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Multi-family design guidelines

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
The City of McKinney, Texas just adopted new architectural standards. They included specific requirements for multi-family projects:

1. Multi-family projects.
Multi-family projects shall not be required to achieve a minimum point score, and shall be approved if all the following criteria are met:
a. All buildings, including covered parking, shall have a pitched roof with a 4:12 minimum pitch.
b. Exterior finish on each side of every multi-family structure shall be a minimum of 75% brick, stone, or synthetic stone materials, with the remaining 25% of each side being wood lap siding, vinyl siding, stucco, cast concrete modular siding, or EIFS. Sheet siding fabricated to look like wood lap siding is prohibited. Area of exterior finish shall be calculated exclusive of doors and windows.
c. All covered parking shall be of similar and conforming architectural design and materials at the main multi-family structures.
d. All parking areas shall be screened from view from public thoroughfares by one or more of the following:
1. Building walls,
2. Earthen berms,
3. Masonry screening fence complying with standards of Section 41-105 (b), or
4. Tubular steel (primed and painted) or wrought iron fence with masonry columns spaced a maximum of fifty feet (50’) on center with structural supports spaced a minimum of ten feet (10’) on center, and with sufficient evergreen landscaping to create a screening effect.
e. All paving for drives, fire lanes, and parking shall be concrete.
f. Only monument signs shall be permitted.
g. Height of buildings on the perimeter of the property shall be limited to two (2) stories. In addition, any building three stories or greater in height must be set back from adjacent residential property at least two feet for every one foot of building height.
h. Exterior stairways shall be covered with a roof, roof overhang, or porch.

Hope this provides some guidance.
Good Luck.