Chapter 18J.17
SMALL LOT DESIGN Revised 12/18

Sections:

18J.17.010    Purpose.

18J.17.020    Applicability.

18J.17.030    Site Design. Revised 12/18

18J.17.040    Lot Standards. Revised 12/18

18J.17.050    Architectural Features. Revised 12/18

18J.17.060    Landscape Elements. Revised 12/18

18J.17.070    Exterior Lighting.

18J.17.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to further the goals of the Growth Management Act, which require a diversity of housing types and higher densities within the urban growth area, by providing design strategies that mitigate the impacts of high density housing to existing single-family neighborhoods, provide for pedestrian-oriented small lot developments, and encourage personal interaction and community identity. (Ord. 2004-26s2 § 1 (part), 2004)

18J.17.020 Applicability.

This Chapter shall apply to subdivisions, short plats, planned unit developments, or planned development districts for single-family detached housing developments at densities of 6 or more dwelling units per acre. Certain standards contained in this Chapter shall also apply to residential Planned Development Districts (PDD), regardless of zone, when such compliance is required pursuant to PCC 18A.75.050 I. The standards in this Chapter are in addition to other development regulations. If there are any conflicts between this Chapter (18J.17) and other development regulations, the provisions of this Chapter shall apply. The development standards of this Chapter are not available to developments of fewer than 6 dwelling units per acre or to developments located within the Moderate Density Single-Family (MSF) zone classification unless specifically required pursuant to PCC 18A.75.050 I.

(Ord. 2012-2s § 8 (part), 2012; Ord. 2007-6 § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2006-104s § 3, 2006; Ord. 2004-26s2 § 1 (part), 2004)

18J.17.030 Site Design. Revised 12/18

Site Design objectives and standards are intended to minimize modifications to topography, preserve existing vegetation whenever possible, minimize the creation of impervious surfaces, and make appropriate provisions for vehicular and pedestrian circulation within small lot developments.

A.    Grading and Stormwater Management.

1.    Design Objective. Minimize soil disturbance and contain and manage water runoff on-site.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Grading. Filling and grading shall be done in accordance with Pierce County Site Development Standards to control stormwater runoff impacts to adjacent properties.

(2)    Stormwater Facilities. Stormwater facilities may include either stormwater ponds or underground vaults. Stormwater ponds shall be designed as a landscape amenity, shall not be fenced, and shall not exceed a 4 horizontal to 1 vertical slope. Stormwater facilities may be used to meet open space requirements. (See Figure 18J.17-1)

(3)    Homes and roadways shall be designed to blend into the existing topographic contours to minimize cuts and fills.

(4)    If used, bioswales shall be planted with native grass to further improve water quality.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    If possible, roads should follow existing contours and grading should be minimized by the design of the homes. On steeper sites, tuck-under garages and daylight basements are encouraged to integrate homes into existing topography and minimize mass grading.

(2)    Bioswales are encouraged throughout the development to treat runoff, improve water quality, and minimize or eliminate the size of detention ponds. (See Figure 18J.17-2)

FIGURE 18J.17-1 –
Usable Open Space Detention Pond of Stormwater

FIGURE 18J.17-2 –
Vegetated Bioswale for Treatment

B.    Residential Connections and Circulation.

1.    Design Objective. Create a road system that is pedestrian-friendly, contains traffic calming techniques, and minimizes the presence of the automobile. Two primary public road types and alleyways may be utilized in a development.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Neighborhood Street. Neighborhood streets are the primary through street type used for small lot development. Travel lanes and the overall road section are narrower than the typical local road, contributing to the residential character of the streetscape. Refer to Manual on Design Guidelines and Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction in Pierce County Section 2-1.3.4 D. and to Pierce County Standards Drawings PC.A9.2, .3 and .4.

(2)    Access Lane. Access lanes are designed to accommodate traffic between clusters of dwelling units and emergency vehicles. Refer to Manual on Design Guidelines and Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction in Pierce County Section 2-1.3.4 E. and to Pierce County Standard Drawing PC.A9.1.

(3)    Alleyway. Alleyways are used to access behind houses in a small lot development. Refer to Manual on Design Guidelines and Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction in Pierce County Section 2-1.3.5.

(a)    Garages of homes adjacent to an alleyway shall only be accessed by the alleyway.

(b)    Lots that access off alleyways are not required to front on a private or public road.

(4)    Block Length. Block lengths shall not exceed 350 feet, measured by lot frontage.

(5)    Gated Community. Gated communities shall be prohibited.

(6)    Traffic Calming Strategies.

(a)    To calm traffic and create shorter and safer crosswalks, bulb-outs shall be used at neighborhood street intersections and where pathways cross a neighborhood street. LID BMPs should be utilized in the traffic calming devices when appropriate.

(b)    The pedestrian and road network within a new development shall connect to the existing off-site road and pedestrian system.

(7)    Emergency Vehicle Access. Emergency Vehicle Access shall be provided as required by the Fire Prevention Bureau.

(8)    Road Frontage. Lots fronting a common open space are not required to front on a private or public road.

(9)    Through Streets. Road segments which connect to existing residential developments may generate traffic counts that require a higher functional road classification than the neighborhood street or access lane within a development regulated under this Chapter.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Low impact development (LID) techniques are encouraged.

C.    Sidewalks, Pathways, and Pedestrian Entry Easements.

1.    Design Objective. Create a network of sidewalks and other paths throughout the neighborhood to reduce the reliance on the automobile and provide opportunities for interaction and activity.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Pedestrian Connections. A sidewalk or pathway system shall be provided through each neighborhood. The sidewalk or pathway system may disconnect from the road, provided the sidewalk/pathway continues in a logical route throughout the residential development.

(2)    Pathway.

(a)    A pathway can be used to access homes, common open spaces and/or connect to the Pierce County Trail System.

(b)    A pathway shall be constructed of permeable pavement, and shall be a minimum of 4 feet wide. Design specifications for permeable pavement are found in the Pierce County Stormwater and Site Development Manual.

(c)    In areas where pathways cross streets, parking will be eliminated and curb extensions or bulb-outs shall be provided to reduce crossing distance and ensure safe crossing. LID BMPs should be utilized when appropriate.

(d)    A pathway with a minimum width of 4 feet shall connect common parks, green areas and pocket parks to neighborhood streets, access lanes or other pedestrian connections.

(3)    Pedestrian Entry Easement.

(a)    A pedestrian entry easement shall be provided to all homes that do not front on a neighborhood street, access lane, park or common green. (See Figure 18J.17-9)

(b)    Pedestrian entry easements shall be a minimum of 15 feet wide with a minimum 5-foot sidewalk.

FIGURE 18J.17-9 – Pedestrian Entry Easement Section

(4)    Transit Standards. Transit and school bus stops shall be identified and coordinated with the local transit agency and/or school district.

D.    Site Coverage.

1.    Design Objective. Design small lot neighborhoods to maximize stormwater infiltration within the development site and to minimize the amount of stormwater that is transferred off-site.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Site Coverage. The maximum percentage of total impervious surface for small lot developments under this Chapter shall not exceed 70 percent.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    The maximum "effective" impervious surface should not be greater than 10 percent of the site.

(2)    Preserve as much native vegetation on-site as possible.

(3)    The use of pervious surfaces consistent with the Pierce County Stormwater and Site Development Manual is encouraged for driveways, pathways, sidewalks, and patios.

(Ord. 2018-68s § 6 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-28s § 8 (part), 2017; Ord. 2010-70s § 15 (part), 2010; Ord. 2009-98s § 7 (part), 2010; Ord. 2009-18s3 § 7 (part), 2009; Ord. 2007-6 § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2004-26s2 § 1 (part), 2004)

18J.17.040 Lot Standards. Revised 12/18

These lot standards are intended to amplify the mutual relationship between housing units, roads, open space and pedestrian amenities for creating small lot developments that protect the privacy of individuals while creating pedestrian-oriented environments.

A.    Lot Size.

1.    Design Objective. Provide flexibility in lot sizes to enable creative pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Lot Size. There is no minimum lot size.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Large small lot developments should incorporate a variety of home sizes and unit clusters to discourage monotonous neighborhoods and to encourage open space areas.

B.    Building Setbacks.

1.    Design Objective. Setbacks shall ensure separation of homes and private spaces while allowing high density. (See Figure 18J.17-10)

a.    Standards.

(1)    Front on Neighborhood Street: 8 feet to building, 5 feet to porch, 7 feet to stoop with an 18-foot setback from the face of a garage to the back of the sidewalk.

(2)    Front on Access Lane: 0 feet to building, porch or stoop. Stairs associated with a porch or stoop shall not encroach into the public right-of-way. There shall be an 18-foot setback from the face of the garage to the back of a curb, except where a sidewalk/pathway is constructed, the setback shall be 18 feet from the sidewalk/pathway.

(3)    Side: 4 feet.

(4)    Side on a Corner Lot: 8 feet with an 18-foot setback from the face of a garage to the back of the sidewalk.

(5)    Rear: 4 feet adjacent common open space, otherwise 10 feet.

(6)    Alleyway: 2 feet from alleyway tract or easement. (See Figure 18J.17-11)

(7)    Front on a Pedestrian Easement or Common Open Space: 4 feet to building or 1 foot to porch or stoop.

(8)    Side on a Pedestrian Easement or Common Open Space: 4 feet.

(9)    Decks: Decks are considered part of the building and shall not intrude into setbacks.

(10)    Homes that front on a common open space shall have all portions of the first floor within 150 feet of emergency vehicle access.

(11)    Vegetated low impact development (LID) facilities using native and drought tolerant vegetation, such as bioretention, may be allowed within landscape buffers and setbacks when site conditions warrant.

FIGURE 18J.17-10 – Minimum Lot Standards

FIGURE 18J.17-11 – Alleyway Lot Example

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Visual and functional continuity should be maintained between housing units through similar setbacks, and/or landscape buffer.

(2)    Structures and parking areas may encroach into required setbacks if it can be shown that such encroachment allows significant trees or tree clusters to be retained. Encroachment shall be the minimum encroachment necessary to protect specified trees. In no case shall the yard be reduced to 50 percent or more of the required setback.

C.    Reciprocal Use Easements.

1.    Design Objective. Allow opportunities to maximize space through the use of reciprocal use easements. (See Figures 18J.17-12 and -13)

a.    Standards.

(1)    If used, reciprocal side and/or rear yard use easements shall be delineated on the site plan.

(2)    If a side yard easement is used, the wall facing the side yard shall be constructed as a "privacy wall." Privacy walls shall not have doors entering into the yard space of the adjacent home, nor have windows that are within 5 feet of ground level.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    The use of reciprocal side and/or rear yard easements is encouraged.

(2)    The design of use easements should not negatively affect the building foundations.

(3)    Given the intimate relationship between adjacent houses, it is extremely important to carefully lay out each home on its lot to maximize this outdoor space.

FIGURE 18J.17-12 – Side Yard Reciprocal Use Easement Examples

FIGURE 18J.17-13 – Rear Yard Reciprocal Use Easement

D.    Garage.

1.    Design Objective. Minimize the visual impacts of the garage through the use of alleyways, recessed garage doors (front loaded), and the emphasis of the porch and front door.

a.    Standards.

(1)    On-Site Garage.

(a)    On-site garages shall include both attached and detached structures.

(b)    On-site garages shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from the front building facade or 7 feet from the back of porch or stoop with a minimum 18-foot driveway length from the face of the garage to the back of the sidewalk or access lane. Garages accessed by an alleyway are not required to provide an 18-foot driveway.

(c)    Detached garages shall maintain an 8-foot separation from any dwellings.

(2)    Shared Detached Garage.

(a)    Shared detached garages are allowed and can be used to meet resident parking requirements.

(b)    Each housing unit shall be assigned a garage space and may share the structure with other homes.

(c)    Shared detached garages shall not be located further than 160 feet from any of the housing units to which it is assigned.

(d)    Shared detached garages shall not exceed 44 feet in width and shall maintain an 8-foot separation from any dwellings.

(3)    Garage Design.

(a)    All garages shall follow an architectural style similar to the homes.

(b)    If sides are visible from streets, lanes, sidewalks, pathways, trails, or other homes, architectural details shall be incorporated in the design to minimize the impacts of the façade.

(c)    All garages shall be located in an area to minimize the presence of the automobile. Figure 18J.17-14 illustrates permitted designs for garage placement.

(4)    Carports. Carports are prohibited.

FIGURE 18J.17-14 – Acceptable Garage Locations

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Avoid garages doors at the end of view corridors.

(2)    Shared garages should be within an acceptable walking distance to the housing unit it is intended to serve.

(3)    All garages should be located in an area to minimize the presence of the automobile.

(4)    Lots that take access directly from a neighborhood street shall require a layout that lessens the visual impact of the garage doors.

(5)    Garages shall not be the dominant visual element in any development.

E.    Parking Requirements.

1.    Design Objective. Provide parking for each unit and areas for guest parking.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Required Parking Spaces.

(a)    One garage stall per unit is required.

(b)    Garage stalls shall be located on the lot or in a shared detached garage.

(2)    Required Guest Parking.

(a)    One guest stall per unit is required and shall be accessed by a public roadway.

(b)    Guest parking shall not be located more than 160 feet from the home it is intended to serve.

(3)    Street Parking. Parallel parking occurring on a neighborhood street shall be 22 feet long for each stall.

F.    Utility Placement.

1.    Design Objective. Minimize the impact of utility locations.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Utility boxes shall be placed in alleyways or be placed away from public gathering spaces and shall be screened with landscaping or berms. (See PCC 18J.17.060 for landscaping requirements.)

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    If possible, group utility boxes together.

G.    Open Space Requirements.

1.    Design Objective. Provide residents with a more livable community through a hierarchy of open spaces within the community.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Private Yard.

(a)    A private yard shall be located on each individual lot.

(b)    Each unit shall have a minimum of 250 square feet of private yard with no dimension less than 8 feet in width. For developments of 3 or less dwelling units, a minimum of 750 square feet of private yard shall be required.

(c)    Backyard patios and reciprocal use easements may be included in the calculation of private yard.

(2)    Common Open Space.

(a)    For developments of 4 or more units, each unit shall require 350 square feet of common open space. Developments of 3 or less dwelling units have no common open space requirement.

(b)    Common open space shall be designed as a park, common green, pocket park, or pedestrian entry easement in the development.

(c)    Common open space shall be a minimum of 20 feet wide, be contiguous, and serve a minimum of 4 homes.

(d)    Storm ponds may be used to meet the common open space requirement if designed to accommodate a 50-year storm and be dry for 90 percent of the year.

(e)    Common open spaces shall include picnic areas, space for small recreational activities, and other elements where appropriate. Refer to the corresponding community plan for these requirements.

(f)    In common open space areas, grass-crete or other pervious surfaces may be used for the purpose of meeting the 150-foot distance requirement for Emergency Vehicle Access.

(g)    Requirements for common open space may be reduced where public trails or public park improvements are being provided pursuant to PCC 18J.17.040 I.

(h)    Pervious surfaces are preferred for trails and other hard surfaces.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Common open space areas should be designed to accommodate both active and passive recreational activities.

H.    Placement of Open Space.

1.    Design Objective. Common open space requirements shall provide a hierarchy or variety of open spaces throughout the neighborhood in the form of parks, common greens, pocket parks, and pedestrian easements.

a.    Standards.

(1)    A minimum of one 1/2 acre park shall be required for developments exceeding 10 acres of net developable acreage. The remaining required common open space shall be provided through additional park area, common greens, or pedestrian entry easements.

(2)    If a small lot development has less than 10 acres of buildable land, a park, common green, pocket park and/or pedestrian entry easement can be used to meet the common open space requirements.

(3)    Common open space shall be a minimum of 20 feet wide, be contiguous, and serve a minimum of 4 homes.

(4)    Common open space shall be located in a highly visible area and be easily accessible to the neighborhood.

(5)    Pedestrian easement.

(a)    A pedestrian entry easement can be used to meet common open space requirements if it has a minimum width of 20 feet with a minimum 5-foot wide sidewalk. (See Figure 18J.17-15)

(b)    Pervious surfaces are preferred for trails and other hard surfaces.

FIGURE 18J.17-15 – 20-Foot Pedestrian Entry Easement Section

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Parks. Parks should be designed to preserve existing trees.

(2)    Common Green. Common greens should be visible and open to the street. Common greens should be located to preserve existing trees as much as possible. (See Figure 18J.17-16)

(3)    Pocket Park. Pocket parks shall be visible and open to the street or be designed to serve clusters of approximately 4 to 10 homes. (See Figure 18J.17-17)

(4)    Private Yards. Private yards are located to the rear and/or side of homes. Private yards can include trees, planting beds, and possibly a privacy fence between neighbors. Private yards are places for private personal outdoor enjoyment. Reciprocal-use easements can provide greater usability of private yards.

FIGURE 18J.17-16 – Common Green

FIGURE 18J.17-17 – Pocket Park

I.    Public Trail and Park Improvements in Lieu of Common Open Space.

1.    Design Objective. Provide incentives for projects that support development of public trails and parks identified within an adopted community plan.

a.    Standards.

(1)    On-site public trail construction and dedication may substitute on a square footage basis for common open space when the proposed trail is identified within an adopted community plan. The following requirements shall be met:

(a)    The trail must be identified within an adopted community plan.

(b)    The trail shall be constructed to standards specified by the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department. The use of permeable materials is preferred.

(c)    The trail must be dedicated to, and accepted by, Pierce County as a public trail.

(d)    Trail dedication and construction shall reduce the required common open space on a square footage basis. For example, if the area of land dedicated for trail purposes is 50,000 square feet, an equivalent reduction in common open space shall be granted.

(2)    Improvement of off-site public parks and trails may be used to reduce common open space requirements when the proposed park or trail is identified within an adopted community plan and the following requirements are met:

(a)    The public park or trail to be improved must be identified within an adopted community plan, located on land owned by Pierce County, and must be located no greater than 600 feet from the development. In the case of off-site trail improvements, a direct connection from the development to the trail must be provided.

(b)    The park or trail must be improved to standards specified by the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department. Permeable pavement trails must also comply with the requirements of the Pierce County Stormwater Management and Site Development Manual.

(c)    The park or trail improvements must be dedicated to, and accepted by, Pierce County.

(d)    Public park and trail improvement shall reduce the required common open space by an area equivalent in value to 120 percent of the estimated value of the improvement. The monetary value of the off-site improvement shall be determined by Pierce County based upon an estimate of the cost to Pierce County for the construction of similar improvements. The monetary value of the common open space area shall be determined by Pierce County based upon the market value of the land for residential use with utilities and other non-structural improvements in place.

(Ord. 2018-68s § 6 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-28s § 8 (part), 2017; Ord. 2010-70s § 15 (part), 2010; Ord. 2007-6 § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2004-26s2 § 1 (part), 2004)

18J.17.050 Architectural Features. Revised 12/18

The architectural feature standards are intended to allow for a diverse range of architectural styles, massing, detailing and color while creating a unified community.

A.    Elevations and Models Required.

1.    Design Objective. To provide a diverse streetscape and a variety of floor plans, home size, and character. (See Figure 18J.17-18)

a.    Standards.

(1)    Models are defined as having significant variations in the floor plans, which allows for variety in the massing of the home.

(2)    No more than two of the same model and elevation shall be built on the same block frontage.

(3)    The same model and elevation shall not be built next to each other.

(4)    To differentiate the same models and elevations, different colors shall be used.

(5)    Each model shall have at least two architectural styles and a variety of color schemes.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Neighborhoods shall have a variety of home size and character.

FIGURE 18J.17-18 – Variety of Models and Elevations

B.    Massing and Composition.

1.    Design Objective. To reflect a clear hierarchy of forms and massing with expression of dominant and secondary forms.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Primary building forms shall be the dominating form while secondary formal elements shall include porches, principal dormers, or other significant features. (See Figure 18J.17-19)

(2)    Primary porch plate heights shall be one story.

(3)    Stacked porches are allowed.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Lower porch plate heights are encouraged adjacent to pedestrian access routes.

FIGURE 18J.17-19 – Massing Examples

C.    Building Articulation.

1.    Design Objective. To avoid monotonous repetition of elevations along public areas and provide pedestrian scale elements to the streetscape. (See Figure 18J.17-20)

a.    Standards.

(1)    The primary building elevation oriented toward the street or common green shall have at least one articulation or change in plane.

(2)    Primary articulations shall be a minimum of 24 inches.

(3)    A minimum of at least one side articulation shall occur for side elevations facing streets or public spaces.

(4)    Building sides facing public spaces shall have a minimum articulation of 12 inches.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Articulation may be the connection of an open porch to the building, a dormer facing the street, or a well-defined entry element.

FIGURE 18J.17-20 – Building Articulation Examples

D.    Building Placement.

1.    Design Objective. Orient homes toward the public realm. Buildings shall be designed to integrate with activities along the street frontage, common greens, and other gathering spaces. (See Figure 18J.17-21)

FIGURE 18J.17-21 – Homes Oriented Toward the Public Realm

a.    Standards.

(1)    Each home shall have a covered porch or main entry oriented toward the public realm.

(2)    Windows on a closed side of a unit shall not directly face a neighbor's window.

(3)    Any visible side of a home located on the corner of a neighborhood street, access lane, a park, green, or pocket park shall meet the architectural standards of this Section. (See Figure 18J.17-22)

FIGURE 18J.17-22 – Corner Lot Architectural Elements

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Architectural Elements. Homes should be sited in a logical way to maximize usable space while providing natural and architectural elements at key locations.

(2)    Open and Closed Building Sides. Side yards are important in the creation of open space, particularly in homes on small lots. Care shall be taken to design homes with an open side and a closed side as appropriate. Window placement is an essential component to achieving this relationship. The open side is the side that is either facing a public street or green, or the side facing the usable side yard. This elevation should typically have more windows and detailing. (See Figures 18J.17-23 and -24)

FIGURE 18J.17-23 – Open and Closed Sides

FIGURE 18J.17-24 – Closed and Primary Window Locations

E.    Materials.

1.    Design Objective. Require a variety of materials appropriate to the architectural character of the home.

a.    Standards. Where more than one material is used, the following techniques shall be used:

(1)    Vertical Changes. Changes in materials in a vertical wall, such as from brick to wood, shall wrap the corners no less than 24 inches. The material change shall occur at an internal corner or a logical transition such as aligning with a window edge or chimney. Material transition shall not occur at an exterior corner. (See Figure 18J.17-25)

(2)    Horizontal Changes. Transition in material on a wall surface, such as shingle to lap siding, will be required to have a material separation, such as a trim band board. (See Figure 18J.17-26)

(3)    Acceptable Exterior Wall Material. Wood, cement fiberboard, stucco, standard-sized brick (3-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches or 3-5/8 x 7-5/8 inches), and stone may be used. Simulated stone, wood, stone, or brick may be used to detail homes.

(4)    Trim. Trim may be wood, cement fiberboard, stucco, or stone materials. Trim is required around all doors and windows. The trim must be 3-1/2 inches minimum and be used on all elevations.

FIGURE 18J.17-25 –
Vertical Material Changes

FIGURE 18J.17-26 –
Horizontal Material Changes

F.    Colors.

1.    Design Objective. Reduce the monotony of color and tone to create a more diverse palette.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Provide multiple colors on buildings to reflect material changes and individuality of the residence.

(a)    Muted deeper tones, as opposed to vibrant primary colors, shall be the dominant colors.

(b)    Although grey and beige are not excluded, the use of these colors shall not be the dominant color used on homes or other structures within the development.

(c)    Color palettes for all new structures, coded to the home elevations, shall be submitted for approval.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    A diversity of color should be used on homes, as compared with monotonous shades of beige and grey, throughout the community.

G.    Roofs.

1.    Design Objective. Provide a variety of roof forms and profiles that add character and relief to the streetscape.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Primary Roof Pitch. Primary roof pitches shall be a minimum of 6:12.

(2)    Gable Forms. (See Figure 18J.17-27)

(a)    Roof pitches for gable forms on the public sides of the buildings shall be a minimum of 8:12.

(b)    Exit access for a third floor must face a public right-of-way for emergency access.

(3)    Roof Overhangs. Roof overhangs shall be a minimum of 12 inches (excluding gutter) and a maximum of 24 inches, including gutter, downspouts, and any other ornamental features. (See Figure 18J.17-28)

(4)    Roof Material. Roof material shall be fire retardant. Examples of fire retardant roofs include asphalt, shingle, metal, or vegetated roofs.

(5)    Roof Color. A variety of roof colors shall be used within the development.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Avoid bright color, reflective roofing material.

(2)    Gravel and red tile roofs are discouraged.

(3)    Overhangs and eaves should be detailed and proportioned to complement the architectural style of the home.

FIGURE 18J.17-27 – Roof Forms

FIGURE 18J.17-28 –
Minimum Roof Overhang

H.    Entrances to Homes.

1.    Design Objective. Design entrances that become a focal point of the homes and allow space for social interaction.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Porches or stoops are required on all homes.

(2)    Stoops and porches shall be raised above the grade except where accessibility (ADA) is a priority. An accessible route may also be taken from a front driveway.

(3)    All porches and stoops must take access from and face a street, park, common green, pocket park, pedestrian easement, or open space.

(4)    Porch and stoop sizes shall be:

(a)    Stoops. (See Figure 18J.17-29)

Minimum Width: 4 feet

Minimum Depth: 4 feet

Minimum Height: 12 inches above grade

(b)    Porches (Minimum 60 square feet)

Minimum Width: 10 feet

Minimum Depth: 6 feet

Minimum Height: 12 inches above grade

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Where a home is located on a corner lot, i.e., at the intersection of two roads or the intersection of a road and common open space, a wrapped porch is preferred to reduce the perceived scale of the house and engage the street or open space on both sides.

FIGURE 18J.17-29 – Minimum Stoop Dimensions

I.    Doors.

1.    Design Objective. Use front doors that are integral to the character of the homes. (See Figure 18J.17-31)

a.    Standards.

(1)    Front doors shall face a street, park, common green, pocket park, or pedestrian easement.

(2)    Doors shall be made of wood, fiberglass, or metal.

(3)    Front doors shall be paneled or have inset windows.

(4)    Sliding glass doors are not permitted along frontage elevation or an elevation facing a pedestrian easement.

(5)    Double doors are prohibited.

(6)    Four-inch minimum head and jamb trim is required around all doors.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Front doors should be a focal point in small lot pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods and be in scale with the home.

(2)    Oversized doors should be avoided on cottage-style homes.

(3)    Front doors should be made of wood.

FIGURE 18J.17-31 – Doors

J.    Primary Windows.

1.    Design Objective. Use windows that are integral to the character of the homes. (See Figure 18J.17-32)

a.    Standards.

(1)    Primary windows shall be proportioned vertically rather than horizontally. (See Figure 18J.17-33)

(2)    Windows are required to have a trim on all four sides.

(3)    Trim must be appropriate to the architectural character of the home and be a minimum of 3-1/2 inches wide.

(4)    Vertical windows may be combined together to create a larger window area.

FIGURE 18J.17-32 – Acceptable Windows

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Divided light windows are encouraged. They must either be true divided light or have properly proportioned mullions applied to the window. Individual panes must be vertically proportioned or square.

FIGURE 18J.17-33 – Primary Window Example

K.    Chimneys.

1.    Design Objective. When used, design chimneys that reflect the architectural style of the homes.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Chimneys above the roof shall be at least 20 inches x 24 inches as measured in the plan.

(2)    Wood-framed chimney enclosures are permitted; however metal termination caps shall not be left exposed. These tops shall be shroud in a metal chimney surround.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Chimney form and shape should reflect the proportions of masonry tradition. Skinny long chimneys out of concert with the house proportions or not naturally anchored into the roof forms and walls are unacceptable.

(2)    Overly stylistic chimneys are discouraged. Chimney shape and profile should appropriately reflect the stylistic direction of the rest of the house.

L.    Interior Sprinklers.

1.    Design Objective. To enhance the safety of residents in the event of a fire.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Sprinklers are required in all living spaces.

(2)    Sprinkler systems shall meet NFPA 13 D specifications.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Any deviations from these standards must be approved by Pierce County Fire Prevention Bureau.

M.    Columns, Trim, and Corner Boards.

1.    Design Objective. Design columns, trim work, and corner boards to add visual detail to the house.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Columns. (See Figure 18J.17-35)

(a)    Character columns shall be round, fluted, or strongly related to the home's architectural style.

(b)    Exposed 4 x 4 and 6 x 6-inch posts are prohibited.

(2)    Corners. (See Figure 18J.17-34)

(a)    Use metal corner clips or corner boards at corners where siding is used. Corner boards shall be a minimum of 2-1/2 inches in width.

(b)    Corner boards shall be painted.

FIGURE 18J.17-34 – Corner Board

FIGURE 18J.17-35 – Columns

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Columns, trim, and corner boards should reflect the architectural character of the home.

N.    Gutters and Downspouts.

1.    Design Objective. Integrate the gutters and downspouts into the home's color scheme.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Gutters shall be painted or of an integral color to closely match the trim color.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Gutters and downspouts should reflect the architectural character of the home.

O.    Architecture Detail and Features.

1.    Design Objective. Establish a desirable human scale next to pedestrian routes by the use of shutters, knee braces, flower boxes, and columns. (See Figure 18J.17-36)

a.    Standards.

(1)    At least one of the following features shall be used:

(a)    Shutters

(b)    Flower Boxes

(c)    Knee Braces

(d)    Columns

(2)    Shutters, flower boxes, and ornamental knee braces shall follow the home's architectural style.

(3)    Shutters shall be proportioned to the window size to simulate the ability to cover them.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Give special care in the character, detail, and finish of human scale architectural details.

(2)    Use a detail that is appropriate to the architectural character of the home.

FIGURE 18J.17-36 – Architectural Details and Features
Flower Box, Knee Braces and Shutter Details

P.    Trash and Recycling Containers.

1.    Design Objective. Locate trash and recycling containers so there are minimal impacts on the residents and their neighbors. (See Figure 18J.17-37)

a.    Standards.

(1)    Containers shall be kept within garages or a screened enclosure.

(2)    Containers shall not be stored within front yards.

(3)    Trash and recycle enclosures shall be located to minimize odor to habitable areas, as well as be invisible to the public realm.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Trash and recycle locations should be easily accessible to each resident.

(2)    Trash and recycle containers should be invisible to the public realm.

FIGURE 18J.17-37 – Trash/Recycling Location

Q.    Mail and Newspaper Boxes.

1.    Design Objective. Place and design mailboxes to best serve the neighborhood and reflect the character of the community.

a.    Standards.

(1)    All mailboxes shall be clustered and lockable consistent with USPS standards. Clustered mailboxes shall be architecturally enhanced with materials and details typical of the home's architecture and carefully placed to not adversely affect the privacy of residents and serve the needs of the U.S. Postal Service. (See Figure 18J.17-38)

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Mailbox locations should be easily accessible to each resident and architecturally compatible with the home.

FIGURE 18J.17-38 – Mailbox Design

R.    Hot Tubs and Mechanical Equipment.

1.    Design Objective. Minimize the impacts of hot tubs and pool equipment on surrounding properties.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Hot tubs and pools shall be located only in back yards.

(2)    Pools and spas shall be designed to minimize sight and sound impacts to adjoining property.

(3)    Pool heaters and pumps shall be screened from view and sound insulated.

(4)    Pool equipment must comply with codes regarding fencing.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Hot tub and mechanical equipment should be placed as to not negatively impact neighbors.

S.    Accessory Structures.

1.    Design Objective. Minimize the impacts of accessory structures.

a.    Standards.

(1)    No more than one accessory structure shall be permitted per lot and shall be architecturally consistent with the principal structure.

(2)    Greenhouses, sheds, and other accessory structures shall not exceed 12 feet to top of roof in height or more than 150 square feet in size.

(3)    They shall be no closer than 4 feet from the interior side or rear property line.

(4)    Overhangs and roof drainage may not encroach over property lines.

(5)    Accessory structures are not allowed in front yards.

(6)    Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) shall be prohibited.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    Avoid locating accessory structures in areas visible from the street.

(Ord. 2018-68s § 6 (part), 2018; Ord. 2007-6 § 5 (part), 2007; Ord. 2004-26s2 § 1 (part), 2004)

18J.17.060 Landscape Elements. Revised 12/18

This landscape Section is essential toward enhancing the character of small lot development. Landscaping is an important aspect of the creation of space and scale in a small lot development. In conjunction with architecture, landscape design enables builders to create a transition between homes and the street while mitigating the impact of denser housing.

A.    Tree Retention and Tree Placement.

1.    Design Objective. To preserve existing trees along the perimeter and interior of the site.

a.    Standards.

(1)    Tree Retention During Construction. Refer to PCC 18J.15.030 for additional standards.

(2)    Tree Density Requirements. A minimum of 25 tree units per acre are required to be retained. The tree requirements in PCC 18J.17.060 C. shall count toward meeting this requirement. Refer to PCC 18J.15.030 for additional standards.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    In general and where feasible, tree preservation should take precedence over transplanting, transplanting over planting new, and planting native over ornamental species.

(2)    Where possible preserve trees along the perimeter of the site.

(3)    Where possible preserve trees in clusters to increase their probability of a longer existence.

B.    Fences and Hedges.

1.    Design Objective. The incorporation of fences and hedges around a housing unit to define private spaces. (See Figure 18J.17-39)

a.    Standards. Fences and hedges shall not be placed near neighborhood streets, access lanes, or alleyways in such a way to create a safety or entering sight distance concern. (See Manual on Design Guidelines and Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction in Pierce County for entering sight distance calculation.)

FIGURE 18J.17-39 – Front Yard Decorative Fences and Hedges

(1)    Front Yard Decorative Fence. If used, front yard fences shall be decorative and help to define semi-private areas in the front of the home.

(a)    The maximum height shall be 36 inches.

(b)    Front yard decorative fences shall be located a minimum of 1 foot from parcel line to allow for planting between edge of sidewalk or right-of-way and fence.

(c)    Front yard decorative fences shall provide a balance of solid surfaces and voids, such as picket or Kentucky rail fence styles.

(d)    Front yard decorative fences shall be constructed of wood, simulated wood, iron, or masonry. Solid fences and chain link shall be prohibited.

(2)    Hedges. If used, hedges shall be continuous along the front and side property line, and the street frontage.

(a)    The maximum height of a hedge in a front yard shall be 36 inches.

(b)    Hedges located in a rear yard do not have a maximum height standard.

(c)    The maximum height of a hedge for the first 15 feet of a side yard on a corner shall be 36 inches. There is no maximum height for the remaining side yard.

(d)    Hedges located along an interior side yard shall be prohibited

(e)    Hedges are not allowed if a side yard use easement is used.

(f)    Evergreen native plant material is preferred for year-round coverage.

(3)    Privacy Fencing. If used, privacy fencing shall only be permitted on back, side and portions of corner side yards and shall be in character with the home's architecture.

FIGURE 18J.17-40 – Public Side of Fence

(a)    The maximum height of privacy fencing in a rear yard shall be 6 feet.

(b)    Privacy fencing in a front yard shall not be permitted.

(c)    For corner lots where the side yard privacy fencing would be placed facing the street or access lane, the maximum height of the first 15 feet of the fencing as measured from the front façade, shall be 3 feet. The maximum height of the remainder of the privacy fencing shall be 6 feet.

(d)    Fences are prohibited along interior side yards.

(e)    Privacy fencing adjacent to a public space shall be setback a minimum of 1 foot from the property line.

(f)    If the privacy fencing is located along the alleyway, a gate must be provided for access to the alleyway.

(g)    Privacy fencing shall be constructed of wood, simulated wood, iron, or masonry. Chain link fencing shall not be permitted.

C.    Landscaping and Planting Requirements.

1.    Design Objective. To enhance the visual appearance of the neighborhood, to preserve the natural wooded character of the Pacific Northwest, to promote utilization of natural systems, and to reduce the impacts on storm drainage systems and water resources. (See Figure 18J.17-41)

a.    Standards.

(1)    Planting Calculation and Installation.

(a)    If the calculation of the number of plantings results in a fraction of 0.5 or greater, the applicant shall round up to the next whole number. If the calculation of the number of plantings results in a fraction of less than 0.5, the applicant shall round down to the previous whole number. Existing trees may be used to meet the tree requirements in the planting calculations. See Section associated with appropriate community plan for existing tree credit. Noxious weeds are not permitted. (See Pierce County Noxious Weed List.)

(b)    Place all shrubs and perennial plants in beds mulched with finely ground bark. The bark must cover the entire planting bed to a depth of 2 inches.

(c)    Install a mulch ring at the base of each canopy and ornamental tree. At time of planting, the ring must have at least a 2-foot radius, measured from the center of the tree trunk. This mulch ring must be of organic material and be a depth of 2 inches.

(2)    Parks.

(a)    One 1-1/2 inch caliper canopy or ornamental tree shall be planted for every 1,000 square feet.

(b)    Shade trees shall be provided adjacent to play structures and at other elements in the park, such as sport courts and benches.

(c)    A pathway, with a minimum width of 3 feet, shall connect a park to neighborhood streets, access lanes or other pedestrian connections.

(3)    Common Greens.

(a)    One 1-1/2 inch caliper canopy or ornamental tree shall be planted for every 1,000 square feet.

(b)    The common greens shall be planted with plants that reflect the architectural character and the intended use of the greens.

(c)    Sidewalks or pathways are encouraged at the edge of the green to allow a larger usable green and easy access to the homes.

(d)    A pathway, with a minimum width of 3 feet, shall connect a common green to neighborhood roads, access lanes or other pedestrian routes.

(e)    The minimum lawn coverage of a common green area shall be 70 percent.

(4)    Pocket Parks.

(a)    One 1-1/2 inch caliper canopy or ornamental tree shall be planted for every 1,000 square feet.

(b)    The common greens shall be planted with plants that reflect the architectural character and the intended use of the greens.

(c)    Sidewalks or pathways are encouraged at the edge of the green to allow a larger usable green and easy access to the homes.

(d)    A pathway, with a minimum width of 3 feet, shall connect a pocket park to neighborhood streets, access lanes or other pedestrian routes.

(e)    The minimum lawn coverage of a pocket park shall be 70 percent.

(5)    Street Trees on Neighborhood Streets.

(a)    Street trees are required on all streets to provide shade and to calm traffic.

(i)    Trees shall be a minimum of 1-1/2 inch caliper.

(ii)    Trees must be spaced 25 feet on center.

(iii)    Trees shall be placed so as not to block sight distance or create a safety concern.

(iv)    Tree species shall be approved by Pierce County.

(b)    Ground cover or perennials must fully cover the remaining landscape area.

(6)    Street Trees on Access Lanes. Street trees are required on all access lanes to provide shade and to calm traffic.

(a)    Trees shall be a minimum of 1-1/2 inch caliper.

(b)    Trees shall be spaced 25 feet on center and set back approximately 4 feet from back of curb or roadway edge. Trees may be planted on a private lot.

(c)    Trees shall be placed so as not to block sight distance or create a safety concern.

(d)    Tree species shall be approved by Pierce County.

(7)    Pedestrian Easement.

(a)    Trees are required along all pedestrian easements to provide shade.

(i)    Trees shall be a minimum of 1-1/2 inch caliper.

(ii)    Trees shall be spaced 20 feet on center.

(iii)    Trees shall be placed so as not to block sight distance or create a safety concern.

(iv)    Tree species shall be approved by Pierce County.

(b)    Shrubs are required for 15 percent of easement space.

(i)    Shrubs shall be planted a maximum 36 inches on center.

(ii)    Shrubs shall be a minimum 2-gallon for native shrubs and 3-gallon for non-native.

(8)    Front Yards.

(a)    Entry walks shall have a minimum width of 3 feet and a maximum width of 4 feet.

(b)    One tree having a minimum caliper size of 2 inches or height of 8 feet shall be planted in the front yard of each unit that has a front yard setback of 15 feet or greater.

(c)    Shrubs.

(i)    A continuous row of shrubs having a maximum spacing of 3 feet on center shall be planted adjacent to that portion of a foundation facing a public space.

(ii)    Shrubs shall be a minimum 2-gallon for native shrubs and 3-gallon for non-native.

(9)    Side Yard Along Public Space. Planting shall be required along fences that face a street or public spaces. (See Figure 18J.17-40)

(a)    Shrubs.

(i)    A continuous row of shrubs having a maximum spacing of 3 feet on center shall be planted adjacent to that portion of foundation facing a public space.

(ii)    Shrubs shall be a minimum 2-gallon for native shrubs and 3-gallon for non-native.

(10)    Rear Yard.

(a)    One tree having a minimum caliper size of 2 inches or height of 8 feet shall be planted a minimum of 5 feet from the alleyway pavement edge.

(b)    Planting is required along fences that face a street. Shrubs, trees, and vines shall be used to soften the fence's public side.

(c)    Shrubs.

(i)    A continuous row of shrubs having a maximum spacing of 3 feet on center shall be planted adjacent to that portion of a foundation facing a public space.

(ii)    Shrubs shall be a minimum 2-gallon for native shrubs and 3-gallon for non-native.

(11)    Alleyway Plantings.

(a)    Space between the alleyway and fence must be landscaped with native and drought-tolerant shrubs, ground cover, and upright trees where space and layout allow.

(12)    Landscaping Utility Areas.

(a)    To minimize their appearance, transformers and other utilities shall be landscaped with a 3-foot-high or taller, continuous vegetated screen, except in areas where access is required. Plants shall be evergreen.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    In general and where feasible, plant preservation should take precedence over transplanting, transplanting over planting new, and planting native over ornamental species.

(2)    Existing topsoil should be used where feasible. The clearing and site preparation of larger development areas should save and stockpile existing topsoil for plant adaptation.

(3)    The use of native drought-tolerant plants is encouraged.

FIGURE 18J.17-41 – Landscape Example

(Ord. 2018-68s § 6 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-28s § 8 (part), 2017; Ord. 2010-70s § 15 (part), 2010; Ord. 2004-26s2 § 1 (part), 2004)

18J.17.070 Lighting.

The purpose of this Section is to offer design standards for lighting that will enhance visibility and security while accenting key architectural elements and landscape features.

A.    Exterior Lighting.

1.    Design Objective. Design lighting that provides safety and character, and aesthetic benefits for the neighborhood.

a.    Standards.

(1)    The lighting for neighborhood streets, access lanes, alleyways, common greens, and parks shall be low intensity and shall be from the same family of fixtures.

(2)    All exterior lighting shall be prevented from projecting light upward either by placement beneath building eaves or by an integral shield of the fixture's interiors as recommended by the manufacturer.

(3)    Street lighting on neighborhood streets and access lanes within the boundary of a small lot neighborhood development shall be required.

(a)    Lighting facilities and fixtures shall be located outside public right-of-way unless owned, operated, and maintained by a power utility franchised by the County.

(b)    All street lighting fixtures shall be a maximum height of 16 feet.

(4)    Sidewalks and pathways not otherwise illuminated by street lighting shall be lit with ornamental lighting fixtures. All pedestrian lighting fixtures shall be a maximum height of 12 feet.

(5)    If alley lights are mounted on the garage, they shall be no higher than 8 feet above ground and directed away from adjacent backyards and structures.

(6)    Lighting shall be limited to illumination of surfaces intended for pedestrians, vehicles, or key architectural features.

(7)    Street lights shall be required to be placed at regularly spaced intervals of no more than 200 feet on internal roadways and installed in accordance with the Manual on Design Guidelines and Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction in Pierce County as adopted by PCC 17B.10.060.

b.    Guidelines.

(1)    The character of the lighting fixtures shall be appropriate for the architecture and to a human scale.

(2)    Spill-over lighting should be avoided. This includes light that is broadcast beyond the intended area; for example, street lights that illuminate residential windows or residential flood lights that illuminate beyond the lot boundary.

(3)    Apply minimal lighting where possible to accomplish desired purpose. The selection of lights should be of appropriate height and light direction to minimize conflicts with neighbors.

(4)    Avoid lighting large areas with a single source.

(Ord. 2010-70s § 15 (part), 2010; Ord. 2004-26s2 § 1 (part), 2004)