17.06.030 – Standards and guidelines – BL, BC, BR, & O/R districts

  1. Articulation of Building Facades

Intent: To reduce the apparent bulk of buildings and relate them to a human scale.


  1. Building façades over one-hundred (100) feet in length shall incorporate wall projections or recesses a minimum of three (3) feet in depth, extending over twenty percent (20%) of the façade.
  2. Architectural features such as arcades, arbors, windows, doors, entryways or awnings, shall comprise at least fifty percent (50%) of the façade.
  3. All facades that face the street shall have at least two (2) of the following architectural features to avoid the appearance of blank walls facing the street:
    1. change in wall plane of at least two (2) feet,
    2. change in wall texture or masonry patterns,
    3. transparent windows, iv. columns or pilasters, projecting six (6) inches or more from the wall plane.
      (Ord. 2011-Z-1 § 5.)


  1. Entryways and pedestrian routes should offer protection from weather such as overhangs, awnings, canopies, etc.
  2. Building design should include features to add identity and architectural interest such as projecting cornices, medallions, lighting fixtures, art work, belt courses of a different color or texture, pilasters, etc.


açades should incorporate articulation features such as projections or recesses along the building length.

  1. Predominant façade colors should be subtle, neutral or earth-tones. Primary colors, high intensity colors, metallic or fluorescent colors, and black generally should not be used as predominant façade colors. Building trim and accent areas may be brighter and include primary colors.

Different materials, textures and colors should be utilized to add visual interest to the façade.Caption

B.  Windows and Transparency

Intent: Allow people outside commercial buildings to see activity within, and allow people inside to see activity and weather conditions outside.


  1. Retail buildings and tenant spaces with 30,000 square feet or less of gross floor area shall provide windows so that the first floor is transparent from a height of eighteen (18) inches to a minimum of seven (7) feet above the walkway grade for no less than sixty percent (60%) of the horizontal length of the facade, and must contain a public entrance. Windows shall be clear glass (no tinted or reflective glass), recessed or projected in the wall plane to create shadow and visual interest, and should include visually prominent sills or other appropriate forms of framing. Awnings, pilasters or columns may be used to accentuate window openings and add interest to the design of the building.


  1. Large retail developments and shopping centers should help define the street frontage by placing outlot buildings near the street as well as to the interior parking lot.

For buildings and tenant spaces of 30,000 s.f. or less, at least 60% of the façade must be transparent at street level.

​C. Building Entrances and Pedestrian Walkways

Intent:  People should be able to tell where building entrances are located, and walking into the building should be a pleasant experience.


  1. Buildings shall have a public entrance on a façade that faces a public street or private drive that provides primary access (such as a mall ring road). Buildings that face more than one (1) street shall have at least one (1) public entrance on the primary street frontage.
  2. All public entrances shall be articulated from the building mass. Examples of such articulation include: canopies or porticos, overhangs, arcades, raised corniced parapets over the door, peaked roof forms, arches, outdoor patio or seating areas, display windows, details such as tile work and moldings integrated into the building design, and integral planters or wing walls that include landscaping or seating.
    1. Facades which abut parking areas and contain a public entrance should provide pedestrian walkways and foundation landscape areas parallel to the foundation not less than eight (8) feet in width. Sidewalks in this area shall have a minimum width of four (4) feet.
    2. Pedestrian routes to building entrances should be marked with pavers, striping, or delineated by the design and location of landscape features.

Public entrances should be articulated from the building mass using such means as a raised parapet and distinct materials or colors.

The pedestrian route to public entrances should be clearly delineated.

  1. Roof Design

Intent: Roofs should be designed to add visual interest to the building, to conceal necessary service equipment, and to establish the building’s identity.


  1. HVAC equipment and similar appurtenances shall be located and/or screened in conformance with Section 17.26.120.
    (Ord. 2011-Z-1 § 6.)


  1. Roof lines should either be varied with a change in height or the incorporation of a major focal point feature, such as a dormer, gable or projected wall feature, every one-hundred (100) linear feet in building length.
  2. Parapets should feature three-dimensional cornices or other shadow-creating detail elements along their tops.
  3. Mansard roofs are discouraged as the predominant roof design, but may be used on a limited basis to add interest and variety.
  4. “Green roof” designs are encouraged.
  5. Pipe stacks and similar appurtenances that are required by code and cannot reasonably be hidden should be concealed as much as possible by location and coloring.

  1. Primary colors, high-intensity colors, metallic or fluorescent colors should not be used as predominant roof colors.(Ord. 2011-Z-1 § 7.)

E.  Building Materials

Intent: Buildings should be constructed of quality materials that reduce maintenance costs over the life of the building, relate to traditional building materials used historically in Kane County, and reinforce the character of the community.
Approved and prohibited building materials in the BL, BC, BR, and O-R districts are:

  1. Approved Materials
    1. Brick
    2. Architectural metal (such as for window and door framing) and metal composite panels
    3. Natural or architectural cast stone
    4. Tinted and/or textured concrete masonry units
    5. Stucco, installed without the use of Exterior Insulated Finishing Systems (EIFS)
    6. Tilt-up concrete panels designed with a brick veneer or other architectural design
    7. Non-reflective glass
    8. Cedar or equivalent wood or fiber-cement siding and trim when consistent with the architectural style of the building
    9. Other materials as approved by the City Council or Historic Preservation Commission
  2. Prohibited Materials
    1. Smooth-faced concrete masonry units
    2. Painted masonry units
    3. Exterior Insulated Finishing Systems (EIFS) comprised of polystyrene foam panels, regardless of base or finish coat or treatment, located less than ten feet (10’) above grade, or over more than ten percent (10%) of any building wall
    4. Vinyl siding
    5. Pre-fabricated steel panels of the type used in farm, storage, and industrial buildings
    6. Plain tilt-up concrete panels
  3. Uniform Materials
    Use of uniform exterior building materials shall be required on all facades. For example, if the front wall contains a mixture of brick and concrete masonry units, the side and rear walls shall contain the same materials in approximately the same proportions.
    (Ord. 2011-Z-1 § 8.)
  1. Coordinated Signage

​A master sign plan shall provide for coordinated design for all building-mounted signage and shall include, at a minimum, criteria and specifications for general appearance, format of message, font size and style, lighting, location, and construction materials. Where signs are to be located on a wall of a multi-tenant shopping center, they shall be located at a generally uniform height on the building wall and shall not cover or overhang any architectural feature.

(2006-Z-12: § 2)