Chapter 18.06
COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS

Sections:

18.06.010    Purpose.

18.06.020    Land use regulations.

18.06.030    Development standards.

18.06.040    Supplemental regulations.

18.06.010 Purpose.

The specific purposes of the commercial districts are to:

A.    Designate adequate land for a full range of commercial uses and regional-serving retail services consistent with the General Plan to maintain and strengthen the City’s economic resources.

B.    Provide appropriate located areas for a range of commercial and industrial uses that provide a variety of goods and services for residents, employees, and visitors, and increase employment opportunities.

C.    Protect the City’s interests in orderly, economically sustainable development, traffic, circulation, public safety, and to ensure attractive and functional gateways and exceptional architectural design at landmark sites.

Additional purposes of each commercial district which follow implement General Plan classifications of “Neighborhood Retail” and “General Commercial/Industrial.”

D.    NR Neighborhood Retail. This district is intended to provide areas for locally oriented retail and service uses in building forms appropriately scaled to relate to adjacent single-family residential neighborhoods.

E.    GCI General Commercial/Industrial. This district is intended to accommodate all retail service, office, research and development, and industrial uses. This district offers maximum flexibility to allow the market to determine the mixture of nonresidential uses.

F.    LC Landmark Commercial. This district is intended to accommodate key parcels known collectively as landmark sites, which are targeted for economic development of regional retail and destination-oriented uses, including large-scale office complexes and hotels as individual or combined uses that are intended to serve regional users and have significant beneficial results in employment growth and contribute to the economic sustainability of the City and implementation of the City’s Economic Development Plan. (Ord. 1464 § 3 (Exh. B (part)), 2013: Ord. 1438 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2011)

18.06.020 Land use regulations.

Table 18.06.020 prescribes the land use regulations for commercial districts. The regulations for each district are established by letter designations as follows:

“P” designates permitted uses.

“M” designates use classifications that are permitted after review and approval of a minor use permit by the Zoning Administrator.

“C” designates use classifications that are permitted after review and approval of a conditional use permit by the Planning Commission.

“(#)” numbers in parentheses refer to specific limitations listed at the end of the table.

“-” designates uses that are not permitted.

Use classifications are defined in Chapter 18.40, Use Classifications. In cases where a specific land use or activity is not defined, the Director shall assign the land use or activity to a classification that is substantially similar in character. Use classifications and subclassifications not listed in the table or not found to be substantially similar to the uses below are prohibited. The table also notes additional use regulations that apply to various uses. Section numbers in the right-hand column refer to other sections of this title.

TABLE 18.06.020: LAND USE REGULATIONS—COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS 

Use Classification

NR

GCI

LC

Additional Regulations

Public and Semi-Public Uses

Colleges and Trade Schools, Public or Private

-

C(3)

-

 

Government Offices

-

C(3)

-

 

Instructional Services

P

M(3)

-

 

Public Safety Facilities

-

M(3)

-

 

Commercial Uses

Automobile/Vehicle Sales and Services

See subclassifications below

Automobile/Vehicle Sales and Leasing

-

P

C

See Section 18.23.050, Automobile/vehicle sales and services

Automobile/Vehicle Washing

-

C

-

Service Station

(1)

P

-

Banks and Financial Institutions

-

P

C

 

Business Services

P

P

P(4)

 

Commercial Entertainment and Recreation

See subclassifications below

Cinema/Theaters

-

P

C

 

Large-Scale

-

C

C

 

Small-Scale

-

P

P(4)

 

Eating and Drinking Establishments

See subclassifications below

Full Service

M

P

P(4)

See Section 18.23.140, Outdoor dining

Convenience

P

P

C

Food Preparation

P

P

P(4)

 

Lodging

See subclassifications below

Hotels and Motels

C

C

M

 

Maintenance and Repair Services

-

P

P(4)

 

Nurseries and Garden Centers

-

P

M(6)

See Section 18.23.270, Commercial cannabis businesses

Offices

See subclassifications below

Business and Professional

P

P

P(4)

 

Medical and Dental

-

P

M

 

Walk-In Clientele

P

P

P(4)

 

Personal Services

See subclassifications below

General Personal Services

P

P

P(4)

See Section 18.23.170, Personal services

Retail Sales

See subclassifications below

Building Materials and Services

-

P

M

 

Cannabis Dispensary

-

-

-

 

Convenience Markets

P

P

M

 

Food and Beverage Sales

P

P

M

 

General Retail

P

P

P(4)

 

Large-Format Retail

-

C

C

See Section 18.23.130, Large-format retail

Price Point Retail

-

P

M

 

Second-Hand Store

-

P

M

 

Retail Establishments Selling Ammunition or Firearms

C

C

C

See Section 18.23.290, Retail establishments selling ammunition or firearms

Industrial Uses

Construction and Material Yards

-

C

C

See Section 18.23.160, Outdoor storage

Custom Manufacturing

-

P

M

 

Industry, General

-

M

M(6)

See Section 18.23.270, Commercial cannabis businesses

Industry, Limited

-

P

M

 

Recycling Facility

See subclassifications below

Reverse Vending Machine

-

C(3)

-

See Section 18.23.190, Recycling facilities

Recycling Collection Facility

-

C(3)

-

Research and Development

-

P

M(6)

See Section 18.23.270, Commercial cannabis businesses

Salvage and Wrecking

-

C(2)

-

See Section 18.23.160, Outdoor storage

Warehousing and Storage

See subclassifications below

Indoor Warehousing and Storage

-

C(5)

P(4)(5)

 

Outdoor Storage

-

C

-

See Section 18.23.160, Outdoor storage

Wholesaling and Distribution

-

P

M(6)

See Section 18.23.270, Commercial cannabis businesses

Cannabis Microbusiness

-

P

-

See Section 18.23.270, Commercial cannabis businesses

Transportation, Communication, and Utilities Uses

Communication Facilities

See subclassifications below

Antenna and Transmission Towers

See Chapter 18.24, Wireless Telecommunications Facilities

Facilities within Buildings

P

P

M

 

Freight/Truck Terminals and Warehouses

-

P(3)

-

 

Light Fleet-Based Services

-

P(3)

C

 

Utilities, Major

-

C(3)

-

 

Utilities, Minor

P

P(3)

-

 

Other Applicable Types

Accessory Uses and Structures

See Sections 18.23.030, Accessory uses, and 18.15.020, Accessory buildings and structures

Nonconforming Use

Chapter 18.19, Nonconforming Uses, Structures, and Lots

Temporary Use

Chapter 18.31, Temporary Use Permits

Specific Limitations:

1.    Permitted if existing. New service stations are not allowed.

2.    Shall be conducted entirely within an enclosed building.

3.    Not allowed between Industrial Road and Highway 101 and Skyway Road fronting Highway 101.

4.    Permitted by right in existing buildings only; additions or enlargements, tear downs and rebuilds may be considered subject to conditional use permit approval by the Planning Commission.

5.    Storage in small individual spaces exclusively and directly accessible to a specific tenant is permitted by right on the condition that such uses occupy no more than five percent of the total square footage of any single building.

6.    Uses that require a commercial cannabis business permit are not permitted.

(Ord. 1540 (Exh. B), 2019; Ord. 1525 § 2(1) (Exh. A (part)) (2017); Ord. 1480 (Exh. B (part)), 2015; Ord. 1464 § 3 (Exh. B (part)), 2013: Ord. 1438 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2011)

18.06.030 Development standards.

Table 18.06.030 prescribes the development standards for commercial districts. Additional regulations are denoted in the right-hand column. Section numbers in this column refer to other sections of this title, while individual letters refer to subsections that directly follow the table. The numbers in the illustration in this section refer to corresponding regulations in the “#” column in the associated table.

TABLE 18.06.030: DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS—
COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS 

District

NR

GCI

LC

Additional Regulations

#

Lot and Density Standards

Minimum Lot Size (sq. ft.)

5,000

20,000

25,000

 

Corner Lots

6,000

20,000

25,000

 

Minimum Lot Width (ft.)

50

50

75

1

Corner Lots

60

60

75

2

Building Form and Location

Maximum Height (ft.)

35, 28 within 50 ft. of RS district

50

50

See Section 18.15.060, Height and height exceptions

3

Ground Floor Minimum, Commercial Uses (ft.)

Ground Floor Height

16

16

16

4

First Floor Ceiling Height (ft. clear)

12

12

12

5

Minimum Setbacks (ft.)

Front

0

10

10

Minimum 30 feet from an RS district boundary;

see Section 18.15.080, Projections into yards

6

 

Interior Side

10

0

0

7

Street Side

5

10

10

8

Rear

15

0

0

9

Corner Lot Build-To Area (ft.)

50 (A)

n/a

n/a

10

Maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

1.0

2.0

2.0

See Chapter 18.03, Rules of Measurement

A.    Corner Lot Build-To Area. Buildings must be located within five feet of the property line within fifty feet of a corner. Gateway amenities, such as landscaping, signage, and art, may be at the street corner, provided buildings are built to the edge of the gateway area. (Ord. 1480 (Exh. B (part)), 2015; Ord. 1464 § 3 (Exh. B (part)), 2013; Ord. 1438 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2011)

18.06.040 Supplemental regulations.

A.    Commercial Development. Commercial development in the commercial districts is subject to the following standards:

1.    Landscaping. A minimum of fifteen percent of the site must be landscaped.

2.    Public Improvements.

a.    Sidewalks. Sidewalks shall be provided if none already exist or if the existing sidewalks are in poor condition.

b.    Street Furniture. Trash receptacles, benches, bike racks, and other street furniture from a list maintained by the City shall be provided.

c.    Street Lights. Pedestrian scaled street lights from a list maintained by the City shall be provided.

d.    Street Trees. Shade trees shall be planted at least thirty feet on center. Tree guards shall be provided. Trees shall be a minimum fifteen gallons in size, and at least ten percent of the required trees shall be twenty-four-inch box size or larger.

3.    Orientation of Primary Building Entrance. The primary building entrance shall face or be oriented to within forty-five degrees of or parallel to the street frontage. This entrance(s) must allow pedestrians to both enter and exit the building and must remain unlocked during business hours. Where a site is located on two public streets, a primary entrance shall be oriented toward the street with the higher classification. If a site fronts two public streets of equal classification, the applicant may choose which frontage on which street to meet the requirement.

FIGURE 18.06.040-A(3): ORIENTATION OF PRIMARY BUILDING ENTRANCES

4.    Building Transparency/Required Openings. Exterior walls facing and within twenty feet of a front or street side lot line shall include windows, doors, or other openings for at least fifty percent of the building wall area located between two and one-half and seven feet above the level of the sidewalk. Such walls may run in a continuous plane for no more than thirty feet without an opening.

FIGURE 18.06.040-A(4): BUILDING TRANSPARENCY/REQUIRED OPENINGS

a.    Design of Required Openings. Openings fulfilling this requirement shall have transparent glazing and provide views into work areas, display areas, sales areas, lobbies, or similar active spaces, or into window displays that are at least three feet deep.

b.    Exceptions for Parking Garages. Multilevel garages are not required to meet the ground-floor transparency requirement. Instead, they must be designed and screened consistent with the requirements of Chapter 18.20, Parking and Loading.

c.    Reductions through Design Review. The building transparency requirement may be reduced or waived if it is found that:

i.    The proposed use has unique operational characteristics with which providing the required windows and openings is incompatible, such as in the case of a cinema or theater; and

ii.    Street-facing building walls will exhibit architectural relief and detail, and will be enhanced with landscaping in such a way as to create visual interest at the pedestrian level.

5.    Building Articulation. Buildings shall provide adequate architectural articulation and detail to avoid a bulky and “box-like” appearance.

a.    Any building over seventy-five feet wide shall be broken down to read as a series of buildings no wider than seventy-five feet each.

b.    Building facades shall include building projections or recesses, doorway and window trim, and other details that provide architectural articulation and design interest.

c.    Each side of the building that is visible from a public right-of-way shall be designed with a complementary level of detailing.

6.    Exterior Building Materials and Colors.

a.    A unified palette of quality materials shall be used on all sides of buildings.

b.    Exterior building materials shall be stone, brick, stucco, concrete block, painted wood clapboard, painted metal clapboard or other quality, durable materials approved by the City as part of the project review.

c.    A wainscoting of quality materials on the bottom eighteen to thirty-six inches of the ground floor facade is required. Exceptions may be granted through the design review process to accommodate alternative design complementary to the architectural style of the structure.

7.    Pedestrian Access. On-site pedestrian circulation and access must be provided according to the following standards.

a.    Internal Connections. A system of pedestrian walkways shall connect all buildings on a site to each other, to on-site automobile and bicycle parking areas, and to any on-site open space areas or pedestrian amenities.

b.    To Circulation Network. Regular connections between on-site walkways and the public sidewalk shall be provided. An on-site walkway shall connect the primary building entry or entries to a public sidewalk on each street frontage. Such walkway shall be the shortest practical distance between the main entry and sidewalk, generally no more than one hundred twenty-five percent of the straight line distance.

c.    To Neighbors. Direct and convenient access shall be provided from commercial and mixed-use projects to adjoining residential and commercial areas to the maximum extent feasible while still providing for safety and security.

d.    To Transit. Safe and convenient pedestrian connections shall be provided from transit stops to building entrances. Sidewalk “bulb-outs” or bus “pull-outs” may be required at potential bus stops serving commercial centers (building floor area over twenty-five thousand square feet) to provide adequate waiting areas for transit users and safety for passing motorists.

e.    Interior Pedestrian Walkway Design.

i.    Walkways shall have a minimum clear unobstructed width of six feet, shall be hard-surfaced, and paved with permeable materials.

ii.    Where a required walkway crosses driveways, parking areas, or loading areas, it must be clearly identifiable through the use of a raised crosswalk, a different paving material, or similar method.

iii.    Where a required walkway is parallel and adjacent to an auto travel lane, it must be raised or separated from the auto travel lane by a raised curb at least four inches high, bollards, or other physical barrier.

8.    Limitations on Location of Parking. Above-ground parking may not be located within forty feet of a street-facing property line. Exceptions may be granted with the approval of a conditional use permit when the Planning Commission makes the following findings:

a.    The design incorporates habitable space built close to the public sidewalk to the maximum extent feasible;

b.    The site is small and constrained such that underground parking or surface parking located more than forty feet from the street frontage is not feasible.

9.    Limitations on Curb Cuts. Curb cuts shall be minimized and located in the location least likely to impede pedestrian circulation. Curb cuts shall be located at least ten feet from an intersection curb return or pedestrian cross walk.

10.    Truck Docks, Loading, and Service Areas. Truck docks, loading areas, and service areas must be screened so as not to be visible from public streets. Drop-off areas may be located at the primary building entry.

B.    Commercial Centers. Commercial centers containing twenty-five thousand square feet or more of floor area or four or more establishments in the retail sales use classification are subject to the following standards and criteria for approval.

1.    Entry Plazas/Passenger Loading Areas. A plaza shall be provided at the entry to each anchor tenant that provides for pedestrian circulation and loading and unloading. Entry plazas and passenger loading areas shall include unique, decorative paving materials, adequate seating areas, provision of adequate shade from the summer sun, and attractive landscaping including trees or raised planters. Entry plazas, which include features described under subsection (B)(2) of this section, may also be counted toward the public plaza requirements.

2.    On-Site Public Plazas. Outdoor plazas for the use of customers and visitors shall be provided at a rate of five square feet per one thousand square feet of floor area, up to one thousand five hundred square feet of outdoor plaza.

a.    Location. Such public space shall be visible from a public street, or from on-site areas normally frequented by customers, and shall be accessible during business hours. Areas within required setbacks may count toward the public space requirement. Areas designated for customers to wait for cabs may be combined with required public space areas if they meet all other requirements of this subsection.

b.    Amenities. On-site public space shall include benches or other seating, and the ground surface shall be landscaped or surfaced with high-quality paving materials. Amenities shall be included that enhance the comfort, aesthetics, or usability of the space, including but not limited to trees and other landscaping, shade structures, drinking fountains, water features, public art, or performance areas.

3.    Design Criteria. In order to receive permit approval for a commercial center, the review authority shall find that all of the following criteria have been met.

a.    Integrated Theme. Buildings and structures shall exhibit an integrated architectural theme that includes similar or complementary materials, colors, and design details.

b.    Site Entrance. Community-scale commercial developments (ten acres or larger) shall be developed with at least one major driveway entrance feature that provides an organizing element to the site design. Major driveway entrances include such features as a landscaped entry corridor or a divided median drive separated by a landscaped center dividing island. Buildings must be located within thirty feet of the corner of the driveway and public right-of-way. Building elements with greater vertical emphasis must be used at these corners.

c.    Building Entrances. Building entrances to anchor tenants and other large stores shall be prominent and inviting. The architectural details of building entrances shall be integrated with the overall building design in terms of materials, scale, proportion, and design elements.

d.    Vehicular Circulation. Safe, convenient vehicular circulation shall be provided within the development through an appropriate system of internal vehicular circulation routes based on a hierarchy of drive aisles and cross routes. Vehicular and pedestrian conflicts shall be minimized. Where pedestrian circulation routes cross vehicular traffic aisles and driveways within a development, there shall be clearly delineated crosswalks that include clear sight lines, adequate warning signage for both vehicles and pedestrians, adequate lighting, and protective barrier posts or similar features for separation at walkway entrances.

e.    Cart Corrals. Adequate, convenient cart corrals shall be provided near building entrances and throughout the parking areas.

f.    Transit Facilities. Transit facilities, where included, shall be developed with effective shading from the summer sun, comfortable seating, attractive landscaping, decorative paving, public art features and efficient pedestrian routes to adjacent development.

g.    Lighting. A combination of attractively designed and located lighting fixtures, including low pole lights, ground-mounted fixtures, light bollards, and architectural lighting shall be used to provide interesting compositions for outdoor lighting, as well as a safe, secure environment.

h.    Shade Areas. Pedestrian areas, such as walkways, building entrances, and gathering areas, shall be adequately shaded from the summer sun through such techniques as the careful placement of trees and landscaping, trellis structures, projecting canopies, covered walkways, arcades, porticos, building orientation, and similar techniques.

C.    Industrial Development. Industrial development shall be developed in accordance with the supplemental regulations for industrial districts, Section 18.07.040. (Ord. 1480 (Exh. B (part)), 2015; Ord. 1438 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2011)