Does the City require story poles for new construction?

For new construction in the City’s South Hills or West Hills area, IZO Section 16.040.R (Implementing Zoning Ordinance) requires a Visual Analysis for new or modified structures on hillsides or ridgelines. The visual analysis is prepared from the vantage point of an identified view platform and may be completed via one or more of the following:

  • Photographic exhibit;
  • Computer simulation;
  • Story poles;
  • Street elevations or other means of graphic representation that takes into account enough of the neighboring structures or site characteristics to provide a sense of massing and scale; or
  • Other methods may be approved by the decision making authority.

Under existing requirements, Story Poles are not required for new construction elsewhere in the City. For the EKN Appellation Hotel project, the following visual analyses will be completed and relied upon for the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) analysis and/or for Historic-SPAR (Site Plan and Architectural Review):

  • Shadow studies;
  • Diagrams to demonstrate the historic district’s context, influence, and relationship with the proposed architectural design;
  • Viewshed and footprint studies of the National Register District and what is proposed, renderings from the opposite side of the building, from 4th street and around the corner, and other studies to depict building height;
  • Diagrams to illustrate programmatic placements (interior/exterior spaces, circulation, etc.), iterations demonstrating the most efficient and effective program placement for this site, identify visual corridors/moments to be preserved, such as the view to the chapel, and viewshed analysis of existing and with the proposed design; and
  • Visual studies to determine if the project would result in adverse effects upon these vistas: the Washington Street overpass, the McNear Peninsula, and the Rocky Memorial Dog Park (as called for by the General Plan 2025 EIR).
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