Duplex Design Guidelines

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1 Duplex Design Guidelines Adopted by Council May 29, 2006 Prepared By:

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3 Table of Contents 1.0 Application and Intent Areas of Application Design Principles Design Guidelines Site Planning Parking and Driveways 5.1 Garages.2 Driveways 4.3 Massing Relationship to Neighbours Sloping Sites 9.1 Uphill Lots.2 Downhill Lots.3 Cross Slope Lots 4.6 Corner Lots Architectural Elements 12.1 Frontage.2 Entrances and Porches.3 Detailing.4 Roofs.5 Garages.6 Exterior Finishes 5.0 Tree Retention Landscaping 6.1 Fences 15

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5 1.0 APPLICATION AND INTENT The Duplex Design Guidelines are intended to set a minimum standard of design expectations for duplex developments throughout the City. The objective is to provide a framework of guidelines that promotes: compatibility with surroundings, livability within the development type, and respect for neighbourhood character The guidelines apply to all duplex developments, whether or not a development is already zoned for duplex development and located within a Development Permit Area (as designated through the OCP), or whether a proposed duplex development requires a rezoning. The objective is to provide a framework of guidelines that promotes: compatibility with surroundings, livability within the development type, and respect for neighbourhood character The basic building envelope and setback requirements for duplex developments are described in the City of Coquitlam Zoning Bylaw. The guidelines set out in this Duplex Design Guidelines document are intended to supplement the zoning criteria in order to provide for a high quality of design in the development of duplexes. The City of Coquitlam has consolidated existing City requirements pertaining to site development in the Guide to Best Site Development Practices. Duplex developments should be guided by the policies and objectives in this guide in addition to the Duplex Design Guidelines. The overall housing and neighbourhood policies for the City of Coquitlam are outlined in the Citywide Official Community Plan and adopted Area and Neighbourhood Plans. The Duplex Design Guidelines are intended as a supplement to these plans and should be guided by the policies in the Official Community Plan and the appropriate neighbourhood plan. The design guidelines are intended to encourage architects and designers to work creatively in formulating residential proposals which will reflect the strong local identity of the local neighbourhood. In neighbourhoods that are in transition or have a large component of older housing stock, proposed duplex designs will be evaluated in the context of the range of high-quality house designs found in the area, rather than in the context of the immediate neighbourhood. While the Duplex Design Guidelines set a minimum standard of design expectations, in some cases, the developer may be required to provide more than the minimum to achieve the desired design intent. City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 1

6 Potential future use is a primary consideration for integrating duplexes into neighbourhoods. Secondary suites are permitted within single-family dwellings throughout Coquitlam but are not permitted in duplex developments. Specifically, no duplex designs will be approved where illegal secondary suites are provided for in the plans or during construction. During the review of the development application, alternative solutions and designs that meet the general intent of the guidelines may be considered and applied to the duplex development. 2.0 AREAS OF APPLICATION The Duplex Design Guidelines apply to all duplex or two-family residential development throughout the City. 2 City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines

7 3.0 DESIGN PRINCIPLES Duplex developments will be guided by three design principles: neighbourhood compatibility variety and quality of design landscaping A duplex development should fit into the immediate surroundings of its location and not appear visually out of scale or out of character to the adjacent homes. Thus the massing, scale, and height of the proposed duplex should reinforce, not disrupt, the rhythm and building forms of the neighbourhood patterns. The street-facing elevation of a duplex development should promote neighbourhood interaction by presenting a pedestrianfriendly face to the street. Garages, therefore, should be located in the rear yard, with front entrances and porches featured as the dominant elements seen from the street. Integrating a development into the natural topography of its site is another key element that reinforces neighbourhood compatibility. Duplex developments, therefore, are encouraged to step the building massing harmoniously with the slope of the site to avoid large, imposing walls facing a street. Quality and variety in the visual appearance of a duplex development is vital to its successful integration into a neighbourhood. Building components such as roof massing, building frontage, entrances, architectural detailing, and choice of exterior finishes are elements that should receive careful attention and consideration in the design of duplexes. Landscaping is a key ingredient in the assimilation of new developments into an existing neighbourhood. Existing trees should be retained wherever feasible, and front yards should be attractively landscaped. The City of Coquitlam s Guide to Best Site Development Practices outlines initiatives to minimize impacts of development on existing site conditions. Natural infiltration of rain water into the ground is a basic ingredient in promoting natural drainage of sites and low impact developments. The use of permeable surfaces, retention of trees, and inclusion of large landscaped areas are strongly encouraged for all duplex developments. Design elements which reinforce these design principles are described further in the Design Guidelines section. City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 3

8 The objective is to promote readable and hospitable streetscapes. 4.0 DESIGN GUIDELINES 4.1 Site Planning 1. All building setbacks should be in accordance with the setbacks outlined in the Coquitlam Zoning Bylaw. 2. Developments should be located on a site to minimize the amount of shadow cast onto the private open space of adjacent properties. 3. Duplexes on corner lots should be designed to face both streets, i.e. provide an entrance to one unit from the primary street, with the entrance to the second unit from the flanking street. 4. On lots with frontages on two parallel streets, a front to back duplex configuration is encouraged, with entrances to the units from each street. Corner Lot with entrances facing both streets Lot Facing Two Streets 4 City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines

9 4.2 Parking and Driveways Garages 1. All parking should be located within the rear yard, with direct access from the lane, on all properties which abut a lane. The objective is to create pedestrian friendly streets by locating parking towards the rear of the property. 2. Detached parking garages located near the rear property line are encouraged to allow for permeable surfaces and landscaped areas in the rear yards. 3. On properties which do not abut a lane, access should be provided from the street via a driveway beside the principal building. Garages are encouraged to be located to the rear of the property, or be placed to the side of the units, but should be recessed behind the front façade. 4. Garages incorporated into the building structure should not be placed at the front of the structure and should not protrude beyond the front elevation. 5. For corner sites with no lane access, duplexes are encouraged to locate parking garages in the rear yard with access via a driveway from the flanking street. Garages located within the volume of the building envelope are encouraged to face garage entrances away from the street where possible. Detached garage accessed from lane Corner Lot with Lane Front to Back Duplex City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 5

10 4.2.1 Garages (Cont d) Duplex on Corner Lot Corner Lot with No Lane Shared Driveway Front to back duplex units Corner Lot with No Lane Individual Driveways Duplex units with garages in rear Sideyard garage and driveway Front to Back Duplex with shared driveway 6 City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines

11 4.2.1 Garages (Cont d) Garages located to side and recessed behind duplex fronts Garage located to side and in rear - Recessed side garage Garages fronting street - Garages fronting street Protruding garages fronting street - Protruding front garage City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 7

12 The objective is to promote natural drainage by reducing the amount of impervious surface on a site. Narrowed driveway toward street The objective is to visually integrate duplex developments into single family neighbourhoods Driveways 1. For front to back duplex developments on lots with no lanes, access to parking is encouraged via driveways located on one side of the building, with garages recessed behind the front elevation, and preferably located towards the rear of the unit. Consider sharing one driveway between both units. 2. Driveways should not exceed 6 metres in width. All driveways should have a maximum width of 5.5 metres at the property line, flaring to a maximum dimension of 6 metres in width and length in front of a garage door. 3. To reduce the amount of impervious surface on a lot, driveways should be minimized in width and shared between units wherever possible. 4.3 Massing 1. The massing of the development should involve design which ensures that adequate light penetrates into primary living spaces and private outdoor spaces. 2. To minimize the impact of height and massing fronting a street, the portion of the development facing the street should be a maximum of two storeys. Third storeys should be set back from the second storey and the area of the third storey should be limited to 75% of the floor below. 4.4 Relationship to neighbours 1. To promote variety in design in single family areas, duplex developments with front to back configurations or up and down layouts should be considered as an alternative to the common side by side duplex development. Consider varying the layout and staggering units to create architectural diversity in all duplex development configurations. 2. In predominantly single family neighbourhoods, duplex developments should: a) adhere closely to the established scale of the street and take the form of separate units rather than a single large structure; b) create visual interest by providing variations in height and massing c) respect the scale and height of adjacent houses and other houses in the nearby vicinity through sensitive design d) minimize the impact of its larger scale when located adjacent to lower density residential areas by designing lower massing towards shared property lines. 8 City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines

13 4.5 Sloping Sites 1. On steeply sloping sites, the views of adjacent properties should be respected by breaking down the scale and massing to follow the topography and natural features of the site. The objective is to respect the natural topography of the area and fit the development into slope of the site Uphill lots 1. Duplex developments on uphill lots should minimize the impact to the street by reducing the scale and massing on the downhill side of the lot facing the street. Consider placing the taller, dominant structure uphill behind a smaller, subordinate structure facing the street. 2. There should be a maximum of two storeys facing the street on the downhill side of the property. A building massing composed of two storeys placed over a parking garage fronting the street is discouraged. 3. A sloped site should be graded wherever possible to locate main entrances to duplex units at approximately the same grade elevation as the adjoining street. 4. Front yards should be gently graded between the building and the street wherever possible. High retaining walls at the front property line are discouraged. Uphill lot with lane Uphill lot with no lane City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 9

14 The objective is to respect the natural topography of the area and fit the development into slope of the site Downhill lots 1. Duplex developments on downhill lots should respect the scale of the street by incorporating the major bulk of the massing on the downhill side of the lot, with a maximum two storey element fronting the street. 2. Building massing composed of two storeys placed over a parking garage facing the street is strongly discouraged. 3. The massing of the development should be designed to meet the grade elevation of the street. Depressed front yards with entrances located well below street level are discouraged. Downhill Lot with Lane Downhill Lot with No Lane 10 City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines

15 4.5.3 Cross slope lots 1. Lots which front streets with cross slopes are encouraged to break down the height and mass of the building structure by terracing the units to reflect the slope conditions. The objective is to respect the natural topography of the area and fit the development into slope of the site. Cross Slope Lot 4.6 Corner lots 1. On corner lots, transition of scale and massing from the interior side property line to the flanking street is encouraged. Massing should not create an abrupt end to the streetscape. The objective is to create a pedestrianfriendly environment on all streets. City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 11

16 The objective is to add visual interest to the street through articulation and architectural detailing. 4.7 Architectural Elements Frontage 1. In single-family neighbourhoods, duplex developments should relate to the characteristic frontage of the surrounding area by: a) respecting the rhythm and scale of the existing streetscape to avoid long continuous façade frontage b) visually breaking the larger massing into smaller individual components to express strong unit identity c) avoiding wide, flat facades that dominate the street d) articulating the front facades to create depth and architectural interest 2. Side-by-side duplex developments, particularly on mid-block lots, are encouraged to break up the massing by offsetting the units and by articulating the front elevations to create visual interest 3. Garage entrances facing the street should be designed to minimize their impact on the public realm. Garage entrances should: a) not occupy more than 50% of the width of the front façade b) be limited to two garage entrances facing a street c) be recessed a minimum 2.0 metres from the front façade of a building d) not protrude beyond the front entrance of a unit Side-by-side duplex with offset units 12 City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines

17 4.7.2 Entrances and Porches 1. Entry features and front doors to the units should be the dominant elements facing the street. Entrances should be directly accessed and clearly visible from the street. The objective is to have entrances as the dominant element facing a street, with garage doors as a subsidiary element. 2. To bring a sense of scale and neighbourliness to the community, front porches and verandahs are encouraged on duplex developments. 3. Front porches, if included, should have a minimum depth of 1.5 metres and a minimum width of 2.0 metres for practical use by homeowners. Porches should be limited to a single storey in height, and double storey columns flanking front entrances are discouraged Detailing 1. Plain side and rear elevations with no architectural detailing are discouraged. Detailing and materials used on front elevations should be carried around the side elevations to the mid-point of the side walls or to the nearest articulated element (i.e. a bay, indentation or chimney element). 2. Natural gas fireplaces should have the gas flue encased in chimney structures which extend past the roof line. No direct gas vents should be placed on exterior walls visible from the street. 3. On corner lots, all street facing elevations should have an equal level and quality of design in detailing. Architectural features that turn the corner are encouraged. The objective is to avoid flat, monotonous facades. City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 13

18 The objective is to break down the massing and scale of roof forms. Living area within roof volume Roof Structures 1. Roof structures that span both units in a singular, monolithic roof form are discouraged. Developments are encouraged to break up the building mass by articulating the roofline with subsidiary roof elements and by incorporating features such as dormers, gables, and architectural detailing into the roof structure. 2. Consideration should be given to varying the roof design between units to highlight unit individuality and to break down the scale of the roof structure. 3. Consideration should be given to reducing the scale and overall height of duplex developments by incorporating living areas within the volume of sloped roofs Garages 1. Rear-lot garages should be designed to the same design standards as the principal building) and should reflect the design elements, roof style, cladding materials, and colours featured in the duplex units Exterior Finishes 1. Large expanses of uniform materials and flat monotonous facades are discouraged. Consider using two or three types of cladding materials, architectural detailing and/or accent colours to break up large flat surfaces and monotonous facades. 14 City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines

19 5.0 TREE RETENTION 1. Existing trees located outside the building envelope should be designated for retention unless proven to be in conflict with services or drainage. All measures available should be used to retain trees shown for retention. Hardship cases may be considered where supported by a report from an arborist. The objective is to retain and protect existing trees on a property. 2. For existing trees that are to be retained, tree protection fencing should be installed before land clearing, demolition or construction phases are commenced. The fence should be built to meet the standards of the City of Coquitlam, as delineated in the City s Guide to Best Site Development Practices. 6.0 LANDSCAPING 1. Natural filtration of rainwater into the site is strongly encouraged. Each site should limit the area of impermeable surfaces, including building coverage, to approximately 50% of the site area. The objective is to promote natural filtration of rainwater into the ground. 2. Large expanses of impervious paved surfaces are strongly discouraged. Where hard surfaces are desired for parking or driveway access purposes, pervious surface materials which allow water filtration into the ground are encouraged. 3. All front yards should be landscaped with a variety of trees, lawns, shrubs, flower beds or other acceptable landscape materials. A minimum of 65% of the front yard should be soft landscaping, exclusive of sidewalks or pathways. 4. To assist in the natural filtration of rainwater into the ground, duplex developments are encouraged to install water retention components into the site, i.e. connecting water runoff from roof drains into water retention ponds or subterranean rock pits. 5. Retaining walls should be located outside of the drip line of existing trees. - Large paved driveway areas 6.1 Fences 1. Fences may be constructed to provide security, privacy and separation of properties, while not impacting on the openness and friendliness of the neighbourhood. 2. Landscaping and hedges are encouraged instead of solid fences for privacy and screening in front yards and along exterior side yards abutting flanking streets. City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 15

20 7.0 APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS An analysis of the neighbourhood context consisting of: graphic representation of developments on adjoining sites, i.e. photographs; illustrated examples of architectural character in the immediate neighbourhood, notes on massing, building styles, architectural detailing, materials, and unique features of the immediate area. A Landscape Plan should be submitted to the City as part of the permit application. All developments should submit a grading plan indicating existing and finished grades, with particular attention surrounding existing trees. 16 City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines

21 GLOSSARY Impermeable surface means the material treatment on a site which prevents or deters absorption of water into the soil below, and includes the following: the projected area of the outside of the outermost walls of all buildings and structures, including carports, covered porches, and entries; asphalt paving; concrete; brick; stone; wood; and interlocking pavers, except as described below The following materials are excluded from the list of impermeable materials, provided that when installed on grade, no associated layer of impermeable material (such as plastic sheeting) is included that would impede the absorption of water into the soil below: gravel river rock less than 5 cm in size wood chips bark mulch surface pavers with a minimum 13mm gap within or between paver units Massing is the term used to describe the overall size and shape of a building in three dimensional form. City of Coquitlam Duplex Design Guidelines 17

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