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Design Guidelines and Standards

There are four types of Gateway Features regulated by various design guidelines and standards. They are; community features, primary neighbourhood features, secondary neighbourhood features, and private/condo features. All of which are regulated by their own standards and guidelines in location, design, and approvals.

Community Feature

Location

Guidelines

  • Community level features shall be installed on arterial road rights of way at the discretion of the City.

Standards

  • Location shall be determined by the City’s Signs on City Road By-law No 2003-520 as amended, Tourism and Public Service Signs Policy and Encroachments on City Highways By-law No. 2003-446 as amended.
  • Installed on arterial road intersections only.

Design

Guidelines

Materials
  • Items that require re-application or frequent maintenance are not permitted.
  • An emphasis on natural materials (trees, rocks, landform, berming etc….) is encouraged. Vandal resistant materials are also recommended.
  • Ensure plant material is installed to the sides and rear of gateway features to avoid obscuring the feature over time.
  • Certified professionals in design and engineering are required to design and review the plans.
  • It is recommended that all stone products (natural or engineered) must be properly designed and installed to reduce deterioration due to water infiltration into the mortar or behind the stones.
  • Materials shall be long lasting with limited requirement for ongoing maintenance activities.
Size
  • The size of gateway features should be in proportion to the scale of the surrounding landscape and adjacent buildings.
  • Natural features (trees, stones, berming etc…) shall not obscure a majority of the facade of adjacent buildings when they are at mature height / width.
  • Each feature in the proposed hierarchy shall have a maximum and minimum size.
  • The feature should not obscure traffic signs and must not obscure the sightline of a motorist, pedestrian or cyclist.
Legibility
  • The type of font used is the most important factor for legibility. Designers should consult any appropriate federal and provincial legislation for signage legibility.
  • Corporate or marketing text / logos are not permitted. Community logos are permitted at the discretion of the City.
  • The use of brush or script type fonts that are difficult to read at long distances is not permitted.
  • Block style fonts or variations shall be permitted.
  • Lettering should be wide enough to be seen in contrast with the background material
  • Avoid use of shadow lines that may detract from the primary text.
  • Ensure the material that the text / logo is made out of is not highly reflective.
  • Ensure high contrast between the text / logo and background material is achieved.

Standards

Materials that shall not be permitted are:

  • Wood (with or without painting),
  • Mechanical, electrical, lighting or water components,
  • Painted metal fencing,
  • Painted signage (any material),
  • Clay bricks,
  • Plant material and planting beds that require frequent watering, weeding and / or pruning.


Materials that shall be permitted are:

  • Natural stone (must be a dense stone that does not spall, chip or shatter easily),
  • Engineered stone.

All stone products (natural or engineered) must be properly installed and “capped” to reduce deterioration due to water infiltration into the mortar or behind the stones. One method of performing this would be to apply copper sheathing over the wall prior to installing the coping or pillar cap.

  • Natural vegetative materials (long lived trees, shrubs that do not require annual pruning, plants with winter interest i.e. conifers). Plant material must be installed to the sides and rear of gateway features to avoid obscuring the feature over time.
  • Landform and berming that provides a unique identity,
  • Galvanized metal elements that have been proven to resist deterioration.
  • Non-painted steel (that will naturally oxidize) is an option but must be approved for aesthetic purposes and must be installed away from salt spray.
  • A built form Community gateway feature must be a maximum of 3.0 metres in height and 10.0 metres in width, subject to other design criteria noted herein.
  • A built form Community gateway feature should be a minimum of 1.0 metres in height and 3.0 metres in width, subject to other design criteria noted herein.
  • Text shall be minimum 300mm height.
  • Community logos shall be a minimum 600mm height and 900mm width.
  • Site lines (i.e. the daylight triangle) as per City of Ottawa Traffic & Parking Operations (TPO) Branch, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and Transportation Association of Canada (T.A.C.) guidelines shall be respected and consulted when designing and placing gateway features.
  • he daylight triangle shall be at the size recommended by City standards, MTO requirements and T.A.C standards where applicable. Typically the daylight triangle defines the ROW limits, however, additional land may be added to the ROW by conveyance (without expanding the daylight triangle) if necessary to provide room for a gateway feature.
  • The design shall avoid conflicts with utilities by being prepared in conjunction with the Composite Utility Plan where possible.

Approvals

Guidelines

  • Any gateway feature design that is proposed as part of a development application shall be submitted for review and approval to the General Manager of Planning and Growth Management under the Delegation of Authority Bylaw.
  • Features must also be aesthetically designed by a design professional, certified by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) or the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) in addition to the internal City design reviews. Design plans must be certified by one of these professionals at the design, installation and end of warranty stages.
  • Construction techniques and design plans must be certified by a professional engineer at the design, installation and end of warranty stages.

Standards

  • An upset limit of two (2) community gateway features per community OR
  • 1 community gateway feature per 800 hectares, whichever is less
  • The actual number of features permitted may be restricted to less than the above at the discretion of the General Manager of Planning and Growth Management.
  • Developers shall be required to submit cost estimates for construction and maintenance at the time of development application. This will assist in determining quantities for securities and the Maintenance Fund.
  • The features shall be warranted for 1 year following receipt of the Preliminary Approval.

Funding

Guidelines

  • City may fund installation of community level features subject to Council approved funding.
  • City funds ongoing maintenance.
  • City may form partnerships with developers or community associations but shall retain control of installation / removal / maintenance of gateway features.
  • On occasion the Developer may become involved with the design and construction of these features (at the discretion of the City). If this situation occurs the guidelines and standards for Primary Neighbourhood features shall be followed.

Standards

  • When constructed by developers 100% securities must be posted regardless of hierarchy.

Primary Neighbourhood Feature

Location

Guidelines

  • Primary Neighbourhood features should be installed on major collector road rights of way and maintained by the City. Expanded ROW shall be provided by conveyance if required by the City.

Standards

  • Location shall be determined by the City’s Signs on City Road By-law No 2003-520 as amended and Encroachments on City Highways By-law No. 2003-446 as amended.
  • These features shall be installed primarily on major collector road intersections, or on occasion the intersection of arterials and major collectors may be permitted.

Design

Guidelines

The design of Primary Neighbourhood features shall be similar to the design of Community level features other than the scale / size of the feature.

Materials
  • Items that require re-application or frequent maintenance are not permitted.
  • An emphasis on natural materials (trees, rocks, landform, berming etc….) is encouraged. Vandal resistant materials are also recommended.
  • Ensure plant material is installed to the sides and rear of gateway features to avoid obscuring the feature over time.
  • Certified professionals in design and engineering are required to design and review the plans.
  • It is recommended that all stone products (natural or engineered) must be properly designed and installed to reduce deterioration due to water infiltration into the mortar or behind the stones.
  • Materials shall be long lasting with limited requirement for ongoing maintenance activities.
Size
  • The size of gateway features should be in proportion to the scale of the surrounding landscape and adjacent buildings.
  • Natural features (trees, stones, berming etc…) shall not obscure a majority of the facade of adjacent buildings when they are at mature height / width.
  • Each feature in the proposed hierarchy shall have a maximum and minimum size.
  • The feature should not obscure traffic signs and must not obscure the site line of a motorist, pedestrian or cyclist.
Legibility
  • The type of font used is the most important factor for legibility. Designers should consult any appropriate federal and provincial legislation for signage legibility.
  • Corporate or marketing text / logos are not permitted. Community logos are permitted at the discretion of the City.
  • The use of brush or script type fonts that are difficult to read at long distances is not permitted.
  • Block style fonts or variations shall be permitted.
  • Lettering should be wide enough to be seen in contrast with the background material.
  • Avoid use of shadow lines that may detract from the primary text.
  • Ensure the material that the text / logo is made out of is not highly reflective.
  • Ensure high contrast between the text / logo and background material is achieved.

Standards

Materials that shall not be permitted are:

  • Wood (with or without painting),
  • Mechanical, electrical, lighting or water components,
  • Painted metal fencing,
  • Painted signage (any material),
  • Clay bricks,
  • Plant material and planting beds that require frequent watering, weeding and / or pruning.

Materials that shall be permitted are:

  • Natural stone (must be a dense stone that does not spall, chip or shatter easily),
  • Engineered stone.

All stone products (natural or engineered) must be properly installed to reduce deterioration due to water infiltration into the mortar or behind the stones. One method of performing this would be to apply copper sheathing over the wall prior to installing the coping or pillar cap.

  • Natural vegetative materials (long lived trees, shrubs that do not require annual pruning, plants with winter interest i.e. conifers). Plant material must be installed to the sides and rear of gateway features to avoid obscuring the feature over time.
  • Landform and berming that provides a unique identity,
  • Galvanized metal elements that have been proven to resist deterioration.
  • Non-painted steel (that will naturally oxidize) is an option but must be approved for aesthetic purposes and must be installed away from salt spray.
  • A built form Primary Neighbourhood gateway feature must be a maximum of 2.0 metres in height and 5.0 metres in width, subject to other design criteria noted herein.
  • A built form Primary Neighbourhood gateway feature should be a minimum of 1.0 metres in height and 3.0 metres in width, subject to other design criteria noted herein.
    • Text shall be minimum 200mm height.
    • Community logos shall be a minimum 450mm height and 600mm width.
  • Site lines (i.e. the daylight triangle) as per City of Ottawa Traffic & Parking Operations (TPO) Branch, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and Transportation Association of Canada (T.A.C.) guidelines shall be respected and consulted when designing and placing gateway features.
  • The daylight triangle shall be at the size recommended by TPO, MTO and T.A.C. Typically the daylight triangle defines the ROW limits, however, additional land may be added to the ROW by conveyance (without expanding the daylight triangle) if necessary to provide room for a gateway feature.
  • The design shall avoid conflicts with utilities by being prepared in conjunction with the Composite Utility Plan where possible

Approvals

Guidelines

  • Any gateway feature design that is proposed as part of a development application shall be submitted for review to the General Manager of Planning and Growth Management under the Delegation of Authority Bylaw.
  • Features must also be aesthetically designed by a design professional, certified by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) or the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) in addition to the internal City design reviews. Design plans must be certified by one of these professionals at the design, installation and end of warranty stages.
  • Construction techniques and design plans must be certified by a professional engineer at the design, installation and end of warranty stages.

Standards

  • An upset limit of sixteen (16) primary neighbourhood features per community OR
  • 1 primary neighbourhood feature per 100 hectares, whichever is less.
  • The actual number of features permitted may be restricted to less than the above at the discretion of the General Manager of Planning and Growth Management.
  • Developers shall be required to submit cost estimates for construction and maintenance at the time of development application. This will assist in determining quantities for securities and the Maintenance Fund.
  • The features shall be warranted for 1 year following receipt of the Preliminary Approval.

Funding

Guidelines

  • Developers shall fund installation of primary neighbourhood gateway features.
  • Developer shall maintain features during the warranty period, which is 1 year following receipt of the Preliminary Approval. Features must receive their final certification prior to take over of maintenance by the City.
  • The Developer will be required to contribute to the developer financed Maintenance Fund for the features.

Standards

  • The developer financed Maintenance Fund shall supply all necessary funding to maintain the feature once ownership has been handed over to the City.
  • A developer proposing the installation of a Primary Gateway Feature is required to contribute a minimum of $25,000 to the Maintenance Fund for a feature costing up to $100,000 to build. If the value of the proposed feature exceeds $100,000, then the developer will also contribute an additional 15% of the value of the feature above $100,000 to the Maintenance Fund.
  • Securities shall be posted at development registration and prior to installation to ensure funds are available for removal, if necessary. The developer financed Maintenance Fund contribution, shall be paid at registration.
  • At the end of the developer’s warranty period and after the feature has received final certification the securities will be released and the City becomes responsible for ongoing maintenance.

Secondary Neighbourhood Feature

Location

Guidelines

  • Secondary Neighbourhood features shall be temporary installations on private land and shall be maintained and removed at the developer’s cost.

Standards

  • Location shall be determined by the City’s Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law No. 2005-439 as amended.
  • These features shall be installed on private property adjacent to the ROW in the vicinity of collector road intersections or on occasion in the vicinity of collector and major collector intersections.

Design

Guidelines

  • Secondary neighbourhood features are temporary features and therefore may not have as stringent design guidelines as the primary neighbourhood and community features but are subject to the requirements of City by-laws.
  • Wood, metal and painted materials are permitted as long as they meet the requirements of Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law 2005-439 as amended. The duration that the feature is anticipated to be in place will influence the durability of the materials used by the developer.
  • Prior to construction technical certification is required if a built structure is proposed.
  • Features may be constructed in similar manner to the primary neighbourhood and community features; however, the developer must still remove the feature when the sign permit is revoked.

Standards

  • Various materials and sizes are permitted as long as they meet the requirements of Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law 2005-439 as amended.
  • A Secondary Neighbourhood feature should be smaller than the maximum size of a Primary Neighbourhood feature and must meet all by-law requirements.

Approvals

Guidelines

  • Approval of secondary neighbourhood features shall fall under the City’s policies and bylaws.
  • The size of the features shall conform to the overall size requirement in the City’s Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law and shall count towards the total signage area allowed for the development.

Standards

  • Secondary neighbourhood features shall meet the requirements of Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law 2005-439 as amended.
  • Securities shall be posted at the design stage and will be released at the end of the permit period when the feature is removed to the City’s satisfaction.

Funding

Guidelines

  • Developers fund installation, maintenance and removal of all secondary neighbourhood gateway features.
  • Securities shall be posted at registration and prior to installation to ensure funds are available to the City for removal, if necessary.

Standards

  • Developer shall maintain features during the period that the development is in progress with annual renewals of the signage permit under the Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law 2005-439 as amended.

Private - Condo Feature

Location

Guidelines

  • Private / Condo features shall be installed on private property.

Standards

  • Location shall be determined by the City’s Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law No. 2005-439 as amended.

Design

Guidelines

  • Design of private / condo features shall be governed by these guidelines but shall also fall under the City’s Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law 2005-439 as amended. Therefore more text and / or logos are permitted than would be permitted for Community and Primary Neighbourhood features.
  • City shall request design certification through site plan application process to protect private groups. A maintenance clause shall be on the title documents that shall include these features as part of the common elements of the development and therefore maintenance shall be the responsibility of the Condo Association or similar entity.
  • Gateway features for private / condo sites should not be placed on individual homeowners’ lots with the expectation that the owner assumes maintenance responsibilities when the development and warranty are completed.
  • Warning clauses on title shall be prepared to ensure that the Condo / Community Association will assume maintenance responsibilities after the developers warranty has expired and securities have been released.

Standards

  • Various materials and sizes are permitted as long as they meet the requirements of Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law 2005-439 as amended.

Approvals

Guidelines

  • Approval of private / condo features shall fall under the existing City’s policies and bylaws.

Standards

  • Private / Condo features shall meet the requirements of the City’s Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law 2005-439 as amended.

Funding

Guidelines

  • Developers pay for installation of initial features and maintain during the warranty period, which is 1 year following receipt of the Preliminary Approval.
  • Community association, condominium association, tenants in common association, joint use maintenance agreement, or similar group is required to take over maintenance and replacement after warranty expires.

Standards

  • Developer shall maintain features during the warranty period under the requirements of the City’s Signs (Permanent Signs on Private Property) By-law 2005-439 as amended.
  • Securities shall be posted at the design stage and will be released when the condo / community association assumes responsibility for the feature.
  • The developer shall be required to maintain securities until a condo / community association is in place.