We require significant front yard set-backs, landscaping, and low (6 foot max) signage if not on the building. We require a generous amount of specific shurbs and trees both diciduous and evergreen. Landscaping is the cheapest way to enhance cityscapes. It also serves to provide visual space separation between non-compatible architectural styles (if any).
All buildings over 5,000 sq ft are required to be designed and stamped by a registered architect. We have architectural guidelines. We have a very active Mayor and Board of Aldermen that get into enforcing and protecting those guidelines.
We have not yet been successful in removing unsightly electrical and cable TV lines on thoroghfares, but they are underground in our residential subdivisions and must be underground on commercial property.
We have active stormwater detention that also adds to the scenic beauty of our small town. We have preserved a small part of our city where a couple of buildings are too close together, and use that as examples of what could happen to the whole city if not controlled.
Developers and Owners have considerable influence over what architects are able to do. There is no accounting for bad taste. We have been very successful in "enlightening" absentee commercial developers and owners about our concerns for the people who will continue to live here after they are gone.
We have a reputation for good planning in our city. Good planning has been an asset for us, and the citizens heartily support it. They expect us to enforce its provisions in order to preserve what we have and protect property values for all.
I am not a planner, but I recognize what can be done. It may be too late for some.
I am on the Planning Commission and appreciate the knowledge, skill, and personal conflict resolution that Professional Planners must have. We have been fortunate. Thank you.