[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Scarsdale 3-26-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In considering an application for a building permit for houses that may appear to be out-of-scale, the Board of Architectural Review may consider the extent to which the house successfully employs design techniques which reduce the appearance of scale and aid in keeping the house in scale with those houses to which they are adjacent and which are located on similarly sized lots in the neighborhood. Also, in considering an area variance application that would allow a house to exceed the maximum permitted FAR pursuant to § 310-102, the Zoning Board of Appeals may consider the extent to which the house successfully employs such design techniques. The design guidelines set forth below illustrate ways in which new or expanded houses may reduce the appearance of scale, thereby blending in with the established character of the neighborhood. However, the Board of Architectural Review, the Zoning Board of Appeals and the applicant shall not be limited to the guidelines set forth below and may consider other design techniques which reduce the appearance of scale and preserve neighborhood character. Wherever possible, additions should be placed to the rear of the main or principal structure, at a height below the principal structure, with a different roofline than the principal structure, and stepped back from the side walls of the principal structure.
If additions are placed to the side of the main or principal structure, such addition should have, wherever possible:
Additions to the front of the house are discouraged, unless they are covered entryways, porticoes or open porches. If additions are placed to the front of the main or principal structure, the addition should not completely obscure the facade of the principal structure or the main entry. More specifically, the addition should have, wherever possible:
Shallow-pitched rooflines should be avoided, particularly on squat, rectangular building forms; rooflines should be visually proportional to the part of the structure that the roof covers. In general, the vertical distance between the eave and the highest point of the roof should be about the same height as one of the building stories.
Where attached garages are provided, they should be set back from the front building facade, preferably with the garage doors facing the side or rear. The roofline of the attached garage should be different from the portion of the structure to which it is attached. Where the garage entryway must face the street, double-wide garage doors should be avoided. No more than one living story should be located over the garage, unless the garage is below grade and faces the side or rear property line. The roof height of the attached garage should be lower than that of the principal structure.
Projections or recessed building elements should be used to create breaks in the plane or front facade of a house. Changes in the roofline or the addition of roof elements may also reduce the appearance of scale of the house. Examples of such elements include projecting eaves, dormers, decorative chimneys, porticos, open porches, outdoor stairways and stoops.
Undifferentiated rectangular building forms and rooflines should be avoided. The mass of the house should be broken into two or more complementary forms with differing heights and setback lines and with distinct rooflines and building planes. These "broken planes" create architectural texture and variety, helping to reduce the overall appearance of scale.
Enclosing existing open porches should be avoided since this can add to the appearance of scale.
The incorporation of design elements such as those discussed above which reduce the appearance of the scale of the house is the preferred method of maintaining the character of the neighborhood and community. However, where these or other design techniques cannot be utilized, are not appropriate, or are insufficient to reduce the appearance of scale, the planting of vegetation to screen the house should be utilized to reduce the visual impact of a house. The use of walls, fences or berms to provide such screening is discouraged.