Chapter 19.47
Downtown Design Standards

19.47.010    User Guide

19.47.020    General

19.47.030    Pedestrian and Vehicular Circulation

19.47.040    Relationship to Adjacent Properties

19.47.050    Relationship to Streetfront

19.47.060    Pedestrian Facilities and Amenities

19.47.070    Parking Area Location and Design

19.47.080    Site Lighting

19.47.090    Service, Loading, Outdoor Storage and Mechanical Areas

19.47.100    Building Design Character

19.47.110    Building Scale and Mass

19.47.120    Building Exteriors

19.47.010 User Guide

This chapter establishes design standards for Downtown Burien. If you are interested in developing or making changes to property within Downtown Burien, you should read this chapter, along with BMC 19.15.025 which contains additional regulations relating to uses and other standards for Downtown Burien, and the vision for Downtown Burien, which can be found in the Burien Comprehensive Plan. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.020 General

1. Purpose and Intent. These guidelines are intended to direct the design of buildings and sites within the Downtown Commercial (DC) zone, in compliance with the City’s Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan. The guidelines will promote quality development and reinforce the City’s identity in the downtown area-a vision of an attractive, pedestrian-oriented urban downtown with a small town atmosphere. Buildings and sites should convey a sense of permanence, attention to detail, quality and investment. The guidelines are not intended to slow or restrict development, but rather to add consistency and predictability to the permit review process. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Compliance With Design Standards.

A. For each element below, a design objective or end result of what is intended to be achieved is stated. The design objective must be complied with. Following each objective are a series of design standards. There are two types of design standards. Some design standards are viewed as fundamental in achieving the stated design objective(s). These standards are mandatory. In these statements, the word “shall” is used. The second type of design standard are examples or alternatives to achieving the design objectives. In these standards, the word “should” is used, or neither “shall” nor “should” are used. In standards where “shall” is not used, there is an obligation to comply with the standard, unless the project demonstrates a better means for achieving the design objective.

B. The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director that the applicable objectives and design standards and met. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

3. Review Process. BMC 19.65.105 contains procedures for compliance with this Chapter. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.030 Pedestrian and Vehicular Circulation

1. Objectives.

A. Provide priority treatment for pedestrians in the design of transportation facilities.

B. Improve the pedestrian environment by making it easier, safer, more convenient and more comfortable to walk between businesses, on street sidewalks, to transit stops, across streets and through parking lots. Pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and bus shelters should connect all modes of transportation.

C. Provide wide sidewalks along both sides of streets for a variety of activities that accommodate and complement city life.

D. Provide safe routes for disabled persons.

E. Accommodate bicycles and other non-motorized transportation modes.

F. Create a safe, convenient network for vehicle circulation and parking.

G. Provide vehicular access routes through large lots to complete the downtown street grid, as directed by the Downtown Burien Streetscape Design Plan and subsequent plans and BMC 19.15.025.5 (Public Benefit Incentive System). [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. Pedestrian and vehicular circulation shall comply with the Downtown Burien Streetscape Design Plan (“Streetscape Plan”) and the City’s adopted street standards.

B. Sidewalks on Class A and B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets shall comply with the Streetscape Plan.

C. Provide obvious pedestrian access onto the site from adjacent streets.

D. Integrate on-site pedestrian circulation design with the design of pedestrian facilities on the adjacent street and adjacent development.

E. In multiple-building developments, provide pedestrian paths or walkways connecting all businesses and the entries of multiple buildings.

F. In parking areas, pedestrian walkways connecting the parking area with primary building entrances, pedestrian-oriented spaces, adjacent streets and adjacent properties should be provided at least every 150 feet. Pedestrian walkways should be delineated by separate paved routes using a variation in paved texture and/or color, and protected from adjacent vehicle circulation areas with landscaping. Approved methods of delineation include: stone, brick or granite pavers; exposed aggregate; or stamped and colored concrete. Paint striping on asphalt as a method of delineation is discouraged.

G. Creatively designed, clean and functional alleys should provide for vehicular access and pedestrian linkages through mid-blocks and between properties. Lighting shall be provided for pedestrian safety. Amenities such as seating and planters should be provided to encourage pedestrian circulation.

H. Pedestrian access should conform to applicable Federal, State and local codes relating to access for the disabled.

I. Where feasible, provide steps and ramps across retaining walls and slopes to facilitate pedestrian access.

J. If appropriate, based on site design and the land uses involved, fences should allow for pedestrian access by gates or openings to adjacent properties and streets.

K. Landscaping shall not block visibility to and from pedestrian circulation routes, especially where it approaches a street or driveway.

L. Where feasible, paved horizontal surfaces for walks or parking at or near the finish grade of a building should be separated horizontally from any wall of a structure by a minimum four feet for landscaping. Paved surfaces may abut the structure at entrances and service areas. Sidewalks along Class A or B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets may abut the adjacent structure.

M. Drive-through facilities such as but not limited to banks, cleaners, fast food, drug stores, espresso stands, etc. allowed by BMC 19.15.025.1.C shall comply with the following:

i. Drive-through windows and stacking lanes shall not be located along facades of buildings that face a street.

ii. Drive-through speakers shall not be audible off-site.

iii. The entrance and exit from the drive-through lane shall be internal to the site, not a separate entrance and/or exit to or from the street. [Ord. 479 § 1, 2007, Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.040 Relationship to Adjacent Properties

1. Objectives.

A. Promote functional and visual compatibility between adjacent properties.

B. Avoid negative impacts to adjacent properties. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. Proposed development shall coordinate with surrounding site planning and development efforts on adjacent properties.

B. Development shall consider the following design features to create visual continuity between the proposed development and adjacent neighborhoods and the community:

i. Site design features: building setbacks; placement of structures; location of pedestrian and vehicular facilities; and spacing from adjoining buildings.

ii. Planting design features: composition of plant materials; type and quantity of plant materials; and street trees.

iii. Building design features: scale; massing; proportion; spacing and location of windows, doorways and other features; roof silhouette; facade proportions and orientation; location of entries; surface material, finish, color and texture of surrounding development; and style of architecture.

C. In some areas, the existing context is not well defined, or may be undesirable. In such cases, the new development will be recognized as a model with the opportunity to establish a pattern of identity from which future development can take its cues. Relevant Zoning Code requirements, design standards and comprehensive plan policies shall be considered as indicators of the desired direction for the area and the project.

D. Properly link proposed development to existing and planned pedestrian, vehicular, drainage and utility systems, and assure efficient continuation of such systems.

E. Consider the impact of building mass, color, lighting, and design upon existing and planned adjacent public and private open spaces, parks and recreation areas. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.050 Relationship to Streetfront

1. Objectives.

A. Create an active, safe pedestrian environment.

B. Upgrade Downtown Burien to establish visual identity for each street type.

C. Unify streetscapes within each street type.

D. Improve circulation including options for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles.

E. Create visual interest and increased activity and public focal points at street corners. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. The street edge shall be defined with building, landscaping or other pedestrian-oriented features.

B. Buildings shall be located at the front property line without a setback. The City may allow for up to a 10’ setback on lots that are not corner lots if:

i. The setback area is designed and used as pedestrian-oriented space, is an extension of the adjacent ground floor use (such as tables for a restaurant, or an outdoor display area for goods for sale inside the building), or is used by a use that is permitted in the DC zone (such as an espresso stand).

ii. The setback area is visually open to pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk.

iii. Vehicle parking is not allowed.

iv. Fencing of 4 feet or less in height and landscaping is acceptable.

C. On corner lots:

i. Building corners shall be setback up to fifteen feet from the front property line to enhance an entry to the building or to accent the corner of the building.

ii. Except on a Class A pedestrian-oriented street, install landscaping (at least 200 SF of ground surface area with trees and shrubs or living ground cover) at or near the corner of the lot. Landscaping may include plant material to form a low hedge. However, care should be taken to not create a visibility or security problem.

D. If the public sidewalk is less than the width shown in the Downtown Burien Streetscape Design Plan, set the building back sufficiently to provide for the walking surface and optional finish portion of the walks shown in the Burien Downtown Streetscape Design Plan.

E. Provide site development features which are visible and pedestrian-accessible from the street. These features could include plazas, open space areas, employee lunch and recreational areas, architectural focal points, and accent lighting.

F. Along Class A and B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets:

i. Principal pedestrian building entries must have direct access to the public sidewalk (entries may be on the side of buildings but they must be visible from the street and connected by a pedestrian pathway).

ii. No large outside item display areas are permitted (e.g. kitchen appliances or other similarly large merchandise that is visible from the street). Sidewalks shall not be enclosed as building space for retailing. Small, temporary displays for items such as groceries, hardware, books, etc. may be allowed in the optional sidewalk finish area provided the display does not impede couples passing comfortably on the sidewalk. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.060 Pedestrian Facilities and Amenities

1. Objective.

A. Provide a variety of pedestrian areas to accommodate shoppers, residents, employees and visitors. Along Class A pedestrian-oriented streets, a portion of the required open space should be designed as pedestrian-oriented space. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. Along both Class A and B pedestrian-oriented streets, pedestrian weather protection is required as follows:

i. Buildings located along designated Class A Pedestrian-Oriented Streets shall provide pedestrian weather protection at least 6’ deep (measured from the front wall to edge of protection nearest the street) along sidewalks and pedestrian routes of 75% of the building’s front face.

ii. Buildings located along designated Class B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets shall provide pedestrian weather protection at least 6’ deep (measured from the front wall to edge of protection nearest the street) along sidewalks and pedestrian routes of at least 33% of the building’s front face.

B. Pedestrian weather protection is encouraged in public spaces such as transit stops, display windows, and outdoor dining.

C. Pedestrian weather protection shall comply with the following standards:

i. Protection may be in the form of awnings, marquees, canopies, or building overhangs.

ii. Canopies or awnings should not be higher than 15’ above finish grade at the highest point or lower than 8’ at the lowest point.

iii. The color, material, and configuration of the pedestrian coverings shall be approved by the City. Coverings with visible corrugated metal or corrugated fiberglass are not permitted unless approved by the City. Fabric and rigid metal awnings are acceptable if they meet the applicable standards. All lettering, color and graphics on pedestrian coverings must conform to BMC 19.30 (sign code).

D. Developments with 100 feet of frontage along Class A or B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets shall provide at least 4 of the following pedestrian amenities near the sidewalk along Class A Pedestrian-Oriented Streets or at least 2 of the following pedestrian amenities near the sidewalk along Class B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets: Developments with less than 100 feet of frontage along Class A or B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets shall provide at least 1 of the following pedestrian amenities near the sidewalk for each 25 feet of frontage (with a minimum of 2 amenities) along Class A or B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets.

i. Window displays over the majority of the front facade.

ii. Pedestrian furniture – provide at least two of the following: (1) seating space, (2) supplemental area lighting, (3) drinking fountain, (4) waste receptacle, (5) other item appropriate to the space acceptable to the City.

iii. At least 5 SF of pedestrian-oriented space located along the sidewalk for every linear foot of facade as measured along the property line adjacent to the street. The pedestrian-oriented space shall also include at least 200 SF of landscaping for every 100 linear feet of building facade as measured along the property line adjacent to the street. The landscaping must conform to the planting standards contained in BMC 19.25.

iv. Space for transit stop with seating (if applicable).

v. Artwork integrated with public street improvements. The location should provide for public view but not hinder pedestrian traffic.

vi. Decorative screen wall, trellis, or other building or site feature.

vii. Water feature or decorative drinking fountain: Shall be accessible and/or visible by pedestrians from an adjacent sidewalk or pedestrian-oriented space. Shall be designed to use water efficiently with low water loss from evaporation and wind.

viii. Decorative clock or decorative landmark.

ix. Kiosk suitable for temporary community-oriented notices.

F. Enhance transit stops by providing rider convenience and amenities such as weather protected seating, newspaper dispensers, postal boxes, automated teller machines (ATM), and small vendor spaces (i.e. cleaners, florist, etc.). [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.070 Parking Area Location and Design

1. Objectives.

A. Provide safe, convenient access to and within sites without diminishing quality pedestrian walking or visual experiences.

B. Minimize driveway impacts across pedestrian walks.

C. Meet the need for adequate parking and minimize the negative effects of the automobile while encouraging transit and other forms of transportation.

D. Minimize visual impacts of parking structures on streets and pedestrian-oriented facilities. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. Driveways along Class A or B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets are limited to one entry lane and one exit lane per 300’ of street frontage. Properties with less than 300’ of street frontage are allowed one entry lane and one exit lane, if the applicant demonstrates that genuine effort has been made to negotiate shared access with adjoining property owners and such access is not feasible.

B. No more than 65’ of the Class A or B Pedestrian-Oriented Street frontage (measured parallel to the curb) shall be occupied by parking and driveways. The City may waive or modify this requirement for public safety purposes or if there is no feasible alternative. If a waiver or modification is granted, the design shall incorporate measures such as decorative screens along the street frontage. Such decorative screens shall include pedestrian amenities and visual continuity with structures that define the street edge along the street frontage.

C. Vehicular access to corner lots with less than 300’ of street frontage shall be located on the lowest classified street and as close as practical to the property line most distant from the intersection.

D. Restricting vehicular and pedestrian access between adjoining parking lots at the same grade is prohibited.

E. The bulk (or mass) of a parking structure as seen from the street should be minimized by placing its short dimension along the street edge. The parking structure should include active uses such as retail or other appropriate uses at the ground level and/or along the street frontage.

F. Parking structures shall be architecturally consistent with exterior architectural elements of the primary structure, including roof lines, facade design, articulation, modulation and finish materials.

G. Buildings built over parking should not appear to “float” over the parking area, but should be linked with ground level uses or screening. Parking at grade under a building is discouraged unless the parking area is completely enclosed within the building or wholly screened with walls and/or landscaped berms.

H. Parking structures and vehicle entrances should be designed to minimize views into the garage interior from surrounding streets. Methods to help minimize such views may include, but are not limited to landscaping, planters and decorative grilles and screens.

I. Security grilles for parking structures shall be architecturally consistent with and integrated with the overall design. Chain link fencing is not permitted for parking structure fencing. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.080 Site Lighting

1. Objectives.

A. Encourage the use of lighting as an integral design component to enhance buildings, landscaping, or other site features.

B. Encourage night skies’ visibility and to reduce the general illumination of the sky in Burien.

C. Screen light fixtures so that the light source is not visible off-site.

D. Reduce horizontal light glare and vertical light trespass from a development site onto adjacent parcels.

E. Encourage the judicious use of lighting in conjunction with other security methods to increase site safety.

F. Discourage the use of lighting for advertising purposes.

G. Provide adequate lighting levels in all areas used by pedestrians or automobiles, including building entries, walkways, parking areas, circulation areas, and other open space areas. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. All public areas should be lighted with minimum and maximum levels as follows:

i. Minimum (for low or non-pedestrian and vehicular traffic areas): 0.5-foot candles

ii. Moderate (for moderate or high volume pedestrian areas): 1-2 foot candles

iii. Maximum (for high volume pedestrian areas and building entries): 4-foot candles

B. Lighting should be provided at consistent levels, with gradual transitions between maximum and minimum levels of lighting and between lit areas and unlit areas. Highly contrasting pools of light and dark areas shall be avoided.

C. Parking lot lighting fixtures should be non-glare and mounted no more than 25 feet above the ground. All fixtures over 15 feet in height shall be fitted with a full cut-off shield.

D. Pedestrian-scaled lighting is encouraged in areas of pedestrian activity.

E. Lighting shall enable pedestrians with normal vision to identify a face 15 yards away in order to promote safety.

F. All building lights should be directed onto the building itself and/or the ground immediately adjacent to it. The light emissions should not be visible above the roofline of the building.

G. Light fixtures other than traditional cobra heads are encouraged. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.090 Service, Loading, Outdoor Storage and Mechanical Areas

1. Objectives.

A. Minimize adverse visual, olfactory, or auditory impacts of service, loading, outdoor storage and mechanical equipment areas at ground and roof levels.

B. Encourage more thoughtful siting and reduce impacts of service, outdoor storage and mechanical areas. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. Landscaping or other forms of screening shall be provided around outdoor service, storage, loading and mechanical areas to provide sensory (visual, olfactory, auditory) screening from adjacent properties, streets, affected pedestrian circulation routes, and affected pedestrian-oriented spaces.

B. Integrate outdoor storage areas and loading facilities into the site design to minimize their size, reduce visual impact, and where appropriate allow for pedestrian and vehicular movement between sites.

C. The total area allowed for outdoor storage and/or merchandise display shall be less than five percent (5%) of the total gross floor area of the use. This standard shall not apply to temporary uses such as material storage during construction, street vendors, City-approved community fairs and events, and periodic outdoor uses, such as farmers markets.

D. Dumpsters, refuse and recycling containers shall not be visible from the sidewalk and adjacent properties. They shall be screened by minimum 6’ high masonry enclosures designed to screen refuse containers, including lids, and refuse stacked in containers. Chain link fencing with slats may be used for gates but not for the enclosure.

E. Locate and screen mechanical equipment at ground level and attached to structures to reduce visual impacts from streets and adjoining properties.

F. Locate and screen service areas to reduce adverse sensory impacts.

G. Locate and screen roof mounted mechanical equipment so that the equipment is not visible when viewed from ground level of adjacent properties. Screen or match the color of roof mounted equipment with the exposed color of the roof to minimize visual impacts when roof mounted equipment is visible from nearby buildings and higher elevations.

H. Locate and screen utility meters, electrical conduit, and other service and utilities apparatus so as not to be visible from adjoining and nearby streets. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.100 Building Design Character

1. Objectives.

A. Design buildings that reflect a traditional main street character. Traditional main street character refers to a collection of structures designed and built in the early twentieth century when structures were composed of simple forms expressed through commonly available materials such as brick, masonry, cast stone and timber. Design of structures along traditional main streets incorporated integral expressions responding to local climate, topography, ecosystems, and evolved social organization.

B. Encourage building design that has visual character and creates comfortable human environments. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. The general form of structures is to be simple, three-dimensional forms characteristic of twentieth century main streets that orient to and participate in the activities of the street.

B. Structures with multiple component forms are to be integrated for visual unity.

C. Visually expose components that support and/or stabilize structures when compatible with design.

D. Adapt building access to site conditions for level, convenient, obvious entry. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.110 Building Scale and Mass

1. Objectives.

A. Encourage the use of building components that are human scale.

B. Reduce bulk and mass of buildings.

C. Encourage architectural scale of development that is compatible with desired existing adjacent development or commercial areas within 100 feet. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. If a proposed building is more than 60’ wide as measured along any facade facing a street and visible from that street, then the building shall incorporate at least three of the measures indicated below:

i. Balconies or decks in upper stories, at least one balcony or deck per upper floor on facades facing streets is required. Balconies should be at least eight feet deep and ten feet wide.

ii. Bay windows or other window treatment that extends out from the building facade.

iii. At least 150 SF of pedestrian-oriented space.

iv. First floor individual windows, generally less than 32 square feet per pane and separated from other windows by at least a 6-inch molding.

v. Gable or hipped roof, provided that the hipped or gable roof covers at least one half of the building’s footprint and has a slope greater or equal to 3 feet vertical in 12 feet horizontal. Use gabled forms at corners, entry, wall modulation points, etc. to adapt large structures to the character described in BMC 19.47.100 above.

vi. A porch or covered entry.

vii. Spatially defining building elements such as a trellis, overhang, canopy, or other element that identifies and defines space that can be occupied by people.

viii. Providing smaller building elements near the entry of large buildings along Class A Pedestrian-Oriented Streets.

ix. The City may consider other methods to provide human scale elements not specifically listed here. The proposed methods must satisfy the design intent stated above.

B. All new buildings over three stories, or over 2,500 SF in gross building footprint, shall provide along their facades that are visible from the street or public park or open space the following:

i. Upper Story Stepback: Four story or higher buildings must stepback upper stories by at least 10 feet measured from the facade of the third floor facing the street or public park or open space. The Director may waive or modify this requirement if there are stepbacks on one or more of the first three floors.

ii. Horizontal Building Modulation: Building facades shall conform to the following standards:

a. The maximum width (as measured horizontally along the building exterior) without building modulation shall be 60 feet.

b. The minimum depth of modulation shall be the greater of 6 feet or not less than 0.2 multiplied by the height of the structure (finish grade to top of wall). The minimum width of modulation shall be 15 feet.

c. Roof decks or balconies may be used as all or part of the building modulation so long as each individual balcony has an area of 80 square feet and meets the minimum modulation depth in BMC 19.47.110.2.B.ii.b above.

iii. Modulated roofline: Roofs are a design element and should relate to the building facade articulations. A variety of roof types and configurations should be used to add interest and reduce the perceived building bulk. The roofline of all facades visible from a street or public park or open space shall be modulated according to the following standards:

a. For flat roofs or facades with a horizontal eave, fascia, or parapet – change roofline so that no un-modulated segment of roof exceeds 60’. Minimum vertical dimension of roofline modulation is the greater of two feet or 0.1 multiplied by the wall height (finish grade to top of wall).

b. For gable, hipped, or shed roofs – a minimum slope of 3 feet vertical to 12 feet horizontal.

c. Other roof forms such as arched, vaulted, dormer, or saw-toothed may satisfy this design principle if the individual segments of the roof with no change in slope or discontinuity are less than 60’ in width (measured horizontally).

iv. Building “articulation” shall be accomplished with design elements such as the following, so long as the articulation interval does not exceed 60’.

a. Repeating distinctive window patterns at intervals less than the articulation interval.

b. Providing a porch, patio, deck, or covered entry for each articulation interval.

c. Providing a balcony or bay window for each articulation interval.

d. Changing the roofline by alternating dormers, stepped roofs, gables, or other roof elements to reinforce the modulation or articulation interval.

e. Changing materials with a change in building plane.

f. Providing lighting fixtures, trellis, tree, or other landscape feature within each interval.

v. Vertical “articulation”: To moderate the vertical scale of buildings, the design shall include techniques to clearly define the building’s top, middle and bottom. The following techniques are suggested methods of achieving vertical articulation:

a. Top: Sloped roofs, strong eave lines, cornice treatments, horizontal trellises or sunshades, etc.

b. Middle: Windows, balconies, material changes, railings and similar treatments that unify the building design.

c. Bottom: Pedestrian-oriented storefronts, pedestrian scale building details, awnings, and arcades.

Where appropriate, the applicant should coordinate the horizontal elements (i.e., cornices, window lines, arcades, etc.) in a pattern and height to reflect similar elements on neighboring buildings that exhibit the City’s desired scale and character for the area.

vi. Cluster smaller uses and activities around entrances on street-facing facades.

vii. Include pedestrian-oriented spaces along street-facing facades.

viii. The City may allow other methods that provide architecturally scaled elements not specifically listed in this section. The proposed methods must satisfy the intent of the design standards. Note that the City may increase the 60’ interval for modulation and articulation to better match surrounding structures or to implement an approved design concept. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.47.120 Building Exteriors

1. Objectives.

A. Ensure that buildings have design integrity at all observable distances.

B. Ensure that exterior finishes are compatible with traditional main street character.

C. Enhance buildings with appropriate design details.

D. Encourage pedestrian-friendly street facades along Class A and B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets and public parks or open spaces.

E. Architecturally accentuate building corners at street intersections.

F. Encourage the use of high-quality, permanent, compatible materials that will upgrade the visual image of downtown Burien.

G. Use the architectural elements of a building and landscaping to highlight and define the entrance.

H. Reduce the visual impact of large, undifferentiated walls.

I. Reduce the apparent size of large walls through the use of various architectural and landscaping treatments. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

2. Design Standards.

A. Material finishes shall reflect the early twentieth century main street vernacular for building materials.

B. Exterior finish colors are to (1) express the integral color of building materials (i.e. brick, cast stone), (2) be neutral shades of natural colors found in nature in the northwest, and (3) may include limited use of approved compatible accent colors. The color of neighboring buildings that comply with this section should be considered when selecting colors for repainting or remodeling of existing structures and for new structures.

C. New buildings shall incorporate at least two of the following measures:

i. Decorative rooflines: For example, an ornamental molding, entablature, frieze or other roofline device visible from the ground level. If the roofline decoration is in the form of a linear molding or board, then the molding or board must be at least 8" wide.

ii. Decorative treatment of windows and doors: For example, decorative molding / framing details around all ground floor windows and doors, decorative glazing, or door designs located on facades facing streets or public parks or open spaces.

iii. Decorative light fixtures with a diffuse visible light source such as a globe or “acorn” that is non-glaring or a decorative shade or mounting.

iv. Decorative building materials, including the following:

a. Decorative masonry, shingle, brick or stone.

b. Other materials with decorative or textural qualities as approved by the City.

D. Note the year of construction of a building by the installation of a permanent cast metal plaque attached to the building. Stone or masonry set integral with other masonry on the front building elevation facing the principal street may be used in lieu of a cast metal plaque. The year of construction is to be noted by numbers not less than six inches high. Other information associated with the building that may have historic interest in the future may be included.

E. Building facades located within 20 feet of a sidewalk along Class A and B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets, shall include one or more of the following elements:

i. Transparent window area or window displays along the majority of the ground floor facade between 2’ and 8’ above ground level.

ii. Sculptural, mosaic, or bas-relief artwork over the majority of the ground floor facade.

F. All new buildings located within 15’ of a property line, at the intersection of streets, are required to employ two or more of the following design elements or treatments to the building corner facing the intersection.

i. Provide at least 100 square feet of pedestrian-oriented space.

ii. Provide a corner entrance to a store, courtyard, building lobby, atrium, pedestrian pathway, or pedestrian-oriented space.

v. Include a corner architectural element such as:

a. Bay window or turret.

b. Roof deck or balconies on upper stories.

c. Building core stepback “notch” or curved facade surfaces.

d. Sculpture or artwork either bas-relief, figurative, or distinctive use of materials.

iv. Special treatment of pedestrian weather protection canopy at the corner of the building.

v. Other similar treatment or element approved by the City.

G. The arrangement, proportion and design of windows and doors (fenestration) shall conform to the following:

i. The height to width ratio of single openings and group openings are to be proportionately scaled to the wall.

ii. Door and window details and trim suitably scaled to the wall.

iii. Reduce large expanses of glass used in windows and doors to smaller component windows reminiscent of traditional main street vernacular when adjacent to sidewalks or other pedestrian use areas.

iv. Incorporate window flower boxes, where feasible.

v. The total square footage of windows along a facade facing a street shall be a minimum of 15% of the square footage of the facade.

H. Retain facades that reflect the heritage of the City. Facades of vintage buildings may be adapted to contemporary use with compatible materials. Use of metal siding, metal screening, plastic, plywood, sheet wood products, or fiberglass to cover over existing facades is prohibited. Wood should not be used to cover over existing brick or cast stone masonry.

I. Building exteriors shall be constructed from high quality, durable materials. Preferred exterior building materials that reflect the City’s desired traditional main street character are as follows:

i. Masonry;

ii. Cast Stone;

iii. Tile;

iv. Other materials subject to approval by the City

J. If concrete or concrete blocks (concrete masonry units or “cinder blocks”) are used for walls that are visible from a street, public park or open space, or pedestrian route then the concrete or concrete block construction must be architecturally treated in one or more of following ways:

i. Use of textured surfaces such as split face or grooved.

ii. Use of other masonry types such as brick, glass block, or tile in conjunction with the concrete or concrete blocks.

iii. Use of decorative coursing to break up blank wall areas.

iv. Use matching colored mortar where color is an element of architectural treatment for any of the options above.

K. The following materials are prohibited in visible locations unless an exception is granted by the City based on the integration of the material into the overall design of the structure.

i. Corrugated or beveled metal siding.

ii. Vinyl or plywood siding.

iii. Highly tinted or mirrored glass (except stained glass) as a major building element.

iv. Corrugated fiberglass.

v. Chain link fencing (except for temporary purposes such as a construction site or as a gate for a refuse enclosure).

vi. Crushed colored rock/crushed tumbled glass.

N. Enhance the primary building entry or entries, by use of the following measures:

i. Provide pedestrian weather protection such as an awning, canopy, marquee, or other building element (i.e. recessed opening) to create a covered pedestrian space of at least 100 square feet.

ii. Provide at least 200 square feet of landscaping at or near each entry of buildings on Class B Pedestrian-Oriented Streets.

iii. Provide benches and other pedestrian facilities, such as, kiosks, special paving, etc.

iv. Provide special pedestrian scaled lighting.

v. Provide at least 2 of the following items:

a. Provide a trellis, canopy, porch, or other building element that incorporates landscaping;

b. Provide adjacent window displays;

c. Provide building ornamentation such as mosaic tile, relief sculpture, ornamental wood, or metal trim, etc.;

d. Provide artwork or special pedestrian-scaled signs;

e. Other enhancements as approved by the City.

O. All blank walls within 50’ of and visible from a street, public park or open space, or adjacent lot, shall be treated in one or more of the following methods:

i. Install a vertical trellis in front of at least 50% of the wall length with climbing vines or plant materials.

ii. Provide a landscaped planting bed at least 8’ wide or raised planter bed at least 2’ high and 3’ wide in front of the wall. Plant materials that will obscure or screen at least 50% of the wall’s surface within 3 years are to be planted in the planting bed.

iii. Provide artwork (mosaic, mural, sculpture, relief, etc.) over at least 50% of the blank wall surface.

iv. Other methods as approved by the City.

Treatment of blank walls is to be proportional to the wall. All of the proposed methods are subject to City approval. The applicant must submit architectural plans and elevations showing proposed treatments for approval.

P. Prototype design for franchises should use customized components that are consistent with the desired traditional main street character and that reinforce visual consistency with other adjacent buildings. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]