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Ordinance 2012-01

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission has been studying and considering the
development of design standards for commercial buildings.
WHEREAS, the goal of the Planning Commission is to assist and encourage owners and
developers in creation of commercial areas which will enhance safety, livability, access and
convenience of citizens and visitors when frequenting those areas of our City.
WHEREAS, the standards have been passed by and are recommended by the Planning
Commission for adoption by the City Council.
Section I : That the Commercial Building Design Standards attached hereto as
Exhibit A are hereby adopted as the Standards for Commercial Building Design in the City of
Johnson, Arkansas.
Section 2: All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the standards set
forth in Exhibit A are hereby, to the extent of such conflict, expressly repealed.
Section 3: These standards shall be in effect and followed upon the effective date of
this Ordinance.
PASSED AND APPROVED this day , 2012.
IFERWLLEN, Recorder-Treasurer
City of Johnson Commercial Building Design Standards
Architectural Design/Building Character
1. The treatment of the building mass, materials and exterior elements shall
create a building and site design that is in harmony with or an upgrade from
surrounding area.
2. The architectural character of buildings shall portray a high quality image.
Individual creativity and identity are encouraged, but care must be taken to
maintain design integrity and'compatibility among projects in order to
establish a clear, unified image throughout the community.
3. Architecture (where adjacent, to pedestrian walks and paths) should
complement the pedestrian environment to create an aesthetically pleasing
image and should be of human scale, show attention to detail, and materials
and colors should relate to the natural features of the region.
4. All building components such as windows, doors, eaves, soffits and parapets
shall have good proportions that relate to the facade of the building and shall
relate well with one another.
5. All sides of a building that are open to public view (including views from
adjacent residential dwellings or probable location of residential dwellings)
shall receive equal architectural design consideration (i.e. windows, doors,
architectural treatments, etc.). No building shall, have blank, flat walls.
6. Window shapes and sizes shall be so designed to be compatible from
"building to building. The use of reflective glass is prohibited, unless
specifically approved by the Planning Commission. The use of visual
windows is strongly encouraged on all facades of buildings for natural light,
security and to create a human scale to the building.
7. Buildings should have visually interesting architectural horizontal and
vertical features and patterns that are designed to articulate mass and scale
relative to their surroundings.
8. Massing forms should reflect building functions. Entrances must be well
defined from access drives, pedestrian links, public plazas and major parking
9. All roof drains shall be designed to be discharge to the rear or side of the
building. In addition, all conduits and piping for heating, air conditioning
and other related services shall be located on the interior or rear of the
10. The apparent mass of large buildings shall be reduced and a varied street
appearance created by manipulating the building form, using: offsets, recesses,
changes in plane, changes in height, and windows.
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11. Long and monotonous wall and roof planes should be avoided. Large
uninterrupted expanses of a single material are prohibited.
12. Clerestory windows are suggested to increase natural light in buildings.
13. All stairways to upper levels shall be located within the building unless
otherwise approved by the Planning Commission for secondary access to
outdoor patio decks.
14. All buildings shall possess a similar architectural theme with common
(but not identical) architectural elements to create a unified development.
Building styles shall also be compatible with existing buildings in the
surrounding area.
A. Building Materials/Colors
1. Primary building materials shall be limited to no more than four types of
materials per building.
2. Color of exterior building materials (excluding accent colors) shall be
limited to no more than four major colors per development and shall be
composed predominately of earth tones to encourage buildings to blend into
the environment. Color tones may vary if found to be compatible with
surrounding developments.
3. The use of exposed concrete, metal, or plastics for storefront facades is not
permitted (architectural concrete and metals excepted).
4. The use of metal siding exclusively on any building is prohibited. Metal
siding used for accents on any development shall be of the decorative,
architectural metal type.
5. The use of corrugated metal siding is prohibited unless used as a decorative
element to accent a particular architectural style.
6. Avoid materials with high maintenance such as stained wood, clapboard, or
B. Building Articulation
1. Building articulation shall be used (in areas open to public view) to enhance
the visual interest of buildings. Building articulation shall be designed to be
appropriate to .the way in which the building is viewed namely; at a walking
pace, a driving view, or a set view in the distance. Each of these views must
be considered and addressed in the building's design. The following
guidelines shall be considered:
a. Close Proximity & Walking Pace: Articulation used to break large wall
expanses into smaller, more human-scaled pieces every 25 feet.
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b. Driving Pace at Curb: Buildings viewed^rom such distances and
speeds should have building articulation elements at a horizontal
spacing of-between 25 and 50 feet
c. Viewing in Distant Proximity: Buildings must exhibit a visually
coherent plan to integrate multiple viewing distances. Buildings shall
include a hierarchy of more closely spaced articulation at the lower
floors/elevations with floors above the second story using a less
closely spaced articulation scheme.
2. One story buildings .or buildings having no side longer than 60' in length
may determine which view is the most appropriate scenario for design of the
building or structure.
3. Multi-story buildings or buildings exceeding 60' in length, must always
consider building articulation as viewed from, all three viewing scenarios.
4. Windows and doors provide-visual enhancement to articulation, however
they will not be articulation except in conjunction with other
elements as noted below.
5. Acceptable Articulation: Reasonable building articulation shall be
accomplished through combinations of the following techniques:
a. Facade modulation - stepping portions of the facade to create shadow
lines and changes in volumetric spaces.
b. Use of engaged columns or other expressions of the structural system.
c. Horizontal and vertical divisions - by use of textures or materials,
d Dividing facades into storefronts with separate display windows.
e. Providing projections such as balconies, cornices, covered entrances,
porte-cocheres, trellis', pergolas, arcades, and colonnades.
f Variation in the rooflines by use of dormer windows, overhangs,
arches, stepped roofs, gables or other similar devices.
C. Roof Design & Mechanical Equipment Screening
1, Roof Design
a. Sloped roofs shall provide articulation and variations in order to break
up the massiveness of the roof. Sloped roofs shall include eaves
which are at least 12 inches in width.
b. Flat roofs shall be screened with parapets on all sides of the building.
If no rooftop equipment exists or is: proposed, the parapet shall be a
minimum of 18 inches in height above the roof plain.
c. All parapets shall feature cornice treatments. Parapets shall provide a
cap, element to demonstrate that the upper edge is the top of the
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2. Mechanical Equipment Screening
A. Roof Mounted
(l)If roof mounted mechanical units (including evaporative coolers,
HVAC units, vents, etc.) are necessary, they shall be located or
screened so as not to be visible from adjacent public and private
streets as well as from adjacent properties (unless grade differences
make screening impractical).
(2) Acceptable roof equipment screening shall be accomplished by
raising the parapet on all sides of the building to be as high as the
highest mechanical unit or vent on the roof or, screening. Screens
shall be aesthetically incorporated into the design, of the building and
have screen materials that are compatible with those of the building.
(3) In no case shall wooden or vinyl fences or chain link fencing with
slats be used as a rooftop equipment screen.
B. Ground Mounted mechanical units (condensers, generators, etc.) shall be
screened from view with wing walls, landscaping or a combination of both.
D. Awnings & Canopies
1. Awnings or canopies must function as true awnings or canopies by being
placed over a doorway or window and under certain circumstances, may be
allowed over a walkway or outdoor seating area. All awnings or canopies
must be attached to a vertical wall. Canopies must lead to a bona fide
business entrance.
2. Awnings or canopies shall project, at least 4.0 feet from the building when
located over a pedestrian traffic area and no less than 2 feet otherwise.
3. Awnings or canopies shall maintain a minimum, clearance above sidewalk
grade of 81 feet to the bottom of the framework when located over a
pedestrian traffic area.
4. The top of the framework may not extend above a vertical wall terminus nor
cover any architectural elements. Such shall be designed to fit within the
architecture of the buildings to which they are attached and serve to enhance
the exterior of the building, as an articulation and aesthetic element not as an
advertising medium. All awnings that do not contain sign copy shall be
made of woven, cloth or architectural metal materials. Backlighting of
awnings is not permitted. Design, color, and .materials shall be compatible
with the building to which it is attached.
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E. Trash Area Screening
1. Service yards, refuse and waste-removal areas, loading docks, truck parking
areas and other areas that tend to be unsightly shall be screened from view
by the use of a combination of walls, fences and dense planting.
2. Screening shall block views to these areas from both on site as well as from
public rights of way and adjacent properties. In any case, all trash dumpsters
shall be provided with solid enclosures. Enclosure material for the above
uses shall be composed of 6 foot high solid masonry or decorative precast
concrete walls with opaque gates and self-latching mechanisms, to keep
gates closed when not in use. Bollards are required at the front of the
masonry walls to protect, the enclosure from trash collection vehicles, Gates
shall be made of opaque metal for durability and chain link gates with
opaque slats are not acceptable.
F. Gas Stations, Gas Island Canopies and Related Facilities
1. All building materials and designs shall be consistent with the general
standards for commercial businesses.
2. All structures on the site (including kiosks, car wash buildings, gas pump
islands) shall be architecturally consistent with the .main structure,
including roof design (i.e. sloping roof or cornice treatments)
3. All building elevations shall be architecturally detailed to avoid the
appearance of the "back of the building" and should contribute a positive
presence to the street scene,
4. Gas island canopies shall be designed to create architectural harmony with the
primary structure on the site.
5. Gas island canopy structural columns shall be covered with the same brick
veneer or architectural materials as the associated building.
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