Chapter 17.45
CLUSTER SUBDIVISIONS

Sections:

17.45.010    General provisions.

17.45.020    Development requirements.

17.45.030    Open space.

17.45.040    Play area.

17.45.050    Platting procedure.

17.45.060    Review criteria.

17.45.010 General provisions.

(a)    Optional Subdivision Development. The intent of this chapter is to allow for an option in the development of subdivisions and is intended to encourage greater flexibility in the design and layout of residential subdivisions. Clustering will permit the size of residential lots within a subdivision to be reduced below the minimum lot size required by the zoning district within which the property is located; provided, that the average dwelling density of the entire subdivision does not exceed the density permitted by the applicable zoning classification. Advantages of the cluster subdivision include a larger amount of open space for use by residents, protection and conservation of drainage channels, steep slopes, and other environmentally sensitive areas within the subdivision, and a reduction in road and utility installation and maintenance costs. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.45.020 Development requirements.

(a)    Method for Determining Site Area. The area to be subdivided is the gross site area. The net site area is determined by subtracting the area devoted to existing or proposed rights-of-way, including, but not limited to, street or utility rights-of-way, from the gross site area.

(b)    Required minimum net site area. The required minimum net site area shall not be less than:

(1)    RL zone: 30,000 square feet.

(2)    RS zone: 50,000 square feet.

(3)    RR zone: 100,000 square feet.

(c)    Maximum Number of Permitted Residential Lots. The maximum number of permitted residential lots within a cluster subdivision shall be determined by dividing the net site area by the minimum lot size permitted by the zoning district within which the subdivision is located. Any fractional remainder shall be disregarded. The number of permitted residential lots may be increased by one for each pair of attached twinhouse dwellings to be constructed within the subdivision in accordance with the requirements listed in KGBC 18.45.070.

(d)    Required Buffer Yard. Where a cluster subdivision directly abuts property with the same or a more restrictive zoning classification, a buffer yard shall be provided along that portion of the cluster subdivision boundary abutting such property in accordance with the following requirements:

(1)    The buffer yard shall be composed of undisturbed or restored indigenous vegetation or other material approved by the planning commission serving as the platting authority.

(2)    The buffer yard shall be a minimum of 30 feet wide unless modified by the planning commission serving as the platting authority. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may increase the buffer yard where necessary to protect adjacent property owners from adverse effects such as traffic or noise due to the increased density in portions of the cluster subdivision. In cases where existing topography or screening methods, such as earth berms, fences, walls, or a combination of materials proposed by the subdivider, will provide an adequate buffer, in the judgment of the planning commission serving as the platting authority, the required buffer yard may be reduced by the planning commission serving as the platting authority.

(3)    The land devoted to the buffer yard may be included in the calculation of cluster open space required within the subdivision in accordance with KGBC 17.45.030. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.45.030 Open space.

(a)    Generally. Those areas within a cluster subdivision that are not devoted to individual dwelling unit lots, streets, or play areas shall remain as cluster open space in perpetuity. A minimum of 20 percent of the net site area shall be devoted to cluster open space. Cluster open space shall be used for conservation or for outdoor recreation purposes that do not require structures, such as hiking or berry picking. No portion of any dwelling unit lot, street, or play area shall be considered as cluster open space.

(b)    Permitted Buildings and Structures. No buildings or structures shall be permitted within the cluster open space except:

(1)    Essential services as defined in KGBC 18.05.060(b).

(2)    Streets, pedestrian paths, or bike paths.

(3)    Required buffer yards developed in accordance with the requirements listed in KGBC 17.45.020(d).

(4)    Fences.

(c)    Mandatory Cluster Open Space Land. A minimum 10-foot strip of undisturbed land encompassing each side of the natural floodplain of Ketchikan, Carlanna, Hoadley and Whipple Creeks, measured from the 100-year floodplain mark, shall remain as cluster open space. Where the planning commission serving as the platting authority determines that a 10-foot strip is inadequate to provide for public safety or to preserve the aesthetic value of any of the aforementioned creeks, a wider strip may be designated. The area encompassed by a creek buffer strip may be included in the calculation of required cluster open space.

(d)    Optional Cluster Open Space Land. Land devoted to any of the following purposes may be included in the calculation of required cluster open space, subject to planning commission serving as the platting authority approval:

(1)    Undisturbed land within 330 feet of active eagle nesting trees identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

(2)    Buffer yards between groups of residences within the cluster subdivision or between the subdivision and adjacent development.

(3)    Greenbelt access corridors between the subdivision and the shoreline for both subdivision residents and wildlife.

(4)    Preservation of scenic areas within the subdivision.

(5)    Preservation of marginal building areas, including but not limited to drainage channels, steep slopes or floodplains.

(6)    Provision of area for pedestrian and bike paths.

(e)    General Requirements.

(1)    Required cluster open space shall not be used for the computation of the number of lots permitted in another subdivision.

(2)    Required cluster open space shall be located within the subdivision and shall be designed for public access along one or more of the subdivision boundary lines when such open space is dedicated to the public, or accessible to all subdivision residents if such open space is not dedicated.

(3)    All portions of the cluster open space not devoted to fences, pedestrian or bike paths, essential services or buffer yards shall be covered by one or more of the following materials: lawn grass, shrubbery, trees, undisturbed or restored indigenous vegetation or other similar material approved by the planning commission serving as the platting authority.

(f)    Ownership and Administration of Cluster Open Space.

(1)    Administrative Options. A combination of one or both of the two options listed in subsections (f)(2) and (3) of this section shall be used to administer the cluster open space. All open space shall be placed under and encumbered with a covenant running with the land or an easement, including but not limited to a conservation or public use easement, to prohibit development of the open space in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of this chapter, and as determined by the planning commission serving as the platting authority. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall approve the proposed method of protection, ownership, and administration of the cluster open space.

(2)    Public Ownership. Cluster open space shall be dedicated to the public unless the planning commission serving as the platting authority determines that the size, location, cost of maintenance of such cluster open space or other considerations would make dedication to the public undesirable. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may require the dedication of some or all of the cluster open space. For cluster subdivisions located within the city of Ketchikan or the city of Saxman, the city manager must recommend any proposed dedication to the public, in writing, to the planning commission serving as the platting authority prior to approval of the preliminary plat for subdivision providing for such dedication.

(3)    Private Ownership. The following requirements shall apply to cluster open space not dedicated to the public:

a.    A homeowners’ association (HOA) shall be formed by the subdivider, who shall convey ownership of the cluster open space to the HOA. The HOA shall thereafter own, administer, inspect, maintain and be responsible for the open space and any structures thereon. The HOA shall have, and the organizational documents shall so provide, the power to levy and assess a fee on each dwelling unit or dwelling unit lot in order to pay the costs incurred by the HOA in meeting its responsibilities.

b.    Membership in the HOA shall be mandatory for any buyer of property within the subdivision. The subdivider shall be responsible for paying the assessment fee for any unsold property.

c.    Proposed covenants, or legal arrangements providing for the formation and responsibilities of the HOA, as approved by the planning commission serving as the platting authority, shall be recorded with the final subdivision plat. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.45.040 Play area.

(a)    When Required. A play area shall be developed by the subdivider in all cluster subdivisions containing six or more lots.

(b)    Minimum Play Area Size. A minimum of five percent of the net site area of cluster subdivisions located within an RS or RL zone and a minimum of two and one-half percent of the net site area of cluster subdivisions located within an RR zone shall be developed as a play area in accordance with the standards listed in this section; provided, however, that no play area shall be less than 2,500 square feet. Play areas may be developed in one or more locations within the subdivision; provided, that each play area meets all required standards.

(c)    Play Area Development Standards. Play area shall meet the following standards:

(1)    The play area shall be a minimum of 2,500 square feet, and not less than 30 feet in its smallest dimension.

(2)    Length to width ratio shall not exceed two-to-one (2:1).

(3)    Maximum slope of finished surface shall be five percent.

(4)    Drainage shall be so designed and provided that there will be no standing water.

(5)    All surfaces shall be of grass, sand, asphalt, wood, gravel, bark or any combination thereof, or other similar material approved by the planning commission serving as the platting authority.

(6)    Optional children’s play equipment, such as slides, swings, jungle-gyms, and similar items and picnic facilities and benches, may be permitted by the planning commission serving as the platting authority at time of plat approval.

(d)    Dedication of Play Area. Within the city of Ketchikan the neighborhood play area may be dedicated to public use provided the city parks and recreation department recommends the proposed dedication, in writing, to the planning commission serving as the platting authority prior to approval of the preliminary plat for subdivision, and provided further, the planning commission serving as the platting authority approves such dedication. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.45.050 Platting procedure.

(a)    Generally. The preparation, submission, review, and official action concerning all cluster subdivision plats shall be as provided in Chapters 17.10, 17.15, 17.20, and 17.35 KGBC in addition to the requirements listed hereinafter.

(b)    Preapplication. The preapplication procedure provided in KGBC 17.15.010 shall be mandatory for all cluster subdivisions. At the preapplication conference the planning official shall review the proposed subdivision and advise the subdivider concerning the compatibility of the subdivision with the intent and requirements of this title and other applicable regulations, including but not limited to the zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan.

(c)    Required Submittals for Preapplication Conference.

(1)    Mapped Submittals. A sketch plat drawn to a scale of not less than one inch equals 100 feet and containing the following information:

a.    Topography of the proposed subdivision with contour intervals that meet the following specifications:

1.    Two-foot contour intervals for slopes of zero to 25 percent.

2.    Five-foot contour intervals for slopes of 25 percent to 50 percent.

3.    Ten-foot contour intervals for slopes of 50 percent and over.

b.    The location of all water wells, laterals and private ditches, water bodies, washes, streams, lakes or saltwater on or within 200 feet of the boundaries of the proposed subdivision with direction of flow; and location and extent of areas subject to inundation. Such features shall be labeled accordingly.

c.    Existing and proposed streets, pedestrian paths and bike paths.

d.    Location of proposed buffer yards.

e.    Location of proposed lots.

f.    Proposed building locations.

g.    Location of proposed cluster open space and proposed play areas with an indication as to whether the cluster open space or play area is proposed to be dedicated to the public or conveyed to a home owner’s association.

h.    Approximate dimensions and square footage of each dwelling unit lot, play area, and cluster open space.

i.    For subdivisions involving site development that will impact more than 25 percent of the land to be subdivided or 10,000 square feet, whichever is less, a site development plan, as described in KGBC 18.55.020(b)(1), shall also be submitted.

(2)    Written Submittals.

a.    Existing zoning of the proposed subdivision and adjacent parcels.

b.    Calculations regarding the maximum number of permitted lots pursuant to KGBC 17.45.020.

c.    Proposed covenants or other legal arrangements providing for the formation and responsibilities of the home owner’s association, if applicable.

d.    Proposed covenants, easements, or other legal arrangements providing for protection of the cluster open space.

e.    Proposed methods of water supply and sewage disposal.

(d)    Preapplication Report. The planning official shall notify the subdivider in writing of any changes required to bring the proposed cluster subdivision into conformance with this title, including but not limited to the zoning ordinance, subsequent to the preapplication conference. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.45.060 Review criteria.

(a)    Development Criteria. In acting on a proposed cluster subdivision, the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall give particular consideration to the criteria listed below. If, in the opinion of the planning commission serving as the platting authority, the proposed subdivision could be improved with respect to the criteria listed below by the reasonable modification of the location of cluster open space or configurations of lots, streets, or parking areas, the proposed subdivision shall be so modified or approval of such subdivision may be denied.

(1)    The proposed subdivision shall comply with all applicable regulations and policies, including but not limited to those contained in the zoning ordinance, the comprehensive plan, and the coastal management plan.

(2)    Cluster open space intended for recreational use shall be easily accessible to the intended users.

(3)    Cluster open space shall include irreplaceable natural topographical features located within the subdivision, including, but not limited to, stream beds, rock outcroppings, areas of rough terrain, and beachfront areas, to the extent feasible.

(4)    Lots, streets and other improvements shall be designed to minimize alteration of the existing topography, to the extent feasible.

(5)    Diversity and originality in subdivision layout shall be encouraged to achieve the best possible relationship between development and the land.

(6)    The internal circulation system of the subdivision shall be designed to minimize access to primary streets.

(7)    Individual lots shall be arranged to minimize the area devoted to streets and driveways.

(8)    Individual lots shall be situated to avoid the adverse effects of shadows, noise, and traffic on the residents of the site and residents of adjacent properties.

(9)    The width of the proposed buffer yard shall be adequate to protect adjacent properties from increased cluster density and associated adverse impacts (traffic, noise, glare, etc.) to the extent feasible. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]