Chapter 17.46
COMMERCIAL, MULTIFAMILY, COTTAGE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS, AND MIXED USE ARCHITECTURAL AND SITE DESIGN REVIEW PROCESSES

Sections:

17.46.010    Purpose and intent.

17.46.020    Predesign process.

17.46.030    Applicability and permit review process – Standards.

17.46.040    Application submittal and contents.

17.46.050    Notice requirements.

17.46.060    Permit review process – Administrative review (Type IA).

17.46.070    Permit review process – Review by design committee (Type II and III).

17.46.080    Design standard departures.

17.46.090    Outcome of review.

17.46.095    Advisory committee review of building permits.

17.46.100    Variance criteria.

17.46.110    Design review permit conditions to run with the land.

17.46.120    Repealed.

17.46.010 Purpose and intent.

It is the intent of this chapter to:

A. Provide common application procedures, permit review, and decisionmaking processes for commercial, mixed use, multifamily, and cottage housing developments.

B. Combine Port Townsend’s multiple review processes into a single chapter for multifamily projects, cottage housing projects (R-I, R-II, and R-III districts) and for development within the commercial (C-I, C-II, C-II(H)), mixed use (C-I/MU and C-II/MU) zoning districts. This does not include development that is otherwise subject to the historic design review process in Chapter 17.30 PTMC, Historic Preservation Code.

C. Encourage high quality design.

D. Provide predictable, timely and cost efficient review of commercial, mixed use and multifamily projects.

E. Establish a clear process and review standards for Port Townsend’s cottage housing projects and development within the above-referenced commercial, mixed use, and residential multifamily districts. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.020 Predesign process.

For all projects subject to design review, staff shall meet with the proponent at a pre-design meeting to identify and review applicable design guidelines. Staff shall identify the appropriate design review process, provide a list of application materials, and provide design recommendations based upon applicable standards. This predesign feedback may be folded into a technical review conference or overall land use or building preapplication meeting covering all project related issues. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.030 Applicability and permit review process – Standards.

Unless otherwise subject to the historic design review process in Chapter 17.30 PTMC, Historic Preservation Code, all projects in the C-I, C-II, C-II(H), C-I/MU, and C-II/MU zones, cottage housing developments, as well as multifamily projects in any zone regardless of their location or form of ownership shall be subject to the design review process contained within this chapter and processed in accordance with the permit review process in Chapter 20.01 PTMC as set forth below:

A. Type IA – Administrative Review Pursuant to PTMC 17.46.060.

1. Commercial and Mixed Use Projects.

a. New buildings, canopies or other structures that exceed 1,000 square feet and are less than 4,000 square feet in size or no more than two stories above grade; or

b. Buildings, canopies, or other structures, the expansions of which either:

i. Exceed 1,000 square feet in size and are less than 4,000 square feet; or

ii. Comprise a ground floor expansion exceeding 50 percent of an existing building’s ground floor square footage; or

c. Substantial alterations of existing structures, where the existing structure exceeds 1,000 square feet and is less than 4,000 square feet; or

d. Alterations to exterior facades of buildings (including but not limited to new or altered exterior electrical or mechanical systems such as pole-mounted or other light fixtures) excepting that ordinary (i.e., nonemergency) maintenance and repair activities may be granted a waiver of design review by the director. All work, even that qualifying for a waiver from the review process, must be conducted in accordance with applicable code requirements, including architectural design standards of Chapter 17.44 PTMC.

2. Multifamily Projects.

a. Including construction of apartments, townhouses, row houses or other forms of multifamily housing containing five to nine units; or

b. Alterations to the exterior facades of buildings (including but not limited to new or altered exterior electrical or mechanical systems such as pole-mounted or other light fixtures) excepting that ordinary (i.e., nonemergency) maintenance and repair activities may be granted a waiver of design review by the director. All work, even that qualifying for a waiver from the review process, must be conducted in accordance with applicable code requirements, including architectural design standards of Chapter 17.36 PTMC.

3. Cottage Housing Developments. Alterations to the exterior facades of buildings which are visible from adjacent properties or rights-of-way (including but not limited to new or altered exterior electrical or mechanical systems such as pole-mounted or other light fixtures) excepting that ordinary (i.e., nonemergency) maintenance and repair activities may be granted a waiver of design review by the director. All work, even that qualifying for a waiver from the review process, must be conducted in accordance with applicable code requirements, including architectural design standards of Chapter 17.34 PTMC.

B. Type II – Administrative Review with an Advisory Committee Pursuant to PTMC 17.46.070.

1. All projects which include requests for departure pursuant to PTMC 17.46.080.

2. All projects in all applicable districts exceeding the following thresholds are further subject to administrative review with the design review advisory committee:

a. Any new building canopy or other structure with a ground floor exceeding 4,000 square feet in size; or

b. Any new building with more than two stories above grade, or any expansion creating more than two stories above grade; or

c. Any building containing 10 or more dwelling units; or

d. Substantial alterations of existing structures, where the existing structure exceeds 5,000 square feet of ground floor area or otherwise exceeds categorical exemption limits of SEPA (Chapter 19.05 PTMC); or

e. Any project where the DSD director determines that the proposed design has generated strong public interest, or is proposed for a sensitive or highly visible site; the director may require that review with the advisory committee is warranted.

3. Cottage housing developments in the R-II or R-III zoning districts.

C. Type III – Administrative Review with an Advisory Committee Pursuant to PTMC 17.46.070. Cottage housing developments in the R-I zoning district shall be processed according to the procedures established in Chapter 20.01 PTMC, Land Development Administrative Procedures, and are subject to the conditional use permit criteria established in Chapter 17.84 PTMC, Conditional Uses.

D. Standards to Be Applied. Applications for design review shall be subject to the site design and architectural design standards of this title as follows:

Commercial and mixed use projects

Chapter 17.44 PTMC

Commercial or mixed use projects with five or more residential units

Subject to a combined single review for compliance with Chapters 17.36 and 17.44 PTMC. No additional fee will be charged above that required for review under a single standard

Multifamily development in any zoning district

Chapter 17.36 PTMC

Cottage housing development

Chapter 17.34 PTMC, Cottage Housing Development Design Standards

Note: For development that is subject to historic design review process see Chapter 17.30 PTMC, Historic Preservation Code.

(Ord. 3035 § 8, 2010; Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2920 § 10, 2005; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.040 Application submittal and contents.

A. Applications for design review shall be submitted to DSD and shall consist of a completed application on a form prescribed by DSD, the appropriate fee, if any, established by Chapter 20.09 PTMC, and all materials required pursuant to PTMC 20.01.100. It shall also be accompanied by:

1. Preliminary architectural renderings (elevations required with details of architectural features, but not construction documents).

2. The type and finished color of exterior siding, windows and roofing to be used, signs and trim to the extent known.

3. Lighting plan showing the location, type, wattage, and light output of all exterior light fixtures, height of standards and wall mounted fixtures, and glare reduction/control devices. The plan shall also include proposed hours of lighting use, proposed use of any timing/motion detection switches, and a statement of any expected light impacts to neighboring properties.

4. Site plan (including landscaping details) sufficiently complete to show comprehensive project design. Site plan shall include conceptual street frontage improvements, including street and sidewalk cross sections.

5. All land, trees, and tree canopy to be cleared and the trees or tree canopy to be preserved shall be identified. Criteria for trees to be retained shall be in conformance with PTMC 17.44.080 and Chapter 19.06 PTMC, Tree Conservation.

6. The location of the proposed access to the site for clearing and grading during site development and construction shall be shown on the site plan.

7. The DSD director may allow later submittal of certain requirements, such as the lighting or landscaping plan, if the applicant wishes to first have conceptual review of the overall project. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2920 § 11, 2005; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.050 Notice requirements.

A. Commercial, Multifamily, and Mixed Use Design Review.

1. Notice of application for design review shall conform with the requirements of PTMC 20.01.150. Notice shall be posted in the manner prescribed by PTMC 20.01.160.

2. Notice of design review for commercial, multifamily, and mixed use projects shall be included when notice is required for other applications, e.g., SEPA determination or shorelines permit.

B. Cottage Housing Developments. Notice of design review for cottage housing developments will be provided as specified by Chapter 20.01 PTMC, particularly as set forth in PTMC 20.01.150 and 20.01.160. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2982 § 17, 2008; Ord. 2920 § 4, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.060 Permit review process – Administrative review (Type IA).

A. Projects falling under the criteria of PTMC 17.46.030(A) shall be reviewed administratively by DSD staff. Staff shall work with the proponent to address design development as an integral part of the permit review process. The director may require that review with the advisory committee is warranted per PTMC 17.46.070.

B. DSD staff shall coordinate design review with review of infrastructure requirements and street frontage improvements required for project. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2920 § 12, 2005; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.070 Permit review process – Review by design committee (Type II and III).

A. Projects meeting the criteria of PTMC 17.46.030(B) and cottage housing developments shall be reviewed by a design review advisory committee established per Chapter 2.73 PTMC. Projects shall be considered in the following manner:

1. Staff shall first meet with the applicant to identify and work out design issues.

2. When the proposal has sufficiently addressed the design guidelines identified at the pre-design meeting, staff shall schedule a meeting with the applicant and the advisory committee. The meeting shall occur during business hours unless all participants agree to an alternate time. DSD staff shall coordinate design review with review of infrastructure requirements and street frontage improvements required for project.

3. The design review advisory committee shall meet once with the applicant or his/her representative. The design review meeting shall consist of a presentation by the project proponent that focuses on how the proposed design meets the criteria of the design guidelines. The committee will ask clarifying questions and take public comment if it chooses. The committee shall review how the proposed project meets the identified guidelines, and if a departure from the standards has been requested, if it is appropriate. The committee shall provide a recommendation to the DSD director/hearing examiner for approval, approval with conditions, or denial.

4. The meeting is open to the public; public testimony is not solicited but may be accepted at the discretion of the committee.

5. Meetings will not be continued except at the request of the applicant. The proponent may request additional meetings with staff and/or the committee, for instance, in circumstances where a departure has not been favorably received, and the applicant has subsequently made extensive revision and desires reconsideration of his request. Should the proposed project be found to have one or more guidelines that have not been successfully addressed, the committee or staff will work with the applicant to remedy, if possible, the identified circumstance. If it is not possible to come to a workable solution, the committee may recommend denial of the proposal. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2920 § 12, 2005; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.080 Design standard departures.

A. A “departure” is a request by the applicant to meet or exceed a particular design guideline “objective” through the use of a technique or standard not otherwise listed under the applicable design guideline.

B. Departures from the architectural and site design standards of Chapter 17.34 PTMC, Cottage Housing Development Design Standards; Chapter 17.36 PTMC, Multifamily Residential Development Standards; and Chapter 17.44 PTMC, Commercial and Mixed Use Architectural and Site Design Standards, may be permitted for cottage housing, multifamily, commercial, and mixed use projects as part of the design review process. In order for a departure from development standards to be allowed, an applicant must demonstrate that the overall development, including departures from the design standards, would better serve the public interest, and a finding shall be made in the affirmative that each proposed departure meets or exceeds the intent of the respective design guideline as compared to a strict application of the established standard. Through the design review process established by this chapter, departures may be allowed from the following design guideline standards:

1. Building setbacks;

2. Window glazing and building transparency;

3. Off-street parking location;

4. Site grading and tree conservation;

5. Neighborhood scale;

6. Facade modulation and roof articulation;

7. Building exterior materials and colors;

8. Landscape and screening;

9. Pedestrian walkways;

10. Building (including canopy) design;

11. Lighting;

12. Location and design of support/mechanical elements;

13. Building height in cottage housing developments;

14. Minimum building/dwelling unit separation in cottage housing developments (attached cottages);

15. Open space (including private open space) requirements in cottage housing developments;

16. Exterior building materials standards (including trim and roof eave design in cottage housing developments);

17. Covered main entries in cottage housing developments;

18. Signs in C-I, C-II, and C-II(H) zoning districts to exceed 17-foot height limit;

19. Block sizes, building separation, and street layout in commercial and mixed use short plats, subdivisions, and binding site plans;

20. Building height for towers of up to 100 square feet in plan view may be allowed to exceed the height limit of the applicable zoning district by up to 10 feet;

21.  Minimum building separation in the C-II general commercial zoning district when multiple buildings, if attached, would exceed a ground floor area of 40,000 square feet where the separation is proposed to be less than 60 feet and will be used for pedestrian and emergency vehicle use only.

C. Departure Approval Process. Before a departure can be approved by the director, the director shall first receive and consider the recommendation of the advisory committee. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2920 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.090 Outcome of review.

A. A completed review form or checklist will comprise the recommendation from staff or the design advisory committee to the DSD director, or to the hearing examiner in the case of Type III/CUP cottage housing developments, including whether the departure provisions have been invoked.

B. If applicable, the SEPA responsible official shall consider the staff/committee recommendation in the SEPA threshold determination, and he or she may incorporate recommended conditions into the SEPA mitigation.

C. The director, or hearing examiner for Type III/CUP cottage housing developments, shall not act upon the recommendation of the design review committee for a period of seven days. During this seven-day period, interested citizens or aggrieved parties may request in writing a “reconsideration” of the advisory committee recommendation. Such reconsideration requests shall be made in writing, shall state the reasons why a reconsideration request is made, and the relief sought. Upon review of the advisory committee’s recommendation, and after reviewing any requests for reconsideration, the director or hearing examiner may:

1. Issue the design review permit, including any modifications, conditions, or denial of approval; or

2. Return the project to the advisory committee with directions for additional review.

D. The decisionmaker (DSD director or hearing examiner) may not incorporate a departure into a design review permit without first having received and considered the recommendation of the advisory committee.

E. Design review permit conditions shall be incorporated into associated land use and/or building permit.

F. No building permit shall be issued for a project subject to review under this chapter until such a design review permit has been issued. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2920 § 5, 2005; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.095 Advisory committee review of building permits.

Upon receipt of a complete building permit application that has been previously reviewed by the advisory committee, the advisory committee shall be contacted and afforded an opportunity to review the completed building permit application for conformity with the design review permit issued for the project. The purpose of this review is to identify any inconsistencies between the design review permit and the completed building permit application. Any inconsistencies shall be remedied prior to issuance of the building permit. This review process shall not interfere with the normal processing timelines for building permit applications. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2920 § 9, 2006).

17.46.100 Variance criteria.

In the event the applicant believes that, due to extraordinary circumstances and unique attributes of the site, it is impracticable or impossible to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the applicant may apply for a variance. The variance application shall be reviewed in accordance with Chapter 17.86 PTMC, as a minor variance application. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.110 Design review permit conditions to run with the land.

The conditions of the design review permit granted pursuant to this chapter shall remain in force upon a change of ownership of the site, business, service, use or structure which was the subject of the permit application. Changes to any design aspects regulated by Chapter 17.44 PTMC, Commercial and Mixed Use Architectural and Site Design Standards, Chapter 17.34 PTMC, Cottage Housing Development Design Standards, or Chapter 17.36 PTMC, Multifamily Residential Development Standards, must be approved by the DSD director. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 6), 2010; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).

17.46.120 Enforcement.

Repealed by Ord. 2952. (Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2864 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. C), 2003).