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(A) Promote creation. The commercial design standards established in this section are intended to promote the creation of commercial developments that:
(1) Are compact, walkable and interconnected with adjacent commercial and residential development;
(2) Provide safe and convenient pedestrian access to and between commercial buildings; and
(3) Provide safe, convenient and attractive parking areas.
(B) Site layout/development pattern.
(1) Location of parking.
(a) For projects requiring 100 or more parking spaces, a minimum of 40% of the off-street surface parking spaces provided for all uses contained in the development’s primary building shall be in locations other than between the primary building and the primary abutting street, defined as the abutting street that carries the highest traffic volume (such as to the rear or side of the primary building(s)), as illustrated in Figure 9.
(b) More than 60% of the off-street surface parking spaces provided for all uses contained in the development’s largest building may be located between the front facade of the primary building(s) and the abutting street with the longest frontage, provided that buildings on pad sites cover at least 30% of the frontage along the primary abutting street, defined as the abutting street that carries the highest traffic volume, as illustrated in Figure 10.
Figure 9: Commercial Design Standards: Site Layout/Development Pattern
Figure 10: Commercial Design Standards: Building Layout/Development Pattern
(2) Parking lot design. For projects requiring 100 or more parking spaces:
(a) The parking aisles shall extend perpendicular to the nearest wall of the building they serve;
(b) Landscaped islands measuring at least eight feet in width measured from back of curb to back of curb shall be installed between every third parking aisle, as illustrated in Figure 11;
(c) No parking space or driveway aisle shall access any entry drive within 60 feet of the project entry’s intersection with a collector or arterial street;
(d) For parking lots that measure 300 feet or more as measured parallel to the fronting street, one landscaped pedestrian walkway measuring at least five feet wide and located outside of the driveways and parking aisles shall be constructed for each 300 feet in frontage (see Figure 11). The landscaped strip along the walkway shall measure at least eight feet in width, on each side of the walkway, shall include ground cover and at least one tree staggered on each side of the walkway at intervals of 30 feet, which may be counted towards other required landscaping on the site. The pedestrian walkway shall extend from the sidewalk along the fronting street to the largest building on the site; shall be approximately equally spaced between side streets; and shall link pad sites with the principal structure. Where the pedestrian walkway crosses a driveway or parking aisle, the walkway shall be constructed in a texture and color that is distinct from the texture and color of the driveway or parking aisle;
(e) For commercial sites with multiple buildings, pedestrian walkways meeting the standard in the division (B)(2)(d), above, shall connect each building; and
(f) An unobstructed sidewalk measuring at least eight feet in width shall be located and kept along the full length of all sides of buildings having customer entrances. Additional width shall be required if the sidewalk is used for seating, displays or other purposes.
(3) Pad sites.
(a) Design standards. To the maximum extent practical, pad sites shall be clustered together to create consistent edges along streets and to provide safe and convenient pedestrian connections between buildings.
(b) Building orientation on pad sites. The front facade containing the primary customer entrance, may be oriented in a variety of ways, as shown in Figure 12, including, without limitation, toward the primary abutting street, toward an internal “main street,” framing a primary entrance to the development or center, toward the side (especially when that side faces another pad site building), or toward the interior of the center. Regardless of primary orientation, pad site buildings shall comply with the following:
1. Any side of a pad site building that directly faces a public street shall contain a combination of at least two of the following: a customer entrance, windows, trellises, awnings, areas of glass block, arcades, or planters. Customer entrances shall be emphasized through incorporation of a building recess, projections, canopies, or similar design element.
2. Spaces between adjacent pad site buildings shall be improved to provide pedestrian connections and amenities between sites. Examples include: A landscaped pedestrian walkway linking customer entrances between two or more pad site buildings; a public seating or outdoor eating area; and sculptures or fountains; or other design features approved by the Planning and Development Services Director.
(c) Pad site building design.
1. Pad site buildings shall incorporate the same materials as those on the primary commercial building(s) in the development or center.
2. Entrance to pad site buildings shall include shall include a bench or other amenities that provide limited outdoor seating for patrons.
Figure 11: Commercial Design Standards: Parking Lot Landscape Islands
Figure 12: Commercial Design Standards: Building Orientation on Pad Sites
(C) Building design. The following standards shall apply to all retail and office development encompassing 40,000 square feet or more of gross leasable area, and all non-residential development fronting an arterial road as defined by Chapter 155 of the York County Code of Ordinances.
(1) Building massing and facade treatment.
(a) Variation in massing. A single, large, dominant building mass shall be avoided (see Figure 14).
(b) Minimum wall articulation (see Figure 15). The building bay or structural building system shall be a maximum of 30 feet in width. Bays shall be bordered by architectural features such as arcades, columns, ribs or pilasters, piers, and fenestration pattern no less than 12 inches in width. To add architectural interest and variety and avoid the effect of a single, long or massive wall, any wall that faces a street that exceed:
1. Change in wall plane, such as projections or recesses, having a depth of at least 3% of the length of the facade and extending at least 20% of the length of the facade;
2. Change in texture or masonry pattern;
4. Trellises with vines; or
5. Other design feature approved that the Planning and Development Services Director determines to adequately provide architectural interest.
(c) Side or rear walls that face walkways may include false windows, either glazing or pattern, and defined by frames, sills, and lintels, or similarly proportioned modulations of the wall, provided actual doors and windows are not feasible because of the nature of the use of the building facade.
(d) All sides of the building visible from public streets shall include materials and design characteristics consistent with those on the front.
Figure 14: Commercial Design Standards: Variations in Massing
Figure 15: Commercial Design Standards: Minimum Wall Articulation
(2) Awnings (see Figure 16).
(a) Awnings shall be no longer than a single storefront.
(b) Fabric awnings are encouraged; canvas awnings with a matte finish are preferred. Awnings with high gloss finish and illuminated, plastic awnings are prohibited.
Figure 16: Commercial Design Standards: Awnings
(3) Building materials. All commercial development shall comply with the following design standards (see Figure 17 for illustrated examples).
(a) The walls of all primary buildings shall be constructed or clad with materials that are durable, economically-maintained, and of a quality that will retain their appearance over time, including, but not limited to, natural or synthetic stone; brick; stucco; integrally-colored, textured, or glazed concrete masonry units; textured, prestressed concrete systems approved by the Planning and Development Services Director; or glass.
(b) Natural wood or wood paneling shall not be used as a principal exterior wall material, but durable synthetic materials with the appearance of wood may be used. Exterior building materials shall not include the following:
1. Split shakes, rough-sawn or board and batten wood;
2. Vinyl siding;
3. Smooth-faced gray concrete block, painted or stained concrete block, tilt-up concrete panels;
4. Field-painted or pre-finished standard corrugated metal siding; or
5. Standard single- or double-tee concrete systems.
(c) Exterior building material shall extend from the cornice to within one foot of finished grade on any elevation visible from an adjacent street.
(d) In selecting exterior building materials, consideration should be given to the appropriateness of the materials to the scale of building proposed.
Figure 17: Commercial Design Standards: Use of Building Materials
(4) Customer entrances.
(a) Number of entrances required.
1. Each principal commercial building greater than 50,000 square feet (gross floor area) shall provide at least two customer entrances, each of which shall be on separate building facades that are oriented to a public street.
2. Where additional stores will be located in the primary building, each such store may have an exterior customer entrance, which shall comply with the prominent entrance requirement below.
(b) Prominent entrances required (see Figure 18). Each primary building on a site, regardless of size, shall have clearly-defined, highly-visible customer entrances featuring no less than three of the following:
1. Canopies or porticos;
5. Raised corniced parapets over the door;
6. Peaked roof forms;
8. Outdoor patios;
9. Display windows;
10. Architectural detail such as tile work and moldings integrated into the building structure and design; or
11. Integral planters or wing walls that incorporate landscaped areas and/or places for sitting.
Figure 18: Commercial Design Standards: Prominent Customer Entrances
(5) Roofs on large commercial buildings (see Figure 19). All commercial buildings containing 50,000 square feet or more (gross floor area) shall comply with the following guidelines and standards:
(a) All roof-top equipment must be screened.
(b) Roofs shall have no less than two of the following features:
1. Parapets concealing flat roofs and rooftop equipment such as HVAC units from public view area appropriate. The average height of such parapets shall not exceed 15% of the height of the supporting wall and such parapets shall not at any point exceed 1/3 of the height of the supporting wall. Such parapets shall feature three dimensional cornice treatments;
2. Overhanging eaves, extending no less than three feet past the supporting walls;
3. Sloping roofs that do not exceed the average height of the supporting walls, with an average slope greater than or equal to four feet of vertical rise for every 12 feet of horizontal run and less than or equal to 12 feet of vertical rise for every 12 of horizontal run; or
4. Three or more roof slope planes.
(6) Re-use requirement. To minimize the blighting effect that empty large scale retail establishments have on surrounding properties, the applicant for site plan approval for any single retail building larger than 50,000 square feet shall be required to secure a special use permit, and the building must be designed so that it may be readily subdivided into usable, independently accessible retail spaces of 25,000 square feet or less. The applicant must demonstrate that the building has been architecturally designed for reuse as a subdivided facility through designs that incorporate separate entrances for each subdivided area along the front of the building and building dimensions that allow for each space to have no more than a four to one depth to width ratio.
Figure 19: Commercial Design Standards: Required Roof Features
(Ord. 907, passed 6-18-07; Am. Ord. 4508, passed 7-21-08)