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Central Business District

Design Standards

City of Mount Vernon DRAFT January, 2012

Presented by the Main Street Design Committee 1


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Presented by

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Mount Vernon Main Street Design Committee Frank Bettendorf, Co-chair Julie Blazek, Co-Chair Doris Brevoort Celeste Frisbee (former member) Jim Smith Tamara Thomas Russ Weiser (former member)

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Partners City of Mount Vernon Council City of Mount Vernon Mayor City Council Economic Development Committee Citizen’s Advisory Group Mount Vernon Planning Commission Jana Hansen, City Planner Property Owners Developers Mainstreet Board of Directors Mainstreet Committees

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Table of Contents Introduction

Design Standards Review Process Zones within the Central Business District

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Design Standards 1 Uses 2 Overlay Districts 3 Sustainability 4 Site Plan 5 Mass & Scale 6 Architectural Character 7 Character Defining Elements 8 Exterior Materials 9 Windows, Doors and Storefronts 10 Entries 11 Roofs and Roofing 12 Awnings and Canopies 13 Lighting 14 Mechanical and Electrical Equipment 15 Site Improvements 16 Signs 17 Pedestrian Circulation 18 Parking

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Appendix A B Resources

Mount Vernon Municipal Code Requirements, Section 17.66 Excerpts from Downtown Mount Vernon Historic Structures Inventory, Cultural Resources Consultants, Inc., August 2008. (To Be Completed)

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Introduction

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Why have Design Standards?

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Anyone who lives in or visits Mount Vernon can recognize that the downtown core is a special place. Its history, character and scale make it unique not only to our County, but to the State and beyond.

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The citizens of Mount Vernon have an opportunity and a responsibility to see that this special place is preserved, protected and enhanced in a way that is genuine to its evolution over time. Creating Design Standards, both required and encouraged, help to identify what it is that the community cares about, how the City can go about enhancing what is valued, and how to discourage buildings that would have a detrimental impact on this place within our community.

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The purpose of these recommended Design Standards is to: be a revitalization tool; generate a vibrant and livable community; make the downtown an attractive place for all to experience; maintain a coherent personality of thedowntown; show the genuineness of Mount Vernon’s character; transmit the history of our community; be used an educational tool; prevent “anywhere USA” designs that dilute the historical character of this place; promote Place-making (creating or promoting this specific area’s sense of uniqueness); protect and enhance existing property values; demonstrate that good design = economic prosperity; encourage sustainable design that lessens our future resource demands, decreasing costs to the city and its building owners; preserve and protect our cultural resources; enhance our downtown as a place where people want to be

Why Preserve Historic Resources?

There are many distinct places, buildings and features that make the downtown a unique place. The intent of these Design Standards is to use this unique character to inspire revitalization efforts that protect existing assets and promote new construction that is fitting with the existing context. 5


There are several benefits to creating policies which serve to protect and preserve a community’s historic buildings, artwork and site features. The first is to guarantee that future generations can experience the history of a place. Secondly, historic buildings add to the richness and interest of the place.

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Historic concrete and stone parapet details on 504 S 1st Street In a recent study by the National Trust for Historic Preservacommercial building, built 1924. 1 tion , findings conclude that it is more environmentally sustainable to renovate existing buildings than to demolish them and build new, even if that new building is “green”. What this study really points out is that we can lessen our carbon footprint at a significantly faster rate by improving existing buildings than by replacing them with new buildings.

Bonus Incentives

Increased Sales

Increase in New Residents

Community

Growth of Local Economy

Increase in Tourism

Opportunities for locallyowned and operated businesses, who tend to give more back to the community Increase in Sales Tax Increase in public Revenue amenities Increase in Property Tax Increase in availability Revenue of various goods and services Reduction of Infrastruc- Protection and preservature costs tion of our most precious historic resources Marketable “Historic” and Control over develop“Green Community” ment that meets with the Opportunities Community’s vision of the future Opportunities for Grants Sense of pride and and Funding to support unique identity Historic and Sustainable projects

Opportunities to grow and expand

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Potential to Expedite Permit Process

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Predictable “Rules”

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Flexibility of Design based on Performance

Property Owners/ Business Owners Increase in Retail, Entertainment and Residential Activity Reduced Operations and Maintenance costs

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Who Benefits and How? Developer

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This creates a win-win situation, whereby we can maintain our historical treasures, create a wonderfully rich downtown environment and improve our environmental impacts.

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Opportunities to Market Opportunities for Tax as “Green” credits for building improvements Bonus Incentives for renovation

Potential to Expedite Permit Process

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National Trust for Historic Preservation “Quantifying the Value of Building Reuse”, Life Cycle Analysis has been funded and preliminary findings

report were presented at AIA National Convention in New Orleans, 2011. Final report expected to be published late 2011.

Incentives & Performance Standards format: 6


Intent: Brief statement defining goals and outcomes desired by instituting standards. Standards: Items which are required for every project. Guidelines: Items which are encouraged, but not required.

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Incentives: Performance based standards that are point-based, allowing property owners to apply towards a combination of benefits. For example, if a project under the design requirements can be two stories tall and have a 75’ frontage, an owner can look for opportunities to increase the height and frontage by including recommended Guidelines that reach a certain point total. Many of these guidelines also result in long-term value and maintenance benefits for the owners.

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DRAFT Note: All items in this chart are placeholders for discussion; they need to be researched and validated. Floor Area Increase, and

Height Bonus, and

Expedited Permitting

or Tax Credit

10 points

5% Increase

5’ over allowed

Expedited

.25% for 10 years

20 points

10% Increase

10’ over allowed

Top of Expedited List

.50% for 10 years

40 points

20% Increase

10’ over allowed

Move to Next in Line

1.00% for 10 years

60 points

30% Increase

10’ over allowed

Move to Next in Line

2.00% for 10 years

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Incentive Points

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Main Street Design Committee Recommendations - The Process These recommendations are part of a lengthy process of brainstorming, discovery, committee visioning, communication, education, research and consensus-building, begining in 2008 with Mount Vernon’s designation as a Main Street City by the State of Washington, and formation of the Design Committee.

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Our intent is to provide these recommendations to the community in a variety of forums to assure that they reflect the collective vision of the stakeholders and are supported by all partners. We welcome feedback from all those who are vested in the Central Business District and who stand to benefit from its long-term health.

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The Design Committee plans to roll out this draft in the following sequence: 1. Mainstreet Organization Committees (Organization, Promotion and Economic Restructuring) and Board 2. Mount Vernon Downtown Association Membership 3. Central Business District Property and Business Owners, Citizen’s Advisory Committee 4. Potential Developers 5. City of Mount Vernon Economic Development and Planning Staff and Mayor 6. Local Utilities 7. Mount Vernon Planning Commission 8. Mount Vernon City Council Next Steps The Main Street Design Committee plans to present final recommendations to the City Council after all input has been collected, anaylzed and integrated. These recommendations are to be adopted as Design Standards for the Central Business District. Other sections of the Municipal Code are to be modified as they relate to the Standards. Full adoption of the Design Standards and revised Municipal Code should be completed by the end of 2012, prior to the projected increase in construction activities in this area and prior to waterfront development planning. 7


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Zones within the CBD

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Recommended Character Zones in the Central Business District (CBD)

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ZONE 1: HISTORIC 1ST STREET Characterized as the “mainstreet” of the downtown core, most buildings are commercial storefront buildings constructed at the turn of the century with brick, terra cotta and stone detailing. Very pedestrian-friendly with a tight urban fabric of building density.

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ZONE 2: SURROUNDING CENTRAL CORE Blocks to the north, east and south of the main downtown strip, this district has a wider variety of building types. The rhythm of the street is broken by several surface parking lots. This area has great potential to grow as a vibrant, more pedestrian-friendly retail district, utilitizing the historic buildings that exist within it as core features.

ZONE 4: WEST SIDE Commercial district that is heavily oriented to vehicular traffic, but has great potential for expansion of the downtown core with more pedestrian-oriented activities. Some historic wood frame structures maintain a sense of connection to the downtown core.

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ZONE 3: SOUTH OF DOWNTOWN Neighborhood blocks that have some commercial re-use and some of the City’s public buildings (City Hall, Library, Post Office). Beautiful wood frame houses with Victorian and classical detailing and tree-lined streets make this neighborhood a wonderful walkable retail and residential district.

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ZONE 5: SURROUNDING WEST SIDE CORE Residential properties with a small mix of commerical uses and one of the City’s largest open space parks (Edgewater Park).


1 Uses

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Intent • Maintain and strengthen the retail and entertainment core. • Promote business development that optimizes benefits to the local community. • Encourage more options for living within the downtown core. • Prevent uses from negatively impacting the culture and utilization of the Central Business District (CBD). • Encourage diversity of business types to build economic sustainability.

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Standards (Required): 1. Single Family Residences and Live-Work Studios (above the ground floor) allowed in the CBD. 2. Allowable size of Commercial Uses shall be based on type of ownership per Table 1-A. 3. Mobile Food Vans and Espresso Stands allowed in CBD (with an imposed tax on these operations that would help fund the Tax Incentives for Existing Building Rehabilitation Program within these recommendations to balance property taxes paid by building owners). 4. Adult Entertainment Uses prohibited within the CBD. 5. New Warehouse and Storage buildings over 2,000 square feet prohibited within the CBD. 6. Activities that generate excessive noise, dust, or other environmental impacts prohibited within the CBD. 7. Cellular towers prohibited within the CBD, unless appropriately screened to conceal their appearance.

Corporate Franchise

25,000 SF One City Block

2,500 SF 50’ max

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Locally-Owned1, Indepen- Locally Owned1, dently Operated Franchise

5,000 SF 75’ max

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Allowable Area Frontage

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Table 1-A

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Guidelines (Encouraged): Open space and pocket parks, developed as part of new or renovation projects, 1,000 square P3+ 1. feet or larger, shall qualify for incentive credits at a rate of 3 credits per 1,000 square feet. P1+ 2. Delivery zones to be established to service the sides and rear/alley sides of buildings. 2+ P 3. Incorporation of bus stop. P1+ 4. Incorporation of bike racks.

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2 Overlay Districts

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Intent • Establish an Historical Overlay District for the historic mainstreet and waterfront. • Promote the preservation of existing character and historic structures within the central core to encourage community pride and identity, increased economic development, and active tourism.

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HISTORIC OVERLAY DISTRICT

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Standards (Required): 1. A special Historic Overlay District shall be established per Municipal Code Section 17.661 and include the areas shown in Map 2-A. 2. All new construction or renovation involving changes to 25% of any facade or 25% of the value of the building within the Historic Overlay District be reviewed by a Design Review Committee as outlined in current Municipal Code Requirements according to Section 17.661.

Map 2-A. 1

See Appendix for MV Municipal Code Section 17.66

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3 Sustainability

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Intent • Promote performance-based1 incentives for retrofitting existing buildings or designing new buildings, with features that increase energy, utility and material efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

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Standards (Required): 1. For City: Remove current policy and/or Municipal Code barriers to sustainable strategies. 2. Maintain historic features on existing buildings. 3. Demolition of existing buildings shall be prohibited. 4. Removal by deconstruction shall be allowed only when: a. The building has not been designated as historically significant2and its structure cannot be retrofitted to allow for the maximum density allowed (i.e. a single-story building where increased density could be a benefit to the region). b. The building is not historically significant2, is deemed dangerous or hazardous and cannot be renovated to its original functionality. c. The property owner can demonstrate that the demolition and rebuilding would have a smaller environmental footprint (based on cradle to grave embodied energy) than renovating the existing building. 5. Vinyl windows prohibited.

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(Encouraged): P60 1. Meet Living Building Challenge3 P40 2. Meet Net-Zero4 design for energy and water use. 3. Meet LEED5 or similarly recognized certification. P30 Platinum P20 Gold 10 P Silver P05 Certified When not employing the three sustainable rating/design systems above, the following incentive credits apply: P1+ 5. Reduce building’s energy loads. One Incentive point for every 5% above Base 2009 Energy Code building performance. 1+ P 6. Reduce building’s water demand loads. One Incentive point for every 5% below Base Building performance. Performance-Based incentives offer credits for recommended, but not required, design strategies that have benefits to the community and environment. 2 Historically Significant are those properties listed in the “Downtown Mount Vernon Historic Structures Inventory” prepared by Cultural Resource Consultants for the City of Mount Vernon in 2008 as eligible for National Register of Historical Preservation (NRHP) status. 3 Living Building Challenge is a philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program that addresses development at all scales. It is comprised of seven performance areas: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty. These are subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence. 4 Net Zero is a building rating system based on self-sufficent projects that provide all water and power for the project from on-site sources. 5 LEED is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program which rates projects sustainability with a 100-credit based system. 1

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P1+ 7. Reduce building’s sewer demand loads or employ on-site treatment (composting toilets, constructed wetlands, living machine). One Incentive point for every 5% below Base building performance. 5 P 8. Utilize designs that include natural ventilation strategies. P5 9. Utilize designs that include natural daylighting strategies. P1+ 10. Install on-site renewable energy systems. One Incentive point for each 5% of yearly building electrical use generated. P1+ 11. Install rainwater catchment systems. One Incentive point for each 5% of yearly building water use collected and reused. P1 12. Employ only lighting that protects the night sky with cutoffs. P1 13. Utilize controls for reducing lighting loads (daylighting dimmers, occupancy sensors, photosensors) P1 14. Utilize Salvaged materials. 2.5% minimum of all building materials. 1 P 15. Utilize Renewable materials. 5% minimum of all building materials. P1 16. Utilize Recycled content and recyclable materials. 20% minimum of all building materials. P1 17. Utilize Local/Regional materials where possible. 10% minimum of all building materials. P1 18. Avoid vinyl and PVC materials. P1 19. Install 8 linear feet of walk-off grates or mats (or combination of ) at exterior and interior entries of buildings to improve indoor air quality. P1 20. Display information about the building’s sustainable strategies to the public for educational purposes. 21. Work across property lines, considering broader impacts & ways to deal w/infrastructure (blocks, districts, etc.) Municipal Code shall be modified to encourage such activities and remove policies that prohibit sustainable approaches which benefit the district, neighborhood and city.

Constructed wetland treating building grey water on site, CK Choy Building, University of British Columbia

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Buildings with courtyard designs offer opportunities for natural ventilation and natural daylighting to all spaces. Terry Thomas Building in Seattle, Washington, designed by Weber Thomas.


4 Site Plan

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Intent • To maintain the fabric of the existing Central Business District by promoting historic land patterns and discouraging planning that diminishes the definition of the street and building edges. • Maximizing the efficiency of the available developable land while creating opportunities for public engagement, socializing, outdoor retail and entertainment and required services.

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Standards (required): 1. In Zone 1 and 2, buildings located at street corners shall address the corner with either solid walls or column of not less than 2’ x 2’ in width. See Diagram 4-A. 2. In Zone 1 and 2, building facades may not exceed the lengths as outlined in Section 5, Mass & Scale. 3. In Zones 1 and 2, all street frontages to be activated with entries, windows, awnings and/or canopies or other scaling devices (to prevent blank walls).

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Solid Corner

2’ min.

Column Corner

Not Recommended

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Preferred Methods of Maintaining the Street Edge Diagram 4-A

45° Corner (eroded)

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Guidelines (Encouraged): Sidewalks and building setbacks that allow for required ADA width and area for outdoor P1 1. dining and retail space. P1 2. Activate alleys with building entries, retail space (coiling doors for vendor style activities), areas for socializing and eating. P10 3. Provide public space on the ground floor for pocket parks and pedestrian circulation. P10 4. Provide public access to upper story balconies or roofs that are designed as viewing platforms and/or landscaped terraces and green roofs. P15 5. Design buildings with interior full or partial interior courtyards for daylighting and natural ventilation (i.e. “Lettered Buildings”, see Diagram 4-B.) 17


The President Hotel has an open courtyard on the south elevation, allowing all units to have natural ventilation and daylight.

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20-30’ maximum, optimal

Diagram 4-B Typical “Letter” Building Courtyard designs, as shown here, allow for natural ventilation and daylighting as well as public or private courtyard spaces

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5 Mass & Scale

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Intent • Maintain the existing urban fabric of the historical downtown. • Create new and renovated building designs that fit contextually with existing buildings. • Address the scale of pedestrians. Respect the architectural patterns that exist, while allowing for flexibility in design responses. • Prevent large buildings out of scale with the existing downtown. • Prevent large expanses of similar volumes and blank walls.

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Standards (required): 1. Building Heights in Zones 1 and 2 shall be established per Diagram 5-A. 2. Building Height to length ratio shall not exceed limits per Diagram 5-A. 1/3 block

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1/2 block

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full block

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Building roof heights shall be modulated by at least 5’ in height for every 75’ in length per Diagram 5-B. For new construction, where the existing lot is large enough to allow, frontage shall be broken down into section with a minimum of 25’ to reflect the existing pattern of land use per Diagram 5-B. Where frontage is over 25’ , building facade shall be divided at the ground floor into thirds (1/3 of whole) or 25’ minimum length defined units per Diagram 5-B.

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Diagram 5-A (see incentives for bonus heights)

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1 city block

break in roof line every 75’ 5’ min. 25’ min. each 1/3

1/3

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60-75’

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At corner lots, buildings that are maximum height shall only be allowed to extend 1/3 the distance of the block in each direction. See Diagram 5-C.

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Diagram 5-C (See incentives for bonuses)

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Guidelines (encouraged): 1. Size of commercial spaces to be planned to optimize economic prosperity of potential tenants and services desired by the downtown community. In other words, spaces should not be too small or too large to encourage and sustain healthy businesses desired in these areas. See Diagram 5-D.

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Diversity of size Preferred

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Uniform size Not recommended Diagram 5-D


6 Architectural Character

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Intent • Promote design of new construction and renovation which is compatible with the existing identity of the downtown. • Maintain the integrity of historic structures. • Recognize the different characters of the zones within the CBD and adjust standards to suit. • Draw design inspiration from fundamental elements of existing buildings. • Avoid applying a “thematic” approach to designs. • Avoid introducing new design elements that do not fit into the urban fabric or belong, either historically or regionally, to the place. • Reflect the historic growth of the downtown over many decades - there are many eras and styles present that work together. The focus is more on Character Preservation than strictly Historic Preservation.

Examples of roof forms, structure, shape and ornament commonly used in commercial design which are not based on historical references that would have existed in the area. In the Central Business District, the intent is to maintain a similar character of the existing buildings.

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Design Standards (required): 1. Maintain Historic features and materials on existing buildings. See Character Defining Elements, Section 7. 2. Utilize compatible design features which complement the existing character of adjacent buildings. See Character Defining Elements, Section 7. 3. Use Architectural features found within the existing styles and eras of the adjacent buildings or neighborhood (do not introduce historical references that did not exist).

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Utilize historic color palette, either existing or traditional. Refer to any local paint stores for examples and paint selections for historic preservation. Molded plastic or synthetic ornament/character defining features is prohibited.

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Example of new construction that works with existing material palette, scale, form, location and proportion of openings and street rhythm.

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Two examples of modern designs that work with historic neighbors. Sensitivity to scale, form, proportions, location of openings, heights of floor levels and other relationships allow these contemporary designs to fit in well with their older neighbors.

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Guidelines (encouraged): P3 1. Expose Historic features on existing buildings which are covered. P3 2. Replace Historic features which were removed from the building using historically accurate materials. 2 P 3. Replace Historic features which were removed from the building using alternative, sustainable materials. P1+ 4. Utilize salvaged materials. One point for each $1,000 value of salvaged materials used.

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This wonderful kind of historic painted advertisements exist in Mount Vernon’s CBD and should be preserved whenever possible.

This historic building facade was hidden for years behind a false front. It is being renovated to bring back the historic character, as the owners are removing the false front and supporting structure.


7 Character Defining Elements

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Intent • Add interest and scale to buildings with historical and contemporary design elements. • Maintain architectural patterns. • Uncover hidden historical features when possible. • Restore existing historical features.

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Standards (required): 1. Preserve existing features - don’t remove or damage. 2. Repair existing features that are damaged (with methods that are not harmful). 3. Use historically appropriate materials to replace, if available. Use salvaged materials as an option. 4. See Required Character Defining Elements as per Table 7-A.

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Guidelines (encouraged): 1. Refer to Table 7-A. P2 Recommended items incorporated (2 pts for each) P1 Optional items incorporated (1 pt for each)

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Table 7-A (See Page 11 for Zones) Element Zone 1 Cornice required Window Head required Window Sill required Transom Windows recommended Corbels recommended Tile recommended Terra Cotta recommended Ornament Pilasters recommended Belly Band optional Bulkhead @ Entries required Name Plaques optional Keystones optional

Zone 2 required required required recommended optional optional optional

Zones 3 & 5 optional required required recommended optional optional optional

Zone 4 optional optional optional optional optional optional optional

optional optional required optional optional

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Cornices

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Window heads

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Window sills

Transom windows

This transom window example also relates to the recommendations for awning placement below the transom, allowing shading of main glass and protection for outdoor space, while allowing some solar access through the windows above (and natural ventilation in some designs). 24


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Corbels

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Tile (glazed)

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Terra Cotta

Pilasters (engaged columns)

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Belly band (horizontal trim)

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Bulkhead at Entries (also referred to as Wainscot)

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Keystones

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Name Stones or Plaques

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8 Exterior Materials

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Intent • Maintain historic feeling within the Central Business District. • Promote the use of sustainable materials. • Avoid materials that do not fit with the context, scale or texture of the existing conditions.

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Zones 3 & 5 a with restrictions1 with restrictions1 a with restrictions3 a asee notes4 a with restrictions1 a with restrictions1 a a asee notes4 prohibited with restrictions2 a(see incentives) prohibited a prohibited a a prohibited prohibited a

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Zone 2 a with restrictions1 with restrictions1 a with restrictions3 a asee notes4 a with restrictions1 a with restrictions1 a a asee notes5 prohibited with restrictions2 a(see incentives) prohibited prohibited prohibited a a prohibited prohibited a

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Zone 1 a with restrictions1 with restrictions1 prohibited with restrictions3 a asee notes4 a with restrictions1 a with restrictions1 a a asee notes5 prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited a a prohibited prohibited a

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Table 8-A a= allowed Exterior Materials Brick Concrete, plain Concrete, colored Concrete, stamped Metal Siding Stamped Tin Copper Terra Cotta Precast Concrete Limestone Stucco Aluminum Storefront Vegetated (Green) Walls Wood Shingles Wood Lattice Curtain Wall Synthetics/Plastics Faux Rock/Fieldstone Concrete Masonry Units Mirrored/Colored Glass Stained Glass Wood Siding Exposed Aggregate Vinyl Siding Stained Glass

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Standards (required): 1. Exterior building materials shall be as allowed as shown in Table 8-A.

Zone 4 a with restrictions1 with restrictions1 a with restrictions1 a asee notes4 a with restrictions1 a with restrictions1 a a asee notes4 prohibited with restrictions2 a(see incentives) prohibited a prohibited a a prohibited prohibited a 27


Notes:

Shall not exceed 500 square feet without a break in materials. Curtain Walls shall be restricted to 500 square feet without a break in materials. 3 Prohibited on First Street. At other locations, use of metal siding shall be reviewed by the Design Review Committee for contextual appropriateness, scale and finish. 4 Rainwater runoff from copper can be harmful to watersheds depending on Ph levels, run of roof and slope of roof and treatment. These factors should be considered when utilizing this product. 5 Wood shingles are residential in nature and should only be used for historic designs in the retail core and only on the upper stories in Zone 1. 1

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Colored concrete (sidewalk)

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Brick masonry

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Guidelines (encouraged): 1. Refer to Table 8-A. P2 2. In areas where synthetic/plastic materials are allowed, use biodegradeable materials. P4 3. Use of brick veneer for all building elevations (as dominate material covering 80% or more of each elevation’s wall area, not including window and door openings). 4. Replace existing historic materials with matching (See Architectural Character, Section 6 and Character Defining Elements, Section 7). 5. Replace missing historic materials with original materials (See Architectural Character, Section 6 and Character Defining Elements, Section 7).

Brick masonry with metal siding at recessed and projecting walls.

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Metal siding infill on existing brick masonry building.


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Metal siding panels above awnings - columns are used to break up the facade into smaller panels, adding interest and preventing large expanses of metal siding. Appropriate for Zone 4, discourged in all other zones.

Examples of horizontal and vertical corrugated metal siding. Again, the expanses of metal are not large and they are contrasted with other materials and architectural features. Use of metal siding is discouraged in locations where it is not historically appropriate, especially Zone 1, (i.e. for a building in the industrial setting of the south riverfront, certain metal siding applications may fit with the existing and historic context.

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Metal (and sometime porcelain) panels storefront

Stamped tin sheets were a common siding (and interior wainscot and ceiling) material. The demolished Eddy’s Building (left) had ornate panels and lapping wall panels. Today, new and salvaged tin panels are still used to create texture, pattern and interest as well as for historical preservation. 29


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Precast concrete walls are used on this building and faced with another material (such as stucco) or painted.

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Precast concrete comes in many architectural forms. Shown here are window heads and sills. Limestone coping is shown at the top of the building.

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Limestone panels and architectural details were commonly used in turn-of-the-century commercial and public buildings. They are still available and a good choice, along with precast concrete, to avoid plastic or synthetic options. They can be used for both traditional and contemporary designs and add value, interest, durability and ease of maintenance to buildings.

Stucco is found commonly throughout the northwest, and can provide a durable, lowmaintenance exterior finish. Care should be taken to avoid large expanses of stucco on buildings it should be broken up with openings, details, pilasters or signage as shown here. Stucco is often used for the exterior ceilings of soffits) as shown below to the left).

Aluminum storefronts come in different sizes (width of mullions) and colors (anodized). Darker colors offer a richness to the exterior that is typically more appealing in a historic district.


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Vegetated, or green walls, are becoming increasingly popular as a way to add thermal mass to buildings and create a soft edge to public spaces. They may not be appropriate in every setting, but can be used to create landscaping that is interesting, easy to maintain (commonly sedums are used which do not require much watering, if any, after establishment). They can also be used for screening.

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Wood shingles and siding are often used for both historical and contemporary designs and adds a warmth and texture to the building exterior. Historical design applications are encouraged, especially within Zones 1 and 2. Curtainwalls are typically found in dense, urban settings, strip malls or suburban office parks and should be used only as appropriate or sparingly in the Central Business District . They differ from storefronts in that they span more than one floor of a building. The color of the glazing is also important, as colored glass such as green and blue can radically change the atmosphere of a neighborhood or district.

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Vinyl siding and trim is not recommended due to the toxins used to manufacture it Exposed aggregate comes in many different textures and can sometimes be painted. It was used for economiand its non-biodegradable end-of-life cal ways to treat large expanses of building facade, but often lacks human scale and interest. status.

N

C

E

P

River rock, fieldstone or stacked stone, whether real or faux, are not recommended in the retail core since they are not common commercial district materials.

C

O

Plastic or other synthetic trim and ornaments are not recommended Wood lattice is a residential product and is not recomdue to the toxins used to manufacture them and their non-biode- mended for commercial designs. gradeable end-of-life-status.

Colored glass, as well as mirrored glazing, should be avoided in the Central Business District. It is more commonly found in high-rises, suburban corporate buildings and retail strip malls.

32


9 Windows, Doors & Storefronts

A

L

Intent • Maintain historic feeling within the Central Business District. • Promote the use of sustainable materials. • Avoid materials that do no fit with the context, scale or texture of the existing conditions. • Provide functional and code compliant entries while invoking a tangible sense of place.

Zones 2 & 3 & 5 a a with restrictions1 a a prohibited a

Zone 4 a a with restrictions1 a a prohibited a

with restrictions2

with restrictions2

with restrictions2

with restrictions2

with restrictions2

with restrictions2

C

Zone 1 a a with restrictions1 a with restrictions3 prohibited with restrictions1

C

O

N

Table 9-A a= Allowed Material Wood Wood Clad Aluminum Steel Fiberglass Vinyl Overhead Sectional Glazed Overhead Sectional Solid Overhead Coiling

E

P

T

U

Standards (required): 1. Materials for windows and doors shall be allowed as shown in Table 9-A. 2. Each building elevation (frontage) shall have window openings. 3. Within the Historic Overlay District, windows above the first floor shall have a height-to-width ratio of 2:1, or shall match the existing window proportions of the buildings on either side. See Figure 9-B. 4. Ground floor entrance doors and window openings shall be transparent and shall not be obscured by any other opaque materials that prohibit visibility through to the interior of the space. 5. Entrance doors shall be glazed, full lite. See Figure 9-C.

Notes: 1 Metal frame shall be historical colors such as anodized bronze and copper or otherwise blend with adjacent buildings. 2 Allowed at Alleys only (due to the solid nature of these doors, prohibited on frontages). 3 Windows on historically significant buildings shall be replaced with historically appropriate windows such as wood, double-hung, thermally broken, insulating units to match the original windows. 33


width (W)

height (2W)

mullion

double mulled with divided lites

L

with divided lites (3 over 2)

awning top hinged

Figure 9-B

E

glass lite

N

C

half lite

half-round / palladian recommended over a window

P

hopper fixed / view bottom hinged

T

casement side hinged

U

A

double hung window

view lite

Recommended for side service doors

solid Recommended only at back doors

bottom rail / kickplate 6-18� standard

Figure 9-C

O

full lite Recommended for front and side entry doors

C

Guidelines (encouraged): P2 1. Utilize operable windows to provide natural ventilation. Historically accurate double-hung units are recommended where possible. P5 2. Design for whole building natural ventilation design to reduce cooling loads. P2 3. Activate the alley with public entrances and retail spaces. P2 4. Relate the location and height of window and door openings (heads and sills) with the openings on buildings on either side. 5. Openings shall be located to take advantage of natural views and sight lines (water, streets, alleys, etc). 6. At large solid doors (overhead sectional or coiling), add graphics or other means of providing visual interest and avoiding large blank walls. 7. Large overhead glazed doors are not very energy efficient. If used, take measures to install high-perfroming insulated units with effective perimeter sealing/weatherstripping. 34


L

datum lines (reference points)

N

C

E

P

T

U

A

openings should be located within datum zones

C

O

Examples of wood storefronts, common in downtowns from the turn-of-the-century until about the mid-195o’s when metal became popular and inexpensive. They are still used today, both new and original, and create a wonderful texture and vibrance to the retail core. Typical features include a solid wainscot at the base, multi-colored trim, and transom windows.

Examples of aluminum storefront in anaodized bronze (left) and satin (right). Installations sometimes include a wainscot base and some are set directly on grade. In the Historic Overlay District, a wainscot is required to maintain the existing character. See Section 10, Entries. 35


L A

New steel fixed and awning windows used in an historic building

U

Fixed wood and outswinging casement windows

Overhead coiling door, solid. This door should not be used on street facades where blank walls are discouraged. If needed, they are more appropriate in alley and service locations.

Overhead coiling door, open mesh. Commonly used for security purposes, allowing visibility into the storefront after hours. Recommended in alley uses. Note that overhead coiling doors typically do not meet emergency exiting requirements. Separate exit doors need to be included in the design.

C

O

N

C

Overhead sectional door, solid. This door is typically used in residential settings and should only be used where allowed in commercial districts.

E

P

T

Wood double hung window with divided lites at upper sash

Overhead sectional door, glazed. This door is becoming popular in retail districts, as it allows visibility into and out of the space during and after hours and also allows for the space to spill out onto the sidewalk or courtyard.

36

This popular restaurant in Bellingham utilizes upward folding glazed doors to open up to the sidewalk, allowing customers to sit at a counter along the sidewalk edge and enjoy the activity on the street.


10 Entries

A

L

Intent • Maintain rhythms and patterns of the existing streetscape and retail corridor. • Appeal to pedestrians and optimize retail display opportunities. • Avoid designs that do not fit with the context, scale or texture of the existing conditions.

C

E

P

T

U

Standards (required): 1. Within Areas 1, 2 and 3, provide a bulkhead along the retail facade and entrance. See Figure 10-A. 2. Entries shall be recessed from the public sidewalk a minimum of 5’. See Figure 10-B. 3. Entries shall be covered to provide protection from the elements. 4. Entries shall be clearly defined using recess, signage, lighting and other design elements. 5. Ground surfaces at entries shall be designed to extend the sidewalk paving or provide character defining elements. Plain concrete prohibited. Tile strongly encouraged. See Figure 10-C.

C

O

N

bulkhead 24” minimum Figure 10-A

5’ typical see ADA requirements

5’ typical see ADA requirements

Figure 10-B

37


L A

Ceramic tiles add interest and character to this hisrotic building entry.

U

Wainscot at entry in brick/tile. Ceramic tile is used for the entry foyer paving.

T

Figure 10-C (photos above)

N

+/-7’; see ADA requirements

+/-5’; see ADA requirements

O

interior vestibule

C

E

P

Guidelines (encouraged): P4 1. Provide separate enclosed vestibules to improve loss of energy (heat and air conditioning) and reduce wind disturbance. See Figure 10-D. 4 P 2. Provide revolving doors in Zones 2-4 where appropriate to improve loss of energy (heat and air conditioning and reduce wind disturbance. P2 3. Provide walk-off grates and mats at exterior and/or interior of entries to improve indoor air quality by reducing the amount of contaminants that enter the building and become airborne. See Figure 10-E.

C

Figure 10-D

exterior walk-off mat

Figure 10-E

38


11 Roofs & Roofing

A

L

Intent • Maintain rhythms and patterns of the existing roof lines, shapes and materials (maintaining the “roofline” or “roofscape” of the city when viewed from a distance). • Promote sustainable building strategies. • Avoid designs that do no fit with the context, scale or texture of the existing conditions.

Hip roofs

Gable roofs (predominant in south end)

C

O

N

Flat roofs (predominant in CBD)

C

E

P

T

U

Standards (required): 1. Within Zones 1 and 2, roof shapes that are not currently existing or historically accurate shall be prohibited. See Figure 11-A. 2. For low-slope roof (≤4:12), Solar reflectance of main roofing materials shall be >= 0.65. 3. For steep-slope roof (≥4:15), Solar reflectance of main roofing materials shall be >= 0.25. 4. Mechanical and Electrical equipment shall be screened per Section 15. 5. Roofing materials shall be allowed as shown on Table 11-B. 6. Gutters and Downspout materials shall be allowed as shown on Table 11-C.

Barrel vault roofs (found on some existing large volume industrial /retail buildings)

Shed roofs (new form found in Zone 2 and 3)

Figure 11-A Curved roofs - an example of a roof form not found currently in Zone 1 - not recommended, see also Section 6, Architectural Character. 39


U

P

T

Zones 2, 3 & 5 a see note 4 a a prohibited prohibited a a

N

C

Copper and Wood gutters

Steel downspouts

Guidelines (encouraged): 40

Zone 4 a see note 4 a a prohibited prohibited a a

Metal roofing shall not be used on historical buildings in the Historic Overlay District where metal was not part of the original design. 2 Roofing shall meet the Solar Reflectance requirements. 3 Imitation materials shall only be allowed in the Historic Overlay District when the original material is no longer manufactured, available within 500 miles, or the cost of historically accurate materials is prohibitive* and the proposed materials are deemed to not have a negative impact on the character of the neighborhood. 4 Rainwater runoof from copper can be harmful to watersheds depending on Ph levels, run and slope of roof and treatment. These factors should be considered when using this product. *Cost prohibitive, for purposes of this Note, shall mean more than 30% of the cost of the historically accurate material. 1

O

Notes:

Zone 4 with restrictions2 prohibited see note 4 a a with restrictions2 with restrictions2 a a with restrictions2,3 a

C

E

Table 11-C: Allowable Materials a= Allowed Gutters & Downspouts Zone 1 Cast Iron a Copper see note 4 Structural Steel a Sheet Steel a PVC/Vinyl prohibited ABS prohibited Wood (gutters) a Aluminum a

Zones 2, 3 & 5 with restrictions2 prohibited see note 4 a with restrictions1 with restrictions2 with restrictions2 a a with restrictions2,3 a

A

Zone 1 with restrictions2 prohibited see note 4 a with restrictions1 with restrictions2 with restrictions2 a a with restrictions2,3 a

L

Table 11-B a= Allowed Roofing Materials Membrane, non-PVC Membrane, PVC Copper Composition Shingle Sheet Steel Metal Built-up, Asphaltic Roll-on, Asphaltic Slate Clay Tile Imitation Slate or Tile Vegetated Roof (Green)

Sheet metal downspout

Copper downspout and Conductor head


E

P

T

U

A

L

Provide green/vegetated roof covering a minimum of 70% of entire roof. Provide green/vegetated roof covering a minimum of 40% of entire roof. Provide public access to green roof/roof garden. Provide Low Slope roofs with a solar reflectance of >= 0.50 or better. For steep-slope roof (≥4:15), Solar reflectance of main roofing materials shall be >= 0.15 or better. Utilize lower solar reflectance or green roof where roofing may be in close proximity to views from inside the building or from adjacent buildings. Provide solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for on-site renewable energy. Two Incentive points for on-site production of every 5% of the buildings’ electrical energy loads. Provide solar hot water panels for on-site renewable energy. Two Incentive points for on-site production of every 25% of the buildings’ hot water heating loads. Provide wind turbines for on-site renewable energy. Two Incentive points for on-site production of every 5% of the buildings’ electrical energy loads. Turbine size and location shall be designed to not detract from the Architectural Character of the building and shall not have negative visual, turbulence, noise or vibration impacts on neighboring properties. Provide rainwater catchment systems to capture and slow runoff. Provide rainwater catchment systems to capture and re-use runoff for on-site or neighbor hood irrigation, flushing of toilets, or other greywater use. Utilize rooftops for opportunities to draw attention to the downtown from the adjacent vistas (I-5, residential “hill” neighborhood, west side approach). Provide skylights for natural daylighting to interior spaces. For historic buildings, utilize existing skylights covered by previous remodeling or consider using historically appropriate skylight shapes and materials. Provide “future-ready” infrastructure to allow for future installations of strategies noted above. (points may be retroactively applied to tax incentives when strategies are installed.)

C

O

N

C

P4 1. P2 2. P10 3. P2 4. P2 5. P1 6. P2+ 7. P2+ 8. P2+ 9. P2 10. P5 11. 12. 13. 14.

Working downspout art installation, Vine Street, Seattle , Washington, by Buster Simpson

Green roofs provide protection from heat gain on roof and help slow rain water runoff from roofs. They also provide opportunities for private or public spaces for gardens, dining, socializing, and relaxing.

41


L A U T

C

O

N

C

E

P

Roofs provide opportunities for on-site power generation such as solar photovoltaics (shown above), hot water solar panels,and wind turbines providing energy for the building. In some cases where the energy load is low, owners can actually produce more energy than required and sell it back to the utility.

This roof includes green roof trays, solar photovoltaics and daylight monitors that provide natural daylight into the heart of a library space below.

42


12 Awnings & Canopies

U

A

L

Intent • Maintain rhythms and patterns of the existing awning and canopy shapes and materials. • Provide cover for pedestrians throughout the retail district. • Promote sustainable building strategies, such as natural light and ventilation and solar shading designs by placing awnings in the proper location relative to transom windows. • Avoid visual clutter and lighting that distracts from the continuity of the street. • Restore historical awning approach to building facade treatment.

C

O

N

C

E

P

T

Standards (required): 1. Shape, size and materials of awnings within the Historic Overlay District shall be appropriate to the historical context of the building and block. See Figure 12-A. 2. Mounting height of awnings shall be consistent with awnings within the same block. Deviation from bottom edge or top edge shall not exceed 12” each. 3. For buildings with transom windows, awnings shall be constructed in a way that does not block transom windows from allowing natural daylight to enter the building and natural ventilation to be used. See Diagram 12-B. 4. Mount awnings and construct canopies so that they do not interfere with existing character defining elements. 5. Awnings, canopies, gutters and downspouts shuld be designed with materials, parts and fixtures that can be easily maintained, repaired or replaced to assure continured watertight performance. 6. Awnings and canopies shall be lit from above. Backlit awnings and canopies shall be prohibited. See Diagram 12-C. 7. Lighting under awnings and canopies shall be used to light signage and storefronts directly. See Figure 12-D.

Awning: Supported off the building without columns

Figure 12-A Canopy: Supported by columns 43


t

r

e

e

t

A

s

L

natural light

Diagram 12-C

U

Diagram 12-B

The awning on the left has lighting below that focuses on the storefront, creating a warm, inviting presence. It does not light up the entire awning. Another example on the right is of a retractable awning with lighting for after hours activities.

E

P

T

C

Figure 12-D

C

O

N

Guidelines (encouraged): 1. Avoid awning and canopy designs that have an excessive amount of exposed structure which interferes with the visual sightlines of the sidewalk and storefront. P2 2. Utilize canvas in lieu of vinyl materials. P5 3. Provide awning or canopy across entire frontage. 4. Utilize operable awnings where appropriate.

The structure of this canopy detracts from the building and the awning also covers the historic transom windows. 44


L E

P

T

U

Awning types

A

Retractable awnings

Metal flat awning with supports and transoms above

C

O

N

C

Canvas angled awning with signage and downlighting

Canvas angled awning above transom windows

Canvas angled awnings (below) and canvase half-round awnings above

45


L A

Glazed awning protects pedestrians from weather while allowing natural lighting to penetrate into the building

E

P

T

U

Individual canvas awnings with scalloped edge

C

O

N

C

This angled awning has been mounted in a way that covers the original transom windows, blocking natural light from the interior of the building and eliminating passive solar heating of the original design

This conversion of a historical building includes high transom windows that allow light to penetrate into the building and awnings that protect the lower windows from solar heat gain and glare while providing pedestrian protection.

46


13 Lighting

A

L

Intent • Maintain historical nature of lighting and light fixtures. • Preserve the night sky by reducing light pollution. • Maintain the consistency of the color rendition of the existing street light fixtures (measured in Kelvin, this keeps lights consistent in their color and intensity).

P

T

U

Standards (required): 1. Use light fixtures that protect the night sky with covers and/or cutoffs that direct light down to the ground plane or onto the building surface in a downward direction (downlighting). 2. Height of light poles shall be consistent with Diagram 13-A. 3. Color range shall be 2000-3000 Kelvin or shall have colored lens/lamp to produce a warm white consistent with the historic district lighting. Use of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) is promoted for energy efficiency, but color of LED lights and lamps should be considered when selecting fixtures. 4. Lighting shall not be flashing. Messaging on signs or in storefront windows, in all Zones except Zone 4, shall not change more than two times per every 24 hours.

C

E

streescape lighting 12-16’

N

traffic lighting 20-30’

O

Diagram 13-A

path lighting +/-36”

C

Guidelines (encouraged): 1. Utilize lighting that illuminates the sidewalk/walking surface if under a canopy or awning. 2. Utilize lighting that accents building entries for clarity and safety. P2 3. Utilize low-intensity, energy efficient lighting. 4. Utilize light fixtures and posts that complement the historic nature of the downtown. 5. Utilize exterior light fixtures with hanging basket and banner options to add texture and interest to the streetscape. 6. Utilize lighting that will feature architectural details on the building. 7. Utilize lighting that accents building signage (in lieu of backlighting signage; see Signage, page 59). 47


L A U

The Kelvin scale measures the color rendition (warmth or coolness of lighting). Newer LED lighting tends to be cooler in color than traditional incandescent lamps, creating a discrepancy between warmer yellow light and cooler white light in a downtown area.

P

T

The spread of lighting, especially with high-output fixture, is very important in creating a pedestrian scale feeling in the downtown core. Placing lights closer together and focusing the light downward creates better atmosphere and less glare without compromising on the sense of security.

N

C

E

C

O

Example of low-level, warm lighting that creates an appealing sense of pedestrian scale on the streetscape. Interior lighting highlights the merchandise and draws the public inside.

48

Examples of gooseneck lights that highlight the building and signage, while focusing the light down towards the sidewalk for safety (as well as protection of the night sky).


L

Uplight/downlight - not recommended for exterior walls except at locations that cut off the uplight (such as a canopy or awning).

Downlight - one of many types recommended for its focused light source at exterior wall locations.

C

O

N

C

E

P

T

U

Protection of the night sky is becoming increasingly important, especially in urban environments.

A

No cut-off - not recommended for exterior walls.

Choosing the right light fixture has a significant effect on the protection of the night sky. With focused downlight and lighting cut-offs, the light can be focused on important areas light advertising and safe walking and parking areas, while keeping the neighborhood and night sky free from light pollution.

49


L A

The development of Liquid Emitting Diode (LED) lighting is becoming more available and affordable. Extremely energy-efficient, LED’s are long-lasting and easy to maintain. Color rendition is the only issue within historic districts, as the lamps tend to be very cool (white) in color.

C

E

P

T

U

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) are very energy efficient and longlasting. Many light fixtures can be adapted to use this type of lamp or are designed to use CFL’s exclusively.

C

O

N

Traditional light fixtures are easy to find and help maintain the historic aesthetic of older buildings. The time period of the lighting should match the era of the building. Examples shown here include Colonial (left), Federal (middle) and Carriage (right).

Contemporary light fixtures can be used on both new and existing buildings. Care should be taken to find lighting that blends with the aesthetics of the building and provides adequate lighting. 50


14 Mechanical & Electrical Equipment

U

A

L

Intent • Place mechanical and electrical equipment (mechanical units, meters, ducts, conduits, supports and other related appendages) in areas that are not visible from the street, other buildings, or from other areas in the area. • Screen equipment where it is otherwise visible. • Minimize the visual clutter on buildings. • Avoid distractions from the historic features on existing buildings.

Internatlizing the mechanical and electrical equipment is the best approach (and often results in energy savings for mechanical systems). Ducts and piping can be run in internal shafts or pilasters to prevent them on the exterior of the building.

Figure 14-A

Mechanical screens can be used on rooftops to minimize the visual disrutption to neighboring properties and neighborhoods that can view the rooftops from a distance.

C

O

N

C

E

P

T

Standards (required): 1. Mechanical and electrical equipment shall be located out of view, be screened from view, or otherwise masked from view. See Figure 14-A. 2. Air conditioning units, satellite dishes or similar appendages shall not be located on the building’s primary facade(s). Items should be located out of view or screened from view. 3. Mechanical and Electrical equipment shall not be installed where it will damage or destroy historic features on a building.

51


C

O

N

C

E

P

T

U

A

L

Guidelines (encouraged): P2 1. Reduce the amount of equipment and energy consumption required, by using sustainable design strategies (i.e. passive solar, efficient building envelopes, natural ventilation). 2. Utilize low-profile units when possible. P4 3. Locate venting, ducts, conduits and piping within the building interior or shell where possible. P1 4. Where equipment must be visible, use colors in keeping with the nature of the building and paint the equipment. 5. Locate solar panels (hot water and photovoltaic) such that they are visually ordered and organized as much as possible. 6. Locate rainwater harvesting equipment in a way that is visually ordered (and/or screen piping and appendages).

Exposed mechanical and electrical equipment distracts from the building facade. These items shall be located within the building, on the roof, or at the back side of buildings out of view. Examples above include mechanical ducts, air conditioning units, electrical meters and conduits, satellite dishes and supporting framework.

52


L A

U

Exposed piping on buildings should be avoided at main facades within view. If they cannot be relocated or run at interior spaces, they should be of appropriate materials (metal versus PVC) and either screened or painted to minimize their visual impact.

C

O

N

C

E

P

T

Creative ways of screening can help to turn an eyesore into a fun and innovative feature. This satellite/ microwave unit was painted to match the brick of the building, minimizing the visual impact.

Rooftop equipment should be organized if it can be seen from other buildings of nearby neighborhoods. Examples here are photovoltaic (PV) panels (left) and solar hot water evacuated tubes (right). 53


54

C O N C E P T

U

A

L


15 Site Improvements

A

L

Intent • Create visual consistency throughout the downtown area. • Tie design with consistency and appropriate historic stylings of the buildings to site furnishings and site improvements. • Provide for bike racks, benches and planters to create visually appealing downtown streetscape while providing functional amenities.

C

O

N

C

E

P

T

U

Standards (required): 1. When planters are used, utilize the style and colors designs that are complementary with the historic nature of the downtown. 2. When bike racks are used, utilize rack designs and materials that are complementary with the historic nature of the downtown. 3. When benches are used, utilize bench designs and materials that are complementary with the historic nature of the downtown.

Street and sidewalk design shall be organized into zones to help promote retail activity, pedestrian circulation, places to sit and relax or wait, and separation from vehicular traffic. Newer “Complete Streets” designs add bike lanes as well.

55


E

P

T

U

A

L

Guidelines (encouraged): P2 1. Install bike racks. Refer to Section 18, Parking. P2 2. Install benches. Consider locating benches strategically along circulation routes to optimize resting, viewing and gathering opportunities. P2 3. Install recycling and waste receptacles. Where multiple receptacles are used (waste and recycling), consider using combination units. P2 4. Utilize local artists to design and/or manufacture site improvements. P4 5. Incorporate bus/transit shelters in the site and building design to encourage transit use, and/ or plan for future capacity of bus/transit shelters where the possibility of future transit expansion exists. refer to Section 18, Parking. P4 6. Incorporate electric fueling stations in site parking and building design. P2 7. Plan for power source, wiring and space for future alternative fueling stations.

C

O

N

C

City maintained planters are concrete, located out in the “furniture zone� of the sidewalk. Planters with simple designs and colors that compliment the building exteriors are recommended.

City furnished benches and waste receptacles are located in some parts of the downtown. Owner-furnished site improvements should compliment the City’s standard or the building and context in which they will be placed.

56


16 Signs

A

L

Intent • Create visual consistency throughout the downtown area. • Tie design consistency and historic stylings of the buildings to signage. • Avoid signage that creates visual clutter and design that is inconsistent with the rest of the downtown. • Restrict lighted signage that is not in context with the historic nature of the downtown.

N

C

E

P

T

U

Design Standards (required): 1. Animated signage prohibited. (Animation is defined herein as any sign whose messaging changes more than two times in 24 hours.) 2. In Zones 1, 2 , 3 and 5, backlit signs over ten (10) square feet are prohibited. 3. Utilize hanging signs under awnings and canopies in the CBD. 4. See Section 13: Lighting recommendations for lighting signage. 5. Permanent banners over five (5) square feet shall be prohibited. Temporary banners shall be allowed for a six month period maximum. 6. New signage shall not cover existing historic signage (painted brick, carved stone, etc.) 7. Signage and advertising shall not cover the ground floor windows, preventing the view into the interior space(s). 8. “A” Boards shall be limited to businesses who are not located on a street frontage, shall be designed by a professional, fabricated by a sign manufacturer and removed each day after the close of business. Plastic “A” boards prohibited. These signs shall not be allowed to be placed in the walking or ADA zone of the sidewalk. 9. Pole mounted signs shall be prohibited in Zone 1, and where allowed, shall be no larger than 25 square feet. Pole signs shall be neon or downlit. Internal lighting and uplighting prohibited.

C

O

Guidelines (encouraged): Utilize professional graphic designers and sign makers for advertising. P2 1. 2. Utilize signage that is appropriate for the historic nature of the downtown (i.e. neon, wood, metal, porcelain, painted brick). 3. Utilize signage materials that are recycled, recyclable or biodegradeable. Avoid plastics. 4. Utilize awnings for signage and advertising in addition to or as main signage. 5. Utilize window signs (handpainted or vinyl lettering or graphics that do not cover more than 10% of the window area). 6. Utilize colors to add vibrancy to streetscape in keeping with historical color palettes. 7. Consider use of roof signage of historic nature that would add to the visual appeal of the downtown, drawing attention of vehicles on nearby roads to attractions and businesses. Size of rooftop billboards shall be allowed to be 8’ tall x 24’ wide maximum. These signs shall be required to be designed by professionals and reviewed by the Historic Overlay District Review Committee for approval. 8. Maintain and protect existing historical painted brick signage. 57


L A

Wood hanging sign (double-sided)

C

E

P

T

U

Dimensional letters

Awning sign

C

O

N

Hand painted letters

Illuminated can sign (neon or bulb lit). Each metal “can� is either backlit or facelit (shown here). 58

Painted, gold leaf or vinyl applied signage, shown here on the store window.


L U

A

Neon signs range from classic originals from the early 1950’s to custom new signs. Neon is energy efficient and has a long-life with low maintenance. It can help bring historic character to a retail district if designed well.

For pole signs (prohibited in Zone 1), the use of neon or downlighting is appropriate. Internally lit or uplit signs are prohibited. Size of signs shall be limited to the Standards.

C

O

N

C

E

P

T

Backlit and facelit plastic signs are not recommended in the historic core and surrounding districts because of their strip-mall character. If used, the size should be limited and care should be taken to make them visually interesting.

Neon pole sign (left) and downlit wood pole sign are erequired in all zones as they help to add character and are generally made of sustainable materials like wood, metal and glass. 59


Rooftop neon, bulb and flood lit signs are common in historic and industrial neighborhoods. They add visual interest to the neighborhood, when designed well, and can attract visitors from high-speed roads like I-5.

C

O

N

C

E

P

T

U

A

L

Refer to current sign ordinances for allowed applications.

60

Efforts to replace historic signs within the Historic Overlay District are critical to promoting and enhanding the unique historical and cultural assets of the City. This 1920’s photo shows the old Lincoln Theater blase sign, made of metal and neon, that is currently planned to be recreated and installed in its original position.


A

Intent • Create opportunities for walking throughout the downtown core. • Make pedestrian circulation easy, safe and enjoyable. • Allow for circulation zones that prioritize pedestrians over vehicles. • Eliminate barriers for pedestrians and universal access (ADA).

L

17 Pedestrian Circulation

E

P

T

U

Standards (required): 1. Circulation shall be stroller and bike friendly, as well as meet the required ADA requirements. Consider materials that are used, slopes, and transitions and maintain circulation routes in accessible condition. 2. Surface materials for pedestrian corridors shall be consistent with existing adjacent materials. Stamped concrete shall be prohibited in the CBD. Artistic “themes” or images shall be submitted to the Historic Overlay District Review Committee for review and approval. 3. Pedestrian circulation corridors shall be lit to provide a level of safety but not “overlight” the area. Lighting shall be a level of one (1) footcandle minimum and 35 footcandle maximum. 4. Seasonal decoration must be behind or above sidewalk zone and not block view of pedestrians.

C

O

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Guidelines (encouraged): P2 1. Design new setbacks and sidewalks to be wide enough to allow for exterior dining or retail space along with ADA clearance requirements. P2 2. Incorporate connectivity of pedestrian and bike routes within new site designs. 3. Provide covered circulation (see also Section 12: Awnings and Canopies for incentives). 4. Place planters, benches and other site improvements to help define the separation between vehicular corridors and the pedestrian corridors. See Figure 17-A. P2 5. Utilize human scale materials on the pedestrian circulation routes (i.e. pavers, bricks, scored concrete). 4 P 6. Incorporate Low-Impact Development (LID)1 strategies for pedestrian circulation routes (i.e. pervious pavement, high-albedo2 surfaces to reduce heat island effect3, vegetation for shading and water runoff treatment) P1 7. Incorporate vestibules and “eddys” along the street frontage to break up the street frontage and allow for places for people to gather. 2 P 8. Provide opportunities for public art along pedestrian circulation routes to add interest, culture and/or historic information. 1

LID is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible.

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Albedo is the fraction of the incident sunlight that is reflected. When an object reflects most of the light that hits it, it looks bright and it has a high albedo. Dark roofs do not reflect as much sunlight, they tend to absorb the sunlight heat.

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Heat Island Effect is caused when surfaces that were once permeable and moist become impermeable and dry. These changes cause urban regions to become warmer than their rural surroundings, forming an “island” of higher temperatures in the landscape.

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Provide public display and information kiosks in the pedestrian zone. Design of kiosks shall be consistent with the historic nature of the CBD and be reviewed by the Historic Overlay District Review Board. Use Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies to provide safety and reduce opportunities for crime. provide safe pedestrian routes to and from buildings, parking and street. Consider designs for pedestrian circulation that are child-friendly and inviting. Encourage street parking for traffic calming.

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P2 9. 10. 11. 12.

Figure 17-A

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Low Impact Development raingarden separates vehicles from pedestrians while cleaning the stormwater runoff.

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Human-scaled paving helps to define pedestrian ways versus vehicular circulation

Pedestrian zones on the public right-of-way help to organize circulation and activities, while providing safety from cars. 62

Clearly defined pedestrian zones make shoppers feel safe and welcome, especially when there is protection from the weather.


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Clear views

CPTED principles also include clear views and eliminating places where people can hide (top illustration).

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Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles include “eyes on the street�, where the design allows many different people (shopkeepers and residents) clear views of pedestrian zones and parking locations to deter crime.

Obstructed views

Successful commercial districts rely on visual activity. When passersby see people shopping and eating, they tend to stop or remember to come back to an area. Creating space for people to sit and relax is as important as creating place for people to walk.

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L A U T P E C N O C 64

Public art can take many forms and add an incredible amount of interest to an area. Statues, found objects, utiltarian architectural or street furniture objects (such as the saw blade tree grate shown to the left), and ephemeral installations (living letters shown above) help bring a human element to the urban environment. The statue and bench outside the Chuckwagon (upper left) was created by a local artist and has become an integral piece of the uniqueness of the city.


18 Parking

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Intent • Promote high-density parking structures. • For surface parking, encourage designs that enhance the visual interest of the downtown area. • Promote Low-Impact Development (LID) strategies1. • Promote safe separation between parking and pedestrian corridors. • Provide convenient, safe and effective parking throughout the downtown core.

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Standards (required): 1. Parking structures shall take into account the design and historic nature of the surrounding existing buildings. They shall be required to meet the intent of these Design Standards in all respects, in as much as possible, within the restraints of vehicular parking garage design (i.e. heights required for clearances, openings, ramp design). 2. Lighting shall be high-efficiency, low-glare, with cut-offs to protect the night sky. See also Section 13: Lighting. 3. Parking lots shall be designed to maintain as much of the urban fabric of the block or neighborhood by avoiding scattering locations and creating more open space and curb cuts than necessary. Locate parking behind buildings when possible. See Diagram 18-A. 4. For new parking lot construction, provide bike racks in the lot or on the same site at a ratio of 1 bike per 15 cars. 5. Screen parking lots from the public sidewalk with landscaping, fencing, artwork or other means to separate parking visually from the pedestrian and street corridor while maintaining public safety and sight lines. See Diagram 18-B. 6. Provide clear connections to pedestrian circulation. Use pedestrian aisles, sidewalks, or striping to define safe walking routes. See Section 17: Pedestrian Circulation. 7. Angled parking on the street in the Historic Overlay District is prohibited due to reduced safety (visibility decreased when backing out into traffic) and increased visual dominance of the car on the streetscape. 8. Space for bus stop shall be provided at all locations that have existing transit service or that have the possibility of future transit expansion. building

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Diagram 18-A

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LID is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible.

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Screening of parking can be achieved a number of different ways. Shown here are screen walls, vegtation, earth berms and setting the parking below the grade where the retaining walls act as screening.

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Diagram 18-B

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Guidelines (encouraged): Incorporate raingardens1 or bioswales2 for stormwater runoff treatment and retention. P2 1. P2 2. Incorporate pervious pavement to reduce stormwater runoff. P5 3. Include mixed-use commercial spaces part of a parking garage design. Spaces can be ground floor and above commercial tenant improvement spaces or temporary rental kiosks. P2 4. Incorporate natural daylighting schemes that reduce daytime artificial lighting requirements. P2 5. Incorporate lighting schemes that utilize motion sensors or other technology to reduce night-time lighting pollution and energy use. P2 6. Incorporate landscaping that provides summer shading, reducing heat island effects. 7. Consider parking lot and structure designs that are visually interesting and contextually appropriate. 8. Consider designs that draw attention to the historic downtown core from neighboring vehicular routes. P2 9. Consider designs that incorporate public art, particularly regional artists. 2 P 10. Incorporate public display and information kiosk. P1+ 11. Incorporate more bike racks than required. One incentive point for every four (4) additional bicycles. P5 12. Provide covered parking on roof via solar panels, green roof or other strategy for providing reduced heat island effect or energy production. 13. Maintain street parking on driving roads for traffic calming. P5+ 14. Provide electrical charging stations. Five incentives point for one (1) station. P2 15. Provide priority parking for carpools, vanpools, motorcycles and/or alternative fuel vehicles. P2 16. Locate parking near transit stops/routes. P2 17. Provide transit shelter if parking is located on existing or future transit route. 18. Utilize Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)3 strategies to provide safety to public in and around parking facilities. P4 19. Limit hours of operation or provide lighting controls to reduce the number of hours lighting is in use (provide night sky protection and neighborhood dark skies from 12:00am to 4:00am minimum). 1

A rain garden is a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas like roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas the opportunity to be absorbed. This reduces rain runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm drains and surface waters which causes erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater). 2

Bioswales are landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water.

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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design.

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Raingardens/bioswales can be used to slow down and treat stormwater runoff.

Pervious pavers can be used to help slow down and treat stormwater runoff in the urban environment. The subsurface soil conditions need to well-draining for his strategy to work properly.

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Parking located in the rear of the building screens it from the retail core and allows the business facade to be the focal point on the street.

This urban parking lot utilizes screening with both landscaping and the remnants of an existing building, pedestrian-scaled paving to delineate walking versus parking, bike racks, benches, attractive lighting and raingardens for stormwater runoff treatment. 67


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Bike racks are an important feature in any successful retail district. Whether they are traditional, contemporary or pieces of art, they allow alternative transportation for shoppers, diners and workers in the downtown core.

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As part of a “Complete Streets� program for the City, pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles are treated equally within the streetscape. Locating bike racks where they are under cover or providing covered bike racks help in our rainy climate. Combining bike storage with transit stops is a great way to utilize covered shelters for multiple purposes.

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Appendix A: City of Mount Vernon Municipal Code, Section 17.66

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Mount Vernon Main Street Design Standards Draft  

Draft Design Standards for the Central Business District by the Main Street Design Committee

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