96; Am. Ord. 36-08-02, passed 9-10-02; Am. Ord. 89-10-06, passed 11- 14-06; Am. Ord. 23-4-07, passed 5-15-07; Am. Ord. 56-11-07, passed 12-11-07; Am. Ord. 64-11-08, passed 12-9-08; Am. Ord. 17-5-09, passed 6-9-09; Am. Ord. 46-07-16, passed 8-9-16; Am. Ord. 12-04-17, passed 4-25-17; Am. Ord. 32-07-19, passed 7-23-19)