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(A) Site Plan Review: The city council finds and determines that to encourage the orderly and harmonious development of property within the city, maintain public health, safety, and welfare, maintain property and improvement values throughout the city, encourage the physical development of the city, and preserve the historic and scenic character of state designated scenic highway corridors, the following provisions be established to provide clear guidelines for site plan review.
(B) Purpose: The purpose of this section is to recognize the interdependence of land values and aesthetics and to provide a method by which the following goals can be achieved:
1. Promotion of sound land use development.
2. Assist in the development of architectural standards and guidelines for residential, commercial and retail business structures.
3. Preservation of the historic and scenic character of state designated scenic highway corridors.
4. To implement the goals and policies of the community design element of the general plan. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
(C) Site Plan Review Required: The planning commission shall review each application for a building permit in the following land use categories:
1. All new construction of commercial structures; or multi- family structures, including duplexes, located within the R-2, R-3 and R-4 zones. (Ord. 1665, 9-23-2014)
2. Any exterior additions or combination of additions thereof which would add one thousand (1,000) square feet or more to existing commercial or multi-family buildings within the lifetime of the building. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
3. Any additions or conversions to commercial, multi-family, or single-family structures which would cause a change in occupancy as defined by the California building code. (Ord. 1642, 6-14-2011)
4. Relocation of buildings and structures, except single- family dwellings.
5. Parking structures and lots.
6. Any destruction or alteration of buildings in a historical district or historical building as identified in subsection (H)1 of this section.
7. All new construction of structures in the PF zone.
8. All new construction of single-family attached dwellings.
9. Any structure which increases the coverage of Hangtown Creek as defined in section 8-3-28 of this code. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
10. New formula businesses and major exterior modifications to existing formula businesses within the central business district (CBD) zone. Major modifications are those defined in subsection (P) of this section. (Ord. 1597, 2-24-2004)
11. Single room occupancy facilities. (Ord. 1664, 9-23-2014)
12. All new construction of professional office conditional uses within the R-5 zone.
13. Multi-family residential housing structures or owner occupied single-family residential housing structures under subsection 10-5-12(E)3 of this title within the R-5 zone. (Ord. 1679, 2-9-2016)
Exceptions: The following shall not be subject to site plan review:
1. Relocation of or construction of new single-family dwellings. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
2. Any change in occupancy from a more intensive occupancy to a less intensive occupancy as defined in the California building code and where no additional parking is required. (Ord. 1642, 6-14-2011)
3. The change in occupancy in any building or use that has received site plan approval within ten (10) years of the approval date of the original site plan; provided, that no additional parking is required. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
4. Multi-family structures or owner occupied single-family residential housing structures under subsection 10-5-12(E)2 of this title within the R-5 zone. (Ord. 1679, 2-9-2016)
(D) Development Design: The planning commission may use, but will not be limited to, those types of development exemplified by photographs, drawings and notes as shown in the "design manual" and "historic design guide" adopted by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
(E) Procedure: The following procedure shall govern the submission and review of site and building plans:
1. The following items must be submitted to the development services department at least thirty (30) days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of the commission:
(a) An application for design review on forms prescribed by the development services department.
(b) Copies of each of the following, as specified on application forms, or as prescribed by the development services department:
(1) Plot plan drawn to a scale of not less than one inch equals twenty feet (1"=20') showing dimensions and size of each lot to be built upon or otherwise used; the size, shape, and location of existing and proposed buildings; the location and layout of parking areas, parking spaces and driveways, drainage systems, finished contour of site.
(2) A landscaping plan including location of proposed plantings and screenings; proposed location of fences, signs and advertising structures.
(3) Exterior elevations of all sides of proposed new buildings and additions to existing buildings; exterior elevations or proposed remodeling or "facelifting". Elevations shall be drawn to a scale of not less than one-eighth inch equals one foot (1/8"=1'). In the case of additions to existing buildings, photographs of existing buildings are required.
(4) Exterior color samples.
(5) Such other information, drawings, plans, or renderings that may be required by the development services department to assist the commission in arriving at a decision. The use of color renderings and photographs is encouraged.
(6) Development services director or designated representative may at their discretion, waive certain submittal requirements when such information, as required in this subsection (E)1, would not, in his opinion, assist in describing the proposed change. These waivers shall be reviewed by the planning commission.
2. Notification of applicant and adjacent property owners within three hundred feet (300') as shown on the last adopted tax roll. The development services director shall specify the following within the notice:
(a) Type of development.
(b) Locational map.
(c) Time in which comments are to be received in order to be considered by the planning commission.
3. Within sixty (60) days after the completion of the necessary environmental documents as per the city of Placerville's "Guidelines And Procedures For The Implementation Of The California Environmental Quality Act Of 1970", as amended; the development services department shall refer the submittals, with its comments, to the commission. The commission shall act on the application within thirty (30) days after such referral, unless applicant requests, and the commission grants, an extension of time. If the commission has not acted on the application within sixty (60) days, the application shall be deemed approved. Such mandatory approval shall not constitute violation of city ordinance.
4. The development services department shall advise the applicant in writing of the time, date and place of the commission's consideration of the application and of the final disposition thereof.
5. The decision of the commission is final unless appealed as provided for in section 10-3-7 of this title. (Ord. 1679, 2-9-2016)
(F) Filing Fee: When the application for a site plan review is filed, a uniform fee set by resolution of the city council shall be paid to the city for the purpose of defraying the costs incidental to the proceedings. Said fee is nonrefundable.
(G) Criteria: The planning commission may approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the application for a building permit or other required approval in any matter subject to its scope of authority after considering whether the following criteria are met. These criteria are not intended to supersede any requirements in the city's construction regulations, restricting imagination, innovation, or variety, but rather to assist in focusing on design principles which can result in creative solutions to assist in promoting the purpose of this title. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
1. Relationship Of Buildings To Site:
(a) The site shall be planned to achieve harmony and continuity between neighborhoods and commercial areas to maintain the historic foothill small town character, as opposed to suburban patterns of development. (Ord. 1597, 2-24-2004)
(b) The site shall be planned to accomplish a desirable transition with the streetscape and to provide for adequate planting, pedestrian movement, and parking areas.
(c) Site planning in which setback and yards which exceed current regulations is encouraged to provide an inviting streetscape.
(d) Parking areas shall be treated with decorative elements, variety of paving materials, building wall extension, plantings, berms or other innovative means so as to break up large expanses of paved area.
(e) The height and scale of each building shall be compatible with its site and buildings in the surrounding area.
(f) Privacy of existing adjacent properties shall be maintained.
2. Relationship Of Building And Site To Surrounding Area:
(a) Adjacent buildings of different architectural styles shall be made compatible by such means as screens, sight breaks, colors and materials.
(b) Attractive landscape transition to surrounding properties shall be provided.
(c) Harmony in texture, lines, and masses is required. Monotony shall be avoided.
(d) Buildings shall have compatible scale to those in the surrounding area. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
(e) "Standardized" corporate architecture which involves the use of materials, textures, facades, colors, rooflines, siding and other materials and features is contrary to the city's historic small town character. In lieu of standardized corporate architecture, formula businesses shall use the following: natural and manufactured wood siding; large timbers; varied rooflines, openings and facade treatments; brick, brick veneer and rock treatments; gridded windows; and, earth tone colors in lieu of bright, glossy or reflective colors. (Ord. 1597, 2-24-2004)
3. Landscape And Site Treatment And Tree Preservation Required: Landscape elements included in these criteria consist of all forms of trees, planting and vegetation, ground forms, rock groupings, water patterns, and all visible construction except buildings and utilitarian structures:
(a) Natural Patterns Preserved: Where natural or existing topographic patterns contribute to beauty and utility of a development, they shall be preserved and developed. Modification to topography will be permitted where it contributes to good appearance.
(b) Inviting Ambiance: Grades of walks, parking spaces, terraces, and other paved areas shall provide an inviting and stable appearance for walking and, if seating is provided, for sitting.
(c) Landscape Treatment: Landscape treatment shall be provided to enhance architectural features, strengthen vistas and important axis, and provide shade.
(d) Unity Of Design: Unity of design shall be achieved by repetition of certain plant varieties and other materials, and by correlation with adjacent developments.
(e) Plant Material: Plant material shall be selected for interest in its structure, texture, and color and for its ultimate growth.
(f) Plant Protection: In locations where plants will be susceptible to injury by pedestrian or motor traffic, they shall be protected by appropriate curbs, tree guards, or other devices.
(g) Parking Areas: Parking areas and trafficways shall be enhanced with landscaped spaces containing trees or tree groupings which shall be adequately irrigated and maintained. Shrubs shall be used only where they will not obscure vision. At a minimum, twenty percent (20%) of all parking areas shall be landscaped with shrubs and ground covers. Shade trees shall be planted and maintained in planters or landscaped areas so that at tree maturity (15 years), at least fifty percent (50%) of the total paving area not including the entrance drives, parking areas under carports, or multi-story parking structures, shall be shaded at solar noon on June 21.
(h) Landscape Planter Strips: Landscape planter strips shall be provided for each ten (10) linear parking stalls.
(i) Irrigation: An automatic sprinkling system shall be installed to irrigate all landscaped areas.
(j) Screening: Service yards, and other places which tend to be unsightly, shall be screened by use of walls, fencing, planting, or combinations of these.
(k) Fences, Walls And Pavings: In areas where general planting does not prosper, other materials, such as fences, walls, and pavings of wood, brick, stone, gravel and cobbles, shall be used. Carefully selected plants shall be combined with such materials where possible.
(l) Exterior Lighting: Exterior lighting, when used, shall enhance the building design and the adjoining landscape. Lighting standards and fixtures shall be of a design and size compatible with the building and adjacent areas. Lighting shall be restrained in design, color and brilliance.
(m) Water Efficient/Drought Resistant Landscaping Required: Projects subject to this chapter with landscaped area equal to or greater than five hundred (500) square feet; rehabilitated landscape projects with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet, and cemeteries are also, where specified, subject to the water efficient landscape requirements under sections 10-6-1 through 10-6-15 of this title, and shall be required to design and install water efficient and drought resistant landscaping. Such landscaping design shall be prepared by a licensed architect or contractor, certified irrigation designer, licensed landscape contractor, or other person authorized under the California Business And Professions Code and the Food And Agricultural Code to design a landscape. To the extent feasible, landscaped design shall take into consideration the following:
(1) Provisions for grading and drainage to promote healthy plant growth and to prevent excessive erosion and runoff, and the use of mulches in shrub areas, garden beds and landscaped areas where appropriate.
(2) Provisions for the use of automatic irrigation systems and seasonal irrigation schedules incorporating water conservation design and utilizing methods appropriate for specific terrains, soil types, wind conditions, temperatures and other environmental factors in order to ensure a high degree of water efficiency.
(3) Provisions for water conservation through the appropriate use or groupings of plants that are well adapted to particular sites and to particular climatic, geological or topographical conditions.
(4) Provisions for the use of reclaimed water supplied through dual distribution systems, if feasible and cost effective, and subject to the city and county health standards.
(5) Provisions for landscape maintenance practices which foster long term landscape water conservation. Landscape maintenance practices may include, but are not limited to, performing routine irrigation system repairs and adjustments, conducting water audits and prescribing the amount of water applied per landscape area.
(n) Landscaping Maintenance: All vegetation and landscaping shall be maintained free of physical damage or injury from lack of water, excess chemical fertilizer or other toxic chemical, blight, or disease, and such vegetation or those that show signs of such damage or injury at any time shall be replaced by the same, similar or substitute vegetation of a size, form and character, which will be comparable at full growth. Landscapes shall be maintained to ensure water use efficiency. A landscaping maintenance agreement between the applicant and the city shall be required to ensure the ongoing maintenance of landscaping. Irrigation systems shall be properly maintained to prevent water waste from leaving landscape due to low head drainage, overspray, or other similar conditions where water flows onto adjacent property, nonirrigated areas, walks, roadways, parking lots, or structures. Repair of all irrigation equipment shall be done with the originally installed components or equivalents.
(o) Weeds: Landscaping shall be kept free from weeds and undesirable grasses.
(p) Tree Preservation Guidelines: Projects approved under this chapter shall, whenever possible, comply with the "Tree Preservation Guidelines" adopted by resolution by the city council.
(q) Fence Construction: Fences shall be constructed of quality low maintenance materials. Fence design shall be compatible with landscaping and site design.
(r) Bikes: Bicycle racks and bikeways, when appropriate, shall be provided. (Ord. 1676, 11-24-2015)
4. Building Design:
(a) Evaluation of appearance of a project shall be based on the quality of its design and relationship to surroundings. Inappropriate, incompatible, bizarre, exotic designs and standardized corporate architecture, other than registered trademarks, shall be avoided. (Ord. 1597, 2-24-2004)
(b) Buildings shall have form and scale with permanent neighboring development and topography.
(c) Materials shall be of durable quality, and shall be selected for harmony of the building with surrounding buildings.
In any design in which the structural frame is exposed to view, the structural materials shall meet the other criteria for materials.
(d) New building components, such as windows, doors, eaves and parapets, shall have continuity to one another. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
(e) Colors shall be harmonious to site and surrounding area. The use of standardized bright, bold, glossy nonearth tone colors is discouraged, as they generally do not project the historic foothill character of the community. (Ord. 1597, 2-24-2004)
(f) Mechanical equipment or other utility hardware on roof, ground, or buildings shall be screened from public view with materials harmonious with the building, or they shall be located so as not to be visible from any public ways.
(g) Exterior lighting shall be part of the architectural concept. Fixtures, standards and all exposed accessories shall be harmonious with building design.
(h) Refuse and waste removal areas, service yards, storage yards and exterior work areas shall be screened from view from public ways, using materials as stated in criteria for equipment screening.
(i) Monotony of design in single or multiple building projects shall be avoided. Variation of detail, form, and siting shall be used to provide visual interest. In multiple building projects, variable siting or individual buildings may be used to prevent monotonous appearance.
(j) The architectural style which should be appropriate for the project in question, and the form and roof type of commercial buildings shall not, without planning commission approval, reflect a standardized basic architectural style which is similar to other such projects constructed through related contractual or other agreements statewide or nationally. It is not the intent of this section to establish any particular architectural style.
(a) Wall signs shall be accomplished in continuity with the architectural concept. Size, color, lettering, location and arrangement shall be harmonious with the building design, and shall be compatible with approved signs on adjoining buildings. Signs shall have good proportions.
(b) Ground signs shall be designed to be compatible with the architecture of the building. The same criteria applicable to wall signs shall apply to ground signs.
(c) Materials used in signs shall have good architectural character and be harmonious with building design and surrounding landscape. Wherever possible signs shall be incorporated within the building components such as facias, and/or eaves.
(d) Every sign shall have good scale in its design and in its visual relationship to buildings and surroundings.
(e) Colors shall be harmonious and used with restraint. Lighting shall be harmonious with the design. If external spot or floodlighting is used, it shall be arranged so that the light source is shielded from view.
6. Density In Units Per Acre: The following factors are to be considered in determining the maximum allowable density in units per acre:
(a) Required grading, soil removal, and cut and fill operations.
(b) Tree removal or removal of shrubs and other natural ground cover as it may affect erosion and drainage.
(c) The criteria set forth in subsections (G)1 and (G)2 of this section.
(d) The slope of the property.
(e) Geological conditions.
(f) Any other conditions or criteria that may relate to the density potential of the property.
7. Access And Circulation: Access and traffic circulation to the site should be in such a manner as to allow for safe and reasonable pedestrian and vehicular access to and from the site and, further, so as to cause the least interference with existing uses of adjacent properties.
8. Community Design: All site plans shall be compatible with the goals and policies established in the community design element of the general plan.
(H) Destruction Or Alteration Of Buildings In A Historical District Or To Historical Buildings:
1. No building in any historical district nor any building officially designated by the council as "historical" shall be torn down, demolished, destroyed, altered, improved, or otherwise changed in exterior appearance except as hereinafter provided. Minor repair and maintenance to buildings of same material and color are exempt from this chapter.
2. If any historical building be damaged by any act of God, including, but not limited to, earthquake or fire, the owner thereof may repair such building if he/she secures approval from the planning commission.
3. Any owner making any alterations on the exterior of a historical building shall first secure approval from the planning commission.
4. Alteration of such buildings shall comply with requirements as stated in the city's construction regulations, title 4 of this code.
5. Buildings within a historical district shall not be demolished unless approved by the commission.
6. Any building or structure which is structurally unsafe as a result of fire, earthquake or other acts of God shall be removed at the direction of the building official.
(I) New Buildings In Historical District: All buildings situated within the boundaries of a historical district which are hereafter constructed shall conform to the provisions of section 10-4-10, "Historical Buildings In The City", of this chapter.
(J) Hangtown Creek: Construction within the historical district shall not encroach into or cover Hangtown Creek unless approved by the planning commission.
(K) Building Permit; Issuance:
1. Building Permit To Be Issued Within Eighteen Months: The approval of the site plan shall expire and become null and void eighteen (18) months after the date of approval unless a building permit has been obtained for any building thereon before the date of expiration. Should the building permit expire for any building thereon, then the site plan review approval shall also simultaneously expire. In no case shall site plan review approval be valid for a period exceeding five (5) years from the original approval date. The planning commission may grant a one year extension for the project if the applicant makes such a request and pays a new fee prior to the expiration date. The planning commission shall consider any changes to this code or to the project when granting the extension. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
2. Determination Of The Development Services Director Or The Authorized Representative: Before a building permit may be issued for any building or structure in a development requiring a site plan review, the development services director or the authorized representative shall make a determination that the proposed building or structure is in conformity with the approved site plan review. If conformity does not exist, the building permit shall not be issued. Stop order notice may be issued in accordance with section 1-4A-13 of this code if violations are discovered. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991; amd. Ord. 1654, 6-25-2013)
(L) Disapproval; Notice: If the planning commission disapproves an application for a site plan review, it shall state its findings and judgment in specific detail so that the applicant is informed precisely as to the basis for the commission's disapproval. (Ord. 1597, 2-24-2004)
The secretary shall furnish the applicant with the findings of the commission promptly and in no case later than five (5) days after the commission disapproves the application.
(M) Appeals: The applicant or an interested party, including a member of the planning commission or the council who is dissatisfied with the findings of the commission, may appeal to the council by filing a notice of appeal. A filing fee as set by resolution of the city council shall be required from all parties except members of the commission or a city council member. Such appeals shall be filed in accordance with section 10-3-7 of this title.
(N) Violation; Penalty: A person who violates this chapter is guilty of an infraction and shall be punished as provided in title 1, chapter 4 of this code.
(O) Chapter Application: This chapter shall apply to all construction for which a building permit application has not been applied prior to the effective date of this chapter.
(P) Site Plan Changes; Major And Minor: Application to change an approved site plan must be made in writing and filed with the secretary of the planning commission accompanied by a site plan (if applicable) and description of the modifications proposed. (Ord. 1597, 2-24-2004)
Proposed changes to an approved site plan shall be classified as either minor or major by the development services director or his duly appointed representative. Minor changes shall not in any way change the appearance, character or intent of the approved site plan nor modify the exterior building elevations of an existing formula business in the central business district (CBD) zone. Major changes will generally be any change that would alter the appearance, character or intent of the approved site plan. Examples of major changes include, but are not limited to, changes in: building facade and roofline; wall and roof materials; window and door openings; sign modifications; building illumination and exterior lighting; new mechanical equipment visible from a public way; exterior colors which deviate from existing colors which propose colors other than earth tone colors, such as "bone white", "canary yellow", or "fire engine red". Any proposed change, which does not clearly fit into one of the classifications, minor or major, shall be considered as a major change. (Ord. 1597, 2-24-2004; amd. Ord. 1654, 6-25-2013)
Upon the classification of a proposed change as either minor or major, the procedures described herein shall be followed: (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
Minor changes: May be approved by the development services director or his duly appointed representative. Approval of a minor change shall be made in writing and must include the finding that the minor change will not in any way change the appearance, character or intent of the approved site plan. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991; amd. Ord. 1654, 6-25-2013)
Major changes: May be approved only by the planning commission. The planning commission shall hold a public hearing to consider the major change in accordance with the procedure set forth in subsections (E)2 through (E)5 of this section. The applicant shall submit the following items at least fourteen (14) days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of the commission:
1. Ten (10) copies of the site plan illustrating the proposed changes.
2. A fee as determined by resolution of the city council shall be paid to defray the costs incidental to the proceedings.
3. Radius map and property owners list of owners within three hundred feet (300') of the subject site as shown on the latest adopted tax roll. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991)
4. Any other information which the development services director or his duly appointed representative has determined necessary for the planning commission's review. (Ord. 1474, 1-8-1991; amd. Ord. 1654, 6-25-2013)