Urban Design Element (Public Hearing Draft, 5/1/13)
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Gateways are transitional places and visual cues that announce entrances to cities, neighborhoods or districts. From a land use and urban design perspective, important features of gateways include architecture, landscaping, views, lighting, streetscape, and signage.

San Clemente has many gateways to special places, each with its own unique identity. From our freeway off-ramps, which often serve as a visitor’s first glimpse into our community, to the thresholds of our distinct commercial districts, to the physical and visual entryways into our rich natural and recreational resources, San Clemente’s gateways are a reflection of our unique heritage, our commitment to preserving our Spanish Colonial Revival architectural character and our expectations for quality development and design.


Create clearly marked and aesthetically pleasing entry points into San Clemente and its many unique neighborhoods and districts, and ensure that such gateways incorporate quality architecture, historic resources, distinctive landscaping, signage and streetscape features that create a sense of arrival and reinforce the City’s identity and unique architectural character.


UD-2.01. Architecture/Design Quality. We require high quality design for buildings at visually significant locations in gateway areas. New buildings and major remodels in Gateway areas adjacent to or opposite I-5 offramps, as shown in Figure UD-1, shall follow Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style, except where otherwise specified in the Design Guidelines and other adopted policies.
UD-2.02. Spanish Village by the Sea Design Identity. We require gateway design elements (e.g., architecture, landscaping, signage, lighting, streetscape furniture, hardscape materials, etc.) to reflect San Clemente’s Spanish Village by the Sea architectural character, unless otherwise specified in the Design Guidelines, Focus Area goals and policies (e.g., Los Molinos or Surf Zone areas, which have more eclectic design character).
UD-2.03. Historic Resources. In designing and constructing gateway improvements, we preserve and incorporate views of historic resources.
UD-2.04. Circulation. We require roadway improvements in gateway areas to enhance motor vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, and transit circulation.
UD-2.05. Public View Corridors. We require the preservation of designated public view corridors in the design and construction of gateway area improvements.
UD-2.06. Parking. We limit the visibility of surface parking lots and parking spaces within gateway areas by requiring them to be located behind or to the side of buildings. Where this is not practical, we ensure that street-facing parking spaces and parking lots are visually screened with landscaping and/or architectural treatments.
UD-2.07. Wayfinding System. We provide directional signs and access information to visitors through a clearly articulated and aesthetically pleasing wayfinding sign program.
UD-2.08. Hardscape Materials. We require high-quality paving materials, consistently applied within the districts served by gateways, for all sidewalks, crosswalks and other public spaces.
UD-2.09. Art in Public Places. We encourage the inclusion of public art in private development and in public improvements in gateway areas.
UD-2.10. Visual Screening. We require visual screening of blank walls, trash bins, and parking facilities through a variety of landscaping and architectural design treatments. Where possible, we require the screening of utilities infrastructure. Unsightly properties and buildings should be visually screened in an attractive manner.
UD-2.11. Overhead Utilities. We encourage the undergrounding of overhead utilities infrastructure in gateway areas.
UD-2.12. Gateways on Highways. We work with Caltrans and other agencies to ensure aesthetics are an integral consideration in the design, implementation and maintenance of all highway facilities and rights-of-way, with special emphasis on gateway areas.

Note: Gateway policies and implementation measures specific to individual Focus Areas are included in the Focus Areas section of the Land Use Element.




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