Chapter 18.145


18.145.010    Purpose.

18.145.020    Fractions.

18.145.030    Measuring distances.

18.145.040    Measuring distances on maps.

18.145.050    Measuring height.

18.145.060    Measuring a radius.

18.145.010 Purpose.

This chapter explains how various measurements referenced in this zoning ordinance are to be calculated. (Ord. 710 § 35-42.1, 1996; 1991 code § 35-42.1)

18.145.020 Fractions.

When calculations result in fractions the results will be rounded as follows:

A. Minimum requirements. When a regulation is expressed in terms of a minimum requirement, any fractional result will be rounded up to the next consecutive whole number. For example, if a minimum requirement of one tree for every 30 feet is applied to a 50-foot strip, the resulting fraction of 1.37 is rounded up to two required trees.

B. Maximum limits. When a regulation is expressed in terms of maximum limits, any fractional result will be rounded down to the next lower whole number. For example, if a maximum limit of one dwelling unit for every 2,500 square feet in the MRL district is applied to a 12,000 square foot site, the resulting fraction of 4.8 is rounded down to four allowed dwelling units. (Ord. 710 § 35-42.2, 1996; 1991 code § 35-42.2)

18.145.030 Measuring distances.

A. Distances are measured horizontally. When determining distances for setbacks and structure dimensions, all distances are measured along a horizontal plane from the appropriate line, edge of building, structure, storage area, parking area, or other object. These distances are not measured by following the topography of the land. See Figure M-1.


Figure M-1

B. Measurements are shortest distance. When measuring a required distance, such as the minimum distance between a structure and a lot line, the measurement is made at the closest or shortest distance between the two objects. See Figure M-2. Exceptions are stated in subsections C, D and E of this section.


Figure M-2

C. Measurement of vehicle stacking or travel areas. Measurement of a minimum travel distance for vehicles, such as garage entrance setbacks and stacking lane distances, are measured down the center of the vehicle travel area. For example, curving driveways and travel lanes are measured along the arc of the driveway or traffic lane. See Figure M-3.


Figure M-3

D. Measurements involving a structure. Measurements involving a structure are made to the closest wall of the structure. Chimneys, eaves, and bay windows (except in a side yard) up to 12 feet in length are not included in the measurement. Other features, such as covered porches and entrances, are included in the measurement. See PHMC § 18.50.020, Building projections into yards and courts, and the base zoning district regulations in Part 2.

E. Underground structures. Structures or portions of structures that are entirely underground are not included in measuring required distances. See Figure M-4.


Figure M-4

(Ord. 710 § 35-42.4, 1996; 1991 code § 35-42.4)

18.145.040 Measuring distances on maps.

Zone boundaries that are shown crossing lots are usually based on a topographic feature or a set measurement from a property line or topographic feature, such as the top of slope, middle of stream, 25 feet from top of bank, or 340 feet from property line. When zone boundaries are shown crossing properties with no clear indication of the basis for the line, exact distances are to be determined by scaling the distances from the zoning map, using the center of the zoning line on the map. (Ord. 710 § 35-42.6, 1996; 1991 code § 35-42.6)

18.145.050 Measuring height.

A. Measuring building height. Height of buildings is measured as provided in the Uniform Building Code as adopted by the city. The height of buildings is the vertical distance above the base point described in subsection A.1 or A.2 of this section. The base point used is the method that yields the greater height of building. For a flat roof, the measurement is made to the top of the parapet, or if there is no parapet, to the highest point of the roof (see Schedules 18.20.030 and 18.25.030 for allowed number of stories).

The measurement is made to the deck line of a mansard roof, or to the average height of the highest gable of a pitched or hipped roof that has a roof pitch of 12 in 12 or less. For pitched or hipped roofs with a pitch steeper than 12 in 12, the measurement is to the highest point. For other roof shapes such as domed, vaulted, or pyramidal shapes, the measurement is to the highest point. See Figure M-5. The height of a stepped or terraced building is the maximum height of any segment of the building.


Figure M-5

1. Base point 1. Base point 1 is the elevation of the highest adjoining sidewalk or ground surface within a five-foot horizontal distance of the exterior wall of the building when such sidewalk or ground surface is not more than five feet above lowest grade. See Figure M-6.


Figure M-6

2. Base point 2. Base point 2 is the elevation that is five feet higher than the lowest grade when the sidewalk or ground surface described in subsection A.1 of this section is more than five feet above lowest grade.

B. Measuring height of other structures. The height of other structures such as fences is the vertical distance from the ground level immediately under the structure to the top of a structure. Special measurement provisions are also provided below.

1. Measuring height of wall or fences on slopes. Walls or fences located on sloping ground are measured from the ground level on the higher side of the wall or fence for the purpose of determining compliance with maximum allowable height requirements.

2. Measuring height of retaining walls and fences. Retaining walls, and fences on top of retaining walls, are measured as a combined height of a retaining wall, fence, wall or screen from the ground level on the higher side of the combined wall, fence or screen for the purpose of determining compliance with maximum allowable height requirements.

3. Measuring height of decks. Deck height is determined by measuring from the ground to the top of the floor of the deck.

4. Measuring height of accessory structures. The height of accessory structures such as sheds, detached garages, pergolas and trellises is the vertical distance from the ground level immediately under the structure to the highest point at the top of a structure. (Ord. 856 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011; Ord. 710 § 35-42.8, 1996; 1991 code § 35-42.8)

18.145.060 Measuring a radius.

The measured specified distance from a particular project shall be the required distance in a straight line, without regard to intervening structures or objects, from all points along the lot line of the subject project. (Ord. 710 § 35-42.12, 1996; 1991 code § 35-42.12)