August 19, 2015
To: City of Victor Planning & Zoning Commission
RE: Comments on Victor Land Use Code
The City of Victor has done an excellent job with the code revision process. However, one point of concern is that the maximum height restrictions of four stories, or 42.5′, in the DX zone, and three stories in the other multiple use zones (as well as the residential districts) seems too high and out of character for downtown Victor. This is especially true considering there are currently no three story buildings in downtown Victor as is. A four story building adjacent to a two story building, or a three story house adjacent to a ranch house causes a sense of discontinuity in the landscape.
A common best practice for building design is that new buildings should appear to be in scale with the established context of existing buildings. While we understand that increasing density in downtown Victor is a key priority, there are ways to create a better street edge character as well as building mass and scale. For instance, rather than a sheer 42.5’ street wall height, a building could be sculpted in ways that convey scale at the street level with upper levels offset. Another design feature to consider is the horizontal alignment of a building to create a sense of visual relatedness among buildings by extending façade lines along the block with moldings, cornices, or other details. VARD feels that the code is great but perhaps Victor should consider limiting downtown and residential height restrictions to two stories for now as a placeholder to allow the city to revisit the issue of height, scale, and design at the six month check in.
Brendan P. Conboy
Program & Development Associate