Shopfront Building

Building Placement / Parking / Vehicular Access

Shopfront Bld Placement, Pkg

1. Buildings shall be placed on the lot within the zone represented by the hatched area. In most cases, the build to line will range from 0 to 15 feet behind street ROW Special site conditions such as topography, pattern of lot widths, or setbacks of existing buildings permit a larger setback.

2. Building facades shall be generally parallel to frontage property lines.

3. Parking shall be located to the rear of the building; sideyard parking shall occupy no more than 25% of the primary frontage line and shall not be placed in an established sideyard abutting an intersecting street. Where dimensions of existing lots restrict parking behind buildings, the limitations on sideyard parking may be modified.

4. Points of permitted access to the parking indicated by arrows.

5. Hedges, garden walls, or fences may be built on property lines or as the continuation of building walls. A garden wall, fence, or hedge (minimum 3 feet in height) shall be installed along any street frontage adjacent to parking areas.

6. Parking areas on adjacent lots shall be connected wherever practicable.

7. Trash containers shall be located in a rear parking area (see Parking Regulations).

8. Mechanical and utility equipment at ground level shall be placed in the side or rear yard and shall be screened from view by opaque screening from grade level along any public street or adjacent property (Article 7.6.2). Buildings that front on more than one public street may have mechanical and utility equipment located within a street facing yard, provided it is visually screened using compatible building materials and design as the principle structure. This is applicable only where no other reasonable option exists as determined by the Administrator. Examples of features limiting the location of mechanical and utility equipment may include, but not limited to, the physical layout of existing building, the presence of easements, elevation changes, etc.

Encroachment / Pedestrian Access to Building

Shopfront Ped Access

1. Balconies, bay windows, arcades, porches at an upper level and their supports at ground level, together with awnings above head height are permitted within the sidewalk as shown by the hatched area. Encroaching arcades should cover entire sidewalk.

2. Primary pedestrian access into the building shall be from the street frontage line (indicated by larger arrow). Secondary access may be from parking areas (indicated by smaller arrow).

Special Conditions

1. The intention of buildings in all locations must be to relate the principal facade to the sidewalk and public space of the street.

2. Drive-through customer services, if permitted in the district, must be located at the rear of the building or on a side which does not abut a street.

3. Corners: Setbacks at street corners will generally replicate frontage conditions. However, side setbacks on a minor street may be less than the front dimension.

4. Within the limits described, front and side setbacks will vary depending upon site conditions. Setbacks should be used in a manner which encourages pedestrian activity. Squares or spatially defined plazas within building setback areas can act as focal points for pedestrians.


The shopfront building is a small-scale structure which can accommodate a variety of uses. The structure is typically a maximum of 15,000 square feet. A group of shopfront buildings can be combined to form a mixed-use neighborhood center. Individual shopfront buildings can be used to provide some commercial service, such as a convenience food store, in close proximity to homes. Traditional commercial buildings in the old town provide good examples. Hotels, inns, and conference centers may be placed in shopfront or mixed-use buildings. Where possible, structures shall be designed to terminate vistas or serve as key focal points in the neighborhood.

Permitted Height & Uses

Shopfront Height

1. Building height shall be measured as the vertical distance from the highest finished grade relative to the street frontage, up to the eaves or the highest level of a flat roof.

2. The height of parapet walls may vary depending upon the need to screen mechanical equipment.

3. Building height to the ridge may vary depending on the roof pitch.

4. Permitted uses are indicated above, and are further controlled by district regulations.

5. Where an existing residential building converts to a mixed-use building, at least 40% of the habitable floors area shall be residential.

Architectural Standards Principles

A. To perpetuate the unique building character of the town and its environs, and to re-establish its local identity, development shall generally employ building types that are sympathetic to the historic architectural vocabulary of the area in their massing and external materials.

B. Building elevations fronting or visible from public streets shall be clad with masonry, wood, vinyl siding, stucco, or similar material. Decorative metal panels such as Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) panels may be used as an accent or trim material and as cladding for building accent elements such as column wraps, entablature, canopies, and their supporting structure. Decorative metal panel accents, however, may not exceed 30% of any façade visible from the street. 

C. The front elevations facing the street, and the overall massing shall communicate emphasis on the human scale and the pedestrian environment.

D. Each building should be designed to form part of a larger composition of the area in which it is situated. Adjacent buildings should thus be of similar scale, height, and configuration.

E. Trailers (mobile units) may not be used as permanent shopfront buildings.


A. Two wall materials may be combined horizontally on one facade. The “heavier” material should be below and can cover the first floor only (i.e. brick below wood siding).

B. Street level windows should be untinted. Tinted glass with a minimum visual transmittance factor of 35 is permitted. Mirrored or reflective glass is not permitted in any location.

C. Windows shall be of square or vertical proportion. Special windows may be circular or regular polygons.


A. Windows should be set to the inside of the building face wall.

B. All rooftop equipment shall be enclosed in a building material that matches the structure or is visually compatible with the structure.

Table of Contents

Zoning Ordinance Table of Contents