General. The bulk limits prescribed by Section 270 have been carefully considered in relation to objectives and policies for conservation and change in districts other than C-3. There may be some exceptional cases in which these limits may properly be permitted to be exceeded to a certain degree; however, following public review and exploration of alternatives, provided there are adequate compensating factors. Such deviation might occur, when the criteria of this Section are met, for one or both of the following positive reasons:
Achievement of a distinctly better design, in both a public and a private sense, than would be possible with strict adherence to the bulk limits, avoiding an unnecessary prescription of building form while carrying out the intent of the bulk limits and the principles and policies of the Master Plan.
Development of a building or structure with widespread public service benefits and significance to the community at large, where compelling functional requirements of the specific building or structure make necessary such a deviation.
Procedures. Deviations from the bulk limits under this section shall be permitted only upon approval by the City Planning Commission according to the procedures for conditional use approval in Section 303 of this Code, or for the procedures for design review in Section 329 of this Code for subject projects in the Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use Districts.
Criteria. In acting upon any application for a conditional use or modification to permit the bulk limits to be exceeded under this section, the City Planning Commission shall consider the following standards and criteria in addition to those stated in Sections 303(c) and 329 of this Code:
The appearance of bulk in the building, structure or development shall be reduced by means of at least one and preferably a combination of the following factors, so as to produce the impression of an aggregate of parts rather than a single building mass:
Major variations in the planes of wall surfaces, in either depth or direction, that significantly alter the mass;
Significant differences in the heights of various portions of the building, structure or development that divide the mass into distinct elements;
Differences in materials, colors or scales of the facades that produce separate major elements;
Compensation for those portions of the building, structure or development that may exceed the bulk limits by corresponding reduction of other portions below the maximum bulk permitted; and
In cases where two or more buildings, structures or towers are contained within a single development, a wide separation between such buildings, structures or towers.
In every case the building, structure or development shall be made compatible with the character and development of the surrounding area by means of all of the following factors:
A silhouette harmonious with natural land-forms and building patterns, including the patterns produced by height limits;
Either maintenance of an overall height similar to that of surrounding development or a sensitive transition, where appropriate, to development of a dissimilar character;
Use of materials, colors and scales either similar to or harmonizing with those of nearby development; and
Preservation or enhancement of the pedestrian environment by maintenance of pleasant scale and visual interest.
While the above factors must be present to a considerable degree for any bulk limit to be exceeded, these factors must be present to a greater degree where both the maximum length and the maximum diagonal dimension are to be exceeded than where only one maximum dimension is to be exceeded.
(Amended by Ord. 414-85, App. 9/17/85; Ord. 298-08, File No. 081153, App. 12/19/2008)