Chapter 17.24
HIGHWAY COMMERCIAL ZONING DISTRICT

Sections:

17.24.010    Purpose.

17.24.020    Permitted uses.

17.24.030    Accessory uses.

17.24.040    Conditional uses.

17.24.050    Lot size.

17.24.060    Setbacks, land coverage, building height and lot width.

17.24.070    Off-street parking.

17.24.080    Signs.

17.24.090    Access.

17.24.100    Screening.

17.24.110    Landscaping.

17.24.120    Appeals.

17.24.010 Purpose.

Highway commercial (HC) districts are designed to provide for establishments offering accommodations or services to motorists, and to provide for non-pedestrian-oriented retail, wholesale, service and repair activities which do not contribute to the creation of unattractive, congested and unsafe highway conditions.

Certain of the highway commercial districts have use restrictions not applicable to all districts. These subzones are noted in BMC 17.24.020 and include:

Subzone A. Purpose is to provide for establishments offering accommodations or services to motorists, and to provide for non-pedestrian-oriented retail, wholesale, service and repair activities.

Subzone B. Purpose is to provide for businesses that depend upon a border location.

Subzone C. Purpose is to provide for businesses and services that support the Central Business District. This district is intended to service highway motorists, the auto-oriented demand from the central business (CB) district and adjacent residential neighbors, including those in this district. The height, density and minimum setbacks are intended to encourage accessible and affordable housing in an urban environment. As such, this district should include pedestrian amenities and routes that facilitate safe passage to adjacent residential neighborhoods, the Peace Arch Park, and the CB – Market and Wharf districts. While not a part of the CB district, its character and function should be complementary to the CB district with little impact on the low-density neighbors to the south and east.

Subzone D. Purpose is to provide for business and services in a residential traditional area. (Ord. 2673 §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.24.020 Permitted uses.

Uses allowable in the highway commercial district vary within each of the four subzones, and therefore permitted uses are defined in general terms:

A. Subzone A. Uses allowable in this subzone are too extensive to enumerate; therefore, permitted uses are defined in general terms:

1. Overnight accommodations, eating and drinking and entertainment establishments;

2. Other commercial services, including auto-oriented services such as car washes, truck and auto repair, recreational vehicle support and services, machinery, and gas stations. Electric vehicle charging stations, including but not limited to EV charging station, rapid charging station, battery exchange station;

3. Retail and wholesale goods, sales and service;

4. Offices and related business activity;

5. Day care centers and nursing or convalescent homes;

6. Other commercial and service uses of similar or less impact upon the district than uses defined above in this section, such as car washes, veterinary clinics, laundromats, produce sales, plant nurseries, etc.

B. Subzone B.

1. Retail and wholesale goods, sales and service such as duty-free stores;

2. Offices such as brokerage houses;

3. Warehouses such as bonded warehouses;

4. Governmental facilities;

5. Other uses approved by the review authority demonstrated to be directly dependent on a border location;

6. Electric vehicle charging stations, including but not limited to EV charging station, rapid charging station, battery exchange station.

C. Subzone C.

1. Overnight accommodations, eating and drinking establishments;

2. Other commercial services, including auto-oriented services such as car washes and gas stations;

3. Bus terminals;

4. Governmental facilities;

5. Day care centers, nursing or convalescent homes and health care facilities;

6. Retail sales and service such as duty-free stores;

7. Offices and related business activity;

8. Residential units above the first floor;

9. Electric vehicle charging stations, including but not limited to EV charging station, rapid charging station, battery exchange station.

D. Subzone D.

1. Offices and related business activity;

2. Restaurants;

3. High-density residential development when consistent with Chapter 17.28 BMC, Residential High-Density Zoning District, and related provisions;

4. Day care centers, nursing or convalescent homes and health care facilities;

5. Overnight accommodations;

6. Electric vehicle charging stations, including but not limited to EV charging station, rapid charging station, battery exchange station. (Ord. 2793 § 2 (Exh. A(2)), 2011; Ord. 2673 §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 2557 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.24.030 Accessory uses.

Accessory uses in the highway commercial district are as follows:

A. Subzone A – Peace Portal.

1. Dwelling units in conjunction with and accessory to the permitted use;

2. Uses customarily incidental to the permitted use;

B. Subzone B – Border.

1. Uses customarily incidental to the permitted use;

C. Subzone C – Central Business Support.

1. Dwelling units in conjunction with and accessory to the permitted use;

2. Uses customarily incidental to the permitted use;

3. Family day care homes, adult day cares and adult family care facilities. (Ord. 2673 §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003. Formerly 17.24.040)

17.24.040 Conditional uses.

Conditional uses in the highway commercial district are as follows:

A. Subzone A – Peace Portal.

1. Manufacturing or assembly operations of small scale, not to exceed 5,000 square feet of floor space;

2. High-density residential development when consistent with Chapter 17.28 BMC, RH – Residential High-Density Zoning District, and related provisions.

B. Subzone B – Border.

1. Manufacturing or assembly operations of small scale, not to exceed 5,000 square feet of floor space.

C. Subzone C – Central Business Support.

1. Up to a 50 percent reduction in right-of-way setbacks and/or increases in land coverage up to 90 percent, provided it can be demonstrated that adjacent property owners are not adversely impacted, and the lot is not located adjacent to permanent residential dwelling units. (Ord. 2879 § 1 (Exh. A § 7), 2016; Ord. 2673 §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 2628 § 2, 2006; Ord. 2577 § 5, 2004; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003. Formerly 17.24.050)

17.24.050 Lot size.

No minimum lot size is required in the highway commercial district. (Ord. 2673 §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003. Formerly 17.24.060)

17.24.060 Setbacks, land coverage, building height and lot width.

 

A

B

C

D

Front yard setbacks – R.O.W. (Alleys not included)

Buildings

15'

15'

15'

20'

Parking

20'

15'

15'

20'

Merchandise display

20'

15'

15'

20'

Side and rear yard setbacks

Adjacent residential

10'

10'

10'

10'

Adjacent nonresidential

10'

0'

5'

10'

Lot coverage

100%

100%

100%

100%

Building height

35'

35'

45'

35'

Lot width

50'

50'

50'

50'

(Ord. 2841 § 2 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2673 § 3, 2007; Ord. 2628 § 2, 2006; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003. Formerly 17.24.070)

17.24.070 Off-street parking.

Parking shall be required in the highway commercial district in accordance with specifications outlined in Chapter 17.124 BMC. (Ord. 2673 §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003. Formerly 17.24.080)

17.24.080 Signs.

See Chapter 17.122 BMC et seq. (Ord. 2673 § 3, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003. Formerly 17.24.090)

17.24.090 Access.

Where feasible, access to uses is to be limited and common driveways delineated through use of rolled-on vertical curbs. Traffic shall not be allowed to back into highways or collector streets. For those use areas projected to generate high volumes of traffic, acceleration, deceleration and left-turn lanes may be required. New construction and remodeling of existing structures exceeding 50 percent of assessed value shall install street improvements including curbs, gutters (with related drainage), sidewalks, landscaping and street widening, turning movements or intersection improvements required by the city engineer. (Ord. 2810 § 2 (Exh. D), 2012; Ord. 2673 §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003. Formerly 17.24.100)

17.24.100 Screening.

At those locations where a commercial use is proposed on a lot or lots which abut or are across an alley from a residential low-density, medium-density, high-density, or residential/office district, a screening buffer is required. A landscape plan shall be prepared and approved by the city with the building permit drawings.

Landscaping shall be provided as per the standards defined in Chapter 17.126 BMC. (Ord. 2673 §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003. Formerly 17.24.110)

17.24.110 Landscaping.

A. Subzones HCa, HCb, HCd. Landscaping shall be installed pursuant to Chapter 17.126 BMC.

B. Subzone HCc.

Intent: The streetscape in this district should be planned and coordinated to enhance and define the aesthetic character of the district, provide for safe pedestrian circulation, and reduce the concentration of lighting and noise that will be generated in this auto-oriented district. To this end, careful site planning should be applied and reviewed prior to final building permit approval.

1. In addition to achieving compliance with Chapter 17.126 BMC, all development in the highway commercial subzone c (HCc) district shall include street trees on all property boundaries abutting street rights-of-way. Red Maple varieties shall be the preferred species unless a compatible tree species is determined to more effectively enhance and integrate the aesthetic character of the district.

2. A 10-foot landscaping area consistent with BMC 17.126.070 shall be planted between each street tree. The buffer may take many configurations but should help intercept lighting, reduce off-site impacts and visually enhance and integrate the district’s appearance. (Ord. 2805 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011; Ord. 2673 § 3, 2007)

17.24.120 Appeals.

Appeals of a final decision shall be submitted pursuant to BMC 17.06.180, Appeals. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007)