DESIGN REVIEW BOARDS
REGIONAL ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY & PRESERVATION ^ \ ^
ARC 6793 FALL 1979 ..n^^^ s M,
DESIGN REVIEW BOARDS:
The existance of design review boards is a relatively new phenominon in this country. Most of the boards have been in existance for less than twenty years. This lack of longevity has not prevented the creation of widely diverse sets of regulations and relationships with other units of government.
The formation of legeslated "historic Districts" and their appeal to many cities in hopes of reviving a real or imagined past has led to the creation of districts in areas with no uniform or identifiable style. In these areas the creation of legeslation limiting design criteria has the potential of stifling architectural design and producing a level of mediocrity in the area's rehabilitation and contemporary construction.
This paper will eximine the HC zoning in Tallahassee's historic districts and some of the potential problems, along with some recomendations for potential change.
The use of HC zoning in Tallahassee is recommended by the planning commision. Each recomendation contains information regarding the areas, buildings, and premises included in such zones.
The approval of such a zone by the city commision includes a declaration that such a district is in fact of historical and cultural significance requiring protection against destruction and encroachment.
All applications for building permits within the HC districts are referred by the building inspector to the architectural review board for review and action on the issuance of a "certificate of appropriateness" This certificate is required where any action involving the appearance of a historic structure is involved. The Board of Adjustments and appeals can take no action in cases where Certificates of Appropriateness are involved until all action on such certificates is concluded.
As a general rule or by specific request in a particular
case the architectural review board may require submission of all or any of the following information in connection with the application; Architectural plans, site plans, landscaping plans, proposed signs and appropriate detail as to character, proposed exterior lighting arrangements, elevations of all portions of structures with important relationships to public view and
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The nomination of the expanded Park Avenue and Calhoun Street Historic Districts to the National' Registe of Historic Places was approved May 31,1979 by the Florida Review Committee which is made up of historia jr. Sam Proctor, Dr. Herbert Dougherty, and Dr. John Moore: architects, F. Blair Reeves, Woodrow Wilkins and archaeologist, Dr. Charles Fairbanks. Properties listed on the National Register are eligible for Federal grants-in-aid,and federal tax benefits and penalties if subject to depreciation as defined by th Thev are also provided a measure of protection from the effect of any federally assisted program.
indications as to construction materials, design of doors and windows, ornamentation, colors and the like, photographs or perspective drawings indicating visual relationships to adjoining structures and .spaces and any other material necessary for review.
After reviewing all material submitted and any field examination necessary in the case the architectural review board shall issue a certificate of appropriateness only if it finds that the proposal is of a character that is,in fact, appropriate to the character, appearance and efficient functioning of the district. In conferences with the applicants, the board may permit modification of origional proposals if such modifications are formally acknowledged, clearly indicated and recorded. Any action by applicants following the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness shall be in accord with the application and materials approved. The architectural review board will not issue a certificate of appropriateness authorizing any issuance of permits if it finds that the proposed action would adversly affect the character of the district or the setting of structures and premises of substantial public interest. Where permission is denied, the board shall record its reasons for denial. Such denial is subject to appeal.
Certificates of appropriateness are also required for the moving of any historic structures, or parts therof out of the HC district. The requirements are generally as stated before with the exception that the planning cornmision shall have six
months in which to act on such a certificate and unless it is issued within six months, the moving permit may be issued without such certificate. Moving historic structures within the historic district shall require the same as above except that the commission has fifteen days in which to act.
The demolition of structures of substantial public interest also require the approval of the planning commission before the issuance of a permit, or if unsuccessful in obtaining approval the following portion of the code comes into effect:
"The planning commission shall review the circumstances and condition of the structures or part proposed for demolition and shall determine feasibility of preservation. If preservation is found to be physically and/or financially unfeasible, issuance of the demolition permit shall proceed on certification by the planning commission.
If preservation is found to be physically and economically feasible, the planning commission shall encourage the taking of whatever steps seem likely to lead to such preservation, either on the site on which the structure is located or another site on which it might appropriately be moved. Within six (6) months from the date of application, unless the owner agrees to an extension of the time period, or unless means acceptable to the owner have been found to preserve the structure, the demolition permit shall be issued."
The city also regulates the appearance of structures
that are identified by the planning commission to be of significant historic or cultural interest. No exterior modifications are permitted which will substantially alter the structure's appearance as origionally constructed. Included in this limitation is mechanical equipment such as TV antennas, utilities, venting and heating stacks and air conditioning equipment.
The city of Tallahassee also has the capability of designating property as a "limited use" zone in addition to it's existing zoning. This allows the city to severly restrict the proposed activities allowed on the site. The use of limited use zoning which permits residential and professional use only is an effective way of providing a transition between residential and commercial zones.
Tallahassee has a formal procedure set up for the re-zoning of property in the city which is explained in the following handout from the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department.
Rezoning Application Process
An application form to begin a rezoning process may be obtained from the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department, Suite 201, Lewis State Bank Building.
Information to be completed on the application must include the following:
(1) The current zoning cla.ssification of the property to be rezoned and the proposed zoning classification.
(2) The property owner's name and address; the agent's name and address (if applicable); and tbe optionee's name and address (if applicable).
(3) A notarized signature of the property owner or owners. Application Fee and Legal Description
The completed application form must be returned to the Planning Department along with:
(1) A $200 application, fee (this check should be made payable to the City of Tallahassee if the property is located in the City Limits or to
the Board of Leon County Commissioners if the property is located outside the City Limits in Leon County).
(2) A legal description prepared by a Florida Registered Land Surveyor and a map of the property at a scale of 1" = 200' or other scale required by the Planning Department.
The application deadline for the receiving of the application by the Planning Department is tbe first working day of the month to be considered by the Planning Commission the first Thursday of the following month.
The City or County Commission would consider the rezoning on the fourth Tuesday of the same month as the Planning Commission public hearing.
The Planning Commission is a recommending body consisting of six members appointed to three year tems. Three members are appointed by the City Commission and three members are appointed by the County Commission.
TALLAHA?5LE-LfION COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
Plannm.1?; Commission Public Hearing
The Planning Commission holds public hearing once a month for the purpose of reviewing rezoning applications. This public hearing is held the first Thursday of evet-y month at 7:30 P.M. in the Leon County Courthouse. The following Monday at 1:00 P.M. the Planning Commission meets jointly with the Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC).
A letter of notification is mailed by the Planning Department to all property owners xrithin 500 feet of the perimeter of the requested property notifying the surrounding property owners of the requested change and the time, date, and place of the Planning Commission, City Commission, and County Commission public hearings. A legal ad and nap are prepared by the Planning Department for advertisement in the local newspaper for further public notification.
Technical Coordinating Committee
The Technical Coordinating Committee is a fourteen'(1A) member committee comprised of various governmental agencies from the City, County, and State levels and also Talquin Electric, a private nonprofit corporation. The TCC discusses with the Planning Commission how trie proposed zoning changes would affect their department or agency and answers any questions that may be asked by the Planning Commission.
P1annlng Commission Recommendation
Following the joint discussion of each rezoning application, the Planning Commission votes on the application to recommend either approval or denial to the City or County Commission.
Planning Commission TCC Written Report
A report is written from the minutes of. the joint Planning Commission Technical Coordinating Committee meeting. The report includes planning considerations, traffic considerations, availability of sewer and water, drainage considerations, public response to mailed notices, the Planning Commission recommendation, and the reason for the recommendation. This report is forwarded to the City Commission if tbe property to be rezoned is located within the City Limits or to the County Commission if the property is outside the corporate limits of the City of Tallahassee and in Leon County.
-------------- TALLAHASSEE-LEON COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMhNT
City Commission and County Commission
The City and County Commissions schedule rezoning public hearings for the fourth Tuesday of the same month as the Planning Commission public hearing. The City Commission holds its public hearing at 7:00 P.M. in the City Commission Hearing Pvoora in the basement of City Hall for those rezoning applications inside the City Limits. The County Commission holds its public hearing at 9:30 A.M. in the County Commission Hearing "Room (Room 203), Leon County Courthouse for those rezoning applications in Leon County outside of the City Limits.
The City Commission and the County Commission votes at this public hearing to approve, deny, or table the rezoning application.
Joint Planning Commission and City or County Commission Meeting
The vote of the City and County Commission Is final .unless the vote is contrary to the recommendation of the Planning Commission. In such a case the City or Count}' Commission will schedule a joint meeting with the Planning Commission to discuss the reasoning of the votes. Following this joint meeting, the City and County Commission will take final action on the rezoning application at a date specified by the City or County Commission.
Twelve Month Waiting Period
Once a rezoning petition has been filed with the Planning Department, another rezoning petition cannot be filed by the property owner' on the same property within a twelve (12) month period following the last action taken by the Planning Commission.
In the late sixties, the AIA's Committee on Design commissioned a nationwide survey of the then 221 existing design review boards. Nearly half of the boards responded to the quest-ionaire an excellent responce. Those responces led to the formation of a Subcommittee on Design Review Boards which was appointed to make a full investigation into the divergent views on yhe merits of design review boards.
The committee listened to the views of those who thought that the powers granted to the boards represented potential threats to the freedom of expression of architects and other professionals. Some architects told of delays of projects and additional costs incurred by owners. Some architects felt that the boards encourage mediocrity. These and other critics supported the view that the AIA should not enunciate a policy on design review boards.
Those who were advocates of design review boards pointed out that there was an increasing public awareness of the quality of large scale environmental changes. They also pointed out that the public looks to the design professions to lead the way in the search for quality. These people felt that conventional master plans do not respond to the changing conditions adequately to safeguard environmental concerns. They argued that a design review board if properly constituted can meet those needs.
In communities where the historic districts encompass a wide range of styles and dates of construction, the writing of ordinances should take into account the potential of judgemental pit-
falls. Specifications of material, color and similarity to surrounding buildings can distract the attention of the committee to the superficialities of style, rather than the basic elements of design that effect the quality of the area.
The "Tiny Diner" sign case in Fernandina Beach can be cited as an example. The board members there view with horror the small lighted plastic sign that the owner of the charming little diner was able to install after circumventing the law. They view as a great victory the wooden "lolipop" sign that they made the Barnet Bank install following the guidelines of their ordenance. Unfortunately the correct sign is in front of an aestheticall plastic bank building. Somewhere the priorities got reversed.
Similarly in Tallahassee, Mrs. Dobson seemed overly con- ^j-cerned about one small painted sign in the Best Western Hotel park-ing lot. However she seemed very impressed with the firm's remodel-of the hotel that throughly emasculated the late "moderne" styling of the building. The view of the people we met in Tallahassee seems to be that real old is real good, but not too old is not too good.
Tallahassee seems to be in need of an ordinance and a design review committee that is' more far reaching and comprehensive v-" in its context. The committee should be funded well enough to maintain a small staff of professionals to investigate each proposal, and advise the^members of the board of their findings. They should encourage sensitive re-use of existing structures and the construction of sympathetic comtemporary design.
Section 6.14. Historical and Cultural Conservation District.
The provisions of the HC District are iii'irii'in! tn apply to urban areas where It is found that a concentra-tion of historical and culturul structures or premises exista. It egu latioos within the district are intended to: (1 ) protect against destruction of or encroachment upon such areas, structures, or premises; (2 ) to enroll rage uses which will lead to their continuance, conservation, and improvement in a manner appropriate to the preserva!ion of Tallahassee's cultural and historic herltuge; (S) to prevent the creation of environmental influences adverse to Buch purpoaea; and (4) to assure that new structures and uses within such districts will he in keeping1 with the character to he preserved or enhanced. In achieving1 these objectives, it is intended that the Planning- Commission shall encourage the participation of historica] associations and other organizations or individuals qualified by interest, training and experience.
(1) Single-family dwellings.
(2) Two-family dwellings.
(3) Multiple-family dwellings.
i < I Townhouscs,
(6) Apartment Hotels.
(G) Rooming and Boarding ho us en.
(7) Non-niedlcal offices and bit vices.
(H) Business off ice* and service*.
(9) Nu rut ng and rest homes.
(10) Churches and schools.
(11) Studios for photography, music, art, dance, drama & voice.
(12) Arta and craftB establishments.
(13) Apothecary shops.
(14) Home furnishing sales, excluding gas and electrical appliances.
(15) Antique shops, in completely enclosed structure with no outside storage. (]G) Jewelry shops,
(17) Retail bakery, confectionery, delicatessen and gourmet shops with products processed and sold only on the premises.
(18) Retaail apparel and accessories, dressmaking and tailoring.
(19) Restaurants, conventional.
(20) Books and stationery
(21) Florist Bliops.
(1) CuBtomary accessory Uses and structures in ci dental to one or mure permit ted uses and structures.
(1) Transient lodgings.
(2) Fraternity and sorority houses, private dormitories.
(3) Social, fraternal and recreational clubs and lodges.
(4) Universities, colleges, public technical and voca-tionul schools.
(G) Off-street parking facilities.
(G) Sales, lease, rental of business machines.
(7) Medical Offices and services.
(8) Convenience commercial uses as accessory to a residential, transient lodging or office use, limited to:
a. Beauty or barber Bhops, massage or health studio.
b. Laundromat, laundry and dry cleaning pick-up station.
c. NewuBtand or booksUire.
e. Apparel, gift or flower specialty shop.
f. Restaurant or delicatessen.
(9) Kindergarten, nurseries Hid child care facilities.
b. Applicable Provisions of Article XII! Section 13.2
Sub-Sections 1, 2, and 3.
Sub-Sertinn as In RM-3 Diatrlct.
Sub-Section us in RM-3 District.
Sub-Section as tn RM-S District-
Sub-Sectiona 1, .1, and as in RM-3 District.
a. Such uses do nut occupy mure than 50% of the gross floor area of the structure.
b. Public access shall be limited to interior corridors, arcades, or
c. No office supplies or other items shall be uold at retail.
a. Medical offices ehall be limited to private practice only and shull not include clinics or group facilities.
b. Medical laboratories for testing or for manufacture, assembly or repair is prohibited.
a. Such uses shall not occupy over 10% of the groes floor area of the structure.
b. Public access shall be limited to interior corridors, arcades or malls.
c. Signs shall be limited to a non-illuminated identification sign not exceeding 20 sq. ft. mounted flush to a building or wall.
d. The principal use shall contain a minimum of 76 dwelling units, 100 bedrooms, or 60,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area.
Sub-Section 5, specifically:
a. A Plan of Development be submitted providing for adequate safety and traffic controls to assure safety of children.
Single, two, three and four-family dwellings.
All multiple-family and transient lodgings.
4. Minimum Lot or Site Size
a. Lot or Site b. Lot Width c. Lot Depth Area
AS FOR THE RM-1 DISTRICT
10,000 sq. ft.
Townhouses and office cooperatives: Croup site size
8,000 sq. ft.
2,260 sq. ft.
. Minimum Building Setbacks
Front* b. Side-Interior c. Side-Corner d. Rear Lot Lot
15 ft. plus 1 ft. for each 2 ft. of building height between 35 ft. and 76 ft.
None except 1 ft. on a non-
Maximum Building CroupingLength : 10 units or 200 feet Minimum Building Grouping Lengths: 3 units or 4 feet
Maximum Building Restrictions
a. Lot Coveragi or Floor Area Ratio
FAR: 1:2 for first 3 stories; l:1.5-4th to 10th stories; 1 :1 all over 10 stories.
One-half of the
total area provided for off-street parking within or underneath a principal structure or in an accessory structure designed for vertical parking may be calculated as fluor area for purposes of complying with this rev] uirumeitt.
All other permitted uses.
None except 16 ft. on a non-
* See Section 9.9 If property Is beyond corporate limita of City of Tallahassee See Section 9.10 If proprty is located within the City of Tallahassee
(Ord. No. 78-0-1665, 2, 12-19-78)
Supp. No. 63
PROCESS FOR REVIEW OF REZONING APPLICATION
1 st working day
application property owner city commission couxtv commission planning commission
planning commission recommendation
county commission hearing
city commission' h2arinc
joint city 0?. county planning commission meeting
city OK county commission action
tallahassee-leon county planning department