Town of East Hampton, CT
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of East Hampton 4-25-2006 (Ord. No.  3.05). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Planning and Zoning Commission — See Ch. 104.
To ensure that development in the Town of East Hampton is in accord with the Plan of Conservation and Development and does not adversely affect surrounding properties, the Town Council establishes this Design Review Board (“DRB”) to serve as an advisory body to the Planning and Zoning Commission ("P&Z") and Zoning Board of Appeals (“ZBA”) on matters of commercial site and building design. The DRB is charged with reviewing all projects regarding nonresidential exterior construction and renovation submitted to the P&Z and ZBA, and suggesting ways to preserve, enhance and add to the design or appearance of proposed projects.
This chapter provides a set of guiding principles setting forth various aesthetic and functional provisions to guide nonresidential, commercial, office, industrial and public/quasi public development in the Town. The guiding principles are listed below. Over time, the Town may, by ordinance, amend this section, refine or expand these principles and add design concepts to reflect the changing desires of the community. It is anticipated that the principles and concepts herein will be incorporated into and supplemented by more detailed development standards and/or design guidelines as the Town matures.
To encourage high-quality land/site planning, architecture and landscape design;
To encourage development in keeping with the desired character of the Town and/or specific design attributes identified in plans adopted by the Town;
To ensure physical, visual, and functional compatibility between uses; and
To ensure proper attention is paid to site and architectural design, thereby protecting land values.
The designated approving authority under this chapter shall have the authority to apply the guiding principles flexibly to account for circumstances relating to the proposed site plan.
The DRB consists of seven members, including: two ex-officio members (Town Manager and Town Planner or their respective designees), and five full citizen members to be appointed by the Town Council for two-year terms. There shall also be two alternate members of the DRB, who shall be citizens appointed by the Town Council for two-year terms. Because the DRB benefits from a membership whose backgrounds and expertise are in the fields of architecture, arboriculture, site planning, landscape architecture, construction, historic preservation, professional engineering, commercial real estate, and graphic design, preference should be given to appointment of citizen members who are professionals in the above-mentioned or related fields.
DRB review is required of all nonresidential projects in the Town of East Hampton. “Project” is defined as new construction or exterior alterations or modifications requiring a building permit. Interior changes, ordinary maintenance and temporary emergency repairs shall not be considered projects. The Town Planner shall consider each application requiring a building permit for technical review and determine when referral to DRB review of the project is required. The DRB advisory opinion shall be rendered in sufficient time to enable the P&Z and ZBA to act upon the site plan within the time prescribed by state statute.
The Planning Department shall forward an applicant’s site plan drawings and any supporting materials that have been provided (such as color swatches and sample materials) to the DRB. Such drawings shall include a rendering of the overall design of the proposed project, including the elevation of the facade and all other exterior elevations abutting a public way, showing all fenestration, signs, and other architectural features, including the color and style of building materials and any architectural details or peculiarities. The DRB shall meet as required to review the applicant’s submission prior to P&Z and/or ZBA review. The DRB review shall be based upon the standards for review set forth in § 28-7 of this chapter. The DRB may recommend changes in scope, design, and materials relating to a project. After a majority vote, the DRB will then render its advisory opinion in writing in a method determined by the Planning Department to the appropriate commissions and board and to the applicant.
The P&Z and ZBA have the final authority to deny or approve all projects within their jurisdictions. The P&Z and ZBA may urge that the applicant make modifications to the proposed project as it deems necessary to conform to the DRB advisory opinion. The DRB advisory opinion shall not bind the P&Z and ZBA, but shall provide guidance to the P&Z and ZBA in the performance of their duties.
The DRB shall base its evaluation for project review on the following:
The compatibility with the Plan of Conservation and Development of the Town of East Hampton (the “POCD”) and existing zoning regulations as same may be amended from time to time (refer to §§ 28.1.C through 28.1.G).
The compatibility of a proposed architectural design with the architectural designs of existing adjacent buildings and the architectural character of the neighborhood as a whole.
The impact on the historical significance of the affected property/structure and other properties in the immediate area.
The compatibility of the landscape and layout on the parcel with the landscaping and layout of adjacent parcels.
The landscape treatment should enhance architectural features, strengthen vistas, and provide shade and other means of public comfort, and establish a desirable transition with the streetscape and provide safe pedestrian movement and parking.
Mechanical equipment or other utility hardware on the roof, ground, or building, service yards, refuse storage areas, dumpsters, and other places that tend to be unsightly should be screened from public view by use of walls, fencing, plantings, or a combination of the above, and should be equally effective in winter and summer.
Fencing, walls, paving, brick, stone, gravel and cobbles should be used where appropriate to enhance the project.
Exterior lighting should enhance the architectural and landscape design, and the lighting fixtures should be compatible with the design of the building and neighborhood.
Style and color of building materials should be in harmony with the design of the building and with adjacent buildings.
Relationship of width to height of new structures should be consistent with the ratio of existing adjacent buildings.
Landscaping of all open spaces and buffer zones, including the location, type, and size of all trees and shrubbery.
The lighting, design, materials, colors, size and location, but not content of signs.