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(A) Approval. Shopping centers, malls and big box centers exceeding seventy-five thousand (75,000) square feet or larger are permitted only within C-3 commercial area districts in accordance with an approved special use permit and site plan.
Shopping centers, malls and big box centers between fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet and seventy-four thousand nine hundred ninety-nine (74,999) square feet and/or four (4) or more units are permitted within the C-1, MU, NB and C-3 districts in accordance with a site plan approved under normal site plan review procedures as well as the standards set forth within this section.
Development of out parcels shall be done in a manner that incorporates architectural materials and elements used in the principal buildings(s).
Individual lots that are developed and are not out parcels of a development are encouraged to follow these design guidelines.
All projects required to meet the design criteria shall submit elevations showing all sides of the building. Elevation sheets shall detail compliance with the design standards section of the ordinance.
(B) Access requirements. In providing a means of access to a shopping center, mall and big box center, the following requirements are hereby established:
1) Any shopping center, mall or big box center exceeding seventy-five thousand (75,000) square feet shall complete a traffic impact study for the proposed development. The study shall be submitted simultaneously to the State of North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Surf City.
2) Primary access to any shopping center, mall or big box center shall be designed to provide minimum disruption to the public street traffic movement. The access drive shall align with adjacent roads, intersections, and other primary access drives whenever possible to allow for coordinated traffic movement.
3) Development plans shall include reasonable accommodations for cross easements or other means of internal access to adjoining properties or out-parcels. Internal circulation is desired to prevent the need for traffic re-entering the public street to access adjacent commercial parcels. This requirement shall apply regardless of the developed condition of the adjoining parcels unless topography or other extenuating circumstances exist.
4) In the event there is any conflict between this ordinance or any standards or requirements by other regulatory agencies, the more strict requirements shall be applicable.
5) Public bicycle storage facilities shall be required on site in the vicinity of the main entrance with of any building/unit over twenty-five thousand (25,000) square feet.
(C) Design guidelines. Shopping centers, malls and big box centers shall create a facade designed to reduce massive building scale and eliminate solid monolithic wall appearance. Facade modules shall be incorporated into the building architecture shall be consistent with the architecture styling and scale that is historically found within an upscale coastal community. Architectural plans shall be submitted with a site plan.
(1) Shopping centers, malls and big box centers shall incorporate individual facade modules along the primary facade.
(a) Each facade module shall contain a minimum of five (5) architectural elements. At least two (2) of the architectural elements shall be unique and cannot be replicated along the remaining length of primary facade. A minor material may not exceed fifteen (15) percent of the facade module.
(b) Each facade module shall contain at least two (2) approved architectural materials. No single approved architectural material may cover greater than sixty (60) percent of the facade module area. Only one (1) approved architectural material may be reused on any immediately adjacent facade module.
(c) Development of out parcels shall be done in a manner that incorporates architectural materials and elements used in the main buildings(s).
(2) Shopping centers, malls and big box centers shall incorporate individual facade modules along fifty (50) percent of the secondary facade. All facade modules within the secondary facade shall be evenly distributed and spaced along the entire length of the secondary facade. Developers may choose to eliminate facade modules on the secondary facade entirely if the facade is screened from view of the public street by means of a screening device of vegetation and or a wall/fence complimentary to the architectural design of the building.
(a) Each secondary facade module shall contain a minimum of five (5) architectural elements. At least two (2) of the architectural elements shall be unique and cannot be replicated along the remaining length of the secondary facade.
(b) Each secondary facade module shall contain at least two (2) approved architectural materials. No single approved material may cover greater than sixty (60) percent of the facade module area. Only one (1) approved architectural material may be reused on any immediately adjacent facade module.
(3) Shopping carts shall be located inside the building or shall be screened from the public view. Shopping cart return areas for the public use are allowed in the parking lot area.
(4) Refuse containers, recycling facilities, trash compactors and the like shall be enclosed in a building material that matches the structure or is visually compatible with the structure. Public views of these areas should be limited.
(5) All accessory buildings shall be of materials that are visually compatible in appearance with the principle structure.
(6) All rooftop mechanical equipment shall be screened from the line of sight of public and private right of ways, private roads and public sidewalks.
(D) Landscaping. Shopping centers, malls and big box centers shall provide attractive, functional and creative landscape designs throughout the project site. Landscaping shall be installed in accordance with section 5.7 and in accordance with the following additional standards:
(1) All vehicular surface areas shall contain landscape islands that are arranged in a manner that clearly delineates parking bays and drive isles. A landscape island shall be placed at the end of each parking bay. Landscape islands shall not be located greater than one hundred (100) feet away from any other landscape island. Each landscape island shall contain a minimum of one (1) canopy tree and three (3) shrubs. Vehicular surface area canopy trees shall be placed at a distance no greater than fifteen (15) feet from any vehicular surface area.
(2) All landscaping shall be allowed to grow to its mature size. Routine pruning and trimming is permitted in a manner that is responsible and does not prevent the landscaping from reaching its typical mature size. Removal of required landscaping shall be prohibited unless first approved by the zoning administration official. Any landscape material removed from the site must be replaced within a 90-day period.
(3) All open pedestrian walkways, sidewalks, and passageways shall be landscaped on a ratio of one (1) canopy tree and fifteen (15) shrubs per one hundred (100) linear feet of walkway, sidewalk, or passageway. The landscaping shall be installed within ten (10) feet of the edge of pedestrian walkway, sidewalk, or passageway. This landscaping material may be used to meet required vehicular surface area or street yard landscaping requirements.
(4) Large retail establishments shall provide at least one permanent outdoor space or site amenity to beautify the site and to enhance the vehicular and pedestrian entryways to the site and any other buildings on the site. A preferred option (although other options may be considered and approved) include a public plaza or courtyard that contains "furniture" items such as seating walls, benches, drinking and/or decorative fountains, clock towers and other features that are designed to enhance the external aesthetics of the site. Such outdoor spaces can be located in the front yard (and, if so, can be designed to be accessed exclusively through the development rather than from the adjoining street) or in the interior portion of the development.
(5) Best management practices shall be utilized to ensure that damage to sidewalks and other paved surfaces is minimized from the landscaping planted.
(E) Signage. Shopping centers, malls and big box centers shall provide attractive, functional and coordinated signage designs. All signage shall comply with size, height and quantity standards set forth within the Town of Surf City ordinance and in accordance with the following additional standards:
(1) All proposed freestanding signage shall be consistent with and complimentary to the architectural styling of the building. The pole or support structure of all freestanding signs shall be landscaped with evergreen plant material that obscures the pole or support structure to within three (3) feet of the signage display area upon maturity.
(2) All wall signage areas shall be consistent with and complimentary to the architectural styling of the building. Signage areas shall be clearly delineated on the building elevation plans and/or renderings.
(F) Parking. Shopping centers, malls and big box centers shall provide efficient and functional parking lot designs that are also pedestrian friendly. All required parking shall comply with quantity and dimensional standards set forth within the Town of Surf City ordinance and in accordance with the following additional standards:
(1) Parking shall be arranged in a manner that gives pedestrians safe passageway from their vehicles to the building without walking along drive isles. Pedestrian passageways shall be established within parking areas no less than one hundred twenty-five (125) feet apart. Passageways shall be no less than four (4) feet wide.
(G) Setbacks. Shopping centers, malls and big box centers shall maintain a minimum building setback for the district the building is located, except along property lines adjoining residential districts. In such case a 30-foot buffer setback must be maintained and a screening device shall be installed consisting of landscaping and a wall or fence that is complimentary to the architectural design of the site unless reduced by a special use permit.
(H) Reuse/compartmentalization. As part of the special use permit review process, any large retail establishment constructed after the adoption of these regulations shall be designed to include specific elements for adaptation to multi tenant re-use. Such elements may include but are not limited to the following:
• Compartmentalized constructions include plumbing, electrical service, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
• Building design shall also allow for the interior subdivision of the structure into separate tenancies.
• Facades shall be readily adaptable to multiple entrances.
• Parking lot schemes shall be designed to enable users of any future tenants to readily walk from their vehicles to the storefront.
• Other design elements that facilitate the multi-tenant re-use of the building.
(Ord. No. 2006-52, 12-5-06; Ord. No. 2020-10, 12-1-20)