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Design Guidelines

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The Town Center Area Plan sets out the long-range vision for land use and transportation in the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. Design guidelines are part of the method for implementing that vision.

Since adopting the plan in August 2001, the Town has hired a consultant to prepare design and signage guidelines and has begun adopting ordinances. A committee of downtown business representatives, Appearance Commission members and other citizens has helped shape the guidelines. New zoning regulations are likely as part of a town-wide rezoning scheduled for late 2002.

The Guidelines (by section)

Private realm - Composition and layout of private property, including building height, design, colors, materials, entrances, awnings, storage, lighting, displays, parking, landscaping, etc.

Public realm - Treatment of streetscapes along principal streets, including benches trash receptacles, bicycle racks, planters, street lights, tree planting, utilities, public signs, etc.

Way finding and trailblazing - System of signs to direct people to the town center and destinations such as government offices, library, parking, etc. (Recommended design incorporates clock at Chatham and Academy streets.)

Application and Review Process - Procedures apply to new construction, exterior renovation or remodeling, and to expansion projects requiring Town permits.  


The guidelines are intended to:

  • Convey what is allowed "as a matter of right" or provide direction to development interests and property owners. Compatible development that employs these guidelines will seek review and approval by a Town Center Development Review Committee.
  • Apply to new buildings and to the remodeling or expansion of existing buildings.
  • Apply to all new Town infrastructure and publicly maintained spaces in a defined core area.
  • Be viewed as one part of a larger set of ordinances and regulations governing land use within the town center. Development applicants and interested citizens will need to refer to other sources such as the Town's Sign Ordinance, the Unified Development Ordinance for detailed land use regulations, and the Town's Standard Specifications and Details for precise construction and engineering requirements.