The design review process is established to provide a means of reviewing development projects to insure that the projects are compatible with community aesthetics, including architectural design, massing and scale, context, color palette, signage, and landscaping. The design review process additionally serves a primary role in the implementation of adopted design standards.
What is the Design Review Committee?
(Please see below for DRC Agendas, Minutes, and Staff Reports)
The Design Review Committee (DRC) is the decision making body of the design review process. The Design Review Committee is made up of five members, consisting of professionals that are appointed by the City Council. The DRC is authorized under Section 17.08.020.D of the Orange Municipal Code to review and make a determination on design matters for projects located within the City of Orange. The DRC meets two times a month as needed.
Meetings: The Design Review Board shall meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. (Resolution No. 9643)
Desirable Qualifications: The Design Review Board shall consist of five (5) members of the public who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the City Council. Committee members shall be persons who are qualified to analyze and interpret architectural and site planning information, including, but not limited to, licensed landscape architects and architects, urban planners, engineers and licensed general contractors. At least two of the members shall have professional experience in urban planning, architectural history, or historic preservation and shall have general knowledge of architectural styles prevalent in Old Towne. Members shall live or work in the city. Staff expertise in historic preservation and landscaping shall be available as a resource to the Committee. (Ordinance 11-02)
Terms of Office: Appointed members shall serve a four year term. Officers shall consist of a chairman and vice-chairman, both of whom shall be selected by the members of the Committee.
General Duties: Make final determination on signs and sign programs in accordance with Orange Municipal Code Chapter 17.36; architectural and landscaping design matters for minor site plan review applications when referred by Staff Review Committee; architectural and landscaping design matters for external remodeling of commercial, industrial, institutional and large scale multiple family developments, except for Minor Site Plan Review projects acted upon by the Staff Review Committee; and architectural and landscaping design matters for projects in the Old Towne Historic District, when no Planning Commission review is required. Review and make recommendations to the Planning Commission on architectural and landscaping design matters for all development projects and proposed demolitions requiring Planning Commission recommendation or approval. (Ordinance No. 11-02)
When is design review required?
Design review is required for the projects listed below:
Development projects requiring Planning Commission or City Council approval.
Any project requiring Major Site Plan Review.
Signs as specified in Chapter 17.36 of the Orange Municipal Code.
All projects located within a Redevelopment Project Area, except where otherwise exempted by the specific design guidelines adopted for the project area.
All projects in Old Towne or other historic districts as established, except where otherwise exempted by the specific design guidelines adopted for the project area.
All projects for external remodeling of commercial, industrial, institutional, and large scale multiple family developments, except where otherwise exempt by city codes, including adopted design standards and/or specific plans.
Criteria Used for Evaluating a Project
In general, all projects shall have an internally consistent, integrated design theme that reflects the following elements:
The architectural features shall reflect a similar design style or period.
Creative building elements and identifying features shall be used to create a high quality project with visual interest and architectural style.
The type, size and location of landscape material shall support the project’s overall design concept.
Landscaping shall not obstruct visibility of required addressing, nor shall it obstruct the vision of motorists or pedestrians in proximity to the site.
Landscape areas shall be provided in and around parking lots to break up the appearance of large expanses of paving.
All signage shall be compatible with the building(s) design, scale, color, and materials.
Secondary Functional & Accessory Features
Trash receptacles, storage and loading areas, transformers and mechanical equipment shall be screened in a manner that is architecturally compatible with the principal building(s).