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Thread: Taming the "garagescape"

  1. #1

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    Taming the "garagescape"

    I'm looking for workable development codes that reduce the impact of garages in a suburban setting. Rear-loading from an alley is not an option. City of Aurora, Colorado, for example, requires that no more than 70% of homes have conventional garages that are "flush" or "projected". The remaining 30% must be "recessed" or side loaded.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Requiring side entry garages is sketchy because you are essentially requiring an extra 25-30' of lot width in order to fit the driveway pad. If your ordinance requires anything less than 100' lot widths I would be careful.

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike D.
    If your ordinance requires anything less than 100' lot widths I would be careful.
    Remember, we're talking about Colorado. Land is very expensive in the Denver metro area, and 100' wide lots are considered "ranchettes" compared to the bulk of what you would find being developed. 4,000 to 6,000 square foot lots are now the norm in Denver's 'burbs.

    There's "front side" loading garages, where the garage proects from the front of the house, but the door is on the side of that. Problem is that a large portion of the front yard is paved over. Then again, considering the water situation there, it might not be such a bad thing.


    What about detached zero lot line houses, driveway on one side, with detached garages in the rear yard?

    A followup to my own message: a section from the land use code I wrote for a small Florida town:


    407.2 Single family residence and two family residence architecture

    Subdivision restrictive covenants may include architectural standards, including required review by a homeowner’s association architectural committee. The Town does not enforce private restrictive covenants.

    407.2.1 Intent
    A home can be an expression of the owner’s personal tastes and individuality. Residential architecture in Florida towns is influenced by many sources, reflected in the diversity of architectural styles encountered in residential areas developed before World War II. The intent is not to regulate or restrict particular residential architectural styles, but rather to preserve the Town’s unique character by requiring interesting, high quality residential architectural design.

    407.2.2 Façades
    Façades must be articulated by using color, arrangement, or change in materials to emphasize the façade elements. Exterior wall planes may be varied in height, depth or direction. Design elements and detailing, including the presence of windows, window treatments, trim detailing, and exterior wall materials, must be continued completely around the structure. Doors and windows must be detailed to add visual interest to the façade, unless treatment would be incompatible with the building’s architectural style.

    407.2.3 Garages

    407.2.3.1 Avoiding garagescapes
    New housing development should avoid front elevations that result in a streetscape consisting mainly of rows of garage doors ("snout houses,” tail pipe architecture," “garagescape”). A front-loading garage may occupy ≤50% of the house linear frontage, and may protrude ≤6’ (1.8 m) from the longest front wall.

    407.2.3.2 Three car garages
    Garages for more than two cars must be designed so garage bays beyond the first two are recessed by ≥4’ (1.3 m) from the main garage frontage. This requirement does not apply to garages opening onto alleys.

    407.2.4 Repetitive design
    Development of ten or more one and two family dwellings must have four or more different types of housing models. (Different trim levels on houses that have a nearly identical floor plan are not considered different models.) Houses with identical or similar building elevations and/or floor plans must not be placed on adjacent lots or directly across the street from each other.

    407.2.5 Required elements
    One and two family dwellings built after the Land Development Code was adopted must include at least one of the following design elements.

    Roofing material of a better quality than standard thin three-tab asphalt shingles. This includes architectural or laminated shingles, copper shingles, shake shingles, slate shingles, tile shingles, seam metal roofing, and other high-end roofing materials. This does not include three-tab asphalt shingles with a long warranty period.

    Brick, stone or masonry wainscot ≥4’ (125 cm) on all exterior walls.

    Driveway surfaced in brick or concrete pavers, textured concrete, or a similar material.

    Architectural shingles

    Stamped concrete driveway

    407.2.6 Air conditioning units
    Residential air conditioning units must be located where they have minimal visual and noise impacts on neighboring dwellings.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 01 Dec 2006 at 3:10 PM.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Member Chris's avatar
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    I don't know wether I'm missing a point or not:

    there's two-storied garages that may come as twin garages, required space could be diminished by something like 2.4. There's no additional space for storing in them anyhow.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Townplanner:

    The best suggestion I can make is go talk to the home builders and their architects. I don't know who the national guys out in Colorado are...Ryland, Toll, Pulte...whoever.

    Why not engage them to help with a solution?

    Understanding why they do what they do might help.

    Mike D. is right. There is a set plan for most home builders by lot and price point equivalent to width. They build houses on lots--50', 60' 70', 80' etc....Forcing lot widths to be greater will have an impact on the price of the house.

    g

  6. #6

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    show me the way to the next whiskey bar
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    As a builder in southern Colorado, I face this problem so often: How do we keep the garage from dominating the streetscape? Here's a drawing of one way we dealt with it in a house we're currently building:



    If I posted that image right, it should show a side-loading attached garage in the rear of the house. We set the house 14 feet in from the sides, and the driveway fits right in. Actually, we added a sidewalk and a pedestrian approach to the porch, and I think the driveway was changed to drive-strips to minimize the automotive look.

    ...It's amazing, the things we do to make up for the loss of alleys...

    Cheers.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    The City of Battle Ground, WA took a different approach for new subdivisions with overall "Architectural Variety Requirements". It not only addresses location of garages, but other variations in facades along the streetscape. There was a lot of controversy around it when it was adopted a few years ago, but supposedly the product coming out of it is looking pretty good. For info, you can check out http://www.ci.battle-ground.wa.us/pl...y_require.htm.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    On the dark side and feeling divine!
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    I have seen several site plans similar to the one posted by carlomarx that work quite well on lots 50x100 and smaller. It's a good way to tame the little house attached to a huge garage effect.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ecofem's avatar
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    As part of its Traditional City Zoning Overlay District, the City of Orlando regulates "projectile garages" with some sucess.

  10. #10

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    Carlomax: Interesting site plan.

    I assume this is a two-car tandem garage? If not, one-car garages are not what the market is demanding out here. Also, does this require people to back all this way? Do you provide, maybe, a litlle bulb so that it is easy to flip the car around and drive out face first?

  11. #11

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    show me the way to the next whiskey bar
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    BKM,

    Yeah, we are having second thoughts about the garage. It is a one-car, but it's extra-long to accommodate a workbench and some storage. We are limiting our market by building smaller homes, but the market here (Canon City) is large for retirees, empty-nesters, and the like. So we're building less square footage with the idea that it's less to maintain and more comfortable.

    The idea about a bulb on which to turn around is a good one. There are still a few kinks to work out, and I appreciate your input.

    plannerkat,

    gracias for the kudos.

    J

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