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dealing with large convenience/gas retail stores


Looking for good zoning design guidelines, standards, impact requirements, regs. etc.(?) dealing specifically with large (over 4,000 s.f.) convenience stores with multiple gas pump bay locations (in this case 18)
Interested in detailed traffic and other impact analysis, cueing, stacking, parking, landscape/buffering, signage, etc. types that could be easily "tailored" ASAP.
Please respond or provide known web site locations via email.

Thx to all, plan on!


Dear Leader
Staff member
Contact Rick Bohn with the City of Aurora, Colorado Planning Department (303-739-7250) and inquire about their excellent gas station design regulations.

Lemme' do some cutting and pasting from some of my work. The code isn't finished yet, there's still some issues that need to be addressed, and there's other applicable parts of the code that deal with signage, landscaping, hardscaping, architectural design, performance standards, residential adjacency, vending machines, and so on. However, you might find the following language helpful.


225.44 Gas station

.02 Definition. Gas station -- a facility where gasoline or other petroleum products or fuels are sold and light maintenance activities such as engine tune-ups, lubrication, minor repairs and carburetor cleaning may be conducted. A gas station may incorporate “co-branded” uses such as a car wash, convenience store and/or fast food restaurant. The term does not include truck stops and travel plazas; or facilities where heavy maintenance activities such as engine overhaul, painting and collision work are conducted.

.03 Permitted locations. Gas stations are permitted by right in the C-G and I-G districts.

335 External lighting

335.03 Permitted lighting

.08 Gas station canopies

.01 Design. All lighting fixtures, including lenses, must be mounted flush with the bottom of a canopy ceiling. Fixtures that project below the canopy ceiling are prohibited. Maximum bulb wattage is 250. The canopy fascia must not be illuminated, excepting permitted logo signage.

.02 Number. Canopies one pump deep are permitted a maximum of two lighting fixtures per filling space. Canopies two pumps deep are permitted a maximum of three lighting fixtures per two filling spaces. Canopies three pumps deep are permitted a maximum of five lighting fixtures per three filling spaces.

350 Use specific design requirements

350.20 Gas/service stations and co-branded uses

.02 Architectural theme. The design of all structures on the site must comply with Town design standards. Architectural details must be related to an overall architectural theme. The main building must not be prefabricated; prefabricated accessory buildings must be substantially modified and embellished to be consistent with the overall architectural theme. Separate structures (canopy, carwash, cashiers booth, etc.) on the site must have consistent architectural detail and design elements to provide a cohesive project site. Vending machines and other site accessories must be integrated into the architectural theme of the building.

.04 General architectural requirements. Vehicle service areas and bays must be screened or sited so their visibility from the street is as low as possible. Garage doors must not face the street or be visible from residential zoned properties. Garage doors must be integrated into the overall design theme of the site through use of color, texture, and windows.

.06 Co-branded uses. Co-branded uses such as restaurants and convenience stores must be well integrated into the main building. Disharmonious architectural elements to emphasize the presence or corporate identity of the co-branded use, including incorporation of a different façade or different roof pitches or profiles than the rest of the main building, must not be used.

.08 Car wash. The car wash opening must be sited where it is not directly visible as the primary view from the street into the project site. Car wash doors must remain closed while the wash is operating. Site design must also address off-site noise exposure, provision of adequate on-site underground drainage systems to keep water off public streets, and circulation/vehicle stacking.

.10 Canopy. The canopy must incorporate design elements that are found on the main building, including color, materials and roof pitch. The canopy must not be the dominant feature on the site, and it must not act as a sign or an attention-getting device. The canopy footprint may cover 15% or less of the site. Canopy support poles must incorporate decorative corbels consistent with the overall architectural theme of the site, or pole covers 18” (.5 m) or wider with a similar surface material and architectural treatments as the dominant masonry material on the main structure. The fascia must be the same color as the dominant color of the main building. Striping is not permitted.

.12 Vent pipes. Vent pipes must be completely screened or incorporated into the building architecture. Vent pipes must not be placed outside of the required building envelope.

.14 Landscaping. All landscaping must comply with Development Code requirements. Curb cuts to access aisles may occupy 20% of the lot frontage or less; the remainder must be landscaped. Projects located at street corners must provide some structural or strong design element to anchor the corner. This can be accomplished using a built element or with strong landscaping features.

.16 Hardscaping. The amount of unrelieved pavement or asphalt area on the site must be limited through use of landscaping, contrasting colors and banding or pathways of alternate paver material. Large expanses of concrete or asphalt must be avoided. Points of vehicle/pedestrian conflict must be clearly defined with textured and colored pavement or brick pavers.

.18 Circulation and stacking. The on-site circulation pattern must include adequate driving space to maneuver vehicles around cars parked at the pumps, with special attention to the circulation of vehicles not involved in the purchase of fuel.

.20 Signage. Signage must conform to Development Code sign requirements. Variances will not be issued for sign height and/or size, regardless of corporate standards or preferences, and/or proximity to major highways. 24’2 (2.2 m2) or less of signage may be placed on each canopy side; with no signage permitted under a canopy, except what is permitted under the “excepted signs” provisions of the sign regulations.

.22 Fencing and screening. All large trash containers and outdoor storage areas must be fully screened. Vehicles under repair must be kept either inside a structure or in an area that is screened from the street. Screen walls, trash enclosures and other service spaces must be constructed of materials and finishes which are consistent with the main building.

.24 Lighting. Awnings and canopy fascias must not be internally illuminated. Canopy lighting must comply with Development Code lighting standards regarding recessed placement, number, luminosity and source type.



thanks Dan....
I'm under the "gun" to get something
in place in short order. send along anything you get!



Dear Leader
Staff member
General commercial architectural design regs.


320.11 Commercial, office, public, institutional, and mixed use architecture

.01 Intent. Architecture and site planning that is dictated solely by corporate standards, cost efficiency and ease of vehicular movement will have a destructive effect on the Town’s character and sensitive visual environment, turning what was once a distinctive place into “Anytown USA.” Buildings that act as billboards; and “big boxes” with blank and windowless facades, flat roofs, lack of architectural detail, and miniscule entries are both boring and potential eyesores. The following standards are intended to ensure new development is compatible with the built environment, and respects and reinforces the Town’s values, unique character and “sense of place;” while creating a built environment that is attractive to prospective consumers, thus resulting in a healthy and desirable business climate.

.02 Character and image. Building design must contribute to the uniqueness of a zone district, and/or Town of Oakland with predominant materials, elements, features, color range and activity areas tailored specifically to the site and its context. In a shopping center or multiple building development, each individual building must include predominant characteristics shared by all buildings in the development so that the development forms a cohesive place. A standard building design must be modified if necessary to meet the design requirements of the Development Code.

.03 Form and mass. A single, large, dominant building mass must be avoided in new buildings and, to a feasible extent, in projects involving changes to the mass of existing buildings. Changes in mass must be related to entrances, the integral structure and/or the organization of interior spaces and activities and not merely for cosmetic effect. False fronts or parapets create an insubstantial appearance and are not permitted.

.04 Exterior walls and facades

.01 Pattern. Building facades must include a repeating pattern including the following:

• an expression of architectural or structural bays through a change in plane ≥12” wide, such as an offset, reveal, pilaster, projecting ribs, fenestration patterns, or piers (a);

and two or more of the following elements:

• color change (b);
• texture change (c);
• material module change (d).

One or more of elements (b), (c) or (d) must repeat horizontally. All elements must repeat at intervals of ≤30’, either horizontally or vertically.

.02 Base. All facades must have a recognizable "base" consisting of (but not limited to):

• thicker walls, ledges or sills;
• integrally textured materials such as stone or other masonry;
• integrally colored and patterned materials such as smooth-finished stone;
• lighter or darker colored materials, mullions or panels; or
• planters;

and a recognizable "top" consisting of (but not limited to):

• cornice treatments, other than colored "stripes" or "bands" alone, with integrally textured materials such as stone or other masonry or differently colored materials;
• sloping roof with overhangs and brackets;
• stepped parapets.

.03 Four sided design. All building sides must include materials and design characteristics consistent with those on the front. Use of inferior or lesser quality materials for side or rear facades is not permitted.

.04 Long walls and facades; projections and recesses. Walls and facades ≥100’ long must incorporate wall plane projections or recesses having a ≥3% depth of the façade length, and extending ≥20% of the façade length. The uninterrupted length of any facade must be <100’.

.05 Street facing walls. Walls that face streets, parking lots (excluding parking lots at rear loading docks), and/or connecting pedestrian walkways must not have a blank, uninterrupted length >20’ without including two or more of the following: change in plane, change in texture or masonry pattern, windows, or other equivalent elements that subdivide the wall into human scale proportions. Side or rear walls that face walkways may include false windows and door openings defined by frames, sills and lintels, or similarly proportioned modulations of the wall, only when actual doors and windows are not feasible because of the nature of the use of the building.

.06 Street facing facades. Facades that face streets, parking lots (excluding parking lots at rear loading docks), and/or connecting pedestrian walkways must be subdivided and proportioned using features such as windows, display areas, entrances, arcades, arbors, and awnings along ≥60% of the façade.

.07 Visible facades. All facades of a building visible from adjacent properties or the public right-of-way should contribute to the pleasing scale features of the building by featuring characteristics similar to a front façade.

.08 Primary building entrances. Primary building entrances must be clearly defined and recessed or framed by a sheltering element such as an awning, arcade or portico to provide shelter from the sun and inclement weather.

.09 Retail building entrances. Anchor stores, ≥50% of the stores in a shopping center; and freestanding, single-use buildings, must have a clearly defined, highly visible customer entrance with four or more of the following design elements:

• Canopies or porticos.
• Overhangs.
• Recesses and/or projections.
• Arcades.
• Raised corniced parapets over the door.
• Peaked roof forms.
• Arches.
• Outdoor patios.
• Display windows.
• Architectural details such as tile work and moldings that are integrated into the building structure and design.
• Integral planters or wing walls that incorporate landscaped areas and/or places for sitting.

.10 Awnings. Awnings must not be longer than a single storefront.

.11 Transparency in shopping center buildings. The front and side façades of retail spaces with less than 20,000 square feet in shopping centers and multi-tenant buildings must be transparent between 3’ and 8’ above the walkway grade for ≥60% of the façade. The front and side façades of retail buildings and spaces with ≥20,000’2 or more must be transparent between 3’ and 8’ above the walkway grade for 50% or more of the façade. Frames of casement style windows will be included in the calculation of transparent frontage.

.12 Transparency in single use retail buildings. The front and side façades of single use retail buildings with <20,000’2 must be transparent between 3’ and 8’ above the walkway grade along 50% or more of the façade. The front and side façades of retail buildings and spaces with ≥20,000’2 or more must be transparent between 3’ and 8’ above the walkway grade for ≥40% of the façade length. For buildings incorporating casement style windows, casement frames will be included in the calculation of transparent frontage.

.05 Building roofs

.01 Roof form design. Roof forms must correspond to and denote building elements and functions such as entrances, arcades and porches. Roof forms should relate to adjacent buildings or developments.

.02 Required features. Roofs must have one of the following features:

• Overhanging eaves, extending ≥18” past the supporting walls.
• Sloping roofs that do not exceed the average height of the supporting walls, with an average slope ≥1’ of vertical rise for every 3’ of horizontal run and ≤1’ of vertical rise for every 1’ of horizontal run.

.03 Roof lines. The continuous plane of a roof line must be ≤50’.

.04 Screening of mechanical equipment. All rooftop and ground mounted mechanical equipment must be screened (visually and acoustically) so it is not visible from the public right-of-way.

.06 Materials and color

.01 Building materials

• Predominant building exterior materials must be high quality, and used in their natural context and color. Masonry, brick, wood, and stone are examples of appropriate building materials.
• Concrete masonry units, smooth-faced concrete block, painted brick and masonry, tilt-up concrete panels, and prefabricated metal panels are not permitted. Pre-fabricated metal buildings are not permitted.
• Stucco and textured concrete are permitted only on buildings evoking Spanish or Mediterranean design themes, or above a base of masonry, brick or stone that visually anchors the building to the ground.

.02 Roof materials. Roof materials must be high quality, durable and consistent with local architectural themes. Concrete tile, high profile asphalt shingles, metal shingles and split seam metal are examples of appropriate roof materials.

.03 Building colors. Building colors must be low-reflecting, muted and neutral or earth-toned. Roof colors must be muted and compatible with the dominant building color. High-intensity colors. bright primary colors, metallic colors, black or fluorescent colors are not permitted. Building trim and accents with a cumulative surface area of ≤0.25% (1/400th) of the building surface area may feature shiny, glossy or reflective materials; or brighter colors.

.04 Material or color changes. Material or color changes must occur only at a change of plane or reveal line. Material or color changes at the outside corners of structures that give the impression of “thinness” and artificiality are not permitted. Piecemeal embellishment and frequent changes in material are not permitted.