City of Lebanon, PA
Lebanon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Where the term "front facade" is used in this article and a lot is adjacent to two or more streets, the front facade shall be considered the building side that faces onto the more heavily traveled street. The word "shall" means a provision is mandatory, while "should" means a provision is recommended.
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
(a) 
Encourage appropriate redevelopment and reuse of underutilized sites.
(b) 
Improve the appearance of the City's downtown and commercial areas.
(c) 
Enhance economic investment for businesses and property owners.
(d) 
Protect and conserve neighborhood architectural character.
(e) 
Enhance pedestrian safety and the quality of the pedestrian experience.
(f) 
Serve the purposes of the traditional neighborhood development provisions of the MPC, and utilize the authority provided under those provisions.
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
(a) 
Building compatibility.
(1) 
See the maximum building setback in § 1305.04(b).
(2) 
Where it is feasible to use an existing alley to provide access to a new garage door or parking area, such alley shall be used instead of creating a new curb cut onto a street across a sidewalk.
(3) 
A maximum of 50% of the front facade of a new principal building that faces onto a public street shall be comprised of exposed metal panels. Windows, doors and facade materials (such as materials with the appearance of brick or textured block) may be used in front of a metal sided building to meet this requirement. This provision does not apply to roofing materials.
(4) 
A new principal building over 150 feet in length along a street shall include variations in the front facade in rooflines, overhangs, architectural details, setbacks, colors and/or facade materials and/or use canopies, porches and awnings to provide variation. A long new principal building should have the appearance of smaller connected buildings.
(5) 
Blank walls without at least one pedestrian door and one window are not permitted to face the front facade along a public street.
(6) 
The applicant for a new principal building in the CBD District shall submit a preliminary architectural elevation or sketch of the front facade and a description of proposed front facade materials to the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer may offer the submittal to the City Planning Commission or other City staff or boards for review and comment.
(7) 
New exterior fire escapes shall not be constructed on the front facade of a building facing onto a public street, unless the applicant proves to the Zoning Officer that there are no feasible alternatives.
(8) 
Solid metal security gates over first-floor doors and windows that face onto a public street and that are within 50 feet of a public sidewalk are prohibited. Instead, any security gates shall be mostly transparent, such as using a metal grill.
(9) 
A new principal nonresidential building shall not have an exterior building side that faces onto a public street that is comprised of a total of more than 25% of any of the following materials combined: vinyl siding, aluminum siding, T-111 siding, or concrete masonry units that are not shot-blast or ground-face.
(10) 
A portion of new building occupied by a retail store shall have a minimum of 15% of at least one building side that faces onto a public street comprised of windows or transparent doors. This provision shall only apply to the street level of a building up to a height of 12 feet above the ground level. Such windows do not necessarily need to be open to the interior of the building, if there are security issues, but instead can be enclosed display windows.
(b) 
Site compatibility.
(1) 
To the maximum extent feasible, new surface off-street parking shall be located to the rear or side of principal buildings, as opposed to being newly placed between the front lot line along a street and the front wall of a new principal building. This provision shall not limit rearrangement of spaces within existing parking areas. This provision shall not prohibit vehicle parking to the side of a principal building adjacent to a street. If such lot is adjacent to two or more streets, this restriction shall only apply to the one street that is the most heavily traveled by vehicles.
(2) 
Chain-link exposed metal fencing shall not be placed in the front yard. Picket or ornamental fences are encouraged, or chain link that is coated in dark colored plastic. Highway-style metal guide rails should not be used on private property if visible from a street.
(3) 
See street tree, parking lot tree and other landscaping provisions in § 1361.04.
(c) 
Pedestrian orientation and safety.
(1) 
Pedestrian traffic shall be carefully considered in all drive-through designs, particularly to make sure there is adequate sight distances.
(2) 
Business buildings shall have their main pedestrian entrance facing a street or a pedestrian walkway/plaza or be located within a maximum of 30 feet from the front sidewalk along the street.
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
The following recommended guidelines should be considered in the design of new construction, additions and exterior alterations. Some of these features may be required by other sections of this title in specific cases. The provisions in §§ 1307.01 and 1307.02 should also be used as recommended guidelines in districts where a provision is not required.
(a) 
Site compatibility.
(1) 
See buffer yard requirements in § 1313.03(d), including provisions addressing eye-level views through plantings for security purposes along a street.
(2) 
Vehicle parking and any garage doors should be placed to the rear of buildings as opposed to between buildings and the street. A rear or side alley should be used for garage or parking access when feasible for dwellings. Where rear parking is not practical, then parking should be provided to the side of a building. Where a residential driveway needs to enter from the front, the garage should be setback further from the street than the front facade of a principal residential building, and the driveway should be as narrow as practical through the front yard. If a residential driveway is necessary in the front of a lot, the curb cut should be a maximum of 10 feet wide, except 20 feet may be necessary for a driveway serving multiple units or that serves side-by-side parking spaces.
(3) 
Shared parking among property owners and businesses is encouraged where adequate parking spaces exist for shared usage.
(4) 
Landscaping, low walls that have the appearance of brick, or similar features should be used to buffer parking lots from streets, provided that there is still sufficient views into the parking area at eye level (approximately four feet to five feet) for security purposes.
(5) 
Various signs on a property should be coordinated. Internally illuminated signs of box-type construction with a plastic face should be avoided. Signs should not cover architectural details. Awnings that extend at a straight angle from a building are encouraged to provide continuity along a block front and weather protection. Awnings should be used to reduce the visibility of roll-down security gate mechanisms. The front panel of an awning may be used for a sign, but the sign image should be integrated with the awning and the awning should have the appearance of a fabric-type material.
(6) 
Adequate lighting shall be provided for security, but in a manner that does not generate glare. In historic areas, traditional styles of light poles should be used, with a maximum height of 20 feet. The unfiltered luminaire itself (such as in a floodlight) should not be directly visible from a street or sidewalk.
(7) 
Chain-link metal fences should be avoided in the front yard. Picket or ornamental fences are encouraged. Solid wooden or vinyl plank fences should be placed in rear and side yards only. Highway-style metal guide rails should not be used.
(8) 
New utilities should be placed underground. Where that is not practical, they should be placed in less visible parts of the site. For example, new utility lines should be extended from the rear of the property instead of the front. New utility meters should be hidden from view from the street frontage.
(9) 
See trash dumpsters screening and location standards in § 1313.06.
(10) 
Where new sidewalks are constructed, consideration should be given to using pervious pavers between the main concrete sidewalk and the curb.
(b) 
Building compatibility.
(1) 
New construction should have a front yard setback that is similar to adjacent older buildings, where there is a predominant setback of less than 30 feet from the street.
(2) 
Awnings should be used to add visual interest and to provide cover during rainy weather.
(3) 
Modern additions and features should be placed towards the rear of a historic building.
(4) 
New construction should have rooflines that are similar to adjacent older buildings. Flat roofs should be avoided, except when a decorative cornice is used. Where a pitched roof is not practical, then the roof should at least appear to have angles and a pitch when viewed from the street.
(5) 
Where existing older buildings have a certain spacing of windows and doors, similar spacing, and similar sizes of windows and doors, should be continued in new construction. Blank walls without door and window openings should be avoided along a street.
(6) 
Particularly where most buildings along a block have front porches, a front porch should be incorporated into new construction. Existing older front porches should be maintained and not be enclosed.
(7) 
Tractor-trailer truck loading docks are discouraged from being visible from a street.
(8) 
Where allowed by the City, an applicant should consider offering the option in a building of a live/work unit, such as a building that encourages a person to work on the first floor and live in the upper stories.
(9) 
Standard franchise-brand facades should be modified in such a way as to become compatible with the character of historic areas.
(10) 
Every effort should be made to rehabilitate and reuse older buildings that have historic architecture. If a building cannot feasibly be reused, then consideration should be given to building a new building behind a significant restored facade.
(11) 
Along streets in other districts where two or more story buildings are common, single-story buildings should be avoided, unless they have the appearance of a two-story building when viewed from the front along the street.
(12) 
Overly garish or day-glow colors should be avoided on commercial buildings. Colors should highlight architectural details and character, and be compatible with the neighborhood context.
(13) 
Buildings should avoid long, monotonous, uninterrupted walls. Instead, there should be variations in a front facade, such as changes in building setbacks, colors, details, materials or rooflines.
(14) 
Commercial HVAC systems should be screened from view from the front of a lot using walls, fencing, roof elements or landscaping.
Variation in new construction:
1307Variation.tif
Make a new long building appear to be comprised of smaller buildings by varying colors, cornices, awnings and details.
(15) 
Noisy or odor-producing ventilation equipment (such as fast food restaurant exhaust fans) should be placed as far away from dwellings as is feasible.
(c) 
Pedestrian safety and orientation.
(1) 
Pedestrian crosswalks should be provided along arterial street corridors using materials and colors that visually distinguish the crosswalk from the street surface and that include some texture. A method should be used that is durable, instead of simply being adhered to the top of the asphalt.
(2) 
Pedestrian traffic should be separated from major vehicle routes. Developments should be designed in such a way as to be inviting for pedestrian traffic and to provide convenient walking routes from any public transit stops.
(3) 
Individual buildings and pedestrian entrances and parking areas should be laid out to promote pedestrian access among different uses, and to provide pedestrian connections towards bus and rail stops.
1307(3).tif
(4) 
Pedestrian-related uses and features providing visual interest and vitality for pedestrians are encouraged along main streets. Storefronts, pedestrian entrances and display windows should relate to the street, rather than be focused directly towards a parking lot. Large parking lots, blank building faces and nonpedestrian-related uses are discouraged along major pedestrian streets.
(5) 
Concrete sidewalks should be used for the main route used by wheelchairs and most unmotored pedestrians. Pervious pavers should be used to add decorative elements along the curb, and to allow water and air to reach street trees.
Pervious paving strip use:
1307(5)paving.tif
Use pervious pavers in areas that are not the primary wheelchair and pedestrian pathway.
(6) 
Where there will be a major pedestrian crossing of a busy street, a pedestrian and wheelchair refuge island should be considered, so that they only have to cross one direction of traffic at a time.
Street crossing refuge island:
1307(6)crossing.tif
Along wide streets, consider construction of a refuge island for bicyclists and pedestrians, so that they do not need to cross all lanes of traffic at one time.
(7) 
Sight distance requirements are addressed in § 1303.03. Signs should also be considered to warn pedestrians and motorists of areas where there are limited sight distances.
Sight distance remedy:
1307(7)sight.tif
Where an alley or parking lot entrance cannot be designed with adequate sight distances of pedestrians, warning signs should be used for both pedestrians and motorists.
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
(a) 
These provisions recognize the CBD District as a unique area with important historical and architectural resources. The regulations of this section are intended to serve the following major purposes:
(1) 
To protect the existing physical character and historic streetscape identity of the CBD District, which includes areas on the National Register of Historic Places.
(2) 
To provide a mechanism to review proposals for alterations to buildings to ensure consistency with established design guidelines for the area.
(3) 
To encourage continued use, appropriate rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of buildings.
(4) 
To strengthen the local economy by promoting downtown business activity, improving property values and increasing investment in older buildings.
(b) 
Authorization. The regulations for this district are authorized by the following sections of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code:[1]
(1) 
Section 603(b)(2),[2] which enables zoning ordinances to permit, prohibit, regulate, restrict and determine the size, height, bulk, location, erection, construction, repair, maintenance, alteration, razing, removal and use of structures;
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10603(b)(2).
(2) 
Section 603(g)(2),[3] which states that zoning ordinances shall provide for the protection of natural and historic features and resources;
[3]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10603(g)(2).
(3) 
Section 605(2)(i),[4] which enables zoning ordinances to provide classifications within any zoning district for the regulation, restriction or prohibition of uses and structures at, along or near places having unique historical, architectural or patriotic interest or value; and
[4]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10605(2)(i).
(4) 
The regulations for this district are authorized by Article VII-A (Traditional Neighborhood Development) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10701-A et seq.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(c) 
Applicability.
(1) 
This section shall apply to the exterior of the primary or front facade of buildings. Where a building is located on the corner of two streets (not including an alley), this section shall also apply to the side facade.
(2) 
If the standards of this section and of another provision of this title both apply to the exact same matter, the provision that is most restrictive upon alteration, development and use shall apply.
(3) 
This section shall apply if the following are proposed: a) a new principal building is proposed, b) an expansion of a building of more than 500 square feet of floor area, c) an alteration of a front facade is proposed that is visible from a public street that is not an alley, such as removal or covering of existing architectural features or the changes in the size of window or door openings, or d) a new sign is proposed that will have a sign area of more than 20 square feet.
(4) 
A review under this section is not required if approval of the change is required under the HO Historic Overlay District provisions.
(d) 
Application procedures.
(1) 
At the time an applicant applies for any activity regulated by this section, the following additional information shall be submitted:
A. 
A narrative describing the proposed work, including a description of exterior building materials proposed to be used; a description of any existing architectural features proposed to be changed, removed or covered; a description of any proposed sign to be installed; and a description of any window or door openings proposed to be changed in size or enclosed.
B. 
Detailed plans and illustrations of the proposed work.
C. 
Photographs of the existing building conditions, as well as adjoining properties and the remaining streetscape and historic photos if available.
D. 
Such other information as may reasonably be required to determine compliance with this section.
(e) 
Review procedures.
(1) 
Applications for any activity regulated by this section shall be forwarded to the CBD Review Board for review. Until such time as the CBD Review Board is formed or if such Board becomes inactive, the Main Street Organization Committee or its designee committee (such as a Design Committee) shall be authorized to serve in this capacity. If the Main Street Organization Committee becomes inactive, then the City Planning Commission shall serve this role.
(2) 
The Review Board shall meet within 20 days after receipt of a completed application. Within five days after the meeting at which the project is considered, the Review Board shall make advisory recommendations to the Zoning Officer, the applicant, the Zoning Hearing Board and/or other agencies and staff as may be necessary as to the compliance of the proposed alteration with this section.
A. 
If the Review Board fails to meet within 20 days of receipt of the application and/or fails to make recommendations within five days after the meeting, the application may be moved towards zoning approval without a recommendation.
(3) 
The Zoning Officer shall then determine whether the application meets the requirements to be granted a zoning permit.
(4) 
If one review has occurred by the Review Board, then additional reviews shall not be required concerning the same activity provided the proposal does not change in substance.
(f) 
Design guidelines. In conducting their review of any application pursuant to this section, the CBD Review Board shall consider the application's consistency with the design guidelines in Article 1307.
(1) 
Sign guidelines. In addition to the sign provisions for any underlying zoning district, and the design guidelines of this Article 1307, the following guidelines should apply within the CBD District:
A. 
Awning signs.
1. 
Awnings should be constructed of fabric or other durable, flexible material that has the appearance of fabric. No vinyl, plastic or aluminum awnings should be permitted.
2. 
Front awnings with signs should have straight slope, whether fixed or retractable. Dome or bubble shaped awnings should be avoided.
3. 
Interior illumination of awning signs should be avoided.
B. 
Wall signs.
1. 
Wall signs should be flush-mounted to the building. Box signs should be avoided.
2. 
Lettering and symbols on wall signs may be painted, carved, raised, mounted or created with neon tubing.
3. 
Signs should not cover up windows, but may be painted on window glass.
4. 
Wall signs should be illuminated indirectly from an overhead light source. Interior illumination or backlighting of wall signs should be avoided, except where the sign consists of individual letters or has letters cut out of the main surface of the sign. Neon lighting or signs using similar gases should be avoided as a frame around an entire window or building.
(g) 
Emergency exception. If immediate approval is needed because of a hazard to public safety in the determination of the Construction Codes Official or his/her designee, a permit may be issued before review and approval under this section. However, such approval shall be for the minimum change necessary to address the public safety hazard, and any architectural details that were removed shall be retained. The change shall then be reviewed under this section, and the Zoning Officer may require any removed architectural details to be reinstalled after any necessary repairs.