Sec. 9-4.2405.5.  Parking structures: General design guidelines.
   In order to be compatible with existing and surrounding developments, parking structures are required to follow the special design guidelines described in this section. The intent of these guidelines is to provide a benefit to the community while offsetting the visual impact of parking structures when viewed by pedestrians and motorists from the adjacent public right-of-way. This benefit can be achieved by using superior site and architectural design, which incorporates the requirements of this section.
   (a)   Below-grade parking structures.
   (1)   Definitions.
   (i)   A “basement parking structure” shall mean a parking structure that is under a building designed for human occupancy where the floor level above the parking structure is not more than six (6') feet above finished grade for at least fifty (50%) percent of the perimeter, and does not exceed twelve (12') feet above finished grade at any point.
   (ii)   A “stand-alone below-grade parking structure” shall mean a parking structure that is not under a building designed for human occupancy where its floor level is more than four (4') feet below finished grade for more than fifty (50%) percent of the total perimeter, or more than eight (8') feet below finished grade.
   (2)   Permitted zones:
   (i)   C-2, C-3, C-4, M-1, M-2, and P-L Zones.
   (ii)   R-3 and Residential Planned Development Zones, if needed to accommodate residential densities of 20 or more dwellings per net acre.
   (3)   Special development requirements.
   (i)   Non-residential projects: The minimum lot size for projects proposing below grade parking structures shall be 1 acre, unless otherwise permitted by the Planning Commission or City Council or as specifically authorized in an adopted specific plan.
   (ii)   Below-grade parking structures shall be located to minimize the visual impact from adjacent streets as much as possible, in order to screen the parking structure from public view. Furthermore, the specific location of the parking structure must also comply with the Thousand Oaks Police Department security and safety requirements.
   (iii)   In order to improve the overall project aesthetics, and to minimize the potential design conflict with nearby existing developments, projects incorporating below-grade parking structures shall provide increased landscaping setbacks from streets and property lines, both for the parking structure itself and its associated development, as follows:
   (aa)   Front yard and any street frontage landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of five (5') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone.
   (ab)   Rear yard landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of five (5') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone.
   (ac)   Side yard landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of four (4') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone.
   (iv)   The perimeter of any below-grade parking structure, above grade, visible to view, shall be provided with a landscape planter of at least five (5') feet in width at ground level.
   (v)   Structure Design. The following guidelines shall apply to the design of both types of below-grade parking structures:
   (aa)   The height of the above-grade, visible portions of the below-grade parking structure shall not be included in the overall maximum building height as defined in Section 9-4.202. Furthermore, the entry elevation to the parking structure, with its unavoidable visible above-grade walls, should be designed and located in a manner that reduces its impact and exposure to public view.
   (ab)   Any exposed elevations of the below-grade parking structure shall be designed to reflect architectural compatibility with existing or proposed structure(s). The above-grade, visible portions of the
exterior elevations of the below-grade parking structure shall be designed to minimize the use of blank facades through the combined use of appropriate architectural treatment such as heavy
textured concrete, planters, openings, indentations, and projections of exterior walls to provide visual interest.
   (vi)   All parking stalls within below-grade parking structures shall be designed for the use of owners, tenants, and employees only. Appropriate signing and circulation access devices shall be installed to assure compliance with this requirement.
   (b)   Single-level above-grade parking structures.
   (1)   Definitions.
   (i)   A “freestanding single-level parking structure” is a parking structure with only one aboveground parking level that is not an integral part of a building designed for human occupancy where its floor level is not more than four (4') feet below finished grade for more than fifty (50%) percent of the total perimeter, nor more than eight (8') feet above finished grade at any point.
   (ii)   An “intermixed single-level above-grade parking structure” is a parking structure with only one aboveground parking level that is an integral part of a building designed for human occupancy where the floor above the parking structure is more than six (6') feet above finished grade for more than fifty (50%) percent of the perimeter of the structure, or more than twelve (12') feet above finished grade at any point.
   (2)   Permitted zones.
   (i)   C-2, C-3, C-4, M-1, M-2, and P-L Zones.
   (ii)   R-3 and Residential Planned Development Zones: Intermixed single-level above grade parking structures are permitted if needed to accommodate residential densities of 20 or more dwellings per net acre.
   (3)   Special development requirements. The following site design guidelines shall apply to both types of single-level above-grade parking structures:
   (i)   Non-residential projects: The minimum lot size shall be 3 acres, unless otherwise permitted by the Planning Commission or City Council or as specifically authorized in an adopted specific plan.
   (ii)   Single-level above-grade parking structures shall be located to minimize the visual impact from adjacent streets as much as possible. Single-level above-grade parking structures should be located at the rear of the subject property, or behind the proposed or existing building in order to screen the parking structure from public view. Furthermore, the specific location of the parking structure must also comply with Thousand Oaks Police Department security and safety requirements.
   (iii)   Non-residential projects: In order to improve the overall project aesthetics and to minimize the potential design conflict with nearby existing developments, projects incorporating single-level above-grade parking structures shall provide increased landscaping setbacks from streets and property lines, both for the parking structure itself and its associated development, as follows:
   (aa)   Front yard and any street frontage landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of seven (7') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone,
   (ab)   Rear yard landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of five (5') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone,
   (ac)   Side yard landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of four (4') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone.
   (iv)   All parking stalls within a single-level above-grade parking structure, for office use only, may be designated for the use of owners, tenants, and employees only, with the approval of the Planning Commission and/or City Council. However, if the single-level above-grade parking structure is designed for general parking use, then appropriate security measures, as deemed necessary by the Thousand Oaks Police Department, shall be incorporated within the proposed project. Parking stalls within a single-level above-grade parking structure, for commercial retail uses, other than office, may be designed for general parking use by the public. Appropriate signing and circulation access devices shall be installed to assure compliance with this requirement.
   (v)   Single-level above-grade parking structures shall comply with the height requirements of the underlying zone or applicable Specific Plan. Furthermore, the height of the above-grade, visible portions of the single-level above-grade parking structure shall be included in the overall maximum building height as defined in Section 9-4.202.
   (vi)   The perimeter of any single-level above-grade parking structure shall be provided with a landscape planter of at least five (5') feet in width at ground level. The landscaping plans for the project as submitted and approved by the Community Development Department, shall incorporate these requirements.
   (vii)   Single-level above-grade parking structures, visible from streets, which give the appearance of surface parking lots due to their visual and physical relationship to the street will be required to meet the landscape percentage requirements of a surface parking lot.
   (viii)   Any exposed elevations of a single-level above-grade parking structure shall be designed to reflect architectural compatibility with existing or proposed structure(s) within the project. The exterior elevations of a single-level above-grade parking structure shall be designed to minimize the use of blank facades through the combined use of appropriate architectural treatment such as heavy textured concrete, planters, openings, indentations, and projections of exterior walls to provide visual interest.
   (c)   Multi-level above-grade parking structures.
   (1)   Definitions.
   (i)   A “freestanding multi-level parking structure” is a parking structure with two or more aboveground parking levels that is not an integral part of a building designed for human occupancy.
   (ii)   An “intermixed multi-level aboveground parking structure” is a parking structure with two or more aboveground parking levels that is an integral part of a building designed for human occupancy.
   (2)   Permitted zones:
   (i)   C-2, C-3, C-O, M-1, M-2, and P-L Zones.
   (ii)   R-3 and Residential Planned Development Zones: Intermixed multilevel above grade parking structures are permitted if needed to accommodate residential densities of 20 or more dwellings per net acre.
   (3)   Special development requirements.
   (i)   Non-residential projects: The minimum lot size shall be 5 acres, unless otherwise permitted by the Planning Commission or City Council or as specifically authorized in an adopted specific plan.
   (ii)   Non-residential projects: In order to improve the overall project aesthetics, and to minimize the potential design conflict with nearby existing developments, projects incorporating multi-level above-grade parking structures shall provide increased landscaping setbacks from streets and property lines, both for the parking structure itself and its associated development, as follows:
   (aa)   Front yard and any street frontage landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of ten (10') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone.
   (ab)   Rear yard landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of seven (7') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone.
   (ac)   Side yard landscape setbacks shall be increased by a minimum of four (4') feet, as compared to the requirement of the underlying zone.
   (iii)   Separations between a multi-level above-grade parking structure and other buildings on the same site shall comply with the Uniform Building Code. However, for buildings located on adjacent parcels, there shall be a minimum separation between structures that is one and one-half (1-1/2) times the height of the proposed multi-level above-grade parking structure.
   (iv)   All parking stalls within a multi-level above-grade parking structure, for office use only, may be designated for the use of owners, tenants, and employees only, with the approval of the Planning Commission and/or City Council. However, if the multi-level above-grade parking structure is designed for general parking use, then appropriate security measures, as deemed necessary by the Thousand Oaks Police Department, shall be incorporated within the proposed project. Parking stalls within a multi-level above-grade parking structure, for commercial retail uses other than office, may be designed for general parking use by the public. Appropriate signing and circulation access devices shall be installed to assure compliance with this requirement.
   (v)   Multi-level above-grade parking structures shall comply with the basic height requirements of the underlying zone or applicable specific plan; provided, however, that the height of the multi-level above-grade parking structure may not exceed the basic height limit even if the property is subject to H overlay zoning.
   (vi)   The perimeter of any multi-level above-grade parking structure shall be provided with a landscaped planter of at least ten (10') feet in width at ground level. The width of this planter shall be increased at increments of five (5') feet for each additional allowed exposed level, above two (2).
   (vii)   Due to the impracticality of significantly landscaping exposed upper level parking decks, there shall be a transfer of parking landscape requirements to visible ground level locations. No less than ten (10%) percent of the multi-level above-grade parking structure footprint shall be utilized as additional surface parking lot landscaping at ground level adjacent to public rights-of-way or adjacent to proposed structures.
   (viii)   Multi-level above-grade parking structures should be located in such a manner as to “fit-in” and not be visually imposing on the site. To achieve this design concept, the structure should be situated within the rear portion of the site where it can be screened, as much as possible, from public view and adjacent public streets and thus minimize its visual effect on surrounding properties. However, any portion of a multi-level above-grade parking structure visible from a public right-of-way should be treated architecturally to mitigate its negative impacts, such as visible parked vehicles and exposed interior lighting fixtures. Furthermore, the specific location of the parking structure must also comply with Thousand Oaks Police Department security and safety requirements.
   (ix)   Multi-level above-grade parking structures shall be architecturally designed to be compatible and consistent, but subordinate, to the existing or proposed structure(s). However, if the multi-level above-grade parking structure is located on a prominent location on the subject property, visible to vehicular and pedestrian public view, then it should be architecturally designed to be compatible and consistent with the existing or proposed structure(s). The exterior elevations of multi-level above-grade parking structures shall be designed to minimize the use of blank facades through the combined use of appropriate architectural treatment such as heavy textured concrete, planters, trellises (on roof levels), openings, indentations, and projections of exterior walls to provide visual interest, and where appropriate, roof elements. Furthermore, to reduce the perceived scale of the structure, each level may be “stepped-back” from the lower level. When such stepped parking level designs are used, the requirements for additional five (5') feet of perimeter landscaping width for each level above two (2) levels, shall not be required, provided that each parking level, above two (2), is stepped back a minimum distance of five (5') feet from the level below it.
   (x)   Parked vehicles located on roof decks and within multi-level above-grade parking structures shall be screened from public view from the adjoining street levels on each parking level through the combined use of landscaping planters, trellises and/or decorative screen walls. Additional screening of roof decks shall be required where adjoining streets or public rights-of-way are higher than the parking deck roof.
   (d)   Hybrid parking structure configurations.
   (1) Definition: “Hybrid configuration parking structure” shall mean a project utilizing more than one design approach for a parking structure.
   (2)   This type of parking structure shall comply with the more restrictive of the standards and guidelines of the types utilized.
   (e)   The construction and use of parking structures cannot be approved administratively unless they are part of a housing project that is allowed “by right” under California law.
   (f)   Standards and design guidelines applicable to all parking structures.
   (1)   Appropriate security measures shall be incorporated into the design of parking structures, including, but not limited to, location of the  structure, entrances, exits and openings, the use of security video systems, security gates, fencing, lighting, security patrols, twenty-four (24) hour surveillance, limited hours of operation, graffiti control measures and other means deemed necessary by the Thousand Oaks Police Department.
   (2)   An eight-foot two inch (8'2") minimum vertical clearance shall be required for all entrances and exits, including turnaround areas for vehicular required access. The vertical clearance dimension shall be measured from the finished surface of the parking level to the lowest structural surface, or electrical, plumbing, mechanical or signage appurtenance above.
   (3)   Parking structures shall comply with the provisions of Sections 9-4.2404 and 9-4.2405 of this article, with regard to parking stall dimensions, aisle widths, disabled parking and the general installation requirements for parking areas.
   (4)   Unless otherwise permitted by the decision-making body, all areas used exclusively for parking and turnarounds, shall be designed with grades not to exceed a maximum of two and one-half (2.5%) percent slope. Grades exceeding two and one-half (2.5%) percent slope up to five (5%) percent slope may be allowed on parked access ramps. A slope of seven and one-half (7.5%) percent up to ten (10%) percent may be allowed on unparked access ramps with a non-skid surface.
   (5)   If an access ramp is provided to a public street, all access points shall meet sight distance requirements as specified in the City Road Standards, and shall be designed to the satisfaction of the City Traffic Engineer.
   (6)   No loading/unloading activities, trash enclosures or recycling bins shall be permitted within a parking structure. These activities shall be designed and provided for separately, within the site, to serve the proposed project.
   (7)   Surface water, rainfall and other forms of water runoff, must be collected and diverted to the  storm drain system. Water runoff may not be directed to the wastewater system.
   (8)   Interior architectural lighting with a uniform lighting level shall be provided, in accordance with the Building and Security Ordinance, Section 8-1.22 of this Code. Additional architectural lighting may be required at public entrances.
   (9)   Parking structures shall provide variations in finish materials and colors at public entrances that include use of accent tiles, floor pavers and other special wall, floor and ceiling finishes and colors.
   (10)   Parking structures shall use landscape planters, light wells, and other amenities that provide a visually pleasing aesthetic effect.
   (11)   Parking structures shall provide natural ventilation and openings to the outside where possible.
   (12)   Non-residential projects: Above-grade parking levels shall not be permitted within twenty-five (25') feet of any adjacent residentially zoned properties, unless a determination is made that unusual site, topography, and/or physical and legal constraints are present that would prevent compliance. As a condition of any waiver of this regulation, the walls of the parking structure adjacent to and facing residentially zoned properties shall be designed to prohibit any direct openings through which noise, light or air pollutants may be transmitted.
   (13)   Due to the impracticality of significantly landscaping exposed upper level parking decks, there shall be a transfer of parking landscape requirements to visible ground level locations. No less than ten (10%) percent of the parking structure footprint shall be utilized as additional surface parking lot landscaping at ground level adjacent to public rights-of-way or adjacent to proposed structures.
   (14)   No on-building identification or advertisement signs, except directional or parking entrance signs, shall be allowed on the exterior elevations. The frontage of such structure shall not be used in calculating the size of permitted signs for the project.
(§ 3, Ord. 1156-NS, eff. July 7, 1992, § 2, Ord. 1569-NS, eff. March 9, 2012)