Chapter 20.92


20.92.010    INTENT.


20.92.030    ACCESSORY USES.

20.92.040    CONDITIONAL USES.


20.92.070    DESIGN STANDARDS.



20.92.100    SIGN STANDARDS.

20.92.010 INTENT.

The intent of the employment center (EC) zone is to offer a well planned and designed environment where a potentially large employee population is offered the option to live near places of employment. The EC zone provides for integration of employment activities with housing and commercial activities scaled to serve the employee population at the center, thereby reducing home-to-workplace commute trips. Employment centers create large numbers of jobs in uses to include office and services. (Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016: Ord. 4950 §8 (Exh. A) (part), 2005)


The following uses are permitted outright:

(a)    Co-location of wireless communications facilities per BMC 20.46.140;

(b)    Community facility;

(c)    Day care facility;

(d)    General office and business services;

(e)    Finance, insurance and real estate;

(f)    General retail;

(g)    Hospitals;

(h)    Hotels and lodging places;

(i)    Medical offices and clinics;

(j)    Outdoor athletic fields;

(k)    Parks, playgrounds and open space;

(l)    Personal service;

(m)    Physical fitness and health clubs;

(n)    Public administration;

(o)    Residential uses of all types except group residential facility - Class II;

(p)    Restaurants and drinking places;

(q)    Schools and education uses;

(r)    Transportation facility;

(s)    Veterinary clinic;

(t)    Worship and religious facility. (Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016: Ord. 5249 §13, 2014: Ord. 5222 §21, 2013: Ord. 5008 §23, 2007: Ord. 4950 §8 (Exh. A) (part), 2005)


The following accessory uses may be permitted when found in connection with a principal use:

(a)    Light industrial/manufacturing to support the associated primary use, such as development of products on site, provided the business is primarily involved in the products distribution (general retail).

(1)    The applicant shall demonstrate that the use will not significantly detract from the visual character as seen from public rights-of-way or any adjacent lot. This accessory use shall be fully screened or fully enclosed, with no outdoor storage visible from the right-of-way or adjacent lot.

(b)    Mini-storage, provided:

(1)    Mini-storage facilities are permitted as an accessory use, and may occupy no more than fifty (50) percent of the property’s building gross floor area. With the exception of the mini-storage business office, mini-storage facilities shall not be permitted upon the street level of the multistory building where the primary entrance is located.

(2)    All storage units shall gain access from the interior of the buildings or site, such as access from the alley. No unit doors may face the street.

(3)    Mini-storage facilities located adjacent to a residential zone shall:

(i)    Not be visible from the residential property. This may require that the property be screened by a Type I visual screen per BMC 20.50.050 for the facility loading bays, docks or doors.

(ii)    Not operate or allow tenant access between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. The Director may permit extended hours of operation if the facility will not have significant noise impacts on the adjacent properties.

(4)    Outdoor Storage Prohibited. All goods and property stored in a mini-storage facility shall be stored in an enclosed building. No outdoor storage of boats, RVs, vehicles, etc., or storage in outdoor pods or shipping containers is permitted.

(5)    Each storage unit shall be used for storage only. No commercial or manufacturing activities, vehicle repair or services, or related activities, whether for business or personal purposes, are permitted in any storage unit. (Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016)


The following uses may be permitted, provided a conditional use permit is approved pursuant to BMC 20.58.020:

(a)    Light industrial/manufacturing, provided:

(1)    No odor, dust or smoke byproduct will be clearly detectable on any abutting commercial or residential lot;

(2)    All standards of the noise levels ordinance, Chapter 6.32 BMC, are met;

(3)    No unshielded light or glare will be visible during periods of darkness on adjacent commercial or residential lots;

(4)    The applicant can demonstrate that the use will not significantly detract from the visual character as seen from public rights-of-way or any adjacent lot. Unkempt or unsightly storage, refuse, yard, or equipment and mechanical areas are elements with potential to negatively impact visual character. This use shall be fully screened or fully enclosed, with no outdoor storage visible from the right-of-way or adjacent lot(s).

(5)    Does not include business activities related to marijuana production or processing for distribution. (Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016: Ord. 4950 §8 (Exh. A) (part), 2005)


Development shall be in accordance with the following standards:

(a)    Minimum density for residential uses: fifteen (15) dwelling units/acre;

(b)    Minimum side yard setback: zero (0), except when adjacent to the low or medium density residential zones where a ten (10) to twenty (20) foot visual screen is required pursuant to BMC 20.50.050(b);

(c)    Minimum rear yard setback: zero (0), except when adjacent to the low or medium density residential zones where a ten (10) to twenty (20) foot visual screen is required pursuant to BMC 20.50.050(b);

(d)    Minimum front yard setback requirements: zero (0), except that for residential uses with garages facing a public right-of-way, the garage shall have a setback five (5) feet greater than that of the principal structure;

(e)    Maximum building coverage: sixty-five (65) percent base maximum; provided, that through the use of any combination of the following, building coverage may be increased to a maximum of eighty-five (85) percent:

(1)    Projects with two or more stories: ten (10) percent bonus;

(2)    Projects containing mixed uses: ten (10) percent bonus;

(3)    Projects incorporating at least fifty (50) percent of required parking underground or within the structure: twenty (20) percent bonus;

(f)    No maximum development coverage, provided all setbacks and landscaping requirements are met;

(g)    Maximum Building Height. Eighty (80) feet for residential uses and sixty (60) feet for nonresidential uses. For mixed uses, the building height will be based on the use that predominantly (fifty (50) percent or greater) occupies the structure. (Ord. 5364 §10, 2018: Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016: Ord. 5046 §31, 2008; Ord. 4971 §18, 2006; Ord. 4950 §8 (Exh. A) (part), 2005)


The following design standards shall be applied to all new structures and redeveloped structures. Residential development of three (3) units or fewer are exempt from this section. When development involves the remodel or expansion of existing structures, the Director may modify these requirements to reasonably fit the scope and scale of the remodel or expansion.

(a)    Primary Design Features. The following criteria shall be applied to all primary building facades and facades facing public streets:

(1)    Top and Base. Buildings shall convey a visually distinct base and top. A "base" can be emphasized by a different masonry pattern, more architectural detail, visible plinth above which the wall rises, storefront, canopies, or a combination. The top edge is highlighted by a prominent cornice, projecting parapet or other architectural element that creates a shadow line.

(2)    Orientation. All properties adjacent to a public right-of-way shall orient structures toward the primary street. Properties located at intersections should orient their structures toward the intersecting corner.

(3)    Minimum Transparency. At least sixty (60) percent of all facades facing the public sidewalk, or sidewalks providing circulation within a site, measured to eight (8) feet above the sidewalk or surface grade, shall be comprised of transparent windows or doors.

(4)    Blank Facades. Building facades shall not present a blank facade to view from public rights-of-way, common parking areas, or residential properties. Such facades may be broken by windows, trellises, columns, variations in plane, or other devices that add variation and interest to the facade.

(5)    Mechanical Equipment Screening. Rooftop and ground-level mechanical equipment shall be screened from view from public streets. Screening materials shall be architecturally similar to the primary structure.

(b)    Secondary Design Features. Four (4) secondary design features are required from the following list:

(1)    Multiple Roof Lines. Structures shall have at least three (3) horizontal roof lines, as viewed from the front facade.

(2)    Modulation. The horizontal plane of a structure shall not extend for more than thirty (30) feet, as measured from any one (1) point of the structure, without a significant architectural variation of at least two (2) feet in depth.

(3)    Facade Materials. At least three (3) different facade materials shall be incorporated into the exterior appearance of the structure (wood, brick, stucco, tile, shingles, other).

(4)    Additional Transparency. An additional fifteen (15) percent transparency to what is required per subsection (a)(3) of this section.

(5)    Weather Protection. Recessed or protruding building features, of no less than four (4) feet in depth, which extend along at least fifty (50) percent of the front facade.

(6)    Main Entry. Pedestrian entrances are preferred from buildings facing the street. Entries shall be easily identifiable from the street or sidewalk; this can be accomplished through architectural or ornamental features.

(7)    Public Amenity. Outdoor eating area, artwork, street furniture, plantings in window boxes, public trash receptacles, or other alternative public amenity approved by the Director. Any proposed amenity shall be architecturally compatible with the principal structure. Any approved amenity shall be maintained for the life of the project. (Ord. 5319 §17, 2017: Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016: Ord. 4950 §8 (Exh. A) (part), 2005)


Parking shall meet the standards of Chapter 20.48 BMC. (Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016: Ord. 5046 §32, 2008: Ord. 4950 §8 (Exh. A) (part), 2005)


Landscaping shall meet the standards of Chapter 20.50 BMC. (Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016: Ord. 5046 §33, 2008: Ord. 4950 §8 (Exh. A) (part), 2005)


Signage shall meet the standards of Chapter 20.52 BMC. For freestanding signs, the maximum size and height standards of Figure 20.52(a) shall apply. (Ord. 5301 §3 (Exh. B) (part), 2016: Ord. 4950 §8 (Exh. A) (part), 2005)