Chapter 20.34
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Sections:

20.34.010    Applicability.

20.34.020    Purpose and intent.

20.34.030    Permitted uses.

20.34.040    Development regulations.

20.34.050    Parking.

20.34.060    Loading.

20.34.070    Landscaping.

20.34.080    Special conditions.

20.34.090    Prerequisite considerations.

20.34.100    Signs.

20.34.110    General use regulations.

20.34.120    Vision clearance triangle.

20.34.010 Applicability.

A. Regulations specified within this chapter shall apply to the use of land within areas which have been designated by the applicable neighborhood plan to have a commercial (C) general use type other than “commercial – planned.” Land within areas designated “commercial – planned” must comply with procedure and standards provided in Chapter 20.38 BMC. Additional regulations which may apply are referenced within the text for the convenience of the user.

B. The development of a single-family dwelling unit shall comply with standard development regulations within the Chapter 20.30 BMC.

C. This chapter is designed to be used in conjunction with the land use classification system found within the appropriate neighborhood plan. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.020 Purpose and intent.

A. Generally. The “commercial” (C) general use type is intended to accommodate various levels of business and service facilities; such levels will fluctuate depending upon the area’s location, function and proximity to population and transportation facilities.

B. Neighborhood, Use Qualifier. The commercial neighborhood designation (NC) is intended to accommodate retail and personal service establishments which will primarily serve the immediate neighborhood populace.

To help retain the purpose and integrity of neighborhood commercial areas, two self-limiting actions have been taken.

First, existing neighborhood business areas have been reduced in size within the neighborhood plans. Future land use designation changes to neighborhood commercial should follow these guidelines: (1) separate NC areas should not be located closer than one mile from each other, (2) NC areas should not contain more than three acres, (3) NC areas should be located only along primary, secondary or collector arterials as identified in the circulation element of the comprehensive plan, (4) NC areas should be limited to 600 feet of frontage along said arterial, (5) NC areas should be located where access and internal circulation patterns can be limited and coordinated. Second, limitations are placed upon a maximum retail building size. This restriction will vary depending upon neighborhood, and will prevent facilities from expanding beyond the intended scope of the neighborhood commercial district without council review and approval.

C. Auto, Use Qualifier. The commercial-auto (AC) designation recognizes the need to adequately serve the motoring public with essential services such as food, lodging and gasoline for the automobile.

Because not all land within an auto commercial area can, in a practical sense, be used for motel, service station, or eating and drinking establishments; small retail activities are permitted. To prevent these facilities from becoming freeway-oriented shopping centers, a restriction on maximum retail building size can be found within the neighborhood plans. In order to avoid strip zoning, the width of any auto commercial area should not be less than 40 percent of its length.

D. Waterfront, Use Qualifier. The commercial-waterfront (WC) designation is created with the intent of revitalizing our historic waterfront areas with a people-oriented marine use atmosphere.

The intent of the waterfront commercial designator is to reserve property abutting and/or in close proximity to the shoreline for commercial, light industrial, and recreational activities which depend upon or traditionally relate to the waterfront, or to those uses which will lend or help support a marine type atmosphere. [Ord. 2014-09-049 § 42; Ord. 9490 § 1, 1986; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.030 Permitted uses.

A. Uses Permitted Outright. No building or land shall be used within an area designated with a commercial general use type except as permitted below corresponding to the use qualifier designated for such property.

The following uses shall be permitted outright corresponding to the designated use qualifier.

Use Qualifier

 

Permitted Use

Neighborhood

1.

Retail establishments of all types except those selling the following products:

 

 

a.

Automobiles and trucks

 

b.

Heavy farm and construction equipment

 

 

c.

Feed, grain and farm supplies

 

 

d.

House trailers, mobile homes and boats

 

2.

Personal service facilities such as:

 

 

a.

Barber and beauty shops

 

 

b.

Tailor shops

 

 

c.

Small animal care shops (keeping of three or fewer animals overnight is permitted as accessory use if animals are kept in an enclosed structure)

 

 

d.

Repair shops for small items

 

3.

Branch post offices, banks, and libraries (including drive-through financial institutions)

 

4.

Business and professional offices

 

5.

Frozen food lockers

 

6.

Laundry and dry cleaning establishments

 

7.

Florist shops

 

8.

Service stations for automobiles:

 

 

a.

Complete minor auto repairs are permitted; however, engine overhaul, body and fender work, tire recapping and vehicle sales are prohibited

 

9.

Publicly owned parks, trails and playgrounds

 

10.

Eating establishments

 

 

a.

Facilities where alcohol would be consumed on premises shall require conditional use approval

 

11.

Mixed use, where specifically listed in the neighborhood land use plan

 

12.

Public utilities, if located within a public right-of-way

 

13.

Single-family dwelling unit

 

14.

Duplex and multifamily dwelling units when within a structure housing other principal uses

 

15.

Animal hospitals (subject to standards in BMC 20.34.040(F))

 

16.

Bed and breakfast facilities (subject to standards in BMC 20.34.040(F)(3))

 

17.

Uses similar to the above; however, adult entertainment uses shall be prohibited in the neighborhood commercial district

 

18.

Attached accessory dwelling unit (consistent with procedures and requirements outlined in BMC 20.10.035)

 

19.

Detached accessory dwelling unit existing prior to January 1, 1995 (consistent with procedures and requirements outlined in BMC 20.10.035)

20.

Confidential shelters subject to the provisions of BMC 20.10.047

 

21.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC

 

 

 

 

Auto

1.

Motel

 

2.

Eating and/or drinking establishments

 

3.

Service stations

 

 

a.

Complete minor automotive repair is permitted; however, body and fender work, tire recapping and vehicle sales is prohibited

 

4.

Retail facilities, except car lots

 

5.

Tourist information centers

 

6.

Commercial recreation

 

7.

Car wash facilities

 

8.

Banks and other financial institutions (including drive-through facilities)

 

9.

Laundry and dry cleaning establishments

 

10.

Offices

 

11.

Barber and beauty shops

 

12.

Mixed use, where specifically listed in the neighborhood land use plan

 

13.

Public utilities, if located within a public right-of-way

 

14.

Automotive repair, minor (subject to standards in BMC 20.34.040(F)(2))

 

15.

Bed and breakfast facilities (subject to standards in BMC 20.34.040(F)(3))

 

16.

Uses similar to the above; however, adult entertainment uses shall be prohibited in the neighborhood commercial district

 

17.

Billboards, subject to the provisions of this chapter, and only within the billboard overlay zones delineated by BMC 20.08.020, Figure 15

 

18.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC

 

19.

Community public facilities

 

20.

Art schools

 

 

 

 

Waterfront

1.

Eating establishments

 

2.

Drinking establishments

 

3.

Dance halls

 

4.

Theaters

 

5.

Offices

 

6.

Hotels and motels

 

7.

Aquariums

 

8.

Nautical museums

9.

Art galleries and art studios

 

10.

Retail establishments

 

11.

Public utilities, located within a public right-of-way

 

12.

Marinas, boat storage, charter service and water based transportation service

 

13.

Commercial recreation

 

14.

Public parks, trails and playgrounds

 

15.

Parking facilities, retail

 

16.

Private clubs and lodges

 

17.

Boat building and repair

 

18.

Web houses and net repair

 

19.

Fish processing

 

20.

Handicraft manufacturing (jewelry, pottery, furniture, etc.)

 

21.

Residential uses in conjunction with other permitted uses on the same site

 

22.

Bed and breakfast facilities (subject to standards in BMC 20.34.040(F)(3))

 

23.

Uses similar to the above, however, adult entertainment uses shall be prohibited in the waterfront commercial district

 

24.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC

 

25.

Community public facilities, limited to branch libraries, transit stations and park and ride lots

 

26.

Art schools

B. Conditional Uses. The following uses may be allowed corresponding to the designated use qualifier if approval can be obtained, based upon standards and requirements for conditional uses as specified in Chapter 20.16 BMC.

Use Qualifier

 

 

Use

Neighborhood

1.

Church

 

2.

Public utilities, other than those permitted as a principal use

 

3.

Day care

 

4.

Service care

 

5.

Medical care center

 

6.

Recycling collection center

 

7.

Neighborhood club/activity center

 

8.

Commercial recreation

 

9.

Private clubs and lodges

 

10.

Drinking establishments

 

11.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC

 

12.

Schools

13.

Art schools

 

14.

Community public facilities subject to the provisions of BMC 20.16.020(J)(4) and limited to fire stations, police stations, stormwater detention facilities, transit stations, park and ride lots and water storage facilities

 

 

 

 

Auto

1.

Public utilities, other than those permitted as a principal use

 

2.

Private clubs and lodges

 

3.

Church

 

4.

Recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds

 

5.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC

 

 

 

 

Waterfront

1.

Public utilities, other than those permitted as a principal use

 

2.

Adaptive uses for historic register buildings as defined in BMC 20.16.020(A)(1)

 

3.

Church

 

4.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC

 

5.

Community public facilities, with the exception of publicly owned parks, trails and playgrounds; branch libraries; transit stations and park and ride lots and subject to the provisions of BMC 20.16.020(J)(4)

[Ord. 2014-09-049 § 43; Ord. 2005-12-094; Ord. 2004-09-065; Ord. 2002-06-045 §§ 3, 4, 7, 15 – 18; Ord. 1998-11-088 §§ 5 – 8; Ord. 1998-07-057; Ord. 1998-06-034 § 5; Ord. 10674 § 21, 1995; Ord. 10643 § 11, 1995; Ord. 10528 § 5, 1994; Ord. 9908 § 3, 1989; Ord. 9698 §§ 2, 3, 1987; Ord. 9639 § 5, 1987; Ord. 9635 § 1, 1986; Ord. 9188 § 2, 1983; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.040 Development regulations.

A. Applicability.

1. The regulations of this section shall apply to the development of any principal and/or accessory use other than a single-family dwelling within any area designated with the commercial general use type; except where the “planned” use qualifier is designated.

2. The regulations of this section shall apply to the development of any permitted conditional use in an area designated commercial unless other applicable regulations appear within conditional use, Chapter 20.16 BMC.

B. Minimum Site Area. Any lot of record.

C. Maximum Building Size/Density.

1. Buildings utilized as retail establishments within neighborhood and auto commercial areas shall not exceed the maximum building size specified within the neighborhood plan land use classification system under “Density.” In neighborhood commercial areas generally, apartments shall not exceed one unit for every 500 square feet of total site area and offices shall be limited to 2,000 square feet of total gross floor area unless other regulations are stated in the neighborhood plan’s land use classifications system which shall then apply.

2. An individual retail establishment, including but not limited to membership warehouse clubs, discount stores, specialized product stores and department stores, shall not exceed 90,000 square feet of gross floor area.

For the purpose of this subsection (C)(2) of this section, gross floor area shall consist of the sum of the gross horizontal areas of all floors within the inside perimeter of the exterior walls of the structure or tenant space and roofed or partially walled outdoor areas reserved for the display, storage, or sale of merchandise, including accessory uses inside the primary retail establishment. Structured parking is excluded. The gross floor area of adjacent stores shall be aggregated in cases where the stores (a) are engaged in the selling of similar or related merchandise and operate under common ownership or management; (b) share check stands, a warehouse, or a distribution facility; or (c) otherwise operate as associated, integrated or cooperative business enterprises.

A building space occupied by an existing single retail establishment larger than 90,000 square feet may change occupancy to a different retail establishment of the same or smaller size.

D. Height. The maximum building height within waterfront, auto, and neighborhood commercial areas shall be three stories but not exceeding 35 feet under BMC 20.08.020, height definition No. 1. (See height definition and Figure 6 in BMC 20.08.020.)

E. Minimum Yards.

1. There shall be no minimum yards except in the following instances:

a. Within the vision clearance triangle in neighborhood commercial areas. (See BMC 20.34.120, vision clearance.)

b. When land within a neighborhood commercial area is adjacent to land within an area having a residential general use type designation, a minimum 20-foot yard shall be provided.

c. When land within an auto commercial area is adjacent to land within an area having a residential general use type designation, a minimum 25-foot yard shall be provided.

2. The minimum yard required in subsection (E)(1)(b) or (c) of this section may be reduced to 10 feet, provided an eight-foot-high masonry wall is constructed adjacent to the property line which abuts the residential designated property.

F. Standards.

1. Animal Hospital.

a. The building must be maintained in accordance with current standards of the American Animal Hospital Association.

b. The facility shall be designed and constructed to reduce sound levels to those standards as established by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

c. Ventilation shall be designed and constructed to ensure that there will be no emission of odor detrimental to persons in the area. No opening to the outside shall be permitted in areas where animals will be housed.

d. All business shall be conducted within a completely enclosed structure.

e. Boarding and grooming of animals, other than that incidental to medical and surgical care, shall be prohibited.

f. Off-street parking shall be provided pursuant to BMC 20.12.010. All parking areas shall be screened from view from abutting residential districts.

2. Automotive Repair.

a. Complete minor automotive repairs; however, engine overhaul, body and fender work, tire recapping, and vehicle sales are prohibited.

b. Inoperable motor vehicles shall not be stored on the premises longer than 30 days unless parked within an enclosed structure. Automobile wrecking is prohibited.

c. All business shall be conducted within a completely enclosed structure.

3. Bed and Breakfast Facilities.

a. There shall be no outside visible evidence of the conduct of the bed and breakfast establishment other than one flat, unlighted sign, not exceeding two square feet in area, mounted flush against the building.

b. A telephone shall be available for occupant use with emergency numbers and the address clearly posted. [Ord. 2007-02-011; Ord. 9188 § 3, 1983; Ord. 9639 § 6, 1987; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.050 Parking.

A. Applicability.

1. This section provides parking regulations for all permitted uses which are regulated by this chapter.

2. Off-street parking in accordance with the provisions herein shall be provided whenever:

a. A main building is constructed or relocated upon another lot; or

b. The cost of interior alteration or repair within any 12-month period exceeds 50 percent of the actual valuation; or

c. A change of use, floor area expansion, or modification which affects any other unit of measure used herein to determine parking requirements, in which case the additional number of parking spaces resulting from the change shall be required, unless already provided.

3. The director shall have the authority to reduce or waive off-street parking required by this chapter as stated in BMC 20.12.010(A)(3) through (5); provided, that the requirements stated therein are met.

4. Shared Parking. The amount of off-street parking required by this chapter may be reduced by an amount determined by the director when shared parking facilities for two or more uses are proposed, provided the requirements stated in BMC 20.12.010(A)(6) are met.

B. Number of Spaces Required.

1. All permitted uses within areas designated neighborhood, auto, and waterfront shall provide, at a minimum, the number of spaces required herein.

2. Any use clearly similar to the uses listed below shall meet the requirements specified. If the similarity is not apparent, then the hearing examiner shall, upon request, determine the standards which shall be applied.

 

Use

Parking Space Requirement

Residential

1. Single-Family

Two parking spaces; single-family attached units shall provide one additional parking space for each bedroom over three. No more than two enclosed garage parking spaces per unit may count toward meeting parking requirements.

2. Duplex/Multifamily

a. One for each studio unit.

 

b. One and one-half for each one or two bedroom unit.

 

c. Two for each three+ bedroom unit.

 

d. Duplex with four or more bedrooms: one parking space per bedroom. No more than two parking spaces per unit may be located in an enclosed garage.

 

e. Multifamily: one additional space for each bedroom over three per unit. No more than two parking spaces per unit may be located in an enclosed garage. This provision shall not limit the number of parking spaces that may be provided in common areas in an enclosed under-building parking floor or structure.

3. Boarding House

One for every two bedrooms.

4. Hotel

One for every two bedrooms.

5. Motel

One and one-fourth for each bedroom.

6. Senior Citizen Housing

Comply with the provisions of Chapter 20.12 BMC.

7. Live/Work Unit

One parking space per live/work unit or one parking space per 500 square feet of gross floor area of all units in a project, whichever is greater.

Commercial

1. General Business, Personal Service Establishments (exclusive of shopping centers and food markets larger than 20,000 square feet)

One for every 250 square feet of floor area open to the public.

2. Furniture and Large Appliance Store

Four plus one for every 500 square feet of gross floor area.

3. Neighborhood and Community Shopping Centers and food markets larger than 20,000 square feet

Five for each 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

4. Offices (business and professional, including financial institutions; but not including doctor/dentist offices)

One for every 350 square feet of floor area.

5. Eating and Drinking Establishments, Dance Halls

One for every 75 square feet of floor area open to the public (minimum of seven spaces).

6. Commercial Recreation

Four for each bowling lane, tennis or racquetball court, pool or billiard table; or one for each miniature golf hole or in the case of a driving range for each tee area; or one for each 100 square feet of open recreational area. Where an eating and/or drinking facility is located within a main building used as a commercial recreation site and is clearly accessory to the primary commercial recreation use, additional parking shall not be required.

7. Service Stations

Five.

Health Care

1. Hospitals

One for every two patient beds, exclusive of bassinets.

2. Doctor/Dentist Offices and Related Labs

Five for each 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

3. Medical Care Centers

One for every four beds.

4. Animal Hospital, Small

Five for every veterinarian.

Public and Semi-Public Assembly

1. School, Institution of Higher Education, Art School

One per classroom and office plus one for every four students normally enrolled who are over the legal driving age. Public assembly areas, such as auditoriums, stadiums, etc. that may be adjunct to the school shall provide parking required herein; however, parking provided for the school may be considered as parking for the assembly area.

2. Libraries and Museums

One for every 200 square feet of floor area open to the public.

3. Church

One for every 100 square feet of floor area used for public assembly. In cases where there are two or more separate assembly areas within the church and upon proof such areas would not be used concurrently, then the director shall assess the amount of spaces required for each area and require the greatest number of spaces.

4. Community Center, Convention Hall

One space for every 150 square feet of floor area open to the public.

5. Theaters, Stadiums, Auditoriums

One for each four seats, or one for each 80 inches of bench.

6. Bus Stations, Passenger Terminal Facilities

One for every 100 square feet of floor area open to the public.

7. Private Club and Lodge

One for every 150 square feet of floor area devoted to assembly or meeting area. If eating/drinking facilities are included, there shall be one space required for each 75 square feet devoted to such activity.

8. Neighborhood Club/Activity Center

One for every 150 square feet of floor space.

9. Golf Course Facility and Parks/Playgrounds

The director shall determine the required number based on the type and extent of the particular facility.

Miscellaneous Uses

1. Mortuaries/Funeral Parlors

One for every 100 square feet of floor area open to the public.

2. Industrial/Manufacturing

One for every 5,000 square feet of gross floor area or one for every employee, working at the same time, whichever is greater.

C. General Provisions.

1. Whenever off-street parking facilities are constructed, whether required or not, the facility shall meet the standards and requirements within this section.

2. All required parking shall be located off street and on the subject property in areas which meet the minimum requirements of this section. Parking on the public right-of-way shall not be considered as off-street parking unless approved pursuant to BMC 20.12.010(A)(3) and (4). Shared parking may be allowed pursuant to regulations found in BMC 20.12.010(A)(6).

3. The provisions of off-street parking and loading in the manner and extent required herein shall be a continuing obligation to the owner of a given use so long as the use is in existence. It shall be unlawful to discontinue, change, or dispense with parking and/or loading facilities unless alternative facilities are established which meet the requirements of this section.

4. Scaled parking plans shall be provided which indicate ingress, egress, grade, base and surface material, as well as parking lot dimensions.

5. Off-street parking for single-family and duplex dwellings shall be a minimum of nine feet in width by 18 feet in length with 22 feet of maneuvering aisle depth behind each space. Off-street parking dimensions for other uses shall not be less than shown on BMC 20.08.020, Figures 10, 11 and 12.

6. Unapproved revision to any approved parking facility which would affect the design, or failure to maintain the facility in accordance with good practice shall be deemed a violation of the land use development ordinance. Failure to keep the parking lot surface reasonably clean of debris, failure to replace dead plant material or to remove noxious weeds shall be specifically included in the phrase “failure to maintain the facility in accordance with good practice.”

D. Design Provisions.

1. The parking facility shall be located totally within property lines except for egress, ingress and maneuvering areas as permitted below.

2. a. Alley right-of-way may be utilized toward meeting the maneuvering area required herein.

b. Where Required by Chapter 20.00 BMC – Zoning Tables. When access is available from a city maintained alley, no vehicular access shall be taken from the street frontage except when the planning director determines that alley access is impractical or environmentally constrained.

3. No portion of any open parking facility shall be located within five feet of any property line or within any required yard except for a lane for ingress and egress.

In the commercial general use type, the five-foot parking space setback and landscaping requirement may be waived by the director when:

a. An alleyway is used for direct access; and

b. The landscaping is replaced with a fence which screens from view the parking area; and

c. The elimination of the five-foot parking setback will result in the provision of additional parking spaces beyond that required in the land use development code.

4. An area of at least five feet in width and 10 feet in length must be provided to separate every 30 adjacent open parking spaces.

5. a. All required parking spaces shall be designed such that any vehicle parking in any space may enter and exit without interference or blocking any other vehicle parking in any other required space, except as allowed in subsection (D)(5)(b) of this section.

b. Tandem parking (two cars maximum) as allowed when enclosed within a structure.

i. Tandem parking garages shall be set back a minimum of four feet from the front face of a building.

E. Improvement Standards.

1. Hard surfacing shall be required of all parking facilities including those portions within the right-of-way. Single-family homes, duplexes, churches, agricultural nurseries, industrial and manufacturing uses are exempt from this requirement, provided the facility is surfaced with no less than three inches of crushed gravel and is maintained in a dust-free condition.

2. When parking facilities are surfaced with gravel, the driveway and approaches shall nevertheless be paved with hard surfacing.

3. Permeable pavement shall be used for hard surface ground cover areas unless infeasible, per the infeasibility criteria listed within BMP T5.15 of the Ecology Manual. Projects that include less than 2,000 square feet of new or replaced impervious surface are exempt from this requirement.

4. A portion of a standard parking space may be landscaped instead of paved, provided the requirements in BMC 20.12.030(C)(4)(e) are met.

5. Any lot used in whole or part as a retail parking facility shall install a city sidewalk across the full width of the lot abutting the street.

6. Wheel stops shall be provided to protect landscape areas and city sidewalks from encroachment by vehicles.

7. All parking facilities shall be clearly marked as to stalls and traffic flow and for handicapped and compact spaces.

8. Drainage systems for parking facilities shall be designed and approved in accordance with Ordinance No. 8827, as amended.

9. Retail parking facilities shall install adequate lighting in accordance with standards approved by the public works director.

10. All parking facilities with more than 50 parking spaces shall provide a bicycle storage area in which to temporarily store bicycles. Bicycle storage space shall consist of a conveniently located and sturdy rack, hooks, bar or locker permitting locking or enclosure of the bicycle frame and both wheels to prevent thefts. With the exception of hanging hooks, bicycle storage facilities shall be designed so as not to support the full weight of the bicycle on one or both wheels. The bicycle storage area shall have the capabilities to hold at least 10 percent of the number of parking spaces. This requirement may be waived by the director if it can be demonstrated that the rack would not be reasonably utilized due to the location of the facility.

11. The public works department shall approve the location of all curb cuts. No single curb cut shall be wider than 30 feet. For parking lots with less than 10 spaces, the curb cut shall be no wider than 12 feet. Parking lots with separate points of ingress and egress shall have no more than a 12-foot curb cut separated by a distance of at least 20 feet and shall comply with arterial street access, Chapter 13.52 BMC, Driveways Giving Access to Arterial Streets. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 31; Ord. 2014-09-049 §§ 44, 45; Ord. 2006-12-122; Ord. 2006-12-121; Ord. 2003-03-010; Ord. 2002-10-069 § 54; Ord. 2002-06-045 § 22; Ord. 2001-04-033; Ord. 9639 §§ 7, 8, 1987; Ord. 9582 §§ 9, 14, 15, 1986; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.060 Loading.

A. Applicability. All new buildings and uses shall meet the loading requirements herein specified.

B. Number Required.

1. Any building intended to be used for retail, wholesale, warehouse, freight, hospital, industrial and manufacturing uses shall be provided with off-street loading berths according to this schedule:

a. One berth for each building containing 10,000 to 25,000 square feet of floor area.

b. Two berths for each building containing 25,000 plus square feet of floor area.

2. Any building intended to be used for hotel, eating or drinking establishment, community center, convention hall or other similar use shall be provided with off-street loading berths according to this schedule:

a. One berth for each building containing 20,000 to 50,000 square feet of floor area.

b. Two berths for each building containing 50,000 plus square feet of floor area.

C. Loading Design Standards.

1. Off-street loading facilities shall be designed and maintained in accordance with the standards herein.

2. Each loading berth shall be at least 10 feet wide and 45 feet long.

3. Loading berths shall not be located within any required yard.

4. Loading berths shall be located entirely on the property they are intended to serve and designed in such a way that the street does not serve as a maneuvering area.

5. Access to loading berths shall be from an alley when such exists.

6. If it is desirable, two or more buildings having a common wall may locate their required loading berths in one location, provided the number of berths shall not be less than the sum of the required berths for all the buildings concerned, and further, there shall be access from each building to the loading berth.

7. Loading areas shall be so designed that traffic congestion and interference is avoided and the highest possible degree of safety is maintained. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.070 Landscaping.

A. General Provisions.

1. This section provides the landscaping requirements for all uses permitted within the commercial general use type.

2. The provisions of this section shall apply to all new construction and to remodeling when the cost of remodeling exceeds 50 percent of the assessed valuation of the structure to the extent that there is space available.

3. Prior to issuance of a building permit, a scaled landscape site plan shall be submitted and approved by the planning department consistent with the provisions herein. Said plan shall specify species name, size and location.

4. Landscaping pursuant to the approved site plan shall either be installed or bonded for (in an amount no less than 150 percent of cost of material and installation) prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy or if no certificate is required prior to final inspection approval.

5. Existing trees which will be saved and which meet the minimum specification herein specified, shall count toward meeting the requirements herein, provided they are an acceptable species as to their location.

B. Requirements (See Figure 20.34.070).

1. Street Trees. One street tree shall be provided for every 50 feet of street frontage abutting the property. Said trees shall be installed adjacent to the right-of-way within the property lines or within the right-of-way subject to the approval of the public works and parks department.

2. All required yards, except the vision triangle, shall be screened.

3. Parking.

a. For every 10 open parking spaces, one tree shall be installed around the facility perimeter. These trees may be grouped or spread lineally.

b. Separation areas as required in BMC 20.34.050(D)(4) shall be landscaped.

c. Areas between the parking facility and adjacent property as required in BMC 20.34.050(D)(3) shall be landscaped if the adjacent property is of the same general use type. If the adjacent property is of a different general use type, said area shall be screened.

d. Parking Facility Interior Landscaping.

i. Surface parking lots with 15 or more parking spaces shall provide internal landscaping at the rate of 20 square feet of landscaped area per parking stall.

ii. The landscaping must be dispersed throughout the parking area.

iii. Landscaping around the facility perimeter may not substitute for interior landscaping. However, interior landscaping may join perimeter landscaping as long as it extends at least four feet into the parking area from the perimeter landscape line.

e. A portion of a standard parking space may be landscaped instead of paved, provided the requirements in BMC 20.12.030(C)(4)(e) are met.

f. Unless infeasible, landscape-based LID BMPs shall be used within parking lot landscaping to meet drainage requirements. This requirement does not apply to parking provided within structures.

C. Standards.

1. Trees.

a. Species.

i. Street Trees. As recommended in the Bellingham street tree plan and approved by the parks department.

ii. Other Required Trees. Species shall be native to the area or recognized as being easily adaptable to the climate.

b. Size (Unless Otherwise Specified).

i. Street trees shall be no less than 10 feet in height at time of installation with a minimum diameter size of two and one-half inches measured one foot above grade.

ii. Other required trees shall be no less than six feet in height at time of installation with a minimum caliper size of one inch measured one foot above grade.

c. Spacing and Location.

i. Street trees shall be spaced and installed as recommended in the Bellingham street tree plan subject to approval of public works and parks department.

ii. Other required trees may be installed where desired by the applicant within the general constraints of this section.

2. General Planting.

a. No landscape bed shall have artificial impervious material placed underneath the surface bed.

b. i. Provisions should be taken to ensure each landscape bed has proper drainage.

ii. The excavation pocket should be dug 12 inches below the root ball and six inches larger in circumference around the root ball. The excavation pocket should be filled with an approved planting mix.

iii. Each excavation pocket should take provisions to ensure proper drainage. If the subsoil is impervious, an additional foot of excavation backfilled with gravel to lower the water table should be required or an auger hole sunk down to porous material and the hole sack filled with gravel to the bottom of the planting pocket.

iv. All trees over eight feet high should be securely staked or guyed until the roots become established but in no case less than one year. Street trees should be staked according to the staking guidelines of the street tree plan.

Figure 20.34.070

[Ord. 2017-03-009 § 32; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.080 Special conditions.

A. Special Districts. The following terms identified as special conditions in the land use classification system refer to overlay zones or additional regulations which may be applicable to a land use area where the term appears:

1. Shoreline.

2. Flood.

3. View.

4. Clearing.

Where no ordinance covering one of the above terms has been passed or shoreline master plan has been approved by the city, these terms shall not be applicable. In areas where one of the following terms is stated in the land use classification system, compliance with the provisions of the respective regulation will be required pursuant to the terms of that program or ordinance:

Term

Regulation

“Shoreline”

Shoreline Management Master Program

B. Special Concerns. The remaining words identified as special conditions in the land use classification system are special concerns which are site-specific in nature. The designation of a special concern in an area will not result in any requirements being imposed on development proposals in that area pursuant to this title other than those which require discretionary permits. Rather, these special concerns identify problems which may form the basis of conditions to be attached to a development proposal pursuant to discretionary approval under this title (variance, conditional use, or approval pursuant to the planned or institutional development regulations), subdivision approval (long plat), or the State Environmental Policy Act (Chapter 43.21C RCW as implemented by city Ordinance No. 8515, as amended). Any conditions attached to discretionary approval of a project pursuant to this section shall be based upon the special concern as explained by language (if any) contained in either the introductory paragraph to the area classification system or in the preceding text as well as the goals of the comprehensive plan and shall be attached only to satisfy the appropriate standards for issuance of such approval; provided, that conditions to proposals which are based upon such special concerns shall be formulated so as to allow the reasonable use of property for a purpose to which it is suitably adapted. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.090 Prerequisite considerations.

A. Purpose. Prerequisite considerations are enumerated in the neighborhood plan land use classification system of the comprehensive plan in order to prevent the overcrowding of land in relation to the existing provision of essential services, to lessen congestion of streets, to provide for orderly and coordinated development, to conserve and restore natural beauty and other natural resources and facilitate provision of adequate transportation, water, sewerage and other public services.

B. Effect.

1. Prerequisite considerations are items which shall be addressed by the responsible official in conjunction with any proposal not exempt from the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) or by the decision-making body in regard to those projects which require discretionary approval.

2. Any conditions attached to discretionary approval of a project pursuant to this section shall be based upon the prerequisite consideration as explained by language (if any) contained in either the introductory paragraph to the area classification system or in the preceding text of the neighborhood plan, as well as the goals of the comprehensive plan.

3. Conditions based upon prerequisite considerations shall be formulated to correspond to the degree of impact which the specific development proposal is anticipated to have upon the situation giving rise to the prerequisite consideration; provided, that conditions to proposals which are based upon such prerequisite considerations shall be formulated so as to allow the reasonable use of property for a purpose to which it is suitably adapted.

4. In the event a mechanism exists which will ensure that a prerequisite consideration will be satisfied at an appropriate time, the responsible official or decision-making body may approve the development proposal conditioned upon such future performance. Where the responsible official or decision-making body decides that the prerequisite consideration is inapplicable to a development proposal and attaches no corresponding condition, the rationale for such decision shall be specifically set out in findings of fact.

C. The city of Bellingham shall adopt a capital improvement plan which shall address specifically the prerequisite considerations delineated in the Bellingham plan and include a priority within which the developmental problems recognized by the prerequisite considerations should be resolved.

D. User Information. If there are any prerequisite considerations listed in the applicable neighborhood plan land use classification system, consult the office of planning and development for guidance prior to project plan preparation. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.100 Signs.

A. Neighborhood.

1. No off-premises signs shall be permitted.

2. No sign shall exceed the specified height regulation found within BMC 20.34.040(D).

3. Roof signs are prohibited.

4. No sign or any portion of a sign hereafter erected shall be located on or over public property; however, signs on existing buildings abutting upon a right-of-way may protrude over the right-of-way for a distance not greater than six feet nor closer than two feet from the edge of the curb. There shall be a minimum eight feet vertical clearance.

5. Signs may be lighted in accordance with the regulations found within the city sign code.

6. The total gross area of all permanent exterior signs for any one use shall not exceed one square foot of area to one lineal foot of street frontage, or 100 square feet, whichever is more restrictive.

7. When neighborhood commercial areas are designed in a coordinated shopping center fashion, only one freestanding sign shall be permitted. Said sign shall not exceed 150 square feet and shall be limited to the name of the shopping center and occupants therein, with the exception that if a gasoline station is represented on the sign, the sign may contain gasoline price information.

8. Unlighted temporary building signs shall not exceed 32 square feet.

9. Real estate signs shall be limited to one sign per street frontage, shall be unlighted, and shall not exceed 32 square feet.

10. Specific service signage as defined herein shall be permitted on the public right-of-way consistent with the policies and approval of the public works department.

11. See BMC 20.12.080(D) for sign regulations for nonconforming adult entertainment uses.

B. Auto.

1. No off-premises sign shall be permitted. Billboards are permitted in the billboard overlay zones when in accord with the provisions of this code.

2. No sign or any portion of a sign hereafter erected shall be located on or over public property. Signs flush against a building which abuts upon a right-of-way may protrude over the right-of-way for a distance not greater than two feet. There shall be a minimum eight feet vertical clearance.

3. Signs may be lighted in accordance with the regulations found within the city sign code.

4. Signs shall not exceed 250 square feet in area on any one face.

5. Signs shall not exceed the height regulations found within BMC 20.34.040(D) unless oriented to I-5 in which case it shall be no more than 20 feet above the surface of the nearest primary driving lane at the nearest point to the sign.

6. Unlighted temporary building signs shall not exceed 32 square feet.

7. Real estate signs shall be limited to one sign per street frontage, shall be unlighted, and shall not exceed 32 square feet.

8. Specific service signage as defined herein shall be permitted on the public right-of-way consistent with the policies and approval of the public works department.

9. See BMC 20.12.080(D) for sign regulations for nonconforming adult entertainment uses.

C. Waterfront.

1. No off-premises signs are permitted.

2. Signs shall not exceed the height regulation specified within BMC 20.34.040(D).

3. Signs may be lighted in accordance to standards within the city’s sign code.

4. Signs shall not exceed 200 square feet in area on any one sign face.

5. Temporary building signs shall not exceed 32 square feet.

6. Real estate signs shall be limited to one sign per street frontage, shall be unlighted, and shall not exceed 32 square feet.

7. Specific service signage as defined herein shall be permitted on the public right-of-way consistent with the policies and approval of the public works department.

8. See BMC 20.12.080(D) for sign regulations for nonconforming adult entertainment uses.

[Ord. 2014-09-049 § 46; Ord. 10674 §§ 22 – 25, 1995; Ord. 10592 § 3, 1994; Ord. 10528 §§ 10 – 13, 1994; Ord. 10039 § 4, 1990; Ord. 9545 § 2, 1986; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.110 General use regulations.

A. Inoperable motor vehicles shall not be stored on the premises longer than 30 days unless parked within an enclosed structure.

B. Automobile wrecking is prohibited.

C. Wholesale, warehousing, storage and manufacturing operations are prohibited unless accessory to retail sales or expressly permitted. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.34.120 Vision clearance triangle.

A. All corner lots within commercial areas abutting an intersection which does not have a stop/go light shall provide and maintain a clear vision triangle for the purpose of traffic safety.

B. The vision triangle shall be the area defined within boundaries determined by measuring 20 feet along both the front and side fee title property lines and diagonally connecting the ends of the two lines. (See BMC 20.08.020, Figure 7).

C. No building, structure, vehicle, object, sign or vegetative growth over 36 inches in height shall be permitted within this triangle; provided, however, that the public works department may authorize the location of one sign within this triangle subject to the provisions of BMC 20.34.100 and any other applicable sign regulation, if the lowermost portion of the sign is at least nine feet above the ground and the support for said sign will not in their opinion constitute a traffic hazard.

D. It shall be the responsibility of the property owner adjacent to the vision triangle to maintain the visibility within this triangle pursuant to the requirements herein. [Ord. 9024, 1982].