Chapter 21.57


21.57.010    Scope.

21.57.020    Intent.

21.57.030    Pre-application conference.

21.57.040    Application.

21.57.050    Costs.

21.57.060    Site and access plans.

21.57.070    Traffic impact analysis.

21.57.080    Community and economic impact.

21.57.090    Visual impacts.

21.57.100    Landscaping.

21.57.110    Citizen participation meetings.

21.57.120    Development activity plan.

21.57.130    Stormwater protection plan.

21.57.140    Signs.

21.57.150    Parking.

21.57.160    Pedestrian access.

21.57.170    Landscaping.

21.57.180    Buffers.

21.57.190    Lighting.

21.57.200    Loading and delivery.

21.57.210    Building and aesthetics.

21.57.220    Screening of mechanical equipment.

21.57.230    Utilities.

21.57.240    Snow storage.

21.57.250    Outdoor sales and storage.

21.57.260    Trash and recycling collection.

21.57.010 Scope.

a. This chapter applies to development that includes one or more buildings of more than 15,000 square feet of combined building area containing a retail business or wholesale business use when a conditional use permit is required pursuant to other provisions of the zoning code.

b. As used in this chapter, “large store” means one or more buildings of more than 15,000 square feet of combined building area containing a retail or wholesale business use. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.020 Intent.

a. The intent of this chapter is to ensure that large store development is of a quality that enhances the character of Homer and does not overwhelm its surroundings. Large store development can result in substantial impacts to the community, such as, but not limited to, noise, traffic, community character, environment, and the local economy. One purpose of this chapter is to minimize the effects of these impacts through a detailed review and approval process.

b. The requirements of this chapter are to be used for evaluating and assessing the quality and design of proposed large store developments. Where these requirements conflict with other provisions of this title, the more restrictive requirements shall apply. These requirements are in addition and complementary to the general conditions applicable to conditional use permits. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.030 Pre-application conference.

Prior to submitting a completed conditional use application for a large store, the applicant must meet with the City Planner to discuss the conditional use permit process and any issues that may affect the proposed conditional use. This meeting is to provide for an exchange of general and preliminary information only and no statement made in such meeting by either the applicant or the City Planner shall be regarded as binding or authoritative for purposes of this title. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.040 Application.

An application for a conditional use permit or modification of an existing conditional use permit for a large store may be initiated by a property owner. If initiated by the owner’s agent, the agent shall submit with the application written authorization signed by the owner expressly stating the agent’s authority to submit the conditional use application on behalf of the owner. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.050 Costs.

The cost of all permits, studies and investigations required under this chapter shall be borne by the applicant. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.060 Site and access plans.

a. A level one site plan complying with Chapter 21.73 HCC shall be submitted with the application. Site design shall utilize the natural features and topography of the individual site to the maximum extent possible.

b. A level two right-of-way access plan complying with Chapter 21.73 HCC shall be submitted with the application. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.070 Traffic impact analysis.

The conditional use permit application shall include a traffic impact analysis if required in the applicable zoning district. The analysis and any mitigation shall comply with Chapter 21.76 HCC. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.080 Community and economic impact.

a. The conditional use permit application for a large store shall include a community and economic impact analysis report that evaluates the projected benefits and costs caused by the project to the public and private sectors of the community, and prescribes mitigation measures, if needed. The analysis must show:

1. The proposed project will not have a significant adverse impact to the City in terms of balancing as near as possible the cost of public services and public revenue provided through taxes and other revenue to the City.

2. The project shall be designed to minimize negative impacts to adjoining property values.

3. The developer shall demonstrate the financial ability to complete the project and to achieve long-term financial stability.

b. At a minimum the community and economic impact analysis shall include, based on a horizon year of 10 years, the following:

1. The estimated net impacts to local employment, wages and salaries, retained profits, property taxes, and sales taxes.

2. The estimated net impacts of increased local consumer spending and savings.

3. The change in the estimated number of employees, employment types, and estimated wages generated by the project.

4. The change in locally retained profits.

5. The net change in sales tax and property tax base and revenues, including any changes in overall land values.

6. The projected net costs to the City arising from increased demand for and required improvements to public services and infrastructure.

7. The value of improvements to public services and infrastructure to be provided by the project.

8. The impacts (including displacement of existing retailers) on the existing businesses in the zoning district in question and on the business community as a whole.

9. The impact on the City’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.090 Visual impacts.

Parking lots and parking structures may not visually dominate the setting and should enhance the City’s aesthetic qualities and natural surroundings. Parking facilities shall be designed and landscaped with increased emphasis on pedestrian ways that provide public connectivity to and through the site. The visual impacts of parking lots shall be mitigated though measures such as landscaping, screening, or situating parking areas away from the front of buildings adjacent to arterials. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.100 Landscaping.

Landscaping is required in order to improve the aesthetic quality of the built-up environment, promote retention and protection of existing vegetation, reduce the impacts of development on the natural environment, enhance the value of current and future development and increase privacy for residential areas. A landscaping plan shall provide for landscaping that minimizes visual, sound, and other negative impacts from the development. The materials selected shall be compatible with the climate, planting location, and landscaping function. The landscaping plan shall include the retention of mature natural vegetation to the greatest extent possible. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.110 Citizen participation meetings.

a. The conditional use permit application shall include a report of citizen participation meetings held in accordance with this section.

b. The purposes of the citizen participation meetings are (1) to ensure that developers pursue early and effective citizen participation in conjunction with their development, giving developers the opportunity to understand and try to mitigate any real or perceived detrimental impacts their development may have on the community; (2) to ensure that the citizens and property owners have an adequate opportunity to learn about applications for conditional use permits that may affect them and to work with developers to resolve concerns at an early stage of the process; and (3) to facilitate ongoing communication between the developer, interested citizens and property owners, City staff, and other officials throughout the application review process.

c. A minimum of two citizen participation meetings shall be held at which the applicant shall provide a detailed description of the project and shall address the following items: access, parking, landscaping, building size and locations, general style and architectural finish, signage, grades and other site improvements. During the meetings with the public, the developer shall have available for review all conceptual drawing(s) in standard architectural format illustrating the items above. This material will be filed with the Planning Department, and made available for inspection by the public.

d. At a minimum, the citizen participation meetings report shall include the following information:

1. Details of techniques the applicant used to involve the public, including:

a. Date and location of a minimum of two meetings where invited citizens discussed the developer’s proposal;

b. Content, dates mailed, and numbers of mailings, including letters, meeting notices, newsletters and other publications;

c. Location and date of meeting advertisements; i.e., notice posting locations within Homer, newspaper publishing dates;

d. Mailing list of residents, property owners, and interested parties receiving notices, newsletters, or other written materials, and proof of advertisements and other notices; and

e. The number of people that participated in the citizen participation meetings.

2. A summary of concerns, issues and problems expressed during the process, including:

a. The substance of the concerns, issues, and problems; and

b. How the applicant has addressed or intends to address concerns, issues and problems expressed during the process; and

c. Concerns, issues and problems the applicant is unwilling or unable to address and why. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.120 Development activity plan.

A development activity plan (DAP) shall be submitted with the conditional use permit application if required by the code provisions of the applicable zoning district. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.130 Stormwater protection plan.

A stormwater protection plan shall be submitted with the conditional use permit application if required by the code provisions of the applicable zoning district. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.140 Signs.

All signage shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 21.60 HCC. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.150 Parking.

a. All parking lots will be posted “No Overnight Camping Permitted” as required by HCC 19.08.030.

b. Where practical, no more than 50 percent of the required parking area for the development shall be located between the front facade of the building and the abutting streets or adjacent to arterials. [Ord. 22-13 § 1, 2022; Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.160 Pedestrian access.

Sufficient accessibility, safety and convenience to pedestrians shall be provided. Unobstructed sidewalks shall link the site to existing public pedestrian facilities, including but not limited to sidewalks and trails. Sidewalks shall be provided along the full length of any structure where it abuts a parking lot. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.170 Landscaping.

a. Landscaping shall not be less than 15 percent of the total lot area of the site and shall include the retention of existing native vegetation to the maximum extent possible. The coverage of shrubs, trees and hedges shall be measured from their drip lines.

1. Buffers shall be maintained in minimum width of three feet along all lot lines where setbacks permit.

2. In parking lots:

a. A minimum of 10 percent of the parking area of parking lots with 24 spaces or more shall be landscaped in islands, dividers, or a combination of the two.

b. Parking lots with 24 spaces or more will have a minimum 10-foot landscaped buffer adjacent to road rights-of-way.

c. Parking lots with only one single-loaded or one double-loaded aisle that have a 15-foot minimum landscaped buffer adjacent to road rights-of-way are excluded from the requirement of subsection (a)(2)(a) of this section.

b. General landscaping shall be additionally provided as needed to achieve the minimum required landscape coverage.

c. Required landscaping shall be limited to the following materials:

1. Living ground cover;

2. Permeable, continuous nonliving ground cover;

3. Living plant life other than ground cover;

4. Retained native vegetation;

5. Natural or manmade features, including, but not limited to, boulders and planters;

6. Pedestrian ways;

7. Public spaces.

d. Separate sections of landscaping shall be composed of the required materials in any combination as follows:

1. Living plant life other than ground cover or natural vegetation shall have minimum coverage of five percent;

2. Living ground cover shall have a maximum coverage of 80 percent;

3. Permeable nonliving ground cover shall have a maximum coverage of 10 percent;

4. Natural or manmade features shall have a maximum coverage of 10 percent;

5. Pedestrian ways or public spaces shall have a maximum coverage of 50 percent.

e. Topsoil addition, final grading, seeding, and all planting of flora must be complete within nine months of substantial completion of the project, or within the first full growing season after substantial completion of the project, whichever comes first. Required landscaping will be maintained thereafter, with all shrubs, trees, and ground cover being replaced as needed. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.180 Buffers.

The Commission may require buffers, including berms, fences, trees and shrubs, to minimize impacts to adjacent property. A landscaped buffer or combination of landscaping and berms of no less than 10 feet in width will be required where the development adjoins residential zones. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.190 Lighting.

All lighting will conform to the requirements of the zoning district. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.200 Loading and delivery.

a. Loading and delivery areas shall be designed and located to mitigate visual and noise impacts to adjacent residentially zoned areas. The delivery and loading areas will also be screened so they are not visible from public streets, sidewalks, and adjacent properties. A landscaped buffer may be required when delivery and loading areas are adjacent to residentially zoned areas. The landscaped buffer will include mixed vegetation adequate to provide noise, light and visual screening.

b. The Commission may limit hours of delivery and loading as necessary to reduce the effects of noise and traffic on surrounding residential zones.

c. Commercial vehicles, trailers, shipping containers and similar equipment used for transporting merchandise shall remain on the premises only as long as required for loading and unloading operations, and shall not be maintained on the premises for storage purposes unless it is screened from public view and otherwise lawful. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.210 Building and aesthetics.

This section sets minimum requirements to help create an aesthetically attractive facade by reducing the perceived mass of large buildings, creating structures in scale with existing development, and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment, while recognizing that buildings for certain uses may not be able to fully achieve these goals. In such instances, the Commission may allow increased landscaping and proper siting may be utilized to mitigate the perceived mass and visual impacts of the large building.

a. If a building facade exceeds 60 feet in length, it shall be divided into smaller elements by jogging the wall in or out a minimum of four feet for at least

10 feet in length, or by adding an element such as a porch, recessed entry, bay window, projecting trellis or similar substantial architectural feature at intervals so that no continuous wall plane is more than 60 feet in length.

b. The portion of the building within public view shall incorporate human-scale elements such as windows, arcades, lower roof overhangs, awnings, or architectural features.

c. The design shall provide architectural features that contribute to visual interest at the pedestrian scale and reduce the massive scale effect by breaking up the building wall, front, side, or rear, with color, texture change, and repeating wall offsets, reveals, or projecting ribs.

d. The roof design shall provide variations in roof lines and heights to add interest to and reduce the massive scale of large buildings. Parapet walls shall be architecturally treated to avoid a plain monotonous style.

e. Entryways shall be designed to orient customers and to be protected from the weather. Each entrance shall be clearly defined and highly visible.

f. The buildings shall have exterior building materials and colors that are compatible in color, texture and scale.

g. Public Spaces. No less than five percent of the floor area shall be dedicated to interior or exterior public spaces. [Ord. 13-27 § 18, 2013; Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.220 Screening of mechanical equipment.

Roof or ground mechanical equipment shall be screened to mitigate noise and views in all directions. If roof equipment is mounted, the screen shall be designed to conform architecturally with the design of the building. Screening of ground-mounted mechanical equipment shall be of such material and be of sufficient height to block the view and noise of the equipment. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.230 Utilities.

All utilities providing permanent service, including, but not limited to, electric power, telephone, CATV cables and all other wires and cables, shall be located underground. The Commission may grant exceptions or recommend exceptions under the criteria established in HCC 22.10.055(d) and (e), respectively. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.240 Snow storage.

A snow storage plan is required as a component of the site plan. Use of sidewalks and required parking areas for snow storage is prohibited. Snow storage within 25 feet of stream banks is prohibited. Use of landscaped areas for snow storage may be allowed under the approved snow storage plan. The Commission may impose such restrictions on snow removal operations as are necessary to reduce the effects of noise or traffic on surrounding areas. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.250 Outdoor sales and storage.

a. If permitted in the zoning district, areas for outdoor sales and storage of products may be approved in the conditional use permit if they are extensions of the sales floor into which patrons are allowed free access. Such areas shall be incorporated into the overall design of the building and landscaping. The areas shall be permanently defined and screened with walls, fences or both. Materials, colors and design of screening walls and fences and their covers shall be complementary to those of the primary structure. These outdoor sales and storage areas shall be considered as part of the gross floor area of the establishment.

b. Where outdoor storage is permitted, the area used for outdoor storage (where no sales occur) must be screened from view from adjacent streets and parcels, and must be more than 40 feet from a building. Such outdoor storage, whether covered or not covered, shall not be counted as part of the floor area of the building. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].

21.57.260 Trash and recycling collection.

Noise and visual impacts of trash and recycling collection on adjoining properties and streets shall be mitigated. Trash and recycling collection areas shall be located at least 50 feet from adjacent residential zones, residential uses, and public streets, unless enclosed within a structure. Unenclosed trash and recycling collection areas shall not be visible from public streets, sidewalks, trails, internal pedestrian walkways, or adjacent properties. [Ord. 08-29, 2008].