Commercial areas design_guidelines

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Commercial areas design_guidelines

  1. 1. City of Palos Heights, Illinois COMMERCIAL AREASDESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES Adopted June 16, 2009
  2. 2. City of Palos Heights Commercial Areas Design and Development GuidelinesTable of Contents INTRODUCTION Page 1 SCALE & DESIGN Page 3 PLACEMENT & ORIENTATION Page 6 SITE IMPROVEMENT LANDSCAPING & Page 9 BUSINESS SIGNAGE Page 10 IMPROVEMENTS PUBLIC Page 11
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONCommercial Areas Purpose of Guidelines Existing City Codes, Ordinances Take Precedence Background Although the commercial areas of Palos Heights are consideredDesign and essentially “built-out” and developed, these Guidelines are based on the premise that even small improvements, if done All new commercial developments within the City are subject to the appropriate City codes and ordinances which address The creation of the Commercial Areas Design Guidelines was a recommendation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. InDevelopment properly, can have a major impact on the overall appearance and character of the commercial environment. the public interest. The following are guidelines that are not requirements and in addition, many of the guidelines in this addition, the Comprehensive Plan presents a number of goals and objectives that reflect the appearance and character of the commercial areas within the City. The Following is a summaryGuidelines document may be already promoted within existing City codes SCALE & DESIGN The Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines and ordinances. of the Comprehensive Plan goals and objectives that relate do not attempt to dictate architectural styles or “make all the directly to these Design Guidelines.Introduction buildings look the same.” Rather, their purpose is to help establish a desired character for new commercial development The City may consider updating its codes and ordinances to reflect certain guidelines within this report. For example, the Comprehensive Plan Goals within the City that is reflective of the community’s aspirations City may consider updating certain portions of its existing SignThese Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines and objectives. Ordinance to better reflect the desired appearance that is set Together, the goals and objectives paint a picture of what Palospresent basic principles that should be used in improving the Heights wants to accomplish with its Comprehensive Plan and forth as a guideline in this document.overall appearance and character of commercial development The purposes of the Commercial Areas Design and with other development tools and ordinances. They providethroughout the City of Palos Heights. As recommended in the Development Guidelines are to: direction and serve as a guide for evaluating specific projectsCity’s Comprehensive Plan, the guidelines focus on promoting Who Should Use These Guidelines and land use alternatives.high quality improvements and developments that will • Promote high-quality and compatible new commercial development; The principle users are the participants in the developmentcomplement and enhance the overall character of the City. The goals and objectives presented below are based on input process: architects, landscape architects, building owners, PLACEMENT & ORIENTATION from City staff, community workshops, key person interviews, • Improve the design and appearance of existing builders, developers, as well as the City Administrator, BuildingThe guidelines for Commercial Areas are intended to create and from feedback and discussions at various public meetings. commercial buildings and properties through the City’s Department, the Planned Unit Development Commission, theattractive and appropriate commercial development that is Facade and Site Improvement Program; Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council. Theprimarily designed to accommodate vehicular orientation Goals and objectives topics that relate to the Commercial Areas public can also use the guidelines to measure how successfuland traffic circulation, while also providing safe and attractive Design Guidelines include the following topics:: • Improve the appearance of the public rights-of-way; a proposed commercial project is designed, constructed, andpedestrian and bicycle circulation and amenities. Commercial maintained. • City Image and Identity;development within these areas will contribute significantlyto the overall image and character of the City as perceived by • Improve the visual image and character for the commercial areas of the City. How to Use this Document • Commercial Areas; SITE IMPROVEMENTmotorists passing through the City as well as those shopping,dining, or visiting the community. LANDSCAPING & • Foster development that respects and promotes pedestrian The guidelines presented below should be used by the City City Image & IdentityDesign guidelines are created and used by communities to and bicycle activity, while still accommodating automobile in reviewing plans and proposals for all new commercialconvey a sense of the preferred quality for a place, in this and truck traffic. developments within the community. They should be Goalcase, for the commercial areas of the City. Although text is considered “supplements” to the City’s Comprehensive Plan,a necessary component of Design Guidelines, the use of Applicability Zoning Ordinance, and other applicable codes and ordinances. Improve the community’s image through public and privatephotographs and illustrations are heavily used to convey the Early understanding of the City’s commercial areas design improvements which enhance various physical features of theinformation clearly and concisely. Although their application The guidelines for Commercial development apply to all guidelines should help ensure a more predictable and timely community and which brings the community together as afalls within the regulatory realm, design guidelines follow a commercial properties within the City’s B, B-1, Non-Conforming review process. whole.more “visionary” format and are written to be suggestive. and PUD Commercial Districts. These zoning districts are primarily located within the City of Palos Heights along portions Architects, property owners and developers are advised to use Commercial Areas BUSINESS SIGNAGEThere is no singular recommended form for design guidelines. of Harlem Avenue, 127th Street, South Ridgeland Avenue, these guidelines as a reference as they prepare plans for new College Drive and Southwest Highway. commercial development projects. Whenever these guidelines Goal 1The type of form depends upon the community, who willuse them, and who will administer them. Typically, Design may conflict with the City Zoning Ordinance or other codes, those ordinances take precedent. Achieve a compatible and marketable system of attractiveGuidelines are separate documents that supplement the zoning Guidelines for New Commercial Uses commercial development that is organized to providecode. By being separate documents, guidelines can explain in various goods and services within the community along the Because these guidelines are not mandatory for existing These Guidelines are intended to be used as an evaluationgreater detail the qualities desired by the community. Design Commercial Corridors. structures, these should only be used to guide the appearance tool. These guidelines will assist City Staff in reviewingguidelines will need to be reviewed and necessary updates of new commercial developments. These guidelines should development and redevelopment within the commercial areasshould be made overtime. As development occurs, there will Goal 2 not be applied to existing structures, however, as discussed along with the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, andbe examples of specific guidelines that are or are not working later in this section, these Guidelines should be used as part of other applicable City codes and ordinances. These guidelineseffectively. Enhance the economic viability of Harlem Avenue as the the review process for the City’s Facade and Site Improvement will be used by City Staff in reviewing plans and proposals for all new commercial developments within the applicable primary commercial corridor, providing regional shopping Program to improve the appearance of existing commercial opportunities where marketable. IMPROVEMENTS buildings and properties. zoning districts. The City should look more favorably toward development plans consistent with these Guidelines.Prepared by Houseal Lavigne Associates Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines Page 1 PUBLIC June 16, 2009
  4. 4. INTRODUCTIONGoal 3 Implementation Techniques Therefore, in addition to the City Staff, Planning and Zoning Commission, and City Council, the PUD CommissionDevelop aesthetically pleasing and functionally well-designed should also play a significant role in reviewing PUDretail and shopping areas. In order to implement these Commercial Areas Design projects to ensure that the intent of the Commercial Areas Guidelines, the following three (3) strategies are proposed. Design Guidelines are appropriately met.Visual Preference Survey Results The first two recommendations relate to new commercial development and the third recommendation relates to existing 2. The City should use the guidelines as an AdvisoryAs part of the planning process for creating these guidelines, commercial buildings and sites. Document for all other new commercial projects outside SCALE & DESIGNa Visual Preference Survey (VPS) was held for the public. of a PUD district.The purpose of the VPS was to determine which aspects of New Commercial Implementationarchitecture, building materials, lighting, signage, screening, Techniques When not tied directly to a Planned Unit Developmentparking area screening, and pedestrian realm and streetscaping (PUD) development, these guidelines should be stronglyCity business owners, residents, and government officials found 1. The City’s current Planned Unit Development (PUD) encouraged by City staff when meeting with propertyto be most preferable. The results of the VPS are summarized District ordinance should be updated to include meeting owners and developers early in the development reviewunder separate cover, however, the information gathered from the intent of these guidelines as a criterion for successfully process. The Guidelines should serve as an advisoryconducting that surveys are incorporated into these guidelines. moving through the PUD process. companion to the City’s development review process. Although not required for approval, City staff should work In order to ensure that guidelines are followed from a closely with property owners, developers and builders, regulatory perspective, the City should use their PUD to explain the goals of the commercial areas guidelines ordinance to enforce the guidelines. Meeting the intent of and how they have been designed with public input and PLACEMENT & ORIENTATION the design guidelines should be a requirement for moving comment. through the PUD process. The PUD ordinance would include more detail to refer to the types of development It is recommended that the use and application of the the City would like to see. Possible updates to the PUD guidelines become a part of the established development ordinance would include the following criteria, 1) does review process of the City. Early reflection of the City’s the project meet the intent of the design guidelines, and design expectations should help ensure a more predictable 2) does it meet the intent of the comprehensive plan. and timely review and approval process. Such criteria would tie the Design Guidelines to the PUD SITE IMPROVEMENT process. Existing Commercial Implementation LANDSCAPING & Techniques According to § 153.240 of the City’s Zoning Ordinance, under the Planned Unit Development District, the 3. To improve the appearance of existing commercial purpose of the Planned Unit Development District and buildings and properties, the City should use this document regulations are “to encourage and allow more creative during the review process of the City’s Facade and Site and imaginative design for land developments than is Improvement Program. These guidelines should be possible under the more conventional zoning regulations. used as part of the Program evaluation process to ensure The Planned Unit Development also provides for more that proposed improvements meet the intent of these efficient use of the land and thus results in more economical guidelines. The Facade and Site Improvement Program land development. Preservation of natural site qualities, involves the City administering a cost-sharing program BUSINESS SIGNAGE better urban amenities, more open space, and a higher with a participating owner/lessee for the cost of approved, quality project are the normal results of the Planned Unit eligible improvements up to an agreed upon maximum Development process.” amount. The Zoning Ordinance also states that “a Planned Unit Development Commission be established to review PUD projects. The unique and substantially different character of PUDs requires their administrative processing as a special use . Planned Unit Developments are more complex and of a different character than other special uses requiring the establishment of specific and additional procedures, standards, and exceptions to govern the recommendations of the planned unit development commission and the IMPROVEMENTS action of the city council.”Prepared by Houseal Lavigne Associates Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines Page 2 PUBLIC June 16, 2009
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION Covered walkways, such as arcades, are encouraged along the fronts Rooftop-mounted equipment and vents shall be screened from views of multi-tenant commercial buildings to create a “pedestrian-friendly” along all sides of a building. Rooftop screening should be incorporatedCommercial buildings should be of traditional architecture. orientation. Covered walkways should be encouraged between Rooflines and architectural details should complement the building’s into the overall design of the building and be an integral part of theDistinguishing architectural features are encouraged. Buildings buildings along Harlem Avenue traversing between Harlem Avenue and architectural style, and contribute to the commercial area’s character architecture. Sloped Mansard, shake or shingle roofs should beconstructed of earth toned materials should also be encouraged. the primary off-street parking lots located at the rear of the buildings. and overall appearance. discouraged. SCALE & DESIGN PLACEMENT & ORIENTATIONBuilding Scale and Covered Walkways Roofs and Rooflines • Rooflines and architectural details should complement the building’s architectural style, and contribute to the SITE IMPROVEMENT • Covered walkways, such as arcades, are encouraged along • Buildings may have either a pitched or flat roof, but commercial area’s character and overall appearance.Design LANDSCAPING & the fronts of multi-tenant commercial buildings to create rooflines must compliment the overall design and a “pedestrian-friendly” orientation. The columns of the architecture of the building. Rooflines and parapets should • Rooftop-mounted equipment and vents shall be screened arcade should be aligned with the façade of the building. look complete when viewed from all sides of the building. from views along all sides of a building. Rooftop screeningArchitectural Features • Covered walkways should be encouraged between • Roof parapets should be utilized to create an interesting should be incorporated into the overall design of the building and be an integral part of the architecture. buildings along Harlem Avenue traversing between Harlem building profile and to hide vents and other rooftop• Distinguishing architectural features are encouraged, such Avenue and the primary off-street parking lots located at equipment. • Rooftop screening should not appear as a separate as decorative cornices, columns, reliefs, and other façade the rear of the buildings. These walkways should be well-lit “addition” to the building and should be seamless. ornamentation and detailing. and designed attractively to create an inviting appearance. • Cornices and other decorative detail should be encouraged along the rooflines of buildings. BUSINESS SIGNAGE• Architectural details should be visible from the street. Buildings should be attractive at both a pedestrian and vehicular scale.• A multiple-story architectural element, such as a clock tower, spire, or bell tower, may be appropriate as a design “highlight” at select locations. IMPROVEMENTSPrepared by Houseal Lavigne Associates Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines Page 3 PUBLIC June 16, 2009
  6. 6. INTRODUCTION Screening of utility meters, transformers and similar hardware,Dumpster enclosures shall be of masonry construction and should mechanical equipment from view from any street, sidewalk, or adjacent Windows should complement the architectural style of the building.compliment overall building design and the enclosures should be well property should be accomplished by the use of walls, fencing, berms Large ground-floor display windows should be encouraged for Ground floor windows can be used for displays, however businesslandscaped. and/or planting. commercial buildings. owners should allow full and unobstructed views into their businesses. SCALE & DESIGN PLACEMENT & ORIENTATIONUtility Screening • All dumpster areas should be located to the rear of Windows and Doors • Ground floor windows can be used for displays, however buildings and provided with solid access doors or gates business owners should allow full and unobstructed views SITE IMPROVEMENT• Screening of utility meters, transformers and similar which self-close. Display windows on the ground floor of commercial buildings into their businesses. LANDSCAPING & hardware, mechanical equipment, such as air conditioning are one of the distinguishing features of pedestrian oriented condensers and PVC vents, refuse areas and containers, • Dumpster enclosures shall be of masonry construction shopping areas. Doors should also reflect the style of the • Accentuate primary entrances to create an attractive and and/or other potentially unattractive places from view and should compliment overall building design and the building and should be appropriately scaled. inviting appearance for customers and employees. from any street, sidewalk, or adjacent property should be enclosures should be well landscaped. accomplished by the use of walls, fencing, berms and/or • Large ground-floor display windows and bays are strongly • Fully glazed (frameless) doors should be discouraged. planting. encouraged for retail and entertainment uses.• Screening walls should be constructed of materials • Windows on the upper floors of new commercial or mixed- matching the primary building. use buildings should appear to be “punched” openings within a solid wall, rather than as continuous rows of BUSINESS SIGNAGE• All utility cables should be located underground. windows separated only by their frames. • Upper floor windows should be recessed, not flush with the surface of the building. Windows should complement the architectural style of the building. • Window glazing should be clear or slightly tinted. Dark, mirrored, reflective glass, or glass block should not be permitted. • Where existing windows are important architectural features in a building’s façade, window size and configuration should be maintained; window openings IMPROVEMENTS should not be covered over or boarded up.Prepared by Houseal Lavigne Associates Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines Page 4 PUBLIC June 16, 2009
  7. 7. INTRODUCTION Buildings should be constructed primarily of traditional masonryAwnings should be made of a canvas or durable fabric material that can Awnings and canopies should be integrated into the façade of all building materials such as brick or stone. Recommended accent Quality materials should be used on all sides of the building, providingbe easily cleaned. Hard plastic, or other materials that could be cracked commercial buildings and should be in character with the architectural materials include stone, simulated stone, terra cotta, and wood and an attractive “360° degree” appearance. Extremely bright predominantor broken should be discouraged. style of the building. metal trim. building colors should be discouraged. SCALE & DESIGN PLACEMENT & ORIENTATIONAwnings & Canopies • Awnings and canopies should be positioned a minimum of Building Materials and Colors • Rough sawed wood, aluminum siding, and plastic or metal eight feet above the sidewalk. panels should not be primary building materials. Ceramic SITE IMPROVEMENT• Awnings and canopies should be integrated into the façade The use of appropriate building materials is fundamental tile, terra-cotta, brick, stone, and glass surfaces should not of all commercial buildings and should be in character with • Awnings should be made of a canvas or durable fabric to compatible new development, redevelopment, and the be painted, unless it is appropriate to the architectural style. LANDSCAPING & the architectural style of the building. material that can be easily cleaned. Hard plastic, or other rehabilitation of existing structures. Color should be used to materials that could be cracked or broken should be unite the elements of a façade and to highlight features. • The predominant colors for buildings should consist of• Awnings should not appear out of place, “forced”, or as an discouraged. earth tones. While the natural brick and stone colors afterthought. • Quality materials should be used on all sides of the should predominate, contrasting and complementary • Back lit awnings and canopies, shingle and mansard building, providing an attractive “360° degree” appearance. colors should also be used to accent building components,• Awnings should be properly placed above entrances and canopies, and metal and plastic awnings should be highlight architectural elements and to help distinguish may extend over storefront windows. discouraged. • Building facades should be constructed to City codes and commercial areas. The natural brick and stone colors in addition the facades or veneer should be traditional should predominate. Darker or lighter hues may be used as• The color of awnings and canopies should complement • Awnings and/or canopies may be appropriately masonry building materials such as brick or stone. These accent trim. and enhance the overall color scheme of the building illuminated. Lighting, such as goose-neck lighting, may materials should be used on all sides of the building. BUSINESS SIGNAGE façade. be appropriate if it matches the architectural style of the Recommended accent materials include stone, simulated • Extremely bright, black, or fluorescent colors should be building. stone, terra cotta, and wood and metal trim. used only as accents and not for predominant façade or• Solid colors or subtle striped patterns should be roof colors. encouraged. • “Exterior insulation finish systems” (EIFS) should not be permitted as a primary building material, but may be appropriate as an accent material, on non-ground floor areas of the building. IMPROVEMENTSPrepared by Houseal Lavigne Associates Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines Page 5 PUBLIC June 16, 2009
  8. 8. INTRODUCTIONBuildings should have a strong visual and physical relationship to thestreet to enhance commercial identity and pedestrian orientation. Thedevelopment pattern along Harlem Avenue has created a building Long, blank facades which are visible from public rights-of-way shouldsetback that allows angled parking in front of the majority of the Variation in massing should be encouraged for large buildings to avoid Commercial buildings should have a strong pedestrian orientation with be discouraged. Facades greater than fifty (50) feet in length shouldcommercial buildings. These setbacks should include pedestrian a single dominant building. Buildings should be designed with a strong display windows, attractive detailing, and convenient and “welcoming” incorporate recesses and projections along at least twenty-five (25)amenities, and appropriate points of vehicular access and egress. street presence that creates an inviting atmosphere. entrances. percent of the length of the façade. SCALE & DESIGN PLACEMENT & ORIENTATIONBuilding Placement • Although the commercial areas are located along primarily commercial corridors that are primarily oriented to the • Long, blank facades which are visible from public rights-of- way should be discouraged. Facades greater than fifty (50) • Any business permitted to have a “drive-thru” facility should be sited so that drive-through lanes and pickup windows SITE IMPROVEMENT automobile, commercial buildings should have a strong feet in length should incorporate recesses and projections are not prominently featured. These features should beand Orientation pedestrian orientation with display windows, attractive along at least twenty-five (25) percent of the length of the located at the rear or sides of the buildings wherever LANDSCAPING & detailing, and convenient entrances. façade. possible.• Buildings should have a strong visual and physical • Buildings shall have clearly defined, highly visible customer • Variation in massing should be encouraged for large • Any outdoor seating areas, such as those provided by relationship to the street to enhance commercial identity entrances with features such as canopies or porticos, buildings to avoid a single dominant building. restaurants or cafés, should be well landscaped and and pedestrian orientation. All buildings should “front” arches, wing walls, and integral planters. incorporated into the overall site design. Outdoor seating the roads on which they are located, wherever possible. • All service entrances, dumpsters, loading facilities, and areas should be set back and screened from parking areas When front doors do not face the street frontage, display • Where commercial areas are characterized by building outdoor storage, where permitted, should be located at the and driving aisles. windows or distinctive facade treatments should be setbacks, side yards and surface parking lots, the street rear of buildings. They should be screened from view from provided along public road frontage. frontage should be maintained through the use of low- residential properties and along sidewalks and roadways profile landscaping and decorative walls or fencing. through the use of masonry walls and landscaping to BUSINESS SIGNAGE• Along Harlem Avenue, where the primary off-street parking achieve a year round opaque screen. Plantings should areas are located in many instances behind commercial consist of low evergreen and/or deciduous shrubs planted buildings, rear entrances should be treated as an additional in conjunction with low-growing annual or perennial plants “front” door. These entrances should include distinctive and ground cover. façade treatments and “welcoming” entrances. IMPROVEMENTSPrepared by Houseal Lavigne Associates Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines Page 6 PUBLIC June 16, 2009
  9. 9. INTRODUCTION Building lighting should be subtle and understated and should enhance These Guidelines are especially important for commercial uses along the building design and the adjoining landscape; light fixtures should Front and rear building entries should be adequately lit for overallThe rear portions of all properties should be clean, attractive and well Harlem Avenue and in other “outlot” buildings in other commercial be designed and oriented to produce minimal glare, nuisance, and security and visibility. This should be strongly encouraged in the rearmaintained, particularly where these areas are visible to the public. areas of the City. spillover onto nearby properties. parking areas along Harlem Avenue. SCALE & DESIGN PLACEMENT & ORIENTATIONRear Yards & Rear Façades • Secondary rear entrances to stores and shops are encouraged in blocks where public parking or pedestrian Lighting • Diffused, soft white light is recommended. Extensive lighting and over illumination should also be avoided to SITE IMPROVEMENT walkways are located behind the buildings. reduce light pollution.The rear portions of all properties should be clean, attractive Lighting promotes safe and secure parking and pedestrian LANDSCAPING &and well maintained, particularly where these areas are visible • Entrances and doors from businesses to the rear parking areas, and it can also serve to enhance the appearance of • Exterior lighting should be concealed to provide indirectto the public. These Guidelines are especially important for areas should be attractive and inviting for pedestrians/ the property. illumination. Where concealment is not practical, lightcommercial uses along Harlem Avenue and in other “outlot” employees/shoppers. fixtures should be compatible with building architecture.buildings in other commercial areas of the City. • Lighting should be used to illuminate entries, signage, • Trash receptacles, dumpsters and service areas should be • Parking lots should create a more pedestrian scale and• The backs of existing commercial buildings should be displays, and pedestrian and parking areas and all means fully enclosed by masonry structures. minimize light pollution, glare, and nuisance to neighboring well kept, with rear façades being “comparable” to front of vehicular ingress/egress as well as to highlight significant properties. This can be accomplished by using shorter façades. • Outdoor storage and service dumpster facilities, if architectural and landscape elements. lighting standards (12’-18’) to help establish pedestrian permitted and provided, should be completely screened environments within individual developments. This is• Since much of the existing businesses along Harlem have • Front and rear building entries should be adequately lit BUSINESS SIGNAGE from view along sidewalks and roadways through the use especially important in the rear parking areas along the parking located in the rear, improvements within the for overall security and visibility. This should be strongly of masonry walls and evergreen plantings. Harlem Avenue Corridor. rear yards and to the rear facades should be designed to encouraged in the rear parking areas along Harlem enhance business identity. Avenue. • Bollard lighting is encouraged as accent lighting and may be used in pedestrian areas and to highlight pedestrian • Building lighting should be subtle and understated and walkways and crossings in parking lots. should enhance the building design and the adjoining landscape; light fixtures should be designed and oriented • Wherever feasible, security lighting should be concealed to produce minimal glare, nuisance, and spillover onto from view and rooftop mounted lighting fixtures should be nearby properties. discouraged. IMPROVEMENTSPrepared by Houseal Lavigne Associates Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines Page 7 PUBLIC June 16, 2009
  10. 10. INTRODUCTIONWherever feasible, parking lots within commercial areas shouldincorporate best management practices (BMPs). Using “greentechnology” will improve stormwater management and improve Wherever feasible, pedestrian access to parking lots should be providedecological conditions. This photo shows a parking lot constructed of Wherever feasible, parking lots should be screened from view along through planned walkways located in gaps between buildings. Thispervious brick paver systems and natural flow drainage through curb Off-street parking lots should be designed and located so that they are sidewalks and roadways through the combined use of low masonry should be encouraged within the commercial areas along Harlemcuts and native landscaping. safe, attractive and efficient. walls, hedge plantings and shrubs. Avenue. SCALE & DESIGN PLACEMENT & ORIENTATIONOff-Street Parking Areas • dequate parking is essential within the commercial areas. A Off-street parking lots should be designed and located so • All parking areas should be paved and have surfaces in good condition. • Parking lot landscaping should include “landscape islands” at a ratio of one per ten parking spaces. Landscape islands that they are safe, attractive and efficient. should consist of City canopy trees, attractive groundcover, SITE IMPROVEMENTCurrently, the built form along Harlem Avenue consists of • Wherever feasible, parking lots should be screened from and/or decorative bushes and be a minimum size of 9-feet LANDSCAPING &commercial buildings located close to the street with their • The number of curb cuts along major collector and arterial view along sidewalks and roadways through the combined by 18-feet.largest parking areas located to the rear of the properties. In roadways such as Harlem Avenue, 127th Street, South use of low masonry walls, hedge plantings and shrubs.addition to these rear parking areas, smaller surface parking Ridgeland Avenue, College Drive, and Southwest Highway • Parking lots should be adequately illuminated.areas are also located in front of many of the commercial should be minimized. • Parking lots should have curbed perimeters and curbedbuildings adjacent to Harlem Avenue. Many of these front landscaped islands. • Where possible, pedestrian access to parking lots shouldparking areas are designed for angled parking. These front • Within the commercial areas, adjacent parking lots be provided through planned walkways located in gapsparking areas provide much needed parking spaces for many should be connected and access points should be unified • Clearly marked pedestrian pathways should be provided between buildings.of the commercial businesses in this area. Future commercial whenever possible. All parking areas should be accessible within the interior of parking areas to avoid large expansesdevelopments with front parking areas should be designed from cross streets whenever possible. of asphalt and to enhance pedestrian safety.to provide safe and efficient circulation for both vehicles and BUSINESS SIGNAGEpedestrians. Where appropriate setbacks exist, two rows of • Cross access between adjacent parking lots is encouraged.parking should be considered in these front parking areas andor clearly developed signage indicating rear of building parking • All parking lots should be designed for proper drainage. Toshould be included in the plan. aid in stormwater management and improve ecological conditions, the use of pervious brick paver systems isThese existing front parking areas, as well as future front parking encouraged.areas, should be well-maintained and improvements should beinstalled wherever feasible to create an attractive appearance.The City should continue to build upon the streetscapingimprovements already underway along Harlem Avenue whichincludes the installation of brick paver sidewalks, street trees,landscaping, and community banners. IMPROVEMENTSPrepared by Houseal Lavigne Associates Commercial Areas Design and Development Guidelines Page 8 PUBLIC June 16, 2009

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