Chapter 19.23


19.23.010    Purpose.

19.23.020    Initiation of a residential cluster.

19.23.030    Permitted location for residential cluster.

19.23.040    Minimum area required.

19.23.050    Minimum area per residential lot created.

19.23.055    Reduced required side setbacks in R-6,000 and R-8,000 zones.

19.23.060    Variety of lot sizes.

19.23.070    Open space set aside.

19.23.080    Design criteria.

19.23.085    Design criteria density bonuses.

19.23.090    Procedure for approval.

19.23.100    Residential cluster – Findings required.

19.23.110    Subdivisions.

19.23.120    Final development plan – Time limitation.

19.23.130    Final development plan – Changes.

19.23.140    Off-street parking.

19.23.150    Yards.

19.23.160    Parties bound by the residential cluster.

19.23.010 Purpose.

A residential cluster is intended to be a flexible concept established to:

(1) Provide the city a chance to implement the comprehensive plan by molding a zone so that it creates more desirable environments; and

(2) Provide for better uses of the land than those produced through the narrower standards provided in the regular zoning classifications; and

(3) Give developers the ability to build at higher densities while providing increased respect for natural features; and

(4) Offer greater protection and buffering to environmentally sensitive areas and desired open spaces.

The densities within a residential cluster may vary depending upon how the land is developed. Flexibility to decrease lot sizes in one part of the plan depends upon the overall plan’s consideration of aesthetics, alternative design features, protection of sensitive areas, and provision of open space and preservation of natural features. The total overall density shall be the same density permitted in the underlying zone. (Ord. 01-12 § 13, 2012; Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.020 Initiation of a residential cluster.

An application for a residential cluster may be initiated by the property owner(s) or contract purchaser(s) of property involved in a proposed residential cluster. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.030 Permitted location for residential cluster.

Residential clusters shall only be permitted in the R-6,000 and R-8,000 residential zones. (Ord. 02-22 § 9, 2022; Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.040 Minimum area required.

Minimum area required for a residential cluster is not less than five acres. The city council, in order to protect the public health, safety, welfare and interest, may limit or restrict development in the area proposed to be clustered, or portion thereof, in relation to the size of the area being developed or redeveloped, provisions for open space, and adequacy of roads and utility systems to accommodate the use as well as to minimize the impact the development will have on the existing or intended development on adjacent lands and the general neighborhood. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.050 Minimum area per residential lot created.

Except as otherwise noted in this chapter, the minimum area for any residential lot created through residential clustering shall be 4,500 square feet in the R-6,000 zone, 6,000 square feet in the R-8,000 zone and 12,500 in the R-20,000 zone. Lots developed at the minimum allowed area shall be subject to the performance standards and dimensional requirements as delineated in the R-6,000 zone, except as otherwise noted in this chapter. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.055 Reduced required side setbacks in R-6,000 and R-8,000 zones.

The minimum side setbacks in a residential cluster shall be reduced for those lots developed at the minimum lot area (as allowed by BMC 19.23.050) in the R-6,000 and R-8,000 zones to seven feet on each side. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.060 Variety of lot sizes.

Based on the flexible concept of the residential cluster, lot sizes within any proposed project developed under this concept shall offer a mix of lot sizes. A maximum of 40 percent of the total lots allowed per acre of the overall density of the zone in which located shall be allowed at the minimum lot size specified within BMC 19.23.050. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.070 Open space set aside.

A minimum of 10 percent of the gross area of land to be developed under the residential cluster designation must be set aside as open space, 50 percent of which shall be active open space adequate for such uses as playgrounds, sports fields, ball courts, pedestrian/bicycling trails, courtyards, orchards, landscaped picnic areas, gardens, etc. Additionally, the dedicated open space must correspond to deficiencies, needs and/or improvements identified within the adopted city of Buckley parks and recreation plan as administered by the planning director. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.080 Design criteria.

Any application for development under the residential cluster concept shall be required to incorporate the following design features:

(1) Diversified Streetscape. Diversified streetscapes and sidewalkscapes will prohibit building on a linear plane. The applicant shall implement a combination of design options to create a diversified streetscape including but not limited to:

(a) Facade modulation.

(b) Alternating setbacks.

(c) Alternating features (porch, stoop, shutters).

(d) Alternating rooflines/pitch.

(e) Meandering sidewalks.

(f) Use of traffic calming devices (subsection (6) of this section).

(g) Similar provisions not listed that the planning director finds implement the intent consistent with those that are listed.

Though patterns may meander, efforts shall be made to maintain the grid pattern to produce connectivity to adjacent developments.

(2) Connection to/Improvement of Safe Routes Plan and Trail Plan.

(a) Where the development is within an area designated on the adopted trail plan map it must coordinate with the city to incorporate the trail plan into the overall site plan.

(b) Sidewalks and trails within the development shall connect to and subsequently be incorporated into the city of Buckley’s trail system.

(c) Trails shall connect all open spaces and public nodes of interest.

(d) Efforts shall be made to place trails in areas so as to promote their safe use and visibility.

(3) Frontages.

(a) The front door and main entrance to every residential building shall face the street or, in the alternative, common open space if the unit does not abut a public right-of-way (not including alleys).

(b) Twenty-five percent of all residential buildings in zones R-6,000 and R-8,000 shall have their front entrance articulated with a covered entry porch, covered stoop, or other similar feature integrated with the design of a home (stoops may not constitute more than five percent of this requirement). Porches and stoops shall constitute usable areas, with suggested minimum dimensions of six-foot depth and 12-foot width (porch) and six-foot by six-foot (stoop). Porches may wrap around front corners to the side of buildings, and should vary in size and type.

(4) Diversity of Housing Types.

(a) For R-6,000 and R-8,000 zones:

(i) Ten percent of all lots shall not be developed as detached single-family housing units. This allows the development of duplexes and townhouses. These units shall be designed to complement the project’s single-family houses and to be integrated into the development and single-family setting. When placed on a corner, units shall be constructed to afford at least one unit oriented to each of the adjacent streets, where feasible.

(ii) A minimum of 15 percent of all lots shall be developed as one-story buildings. These units shall be located in an effort to protect view corridors.

(5) Diversity of Housing Plans. Single-family dwellings shall vary, and in so doing provide a range of compatible styles, elevations, designs, home sizes, home prices, and neighborhood diversity, specifically:

(a) A repetitive architectural treatment and/or elevations for a group of single-family homes shall be avoided.

(b) Differing footprints, sizes, elevations, colors, surface materials, entryway treatments, window designs, roof configurations, and other features shall be utilized to achieve building variety.

(c) Dwellings using identical elevation plans and details shall be separated by at least four single-family homes with different elevations. Identical elevations may not be across the street from one another.

(d) Builders are encouraged to produce model homes that offer variation as indicated by the previous standards.

(e) Building design and layout shall minimize the impacts on natural features of the site where possible. Open space and setback requirements should be used to break up impervious surface where possible.

(f) A minimum of 15 percent of the total window area permitted by the Washington State Energy Code shall be provided in building facades facing streets.

(6) Traditional Neighborhood Design and Development Pattern.

(a) Streets should be laid out in the traditional grid pattern with connections to existing city thoroughfares at right angles.

(b) Cul-de-sacs should be avoided. They may only be placed where it can be demonstrated that traditional complete connection to the grid pattern is not logical.

(c) Access streets should consider the utilization of traffic calming devices so as to ensure safety of residents and other pedestrians. Examples of traffic calming measures may include one or more of the following:

(i) Planting islands/medians.

(ii) Chicanes.

(iii) Textured pavements.

(iv) Raised crosswalks.

(v) Raised intersections.

(vi) Traffic circles.

(vii) Others as approved by the city engineer and planning director.

(d) In all blocks where 40 percent or more of the building lots are of the minimum lot size, alleyways shall be provided in the block in which located.

(7) View Corridors. The locations of many properties in Buckley afford views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Mountains. Buildings should be arranged so as to protect the view corridors of existing property owners through:

(a) Careful placement of large trees and landscaping structures so as to maintain view corridors; and

(b) Careful placement of two-story homes so as to maintain view corridors; and

(c) Particular attention should be given to protection of the view corridor within the open space set-aside areas. (Ord. 15-17 § 5, 2017; Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.085 Design criteria density bonuses.

In keeping with the city’s comprehensive plan goal of allowing for density bonuses for excellence in design, the applicant may obtain additional density for environmental, low impact development, affordable and view protection design by incorporating the following alternatives; provided, that by incorporating all three alternatives into a lot and building design the minimum lot area and dimension will be eligible for a 10 percent lot area and dimension reduction for that lot. For example: by constructing a single-family ranch style home in the R-6,000 zone, 18 feet in height, that certifies as “built green” on a lot that has met the SLID option, the minimum lot size may be reduced by 10 percent from 4,500 square feet to 4,050 square feet, the 45-foot minimum lot width reduced to 40 feet, and the lot area coverage increased from 35 percent to 45 percent.

(1) Green Building. Where a developer can demonstrate that a building certifies as “built green” under the Washington State Master Builders Association, and that green building techniques will be used to significantly reduce the ecological footprint of any individual lot, that lot size may be reduced by an additional four percent.

(a) Findings Required. Green building will be considered eligible for the four percent lot size reduction if the developer can demonstrate that their plans and techniques qualify as a “built green” building under the Washington State Master Builders Association Certification. This determination of eligibility is subject to the findings of the planning director.

(b) Bond. The developer shall be required to post a bond of 150 percent of the assessed value of the lot in question to assure compliance with proposed green building plans.

(2) Stormwater Runoff.

(a) Stormwater runoff shall be per compliance with Chapter 14.30 BMC.

(b) Sustainable Low Impact Development (SLID) Option. Residential clusters may apply at least two of the following stormwater runoff mitigation techniques in addition to maintaining existing vegetation as possible:

(i) Raingardens. Provision of a raingarden on each lot where possible or on site at a common location.

(ii) Permeable/porous parking lanes, alleys, driveways, sidewalks, paved patios, and decks.

(iii) Grass-lined and landscaped swales.

(iv) Natural drainage corridors and ponds.

(c) If using the SLID option, the minimum size of that lot size may be reduced by an additional four percent.

(d) Any SLID measures implemented shall be required to be included within a stormwater maintenance agreement for the development to ensure continuous long-term maintenance.

(3) Single-family ramblers/ranch style designs not exceeding 20 feet in height are permitted at higher lot area coverage on the smallest of allowed lot sizes; provided the setback yard requirements of BMC 19.23.055 are met. This design exception is allowed an increase of up to 10 percent of allowable lot area coverage (based on the underlying zone). (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.090 Procedure for approval.

Applications for a residential cluster will be processed as a Type C-2 application, as described in BMC Title 20. (Ord. 13-19 § 3, 2019; Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.100 Residential cluster – Findings required.

The action by the city council to approve a preliminary development plan for a proposed residential cluster with or without modifications shall be based upon the following findings:

(1) That the proposed development is in substantial compliance with the Buckley comprehensive plan;

(2) That exceptions from the standards of the underlying zone are warranted by the design and amenities incorporated in the development plan and program;

(3) That the proposal is in harmony with the surrounding area;

(4) If applicable, that the system of ownership and means of developing, preserving, and maintaining the open space or natural area is suitable;

(5) That adequate roads and utility systems are available to accommodate the use. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.110 Subdivisions.

When it is the intent of an applicant to subdivide or resubdivide property within a proposed residential cluster, application for approval of a preliminary subdivision may be filed and considered concurrently. In such event, the procedure for review of subdivisions provided under Chapter 18.22 BMC will apply, with the additional requirement for submittal of a final development plan, described in BMC 19.23.120 and 19.23.130, prior to or with the final plat. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.120 Final development plan – Time limitation.

Within three years from the date of preliminary plat approval by the city council, the applicant shall submit a final development plan for approval. The final development plan may provide for stages of development for the residential cluster. When deemed reasonable and appropriate, the city council may grant one extension of one year for such submittal.

If at the time of expiration of the time period provided herein a final development plan has not been filed for approval, or at any time after a final plan has been approved it appears that the project is not progressing in a reasonable and consistent manner or the project has been abandoned, action may be initiated pursuant to the Buckley Municipal Code to revoke the approval. When revocation has been enacted, the land and the structures thereon may only be used for a lawful purpose permissible within the zone. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.130 Final development plan – Changes.

Major changes to a final development plan before or after approval shall be considered to be an amendment to the proposed residential cluster and shall be subject to application, notice, hearings and appeals in the same manner as the original application. Minor modifications to a final development plan may be approved by the planning director; provided, that the modifications do not increase density, change boundaries, change any use, and do not change the location or amount of land devoted to specific land uses. A change shall not be considered to be minor if it alters or in any way changes the conditions or specifications set forth by the city council. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.140 Off-street parking.

Refer to Chapter 19.28 BMC. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.150 Yards.

The requirement for yards in a residential cluster shall be the same as required by the underlying zone, except as otherwise permitted in this chapter. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

19.23.160 Parties bound by the residential cluster.

Once the preliminary plat cluster development plan is approved by the city council, all persons and parties, their successors and heirs who own or have any interest in the real property within the proposed residential cluster are bound by the city’s approval. (Ord. 22-08 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).