The neighborhood is a key element in the structure of the city.  It is where people live and raise their families.  Neighborhoods combine to weave the fabric of the community and establish a need for employment, commercial, and recreational activities.

The purpose of this design guide is to clearly define and communicate those features that combine to establish strong neighborhood environments.  It is intended that these guidelines will serve as an educational tool for the public, as a planning and design guide for the development sector, and as a policy guide for the review of proposed developments.

The information provided here is specific to residential infill, high density residential (“R-2A”) and multifamily (“R-3”) developments.  This information is supplemental to the City of De Soto Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and the Subdivision Regulations, all available at the office of the City Clerk in De Soto City Hall.

This design guide is neither a project file nor a simple recipe for success.  Rather, it is an expression of community expectations regarding the importance of providing quality residential neighborhoods.  The purpose is to encourage applicants to use these guidelines and to seek innovative and sensitive design solutions most appropriate to the needs of the immediate and surrounding neighborhoods.

(Ord. 2397)

Although considerations should be given to the overall development process, including zoning district change, platting and site plan procedures this program is specifically geared to address the development of multifamily site planning.  For more specific rezoning, platting, and site planning information see the City of De Soto Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations.

This program encourages an analytical and conceptual planning and design process.  Applicants should use the recommended site analysis (see Required Supplementary Information For Zoning And Site Plan Applications) and required site plan criteria (see City of De Soto Zoning Ordinance) as a basis in developing a conceptual plan.  The site analysis and conceptual plans are extremely useful in pre-application meetings.

Probably the most important step in the development process is obtaining correct and clear information in the initial stages of design.  As such, applicants are required to meet with Staff prior to application submittal.  This affords the applicant an opportunity to discuss initial concept plans, necessary approvals, and design and development criteria prior to submitting an application.

Conceptual plans, the site analysis, and discussions with Staff should then be used to generate site plans.  Site plan application may then be submitted according to the approved Application Submittal and Review Schedule of the Planning Commission available at the office of Community Development in De Soto City Hall.

The following process should be followed in site plan applications.

All multifamily applications are subject to Site Plan Review, and for redevelopments in the following circumstances: if the redevelopment enlarges the size of the original structure by more than 50 percent in the case of a renovation or alteration.  Developments shall be encouraged to implement the objectives of the Comprehensive Plan in preserving natural resources along the Kill Creek Valley and to foster compatibility among land uses in the City of De Soto.  Site Plan Reviews shall be performed by the City Staff and submitted to the Planning Commission for approval.

1.    The applicant shall first contact Staff to schedule a pre-application conference.  During such initial contact, staff will advise the applicant concerning the site plan procedure and its requirements, information on the current zoning, and an application form.  Most of this information may also be downloaded from the City website at under ‘Online Documents and Regulations.’

2.    The applicant and his design professionals shall meet with Staff in a pre-application conference to discuss the proposed development, the site plan requirements and other potential site-specific requirements prior to the submittal of an application.

3.    The application form shall be completely filled out and returned to the Community Development Office with the appropriate filing fee and any required supplemental information.  As a part of the application, a sufficient number of copies of a site plan conforming to the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance shall be submitted.  An application shall not be processed until it has been fully completed, the appropriate fee paid, all requested information submitted, and the required pre-application meeting is held.

4.    Site Plan Review. Staff shall review all multifamily site plan applications including those requesting design incentives.  Upon review, Staff may recommend approval, denial, or continued refinement of the proposal to the Planning Commission.  Final recommendations of Staff will be made in writing and will be available to the applicant prior to the scheduled Planning Commission hearing.

5.    The Planning Commission shall consider the application and the recommendation of Staff at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission for which the item may be scheduled and shall adjourn and reconvene as is determined necessary.

6.    The applicant may appeal a site plan review determination to the City Council in the event that an applicant alleges that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Planning Commission in the enforcement of Site Plan Review.  The request for review by the City Council shall be accompanied by a complete description of the error(s) alleged.

In the site plan review process, the Multifamily and Infill Design Criteria will be applied in addition to existing City ordinances and policies.

The provision of design incentives is a mechanism to recognize unique and innovative developments.  This approach acknowledges the value and potential costs of incorporating certain design elements within a neighborhood.

By meeting the minimum requirements of the “R-3” district, the lowest project density (dwelling unit per acre, DU/A) for the district (8 DU/A) is achieved.  A range of unit per acre densities may be permitted within the “R-3” zoning district.  By meeting the minimum requirements and applicable design objectives, project densities (dwelling unit per acre, DU/A) may reach the midpoint of that district (10 DU/A).

The successful incorporation of the design incentives specified within the design guidelines could allow increases in density up to the maximum density permitted (12 DU/A).  The use of the design requirements, design objectives, and design incentives outlined within this document do not insure that applications will receive the maximum density permitted.  Based on considerations such as compliance with the Future Land Use map, land use compatibility, zoning patterns, environmental impacts, and traffic impacts, the Planning Commission may elect to deny the application or require the density to be reduced as part of their deliberations during the Site Plan Review process.  This may occur even if the application has implemented some or all of the standards set forth in this document.

To earn design incentives, the applicant must apply for each specific incentive Staff will review each incentive, and will recommend to the Planning Commission approval or denial of the requested incentive.

The applicant must supply the necessary information to represent the requested design incentives.

The intent of these guidelines is to increase the livability and the appearance of multi-family complexes. The design of such development contributes to the overall image of the city and is a significant component of the community's residential mix.  Where multi-family buildings are clustered into complexes rather than integrated into mixed-use "Traditional Neighborhoods", it is expected that such complexes will be designed to establish strong "neighborhood" environments.

A.    As much as possible, developments should include a mix of housing styles such as townhomes, condominiums, garden apartments, duplexes, and single family units to create a mixed-use community with housing options for residents of all ages and incomes.

B.    When located adjacent to single-family dwellings, the design and appearance of multiple family dwellings shall incorporate similar massing, height, roof pitch, and architectural features -- including front porches; cornice lines; horizontal lines of windows; and architectural embellishments such as shutters, dormers, belvederes, chimneys, etc. to create the appearance of single family dwellings.

C.    Site designs should create a sense of "neighborhood" which includes:

1.    An internal vehicular circulation system reflective of a single-family residential street system, as opposed to looped systems which may appear disjointed and confusing.

2.    Buildings sited with front entrances and porches oriented toward streets, drives, and plazas, rather than clustered around parking lots.

3.    Parking lots located behind buildings or screened from view from internal streets, unless it is deemed appropriate to use a parking lot as a buffer from an arterial street.

4.    Walkways that connect all buildings with parking areas, play areas, club houses, and sidewalks along adjoining streets, as well as neighboring stores, offices, and transit stops.

5.    Centrally located plazas, clubhouses, pools, and recreational facilities.

6.    Access to transit stops and neighborhood retail centers, whenever possible.

In addition to the necessary information included on plans submitted in support of planned development district zoning applications, the following information shall be required for infill and multifamily rezoning applications or plan approvals, if applicable, as determined by the City Staff.  As each site is different, it is advisable to confirm with City Planning staff the necessary information required.

A.    Site Section Plans - up to three as designated by the City Staff.

B.    Site Analysis - to include the following:

1.    Existing topography at five-foot contour intervals;

2.    Slope analysis representing slopes falling within the following categories:  1) 0%-5% slope, 2) 6%-10% slope, 3) 11%-17% slope, 4) 18% slope and greater;

3.    One-hundred-year floodplain boundary;

4.    Impact of upstream and downstream development;

5.    Streams;

6.    Surface drainage channels;

7.    Bodies of water;

8.    Location, massing, and pattern of existing vegetation;

9.    Views within the site;

10.  Vistas to and from the site;

11.  Focal points and site amenities;

12.  Existing structures on the site;

13.  Street and traffic patterns affecting the site;

14.  Pedestrian and vehicular access points;

15.  Physical barriers (such as interstate highways);

16.  Noise generation sources; and

17.  Surrounding uses, activities, and influences of the site and adjacent properties.

Each multifamily and infill site entails different site characteristics, impacts, and opportunities.  It is the responsibility of the planner, architect, and developer to provide the highest quality neighborhood environment.

The following design criteria articulate design principles common to strong neighborhoods.  These criteria should be applied throughout the design process and will be applied in review of multifamily and infill projects.

Design guidelines are organized into design objectives, design requirements and design incentives.  Design objectives reflect community design expectations and are policies to be followed in project review.  Design requirements represent minimum standards and are codified into City ordinances.  Design incentives are principles that may be incorporated to achieve higher unit densities.

(i)    Neighborhood Infill

Existing single-family (residential) neighborhoods represent strong patterns of form, activity, and character.  Infill development should strive to strengthen these characteristics and enhance the neighborhood.  For the purpose of these guidelines, infill residential projects shall be any development proposed within an existing, established residential area.

A.    Design Objectives

1.    The physical form and pattern of existing, established residential neighborhoods should be maintained to the greatest extent possible.  Infill design should incorporate the following principles:

a.     Building orientation should reflect the predominant neighborhood pattern.  The front-to-front, back-to-back relationship of typical residential neighborhoods establishes security, privacy, and a very identifiable streetscape that should be maintained.

b.    Vehicular and pedestrian circulation patterns should be maintained by infill projects.

c.     Neighborhood open space patterns, and side, front, and rear yards should be visually preserved.  The spacing of infill units (front, rear, and side yards) should generally reflect the spacing of existing homes in the neighborhood.

d.    Building heights should be compatible with the average height of homes in the neighborhood.  Each project should be particularly sensitive to planning and design of contiguous parcels, lots or tracts of property.

e.     The streetscape and landscaping should be designed to reflect existing neighborhood forms, rhythm and spacing.

2.    The visual character of a neighborhood is, in part, formed through residential architecture and various activities, such as parking.  Infill development should:

a.     Provide parking in a matter and scale similar to the surrounding neighborhood.  Parking should be screened from view to minimize its negative visual impact.

b.    The architectural design of infill development should strengthen the existing forms of the neighborhood.  Architecturally, project design should represent compatible building form; roof types, slope, and overhand; horizontal and vertical proportions; exterior materials, finishes, and details.

c.     The style and image of the neighborhood should be reinforced by infill development.  Where style and image may be lacking, infill design has more latitude and should strive to achieve a stronger neighborhood image.

(ii)   Natural Features

A.   Design Objectives

1.    The following elements should be used to strengthen the neighborhood recreation areas, internal and external focal points, and provide physical separations and buffers.  Natural site features should be used to create neighborhood amenities and may include:

a.     Floodplains and surface drainage channels;

b.    Bodies of water;

c.     Prominent ridges, bluffs, or valleys, and

d.    Existing vegetation.

2.    Every reasonable effort should be made to preserve existing tree cover including tree masses, wind rows, and significant individual trees.  These features should be incorporated as neighborhood amenities.

3.    In most cases, excessive cut and fill, and similar changes to the site's natural topography are not acceptable.  Site planning and building orientation should work with natural slopes and grades to create individual neighborhoods.

B.    Design Incentives

1.    Upon the recommendation of Staff, a one percent (1%) increase in density may be approved, if the following conditions are met:

a.     Existing significant features are preserved, and the land area of preserved natural features equals four percent (4%) of the unimproved common area. (Unimproved common area does not include private patios, narrow strips of land around and between units, areas reserved for the exclusive use of an individual tenant, and setbacks at site perimeters.)

b.    Additional one percent (1%) increases in density may be approved for each additional four percent (4%) increase in natural features preserved.

(iii)  Open Space

A.   Design Objectives

1.    Sufficient neighborhood open space should be provided to meet active and passive use requirements of the neighborhood.

a.     Common areas should be centrally located within, and highly accessible to the neighborhood.  Such areas should be of adequate size, and designed to reduce impacts of various functions and activities.  Common areas may include pools and larger recreational paths.

b.    Semi-common areas should be accessible to sub-neighborhoods and be more private in nature.  Semi-common areas may include courtyards and pedestrian paths.

c.     Private areas should allow limited access and be screened and enclosed to insure privacy.  Private areas typically include yards, balconies and patios.

2.    In some instances it may be appropriate to use open space (common and semi-common areas) to buffer negative impacts.

3.    If possible, open space should be designed to provide linkages with larger community open space systems.  At the same time, however, open space can be used to provide separation of sub-neighborhoods to increase character and identity.

4.    Every attempt should be made to minimize the amount of unusable and unassigned open space surrounding buildings.  Clustering of buildings can be used to minimize small narrow strips in front of and between units.

(iv)  Building Orientation

A.   Design Objectives

1.    The siting of individual buildings should help to establish neighborhoods and sub-neighborhood clusters.  In clustering buildings:

a.     Sub-neighborhood clusters should generally not exceed 150 to 200 dwelling units; and

b.    Individual identity should be reflected through architectural design within each sub-neighborhood.  Architectural details should be used consistently throughout the community but should reflect a unique character within each sub-neighborhood.

2.    Within sub-neighborhoods, buildings should be oriented to:

a.     Minimize unusable and unassigned open spaces.  Open space can be "assigned" through the use of low walls, landscaping, and window and entry orientation.

b.    Ensure privacy of interior and outdoor areas and provide a sense of neighborhood security.

c.     Define open space including common areas, semi-common areas, and pedestrian areas; i.e., clustering of buildings around a central common area.

d.    Primary orientation to parking areas should be avoided.  Each unit should allow a "front yard" and a "rear yard."  Typically, double-loaded unit designs do not afford this opportunity and should be avoided.

3.    Site topography should be addressed in building design and orientation.  Every attempt should be made to incorporate architectural designs and orientations which work with the site; i.e., buildings which step down with the grade, two-and three-story units, integrated garages, etc.

(v)   Vehicular Circulation and Parking

Paved areas, both street and parking, should be designed with the objectives of ensuring (1) safe operation of vehicles within the neighborhood, (2) sufficient and convenient parking of vehicles, (3) protection and sheltering of vehicles, and (4) reduction of negative environmental and visual impacts.

A.   Design Objectives

1.    The organization of the street system of the neighborhood should provide a hierarchy of (a) quiet residential (local) streets feeding into (b) collector which then access (c) arterial streets (see Comprehensive Plan).  Collector streets should not feed into lower intensity residential (local) streets.

2.    The design of streets should respond to topography, intended traffic speed, and views.  The following points apply:

a.     Streets should not fight the topography.  Align the street with the contours of the site.

b.    Excessively straight and wide streets encourage high speed traffic and do not have a residential scale.  Curvilinear designs, reduced street widths, and cul-de-sacs can be used to create stronger neighborhood environments.

c.     As streets serve as primary open space, the views along and within streets are important.  Views along residential streets should be clearly defined.  Again, excessively long/wide streets can be unappealing.  Street trees, building orientation and street network should create a residential scale and character.

3.    The design of open parking areas needs to respond to specific site features, functional requirements, and visual/aesthetic considerations.  Parking areas should be designed to provide convenient access to the residents they serve.  Generally, the parking should be located within 200 feet of the respective dwelling units.  The overall layout and configuration of parking areas should be designed to control excessive amounts of paved area.  The following points apply:

a.     Double-loaded parking areas along private streets or drives are generally not acceptable.  Every attempt should be made to cluster and separate parking areas from the street.  Landscaping, changes in grade, etc. should be used to break up these spaces.

b.    Clustered parking spaces should not exceed 100 spaces in total.  Any area consisting of two double-loaded parking aisles should have a landscaped area separating each aisle.  Perimeter areas should be substantially screened from view (see Landscaping).

4.    The location and design of covered parking dramatically affects the character of the site.  It is important to plan for the covered parking requirements at an early stage to avoid structures that detract from the neighborhood image.

a.     The location and grouping of parking enclosures should complement the primary building arrangement and design.  In clustered parking areas, carports should be used to provide enclosure.  The larger the parking area, the greater the need to break it up with carports and landscaping.

b.    Carports can also be used to reduce negative off-site impacts such as noise.  In this manner, carports can form a visual enclosure which increases the security of the neighborhood.

c.     On sloping sites, carports can be integrated into the site.  This can be used to accommodate changes in grade, minimize the visual appearance of the carport, and buffer negative impacts.

d.    The materials and structural members of the carport should be of a dimension that ties the structure to the ground.  Some carports appear spindly due to the proportion of the materials to the height of the structure.

B.    Design Incentives

1.    Upon the recommendation of Staff, a ten percent (10%) density increase may be available for parking design and layout which provides additional physical structure, berming, screening, or landscaping to significantly reduce negative impacts.

2.    Upon the recommendation of Staff a one percent (1%) density increase may be provided for the provision of each two percent (2%) of the required parking spaces in the form of attached garages.  Attached garages shall reduce the total impermeable surface area, heat gain, and negative visual impact of parking by providing covered parking spaces as an attached structure to the dwelling unit.

3.    Landscaping (See Landscaping).

(vi)  Pedestrian Circulation

A.   Design Objectives

1.    Pedestrian access should be designed to provide reasonable linkages of dwelling units to neighborhood facilities such as recreation, services, mail, and parking.

2.    Pedestrian systems should incorporate landscaping details to increase the visual interest and character of the neighborhood.

3.    The design of pedestrian facilities should respond to their intended use and meet the following design standards:

a.     Sidewalks along streets and drives shall be a minimum for feet (4') in width.

b.    Interior and private walkways along parking areas shall be a minimum of three unobstructed feet (3') in width.

c.     Recreational and bike paths shall be a minimum five feet (5') in width.

d.    The maximum slope of any walkway shall not exceed eight percent (8%).

e.     Exterior steps should have a rise between four and six inches (4" to 6"), and a tread between 13 inches and five feet (13" to 5').

B.    Design Incentives

1.    Upon the recommendation of Staff, a five percent (5%) density increase may be allowed for neighborhood circulation systems which provide outstanding design and which may include:

a.     Marked entry into the neighborhood;

b.    Integration of terrain and open space;

c.     Preserved neighborhood privacy; and

d.    Established and defined views and vistas with building orientation and landscaping.

(vii) Landscaping

Landscaping should be designed in sufficient form, quantity, and location to reduce to the greatest extent possible negative impacts affecting the site and adjacent properties, and to increase the sense of neighborhood scale, character, and identity.

A.   Design Objectives

1.    Landscaping is an important element of the site plan.  A diversity of plant materials including overstory and understory trees (deciduous and coniferous), shrubbery, ground cover and turf should be used.  A successful landscaping plan should include:

a.     Overstory and understory trees which can be used to provide enclosure through the tree canopy.  Larger trees can reduce the perceived scale of larger structures.

b.    Understory trees and shrubbery provide eye-level vegetation.  Typically these materials should be used as foundation plantings, which tie the structure to the ground and soften hard edges, create visual focal points to frame desirable views, and provide privacy screens.

c.     Ground cover and turf should be used to reduce unnecessary paved area(s) and to control erosion and surface drainage.

2.    Landscaping should define the neighborhood by providing:

a.     Scale and enclosure of open space (streets, parking area, and recreation areas).

b.    Separation of neighborhoods and building clusters.

c.     Visual separation and screening of interior and exterior private areas.

3.    Environmental and site impacts should be minimized through landscaping by:

a.     Buffering adjacent higher and lower intensity uses such as commercial and single-family residential.

b.    Addressing regional and micro-climatic factors which include reducing radiant heat and heat gain, providing solar access and wind protection.

c.     Reducing perceived density through establishing view corridors, providing visual focal points, and softening and enhancing pedestrian paths and open areas.

4.    Berms and walls, or a combination thereof, can be used with landscaping to increase neighborhood privacy, security and to reduce negative impacts.  Walls should be designed to be compatible with neighborhood materials and forms.

B.    Design Incentives

1.    Landscaping that exceeds minimum landscape design objectives may include paved area landscaping and site landscaping.

a.     Upon the recommendation of Staff, a ten percent (10%) density increase may be permitted for paved area landscaping, which meets the following criteria.

(1)   Parking areas must be screened from street view to a minimum height of three feet (3') (maximum 6'0") above the highest finished grade of the parking area.  Berms, walls, or a suitable combination thereof may be used.

(2)   A 10-foot minimum landscaped perimeter shall be provided to separate parking areas from any public or private street, and any building.

(3)   Interior of parking areas will be landscaped with an additional 5% over that required.

(4)   A landscaped area shall separate, on average, each 85 feet or ten contiguous parking spaces in any parking area.  The landscaped separation shall be a minimum of 150 square feet in area.

(5)   Double-loaded parking aisles shall be separated by a minimum seven-foot (7') landscaped area (except where carports are used).

(6)   One tree shall be provided for every required parking space.  Credit may be received for other parking lot landscaping required, per the zoning Ordinance.

b.    Upon the recommendation of Staff, a maximum seven percent (7%) density increase may be permitted for site landscaping in addition to the required minimum landscaping standards set forth in The City of De Soto Zoning Ordinance.

(1)   One tree shall be provided for every dwelling unit.

(2)   The required trees (one per dwelling unit) shall be no less than 2 1/2 inch caliper deciduous shade trees, as measured six inches (6") above the ground and conifers, six to eight feet in height; as specified by the American Association of Nurserymen.

(viii)         Grading

A.   Design Objectives

1.    Berms, channels, swales, etc., should be designed and graded to be an integral part of the landscape.

2.    The maximum slope of any grade should not exceed three feet in the horizontal to one foot in the vertical (3':1').  Grade changes in excess of 3':1'should be made by natural or constructed retaining walls.

3.    Where retaining walls are required, they should be of a material compatible with the primary building architecture.  The extensive use of railroad ties and gabion type retaining walls should be avoided.

4.    Buildings should be located above adjacent street and parking areas.  The average grade adjacent to a structure should slope away from the structure for a minimum of ten feet (10') at a five percent (5%) slope.

(ix)  Noise

A.   Design Objectives

1.    Site planning should be sensitive to off-site noise sources affecting the neighborhood.  Every attempt should be made to reduce off-site noise impacts such as interstate highways by:

a.     Increasing the distance from the noise source.

b.    Planing dense overstory and understory landscaping.

c.     Building solid walls between the noise source and receiver.

d.    Constructing berms between the noise source and receiver.

B.    Design Incentives

1.    Upon the recommendation of Staff a ten percent (10%) density increase may be allowed for the effective reduction of off-site noise.

       To qualify for incentives, the off-site noise affecting the site should be greater than 75 dBA (typically a thoroughfare or interstate highway).  To reduce exterior noise the applicant may use perimeter screening blocking the line of sigh between the noise source and the receiver.  Walls, berms, or a combination thereof may be used.  If walls are used, they must be of heavy construction and without cracks or breaks.

(x)   Architectural Design

The architecture of multi-family and infill housing is a key element in determining the character and function of a neighborhood.  The character of a neighborhood should create a strong feeling of identity.  The function of multi-family housing should meet the needs of the occupants and be specifically tuned to regional and site features.

A.   Building designs that create variety and do not look monotonous if replicated throughout the development are required.  Such designs should include the following:

1.    Side and rear building elevations, garages, carports, and all accessory structures with the same level of design, aesthetic quality, and architectural detailing.

2.    Porches, varied rooflines, and varied facade depths to create variety and individuality of each dwelling within the building.

3.    Windows and projecting wall surfaces to break up larger wall surfaces and establish visual interest and to provide visibility of the street and other public spaces to encourage social interaction.

4.    Protective entry courts, common vestibules, covered breeze ways, or enclosed stair halls to reduce the number of visible doors, unless designed in a row house or townhouse manner oriented toward the street.

5.    Garages designed to be integrated with the building design or sites so as to avoid long monotonous rows of garage doors and building walls.  Garages shall be oriented so that they do not visually dominate the building facade or the streetscape.

B.    Design Objectives

1.    The architectural design of housing units should be designed to meet the regional climate and specific site characteristics.

a.     The regional climate is temperate and requires protection from wind, rain and snow.  Although there is a significant number of heating and cooling days, there are moderate temperatures.  As a result, the following architectural elements should be provided.

(1)   Protective entry courts, covered breeze ways, or enclosed stair halls;

(2)   Sufficient roof overhang to shield summer sun and still allow winter sun penetration, where applicable; and

(3)   Individual units with adequate outside air ventilation.  Double-loaded units typically do not offer adequate natural air flow.

b.    Specific site characteristics such as topography and amenities should help determine the building footprint.

(1)   Steep sloping sites may require variations of two or three-story units and attached garages.

(2)   Elongated sites with linear amenities may require linear building footprints.

(3)   Clustered unites are well suited for both flat and sloping sites.  Clustering offers greater site efficiency and well-defined common areas.

(4)   The rectangular, double-loaded building configuration should be avoided.  These designs typically lack interest and fail to create a strong sense of neighborhood.

2.    The architectural design of each unit or building should be designed to a residential neighborhood scale.  Specifically, architecture should respond to perceived density, building mess, and details.

a.     A strong sense of neighborhood should be created by reducing the perceived density of a project.  Common vestibules and enclosed breeze ways can reduce the number of visible doors.

b.    The sense of scale is another factor in establishing a strong sense of neighborhood.  Architecturally, the massing of individual building should reinforce a neighborhood scale by:

(1)   Providing vertical and horizontal offsets in units.  This serves to break up rooflines, define private outdoor areas, allow greater views, light, and air to unit interiors.  If horizontal/vertical offsets are to be used, they should be of sufficient dimension to achieve the desired effect.


Evaluation Table




Have appropriate Design Objectives Been Met

Have sufficient steps been taken to achieve incentives


















Natural Features






1% for each 4%



Open Space









Building Orientation









Vehicular Circulation &  Parking









Parking Buffers









Attached Parking






1% for each 2%



Pedestrian Circulation


















Paved Area









Additional Materials



























Architectural Design