Chapter 18.136


18.136.010    Title.

18.136.020    Application.

18.136.030    Purpose.

18.136.040    Authority.

18.136.050    Environmental performance standards and general limitations.

18.136.060    Dimensional standards.

18.136.070    General building design requirements.

18.136.080    Access.

18.136.090    Required right-of-way improvements.

18.136.100    Design standards for high capacity transit facilities and station area development.

18.136.010 Title.

This chapter shall be entitled “T-C Transit Community Zone.” [Ord. 1601 § 1, 2014.]

18.136.020 Application.

This chapter shall apply to all areas zoned T-C Transit Community. [Ord. 1601 § 2, 2014.]

18.136.030 Purpose.

The T-C Transit Community Zone is intended to encourage a mixture of residential, commercial, and employment opportunities within identified light rail and transit station areas. The zone allows for a more intense and efficient use of land at increased densities for the mutual support of public investments and private development, while acknowledging the existing businesses along the State Route 99 corridor that serve a broader, regional clientele. Uses and development are regulated to create a moderately dense built-up environment, oriented to pedestrians, and ensuring a density and intensity that is transit supportive. The development standards of the zone also are designed to encourage a safe and pleasant pedestrian environment near transit stations by encouraging areas with shops, activities, and amenities such as benches, kiosks, and outdoor cafes. [Ord. 1601 § 3, 2014.]

18.136.040 Authority.

This chapter is adopted pursuant to the provisions of chapters 35.63, 35A.63 and 36.70A RCW and other applicable laws. [Ord. 1601 § 4, 2014.]

18.136.050 Environmental performance standards and general limitations.

Every permitted use within the T-C Transit Community Zone shall be subject to the following standards and limitations:

(1) All uses shall be primarily contained within an enclosed structure except the following:

(a) Outdoor seating and dining;

(b) Signs;

(c) Loading areas;

(d) Incidental outdoor display areas for merchandise sold on-site as approved through the design review process; and

(e) Play/recreation areas.

(2) If a building site has a boundary line which is a common property line with residential property, then on such common line a wall or view-obscuring fence or hedge not less than six feet in height shall be installed and maintained for screening purposes and controlling access.

(3) High capacity transit facilities shall be developed in accordance with DMMC 18.136.090 to standards intended to achieve good design, provide a distinctive and safe community focal point, integrate and accommodate multiple transportation modes, and provide adequate buffers between different types of land uses. [Ord. 1601 § 5, 2014.]

18.136.060 Dimensional standards.

(1) Lot Area. Every lot shall have a minimum area of 7,500 square feet.

(2) Lot Width. Every lot shall have a minimum width of 75 feet.

(3) Front Yard. No front yard setback is required.

(4) Side Yard. A 10-foot minimum setback is required from single-family zoned property.

(5) Rear Yard. Every lot shall have a rear yard of not less than 20 feet when abutting single-family zoned properties, except as otherwise permitted in subsection (11) of this section. No rear yard setback is required when abutting I-C zoned properties.

(6) Measurement of Building Height. Building height shall be measured from mean sidewalk grade on Pacific Highway South.

(7) Minimum Building Height.

(a) Except for buildings containing only a full-service restaurant, and other instances specifically authorized by the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee in writing, no building shall be less than the height specified below:

(i) No minimum building height for commercial projects and 55 feet for residential or mixed use projects.

(ii) For the purposes of this subsection, minimum building height shall not include decorative towers or appurtenances, roof slopes out of character with the building’s architecture, or other contrivances provided solely for achievement of the required minimum building height. In calculating minimum building height, the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee shall include regular architectural features enclosing functional, occupiable building areas.

(8) Maximum Building Height. Buildings and structures may be built to 75 feet, except that buildings abutting the I-C zone may be built to 100 feet.

(9) Building Height Limitation Adjacent to Single-Family. When an abutting property is zoned Single-Family Residential, building height shall be limited as follows:

(a) Every lot shall have a rear yard setback of not less than 20 feet when abutting single-family zoned properties, except as otherwise permitted in subsection (11) of this section.

(b) Within 40 feet of the abutting Single-Family Residential zone, maximum building height shall be 45 feet.

(c) During the design review and environmental review, the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee may impose other conditions of approval in order to mitigate potential height, bulk, and scale impacts upon adjacent single-family residents not sufficiently mitigated by existing regulations.

(10) Height Allowance for Enhanced Design of Distinctive Rooflines. A portion of a building may exceed the maximum building height; provided, that the following provisions are met:

(a) The purpose of the additional height for the building is to provide a roofline that is of distinctive form through the use of design elements such as pitched roofs, sloped roofs, vertical offsets or other similar roof features that achieve the goals of the design guidelines in DMMC 18.136.070.

(b) The maximum building height established in subsections (8) and (9) of this section shall only be increased by a maximum of 10 percent.

(c) Architectural features associated with the distinctive roofline shall be used to emphasize significant architectural elements of the building such as the main entrance of the building or the building’s orientation to a corner, or to provide for pitched or sloped roofs for the building.

(d) Height allowed for distinctive rooflines under this section shall not be used to determine the building height for the purposes of establishing the maximum gross floor area under DMMC 18.136.070(3).

(e) The building area or amount of building structure extending above the maximum height established in subsection (9) of this section shall be limited to 30 percent of the building roof deck area. When multiple building rooflines exist at different building levels or stories, the 30 percent requirement shall only apply to the area of the roof deck of the tallest portion of a building.

(11) Adjustment of Required Yards. The required rear yard area shall be reduced to a minimum of five feet; provided, that:

(a) A development site or potential project area is planned or may be planned for multiple buildings together as one development or in different development phases either under common ownership or separate ownership; and

(b) Buildings on a site or potential project area are served by a private, joint-use access or street which separates the rear yard area of one development site or project area from another development site or project area; and

(c) A physical separation of not less than 30 feet is provided between buildings which shall include the space or distance located within any such shared, joint-use access or street together with the yard areas adjoining and abutting buildings and said shared streets. [Ord. 1601 § 6, 2014.]

18.136.070 General building design requirements.

All development proposals shall demonstrate substantial compliance, as determined by the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee, with the following design guidelines:

(1) General Design Guidelines.

(a) Building design shall be compatible with the site and with adjoining buildings. Building modulation and other design techniques to add architectural interest and minimize building mass shall be used. Variety in detail, form, and siting shall be used to provide visual interest.

(b) Building components such as windows, doors, eaves, and parapets shall be in proportion to each other.

(c) Colors shall be harmonious, with intense colors used only for accent.

(d) Mechanical equipment shall be integrated into building design or screened from on-site and off-site views.

(e) Exterior lighting fixtures and standards shall be part of the architectural concept and harmonious with building design.

(2) Minimum Floor-to-Ceiling Height for Dwellings. Dwellings shall have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of eight feet, six inches.

(3) Maximum Gross Floor Area.

(a) The maximum gross floor area for buildings within the Transit Community Zone shall be determined by multiplying the lot area of the site by the floor area ratio (FAR) number established in the following table:

Building Height


35 Feet or Less


35 – 50


50 – 60


60 – 70


70 – 80


80 – 90


90 – 100


(b) Gross floor area shall include the total square footage of the enclosed building; provided, that:

(i) For properties located adjacent to Pacific Highway South, the area of parking garages constructed below the adjacent sidewalk grade on Pacific Highway South shall not be included in the calculation of gross floor area.

(ii) For all other properties in the Transit Community Zone, the area of parking garages constructed below the lowest sidewalk grade adjacent to the property line shall not be included in the calculation of gross floor area.

(4) Encroachments. Within the Transit Community Zone, structural encroachments into the right-of-way, such as cornices, signs, eaves, sills, awnings, bay windows, balconies, facade treatment, marquees, etc., shall conform to the provisions set forth by Titles 12 and 14 DMMC, and the following provisions:

(a) Structural encroachments into the right-of-way shall be capable of being removed without impact upon the structural integrity of the primary building;

(b) Structural encroachments into the right-of-way shall not result in additional building floor area than would otherwise be allowed;

(c) Except for awnings, signs, and marquees, the maximum horizontal encroachment into the right-of-way shall be two feet;

(d) The maximum horizontal encroachment in the right-of-way by signs shall be four feet;

(e) The maximum horizontal encroachment in the right-of-way by awnings and marquees shall be six feet;

(f) The minimum horizontal distance between the structural encroachment and the curbline shall be two feet;

(g) Except for awnings over the public sidewalk which may be continuous, the maximum length of each balcony, bay window, or similar feature that encroaches the right-of-way shall be 12 feet;

(h) Structural encroachments into the right-of-way shall maintain adequate distance away from utility, transportation, or other facilities as determined by the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee in consultation with the Planning, Building and Public Works Director;

(i) The applicant shall demonstrate proof of public liability insurance and consent to a public place indemnity agreement;

(j) Owners of structural encroachments into the right-of-way must clear the public right-of-way when ordered to do so by City authorities for reasons of public health or safety; and

(k) In reviewing a proposed structural encroachment into the public right-of-way, the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee may include conditions as may be reasonably needed to ensure that the structure is consistent with the purpose of the T-C Zone, and to minimize the likelihood of adverse impacts. The City Manager or the City Manager’s designee shall deny the request if it is determined that adverse impacts cannot be mitigated satisfactorily. [Ord. 1601 § 7, 2014.]

18.136.080 Access.

Access to and from property zoned Transit Community shall only be from Pacific Highway South, or South 236th Lane. No access to or from property zoned single-family residential shall be permitted. [Ord. 1601 § 8, 2014.]

18.136.090 Required right-of-way improvements.

In the T-C Transit Community Zone, all new construction, additions, or alterations which exceed 50 percent of the value of the existing structure or, in the case of a series of addition or alteration projects, when in a five-year period the cumulative value of additions or alterations exceeds 50 percent of the value of the structure at the time such additions or alterations are commenced, shall include construction of curb, gutters, and sidewalks in accordance with the City’s street development standards. [Ord. 1601 § 9, 2014.]

18.136.100 Design standards for high capacity transit facilities and station area development.

(Reserved for future use.) [Ord. 1601 § 10, 2014.]