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(a) Purpose. Appropriate design of multi-family residential structures and outdoor spaces can contribute to a dynamic, visually rich environment that promotes social interaction, fosters community pride, and instills feelings of safety and security. These design guidelines are intended to achieve the following objectives:
(1) Establish multi-family residential architectural designs that complement various neighborhood characteristics and that support high quality development.
(2) Identify landscape materials and designs that enhance the appearance of multi-family residential developments and contribute to the overall quality of the community.
(3) Provide for amenities appropriate to the demographics of multi-family residential projects within an area.
(4) Apply the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) to enhance safety and security within multi-family residential development projects.
(5) Establish criteria to ensure quality property management.
(b) Site Planning.
(1) Context. Multi-family residential development successfully contributes to the overall community when relationships with the existing and planned land uses, development patterns, and context are considered.
(A) New multi-family projects should respect the context of the existing neighborhood, reflect its best design features, and generally be compatible with the character of existing high quality development while still fulfilling the intent of the standards identified within this Chapter.
(B) Existing site amenities (e.g., views, mature trees, and similar natural features unique to the site) should be preserved and incorporated into residential projects whenever possible.
(C) New multi-family residential projects should be compatible with residential development in the immediate area through the use of complementary structure arrangements, buffers, and avoidance of overwhelming structure scale and visual obstructions.
(D) Where appropriate, new landscaping should complement existing landscape materials, location, and massing on adjacent developments.
(E) Developments should relate directly to the adjacent street, present an attractive and interesting facade to passersby, and appear inviting. Developments that ignore the street and create an isolated enclave are strongly discouraged. See Figure 84-6 (Dwelling Unit Oriented to Street).
(2) Siting. Appropriate structure siting can reduce the perceived density of multi-family projects, maximize open space areas, provide “eyes on the street” surveillance, and enhance neighborliness by creating community gathering spaces.
(A) A multi-family structure should be oriented to a street in compliance with § 84.16.060(a)(1)(A) (Site planning standards).
(B) In addition to a street orientation, the clustering of multi-family dwelling units should be a consistent site planning element of the plan. Whenever possible, structures should be configured around courtyards, gathering areas, and open spaces. See Figure 84-7 (Clustering of Multi-Family Dwelling Units).
(C) Portions of the project that are not oriented to the street should be well integrated into the project’s overall site design. As with the street-oriented area of the project, the same design considerations should be given to siting, appearance, circulation, landscaping, and safety issues.
(D) Structures should be oriented to provide some privacy yet still relate to the street and the existing community. Doors should be visible from the street and windows should allow residents to have “eyes on the street” for natural surveillance. See Figure 84-8 (“Eyes on the Street”).
(E) Energy efficiency and energy conservation should be considered in structure siting. Structures should be oriented to take advantage of prevailing breezes for cross ventilation of individual dwelling units, reduce the need for mechanical air conditioning, and to enhance the functionality of ceiling fans.
(3) Open Space.
(A) Residents should have access to useable open space for recreation and social activities. Open spaces should be conveniently located. See Figure 84-9 (“Access to Open Space”)
(B) Open space areas should be sheltered from the noise and traffic of adjacent streets or other incompatible uses. Open space siting should take advantage of prevailing breezes and sun orientation in order to provide a comfortable environment.
(C) Open space areas should have well-defined edges (e.g., walkways, structures, or landscaping).
(D) A series of connected open space areas of varying shape, appearance, and usage are encouraged. Smaller areas may directly relate to a cluster of units, while the larger areas may serve several clusters as common open space. See Figure 84-10 (Connected Open Spaces).
(4) Outdoor Play Areas.
(A) Hard surface areas for activities (e.g., bicycle riding, skating, rope jumping, hopscotch, etc.) should be provided. These active play areas should be safely separated from vehicular use areas.
(B) The physical capabilities and play behavior of various age groups (i.e., tots, older children, and teens) are different. In large developments, separate, but not necessarily segregated, play areas or informal outdoor spaces should be provided for each group for safety reasons. Small developments may combine these play areas (i.e., tot lot incorporated into the larger activity area for older children). See Figure 84-11 (Play Areas for Different Ages).
(C) Seating areas should be provided where adults can supervise children’s play and also where school-age children can sit. Seating location should consider comfort factors (e.g., sun orientation, shade, wind, etc.).
(1) Overall Character.
(A) Where the neighborhood has a recognizable architectural theme, style, or character, it should be considered for incorporation into the project’s design.
(B) To create a unified appearance, all support structures in the project (e.g., laundry facilities, recreation structures, carports, garages, and the management office) should be compatible in architectural design with the rest of the development.
(2) Structure Scale and Height.
(A) Structures should incorporate smaller-scale architectural forms (e.g., bays, recessed or projecting balconies, and dormers) in order to visually reduce the height and scale of the structure and emphasize the definition of individual units. Architectural elements (e.g., bay windows, porches, projecting eaves, awnings, and similar elements) that add visual interest to the development are strongly encouraged.
(B) In order to “scale down” facades that face the street, common open space, and adjacent residential structures, it may be desirable to set back portions of the upper floors of new multi-family residential structures.
(C) Varied structure heights are encouraged, both to provide visual interest and give the appearance of a collection of smaller structures. Structure heights at the development’s edge should be considered within the context of the project’s surroundings, the adjacent uses, and the distance from adjacent structures. The development’s structure height should create a transition from the heights of adjacent existing residential development, rather than form abrupt height changes. See Figure 84-12 (Height Transition).
(3) Facade Modulation. Boxy and monotonous facades that lack human scale dimensions and have large expanses of flat wall planes should be prohibited. Architectural treatments (e.g., recessed windows, moldings, decorative trim, and wood frames) should be used to add visual interest to the facade. Windows of varied shape, size, and placement are strongly encouraged. See Figure 84-13 (Examples of Window Styles).
(A) Roof pitches and materials should appear residential in character and should consider the prevailing roof types in the neighborhood (e.g., hipped roofs, gabled roofs, mansard roofs etc.). The roof pitch for a porch may be slightly lower than the roof pitch of the main structure. See Figure 84-14 (Typical Roof Types).
(B) Roof lines should be broken up and varied within the overall horizontal plane. Combinations of roof heights that create variation and visual interest are strongly encouraged.
(C) Carport roofs visible from structures should incorporate the roof pitch and materials of adjacent structures.
(5) Mechanical Equipment and Vents.
(A) Roof-mounted mechanical equipment visible from structures or a public street should be screened in a manner consistent with the appearance of the structure, including materials and color.
(B) Mechanical equipment on the ground should be screened from view. Utility meters and equipment should be placed in locations that are not exposed to view from the street or they should be suitably screened, including the use of landscape materials. Screening devices should be compatible with the architecture and color of the adjacent structures.
(C) Roof flashing and vents exposed to public view should be painted to match adjacent surfaces or concealed in a manner consistent with the structure’s appearance.
(D) Screening of mechanical equipment should comply with § 83.02.060 (Screening and Buffering).
(d) Site Elements.
(1) Site Furniture.
(A) The design, selection, and placement of site furnishings (e.g., tables, benches, and solid waste receptacles) should be compatible with the overall site design and architectural character of the residential project.
(B) Seating opportunities should be provided in both sunny and shaded areas. Seating in areas that offer opportunities for social interaction and informal surveillance (e.g., a bench near the mail box area or benches near tot lot areas and laundry rooms) are strongly encouraged. A variety of sitting area designs, from formal arrangements (e.g., benches) to informal arrangements (e.g., low walls or steps) is strongly encouraged. In general, benches should be located in areas that have some provision for shade.
(A) Mailboxes should be located in highly visible, heavy use areas for convenience, to allow for casual social interaction, and to promote safety. A bench or seating area in close proximity to the mailbox location is strongly encouraged, and a solid waste receptacle(s) should be located adjacent to the mailboxes. See Figure 84-15 (Mailboxes).
(B) Incorporation of design features (e.g., built frame consistent with the project’s architectural style) is strongly encouraged.
(Ord. 4043, passed - -2008)