Chapter 10.82
RPC – RESIDENTIAL PLANNED COMMUNITY ZONE

Sections:

10.82.010    Purpose.

10.82.020    Permitted uses.

10.82.030    Conditional uses.

10.82.040    Minimum lot standards.

10.82.050    Off-street parking and loading.

10.82.060    Signs.

10.82.070    Development requirements.

10.82.080    Land use approval process.

10.82.090    Townhomes.

10.82.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this zone is to maximize the development quality of large tracts of undeveloped land that will afford opportunities for a more cohesive design and well thought out development pattern than may occur with smaller acreage development projects. The intent is to create neighborhoods that: have resilient property values, demonstrate superior architecture, provide a variety of housing styles and designs for young and mature households alike, provide areas for social interaction, are safe and family friendly, and increase the health and wellness of its residents by providing amenities and open spaces that encourage active lifestyles. [Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-27 § 1 (Exh. A).]

10.82.020 Permitted uses.

The following, and no others, are uses permitted by right provided the parcel and/or building meet all other provisions of this title and any other applicable ordinances of Syracuse City:

(A) Accessory uses and buildings (200 square feet or less) (minimum lot size of 3,500 square feet).

(B) Agriculture.

(C) Churches, synagogues, and temples.

(D) Dwellings, single-family.

(E) Dwellings, townhomes, up to four attached* (*only if in accordance with SCC 10.82.090).

(F) Educational services.

(G) Household pets.

(H) Minor home occupations.

(I) Public and quasi-public buildings.

(J) Club houses and recreational facilities.

(K) Public parks.

(L) Residential facilities for persons with disabilities. [Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-27 § 1 (Exh. A).]

10.82.030 Conditional uses.

The following, and no others, may be conditional uses permitted after application and approval as specified in SCC 10.20.080:

(A) Accessory uses and buildings (greater than 200 square feet) (minor) (minimum lot size of 5,600 square feet).

(B) Day care centers (major) (minimum lot size of 5,600 square feet).

(C) Dwellings, accessory (major/minor, see SCC 10.30.020) (minimum lot size of 5,600 square feet).

(D) Temporary commercial uses (see SCC 10.35.050) (minor). [Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-27 § 1 (Exh. A).]

10.82.040 Minimum lot standards.

All lots shall be developed and all structures and uses shall be placed on lots in accordance with the following standards:

(A) In no case shall the total maximum density exceed five units per gross acre.

(B) In general, the smallest lots should be located closest to an arterial or collector road to distribute traffic impacts more efficiently.

(C) All lots shall have frontage along a publicly dedicated street except for interior lots in the SFD-3,500, which may have frontage upon a shared driveway to be maintained by the HOA. Frontage requirements for lots on a shared driveway shall be the same as if fronting on a public street. Dimensions of all shared driveways shall be determined by the fire marshal and shall comply with all current IFC Codes.

(D) Of the total number of lots, a maximum of 50 percent shall be less than SFD-5,600.

(E) A minimum variable setback of three feet from one dwelling to the next on the same side of the street shall be shown on the subdivision plat and building permits shall only be issued in accordance with the approved varied setbacks shown on the plat. The three-foot setback variation for each lot shall be in relation to the lot(s) immediately abutting on the same side of the street and not in relation to the minimum setback. No home shall be placed using the variable setback in a way which encroaches into the minimum setbacks established in the table below.

(F) Garages shall be set behind, or at a minimum on the same plane as, the living space or covered outdoor living space on lots SFD-5,600 and larger.

(G) Covered front porches on SFD-3,500 – 5,599 lots with front doors that face a public street may encroach up to two feet into the required front yard setback.

Lot Standards

SFD- >7,000

SFD-5,600 – 6,999

SFD-3,500 – 5,599

Minimum Lot Area (SF)

7,000

5,600

3,500

Minimum Lot Width (LF)

70

55

42

Minimum Front Yard to Living Space or Open Porch (LF)

15

15

10*

Minimum Interior Side Yard (LF)

8

8

5

Minimum Street Side Yard (LF)

15

15

10

Minimum Rear Yard (LF)

15

15

10

Alley Rear Yard Setback to Garage or Living Space (LF)

0

0

0

Maximum Building Height

35

35

35

Off-Street Parking

2

2

2

*    See subsection (G) of this section.

[Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 17-18 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-27 § 1 (Exh. A).]

10.82.050 Off-street parking and loading.

Maximum number of homes in a shared driveway of a SFD-3,500 area shall be six. No parking shall be allowed on shared access driveways. If the unit features a side or rear-fed garage, on-street parallel parking stalls may be counted towards the required visitor parking. On-street stalls shall be well marked with paint. Otherwise, off-street parking and loading shall be provided as specified in Chapter 10.40 SCC. [Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-27 § 1 (Exh. A).]

10.82.060 Signs.

The signs permitted in this zone shall be those allowed in residential zones by Chapter 10.45 SCC. [Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-27 § 1 (Exh. A).]

10.82.070 Development requirements.

(A) Minimum land requirements for MPC zone: 100 contiguous acres. Noncontiguous land areas below 100 acres in size may be added to the planned community if:

(1) The noncontiguous land area is proposed in conjunction with a plan submittal containing a land mass of at least 100 contiguous acres;

(2) The noncontiguous land area is not smaller than 10 acres;

(3) All land areas within the development are managed by one HOA;

(4) All land areas share the same development theme;

(5) The noncontiguous land area is located within a third mile of the larger 100-acre land mass (0.33 mile);

(6) Be limited to one noncontiguous land area in addition to the larger land mass.

(B) Land Use Master Plan.

(1) A land use master plan shall be submitted congruently with the concept plan application and in addition to the requirements of the concept plan submittal found in SCC 8.20.010. The plan shall include the following:

(a) Existing property boundaries.

(b) Proposed lot lines.

(c) Color coded categories grouped by lot size and/or housing product type.

(d) Table indicating gross calculations such as number of lots in each housing/lot size category and acreage/percentage of common space.

(e) Location and size of common spaces.

(f) Configuration of streets, trails, and sidewalks.

(2) A professional planner shall design the land use master plan.

(C) Traffic Impact Study. Developer shall provide a traffic impact study to be submitted congruently with preliminary plat application.

(D) Architectural Theme Plan.

(1) An architectural theme plan shall be submitted congruently with the preliminary plat application and in addition to the requirements of the preliminary plat submittal found in SCC 8.25.010. The plan shall include the following:

(a) Examples of design themes that can be duplicated throughout the development that will provide unity and sense of place. Examples may include cladding materials, roof styles, light fixtures, colors, textures, or architecture styles such as craftsman, contemporary, colonial, Mediterranean, Cape Cod, etc.

(b) Conceptual Elevations and Floor Plans. All plans must adhere to the architectural requirements detailed in this chapter.

(E) Landscape Theme Plan.

(1) A landscape theme plan shall be submitted congruently with the preliminary plat application and in addition to the requirements of the preliminary plat submittal found in SCC 8.25.010. The plan shall include the following:

(a) Landscape plans for all HOA or common open spaces, streetscapes, and any additional land to be landscaped by the project developer are required. Plans shall specify:

(i) Tree locations;

(ii) Hardscape locations;

(iii) Amenities;

(iv) Sidewalks;

(v) Trails;

(vi) Fencing;

(vii) Entry monument signage design and landscaping.

(F) Architectural Requirements.

(1) The following standards apply to homes within the master planned community zone:

(a) Stucco, masonry, fiber cement siding and/or similar quality construction products shall be used on all exterior walls. No vinyl siding shall be permitted.

(b) A minimum of two elevations shall be drawn for each dwelling unit type. Differences between elevations may include rooflines, use of exterior materials, color schemes, use of porches, window location, size, shape or treatments and similar features that vary the appearance of the elevation.

(c) Where the same dwelling unit type is to be constructed adjacent to or directly across the street, a different elevation shall be used including a different roofline, exterior materials, and color schemes. Rooflines shall be varied at a minimum of every five homes in a row. This may be accomplished by varying the number of stories, roof type (including shed, gable, hip, Dutch, or dormer roofs), or ridgeline directions to create variation.

(d) Rear or side end facades that are visible to a street, park or trail shall comply with the regulations for new residential construction in SCC 10.30.020.

(e) To assist in adding architectural variety, side facing, detached, or alley-fed garages are encouraged. Garages shall not be the predominant architectural feature of any building.

(f) Outdoor living spaces such as porches, balconies, or patios are required on all dwelling units. Outdoor living spaces must be sized adequately for a minimum of two chairs and be oriented towards the street or shared driveway to encourage social interaction with neighbors. Outdoor living spaces that do not face the street or shared driveway may be included in addition to those required to face these areas.

(i) Outdoor living spaces must be at least 25 square feet, providing for seating and a walking access to the seating.

(2) On lots less than 5,600 square feet, all corner lots and homes that front a public road shall have front doors facing public roads; all remaining homes on lots less than 5,600 square feet shall face a private drive. A body established and maintained through the HOA shall review all exterior structural changes to any building within the development to ensure that these conform with the architectural theme plan that was approved with the subdivision.

(G) Common Space Requirements.

(1) A minimum of 25 percent of the gross project acreage shall be established as common space.

(a) Ownership and maintenance responsibilities of common space shall be specified in a development agreement.

(b) All common spaces shall be accessible to the general public with the exception of clubhouses, pools, or other private amenities as agreed to in the development agreement.

(2) Remnant parcels that are inaccessible, have a boundary shape that will not accommodate an amenity, or are otherwise unusable may not be counted towards the common space calculation.

(3) Yard areas within single-family detached lots that are intended as usable yard space for the individual units shall not be counted toward meeting the minimum common space requirement.

(4) The developer shall provide amenities as agreed upon by the City Council with terms and parameters of development and maintenance established in a development agreement. All private amenities shall be maintained by an HOA. The City shall assume responsibility for the maintenance of all public amenities and facilities.

(5) Landscaping alone does not qualify an area as common space. However, informal landscaped areas for play, relaxation, and meditation are encouraged.

(6) Unless otherwise approved by the Council, and subject to the provisions set forth in this chapter, the underlying fee ownership of all publicly accessible open space land shall remain in single ownership and may be owned and maintained by one of the following entities: homeowners’ association, land trust, conservation organization, or governmental entity.

(7) Landscaping within common areas must be completed prior to approval of the next consecutive phase of the subdivision.

(8) In-Lieu Fee for Required Common Space. An in-lieu fee may be accepted for the development of a nearby City park under the following conditions:

(a) The developer initiates a request to pay a fee in-lieu of required common space by petitioning the City at the same time that the concept plan is under review.

(b) The proposed project shall be located within one-half mile (measured in a straight line) of an existing or future Syracuse City park as identified in the adopted Parks Master Plan. Measurement shall be made from the nearest property line of the park to the nearest property line of the development project.

(c) The in-lieu fee shall not be approved if any portion of the proposed development is further than one mile from the nearest receiving park property boundary.

(d) The park property to receive the fee money shall be identified and approved in conjunction with the concept plan.

(e) Qualification of an off-site location to receive in-lieu of common space fees shall be approved by City Council based upon the development needs and priorities stated in the adopted Parks Master Plan, and such qualification shall be decided at the time that the Council reviews the concept plan.

(f) The spending of in-lieu fees shall be limited to the determined off-site receiving location and for no other civic or private use.

(g) If the City Council does not accept the request for in-lieu of fees based off the qualifiers stated herein, the development shall build the on-site common space as required by the RPC zone.

(h) If a fee is accepted in-lieu of common space, the project will nevertheless be required to build at a minimum: one on-site common amenity such as a tot lot, sport courts, and/or pool occupying at least five percent of the total project land area. All on-site landscaping and common space amenities shall be maintained by an HOA.

(i) The fee money will be due to the City prior to recording of the final subdivision plat proportionate to each phase as applicable.

(j) Development may be allowed on the land that has been accounted for through the collection of in-lieu fees at a density not to exceed the maximum units per acre prescribed by the zone.

(k) In-lieu fees shall be calculated on an individual basis. In-lieu fee amount shall be roughly equivalent to the value of forgone on-site common space area(s) and improvements. Fees shall be determined using mutually accepted methods for cost estimating the dollar amount needed to build the equivalent park improvements and acquire the land needed for said park space. Credit for on-site common space developed beyond the minimum five percent identified in subsection (G)(8)(h) of this section, and actually built within the development, may be subtracted from the estimated fee due.

(l) The agreed upon fee amount, percentage of provided on-site and off-site in-lieu fee, and park development cost per square foot shall be included in a development agreement.

(H) Required Amenities.

(1) Amenities such as hard surface trails, benches, sports fields, picnic shelters, clubhouses, pools, basketball courts, tennis courts, community gardens, pickle ball courts, playgrounds, splash pads, or other amenities as approved by the City Council are required in each common space.

(2) Clubhouse plans shall go through site plan review as detailed in SCC 10.20.090 before receiving a building permit.

(3) No dwelling shall be located further than one-quarter mile from an amenity.

(4) Amenity access shall be shown on a circulation plan indicating how automobiles, cyclists, and pedestrians will access amenities.

(5) Storm water detention basins may be considered as common space only if they are designed, landscaped, and include an amenity.

(I) Property Maintenance. A homeowners’ association (HOA) is required to ensure that private amenities, landscaping, common spaces, trash removal, building exteriors, and street trees are maintained and/or replaced as needed. The HOA covenants of the community shall be recorded with the county and applied to all phases of development.

(J) Landscaping Requirements.

(1) Yard areas shall be designed to avoid water pooling and steep grade changes between lots.

(2) Streetscapes shall be designed for pedestrian safety and visual interest by using three-foot variable front yard setbacks and inclusion of traffic calming measures.

(3) Tree-lined streets are required.

(a) Street trees shall have a minimum two-inch caliper trunk size measured 12 inches above ground level, at the time of installation.

(b) Best management practice recommendations as published by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) shall be followed to improve tree survival.

(c) Street trees damaged or killed must be replaced within one planting season by the HOA.

(d) All required street trees within a subdivision phase shall be planted before the warranty on the subdivision is released. Specific regulations concerning tree planting shall be established in the development agreement.

(e) During winter months when tree planting is not practical, the developer shall place sufficient funds in an escrow account to be released once planting is completed.

(f) Street trees shall be selected in accordance with the approved tree species in SCC 10.30.070.

(g) Street trees shall be spaced per the approved species list per park strip width. The approved species list is found in SCC 10.30.070. In no case shall street trees be planted further than 50 feet apart.

(4) The landscape plan shall account for aesthetics and passive solar landscape design on all private buildings owned and/or maintained by the HOA which are intended for occupancy. Wherever possible, deciduous vegetation including trees and structured climbing plants shall be positioned on the south and west side of buildings to provide shade in the summer and sun in the winter. The proposed height of these trees should be indicated on plans to ensure that their height is adequate to provide passive solar benefits to adjacent structures. The intent of these plantings shall be noted on the plan for clarification. Passive solar landscape design is encouraged for residences, but not required.

(5) Landscape design shall screen utility boxes for phone, power, telecommunication, and other unsightly utilities from view in all directions.

(6) Minimal fencing is required to preserve views, encourage social interaction, and provide for the preservation of open space. Fence height and style shall be sensitive to location and context with the intent to preserve views and provide for public safety through retaining as much visibility of pedestrian access ways and streets as possible. The details of the locations of fencing types shall be established in the development agreement with a map exhibit clearly showing where each fence is to be located. This map shall indicate fence type, height, color, and materials.

(K) Traffic Circulation Requirements.

(1) A hierarchy of local, collector, and arterial streets shall be designed as specified in the transportation master plan or determined by staff review.

(2) Collector streets shall be designed to safely and efficiently move automobile and pedestrian traffic through the neighborhood. The use of 90 degree turns and stop signs on collector streets should be minimized as much as possible.

(3) Collector roads should utilize traffic calming measures such as chicanes, curb “bulb-outs,” street islands, mid-block pedestrian crossings, bicycle lanes, cycle tracks, curbed bioswales, raised planted medians, street trees, decorative crosswalks, traffic circles, or other measures approved by the City Council. All traffic calming measures shall comply with the International Fire Code.

(4) All local streets should utilize the low volume local cross section from the City engineering standards.

(5) Dedicated pedestrian and cycling facilities designed to provide safe and attractive recreation opportunities are required to be included in each street right-of-way.

(6) All required street lighting shall match the development theme, as approved by the City Council.

(7) All corners of street intersections must be landscaped with decorative landscaping including boulders, shrubs, decorative grasses, mulch, flagstones, decorative ground cover other than sod, or other decorative measures approved by the City Council.

(8) Alleys shall be a maximum of 16 feet in width.

(9) A defined walkway to the front door which extends to the public walkway or public street shall be provided on all SFD-3,500 lots with front doors facing a public street. These walkways are also encouraged but are not required on all other lots. Decorative landscaping shall be included for one and one-half feet on one or both sides of all private walkways leading to front doors.

(L) Block Size.

(1) Blocks shall not exceed 1,320 feet in length.

(2) Hard surface mid-block pedestrian access ways shall be provided to maintain the maximum one-quarter mile distance between amenities and residents.

(a) Mid-block pedestrian access ways shall be bordered on any side not abutting an access by two-foot landscape buffers between the paved accesses and abutting property lines. These landscape buffers shall include a mixture of vegetation, which shall not encroach onto or over the paved access within a height of six feet.

(M) Trails.

(1) All trail locations within the development boundaries shall be improved per the trails master plan and built to City engineering standards.

(2) Trails should connect with other sidewalks and trail facilities whenever possible.

(3) A 10-foot-wide concrete or asphalt trail is encouraged in lieu of sidewalk along arterial roads.

(4) Trailside seating is required at one-half mile intervals along the trail system.

(a) Seating shall be built over a weed barrier or solid surface.

(5) If trails will be dedicated to the City, all trail maintenance and ownership agreements shall be finalized in a development agreement.

(N) Sensitive Areas. Wetland areas identified through studies required in the sensitive overlay zone shall be preserved with a conservation easement. [Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-27 § 1 (Exh. A).]

10.82.080 Land use approval process.

(A) Due to the unique nature of master planned community developments, an alternate approval process is hereby adopted. This process is adopted to ensure that the land use authority has a clear understanding of the nature of the proposed development prior to giving zone approval, and then expediting development after approval is given. It also calls for more detailed plans as the project develops, so that a property owner will have opportunities to receive input from the City Council on the project prior to investing in detailed plans.

(B) Requests for general plan map amendment, pursuant to SCC 10.20.060, shall be accompanied by the documents required for a subdivision concept plan, as provided in Chapter 8.20 SCC, for the entire development. These items shall be considered concurrently, with input provided by the Planning Commission and City Council to the property owner during the approval process. The City Council is the land use authority for this joint application, with the Planning Commission acting in a recommending capacity.

(C) Requests for an amendment to the zoning map, pursuant to SCC 10.20.070, shall be accompanied by the documents required for a preliminary subdivision review, as provided in Chapter 8.25 SCC, for the entire development. The application shall also be accompanied, to the extent Chapter 8.25 SCC does not require it, by:

(1) Master plan, including lot sizes and densities for each lot;

(2) Circulation plan;

(3) Architectural theme plan; and

(4) Landscaping theme plan.

(D) The preliminary subdivision plat shall be considered concurrently with the zoning map amendment. The City Council is the land use authority for this joint application, with the Planning Commission acting in a recommending capacity. Once approved, the preliminary subdivision plat shall be considered a binding zoning document. The applicant must also execute a development agreement in connection to the zoning map amendment.

(E) Final subdivision approval for each phase of development for a master planned community shall proceed as provided in Chapter 8.30 SCC.

(F) The entirety of the proposed project must be presented and approved in one approval process. After the City Council grants preliminary approval of a development, no additional phases may be added.

(G) RPC zone entitlement is contingent upon the developer following the concurrently approved preliminary subdivision plat and the required development agreement. The development agreement shall run with the land and remain in force for the original developer. All subsequent owners of at least five percent of the land originally proposed to be developed shall be bound to the terms of the original agreement and plat until the conclusion of development. Failure of the developer to comply with the terms of the development agreement or preliminary subdivision plat may result in the Council reverting zoning back to the designation that existed prior to the zoning map amendment. [Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-27 § 1 (Exh. A).]

10.82.090 Townhomes.

Attached townhomes are allowed as a node within the larger master planned community with the following regulations:

(A) Townhome units shall not comprise more than 20 percent of the total project development units.

(B) Townhome units shall be identified and approved with the concept plat.

(C) The number of townhome nodes are limited to two within the total development.

(D) Be contiguous as to provide a nodal neighborhood of similar housing product.

(E) Each unit shall provide enclosed car parking.

(1) A minimum of 75 percent of the units shall provide two-car garages.

(F) Front setback is eight feet.

(G) Side setback is five feet to property line, or 10 feet between buildings.

(H) Rear setback is 10 feet to property line, or 20 feet between buildings.

(I) Townhomes shall not be allowed in the RPC zone unless one of the following is met:

(1) Townhome node has frontage and access upon a major arterial road that is owned and maintained by the State Department of Transportation.

(2) Townhome node shares a property line with an existing general commercial, professional office, or industrial development.

(J) Common Space. An additional five percent of common space shall be added to the overall development project total common space as required in SCC 10.82.070(G)(1). Said common space will be eligible for in-lieu fee participation according to SCC 10.82.070(G)(8), however, a minimum of one amenity such as a tot lot or other amenity tailored to and located within the townhome node(s) shall be required, even if in-lieu fees are accepted.

(K) Density within the townhome node is limited only by the required setbacks, however, the townhome units within the node shall be counted towards the total project units and the project’s total density shall not exceed the maximum allowed units per acre described in SCC 10.82.040.

(L) Lot size within the townhome node may be zero lot line or otherwise without a minimum lot size limited only by the required setbacks as described in subsections (F) through (H) of this section.

(M) Architectural elevations, building placement, and floor plans for townhomes shall be designed in accordance with SCC 10.82.070(F) and required to be included and cohesive within the project’s architectural theme plan and development agreement. [Ord. 18-21 § 1 (Exh. A).]