Spring Mountain Ranch


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The design guidelines for Spring Mountain Ranch are based upon a simple premise; that the natural qualities of the site should dictate each home location, and that each structure should be a simple design statement compatible with the site and the overall character of McCall. The natural beauty and quality of Spring Mountain Ranch are intended to be kept intact, and through the use and implementation of the design guidelines, the overall character of the community will be maintained. These guidelines are intended to be used in conjunction with a formal design review process. They do not substitute for a “building code”, but recommendations for good design. They are meant to give each home builder a good sense of what the Architectural Committee will be looking for in their review. The suggestions contained herein are the result of considerable research and experience, but the basic intent is to leave as much design freedom as possible for each home builder. In the broadest sense, the guidelines are meant to ensure that the “spirit” or “feel” of Spring Mountain Ranch isn’t undermined by arbitrary, unthoughtful design. This “spirit” or “feel” is critical to the overall, long- term quality and value of the Spring Mountain Ranch Community. For this reason alone, it will behoove each home builder to adhere to the design guidelines as much as possible. These guidelines and the review by the Architectural Committee do not supersede, nor replace, the requirements for any permits or review by the City of McCall or other governmental or regulatory agency. See the City codes, Titles 3 and 9, and the City Design Guidelines.


The process developed for the review and approval of each building is intended to provide insight into the various design constraints of Spring Mountain Ranch. Spring Mountain Ranch has developed these design guidelines in an effort to assist each owner in creating a building and environment consistent with the specific goals outlined in the prologue. The Architectural Committee of Spring Mountain Ranch welcomes dialogue with the owner, architect, and contractor regarding the intent and constraints exhibited in the three sections of these design guidelines. The design guidelines are broken down into three key areas: Site Design & Development; Architectural Character; and Landscape Design. Sensitivity to these three key elements in the design and construction of your residence will enhance not only your home, but all of Spring Mountain Ranch. Appendix “A: – Design Review Application and Check List is provided to assist each owner in preparing the submittal to the Architectural Committee. Appendix “B: – Common “Flora” is provided to assist in planning for landscaping each property after development; it is suggested that native plants are used, but some non-native plants have been shown to thrive in McCall. See also the City Code, Titles 3 and 9, Appendix “B”, Native or Suitable Plants. Appendix “C” – “Helpful Hints” is provided to help you and your designers with key areas of concern which should be considered in order to avoid specific site and construction problems due to the winter climate in McCall, Idaho. These “Helpful Hints” are not necessarily part of the design review process, but are merely provided as useful information derived from years of mountain / cold climate design experience. To expedite the review of your application, there are two specific review steps; first a preliminary review for site and preliminary design, and then a full review of the building and the site development. Careful attention to and submittal of the check list found in Appendix “A” will aid in the smooth processing of each application.


Major Goals: Compatibility of building location with key site features; Preservation of the existing character of the building site; Visual and physical adaptation of the building to its site; Respect existing structures, view corridors, and solar orientation;


The design and development of each home and home site must take into account the key features which exist on and near the site. Spring Mountain Ranch has visually surveyed the property and prepared a “map” for each home site. These “maps” identify the key features to be considered in the design and development of the site including:

  • major tree masses
  • feature or “specimen” trees
  • major rock outcroppings
  • wetlands or other amenities
  • general topography

It will behoove each home builder to verify and carefully integrate the existing site features to preserve and maximize the natural benefits of each site. Much of the terrain within Spring Mountain Ranch is wooded and sloped. This variation in site topography provides a variety of design opportunities which include: Lower level entry with garage access and walk out on upper level. Fall away lot with walk out at lower level.

Location of Construction (Siting)

New buildings and other construction should be placed on the site with respect to the existing key features such as tree massing, topography, and rock outcroppings. Home siting shall occur either within tree masses, or at the edge of the tree line overlooking open space, or out in the open where devoid of trees. The objective is to give each house a sense of unity with its site and surroundings, providing scale to each house so as to not dominate the site. Wherever possible, houses should be sited within the trees, or just off the tree line to maintain the existing tree edge. Where neither of the alternatives is available, as in the meadow areas, houses should be sited in a massing sense, using landscaping as tools for relating to the existing site and adjacent sites.

Site Coverage

The overall impact and quality of Spring Mountain Ranch depends greatly on maintaining as much of the character and quality of the site and each home site as possible. In the design of each home, there are several key factors which will limit the size, coverage and location of the anticipated buildings. In addition to the McCall zoning ordinance, Title 3, the following minimum side yard setbacks are required:

Home sites less than 80′ wide Ten feet (10′) minimum each side. The sum of both side yard setbacks shall equal a minimum of 30% of the lot width.
Home sites 80′ to 125′ wide Twelve feet (12′) minimum each side. The sum of both side yard setbacks shall equal a minimum of 30% of the lot width
Home sites greater than 125′ Fifteen feet (15′) minimum each side in width. The sum of both side yard setbacks shall equal a minimum of 30% of the lot width.

Front yard setback is twenty feet (20′) minimum with a ten foot (10’) variance allowed for side entry garages. Rear yard setback is twenty five feet (25′) minimum and generally thirty five (35′) minimum from any wetland areas adjacent to home site. Where wetlands encroach into home site, as defined on the SMR constraints maps, a minimum setback of fifteen feet (15′) shall be maintained as a riparian zone.

Home site coverage maximums shall be based upon the following calculations:

Building / house (“footprint”) 100%

Decks, patios, etc 50%

Driveways, walks, etc 35%

The maximum coverage for home sites is as follows:

Home sites less than 12,000 square feet 25%

12,001 s.f. to 30,000 square feet 20%

Home sites over 30,000 square feet 15%

A typical home site submittal should indicate the above as illustrated.

Right of way Lot “B”, Block “X” Site Dimensions Site Size 14,812.5 square feet Typical Submittal for Home Site “B”

Setbacks: Side yard Calculations:
Front Yard 20 feet 12 feet each side minimum
Rear yard 25 feet Total (both side yards) 24 feet
Onsite wetland 15 feet 30% of lot width = 35.5 feet
Adjacent wetland 35 feet Additional side yard required = 11.5 feet

Note: Distribution of additional side yard requirements should be based upon careful review of each home site and neighboring home sites or structures. Typical Setback Submittal

Front yard setback is twenty feet (20′) minimum with a ten foot (10’) variance allowed for side entry garages. Rear yard setback is twenty five feet (25′) minimum and generally thirty five (35′) minimum from any wetland areas adjacent to home site. Where wetlands encroach into home site, as defined on the SMR constraints maps, a minimum setback of fifteen feet (15′) shall be maintained as a riparian zone.

Home site coverage maximums shall be based upon the following calculations:

The maximum coverage for home sites is as follows: Home sites less than 12,000 square feet 25%

12,001 s.f. to 30,000 square feet 20% Home sites over 30,000 square feet 15%

A typical home site submittal should indicate the above as illustrated.

Right of way

Lot “B”, Block “X” Site Dimensions Site Size 14,812.5 square feet

Typical Submittal for Home Site “B”

Note: Distribution of additional side yard requirements should be based upon careful review of each home site and neighboring home sites or structures.

Typical Setback Submittal

Size: 14,812.5 square feet Maximum coverage = 20% = 2,962.5 square feet

“Footprint” of Main Floor = 2400 sq. ft. @ 100% = 2,400.00 sq. ft. Decks and Patios of 350 sq. ft. @ 50% = 175.00 sq. ft. Driveways and walks of 810 sq. ft. @ 35% = 283.50 sq. ft. TOTAL = 2,858.50 sq. ft.

Typical Site Coverage Submittal


To preserve the existing land forms and site vegetation, grading plans for the construction of the house must be sensitive to the natural features of the site. The area of disturbance which is created through the construction and grading of the project needs to be carefully reviewed and considered in the layout of the home site. This is the area which will promote greater erosion and require more extensive revegetation.

Buildings and driveways must be carefully fitted into their sites. Every effort should be made to minimize grading and excavation, and to contain construction within fixed limits (this includes auto / truck parking, construction access, and material storage).



limits established


No construction limits set.

Measures must be taken to identify the area of disturbance on site, tag all trees over 6″ in diameter within the area of disturbance and provide construction limits through the use of stakes and ribbon. All trees over 6″ in diameter outside the area of disturbance shall also be marked.

All cut and fill requirements should conform to good engineering practices providing naturally rounded tops and toes of slopes, conforming to the natural topography with temporary slope stabilization measures.

All trees designated for preservation on the site should be protected from injury during construction, and all grading within the tree’s “drip line” should be avoided.


Each building lot contains its own particular natural drainage pattern, the result of its topography and vegetation. Whenever possible, this surface drainage pattern should be preserved. Negative drainage impacts on neighboring sites must be minimized and fully mitigated.

Surface systems (swales, culverts, retention basins) are preferable to closed underground systems. If closed underground systems are required, the release points must be designed to preclude erosion.

Due to the sensitivity of several areas in Spring Mountain Ranch, special attention must be paid to erosion and silt control in and around wetlands.

Paving: Driveways, Paths, and other Surfaces

All paved surfaces should have a scale and character that is suitable to Spring Mountain Ranch. Paved surfaces should only be used where an unpaved surface is functionally unsuitable. Unpaved surfaces should be of natural materials, with all material and colors submitted to the Architectural Committee. Where paved surfaces are desired, the choice of material and the alignment of the path or driveway should be based upon both aesthetic and functional considerations.

Acceptable paving materials include: asphalt, wood, on-site stone,


Major Goals:

* Through the use of building masses, roof scapes, walls and site relationships, emphasize the following: -”genuine architecture” with human scale -avoidance or allusions of “ersatz” or “caricaturistic” forms foreign to the McCall area -proximity to the ground; so the buildings “hug” the ground, rather than dominating the site

-adaptation to the site in every possible way, including its severe winter climate, its terrain, its pattern of sunlight and shade, and its natural vegetation.


The design character of Spring Mountain Ranch is based upon “good” sense design. McCall has its own “vernacular architecture” including two major types of design approaches, the log cabin and the veranda / ranch home. Each of these styles has its own feeling and appropriateness to Spring Mountain Ranch. A file of different houses and cabins is available for review at the office to assist in the design of a new home.

Continuing Lower Wall to the Ground

The “sense or “impression” of a building should be that Its walls continue down to the ground to give a felling of Solidarity and stability.


Walls continue downward to rest on the ground. Any columns, piers, or other support members are sized as to give an appearance of mass and strength.

NO Walls are held off the ground by thin members. The building is exposed to the elements, and seems to float in the air.

creating this “scale”.

Roof Slopes

Roof shapes are a major element of any house or outbuilding and one of the most important contributors to “sitting” a house down on a site, creating a “human scale” Both the roof slope and the overhang are the major determining factors of this ‘scale”.

Roof slopes should typically be between 41/2 in 12 to 8 in 12 with overhangs generally 3′-0″. The overhang will help protect windows and doors, providing a natural shedding area away from the face of the house, as well as assisting in

Roofs with greater or lesser slope may be considered if they are part of an overall pleasing architectural design.

Roof Height

The maximum roof height shall not exceed eight feet (28′), measured at the midpoint of line from natural grade unless extreme conditions exist. Consistent with the zoning code, Title 3, at no point shall the height measure over thirty five feet (35′) in

Roof Shapes

The following roof shapes are permitted:

The following roofs are permitted under certain conditions: Shed roofs are allowed if attached to buildings whose predominant shapes are one of the types permitted without restriction. They may also be allowed in minor outbuildings less than 150 sq. ft. Shed roofs should not be the predominant shape.

Flat roofs are generally discouraged as the predominant roof form. They may be used in moderation as a secondary roof shape on buildings with an acceptable predominant roof form.

Roof Appurtenances

Roof appurtenances such as dormers, clerestories, and skylights create interesting and pleasant interior spaces. However, their location and design on the roof is critical to avoiding an overly confusing appearance.

Dormers may have shed, gable, or hip roofs.

Clerestories should be placed within the field of the roof and should not extend to the eave line.

Solar collectors and skylights must be placed flush against the roof and must extend to the eave line.



All exterior antennae, vents, shafts, etc. shall be confined within the roof or roof dormers and shall not protrude from the roof to form awkward-looking appurtenances. Any approved surface vents, shafts, etc. must be painted or coated to blend with the roof color.

Roof Surfacing Materials

Roof surfacing materials are an important means of blending the new construction into the existing character of the site. As careful selection of these materials may help to relate the buildings to their surroundings, the wrong color or texture may make the building garish or distracting. The roofing material choice should be based upon roof slope, roof assembly, and climate with the objective to blend the roof into its surroundings in a functionally appropriate fashion.

The following materials may be used:

If a steel or aluminum metal roof is used, it must be color coated with a color approved by the Architectural Committee. Copper, zinc, terne plate, or Korten steel may be used without any coating. All roof flashing and appurtenances shall be of a painted or coated color harmonious with the roof and upper wall surfacing.

It is suggested that cold roof design be used for roofs over heated interior spaces to avoid ice damage to the roofs and eaves. Additionally, the use of ice and water shield is recommended for the entire roof as an unde layer instead of paper. All roof flashing and appurtenances shall be copper or of a painted or coated color harmonious with the roof and upper wall surfacing. No roof murals will be permitted.


Wood, stucco, concrete, and masonry finished flues permitted. Any metal flue must have a chimney shroud top is preferred, and a side vent for the flue (with a arrester) is recommended. Unfinished, exposed metal masonry block chimneys shall not be permitted unless an overall pleasing architectural style.

Upper Wall Materials

The upper wall materials should convey a sense of human scale and warmth, with a rural residential feeling. The upper wall material may differ from that of the lower wall, or be of the same material.

Upper walls may be surfaced in the following materials: stone or stucco concrete or stone tiles wood shingles, wood siding or logs cedar or redwood plywood painted or stained hardboard or other composite lap siding

Number of Wall Materials

Use of a variety of wall materials may lend to visual interest but too many changes may make the wall visually unpleasing. The objective should be to create walls that are interesting, but do not compete with their surroundings. Walls may use more than one material, but should limit use to no more than three different materials.

Windows —

Windows may be constructed of vinyl, wood, or wood covered with color-fast vinyl or aluminum. Metal
windows are discouraged, but they may be used with an approved finish.


Exterior lighting fixtures should provide lighting for safety and protection, and shall not shine into neighbor’ home. No bare bulbs or lamps are allowed, and all light fixtures should have appropriate shields or housing, preferably of indirect light sources.


Major Goals:


While every new home in Spring Mountain Ranch should seek to minimize the impact of construction on the existing landscape, some disturbance of the site is inevitable. Correcting damage done in the construction process will require revegetation; and this should, to the greatest extent possible, recreate the earlier character of the site, using indigenous plants and trees native to the site. New plantings should blend in with the existing natural landscape so that several years hence, all traces of the disruption will have disappeared.


Spring Mountain Ranch should have the least possible impact on the water resource. As any valuable natural resource, water should not be used in a wasteful manner. Continuous irrigation in the dry months is to be discouraged, and the choice of planting materials should make it possible, once the plant material is established, for such irrigation to be minimized.


The predominant goal of Spring Mountain Ranch is to maintain, enhance, and preserve the existing natural beauty of the area and the site integrity of the individual homesites, while allowing diversity in the home and landscape designs.
To reach this goal, extensive landscaping is not required nor encouraged, yet landscaping must be executed and maintained in a way as to present a neat and pleasing appearance to all off-property views. Additionally, it is recognized that a number of home sites should be selectively timed and cleared to establish better view corridors and better understory growth. Formal, regimented planting arrangements are strongly discouraged; shrubs, trees, grasses and other plant material should be arranged in informal, unaligned groupings rather than straight rows. All “formal” grasses or lawns shall generally be a minimum of ten (10) feet from a property line.

In order to integrate new and potentially more formal landscaping into the existing surroundings, new landscaping should transition from the new areas to the existing in three distinct zones: 1) the area adjacent to the buildings within the area of disturbance which may possess more intense and formal plant material; 2) a true “transition” zone blending the native and non-native plants; and 3) the natural area consisting of existing or “native” plant material. These “natural” areas is the most sensitive of the areas, and wherever possible and practical border all roadways, property lines, wetlands, waterways, paths, open amenities, and other common areas.

Sensitivity to, and respect for, the natural beauty and constraints of Spring Mountain Ranch will help maintain this asset for the entire community.

Planting and Revegetation

Species which are native to the Spring Mountain environment are found in Appendix B. In preparing a plan, it may be necessary to demonstrate that the to be used are appropriate to the site. Preparation of should take into account the seasonal diversity, support, irrigation requirements, and fire management of the plants selected. The use of ornamental plants should be done in the area of disturbance, close to the house. The use of turf is permissible; however it should be used in a limited fashion, with any “excessive” use requiring review by the Architectural Committee.

Native planting

Excessive use of ornamental planting

Walls and Fences

Walls and fences have only two acceptable uses at Spring Mountain Ranch as retaining walls; and as privacy screens.

Placement of walls and fences should respect the existing land forms, following existing contours. No lot line fencing is allowed. The design of these elements should be in scale and harmony with the buildings and their surroundings.

fencing on lot lines

Retaining walls and privacy screens built adjacent to buildings should be designed as part of the building in accordance with the architectural guidelines. Retaining walls that are separated from the buildings should be kept in scale with the overall design and may be stepped to limit the exposed height of the retaining wall. Generally the height of the walls should not exceed two and one-half feet (2 1/2′) in height and may be built from loose or mortared on-site stone, key-stone, or stone-faced concrete.

Walls and screens not attached to the building should be low, unobtrusive, and built from wood to be part of an overall pleasing design. Privacy screens attached to buildings may be tall and opaque if of material and design matching the building.
Unacceptable fencing materials include chain link, plywood, painted materials, and picket fencing.
Entry identification fences and walls are discouraged. If allowed they must be designed in accordance with the architectural guidelines and overall site character.

Landscape Structures

Landscaping often includes outdoor structures (decks, patios, trellises, gazebos, pergolas, greenhouses, play equipment basketball standards, equipment enclosures). These structures frequently detract from the overall appearance of the landscape by adding an element of disorder. All structures should be designed to work as extensions to the house designs rather than freestanding, separate elements. Freestanding elements should be avoided unless there is a compelling reason for such. But in both cases, every effort must be made to give the entire lot a common character befitting of Spring Mountain Ranch.

All exterior items, including propane or utility tanks, compressors, meters, etc. should be screened from street and neighbor’s views. Vehicles (including snowmobiles, motorcycles, bikes, golf carts, autos, trucks, boats, etc.) must be visually protected from view in an enclosed structure designed to be compatible with the overall building design.

All outdoor structures should be devoid of gimmickry and excessive ornamentation. Decks and trellises should be built of wood and left unpainted or stained unless approved by the Architectural Committee.

Site Furnishings

All exterior signage, lighting, snow poles, or other miscellaneous items on the site are subject to review by the Architectural Committee.

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