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Williston ordinance offers building standards

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

New commercial construction in Williston may soon have to comply with aesthetic standards if Ordinance 635 is passed on its second reading.

Tuesday night the city council, in a 4-1 vote with Council President Jason Cason dissenting, approved on its first reading an ordinance that sets architectural standards for the city.

In addition to site plans, the ordinance establishes scale, colors, textures, dimensions, proposed signs and architectural details for new commercial buildings that may be built in the city.

Ordinance 635 suggests building styles that include Florida/Southern Vernacular (Cracker-style), Craftsman or Bungalow, Spanish Mission/Spanish Revival and Victorian.  It prohibits a long list that includes Moorish, Tudor, French Revival, Art Deco and Egyptian Revival.

Cason opposed the ordinance because styles are only suggested, not mandated. He said he wouldn’t support it as written because it “lacked teeth.”

The ordinance suggests the use of complementary colors to building materials and states that the use of distracting color schemes on facades is discouraged.

It further established landscape requirements, bicycle racks, lighting, doors and windows.

Council agreed, by consensus, the ordinance is  to help ensure that future development will “look like your neighbors.”

After fulfilling the legal requirement of advertising the second hearing on the ordinance, the council will bring it up at a future meeting for discussion and final passage.

In other business, Matthew J. Marino was appointed to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

Marino joins Avis Seabrook, Auguste Zettler, Cara Fortney and Debra Jones. Two positions remain vacant on the seven-person board.

Applications for the positions are available at city hall.