Chapter 20.38
PLANNED DEVELOPMENT

Sections:

20.38.010    Applicability.

20.38.020    Purpose and intent.

20.38.030    Uses permitted outright.

20.38.040    Procedures.

20.38.050    Standards.

20.38.010 Applicability.

A. Regulations specified within this planned development chapter shall apply to the use of land within areas which have been designated by the applicable neighborhood plan to have a planned use qualifier whether the designated general use type is residential (PR), commercial (PC), or industrial (PI). Additional regulations which may apply are referenced within the text for the convenience of the user.

B. The regulations specified within this planned development chapter also apply to the planned development of property located within an area designed with a residential multi, commercial, or industrial general use type; provided, that such planned development must comply with the standards enumerated herein for the general use type with which such property is designated.

C. The planned development chapter is to be used in conjunction with the land use classification system found within the applicable neighborhood plan. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.38.020 Purpose and intent.

A. Generally. The planned use qualifier is intended for areas which are adaptable to flexible development and/or where review of pending development proposals is necessary to ensure that adequate provisions are taken to minimize possible detrimental effects. The “planned” use qualifier is intended to provide a procedural framework which:

1. Permits diversity in the location of types of structures;

2. Promotes the efficient use of land by facilitating a more economic arrangement of buildings, circulation systems, land use and utilities;

3. Preserves to the greatest extent possible the existing landscape features and amenities and utilizes such features in a harmonious fashion;

4. Addresses site-specific opportunities and concerns;

5. Lessens development impacts to adjacent areas through site design and necessary mitigating measures.

B. Residential Multi. In addition to the above-stated general purpose, the planned residential designation (PR) is intended to provide flexibility in site and building design for a harmonious variety of housing choices, including manufactured homes, within an environment where more usable open space or recreational opportunities are possible beyond that which could be provided within the scope of conventional regulation.

C. Commercial. In addition to the above-stated general purpose, the planned commercial designation (PC) is intended to accommodate retail and personal service establishments of a citywide nature or regional nature and to provide flexible design standards which will ensure compatibility between the site and the development, as well as between the development and the surrounding area.

D. Industrial. In addition to the above-stated general purpose, planned industrial (PI) designation is intended to accommodate certain industrial uses in areas where special consideration and sensitivity must be taken for physical site conditions and their relationship to less intense surrounding uses.

E. Areas Not Designated Planned. An application may be brought for any area designated residential, commercial or industrial to have its land use designation changed to a planned use qualifier concurrently with submittal of an application for planned development pursuant to BMC 20.38.040. [Ord. 9490 § 2, 1985; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.38.030 Uses permitted outright.

A. Generally. No building or land shall be used within an area designated with a planned use qualifier without planning commission approval which specifically regulates development upon the subject property pursuant to BMC 20.38.040 and 20.38.050 except as provided in subsection (B), (C), or (D) of this section.

B. Single-Family Dwelling. Any property with a planned use qualifier designation in the applicable neighborhood plan may develop, upon approval of a building permit, any single principal use authorized in the residential single development chapter subject to the regulations therein.

C. 1. Nonconforming Buildings and Uses. Any existing building and/or existing use located upon property designated as planned without having gained approval of a planned ordinance shall be deemed nonconforming subject to the limitations found within Chapter 20.14 BMC; provided, however, that the following shall be permitted:

a. A change of occupancy to a use enumerated within the permitted uses listed in BMC 20.38.050 corresponding to the applicable general use type. For wireless communication facilities, see Chapter 20.13 BMC for additional regulations pertaining to properties designated as planned.

b. Interior renovations involving no exterior expansion, to a use enumerated within the permitted uses listed in BMC 20.38.050 corresponding to the applicable general use type.

c. A one time expansion not to exceed 50 percent of the existing floor area, or 5,000 square feet, whichever is less for an existing use which is enumerated within the permitted uses listed in BMC 20.38.050 corresponding to the applicable general use type.

2. Such expansion must be accomplished in conformance with the following regulations:

a. For property designated planned residential, all applicable regulations within the residential multi chapter related to a “multiple” use qualifier;

b. For property designated planned commercial, all applicable regulations within the commercial chapter related to a neighborhood use qualifier.

c. For property designed planned industrial, all applicable regulations within the industrial chapter related to a “light” use qualifier.

d. For wireless communication facilities, the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC shall apply.

D. Off-Premises Signs. No off-premises sign shall be permitted. [Ord. 1998-07-057; Ord. 10674 § 29, 1995; Ord. 10039 § 6, 1990; Ord. 9591 § 2, 1986; Ord. 9147 § 2, 1982].

20.38.040 Procedures.

A. Planned development applications shall follow the procedures in Chapter 21.10 BMC.

B. Decision/Planned Development Contract.

1. The decision shall address all development aspects necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare including, but not limited to, the following:

a. Appropriate permitted uses and/or special conditions on the uses.

b. Height restrictions on structures.

c. Yard requirements.

d. Sign regulations.

e. Street, utility and other public improvements both adjacent to the site and off site, which may be necessary as a result of the proposal.

f. An exhibit specifying building area, parking area, curb cut locations, buffer areas if necessary, or any other feature or requirement which may need to be graphically depicted.

2. The planned proposal may be changed, altered or conditioned as reasonably necessary to ensure compatibility with city goals, policies, standards, the surrounding areas or to mitigate direct impacts of the proposal.

C. Amendments. Subsequent changes to the approved site plan and approval shall be processed as an original application.

D. Building Permits. Any building permit issued must be in compliance with the restrictions and conditions of the planned development approval. [Ord. 2004-09-065; Ord. 2002-10-069 § 56; Ord. 10719 §§ 17 – 27, 1996; Ord. 10309 § 3, 1992; Ord. 10169 § 13, 1991; Ord. 9630 §§ 6, 7, 1986; Ord. 9597 § 2, 1986; Ord. 9352 § 5, 1984; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.38.050 Standards.

A. Generally.

1. All planned applications submitted shall be in conformance with the minimum standards herein specified. These are minimum standards and may be increased for a particular planned proposal where more stringent standards are necessary to protect neighboring properties, conform with existing development in the area, preserve natural resources or sensitive environments, provide for orderly development or conform with the comprehensive plan.

2. Any exceptions to these standards must be approved by the hearing examiner only after written submittal by the applicant detailing the reasons why the standards cannot be met. Grounds for exceptions shall be limited to those justifications for variances contained within Chapter 20.18 BMC. Exceptions to the comprehensive plan in regards to use and residential density designations shall not in any instance be granted by the planning director unless upon proper change of land use classification petition and procedure.

3. All planned developments must conform additionally to any more stringent minimum standards provided within the applicable neighborhood plan.

4. There shall be no minimum or maximum property size restrictions for planned proposals. However, in order to simplify and coordinate planning efforts, it is recommended that planned commercial or industrial proposals should be at least four acres in size. Planned commercial or industrial proposals on less than four acres should only be permitted when surrounded by streets or major environmental barriers or by a demonstrated inability to obtain cooperation of adjacent property owners. Regardless of the size, the standards herein or the intent of the standard shall be satisfied to the fullest extent possible.

5. 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:

i. “Shoreline.”

ii. “Flood.”

iii. “View.”

iv. “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 are 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 the 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 any 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.

6. 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.

i. 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.

ii. 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.

iii. 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.

iv. 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.1

B. Planned Residential.

1. For all land designated residential, the following standards shall apply.

2. Range of Uses Possible. Any of the following uses may be permitted in a planned proposal within a residential general use type designation; provided, that any of such uses shall not be permitted where prohibited within the applicable neighborhood plan. Certain uses may also be excluded from a particular planned residential area if such use(s) are found by the planning director to be incompatible with the surrounding area or unsuitable to the particular site. The final decision shall set forth the uses permitted for the subject property.

a. Single-family dwellings.

b. Duplexes.

c. Multifamily dwelling units.

d. Manufactured home parks.

e. Bed and breakfast facilities (subject to the standards found in BMC 20.34.040(F)(3)).

f. Private or public parks, playgrounds, trails, private recreational facilities, recreational vehicular storage areas and open space restricted to usage by the occupants within the planned area.

g. Mixed use if specifically listed in the neighborhood land use plan.

h. Public utilities located in a public right-of-way or easement.

i. Any conditional use permitted in the residential multi designation, Chapter 20.32 BMC.

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

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

l. Confidential shelters subject to the provisions of BMC 20.10.047.

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

n. Co-housing, subject to the standards of BMC 20.10.048. The planned development process of this chapter shall apply.

o. Community public facilities, other than publicly owned parks, trails and playgrounds, subject to consideration of the factors in BMC 20.16.020(J)(4)(c).

3. Density.

a. For planned projects within a residential general use type, the maximum number of units possible shall be determined by dividing the size of the subject property by the area density designated in the applicable subarea of the zoning table pursuant to Chapter 20.00 BMC. This resulting figure represents the maximum number of units possible and cannot be exceeded without obtaining a density bonus or having the density designation of the area changed by city council. Partial units shall not be counted as a full unit. For example, a figure of 34.3 units possible shall result in a maximum of 34 units allowable.

b. For planned projects within a residential general use type which have no density specified in Chapter 20.00 BMC, Zoning Tables, the number of allowable units shall be determined by the director and specified within the final decision.

c. Density Bonus. As stipulated in Chapter 20.00 BMC, Zoning Tables, a density bonus may be obtained for a multifamily development proposal that has not previously been granted a density bonus under a different development proposal. A density bonus shall not establish a density greater than the maximum specified density of the applicable subarea.

A decision to allow a density bonus shall be based on the benefit and quality of the features offered to obtain a bonus and determined to provide project elements that are in addition to the minimum development aspects listed in BMC 20.38.040(B) and this section. The director may impose conditions to ensure that an approved bonus results in a public benefit.

A density bonus may be obtained up to the amounts listed below:

i. Up to a 50 percent bonus for the purchase and transfer of all or part of the development rights of a parcel identified as meeting any of the following criteria:

(A) A parcel, tract or land area declared as a suitable density donor by city council resolution.

(B) A parcel with a valid planned development permit which provides for a development right transfer.

(C) A parcel previously zoned for residential uses that, due to the adoption of subsequent governmental regulations and as determined by city council resolution, is unlikely to achieve even 50 percent of the original allowable density, resulting in the loss of the city’s potential infill capacity.

ii. Up to a 50 percent bonus when a project is able to provide at least one-half of the total unit count of the project as affordable housing, as defined by the city council resolution, inclusive of a provision to maintain said housing as such for a reasonable duration determined by city council.

iii. Up to a 50 percent bonus for the redevelopment of an area considered in need of revitalization as declared by city council resolution.

iv. Up to a 25 percent bonus for the development of a neighborhood park and related improvements identified in the comprehensive plan or that satisfies the needs of the immediate neighborhood as determined by the director.

v. Up to a 15 percent bonus for providing at least 15 percent additional open space that is not otherwise restricted from development by environmental regulations.

vi. Up to a 15 percent bonus for restoring a degraded natural area that would not otherwise require restoration or enhancement through a planned development or critical areas permit, which would provide significant public enjoyment if enhanced.

vii. Up to a 10 percent bonus for providing enhanced perimeter buffering of adjacent, less compatible uses.

4. Building Height.

a. No structure shall exceed 35 feet under BMC 20.08.020, height definition No. 1, when within 200 feet of the site plan boundary lying adjacent to any residential general use type area not designated planned.

b. Except for the limitation above, there is no expressed general height standard for the remainder of the property. Final height standards shall be determined by the planning director.

5. Open Space.

a. A minimum of 25 percent of the total site area shall be left as open space; except that a minimum of 10 percent of the total site area shall be left as an open space for an office use allowed in mixed areas having a residential density equal to or denser than 1,500 square feet per unit; or

b. Achieve a green area factor (green factor) score of 0.6 in accordance with BMC 20.12.030(E).

c. Landscape-based LID BMPs may count toward open space requirements.

6. Usable Space. Usable space in an amount equal to that required for a proposal the same number of units under BMC 20.32.040(F) shall be required. Active recreational facilities may replace usable space requirements if approved by the planning and community development director.

7. Yards.

a. Planned development proposals shall meet the following building setbacks as shown in Table 20.38.050(A) – Residential Planned Minimum Yards:

 

Table 20.38.050(A) – RESIDENTIAL PLANNED MINIMUM YARDS

Yards

Setbacks

Measurements

Front and Side Yard Setback on a Flanking Street

40 feet CL

Setback measured from the centerline (CL) of the street right-of-way.

50 feet CL – if a designated street arterial

20 feet PL – Property line(s) abutting a residential single zone

Setback measured from the property line (PL).

Side and Rear Yard Setback

10 feet PL, plus five feet for every 10 feet or fraction thereof over 35 feet in height (1)

Setback measured from the property line (PL).

25 feet PL – Property line(s) abutting a residential single zone

Note:

(1) Only those portions of the building that exceed a height of 35 feet must meet the additional setback measured from the property line to the subject building wall.

b. Exception. Permitted yard encroachments identified in BMC 20.10.080(B) may extend into a standard required yard; provided, that the encroachments meet the adopted building codes and minimum vision clearance triangle on a corner lot.

8. Parking.

a. Proposals for planned development shall satisfy all parking regulations for similar uses contained in Chapter 20.12 BMC.

b. No parking area shall extend within 15 feet of any property line abutting a residential single zone.

c. General “parking areas” shall be illustrated on the planned proposal site plan. Final detailed parking plans shall be submitted for approval at time of building permit application. If at such time the planning director determines that there is insufficient space within the area to meet parking requirements, contained in Chapter 20.12 BMC, areas designated as building areas may be used, the project may be reduced in size or density so that such parking requirements are met and/or the applicant may apply to the planning director for a modification of the site plan exhibit pursuant to procedure set out in BMC 20.38.040.

9. Landscaping. Proposals for planned development shall satisfy all landscaping requirements for similar uses contained in BMC 20.12.030 (see also subsection (B)(11) of this section on environment), except as follows:

The yard area between a parking facility and any street shall be landscaped and include an evergreen hedge. Hedge plantings shall be spaced not more than two feet on center and designed to be maintained at a height of at least two and one-half feet and not more than three feet in height. A screen is not required along a street if the adjacent zone is of a different general use type.

10. Signs. One sign, which may be indirectly lighted, may be located near the main entrance roads on private property. Such sign shall not exceed 50 square feet in area. Message shall be limited to the name of the planned project only.

11. Environment. Existing drainage courses of significance (as identified in the goals and policies document of the comprehensive plan), topography, significant treed areas and other natural features should be saved, preserved and enhanced to the greatest extent possible consistent with reasonable and appropriate use of the subject site.

12. Comprehensive Plan Elements. Planned project proposals should be designed in close coordination with the city of Bellingham’s comprehensive plan.

13. Streets, Utilities, Access and Dedications.

a. Streets and utilities should be designed to fulfill reasonably anticipated future need and be located to enable the continued orderly and reasonable use of adjacent property. Streets and utilities should be extended to the property line unless it is clearly demonstrated that the extension will not be needed for development of adjacent property.

b. Dedicated width of rights-of-way shall comply with minimum city requirements.

c. Streets should be improved to the standard required by Ordinance No. 8027 unless a standard is specified in the circulation plan of the comprehensive plan; provided, that the planning director may approve streets which are consistent with neighborhood standards.

d. Pedestrian Circulation. Unless waived for reasons of infeasibility or impracticality by the technical review committee and the planned contract, the following shall be required:

i. A sidewalk shall be constructed within all abutting city street rights-of-way. A local improvement district (LID) commitment may be required in lieu of construction if the city determines immediate construction is not warranted.

ii. Walkways shall be required linking building entrances to parking areas, sidewalks and other building entrances in the complex and, where appropriate, to open space/recreation areas. If no sidewalk is constructed or exists, the connecting walkway shall extend to the proposed location of a sidewalk or to the edge of the pavement located in the right-of-way.

e. A planned development proposal shall comply with city ordinance related to curb cuts and arterial streets access.

f. Dedication of public streets, easements, or park (or other) open space may be required.

14. Other Codes. Other codes may have to be followed such as the subdivision code, binding site plan ordinance or mobile home ordinance. Dedication documents may have to be filed at the auditor’s office.

15. Homeowners’ Associations. If the applicant intends to deed any open space or recreational facilities to a homeowners’ association, then the applicant shall submit with the planned proposal application a declaration of covenants and restrictions that will govern such association.

C. Planned Commercial.

1. For all land designated commercial, the following standards shall apply.

2. Range of Uses Possible. Any of the following uses may be permitted in a planned proposal within a commercial general use type designation; provided, that any of such uses shall not be permitted where prohibited within the applicable neighborhood plans. Certain uses may also be excluded from a particular planned area by the planning director if such use(s) are found to be incompatible with the surrounding area or unsuitable to the particular site. The final decision shall set forth the uses permitted for the subject property.

a. Retail facilities of all kinds except subsections (C)(2)(a)(i) and (ii) of this subsection:

i. Heavy farm and/or construction equipment sales;

ii. Feed, grain and/or farm supply sales.

b. Branch; post office, banks, financial institutions and libraries (including drive-through financial facilities).

c. Offices of all kinds.

d. Personal service facilities, such as:

i. Barber and beauty shops;

ii. Consumer credit agencies;

iii. Laundry and dry cleaning establishments;

iv. Computer data service;

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

e. Commercial recreation facilities.

f. Eating and/or drinking establishments.

g. Repair shops for small equipment and items.

h. Public uses and facilities when similar in nature to other permitted uses.

i. Private clubs and lodges.

j. Institutions of higher education.

k. Motels.

l. Public utilities, exclusive of storage yards.

m. Service Stations for Automobiles. Complete minor auto repairs are permitted; however, engine overhaul, body and fender work, tire recapping and vehicle sales are prohibited.

n. Publicly owned parks, trails and playgrounds.

o. Day care.

p. Apartments in conjunction with other permitted uses.

q. Neighborhood clubs and activity centers.

r. Mini storage facilities which deal in the warehousing of personal residential goods.

s. Warehousing and wholesaling of products, in conjunction with retail sales of the same product, offices and other nonretail permitted uses.

t. Bed and breakfast facilities (subject to the standards found in BMC 20.34.040).

u. Mixed uses if specifically listed in the neighborhood land use plan.

v. Any conditional use permitted in the commercial chapter for a neighborhood use qualifier.

w. Adult entertainment uses shall be prohibited in the planned commercial district.

x. Billboards, subject to the provisions of this chapter, and only within the billboard overlay zones delineated by BMC 20.08.020. See BMC 20.08.020, Figure 15, Maps 1 and 2.

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

z. Community public facilities, subject to the consideration of the factors in BMC 20.16.020(J)(4)(c) unless the facility qualifies as a permitted use under other permitted uses listed in the planned commercial designation, in which case the standard provisions of Chapter 20.38 BMC shall apply.

3. Maximum Size/Density.

a. For planned projects within a commercial general use type, the maximum size of the floor area for retail buildings shall comply with any floor area restriction contained within the applicable neighborhood zoning table under “Density.”

b. 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 unless the proposal meets all of the following conditions:

i. It is located in an area specifically exempted from the size limit in the neighborhood tables of zoning regulation; and

ii. The facility is not a superstore. “Superstore” means a retail establishment that exceeds 90,000 square feet of gross floor area, sells a wide range of consumer products primarily for household or personal use and devotes more than 10 percent of the total sales floor area to the sale of nontaxable merchandise. “Nontaxable merchandise” means products, commodities, or items the sale of which is not subject to Washington State sales tax. “Sales floor area” means only interior building space devoted to the sale of merchandise, and does not include restrooms, office space, storage space, automobile service areas, or open-air garden sales space. This definition excludes membership warehouse clubs where shoppers pay a membership fee in order to take advantage of discounted prices on a wide variety of items such as food, clothing, tires, and appliances and many items are sold in large quantities or bulk; and

iii. The proposal satisfies the following environmental mitigation measures:

(A) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)TM certification at the silver level (or equivalent green building system). Projects shall apply for the LEEDTM rating system the director determines is most suitable for the project type; and

(B) The area of new or expanded impervious surfacing shall have a green factor score of at least 0.3.

c. For the purpose of subsections (C)(3)(b) and (d) 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 (i) are engaged in the selling of similar or related merchandise and operate under common ownership or management; (ii) share check stands, a warehouse, or a distribution facility; or (iii) otherwise operate as associated, integrated or cooperative business enterprises.

d. 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 except the space may not be converted to a superstore as defined in subsection (C)(3)(b)(ii) of this section.

e. This subsection (C)(3) of this section shall not affect the minor expansion rights of nonconforming stores under BMC 20.14.010(E).

4. Building Height.

a. No structure shall exceed 35 feet under BMC 20.08.020, height definition No. 1 when within 100 feet of the site plan boundary lying adjacent to a residential general use type area.

b. Except for the height limitation above there shall be no expressed general height standard. Final height standards shall be determined by the planning director.

5. Yards. No structure shall be located within 20 feet of any residential general use type designation.

6. Parking.

a. Proposals for planned development shall satisfy all parking and loading area regulations for similar uses, contained within Chapter 20.12 BMC.

b. No parking area shall be within 10 feet of any property line adjacent to a residential general use type and the area between the parking and property line shall be bermed with earth at least three feet in height.

c. General “parking areas” shall be illustrated on the planned proposal site plan. Final detailed parking plans shall be submitted for approval at the time of building permit application. If at such time the planning director determines that there is insufficient space within the area to meet parking requirements contained in BMC 20.12.010, areas designated as building areas may be used, the project may be reduced in size or density so that such parking requirements are met, and/or the applicant may apply to the planning director for a modification of the site plan exhibit pursuant to the procedure set out in BMC 20.38.040.

d. Loading areas shall not be closer than 20 feet to any residential designated property. The area between the loading area and property line shall be bermed to a height of five feet and screened.

7. Landscaping. Proposals for planned development shall satisfy all landscaping requirements for similar uses contained in BMC 20.12.030. (See also subsection (C)(9) of this section, Environment.)

8. Signs.

a. All signage must be an integral, coordinated part of a sign design plan for the entire complex under one ownership.

b. Roof signs are prohibited.

c. All signs shall be flush against the side of the building except as provided below.

d. One freestanding sign not higher than 25 feet shall be permitted at each main entrance. The determination of whether an entrance functions as a main entrance shall be made by the director of the department of planning and economic development. Said sign may be lighted but the message shall be limited to the name of the complex and its occupants, with the exception that if a gasoline station is represented on the sign, the sign may contain gasoline price information. Sign area on any one face shall not exceed 275 square feet.

e. Planned commercial areas larger than four acres shall be permitted one project identification sign not higher than 25 feet at each secondary entrance. Said sign may be lighted and the message shall be limited to the name of the complex and address. Total square footage of all secondary signs shall not exceed 250 square feet. The maximum size of an individual secondary sign shall not exceed 150 square feet.

f. One freeway-oriented sign shall be permitted upon property abutting the right-of-way of I-5, provided:

i. The sign shall be located on site, advertising the use located thereon.

ii. The sign shall be limited to a maximum height of 25 feet, or 20 feet above the surface of the nearest primary driving lane of the freeway at a point nearest to the proposed location of the sign.

iii. The sign area shall not exceed a maximum of 275 square feet.

iv. The sign shall be located so as to minimize impact on residential areas.

v. The total number of freeway-oriented signs shall be limited to one such sign per parcel of record as of June 18, 1984. The council may further limit the extent and number of such signs if felt to cause adverse impact to the general public.

vi. The applicant shall be responsible for coordinating any such sign with the state of Washington and the State Scenic Vistas Act.

g. 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.

h. If a gasoline station is located within a shopping center or multiple use site and is not represented on the center’s signs, it shall be allowed one freestanding sign, not to exceed 75 square feet in area nor 25 feet in height. The message on the sign shall be limited to the name of the use and gasoline prices.

i. Billboards are allowed in planned areas within the overlay zone. Owners of vacant parcels must receive a planned contract prior to billboard construction. Billboards may be retained on a developing parcel only if included in the planned contract. A billboard shall be compatible with the remainder of the site in terms of scale, use, and location. Conditions of the planned contract shall only address the impacts created by the billboard.

9. Environment. Existing drainage courses of significance (as identified in the goals and policies document of the comprehensive plan), topography, significant treed areas and other natural features should be saved, preserved and enhanced to the greatest extent possible consistent with reasonable and appropriate use of the subject site.

10. Comprehensive Plan Elements. Planned project proposals should be designed in close coordination with the city of Bellingham’s comprehensive plan.

11. Streets, Utilities and Access.

a. Streets and utilities should be designed to fulfill reasonably anticipated future need and be located to enable the continued orderly and reasonable use of adjacent property. Streets and utilities should be extended to the property line unless it is clearly demonstrated that the extension will not be needed for development of adjacent property.

b. Dedicated width of rights-of-way shall comply with minimum city requirements.

c. Streets should be improved to the standard required by Ordinance No. 8027 unless a standard is specified in the circulation plan of the comprehensive plan; provided, that the planning director may approve streets which are consistent with neighborhood standards.

d. Pedestrian Circulation. Unless waived for reasons of unfeasibility or impracticality by the technical review committee and the planned contract, the following shall be required:

i. A sidewalk shall be constructed within all abutting city street rights-of-way. A local improvement district (LID) commitment may be required in lieu of construction if the city determines immediate construction is not warranted.

ii. Walkways shall be required linking building entrances to parking areas, sidewalks and other building entrances in the complex and, where appropriate, to open space/recreation areas. If no sidewalk is constructed or exists, the connecting walkway shall extend to the proposed location of a sidewalk or to the edge of the pavement located in the right-of-way.

e. A planned development proposal shall comply with city ordinance related to curb cuts and arterial streets access.

f. Dedication of public streets, easements, or park (or other) open space may be required.

12. Other Codes. Other codes may have to be followed such as the subdivision code, binding site plan ordinance or mobile home ordinance. Dedication documents may also be filed at the auditor’s office.

D. Planned Industrial.

1. For all land designated industrial, the following standards shall apply.

2. Range of Uses Possible. Any of the following uses may be permitted in a planned proposal within an industrial general use type designation; provided, that any of such uses shall not be permitted where prohibited within the applicable neighborhood plan. Certain uses may also be excluded from a particular planned industrial area by the planning director if such use(s) are found to be incompatible with the surrounding area or unsuitable to the particular site. The final decision shall set forth the uses permitted for the subject property.

a. Warehousing and wholesaling of the following goods:

i. Motor vehicle and automotive parts and supplies exclusive of automotive wrecking and junkyards;

ii. Furniture and home furnishings;

iii. Lumber and other construction material;

iv. Sporting, recreational, photographic, hobby goods, and toys and supplies;

v. Electrical goods;

vi. Hardware, and plumbing and heating equipment and supplies;

vii. Machinery, equipment and supplies;

viii. Paper and paper products;

ix. Drugs, drug proprietaries and druggists’ sundries;

x. Apparel, piece goods and notions;

xi. Groceries and related products;

xii. Beer, wine and distilled alcoholic beverages;

xiii. Miscellaneous nondurable goods which do not constitute a fire, explosion or safety hazard.

b. Manufacturing and assembly of the following products:

i. Dairy products;

ii. Canned and preserved fruits and vegetables;

iii. Bakery products;

iv. Apparel and other products made from fabrics and similar material;

v. Furniture and fixtures;

vi. Printing, publishing and allied industries;

vii. Electrical and electronic machinery, equipment and supplies;

viii. Measuring, analyzing and controlling instruments; photographic, medical and optical goods; watches and clocks;

ix. Miscellaneous manufacturing industries which do not constitute a fire, explosion or safety hazard.

c. Retail trade limited to the following:

i. Building materials, hardware, garden supply and mobile home dealers;

ii. Automotive dealers and gasoline service stations;

iii. Furniture, home furnishing and equipment stores;

iv. Eating and drinking places;

v. Liquor stores;

vi. Used merchandise stores;

vii. Miscellaneous shopping goods stores;

viii. Nonstore retailers;

ix. Fuel and ice dealers, except fuel oil dealers and bottled gas dealers;

x. Other retail sales similar to the above.

d. Service establishments dealing with the following:

i. Personal services (such as beauty and barber shops, shoe repair shops and laundry facilities);

ii. Business services (such as advertising agencies, collection agencies, janitorial services, computer service and consulting);

iii. Automotive repair, services and garages;

iv. Miscellaneous repair services (such as radio, TV, watch, clock, and furniture repair);

v. Amusement and recreation services, except motion pictures (such as dance halls and bowling alleys);

vi. Medical and dental laboratories;

vii. Institutions of higher education;

viii. Membership organizations;

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

x. Miscellaneous services (such as engineering, architectural and survey services);

xi. Offices;

xii. Art schools.

e. Agricultural nurseries.

f. Advertising devices.

g. Veterinary services.

h. Transportation and public utilities (such as freight operations, terminals, communication services. utility transmission systems, and utility generation systems only as provided in BMC 20.36.030(C)).

i. Construction operations (such as construction offices and storage yards.

j. Mixed uses, if specifically listed in the neighborhood land use plan.

k. Hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities upon legislative approval of a site plan and subject to the requirements of BMC 20.16.020(G)(1).

l. Adult entertainment uses (including adult motion picture theaters) subject to the standards in BMC 20.12.080.

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

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

o. Community public facilities, subject to consideration of the factors in BMC 20.16.020(J)(4)(c) unless the facility qualifies as a permitted use under other permitted uses listed in the planned industrial designation, in which case the standard provisions of Chapter 20.38 BMC shall apply. Publicly owned parks, trails and playgrounds shall not be subject to the provisions of BMC 20.16.020(J)(4)(b) and (c).

3. Maximum Size/Density.

a. 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 unless the proposal meets all of the following conditions:

i. It is located in an area specifically exempted from the size limit in the neighborhood tables of zoning regulations; and

ii. The facility is not a superstore. “Superstore” means a retail establishment that exceeds 90,000 square feet of gross floor area, sells a wide range of consumer products primarily for household or personal use and devotes more than 10 percent of the total sales floor area to the sale of nontaxable merchandise. “Nontaxable merchandise” means products, commodities, or items the sale of which is not subject to Washington State sales tax. “Sales floor area” means only interior building space devoted to the sale of merchandise, and does not include restrooms, office space, storage space, automobile service areas, or open-air garden sales space. This definition excludes membership warehouse clubs where shoppers pay a membership fee in order to take advantage of discounted prices on a wide variety of items such as food, clothing, tires, and appliances and many items are sold in large quantities or bulk; and

iii. The proposal satisfies the following environmental mitigation measures:

(A) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)TM certification at the silver level (or equivalent green building system). Projects shall apply for the LEEDTM rating system the director determines is most suitable for the project type; and

(B) The area of new or expanded impervious surfacing shall have a green factor score of at least 0.3.

b. For the purpose of this subsection (D)(3) 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 (i) are engaged in the selling of similar or related merchandise and operate under common ownership or management; (ii) share check stands, a warehouse, or a distribution facility; or (iii) otherwise operate as associated, integrated or cooperative business enterprises.

c. 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 except the space may not be converted to a superstore as defined in subsection (D)(3)(a)(ii) of this section.

d. This subsection (D)(3) shall not affect the minor expansion rights of nonconforming stores under BMC 20.14.010(E).

4. Building Height.

a. No structure shall exceed 35 feet under BMC 20.08.020, height definition No. 1 when within 200 feet of the site plan boundary which lies adjacent to any residential general use type designation.

b. Except for the limitation above, there is no expressed general height standard. Final height standards shall be determined by the planning director.

5. Yards. Planned development proposals shall meet the following building setbacks as shown in Table 20.38.050(B) – Industrial Planned Minimum Yards:

 

Table 20.38.050(B) – INDUSTRIAL PLANNED MINIMUM YARDS

Yards

Setbacks

Measurements

Front and Side Yard Setback on a Flanking Street

0 – Property line(s) abutting or across a right-of-way from an industrial zone

N/A

25 feet PL – Property line(s) abutting or across a right-of-way from a zone other than industrial (1)

Setback measured from the property line (PL)

Side and Rear Yard Setback

0 – Property line(s) abutting an industrial zone

N/A

25 feet PL – Property line(s) abutting a zone other than industrial (2)

Setback measured from the property line (PL)

Notes:

(1) The planning and community development director may eliminate or reduce the front and flanking side yard setbacks if all of the following criteria can be met:

a. Zoning directly across an improved street right-of-way is commercial, public or institutional.

b. Thirty-five percent of the building wall area on the ground floor contains transparent windows between a height of two feet and seven feet facing the street. The 35 percent transparent window calculation only applies to the section of building within the reduced yard.

c. A customer-oriented pedestrian entry facing and accessible from the front street.

d. All parking facilities are located to the side or rear of the main building.

e. The proposed use is retail, eating or drinking establishment, personal or business services, amusement and recreation, professional offices, educational facilities, or similar uses as determined by the planning and community development director.

(2) The planning and community development director may eliminate or reduce the side and rear yard setback to 10 feet if all of the following criteria can be met:

a. Abutting zoning is commercial, public or institutional; and

b. The proposed use is retail, eating or drinking establishment, personal or business services, amusement and recreation, professional offices, educational facilities or other similar uses as determined by the planning and community development director.

6. Parking.

a. Proposals for planned development shall satisfy all parking and loading area regulations for similar uses contained within Chapter 20.12 BMC.

b. Planned development proposals shall meet the following parking setbacks as shown in Table 20.38.050(C) – Parking Minimum Yards:

 

Table 20.38.050(C) – PARKING MINIMUM YARDS

Yards

Setbacks

Measurements

Parking Front and Side Yard Setback on a Flanking Street

10 feet PL – Property line across a right-of-way from or abutting an industrial zone

Setback measured from the property line (PL)

15 feet PL – Property line(s) abutting or across a right-of-way from a zone other than industrial

Parking Side and Rear Yard Setback

Five feet PL – Property line(s) abutting zones other than residential

Setback measured from the property line (PL)

20 feet PL – Property line(s) abutting a residential single zone

c. General “parking areas” shall be illustrated on the planned proposal site plan. Final detailed parking plans shall be submitted for approval at the time of building permit application. If at such time the planning director determines that there is insufficient space within the area to meet parking requirements contained in BMC 20.12.010, areas designated as building area may be used, the project may be reduced in size or density so that such parking requirements are met and/or the applicant may apply to the planning director for a modification of the site plan exhibit pursuant to the procedure set out in BMC 20.38.040.

d. Loading areas shall not be located within a required building or parking setback.

7. Landscaping. Proposals for planned development shall satisfy all landscaping requirements for similar uses contained in BMC 20.12.030 (see also subsection (D)(9) of this section, Environment), except as follows:

a. The planning and community development director may approve an alternative landscaping proposal consisting of a combination of trees, shrubs, and ground cover within the required yard along right-of-way and where the required building setback is less than 25 feet. The yard area between a parking facility and any street shall be landscaped and include an evergreen hedge. Hedge plantings shall be spaced not more than two feet on center and designed to be maintained at a height of at least two and one-half feet and not more than three feet in height. A screen is not required along a street if the adjacent zone is of a different general use type.

b. A screen shall be located between the outdoor activity areas, such as for loading or storage. If a wall is proposed, it shall be a vegetative wall or a combination of landscaping consisting of trees, shrubs, and ground cover shall be installed between the screen and the property line.

8. Signs.

a. All signage must be an integral coordinated part of a sign design plan for the entire complex.

b. Roof signs are prohibited.

c. All signs shall be flush against the side of the building except as provided below.

d. One freestanding sign not higher than 25 feet shall be permitted at each main entrance. Said sign may be lighted but the message shall be limited to the name of the complex and its occupants, with the exception that if a gasoline station is represented on the sign, the sign may contain gasoline price information. Sign area on any one face shall not exceed 275 square feet.

e. One freeway-oriented sign shall be permitted on property abutting the right-of-way of I-5, provided:

i. The sign shall be located on site, advertising the use located thereon.

ii. The sign shall be limited to a maximum height of 25 feet, or 20 feet above the surface of the nearest primary driving lane of the freeway at a point nearest to the proposed location of the sign.

iii. The sign area shall not exceed a maximum of 275 square feet.

iv. The sign shall be located so as to minimize impact on residential areas.

v. The total number of freeway-oriented signs shall be limited to one such sign per parcel of record as of June 18, 1984. The planning director may further limit the extent and number of such signs if felt to cause adverse impact to the general public.

vi. The applicant shall be responsible for coordinating any such sign with the state of Washington and the State Scenic Vistas Act.

f. 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.

g. If a gasoline station is located within a shopping center or multiple use site and is not represented on the center’s signs, it shall be allowed one freestanding sign, not to exceed 75 square feet in area nor 25 feet in height. The message on the sign shall be limited to the name of the use and gasoline prices.

h. Billboards are allowed in planned areas as subject to the provisions of this chapter, and only within the billboard overlay zones delineated by BMC 20.08.020, Figure 15. Owners of vacant parcels must receive a planned contract prior to billboard construction. Billboards may be retained on a developing parcel only if included in the planned contract. A billboard shall be compatible with the remainder of the site in terms of scale, use, and location.

9. Environment. Existing drainage courses of significance (as identified in the goals and policies document of the comprehensive plan), topography, significant treed areas and other natural features should be saved, preserved and enhanced to the greatest extent possible consistent with reasonable and appropriate use of the subject site.

10. Comprehensive Plan Elements. Planned project proposals should be designed in close coordination with the city of Bellingham’s comprehensive plan.

11. Streets, Utilities, Access, and Dedications.

a. Streets and utilities should be designed to fulfill reasonably anticipated future need and be located to enable the continued orderly and reasonable use of adjacent property. Streets and utilities should be extended to the property line unless it is clearly demonstrated that the extension will not be needed for development of adjacent property.

b. Dedicated width of rights-of-way shall comply with minimum city requirements.

c. Streets should be improved to the standard required by Ordinance No. 8027 unless a standard is specified in the greater circulation plan of the comprehensive plan; provided, that the planning director may approve streets which are improved consistent with neighborhood standards.

d. A coordinated internal pedestrian circulation plan should be designed.

e. A planned development proposal shall comply with city ordinance related to curb cuts on arterial street access.

f. Dedication of all public streets, easements, or parks (or other) open space may be required.

12. Other Codes. Other codes may have to be followed such as the subdivision code, binding site plan ordinance or mobile home ordinance. Dedication documents may also have to be filed at the auditor’s office. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 38; Ord. 2013-12-083 § 1; Ord. 2011-08-044; Ord. 2010-04-023; Ord. 2007-02-011; Ord. 2005-06-048; Ord. 2004-09-065; Ord. 2002-10-069 § 56; Ord. 2002-06-045 §§ 8, 10, 20; Ord. 2002-05-036 § 3; Ord. 1998-11-088 §§ 11 – 13; Ord. 1998-08-062; Ord. 1998-07-057; Ord. 1998-06-034 § 6; Ord. 10674 §§ 30 – 33, 1995; Ord. 10643 § 12, 1995; Ord. 10592 §§ 4, 5, 1994; Ord. 10528 §§ 7, 8, 1994; Ord. 9814 § 4, 1988; Ord. 9698 §§ 5, 6, 1987; Ord. 9652 §§ 4, 5, 1987; Ord. 9620 § 3, 1986; Ord. 9545 § 2, 1986; Ord. 9333 § 1, 1984; Ord. 9173 § 5, 1983; Ord. 9024, 1982].


1

    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.