Chapter 19.55


19.55.010    Purpose and intent.

19.55.020    Allowed uses.

19.55.030    Dimensional requirements.

19.55.040    Landscaping/open space requirements.

19.55.050    Special regulations.

19.55.060    Design standards.

19.55.070    Special use.

19.55.080    Compliance of existing buildings with design standards.

19.55.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of the general commercial (CG) zoning district is to provide a place for high-volume businesses to serve community and regional markets. The regulations are intended to: (A) encourage suitable businesses; (B) provide for transition between adjacent residential zones and more intense uses; and (C) promote pedestrian opportunities and an attractive physical environment. (Ord. 2476 § 2, 2008).

19.55.020 Allowed uses.

The land uses identified in the table below are allowed in the CG district unless otherwise prohibited by another provision of the municipal code. The manner in which the uses are allowed is also shown in the following table. All uses are subject to additional requirements of the municipal code. The table lists potential uses in the left-hand column with major categories of uses shown in bold font and specific uses, as appropriate, listed in standard font directly below the associated major use category. The three columns on the right correspond to three methods for allowing the uses; these are abbreviated as: “P” for permitted use, “C” for conditional use, and “A/P” for accessory permitted use. An “X” in a column indicates the method by which the use is allowed. Footnotes provide additional information that shall be applied. If a use is not listed in the table below or an “X” is not marked to indicate the method of allowing the use, it shall not be permitted in this district unless otherwise specifically allowed pursuant to this title or MTMC Title 18.

Type of Use






Commercial facilities




Light Industry


Manufacturing facilities




Medical/Health Care






Guardhouse or caretaker residence





Hazardous waste and treatment storage





Storage facilities




Parking Facilities




Public Service Facilities




Recreation/Entertainment/Cultural Facilities






Motels, hotels, inns





Multifamily dwellings




School/Day Care




Transportation Facilities




1Permitted only for processing and assembly of retail merchandise, at least some of which is displayed and sold on-site, and not to exceed a gross floor area of 5,000 square feet.

2Excluding hospitals and ambulance services.

3Except that any such facilities used for habitation must be within the same building that contains the property’s primary use.

4Only as part of a mixed-use development, consistent with special regulations in MTMC 19.55.050(B).

5Excluding day care homes that are operated as home occupations.

(Ord. 2486 § 2, 2008).

19.55.030 Dimensional requirements.

Front yard setback (minimum)

15 feet

Rear yard setback (minimum)

0/25 feet1

Side yard setback (minimum)

0/10 feet1

Lot width at street (minimum)

50 feet

Lot coverage (maximum)


Building height (maximum)

4 stories, not to exceed 45 feet/6 stories, not to exceed 70 feet3

Landscaping/open space (minimum)

10% of lot area

1The greater number must be used if the building abuts property zoned RS or RM.

2The greater number may be used only if at least 90% of the required parking on-site is under structure.

3The greater number of stories may be used only if the building is at least 50 feet away from property zoned RS, except that no height restriction applies if the building is on property that abuts Highway 99.

(Ord. 2476 § 2, 2008).

19.55.040 Landscaping/open space requirements.

The minimum landscaping/open space area identified in MTMC 19.55.030 represents the minimum portion of landscaped open space area required. At times, to meet other requirements of this and other codes, more landscaped areas will be required. Landscaping should be appropriate to urban areas and may include decorative hardscape such as pavers or brick walkways. It may also include screening of parking areas, landscaping of setback areas, and providing usable outdoor space, including on-site pedestrian activity areas. In general, all areas not used for building or parking shall be landscaped. (Ord. 2476 § 2, 2008).

19.55.050 Special regulations.

Special regulations, as specified below, shall apply to certain uses and locations in the CG district:

A. Sexually oriented businesses/adult entertainment establishments shall not be permitted.

B. Multiple-household residential development shall be allowed; provided, that commercial uses, excluding parking facilities, are located on the ground floor facing and adjacent to the public street and comprise the majority of the ground floor building area.

C. Bicycle storage for multiple-household dwellings shall be subject to the same standards as required within the RM districts pursuant to Chapter 19.35 MTMC.

D. All uses shall be conducted wholly within an entirely enclosed building except for the following:

1. Bulk retail items, such as vehicles, building materials, and manufactured homes.

2. Public utility facilities.

3. Parking facilities and loading areas; provided, that no area outside of an enclosed building shall be used for repair of vehicles.

4. Vehicle service stations.

5. Outdoor advertising structures.

E. The storage of hazardous waste shall be allowed only as an accessory use to a legally established primary use of the property and shall be managed subject to all applicable federal, state, and local statutes.

F. Any use that includes emergency vehicles as part of its operation shall be designed for emergency vehicle egress that is as safe as possible for pedestrians and traffic.

G. Street improvements, including curb, gutter, sidewalk, and planting area, shall be required for any lot that is being developed to include a new building or building expansion greater than 500 square feet where such improvements are lacking or inconsistent with current City standards.

H. Off-street parking shall be provided for multiple-household dwellings in a total amount that equals at least 1.25 parking spaces per unit for each unit of two or less bedrooms and one additional parking space for each bedroom beyond two bedrooms in a unit. Parking spaces must include guest or flexible space, which is not contained within a private dwelling, at a ratio of at least one space for every four dwelling units, unless a parking study is provided that documents to the satisfaction of the City’s traffic engineer that a slightly different ratio of guest or flexible parking space is appropriate.

I. Conditional uses shall be evaluated in part based on:

1. Pedestrian and transit orientation.

2. Provision for transition between single-household zones and more intense uses.

3. Site and building design that is sensitive to the community context and to the use of adjacent properties.

J. Chapter 19.126 MTMC shall regulate electric vehicle infrastructure.

K. The locational and area standards of this chapter and of any other regulations in this title pertaining to development under this chapter do not have to be met on individual lots, parcels or tracts developed under the provisions of Chapter 17.05 MTMC, Binding Site Plans; provided, that they are met on the collective lots, parcels and/or tracts in a binding site plan and that all standards otherwise applicable to the outer perimeter of individual lots (e.g., setbacks, landscaping and buffers) are met around the outer perimeter of the binding site plan. (Ord. 2660 § 9, 2015; Ord. 2553 § 7, 2010; Ord. 2476 § 2, 2008).

19.55.060 Design standards.

A. To assure an attractive, pedestrian-friendly environment, all development occurring within the CG district upon the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section, unless otherwise exempted by this chapter, shall comply with the general commercial (CG) district design standards which are attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter and adopted by reference as though fully set forth herein and which shall be available from the Department. If said design standards appear to conflict with another provision of the municipal code, the design standards shall prevail.

B. The standard dimensions in this district for sidewalk and planting areas are a minimum of 13 feet from the face of the street curb and shall include a five-foot planting area next to the curb and a seven-and-one-half-foot-wide sidewalk, except that, as necessary, any portion of the sidewalk area that is on private property may be developed as a pedestrian activity area, subject to applicable provisions of the CG district design standards adopted pursuant to this chapter. Sidewalks and planting areas to meet these dimensional requirements shall be installed as development or street reconstruction occurs.

C. In association with an existing building, the addition of a new parking lot or the expansion of an existing parking lot shall be subject to parking lot standards contained in the CG district design standards adopted pursuant to this chapter; provided, that said standards apply only to the new parking lot or the portion of the parking lot being expanded.

D. Large-scale trash receptacles within 20 feet of the public right-of-way shall be screened from view. Screening shall consist of solid wood or masonry fencing six feet high, except as provided otherwise in the CG district design standards adopted pursuant to this chapter.

E. Townhomes and live-work units shall be set back at least 50 feet from the public right-of-way of any arterial street in order to provide space for more intense commercial uses to directly front the arterial streets.

F. For each townhome and live-work unit, the length of any garage wall visible from and facing the street shall comprise no more than two-thirds of the length of the building or unit’s street-facing facade. (Ord. 2476 § 2, 2008).

19.55.070 Special use.

Wireless communication facilities are regulated under Chapter 19.137 MTMC. (Ord. 2476 § 2, 2008).

19.55.080 Compliance of existing buildings with design standards.

For expansion, reconstruction, and conversion of legal nonconforming uses or buildings existing prior to March 30, 2008, CG district design standards, as adopted pursuant to this chapter, will be applied pursuant to this section, except that in no case shall an expansion, reconstruction, alteration or conversion result in greater inconsistency with said design standards.

Type of Change

Design Standard Applicability


For expansion, based on the new floor area equaling less than 50 percent of all existing buildings on the site but not exceeding 5,000 square feet

Building design standards shall apply to any new exterior wall or roofline. If the expansion with or without any other building alterations during a five-year period has a value that exceeds 50 percent of the assessed value of all the buildings on the lot, requirements for pedestrian activity areas shall also apply, except that for lots facing two streets, the pedestrian activity area is required only along the busier street.


For expansion, based on the new floor area equaling either at least 5,000 square feet or 50 percent of all existing buildings on the site, whichever is less

Building design standards shall apply to any new exterior wall or roofline. Site design standards for pedestrian activity areas shall also apply, except that for lots fronting two streets, the pedestrian activity area is required only along the busier street.

Demolition or Loss

For demolition or casualty loss replacement that would replace or reconstruct all or substantially all of the building

Design standards shall apply to the entire building and site or, in the case of multiple buildings, any portion of the site related to the building being substantially or entirely replaced or reconstructed.


For conversion of an existing building to a new use or for re-use of a building that has been vacant or not legally occupied for the previous 24 months and not including building alterations that have a combined value greater than 50 percent of the assessed value of all buildings on the lot

Compliance with site design standards for pedestrian activity areas is required, except that for lots fronting two streets, the pedestrian activity area is only required along the busier street. Building design standards shall apply to any new exterior wall.

Alterations or expansion

For building alterations, including any expansions, that during a five-year period have a combined value of greater than 50 percent of the assessed value of all buildings on the site

Compliance with building design standards is required for any new or replaced exterior wall. Compliance with site design standards for pedestrian activity areas is also required, except that for any lot fronting on two streets, the pedestrian activity area is required only along the busier street.

(Ord. 2476 § 2, 2008).