Village of Maple Bluff, WI
Dane County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
It is hereby declared a matter of public policy that the design, appearance, beauty and aesthetics of all public and private buildings, structures, landscaping and open areas are a matter of public concern and as such must be controlled so as to promote the general welfare of the community.
B. 
The purpose of this article is to:
(1) 
Assure the highest quality of design for all public and private projects in the Village.
(2) 
Protect and improve the general appearance of all buildings, structures, landscaping and open areas in the Village, to encourage the protection of economic values and proper use of properties.
(3) 
Encourage and promote a high quality in the design of new buildings, remodeling and additions so as to maintain and improve the established standards of property values within the Village.
(4) 
Foster civic pride in the beauty of the Village and in all other ways possible assure a functionally efficient and visually attractive Village in the future.
(5) 
Encourage design which respects the attributes of the site, its buildings and structures and surrounding buildings, structures, and properties.
(6) 
Maintain and enhance the character of the Village.
(7) 
Protect the public health, safety, comfort, and general welfare.
C. 
The Building Board shall endeavor to ensure that the building design, the relationship of the building to the site, the relationship of the building and site design to the surrounding area, landscaping and site treatment, signs, and exterior lighting, fences, and miscellaneous fixtures are designed in accordance with the standards set forth below. Architectural style is not restricted; rather, evaluation of the project shall be based on the quality of its design and its relationship to the pattern and character of development on surrounding properties.
A. 
All new buildings, additions to existing buildings or structures, major exterior alterations of existing buildings or structures, and landscaping or screening done in conjunction with new buildings or additions shall require approval of the Building Board and shall be designed, erected, and maintained in compliance with this chapter, with all applicable federal and state laws, and with Chapter 90, Building Construction and Fire Prevention, and other applicable codes of the Village of Maple Bluff not in conflict with this chapter. All signs requiring a sign permit under § 225-93 shall also require approval by the Building Board. Such signs shall be subject to applicable design requirements in Article XVIII instead of § 225-30. Design review may consist of a two-step process:
[Amended 6-9-2015]
(1) 
Schematic design review.
(2) 
Comprehensive review (which may require review by consulting professionals).
B. 
Schematic design review focuses on site plan, building massing, relation to structures on adjacent property, exterior elevations and building materials. Schematic design review is considered a preliminary review in which the applicant and/or his/her architect or builder shall present and discuss the basics of the project with the Building Board before a final draft is prepared for the comprehensive review. The site plan shall include erosion control measures, and disposition and management of stormwaters, during both construction and post-construction phases.
[Amended 8-14-2012]
C. 
Following the schematic design review, the Building Board shall either grant or deny preliminary approval. The Building Board may also table and postpone to a subsequent meeting any decision on schematic design review upon the request of the applicant or if, in the Building Board's judgment, the materials submitted by the applicant are insufficient to allow the Building Board to determine if a proposed project complies with the relevant provisions of this chapter.
D. 
A decision granting or denying preliminary approval shall be made upon motion and vote by the Building Board. In granting preliminary approval, the Building Board shall specify those aspects of the proposed plans which are approved and any aspects which are not approved and may set certain conditions which must be satisfied by the applicant prior to the final comprehensive review. In denying preliminary approval, the Building Board shall specify the reason(s) for such denial. The Building Board may also provide suggestions to an applicant with the proposed changes to plans which may be made by the applicant in order for such plans to comply with the provisions of this chapter. If during the first meeting at which plans are reviewed the Building Board decides to proceed directly to approval of the plan as submitted, the Building Board may choose not to apply the foregoing procedures concerning preliminary schematic design review and may proceed directly to comprehensive review.
E. 
Comprehensive review consists of a final, thorough evaluation of the site plan, floor plans, elevation drawings (of the applicant's proposed building and those of adjacent buildings if requested by the Building Board), building materials, landscape plan, and any other plans required per this chapter. The site plan shall address in detail erosion control measures, and the disposition and management of stormwaters during both construction and post-construction phases. The comprehensive review phase may be continued to a subsequent meeting date if necessary to complete the review. Following the comprehensive review phase, the Building Board shall grant or deny the issuance of a building permit. A decision granting or denying the issuance of a building permit shall be made upon motion and vote by the Building Board and in the event of a denial shall specify the reason(s) for such denial.
[Amended 8-14-2012]
F. 
An applicant shall submit to the Building Board such materials in support of his or her application as are sufficient to demonstrate that the proposed project complies with the provisions of this chapter. It is the obligation of the applicant to determine the nature of those materials submitted, considering the scope of the proposed project and the particular provisions in this chapter which apply to the evaluation of the plans. Typically, a site plan, elevation drawings and/or photographs are required. The materials must show the existing structures, the manner in which any structure will be changed and any proposed new structures. An applicant is encouraged to seek guidance from Village staff and/or the Chairman of the Building Board concerning the appropriate materials to be submitted in order to ensure that the evaluation of an application is not delayed to a later meeting.
G. 
The applicable regulations of other codes shall continue to apply with full force and effect to all properties in the Village. However, if this chapter conflicts with other Village regulations, the regulations which are more restrictive or which impose higher standards or requirements shall govern.
In reviewing plans for development in the Village, the Building Board shall consider in each case those of the following requirements and guidelines as may be appropriate. The overall design of each project shall be of high quality.
A. 
Site planning.
(1) 
Grading. The grading of public and private land in the Village shall meet the following requirements and conform as much as possible to the following guidelines:
(a) 
Requirements. Grading shall ensure positive drainage consistent with applicable ordinances of the Village; such as Erosion Control and Stormwater Codes.[1] In the event an erosion control permit and/or storm water control permit is not required under Chapter 115 of this Code, the grading shall nevertheless be done in such manner as to not materially alter surface water drainage from the site, or otherwise substantially increase the rate of flow or volume of stormwater discharge from the site, or otherwise affect the flow of surface waters on adjoining properties. All grading shall allow for the installation and maintenance of appropriate landscape materials.
[Amended 8-14-2012]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 115, Erosion Control and Stormwater Management.
(b) 
Guidelines. Grading may create earth forms which add interest to the existing topography. Respect for the natural topography in site development will also be important.
(2) 
Landscaping. The landscaping of public and private land in the Village shall meet the following requirements and conform as much as possible to the following guidelines:
(a) 
Requirements. Landscaping shall be used for a functional as well as decorative purpose, including framing desirable views, screening unattractive features and views, screening different uses from each other, and complementing the architectural massing of the building.
(b) 
Guidelines. Landscaping should express the unique natural beauty of the Village. There should be a variety of trees and shrubs in group plantings, alternated and dispersed in order to create some variety. While indigenous species will be favored, they should be in scale with the buildings and complement the topography.
[1] 
Landscaping shall be designed to maintain existing mature trees and shrubs to the maximum extent possible; and
[2] 
Landscaping shall provide an aesthetically pleasing design and, where applicable, shall provide for the screening of parking, storage, refuse, and utility areas from the street and adjacent residential properties.
(3) 
Building relationships. The siting of structures on public and private land in the Village shall meet the following requirements and conform as much as possible to the following guidelines:
(a) 
Requirements. The structures shall be related to the site to enhance or maintain current contours. New development shall consider activities on adjacent properties with relation to access from abutting streets, parking areas, service areas, building setbacks, height of structures, architectural style and color and materials of adjacent or nearby buildings, and views of the lake.
(b) 
Guidelines.
[1] 
In the development of the site, the existing quality vegetation should ordinarily be maintained.
[2] 
In the siting of new structures, consideration shall be given to:
[a] 
Relating attractively to neighboring properties and existing landscape forms.
[b] 
Recognizing the unique beauty of the lakeshore as well as the established pattern of our community.
[c] 
Providing enhanced development of Village property.
[d] 
Protecting the viewshed of the lake for nearby properties that are impacted by the subject structure.
[3] 
The scale and the placement of the structure on the site shall be appropriate to the site in terms of the proportion of the site covered by the structure and the location of the structure in relation to lot lines.
[4] 
Building design and placement shall take into consideration natural grade conditions, existing vegetation, and other natural features.
[5] 
Excessive similarity or dissimilarity in design in relation to surrounding or adjoining structures, including but not limited to predominant building height, exterior materials, building mass, roofline, and architectural features, shall be discouraged.
[6] 
Design shall take into consideration the relationship to the street and the pedestrian environment.
[7] 
Parking, storage, and refuse areas shall be located and screened so as not to affect negatively neighboring properties.
B. 
Lighting. Exterior lighting shall be adequate and in keeping with the character of the structure but not so excessive as to impact neighbors. Applicants shall be required to demonstrate that all exterior lighting will not spill onto neighboring properties.
C. 
Utility service. It shall be a goal of this Village to eliminate overhead wiring within the Village. To this end, owners of property within the Village, working with the Madison Gas and Electric Company and telephone and cable television licensees, shall, in all new developments and major additions, make provision for underground service. Whenever possible this shall be accomplished during building development and construction. When it is not possible, certification of the fact that provisions have been made for the timely placement of service underground, signed by representatives of each company, shall appear on plans submitted to the Maple Bluff Building Board for review.
D. 
Screening of undesirable views. Such areas as rubbish and trash storage, mechanical systems, air conditioners and lower portions of exterior wood decks shall be screened to block the view from any point outside the property. Acceptable screening may consist of any of the following or combinations thereof:
(1) 
Principal or accessory buildings.
(2) 
Earth berms.
(3) 
Masonry walls.
(4) 
Hedges.
(5) 
Trees.
(6) 
Decorative fences.
E. 
Building design. Buildings shall meet the following requirements and conform as much as possible to the following guidelines.
(1) 
Requirements.
(a) 
Materials and colors shall be durable and harmonious with each other and with other buildings in the neighborhood. Proportion and level of detail and finish shall be consistent with the design intent of adjoining structures.
(b) 
Mechanical elements mounted on the roof or ground shall be screened from the view of adjacent properties and streets and muffled for sound.
(c) 
Highest quality design in architecture shall be the goal of Village. Buildings shall be designed to complement and enrich the character of the Village. Building component massing, materials, textures, and colors shall be consistent with this character.
(d) 
Fences shall be evaluated based on compatibility with neighboring structures in terms of appearance, materials, design, location and the resulting restriction of light, air or view.
(e) 
Untreated lumber shall not be considered an acceptable finish as a fence, deck or railing material.
(f) 
An addition shall relate to the existing building in terms of scale, proportion, balance, materials, roof form and pitch, detail, color and original building design intent.
(2) 
Guidelines.
(a) 
Compatibility. Structures should be designed to be compatible with the structures that are adjacent to them.
(b) 
Facades. Large unbroken exterior facades should be avoided.
(c) 
Elevations. All building elevations are of importance and should be carefully designed. Roof surfaces should be considered as part of the overall design and relate to existing form and slope in additions to existing structures.
(d) 
Height. The height of a structure or building and adjacent open spaces after any proposed alteration or construction should be compatible with the style and character of the structure or building and with surrounding structures and buildings.
(e) 
Relationship between mass and open space. The relationship between a structure or building and adjacent open spaces after alteration should be compatible with the relationship between surrounding structures, buildings and adjacent open spaces.
(f) 
Relationship among height, width and scale. The relationship among height, width, and scale of a structure or building after an alteration should be compatible with the relationship among height, width, and scale of surrounding structures and buildings.
(g) 
Directional expression. The directional expression of a structure or building after alteration should be compatible with the directional expression of surrounding structures and buildings.
(h) 
Architectural details, general design, materials, textures, and colors. The architectural details, general design, materials, textures, and colors of a structure or building after alteration should be compatible with the architectural details, general design, materials, textures, and colors of surrounding structures and buildings.
(i) 
Garages. Where possible, garages should be "side loaded" versus fronting up on the street. If a garage is on the street facade of a dwelling, the garage should be set back at least one foot from the facade of the dwelling. Further, the width of the dwelling portion of the structure should be at least five feet wider than the width of the garage.
F. 
Exceptions to floor area ratio (FAR).[2] The Building Board may increase the FAR for a single-family residence in the "A" and "B" Residence Districts. In reviewing the FAR increase, the Building Board may consider the following mitigating criteria:
(1) 
If the property adjoins or is opposite a public open space or park.
(2) 
If other residences along the same side of the street adjoining the residence have similar FARs.
(3) 
If the lot has large trees and/or mature landscaping which obscures the scale of the residence.
(4) 
If the property has unique topographic features which reduce the scale of the residence.
(5) 
If the residence setback from the public street is significantly greater than minimum requirements.
[2]
Editor's Note: See also the table "Residential District Floor Area Ratio" included at the end of Art. VII.
The Building Board meets monthly. The applicant or a representative shall appear before the Board to present the plans.
A. 
Filing deadline. Plans are due to the office of the Village Administrator at least 14 calendar days before the meeting. For projects involving only a change of windows, a minor change in roof pitch, a cosmetic change in exterior finish or review of a landscape plan, the filing deadline shall be three working days before the meeting.
B. 
Notification requirement. Notice shall be provided per § 225-17, Public notice requirements, of this chapter. No notice shall be required for projects involving identical window replacements, a minor change in roof pitch, a cosmetic change in exterior finish or review of a landscape plan.