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Brandon Township
Amending Ordinance adding section 46-304, Architectural Design Requirements

March 07, 2012



Amending Ordinance adding section 46-304, Architectural Design Requirements to the Brandon Township Code of Ordinances.


THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF BRANDON, OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN ORDAINS: that the current code of ordinances Article V, Section 46-304 be added, and it is appropriate for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township that the Code be amended accordingly.

Addition of Article V, Section 46-304 Architectural Design Requirements to read as follows:

Architectural Design Requirements.

The purpose of this section is to provide a consistent and equitable set of exterior architectural design standards, the intent of which is to create, enhance and promote the qualitative visual environment of Brandon Township. Also, the intent is to encourage developers and their architects to explore the design implication of their project to the context of the site, surrounding area and Brandon Township, and to provide the Planning Commission with a sense and appreciation for the design process. This section is not intended to regulate the quality, workmanship and requirements for materials relative to strength, durability and endurance, maintenance, performance, load capacity, or fire resistance characteristics.

Building design and location shall contribute to the uniqueness of the commercial zoned areas within Brandon Township with predominant material, elements, features, color range and activity areas tailored specifically to the site and its content. In the case of projects which contain more than one building, each individual building shall include predominant characteristics shared by all buildings in the development so that the development forms a cohesive place within the M-15 corridor and other commercial zoned properties. In projects containing more than one building, a distinct visual link shall be established among various buildings by using architectural or site design elements such as courtyards, plaza(s), landscaping and walkways to unify the project. A standardized prototype design shall be modified if necessary to meet the provisions of this ordinance per section A below. Emphasis shall be placed on providing a pedestrian circulation system which promotes safety and social interaction, connecting neighborhoods with open space, recreational and community facilities while offering commercial, office and mixed use areas.

A. Design Theme: Within each project, buildings shall be designed with an overall Architectural Theme consistent with or complementary to the Federal, Georgian, Italianate, or Greek Revival or other early American periods. Pre-existing buildings on adjoining tracts shall not be a factor in the design of new buildings unless they are consistent with the architectural objectives defined herein. Transition shall be developed between projects with different uses and intensities on adjacent parcels to provide an effective visual and functional shift. Transition may be created through appropriate building setback, height and landscape buffers.

B. Open Space and Community Design Feature:

(1.) Residential uses (not in single family residential districts). An active and passive recreation/open space shall demonstrate that at least ten (10) percent of the gross land area is maintained for recreation/open space amenities which accurately reflect the intended demographics of the development not withstanding other ordinance requirements for cluster housing options, planned unit development or other residential development standards.

(2.) All Non-Residential Uses. Each non-residential establishment shall contribute to the establishment or enhancement of community and public spaces by providing at least two (2) of the examples but not limited to any of the following: patio/seating area, pedestrian plaza with benches, window shopping walkway, outdoor playground area, water feature, clock tower, flag poles and shall include other such deliberately shaped area and/or focal feature or amenity that, in the sole discretion of the Planning Commission, is determined to adequately enhance such community and public spaces.

C. Building Proportion: A building(s) within a development should generally avoid long, monotonous, uninterrupted walls or roof planes. The design and placement of building facades, doors, windows, and architectural design details shall be used to accomplish this task.

D. Building Facades: Facades shall have a defined base or foundation, a middle or modulated wall, and a top formed by a pitched roof or articulated cornice, in each instance appropriate to the building style. Buildings with continuous facades that are ninety (90) feet or greater in width shall be designed with offsets (projecting or recessed) along at least twenty (20) percent of the length of the fašade. Windows, awnings, and arcades must total at least sixty (60) percent of a fašade length abutting a public street.

Facades constructed of more than one material shall only change materials along a horizontal line or along vertical line of an architectural element (not a diagonal line) unless it is an integral part of the design feature. The material that appears to be heavier shall always be placed beneath the lighter material. All facades of building shall be of the same material and similarly detailed. One dominant material shall be selected, with a preference towards stone or brickwork. Wood or wood appearing materials (vinyl siding, hardy board) are allowed however it shall be of a type that is installed as individual pieces and not of large panels. Buildings that are located at the termination of a view or vista shall be considered a more significant structure and will be required to have special architectural treatment. Block or metal sheet panel walls are strictly prohibited

Design elements of the elevations shall be organized such that openings line up horizontally and vertically with other openings. Openings in a fašade shall be arranged in a balanced, relatively uniform fashion. Openings of varying sizes are often centered vertically along the center line of the openings above or below.

E. Roofs: Roofs shall be simply and symmetrically pitched and only in the configuration of gables and hips, with pitches ranging from 4:12 to 14:12. Shed roofs are permitted only when the ridge is attached to an exterior wall of a building, and shall conform to pitch between 14:12 and 4:12. Flat roofs are permitted when consistent with the historic style or architecture, if edged by a railing or parapet, and if rooftop mechanical equipment is either camouflaged on all sides or visually integrated into the overall design of the building. All roofing materials shall be compatible with the style, materials, color, details and proportion of the building. In no case shall rooftop mechanical equipment be visible from adjoining streets or residential zones or uses.

Modulating of the roof and/or roof line will be required in order to eliminate box-shaped buildings. Parapets must be fully integrated into the architectural design of the building and provide seamless design transitions, including exterior materials between the main building mass, mechanical penthouses and other roof structures. Should they be used, partial parapets shall have a return that extends inward to at least the first structural bay, or twenty five (25) feet, whichever is greater.

Dormers shall be designed with correct details, proportion and type consistent with the overall building composition and roofed with symmetrical gables, hip or barrel roofs. Belvederes, cupolas, and pergolas are permitted if appropriate to the type, well proportioned, and fully detailed.

In instances where roof vents, roof mounted mechanical equipment, pipes, and other projections and equipment on the roof can be viewed from above, they shall be grouped together and painted to match the roof color to reduce their appearance, and screened from view. In instances where roof areas or mechanical equipment can be viewed from below, all roof vents, roof mounted mechanical equipment, pipes, and other projections and equipment on the roof shall be painted to match the roof color or screened from view. There shall be variations in roof lines to add visual interest.

F. Entrances: Primary building entrances shall be clearly defined and recessed or framed by a sheltering element such as an awning, arcade or portico in order to provide shelter from the summer sun or winter weather. The location, orientation, proportion and style of the doors must faithfully reflect the chosen style of the building.

G. Windows: All window designs shall be compatible with the style, materials, color, details and proportion of the building. The number window of panes, the way it opens, the trim around it and whether it is embellished with shutters must be consistent with the architectural style of the structure

H. Awnings. Fixed or retractable awnings are permitted if they complement a building's architectural style, material, colors, and details; do not conceal architectural features ( such as cornices, columns, pilasters, or decorative details); do not impair fašade composition; and are designed as an integral part of the fašade. Metal or aluminum awnings are prohibited unless they are matching and compatible to the roofing material.

I. Storefronts. Storefronts shall be integrally designed with overall fašade character. Ground floor retail, service and restaurant uses should generally have large pane window displays, however, they shall not exceed seventy five percent (75%) of the total ground level (first floor) fašade area. Buildings with multiple storefronts shall be of unified design through the use of common materials, architectural details, signage and lighting consistent with the overall building style.

J. Drive-thru windows. Drive-thru windows shall be designed as a related, integrated architectural element and part of the overall design composition of the building.

K. Pedestrian pathways and sidewalks. Vehicular access and circulation shall be planned to ensure safe pedestrian movement within the development. Pedestrian systems shall provide safe, all weather, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing means of on-site movement and shall be an integral part of the overall design concept. Pedestrian pathway connections to parking areas, buildings and other amenities between on-site and perimeter pedestrian systems and paths shall be planned and installed when feasible. Pedestrian pathways shall also be provided to accommodate neighboring properties and connect to other pathway systems. The pathways are to be a minimum of 5 feet in width and constructed of approved hard surface materials.

L. Signage. All signs permitted within Brandon Township shall be subject to the provisions of Article X, (Signs) unless a stricter provision is provided below. All signs with in a specific development shall be subject to the following requirements and standards:

a. All signs shall be designed so as to be integral and compatible with the architecture and landscape component of the development.

b. A comprehensive sign plan shall be submitted with each development project.

M. Lighting. All lighting shall conform to the requirements of Section 46-421, in order to maintain vehicle and pedestrian safety, site security and accentuate architectural details.

N. Landscape, Greenbelts, Buffers and screening elements. All landscape features of the site shall conform to the requirements detailed in Article VIII. (Natural Resource Protections and Enhancement).

O. Utilities and Communication Devices. All exterior on-site utilities, including but not limited to drainage systems, sewers, gas lines, water lines, electrical, telephone and communications wires and equipment, shall be installed and maintained underground wherever possible. On site underground utilities shall be designed and installed to minimize disruption of off-site utilities, paving and landscape during construction and maintenance.


The invalidity of any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this Ordinance shall not affect the validity of the remaining parts of this Ordinance.


The Clerk for the Charter Township of Brandon shall cause this Ordinance to be published in the manner required by the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, Act 110 of 2006 as amended and MCL 42.22.


This Ordinance shall be effective the day of publication, March 10, 2012.


The forgoing Ordinance was duly adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Brandon at its regular meeting called and held on the 5th day of March, 2012 and was ordered to be given publication in the manner required by law.

B. Jean McCreery, CMC

Charter Township of Brandon

Introduced 1/17/2012

Adopted 3/05/2012

Published 3/10/20121

Effective 03/10/2012

The full Code of Ordinances can be viewed at the Clerk's office at 395 Mill Street, Ortonville, MI 48462.

Posted by B. Jean McCreery, CMC, Brandon Township Clerk, 395 Mill Street, P.O. Box 929, Ortonville, MI. 48462

Publish in The Citizen 3-10-12