A set of regulations that addresses the aesthetic qualities of buildings and landscapes. Related to this are sign regulations and tree preservation laws. An architectural review board is created with either advisory authority of the ability to approve, disapprove or conditionally approve new construction.
To prevent unattractive or out-of-place developments and to protect the existing aesthetic qualities of neighborhoods, corridors or landscape view sheds/view corridors.
Discretionary design review can be contentious unless supported by design guidelines that are specific and supported by documentation of local aesthetic assets. Sign regulations and tree preservation laws can be enforced through standards that are specific enough that administrative, non-discretionary review is possible.
Can prevent visual blight and design that is non-contextual by providing a level of regulation that goes beyond what zoning can achieve through height, bulk, setback and coverage requirements.