The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) consists of five members appointed by the Mayor and City Council. The ARC shall consist of at least two members who are registered architects or landscape architects, one member chosen from the citizenry of the City of Aberdeen at-large, one member from the Aberdeen business community, and one member with experience in planning and zoning. In the event the Mayor and City Council cannot find more qualified individuals to appoint as members meeting these criteria, the Council may appoint such members as close as possible to meeting the criteria. A majority of members constitute a quorum, but no approval actions shall be finalized without the favorable votes of at least three members of the Committee.
Powers and duties of the ARC. The Committee shall:
Review all applications for development, redevelopment, renovations, or additions to existing buildings within the overlay districts.
Determine whether or not an application and the proposed construction are in accordance with the overlay district regulations and design requirements.
An application for new construction, development, redevelopment, and renovation within any overlay district, including lighting and landscaping plans, shall be submitted to the Director of Planning and Community Development for initial review and before application for consideration by the Planning Commission.
The Director of Planning and Community Development shall refer the proposal to the ARC for its consideration. The ARC shall make recommendations in accordance with the design requirements contained in this section and shall issue such recommendations to the director within 30 days after all information is received for its review.
The ARC shall be responsible for reviewing the proposal based on the characteristics and specific factors within the overlay districts that may not be part of the preliminary site plan review.
After review by the ARC, the director shall submit the proposal to the Planning Commission with the recommendations of the ARC.
If the ARC fails either to approve or disapprove plans and proposals within 30 days after the director refers the proposal to the arc, the plans and proposals shall be deemed approved.
ARC review and approval shall not be deemed to satisfy the requirements of any applicable building, health, or safety codes.
The City shall issue no building permit unless the provisions for ARC review as contained in this section have been met.
Items for review. The ARC shall review the following:
The general scope of the plan and its compatibility with existing or proposed design themes.
The conformity of the proposed project with the overall purpose of the design requirements.
That signage is consistent with the purpose of the overlay design requirements and conforms to the type, location, and size of signs required therein.
That proposed landscaping conforms to the overlay design requirements regarding, but not limited to, trees, plantings, and other amenities.
Facades of the proposed buildings or renovations and their orientation to the existing buildings.
Color scheme in relation to adjacent buildings and structures, and the overall aesthetic of the overlay district.
That parking and multi-modal circulation conforms to design recommendations and function.
Circumstances such as (but not limited to) topography, location of property lines, environmental features, or other matters may authorize the ARC, by an affirmative vote of at least three of its members, to allow a reasonable variance to any of the design requirements.
The ARC shall develop a design review standard to govern its actions in respect to granting any variances. The design review standard shall be maintained in a documentary form and shall detail each variance granted and the reasons for granting same.
This variance procedure shall be limited to those areas under the direct purview of the ARC, and shall not serve as a substitute for decisions under the jurisdiction of the Aberdeen Board of Appeals.