Chapter 12.10
SPECIALIZED SENIOR HOUSING AND NURSING HOMES

Sections:

12.10.010    Purpose.

12.10.020    Occupancy.

12.10.030    Number of units or beds allowed.

12.10.040    Development design, generally.

12.10.050    Development adjacent to single-family zoning.

12.10.060    Reduction in parking for specialized senior housing.

12.10.070    Recreation space.

12.10.080    Transportation program.

12.10.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards for the development of specialized senior housing and nursing homes in a manner which recognizes and accommodates the varied housing needs and desires of seniors; promotes independence and a high quality of life; and ensures that specialized senior residences and nursing homes are so located and constructed as to be compatible with surrounding land uses.

Seniors, like other segments of the community, are varied in their housing needs and lifestyle choices. Most of the community’s seniors reside in nonspecialized owned or rented site-built single-family residences, mobile and manufactured homes, and apartments and condominiums which typically contain no inherent design features to aid mobility (although such features may be included by the owner), and which offer no on-site services or activities. These types of housing which are not specifically age-targeted, as well as accessory senior dwelling units (“mother-in-law apartments”) and adult family homes, are regulated elsewhere in this title (see permitted uses and accessory uses under each zoning classification). This chapter provides for and regulates housing intended for those seniors who want or need such specialized design features, services and/or activities to enhance their quality of life.

Where the regulations of this chapter conflict with other regulations in this title, the more restrictive regulations shall apply.

These housing types are described as follows:

A.    Specialized senior housing, comprising of coordinated developments of two or more owned or rented site-built single-family dwellings, mobile and manufactured homes, apartments and condominiums which contain specialized design features and/or on-site services and activities to accommodate the mobility, nutrition, medical, social and/or other needs of persons 62 years of age or older and/or disabled persons. Domestic partners of and/or caregivers for such persons may also reside in such developments and need not be 62 years of age or older and/or disabled. Individual residences which contain design features to aid mobility but which are not part of a coordinated development are not included in this category.

    This category covers a range of service levels, from no services (“independent living”) to minimal meal service and housekeeping (“semi-independent living”) to a high level of assistance with daily life functions (“assisted living”), with many gradations of service levels in between.

B.    Nursing homes, comprising facilities which provide short- or long-term care for seniors and other persons who need skilled nursing care but do not require hospitalization. (Ord. 1957 § 1 (Exh. B), 2006; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1685, 1997; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.10.020 Occupancy.

Occupancy of specialized senior housing shall be limited to persons 62 years of age or over and/or disabled persons, and their domestic partners and/or live-in caregivers who need not be 62 years of age or older and/or disabled. Senior housing may not be converted to another allowed residential use, unless such use meets the density and other requirements of the city code. (Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1685, 1997; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.10.030 Number of units or beds allowed.

The maximum number of dwelling units in a specialized senior housing development and the maximum number of beds in a nursing home development shall be as set forth below.

A.    Specialized Senior Housing.

1.    On properties located within an area with a Specialized Senior Housing Overlay (SSHO) zoning classification, the particular density or intensity of the developments shall be as set forth in the subarea chapter containing the overlay, subject to compliance with all development standards set forth in the said subarea chapter.

2.    On properties zoned R 5,400a, R 4,000, R 2,800, R-AC or having multiple zoning classifications (e.g., R-AC, OP, CB), the maximum number of specialized senior housing dwelling units shall not be restricted, subject to compliance with all dimensional, design, parking, landscaping and other development standards of the zoning classification in which the development would occur except those standards relating to density or number of units allowed for nonspecialized housing.

B.    Nursing Homes. The maximum number of beds in a nursing home shall not be restricted, subject to compliance with all dimensional, design, parking, landscaping and other development standards of the zoning classification in which the development would occur except standards relating to density or number of units allowed for nonspecialized housing. (Ord. 1946 § 2, 2005; Ord. 1876 § 2, 2002; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1685, 1997; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.10.040 Development design, generally.

Specialized senior housing developments and nursing homes shall exhibit a residential rather than institutional character, through quality site, building, and landscaping design and materials. Adherence to this standard shall be ensured through application of the goals, policies and actions contained in the Urban Design Element of the Comprehensive Plan, including the guidelines in the Residential Development Handbook for Snohomish County Communities, which is incorporated by reference in the Urban Design Element as Appendix D, and the regulations of this chapter. Specialized senior housing located within an area having a Specialized Senior Housing Overlay (SSHO) zoning classification shall in addition be designed, located and operated in accordance with development standards set forth in the subarea chapter containing the overlay. Where a conflict between city-wide and subarea design and operating standards exists, the subarea standards shall apply. (Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1685, 1997; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.10.050 Development adjacent to single-family zoning.

Specialized senior housing located within an area having a Specialized Senior Housing Overlay (SSHO) zoning classification shall be designed, located and operated in accordance with development standards set forth in the subarea chapter containing the overlay. Where a conflict between city-wide and subarea design and operating standards exists, the subarea standards shall apply.

Where a property proposed for specialized senior housing or nursing home development is directly adjacent along a property line to single-family zoned property, which zoning shall include R 40,000, R 9,600, R 8,400, R 7,200 and R 5,400d, compatibility shall be achieved through a combination of measures including but not limited to the following:

A.    The minimum setback from adjacent single-family zoned property line(s) shall be 25 feet;

B.    Type II landscaping shall be required along the single-family property line(s); this and other landscaping within the development shall reinforce the existing landscape character of the area to the maximum extent possible;

C.    Building design shall incorporate a repetitive articulation and modulation which reflects the scale of nearby single-family lot development, unless the context is poorly defined and/or undesirable and a different character and scale has been identified and adopted under subarea regulations;

D.    The following design features of nearby single-family residential development shall be incorporated unless the context is poorly defined and/or undesirable and a different character and scale has been identified and adopted under subarea regulations:

1.    Siding materials and styles;

2.    Fenestration pattern;

3.    Roof materials and styles; and

4.    Proportions of architectural elements;

E.    Building design shall respect and preserve the privacy and solar access of adjacent single-family development and minimize windows, decks and balconies overlooking neighboring single-family yards;

F.    Parking lots shall be designed so as to least impact the character of the neighborhood;

G.    Heating, cooling, kitchen and other mechanical equipment; conduits, service panels, meters and other electrical equipment; and refuse collection facilities shall be located and/or screened so as not to be visible or audible above ambient noise levels from adjacent single-family development or the street;

H.    In non-single-family zones, building height may exceed that allowed in Chapter 12.14 BMC for architectural elements only and not to increase the number of floors; provided, that for every additional foot of height over the maximum, the building shall be set back from the single-family zoned property line(s) one foot in addition to the minimum required setback. (Ord. 1946 § 2, 2005; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1685, 1997; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.10.060 Reduction in parking for specialized senior housing.

The required number of parking stalls for specialized senior housing is one per dwelling unit. This may be reduced to one stall per one and one-half dwelling units if justification for the reduction can be provided based on the number and types of services and activities to be provided on-site or other factors which affect parking demand. (Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1685, 1997; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.10.070 Recreation space.

Recreation space shall be provided at a ratio of a minimum of 100 square feet per dwelling unit for specialized senior housing, and 50 square feet per bed for nursing homes. At least 50 percent of the required minimum area shall be outdoors. The location and layout of recreation space for such developments shall be as set forth in Chapter 12.20 BMC. (Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1685, 1997; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.10.080 Transportation program.

Specialized senior housing and nursing home developments on properties located more than one-half mile by sidewalk or walkway from the outer perimeter of a community or neighborhood retail/services activity center (as depicted in Figure ED1 of the comprehensive plan) or a transit route shall demonstrate that a disabled-accessible transportation program offering regular and frequent daily service is provided to the site for use by residents. (Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1685, 1997; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).