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2.1 Building in Loreto Bay

Architecture in Loreto Bay is inspired by its natural surroundings and by traditional Spanish and Mexican Colonial architecture. The architecture of Loreto Bay should reflect the climate and landscape we inhabit, the heritage of the people who established communities in this place, and the Master Condominium’s commitment to preserving energy, water resources, and the ecology of the place that it occupies.

Development and architecture of homes and commercial spaces in the Master Condominium must contribute to and enhance both social interaction and quiet contemplation in a vibrant but peaceful community. Although homes are built closely together, with commercial properties and shared spaces in between, attention should be paid to architectural details that enhance quiet enjoyment and privacy within homes. The Master Condominium must be managed to ensure that the use and occupancy of homes and commercial spaces does not overwhelm the Master Condominium’s infrastructure, its Master Common Areas, the provision of Master Common Services to and for the community, or the natural environment in which the Master Condominium is located.

2.2 Buildings within the Master Condominium - the Villages of Loreto Bay

The Villages of Loreto Bay were created around the ideal of traditional Spanish and Mexican Colonial architecture. Buildings include: Village Home Properties and Custom Home Properties; Village and Custom Home Properties on beach front and canal lots; Multiple Unit, Multiple Use, and Commercial Properties; and structures on Common Areas. The character of these areas helps to define density, height, aesthetic appearance, and open spaces, such as formal courtyards, gardens, recreational areas, and view of the natural landscape.

Homes and other buildings of Loreto Bay have been designed using a vocabulary derived from traditional Mexican and Spanish Colonial architecture. The Loreto Bay Style encompasses these traditions with emphasis on intimacy, appropriate scale, and craftsmanship, while upholding the principles of sustainable living.

2.3 The Courtyard House

The courtyard house is ideally suited to the Loreto Bay climate, maintaining a temperate living environment. On warm days, living spaces open out to the cooling effect of the courtyard. Overhead shade with canopy trees, transpiration from the landscape, as well as the cooling effect of water features, makes this outdoor space pleasant and useful. On cooler days, the capture of sun in the courtyard helps to provide warmth to the heart of the home.

The internal spatial arrangement of this building type in Loreto Bay is derived from the courtyard houses of Mexican and Spanish Colonial character where, like most historic courtyard houses, there is a transition from public to private realms. The zaguan and entry courtyard provide semiprivate spaces to moderate the transition from the street. Smaller courtyards and gardens are important to provide privacy and focus to spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms that are accessed from the larger, semi-private courtyard. Central courtyards provide larger properties with natural ventilation and protected shade.

2.4 The Importance of the Streetscape

Besides being the public expression of the home or business, the street façade of a building is an important element of the Villages of Loreto Bay. Like the courtyard house, with indoor areas and contained outdoor spaces, the “courtyard village” extends this relationship to a composition of structures with a network of contained open plazas and their connecting streets and pathways. Like the courtyard house, the courtyard village is a composition of interlocking indoor and outdoor spaces on a larger scale.

The streetscape or building facades define the village outdoor living area. Connecting walls are the main component and the solid nature of these walls allows voids (windows and doors) to become features of the village street space. Balconies, loggias, and walled gardens are all elements that create transition from the private to the public realm. Essential to the success of the streetscape is the effective proportioning of walls, balanced composition of wall openings in the wall mass, articulation of these openings (i.e. trim, shutters and mullions), and fine craftsmanship.

2.5 Respectful Architecture

The design philosophy for home and building development in Loreto Bay is to encourage architectural expression within the context of the standards set out in these Design Guidelines. Aside from the requirements that govern site design, including all legal requirements, local codes and regulations, standards for lot coverage, setbacks, building and parapet heights, and all rules and regulations of the Master Condominium, these Design Guidelines mandate design solutions that take into consideration the relationship of neighboring properties and the effect that changes to an existing home or building or any new construction may have on neighbors and the infrastructure of the Master Condominium. In the spirit of cooperation and neighborliness, applications for new homes or buildings and modifications to existing structures should allow for or maintain view opportunities from adjacent properties where possible, mitigate overlook situations, and prevent noise and light trespass. A successful building design in Loreto Bay will add vibrancy to the community, while providing tranquility and privacy to the nearby homeowners and mitigating additional stress on the infrastructure, Common Areas, and Common Services of the Master Condominium.

2.6 Building in a Sustainable Community

The Villages of Loreto Bay were conceived and planned around principles of sustainability that balance the social, economic, and environmental needs of the community, taking into consideration the costs to provide and maintain infrastructure, create and maintain Common Areas, and provide Common Services in a demanding environment.

Any new building, modification to existing structure, or modification to approved plans for future structures may be undertaken only with the written approval of the Design Review Committee. Such approval is required before obtaining necessary building permits and other approvals required by Law and will be granted only upon a finding that the proposed modifications will not adversely impact the Master Condominium infrastructure, Master Common Areas, or the ability of the Master Condominium to provide Master Common Services to the community, resulting from an increase in building density or occupancy of such structures, and may not result in a subdivision of the property into multiple dwelling units.

Architecture and landscaping within the Master Condominium must reflect concern for the environment and maintain the proposed density and use of property reflected in all Master Condominium and affected Sub-Condominium rules and regulations. Development and renovation should address strategies to achieve the following:

a. Minimize nuisance impacts by:
• Storm-water and dust management;
• Reducing heat island effect through shading and using light-colored hard surfaces; and
• Avoiding light and noise trespass.

b. Increase water efficiency by:
• Water use reduction, using high efficiency fixtures and drought tolerant plants;
• Use of native plants in landscaping; and
• Water re-use for toilets and irrigation, where possible.

c. Increase energy efficiency by:
• Solar control/passive cooling;
• Natural ventilation;
• Natural lighting;
• High efficiency lamps and appliances; • Alternative cooling systems;
• Solar water heating systems; and
• Photovoltaic systems and fixtures.

d. Maximize materials and resource use by:
• Using structural materials as finish;
• Using materials with low-embodied energy;
• Construction waste management and recycling;
• Using recycled content materials;
• Using natural and salvaged materials;
• Reducing material transport by employing locally and regionally extracted and manufactured materials; and

e. Improve indoor environmental quality by:
• Protecting stored on-site material and cooling equipment from dust during construction;
• Use of natural ventilation;
• Use of natural materials; and
• Use of low-emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, and composite wood.