Chapter 17.25
DESIGN STANDARDS FOR MIXED‑USE DEVELOPMENT

Sections:

17.25.010    Purpose.

17.25.015    Development in urban waterfront.

17.25.020    Design review.

17.25.030    Overall district design.

17.25.040    Overall architectural design.

17.25.060    Overall building form.

17.25.070    Building design.

17.25.080    Signage.

17.25.090    Off-street parking—Parking facilities—Lots—Structures.

17.25.100    Landscape design.

17.25.010 Purpose.

A.    A mixed-use district is intended to accommodate and foster pedestrian usage by combining commercial/retail uses and residential uses in the same buildings or in close vicinity of each other. The interaction of these different uses during day and evening hours provides a dynamic that cannot usually be created with typical single use zones. This concept harkens back to a village where people lived and worked in close proximity. This concept also tries to reduce dependency upon the automobile, makes pedestrians a focal point, and encourages human interaction, smaller scale buildings, and a vibrant sidewalk environment.

B.    For projects in those zoning districts where mixed-use developments are allowed, the following design review standards shall generally apply, with examples depicted in Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guidelines for Mixed-Use Developments.

C.    For projects in zoning districts with design standards specific to those districts (such as the downtown business district with Chapter 17.25A, Design Standards for the DB District, and the community business and planned community business districts with Chapter 17.25C, Development Regulations for the CB and PCB Districts), those specific design standards prevail over standards in this chapter. (Ord. 1332 § 6, 2013; Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 1295 § 9 (Exh. 1B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1101 § 4 (part), 2004; Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999)

17.25.015 Development in urban waterfront.

Development within two hundred feet of the shoreline shall comply with Title 17B, Shoreline Management Regulations. (Ord. 1295 § 9 (Exh. 1B) (part), 2011)

17.25.020 Design review.

Administrative design review will be used by the city to approve development (site plans and architectural designs) in mixed-use districts. The planning director will make urban design decisions based on the following guidelines to promote visual quality in these areas of the city. (Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 1295 § 9 (Exh. 1B) (part), 2011: Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999)

17.25.030 Overall district design.

A.    Mixed-use development should create a new diverse and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, with a mix of housing, shopping, workplace and entertainment uses and nodes for transportation access, all within a short walk of each other. A range of types, sizes, amenities, and uses will enhance a series of inviting functional public spaces, including shopping streets and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, open spaces, courtyards, trails, residential, office, and retail in mixed-use buildings. The design principles for buildings and streets are taken from traditional small towns that provided a close-in community life.

B.    To foster pedestrian usage in the mixed-use district, sidewalks must be a minimum of ten feet in width, except when the public works director determines this width is not feasible. Permeable surfaces shall be utilized to the maximum extent feasible.

C.    Properties or development projects abutting major streets in the district shall have zero- to ten-foot setbacks from the right-of-way, pedestrian-friendly storefronts with display windows along fifty percent of their facade and the facades shall not be plain or sterile but incorporate architectural features, such as windows, entrances and variations in setback, so that no wall plane is wider or longer than two and one-half times the height of the wall plane. (Ord. 1390 § 6 (Exh. C) (part), 2016: Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 1295 § 9 (Exh. 1B) (part), 2011: Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999)

17.25.040 Overall architectural design.

A.    Building design concepts should respond to the site plan by forming street edges and by encouraging active, safe street life offering a variety of activities. Buildings should recognize site patterns and help define entries to interior courtyards, building entrances, and public spaces to encourage family and community activities.

B.    Use architectural styles that are associated with traditional neighborhood design and newer multifamily designs that delineate separation of the units. Commercial architectural styles should mimic the old main street concept with architectural context taken from waterfront, northwest timber or historic building designs.

C.    The architectural designs shall utilize a variety of roof forms to create diverse elevations. Residential units, office and commercial/retail spaces shall overlook the streets and courtyards as part of a unified and defined sense of space.

D.    Parapets, cornices, shed roofs, dormers and other secondary roof forms create variety in the units and break up the massing of the overall buildings. Varied roof heights and roof elements also serve to reinforce the diverse experience of the streetscape. Vertical elements such as bays and decks which sometimes carry to the ground and to upper levels help to create variation in the facade that modulate the building facade.

E.    The materials used in design of the buildings should also reinforce the diverse experience of the elevations. Roof colors should be coordinated to complement the color schemes.

F.    Plaza or courtyard materials can be used to create a community space, through the use of color and scoring as patterns in the hardscape. Landscape creates diversity, provides color and softens the building and hardscape environment, while benches or seating areas, play areas and public art help residents and visitors enjoy the space and environment, making it a place where people want to visit, shop, live and recreate. (Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999. Formerly § 17.25.050)

17.25.060 Overall building form.

Buildings should provide and enhance the pedestrian scale and orientation of the district. The following concepts help to achieve that goal:

A.    Buildings shall be built to the property line or right-of-way easement to enclose a pedestrian-oriented landscape. Pedestrian-oriented amenities are important. When development accommodates specific pedestrian activities, the setback may vary up to twenty feet with city approval, if the space is planned for outdoor dining associated with an eating establishment, recessed plaza or specific district design standards or landscape needs. The setback cannot be used for parking. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 1: Overall Form, Guideline 6: Street Walls and Guideline 7: Ground Floor Transparency.

B.    Buildings shall utilize elements such as massing, materials, windows, canopies and articulated roof forms to create a visually distinct base as well as a cap.

C.    Within larger projects, variations in facades, floor levels, architectural features and exterior finishes are encouraged to create the appearance of several smaller buildings. Upper stories shall be articulated with features such as bays and balconies. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 8: Encouraging Varied Detail, and Guideline 9: Small Scale Building Increments.

D.    Special attention should be given to designing a primary building entrance, one that is clearly visible from the street and incorporates changes in mass, surface, or finish to give emphasis.

E.    Corner and public buildings because of location, purpose or size should be given special attention in the form of building features, such as towers, cupolas, and pediments.

F.    The development of ground level view points and corridors as well as public balconies and roof spaces which take advantage of solar access and views are encouraged.

G.    Minor pedestrian passages shall be provided between buildings where access is needed to allow pedestrians to move through the district to another. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 4: Minor Pedestrian Passages. (Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999)

17.25.070 Building design.

A.    Architectural Details. The following architectural elements are required to provide visual interest and create a sense of human scale:

1.    Awnings, Sunshades and Canopies. Weather protection is encouraged for pedestrian street frontages with ground floor commercial. The minimum width of such elements shall be four feet. Minimum height is eight feet, maximum height is twelve feet. Awnings with painted signs are permitted; however, they must be externally lit. Internally illuminated awnings are not permitted. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 10: Weather Protection.

2.    Front Porches. Front porches, stoops, bay windows and dormers are encouraged on buildings which contain residential dwellings.

3.    Trees, Plants and Flowers. The use of potted plants and flowers as well as street trees are encouraged, but shall not impede pedestrian traffic.

4.    Street Furniture. Public seating, trash receptacles and informational directional kiosks shall be of uniform design and be provided throughout district where needed. Sidewalk widths, street trees, landscaping, weather protection, public art, street furniture and other amenities for pedestrians in public rights-of-way and public plazas which are required and are abutted by private development shall provide an additional three feet to six feet for a total sidewalk width of no less than eight feet. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 5: Pedestrian-Oriented Streetscapes.

5.    Exterior Lighting. Pedestrian areas need to be well-marked and well-lit. Exterior lighting shall be an integral part of the architecture and landscape design. Street lighting shall relate in scale to the pedestrian character of the area. Pedestrian lighting shall be provided at a pedestrian scale of three to twelve feet, with the source light being shielded to reduce glare, thereby encouraging safe access to these areas twenty-four hours per day. Overall, lighting and pedestrian zone lighting is needed but shall not create glare or light spillage off site or beyond parking lots and streets. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 3: Lighting Pedestrian Zone.

B.    Building Fenestration.

1.    Facades. Any facade visible from a public right-of-way, pedestrian corridor or public open space should incorporate fenestration. Fenestration patterns for street level uses should have generous amounts of clear glass and be designed to incorporate displays. Glass curtain walls, reflective glass, and painted or dark tinted glass are not permitted. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 7: Ground Floor Transparency.

2.    Blank Walls. Where windowless walls are necessitated by the uses housed within the building, they shall have an interesting exterior treatment such as artwork, decorative tile, or masonry, or trellises with plant material. Blank walls visible from a public way, larger than ten feet in any dimension, which exceed two hundred square feet, must be screened by one of the above methods. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 21: Blank Walls.

3.    Street Visibility. Upper and lower story windows are encouraged to overlook streets and open spaces, thereby helping to provide “community eyes” to make these spaces more comfortable and safe. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 11: Design for Pedestrian Safety.

C.    Proportions. The scale of all structures in relationship to other structures and spaces is important. Buildings and the spaces between should relate easily and openly to the external public areas. To balance horizontal features on longer facades, vertical building elements, such as building entries, should be emphasized.

D.    Modulation. Building facades visible from public rights-of-way, pedestrian corridors or public open space, except for ground floor commercial, shall be modulated approximately every forty feet. The modulation shall have a minimum depth of four feet.

E.    Articulation. Facades should be varied and articulated to provide visual interest to pedestrians. The roof line of buildings should be modulated and should include interesting architectural features, such as decorative eave, trim, or cornice. Window articulation through use of a decorative trim, such as window hoods and the use of smaller regularly spaced windows in upper stories with smaller divided lights. Storefront designs and materials should be allowed to be unique while maintaining the character of the building facade of which they are a part. The base of buildings should be articulated through use of plinths, pilasters or other elements.

F.    Materials and Colors. Exterior building materials and finishes should convey an impression of permanence and durability. Materials such as masonry, stone, stucco, wood, terra cotta, and tile are encouraged. Where masonry is used for exterior finish, decorative patterns should be considered. These patterns could include a change in color or material. Exterior colors should be given careful consideration in the context of the surrounding buildings and environment.

G.    Screening.

1.    All wall-mounted mechanical, electrical, communication, and service equipment, including satellite dishes and vent pipes, shall be screened from public view by parapets, walls, fences, landscaping or other approved means.

2.    All rooftop and sidewall mechanical equipment and other extensions allowed above the building height shall be concealed by or integrated within the roof form or screened from view. The following appurtenances or necessary extensions above the roofline that require screening include: stair wells, elevator shafts, air conditioning units, large vents, heat pumps and mechanical equipment.

3.    Service and loading areas must be screened from street and pedestrian ways. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 12: Screening Utility Equipment and Services.

H.    Pedestrian Access. Pedestrian and bicycle paths and connections are required within the development and shall be provided to the closest activity areas (i.e., schools, business area, park, major arterial, etc.). See Section 17B.25.120, Guideline 20: Parks and Open Space. (Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 1295 § 9 (Exh. 1B) (part), 2011; Ord. 1101 § 4 (part), 2004; Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999)

17.25.080 Signage.

Signage in the mixed-use district should be done to clearly relay information and should be appropriate scale to the buildings and should focus on the close-in nature of the slow vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Signage shall be consistent throughout district.

A.    Where possible, signs should be an integral part of the building rather than an afterthought. Wall-mounted signs shall not project more than six inches from the building.

B.    Sign creativity is encouraged. Signs may be fabricated of mixed media, including metal reverse-illuminated letters, suspended neon letters, illuminated individual letters, signs etched or cut out of solid material such as wood or brass and illuminated from behind.

C.    Building-mounted or wall signs for retail shops and commercial area will be located in the storefront area above the door height and below canopy (typically eight feet above floor).

D.    Signs shall be centered between architectural elements and between columns to allow building architecture to be expressed. Signs shall not necessarily be centered on lease premises.

E.    Signs shall be compatible in scale and proportion with building design and other signs.

F.    Signage shall be placed facing primary pedestrian streets.

G.    Overhanging, building-mounted or blade signs which hang from the canopy, arcade or building front may be utilized to increase visibility. Overhanging signs shall not have an area of more than three square feet or exceed two inches in thickness. Overhanging signs area is not included in signage area allowed under the sign code. The bottom of the sign shall not be lower than eight feet aboveground.

H.    Letter height shall not exceed eighteen inches. Larger first letters up to twenty-four inches will be permitted.

I.    Length of the signs shall not be more than two-thirds of the overall “leased” facade area or less than three feet from demising wall of lease premises. Each sign is calculated separately and shall conform to all applicable maximum area limitations. Calculated maximum areas are not transferable to other facades. Each tenant is allowed to place signage on no more than two facades.

J.    Awnings with signs painted on them are allowed, but the awnings cannot be internally illuminated.

K.    Monument signs and wall signs cannot be internally illuminated. (Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 1295 § 9 (Exh. 1B) (part), 2011: Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999)

17.25.090 Off-street parking—Parking facilities—Lots—Structures.

A.    Off-street parking in commercial areas shall either be behind or to the side of development with ground-floor retail along the street frontage.

B.    Structured parking and/or shared or joint parking is encouraged to maximize development potential in mixed-use districts.

C.    A minimum of curb cuts should be allowed in mixed-use zones for parking access.

D.    Adjacent street frontage to commercial properties can be counted on a one-to-one basis towards the parking requirement on streets that are improved and have designated parking.

E.    Two parking spaces for each two-bedroom and larger residential dwelling unit and one and one-half parking space for each studio and one-bedroom unit, and one guest space per every four units shall be provided on site. Parking for the commercial/retail/office space shall be determined using the parking matrix contained in Chapter 17.56, Off-Street Parking.

F.    Employee parking shall be provided on site, or as part of a shared parking agreement or at a parking structure.

G.    Joint or shared access, and off-street parking, internal circulation or parking is encouraged with adjacent uses.

H.    A development can reduce the required off-street parking spaces up to fifty percent when it can be demonstrated, in a parking-traffic study, prepared by a traffic engineer, that use of transit or demand management programs, special characteristics or customer, client, employee or resident population will reduce expected vehicle use and parking space demand for their development, as compared to standard Institute of Transportation Engineers vehicle trip generation rates and city parking requirements.

I.    Parking lots shall have internal landscaping as well as be screened from streets and pedestrian ways. (See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guidelines 22: Parking Lots—Landscape Design and 23: Pedestrian Environment—Screening Parking Lots.)

J.    Parking garages shall be screened to improve the pedestrian environment in mixed-use zones. (See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 24: Pedestrian Environment—Screening Parking Garages.) (Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 1295 § 9 (Exh. 1B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1101 § 4 (part), 2004; Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999)

17.25.100 Landscape design.

A.    Development in a mixed-use district should have extensive landscaping of large parking areas, along streetscapes and for pedestrian-oriented open spaces which can be seen from the street and pedestrian-oriented areas. Landscaping can also help to define areas and separate areas thereby bringing a human scale to these intense uses.

B.    Parking areas shall have one tree per every four parking stalls or have trees between every two to four ferry loading lanes. (See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 22: Parking Lots.) Parking areas must be screened from all pedestrian-oriented areas through the use of trees, shrubs, walls and/or trellis structures with plants. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 22: Parking Lots—Landscape Design.

C.    Parking lots shall provide landscaping next to buildings and along walkways. Parking lots shall provide enough trees so that fifty percent of the lot is shaded within a five-year period and landscape beds have a ninety percent ground coverage in five years.

D.    Arbors or trellises supporting living landscape materials should be considered for ornamentation on exterior walls. Any such feature should cover an area of at least one hundred square feet and include sufficient plantings to achieve at least thirty percent coverage by plant materials within three years.

E.    Where pedestrian activity is encouraged onto the site, the screening doesn’t have to be sight obscuring.

F.    Utilities are required to be underground and aboveground equipment shall be located away from major pedestrian streets and corners. Equipment boxes and vaults must be placed in back of the sidewalk and where landscaping can minimize or screen their impact. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 12: Screening Utility Equipment and Services. (Ord. 1390 § 6 (Exh. C) (part), 2016: Ord. 1302 § 9 (Exh. C) (part), 2012: Ord. 1295 § 9 (Exh. 1B) (part), 2011: Ord. 948 § 16 (part), 1999)