Chapter 17.44

(Zoning Ordinance Amendment 11-05, adopted by City Council September 5, 2012)

17.44.010 Intent and Purpose

The High Density Residential (R-4) Zone is intended to promote the development of apartments at a density of between 30 and 60 dwelling units per gross acre. This designation permits the development of self-contained residential communities that provide adequate on-site recreational facilities and open space to meet the immediate needs of its residents. Additional uses are permitted that are complementary and not detrimental to the residential character of development in this zone.

17.44.020 Locational Criteria

The R-4 zoning designation is appropriate for those properties which are relatively flat, having a general gradient of less than ten (10) percent; which are served or will be provided with urban level infrastructure; are accessible by arterial streets or highways; are, or will be, served by public transit; and are supported by community facilities and appropriate commercial services within a reasonable distance. This designation would be appropriate where there is a transition between multi-family housing and uses of a greater intensity. Density within the R-4 zone is determined by the underlying General Plan designation. This designation would be consistent with the MHDR (Medium High Density Residential) and the HDR (High Density Residential) General Plan land use designations.

17.44.030 Uses Permitted Without Planning Approval

The following uses are allowed in the R-4 zone without zoning clearance or other planning approval, except as required by state law.

A.    Riding, hiking and bicycle trails and appurtenant facilities.

B.    Storage, temporary, of materials and equipment used in construction of public or private improvements, provided that all such items are stored on the construction site and pose no traffic hazard or other adverse impact on surrounding properties.

C.    Temporary and permanent facilities for detention, retention and conveyance of stormwater runoff.

17.44.040 Uses Permitted Subject to Administrative Approval by the Planning Director

The following uses are permitted in the R-4 zone, subject to the applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.

A.    Day care facility, large family, on a lot containing a single family dwelling pursuant to PMC 17.26.090.

B.    Home Occupation Permits, pursuant to PMC 17.26.060.

C.    Special Events pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(A).

D.    Minor communication facility pursuant to PMC 17.95.040.

E.    Multiple family residential uses consisting of up to four (4) residential dwelling units, including but not limited to duplexes, condominiums, and townhouses.

F.    Temporary office modules on active construction sites, pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(B)(4).

G.    Trailer coaches, motorhomes or manufactured homes on active construction sites, pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(B)(3).

H.    Accessory dwelling units on individual parcels containing one (1) single-family dwelling unit; provided, that each unit adheres to the minimum residential standards contained in PMC 17.41.090(G) and 17.91.030. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 17-003, adopted by City Council August 1, 2017.)

I.    Fireworks stands, pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(B)(1).

J.    Cottage Food Operations, pursuant to PMC 17.91.020. (Zoning Ordinance 13-002, adopted by City Council May 1, 2013.)

17.44.050 Uses Permitted Subject to Site Plan Review Approval

The following uses shall require approval pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 17.21 PMC, Site Plan Review.

A.    Electric distribution substations, electric transmission substations, and electric generating facilities, in accordance with PMC 17.95.010.

B.    Large residential care facility also known as Assisted Living Facilities, pursuant to PMC 17.91.110.

C.    Multiple family residential uses consisting of five (5) or more residential dwelling units, including but not limited to apartments, condominiums, and townhouses.

D.    Parks and playgrounds (excluding lighted playfields).

E.    Transitional Housing or Supportive Housing located within five (5) or more residential dwelling units.

F.    Utility facilities, building, and equipment, including, but not limited to water, natural gas, and sewage facilities, but excluding sewage pump stations or treatment plants and major communication facility.

17.44.060 Uses Permitted Subject to Approval of a Conditional Use Permit

Premises in Zone R-4 may be used for the following purposes, provided a permit has first been obtained pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 17.18 PMC, Conditional Use Permits.

A.    Alcohol & drug treatment facilities, pursuant to PMC 17.91.130.

B.    Bed and breakfast establishments.

C.    Boarding houses and Rooming houses.

D.    Convalescent facilities.

E.    Conversion of apartment complexes, pursuant to the applicable provisions of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance.

F.    Day care facility, commercial.

G.    Dormitories.

H.    Playgrounds and playfields, lighted.

I.    Religious assembly uses pursuant to PMC 17.94.010.

J.    Schools from kindergarten through grade twelve (12), excluding trade or commercial schools.

17.44.070 Accessory Uses and Structures Permitted

The following accessory uses are permitted in the R-4 zone, provided that such uses are established on the same lot or parcel of land as the principal dwelling unit(s) and that such accessory uses are incidental to, and do not substantially alter the character of any permitted principal use.

A.    Animal keeping, subject to the provisions specified within PMC 17.89.030. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 17-002, adopted by City Council February 6, 2018.)

B.    Incidental uses

1.    Alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facility, licensed, in accordance with applicable state and county requirements.

2.    Garage sales conducted in accordance with PMC 17.91.080.

3.    Day care facility, small family, in accordance with the applicable state and county requirements.

4.    Small residential care facility, in accordance with the applicable state and county requirements.

C.    Accessory structures

The following accessory structures are permitted in the R-4 zone, provided that requirements for building setbacks, height, and other development standards are adhered to pursuant to PMC 17.82.020.

1.    Private garage and carports.

2.    Accessory structures typically associated with multi-family residential uses and intended for the use of residents only, including but not limited to children’s playgrounds, swimming pools, playfields (excluding lighted playfields), laundry facilities, storage lockers, club rooms, recreation rooms, day care facilities.

3.    Tool houses, storage sheds and greenhouses.

4.    Accessory signs, as permitted in Chapter 17.88 PMC.

5.    Satellite dishes and Amateur Radio Antenna, as permitted in PMC 17.95.020 and 17.95.030.

6.    Information kiosks, pursuant to PMC 17.88.050(F).

D.    Areas designated for the temporary storage and sorting of recyclable materials, in accordance with PMC 17.85.030.

17.44.080 Similar Uses Permitted by Planning Director Determination

The Planning Director may determine that an unlisted use is similar to and not more objectionable to the general welfare than those uses specifically listed in the R-4 zone, pursuant to PMC 17.24.120.

17.44.090 Standards of Development

Premises in Zone R-4 shall be subject to the development standards contained in this Section and those standards contained in Division 8, General Standards of Development. The ‘Required Yards’ contained within PMC 17.82.010(B) and the ‘Building Heights’ restrictions contained within PMC 17.83.030(B) shall not apply to multi-family residential development located within the R-4 zone. Building height and setbacks shall conform to the requirements set forth within this Section.

A.    Lot area

Each lot or parcel of land in Zone R-4 shall have a minimum lot area of not less than the following. For purposes of calculating the permitted number of dwelling units per lot, rounding up shall not be allowed.

1.    Each lot or parcel of land in R-4 Zone created after the effective date of this ordinance shall have a minimum lot area of forty thousand (40,000) square feet.

2.    Notwithstanding the minimum lot area requirement, a multiple family residential development within the R-4 (30) zone shall have a minimum net lot area of eight hundred seventy (870) square feet per dwelling unit and a residential development within the R-4 (50) zone shall have a minimum net lot area of seven hundred twenty-five (725) square feet per dwelling unit, except that nothing in this Section shall be interpreted to allow a dwelling unit density in excess of that permitted by the underlying General Plan land use designation.

B.    Project area width

A minimum lot/project area width of one hundred (100) feet shall be required within Zone R-4.

C.    Building setbacks

Setbacks in Zone R-4 shall be provided as follows:

1.    Front building setback.

The front yard building setback for structures in Zone R-4 shall be not less than five (5) feet.

2.    Side building setback

a.    The street side building setback for a principal structure in Zone R 4 shall be not less than five (5) feet.

b.    The interior side building setback for a principal structure in Zone R-4 shall be not less than five (5) feet for each story, with a maximum of fifteen (15) feet.

3.    Rear building setback

The rear building setback for principal structures in Zone R-4 shall be not less than fifteen (15) feet.

D.    Building height and coverage

1.    Building height

The maximum height of a primary structure, as measured in accordance with PMC 17.16.020, shall not exceed five (5) stories or sixty (60) feet. The maximum height of accessory structure(s) shall not exceed one (1) story or seventeen (17) feet.

2.    Maximum lot coverage

Maximum lot coverage within the R-4 Zone shall not exceed eighty (80) percent. For the purpose of this Section, building lot coverage shall not include below ground pools, spas, walls, fences, parking lots and access drives. Features such as front porches, overhangs, porticos, balconies, loggias, arcades, pergolas, and similar architectural features placed on the front side of the building shall be exempt from the lot coverage requirement.

3.    Setbacks for accessory structures

Setbacks for accessory structures shall be provided pursuant to PMC 17.82.020.

E.    Off-street parking

a.    Each lot or parcel of land in Zone R-4 shall have off-street parking facilities as prescribed in Chapter 17.87 PMC, Off-Street Parking.

b.    At-grade, above-, or below grade parking structures shall be permitted.

c.    Surface parking lots shall be placed between the structure(s) and an interior side or rear lot line.

d.    A six (6) foot high wall or fence shall separate parking lots from abutting residential uses with a minimum of four (4) foot wide landscaped buffer. Walls and fences shall be consistent with the character of the development.

e.    Where gates are utilized, guest spaces shall be accessible without passing through a security entrance.

F.    Multiple family dwelling size standards

The following minimum dwelling areas are computed by calculating the living areas as measured from the outside walls and excluding garages, carports, exterior courtyards, patios and balconies, except as otherwise approved in conjunction with a housing project for low income households or seniors.


Livable Area

in Square Feet


Maximum Number


Minimum Number













1,200 and over

3 or more


G.    Multiple family housing standards

All multiple family housing proposed within Zone R-4 shall conform to the following standards and the Goals, Policies and Objectives of the Community Design Element of the General Plan:

1.    All multiple family housing proposed within Zone R-4 shall be constructed in the following manner, except as otherwise approved in conjunction with a housing project for low income households, seniors, or assisted living facilities:

a.    All multiple family developments with five (5) or more dwelling units shall provide fifteen percent (15%) usable common open space for passive and active recreational uses. For purposes of meeting this requirement, usable open space areas shall not include public or private rights-of-way; vehicle parking areas; areas adjacent to or between any structures less than fifteen (15) feet apart; required building setback areas; private patios or yards; or areas having a slope of greater than 3:1.

b.    All multiple family developments with five (5) or more dwelling units shall provide recreational amenities within the site which may include but are not limited to a clubhouse; tot lot with play equipment; picnic shelter – barbecue area; court game facilities (in accordance with PMC 17.91.090, such as tennis, basketball, or racquetball); swimming pool; landscaped park-like quiet area; day care facilities or similar as approved by the Director of Planning. The type of amenities required shall be dependent upon the nature of the development, and shall be approved by the reviewing authority in accordance with the following schedule.




0 – 4


5 – 50


51 -100


101 – 200


201 – 300


Add 1 amenity for each 100 additional units of fraction thereof.

c.    Each dwelling unit shall have a private (walled) patio or balcony, subject to staff concurrence based upon Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles. Each (walled) patio or balcony must maintain a minimum of seven (7) feet in depth. The required square footage of the patios and balconies may be averaged among the units within each building, provided a minimum average of two hundred one hundred fifty (150) square feet or twenty-five (25) percent of the average dwelling unit size, whichever is less, is maintained.

d.    Each dwelling unit shall be provided a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) cubic feet of private enclosed storage space within the garage or carport, within the dwelling unit or immediately adjacent to the dwelling unit.

e.    Common laundry facilities shall be provided containing a minimum of one (1) washing machine and one (1) dryer for every twenty (20) dwelling units or fraction thereof. These facilities shall be dispersed throughout the project as approved by the reviewing authority.

f.    Each dwelling unit shall provide sufficient space and be plumbed and wired for a standard size washing machine and dryer. Floor plans shall demonstrate compliance with this requirement.

g.    Management and security plans shall be submitted for review and approval for multi-family developments with four (4) or more dwelling units. On-site management shall be required for all developments within sixteen (16) or more units or as permitted by State law.

h.    Trash areas shall be dispersed throughout the complex. Trash areas not located within a building shall be paved and located a minimum of five (5) feet from the private street or drive aisle. Such areas shall be consistent with the standards contained in PMC 17.85.010. One trash area shall be provided for every ten (10) dwelling units or fraction thereof.

i.    Roof access from all buildings shall be internal; no outside ladders attached to buildings are permitted.

j.    All rooftop equipment shall be screened with architectural means such as parapet walls or rooftop wells; drainage downspouts, roof vents and other equipment shall be painted to match the surface to which they are attached.

k.    Screening of equipment, utilities and service areas shall be provided in accordance with PMC 17.86.020.

l.    Units shall be pre-wired to accommodate cable reception.

m.    Where common mailboxes are provided, they should be located close to the project entry and near recreational facilities; the location must be approved by the U. S. Postal Service.

n.    Carports, garages, trash enclosures and other accessory structures shall be designed to reflect the architecture of the primary buildings, with respect to style, colors and materials, and shall be screened with landscaping wherever possible.

o.    Bicycle racks shall be provided in secure locations throughout the project.

p.    Any required parking space that is enclosed must be available for parking and shall not be utilized for storage purposes.