Procedures for establishing a design review board and criteria for preservation of historic buildings in Jacksonville

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Procedures for establishing a design review board and criteria for preservation of historic buildings in Jacksonville
Department of Architecure, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Department of Architecure, University of Florida
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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Recommendation for Establishment of a Design Review Board

Policies, Purposes, Limitations and Criteria

In the United States today there are some two hundred communities

with some form of design review board or architectural control agency,

most of which have a municipal ordinance establishing this review system.

For a community or Historic District which is just about to esta-

blish a design review system, there is no shortage of model ordinances

from which to construct their own. So in establishmentation procedures,

one of, or a number of these sample ordinances should be used to gener-

ate a feasible and site applicable review guideline document.

The purpose of this paper is then to provide a starting point for

the Downtown Historic District to base its architectural review policies.

It should be helpful in the establishment of new reivew systems as well

as the evaluation of existing ones. The following outline is a sample

pretext for designing or drafting of a Design Review Ordinance and should

be considered in the form of my recommendation to the Downtown Historic

District Commission.

Policies, Purposes, and
Limitations on the
Scope of Review

Section 1-001. Statement of Policy:
The city council finds that new develop-
ment can have a substantial impact on
the character of the area in which it is
located. Some harmful effects of one
land use upon another can be prevented
through zoning, subdivision controls,
and housing and building codes. Other
aspects of development are more subtle
and less amenable to exacting rules of
thumb promulgated without regard to
specific development proposals. Among
these are the general form of the land
before and after development, the spa-
tial relationships of the structures and
open spaces to proximate land uses,
and the appearance of buildings and
open spaces as they contribute to an
area as it is being developed. Such
matters require the timely exercise of
judgment in the public interest by peo-
ple qualified to evaluate the design of
new development.

Section 1-002. Purposes: The purposes
of design review are:
(1) To promote those qualities in
the environment which bring value to
the community;
(2) To foster the attractiveness and
functional utility of the community as a
place to live and work;
(3) To preserve the character and
quality of our heritage by maintaining
the integrity of those areas which have
a discernible character or are of special
historic significance;
(4) To protect certain public invest-
ments in the area;
(5) To encourage, where appropriate,
a mix of uses within permissible use
zones; and
(6) To raise the level of community
expectations for the quality of its envi-

Section 1-003. Aspects of Review:
The Design Review Board in examining
applications for building permits is to
consider the various aspects of design,
with special emphasis on these objec-
(1) Landscape and Environment. To
prevent the unnecessary destruction or
blighting of the natural landscape or of
the achieved man-made environment;
(2) Relationship of Structures and
Open Spaces. To ascertain that the
treatment of built-up and open spaces
has been designed so that they relate
harmoniously to the terrain and to exist-
ing buildings that have a visual relation-
ship to the proposed development;
(3) Circulation. To determine that the
proposal facilitates appropriate pedes-
trian access, servicing, and parking,
and, when necessary, compliance with
other regulations for the handicapped,
the very young, and the elderly;
(4) Protection of Neighbors. 'To pro-
tect neighboring owners and users by
making sure that reasonable provision
has been made for such matters as sur-
face water drainage, sound and sight
buffers, the preservation of views, light
and air, and those aspects of design,
not adequately covered by other regu-
lations, which may have substantial ef-
fects on neighboring land uses;
(5) Compliance with Other Regula-
tions To coordinate compliance with
other municipal ordinances that affect
design, such as the sign and billboard
control provisions of municipal code
sections and the provisions for under-
ground utilities of municipal code sec-

Historic Districts: Although the model
ordinance has been drafted with a gen-
eral-purpose design review in mind, and
not the special situations which give rise
to the designation of landmark or his-
toric districts, nonetheless, some lim-
ited types of preservation could be
readily encompassed within its scope.
The third purpose in Section 1-002
speaks of preserving the character of
certain areas. Item 1 in this section au-
thorizes the prevention of development
that would blight the man-made environ-
ment. Item 2 authorizes the board to
consider whether proposed development
will relate harmoniously to the terrain
and to existing buildings that have a
visual relationship to the proposed de-
velopment. A modicum of historic
preservation might 6e achieved by these
This model is not, however, a good
one for the typical historic district. For
such districts, it is quite possible to de-
tail far more explicit standards. The
courts have not only upheld these ex-
acting requirements in areas of par-
ticular historic design integrity, they
have welcomed the specificity. When
specification in minute detail makes
sense architecturally, courts welcome it
because it provides certainty and tends
to deter favoritism and other forms of
inequity. When such specification does
not make sense because development
in the area provides no clear pattern
from which such specifications may be
derived, courts have been far less en-
thusiastic. Therefore, the preservation
of a true historic district should be had
through an ordinance tailored for that
particular zone. Outside these special
preserves, the model ordinance can, on
appropriate occasions, serve to help
maintain the distinctive character of
areas that are not, strictly speaking, of
historic significance.

Section 1-004. Limitations of Review:
1. The board shall not design or as-
sist in the design of any buildings or
projects submitted for approval except
on request of the proponent or his archi-
tect. The board shall restrict its con-
siderations to a reasonable and profes-
sional review of the proposal and plans,
leaving full responsibility for the design
and development to the applicant.
2. Individual initiative and experimen-
tation are to be encouraged.
3. Only the proponent's failure to take
reasonable account of the items dis-
cussed in Sections 1-001, 1-002 and
1-003, supra, shall justify the board's
disapproving a proposal.
4. In its endeavor to improve the
quality of a design, the board shall keep
considerations of cost in mind. But con-
sideration of cost shall not override the
other objectives of this ordinance.
5. The board is not to use design
review intentionally or inadvertently to
exclude housing for minority groups or
housing for low- and moderate-income
6. The board is not to use design re-
view intentionally or inadvertently to
prohibit or unduly restrict building types,
materials or methods, or to vary the
specific allowances or prohibitions of
the city's zoning. subdivision, or other
development controls.

Creation and Section 1-005. Design Review Board:
Organization of the The city council hereby establishes a
Design Review Board design review board.

Terminology: How to label the board is
usually determined by local practice.
Communities vary in their use of the
terms "board," "committee," "commis-
sion," and "panel." Presumably each
town will select the designation most
consistent with local usage.
Often these boards are called archi-
tectural review boards. The term "archi-
tectural" unfortunately connotes a pre-
occupation with matters of building style
which this model disapproves. Instead,
the focus is on the broader implications
of design for the community and not on
the details of color, texture, style, etc.
In a few places the term design "pre-
view" is used to suggest the advisability
of community participation in design at
the early stages, before substantial and
irretrievable costs have been incurred
by the developer and project architect.
While this model supports early review,
the term preview has not been used be-
cause it may also suggest that the board
is to participate actively in the actual
design of the project. Under this model
the task of providing a design concept
is left exclusively to the project archi-
tect. The board's function is to repre-
sent the community interest by making
sure the proposal has treated certain
matters of public concern, and in this
sense the board remains a reviewing
entity, however early its participation.
Designating the Design Review Au-
thority: This model adopts the arrange-
ment for design review which is used
most widely, an independent authority
which operates under a free-standing
ordinance and is responsible to the
mayor and city council.
There are, however, four other entities
from which a panel for design review
could be chosen.

(1) The Planning Commission. Most
communities have a planning commis-
sion or a planning board which passes
on master plans, recommends rezon-
ings to the city council, and otherwise
presides over the major planning and
zoning decisions which the community
has to make. These commissions fre-
quently consist of citizens appointed by
city councilmen or the mayor. They are
thus somewhat politically responsive,
being appointed and serving at the will
of an elected official. On the other hand,
they don't have quite the visibility of
elected officials. In a few cities the
planning commission is charged with
the design review function. Where it is,
the practice is common for those com-
missioners with special competence in
design to serve as the commission's
committee on design review. When
commissioners qualified in design are
scarce, the planning commission which
is charged with design review functions
may empanel a board of qualified peo-
ple to serve as advisers.
(2) Board of Zoning Appeals. It would
be possible to designate the Board of
Zoning Appeals to perform design re-
view. This is done most frequently when
design review is applied only to proj-
ects requiring special use, exception, or
variance permits. When the applicability
of design review is so limited, it makes
perfectly good sense for the zoning
appeals board to do the reviewing since
this is the board that must usually pass
on the variance, special use, or excep-
tion. Otherwise, the deployment of the
zoning appeals boards for such a pur-
pose would be extraordinary.
(3) City Council. The design review
could be made by the city council or a
committee thereof. But there are few
city councils with time enough, inclina-
tion, and specialized design com-
petence to do this job.
(4) Staff Members. Design review
could be delegated to the city manager,

planning director or possibly a munici-
pal architect if one were available. The
advantage from the developer's point of
view is clear. Speedy and predictable
decisions are what most developers
want even more than laissez-faire. A
single, full time staff member probably
would be able to act more quickly than
a volunteer citizen group. The staff
member usually would be more con-
sistent and predictable than most
boards. On the debit side, planning di-
rectors are not necessarily specialists in
design and some cities lack any staff
which would have time to perform this
function. Skepticism has also been ex-
pressed about the willingness (or cour-
age) of staff members to set themselves
in the path of development on so judg-
mental a set of standards as is neces-
sary to perform design review. When a
staff member does, he runs the risk of
being accused of trying to become a
design dictator. Since design review is
conceived here as an exchange of
judgments among qualified people, the
value shaping and value sharing func-
tions of review are not likely to be well
served by a too-expeditious, vest pocket

Section 1-006. Composition of the
Board: Insofar as practicable, all mem-
bers of the board shall be competent in
matters of design. The majority shall be
architects, urban designers, or land-
scape architects.

Section 1-007. Appointment of Board
Members and Alternates: The board
shall have five members and three alter-
nates appointed by the mayor with the
advice and consent of the council.

Section 1-008. Selection of Chairman:
A chairman and vice-chairman of the
board shall be elected from the mem-
bers of the board by a majority of the
members for a term of one year. No
board member shall succeed himself as
chairman and/or vice-chairman more
than three consecutive terms.

Section 1-009. Compensation: Com-
pensation, if any, shall be determined
by the council on recommendation of
the mayor. Such out-of-pocket expenses
as have been authorized by the council
shall be paid on vouchers.

Section 1-010. Term of Service: The
term of service on the board is [ I
years. In order to provide continuity,
one of the first five appointees shall
serve for [ ] years, two for [ ] years,
and the remaining two for the full [ ]-
year term.

Section 1-011. Removal: Removal shall
be on recommendation of the mayor,
concurred in by a majority vote of the
city council, and only for good cause.

Jurisdiction and

Section 1-012. Types of Development
Option 1: This ordinance shall apply
exclusively to municipal development,
and, to the extent municipal design
review is not pre-empted by state or
federal law, to all other government
This ordinance shall not apply to
private development.
The term "development" in this
ordinance is intended to mean that
no site shall be cleared or altered,
nor shall any structure be erected,
demolished, moved, altered or en-
larged without the approval of the de-
sign review board certified in writing
to the building inspector by the chair-
man of the board.
Option 2: Except as provided hereafter,
this ordinance shall apply to all de-
velopment: private, municipal, and to
the extent municipal design review is
not pre-empted by state or'federal
law, other government development.
This ordinance shall not apply to
detached, single-family residential
structures except those which are the
subject of a use permit or a variance,
those in a residential design district
as defined in Section 1-013 infra of
this ordinance, or developed as part
of a subdivision of [ ] or more
The term "development" in this or-
dinance is intended to mean that no
site shall be cleared or altered, nor
shall any structure be erected, demol-
ished, moved, altered or enlarged
without the approval of the design
review board certified in writing to
the building inspector by the chairman
of the board.
Option 3: This ordinance shall apply to
all development: private, municipal,
and to the extent municipal design
review is not pre-empted by state or
federal law, all other government de-

The term "development" in this or-
dinance is intended to mean that no
site shall be cleared or altered, nor
shall any structure be erected, demol-
ished, moved, altered or enlarged
without the approval of the design
review board certified in writing to the
building inspector by the chairman of
the board.
Option 4: This ordinance shall
all projects within the Design Review
District as defined herein:
[Insert a legal description of the
Design Review District]
Within the above district, this or-
dinance shall apply to all develop-
ment: private, municipal, and to the
extent municipal design review is not
pre-empted by state or federal law,
all other government development.
The term "development" in this or-
dinance is intended to mean that no
site shall be cleared or altered, nor
shall any structure be erected, demol-
ished, moved, altered or 'enlarged
without the approval of the design re-
view board certified in writing to the
building inspector by the chairman of
the board.

The First Three Options: Defining
Jurisdictions by Types of Develop-
ment Included: Instead of recommend-
ing precisely the types of development
to be included, this model contains four
options. This is not a complete list of all
the possibilities. Rather, it is an effort to
identify the issues implicit in the drafting
of this section in any design review or-
The first option would make design
review applicable to government devel-
opment only.
The second applies to all develop-
ment, public and private, except for
single-family structures. The third is
just like the second except that single-
family residences are included.

The Fourth Option: Defining Jurisdic-
tion By the Use of Special Districts:
The fourth option approaches the prob-
lem differently, by drawing an area
boundary of some sort. The simplest
way of drawing an area boundary would
be to cast design review as an overlay
on existing zoning districts. Assuming
those districts have already been drawn
so as to avoid "spot" zoning, the de-
sign review district would be difficult to
assail for being arbitrary or confiscatory.
Nonetheless, a line that is sensible as a
way of separating residential from com-
mercial development may not be as
sensible when applied to design review.
Even in patterning the design review
district along zoning district lines, it is
necessary to have at least a plausible
explanation for imposing design review
only up to a point, and not beyond.
Some parts of the community may be
better able to withstand the costs of
elaborate landscaping and design stand,
ards than others. In time, parts of town
that could once have benefited from any
new development, no matter how mod-
est in appearance, could become suffi-
ciently prosperous as to justify higher
amenity levels. How is a community to
take account both of the varying capa-
cities of different areas to sustain high
development costs and of changes in
capacity through the years? The simpl-
est response is to utilize design review
as an overlay zone just in those areas
where it seems economically feasible.
But matters may not be so clear. Some
level of design scrutiny might be appro-
priate even in the stagnant parts of
town. To the extent that the community
has managed to identify certain aspects
of design and provide specifically for
them, those aspects of development
could be made applicable, withheld, or
modified to take account of problem
areas. Otherwise, the best a board can
do is to make explicit why it elects to
impose greater demands in some places
than in others. Another way of defining
a district would be by analogy to the
concept of the "floating" zone. Thus,
the district might be defined so as to in-
clude all urban renewal project areas
whenever they are adopted by resolu-
tion of the city council. Alternately, per-
formance standards might be employed.
For example, all development might be
included that was visible from a cer-
tain historic landmark or that exceeded
a prescribed height or bulk. The use of
performance or floating zones for de-
sign review requires a considerable cau-
tion especially in states where perform-
ance zoning and floating zones have not
yet received judicial approval.

Application to Public Projects: All four
options specify their applicability to all
municipal endeavors. In the absence of
such a proviso, some courts have held
that cities were not bound to their own
zoning and building ordinances. This
model also attempts to extend the juris-
diction of design review to all public
construction, even to works of govern-
ments superior in the constitutional hier-
archy. Where it is not the practice in the
jurisdiction to extend local zoning and
building ordinances to projects of the
state and other levels of government,
this provision probably accomplishes
nothing and should be deleted.
Mandatory and Advisory Systems:
Under all four options, review is made
mandatory. It is mandatory in two
senses. The board has mandatory juris-
diction in that applications for develop-
ment of the types included must be sub-
mitted to it. And the board 'also has
mandatory powers, or authority, in that
no building permit may be issued for the
types of development included without
the board's approval. Some ordinances
provide for mandatory jurisdiction, re-
quiring that proposals for the types of
development included must be sub-
mitted to the board for comment. Then
those ordinances restrict the authority
of the board by allowing the developer
or, in the case of public projects, the
mayor or another official to disregard
the board's recommendations. Under
this model ordinance, unless the devel-
oper is prepared to accept the board's

recommendations, he cannot obtain a
building permit. Appeal may be made,
of course, from improper decisions. The
grounds and procedures for appeal are
delineated in subsequent sections of this
ordinance. But without successful ap-
peal, the board's decisions are binding.
This ordinance has refrained from
prescribing an advisory system. Such
systems usually provide for a design
review board to make recommendation
to some other authority-the mayor, city
council, city manager, or planning com-
mission. To the extent that an advisory
panel is effective, in the sense that the
officials for whom advice is given ac-
tually take the advice, these two-tiered
systems may be time-consuming and
Too often, however, advice is not
heeded, sometimes for political reasons,
and board members become discour-
aged. Asking architects and others to
donate their time to public service is dif-
ficult enough without having to ask for
the donation to a cause that may well
prove futile. Mandatory powers assure
at least minimal effectiveness.
Since mandatory design review can
entail expense for the developer and
may result in an architect having to alter
his plans, the powers that may be exer-
cised under this ordinance are circum-
scribed in various ways. The ordinance
contemplates a board for design review,
not a board that orders, or itself con-
ducts, a redesign of thoughtful work. The
scope of review is expressly limited to
bar board members from substituting
their personal judgments for those of the
project architect and developer. Other
safeguards are provided as well, all with
a view toward reducing the risk of
abuse. To have made the system advi-
sory, however, just to prevent abuses,
might have been tantamount to render-
ing it impotent, and would certainly have
been an overreaction, considering the
many ways there are to curtail excessive

powers short of precluding the exercise
of necessary authority.
Sometimes advisory boards have
been proposed not for fear that manda-
tory ones would perform improperly, but
rather in hopes of improving the chance
of a favorable judicial reaction. In two
states, where there was some doubt
about the legality of design review, and
where advisory boards were attempted,
the advisory systems were invalidated
nonetheless. The reasons advisory
boards fared no better in court than
mandatory arrangements were complex.
But probably the main one was that
even advisory review has to meet the
full array of legal tests that could be
applied to any type of design review.
The standards for judicial review do not
vary. Most courts realize that for some
proposals-if not for all-an advisory
board's judgment will prove binding if
ratified by higher authorities. In those
cases where the board's advice is ac-
cepted, developers are entitled to all
the protections afforded by law. Prac-
tically speaking, on that occasion and
for that developer, the advisory board's
judgment has become mandatory. And,
therefore, even an advisory system must
meet an exacting standard of fairness.
This discussion implies a further argu-
ment against advisory systems. Pre-
cisely because some people view advi-
sory arrangements as permissive, advi-
sory ordinances are often constructed
with less attention to protecting project
applicants and their architects from arbi-
trary decisions. Boards whose powers
are advisory in form may seem not as
imposing or threatening as those which
possess mandatory powers. In practice
these formal distinctions may prove il-
lusory. The advice rendered by the ad-
visory board, whether sound or capri-
cious, may tend to be followed by the
officials nominally charged with making
the final decision on development appli-
cations. On the other hand, some man-
datory boards, realizing the extent of
their potential powers, may refrain from
being as stringent as they might be in
order to preserve public respect or to
avoid imposing too many burdens on
developers. Thus, just as systems that
are advisory in form may be mandatory
in practice, systems that are mandatory
in form must act as if they were advi-
sory only. Under either system, the
board's powers should be defined and
limited even though under advisory
arrangements a careful delineation of
powers and limitations may seem un-
necessary. Such a delineation is never
superfluous if only because courts have
been reluctant to put much stock in the
distinction between mandatory and ad-
visory systems.

Section 1-013. Initiation of Residen-
tial Design Districts: Whenever the
property owners of any predominantly
single-family residential area desire to
have new development in that area
made subject to design review, they
shall file a petition with the Planning
Department. The petition shall contain
the signatures of sixty (60) percent of
the owners who own at least forty (40)
percent of the property within the dis-
trict. For purposes of determining own-
ership under this and the succeeding
section, the secretary of the board may
rely on the records of the tax assessor.
The petition shall include the following:
(1) The proposed boundaries of such
district, provided that no district as fi-
nally approved shall contain less than
[ ] acres.
(2) Any exceptions for isolated prop-
erties within said district and the rea-
sons for such exceptions.

Section 1-014. Initiation of Termination
of Residential Design District: When-
ever the property owners within any
established design district desire to ter-
minate design review in their area, they
shall refile with the Planning Depart-
ment a petition containing the signa-
tures of sixty (60) percent of the own-
ers who own at least forty (40) percent
of the property within the district.

Section 1-015. Establishment or Ter-
mination of Residential Design Dis-
trict: The decision of whether to form
or terminate a residential design district
must be initiated by petition under Sec-
tion 1-006 or Section 1-007. However,
the final decision on these matters is to
be made by the city council on the
recommendation of the design review
board. The board shall make its recom-
mendation on the basis of whether the
inclusion or termination would serve the
same purposes for which design review
is established in other zones throughout
the city without imposing undue bur-
dens on the time of the board.

Section 1-016. Exemptions: Whenever
the chairman of the board finds that a
proposal raises no substantial design
problem of the sort outlined in Sections
1-001, 1-002 and 1-003, supra, he is
hereby authorized to recommend an
exemption. In recommending such an
exemption, the chairman shall notify the
other members of the board in writing
within seven (7) days, describing the
proposal and explaining the basis for
exemption. If any member of the board
challenges in writing within seven (7)
days of being notified of the chairman's
intent to recommend exemption, the pro-
posal shall be placed before the full
board in the ordinary manner. If no chal-
lenge is received, the chairman shall
notify the proponent and the building
inspector. The proponent and the build-
ing inspector, once notified by the chair-
man, may proceed as if the project had
been approved.

Operations of the
Design Review Board

Section 1-017. Submissions: The pro-
ponent shall submit through the building
inspector in [ I copies:
(1) Preliminary building floor plans
and exterior elevations drawn to scale
adequate to show clearly the design
intent. These plans and exterior eleva-
tions shall include structures and signi-
ficant natural features on abutting prop-
(2) A site plan, or plans, drawn at a
scale adequate to show clearly the fol-
(a) the dimensions, orientation, and
acreage of each lot or plot to be
built upon or otherwise used;
(b) layout of the entire project, and
its relation to surrounding prop-
erties and the existing buildings
(c) location and dimensions of pres-
ent and proposed street and
highway dedications required to
handle the traffic generated by
the proposed uses;
(d) location of points of entry and
exit for motor vehicles and in-
ternal vehicular circulation pat-
(e) the location and layout of all
paved areas including off-street
parking and loading facilities;
(f) all existing and proposed topog-
(g) locations of existing and pro-
posed plantings and screenings;
(h) the size, shape, and location of
existing and proposed construc-
(i) indication of the proposed use of
construction shown on the site;
(j) location of walls, fences, and
railings, and the indication of
their height and the materials of
their construction;
(k) indication of exterior lighting
adequate to determine its char-
acter and to enable review of
possible hazards and disturb-

ances to the public and adjacent
(I) indication of other potential dis-
turbances to the public and ad-
jacent properties due to noise
or odors to be emitted from the
proposed use;
(m) location, size, and design of ex-
terior signs and outdoor adver-
The chairman of the board may waive
any of the above submissions that he
believes unnecessary. The chairman
may require such other information and
exhibits as he deems reasonably neces-
sary to enable the board to reach an
informed result. That information may
(1) photographs from the site of ad-
joining structures;
(2) detailed drawings of decorative
(3) samples of exterior materials and
(4) location and method of refuse
(5) scale drawings of signs;
(6) sectional studies to explain the
character of the design.

Section 1-018. Stages of Inquiry: Prior
to filing any submissions, the proponent
and/or his architect are entitled to meet
with the board chairman or secretary in
order to obtain information on the gen-
eral guidelines which the board expects
to use. The proponent or his architect
are entitled to have the board's guide-
lines as they apply to his case in writing
so that if they wish to rely on them, a
permanent record of the basis for their
reliance will exist.
The board will ordinarily approve, ap-
prove with minor modifications, or dis-
approve a proposal on the submissions
described in Section 1-017, supra. The
board may expressly reserve approval
of detailed aspects of development not
possible to decide on the submissions
as provided by the proponent.

Section 1-019. Statement of Minimum
Acceptable Conditions on Demand:
Whenever the board disapproves a sub-
mission, at the request of the proponent
it will be obliged to specify in writing
the conditions under which a majority
of the board would accept the submis-
sion. However, it is not the intent of this
section to require the board to furnish
the applicant with a design.

Section 1-020. Time Limitations for
Action on Submissions: The board
shall meet within [ ] days of any sub-
mission and shall announce its decision
within [ ] days of hearing on the sub-
[ ] days after a submission has been
filed with the secretary of the board, if
not extended with the consent of the
proponent and if the board has reached
no decision on the proposal, the pro-
posal shall be treated as if approved.

Section 1-021. Rights of Public to At-
tend Proceedings: Meetings shall be
open to the public at the request of the
proponent, his architect, or any person
who has a legitimate interest in the out-
come. However, nothing herein shall
preclude any member or members of
the board or of the city staff from con-
ferring privately with the proponent de-
veloper or his architect as long as any
understanding reached by private de-
liberations shall be made public before
official action is taken on any submis-
sion and except insofar as such private
meetings are in contravention of state

Section 1-022. Notice: Entitlement to,
method, and time of notice under this
ordinance shall be determined by the
secretary of the board in consultation
with the city attorney. Notice should be
calculated to reach all interested mem-
bers of the community in sufficient time
to enable them to participate meaning-
fully in board proceedings and at the
same time avoid undue expense and
delay to the developer. For this pur-
pose, notice may be had by posting,
through advertisements in newspapers
of general circulation and readership,
by postcards, or any other means ap-
proved by the board secretary and the
city attorney.
Any person or organization desiring
to be notified of any or all hearings held
pursuant to a submission required by
this ordinance shall be entitled to no-
tice by filing a request with the secre-
tary and paying a fee reasonably calcu-
lated to meet the costs of such notice.

Section 1-023. Procedures for Meet-
ings: The chairman shall conduct the
meetings of the board. The secretary
shall keep the minutes and a perma-
nent record of all resolutions, motions.
transactions, and determinations. These
records, including all documents sub-
mitted by the applicant, shall be avail-
able on request for public inspection at
reasonable times The board shall ten-
der a full statement in writing to each
proponent on whose submission action
is taken explaining in detail the reasons
and basis for the decision. The board
shall establish its own rules and meet-
ing schedule and shall file with the city
manager a copy of its bylaws and
other rules and a statement of when and
where it plans to meet.

Section 1-024. Quorum: A quorum shall
be four members of the board. When-
ever a board member is unable to
participate and vote, either by absence
or disqualification, the chairman shall
designate a substitute from the three

Section 1-025. Voting: When voting on
any question, each member's vote shall
be recorded and no proxy shall be al-
lowed at any time.
A majority of those voting shall be
sufficient to approve any proposal. For
disapproval or approval on condition
that changes be made in the proposal
as presented, three affirmative votes are

Section 1-026. Conflicts of Interest:
All members shall be entitled to vote,
provided, however, that no member
shall participate in reviewing or vote on
any work of which he or any partner or
professional associate is the author, or
in which he or they have any direct or
indirect financial interest.
If any member is disqualified because
of a conflict or potential conflict of in-
terest, his place shall be taken by one
of the three alternates designated by the
If the chairman is disqualified, the
vice-chairman shall preside. If he is
also disqualified, a majority of the re-
maning board members shall designate
a new chairman to hear and decide the
case at issue and to select alternates to
serve for the case.

Section 1-027. Peremptory Challenge:
By peremptory challenge any proponent
who feels that a member of the panel
would be hostile or incapable of render-
ing an impartial judgment may have
one or two members of the panel re-
placed from the list of alternates.
In .the event of such a challenge,
which must be made at the time of ini-
tial submission and in writing signed by
the proponent, the chairman shall de-
signate the alternates) from the official
list of alternates.
If the chairman is challenged, the
vice-chairman shall preside. If he is dis-
qualified, a majority of the remaining
board members shall designate a new
chairman to hear and decide the case
at issue and to select alternates) to
serve for the case.

Section 1-028. Annual Report: The de-
sign review board shall report annually
to the mayor and council in the month
of [ 1. The annual report shall re-
view the major decisions rendered dur-
ing the year, and outline the rationale
for those decisions. The report may in-
clude a survey of the appearance and
condition of buildings in the city, an
analysis of community trends in design,
methods that might be employed to
improve the quality of new building and
prevent the deterioration of existing
structures, and recommendations that
might be enacted to make the design
review process more objective.

Appeals and Enforcement

Section 1-029. Appeals: Whenever the
board shall disapprove a submission, or
approve with such conditions as the
proponent feels are unacceptable, the.
proponent and/or his architect shall
have the right to appeal and' be heard
before the city council.
Whenever the board shall approve a
submission either wholly or with condi-
tions, or whenever the chairman of the
board shall exempt a submission from
review, any interested person or group
of persons shall have the right to appeal
and be heard before the city council.
The time for filing a notice of appeal
with the city clerk shall be fourteen (14)
days after the committee renders its
decision. Each filing shall be accom-
panied by a check or money order for
$25 to cover the costs of appeal.
The bases of appeal shall include, but
are not limited to, the following:
(1) Failure to comply with the pur-
poses and objectives of the ordinance
as defined herein;
(2) Improper motive;
(3) Inconsistency with past decisions;
(4) Economic hardship;
(5) Undue interference with the de-
sign integrity of the proposal;
(6) Prevention of desired or needed
land uses;
(7) Consideration by the board of ir-
relevant information such as the race,
ethnic origin, incomes, or other attrib-
utes of the proposed occupants or own-
(8) Prohibition or unwarranted restric-
tion of building type, material, or
The city council may, on appeal, af-
firm, affirm with conditions, reverse, or
remand to the board with instructions.
The council shall hear and decide any
appeal within thirty (30) days of filing.
Thereafter, any aggrieved party may
within thirty (30) days appeal from the
council's action to the court of the
If the council fails to act within thirty
(30) days, the action of the board shall
be in full force and effect, unless ap-
peal from council inaction is taken to
the court sixty (60) days from the initial
filing of appeal with the council.

Section 1-030. Enforcement: The build-
ing inspector shall issue no building
permit without the approval in writing of
the chairman of the design review
board. The penalties for construction or
demolition in violation of the provisions
of this ordinance shall be the same ds
those provided in municipal code sec-
tion (here insert the provisions used in
the municipality for breach of other
land-use regulating ordinances).




Mark A. Tarmey




In order to improve the quality and character of the Downtomwn Jack-

sonville historic district, these twenty-two points of desing criteria

have been developed in order to acquaint architects and designers with some

of the problems now being experienced in the area. As proposed all of these

twenty-two criteria should be met or considered before a building can

be judged compatible with its immediate environment. There criteria were

developed from criteria established by architect Paul Muldawer of Atlanta

for the Savannah Preservation Plan. The following sketches, to explain

the criteria, were also developed in order to graphically educate archi-

tects with the concepts behind the criteria as states.

Development Standards:

(1) Preservation of Historic Buildings Within All Zones in the Historic

District. A building or structure, classified as Historic or any part

thereof, or any appurtenance related thereto including but not limited

to stone walls, fences, light fixtures, steps, paving and signs shall only

be moved, reconstructed, altered or maintained in a manner that will pre-

serve the historical and architectural character of the building, struc-

ture or appurtenance thereto.

(2) Demolition of Historic Buildings. Whenever a property owner shows

that a building classified as Historic is incapable of earning an eco-

nomic return on its value, as appraised by a qualified real estate ap-

praiser, and the Board of Review fails to approve the issuance of a cer-

tificate of appropriateness, such building may be demolished,

provided, however, that before a demolition permit is issued, notice of

proposed demolition shall be given as follows:

1. For buildings rated Exceptional: twelve (12) months

2. For buildings rated Excellent: six (6) months

3. For buildings rated Notable: four (4) months

4. For buildings of Value as part of the scene: two (2) months

Notice shall be posted on the premises of the building or structure

proposed fur demolition in a location clearly visible from the street.

In addition, notice shall be published in a newspaper of general local

circulation at least three (3) times prior to demolition, the final

notice of which shall be not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the

date of the permit, and the first notice of which shall be published

not more than fifteen (15) days after the application for a permit to

demolish is filed. The purpose of this section is to further the pur-

poses of this ordinance by preserving historic buildings which are im-

portant to the education, culture, traditions and the economic values

of the City, and to afford the City, interested persons, historical

societies or organizations the opportunity to acquire or to arrange

for the preservation of such buildings. The Board of Review may at

any time during such stay approve a certificate of appropriateness

in which event a permit shall be issued without further delay.

(3) Relocation of Historic Buildings. A historic building shall not

be relocated on another site unless it is shown that the preservation

on its existing site is not consistent with the purposes of such


building on such site.

(4) Protective Maintenance of Historic Buildings. Historic buildings

shall be maintained to meet the requirements of the Minimum Housing

Code and the Building Code.

(5) Contemporary Buildings, Zone I. The construction of a new

building, or structure, and the moving, reconstruction, alteration,

major maintenance or repair involving a color change materially

affecting the external appearance of any existing contemporary

building, structure, or appurtenance thereof within Zone I shall be

generally of such design, form, proportion, mass, configuration,

building material, texture, color and location on a lot as will be

compatible with other buildings in the Historic Area, and particularly

with buildings designated as Historic and with squares and places to

which it is visually related.

(6) Visual Compatibility Factors. Within said Zone I, new construc-

tion and existing buildings and structures and appurtenances thereof

which are moved, reconstructed, materially altered, repaired or changed

in color hsall be visually compatible with buildings, squares and

places to which they are visually related generally in terms of the

following factors: (for a Graphic interpretation of the following

please refer to pages 10-18)

A. Height. The height of proposed building shall be visually

compatible with adjacent buildings.

B. Proportion of Building's Front Facade. The relationship of

the width of building to the height of the front elevation shall

be visually compatible to buildings, squares and places t.o which

it is visually related.

C. Proportion at Openings Within the Facility. The relation-

ship of the width of the windows to height of windows in a

building shall be visually compatible with buildings, squares

and places to which the building is visually related.

D. Rhythm of Solids to Voids in Front Facades. The relation-

ship of solids to voids in the front facade of a building shall

be visually compatible with buildings, squares and places to

which it is visually related.

E. Rhythm of Spacing of Buildings on Streets. The relationship

of building to open space between it and adjoining buildings

shall be visually compatible to the buildings, squares and places

to which it is visually related.

F. Rhythm of Entrance and/or Porch Projection. The relationship

of entrances and porch projections to sidewalks of a building

shall be visually compatible to the buildings, squares and places

to which it is visually related.

G. Relationship of Materials, Texture and Color. The relation-

ship of the materials, texture and color of the facade of a

building shall be visually compatible with the predominant materi-

als used in the buildings to which it is visually related.

H. Roof Shapes. The roof shape of a building shall be visually

compatible with the buildings to which it is visually related.


I. Walls of Continuity. Appurtenances of a building such as

walls, wrought iron, fences, evergreen landscape masses, build-

ing facades, shall, if necessary, form cohesive walls of enclo-

sure along a street, to insure visual compatibility of the

building to the buildings, squares and places to which it is

visually related.

J. Scale of a Building. The size of a building, the building

mass of a building in relation to open spaces, the windows, door

openings, porches and balconies shall be visually compatible with

the buildings, squares and places to which it is visually related.

K. Directional Expression of Front Elevation. A building shall

be visually compatible with the buildings, squares, and places to

which it is visually related in its directional character, whether

this be vertical character, horizontal character or non-direc-

tional character.

L. Orientation of Buildings on the Site. To preserve the continuity

of the elevational image prevailing along most block faces, the

principal facade of a new building should be appropriately oriented

parallel to the street it faces. Exceptions to the rule would be

corner lots or adjacencies where the principal facade may face

either of the parallel streets it corners or at an angle 450 to

either street right of way, opening up the corner but not impend-

ing on existing setbacks.

M. Street Facing Yards and Lots on Existing Buildings. In conjunction

with other efforts herein to preserve the facades of block faces,

the construction of additions to existing significant buildings

should be generally discouraged in yards or lots adjoining public

streets and should instead be confined to adjacent side and rear

yards which are generally out of the public view.

N. Floor Elevations. In new construction, the first floor elevation

above the street curb, the entrance door sill elevation, and the

floor-to-floor elevations within the building should reflect the

average height of comparable elevations of adjacent buildings if

at all possible.

0. Compatibility of Fenestration Patterns. The predominant fenestra-

tion patterns of street facing facades enhibit a regularity in

proportion and size of window and door openings and in the rhythm

and order with which they are arranged. In these terms, fenestra-

tion of new construction should be compatible with that along the

block face, and existing patterns should be preserved in rehabili-

tation or restoration projects. Very common in the Downtown His-

toric District are tall one-over-one double hung windows, of a

1:2 or 1:3 jalousie windows, glass block (although also found in

the Downtown) and windows with horizontally oriented panes are

not generally compatible with the character of the area (Post

fire construction boom). Proportions of shutters (or flase

shutters) should be consistent with the dimension of the window

they frame.

P. Masking of Facade Elements. The practice of boarding up or block-

ing existing window openings or facade delineations substantially

changes the basic appearance of a building and should be avoided

in the rehabilitation of old structures whenever possible. If it

is considered absolutely necessary to lower an interior ceiling


beyond the window head, some way should be found to retain the

full exterior window height.

Generally in existing buildings the size of openings should be

retained, and doors and windows on "viewed" facades should not be


Q. Architectural Details. Architectural details and ornamentation

represent historic elements of eclectic architecture and are im-

portant components of the character of Jacksonville. The distinc-

tiveness of the buildings is directly associated with these ela-

borate details. Since unsympathetic changes can destroy both the

individual architectural character of a building and the balance

of the overall street scene, significant building details should

not be lost in rehabilitation or "modernization" of existing build-

ings. Remodeling efforts should respect and enhance the original

architectural integrity of the structure, and should attempt to

retain such characteristic details as:

a. modillioned cornices

b. lattice work in windows

c. keystone and voussoirs

d. stone lintels and sills

e. flat or semi-circular stone or brick arches above windows and


f. fanlights and sidelights around doors

g. transom lights

h. palladian windows

i. stone quoining


j. decorative chimney flues

k. flemish bond brick

1. multi-colored patterned brick

m. stained glass windows

n. rose or wheel windows

o. tile roods

p. multi-colored shingle or slate roofs

q. carved wood doors


1. Height

2. Proportion of buildings' front facades

3. Proportion of openings within the facade

4. Rhythm of solids to voids in front facade

5. Rhythm of spacing of buildings on streets

6. Rhythm of entrance and/or porch porjections

7. Relationship of materials

8. Relationship of textures

9. Relationship of color

10. Relationship of architectural details

11. Relationship of roof shapes

12. Walls of continuity

13. Relationship of landscaping

14. Ground cover

15. Scale

16. Directional expression of front elevation

17. Orientation of building on the site

18. Street facing lots on existing buildings

19. Floor elevations

20. Compatibility of fenestration patterns

21. Masking of facade elements

22. Architectural details




En U aa
QU 90oo



1. Height This is a mandatory
to a height with ten percent

Slun non

criteria that new buildings be constructed
of the average height of existing adjacent


- -I o^

1- 1'/2

2. Proportion of buildings' front facades The relationship between the
width to height of the front elevation of the building.





I1 /2. Il DTH
4--------- --------



3. Proportion of openings within the facade The relationship of width
to height of windows and doors.

4. Rhythm of solids to voids in front facade Rhythm being an ordered
recurrent alternation of strong and weak elements. Moving by an in-

dividual building, one experiences a rhythm of masses to openings.

KHYTHM 4-1-4-1-4

5. Rhythm of spacing of buildings on streets Moving past a sequence of
buildings, one experiences a rhythm of recurrent building masses to

spaces between them.

"I f" 1 I I -

6. Rhythm of entrance and/or porch projections The relationship of en-
trances to sidewalks. Moving past a sequence of structures, one experi-

ences a rhythm of entrances or porch projections at an intimate scale.


TEaTUIre / 10K SC'? / ,V t>K MATUKAL STWc1S

7. Relationship of materials Within an area, the predominant material may

be brick, stone, stucco, wood siding or other material.

8. Relationship of textures The predominant texture may be smooth (stucco)

or rough (brick with tooled joints) or horizontal wood siding, or other


9. Relationship of color The predominant color may be that of a natural

material or a painted one, or a patina colored by time. Accent of blned-

ing colors of trim is also a factor.

10. & 22. Relationship of architectural details Details may include cor-

nices, lintel, arches, quoins, balustrades, wrought iron work, chimneys,



11. Relationship of roof shapes The majority of buildings may have gable,

mansard, hip, flat roofs or others.

12. Walls of continuity Physical ingredients such as brick walls, wrought

iron fences, evergreen landscape masses, building facades, or combinations

of these, form continuous cohesive walls of enclosure along the street.

13. Relationship of landscaping There may be predominance of a particular
quality and quantity of landscaping. The concern here is more With mass

and continuity.

14. Ground cover There may be a predominance in the use of brick pavers,

stone, granite blocks, tabby or other materials such as ground lime or

coquina asphalt.


15. Scale Scale is created by the size of units of construction and archi-

tectural detail which relate to the size of man. Scale is also deter-

mined by building mass and how it relates to open space. The predominant

element of scale may be brick or stone units, windows or door openings,

porches and balconies, etc.


16. Directional expression of front eleavation Structural shape, placement

of openings, and architectural details may give a predominantly vertical,

horizontal or a non-directional character to the building's front facade.


17. Orientation of buildings on the site To preserve continuity of eleva-

tional image, the principal facade should be oriented parallel to the street

it faces.

18. Street facing yards and lots on existing buildings In conjunction with

efforts to preserve facades, construction of additions to existing signifi-

cant buildings should be discouraged in yards adjoining public streets.

19. Floor elevations In new or compatible construction, the first floot ele-

vation should reflect the average height of compatible elevation of adja-

cent existing buildings.


multi-pone six-ovr-six two-over-two
upTo 1l780 1720-1845 1845 onward

fAK am

i IN
5si-over-one one-over-one
some houses I 80 onv:tn-

yes no no no
20. Compatibility of fenestration patterns The predominant fenestration
patterns of street facing facades exhibit regularity in proportion and
size. Proportions of shutters should also be consistent with the dimen-
sion of the window they frame.
21. Masking of facade elements The practice of boarding up existing win-
dow openings or facade delineators substantially alters the basic appear-
ance of a building and should be avoided if at all possible.



1. Bowsher, Alice Meriwether, Design Review in Historic Districts: A Handbook

For Virginia Review Boards, Washington, D.C., National Endowment for the

Arts Publication, 1978.

2. Design Review Boards: A Handbook for Communities, Washington, D.C., The

American Institute of Architects Publications, 1974.

3. Muldawer, Pual, Historic Preservation Plan for the Central Area General

Neighborhood Renewal Area. Savannah, Metropolitan Planning Commission, 1973.

4. Stephen, Goerge, Rehabilitating Old Houses. Boston, Cahners Books Inter-

national, Inc. 1976.

II I1 1i lll 111 III
3 1262 04343887 7

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