SECTION 4 – SITE DESIGN
4.1 Lot Coverage
4.1.1 Main Floor - Village and Custom Homes
The maximum building coverage on the main floor for enclosed areas, excluding roofed areas, should not exceed 65% of the site area. Total coverage for enclosed and roofed areas should not exceed 75% of the site area. Exceptions will be considered through a variance for lots that are recognized as small or with unusual shapes. The design intent for a Loreto Bay home was to have an appropriate balance between indoor, semi-enclosed, and open spaces to provide attractive courtyard living within a community that offers a larger common “living room”. During the master planning of Loreto Bay, the density of the Village Homes was offset by the surrounding common courtyard and plaza areas, as well as canals and estuaries.
All Custom Homes must adhere to the maximum 75% of the site area, in which a garage or designated off-street area for electric vehicle storage must be included. An electrical outlet must be available for recharging the vehicle battery in the vehicle storage space.
4.1.2 Second Floor
a) Custom Homes
The allowable coverage for enclosed areas on the second floor is 25% of the site area for all Custom lots. These areas are not required to be contiguous.
Most Custom Home sites are located at the perimeter of the Village and the larger property sizes are transitional to the surrounding open spaces of the beach and golf course. Custom homes should create some openness in the streetscape to allow for views to the ocean, mountains, and golf course.
On a rectangular lot, the width of all enclosed second floor areas may not exceed 50% of the overall width of the property. Included in this calculation of 50% are all projections above the maximum parapet height (13’8” or 4.17m), such as chimneys, fireplaces, stairways, outdoor kitchens, and elevator or mechanical shafts. Since adjacent homes may overlap at the common property line, enclosed spaces (including projections above the maximum parapet height) may exceed 50% of the length of the property; however, in these situations, the effective openness across the width of the property must be increased and must be approved by the Design Review Committee.
In the case of irregular shaped properties, the longest width and length of the lot must be used for the allowable “second floor length” calculation. In the case of lots with more than four sides, all but the longest effective width (parallel to the street) and the longest effective length (adjacent to neighboring property) will be disregarded.
A pergola is not included in the calculation of the 2nd floor structure. A pergola must be a minimum of 7’6” (2.13 m) and a maximum of 9’8” (2.90 m) above the roof deck and be horizontal in structure. Plants or vines grown on the pergola must not block views above or below the structure. Pergolas, in addition to any enclosed areas, stairs and projections above the maximum parapet height, may not exceed 75% of the width of the lot nor 50% of the length of the lot.
A contiguous section, representing 25% of the width of the property and the entire length of the property must be free and clear of all obstruction above the maximum parapet height to the sky.
b) Village Homes
Village Homes form the main fabric of each neighborhood and the second floor elevation is significant to the character of the streetscape. Street elevations with a complete two-story facade are mostly located in the heart of the Village and create a sense of density and activity. Elsewhere second floor areas have greater openness and allow for views to the ocean, golf course, and mountains.
4.1.3 Third Floor
a) Casas Altas, Tiendas del Artes, Multi-Use, and Commercial Properties
Where permitted, the extent of third floor coverage of a proposed development will be determined by its location in the Village, relationship to neighboring buildings, and assessment for overlook onto adjacent structures.
b) Viewing Towers - Village and Custom Homes
No roof or shade structure is permitted above the second floor roof of properties abutting the beachfront or golf course, including the golf course lakes. No variance may be authorized permitting such structures for these properties.
For other properties, such structures may be authorized as provided in these Design Guidelines below:
An allowable viewing tower or open terrace may not exceed 20 square meters or 6.0% of the site area, whichever is greater.
The viewing tower is intended to be a “transparent” structure from neighboring properties and is not intended as interior living space or active recreation area. Finishes and furnishings must reflect an open-to-air environment. Built-in counters, kitchens, spas, fireplaces, fire pits, and chimineas are not permitted. Lighting must be fully shielded, downward facing, minimal and located in a low position. It is important to follow the principles of “preserving the night sky” and avoid “light trespass”. Parapet lights and one low-level ceiling mount light (no more than 6w LED) are permissible; wall sconces or up-lights are not permitted. Roofs must be covered with clay tiles. Ceiling mounted lights, wall sconces or up-lights are not permitted on pergolas. Linear LED and stair lights mounted on the exterior wall or stairs must have the approval of the Design Review Committee. Built-in audio/video systems are not permitted.
Should an existing viewing tower create an overlook situation onto another property, a solid or semisolid wall may be required to ensure privacy to neighboring ground level courtyard areas. This wall may not obstruct existing views from neighboring properties nor can a tower be fully enclosed.
Additional open terrace on a third floor may be permitted by the Design Review Committee if there are no overlooking issues to surrounding properties.
4.1.4 Viewing Decks Above the Third Floor
Viewing decks on buildings adjacent to Village and Custom Homes, may be developed above the third floor but there must be careful consideration for overlook and the privacy of adjacent properties and properties that lie beyond. For new construction, approval will be considered only after the deck level has been constructed and after an on-site visit by a representative of the Design Review Committee.
Viewing decks, above the third floor, are subject to all criteria for Post-construction Viewing Decks for Village and Customs Homes.
4.1.5 Post-construction Viewing Decks – Village and Custom Homes
Homeowners of already completed homes may apply to develop the roof area of their second floor. Such a proposal may not obstruct existing views from neighboring homes or create unwanted shading of the same. No overlook may be created from the usable third story area nor ascending or descending access stairs. Approval will be based on the following:
a. The developed area, covered and uncovered, may not exceed 20 square meters or 6.0% of the lot area, whichever is greater, and the remaining rooftop must be made into a no-walk or planting zone, depending on the possible overlook on the adjacent property.
b. New access stairs to the third floor must be metal or concrete and not create any obstruction of existing views or spatial openness for neighboring properties. No overlook can be created from the deck or ascending or descending stairs. Stairs may be enclosed to prevent overlook, if necessary, but may not obstruct existing views from neighboring properties.
c. Existing parapet walls may not be raised but wrought iron railing may be added for safety.
d. A wrought iron rail may be used to define the developed roof area within the parapet area.
e. To respect existing viewing tower outlooks, additional privacy walls will not be permitted.
4.1.6 Privacy and Overlook
In an intimate Spanish Colonial-style village like Loreto Bay, there will be instances where private spaces such as courtyards and second level decks can be “overlooked” from roof decks and viewing towers of adjacent and neighboring properties. Courtyards, roof decks, and towers are an important part of the Loreto Bay vocabulary, and the impact of these elements on adjacent properties is a significant aspect of the Design Review Process. Privacy of main ground floor courtyard areas is the primary reason to allow privacy walls and decline applications for new third floor viewing decks.
All privacy walls must have the approval of the Design Review Committee and should avoid restricting the spatial openness of doors and windows of adjacent properties. Privacy walls may not be constructed if the property adjacent has not been developed.
It is the responsibility of the property owner of new construction (and their designer) to work in association with neighboring properties to avoid visual conflicts. Placement of towers, viewing decks, and shade structures should maximize privacy while minimizing interference with neighboring view corridors. Viewing towers and the access stairs should not be located along an adjoining property line unless the second story massing of the neighboring home ensures that overlook will not occur.
Possible conflicts may be resolved through the creation of “no-walk” areas on second and third floor roof decks and privacy walls at the discretion of the Design Review Committee. If construction is being completed and an unforeseen conflict arises, it is the obligation of the incomplete or last-completed project to mitigate the circumstances.
Proposed buildings that are greater than two stories and are located adjacent to Village and Custom Homes must be sensitive to overlook.
4.2.1 Zero Setback Conditions at Common Property Lines
Party walls that separate adjoining properties must be located 1” (2.5 cm) from the common property line. This may not take into account any applied finish for weather-proofing.
Inner courtyards that are located adjacent to an adjoining property line must be contained by their own courtyard walls to a minimum height of 8’ (2.44 m) measured from the finished first floor. No structure, fixture or decoration may be attached to the adjacent structure such as pergolas, shade structures, lighting, or hammock support.
4.2.2 Street Facades
All exterior walls bordering on Common Areas must extend past the property line by 5” (12.5 cm). This provides governance and jurisdiction to the Master Condominium and all Sub- Condominiums over the appearance and maintenance of the Common Areas.
4.2.3 Beachfront Lot Lines
For all waterfront lots, a building setback of 8’ (2.44m) is required on the waterfront side of the lot boundary at the ground floor. An exception is made where the lot is at a terminus point (next to a lane or road). In this situation, an enclosed structure or garden wall may extend to the property line. The structure or extension may not exceed 25% of the width of the property and not be greater in height than the maximum parapet height.
On the second floor, enclosed spaces must have a minimum 16’ (4.88m) setback.
Within the beachside property line of beachfront lots, a stone or stone-faced wall must be built that will serve as a retaining wall from the beach grade to the top of the structural fill. This will ensure a consistent visible edge along the waterfront. A wrought iron fence with a gate may be installed above the stone wall but the ironwork or any columns may not exceed 4’ (1.22m) in height from the finished courtyard level.
4.2.4 Golf Course Lots
For all Golf Course Lots, a building setback from the lot boundary on the golf course side must be a minimum of 16’ (4.88m); however, the middle 50% of the lot may have an 8’ (2.44m) minimum setback. This setback formula ensures oblique views from neighboring properties. An exception is where the lot is at a terminus point (next to a lane or road). In this situation, an enclosed structure or garden wall may extend to the property line. The structure or extension may not exceed 25% of the width of the property and may not be greater in height than the maximum parapet height.
Enclosed second floor spaces must have a minimum 16’ (4.88m) setback.
4.2.5 Canal and Estuary Lots
For all canal and estuary lots there is a minimum building set back from the lot boundary on the canal walls of 9’10” (3.0 m). This does not relieve homeowners or contractors from the obligation to ensure that standard engineering and construction practices have been followed when building on canal and estuary lots. When lot configuration requires building any weight bearing structure within the required 9’10” (3.0m) setback, a variance application must be submitted to the Design Review Committee. Following Design Review Committee approval of a design plan and any setback variance for the project, but prior to commencement of construction, drawings approved by a DRO (Director Responsable de Obra) certified engineer must be submitted to the Managing Agent.
4.3 Building Heights
4.3.1 Floor Levels
The entry and courtyard level of any property must be 6” (15.24 cm) above the highest spot on any fronting street. There must be a further 6” (15.24 cm) up to the finish floor level of the ground level enclosed spaces.
4.3.2 Stories - Village and Custom Homes
Any structure that rises above 13’8” (4.17m) from the entry level slab will be considered as second floor space. Where permitted, any structure that rises 24’0” (7.31m) above the entry level slab will be considered a third floor level.
4.3.3 Second Floor Parapet Walls - Village and Custom Homes
The dimension of 13’8” (4.17m) above the main floor slab is the maximum allowed as a parapet height. Anything above this height will be included in the designated view corridor calculation. Privacy walls must have approval of the Design Review Committee and may not be constructed unless the adjacent property has been developed.
4.3.4 Fences and Courtyard Walls
Walls that enclose courtyards at the street face may be no higher than the second floor slab height or 12’ (3.66m) and may be as low as 4’ (1.22m). Variation in heights and installation of wall caps are encouraged to provide interest on the street wall elevation. Freestanding walls and fences must be masonry or composite panels finished in plaster or stone. Corners and tops of freestanding walls and fences must be softened, rounded or detailed. They do not require a masonry cap. Materials such as broken glass and metal spikes may not be installed along the top of walls for security purposes, but alternate proposals for deterrence may be considered by the Design Review Committee.
Common area, non-courtyard walls (i.e. exterior planters) must be 1’ (.3m) - 4’ (1.22m) high.
Courtyard walls within the 8’ (2.44 m) setback on waterfront lots may be no higher than 4’ (1.22m). An exception may be made for lots at a terminus point (next to a road). Courtyard walls within the 16’ setback on golf course lots may be no higher than 4’ (1.22 m) for the first 8’ (2.44 m) from the golf course property line and no higher than 8’ (2.44 m) for the next 8’ (2.44 m) thereafter.
4.3.5 Mixed-Use Buildings
Building height must be limited to 60 feet measured from the first floor elevation to the high point of the building. This limitation will not include any architectural projection that adds a visual interest, such as chimneys, spires, elevator shaft, and domes, provided that such projections do not exceed 72 feet in height.
Landscaping elements are significant in completing the architectural character of the home and moderating temperature. Trees, shrubbery, or other plantings may be located to provide shade, capture cooling summer breezes, and deflect winter wind. Appropriate planting also provides dust control. Landscaping elements, however small, contribute to the local ecosystem, supporting nature’s cycles and providing habitat for birds. The specification of native, drought tolerant plants minimizes water demand, maintenance, and pest issues.
Planting along and on walls softens the massing and in courtyards, garden areas, and containers enhances the aesthetic and functional qualities of the “outdoor room”. Small gardens provide focus and privacy for “interior” spaces while canopy trees and planted trellises provide shade and cooling.
The Villages of Loreto Bay embrace and promote the ideals of permaculture, using native plants that minimize water consumption and, in that context, the use of food-producing plants that can be enjoyed for their natural beauty and for their fruits or direct consumption.