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Appearance Review Board

Meetings

The Appearance Review Board (ARB) meets monthly on the third Thursday in the “Agenda” Conference Room on the second floor of City Hall. Please check the meeting schedule as it is subject to change, and if necessary, additional meetings may be added.

Agendas, Minutes and Staff Reports

  • Current Agenda for October 16, 2014 – Staff Reports viewed by clicking on case number

The ARB is an advisory board to the Orlando City Council that reviews requests for Certificates of Appearance. The ARB replaced the former Downtown Development Board Development Review Committee (DRC) on January 1, 2012.

Jurisdiction

The ARB only reviews development that is:

  • Located within the boundaries of the City of Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency’s Downtown Community Redevelopment Area
  • Visible from the public right-of-way
  • Required to obtain a building permit, engineering permit, sidewalk café permit, or right-of-way encroachment permit; and exterior paint color (no permit required)

The following is exempt from ARB review:

  • Work on property within a historic preservation overlay district
  • Work on a designated Orlando historic landmark
  • All work associated with a single or two-family residential use, except for the post-demolition condition of vacant land
  • Maintenance work that doesn’t involve a change of materials or design
  • Structures and improvements approved for temporary use (less than 61 days)
  • Work on property within a Historic Preservation overlay district or on a designated Orlando historic landmark is subject to review by the Orlando Historic Preservation Board based on ARB appearance standards

Regulations & Standards

ARB regulations are provided in Sections 65.120 – 65.125 and Sections 65.510 – 65.519 of Orlando City Code (adopted by Ordinance No. 2011-29 on August 29, 2011). In the review of applications for appearance approval, the ARB applies relevant appearance standards found in:

Types of Certificates of Appearance Approval

Major Certificates of Appearance Approval. The following types of cases are subject to Major certificates of appearance approval:

  • New streetscaping, including master streetscape plans
  • Signs equal to or greater than 30 square feet in area, including master sign plans proposing signs cumulatively equal to or greater than 30 square feet in area
  • New construction of principal structures, except as otherwise provided by this section
  • New construction of parks and plazas, and substantial improvements thereto
  • High-rise signs
  • Accessory structures equal to or greater than 120 square feet in area
  • Substantial improvements to existing buildings that include exterior work
  • Telecommunications equipment visible from the public right-of-way
  • Any work typically requiring a minor certificate of appearance approval if a major certificate of appearance approval is requested by the applicant or required by the Appearance Review Official
  • Any work typically requiring a minor certificate of appearance approval if the minor certificate application is denied by the Appearance Review Official or if the applicant objects to conditions of approval

Minor Certificates of Appearance Approval. The following types of cases are subject to Minor certificates of appearance approval:

  • Banners
  • Foundation skirting
  • Awnings and canopies
  • Landscaping for individual buildings
  • Outdoor cafés
  • Menu board signs
  • Signs of less than 30 square feet in area
  • Amendments to master sign plans
  • Structures and improvements approved as temporary uses
  • Accessory structures less than 120 square feet in area
  • Fences, walls, retaining walls, street walls and gates
  • Mechanical, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and irrigation equipment
  • Above-ground utilities
  • Alterations to existing streetscaping
  • Alterations to existing parks and plazas
  • Playground equipment
  • Exterior paint color, material and finish
  • Driveways, walkways, steps and paving
  • Exterior lights
  • Public and private art visible from the public right-of-way
  • Exterior cladding material, roofs, doors, windows and architectural detailing
  • Post-demolition condition of vacant land
  • All other work requiring a certificate of appearance approval and not otherwise determined to be work requiring a major certificate of design approval

Review Procedures

Major Certificates of Appearance Approval. Applications for Major certificates of appearance approval are subject to review by the ARB in accordance with the following procedures:

  • Applicant contacts ARB staff to schedule a pre-application meeting. The ARB application will be distributed at this meeting.
  • Applicant files application form and materials after pre-application meeting.
  • ARB staff issues a written determination of completeness or identifies missing items and informs applicant (within 5 days of receiving application).
  • ARB staff schedules application for ARB meeting per the ARB meeting schedule.
  • Applicant posts a “public notice” placard (provided by ARB staff) at least 7 days prior to ARB meeting.
  • ARB staff issues a staff report at least 7 days prior to ARB meeting.
  • ARB considers application and forwards recommendation to City Council.
    • If City Council grants approval or approval with conditions, Appearance Review Officer issues Certificate of Appearance Approval within 5 days of City Council action. Applicant may then apply for building permits (subject to any other approvals that may be required from Municipal Planning Board, Historic Preservation Board or Board of Zoning Adjustment).
    • If City Council grants approval with conditions or denies application, applicant may file a quasi-judicial appeal or submit a revised application.

Minor Certificates of Appearance Approval. Applications for Minor certificates of appearance approval are subject to review by the Appearance Review Official in accordance with the following procedures:

  • Applicant contacts ARB staff to schedule a pre-application meeting.
  • The ARB application will be distributed at this meeting.
  • Applicant files application form and materials after pre-application meeting.
  • ARB staff issues written determination of completeness or identifies missing items and informs applicant (within 5 days of receiving application).
  • ARB staff issues a written decision of approval, approval with conditions or denial (within 15 days of completeness determination).
    • If approved or approved with conditions, Appearance Review Official issues a Certificate of Appearance Approval (within 5 days of written decision). Applicant may then file application for building permits.
    • If denied or approved with conditions, applicant may file a request (within 5 days of written determination) for review by ARB or submit a revised application.

Members

The ARB is comprised of seven citizen members nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council after a consultation with the Chair of the Downtown Development Board. At least five members of the ARB live, work, or own property within the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area.

Previous Agendas & Minutes

Contact Information

For general questions about the Appearance Review Board, or to see previous minutes and agendas, please contact one of the following:

Doug Metzger, ARB Coordinator
doug.metzger@cityoforlando.net
407.246.3414

Shaniqua Rose, Recording Secretary
shaniqua.rose@cityoforlando.net
407.246.2558

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