Danedri Thompson
[email protected]
Builders will now have a guide prior to bringing plans to the Gardner Planning Commission and Gardner City Council.
Council members adopted design standards for new construction during a council meeting on Dec. 6.
Amy Kennard, city planner, said the standards will encourage high quality design that compliments the architecture, landscapes, history and culture of the Gardner community.
“Today, we do not have this level of detail,” assistant city administrator
Melissa Mundt told council. “This actually shows (developers) what we’re interested in up front.”
Kennard said as the planning commission considered design standards they wanted to create a policy that was flexible.
Using nine principles of architectural design, the approved 20-page Design Standards document details what sorts of materials can be used for construction, how long a storefront awning can be and requires that developers submit a project-based color palette for approval.
For example, in the color section of the city’s design standards reads:
“Primary façade colors shall be low-reflecting and subtle. Intense, bright, or fluorescent colors are prohibited façade colors.”
The code requires that developments with more than one building have harmony. For example, the standards read: “Buildings in areas with an established architectural character that is consistent with the spirit and intent of the Gardner Design Standards (as determined by Community
Development Director or designee) shall be compatible with or complement the established character of the area in terms of individual elements that define the character.”
Now that the council and planning commission have addressed archictectual design elements through a series of amendments to the city’s building code,
Mundt told council members that city staff and the planning commission will address further areas of design including landscaping, site design, screening, signage and more.
Mundt said the architectural design standards were a long-term process.
“This partial item has taken 25 hours per week of (Kennard’s) time for the last six months,” Mundt said.
Planning Commissioners intend to begin addressing landscaping and screening in the city’s code in the early part of 2011.