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4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

Walkable mixed-use neighborhoods provide the basic building blocks for more livable—and environmentally sustainable— cities. Design plays a vital role in their creation. At a large scale, the arrangement of complementary land uses and transportation can influence how easily people can walk to local destinations or transit. At the scale of the street, landscaping and street-facing building entrances and windows create attractive places that support neighborhood life and discourage crime. At the scale of the building, porches, overhangs and other architectural features offer protection from heat and rain, and reduce energy use.

Quality design is a necessary accompaniment to the urban settings and densities anticipated by the General Plan. Good design influences how people perceive a neighborhood or city. Design can make shopping districts vibrant and make residential neighborhoods more welcoming. An essential ingredient is how buildings face streets, parks and plazas. Do buildings help make streets more active? Do windows create the possibility that someone can watch, and therefore discourage unwanted behavior? Do buildings frame the street spatially? And do they communicate that Watsonville is a unique place?

The design of streets also influences community life. Streets can do much more than merely move traffic. Residential streets can provide a safe place where neighbors come together and where children play, but they must be designed to calm traffic. Streets with retail and community activity provide a stimulating place where people come together to participate in community life. Streets are also a place where residents can enjoy scenic views as part of their daily lives.

The Urban Design and Human Scale Element seeks to establish functional relationships that foster healthy communities, add economic value, and enhance Watsonville’s aesthetic character. These objectives are essential, not only for the well-being of Watsonville’s residents, but also as an important ingredient for attracting and retaining businesses.

Community Concerns

Based on public input at workshops and open houses, the following major issues were established as critical improvements to maintain a healthy community.

City beautification efforts should be intensified.

Plans for adding street trees to existing arterials and boulevards should be provided.

Improve walkability in districts with highest potential to benefit from enhancements, particularly in the downtown, Freedom Blvd. corridor, East Lake Avenue, Walker Street, and other areas and streets as identified.

Enhance pedestrian passage and experience on streets by widening sidewalks and/or adding landscaping to provide a buffer from traffic.

Encourage new residential development patterns to be more inviting to pedestrians by encouraging walkable neighborhoods and street-facing architectural elements, including front porches.

Encourage placement of garages behind housing and/or place less emphasis on cars in the front of homes.

Conserve views valued by the community, particularly of open space, mountains, and wetlands.

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Conditions & Considerations

Walkable Districts Communities must be pleasant places to walk, if we want people to reduce their use of cars. Walkable districts represent the basic building block for a city that is more sustainable—socially, environmentally, and economically. Walkable districts mix complementary uses, maintain reasonable walking distances, and bring building entrances and facades to the street. Conveniences and recreation can be walked to easily, along safe and attractive routes. This traditional pattern presents a sensible alternative to auto-reliant development that separates housing and jobs from conveniences and transit, exacerbates traffic congestion, creates social enclaves, and consumes more land.

Livable Streets Streets set the stage for many dimensions of community life. Streets that are lined with trees, sidewalks, building entries and windows make walking more attractive whether for errands or recreation. Well-designed streets also make it easier to meet neighbors and partake in community life. Their character can also have a profound effect on the image and identity of a city or neighborhood.

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE Neighborhood Scale and Walkability. With segregated uses (top), walking is
4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE Neighborhood Scale and Walkability. With segregated uses (top), walking is

Neighborhood Scale and Walkability. With segregated uses (top), walking is discouraged as trips tend to be more circuitous and often converge along heavily-traveled “collector” streets. Complementary uses set with and interconnected street network (bottom) bring together essential aspects of community and minimizes reliance on the car.

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WatsonvilleVISTA 2030 Street-Facing Architecture Streets are more attractive and safe when they are lined with building

Street-Facing Architecture Streets are more attractive and safe when they are lined with building entrances and windows, rather than parking lots or blank garage doors. By minimizing front setbacks, buildings contribute activity and informal surveillance to the street, which encourages walking. Porches provide families with a protected place where they can engage in neighborhood life. By reducing setbacks, buildings also establish a more intimate and village-like scale. Established areas that lack pedestrian-supportive architecture can transform over time through infill, intensification, and redevelopment.

time through infill, intensification, and redevelopment. Street-facing Architecture. Streets lined by blank walls

Street-facing Architecture. Streets lined by blank walls and parking lots (left) can feel unsafe and uninviting and can discourage walking even when local conveniences are nearby. Street-facing buildings line pedestrian routes with entrances and windows thereby contributing to neighborhood activity, informal surveillance, and visual interest.

Livable Community Residential Design Guidelines The creation of more walkable districts with street-facing architecture is also addressed in Watsonville’s “Livable Community Residential Design Guidelines.” The Urban Design and Human Scale Element elevate many concerns within the Livable Community Residential Design Guidelines to General Plan policy, as well as adding additional provisions for non-residential areas.

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

Corridors-Boulevards Aging strip commercial properties along Freedom Blvd., East Lake Avenue, Main Street (between Freedom and Pennsylvania), and Walker Street represent opportunities for future infill and redevelopment. Change and intensification of these areas can be shaped to create “mixed-use boulevards,” which can offer a range of shops and services and encourage walking for many trips. Street trees and other enhancements can help beautify these frequently traveled routes.

can help beautify these frequently traveled routes. Example. Mixed-use development potential along corridors.
can help beautify these frequently traveled routes. Example. Mixed-use development potential along corridors.

Example. Mixed-use development potential along corridors.

Example. Mixed-use development potential along corridors. Transforming Major Corridors. Many General Plan policies

Transforming Major Corridors. Many General Plan policies encourage the transformation of existing strip commercial corridors into mixed-use boulevards to bring conveniences closer to residents, deliver needed housing, and support transit.

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Downtown Revitalization Watsonville’s downtown represents not only the heart of the community, but a location where an intense sense of community can be generated by strengthening its array of cultural and retail destinations, and by encouraging urban housing. The downtown contains many assets including historic buildings and uses with higher intensities. The downtown also has vacant lots and nondescript low- rise buildings that, over time, might be replaced with urban uses that can contribute to the area’s vitality

A Sense of Place Watsonville has a unique heritage that is rooted in its climate, topography, history and cultural traditions. Private development and City actions can reinforce and enhance Watsonville’s unique character. Another dimension of place making is the ways that buildings and public space relate: buildings should create coherent and well-shaped public spaces, and shield public spaces from parking lots and other features that dilute activity and urban form along streets, parks, and plazas.

City Beautification and Scenic Resources Watsonville’s aesthetic character is vital to community pride and its attractiveness to visitors and businesses. Scenic resources play a special role and consist of Watsonville’s natural and agricultural environs, as well as its historic buildings and districts.

Diversity in Housing Diverse housing represents an important ingredient for the social and economic health of a community, by supporting a wider range of industries, shops, and services with diverse housing opportunities, Watsonville also makes it possible for individuals to remain in a community during all of their stages in life—as young adults, as parents with children at home, and in retirement.

Holistic Design Every increment of construction should be made in such a way to make the City whole. Each individual action should consider (with regard to its contribution) creating more livable places and a more livable city.

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

Figure 4.1 Downtown Concept

E. LAKE W. BEACH RIVERSIDE RODRIGUEZ MAIN UNION
E. LAKE
W. BEACH
RIVERSIDE
RODRIGUEZ
MAIN
UNION

Downtown Concept. The transformation of Downtown Watsonvile can continue by encouraging attractive “infill” projects and through the strategic arrangement of destinations and parking. (This image is for illustrative purposes only. Location of uses are subject to future study.)

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Goals, Policies, and Implementation

Goal 4.1 Design and Develop Walkable Districts. Encourage pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown, and great streets, parks and plazas, by leveraging public investments and guiding private actions. Safe and comfortable settings should be a goal in both urbanized and new growth areas.

Policy 4.1.1

The City should encourage the

integration of complementary land uses within walking distance of each other, as is provided for in the Land Use Element of this General Plan.

Implementation

4.1.11 Pedestrian Supportive Zoning and the Livable Community Guidelines. The City should amend existing zoning ordinances to support the creation of pedestrian-supportive development consistent with provisions of the General Plan and the Livable Community Design Guidelines.

4.1.12 Pedestrian Connections. The City should encourage pedestrian circulation networks that provide relatively direct connections between homes and jobs and the retail, civic, or other facilities that can serve them. The City should require sidewalks as part of all street improvements, preferably with street trees between the curb and the primary path of pedestrian movement. Within new growth areas, the City should encourage local circulation patterns that distribute traffic among multiple routes and avoid the use of heavily traveled collector streets.

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE Street-facing Architecture. In the Downtown and along corridors, mixed-use buildings

Street-facing Architecture. In the Downtown and along

corridors, mixed-use buildings are encouraged to provide needed housing and desirable retail conveniences.

to provide needed housing and desirable retail conveniences. street-front rear Mitigating Parking. Building entrances,

street-front

rear

Mitigating Parking. Building entrances, windows, and activity can be placed closer to the street when parking is placed behind or below buildings.

4.1.13 Street-Facing Buildings. In residential, retail, office, or mixed-use areas, zoning revisions and design guidelines should encourage buildings that abut streets and trails in a fairly continuous way.

4.1.14 Mitigating Parking. Parking lots, garage doors, loading zones, and mechanical equipment should be set back away from streets and trails. Along a street or trail, parking can be set below buildings but should not be conspicuous.

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4.1.15 Street Frontage. Buildings should be set forward and contain windows and building entrances that face streets and trails. Blank walls should not face streets or trails.

Not all buildings need to address a street or trail, as long as the frontage along streets provides a satisfactory walking environment through the use of building fronts and landscaping. (See tables 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 below.)

and landscaping. (See tables 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 below.) Street Frontage. Street-facing facades should have adequate

Street Frontage. Street-facing facades should have adequate street-facing entrances and fenestration (lower right).

Figure 4.2 Suggested Front Setbacks for Buildings (minimum and maximum)

Suggested Front Setbacks for Buildings (minimum and maximum) Figure 4.3 Suggested Extent of Windows and Doors

Figure 4.3 Suggested Extent of Windows and Doors within Street-Facing Facades (minimum area)

and Doors within Street-Facing Facades (minimum area) Figure 4.4 Suggested Sreet Frontage Requirements (measured

Figure 4.4 Suggested Sreet Frontage Requirements (measured as a percent of the length of each parcel line that abuts the street)

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k

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE Climatic Response. Awnings, arcades, trellises and deep window openings respond

Climatic Response. Awnings, arcades, trellises and deep window openings respond to Watsonville’s climate and are an important part of the City’s historic tradition.

4.1.16 Building Entrances. Building entrances that do not connect directly to a street or trail, should be accompanied by a pedestrian path that leads directly to a street or trail.

Goal 4.2

Protect Watsonville’s agricultural and architectural heritage and, in all improvements, encourage a “sense of place” that is rooted in Watsonville’s unique climate, topography, history, and cultural traditions.

Contextual Design.

Policy 4.2.1 The City should encourage designs for buildings and landscapes that complement Watsonville’s unique setting, character, and ecology, and should implement this policy objective through:

revisions to its zoning, design review requirements, and/or through the development and application of special studies and design guidelines.

Implementation

4.2.11 Climatic Response. The City should encourage building designs that respond to Watsonville’s climate to increase human comfort, reduce energy use, and energy system costs. Awnings, arcades, trellises, eaves, and/or recessed windows should be used, and should have greater depth than is typical to maximize protection from the sun and rain. Building entrances should always be covered by being deeply recessed, or by being accompanied by an overhanging roof or porch. At least one operable window should be provided in all rooms with exterior windows. Windows, “light shelves,” and skylights are encouraged for lighting interior spaces. HVAC equipment should be shaded. Deciduous shade trees are also encouraged near south- and west-facing facades, to block summertime sunlight while admitting sunlight in the wintertime.

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4.2.11 Aesthetic Compatibility. While it is not the City’s desire to insist that new architecture follow historic precedent, it is expected that design responses to Watsonville’s climate and geography will make future projects sympathetic to Watsonville’s cultural heritage. Whenever new development is proposed immediately next to historic buildings or existing neighborhoods, or when a project is adding to or remodeling an existing building, the City should seek a heightened level of visual harmony through the design review process—relative to materials, proportions of openings, roof form, and transitional mass and scale. In all instances, “mirrored” glass should be avoided, and the visual impact of parking, garages, mechanical equipment, and refuse contains should be mitigated. Specific provisions for residential buildings are listed below and in Watsonville’s “Livable Community Design Guidelines.”

4.2.12 Sense of Permanence. Exterior materials should be durable. Exterior materials that are obviously simulated should be avoided. Materials should be properly detailed, to improve their appearance and extend their life, and to avoid conditions where veneers are revealed.

4.2.13 Ecological Site Design. The site design and landscaping for new development should address the need to filter pollutants from stormwater runoff. Stormwater quality features are preferred, which reveal the area’s unique topography and native vegetation. Specific strategies are discussed in the Natural Resources Element.

Goal 4.3

Corridor Areas. Protect Watsonville’s agricultural and architectural heritage and, in all improvements, encourage a “sense of place” that is rooted in Watsonville’s unique climate, topography, history, and cultural traditions.

Good Urban Form in the Downtown and

Policy 4.3.1 The City should initiate and implement initiatives to encourage a downtown that is more vibrant and is more welcoming at all hours of the day and night. Specific objectives include: increasing retail-entertainment activity; encouraging higher- density mixed-use residential projects; adding visitor- oriented uses; supporting a greater range of civic and cultural activities; improving the safety and comfort of pedestrians; and targeting uses and activities that appeal to a wider range of Watsonville’s residents (for more discussion on “Downtown” and “Corridor Areas” refer to pages 3-40 to 3-45 and policy 3.1.2 on page 3-47).

Implementation

4.3.11 Downtown Area Plan. The City shall update the area plan for revitalizing and intensifying Watsonville’s central business district (CBD) according to policy 3.1.2 and its implementation actions.

4.3.12 Urban Form. The downtown should offer an attractive urban environment, with pedestrian-friendly streets and a high level of special enclosures created by taller buildings built close to the street. Buildings should be built at or near streetside property lines. Active interior space should have windows that face the street, and should not be elevated more than 5 feet above the street. If parking is visible below the active ground-floor, it should be visually mitigated. Highly fenestrated commercial uses are preferred at ground level within the downtown. For pedestrian-supportive street features, see the Transportation Element.

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

4.3.13

Parking. The City should encourage comprehensive strategies for parking in the downtown, where walk-to destinations, transit use, and shared parking opportunities will reduce demand for parking. The General Plan endorses reducing parking requirements to under one parking space per unit. Reductions in parking demand shall be studied further and reduced parking requirements shall be codified. In particular, the City shall investigate, develop and implement shared use parking measures to reduce parking needed and to more efficiently utilize present and future parking. The City should also consider planning and financing the creation of multi-level parking garages as a way of supporting development on smaller parcels and of yielding efficiencies associated with shared parking.

Policy 4.3.2

initiatives for the Freedom Boulevard and East Lake corridors, portions of Main Street (between Freedom Boulevard and Pennsylvania), and Walker Street. The initiatives should seek to transform these corridors into mixed-use boulevards by:

encouraging new development with street-facing buildings, encouraging active uses within the ground floors of such buildings, establishing pedestrian- friendly streetscapes with strong civic identities, and addressing economic realities for retail and mixed- use.

The City should implement

Implementation

4.3.21 Corridor-Boulevard Area Plans & Design Standards. The City should develop area plans for portions of the Freedom, East Lake and Main Street corridors, where mixed-use boulevards are desired. Each corridor area plan should be comprehensive and integrate retail, housing, transportation, parking, urban design, recreation, historic resource and economic considerations. The City should develop design standards to guide the future character of mixed-use boulevards. For additional discussion, see policy 3.1.1 on page 3-46.

4.3.22 Corridor Urban Form. Corridors should offer an attractive urban environment, with a high level of special enclosures created by taller buildings built close to the street as described in “4.1.13, Street-Facing Buildings.” Active, well- fenestrated commercial buildings are preferred along the ground-level of these mixed-use corridors/boulevards.

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4.3.23 Street Design. Streetscapes that support mixed-use development along corridors should be encouraged. The phasing of new development and street improvements should be coordinated.

4.3.24 Housing in the Corridors. The City should solicit the interest of mixed-use and residential developers who have demonstrated a commitment to urban housing of a high quality. Promotional materials might describe each corridor’s unique advantages, the demographics and buying power within its market area, and a proforma of generic development opportunities. Additionally, clear design guidelines and a pattern book of preferred housing types should be developed.

pattern book of preferred housing types should be developed. Transforming Major Corridors. Many General Plan policies

Transforming Major Corridors. Many General Plan policies encourage the transformation of existing strip commercial corridors into mixed-use boulevards to bring conveniences closer to residents, deliver needed housing, and support transit.

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE Residential Entrances. Residences should be accessible directly from a street
4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE Residential Entrances. Residences should be accessible directly from a street

Residential Entrances. Residences should be accessible directly from a street or from a path that connects directly to a street. (Illustrations assume mid-block or alley parking.)

Goal 4.4

Residential Design. Foster good urban form in the City through

residential design.

Good Urban Form Through

Policy 4.4.1

provisions, the “Residential Development Standards,” and other policies to maintain the scale and character of established neighborhoods, and create new neighborhoods consistent with the provisions of the General Plan and Watsonville’s “Livable Community Design Guidelines.”

The City should revise zoning

Implementation

4.4.11 Relations of Buildings to Street. Every residence’s front facade should face a street, public trail, or landscaped walkway; and street frontages should be addressed by front facades. The front façade should include a clearly defined primary entrance that includes a porch, stoop, or fenestrated vestibule. The visual impact of parking, garage doors, mechanical equipment, and refuse containers should be mitigated.

4.4.12 Infill Housing. In Watsonville’s established neighborhoods, infill housing should be of a similar scale, orientation, and form as nearby structures, except when adjacent to Watsonville’s downtown and corridors/boulevards where higher density building types may be appropriate. Accessory units, duplexes, and triplexes should be considered acceptable solutions for maintaining the scale of single- family areas, while allowing additional density.

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4.4.13 New Growth Areas. See discussion in the Land Use Element on the New Growth Areas and on page 3-45 under policy 3.4.1.

4.4.14 Integration of Parks, Trails, and Other Community Facilities. New development should integrate these features as described in the Parks & Recreation Element. Streets should provide convenient physical and visual access to these community features. New projects should also face building entrances and windows toward these features to provide informal surveillance. Front facades should face into parks, and townhouses and apartments should be used to enclose parks spatially and put residents who have little or no yard adjacent to parks.

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE Employment Intensification. Many existing industries have relatively low intensities

Employment Intensification. Many existing industries have

relatively low intensities (top), and may present opportunities for more intensive future employment such as: industrial with administration or research space at the street (middle), or office space (bottom).

Goal 4.5

Employment Area Intensification. Foster good urban form in the westside employment area of the City through intensification of land use and application of design guidelines.

Good Urban Form Through

Policy 4.5.1

The City shall promote strategies and

programs that encourage intensification within its westside employment area, as new development and redevelopment occur. At the same time, the City should celebrate through design its connection to agriculture and recognize the importance of agricultural processing to the local economy.

Implementation

4.5.11 Flexibility. The City should encourage buildings that can be adapted to allow industrial uses to intensify and/or give way to office or research & development uses. Development plans should identify opportunities to insert mezzanines or additional floors, and to accommodate potential future buildings within the site.

4.5.12 Building Orientation. On Beach Street, Riverside Drive, and the future trail along Watsonville Slough, new construction should place an attractive front façade and building entrance. Administration, office and research activities should be placed along front facades to increase opportunities for windows.

4.5.13 Street Design. New projects should help implement provisions within the Westside Streetscape Plan.

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Goal 4.6

Foster good urban form through designing and building streets with the needs of pedestrians in mind.

Design and Create Good Urban Streets.

Policy 4.6.1

that provide comfortable environments for pedestrians, accommodate cars, and are attractive reminders of Watsonville’s pride.

The City should promote streetscapes

Implementation

4.6.11 Street Standards. Street standards should be adopted that balance the needs of vehicles and pedestrians, and support adjacent land uses through their design. Streets should be pedestrian- friendly with street trees, adequate sidewalks, and decorative light fixtures. Travel lane widths and intersection curb radii should not exceed the minimum acceptable for the street’s function. Standards for street design appear in the Transportation Element. Specific provisions for residential streets are also contained in Watsonville’s “Livable Community Design Guidelines.”

4.6.12 Street Networks. Where new streets are called for, street alignments and connections should provide reasonably direct routes to local destinations, such as retail and community facilities; pedestrian paths may be used to create these direct routes where streets are not feasible because of existing development or topography. New street networks should connect with and extend the street pattern of established areas, where practical. Street stubs should be provided at interior property lines, where a future need to circulate through a parcel is anticipated. Additional standards for street circulation appear in the Transportation Element.

4.6.13 Sidewalks. Sidewalks should be provided along all public streets. They should be ADA compliant and provide a clear path for pedestrians, uninterrupted by utility boxes, poles, fire hydrants, or other features.

4.6.14 Alleys. The City should develop standards for alleys as they offer an efficient way to service and park street-facing buildings with windows, entrances and smaller setbacks.

4.6.15 Traffic Calming. The City should continue to support traffic calming activities for the protection of pedestrians.

4.6.16 Tree Planting. The City should pursue a Citywide program of tree planting. Street trees should be placed between the curb and sidewalk. Trees should have prepared soil, drainage, and irrigation for their continued health. Street trees should be not more than 40 feet apart or as advised by a qualified arborist. Trees should maintain visual clearance at intersections and other public safety concerns.

4.6.17 Street Lights. The City should review existing street lighting standards from the perspective of pedestrian comfort and community identity, and identify ways that street lighting can attain a more traditional form and scale—especially in the downtown, along corridors, and in residential neighborhoods.

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

Goal 4.7

Encourage preservation of important City vistas, particularly of natural, historic, and agricultural heritage features of Watsonville.

Preserve Scenic Resources.

Policy 4.7.1

The City should seek to preserve and

enhance visual enjoyment of natural and historic features within Watsonville, as well as the enjoyment

of natural and agricultural areas that surround the City. The City should also control the character of visually prominent locations, such as “gateways” into the City, and the end of important urban vistas.

Implementation

4.7.11 Natural Resources. Natural resources shall be conserved and enhanced as provided for in the Natural Resources Element.

4.7.12 Gateways. The City should design and implement signage and landscaping for major points of entry into the City, as identified in Figure 4.5 Gateways and Vistas.

4.7.13 Vistas. The configurations of major streets give some parcels exceptional visual prominence, as described in Figure 4.5 Gateways and Vistas. The visual sensitivity of projects proposed in these locations should be considered during design review.

4.7.14 Historic Resources. The City should endeavor to conserve and enhance its historic resources through context-sensitive design, as provided for within the Historic Element. Fences should complement and should not obscure historic resources.

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WatsonvilleVISTA 2030 Figure 4.5 Gateways and Vistas Gateways and Vistas. Unique visual opportunities are created when

Figure 4.5 Gateways and Vistas

Gateways and Vistas. Unique visual opportunities are created when entering town from the countryside (“gateways”) and views where major streets bend (“vistas”).

4.0 URBAN DESIGN and HUMAN SCALE

Goal 4.8

Encourage use of signage and wayfinding markers

that are aesthetically pleasing.

Aesthetically Pleasing Signage.

Policy 4.8.1 Signage. The design review process shall be used to ensure that signs (materials, size, color, lettering and location) are aesthetically pleasing and compatible with the surroundings.

Implementation

4.8.11 Conditions on Development. Conditions should be placed on proposed development to ensure that Design Review Guidelines for signs and advertising criteria are followed, and that criteria for specific zoning districts are implemented.

4.8.12 Uniform Sign Program. In order to discourage visual clutter, the City should require integrated sign programs for projects with multiple business tenants.

4.8.13 Modify Sign Ordinance. The City shall update the sign ordinance.

Goal 4.9

Enhance and expand development project review procedures to ensure conformance with policies that encourage appropriate relationships among buildings, parking, streets, and open space, and elevate the quality of construction and design.

Encourage Design Quality.

Policy 4.9.1

should continue and expand consideration of appropriate relationships among buildings, parking, streets, and open space, and seek to elevate the quality of construction and design.

Development project review procedures

Implementation

4.9.11 Project Review. Project proposals for non-single-family uses should undergo development review according to chapter 14-12 Part 4 of the Watsonville Municipal Code. Project review should apply to new construction, remodeling or renovation projects deemed significant.

4.9.12 Design Guidelines. Development project proposals should conform with adopted guidelines. Guidelines should contain measurable provisions to provide consistency and streamline the review process. Existing guidelines should be reviewed and, if necessary, modified to be in conformance with General Plan provisions. For some uses, new guidelines may be needed. New guidelines should also accompany future area plans and specific plans.

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4.9.13 Design Factors. The design review process should encourage projects that support General Plan goals and policies, respond appropriately to context, and encourage an attractive and human- scaled architecture and landscaping.

Considerations include:

building orientation, with regard to front façade, entry, privacy, views, solar access, trees, and topography;

pedestrian movement, for safety, convenience and comfort, including the avoidance of blank walls;

parking, garage, equipment, and loading, so as to mitigate its visual and social effects along pedestrian paths;

exterior finishes, with regard to regional and local precedents, color, durability, and ease of maintenance;

landscaping, for enclosure, seasonal color, erosion control, adequate irrigation, water conservation, and human comfort;

utilities, with regard to their character, undergrounding or screening, and coordination with landscaping and pedestrian movement;

lighting, so as to blend with architectural style, avoid glare off- site or into residences, and provide safe areas;

antennae and mechanical equipment, in an effort to screen through discrete placement;

neighborhood character, relative to materials, proportions of openings, and roof form, and transitioning mass and scale; and,

historic adjacencies and additions, suggesting stylistic considerations.