Draft 2040 OCP - Form & Character

Retail, Commercial and Industrial

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Last Updated: 
September 17, 2021

DRAFT VERSION FOR REVIEW - FALL 2021

2040 OCP - Form and Character Guidelines - Retail Commercial Industrial Chapter Header, image of Bernard Avenue cross streets in Kelowna

6.0 Retail, Commercial and Industrial

Key Guidelines

In order to achieve the design goals of the City, all retail, commercial & industrial projects must:

A6.1.0 a – Avoid blank walls facing the public street and design buildings such that their form and architectural character reflect the buildings internal function and use (see 6.1.4).
B6.1.0 b – Distribute trees and landscaping throughout the site  to soften public/private boundaries, define internal circulation routes, create pleasant pedestrian conditions, and maximize shade and stormwater management (see 6.1.2)
C6.1.0 c – Provide direct, safe, continuous and clearly defined pedestrian access from public sidewalks, parking areas, and transit stops to building entrances (see 6.1.2)
D6.1.0 d – Provide separation between vehicular routes (especially truck access/loading) and pedestrian routes on-site to avoid conflict and distinguish pedestrian routes from driving surfaces (see 6.1.2)
E6.1.0 e – Utilize stormwater management best practices to and provide on-site bio-retention facilities (e.g., bioswales, rain gardens) to collect, store and filter stormwater from parking and vehicle circulation areas (see 6.1.2).
6.1 General guidelines
6.1.1 Relationship to the Street

Design Intent: To site and design buildings to positively frame and, where possible, activate streets and public open spaces.

Guidelines

  1. Orient the long side of each building to be parallel to the public street.
  2. Locate entries to be visible and directly accessible from the public street.
  3. For buildings fronting highways, entries can be located away from the street, as long as there is a direct pedestrian connection to the site.
  4. Avoid blank walls adjacent to the highway, streets, walkways, parks, or other amenity spaces. 
6.1.2 Site Planning and Landscaping

Design Intent: To site buildings and utilize landscaping to respond sensitively to topography; to enhance environmental performance; to enhance safety and accessibility; and to increase connectivity to surrounding public sidewalks and paths.

Guidelines

  1. Locate buildings to ensure good sight lines for vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
  2. Provide direct, safe, continuous, and clearly defined pedestrian access from public sidewalks, parking areas, and transit stops to building entrances.

    Landscape and Open Space Planning 

  3. Use large canopy trees to define the public realm (e.g., at the sidewalk and property edge facing the street)
  4. Distribute trees and landscaping throughout the site (See Figure  61, 62, and 63) in order to: 
    • Soften property edges facing the street;
    • Define internal roads, pedestrian routes, and open spaces;
    • Create pleasant pedestrian conditions;
    • Screen parking, loading, service, and utility areas;  
    • Maximize shade, especially in parking areas; 
    • Manage stormwater on-site; and
    • Break up large rows of parking by substituting a parking stall with a canopy tree in planter every 8-10 parking stalls.

      Stormwater Management

  5. Provide on-site bio-retention facilities (e.g., bioswales, rain gardens) to collect, store and filter stormwater from parking areas (See Figure 62).
  6. Use permeable materials such as paving blocks or permeable concrete in parking areas to maximize rainwater infiltration.

    Circulation

  7. Pedestrian pathways should provide clear sight lines and connect the following:
    • Parking areas to building entrances (See Figure 64);
    • Main building entrances to public sidewalks (where applicable);
    • Main building entrances to transit stops (where applicable); and
    • Between buildings on adjacent lots.
  8. Provide separation between vehicular routes (especially truck access/loading) and pedestrian routes on-site to avoid conflict and distinguish pedestrian routes from driving surfaces by using varied paving treatments and/or raising walkways to curb level.
  9. Base new development on an internal circulation pattern that allows logical movement throughout the site and that will accommodate, and not preclude, intensification over time (See Figure 65). 
2040 OCP - Form and Character, figure 61, image example of landscaping along internal pedestrian trail
Figure 61: Landscaping along internal pedestrian walkways helps to define a safe and attractive  pedestrian realm (6.1.2 d).
2040 OCP - Form and Character - Figure 62, image example of landscaped areas with rain gardens to break up large parking space
Figure 62: Landscaped areas with rain gardens break up large parking spaces, and provide opportunities for on-site stormwater management (6.1.2 d)
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of trees and landscaping to soften public and private boundaries
Figure 63: Distribute trees and landscaping throughout the site to soften public/private boundaries, reinforce circulation routes, create pleasant pedestrian conditions, and maximize shade and stormwater management.
2040 OCP - Form and Character, diagram of parking modules defined by landscaped islands
Figure 64: Example of parking modules defined by landscaped islands and pedestrian paths oriented toward building entrances (6.1.2 g).
2040 OCP - Form and Character, figure 65, diagram of new development on an internal ciculation pattern
Figure 65:  Base new retail, commercial and industrial development on an internal circulation pattern that can easily accommodate redevelopment and future intensification (6.1.2 i).
6.1.3 Site Servicing, Access, and Parking

Design Intent: To ensure the provision of adequate servicing, vehicle access, and parking while minimizing adverse impacts on pedestrians and neighbouring properties.

Guidelines

Access

  1. Design site accesses to provide the potential for future shared access with neighbours and to minimize curb cuts.
  2. Where practical, link access drives and parking lots of adjacent properties in order to allow for the circulation of vehicles between sites.

    Parking

  3. The preferred location for main parking areas is at the rear and/or side of the building. Avoid locating large parking areas between the building and street. 
  4. Where parking areas are visible from the street, screen them using strategies such as tree planting, berming, low walls, decorative fencing and/or hedging.
  5. Break parking areas into smaller blocks defined by landscaping in order to minimize the amount of paved areas.

    Storage, Servicing, Utilities, Loading and Garbage

  6. Locate loading, utilities, mechanical equipment and garbage collection areas away from public view by: 
    • integrating these facilities into the footprint of the building; or
    • screening using fencing, walls and/or landscaping.
  7. Provide areas for temporary snow storage that do not conflict with site circulation, landscaping and access to utility boxes. For example, by providing access via a lane away from public view.
6.1.4 Building Articulation, Features, and Materials

Design Intent: To enhance visual interest, identity, and sense of place through building form, architectural composition, and materials. 

Guidelines 

  1. Avoid facing unarticulated facades to the street and use projections, recesses, arcades, awnings, color, and texture to improve the pedestrian experience.
  2. Design primary entrances to face the street, exhibit design emphasis, and provide weather protection by means of  canopy or recessed entry.
  3. Design buildings such that their form and architectural character reflect the building’s internal function and use (e.g., an industrial building, a large format retail mall).

    Signage
     

  4. Design signage as an integral element of the building’s facade, and to be compatible in scale and design with the design, color, and material of the building.
  5. Allow for brand identification where there are multiple buildings and uses on a site, but avoid individual corporate image, color, and signage back-lit signs from dominating the site.
  6. Locate, size, and design ground-mounted and wall-mounted signs to be oriented to pedestrians as opposed to vehicles.

    Lighting
     

  7. Provide shielded, down lighting to provide security and ambient lighting while minimizing light pollution and spill over lighting into adjacent properties.

    Weather Protection
     

  8. Provide weather protection at building entrances, close to transit stops, and in areas with pedestrian amenities.

    Materials
     

  9. Incorporate substantial, natural building materials such as masonry, stone, and wood into building facades.
  10. Use an integrated, consistent range of materials and colors and provide variety by, for example, using accent colors.
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of retail building with transparent frontage
Figure 66: Example of a retail building with a transparent frontage, integrated weather protection and use of natural building materials (6.2.4 b and i).
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of industrial building with transparent frontage and colour accent
Figure 67: Example of an industrial building with a transparent frontage and use of color accent (6.2.4 a and j).
6.2 Boutique retail

Overview

Boutique retail developments are often designed for convenient access by motorists with large areas of surface parking separating building entries from public sidewalks. They present many opportunities for improving design and functionality to become more pedestrian oriented. 

In addition to the General Retail, Commercial and Industrial Guidelines:

6.2.1 Relationship to the street

Guidelines

  1. Buildings on a corner parcel should orient frontages towards both streets if possible and include distinct architectural features (See Figure 68), such as:
    • Special or decorative canopies; 
    • Bay windows, balconies, turrets, or articulated roof line features; or
    •  A corner entrance.
  2. Avoid blank walls adjacent to the highway, streets, lanes, walkways, parks, or other amenity spaces. 
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of boutique retail building with corner unit
Figure 68: Boutique retail building with corner unit oriented to both frontages (6.2.1 a). 
6.2.2 Site Planning and Landscaping

Guidelines

  1. Provide site furnishings, such as seating, bike racks and shelters at building entrances and amenity areas.
6.2.3 Site Servicing, Access, and Parking

Guidelines

  1. Provide sheltered bicycle parking in visible and well-lit locations near building entrances and pedestrian walkways.
6.2.4 Building Articulation, Features, and Materials

Guidelines

  1. Design the façade of buildings with multiple storefronts so that each is defined through individual signage, entrances, canopies and/or materiality. 
  2. Create transparent retail frontages with visual access to the interior of retail stores, and avoid the use of: 
    • Materials such as black out advertising panels; 
    • Dark and/or reflective glass
6.3 Large format retail

Overview

Large format retail developments are a product of the automotive age, and are designed for convenient access by motorists with large areas of surface parking separating building entries from public sidewalks. As such,they present many opportunities for improving design and functionality, including enhancing the architectural design of box-style buildings; enhancing the pedestrian environment; improving landscaping in order to mitigate environmental and visual impact of parking areas; and designing to improve the character of the street and surrounding neighbourhoods. In recent years many underutilized mall sites across BC have redeveloped, and so it is also important to design with consideration for future adaptability and intensification of the site.

In addition to the General Retail, Commercial and Industrial Guidelines:

6.3.1 Relationship to the Street

Guidelines

  1. Locate active uses at grade, such as restaurants, boutique shops, food concessions and waiting areas and use clear windows and doors to make the pedestrian level façade highly transparent (See Figure 69). 
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of locating active uses at grade to create transparent facade
Figure 69: Locate active uses at grade to create a transparent facade (6.3.1 a)
6.3.2 Site Planning and Landscaping

Guidelines

Parking

  1. Break parking areas into smaller blocks defined by landscaped islands and pedestrian paths (min. 1.5m wide) in order to minimize the amount of paved areas.

    Circulation
     

  2. Design the internal circulation pattern to have direct connections to surrounding streets.

    Landscape and Open Space Planning
     

  3. Provide publicly-accessible open space on-site to provide places to linger (See Figure 70).
  4. Provide site furnishings, such as seating, bike racks, and shelters at building entrances and amenity areas.
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of publicly accessible open space
Figure 70: Publicly accessible open space on-site provides a place for visitors to linger (6.3.2 c).
6.3.3 Site Servicing, Access, and Parking

Guidelines

  1. Provide sheltered bicycle parking in visible and well-lit locations near building entrances and pedestrian walkways.
6.3.4 Building Articulation, Features & Materials

Guidelines

  1. Design the façade of buildings with multiple storefronts so that each is defined through individual signage, entrances, canopies and/or materiality.
  2. Wrap large format retail uses with smaller retail units around the periphery with individual entries accessed from the fronting   sidewalk or open space.
6.4 Industrial and Service Commercial

Overview and Context

Industrial and service commercial buildings play an important role in the function and economy of Kelowna and are oriented primarily towards providing convenient and safe access for commercial vehicles. They also present many opportunities to improve design and functionality, including enhancing the pedestrian environment once motorists get out of their vehicles, and are oriented primarily towards providing convenient and safe access for commercial vehicles; improving landscaping in order to mitigate environmental and visual impact of parking areas and buildings; and designing to mitigate negative impacts on neighbouring uses. 

6.4.1 Relationship to the Street

Guidelines

  1. Design primary entries to be clearly visible and accessible from the street (See Figure 71).
  2. Site the building’s primary facade parallel to the street and close to the minimum setback to establish a defined street edge.
  3. Include glazing as a major component of street facing facades.
  4. Maintain and enhance street edge definition by preserving or incorporating street trees.
  5. Locate the office, reception, or sales component of the building closer to the street than the plant or warehouse component.
  6. Do not locate service doors (e.g., an overhead loading door) facing the street.

    North End Industrial
     

  7. Design buildings to have frontages with multiple, smaller storefronts and an elevated level of materials (See Figure 72).
  8. Design multi-storey buildings (for example, those which mix industrial and commercial uses) to maintain and accommodate industrial uses on the ground floor by providing a first floor height of 5.5m.
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of primary entry that is clearly visible via pathway
Figure 71: Primary entry clearly visible and accessible from the street via a pedestrian pathway (6.4.1 a).
2040 OCP - Form and Character, diagram of examples of what to do and not to do in relation to frontages in North End Industrial Area
Figure 72: In the North End Industrial area, design buildings to have frontages with multiple storefronts (6.4.1 g).
6.4. Site Planning and Landscaping

Guidelines

Circulation

  1. Pedestrian pathways should provide clear sight lines and connect the building to outdoor amenity spaces.

    Stormwater management
     

  2. Consider providing landscaped green roofs to manage runoff, add visual appeal, improve energy efficiency, reduce heat island effect, and provide amenity value.
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of landscape strip with rain garden adjacant to parking
Figure 73: Landscape strip with rain garden adjacent to front visitor parking to provide stormwater management and soften the property edge.
6.4.3 Site Servicing, Access, and Parking

Guidelines

Parking

  1. The preferred location for main parking areas is at the rear and/or side of the building (See Figure 74). 
  2. Avoid locating large parking areas between the building and street. A single loaded row of visitor parking and passenger drop-off areas may be located between the building and the street.
  3. Where parking areas are visible from the street, screen it using strategies such as tree planting, berming, low walls, decorative fencing and/or hedging.
  4. Break parking areas into smaller blocks defined by landscaping in order to minimize the amount of paved areas.

    Storage, Loading and Garbage
     

  5. Locate outdoor storage areas within rear yards and/or interior side yards and screened from street view.
2040 OCP - Form and Character, diagram of preferred location for main parking areas at rear or side of the building
Figure 74: The preferred location for main parking areas is at the side and/or rear of the building (6.4.3 a). Provide landscaped amenity space and  landscaping to soften the street edge.
6.4.4 Building Articulation, Features, and Materials

Design Intent: To enhance liveability, visual interest, identity, and sense of place through building form, architectural composition, and materials. 

Guidelines

  1. Avoid facing unarticulated facades to the street and use projections, recesses, plantings, awnings, color and texture to reduce the visual size of any unglazed walls (See Figure 75).
  2. Use different exterior materials to distinguish between the plant/warehouse component of a building from the office/sales component (See Figure 76).
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image examples of using planting to screen and enliven
Figure 75: An example of using planting to screen loading and mechanical equipment (left) and enliven facades (right) (6.4.4 a)
2040 OCP - Form and Character, image example of using different exterior materials to distinguish between operational areas
Figure 76: Use of different exterior materials to distinguish between the plant/warehouse component of a building from the office/sales component (6.4.4 b).