Purpose and design objectives.
Permitted uses.
Conditional uses (not fronting on First Street).
Dimensional standards.
Parking and loading zones.
Design standards.
17.24.010Purpose and design objectives.

The three block area along First Street extending from Oaks Avenue through Wright Avenue and from Railroad Street to Second Street encompasses the historic downtown of Cle Elum and has a large number of existing historic structures. The purposes of this district are to acknowledge this historic area; to maintain and complement existing historic buildings; to keep the small retail shop feeling on the street level and to encourage complementary uses on upper floors; and to reinforce it as a pedestrian oriented area with a high level of pedestrian amenity; and to reestablish this area as the civic and retail core of the city. Over time it is the objective to restore the historic street facades to maintain the authentic small town feeling.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.24.020Permitted uses.

In the OTC district or Old Town commercial district the following uses are permitted:

A. Retail stores, specialty shops and personal services that are usually needed to serve residents and visitors to a small community. These uses shall have priority on the street frontage and include:

1. Specialty grocery stores;

2. Meat shops;

3. Retail bakeries, micro-breweries and other specialty food processing when associated with an on-site retail business;

4. Banks or similar financial institutions;

5. Galleries and antique shops;

6. Personal services such as barbershops, beauty parlors, and dressmaking and tailoring;

7. Clothing and general merchandising stores, general retail sales of goods and merchandise;

8. Locksmiths, shoe and other clothing repair shops;

9. Open air markets;

10. Copy shops;

11. Restaurants, cafeterias and catering;

12. Taverns and cocktail lounges;

13. Fraternal organizations;

14. Theaters;

15. Public offices and civic buildings;

16. Drive-through or drive-up facilities when associated with a permitted use and accessed from an alley;

17. Professional and business offices; and

18. Mobile food service unit.

B. Hotels and residential uses shall be located in the upper floors of a building with only necessary entrances and lobbies at the street level.

1. Hotel, motel and inns;

2. Studios for art, music, photography and other similar uses;

3. Apartments or single room occupancy.

C. Public facilities and public utility use.

(Ord. 1222 § 3 (Exh. C (part)), 2004: Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.24.030Conditional uses (not fronting on First Street).

1. Undertaking establishments and crematories.

2. Printing establishments and newspaper printing.

3. Parking garages accessed from an alley.

4. Wireless communication facilities when installed on existing buildings and screened from direct view of adjacent streets.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.24.040Dimensional standards.

1. Height. The height of structures shall be consistent with those of existing buildings and not over three stories or thirty-six feet in height. Design features consistent with the historic context of the area such as building names in the cornice or block corner turrets may exceed the height limit by ten percent if approved through design review.

2. Yards.

a. Buildings shall be built to the property line adjacent to a public sidewalk at the street.

b. No yards are required except for lots the side lines of which are adjacent to any “R” – Residential or “RM” – Multiple Family Residential district, in which case the side yard setback shall be twenty feet or ten feet, respectively. The setback area shall be fenced and landscaped.

3. Lot Coverage. The entire lot (one hundred percent) may be covered subject to setback and other requirements.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.24.050Parking and loading zones.

1. No on-site parking is required; however properties may be required to participate in programs to provide common parking through fees in lieu of parking, Local Improvement Districts (LID) or other programs adopted by the city.

2. When on-site parking is provided, it must be accessed only from an alley and meet the standards of Chapter 17.56. In the event that alley access is not available, an entry from a side street (i.e., Oaks Street) or Railroad Street may be permitted.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)


Landscaping is not required except for parking areas. Landscaping provided shall be consistent with Chapter 17.64.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)


1. Outdoor lighting shall be arranged so as not to produce direct light or glare on public roadways and/or neighboring properties; and

2. Outdoor lighting shall be directed downward and shielded to reduce unnecessary light and glare; and

3. Lighting should be used to accent key architectural elements of the buildings.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.24.090Design standards.

The objective of these design standards is to create a strong identity for the downtown area, and create interesting streets which are visually attractive and easy to use by pedestrians. These standards will be applied to a particular development during the design review process. These design standards are mandatory unless the imposition of the standards will result in construction that is less consistent with the historical character of the area.

1. Building facades facing public streets and/or sidewalks shall create a continuous, interesting facade along the length of the facade. Buildings shall be constructed adjacent to the public sidewalk with no setbacks between the right-of-way and the structure permitted.

2. New structures on corner lots shall be designed to emphasize their prominent location. Primary building entrances shall be located at the street corner.

3. Service and delivery access shall be located away from the pedestrian streets with access from the alley where possible.

4. New structures and improvements shall incorporate design elements which will maintain the integrity of the existing historic structures and respect the historic character of the downtown area. The following design characteristics shall be included for new or remodeled structures:

a. Reflect the cornice line of existing historic structures.

b. Use windows, materials and details similar to the historic properties.

c. Use similar building modulation and proportions.

d. Large ground level display windows.

e. Clearstory windows above the display windows should be used.

f. Retractable fabric or self-supported awnings. Awnings and overhangs shall be supported by the building and not by supports placed in or upon the public right-of-way. No awning or overhang shall extend more than forty percent of the distance between the property line and the outside edge of the curb and shall maintain a minimum vertical clearance of ten feet.

g. Flat roof with parapets.

h. Constructed of brick or wood frame with brick or stone facades.

i. Two story construction with retail on the bottom floor and office or residential uses above is encouraged.

j. Second story windows should be double hung windows that are taller than they are wide.

5. Protect and preserve buildings of special historic significance and merit (see city list) by:

a. Retaining or restoring as many historic features as possible outside and inside, if appropriate.

b. Maintaining or restoring original proportions, dimensions or architectural elements.

c. Selecting paint and materials (often brick) which are historically accurate, coordinate the entire facade, and respecting adjacent buildings.

d. Consulting available historic resources for assistance and detailed information.

e. Incorporate historical photographs and information about the building, if available.

6. Off-street parking shall be located behind buildings and screened from streets by landscaping or structural elements.