COMMERCIAL / INDUSTRIAL DESIGN GUIDELINESCITY OF IRWINDALE - 2009 LA APA award for small jurisdiction

The City of Irwindale needed a revision to the existing design guidelines that would accomplish the following:

  • Respect the existing Spanish/Mexican architectural heritage;
  • Address issues that inhibited effective implementation identified by City Staff, the Planning Commission, and City Council;
  • Create a document that is easily interpreted by City Staff for permit processing and remodeling applications;
  • Provide for exemptions under specific circumstances, subject to review and approval by the Planning Commission or Director of Planning and Community  Development;
  • Revise landscaping requirements to a manageable percentage; and
  • Provide a certain level of flexibility balanced with certainty and consistency in order to avoid confusion and prohibitive costs to applicants and developers.

The revised Design Guidelines emphasize basic site and building design principles rather than specifying a particular architectural style. The principles addressed include continuity, focus, transition, balance, rhythm and integrity which are key to creating compatibility and integrity in architectural design. The Guidelines are also richly illustrated with photographs and sketches of desirable architectural forms and designs for ease of understanding. To encourage change and high quality signage that is integrated with the architecture and design of the building, new guidelines were established for signage throughout the city.