The county commission will vote on a measure to adopt design and lighting standards within the Zoning Regulations at their meeting tomorrow night at 7 p.m. You can find the proposed changes on the agenda here, starting on page 77: (link...) I'll also paste them below.
What do you think of them? I'd especially like to hear the opinions of those of you who keep up with the Dark Skies Initiative and those of you who drive Hwy 411S. Are these regulations sufficient? Are they too much? Are they just right?
That a new Section 7.14 addressing commercial and industrial design requirements be added to read as follows:
Section 7.14. Design Requirements for Commercial and Industrial
A. Any commercial or industrial use permit requiring a site plan provided
in Section 7.2 shall also require conformity with this section. The site
plans required in this section shall conform to requirements of Section
7.2 and other requirements specified in this Section. All elements of
use, including associated accessory elements such as garbage disposal
areas, heating and air units exterior to buildings, and loading docks,
shall be shown on the site plan. Site plan submittal shall contain
required plans for stormwater management under this section, other
applicable sections in the zoning regulations, and other County and
State grading and stormwater permit regulations. The site plan shall
contain specific design of parking areas required in this section and
other sections in the zoning regulations.
B. Site plans and site plan elements shall be prepared by qualified
professionals. Qualified professionals shall be licensed as one or a
combination of architect, landscape architect and/or engineer.
C. To mitigate the impact of building appearance along scenic highways
and other existing roads within the county exterior to a commercial
development, the following design requirements shall apply.
1. The front, side and rear elevation of any building shall be
provided as part of site plan submission for review and approval.
2. The front (facing highway or road) and side wall planes of
buildings shall be staggered by occasional changes in surface planes
or changes of materials or architectural features to avoid monolithic
“box” appearance. Walls and roof visible to public roads shall have
changes of wall and roof planes with at least a three (3) foot
projection or recess no less than every thirty (30) feet horizontally. In
addition, any of the following elements shall be integrated in walls
visible to public roads at no less than thirty (30) feet spacing, both
horizontally and vertically: porches; awnings; stairwells; doors;
windows; chimney; changes in construction materials. Excessive
repetition of only one or two architectural features above is
Elements that are not acceptable as a means to comply with the
requirement above include, but are not limited to: gutter downspouts;
garage doors; retaining walls; changes in paint color, color bands or
small (less than two (2) square feet) accent materials using flat tile;
narrow trim; common hallways parallel to outside walls not including
stairwells; window and door frames; shutters; structural or decorative
columns; and narrow extensions (less than three feet wide) of fire
3. Exterior walls visible from public roads may not be comprised
of aluminum or flat-faced concrete block. Exterior glass shall
compose a minimum or five (5) percent of the façade of the building,
unless the building is an open-air structure such as a produce market.
4. All accessory garbage and disposal facilities (dumpsters, etc.)
and accessory heating and air facilities shall be screened with
materials compatible in appearance to the principal structure. Loading
docks shall be placed away from fronting roads, and shall be screened
if visible from residential uses.
D. Outdoor Lighting Standards.
Outdoor lighting is important for night visibility, safety, and security.
Outdoor lighting can, however, also invade privacy and cause
nuisance if excessive glare and direct light trespasses on adjacent
properties. These requirements ensure that new development
minimizes the amount of light that may shine on abutting properties.
The following is required when installing lights:
1. A lighting plan may be required (as determined by the Building
Commissioner or reviewing body);
2. A light “point by point” footcandle diagram must be shown on the
site plan with a 10x10 foot maximum grid. The diagram should cover
at least ten feet on either side of property lines that border residential
zones or uses;
3. Lighting must not exceed 0.5 footcandle at or beyond the property
line zoned or used for residential purposes;
4. Any luminaire with lamp(s) rated at a total of more than 1800
lumens, and any flood or spot luminaire with lamp(s) rated at a total
of more than 900 lumens shall not emit any direct light above a
horizontal plane through the lowest direct light emitting part of the
luminaire (full cut-off);
5. Laser source lights or any similar high intensity light for outdoor
advertising or entertainment is prohibited; and
6. The operation of searchlights for advertising purposes is prohibited.
That Section 7.2 be amended to add subsection I to read as follows:
I. Any commercial or industrial use permit requiring a site plan provided
in this Section shall also require conformity with Section 7.14 Design
Requirements for Commercial and Industrial Developments.
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