Chapter 19.110
DENSITY AND DIMENSIONS

Sections:

19.110.010    Affordable housing regulations.

19.110.020    Calculating lot coverage.

19.110.030    Rounding of fractions of dwelling units.

19.110.040    Regulation of distance between structures – Regarding maximum horizontal facade.

19.110.050    Compliance generally.

19.110.060    Exceptions.

19.110.070    Rooftop appurtenances – Required screening.

19.110.080    Increases to single-story construction limits – City center core and frame.

19.110.010 Affordable housing regulations.1

(1) Purpose. To provide affordable housing to the citizens of Federal Way and to comply with the Growth Management Act and the county-wide planning policies for King County.

(2) Affordable housing defined. “Owner-occupied affordable housing” means dwelling units that are offered for sale at a rate that is affordable to those individuals and families having incomes that are 80 percent or below the median county income. “Rental affordable housing” means dwelling units that are offered for rent at a rate that is affordable to those individuals and families having incomes that are 50 percent or below the median county income.

(3) Multiple-family developments; senior citizen housing; assisted living facilities; townhouse development; zero-lot line townhouse development; mixed-use projects; and cottage housing in multifamily zones. New projects involving 25 dwelling units or more are required to provide affordable dwelling units as part of the project. At least two dwelling units or five percent of the total number of proposed units, whichever is greater, shall be affordable. Projects including affordable dwelling units may exceed the maximum allowed number of dwelling units as follows:

(a) One bonus market rate unit for each affordable unit included in the project; up to 10 percent above the maximum number of dwelling units allowed in the underlying zoning district.

(4) Single-family developments. New single-family developments in the RS-35, RS-15, RS-9.6, and RS-7.2 zoning districts have the option of providing affordable dwelling units as part of the project. Projects including affordable dwelling units may reduce minimum lot size as follows:

(a) Those lots in a new single-family conventional subdivision or short subdivision which are proposed to contain affordable dwelling units may be reduced in area by up to 20 percent of the minimum lot size of the underlying zoning district; provided, that the overall number of dwelling units in the subdivision may not exceed 10 percent of the maximum number of units allowed in the underlying zoning district.

(5) Provisions for affordable housing for cottage housing development in single-family residential zones are set forth in Chapter 19.250 FWRC.

(6) Duration. An agreement in a form approved by the city must be recorded with King County department of elections and records requiring affordable dwelling units which are provided under the provisions of this section to remain as affordable housing for the life of the project. This agreement shall be a covenant running with the land, binding on the assigns, heirs and successors of the applicant.

(Ord. No. 08-585, § 3(Exh. A), 11-4-08; Ord. No. 07-554, § 5(Exh. A(8)), 5-15-07; Ord. No. 02-424, § 3, 9-17-02; Ord. No. 97-306, § 3, 12-2-97. Code 2001 § 22-976.)

19.110.020 Calculating lot coverage.

(1) General. Except as specified in subsection (2) of this section, the area of all structures, pavement and any other impervious surface on the subject property will be calculated as a percentage of total lot area, exclusive of the area of any recorded access easements, in determining compliance with maximum lot coverage required in this title. If the subject property contains more than one use, the maximum lot coverage requirements for the predominant use will apply to the entire development.

(2) Exceptions. The following shall be excepted from the provisions of this section:

(a) A vehicular access easement, private tract, or that portion of a private driveway located within the “flag pole” or “access panhandle” part of the lot will not be used or considered in determining compliance with the maximum lot coverage requirement of this title.

(Ord. No. 18-844, § 7, 3-6-18; Ord. No. 07-545, § 3(Exh. A), 1-2-07; Ord. No. 98-309, § 3, 1-6-98; Ord. No. 90-43, § 2(115.90), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 22-955.)

Cross references: Buildings and building regulations, FWRC Title 13; subdivisions, FWRC Title 18; site plan review, Chapter 19.60 FWRC.

19.110.030 Rounding of fractions of dwelling units.

In many zones, the number of dwelling units allowed on the subject property is determined by dividing the area of the subject property by the number of square feet this title requires per unit. When this results in a fraction, the number of permitted dwelling units will be rounded up to the next higher whole number of units if the fraction is at least two-thirds. If the fracture is less than two-thirds, the number of permitted dwelling units will be rounded down to the next lower whole number of units.

(Ord. No. 90-43, § 2(115.125), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 22-961.)

Cross reference: District regulations, FWRC Title 19, Division VI.

19.110.040 Regulation of distance between structures – Regarding maximum horizontal facade.

(1) General. For purposes of the regulations in this title regarding the maximum length of a structure’s facade only, two structures will be treated and considered as one structure if any elements of the structures, other than as specified in subsection (2) of this section, are closer than 20 feet to each other. In addition, structures connected by a breezeway or walkway will be regulated as one structure if any element of the breezeway or walkway is higher than eight feet above finished grade.

(2) Exceptions. The following are excepted from this section:

(a) Porches and similar elements of a structure no higher than 18 inches above finished grade may be closer than 20 feet to another structure.

(b) Chimneys, bays, greenhouse windows, eaves and similar elements that customarily extend beyond the exterior walls of a structure may be no closer than 18 1/2 feet from another structure.

(Ord. No. 08-585, § 3(Exh. A), 11-4-08; Ord. No. 90-43, § 2(115.30), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 22-964.)

19.110.050 Compliance generally.

No element or feature of a structure, other than as listed in FWRC 19.110.060, may exceed the applicable height limitation established for each use in this title.

(Ord. No. 90-43, § 2(115.60(1)), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 22-1046.)

Cross references: Buildings and building regulations, FWRC Title 13; district regulations, FWRC Title 19, Division VI.

19.110.060 Exceptions.

The following modifications apply to the height limitations of this title:

(1) Unless otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section:

(a) Rooftop appurtenances may exceed the applicable height limitation by a maximum of four feet, if the area of all appurtenances and screening does not exceed 10 percent of the total area of the building footprint. These appurtenances must be located in such a way as to minimize view blockage.

(b) Appurtenances that do not meet the standards of subsection (1)(a) of this section may be permitted using process I if the director determines that, based on accurate graphic representations provided by the applicant, views from adjacent properties will not be significantly affected.

(c) Any appurtenance, other than chimneys and antennas, must be screened from all streets and nearby properties. See FWRC 19.110.070.

(2) For detached dwelling units:

(a) Vents and chimneys may exceed the maximum height limit.

(b) Rod, wire, dish and other antennas, other than as specified in subsection (3) of this section, may be placed above the maximum height if approved using process I. The city will approve the application if:

(i) Views across the subject property are not substantially impaired; and

(ii) The antenna must be placed above the roofline in order to function properly.

(3) A radio tower and antenna structure for use by a noncommercial, licensed amateur operator may be approved through process III, if the city determines that:

(a) The radio tower and antenna structure is placed to minimize its visibility from adjoining properties, while still permitting effective operation;

(b) The radio tower and antenna structure does not extend higher than reasonably necessary to operate effectively; and

(c) The use of the antenna will not materially interfere with radio and television reception on nearby properties.

In making its decision on the application, the city shall take into consideration the strong federal interest in promoting amateur communications and the rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission regulating such facilities.

If the city approves the radio tower and antenna structure, it may impose limitations to mitigate or eliminate any adverse impacts. This may include, but is not limited to, requiring the use of a telescoping antenna, which would only be extended during limited periods when the antenna is in use.

(Ord. No. 09-594, § 152, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-573, § 39, 12-4-07; Ord. No. 00-375, § 20, 2000; Ord. No. 90-43, § 2(115.60(2)), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 22-1047.)

Cross references: Buildings and building regulations, FWRC Title 13; district regulations, FWRC Title 19, Division VI.

19.110.070 Rooftop appurtenances – Required screening.

(1) Generally. Except as specified in subsection (2) of this section, vents, mechanical penthouses, elevator equipment and similar appurtenances that extend above the roofline must be surrounded by a solid sight-obscuring screen that meets the following criteria:

(a) The screen must be integrated into the architecture of the building.

(b) The screen must obscure the view of the appurtenances from adjacent streets and properties.

(2) Exemptions. The following shall be exempted from the provisions of this section:

(a) Rod, wire and dish antennas allowed under FWRC 19.110.060 are exempt from the requirements of this section, if the screening would interfere with the effective operation of the antenna.

(b) A painted appurtenance is exempt from the requirements of this section if the director of community development determines that painting will be as effective in minimizing rooftop clutter as would a solid sight-obscuring screen.

(Ord. No. 90-43, § 2(115.120), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 22-960.)

Cross references: Buildings and building regulations, FWRC Title 13; signs, Chapter 19.140 FWRC.

19.110.080 Increases to single-story construction limits – City center core and frame.

(1) Generally. The size of single-story buildings, and/or the total amount of new single-story construction that can occur on a site may exceed the limits of 16,000 gross square feet as required by Chapters 19.225 and 19.230 FWRC, if approved by the director using the provisions in this section. The intent of this section is to encourage creative design proposals and urban-scale, pedestrian-oriented development, by allowing single-story buildings and/or single-story construction on a site to exceed the limits of 16,000 square feet, based on the nature and extent to which a project incorporates a mix of uses, multiple-story buildings, and/or public on-site open space.

(2) Formula. The following formula establishes the incremental increases beyond 16,000 gross square feet that may be added to an existing or proposed single-story building(s) anywhere on the site, in exchange for the specified uses and building forms:

(a) One thousand square feet may be added in exchange for each 1,000 square feet of a principal use(s) contained in an attached or detached mixed-use/multiple-story building.

(b) Two thousand square feet may be added in exchange for each dwelling unit contained in an attached or detached mixed-use/multiple-story building.

(c) One thousand square feet may be added in exchange for each five parking stalls contained in an attached or detached parking structure.

(d) One thousand square feet may be added in exchange for each 1,000 square feet of public on-site open space; provided, that it is located and designed according to the definition and design criteria for public on-site open space set forth in Chapter 19.115 FWRC.

(3) Modifications. The director may approve minor modifications to the above formula based on unusual site conditions or unique design proposals, provided the resulting project is consistent with comprehensive plan policies promoting urban-scale, pedestrian-oriented development in the city center, and meets all other applicable development regulations and design standards.

(4) Exclusion from size limits. Those portions of a ground floor that are covered by upper floor space, within buildings approved under this section, are excluded from the size limits of Chapter 19.80 FWRC.

(Ord. No. 09-593, § 30, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 08-585, § 3(Exh. A), 11-4-08; Ord. No. 06-515, § 3, 2-7-06. Code 2001 § 22-977. Formerly 19.225.130, 19.230.150.)

Cross references: Off-street parking, Chapter 19.130 FWRC; city center core, Chapter 19.225 FWRC; city center frame, Chapter 19.230 FWRC.


1

Code reviser’s note: Ordinance 08-585 sets out this section without showing the amendments of Ordinance 07-554. The amendments from Ordinance 07-554 have been incorporated into this section.