Chapter 19.40


Article I. General Provisions

19.40.010    Purpose and intent.

19.40.020    Applicability of multifamily design standards.

19.40.030    Exceptions.

19.40.040    Site design and parking.

19.40.050    Pedestrian access and amenities.

19.40.060    Building design.

19.40.070    Building details and materials.

19.40.080    Landscaping and screening.

Article II. Duplexes

19.40.090    Applicability.

19.40.100    Intent.

19.40.110    Guidelines – Duplexes.

Article III. Cottage Housing

19.40.120    Applicability.

19.40.130    Intent.

19.40.140    Guidelines – Cottage housing.

Article IV. Townhouse Guidelines

19.40.150    Applicability.

19.40.160    Intent.

19.40.170    Guidelines – Townhouse.

Article I. General Provisions

19.40.010 Purpose and intent.

The general purpose and intent of the multifamily development and design standards are as follows:

A. To help implement the vision of the city of Enumclaw’s comprehensive plan;

B. To improve the overall quality of multifamily development in Enumclaw;

C. To ensure the compatibility of multifamily development with surrounding land uses;

D. To provide clear directions to public and private decision makers regarding the city’s property development expectations; and

E. To require building design that is compatible with adopted requirements, while allowing design professionals guidance that is flexible and encourages creative solutions. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.020 Applicability of multifamily design standards.

A. These multifamily design guidelines and standards shall apply to all new multifamily development, including duplexes, within the city of Enumclaw, that occur in any of the following zoning districts: R-2, R-3, R-4, CB-1, and CB-2.

B. These design guidelines shall apply to all major redevelopment of existing multifamily structures or conversion of other existing buildings. Major rehabilitation shall not include routine maintenance and repair of a structure or other site features such as a parking lot or landscaping.

C. Additional requirements for duplexes, cottage housing and townhouses can be found in EMC 19.40.090 through 19.40.170. If conflict arises between these general provisions and the sections governing specific multifamily type regulations, these general provisions shall apply.

D. An applicant may propose alternatives to the design standards set forth in this chapter. It shall be incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate that the proposed alternative meets the purpose and intent of these regulations. The administrator shall forward to the design review board for its consideration alternative design proposals along with a recommendation. Such requests shall be processed according to the design review board’s review process and be subject to its review fees. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.030 Exceptions.

A. The remodeling of, or additions to, existing structures, if the remodeling or addition is less than 2,500 square feet.

B. Multifamily development as a component of any mixed use development and subject to Chapter 19.38 EMC.

C. Multifamily development in a PUD zoning district. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.040 Site design and parking.

A. Intent.

1. To create safe and vital streets by encouraging development to enhance the street environment.

2. To create new development that contributes to natural surveillance and provides for the personal safety of residents.

3. To ensure that new development reinforces the existing or desired spatial characteristics of the neighborhood.

4. To increase the on-site management of stormwater by incorporating low impact development BMPs and principles into site designs and parking areas where feasible (see EMC 14.10.025).

B. Orient all residential buildings towards streets, interior private roadways, or common open space and not parking lots or adjacent properties.


1. Pedestrian building entrances shall face the street and be clearly visible from the street.

2. Building entries that face onto a common open space which is oriented towards the street are acceptable.

3. Buildings shall also provide windows that face the street to provide “eyes on the street” for safety. See EMC 19.40.070(C) for specific requirements.

C. Front Yard Transitional Space. Multifamily buildings should incorporate a front yard transitional space between the adjacent street(s) and the building(s). This may include a landscaped front yard and/or landscaped entry court. This creates a semi-public space that divides the public space (the street) from private space (the building). This space is an important security element, particularly when views are maintained between the street and building(s).

D. Surface Parking.

1. Parking lots shall be located to the side or rear of buildings. Parking lots may not be located adjacent to street corners. Parking areas and freestanding parking structures (detached garages or carports) shall not occupy more than 30 percent of each perimeter public street frontage.

2. Parking lots shall be landscaped and buffered per the requirements of EMC 19.08.080.

3. Parking lot landscape shall be used to reinforce pedestrian and vehicular circulation at: (a) parking lot entrances; (b) ends of driving aisles; and (c) to define pedestrian walkways through parking lots.

4. Off-street parking shall be provided at a rate of 1.35 stalls per dwelling unit, unless otherwise stated in this chapter. For any multifamily development, visitor parking shall be provided at a rate of one additional stall per five dwelling units. For example, a 12-unit cottage development would be required to provide 19 off-street parking spaces (12 units x 1.35 spaces per unit + two visitor parking stalls). Fractional results shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number.

E. Parking garage entries (both individual private and shared parking garages) must not dominate the streetscape. They should be designed and sited to complement the pedestrian entry. This applies to both public garages and any individual private garages, whether they front on a street or private interior access road.

F. Common Parking Garage Design Guidelines. Buildings containing above-grade structured parking shall screen such parking areas with landscaped berms or incorporate contextual architectural elements that complement adjacent buildings or buildings in the area. Upper level parking garages must use articulation or fenestration treatments that break up the massing of the garage and/or add visual interest.

G. Privacy and Relationship to Adjacent Sites. Adequate solar access and privacy for multifamily dwelling units shall be provided along the side yard. Specific standards and guidelines:

1. Buildings or portions thereof containing dwelling units whose solar access is only from the side of the building (facing towards the side property line) shall be set back from the property line at least 15 feet.

2. Transparent windows shall occupy no more than 10 percent of any facade within 15 feet of the interior side property line.

3. Balconies or rooftop decks within 15 horizontal feet of an internal side property line must utilize opaque guard rails to minimize privacy impacts to adjacent properties.

H. Vehicular Access and Connectivity.

1. On corner lots, the driveway(s) shall be located off of the side street (unless the side street is an arterial) and away from the street intersection to the extent possible.

2. Sites abutting an alley shall be required to gain vehicular access from the alley.

3. Where no alley access is available, the development shall be configured to minimize the number and width of driveways. Shared driveways are encouraged and may be required depending on the nature of the adjacent street.

4. The shared driveway or access shall be located to one side of the lot and away from the center of the site to the maximum extent feasible.

5. The location and design of pedestrian access from the sidewalk shall be emphasized so as to be more prominent than the vehicular access. Special landscaping, lighting, and architectural treatment may be used to accomplish this.

6. Development of large sites (more than two acres) may be required to provide connections to adjacent sites depending on the surrounding street network and nature of adjacent uses and zoning.

I. Service, Loading, and Garbage Areas. Developments shall provide a designated spot for service elements. Such elements shall meet the following requirements:

1. Service elements shall be sited off of the alley, where available. Where there is no alley, service elements shall be located to minimize the negative visual, noise, odor, and physical impacts to the street environment, adjacent (on- and off-site) residents or other uses, and pedestrian areas.

2. Service elements shall be sited and designed to provide sufficient visibility to prevent hiding places for unwanted persons.

3. The designated spot for service elements shall be paved.

4. Appropriate enclosure of the service elements shall be required. Preferences and considerations:

a. Enclosures are particularly important for corner lots, where that portion of the alley is more visible from the adjacent street.

b. Proximity to adjacent residential units will be a key factor in determining appropriate service element treatment.

c. The design of any detached service enclosure should be compatible with the design of the primary structure or structures on the site. This could include similar building materials and/or detailing.

5. Exterior mechanical devices shall be shielded to reduce visibility and noise impacts.

J. Utility meters, electrical conduit, and other service utility apparatus shall be located and/or designed to minimize their visibility from the street. If such elements are mounted in a location visible from the street, pedestrian pathway, common open space, or shared auto courtyards, they shall be screened with vegetation or by architectural features. (Ord. 2607 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.050 Pedestrian access and amenities.

A. Intent.

1. To orient developments to the pedestrian by making pedestrian access convenient, safe, and inviting.

2. To encourage walking.

3. To enhance the character of multifamily developments.

4. To minimize impacts to residents’ privacy.

5. To provide accessible, safe, convenient, and usable on-site open space for the enjoyment of residents of the development.

6. To create open spaces that enhance the residential setting.

B. Internal Pedestrian Paths and Circulation. An on-site pedestrian circulation system meeting the following standards shall be provided:

1. Pathways between dwelling units and the street are required. Such pathways between the street and buildings fronting on the street shall be in a straight line. Exceptions may be allowed where steep slopes prevent a direct connection or where an indirect route would enhance the design and/or use of a common open space.

2. The pedestrian circulation system shall connect all main entrances on the site. For townhouses or other residential units fronting on the street, the sidewalk may be used to meet this standard. Pedestrian connectivity between dwelling entrances and parking areas, recreational areas, common outdoor areas and any pedestrian amenities shall be required.

3. Elevated external stairways or walkways which provide pedestrian access to dwelling units located above the ground floor are prohibited. The administrator may allow exceptions for external stairways or walkways located in, or facing interior courtyard areas provided they do not compromise visual access from dwelling units into the courtyard.

4. Appropriate screening or buffering to create a physical separation between pedestrians and vehicle access areas and the windows of residential units shall be provided. Acceptable treatments include:

a. Landscaped beds that separate the pathway from the building facade featuring windows; and/or

b. Site windows to maximize privacy while allowing for surveillance from dwelling unit. For example, where ground floor units are raised three or more feet above the level of a walkway, pedestrians have limited views into dwelling units.

5. Materials Standards for Pathways.

a. The pedestrian circulation system must be hard-surfaced and at least five feet wide. Segments of the circulation system that provide access to no more than four residential units may be four feet wide.

b. Except as allowed in subsection (B)(5)(c) of this section, the pedestrian circulation system shall be clearly defined and designed so as to be separated from driveways and parking/loading areas through the use of raised curbs, elevation changes, bollards, landscaping, different paving materials, and/or other similar method. Striping alone does not meet this requirement. If a raised path is used it must be at least four inches high and the ends of the raised portions must be equipped with curb ramps. Bollard spacing must be no further apart than five feet on center.

c. The pedestrian circulation system may be within an auto travel lane if the auto travel lane provides access to 16 or fewer parking spaces and the entire auto travel lane is surfaced with paving blocks, bricks, or other special paving. Trees and other landscaping elements shall be integrated into the design of a shared auto/pedestrian court.

C. Required Open Space for Multifamily Developments. Developments other than townhouses, duplexes, and cottages shall provide open space (designed per subsection D of this section) equivalent to 20 percent of the building’s livable floor area (excludes hallways and common areas). See EMC 19.40.090 through 19.40.170 for open space standards for duplex, cottage and townhouse developments.

D. Open Space Types and Standards.

1. Common Open Space. Where accessible to all residents, common open space may count for up to 100 percent of the required open space for vertically stacked apartments. This includes landscaped courtyards or decks, front porches, gardens with pathways, children’s play areas, or other multipurpose recreational and/or green spaces. Special requirements and recommendations for common open spaces include the following:

a. Required setback areas shall not count towards the open space requirement, except for spaces that meet the dimensional and design requirements and guidelines herein.

b. Space shall be large enough to provide functional leisure or recreational activity. To meet this requirement, no dimension shall be less than 15 feet in width (except for front porches).

c. Spaces (particularly children’s play areas) shall be visible from dwelling units and positioned near pedestrian activity.

d. Spaces shall feature paths, landscaping, seating, lighting and other pedestrian amenities to make the area more functional and enjoyable.

e. Individual entries shall be provided onto common open space from adjacent ground floor residential units, where applicable. Small, semi-private open spaces for adjacent ground floor units that maintain visual access to the common area are strongly encouraged to enliven the space.

f. Separate common space from ground floor windows, streets, service areas and parking lots with landscaping, low-level fencing, and/or other treatments as approved by the administrator that enhance safety and privacy (both for common open space and dwelling units).

g. Space should be oriented to receive sunlight, facing east, west, or (preferably) south, when possible.

h. Stairways, stair landings, above grade walkways, balconies and decks shall not encroach into the common open space. An atrium roof covering may be built over a courtyard to provide weather protection provided it does not obstruct natural light inside the courtyard. Front porches are an exception.

i. Front porches qualify as common open space; provided, that no dimension is less than eight feet. “Cave” porches are not included in calculations for common open space. “Cave” porches are porches that are entirely inset into the building. Porches set into the corner of a building are an exception.

2. Balconies. Covered private balconies, porches, decks, or patios may be used to meet up to 50 percent of the required open space for vertically stacked apartments. To qualify as open space, such spaces shall be at least 35 square feet, with no dimension less than four feet, to provide a space usable for human activity.

3. Indoor Recreational Areas. Indoor recreational areas may count for up to 25 percent of the required open space only in buildings on lots less than 100 feet in width. The following conditions must be met:

a. Indoor spaces must be located in visible areas, such as near an entrance lobby and near high traffic corridors.

b. Space must be designed to provide visibility from interior pedestrian corridors. Windows should generally occupy at least one-half of the perimeter of the space (towards internal corridors or outside) to make the space inviting and encourage use.

c. Space must be designed specifically to serve interior recreational functions and not merely be leftover unrentable space used to meet the open space requirement. Such space must include amenities and design elements such as swimming pools, sport courts, etc., that will encourage use by residents.

E. Lighting.

1. Intent. Lighting should eliminate adverse impacts of light spillover; provide attractive lighting fixtures and layout patterns that contribute to a unified exterior lighting design; and provide exterior lighting that promotes safe vehicular and pedestrian access to and within a development, while minimizing impacts on adjacent properties.

2. Design Guidelines and Standards.

a. Plan Required. Applicants shall submit a lighting plan for all multifamily developments subject to the requirements of this chapter. Lighting plans require design review board approval.

b. Pedestrian Walkway Lighting. Pedestrian-level, bollard lighting, ground-mounted lighting, or other low, glare controlled fixtures mounted on building or landscape walls shall be used to light pedestrian walkways.

c. Lighting Height. Light poles and lighting structures shall be no more than 20 feet high. Bollard-type lighting shall be no more than four feet high.

d. Building-Mounted Lighting. Building-mounted lighting shall be limited to accent lighting used to illuminate architectural features and entrances, with a maximum height of 20 feet. Building-mounted lighting shall not be permitted to illuminate parking lots/areas. Interior and exterior lighting shall be uniform to allow for surveillance and avoid isolated areas.

e. Illumination Levels. Pedestrian areas, driveways, and parking areas shall be illuminated to a minimum average of one footcandle.

f. Design of Fixtures/Prevention of Spillover Glare. Light fixtures shall use full cut-off lenses or hoods to prevent glare and light spill off the project site onto adjacent properties, buildings, and roadways.

g. Color of Light Source. Lighting fixtures should be color-correct types such as halogen or metal halide to ensure true color at night and ensure visual comfort for pedestrians. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.060 Building design.

A. Intent.

1. To reduce the apparent bulk and scale of large buildings.

2. To enhance the pedestrian environment.

3. To promote architectural variety that adds visual interest to the neighborhood.

B. Building Articulation – Multifamily Residential Buildings. All residential buildings shall include at least three of the following modulation and/or articulation features at intervals of no more than 30 feet along all facades facing a street, common open space, and common parking areas:

1. Repeating distinctive window patterns at intervals less than the minimum required interval.

2. Vertical building modulation. Minimum depth and width of modulation is 36 inches and four feet (respectively) if tied to a change in color or building material and/or roofline modulation as defined below. Otherwise, minimum depth of modulation is 10 feet and minimum width for each modulation is 15 feet. Balconies may not be used to meet modulation option unless they are recessed or projected from the facade and integrated with the building’s architecture. For example, “cave” balconies or balconies that appear to be “tacked on” to the facade will not qualify for this option.

3. Horizontal modulation (upper level step-backs). To qualify for this measure, the minimum horizontal modulation shall be five feet.

4. Articulation of the building’s top, middle, and bottom. This typically includes a distinctive ground floor or lower floor design, consistent articulation of middle floors, and a distinctive roofline.

C. Maximum Facades Width. Buildings visible from the street must use design techniques to break up long continuous building walls, reduce the architectural scale of the building and add visual interest. Buildings exceeding 120 feet in width along the street front shall be divided by a 30-foot-wide modulation of the exterior wall, so that the maximum length of a particular facade is 120 feet. Such modulation must be at least 20 feet or deeper and extend through all floors. Decks and roof overhangs may encroach up to three feet (per side) into the modulation. Examples could include a combination of vertical and/or horizontal building modulation with a change in building materials or finishes, a clear change in building articulation and/or fenestration technique.

D. Diversity of Building Types. Multibuilding developments shall be required to provide different architectural designs to provide interest and variety. This is particularly important where multiple buildings front on the same street. Simple changes in building colors or reversal of basic facade designs are not sufficient to comply with this standard. Consider changes in vertical and/or horizontal articulation, fenestration, building materials, architectural style, and/or roof design provided they meet the requirements of subsection B of this section and other applicable standards.

E. Roofline Standards.

1. Multifamily residential buildings must provide a pitched roof with minimum 5:12 roof pitch. Alternative roof designs will be considered provided design elements are included to help the building and its roofline fit into the site’s context.

2. All buildings shall incorporate roofline modulation. The maximum length of any continuous roofline shall be 30 feet for residential buildings. Specifically:

a. For flat roofs or facades with a horizontal eave, fascia, or parapet, the 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. Other roof forms consistent with the design standards herein may satisfy this standard if the individual segments of the roof with no change in slope or discontinuity are less than 40 feet in width (measured horizontally).

F. Raised Ground Floor. Developments are encouraged to raise the ground floor of residential buildings at least 36 inches above the sidewalk or common parking area to enhance residents’ privacy. This is particularly important when dwelling units are within 15 feet of a sidewalk or common parking area or for buildings in established neighborhoods that have an established pattern with raised dwelling units. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.070 Building details and materials.

A. Intent.

1. To encourage the incorporation of design details into building facades that are attractive at a pedestrian scale.

2. To promote the use of durable materials which are appropriate for residential use and which reduce long-term maintenance costs and depreciation.

B. Details Toolbox. All multifamily buildings shall be enhanced with appropriate details. Each of the types of details listed below is worth one point unless otherwise noted. Multifamily buildings must achieve the equivalent of two points worth of architectural details from each section, on each of their four facades, from the following elements:

Section 1.

1. Decorative porch design with distinct design and use of materials.

2. Decorative treatment of windows and doors, such as decorative molding/framing details around all ground floor windows and doors, bay windows, decorative glazing, or door designs and/or unique window designs.

3. Landscaped trellises or other decorative element that incorporates landscaping near the building entry or entries.

4. Decorative light fixtures with a diffuse visible light source, such as a globe or “acorn” that is nonglaring or a decorative shade or mounting for each building entry on the facade.

5. Brick or stonework covering more than 10 percent of the facade (two points).

6. Decorative building materials that add visual interest, including:

a. Individualized patterns or continuous wood details.

b. Decorative moldings, brackets, wave trim or lattice work.

c. Decorative brick or stonework (may be in addition to the brick or stonework credits noted above if they are arranged in a decorative manner that add visual interest to the facade).

Section 2.

1. Decorative roofline design, including multiple gables and/or dormers or other design that adds distinct visual interest.

2. Decorative balcony design, railings, grill work, or terraced landscape beds integrated along the facade of the building.

3. Windows in all garage doors.

C. Window Design.

1. Transparent windows or doors facing the street are required. To meet this requirement, at least 15 percent of each street-facing facade must be transparent.

2. Building facades shall employ techniques to recess or project individual windows above the ground floor at least two inches from the facade or incorporate window trim at least four inches in width that features color that contrasts with the base building color. Exceptions will be considered where buildings employ other distinctive window or facade treatment that adds visual interest to the building.

D. Preferred Building Materials. Building exteriors shall be constructed from high quality, durable materials. Preferred exterior building materials that reflect the city’s desired and traditional character are as follows:

1. Brick or other masonry.

2. Narrow horizontal wood siding (generally with a reveal of five inches or less); wider siding will be considered where there is a historic precedent in the neighborhood.

E. Prohibited Materials. The following materials are prohibited in visible locations unless an exception is granted based on the integration of the material into the overall design of the structure:

1. Vinyl or plywood siding (including T-111 or similar plywood), except when used as a component in board and batten siding.

2. Highly tinted or mirrored glass (except stained glass) as more than 10 percent of the building facade.

3. Corrugated fiberglass.

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

5. Crushed colored rock/crushed tumbled glass.

6. Non-corrugated and highly reflective sheet metal.

F. Special Material Standards.

1. Concrete Block. When used for the facade of any building, concrete blocks shall be split, rock- or ground-faced. To add visual interest, the use of specialized textures and/or colors used effectively with other building materials and details are encouraged. Plain concrete block or plain concrete may be used as foundation material if the foundation material is not revealed more than three feet above the finished grade level adjacent to the foundation wall.

2. Metal Siding. If metal siding is used, it shall have visible corner moldings and trim and incorporate masonry or other similar durable/permanent material near the ground level (first two feet above ground level).

3. Exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) and similar troweled finishes (stucco) shall be trimmed in wood, masonry, or other approved materials and shall be sheltered from extreme weather by roof overhangs or other methods.

4. Composite boards manufactured from wood or other products, such as hardboard or plankboard, may be used when the board product is less than six inches wide. (Ord. 2607 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.080 Landscaping and screening.

A. Intent.

1. To reinforce and enhance the character of Enumclaw’s multifamily residential areas.

2. To screen unwanted views.

3. To improve the livability of multifamily residential areas.

4. To incorporate low impact development BMPs and principles for stormwater management where feasible (see EMC 14.10.025).

B. Landscaping.

1. Developments are subject to the street tree standards of Chapter 12.21 EMC, Street Trees.

2. Landscaping in and buffering of parking lots shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 19.08 EMC, Landscape Regulations, unless otherwise noted.

3. Side and Rear Yard Buffer Requirements. Refer to EMC 19.08.050, Minimum buffer requirements, for the buffer requirements of proposed use and adjacent uses.

4. Foundation Planting. All street-facing elevations must have landscaping along any exposed foundation. The landscaped area may be along the outer edge of a porch instead of the foundation. This landscaping requirement does not apply to portions of the building facade that provide access for pedestrians or vehicles to the building. The foundation landscaping must meet the following standards:

a. The landscaped area must be at least three feet wide.

b. There must be at least one three-gallon shrub for every three lineal feet of foundation.

c. Groundcover plants must fully cover the remainder of the landscaped area.

5. Landscaping techniques including living plant material and supporting elements should include the following:

a. Landscape open areas created by building modulation.

b. Use plants that require low amounts of water, including native drought-resistant species.

c. Locate trees on street frontages at appropriate spacing so that at maturity residential entrances are clearly visible from the street and sidewalk.

d. Plant a mix of evergreen and deciduous plants to maintain year-round color and interest.

e. Shrubs, grasses and other non-tree vegetation as appropriate.

f. Existing trees and native vegetation should be preserved whenever possible.

6. An irrigation method shall be included in the landscaping plan. Irrigation shall be required immediately after planting and May through October thereafter or as recommended by a landscape professional. Developers should consider installing underground irrigation systems whenever possible to avoid drought loss.

7. Optional landscaping techniques may also include, where appropriate:

a. Providing frameworks such as trellises or arbors for plants;

b. Incorporating planter guards, retaining walls, or low planter walls as part of the architecture;

c. Incorporating upper story planter boxes, roof gardens, or plants;

d. Incorporating outdoor furniture into the landscaping plan. (Ord. 2607 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

Article II. Duplexes

19.40.090 Applicability.

These guidelines apply to all duplexes in the R-2, R-3, R-4 zones within the city. Where there is a conflict between these guidelines and guidelines in other chapters, these duplex guidelines shall apply. See Chapter 15.04 EMC, Definitions, for definition of “duplex.” (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.100 Intent.

To ensure that duplexes are pedestrian-friendly and contribute to the character of the surrounding neighborhood. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.110 Guidelines – Duplexes.

A. EMC Zoning Standards for Duplexes. Duplexes are subject to the provisions of the underlying zone in which they are located, per EMC Title 18.

B. Covered Entry. Duplexes shall provide separate covered entries for each dwelling unit with a minimum dimension of four feet by six feet. Exceptions may be granted for the use of regional housing styles that do not traditionally contain such entries.

C. Windows on the Street. All duplexes must provide transparent windows and/or doors on at least 15 percent of the street-facing facade(s) (this includes any upper levels, if applicable).

D. Garage Design Standards for Duplexes.

1. Garages fronting the street shall be set back a minimum of 22 feet from the garage face.

2. The garage face shall occupy no more than 50 percent of the ground-level facade facing the street.

3. Where the garage faces the side yard, but is visible from the street, the garage shall incorporate a window on the street front facade so that it appears to be a habitable portion of the house. The window size and design must be compatible with the windows on habitable portions of the house.

4. Alley loaded detached garages must comply with the setback requirements of the underlying zone.

E. Corner Duplexes. Duplexes located on corner lots shall be designed with pedestrian entries located on opposite street frontages so that the structure appears to be a single-family dwelling. Where no alley is available for vehicular access, separate driveways for each unit may be placed on opposite streets.

F. Through Lots. Duplexes located on through lots shall be designed with pedestrian entries located on opposite street frontages so that the structure appears to be a single-family dwelling.

G. Off-street parking shall be provided at a rate determined by EMC 19.14.070, Parking spaces required, counting each dwelling unit of the duplex as an independent single-family dwelling for this purpose only.

H. Duplex developments have no common or private open space requirements.

I. The city encourages the use and conversion of existing single-family residents to duplexes as a means to ensure neighborhood continuity.

J. Duplexes in the R-2 zoning district shall be separated by a distance of not less than 300 feet measured from lot line to lot line. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

Article III. Cottage Housing

19.40.120 Applicability.

These guidelines apply to all cottage developments in the R-4 zones within the city. Where there is a conflict between these guidelines and guidelines in other chapters, these cottage housing guidelines shall apply. See Chapter 15.04 EMC, Definitions, for definition of “cottage housing.” (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.130 Intent.

A. To provide a housing type that responds to changing household sizes and ages (for example: retirees, small families, and single-person households).

B. To encourage creation of more usable open space for residents of the development through flexibility in density and lot standards.

C. To ensure that the overall size, including bulk and mass of cottage structures and cottage housing developments, remain smaller and incur less visual impact than standard sized single-family dwellings, particularly given the allowed intensity of cottage dwellings.

D. To provide centrally located and functional common open space that fosters a sense of community and a sense of openness in cottage housing developments.

E. To provide private area around the individual dwellings to enable diversity in landscape design and foster a sense of ownership.

F. To ensure minimal visual impact from vehicular use and storage areas for residents of the cottage housing development as well as adjacent properties, and to maintain a single-family character along public streets. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.140 Guidelines – Cottage housing.

A. Dimensional Standards for Cottage Housing. See Table 1.

Table 1. Dimensional Standards for Cottage Housing 



Average gross floor area

1,000 square feet per dwelling (approximate)

Maximum gross floor area

1,200 square feet per dwelling

Minimum gross floor area

700 square feet per dwelling

Maximum gross floor area/ground or main floor

800 square feet per dwelling

Minimum common space

400 square feet per dwelling (See subsection B of this section)

Minimum private open space

200 square feet per dwelling (See subsection B of this section)

Maximum building height

18 feet

Setbacks (to exterior property lines)

Comply with underlying zoning district

Minimum distance separating structures (including accessory structures)

10 feet from building face

Minimum roof slope of all structures


Minimum off-street parking provided

1.35 spaces per dwelling

Clustering groups

Developments shall contain a minimum of four and a maximum of 12 dwellings located in a cluster group to encourage a sense of community among the residents. A single development site may contain more than one group. Each cluster group may not be closer than 60 feet apart, measured from the building faces at the outer boundaries of each cluster group.

B. Open Space Design Standards (see Chapter 15.04 EMC for definitions of “common open space” and “private open space”).

1. Common Open Space Requirements. Common open space:

a. Shall abut at least 50 percent of the cottages in a cottage housing development.

b. Shall have cottages abutting on at least two sides of the common open space.

c. Cottages shall be oriented around and have an entry facing the common open space.

d. Shall be within 60 feet walking distance of the cottages.

e. Shall be at least 20 feet in width.

f. Shall be designed and maintained as an amenity for residents of the development.

g. To the maximum extent practicable, common open space land shall be compact and contiguous unless the land is used as a continuation of an existing greenway, trail or other linear park, or unless specific topographic features require a different configuration.

2. Private open space requirements shall be adjacent to each dwelling unit and for the exclusive use of the dwelling resident(s). This may include landscaped front and/or rear yards, porches, patios and balconies. Driveways and minimum required landscape buffers may not be included in the calculations. The private space shall be:

a. Usable (not on a steep slope).

b. Oriented toward the common open space as much as possible.

c. Minimum depth of 10 feet as measured from the cottage face.

3. Alternative open space configurations may be permitted provided they provide a hierarchy of usable semi-private and public open spaces that meet the intent of the guidelines.

C. Cottage facades facing the common open space or common pathway shall feature a roofed porch at least 80 square feet in size with a minimum dimension of eight feet on any side, unless the cottage fronts on the street then the front porch should face the street. Porch railings are required.

D. Cottage off-street parking areas shall be:

1. Located on the same property as the cottage development.

2. Screened from public streets and adjacent residential uses by architectural screening or landscaping per the requirements of Chapter 19.08 EMC.

3. Located in clusters of not more than six adjoining spaces (except where parking areas are adjacent to an alley).

4. Prohibited in front yard setback areas.

5. A pitched roof design is required for all detached parking structures.

6. Garages may be attached to individual cottages provided all other design standards have been met and the footprint of the ground floor, including the garage, does not exceed 1,000 square feet. Such garages shall be located away from common open spaces to the extent possible. (Ord. 2607 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

Article IV. Townhouse Guidelines

19.40.150 Applicability.

These guidelines apply to all townhouse/townhome developments in the R-4 zones within the city. See Chapter 15.04 EMC, Definitions, for definition of “townhome/townhouse dwelling.” Townhouses are often also called “row houses.” Where there is a conflict between these guidelines and guidelines in other chapters, these townhouse guidelines shall apply. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.160 Intent.

A. To ensure that townhouse developments enhance the character of the street.

B. To provide adequate private and common open space for townhouse developments.

C. To reduce the impact of garages and driveways on the pedestrian environment.

D. To reduce the apparent bulk and scale of townhouse buildings.

E. To promote architectural variety that adds visual interest to the neighborhood. (Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).

19.40.170 Guidelines – Townhouse.

A. Dimensional Standards for Townhouses. See Table 2.

Table 2: Dimensional Standards for Townhouses 



Maximum lot coverage

Comply with underlying zoning district

Maximum number of units in one contiguous building

Six unless otherwise noted

Minimum private open space per unit (See EMC 19.40.140(B) for detailed private open space requirements and guidelines)

200 square feet attached and accessible from each unit. Up to 50 percent of the required private open space can be provided as additional common open space (beyond minimum requirements specified below).

Minimum common open space (See EMC 19.40.140(B) for detailed common open space requirements and guidelines)

100 square feet/dwelling unit for developments with more than six dwelling units

Maximum height

Comply with underlying zoning district

Setbacks (to exterior property lines)

Comply with underlying zoning district

Minimum off-street parking provided

Off-street parking shall be provided at a rate determined by EMC 19.14.070, counting each dwelling unit within the townhouse development as an independent single-family dwelling for this purpose only

B. Design Standards Unique to Townhouses.

1. Townhouses fronting on a street must all have individual ground-related entries accessible from the street. Configurations where enclosed rear yards back up to a street are prohibited.

2. Emphasize Pedestrian Entries. New developments must give greater emphasis to individual pedestrian entrances rather than private garages to the extent possible by using both of the following measures:

a. Enhance entries with a trellis, small porch, or other architectural features that provides cover for a person entering the unit and a transitional space between outside and inside the dwelling.

b. Provide a landscaped area in front of each pedestrian entry of at least 20 square feet in area, with no dimension less than four feet. Provide a combination of shrubs or groundcover and a street tree (see Chapter 12.21 EMC).

c. Garage Configuration. For any townhouse configuration where the primary pedestrian access is off of the same facade as vehicular access, developments shall incorporate single-width parking configurations for at least 50 percent of the units. This will minimize the impact of garage doors on the pedestrian environment.

3. Landscaped Alleys. For development configurations where the townhouse units have their primary pedestrian entry off of a street or a common open space and garages are served off of an alley, the alleys shall include one of the following landscaping elements:

a. Provide a planted area between each individual garage at least 20 square feet in area, with no dimension less than four feet. Provide a combination of shrubs or groundcover and a street tree (see Chapter 12.21 EMC).

b. Cluster planting area and trees adjacent to or along the alley area provided there is an average of one tree and at least 20 square feet of landscaped area per individual garage.

4. Driveways on Private Internal Streets. Where townhouse units are served by private internal streets, developments are encouraged to limit the depth of driveways between the streets and the garage wall to deemphasize vehicular access. Driveway depths of five to eight feet are appropriate to allow maneuverability and provide space to include the required landscaping and entry elements for each unit. The shallow width also prohibits residents from parking cars in their driveways. By default, this encourages residents to keep their vehicles in their garage. Additional surface parking spots should be scattered around the development to provide space for guests.

5. Building Articulation and Design. Townhouse buildings shall be articulated to emphasize individual units, per EMC 19.40.060 and 19.40.070.

6. Repetition with Variety. Townhouse developments shall employ one or more of the following “repetition with variety” guidelines:

a. Reversing the elevation of two out of four dwellings for townhouses.

b. Providing different building elevations for external townhouse units (versus internal units) by changing the roofline, articulation, windows, and/or building modulation patterns.

c. Adding a different dwelling design or different scale of the same design, using a one-story version of the basic dwelling design where two stories are typical (or a two-story design where three stories are typical).

d. Other design treatments that add variety and provide special visual interest. While the variable use of color on buildings can be effective in reducing the perceived scale of the building and adding visual interest, color changes alone are not sufficient to meet the intent of the guidelines. (Ord. 2607 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2416 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009).