Questions about eCode360? Municipal users Join us daily between 12pm and 1pm EDT to get answers and other tips!
Township of Northampton, PA
Bucks County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977]
This Part of this chapter is intended to specify the standards to be adhered to in the design of all subdivisions and land developments. The design standards for required as well as accessory improvements are included in this Part of this chapter. These standards will be subject to periodic review and revision by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. The standards are to be considered as an integral part of this chapter.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977]
The standards and requirements outlined herein shall be considered minimum standards and requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, morals and general welfare.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977]
Wherever specific documents are referenced herein and said documents are hereafter updated, revised or replaced, then said updated, revised or replaced document shall be applicable.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977]
1. 
Minimum Radii. Minimum curb radii at street intersections shall be 25 feet at street intersections and 15 feet at the property line.
2. 
Depressed Curb. Whenever curbs are to be constructed across private driveways within residential areas or driveway approaches of ingress or egress from abutting industrial or commercial properties, the curb shall be depressed to the driveway surface. The minimum longitudinal length of a depressed curb for private driveway crossings shall be 20 feet, and the maximum longitudinal length for driveway crossings in commercial or industrial areas shall be 35 feet. When required and approved by the governing authorities, separated driveway approaches may be constructed for entrance and exit to abutting properties. Such individual driveway approaches shall not exceed the maximum longitudinal length of 35 feet of depressed curb at each driveway approach and a standard curb section shall be constructed as a separating curb between the driveways. Depressed curbs shall conform to the dimensions and details of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Form 408, "Specifications and Roadway Construction Standards," as amended.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as amended by Res. R-83-14, 11/9/1983; and by Ord. 284, 12/14/1988]
1. 
Residential Driveways.
A. 
Relation to Intersections. Residential driveways shall be located not less than 50 feet from the intersection of corner lots and shall connect to the street of lowest potential traffic if located on a corner lot.
B. 
Design Specifications. Driveways shall be so located, designed and constructed as to provide a reasonable sight distance at intersections with streets. A stopping area, measured 20 feet behind the right-of-way line, shall be provided, not to exceed a grade of 4%. Driveways shall not interfere or be inconsistent with the design, maintenance and drainage of, or the safe passage of traffic on, Township or State roads.
C. 
Minimum Width. The minimum driveway width for residential homes shall be 20 feet.
D. 
Maximum Grade. The maximum grade on all residential driveways shall not exceed 25%.
2. 
Driveways for Commercial, Industrial and Multi-family Facilities.
A. 
Minimum Distance. Access to commercial and industrial parking areas and sites shall be controlled and shall be so located as to provide a minimum of 150 feet between points of access.
B. 
Minimum Width. The minimum driveway width for commercial, industrial and multi-family uses shall be 25 feet for two-way traffic movement and 12 feet for one-way traffic movement. Aisles serving off-street parking spaces shall be provided with minimum widths in accordance with § 22-403, Subsection 8.
C. 
Alignment. Driveways shall be so located, designed and constructed as to provide a reasonable sight distance at intersections with streets. A stopping area, measured 20 feet behind the right-of-way line, shall be provided, not to exceed a grade of 4%. Driveways shall not interfere or be inconsistent with the design, maintenance and drainage of, or the safe passage of traffic on, Township or State roads.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as amended by Res. R-83-14, 11/9/1983; by Ord. 356, 10/9/1996; by Ord. 413, 7/14/1999; by Ord. 456, 12/8/2004; and by Ord. 501, 12/8/2004]
Stormwater management facilities shall be designed, installed and undertaken in accordance with the Northampton Township Stormwater Management and Grading Ordinance [Chapter 23].
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977]
All erosion and sediment control measures shall be designed as per the procedures outlined in the Bucks County Soil and Erosion Control Handbook available through the Bucks County Conservation District.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as amended by Ord. 278, 9/14/1988; by Ord. 357, 1/27/1993; by Ord. 364, 7/14/1993; by Ord. 469, 12/13/2000; and by Ord. 501, 12/82004]
1. 
Grassed Areas or Grass/Ground Cover Combinations. All such areas specified on proposed or approved plans shall be prepared, installed and maintained in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Form 408 Specifications, as amended.
2. 
Street Trees and Plantings Within Street Rights-of-Way.
A. 
Street Tree Requirement. Within any land development or subdivision, street trees shall be planted along both sides of new streets and along one or both sides of an existing street within the proposed subdivision or land development where suitable street trees do not exist.
B. 
Locations.
(1) 
Street trees shall be planted outside of the street right-of-way, on lots, within two feet of the street right-of-way line.
(2) 
Large street trees shall be planted a minimum distance of eight feet, and small street trees shall be planted a minimum distance of four feet, from any curb or sidewalk.
(3) 
At intersections, trees shall not be located within the clear-sight triangle.
(4) 
On streets with overhead utility lines, large street trees shall not be permitted. Small street trees may be permitted at least 15 feet from an overhead utility line.
C. 
Spacing.
(1) 
Large street trees shall be planted at intervals of not more than 60 feet and small street trees at intervals of not more than 40 feet.
(2) 
Street trees shall not be planted opposite each other but shall alternate.
(3) 
An equivalent number of street trees may be planted in an informal arrangement, subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors.
D. 
Street Trees Shall Be of Nursery Stock. They shall be of symmetrical growth, free of insects, pests and disease, suitable for street use and in conformity with the standards of the American Association of Nurserymen.
E. 
Approved Species. In particular, approved street trees shall include the following:
(1) 
Large Street Trees.
(a) 
Acer rubrum, red maple.
(b) 
Acer saccharum, sugar maple (may only be used when not subject to salt spray).
(c) 
Fraxinus Pennsylvanica Marshall seedless, Marshall seedless green ash (Patmore, Summit, Newport, Urbanite or Cimrnaron cultivars only).
(d) 
Gleditsia triacanthos inermis, thornless honeylocust.
(e) 
Phellodendron amurense, Amur cork tree.
(f) 
Quercus borealis, northern red oak.
(g) 
Quercus coccinea, scarlet oak.
(h) 
Quercus phellos, willow oak.
(i) 
Tilia cordata, European linden.
(j) 
Zelkova serrata, Japanese zelkova.
(2) 
Small Street Trees.
(a) 
Acer campsite ginnala, Amur maple.
(b) 
Acer saccharum colummare, columnar sugar maple (may only be used when not subject to salt spray).
(c) 
Columnar red maple varieties.
(d) 
Cornus Florida kousa, Korean dogwood.
(e) 
Crataegus viridis Winter King, Winter King Hawthorn.
(f) 
Koelreuteria paniculata, goldenrain tree.
(3) 
Upon the approval of the Board of Supervisors, other suitable species may be utilized.
F. 
Plantings Within Street Rights-of-Way.
(1) 
Any planting or landscaping materials located within a street right-of-way shall be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
(2) 
Any such planting shall be appropriate to its location and function and shall be of a species suitable to tolerate the stresses associated with its particular location, including but not limited to exposure, soil compaction, drought, heat, automobile pollution and road salts.
(3) 
Such plantings shall not have a growth habit which would cause interference with overhead utility lines.
(4) 
Such plantings shall not have root systems which would cause interference with or cause damage to underground utilities, pavement, sidewalks or curbs.
3. 
Parking Area Plantings.
A. 
Parking areas shall be landscaped with evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, ground cover and mulch as determined to be appropriate or necessary for each specific site by the Township Board of Supervisors. Hardy ground cover shall be used in place of grass wherever possible, with a mulch of a type which will aid in controlling erosion and noxious weeds and will generally preserve and enhance the quality and character of the proposed landscape planting. In all parking area planting, emphasis shall be put on simplicity of design and adequacy to meet specific aesthetic, physical and safety needs as required by the Township.
B. 
All parking areas shall have at least one tree of 1 1/2 inches minimum caliper for every five parking spaces in single bays and one tree of 1 1/2 inches caliper minimum for every 10 parking spaces in double bays.
C. 
Trees shall be of nursery stock. They shall be of symmetrical growth, free of insects, pests and disease, suitable for the intended use and in conformity with the standards of the American Association of Nurserymen.
D. 
Trees shall be planted in such a manner to afford maximum protection from the sun for parked vehicles.
E. 
Plantings shall be able to survive road salt, soot and gas fumes.
F. 
Approved Trees. Those tree species approved for street tree use may be used in parking areas. Trees which have low-growing branches, gum or moisture which may drop on vehicles, blossoms, thorns, seeds or pods which may clog drainage facilities shall be avoided.
G. 
Upon the approval of the Board of Supervisors, other suitable species may be utilized.
4. 
Screening and Buffer Areas.
A. 
Buffer Requirements. Required screening and buffer areas shall consist of at least 80% evergreen material and 20% deciduous trees and shrubs for accent and color and must, through layout and content, provide design solutions which solve all visual and noise problems from recreational, industrial, commercial or motor vehicle uses, whether on the same lot or not.
B. 
Berms, Fences or Walls. In addition to required tree and shrub buffers, earthen berms, fences or masonry walls may be acceptable or desirable when it is determined not possible to achieve desired buffering with the plant material specified above.
C. 
Spacing, Density and Material. Spacing, density and material selection shall be based on intensity or degree of the problem in the area of required screening or buffer planting.
D. 
Landscape Architect. It is recommended that a landscape architect be employed to ensure proper use and arrangements of plant material to achieve the required screening and buffer while maintaining an aesthetic appearance.
5. 
Open Space. All areas proposed for recreational use, whether active or passive, shall be planted to effectively naturalize the areas to become an integral and harmonious element in the natural landscape.
6. 
Landscaping Performance Standards.
A. 
Performance Standards. For performance standards, see the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Form 408 Specifications, as amended.
B. 
Minimum Standards. The following are minimum sizes for plant material:
Type
Size
Street trees
2 to 2 1/2 inches caliper at 6 inches above grade
Deciduous trees
1 1/2 to 2 inches caliper at 6 inches above grade
Ornamental trees
6 to 8 feet in height*
Evergreen trees
5 to 6 feet in height*
Deciduous shrubs
18 to 24 inches in height*
Evergreen shrubs
18 to 24 inches in height*
Evergreen shrubs, screens and buffers
2 1/2 to 3 feet in height*
NOTE: *To meet standards as prescribed by the American Nursery Association.
C. 
Approved Planting Plan. All major subdivisions, multi-family, commercial and industrial developments must have a planting plan approved before construction.
D. 
Multi-family, Commercial and Industrial. All grading, seeding, mulched beds and planting in multi-family, industrial and commercial developments must be installed and maintained by the owner and/or lessee under lease agreements in accordance with approved landscape plans. Any planting that dies within two years of planting due to improper maintenance or damage by accident must be replaced within one year.
E. 
Planting after Finished Grading. Street trees and other required plant material shall not be planted until the finished grading of the subdivision or land development has been completed.
7. 
Refuse Collection for Nonresidential Developments.
A. 
Outdoor Collection Stations. Outdoor collection stations shall be provided for garbage and trash removal when indoor collection is not provided.
B. 
Location. Collection stations shall be located to avoid being offensive and shall be screened from view and landscaped.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as amended by Res. R-83-14, 11/9/1983; and by Ord. 412, 10/9/1996]
1. 
Grades.
A. 
Minimum and Maximum Grades. Center-line street grades shall not be less than 1%. The maximum street grades shall be as follows:
(1) 
Residential and minor collector streets: 8%.
(2) 
Major collector and major arterial streets: 6%.
B. 
Cul-de-sac Grade. Maximum grades within 100 feet of the outer perimeter of a cul-de-sac bulb shall not exceed 4%, measured along the center line of the street.
C. 
Minimum Radius, Maximum Grade. A combination of minimum radius horizontal curves and maximum grades will not be approved.
2. 
Leveling Area. Where the grade of any street at the approach to an intersection exceeds 6%, a leveling area of at least 75 feet, measured from the street line, shall be provided, having a grade not greater than 2%.
3. 
Vertical Alignment.
A. 
Amenable to Topography. The center-line profile of streets shall conform to the contour of the land to produce usable lots and streets consistent with reasonable grade, alignment, drainage and future municipal sanitary facilities.
B. 
Vertical Curve Requirement. A vertical curve shall be used at all changes in grade of the center-line profile exceeding 1%.
C. 
Design Procedure. All vertical curves shall be designed in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Design Manual, Part 2, "Highway Design."
4. 
Horizontal Alignment.
A. 
Horizontal Curve Requirement. When street lines are deflected in excess of 3°, connection shall be made by horizontal curves. A long-radius curve shall be preferred in all cases to a series of curves and tangents.
B. 
Minimum Tangent. Except on residential and local minor collector streets, a minimum tangent of 100 feet shall be required between curves.
C. 
Reverse Curves. In no case shall two curves in reverse direction be joined together without the minimum tangent length of 100 feet provided for the above two street classifications.
D. 
Design Procedure. The horizontal alignment of all streets shall be designed in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Design Manual, Part 2, "Highway Design."
5. 
Deceleration Lanes. Deceleration lanes shall be a minimum of 125 feet in length. At the minimum, a taper section 25 feet in length shall extend from the edge of the curb of the through road to the full-width curb edge of the deceleration lane. The full width of a deceleration lane shall be 13 feet. A full-width section of the deceleration lane shall extend for a minimum of 100 feet.
6. 
Culs-de-sac.
A. 
Temporary Turnarounds. All temporary turnarounds shall conform to the design specifications for culs-de-sac.
B. 
Minimum Radii. Culs-de-sac shall have, at the closed end, a turnaround which is paved to an outside radius of not less than 40 feet, and which has a right-of-way, concentric with the paved area, with an outside radius of not less than 50 feet, except for culs-de-sac in industrial zones, which shall have a paved outside radius of not less than 48 feet and a right-of-way, concentric with the paved area, with an outside radius of not less than 60 feet.
C. 
Alleys. Alleys are not permitted.
D. 
Abutting Property Lines. Unless future extension is clearly impractical or undesirable, the cul-de-sac right-of-way shall be placed adjacent to a property line, and a right-of-way of the same width as the street shall be carried to the property line in such a way as to permit future extension of the street into the adjoining street. At such time as the street is extended, the area created by the turnaround shall revert ownership to the property owner fronting on the cul-de-sac turnaround.
7. 
Rights-of-Way. The rights-of-way shall be graded to their full width as deemed necessary by the Board of Supervisors to provide suitable finished grades to the tolerances herein specified.
8. 
Sight Distance.
A. 
Alignment. Street intersections shall be designed to intersect at right angles. New street intersections involving more than two streets shall be prohibited. The minimum center-line offset between residential and minor collector streets intersecting another street is 150 feet.
B. 
Minimum Spacing. Major collector and major arterial streets shall not intersect with collector streets at intervals of less than 800 feet from the same side of the collector street.
C. 
Computation of Sight Distances. The required stopping and passing sight distances on all roads shall be computed as per the procedures outlined in a Policy on Geometric Design of Rural Highways, published by the American Association of State Highway Officials, 1965.
D. 
Sight Triangle. A minimum clear-sight triangle of 75 feet as measured from the center-line intersections of two streets shall be provided at all intersections. At a minimum, each triangle shall be increased by one foot for each foot of right-of-way greater than 50 feet for either intersecting street. The above-mentioned dimensions are minimum requirements. All intersections must provide, as a minimum, the required clear-sight triangle as computed by procedures outlined in a Policy on Geometric Design of Rural Highways, published by the American Association of State Highway Officials, 1965.
9. 
Superelevation and Cross-Slope.
A. 
Crown. A normal crown shall be provided on all streets not superelevated of 5/16 inch per foot of straight slope extending in cross section from the edge of the pavement to medial edge, whichever will apply, symmetrical to the center line.
B. 
Design Procedures. All superelevated roadway sections shall be designed in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Design Manual, Part 2, "Highway Design."
10. 
Subgrade, Subbase, Base Course and Wearing Surface Requirements. The following are considered to be minimum street construction standards. More restrictive standards may be applied if conditions warrant.
Street
Prepared Sub-grade
Sub-base
(inches)
Base Course
(inches)
Wearing Surface
(inches)
Arterial streets1
Yes
6
5 of bituminous concrete
3 1/2 of bituminous surface course, ID-2A2
Collector streets1
Yes
6
5 of bituminous concrete
3 1/2 of bituminous surface course, ID-2A2
Industrial streets1
Yes
6
5 of bituminous concrete
1 1/2 of bituminous surface course, ID-2A2
Primary streets1
Yes
6
4 1/2 of bituminous concrete
1 1/2 of bituminous surface course, ID-2A3
Secondary streets1
Yes
6
4 1/2 of bituminous concrete
1 1/2 of bituminous surface course, ID-2A3
Residential streets1
Yes
6
4 1/2 of bituminous concrete
1 1/2 of bituminous surface course, ID-2A3
Cul-de-sac streets1
Yes
6
4 1/2 of bituminous concrete
1 1/2 of bituminous surface course, ID-2A3
Driveways and parking areas (nonresidential)
No
3
8 of crushed aggregate
2 1/2 of bituminous surface course, ID-2A4
Driveways and parking areas (residential)
No
No
6 of crushed aggregate
4 of bituminous material
Bituminous sidewalks
No
No
4 of stone
4 of bituminous material
Concrete sidewalks
No
No
4 of stone
4 of concrete
NOTES:
1
Pipe foundation underdrain is required. Use of the underdrain may be waived if it is determined unnecessary by the Township Engineer upon inspection of the subsurface soil conditions during roadway excavation.
2
One and one-half inches of wearing course on a binder of two inches.
3
One and one-half inches of wearing course.
4
One inch of wearing course on a binder of 1 1/2 inches.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as amended by Ord. 266, 2/24/1988; and by Ord. 464, 10/11/2000]
1. 
Lighting Requirements.
A. 
Street lighting shall be required for all commercial, institutional, recreational, municipal and industrial land developments, for all multi-family residential areas and, at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors, for all or portions of single-family residential developments.
B. 
In single-family residential subdivisions, appropriate conduit and wiring shall be installed underground even though standards and lighting fixtures may not be required or constructed immediately. In lieu of conduit and wiring, a fee may be imposed by the Board of Supervisors, at its sole discretion, when it is deemed impractical or unnecessary for such conduit and wiring to be installed at the time of the construction of the residential subdivision. Such a fee shall be initially established by the Board of Supervisors by resolution. Such fee provisions may be changed from time to time by the Board of Supervisors.
C. 
Proposed intersections with any minor local collector, major collector or major arterial street shall have streetlights.
D. 
In commercial and industrial land developments, lighting shall be provided in accordance with the technical details in § 27-1111 of the Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27].
2. 
Where required above, the owner shall install or cause to be installed, at the owner's expense, metal pole streetlights serviced by underground conduit in accordance with a plan to be prepared by the owner's engineer and approved by the Township Engineer and Board of Supervisors. The provision of metal poles may be waived in such instances as approved by the Board due to the existence of wooden poles already in place. The owner shall be responsible for all costs involved in lighting the streets from the date of the first dwelling unit occupancy until such time as the streets are accepted by the Township. In certain commercial, institutional or other areas of the Township, the Board of Supervisors may require the use of replica gas lights in accordance with the design standards as established by the Township Engineer and Public Works Department.
3. 
Design Standards. All exterior lighting shall be in conformance with the requirements of § 27-1111 of the Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27].
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as added by Ord. 513, 7/11/2007]
1. 
A lot shall be developed in such a manner that the number of viable trees having a caliper of six inches or greater on the lot prior to development shall not be reduced by more than 20% by such development. For the purposes of this section of the chapter, all references to the term "caliper" shall be considered as the caliper if the tree measured at breast height or 54 inches above the ground surface.
2. 
Should the subdivision or land development plan require destruction of more than 20% of those existing viable trees having a caliper of six inches or greater, the developer shall replace those trees removed in excess of 20% with new tree plantings.
3. 
The developer shall submit a reforestation plan to Northampton Township illustrating the number and location of trees proposed to be removed and the number, species and location of trees to be planted. The reforestation plan shall be prepared by a registered landscape architect.
4. 
The reforestation plan shall comply with the following requirements:
A. 
The total number of caliper-inches of the trees to be removed in excess of the 20% permitted by right shall be determined.
B. 
The resulting figure in Subsection 4A above shall be multiplied by 0.80 to determine the total number of caliper-inches to be replaced on the lot.
C. 
The amount of caliper-inches determined in Subsection 4B above shall then be divided by three to determine the total gross number of trees to be planted on the lot for reforestation.
D. 
Replacement trees shall be planted on site and shall meet the following specifications:
(1) 
Trees shall meet the specifications of the American Association of Nurserymen and shall meet the following minimum size requirements:
(a) 
Deciduous trees shall be a minimum of three inches in caliper.
(b) 
Coniferous trees shall be a minimum of eight feet in height.
(2) 
The types of trees utilized for reforestation shall utilize native species which shall be consistent with the tree list and guidelines that are established under this chapter and the Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27]. Trees that are considered invasive, noxious or destructive shall be specifically prohibited for use in reforestation.
(3) 
Up to 25% of the new trees to be planted may be of the coniferous variety.
(4) 
Where 25 or more trees need to be planted to meet the reforestation requirements, a minimum of three tree species shall be planted.
E. 
Trees required to be planted under these reforestation procedures shall be in addition to any street trees or buffer plantings that may be required.
F. 
Replacement trees may be dispersed throughout the proposed development only when approved by Northampton Township.
G. 
In instances when Northampton Township determines that the site in question cannot physically accommodate the total number of required replacement trees, some or all of the replacement trees may be planted off site at such locations deemed appropriate by Northampton Township.
H. 
In order to guarantee the proper installation of replacement trees, the applicant shall:
(1) 
Enter into a written agreement with the Township, in the manner and form approved by the Township Solicitor, wherein the applicant shall agree to install or cause to be installed at his own expense all required replacement trees in strict accordance with the approved plan and the standards and specifications of the Township and within the time specified in said agreement.
(2) 
Deposit with the Township financial security, as otherwise permitted by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., in an amount approved by the Township Engineer to be sufficient to cover the cost of all replacement trees. Said amount shall be equal to 110% of the cost of installation, estimated as of 90 days following the date of completion by the applicant.
I. 
The applicant may contribute a fee in lieu of the planting of on-site or off-site replacement trees when such plantings are deemed to be impractical or not required by the Township. The fee shall be established by the Board of Supervisors by resolution from time to time.
5. 
The Planning Commission shall review the proposed plan and issue its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.
6. 
The requirements of this section shall not be applicable to a commercial forestry operation as described at § 27-1124, Subsection 1C, of the Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27]. Additionally, no permit shall be required for the following activities:
A. 
For the removal or clearing of nursery stock in the normal operation of a nursery, where trees or shrubs are raised for sale and where such nursery is a permitted use.
B. 
For the removal of diseased or dead trees.
C. 
For the removal of trees which are in such a condition or physical position as to constitute a danger to the structures or occupants of properties, a public right-of-way, utility line, stormwater conveyance or detention structure, driveway, parking area, water system or sewage disposal system.
D. 
For the removal of up to five trees per acre of woodlands in any 365 consecutive day period of time, not to exceed a total of 10 trees per lot, or any combination of adjoining lots in common ownership, which are 121 inches or more in diameter, measured at breast height (dbh) and not covered by the exemptions in the foregoing two subsections.
7. 
In addition to the requirements specified under this section of this chapter, the requirements specified under § 27-1120 of the Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27] as well as the requirements specified under the Stormwater Management Ordinance [Chapter 23] shall apply.
[Ord. 590, 5/24/2017]
1. 
Purpose of Design Guidelines.
A. 
Provide guidance for existing and new development to reflect the traditional historic character of the Township.
B. 
Build awareness of the community's historical, natural, and physical environment.
C. 
Encourage design creativity to enhance the appearance of the Village Overlay District.
D. 
Encourage coordinated, area-wide development at village scale.
E. 
Provide an impetus for attracting and retaining businesses within the district.
2. 
Applicability.
A. 
These guidelines incorporate clear graphic illustrations that convey the Township's design goals. The goals promote the ideal that buildings and properties are community assets-assets that should stand the test of time. The Township wants new development to contribute to the sense that village commercial districts are cared for, and for new buildings to be a source of local pride. The guidelines do not "mimic" history, but instead, ensure that new development or redevelopment projects complement the community's heritage. Numerous sources were used in compiling these guidelines. See references at the end of this section.
B. 
Certain architectural themes, styles, and construction materials are common to the design heritage, whether past or present, of Northampton's villages. This set of design guidelines for Holland and Richboro draws on architectural history and tradition in crafting design solutions that incorporate old and new buildings into a visually pleasing and cohesive place and further the village planning goals of creating town-center character.
C. 
The guidelines identify basic design principles that enhance the appearance of the Holland and Richboro commercial districts. They can be applied to rehabilitation or repair of existing buildings as well as to construction of new buildings, which in villages, often occurs as infill development on parcels of land interspersed among existing structures.
D. 
The guidelines serve as a template for future development within the Village Overlay District, helping potential developers understand the community's design intentions. They also highlight the importance of patterns of symmetry, form, and other important design details, while addressing elements such as sign placement, lighting, parking, and pedestrian orientation. Implementation of the guidelines shall produce a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing development theme that provides an attractive business environment which exemplifies the traditional character of the community for both customers and residents.
3. 
Procedures.
A. 
Developers are encouraged to meet with township officials to evaluate the building guidelines, Subsection 6 of this section, and site development guidelines, Subsection 7 of this section. Prior to developing detailed architectural elevations and site plans, applicants shall present photographs of all structures on lots adjacent to the subject site, photographic examples of architectural styles similar to the proposed buildings, and architectural drawings detailing the architectural elements such as doors, windows, eaves, porches, trim, gables, dormers, cornices, and molding to Township officials.
B. 
Based upon the existing site conditions, the Township may consider optional design and site development alternatives if the requirements contained within herein are deemed to be unwarranted or inappropriate. If approved, the optional design and site requirements shall be considered as part of the subdivision and/or land development plan.
4. 
Design Overview.
A. 
Public policies and reviews of proposed changes and infill construction in Holland, and particularly, Richboro, shall take into account the great diversity of building location, parking forms, and architectural styles that have resulted from preceding eras of development.
B. 
New buildings and additions shall reinforce the continuity along road corridors and follow the historic development patterns.
C. 
The scale of the existing built environment shall be maintained, and shall influence the scale of proposed changes.
D. 
Design shall not consist of simply filling out the bulk allowed by the underlying zoning regulations.
E. 
The Township strongly encourages applicants to submit a sketch plan to allow for adequate consideration of design elements.
5. 
Architectural Overview.
A. 
Architectural Heritage.
(1) 
The remaining historic buildings in Northampton hint at the Township's evolution from a farm community into crossroads and railroad villages. These historic structures typically represent vernacular architecture; that is, building styles that have evolved over time to meet human needs and the context in which they exist, rather than pure examples of formal architectural styles. Architectural style has to do with the physical features, materials, and qualities that characterize a building and its historical era. Architectural style is a primary component of design at the structural level.
(2) 
The most accessible range of typical local historical architectural styles can be found in Churchville's historic district. Churchville originally radiated from the crossroads of Bristol Road and Bustleton Avenue. A rail station built in 1878 at the intersection of Bristol and Knowles roads, which was relocated northward along the tracks around 1891, became the focal point of a new phase of development. While many building styles are represented in Churchville, they are unified by similar construction materials, setbacks, lot sizes, scale, and more recently, landscaping.
The representative architectural forms in Churchville are vernacular residential examples of Gothic Revival, Bungalow (mostly ready-cut houses purchased from mail-order catalogues). Colonial Revival, Four-Square (a variant of the Craftsman and Prairie style), Dutch Colonial, and a few in the Second Empire, Italianate, or Neoclassical styles. Typically these houses are of frame construction, and stand from 1 1/2 to two stories tall, with three bays and gable roofs.[1]
Only a handful of National Register-listed buildings are still standing in Richboro and surrounding area[2] and none in Holland. The architectural styles represented by the Richboro buildings include a Colonial/Post-Colonial mix and Georgian structures along Second Street Pike, and the Willow Mill complex, a vernacular mix of federal and later architecture located between Churchville and Richboro. The blending of architectural styles is found elsewhere in Bucks County, as well. A mix of architectural styles and elements provides flexibility in repurposing existing structures or adding infill and can yield visually pleasing results that help to forge a sense of place and unify the streetscape.
In Holland, the few remaining historic structures are typically of stone-and-stucco construction, a few of which are vacant or in need of rehabilitation. Others have been adapted for commercial reuse, sometimes, but not usually, using materials and forms compatible with those of historic buildings; however, most have been renovated for adaptive reuse with materials or additions that have compromised their historic integrity.
[1]
Churchville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1995.
[2]
Hampton Hill, John Thompson House, Twin Trees Farm, and Willow Mill Complex.
(3) 
Both Holland and Richboro also have numerous contemporary structures-those built within the past 40 years-in a variety of styles, scales, and materials; however, below are the preferred architectural styles for Northampton's village overlay district.
Preferred Local Architectural Styles
Second Empire
Italianate
Georgian
Neoclassical
Federal (Adam)
Greek Revival
Gothic Revival
Queen Anne
022 Churchville Residence-Federal (Adam).tif
Churchville Residence — Federal (Adam)
022 Gianni Pizza-Neoclassical.tif
Gianni Pizza — Neoclassical
022 Residence (Bustleton Pike)-Queen Anne.tif
Residence (Bustleton Pike) — Queen Anne
022 Spread Eagle Inn-Second Empire.tif
Spread Eagle Inn — Second Empire
022 Residence (Tanyard Road)-Greek Revival.tif
Residence (Tanyard Road) — Greek Revival
022 Maria Hall(2005)-Italiante.tif
Maria Hall after restoration (2015) — Italiante
022 Residence (Bustleton Pike)-Gothic Revival.tif
Residence (Bustleton Pike) — Gothic Revival
022 Residence (Potters Court)-Georgian.tif
Residence (Potters Court) — Georgian
B. 
Architectural Styles-Illustrated. The following illustrations from the publication "A Field Guide to American Houses," by Virginia and Lee McAlester (1984), highlight the primary features of the principal architectural styles in Northampton. Developers are encouraged to use this reference when planning and designing their project.
022 Greek Revival.tif
Greek Revival
022 Georgian.tif
Georgian
022 Gothic Revival.tif
Gothic Revival
022 Italiante.tif
Italiante
022 Federal (or Adam).tif
Federal (or Adam)
022 Second Empire.tif
Second Empire
022 Neoclassical.tif
Neoclassical
022 Queen Anne.tif
Queen Anne
C. 
Architectural Elements.
(1) 
Collectively, the local architectural styles provide a palette of architectural elements that shall be used as a basis for new construction, redevelopment projects, and building facades improvements. These architectural elements shall be used creatively, while retaining overall architectural integrity. Building design and construction shall strive to achieve aesthetic appeal and creativity in line with the historic attributes of Northampton Township.
(2) 
Architectural elements such as dormers, cupolas, chimneys, porches, decks, awnings, bays, colonnades, canopies, and other such design elements shall be specific to the architectural style and consistent with the design theme.
(3) 
Building design and construction shall not result in a forced or contrived appearance due to improper proportions, form, scale, or materials. Achieving historical integrity for certain types of nonresidential uses that typically consist of larger footprints and a continuous facade shall be addressed by techniques discussed in Subsections 6D and 7C of this section, that can soften or break up building mass.
022 Not Acceptable(1).tif
Not Acceptable
As shown above, developers often intend to design buildings to look historically accurate with varying degrees of success
022 Acceptable(1).tif
Acceptable
Destroyed by fire, the reconstruction of the Churchville Inn (above left) and the expansion of Johnny Apples (above right) include architectural elements that are complementary to the Township's local historic character.
022 Acceptable(2).tif
Acceptable
022 Not Acceptable(2).tif
Not Acceptable
Campbell and Thomas Funeral Home in Richboro (above left) is an excellent example of matching the historic integrity of original building and its addition. This office building in Holland (above right) incorporates faux stone and stucco exterior with less effective results.
6. 
Building Guidelines.
A. 
The building guidelines for new buildings and additions/alterations are intended to reinforce the traditional historic character of Richboro and Holland. Careful control of building and site planning elements must be taken to be considerate of sensitive site conditions. The Township will utilize the following guidelines to evaluate proposals for new and existing buildings and site development:
(1) 
Based upon the existing site conditions, the Township may consider optional design and site development alternatives if the requirements contained herein are deemed to be unwarranted or inappropriate. If approved, the optional design and site requirements shall be considered as part of the subdivision and/or land development plan.
B. 
General Guidelines for Additions to Existing Buildings.
(1) 
Property owners are encouraged to restore, preserve, and maintain the original architectural features such as cornices, lintels, windows, and doors on existing structures. The facade is the most important part of the building to conserve in its original form.
(2) 
If architectural features cannot be repaired, they shall be replaced with reproductions of the original, where economically and functionally possible. If this is not possible, they shall be replaced with features similar in size and scale to the original.
C. 
General Guidelines for New Buildings.
(1) 
New buildings in the Holland and Richboro Village Overlay Districts shall be compatible with the traditional architectural styles that characterized the Township in its early days. They shall be consistent with the scale and composition of existing historic structures within the villages, particularly those in nearest proximity. Developers are encouraged to meet with Township officials to evaluate building guidelines, Subsection 6 of this section, and site development guidelines, Subsection 7 of this section.
(2) 
Prior to developing detailed architectural elevations and site plans, applicants shall present photographs of all structures on lots adjacent to the subject site, photographic examples of architectural styles similar to the proposed buildings, and architectural drawings detailing the architectural elements such as doors, windows, eaves, porches, trim, gables, dormers, cornices, and molding to Township officials.
022 Not Acceptable(3).tif
Not Acceptable
022 Acceptable(3).tif
Acceptable
The designs of these national chain restaurants vary dramatically in appearance. The building on the left conflicts with, and the building on the right complements, a historic village setting.
D. 
Massing, Scale and Facades. Within Northampton's villages, context-appropriate building design and composition is one of the Township's most important considerations. Factors such as massing, scale, and facades are important to a building's overall appearance. Creating human-scale, pedestrian-friendly buildings can be achieved by breaking up their mass and creating facades that are compatible with the local architectural styles. Buildings shall not consist of long, monotonous, uninterrupted wall or roof planes. Changes in scale and massing shall be accomplished through graduated increments such as a wall offset, roofline variation, or shift in the height of a wall or cap line. There are various ways to accomplish this effect, as detailed in Subsections 6D(1) and (2) of this section.
Examples of Facade Articulation
022 Examples of Facade Articulation.tif
(1) 
Horizontal and Vertical Articulation. Adding vertical elements is sometimes called "adding rhythm" to a building. As cars or pedestrians move past the building, there shall be defined storefronts and aesthetically pleasing architectural details. Appropriate articulation of building facades and roofs helps reduce the monotony of flat facades and rooflines by reduction the perception of bulk.
022 Horizontal and Vertical Articulation.tif
(a) 
Horizontal courses can divide the stories of a building and contribute to the architectural building style. They can also be added at the base and roofline of a building.
Example of Adding Rhythm to a Building
022 Example of Adding Rhythm to a Building.tif
(b) 
In retail or mixed-use buildings with street frontages that exceed 20 to 30 feet in length, vertical articulation must be used to break up the mundane look and feel of a continuous facade.
022 Acceptable and Not Acceptable Retail-Mixed Use Buildings.tif
(c) 
The following design standards shall be provided to enhance horizontal and vertical articulation for visual appeal:
1) 
Periodically vary the heights of roofs and building setbacks of attached buildings to break up perceived building mass. (Also see Subsection 6I of this section.)
2) 
Include architectural details such as pilasters and changes in plane to break up the facades.
3) 
Provide structural features such as porches, dormers, gables, and bay windows to break up monotonous expanses of roofs or building frontage.
4) 
Incorporate horizontal elements such as pent eaves, pediments, sills, and lintels above and below the windows and door.
5) 
Provide roofline offsets, cross gables, and dormers may help vary the massing and relieve the visual monotony of a single, long roof.
022 Acceptable-Promenade on Sycamore Street.tif
Acceptable
022 Not Acceptable-Richboro Plaza.tif
Not Acceptable
The Promenade on Sycamore Street in Newtown utilizes horizontal and vertical articulation with complementary architectural elements, providing an attractive main street character.
Richboro Plaza is a multi-tenant building with no variation in the roofline or facades to break up the scale.
(2) 
Modulation and Blank Facades. Some buildings have long facades without windows or entryways due to floor plan constraints. Using vertical and horizontal articulation as well as modulation can help.
(a) 
Every effort shall be made to minimize blank facades.
(b) 
The massing of any nonretail or mixed-use building facade shall generally not exceed 50 feet maximum (horizontal dimension).
(c) 
If the blank facade is longer than 20 feet, false windows and paneling shall be incorporated to decorate the facade. Landscaping can also be used in combination with these architectural elements to minimize the impacts of a blank facade.
022 Modulation and Blank Facades.tif
The new building facade (left side) on this commercial block breaks up the building mass with vertical and horizontal articulation, including architectural elements such molded cornices, overhanging eaves with decorative brackets, awnings, and facade-mounted signage and lighting. The linear building facade (right side) is broken up and softened by architectural elements consisting of vertical brick courses, awnings, and landscaping.
(3) 
Proportion of Walls to Openings. The number and size of openings (i.e., windows and doors) in a building strongly affects its appearance. The amount of wall area to openings can be expressed as a ratio or percentage. For example, a building with twice as much wall area as openings would have a two-to-one ratio. Typically, historic buildings have a wall-to-openings ratio between two-to-one (or 30% openings) and one-to-one (or 50% openings).
(a) 
For the front facade of existing buildings, if the front facade window and doors are replaced, the new ones shall use the same space as the windows and doors they are replacing. They shall not create a larger or smaller opening in the wall. If the property owner can demonstrate that the current doors and windows are not original, the facade may be restored to its original proportion of wall to opening.
(b) 
The following design standards shall be provided to enhance the proportion of wall and windows openings in new buildings:
1) 
Decorative windows shall be provided along the street-side facades of buildings, which is consistent with the design theme and architectural style.
2) 
For new buildings, the proportion of wall area to opening area (i.e., windows, doors) shall range from two-to-one to one-to-one. For large retail store and convenience store uses that generally require a greater display window area, consider increasing the front facade wall-to-opening ratio to a maximum of one-to-two (or 67% openings).
3) 
For retail and mixed-use buildings, at least 60% but not more than 75% of the first floor facade is to be windows/storefront or entrances. At least 25% but no more than 40% of the upper floors are to be windows or doors.
4) 
Walls or portions of walls where windows are not provided shall have various architectural treatments that are similar to the front facade, including materials, colors, and details. Examples of architectural treatments include: masonry (but not flat concrete block), vertical/horizontal articulation, lighting fixtures, projecting cornice, projecting canopy or awning, and trellis containing planting.
022 Acceptable(4).tif
Acceptable
The buildings above left and above right have a wall-to-opening ratio of about one-to-one, which is consistent with historic building patterns.
022 Not Acceptable(4).tif
Not Acceptable
In contrast, the building above has a wall-to-opening ratio of 10-to-one, which would not be appropriate.
022 Visibility and Display, First Floor Facades.tif
For visibility and display purposes, the first floor facade shall have a greater percentage of openings (windows/storefront or entrances) than the upper floors.
E. 
Roof Styles.
(1) 
Roofs shall be in keeping with the character of the historical buildings in the Township. Roof form and pitch shall be appropriate to a building's design and context. The type of roof and its pitch (slope) determine the overall shape of the roof. Examples of roof styles include saddleback (often called ridge or gable), gambrel, hipped, mansard, and flat. The type of roof and its pitch (slope) determine the shape of the roof. Architectural embellishments such as cross-gables, dormers, belvederes, masonry chimneys, cupolas and other similar elements are encouraged where appropriate to complete the architectural style of the building.
022 Roof Styles.tif
(2) 
Both gable and hipped roofs shall have overhanging eaves on all sides that extend a minimum of one foot beyond the building wall.
022 Gable and Hipped Roofs.tif
(3) 
Where hipped roofs are used, the recommended minimum pitch shall be six to 12 (25°). All other roof styles with a pitch shall have a minimum slope of eight to 12 (35°) and a maximum of 12 to 12 (45°) and shall be appropriate to the building's architecture.
(4) 
Mansard roofs may only be used on buildings of three stories or more in height.
(5) 
Where dormers are proposed, gable roofs shall provide a minimum pitch of eight to 12.
(6) 
Flat roof buildings shall include appropriate architectural elements to provide architectural interest. For instance, all visibly exposed walls shall have an articulated cornice that projects horizontally from the vertical building wall plane. Flat roofs may include a vegetated or green roof.
(7) 
All air conditioning units, HVAC systems, exhaust pipes or stacks, satellite dishes, and other telecommunications receiving devices shall be thoroughly screened from view from both the public right-of-way and adjacent properties by using parapets, walls, roof elements, and/or landscaping. Architectural screening elements shall be compatible with the proposed building materials.
022 Lumberville.tif 022 Buckingham Green.tif
These buildings in the Village of Lumberville have a roof pitch of approximately eight to 12, creating an aesthetically pleasing architectural balance.
In contrast, the buildings in Buckingham Green have a flatter roof pitch (approximately six to 12), which makes the dormer look out of scale.
F. 
Dormers and Bays. Dormer and bays are often common elements found in historic and village-style developments.
(1) 
Dormers. Dormers, windows with their own roofs set vertically on a sloping roof, are especially appropriate for residential units situated above ground-floor commercial uses. For added architectural interest, a variety of dormer configurations are encouraged to complement existing dormers on nearby buildings.
(a) 
Dormer design shall be consistent with the context of the overall appearance of the building.
(b) 
Dormers are encouraged to be incorporated with purposeful space within the roof structure of a building, and not just applied decorative elements. Where decorative dormers are proposed, they shall be proportioned and detailed as though they are functional.
(c) 
Dormers shall be limited to gabled, segmental, and eyebrow style which best match the historic local architecture. Other dormer styles (e.g., shed and hipped) may be evaluated for appropriateness by the Township officials.
022 Types of Dormers.tif
There are various types of dormers; however, the gabled, segmental, and eyebrow are the preferred dormer styles.
(d) 
The quality of materials used for dormer construction shall be equal to the quality of the balance of the building.
(e) 
Dormers are intended to be used as accent elements in facade design. Dormers shall not extend for more than 50% of the facade length, and shall not be placed closer to the end of a roof than the width of face of the dormer.
(2) 
Bay Windows. Bay windows, which project outward from a building wall, are a means of adding architectural interest and a little more interior volume without affecting the building footprint. They also increase the amount of daylight and fresh air available to a building.
022 Bay Windows.tif
(a) 
Bays windows shall preferably provide useful space within the building facade, rather than serve merely as decorations.
(b) 
Their design shall be consistent with the context of the overall appearance of the building, and they shall be constructed of materials of the same quality used in the rest of the building.
(c) 
Bay windows shall be consistent in design throughout any single facade.
G. 
Porches and Colonnades. Porches and colonnades are features that are common to various architectural styles.
(1) 
If reconstruction of a porch on a historic structure is needed, it shall replicate the original feature and use materials identical to the originals, or as close as possible.
(2) 
Porches and colonnades shall be consistent in architectural style, scale, and materials with the building of which they are a part.
(3) 
Enclosing or screening an existing porch is generally inappropriate.
(4) 
Colonnades shall only be constructed in setbacks where the front or side yard depth can be obtained. The following dimensional guidelines are applicable:
(a) 
Depth: six-foot minimum from the building face to the inside column face; 18 inches minimum to 36 inches maximum from the outside of the column face to the curb;
(b) 
Height: ten-foot minimum clear; and length, 75% to 100% of the building frontage.
H. 
Awnings and Canopies. An awning is a fixed or retractable projection over the door, window, or storefront of a building, generally supported by a frame attached to the building. A canopy is a permanent architectural feature that projects from a building facade; it is generally cantilevered out from a building that may be supported by cables from the building wall above. Awnings and canopies can be used to reinforce the design characteristics of the building's architecture, provide an opportunity for a design accent, and also serve practical functions.
(1) 
Awnings and canopies shall be designed with pedestrian comfort and merchandise protection from sun and rain, as well as good building aesthetics, in mind. They shall not be the primary design element of the building.
022 Awnings and Canopies.tif
(2) 
The choice of awning and canopy design, proportion, color and materials shall be coordinated as part of an overall building design scheme.
(3) 
Awnings and canopies shall also be placed within and in relation to the structural frame of the storefront, window or doorway; generally, this means within a window frame or within the frame formed by the storefront cornice or sign panel above and by vertical piers or columns on either side. Alternatively, they may be mounted between a transom and display windows to allow light into a business.
(4) 
Generally, canopies shall have thin visual profiles so as to obscure as little of the building and storefront as possible. Color and style of any awnings for upper story windows shall coordinate with any street level awnings.
(5) 
Awnings and canopies shall be located directly over windows or doors to provide protection from the elements. Awnings shall be placed within building lines, not attached to the trim.
(6) 
In buildings with multiple storefronts, or on adjacent buildings, awnings shall be aligned with others, and used to unify the structure or block.
(7) 
The projection length shall be a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 48 inches or shall be modified based on established site and building configuration. The minimum height shall be eight feet above the sidewalk and consistent with building code requirements.
(8) 
Fixed or retractable awnings are permitted at ground-floor level and on upper levels where appropriate, if they complement a building's architectural features, such as cornices, columns, pilasters, or decorative details, do not impair facade composition, and are designed or added as an integral part of the facade.
(9) 
Fixed awnings shall not span numerous bays, windows, or store fronts and their sides shall be open. The awning shall delineate storefronts on a multi-tenant building.
022 Awnings.tif
(10) 
Canvas is the preferred material, although other waterproof fabrics may be used.
022 Commercial Building Features-Roofline and Awning Variations.tif 022 Soft Retractable Awnings.tif
The design of this commercial building features variations in roofline and awnings.
Soft retractable awnings can be opened or rolled up depending on the weather conditions.
I. 
Building Facades and Mixed-Use Building Composition. The exterior walls of a building comprise its facades. The basic composition of most building facades includes three primary components:
Base — A portion of a building foundation, or in the case of stores, the first floor of a building that is distinct from the upper floors.
Body — One or more architecturally similar stories that are distinct from the base.
Cap — The roof of a building, including a cornice or parapet where the body of the building ends.
022 Cap, Body, Base.tif
For the purpose of these design guidelines, the building facade is broken into "primary" and "secondary." A "primary facade" is the building wall(s) facing a public right-of-way, pedestrian route, or a parking lot serving the building. A "secondary facade" is the building wall(s) that is not a "primary facade" and which typically fronts on an alley or service area. Primary facades shall be differentiated with setbacks in the wall plane, and positive open space shall be created in these setbacks in order to enhance the streetscape. Variations in facade treatment shall be continued through the structure, including its roofline and primary and secondary facades, but not in a contrived manner.
022 Illustration of Primary and Secondary Facades.tif
Illustration of primary and secondary facades
(1) 
New building and building additions shall provide distinct facade elements of base, body, and cap.
(2) 
For new construction, each new building shall have a distinct base at the street level, but at a minimum, a body with a consistent character for the main and upper stories, and a cap. The base, body, and cap shall roughly line up with the base, body, and cap of adjoining buildings.
(3) 
For building renovations and alterations, a distinct base, body, and cap shall be retained in the primary facade of existing buildings.
(4) 
For building facade improvements, the appearance of the resulting facade shall be representative of one of the "preferred local architectural styles" as described in Subsection 5A(3) of this section.
022 Not Acceptable(5).tif
Not Acceptable
This building facade improvement does not reflect local architectural authenticity.
(5) 
The primary facade of the building shall be oriented toward the street with the highest functional classification in terms of vehicular and pedestrian traffic volumes.
(6) 
Buildings on a corner lot or fronting on two streets shall treat each side of the building located on the street as a primary facade.
(7) 
A two-to-four-foot staggered setback in the wall plane of a building facade shall be provided at a minimum of every 50 feet of facade for nonretail and non-mixed use buildings and 20-to-30 feet for retail or mixed-use buildings, when staggering is considered for providing visual interest.
(8) 
Secondary facades shall be architecturally consistent with the primary facade, but without the same level of detail regarding horizontal and vertical articulation and modulation as detailed in Subsection 6D(1) and (2) of this section.
(9) 
Mixed-use buildings are preferred to have retail and/or office on the first floor and office and/or residential on the subsequent floors or shall be modified based upon established site and building configuration.
(10) 
Mixed-use buildings with retail and office on the first floor shall provide a floor heights as follows: 12 to 14 feet for the first floor and 10 to 11 feet for all other floors.[3]
022 Floor Height Requirements.tif
Example of floor height requirements for a three-story building.
 
 
022 Acceptable(5).tif
Acceptable
022 Not Acceptable(6).tif
Not Acceptable
The building facade, composition, and color scheme of these buildings (left side) reflect the preferred local architectural style and elements that are attractive, well-articulated, and inviting. The row of building facades (right side) contain a more basic, stripped-down appearance that is less visually appealing.
022 Acceptable(6).tif
Acceptable
The bank (above left) and the renovated retail shops/offices (above right) contain facade improvements that provide curb appeal.
[3]
Floor dimensions accommodate floor width, mechanicals, gas and sprinkler lines, etc.
J. 
Mechanical, Service, and Utility Areas.
(1) 
The location, appearance, and function of mechanicals, other services, and utilities shall be considered as an integral part of the design and development process. In general, they shall be designed to be as inconspicuous as possible and shielded from public view in order to minimize "visual clutter" that distracts from the visual appearance of the streetscape and the architectural integrity of buildings.
(2) 
Screening, fences, and parapets shall be installed so as to not detract from the appearance of the building, or to cover or damage architectural features. Their masking shall be an integral part of overall architectural design with regard to form, materials, and color.
(3) 
Loading docks, service areas, and trash disposal facilities shall not face open space or a public street. They shall not be located next to residences and open space.
022 Loading Docks.tif
Fencing and landscaping that repeat the color, materials, and forms of the building provide an attractive screen for service areas.
(4) 
All dumpsters shall be located in the rear yard of the property and shall be contained within a secured area. All such areas shall be screened with secured fencing, walls, or landscaping materials. Dumpsters shall be screened on all sides by a gated enclosure made of materials and colors compatible with the proposed building materials of the main building(s), with accessibility for trash disposal vehicles. All containers shall be vermin-proof and have adequate storage capacity to accommodate the projected volumes of solid waste.
(5) 
Loading docks and truck parking shall be screened by building mass, walls, and/or landscaping.
(6) 
HVAC equipment and building-mounted meters shall be located to the side or rear of the building, and not on the street side or next to open space. Roof-mounted installations shall be screened and not visible from the ground.
(7) 
Air conditioners shall not project beyond the building face. For permanently installed units, openings shall be trimmed to provide a finished opening around unit. Satellite dishes and cable wiring shall not be visible from across the street of the principal building facade.
(8) 
Utilities and wiring shall be installed underground, where possible.
K. 
Building Materials, Trim, and Color. From the colonial era until recently, most of the buildings in Northampton were constructed of brick, stone, stucco, or wood. Recently product advancements have resulted in various synthetic siding, trim, and roofing materials. The materials and colors proposed for buildings in the Village Overlay District shall reflect the architectural influences and materials found in the Township and the region. Long-term maintenance and aesthetics shall be a factor in the selection of building materials, accents, and colors.
(1) 
Preferred, Acceptable, and Discouraged Building Materials. Natural building materials are preferred but contemporary materials with the same visual characteristics as traditional material are acceptable, if similar in appearance, texture, and overall aesthetics.
(a) 
Preferred Building Materials:
1) 
Brick;
2) 
Stone native to the region;
3) 
Wood and wood clapboard, trim and detailing; and
4) 
Masonry products.
022 Wood Trim.tif 022 Stone and Simulated Wood.tif
Wood trim complements brickwork for an attractive, high-quality appearance at Eagleview, Chester County
Stone and simulated wood clapboard is successfully used in Sycamore Center, Newton Township.
022 Combing Various Materials.tif
Combing various materials with complementary colors can provide visual appeal as shown in Goodnoe's Corner, Newton Township (left) and Palmer Square, Princeton, NJ (right).
(b) 
Acceptable Building Materials.
1) 
Simulated wood clapboard (cement or vinyl), provided it is not used on the front facade;
2) 
Stucco, provided it is not more than 50% of the facade, exclusive of windows;
3) 
Split-faced cement block (highly textured);
4) 
Mill-finish or machine-finish metals (aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, etc.);
5) 
Glass;
6) 
Hardy plank.
(c) 
Other Acceptable Building Materials. Upon review by the Township, the following materials may be acceptable:
1) 
Simulated brick;
2) 
Simulated stone/manufactured stone veneer (thin stone for adhered installation);
3) 
Vinyl siding;
4) 
EIFS (exterior insulation and finish systems)/Dryvit;
5) 
Glass block.
(d) 
Discouraged Building Materials.
1) 
Metals with nontraditional finish colors (other than bronze, black, etc.);
2) 
PVC or similar trim materials;
3) 
Concrete block or poured concrete;
4) 
Plastics;
5) 
Fabrics, except as awnings or entrance canopies;
6) 
Aluminum siding;
7) 
Precast concrete panels;
8) 
Smoked, reflective, or black-tinted glass in windows.
(2) 
Trim. The following design guidelines apply to building trim:
(a) 
Trim materials or embellishments shall be in keeping with the rest of the building.
(b) 
Trim shall be painted or stained to complement the buildings' primary color.
(3) 
Color.
(a) 
A consistent and appropriate color palette contributes to the appearance and identity of the village and is especially important in painting historic structures. The use of consistent base colors maintains coherence among buildings, while highlights or accent colors create interest. For late 19th and early 20th century buildings in particular, manufacturers' "historic colors" paints are recommended. A number of commercial paint manufacturers offer special product lines that are widely available and intended for historic buildings in exterior and interior finishes.
(b) 
In addition to providing protection to wood surfaces, paint provides an opportunity to reinforce the architectural style of a historic building, and can greatly contribute to the historic character of a building.
(c) 
The following guidelines are the recommended color palette for buildings and facades:
1) 
Paint colors shall be appropriate to the style, period, and type of building.
2) 
The color scheme of a building and its exterior materials, signs, awnings, canopies, facades, trim, and other building features shall be coordinated and harmonize with one another.
3) 
Colors harmonious to context colors chosen for an entire facade or building shall relate to the color of adjacent buildings as well as the character of the streetscape.
4) 
Colors shall be limited to a base color and no more than three accent colors, and all colors shall be nonreflective and compatible with traditional local historic hues and materials. Base colors consisting of earthtones (i.e., colors derived from materials naturally found in the earth) are recommended. Accent colors shall highlight architectural details, but colors shall not contrast greatly from building to building.
022 Earthtones.tif
Earthtones can unify a commercial village, making it more appealing and aesthetically pleasing.
5) 
Colors that appear bright, other than white, shall not be used, either for architectural features or for entire building facades. Where color contrast is desired, the use of secondary colors shall be limited to doorways, window trim, and awnings.
6) 
The use of authentic materials in a natural state, such as red brick and wood stained to bring out its natural color and grain, is also generally appropriate.
7) 
The use of high-intensity chrome, metallic, or fluorescent colors is prohibited.
8) 
Painting over brick, stucco, and original stone or masonry is not recommended.
9) 
Paint shall not be applied to metals that require protection from the elements or to metals such as brass, copper, or stainless steel that were historically meant to be exposed.
L. 
Building Examples with Key Architectural Elements.
(1) 
Appropriate Building Examples with Key Architectural Elements.
Goodnoe's Corner, Newton Township
022 Goodnoes Comer, Newton Township.tif
(Facing Sycamore Street)
022 Goodnoes Comer, Newton Township, Rear.tif
(Rear of Building)
The Promenade, Newton Township
022 The Promenade, Newton Township.tif
(Facing Sycamore Street)
022 The Promenade, Newton Township, Rear.tif
(Rear of Building)
Hyde Park, Buckingham Township
022 Hyde Park, Buckingham Township.tif
022 Structures Contains Varied Setback from Parking Lot.tif
Fountainville Center, New Britain Township
022 Fountainville Center, New Britain Township.tif
(Facing Ferry Road)
022 Fountainville Center, New Britain Township, Rear.tif
(Rear of Building)
Starbucks, Chestnut Hill
022 Starbucks, Chestnut Hill.tif
First National Bank, Solebury Township
022 First National Bank, Solebury Township.tif
Kentlands, MD
022 Kentlands, MD.tif
Palmer Square, NJ
022 Palmer Square, NJ.tif
(2) 
Inappropriate Building Example with Key Architectural Elements.
022 Inappropriate Build Example w Key Arch Elements.tif
7. 
Site Development Guidelines.
A. 
Sustainable Design. The villages of Holland and Richboro contain structures that have stood for centuries, as well as those of recent construction. These guidelines are intended to help preserve historic features and integrate the mix of old and new development for future generations of Township residents. Conserving energy, recycling and redeveloping, creating attractive green space and opportunities for walking and bicycling, will help ensure the continuing vitality of the community.
(1) 
New buildings and the reuse of older buildings are encouraged to use green building technologies for mechanical systems, energy needs and construction materials. The development of larger sites shall use technologies that conserve resources and reduce environmental impacts.
(2) 
Developers are encouraged to make use of third-party rating systems (e.g., LEED, Energy Star) and other ways of incorporating quality materials, innovative technology, and energy conservation.
(3) 
Buildings and their surroundings shall support alternative transportation modes that include walking and bicycling as well as public and private vehicular transit.
(4) 
Landscaping shall be incorporated into development and redevelopment to the greatest extent possible. In addition to beautifying our surroundings, plantings and lawns provide natural habitat and reduce stormwater runoff.
(5) 
Reuse of structures is encouraged to cut down on infrastructure costs.
(6) 
Durable, modern materials consistent with historical character or architectural design may be used in place of the originals, subject to Township approval.
(7) 
Green roofs that reduce heat island effect and create water efficiency as well as solar panels and other elements to promote sustainability and energy efficiency are encouraged for new flat roof designs.
(8) 
Stormwater BMPs such as rain gardens and vegetative swales are encouraged along parking lots and sidewalks within the Township's village settings and porous paving for proposed off-street parking land loading spaces.
022 Example of Rain Gardens.tif
Example of rain gardens and vegetative swales along parking lots and sidewalks.
B. 
Site Planning. In the context of a village setting, the site planning process must be receptive to the historic nature of its architectural styles and land use fabric. Site planning shall lead to an attractive, safe, and economically viable relationship among buildings, parking, signage, lighting, landscaping and the surrounding environment. It shall minimize the visual effects of parking, feature high-quality landscaping accommodating pedestrian movement, and encourage connections to nearby properties. Since each site is unique, plans for development and redevelopment shall be based on understanding of the site and its surrounding-the context-in order to meet the needs of the end user, as well as the Township's goals for functionality, safety and visual appearance.
C. 
Building Placement and Orientation. Building orientation and layout can have a profound impact on the aesthetics and function of a development. The building placement and orientation creates a recognizable pattern that is important for providing human scale. This involves the organization of building elements or spaces between them, in a logical, sequential manner. Breaks in a predominant rhythm can be used to emphasize major circulation points or changes of use. In order to break up the perceived mass of structure, divide it into modules that are similar in size to buildings seen traditionally.
022 Building Placement and Orientation(Left).tif 022 Building Placement and Orientation(Right).tif
This building has been oriented toward the street and provided access between buildings for pedestrians.
The main entrance of this building faces the street and is articulated by a porch and balcony.
(1) 
Buildings shall be oriented toward the adjacent street(s), not toward parking lots.
(2) 
The front building facade shall be oriented toward the street. Where appropriate, the building may be oriented around a courtyard or respond in design to another prominent feature. The main entrance of the building shall also face the street and be clearly articulated through the use of architectural detailing such as a roof overhang, a sloped roof, a porch, or a hooded front door.
(3) 
Large lots shall be developed with several buildings, rather than a single structure, to help reduce the perceived size of the project. Leaving space between buildings also contributes to the positive open space and human scale of the site.
(4) 
In order to minimize the perceived size of a building, step down its height toward the street, neighboring structures and the rear of the lot.
D. 
Public Spaces and Amenities. Public spaces within Northampton's villages will foster a lively and vibrant atmosphere for people to gather and relax. Public spaces shall be strategically integrated within a development as deemed appropriate by the Township.
022 South Main Street, Perkasie.tif 022 Veterans Memorial Park, Northampton Township.tif
South Main Street, Perkasie
Robert H. Dembowski Jr., Veteran's Memorial Park, Northampton Township
022 Goodnoes Comer, Newton.tif 022 Peddlers Village, Lahaska.tif
Goodnoe's Corner, Newton
Peddler's Village, Lahaska
(1) 
Public spaces shall be a minimum of 5% of the lot area or no less than 500 square feet.
(2) 
Public spaces include village greens, pocket parks, plazas, courtyards, seating areas, and outdoor eating areas. Sidewalk areas that accommodate public gathering and connect to other facilities, which are at least four feet wider than the minimum ordinance requirements, may be included as public spaces if approved by the Township.
(3) 
Amenities within public spaces shall include landscaped areas, benches, art or cultural features, or focus features (e.g., fountain, clock).
(4) 
Every effort should be made to ensure that public spaces are visible and accessible from adjacent roadways.
E. 
Circulation, Parking, and Service Areas. Vehicular and pedestrian circulation within and between sites shall be characterized by integrated, convenient, multi-modal traffic flow. Careful management of parking and vehicular access, service areas, and mechanical and utility arrangements is essential to preserve function and avoid potential nuisances and safety hazards.
(1) 
Pedestrian Circulation. Public sidewalks create an alternative to vehicle traffic by ensuring safe and systematic routes for pedestrians to, from, and within places in the villages.
022 Concrete Sidewalk (left).tif 022 Stamped Concrete Sidewalks (above).tif
Concrete sidewalk (left) with a band of brick edging adjacent to the curb. Stamped concrete sidewalks (above) with a band of brick edging located within the unobstructed pedestrian zone.
(a) 
Curbs and sidewalks shall be designated and installed as an integrated network along public and private roads within the Village Overlay District in order to accommodate pedestrian movement.
(b) 
All proposed sidewalks shall be in accordance with the standards within this chapter, and coordinated with landscaped islands, curb cuts, and accessible parking spaces/entrances, in order to facilitate mobility for all users. (See Appendix 22-A.)
(c) 
A minimum five-foot-wide "unobstructed pedestrian clear zone" shall be provided between the edge of curb and edge of the adjacent building or edge of an outdoor eating area in those locations deemed appropriate by the Township.
(d) 
Decorative brick, concrete pavers or pavement treatments shall be integrated into the main entrance of the building, pedestrian access areas, and public roads.
(e) 
Pedestrian crosswalks shall be at least six feet in width. Pedestrian crosswalks shall consist of a decorative brick herringbone pattern unless an alternative design is approved by the Township. (See Appendix 22-A.)
(f) 
Internal sidewalks within new development or retrofitted within existing development shall connect parking lots with main entrances, and with any public sidewalk system nearby. They shall be designed to give pedestrians a good view on oncoming traffic, and shall be located far enough from traffic signs, trees, light fixtures or other obstacles to prevent interference with pedestrian movement.
(g) 
Areas adjacent to walkways shall be landscaped for visual interest, shade, and scale.
022 Unobstructed Pedestrian Clear Zone.tif
An unobstructed pedestrian clear zone must be maintained between the street and adjacent buildings.
022 Pedestrian Crosswalks, Sycamore Street, Newton, PA.tif
Pedestrian crosswalks composed of brick with herringbone pattern - Sycamore Street, Newton, PA
(2) 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance. Federal and State regulations require all public buildings and spaces to be accessible.
(a) 
New construction or accessibility alterations shall allow first-floor access from either the primary or the secondary facade; additions of elevators or ramps shall be designed as an integral element of the building.
(b) 
Where possible, elevators shall be incorporated into the existing building envelope. If physically impossible, the elevator and stair core can be located on the exterior of the building but shall be located so as not visible from the main public way.
(c) 
Where a ramp is required, its slope shall be as gradual as possible to eliminate the need for handrails. The need for handrails should be based upon compliance with ADA requirements. A ramp shall be an integral design element, reflecting the design of the building it serves and surrounding site. This can be accomplished by concealing the ramp behind a low screen wall.
(d) 
In addition to ADA requirements, all work must comply with the requirements of the Statewide building code.
(3) 
Vehicular Circulation.
(a) 
The number of curb cuts on major roadways shall be minimized and shared or common access drives shall be maximized to increase vehicular and pedestrian safety.
(b) 
Internal traffic patterns for both vehicles and pedestrians shall be delineated within the site. Pedestrian and vehicular connections between parking lots and driveways on adjoining commercial parcels shall be provided wherever possible to minimize turning movements onto major roadways and promote foot traffic.
(c) 
Site planning shall anticipate future vehicular connections to any abutting undeveloped properties.
(4) 
Traffic Calming. Traffic calming is an effective measure to help reduce speeding traffic and helps ensure a pedestrian-friendly village setting.
(a) 
Traffic calming measures shall be installed where appropriate to discourage speeding on village roadways and within and between commercial properties.
(b) 
Traffic calming measures, including speed control, volume control, and road alignments and traffic management techniques, shall be considered as part of the land development application. Traffic calming measures may include speed tables, speed humps, on-street parking, raised or textured crosswalks, planted medians, curb extensions, and signage and shall be designed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Traffic Calming Handbook (2012).
(5) 
Off-Street Parking and Loading. The design and layout of parking lots and loading areas can have significant impact on the function and aesthetics of a site. Buildings shall be the dominant feature, not parking lots or loading areas.
(a) 
Parking shall be in accordance with the applicable requirements contained within this chapter.
(b) 
Off-street parking spaces and loading shall be located at the side or rear of the building.
(c) 
Shared parking spaces and shared driveways between properties is encouraged.
022 Shared Parking, Rear of Commercial Bulidings.tif
Shared parking to the rear of the commercial buildings can be accessed by a shared driveway.
(d) 
The total number of off-street parking and loading spaces for each use shall comply with the minimum requirements specified under the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 27), but shall not exceed 110% of the minimum requirements.
(e) 
The total number of off-street parking and loading spaces for each use may be reduced up to 30% of the minimum requirement specified under the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 27); provided, that the applicant demonstrates that common or shared off-street parking and loading spaces shall be capable of accommodating the peak demands for employees and patrons. In all such cases, the applicant shall provide documentation to support that the use can function with the reduced number of off-street parking and loading spaces.
(f) 
The total number of off-street parking and loading spaces for each use may be reduced up to 20% of the minimum requirements specified under the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 27); provided, that the applicant demonstrates that the employees and/or patrons will utilize public transportation services or other modes of transportation, which are not related to the use of automobiles. In all such cases, the applicant shall provide documentation to support that the use can function with the reduced off-street parking and loading space.
(g) 
The provisions involving the reduction of off-street parking and loading facilities, as specified under this section shall be considered by the Township as part of the land development plan application. The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed use and site conditions shall satisfy the peak demands for the employees and patrons. The maximum reduction of off-street parking and loading spaces shall not exceed 50% of the requirements specified by Chapter 27, Zoning.
(h) 
Off-premises parking at other facilities within 1,000 feet of the principal use may be permitted in order to satisfy the requirements of off-street parking spaces; provided, that the applicant secures an agreement with the owner of the property, which will accommodate the additional demands for off-street parking. All proposed off-street parking areas shall consider safety, accessibility, and convenience for the pedestrians traveling between points of destination within the Village Overlay District.
(i) 
The use of curbing, bollards, segmental concrete wall blocks, landscaping blocks, concrete retaining walls and other durable materials shall be considered along the perimeter of the off-street parking and loading areas to protect trees, open space, surface water or other natural areas.
(j) 
Parking lots and loading areas shall be screened and landscaped (see Subsection 7F of this section).
(6) 
Drive-Throughs.
(a) 
When a commercial drive-through is permitted as a feature or accessory to a principal use, the drive-through windows and menu boards shall be located at the rear of businesses.
(b) 
Vehicular access routes leading to and from takeout windows or other drive-throughs shall minimize conflicts with pedestrian circulation and vehicular traffic flow.
022 Drive-Through Lanes.tif
A drive-through facility located to the rear of the building with minimal conflicts with pedestrian and vehicular circulation (Richboro).
(c) 
Pedestrian and vehicular safety shall be enhanced through signage, lighting, raised crosswalks, and changes in paving or other devices.
(d) 
The site plan shall be designed to prevent stacking of motor vehicles in the drive-through lanes into adjacent access aisles or parking lot (e.g., six minimum and eight maximum vehicles per lane), unless an alternative is approved by the Township's traffic engineer.
(e) 
An escape lane next to the drive-through lane(s) shall be provided in the event of an emergency or a customer needing to exit the drive-through lane.
(7) 
Gas Stations and Convenience Stores. Gas stations and convenience stores with pumping stations are typically laid out with the gas pumps located near the adjacent roadway and the building oriented to the center or rear of the site in order to provide maximum exposure. This layout results in an emphasis on the gas pumps instead of the building.
022 Gas Station-Convenience Store Building Location.tif
Gas station/convenience store with building located next to adjacent road and gas pumping canopies to the rear.
(a) 
Gas stations and convenience stores with pumping stations shall be constructed close to the front of the lots. The associated pumps, canopies and parking shall be placed on the side and rear to be screened from view as much as possible.
F. 
Landscape Design. Landscape planting design is an integral component for enhancing village character. A close relationship between the built environment and naturalized landscaping enhances the historic charm and character of village areas. The designated village centers require special planting and treatment as compared to more conventional development portions of the Township. Within a village setting, landscaped areas can serve several purposes: to replicate and enhance the visual, historic, and cultural character of the village setting; to provide a formal planting or framework between or adjacent to buildings and streets; and to soften the impacts between certain land uses through the provision of appropriate buffer planting schemes.
(1) 
General Landscape Provisions.
(a) 
All developments shall include trees, buffer yards, and landscaping features that shall be integrated as part of overall site improvements in order to mitigate noise, light, odor, and the visual appearance of paved surfaces. The use of existing mature trees (six inches in caliper, as measured at breast height), segmental concrete wall blocks, landscaping blocks, retaining walls and other durable materials may be considered and utilized as part of the landscaping improvements.
(b) 
A registered landscape architect shall be consulted to ensure the proper use and arrangements of plant materials to achieve the appropriate village-style landscape appearance.
(c) 
Landscape design shall be in accordance with the standards contained within this chapter, unless an alternative is approved by the Township.
(2) 
Street Trees. Street trees shall comply with the minimum requirements contained within this chapter.
(3) 
Foundation Planting. Foundation planting helps to frame a building and anchor it to the site. These plantings shall enhance the overall development, make it more welcoming, and tie it to the surrounding landscape.
(a) 
As a minimum, a combination of trees, shrubs, ground covers, or native grasses shall be provided in accordance with the applicable requirements contained within this chapter.
(b) 
The use of planters is encouraged in situations where glass curtain walls extend to the sidewalk or foundation planting is not feasible.
Examples of Foundation Planting
022 Examples of Foundation Planting.tif
(4) 
Parking Area Planting and Screening. Parking area planting softens the extent of impervious surface areas, reduces heat buildup by providing shade, and enhances aesthetic appearance. Parking area planting shall be provided along the perimeter of parking lots as well as internal areas of the parking lot. Perimeter parking lot planting provides a partial screen of a parking lot while providing a formal edge along the sidewalk or between individual parking areas. When properly located and landscaped, internal planted islands, bulb outs, and peninsulas can break-up paved expanses. Flowering shrubs and perennials are an attractive way to edge a parking lot and soften the views.
022 Parking Area Planting and Screening.tif
Examples of Perimeter Parking Area Planting and Screening
022 Examples of Perimeter Parking Area Planting and Screening.tif
Examples of Internal Parking Area Planting
022 Examples of Internal Parking Area Planting.tif
(a) 
Perimeter parking lot planting beds shall contain an evergreen hedge with a minimum installed height of 30 inches and maximum maintained height of 48 inches planted sufficient distance from the curb so as to allow for vehicular overhang where applicable. In addition, perimeter parking lot planting beds may include a combination of trees, hedges, shrubs, ground covers, and walls and or fences comprised of stone, wood, aluminum, steel, wrought iron or other acceptable materials as approved by the Township. Where room permits, the arrangement of additional plant material in front of the required evergreen hedge may be placed in an informal or naturalized arrangement.
(b) 
Breaks in the continuous parking lot planting shall only be provided for vehicular access drives or sidewalks/pedestrian paths.
(c) 
Planted parking lot islands and peninsulas must include a combination of trees, low growing ground cover, turf, shrubs, native grasses, flowering shrubs, and/or perennials. The use of mulch as the only ground plane treatment is prohibited.
G. 
Design Elements and Accessory Features. While context and architecture, and the relationship between them, are primary elements of any development, numerous other functional and visual components are integral to establishing village character. Streetscape design featuring elements such as street furniture, walls and fencing, landscaping, walkways, signage, lighting, and outdoor cafes create village settings with charm, aesthetic appeal, and retail potential.
(1) 
Streetscape Design. Streetscapes encompass the natural and built fabric of the street, its design quality and its visual effect. Streetscapes have multiple functions. They serve a social purpose in enabling people to meet and engage in various activities; they foster business activity; enable pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular mobility; and introduce trees and greenery into the built environment. Streets shall be pedestrian-friendly, well-lit, active, human-scaled, and feel safe day and night. Streetscape design, and its component parts, shall be carefully chosen and arranged.
022 Holland Streetscape Elements Photosim.tif
Photosimulation of the Village of Holland incorporating streetscape elements and bicycle/pedestrian facilities.
022 Street Furniture.tif
Street furniture, such as benches, tables, clocks, bicycle racks, and waste receptacles provide public amenities that improve the appearance and identity of a village. Benches are intended to provide a needed street furnishing for rest and relaxation and can help to create a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape. Bicycle racks encourage an alternative to vehicular trips.
(a) 
Special attention shall be given to the gateways and main entrance(s) to the Village Overlay District. The use of streetscape improvements, low-impact lighting, banners, welcome signs, water features and landscaping enhancements shall be provided and considered as a prominent feature for all uses and developments within the Village Overlay District.
022 Gateway Feature Photosim.tif
Photosimulation of gateway feature for the Village of Holland.
(b) 
Placement of street furniture must not interfere with crosswalks, curb ramps, access to buildings, driveways or any fire escape.
(c) 
Provisions for street furniture (e.g., benches, tables, clocks, bicycle racks, waste receptacles) shall be considered as part of the land development plan. All such street furniture shall be privately owned and maintained. The type and location of the proposed street furniture shall be consistent in style and material throughout each village and subject to approval by the Township.
(d) 
Bicycle racks and stands shall match other street furniture and be located in a designated area along the sides or rear of the principal building and shall not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular movements.
(e) 
Waste receptacles shall be sturdy, easy to use, and strategically located where they are likely to be seen and used (e.g., near busy intersections, food take-out establishments, or places of high foot traffic). Visual observation and consultation with sanitation service providers and business owners aid in siting waste bins.
(f) 
Provisions for public transportation facilities, including bus stops, bus shelters, taxi stands, park and ride facilities, and other similar features shall be considered as part of the land development plan. The location of any proposed public transportation facilities shall be subject to the approval by the Township.
(2) 
Fencing and Walls. Fences and walls often act as barriers to conceal an unattractive space or to keep people out. Low stone and brick walls, and wood and decorative metal fencing.
(a) 
Fencing or screening walls shall be treated as an architectural element, matching or compatible with the form, style, color, and/or detailing of the adjacent building(s).
(b) 
Low wood and metal fences shall be used in new residential front and side yards, and low brick or native stone walls in commercial areas. Taller privacy fences shall only be used at the rear of buildings.
022 Low Wood and Metal Fences.tif
(c) 
Decorative amenities and landscaping may be permitted in the front yard, such as fences and decorative walls, not exceeding 36 inches in height.
(d) 
Walls or fences 50 feet in length or longer, and four feet in height or taller, shall be designed to minimize visual monotony by using significant landscape massing.
(e) 
Tall privacy fences shall only be used in the rear of buildings.
(f) 
Chain link and barbed wire fencing is prohibited.
(3) 
Lighting.
(a) 
Lighting shall adequately, but not excessively, illuminate not only public areas, but also the elements within those spaces such as stairs, walls, benches, curbs, and landscaping.
(b) 
Period street lighting shall be consistent with the street lighting plans in the Holland Village Master Plan and Richboro Village Master Plan and meet the specifications shown in Appendix 22-A.
(c) 
Period lighting shall also be provided along building facades or other specialized areas as deemed appropriate by the Township. Period lighting shall be compatible in design throughout the village. Banners attached to light posts shall be provided at locations as deemed appropriate by the Township.
022 Period Lighting.tif
The Township's use of period light fixtures are used along streetscapes and throughout parking lots for a well-coordinated scheme.
(d) 
Select lighting and posts shall be compatible with the architectural style of the building, development, and surrounding area. Light poles shall be black, in scale with their surroundings, and mounted at the lowest level in compliance with Township regulations.
(e) 
Bollard fixtures, up to four feet in height, are encouraged as pedestrian area lighting. Bollard fixtures shall be sturdy and affixed to a permanent base.
(f) 
When practicable, use timers, photo sensors, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and other energy-saving lighting devices.
(g) 
Neon or intermittent lighting shall not be used on the exterior of village buildings.
(h) 
Canopy lighting shall be installed as an integral or recessed part of the canopy, so that the light source is not visible to drivers.
(i) 
Lighting for signage shall be placed evenly at the face of the storefront and along the sign. If a commercial use occupies the second story of a building, lighting for signage is allowed. It is not allowed above street level with residential use.
(j) 
Gateways, entrances, architectural features, statues, specimen trees, or other significant or unique features of the site or building shall be accented with ornamental landscape lighting, such as uplighting, silhouette, facade, or spot lighting.
(4) 
Signage. Signs play a central role in wayfinding, providing information, and creating a visually harmonious environment. They shall be designed to achieve visual compatibility with buildings and other surroundings through the use of similar detailing, form, color, texture, lighting and materials. Sign types include projecting, wall, window, monument, and awning/canopy.
022 Acceptable(7).tif
Acceptable
Facade-mounted lighting fixtures shall complement the architectural style of the building.
(a) 
All permitted signs shall comply with the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of Chapter 27, Zoning.
(b) 
The design, material, color, size, and location and illumination of the sign shall be selected considering the architecture of the building and streetscape characteristics.
(c) 
Building signs shall be placed either flush or perpendicular to the building wall. Facade-mounted signs shall be designed as an integral architectural element and mounted with concealed or appropriately decorative hardware or mounting brackets.
(d) 
Freestanding monument (ground) signs are most appropriate along a roadway and shall be placed at eye level.
022 Wood Carved Entrance Sign.tif 022 Mounting Hardware Sign.tif
A wood-carved entrance sign framed with brick looks clean and elegant.
Mounting hardware can emphasize a sign and greatly enhance the building appearance.
022 Signage, Simple and Uncluttered.tif
Signage shall be simple and uncluttered with architectural elements and colors that mirror or complement the adjacent buildings.
022 Acceptable(8).tif
Acceptable
022 Not Acceptable(7).tif
Not Acceptable
(e) 
Consideration shall be given to providing stone veneer at the base of freestanding signs.
(f) 
A combination of shrubs and flowering trees and/or evergreen trees shall be provided along the base of freestanding signs as a backdrop to visually soften and anchor the sign to other related site improvements.
(g) 
All permitted signs shall be professionally made and constructed out of durable materials. The following materials are preferred: wood (painted or natural); stone; copper; brass; painted canvas; or painted or engraved on facade surface.
(h) 
Newer materials that replicate the appearance of the preferred materials listed above (e.g., urethane cut and painted to look like wood) may be considered.
(i) 
Signs shall not cover or obscure architectural elements. Legible building numbers shall be located on all buildings to assist in emergency response.
(j) 
Signs for national firms and products shall adhere to the same guidelines regarding scale, placement, material, lighting and content as those for local businesses.
022 Acceptable(9).tif
Acceptable
Signage for national chain franchises incorporating stone and architectural gabled roof into their designs.
022 Not Acceptable(8).tif
Not Acceptable
(5) 
Multi-Tenant Building Signage. Multi-tenant buildings or sites can result in sign clutter unless properly regulated.
(a) 
Buildings occupied by two or more uses or tenants shall utilize compatible signs in terms of design, material, color, height, location, and illumination.
022 Acceptable(10).tif
Acceptable
022 Not Acceptable(9).tif
Not Acceptable
A multi-tenant sign that complements the character of the area.
An example of sign clutter with an overall lack of hierarchy and uniformity.
(b) 
Identification sign(s) shall be located near the main entrance conveying an overall identity for the property.
(6) 
Outdoor Dining Areas and Sidewalk Cafes. Dining establishments, coffee-houses, or cafes are encouraged to provide adequately spaced outdoor tables and seating. These small outdoor spaces help enliven the streetscape and provide dining options for patrons.
(a) 
Outdoor dining areas and other outdoor uses shall not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic patterns.
(b) 
Sidewalk cafes must provide an unobstructed pedestrian clear zone of at least five feet in width. (See Subsection 7F(1)(c) of this section.) Tables, chairs, umbrellas, service equipment, and planters shall be kept out of the unobstructed pedestrian clear zone.
(c) 
A temporary or seasonal designed barrier element is encouraged to ensure a clear demarcation of these spaces. The height of such a barrier shall be no greater than 36 inches and constructed of a solid durable material easily anchored and removed in the paved space.
(d) 
All work must be in compliance with ADA and Statewide building code requirements.
022 Adequate Areas of Temp or Seasonal Barriers.tif
When adequate area exists, a temporary or seasonal barrier is encouraged to provide a clear demarcation of the outdoor dining area (above left). Portable planters are used to define the dining area (above right).
(7) 
Sandwich Boards. Sandwich boards are a semipermanent means of advertising often used to advertise special events, sales, or daily menus at eating places. Sandwich board advertising shall be aesthetically pleasing.
(a) 
Sandwich boards shall be no larger than two feet by three feet in area, and stand no higher than four feet off the ground. They shall be placed no farther than one foot from the building wall, and limited to one per business.
(b) 
They shall not be made of reflective materials, illuminated, or in colors or lettering that resemble traffic or construction signs.
022 Sandwich Boards Signs.tif
(c) 
They shall remain in place only during the hours of business operations.
(d) 
For safety reasons, sandwich boards shall not project into walkways or other pedestrian paths.
(e) 
The boards shall be weighted by hidden weights, but not permanently affixed to the ground, the building, or other fixed features (e.g., light poles, parking meters).
(8) 
Sidewalk Sales, Vending Machines, and Shopping Corrals. Attention shall be given to specialized retail sales and customer cart corrals.
(a) 
The storage and sale of all materials or merchandise shall be within the principal building of the property.
(b) 
Sidewalk sales shall be limited to a total of four events per calendar year, with no more than five days per event.
(c) 
Vending or self-service vending machines shall not be located along the front facade of the building or street to which the principal building has frontage. All proposed vending or self-service machines shall be located inside the building or outside the rear of the building in close proximity to the off-street parking area.
(d) 
Shopping cart corrals shall be required for commercial or retail uses that may provide shopping carts as part of their normal operations. The proposed shopping cart corrals shall be located within the designated off-street parking area and shall be designed not to interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
H. 
Sample Implementation of Design Guidelines-Richboro Center (Bustleton Pike). The existing commercial strip center on the following page (Before) is typical of many older developments throughout the County. There are no sidewalks, planting strips, or landscaping along the roadway frontage. The building has no vertical or horizontal articulation, making it appear long and linear and lacking character. The multiple signs and posts near the entrance of the strip center create clutter that is unappealing to passing motorists and patrons. The on-site lighting and concrete pier is an eyesore and safety hazard for on-site motor vehicle circulation.
The photosimulation below (After), depicts how these issues could be addressed through the implementation of these design guidelines and includes the corresponding code sections.
022 Photosim BEFORE.tif
(BEFORE)
022 Photosim AFTER.tif
(AFTER)