Village of East Troy, WI
Walworth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Downtown Design Overlay District is intended to implement the urban design recommendations of the Village of East Troy Comprehensive Plan by preserving and enhancing the aesthetic qualities (historical and visual) of the community and by attaining a consistent visually pleasing image for various portions of the Village. Any nonconforming situation (lot, use, structure and/or site) shall adhere to the provisions of Article IX.
A. 
Overall design theme. The design theme for the Downtown Design District, as determined by the Plan Commission, shall be based on the Village's historic, pedestrian-oriented development pattern in the downtown that incorporates retail service, residential, and institutional uses. Building orientation and character include minimum setbacks at the edge of the sidewalk; one-, two-, and three-story structures; a variety of loading access arrangements, typically to the rear of buildings; and a mix of on-street and other off-site parking.
Figure 510-77A: Sample Overall Design Theme
 
510 Overall Design Theme.tif
B. 
Residential construction. Proposed residential construction within the Downtown Design District, including new structures, building additions, building alterations, and restoration or rehabilitation, shall be reviewed by the Plan Commission. The building setback, height, mass, roof form, exterior materials, exterior surface appurtenances, exterior colors, landscaping, and lighting shall be compatible and harmonious with the overall design theme noted above.
C. 
Nonresidential design standards. Nonresidential construction, including new structures, building additions, building alterations, and restoration or rehabilitation, shall correspond to the urban design guidelines and the following requirements:
(1) 
Building setbacks. Throughout the district, the setback of buildings from street yard and side yard property lines shall be compatible with existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the overall design theme noted above.
(2) 
Building height. Throughout the district, the height of buildings shall be compatible with existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the overall design theme noted above. In no instance shall buildings be more than one story taller or shorter than the height of the immediately adjoining properties, which conform to the overall design theme.
(3) 
Building mass. Throughout the district, the mass of buildings shall be compatible with existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the overall design theme. The characteristic proportion (relationship between facade height and width) of the overall design theme shall be maintained. Building mass for large structures (with a facade area exceeding 5,000 square feet) shall be disguised through the use of facade articulations or through the use of exterior treatments which give the impression of directly adjoining individual buildings.
(4) 
Horizontal rhythms. The horizontal pattern of exterior building elements formed by patterns of building openings for windows and doors and related elements such as piers and columns shall be spaced at regular intervals across all visible facades of the building and shall be compatible with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the overall design theme.
(5) 
Vertical rhythms. The floor heights on main facades shall appear visually in proportion to those of adjoining buildings. The rhythm of the ground floor shall harmonize with the rhythm of upper floors. The vertical pattern of exterior building elements formed by patterns of building openings for windows and doors and related elements such as sills, headers, transoms, cornices, and sign bands shall be compatible in design and elevation with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the overall design theme.
(6) 
Roof forms. Flat or gently sloping roofs which are not visible from the street shall generally be used. For nonresidential buildings, gable and hip roofs may also be appropriate in certain locations. Mansards or other exotic roof shapes are not characteristic of the overall design theme and are prohibited.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(7) 
Exterior materials. Selected building materials shall be compatible with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the overall design theme. In addition:
(a) 
A traditional storefront design shall be employed for all new nonresidential buildings. Traditional storefronts are characterized by strong horizontal and vertical rhythms formed by building openings, storefront columns, storefront cornices, upper cornices, kick plates, sign bands, large display windows, and transom windows.
(b) 
Throughout the district, avoid cluttering building facades with brackets, wiring, meter boxes, antennas, gutters, downspouts, and other appurtenances. Unnecessary signs shall also be avoided. Where necessary, such features shall be colored so as to blend in, rather than contrast, with the immediately adjacent building exterior. Extraneous ornamentation which is inconsistent with the overall design theme is also prohibited.
Figure 510-77B: Traditional Storefront Elements
 
510 Trad Storefront Ele.tif
(8) 
Awnings. Throughout the district, awning size, color and placement should complement the architectural character of the building. Soft, weather-treated canvas or vinyl materials which allow for flexible or fixed installation shall be used. Aluminum or suspended metal canopies shall be prohibited. Signage applied to awnings shall be simple and durable and shall meet the requirements in § 510-135A(4). Backlit awnings are prohibited.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-08]
(9) 
Exterior colors. Selected exterior colors for structures and appurtenances, including fixtures and signs, shall be compatible and harmonious with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the overall design theme. Specifically, throughout the district:
(a) 
Fluorescent, day glow and/or neon colors shall not be permitted. Where such colors constitute a component of a standardized corporate theme or identity, muted versions of such colors shall be used.
(b) 
High-gloss paints, lacquers, varnishes or other shiny nonglazing surfaces shall not be used.
(c) 
Color combination schemes shall be limited to no more than four different colors for all the structures and appurtenances on a property. Varying shades, tints or intensities of a color shall count as a different color for this purpose.
(d) 
Color schemes shall be used consistently throughout the property, including on both the upper and lower portions of buildings, and on all facades of a building or structure.
(10) 
Exterior lighting. Throughout the district, on-site exterior lighting shall be compatible and harmonious with the overall design theme. Specifically:
(a) 
The design, color, height, location, and light quality of on-site pedestrian lighting shall be consistent with the pedestrian lighting fixtures.
(b) 
The design, color, height, location, and light quality of on-site vehicular circulation lighting shall be consistent with the lighting fixtures approved by the Plan Commission under Subsection C(10)(a) above.
(c) 
Additional lighting standards are found in § 510-95.
(11) 
Signage. All signage existing upon the adoption date of this chapter which does not comply with the standards of Article XV may be continued as long as it is well maintained. However, the maintenance of such legal nonconforming signs shall be limited to repair of the sign structural or lighting elements and to the repainting or replacement of the sign face with identical new material, message, and original appearance. Should a change in material, message, or original appearance be desired, the legal nonconforming sign shall be removed.
(12) 
Cleaning. Structural components and exterior materials shall be cleaned when necessary and with only the gentlest possible methods. Low-pressure water and soft natural bristle brushes are acceptable. Sandblasting is never acceptable. Other methods shall be preapproved by the Plan Commission.
(13) 
Rehabilitation and restoration. New projects, building additions, and new appurtenances and features shall comply with the provisions of Subsection C(1) through (12) above. The following standards shall apply where existing construction is proposed for rehabilitation and/or restoration:
(a) 
Buildings shall be restored relying on physical evidence (such as photographs, original drawings, and existing architectural details) as much as possible and in keeping with the overall design theme.
(b) 
Exterior materials and surface features identical to the original shall be used. Where such knowledge is lacking, materials and features in common use at the time of building erection, as determined by the Plan Commission, shall be used. Significant architectural features, including cornices, moldings, and coursings, shall be preserved or replaced with identical features and materials where possible.
(c) 
The size, proportion, and rhythm of original windows and doors shall not be altered. Original window and door openings shall not be blocked, except with a dark opaque panel placed behind the window or door to preserve the appearance of the opening. Where now blocked in another manner, blocked windows and doors shall be restored using said method. Window and door features, including lintels, sills, architraves, shutters, pediments, hoods and hardware, shall be preserved where possible or replaced with identical features and materials. Dark frames (i.e., anodized bronze) shall be used to replace storefront and upper-story windows. Clear aluminum finishes and mill finish aluminum storm windows are prohibited. Real shutters and awnings shall be used if there is evidence that they were a component of the original building design. Vinyl and plastic shutters and awnings shall be prohibited.
(d) 
Shop fronts should fit inside the original shop front in terms of all three dimensions (i.e., vertical, horizontal, and front to back articulation).
(e) 
Display windows should be restored to their original appearance, if in keeping with the overall design theme.
(f) 
Original porches and entrances shall be retained, except as required to meet accessibility standards. Porches, steps, and related enclosures which do not comply with the overall design theme shall be removed.
(g) 
The original roof shape and character of visible materials shall be retained. Original architectural features which give the roof its essential character, including dormer windows, cupolas, cornices, brackets, chimneys and weather vanes, shall be preserved if in keeping with the overall design theme.
All design and/or development applications for proposals within the Downtown Design District are subject to one of the following review processes, as determined by the Zoning Administrator. These include renovation review, design review, and project review, described below. See Figure 510-78 for a summary of the process for proposal review.[1]
A. 
Renovation review. Applications involving only a renovation of the exterior appearance of a property (such as repainting, reroofing, residing or replacing with identical colors, finishes, and materials), as determined by the Zoning Administrator, may proceed with appropriate building and related permits. No additional processes are required.
B. 
Design review. Applications involving only a change in the appearance of a property (such as painting, roofing, siding, architectural component substitution, fencing, paving, or signage with different colors, finishes, or materials) are subject to design review by the Zoning Administrator and the Plan Commission. The Zoning Administrator shall facilitate the thorough and expedient review of the application and shall ensure that the technical and procedural requirements of this chapter are met. The Plan Commission shall serve as the final discretionary review body and shall focus its review of the application on compliance with sound aesthetic, land use, site design, and economic revitalization practices. In part, this effort shall be guided by the Comprehensive Plan.
(1) 
Design review proposals shall follow the procedures for site plan review (see § 510-160).
(2) 
In addition to the application requirements for site plan review, all applications for design review shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator. Applications shall be accompanied by a building permit application and shall be accompanied by all of the following:
(a) 
A clear depiction of the existing appearance of the property. Color photographs are recommended for this purpose. Scaled and dimensioned drawings of existing components such as windows, doors, railings, fencing or other site components and/or detailed building elevations which are proposed for alteration or replacement may be required by the Village.
(b) 
A written description of the proposed modification, including a complete listing of proposed components, materials, and colors.
(c) 
A clear depiction of the proposed appearance of the property. Paint charts, promotional brochures, and/or clear color photographs of replacement architectural components are recommended for this purpose. Scaled and dimensioned drawings of proposed components such as windows, doors, railings, fencing or other site components and/or detailed building elevations which are proposed for alteration or replacement may be required by the Village.
(d) 
Written justification for the proposed alteration, including the reasons why the applicant believes the requested alteration is in harmony with the overall design and standards of the Downtown Design District (refer to § 510-77).
C. 
Project review. Applications involving modification to the physical configuration of a property (such as grading, erection of a new building, demolition of an existing building, or the addition or removal of bulk to an existing building) are subject to project review by the Zoning Administrator and the Plan Commission. The Zoning Administrator shall facilitate the thorough and expedient review of the application and shall ensure that the technical and procedural requirements of this chapter are met. The Plan Commission shall make a recommendation to the Village Board, which will serve as the final discretionary review body and shall focus its review of the application on compliance with sound aesthetic, land use, site design, and economic revitalization practices. In part, this effort shall be guided by the Comprehensive Plan.[2]
(1) 
Project review proposals shall follow procedures for conditional use permits (see § 510-157).
(2) 
In addition to the application requirements for conditional use permits, applications for project review shall be made to the Zoning Administrator. Applications shall be accompanied by a building permit application and all of the following unless specifically waived in writing by the Zoning Administrator:
(a) 
A clear depiction of the existing appearance of the property. Clear color photographs are recommended for this purpose. Scaled and dimensioned drawings of existing components such as windows, doors, railings, fencing or other site components and/or detailed building elevations which are proposed for alteration or replacement may be required by the Village.
(b) 
A written description of the proposed project, including a complete listing of proposed components, materials, and colors.
(c) 
A clear depiction of the proposed appearance of the property. Paint charts, promotional brochures, and/or clear color photographs of replacement architectural components are recommended for this purpose. Scaled and dimensioned drawings of proposed components such as windows, doors, railings, fencing or other site components and/or detailed building elevations which are proposed for alteration or replacement may be required by the Village.
(d) 
For all projects involving a new building, or an addition exceeding 100 square feet of gross floor area, the following shall be required:
[1] 
A detailed site plan per the requirements of § 510-160.
[2] 
A detailed landscaping plan of the subject property, at the same scale as the site plan, showing the location, species, and size of all proposed plant materials.
(e) 
Written justification for the proposed alteration consisting of the reasons why the applicant believes the requested alteration is in harmony with the overall design and standards of the Downtown Design District (see § 510-77).
Figure 510-78: Review Process for Renovations, Redesign and New Projects in the Downtown Design Overlay District
Procedure
Renovation
Design
Project
Optional meeting with the Zoning Administrator to confirm type of proposal
Recommended
Recommended
Recommended
Submittal of building permit application to Zoning Administrator
Not required
Optional
Recommended
Color photos/drawings of existing property
Not required
Required
Required
Written description of proposal
Not required
Required
Required
Drawings/depictions of proposed changes to site/building
Not required
Required
Required
Site plan
Not required
Not required
Required
Landscaping plan
Not required
Not required
Required
Written justification for proposal
Not required
Required
Required
Review and action by Zoning Administrator
Not required
Required
Required
Review and action by Plan Commission on site design
Not required
Not required
Required
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure 510-78 is included at the end of this section.
Penalty for violation of the provisions of this article shall be per the provisions of §§ 510-152 and 510-153. Appeals from the decisions of the Zoning Administrator may be made per the provisions of this chapter and state statutes.