By DAVID GREEN
Morenci planning commission members Thursday continued discussion about the creation of design standards for downtown buildings. Eventually the proposed ordinance will be submitted to city council for its consideration.
Zoning administrator Jacob Barnes suggested adding the following introductory wording: The City of Morenci encourages regular maintenance of all commercial buildings. In cases where no zoning or building permit are required, it is the building owner's responsibility to consult with the City Building Inspector prior to any maintenance work that would change the appearance of the building. This includes, but is not limited to: painting, siding replacement, exterior windows/doors, or façade changes."
This would address simple maintenance issues, Barnes said, to prevent changes from clashing with existing architecture.
The general intention of the ordinance, commission member Keith Pennington said, is that if something is already in place, it remains. But if a non-conforming feature were removed, the owner cannot return to the non-conforming look. For example, Barnes said, if a business had barn siding and it was taken off, new barn siding could not be added.
The proposed ordinance states that if exterior work is limited to alterations and improvements, a limited site plan must precede the work. A limited site plan provides a complete description of the proposed changes, the materials to be used and color schemes. There is no fee charged.
The goal of the design standards is to provide a pleasing appearance of property in the business district. The architectural style shall incorporate elements representative of the area. Decorative masonry and brick is encouraged; wood and steel siding is prohibited.
Fluorescent paint and other colors not harmonious with surrounding buildings is prohibited.
The planning commission would review the design in light of the proposed changes not detracting from the general harmony of the area.
• The next meeting of the planning commission is scheduled Sept. 19.