City of Los Banos Community
Design Standards

EMC Planning Group prepared design standards for commercial and residential development within the City of Los Banos. The standards present specific direction for commercial development within the downtown area, the City’s two highway corridors, and most other commercial areas within the City. Several special design areas are set aside to be addressed as future specific plans are prepared.

The design standards discuss and present examples of the basic elements common to all design, including scale, proportion, balance, rhythm, focal points, continuity, and unity. Expanding on these basic design parameters, detailed standards are presented for building design, site design, and neighborhood or streetscape design. Within the downtown area, the standards focus on obtaining architecture that is consistent in style with the earliest traditional buildings. Specific architectural styles are required within the highway corridors (Mission and Agrarian). Although certain styles are required in these commercial areas, the standards were created to allow architectural creativity with an emphasis on ensuring quality design. The standards speak not only to the aesthetic aspects of design, but address other areas that are affected by urban design, such as pedestrian connectivity, energy efficiency, sustainable materials, and water conservation.

Throughout the document, photographs are used to illustrate good examples of the project designs the City is seeking in future developments. A glossary, detailed checklists, and a list of applicable general plan policies are also provided to assist in the design of projects by architects and developers, and review of projects by staff, the Planning Commission, and City Council.