133 - Swiss Architectural Theme Requirements - New Glarus

Ordinance #133

Ordinance Regarding Swiss Architectural Theme Requirements - Village of New Glarus



Section 13-1-45(c) and 13-1-46(e) of the New Glarus Code of Ordinances are created to read as follows:

(e) Swiss Architectural Theme Requirements. Buildings, structures, walkways or lighting in this District, including all new construction or substantial alteration or remodeling of existing construction, shall comply with the Swiss architectural theme requirements of Sections 15-1-40 through 15-1-46.


Title 15, Chapter 1, Article B ( Sections 15-1-40 through 15-1-46) of the New Glarus Code of Ordinances is created to read as follows:


Swiss Architectural Theme Code


(a) Swiss Architectural Theme Requirements.

(1) Any and all buildings, structures, walkways or lighting in the C-1 Commercial District and C-2 Highway Commercial District in the Village of New Glarus, including all new construction or substantial alteration or remodeling of existing construction, except for existing single-family residence dwellings in said zones not used for commercial purposes, shall conform in exterior design to the Swiss architectural theme adopted by the Village and as presently evidenced by the Swiss architecture in the commercial zoning districts of the Village.

(2) An exception to this requirement are any buildings that are either currently identified or in the process of being designated a historic building and as such subscribes to the rules and regulations identified in Section 2-4-12, Historic Preservation Commission, of this Code of Ordinances.

(b) Definitions.

(1) For purposes of Subsection (a) of this Section, the term "remodeling existing exterior construction" and "substantial alteration or remodeling" shall be defined as an interior and/or exterior alteration or remodeling, the total cost of which (including, but not limited to, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and structural changes) for a building or structure within any twenty-four (24) month period equals or exceeds sixty percent of the assessed value of that building or structure at the time the alteration or remodeling is commenced.

(2) The term "remodeling existing exterior construction" and "substantial alteration or remodeling" shall also mean any interior and/or exterior alteration or remodeling where three (3) or more exterior elements of the building are altered within any twenty-four (24) month period (including, but not limited to, doors, windows, wall finish, paint, roofing material, and structural changes). Each door, window or other item shall count as one element. Visible exterior structural changes, including, but not limited to, removal or addition of walls, roof framing, and/or additions, shall count as two (2) of the three (3) elements for purposes of the definition. The Village Assessor and/or the Building Inspector alone will make the determination as to whether the changes exceed sixty percent (60%) of the assessed value of the structure


(a) Committee appointment; Composition- The Design Review Committee shall consist of five (5) individuals appointed by the Village President, subject to Village Board confirmation, at the annual organizational meeting. Members shall serve staggered three (3) year terms of office. Individuals serving on this Committee should have a varied background that will include representation from architectural design, building trades, Swiss historians and other interested parties.

(b) Building Permit Required. No building, structure, walkway, or lighting shall be constructed, changed, altered or remodeled in any commercial zoning district in the Village without first obtaining a building permit. All applications for building permits for construction, changes, alterations or remodeling of buildings, structures, walkways or lighting in the C-1 Commercial District and C-2 Highway Commercial District shall first be submitted to and approved by the Design Review Committee for compliance with this Article for the Swiss architectural theme. All applications for building & permits are required to be accompanied by plans and blueprints clearly defining the construction, proposed location, dimensions, and all colors accurately portrayed by submitting a colored rendering of the proposal by using colored pencils, or colored pens. The plans and blueprints shall be drawn to scale and shall clearly define the roofing materials and siding materials to be used and also the finish, paint or other materials to be used or applied on all exterior walls and trims and shall state a, contemplated date of commencement and completion of such construction. The plans and blueprints will be the property of the Village upon submission of the construction,

(c) Design Review Criteria. In determining whether the proposed construction, change, alteration or remodeling conforms to exterior design of the Swiss architectural theme, the Design Review Committee shall consider the compatibility of the proposed exterior design with the existing Swiss structures and designs in the commercial zoning districts in the Village and may, in addition, consult Swiss design examples such as contained in the following publications:

(1) "Bayern in Bildeern." Illustrations of Bavaria. Munchen, I- Muller (1971).

(2) "Hauser in den Alpen," by Viktor Proksch. Pinquin Verlag, Innsbruck und Umschau Verlag, Frankfurt A.M. (1964). (This book is also available in an English/French version.)

(3) "Bernalte Fassaden," by Margarete Baur-Heinbold. Verlag Georg D.W. Callway, Munchen (1975),

(4) "Bayern = Bavaria = La Baviere. Bildbd, von Otto Siegner." Munchen Pullach: Simon (1975).

(5) "Wohnen im Alpenland," by S. Staffa. Verlag, Kitzbuhel.

(6) Berner Bauernhauser," by Roland Fluckiger-Seiler.

(7) "Schweizer Bauernhauser," by Max Gschwend,

(d) Copies of Resources Materials. Copies of the above. Subsection (c) publications, items (6) and (7), and similar related reference works, shall be kept on hand in the Village library for review by applicants and by members of the Design Review Committee.

(e) Preliminary Sketch. An applicant may submit a preliminary sketch prior to furnishing a complete set of plans and blueprints for review at a regularly scheduled Design Review Committee meeting. Upon review by the Committee, the applicant shall complete the, application as directed by the Committee in accordance with this Article.


In the event the Design Review Committee. denies or conditions an application for a building permit for its failure to comply with this Article or conform to the Swiss architectural theme, the applicant may within thirty (30) days of the written notification of final action, file an appeals request with the Design Review Committee and with the Village Clerk-Treasurer, who will place the matter of the appeal on the agenda of the next scheduled Board of Appeals meeting following receipt of the notice. Upon receipt by the Design Review Committee of the notice of appeal, the secretary thereof shall cause to be copied, certified and delivered to the Village Clerk-Treasurer for use at the appeal hearing, copies of all minutes, findings, recommendations or other written memoranda pertaining to the application for which the appeal is taken. The Board of Appeals at the time of hearing the appeal may grant or deny the relief requested by the appellant or may modify the decision of the Design Review Committee.


(a) Accessory Fixtures. The Design Review Committee may require utility boxes, meters, garbage receptacles and dumpsters and outside fuel containers located upon or used in conjunction with any commercial building or structure in the Village and outside vending machines, newspaper dispensers and public telephone booths located in any commercial zoning district in the Village to comply with the Swiss architectural theme to the maximum extent practical and feasible.

(b) Other Regulations. The terms, provisions and requirements of this Article shall be in addition to and not in lieu of the requirements set forth in the Uniform Building Code and other uniform codes adopted by the Village or in any other ordinances, state statute or regulation governing the construction, building, zoning or other similar regulations applicable in the Village.

(c) Painting. The painting of a new or existing commercial building in a color different from the color originally approved shall require approval by the Design Review Committee.

(d) Occupation Criteria- Commercial buildings shall not be occupied or opened for business until the approved exterior design features of that building are finished. A temporary exemption may be granted by the Design Review Committee for not more than six (6) months, provided that the reason for delayed completion is due to weather or other circumstances beyond the control of the owner.


The Design Review Committee, in granting or denying approval of a design in accordance with this Article, should consider, among other criteria, the following criteria. This list is intended to serve as a guide for prospective developers/builders of representative Swiss design features which have proven effective on commercial buildings in the Village. The list is not intended to be exhaustive and the Design Review Committee may address design features not included among the criteria set forth below:

a) Inclusion of shutters with windows.

b) Inclusion of window grids to give the look of paned windows.

c) Use of stucco rather than stucco board on large exposed walls. Where stucco board is approved, joints shall be covered with battens.

(d) Decorative, protective end caps or scroll-sawed ends on exposed roof overhang support beams.

(e) Balconies or shutters and window flower boxes where second floor windows are included.

(f) Architectural balconies not intended for actual use, to have an apparent means of access, i.e., a door or false door, or large window.

(g) Use of glazed rather than artificial (painted) windows.

(h) Roof overhangs for all pitched roofs.

(i) Snow guards on all roofs, except for roofs designed to hold the snow.

(j) Require rain gutters, downspouts, and heat tapes for all eaves; no drainage permitted onto sidewalks; connection to storm sewer where available; no plastic downspouts in contact with heat tape;

(k) Prohibit serving windows opening onto sidewalks or public right-of-way. Require at least eight (8) foot setback for serving windows to outdoor, privately owned staging areas.

(l) Avoid partial pitched roofs where visible to the street, to prevent a "false front" look.

(m) Battens over six (6) inches in width should have a thickness of one and one-half (1 1/2) inches or more so as to minimize the changes of "cupping" and warping.

(n) Use of flower boxes on balconies.

(o) General locations for signing to be. indicated on the review drawings, with evidence that flowers and other features will not interfere.

(p) Inclusion of decorative scrollwork on fascia board and other trim.

(q) Inclusion of murals or art work on exterior walls or around windows and doors.


(a) Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to assist all involved in the design of new buildings and the remodeling of existing buildings, with the exception of those buildings that are identified as historic and which comply with the requirements of Section 2-4-12, Historical Preservation Commission, in order to promote New Glarus's Swiss village theme.

(b) Swiss Architecture. Switzerland is comprised of many different Cantons covering Swiss, German, Italian and French styles. The Village of New Glarus will follow the architectural design of the Glarus area in Switzerland,

(c) Design Elements. The following design elements shall be incorporated, as applicable, in design proposals brought before the New Glarus Design Review Committee; altered and remodeled buildings shall be required by this Article to conform to the Swiss architectural theme in the Village of New Glarus:

(1) Shapes.

a. The single most defining shape of Swiss architecture is the low-pitched roof with expansive overhangs, regardless of building size. A Swiss roof is designed to hold snow for insulation. The overhangs deal with ice buildup and helps keep the area right next to the house free of snow.

b. Buildings are rectangular or are combinations of rectangles.

c. Very large "warehouse" or market type buildings pose special problems to this design theme. They must, however, include traditional Swiss design elements and materials

(2) Roofs.

a. Roofs have a pitch of three and one-half to five and one-half.

b. Roof overhangs are expansive on the front and sides and usually require rafter and lookout beams. Lookout beams shall be scrolled or have decorative faceplate. The scrolling shall be traditional Rococo, Baroque or folk designs. Lookout beams shall not extend beyond the fascia.

c. Pitched roof materials:

1. Tile, simulated tile, Standing seam metal, high profile asphalt shingles, or heavy shakes are acceptable.

2. Acceptable colors for standing seam metal are red, brown, green or gray. Galvanized metal is unacceptable. Tile or asphalt shingle colors should be red, gray, or brown earth tones

3. Standard overlap metal, plain shingles, and profile less asphalt shingles are not acceptable.

d. Fascia shall be scrolled or multiple profile.

(3) Walls. Wall treatments shall consist of the following:

a. Stucco or Stucco-like material;

b. Wood, usually on the upper level of the wall;

c. A combination of the above;

d. Unacceptable materials or methods are:

1. Metal siding.

2. Stucco board.

3. Half-timbering,

4. Concrete block (cracked or plain).

(4) Balconies. Balconies are optional. If balconies are present, they shall contain traditional design elements, such as:

a. Heavy beam supports;

b. Scrolled slats;

c. Flower boxes. This is the traditional location for them.

(5) Doorways. Many doorways are arched. The arched doorway or entryway should be constructed of wood or stucco.

(6) Windows. Window treatment options are:

a. Recessed, with or without painted decorative trim;

b. Shutters are desirable when painted trim is not applied;

c. Painted decorative trim;

d. Grid inserts in the glazing;

e. Flower boxes;

f. Windows may be arched;

g. A combination of the. above is acceptable; however, one of the window treatment options of Subsections a through d of this Subsection is mandatory;

h. Flush, unadorned windows are unacceptable.

(7) Trim. Trim is the least of the design elements, not the focus of the design

a. In general, scrolling follows traditional or Rococo designs.

b. Stone is used in rectangular linear forms [or accents. river rock, concrete block (cracked or plain), and irregular stone slabs art unacceptable,

(8) Decorative Painting.

a. Corner walls may be painted to simulate rectangular stone.

b. Three-dimensional painting is encouraged around windows and doors when shutters are not present. Classic as well as Rococo designs should be used.

(9) Colors. Color selection shall incorporate the following:

a. The predominant stucco color is white or off-white. Pastels are acceptable, but only with white or off-white accents on stucco trim. Bold bright colors are unacceptable,

b. All wood trim (including beams, fascia and siding) shall be stained with transparent wood-tone stain. Very seldom is opaque stain or painted (color) trim used over wood. However, hunter green and other accent colors are sometimes used for shutters and flower boxes.

c. A paint chip or paint sample shall be submitted with the colored rendering of a design for all colors incorporated in the rendering. This requirement applies to the sign and architectural theme sections of this Article. The sign portion of the mural is not exempt from this requirement, although the rest of the mural is.

(d) Small Commercial Buildings. Single-story buildings, such as roadside stands, bratwurst stands, etc. that are under one hundred sixty (160) square feet, follow the same low-angle Swiss type roof construction as larger buildings. They may have all wood outside wall construction. If all wood siding is used, the siding must be tongue and groove cedar, pine, or squared log construction. Usually the siding is applied horizontally. Plywood siding is unacceptable. Stucco may be used. These buildings should have extensive overhangs front and back, with more modest overhangs on the sides. Natural wood-tone stains predominate in Switzerland, with little or no painting of the trim. Most of the ornate features are scrolled trim with window shutter cutouts. Roofing materials are the same as for larger buildings. The overall feeling should be rustic in nature.

(e) Mechanical Equipment. All mechanical equipment, e.g., heating and air conditioning equipment, air handling ducts, and compressors, shall be screened from view. False balconies, railings and parapet walls may be utilized as long as they do not detract from the Swiss style theme. Screening plans/designs must be included in the architectural elevations presented for Committee review and approval.

(f) Signs. All signs must conform with the Village sign ordinance.

(g) General Considerations.

(1) Swiss villages all have a distinctive look and are immediately recognizable by the roof lines. The low-angle roof predominates. Some classic styles do exist in small villages, usually churches and government buildings.

(2) Applicants may be asked to justify their design concepts during review by the Design Review Committee. Supporting reference materials shall be supplied to the Committee if the applicant's design is challenged by the Committee.

(h) Appendix - Portfolio of Reference Photographs. The Village Clerk-Treasurer shall make color copies of the reference photographs available to the public to view. A monetary deposit of Thirty Dollars ($30.00) shall be required to check out the portfolio of photographs. The following are included in the portfolio:

(1) Typical building shapes.

(2) Roofs.

(3) Walls

(4) Balconies.

(5) Doorways.

(6) Windows

(7) Trim.

(8) Decorative painting.

(9) Colors.

(10) Small buildings.

(11) Inappropriate design elements.

(12) Local Swiss Buildings.

(13) Signs.

(14) Regional Swiss buildings styles and map.


(a) Civil Penalty. Violation of any of the terms is and provisions of this Article, is deemed to be a civil infraction. Written notice shall be given by the Village Building Inspector to the violator, which written notice shall set forth the alleged violation and shall allow a reasonable time for the correction of such alleged violation. For purposes of this Section, "reasonable time" for any nonstructural violation shall follow Village ordinances which include "reasonable time" for any structural violation or violations including extensive remodeling. If said violation is not corrected within the time limit set forth in said notice, then thereafter to be a separate infraction. Any infraction under this Article shall be punishable by a civil penalty in the amount of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) or more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each such infraction, and any offending building, structure, walkway or lighting, utility or part thereof shall be removed at the owner's expense (see, Section 1-1-6).

(b) Injunction and Abatement. The Village, through its authorized agents, may, in addition to any other remedy provided herein, initiate injunction or abatement proceedings or other appropriate action in the New Glarus Village municipal court, or the courts of this state, against any person who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this Article or against the owner or user of any building, structure, walkway, lighting, utility or part thereof which violates this Article to revert, enjoin, abate or terminate violations of this Article.

(c) Attorney Fees. In any action brought by the Village to enforce this Article or in any action brought by any other person(s) in which the Village is joined as a party challenging this Article, in the event the Village is a prevailing party, then the non-prevailing party challenging the provisions of this Article or the party against whom this Article is enforced in such action, shall pay, in addition to the Village's costs, a reasonable attorney fee at trial and in any appeal thereof incurred by the Village.

(d) Remedies Cumulative. The remedies provided herein are cumulative and the alternative remedies and are in addition to any other remedy to which the Village may be entitled by law.


If any provision of this Ordinance is invalid or unconstitutional or if the application of this Ordinance to any person or circumstance is invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the other provisions or applications of this Ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provisions or applications.