A drawing of different architectural elements.

Residential, commercial and industrial developers can look to modernized architectural design guidelines as a base for designing new housing and buildings within city limits.

The Tehachapi Planning Commission unanimously passed updated design recommendations at its May 13 meeting. The document will be placed before the City Council at a future meeting, as the final step to adoption.

“This new updated architecture design guidelines cover all architecture — commercial, industrial, residential. These guidelines are there to cover the whole gamut of development and the contents have been reorganized,” said Trevor Hawkes, planner for the city of Tehachapi.

Current documents are being updated as growth continues.

The current guidelines assist new development to adhere to color and design themes, how building composition is placed, roof lines, pedestrian access, parking lots, trash enclosures, site planning, landscaping, fencing and how other elements should be designed.

“We want quality architecture and we want to say here are some examples of quality architecture versus not quality,” said Jay Schlosser, development services director for the city of Tehachapi.

The architectural design document outlines recommendations for new development and some remodels, but are discretionary, versus zoning codes that outline specific laws, said Schlosser.

Many residential designs are moving toward urban looks, including mountain modern, colonial, craftsman and others that are permitted. Same floor and exterior plans with visitor parking on the street, common green areas in neighborhoods, special paving, landscaped medians, and garage access from an alley are encouraged.

Commercial and residential architecture designs show buildings with facades, outdoor pedestrian walkways and seating, recessed columns, and large windows, all adhering to the mountain town character.