[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Rocky Hill 2-19-2013 by Ord. No. 262-13. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby created an Architectural Review Advisory Board. The Board shall consist of three regular members and two alternates who shall be appointed by the Town Council in January following the biennial election. Terms will be for two years in accordance with the Town Charter. Any vacancy on the Board from whatever cause shall be filled by appointment of the Town Council for the unexpired portion of the term.
The Architectural Review Advisory Board shall be appointed by the Town Council. The Town Council shall appoint Board members who are not currently members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, who are residents of the Town of Rocky Hill and who are specifically qualified by reason of education, training or experience in architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, community planning, civil engineering, building trades, graphic arts or related fields.
At its initial meeting and at its first meeting on or after January 1 of each year thereafter commencing upon appointment, the Architectural Review Advisory Board shall elect from its members a Chairman and Vice Chairman. The presence of two members shall constitute a quorum to transact business. The Architectural Review Advisory Board shall adopt its own rules and procedures consistent with the terms of this chapter. Once rules and procedures are adopted they shall be reviewed by the Town Attorney for consistency with the Zoning Regulations and forwarded to the Town Council for approval before taking effect.
The purpose of the Architectural Review Advisory Board is to provide guidance in preserving and improving the appearance and aesthetics of the community and to protect Rocky Hill's architectural heritage. This will be accomplished by making recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town agencies on the design and aesthetics of future or pending development projects/applications prior to the rendering of any decisions by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The Architectural Review Advisory Board is also charged with developing guidelines for architectural design and appearance by creating a publication containing design standards appropriate to Rocky Hill.
Except as otherwise exempt pursuant to § 15-5 of this chapter, architectural review is required upon referral to the Architectural Review Advisory Board by the Planning and Zoning Commission for the following:
Commercial and multifamily developments requiring site plan review by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Other significant exterior changes to commercial and multifamily buildings, signage and landscaping which require a site plan modification by the Commission when referred to the Architectural Review Advisory Board by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Architectural Review Advisory Board shall meet at regularly scheduled meetings to consider applications filed directly with it or referred to it by the land use boards and Town agencies. The Architectural Review Advisory Board shall submit its advisory recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town agencies in writing at least five business days prior to the decision date of the Planning and Zoning Commission or Town agency on the application. The written report shall, to the extent feasible, include specific recommendations regarding plan modifications which the Architectural Review Advisory Board finds desirable based on the general architectural design guidelines developed by the Architectural Review Advisory Board. Reports shall be advisory and not compulsory and shall not delay any action on an application due to the failure of the Architectural Review Advisory Board to act in a timely manner.
Preliminary or conceptual plans may be submitted to the Architectural Review Advisory Board for review and comment prior to a formal submission to the Planning and Zoning Commission or Town agency. In such instances, the Architectural Review Advisory Board shall submit a report, together with its recommendations and suggestions, to the applicant no later than 30 days after receipt thereof.
The Architectural Review Advisory Board will develop and maintain architectural design guidelines to help applicants and owners understand design considerations in Rocky Hill. Such guidelines will be referred to the Town Attorney and Town Council for review and comment.
The Architectural Review Advisory Board will consider the following general issues:
The basic design for proposed buildings, signage and landscaping.
The relationship between buildings and the land as it relates to aesthetic value.
The relationship between uses and buildings/structures.
The overall physical appearance of proposed buildings/structures and signage and its compatibility/relationship with surrounding neighborhoods.
The relationship of width to height of new signage, buildings/structures and additions thereto.
Building and signage colors and materials.
The location, style and size of site and building lighting.
The blending of street and mechanical hardware into the overall design.
The impact on the historic significance of the site and the affected area.
Types, styles and colors of building materials, exterior facades and fenestration.
Special architectural features.
The following structures and improvements are exempt from architectural review.
Subdivision applications, including conservation design subdivisions.
Single-family structures and developments.
Commercial greenhouses in residential zones.
Group day-care homes.
Accessory structures consistent with provisions of the zoning regulations or approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Repairs and maintenance of site improvements or structures.
Construction, alteration, or maintenance by a public utility or public agency of underground or overhead utilities intended to service existing or nearby approved developments (e.g., water, gas, electric or telecommunications supply or disposal systems, including wires, mains, drains, sewers, pipes, conduits, cables, fire-alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants, and similar facilities and equipment).
Facade and landscape proposals utilizing grant money from the Silas Deane Highway Facade Improvement Program and other façade grant programs implemented by the Town.