Smoky Hollow Specific Plan 2018 (web version)
2.4 Private Realm Design Guidelines
Smoky Hollow represents a unique World War II-era industrial district. Once home to traditional manufacturing, machining, and aerospace industries, the Smoky Hollow district—with its one- and two- story brick, metal, and stucco exteriors, curved ceilings, high roof lines and light-filled interiors—is attractive to new media, technology, incubator, and creative business endeavors. The repurposing of existing space will inform future development in a manner that retains the district’s authenticity and character.
Smoky Hollow generally consists of two sub-districts: Smoky Hollow East and Smoky Hollow West. Smoky Hollow East includes larger, free-standing buildings on spacious parcels. This configuration allows campus-style, business park settings that integrate landscape and communal outdoor space into site design. Conversely, smaller closely-packed structures and lot configurations line the streets of Smoky Hollow West. Tighter blocks create a more intricate, urban, and sidewalk-oriented work district. The Specific Plan’s objective is to preserve the district’s unique characteristics while allowing the emergence of design innovation and creative use of space.
2.4.1 Smoky Hollow Design Objectives
The overarching design goal for the Smoky Hollow Specific Plan is to provide a development framework that maintains the district’s unique setting and character while promoting adaptive design features that integrate well-designed architecture; enhanced, viable public space; and accessible pedestrian and transit linkages.
These design objectives are broad policy statements intended to guide development throughout Smoky Hollow.
- Preserve Smoky Hollow’s existing character through the use of compatible architectural features, materials, and details.
- Insist upon streetscape and landscape amenities that allow for small-scale, informal gathering, both within sites and along public rights-of-way, especially sidewalks, street corners, and along Franklin Avenue
Develop more accessible and street-side public open space. Buildings fronting public sidewalks, and specifically buildings
fronting Franklin Avenue, shall provide sidewalk-oriented entries and small-scale gathering opportunities.
- Project designs, orientation, and spaces should anticipate and facilitate emerging sidewalk and pedestrian activity, reuse of alleys, and access to all transit modes.
- Encourage active and passive design strategies that conserve natural resources.
What is the difference between development standards and design guidelines?
Development standards are measurable criteria for building elements such as setbacks, building heights, open space requirements, and floor area ratio (FAR). Standards are prescriptive and quantitative and are applied consistently to all properties in each zoning district. Development standards are mandatory, and projects may only be approved if the proposed improvements are consistent with the development standards, unless otherwise allowed by a Variance or Administrative Adjustment.
Design guidelines are discretionary and qualitative. They are intended to serve as criteria for reviewing projects during the application and approval process. Design guidelines address elements that cannot easily be measured or quantified, but are important aspects of the design and quality of a building or development. The design guidelines contain recommendations on design aspects that are more open to interpretation, such as texture, materials, style, and overall design character. In certain circumstances, design guidelines are mandatory—these are indicated with clear terminology such as “shall” and “must”.
When used in conjunction, the development standards and design guidelines will shape future development to achieve the community’s vision of Smoky Hollow as an iconic and innovative employment zone.