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These guidelines apply to multi-family development within the HC Overlay District.

  1. Site Design Guidelines
    1. Relationship to Landforms
      1. Buildings shall maintain a minimum buffer of 30 feet from the edge of any Special Flood Hazard Area on the most current Flood Insurance Rate Maps or from the edge of any wetlands identified by the National Wetlands Inventory or a site specific inventory of wetlands.
      2. Site design shall minimize cut-and-fill and, to the maximum degree possible, follow the natural topography of the site.
      3. Developments shall preserve natural and scenic areas, streams and natural drainageways, floodplains, prairies, and wetlands. Developments shall, to the maximum degree possible, preserve individual trees or stands of trees specified by Douglas County list of recommended tree species. Developments that remove specified trees shall replace such trees according to the Nebraska State Arboretum's list of recommended species. All replacement trees must also be listed on the list of recommended species and shall have a caliper of at least 3 inches.

        Tree Replacement Schedule:

        Caliper measurement of removed tree

        Required number of replacement trees for each removed tree: 

        3 inches or less 

        1 tree 

        3.1 to 6 inches 

        2 trees

        6.1 to 9 inches 

        3 trees

        Over 9 inches 

        4 trees

      4. Each project application shall include an inventory of natural and scenic features, and the site development plan shall demonstrate how these areas will be preserved.
    2. Building Location and Orientation
      1. Buildings shall be grouped in ways that avoid continuous rows of building walls and permit visibility into the development from surrounding streets.
      2. Building siting shall define open spaces. Building entrances shall be oriented toward and provide direct entrances to major open spaces.
      3. Typically, buildings that are directly adjacent to single-family residential development shall minimize the mass of buildings that directly face single-family structures. Where parallel orientation is necessary, setbacks from the street shall be greater than the required minimum setbacks and buildings shall include design and elevation features that complement adjacent lower- density development.
    3. Pedestrian Access
      1. Developments shall provide an internal pathway system that connects individual buildings together and links developments with adjacent residential areas, community open spaces, and adjacent trails. For trails that are proposed in the county's trail plan but are not yet constructed, the development plan shall make provisions for a connection to the trail, and shall be responsible for constructing the connection when the trail becomes available.
      2. Sidewalks shall be provided along all public streets.
    4. Vehicular Access
      1. All multi-family development shall provide internal vehicular connections to adjacent collector or local streets
      2. Developments over 5 acres shall include a minimum of one community street with detached sidewalks and parkway strips with a minimum width of 8 feet between the back of curb and the edge of the sidewalk. The community street shall connect to a public street on both ends.
      3. Community streets shall be aligned with local streets in adjacent developed areas.
      4. Landscaped parking courts, local loops, and innovative street designs are encouraged to create improved public space and provide for safe, slow movement of vehicles within and around the development.
    5. Parking
      1. Garages and parking facilities shall be internalized or oriented away from street frontages to the maximum degree possible. Off-street parking shall not be permitted in streetyards adjacent to single-family residential development.
      2. Garages or carports shall be limited to six bays in any single structure to avoid long rows of horizontal structures.
      3. Parking lot design shall define vehicular circulation routes that are separated by landscaped islands or other site amenities from parking bays and pedestrian pathways.
      4. All detached parking structures above the surface of the ground shall relate to the architecture of the project's residential buildings, providing compatible forms, scale, materials, colors, and details.
    6. Open Space
      1. For multi-family development, at least 40% of the development area shall be designated as common open space. Common open space includes open or landscaped areas not occupied by primary or accessory structures; recreational amenities; landscaped pathways that are at least 5 feet away from adjacent streets or driveways; and perimeter landscaped areas.
      2. Internal common open spaces shall be defined by residential buildings to the maximum degree possible. These spaces shall have direct access from primary building entrances and shall be directly observable from residential units.
      3. Common open spaces shall incorporate and protect significant environmental resources, including drainageways and swales, mature trees, wetlands, and prairies and grassland areas.
      4. Detention ponds shall be located, designed, and managed to provide visual amenities or entryway features, or to provide opportunities for passive recreation.
      5. Other parking and screening requirements are set forth in Article 9, Landscaping and Screening Requirements.
  2. Building Design Guidelines
    1. Building Mass and Scale
      1. Building mass shall reflect the surrounding neighborhood context, and should place buildings or building elements with greater mass and height away from peripheral streets with adjacent lower-density development.
      2. Building mass shall be articulated to reduce apparent scale. Building design should incorporate more massive features at the base and lighter or smaller building elements at upper levels.
      3. Buildings should use features such as bays, insets, porticos, porches, or stoops to add scale. Such features shall relate to the overall composition of openings in the building elevation. Breaks in wall planes, gables, balconies, and other features shall be used to maintain residential scale.
    2. Building Materials
      1. Permitted exterior building materials shall be high quality, durable materials that include, but are not limited to, brick; native or manufactured stone (such as Renaissance stone or similar masonry materials); shingle or wood siding; stucco or similar materials; and other materials generally associated with quality residential development.
      2. The following exterior materials are prohibited: split shakes, rough-sawn wood; concrete block; tilt-up concrete panels; field- painted or pre-finished standard corrugated metal siding; standard single- or double-tee concrete systems; or EIFS.
      3. These guidelines are not intended to inhibit creativity and innovation in building design. Zoning Coordinator may permit the use of other materials if the applicant demonstrates that the use of such materials will result in a building that gives a sense of quality and permanence.
    3. Roof Forms
      1. On two- or three-story buildings, roofs should be residential in scale, incorporating a gable or hip configuration with dormers or other complementary elements. Roof design will be reviewed on an individual basis.
      2. Roofs shall effectively screen all rooftop mechanical equipment from public view.
      3. Visible roof materials shall include clay or concrete tile, standing seam metal, architectural grade asphalt shingles, architectural metals, copper, natural or synthetic slate, or similar durable materials.
      4. Green roofs, as a stormwater BMP and consistent with industry standards, are encouraged to be utilized in combination with other stormwater BMPs.



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