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Architectural Review Board Established 1974
Pamela Burton, FASLA, Kevin Michael Daly, FAIA, John R. Ellis, [Vice-Chairperson] Margaret Griffin, AIA, Lynn Robb
[Chairperson] Maegan Pearson, and Amy Rothman.
Staff Liaison: Laura Beck, Associate Planner
The Architectural Review Board acts to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance and assure that buildings, structures, signs or other developments are in good taste, good design, harmonious with surrounding developments, and in general contribute to the preservation of Santa Monica's reputation as a place of beauty, spaciousness and quality.
Responsibilities, Jurisdiction, Authority
To promote the public health, safety and general welfare by establishing such procedures and providing such regulations as are deemed necessary to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance; to assure that buildings, structures, signs or other developments are in good taste, good design, harmonious with surrounding developments and in general contribute to the preservation of Santa Monica's reputation as a place of beauty, spaciousness and quality; to prevent the development of structures or uses which are not of acceptable exterior design or appearance, are of inferior quality or likely to have a depreciating effect on the local environment or surrounding area by reason of appearance or value: to eliminate conditions, structures, signs or uses which by reason of their effect tend to degrade the health, safety or general welfare of the community; and provide a continuing source of programs and means of improving the City's overall appearance.
The Architectural Review Board shall consist of seven members serving 4-year terms. Commissioners shall serve four year terms. At least two of the members shall be professional licensed architects. Other members of the Board shall be persons who, as a result of their training, experience, and attainments, are qualified to analyze and interpret architectural and environmental trends and information, to appraise resource uses in light of the policies set forth in Ordinance 1003(CCS), to be responsive to the social, aesthetic, recreational and cultural needs of the community. Other expertise such as conservation, recreation, design, landscaping, the arts, urban planning, cultural-historical preservation, and ecological and environmental sciences shall, insofar as practicable, be represented on the Board. (SMMC 9.32.030 and 9.32.060)
Architectural Review Check List
Notice to Applicants
I. Architectural Review Board approval is required for new construction, additions or remodel of an existing building, in all zones except R1. The Board has discretionary review over structures, major contour grading, landscaping, parking lots, mechanical equipment screening, and signs within the City of Santa Monica. Projects in the R1 zone are exempt from review EXCEPT when an applicant applies to the Board requesting an exception to the additional second floor setback per Section 9.04.08.02.070 of the Santa Monica Municipal Code. Final approval of the Board must be obtained by the applicant PRIOR to issuance of a building permit.
II. The applicant, representative or legal owner familiar with the project must be present at the Architectural Review Board meeting. Those scheduled projects that do not have a representative will be considered withdrawn from the process, and no further action will be taken by staff. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact staff when a postponement is requested or no representative was present for a scheduled agenda item.
III. The Board may approve as submitted, approve with conditions, disapprove or request redesign and resubmittal of any project. All decisions of the Architectural Review Board may be appealed to the Planning Commission within ten days following a determination per Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 9.32.160.
IV. A building permit cannot be issued for any project until the appeal period has expired, ten days after the decision date.
V. The Following Documents are Available at the Public Counter.
Architectural Review Guidelines
Sign Handbook and Sign Code
Third Street Mall Design Guidelines
Water Conservation Landscape Guide (Xeriscape)
Ocean Park Design Guidelines (recommended for any project in an
Required Application Materials for Building Design& Landscape Review
I. Completed Application for Architectural Review. All the information requested on the application must be provided.
II. Application fee. See current List of Fees for:
Major: (15,000 sq.ft. new construction; 10,000 sq.ft. new addition)
Minor: (smaller project than listed above)
III. Nine sets of collated plans are required. Plans
shall be one-half size, e.g. 11" x 17" or 18" x 24".
In addition, one (1) full size set of architectural
plans are required. Scale 1/8 or 1/4 inch, unless
otherwise approved by the Staff Liaison to the Board
prior to submittal.
1. Plot plan. Must be of adequate scale to show dimensions and size of each lot to be built upon or otherwise used; the size, shape, location and use of existing and proposed buildings; the locations and layout of parking areas, parking spaces, driveways, walls and fences, trash enclosures, streets, alleys, adjacent buildings, as well as, existing street trees, street lights, sidewalks, hydrants and the location and list of all mechanical equipment to be placed outdoors and all mechanical equipment to be placed indoors which may be heard outdoors. Show the size and location of any noise-sensitive (i.e., residential) uses. The plot plan must show existing buildings on adjacent parcels.
2. Dimensioned exterior elevations. Show all sides of proposed structure and adjacent existing buildings and additions to existing buildings. In the case of additions to existing buildings, all exterior elevations of both the additions to existing buildings. In the case of additions to existing buildings, all exterior elevations of both the addition and the existing building are required. Elevations must show all proposed exterior colors and materials for windows, frames, doors, trim, roofing, mechanical equipment screening, fences and walls, and all other building features. Elevations of all mechanical equipment and mechanical equipment screens, as well as trash enclosures shall be included on plans submitted for Architectural Review Board approval.
3. Fully dimensioned floor plans. Indicate square footage and interior layout, include seating arrangements in restaurants, bars and the like. Floor plans must include all subterranean and loft areas.
4. Roof plan. Show placement of all mechanical equipment and all sound-rated parapet enclosures. The Board has discretionary review of screening required for mechanical equipment. (Section 9.04.10.02.140 SMMC). Please indicate height and scale of all proposed equipment. If mechanical plans have not been drafted and designed, plans for placement and screening of this equipment shall return to the Board prior to issuance of Building Permit. ARB Board approval is required prior to issuance of a mechanical equipment permit.
5. Major building cross-sections.
6. Landscape Planting plan. Indicate the location, quantity species, common name and sizes of proposed trees, shrubs and groundcover and detailed planting specifications. All existing trees and major shrubs shall be indicated noting which plans to be removed or retained.
7. Landscape elevations. Show planting superimposed on building elevations at two years maturity growth with plants labeled.
8. Irrigation plans. Comprehensive irrigation construction documents shall be submitted. The proposed method and type of irrigation shall be indicated by notes. Projects with multiple methods of irrigation shall clearly identify on the plan where each type of system will be used. Irrigation plans shall be separate from, but at the same scale as, the planting plans and shall be concise and accurate, including, but not limited to, the items set forth in Subchapter 5B, Section 9041.10. (Santa Monica Municipal Code).
9. Photos. Nine original sets or one original with 8 color photocopies showing the entire building and/or site, and if new signage is proposed, all existing signage and proposed sign locations. Photographs must be labeled and mounted on letter or legal size paper.
10. Format. The Architectural Review Board has discretion over building design, color and materials for new projects or substantially remodeled projects. Applicants are required to provide at the hearing, samples for building finishes, color chips, and other prominent materials used in the overall design. Because material boards are often oversized and bulky, please provide, in writing, a reference guide indicating color and material choices on a sheet/board no larger than 11" x 14" and no thicker than 1/4", or on the plans. This material reference guide shall be submitted with the plans as part of the application and dept with the file as a permanent record of the approved design.
11. Mechanical Equipment. The Board has discretionary review of screening required for mechanical equipment. (Section 9040.14 SMMC). Please indicate height and scale of all proposed equipment. If mechanical plans have not been drafted and designed, plans for placement and screening of this equipment shall return to the Board at a later date. ARB Board approval is required prior to issuance of a mechanical equipment permit.
12. Board Meeting Materials. Presentation of a perspective drawing or scale model is required for any project over 15,000 square feet. Models shall be presented at the hearing. A material reference guide (a written text listing colors and materials) shall be submitted with the application. Actual paint and sample material boards shall be brought to the hearing.
13. Third Street Promenade Outdoor Dining Approval. Bayside District Corporation approval of the outdoor dining plans is required.
14. Posting. Within 10 days of filing a project over 15,000 square feet the applicant shall post the property pursuant to the Sign Posting Requirements contained in this application. The sign posting affidavit must all be submitted.
Notes on Landscape Submittals
1. Landscape plans. Plans shall include as individual sheets:
A. Irrigation plans. Irrigation plans shall include: point of connection (location and size); maximum flow available at existing static pressure; backflow protector; valves, piping, controllers, irrigation heads, couples, etc. called out by Size and Flow; an irrigation legend listing all system components (symbol, manufacturer, model number, p.s.i., g.p.m., etc.); existing lines clearly delineated from new lines; pipe sizing indicated on the plans at appropriate locations; and either a seasonal water adjustment schedule or moisture sensors.
B. Plant elevations. Plant material shall be representative of height at two years growth imposed upon the building elevations and material shall be labeled.
C. Planting Plan. Must be same scale as irrigation plan. Planting plan shall include:
a. All existing plant material to be retained.
b. Note regarding existing landscaping. All hardscape and landscape to be retained shall have the following note: AIf any existing hardscape or landscape indicated on the approved plans is damaged or removed during demolition construction, it shall be repaired and/or replaced in kind and equivalent size per the approved plans.@
c. A plant legend. Show ALL the following information: Common Plant Name, Botanical Plant Name, Size, Quantity, and Drought Tolerant Status. Any question as to drought tolerant compliance or xeriscape shall be substantiated by the applicant, and subject to staff approval.
d. Seed mixes. Specify application rate, purity, germination rate, and percent of pure live seed.
2. Changes. Any changes made to a Architectural Review Board approved landscape design must be submitted to staff for approval prior to installation. Two sets of plans with a written letter indicating all proposed changes should be addressed to the staff liaison for the Architectural Review Board. Staff will review the changes; if upon review the changes are deemed substantial, the redesign of the landscape must return to the Board for approval. changes submitted to staff must include planting plan, labeled elevation plans, and irrigation plans if altered. Indicate drought tolerant plant material substitutions.
3. Irrigation. Landscape plans must include seasonal water adjustment or moisture sensors. If moisture sensors are provided indicate Amoisture Sensors@ on the lower right hand level of irrigation sheet plans and the location of sensors on the irrigation plan. If moisture sensors are not part of the irrigation design, the seasonal water adjustment schedule shall contain 1) the amount of water per valve head, and 2) the number of times watering occurs per week. This information is then adjusted based on the fall, winter, spring and summer. *See chart below.
4. Landscape Maintenance Plan. If no new landscaping is proposed, a Landscape Maintence Plan must be submitted. The plan shall state in writing, the nature of existing landscape, plant material to be added, removed or to remain on site. This statement will assure the maintenance of the landscaping during construction, or replacement (in kind) of plant material if damage occurs.
5. Xeriscape. The Xeriscape Ordinance requires 80% of the on-site landscaped area to be water conserving. Landscape professionals shall indicate on plans what plant material is water conserving, and show calculations of 1) total square footage of landscaping, 2) percentage and type of planting used for conforming to the ordinance, 3) percentage of turf, and other non conforming (i.e., non-water conserving) plant material. Note: Parkways are not to be included in these calculations.