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§ 14-703. Form And Design.

The general purpose of this section is to:

(a) Allow full development of properties consistent with the dimensional standards established in § 14-701 and the Floor Area Bonuses established in § 14-702, while establishing baseline requirements for building and site features that will create stable residential neighborhoods, commercial, and industrial areas.

(b) Enhance the public realm.

(c) Ameliorate conflict between existing and new structures.

(d) Encourage effective development of street frontages and other public elements that enable new projects to add value to existing communities.

(e) Encourage creative and sustainable design responses to contemporary opportunities.

(f) Improve the overall design quality of the city through the use of objective standards that can be administered by L&I without the need for individualized design review of projects, except in those cases covered by § 14-304(5) (Civic Design Review).

(a) The standards of this section shall apply to all development, except for the following:

(.1) Detached and semi-detached buildings in which the principal use is single-family or two-family residential;

(.2) A change in the principal use of an existing structure, provided that the structure is not altered; or

(.3) Structures in which the principal use is one of the following use categories or subcategories, as described in Chapter 14-600 (Use Regulations):

(.a) Park and open space;

(.b) Utilities and services, basic;

(.c) Utilities and services, major;

(.d) Wireless service facility;

(.e) Parking, non-accessory;

(.f) Urban agriculture; or

(.g) Industrial.

(b) Unless otherwise expressly stated, the standards of § 14-703(4) (Attached Building Design Standards) apply to each group of five or more attached buildings developed as part of a single development project in any zoning district.

(c) Unless otherwise expressly stated, the standards of § 14-703(5) (Multi-Family Residential, Commercial, and Institutional) apply in RM-2, RM-3, RM-4, RMX-3, and Commercial Districts to:

(.1) Multi-family buildings that contain 10 or more residential units; and to

(.2) Lots that are at least 10,000 sq. ft. or buildings with at least 10,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area.

(d) In the case of any conflict between the form and design standards of this section and designs recommended as part of the Civic Design Review process in § 14-304(5), the form and design standards of this section shall govern.

(e) In the case of any conflict between the form and design standards of this section and design standards applicable to a particular project because of its location in an overlay district listed in Chapter 14-500 (Overlay Zoning Districts) or because of a use-specific standard in § 14-603 (Use-Specific Standards) the provisions of the overlay district or use-specific standard shall govern.

Zoning permit applications must, if subject to the provisions of this § 14-703 (Form and Design), include a site plan and elevation drawings prepared by a licensed architect or a licensed professional civil engineer that demonstrates compliance with the standards of this § 14-703 (Form and Design).

New utility meters must be hidden from view from the street frontage.

The intent of these standards is to promote development of buildings that enhance their surroundings through facades that contribute to street activity, the safe circulation of pedestrians and bicycles to and around buildings, and reduced visibility of utilities and equipment related to buildings.

(a) Site Design.

(.1) Entries.

Each principal building shall have one or more entry doors facing and visible from an adjacent public street.

(.2) Screening.

Utility equipment, transformers, ground mounted chillers or cooling towers, and loading docks including trash loading facilities shall be located in areas that are not visible from adjacent public streets or nearby residential uses, or shall be screened from view. Screening shall be opaque and may include configuration of buildings, permitted fences, lattice structures, topographical changes, and/or plants. Rooftop-mounted equipment shall be screened from view from adjacent public streets, public spaces, or nearby residential uses through the use of parapet walls, roof design configuration, or equipment screens at least as tall as the equipment being screened.

(.3) Access.

(.a) When the lot abuts uses in the parks and open space use categories that are administered by DPR, the site design shall provide access for building occupants to the adjacent parks and open space use if appropriate and permitted by DPR.

(.b) Where the Commission's Philadelphia Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan show a bicycle or pedestrian path or trail abutting the application site, the site design shall provide connections to those paths or trails.

(.4) Multi-Building Projects.

The standards in this § 14-703(5) (Multi-Family Residential, Commercial, and Institutional) shall apply to each building that would be considered a principal building as if it were the only building on the lot.

(b) Building Design.

(.1) Facade Articulation.

Facade articulation is required for each building frontage that is greater than 100 ft. wide and that faces a public street 40 ft. or wider. The intent is to ensure that public streets will not be fronted by featureless, monolithic walls. Between the average ground level and a height of 25 ft., a minimum of 30% of the wall area must include one or more of the following features listed in subsections (.a) through (.c).

(.a) Ornamental and structural detail;

(.b) Projections, recesses, bays, overhangs, or other variations in planes; or

(.c) Transparent windows or other transparent glazed area.

(.2) Exposed Side Walls.

The following standards apply to the exposed portion of a wall abutting a side lot line.

(.a) The total height of the exposed portion of a wall abutting a side lot line may be a maximum of 25 ft. in height without any required facade articulation.

(.b) When the exposed portion of a building wall abutting a side lot line exceeds 25 ft in height, the portion of the wall above 25 ft. must have at least 15% of its total surface consisting of articulation that indicates the floor level or implied window openings or other elements and materials to provide visual relief consistent with the architecture of the building and the neighborhood. This may be accomplished by, but is not limited to:

(.i) blind windows,

(.ii) material color or texture change,

(.iii) architectural screens, lattices, or baffles, or

(.iv) articulated structural spandrels.

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