Chapter 18.64
TOWNHOUSES Revised 3/22

18.64.000    Chapter Contents


18.64.020    Purpose.

18.64.040    Applications, review authority and use districts.

18.64.060    Platting requirements.

18.64.080    Development standards. Revised 3/22

18.64.020 Purpose

The purpose of this Chapter is to:

A.    Permit within Residential and Commercial Districts the development of townhouses which may be sold as individual lots and residences;

B.    Permit townhouse structures built to standards which are designed to include amenities usually associated with conventional single-family detached housing to ensure compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood;

C.    Promote affordable housing, efficient use of land and energy, and the availability of a variety of housing types in different locations;

D.    Promote infill development on physically suitable lands in residential areas, without adversely affecting adjacent development.

(Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.64.040 Applications, review authority and use districts

A.    Applications. For all townhouse developments, applications for preliminary plat or short plat approval and any design review and land use approval shall be submitted simultaneously on forms provided by the Director. Issuance of building and other permits shall be subject to conformance to the approved plans. In addition to standard submittal requirements for subdivision, design review and site plan review, townhouse applications shall contain that additional information specified by the Application Content Lists. (See OMC 18.77.010)

B.    Review Authority.

1.    Nine (9) or fewer Townhouses. The Director may approve creation of nine (9) or fewer townhouse lots, subject to appeal provisions contained in the Olympia Municipal Code, Chapter 18.75 and the public notice requirements contained in Chapter 18.78.

2.    Ten (10) or more Townhouses. The Hearing Examiner may approve creation of ten (10) or more Townhouse lots subject to Appeal requirements contained in the Olympia Municipal Code, Chapter 18.75 and the public notice requirements contained in Chapter 18.78.

(Ord. 6967 §35, 2015; Ord. 6408 §27, 2006; Ord. 5830 §31, 1998; Ord. 5714 §30, 1997; Ord. 5594 §12, 1996; Ord. 5570 §30, 1995; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.64.060 Platting requirements

A.    In R-4, R 4-8, and R 6-12 Districts a subdivision or short plat is required for all townhouse developments so that individual dwelling units are divided onto lots with the structural walls located on the lot lines. In other Districts the platting of each individual dwelling unit is optional.

B.    When a townhouse development is platted, construction of townhouse dwellings may commence prior to final plat approval, provided:

1.    The proposed subdivision has received preliminary plat approval, and the necessary financial sureties have been filed as required in the Olympia Municipal Code Chapter 17.24, Olympia Platting and Subdivision Ordinance, to assure construction of required public improvements;

2.    Partial or complete construction of structures shall not relieve the subdivider from, nor impair City enforcement of conditions of subdivision approval;

3.    Construction shall not proceed beyond foundations, and units shall not be rented or sold, nor occupancy permits issued until final plat or final short plat approval is granted.

C.    No subdivision or short subdivision of a site containing previously constructed dwellings shall be allowed unless all common walls meet or are reconstructed to current building code and fire code requirements for separately owned subdivided townhouse units, and all other standards of this Chapter are met.

D.    Undersized lots may be used for individual townhouse dwelling units without meeting the density and lot area requirements of this Section, and without resubdividing, provided such lots were of record prior to the effective date of this Chapter; and provided, they also have the minimum lot width for townhouses.

(Ord. 6408 §28, 2006; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.64.080 Development standards Revised 3/22

A.    Maximum Site Area. The maximum site area for solely townhouse development in the R4, R 4‑8 or R 6-12 District shall be four (4) acres. There is no maximum site area in other districts where townhouses are permitted.

B.    Units per Structure.

1.    In R4, R 4-8 and portions of the R 6-12 Districts not located within the Transition Area, each townhouse structure shall contain no more than four (4) individual dwelling units, and there shall be no more than one (1) builder per townhouse structure.

2.    In all Districts except the R4, R 4-8 and portions of the R 6-12 district not located within the Transition Area, requirements of the underlying district shall apply with regard to number of units per structure.

C.    Density and Lot Area.

1.    Density. Each townhouse development shall be subject to density provisions contained in the underlying District.

2.    Lot Size. See Table 4.04, Residential Development Standards.

D.    Building, Impervious and Hard Surface Coverage. Outside of ‘village’ and ‘center’ districts subject to table 5.05, building and impervious surface building coverage for an individual townhouse lot shall not exceed 60% or the underlying district limit, whichever is greater, and hard surface coverage shall not exceed 70% or the underlying district, whichever is greater.

E.    Minimum Lot Width. Each individual townhouse lot shall have a minimum width as follows:

1.    R4 and R 4-8 Districts: Eighteen (18) feet;

2.    R 6-12 Districts: Sixteen (16) feet;

3.    All other Districts: See Tables 4.04 and 5.05.

F.    Setback Requirements. Setback requirements for front yards and for side yards of end dwelling units of townhouse structures shall be the same as the underlying district, except as follows: For townhouse projects within property zoned R4, R 4-8 and R 6-12 the side yard of each building shall be no less than ten (10) feet for buildings with three (3) or four (4) units and five (5) feet for those with two (2) units.

G.    Height. Same as the underlying district.

H.    Parking. Townhouse developments shall provide off-street parking pursuant to Chapter 18.38.

I.    Residential Design Review Criteria and Garage Width. Townhouse developments shall meet the Residential Design Criteria Section Chapter 18.175 and, if applicable, shall comply with garage placement and width provisions of 18.04.060(EE), provided that such standards shall be applied to the entirety of each building, and not to each dwelling unit.

(Ord. 7310 §11, 2022; Ord. 7027 §34, 2016; Ord. 6517 §48, 2007; Ord. 6408 §29, 2006; Ord. 6140 §35, 2001; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).