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The following guidelines, principles and standards should be followed and respected when designing the site.
(A) Site design.
(1) The site design must respect and enhance the physical and natural qualities of the site and retain the positive qualities of the existing environment. It should utilize existing topographic features and improvements, where feasible, and shall be so located as to complement and conform to the site topography rather than changing the site to accommodate a preconceived site design.
(2) Areas which shall be visually deemphasized in design of the site are utilitarian areas such as HVAC equipment, loading docks, storage areas, service vehicles and trash enclosures. These areas should be located away from high exposure areas of the building and site (i.e., along street frontages or other highly visible portions of the site). When such utilitarian areas are visible from adjacent property or public right-of-way, screening shall be provided in accordance with §§ 158.180 through 158.194 of this chapter, or as otherwise provided in this code. All HVAC equipment shall be screened from view of any public right-of-way. Enclosures and screening structures shall be similar in design, color and/or building materials to the principal building on site.
(3) All fences for the purpose of required screening or buffering shall be of a durable, maintenance free material such as vinyl or masonry. Chain link is not permitted for any required screening or buffering. Gates for enclosures may be allowed the option of chain link if constructed with a vinyl coating and vision slats.
(4) The creative use of landscaping, signage, berming and lighting is encouraged within the frame work of the overall landscape theme proposed for the site. Entrances shall be designed to facilitate the flow of traffic into the development in order to avoid creating congestion on public streets.
(5) Major street design. All proposed development and associated public improvements to the transportation system shall comply with the city’s subdivision regulations and Comprehensive Plan’s major street plan relative to roadway classifications and design standards.
(6) Architecture. The proposed building must demonstrate conformity with design guidelines applicable to the site as part of the Comprehensive Plan, requirements set forth in this chapter, or any other design guidelines adopted by the city, including the Commercial Design Handbook, dated 7-6-2009 and on file with the City Clerk.
(B) Site drainage and storm water management. Storm water management and drainage design shall comply with federal, state and city regulations and conform to all city specifications relating thereto.
(C) Grading/erosion control. Grading and erosion control shall comply with federal, state and city regulations and conform to all city specifications relating thereto.
(D) Traffic management. All development shall comply with the city’s and/or Department of Transportation’s access management standards. The city shall have the authority to permit the type, number and location of all entrances, exits and circulation patterns on any development site. The city, at its discretion, may request documentation as necessary to determine the impact any future improvements may have on the transportation system located within the city. There are two general levels of documentation that may be required, which include:
(1) Technical assessment letter. An assessment letter, prepared by a certified engineer, of any future traffic impacts shall be submitted to the city unless waived by the Director. The letter shall include, but is not limited to, the total trips generated during both the a.m. and p.m. peak periods and documentation that adequate stacking, queuing and intersection spacing is provided;
(2) Traffic study. The city may request, at its discretion, a traffic study when traffic generation shows any level of service of “D” or worse pursuant to the accepted national traffic standards. The city may request a traffic study upon review of any development or building application to the city and upon its determination that a safety or service level traffic concern reasonably may exist relating to the construction or development to be permitted, and shall so state in writing to the applicant. All traffic studies shall be prepared by a certified engineer experienced in said studies. The city shall determine the executor of the study with the cost for the study to be paid by the developer. A traffic study should contain the following information or such other information as may be required by the City Engineer:
(a) Capacity analysis of critical intersections affected by the development-generated traffic. The capacity analysis should be performed for existing traffic demand, traffic demand after completion of the development and ultimate projected traffic demand. Base ultimate projected traffic volumes shall be provided by city staff. Capacity analysis shall be performed according to the criteria contained in the current edition of the Highway Capacity Manual/FHWA/IDOT;
(b) Recommendations for maintaining the existing level of service for each of the critical intersections; recommendations for projected traffic demand after the development is completed; and recommendations for ultimate projected traffic demand. These recommendations may include geometric improvements such as additional turn lanes or changes in traffic control and/or street widening. Level of service shall be defined as in the current edition of the Highway Capacity Manual/IDOT;
(c) Review of internal traffic circulation and curb cut locations; and
(d) Percentage of contributory traffic created by the proposed development upon the total entering traffic at critical intersections.
(3) Cost of development. The developer of any property should expect, as a cost of development, to provide any traffic improvements necessary to maintain the existing level of service.
(E) Site access and circulation.
(1) Emergency vehicle access. All developments shall be designed to facilitate entry of emergency vehicles onto the site.
(2) Number and location of access points. All developments shall utilize the minimum number of access points to public streets necessary to serve the traffic generated by the proposed use. Traffic study may be required to determine the number and location of access points for a development. Cross access with adjacent property and shared entrances and/or driveways in city approved locations and configurations shall be required unless such requirement is waived by the City Engineer.
(3) Internal circulation. Layout of internal driveways and aisles shall be designed to reduce the potential for traffic conflict and provide for maximum visibility, sight distance and safety. All through drives shall be defined utilizing landscaped median islands, and stop signs shall be placed at all appropriate intersections of such drives with other through drives or public streets as determined by the City Engineer. For any driveway in excess of 30 feet in width, channelization using medians may be required to control ingress and egress to the site. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic access shall be adequately provided.
(4) Stacking for drive-through. For any drive-in or drive-through facility, adequate stacking spaces shall be provided to ensure that vehicles waiting to be served do not interfere with ingress or egress to or from the site or required parking spaces. All drive-through establishments shall also comply with the requirements of all applicable drive in and drive through supplemental regulations.
(F) Lighting standards. All lighting shall conform to the city’s lighting standards as set forth in this code. All lighting shall be properly designed to serve multiple purposes including illumination, vehicular and pedestrian safety and security without excessive light or improper light nuisance or light trespass. Additionally, site lighting shall be subject to the following requirements.
(1) On-site exterior lighting. The height and style of lighting fixtures shall be compatible with the character of the surrounding area and type of use for which the fixture is designed. Lights shall not be placed or directed such that they will cause glare or excessive light spillage on neighboring sites or adjacent public streets. All lights shall be full-cutoff fixtures unless otherwise authorized by the Director.
(2) Streetlights. It shall be the developer’s responsibility to install lighting standards in accordance with city standards. If lighting standards already exist and are below current standards, it shall be the developer’s responsibility to upgrade said lights to current standards.
(G) Landscape requirements. Landscape installation and maintenance shall conform to the minimum landscape specifications of the city as set forth in this code.
(I) Agency comments. Approvals shall be required, as appropriate, by the applicable water, sewer electric, fire district, school district and transportation authority confirming adequate capacities, accessibility and design specifications.
(J) Additional conditions and requirements. In reviewing a site plan application, the city may impose such conditions or requirements as may be necessary to ensure compliance with the review criteria.
(Ord. 3463, passed 7-17-2006; Ord. 3665, passed 5-3-2010)