Chapter 18.29


18.29.010    Intent.

18.29.020    Area.

18.29.030    Applicability.

18.29.040    Use allowances.

18.29.050    Zoning standards.

18.29.055    Wireless communication facilities.

18.29.060    Affordable housing requirements.

18.29.070    Parking.

18.29.080    Design requirements.

18.29.090    Connectivity requirements.

18.29.100    Significant tree grove retention.

18.29.010 Intent.

The purpose of the transit oriented development (TOD) district overlay is to reinforce the City’s planned concentration of pedestrian-oriented mixed use development at intensities that support and are supported by multi-modal transportation options, including high capacity transit. The TOD district overlay revitalizes the City’s core by creating incentives and opportunities for a mix of jobs and residences, cultivates a respectful relationship among development within the district, the natural environment, and nearby traditional neighborhoods, and provides a framework for future infrastructure and service decisions. The TOD district overlay provides public benefits in the form of encouraging housing affordable to all economic groups, increased pedestrian connectivity, quality design, and incentive to preserve significant tree groves where they exist. [Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.020 Area.

The area of the TOD district overlay is shown on Figure In order to develop under the TOD district overlay, at least 50 percent of a parcel shown on Figure shall be located within the TOD district overlay.


[Ord. 23-0575 § 2(D) (Exh. B); Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Att. A); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.030 Applicability.

A. The TOD district overlay is an incentive-based zoning overlay. Applicants who elect to develop under the provisions of the TOD district overlay shall adhere to all development standards set forth in this chapter; except that development standards not addressed in this chapter shall be governed by provisions of the underlying zone.

B. In order to be eligible to develop under the TOD district overlay regulations, a development application shall meet the following criteria:

1. The property must be located within the TOD district overlay area as described in KMC 18.29.020;

2. The proposed development must either:

a. Be considered a mixed use development as defined in KMC 18.20.1740; or

b. Be a residential-only development or mixed use development with commercial permitted only on the ground floor if located in the R-12, R-18, or R-24 underlying zones, which are areas designated as primarily residential.

C. Eligible properties within the TOD district overlay that do not choose to develop under the provisions of this chapter shall comply with the provisions of the underlying zone in their entirety with the following exceptions:

1. In the R-12, R-18, R-24, UC East, and DC zones in the TOD district overlay area, the minimum density for residential development shall be no less than the base density for the underlying zone;

2. Except in the R-1 zone, townhouse development shall be prohibited;

3. At least 25 percent of the total number of units in the development shall be low- or very low-income affordable housing units subject to the standards in Chapter 18.77 KMC. [Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.040 Use allowances.

The following uses listed in Table A are identified as permitted, conditionally permitted or prohibited uses for properties electing to develop under provisions of the TOD district overlay.

All uses not specifically listed in this section shall be prohibited.

Table A – TOD District Overlay
Use Allowances 


Conditionally Permitted


Arts, entertainment, indoor1,3

Ambulatory surgery center2

Adult entertainment business

Business service, standard1,3

Animal kennel/

Air transportation service

Day care


Arts, entertainment, outdoor

Eating and drinking place1

Fire or police facility2

Auction house

Educational service1


Automotive sales and service, marine

Health care and social assistance1,3


Automotive sales and service, nonmarine

Manufacturing, light1,3,5

Regional land use

Business service, intensive

Mobile food service4

Religious institution2

Cemetery, columbarium or mausoleum

Multiple-family dwelling6

Supportive living facility2

Community residential facility



Construction and trade

Personal service1,3


Family child-care home

Recreational facility, indoor1,3


Funeral home/

Retail sales1,3,5



Temporary lodging1,3


Manufactured housing community



Manufacturing, heavy



Marijuana business



Recreational facility, outdoor



Resource land use



Retail sales, bulk



Secure facility



Single detached dwelling unit



Standalone parking






Utility facility


Vehicle or equipment rental



Vehicle refueling station






Wholesale trade

1    Commercial use limitations in residentially oriented underlying zones: If these uses are proposed for property with underlying zoning of R-12, R-18, or R-24, then each use is limited to maximum 5,000 square feet per use and 15,000 square feet total contiguous nonresidential area within the development.

2    Conditional use permit required in underlying urban corridor, downtown commercial, and public/semi-public zones. Prohibited in all other underlying zones within the TOD district overlay area.

3    Conditional use permit required in underlying R-12, R-18, or R-24 zones. Permitted in underlying urban corridor, downtown commercial, and public/semi-public zones within the TOD district overlay area.

4    Mobile food service is permitted subject to the following requirements:

a. For a stand, location shall be on a sidewalk or near a storefront consistent with barrier-free regulations;

b. For a stand, location on the sidewalk or near a storefront shall provide for at least four feet of unobstructed sidewalk between the stand and the sidewalk edge for pedestrian movement;

c. No permanent fencing, walls, or other structures are installed which hinder removal of the structure from the site;

d. No required parking stall shall be blocked or rendered unusable as a result of the mobile food service;

e. Safe ingress and egress to the site shall be maintained. Visibility for transportation and pedestrian access shall be maintained;

f. The limited duration of the mobile food service shall be established as a condition of approval of any applicable permits; if accessory to a use, such operation is removed daily at the time of or prior to the close of business hours;

g. A sign permit is required for exterior signage in accordance with the sign code, Chapter 18.42 KMC.

5    No outdoor storage of materials shall be permitted.

6    Townhouse development shall be prohibited.

[Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 17-0438 § 2 (Att. A); Ord. 16-0426 § 5 (Att. C); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.050 Zoning standards.

The following development standards in Table B apply to properties electing to develop under provisions of the TOD district overlay:

Table B – TOD Overlay District Development Standards 



Minimum Density: Dwelling Units/Gross Acre


Maximum Density: Dwelling Units/Gross Acre


Maximum Height


1     Portions of any property developing under the TOD district overlay regulations with an underlying zoning of R-1 shall cluster development away from critical areas or corridors such as urban separators or the wildlife habitat network to the extent possible and the open space shall be placed in a separate tract that includes at least 50 percent of the site. The open space tract shall be permanent and meet the provisions of KMC 17.20.130(B).

2    Portions of any property developing under the TOD district overlay regulations that are within 50 feet of a single-family zone (R-1, R-4, R-6) shall have a maximum height of 35 feet within that area to provide a transition in height to the lower intensity uses.

[Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.055 Wireless communication facilities.

Use allowances and development regulations for wireless communication facilities in the TOD district overlay shall be as specified in Chapter 18.60 KMC for the underlying zoning district. [Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 16-0426 § 6 (Att. D).]

18.29.060 Affordable housing requirements.

For properties choosing to develop under the TOD district overlay, development shall provide affordable housing as described in Chapter 18.77 KMC. Development choosing to develop under the TOD district overlay shall not utilize the provisions of residential density incentives found in Chapter 18.80 KMC to achieve maximum densities. [Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.070 Parking.

Parking in the TOD district overlay should be sufficient to support local businesses and residential development, while at the same time promoting transit ridership, walkable streets, and efficient use of land. Proposed development choosing to develop under the TOD district overlay shall provide parking as follows:

A. Minimum parking requirements for nonresidential uses may be reduced to 75 percent of the minimum requirement computed according to the provisions of KMC 18.40.030.

B. Minimum residential parking shall be supplied at the following ratios:

1. 1.0 parking spaces per market-rate dwelling unit, except as follows:

a. Pioneer Project Incentive. For purposes of this section, a pioneer project consists of the first 100 bonus housing units provided in the city under the TOD district overlay regulations. The first 100 bonus housing units in a pioneer project(s) may elect to provide parking spaces for market rate bonus units at 0.6 parking spaces per dwelling unit.

2. 1.0 additional parking space per every five market rate dwelling units shall be provided and designated as guest parking for use by all guests.

3. 0.6 parking spaces per dwelling unit for affordable or senior dwelling units.

4. Affordable housing shall be as defined under KMC 18.29.060. Senior housing shall be defined as housing restricted to those meeting the definition of “senior citizen” as found in KMC 18.20.2500.

C. The following factors shall count towards minimum parking standards for residential and nonresidential development:

1. On-street parking immediately adjoining a property proposed for development or provided as part of the proposed development may be counted toward the minimum parking requirement.

2. Minimum on-site parking may be reduced further by provisions of KMC 18.40.090(B) for properties within the TOD district overlay that meet the requirements of KMC 18.40.090(B) for accessibility to high frequency transit service.

3. Shared parking among uses is encouraged within the TOD district overlay. Developments that propose shared parking arrangements shall submit a parking management plan as defined in KMC 18.20.1995 that describes the terms and conditions of shared parking arrangements on site.

D. Parking Provided in Excess of Minimum. Provision of parking in excess of the minimum parking requirements outlined in subsections A and B of this section shall require the excess parking be included in a structured parking garage, or under building and screened from the street frontage, unless the additional parking is associated with a phased, mixed use development, is interim in nature, and is temporarily located on land reserved for future phases not yet built.

E. Maximum parking within the TOD district overlay shall not exceed the minimum requirement calculated under the provisions of KMC 18.40.030.

1. Applicants may be allowed to exceed the maximum parking if the applicant can produce a parking study that demonstrates probable on-site parking needs that are significantly higher than similar uses. This traffic study shall be subject to review by the city manager before approval for additional parking is granted. All parking granted in excess of the maximum shall be provided in a structured parking garage or under building and screened from the street frontage.

F. All other parking requirements shall be as provided in Chapter 18.40 KMC. [Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 16-0428 § 13 (Att. I); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.080 Design requirements.

Development within the TOD district overlay shall comply with Standard 1 provisions of the downtown design standards, as set forth in Chapter 18.52 KMC.

In addition, the following design requirements shall apply:

A. Relational Setback Requirements. Any proposed development within the TOD district overlay adjacent to an existing single-family zone (R-1, R-4, or R-6) shall be required to provide an interior ground-level setback of 15 feet on the side of the property facing the single-family zone, unless a larger setback is required in the underlying zone. In that event, the larger of the two setback requirements shall govern. The setback required by this subsection shall be landscaped with Type II landscaping as defined in KMC 18.35.040(B) to provide a visual buffer. [Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.090 Connectivity requirements.

The TOD district overlay should remove impediments to pedestrian use of the district and the downtown area by fostering the creation of an extensive network of sidewalks and pedestrian walkways.

Development proposals within the boundaries of the TOD district overlay that elect to develop under the provisions of this chapter shall:

A. Provide any direct pedestrian connections between proposed development and transit facilities, or arterials providing transit access in order to minimize walking distances to transit.

B. Comply with the downtown design standards pertaining to pedestrian walkways, as set forth in KMC 18.52.100.

C. Properties abutting water bodies (i.e., wetlands, rivers, lakes, or streams) shall provide a public access trail paralleling the water body from one property line to the next with setbacks that are consistent with the requirements of KMC Title 16 and Chapter 18.55 KMC. The public access trail shall connect to a public right-of-way.

1. Where a development proposal abuts a property with a public access trail segment, the public access segment on the subject property shall connect to abutting property public access segment(s).

2. The public access easement for public access trails shall be documented on the face of the plat or plan and recorded with the King County department of records and elections. Public access easements shall run with the land in perpetuity. [Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]

18.29.100 Significant tree grove retention.

A. Definitions.

1. Significant Tree Grove Definition. A “significant tree grove” shall consist of two or more trees with a minimum of five and one-half tree units total. A qualifying tree has two tree units minimum. The maximum distance measured in feet between qualifying trees shall be equal to two times the critical root zone in order to be defined as a significant tree grove. For example a 24-inch d.b.h. tree must be within 24 feet of another tree in the grove to be included in the significant tree grove. A tree of any size that is topped or considered a “hazard tree” as defined in KMC 18.20.3084 may not qualify as part of a significant tree grove as herein defined. For purposes of this chapter, a significant tree grove may not contain trees that are located within a critical area or critical area buffer protected under Chapter 18.55 KMC. A significant tree grove is not the same as a “grove,” as defined in KMC 18.20.1273.

2. Tree Units. See KMC 18.57.060(B) for translation of diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) to tree units.

B. Applicability.

1. If the underlying zone within the TOD district overlay requires tree retention as provided in Chapter 18.57 KMC, then the provisions of Chapter 18.57 KMC shall be retained. If Chapter 18.57 KMC exempts a property from tree retention then it shall remain exempt.

2. Development proposals within the boundaries of the TOD district overlay that elect to develop under the provisions of this chapter shall be eligible to benefit from providing less parking or more dwelling units or any combination of the two if the development retains one or more significant tree grove(s) as defined in this section in perpetuity. A development may be able to benefit from both reduced parking and additional dwelling units by preserving a significant tree grove so long as the same tree credits are not counted towards both reductions in parking and additional bonus dwellings. Trees or groves retained through the provisions of Chapter 18.57 KMC may count towards the significant tree grove retention if they meet the definitions found in subsection A of this section.

3. Tree on Property Line. In instances where one or more trees that would qualify as part of a significant tree grove is located on a property line such that the tree is on more than one property, and the properties are in separate ownerships, the tree shall qualify to be counted as part of a separate tree grove by each property owner.

C. Reduced Parking. In order to retain qualifying significant tree groves, required parking may be reduced at the maximum rate of one stall per each five and one-half tree units. Parking quantities may be reduced up to a maximum of 20 percent from the parking requirement after other reductions are applied, if any.

D. Residential Bonus Units. In order to retain qualifying significant tree groves, residential units are offered at the rate of one bonus unit per each 11 tree units preserved. Grove bonus units are not included in maximum unit density calculations. Grove bonus units are not subject to the affordability requirements of KMC 18.29.060.

E. Significant Tree Grove Preservation Requirements.

1. Tree Protection Plan Required. A tree protection plan as identified in KMC 18.57.050 shall be required for any development application proposing to protect one or more significant tree groves through this section.

2. Recorded on Title. The map of significant tree groves preserved through this section, along with a covenant preventing removal, shall be recorded and shown on the property title.

3. Subject to Tree Protection Measures of Chapter 18.57 KMC. Significant tree groves protected under this section shall be subject to the tree protection measures during construction found in KMC 18.57.090, the post-construction replacement, financial guarantee, and maintenance requirements of KMC 18.57.100, and the penalties and enforcement of KMC 18.57.110. [Ord. 22-0543 § 3(C) (Exh. A); Ord. 15-0406 § 1 (Att. A).]


Section 4 of Ord. 22-0543, as amended by Ords. 22-0555, 23-0569, 23-0575, 23-0586 and 24-0606, provides: “The interim regulations established by Ordinance 22-0543, as renewed and extended by Ordinance Nos. 22-0555, 23-0569, 23-0575, and 23-0586 and as amended by Section 3.D of Ordinance No. 23-0575, shall be extended and renewed for an additional period of six (6) months from the adoption date of this Ordinance, February 26, 2024 (to and through August 26, 2024), and shall automatically expire at the end of that day unless repealed, modified, or renewed and extended (after subsequent public hearing if renewed and extended), and entry of appropriate findings of fact as provided in RCW 35A.63.220 and RCW 36.70A.390.”