Chapter 17.30
MU MIXED USE DISTRICT REGULATIONS

Sections:

17.30.010    Legislative findings.

17.30.020    Purposes and objectives.

17.30.030    Mixed use approval required.

17.30.040    Mixed use approval – When not required.

17.30.050    Mix of uses encouraged but not required.

17.30.060    Uses permitted.

17.30.070    Development standards.

17.30.080    Preapplication conference.

17.30.090    Application for mixed use approval.

17.30.100    Filing of application.

17.30.110    Director review.

17.30.120    Planning commission public hearing, report and recommendation.

17.30.130    City council action.

17.30.140    The final plan.

17.30.150    Subsequent approvals and permits.

17.30.160    Concurrent processing of development proposal applications.

17.30.170    Sureties.

17.30.180    Expiration of mixed use approval.

17.30.190    Amendment of final plan.

17.30.010 Legislative findings.

The city council finds as follows:

A. Those portions of the city platted and developed prior to the adoption of zoning codes include residential uses in close proximity to retail, commercial and professional uses, and are characterized by small lot sizes, high density and minimal setbacks. This development pattern encourages pedestrian access to employment opportunities and goods and services.

B. Traditional Euclidean zoning tends to isolate residential uses from employment centers and retail, business and commercial uses, and to promote automotive rather than pedestrian modes of transportation.

C. A mix of various types, sizes and costs of residential uses in close proximity to employment opportunities and retail, business and professional uses, within one neighborhood, can if properly planned contribute to a neighborhood vitality and community identity that is consistent with the city’s historical character.

D. Areas exist within the corporate limits of the city and within the city’s identified expansion areas, which due to their size and undeveloped state, afford the city with an opportunity for implementing well planned projects of varying land use mixtures.

E. By requiring new neighborhoods to be developed pursuant to a mixed use final plan, the transportation, public utilities, open space, recreation and public facilities needs and environmental impacts created by such new neighborhoods can be best identified and mitigated.

F. A decision making process providing for discretionary review, guided by articulated purposes and objectives, with the public participation and input, will best serve the public interest in shaping the future of the city.

G. It would promote the public health, safety and welfare to encourage new neighborhoods in the city that allow a mix of uses, a variety of housing types, and flexibility in lot size, building setbacks and design standards. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.020 Purposes and objectives.

A. The MU district is established to achieve the following purposes:

1. To enable development within the city with imaginative site and building design in a compatible mixture of land uses that will encourage pedestrian rather than automotive access to employment opportunities and goods and services;

2. To ensure sensitivity in land use and design to adjacent land uses in the MU district, and avoid the creation of incompatible land uses;

3. To ensure that all development gives adequate consideration to and provides mitigation for the impacts it creates with respect to transportation, public utilities, open space, recreation and public facilities, and that circulation, solid waste disposal and recycling, water, sewer and storm drain systems are designed to the extent feasible to be adequate to serve future adjacent development that can reasonably be expected; and

4. To ensure that development protects and preserves the natural environment to the maximum extent possible, including but not limited to protection of the water quality of the Snoqualmie River, contribution to the long-term solution of flooding problems, protection of wetlands and critical areas and protection of viewsheds.

B. Each proposal for development within the MU district shall be in conformity with the Snoqualmie Vicinity Comprehensive Plan, subarea master plan or annexation implementation plan, and advance the achievement of the foregoing purposes of the MU district and the following objectives:

1. The preservation or creation of open space for the enjoyment of the residents of the city, employees of businesses located within the city and the general public;

2. Creation of attractive, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods with a range of housing types, densities, costs and ownership patterns;

3. The provision of access to employment opportunities and goods and services in close proximity to, interspersed with or attached to residential uses;

4. The provision of a balanced mix and range of land uses within and adjacent to the development that minimize the necessity for the use of automobiles on a daily basis;

5. The use of the highest quality architectural design and a harmonious use of materials;

6. The provision of a range of street sizes and designs, including narrow streets designed principally for the convenience of pedestrians as well as streets of greater width designed primarily for vehicular traffic;

7. The provision of commons, greens, parks or civic buildings or spaces as places for social activity and assembly for the community; and

8. The provision of clustered development to preserve open space within the corporate limits of the city while still achieving an appropriate overall density for the city.

C. The planning commission in its recommendation and the city council in its decision shall weigh the degree to which a proposal advances or hinders each purpose and objective, and shall determine in their sole discretion whether, on balance, the proposal merits approval. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.030 Mixed use approval required.

A. Subject to the provisions of SMC 17.30.040, no land shall be used, subdivided, cleared, graded or filled and no building or structure shall be constructed, altered or enlarged within the MU district except under the authority of an approved final plan pursuant to SMC 17.30.140 issued through the process established in this chapter.

B. For purposes of this chapter, “development proposal” shall mean a proposal for any of the activities for which prior mixed use approval is required pursuant to subsection A of this section. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.040 Mixed use approval – When not required.

A. Road and utility transmission corridors, including electric, telephone, natural gas, television cable, water and sewer, may be constructed in and across the MU district without an approved final plan, when recommended by the planning commission and approved by the city council, as necessary to serve citywide or regional needs. All proposed road and utility transmission corridors in the MU district intended solely to serve existing or future development in the MU district shall be considered as part of an application for mixed use approval, and may not be considered pursuant to the authority of this section.

B. Temporary uses and structures for which no grading, clearing or building permit is required may be approved by the director without an approved final plan upon a determination that structures can be removed and the area restored to its previous condition without altering the natural characteristics of the property or a significant feature thereof to an appreciable degree.

C. Temporary uses and structures for which a clearing, grading or building permit is required may be approved without an approved final plan when recommended by the planning commission and approved by the city council, upon a determination that structures can be removed and the area restored to its previous condition without altering the natural characteristics of the property or a significant feature thereof to an appreciable degree.

D. All approvals under the provisions of this section may include conditions appropriate to ensure to the maximum extent possible that the use or structure approved does not create an impediment to the eventual development of the property to achieve the purposes and objectives of this chapter. Any proposal may be denied if it is found to create a significant impediment to the eventual development of the property to achieve the purposes and objectives of this chapter which cannot be mitigated by appropriate conditions. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.050 Mix of uses encouraged but not required.

The MU district allows and encourages a mixture of land uses, both vertically and horizontally, on one parcel or several contiguous combined parcels, but does not require such a mixture of uses on site, provided the development proposal when considered in relation to surrounding development achieves the purposes and objectives of this chapter. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.060 Uses permitted.

A. All principally and conditionally permitted uses in this title may be allowed in the MU district pursuant to an approved final plan, except uses permitted only in the I industrial district pursuant to Chapter 17.20 SMC, which are prohibited in the MU district, and except as further provided in subsection B of this section.

B. The following uses may be allowed in the M-U district only upon a special finding by the city council, with the advice of the planning commission, pursuant to subsection C of this section:

1. All uses requiring an unclassified use permit pursuant to Chapter 17.60 SMC;

2. All uses permitted only in the PCI planned commercial/industrial districts pursuant to Chapter 17.20 SMC. 

C. The uses specified in subsection B of this section may be permitted in the MU zone only upon a special finding by the city council that the proposal is for:

1. Public facilities deemed necessary by the city to protect or promote the public health, safety and welfare;

2. An unclassified use that:

a. Promotes the public health, safety and welfare,

b. Can be carried on within a development proposal without greater traffic, noise, glare, air or water pollution impacts than other uses not subject to the prohibition of this section, and

c. Does not materially hinder the achievement of the objectives of this chapter; or

3. An industrial use that can be carried on within a development proposal without greater traffic, noise, glare, air or water pollution or other environmental impacts than other uses not requiring a special finding. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.070 Development standards.

A. The development standards in this section shall apply to development proposals within the MU district unless an adopted sub-area plan or annexation implementation plan specifies different standards, in which case the standards specified in the subarea plan shall apply.

B. Subject to the provisions of subsection A of this section, the following development standards shall apply to all development within the MU district:

1. The minimum acreage for a mixed use final plan shall be 10 acres;

2. At least 35 percent of the total acreage within the proposed final plan must be dedicated to open space, natural areas, parks, recreation areas, or village greens, commons or public assembly areas, excluding streets and parking areas. Fees in lieu of dedication of land for such uses may be permitted by the city council, in accordance with state law. Such fees shall be used to acquire comparable open space functional equal to or better than that available on the site of the proposed final plan;

3. The tract or tracts of land included in a proposed mixed use final plan in an MU district must be in one ownership or control, or be the subject of a joint application by the owners of all the property included. The holder of a written option to purchase may be deemed the owner of such land for purposes of this subsection;

4. Proposed circulation, solid waste disposal and recycling, water, sewer and stormwater management systems shall be designed in such a manner to allow adequate and efficient future expansion to accommodate development which can reasonably be anticipated on adjacent or nearby lands; and

5. The siting of compatible land uses shall be encouraged to the greatest extent possible through the use of sensitive site planning, use of landscaping, buffering and open space, and conformance to the performance standards described in SMC 17.55.080. 

C. It is the intention of this chapter to encourage development proposals not constrained by fixed development standards, and toward that end, deviation from the development standards set forth in subsection D of this section or other standards of this code, except those specified in subsection A of this section, may be authorized when the city council finds, with the advice of the planning commission, that compared to such standards such deviation would advance the achievement of the stated purposes and objectives of the MU district at the completion of the development.

D. Unless required by a subarea plan, annexation implementation plan, or otherwise authorized, development standards in the MU district shall be as follows:

1. Maximum density: 12 units per acre;

2. Maximum building height: four stories; and

3. Maximum FAR (floor area ratio) for commercial, industrial and multifamily residential structures of 0.8.

E. Off-street parking shall be as required in Chapter 17.65 SMC; provided, such requirements may be reduced when more than one building or use can jointly use parking spaces or it can otherwise be demonstrated that an adequate parking supply exists in the particular circumstances, which may include, by way of example only, that different land uses have different hourly patterns of use, or because different land uses exist on or nearby the site, a person may satisfy more than one trip destination from one parking space. In such cases, a parking supply plan shall be submitted indicating the amount of shared parking to be provided and substantiating the rationale for the shared parking. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.080 Preapplication conference.

A preapplication conference between the applicant or his representative and the director is required prior to submission of an application for approval of a mixed use final plan. The purpose of this conference shall be for the applicant to familiarize the director with the proposed mixed use final plan, and to initially acquaint the applicant with the city’s project processing procedures. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.090 Application for mixed use approval.

All applications for approval of a development proposal in the MU district shall, at a minimum, include the following:

A. A site plan, which includes one or more drawings at a scale prescribed by the director, showing the following:

1. The location of the site and its relationship to the surrounding areas, including the current land use, natural features and the zoning of both the site and the surrounding areas;

2. The existing site conditions, including contours at five-foot intervals, water bodies, soil types, geologic conditions and forest cover;

3. The approximate location and size of all existing and proposed uses, including notations of maximum heights; types of dwelling units, buildings, structures and other improvements; density per type; and renderings of a typical streetscape and/or typical lot configuration;

4. The location and approximate size in acres or square feet of all areas to be conveyed, dedicated or reserved as open space, natural areas, parks, recreation areas, or greens, commons or public assembly areas or similar public uses;

5. The existing and proposed circulation system of arterial and collector streets, including, if known, the approximate general location of local streets, off-street parking, service and loading areas, and major points of access to public rights-of-way, with notations of proposed public or private ownership as appropriate;

6. The existing and proposed pedestrian circulation system, including approximate locations of bicycle lanes and trails, including internal connections to regional trails;

7. The existing and proposed major trunkline utility systems, including sanitary sewers, storm sewers, gas, electric power and water;

8. The existing and proposed public transportation services and facilities.

B. In addition to the graphic illustrations set forth above, the applicant shall submit the following in a high-quality, searchable PDF format, or other such form as the director may specify:

1. A legal description of the subject property;

2. The program for development, including phasing or completion schedules, if any, and the anticipated project completion date;

3. Proposed design standards for minimum lot area, width, frontage, and yard requirements, street standards, building heights, and parking provisions, as applicable;

4. A list of the items, issues or subjects to be provided for by restrictive covenants and/or design and architectural guidelines;

5. Proposed provisions to assure the permanence and maintenance of common open space and recreational facilities;

6. Proposed landscape standards to apply to open space and yards, and the proposed treatment of required buffers, if any, and the perimeter of the development, including materials and techniques to be used, such as types of vegetation, screens, fences and walls;

7. The proposed method of street lighting and signing;

8. The proposed plan for solid waste disposal and recycling and a proposal for adequate maintenance of such facilities;

9. A statement identifying applicable policies of the Snoqualmie Vicinity Comprehensive Plan and any applicable subarea master plan or annexation implementation plan, and demonstrating how the development proposal meets such policies and the purposes and objectives of this chapter; and

10. The signature of the applicant or agent authorized to act on behalf of the applicant, with evidence of the agent’s authority.

C. The application shall include information as required by applicable ordinances and policies regarding impacts of the development proposal on flooding issues, and proposals for the applicant to support and participate in long-term permanent flood damage reduction solutions.

D. The application shall include a SEPA checklist or a written request for a determination of significance, acknowledging that an environmental impact statement will be required, in lieu of such checklist.

E. Such other information or studies shall be provided as the director may deem necessary to fully evaluate the proposed mixed use final plan’s compliance with this chapter, any applicable subarea master plan or annexation implementation plan policy and other applicable ordinances and regulations of the city. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.100 Filing of application.

The application shall be made on forms prescribed by the director. The applicant shall pay all costs incurred by the city that are associated with processing the mixed use proposal, including engineering, inspection, legal and administrative costs. The city administrator shall establish a deposit requirement to cover the city’s estimated costs of processing the application, from which city costs shall be deducted, and when such sum is exhausted, additional deposits in an amount equal to the estimated further city costs shall be required. The initial deposit and all subsequent deposits of funds in the amounts so established shall be conditions of processing the application. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.110 Director review.

A. The director shall within 45 days after receipt determine whether the application is complete, and shall notify the applicant of such determination in writing; provided, this section shall not be construed to limit the authority of the director to require additional information during the processing of the application. The applicant shall submit any additional information necessary to complete the application. The applicant may be asked to provided additional copies of the completed application within 15 days after the application is determined to be complete.

B. The director or designee shall circulate copies of the completed application for review and comments, and shall prepare a staff report, including conclusions and recommendations, for the use of the planning commission and city council. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.120 Planning commission public hearing, report and recommendation.

A. The planning commission shall hold at least one public hearing on the mixed use application, and shall give notice thereof pursuant to Chapter 17.85 SMC. The planning commission shall meet within 30 days after the date the application is determined to be complete or within 30 days after the issuance of a draft environmental impact statement, whichever is later, to schedule a date for the public hearing. Additional public hearings may be held during the course of the planning commission’s consideration of the mixed use application as it shall deem appropriate.

B. The planning commission shall by resolution make a recommendation to approve, approve with conditions or deny the proposed mixed use final plan, and shall set forth any recommended conditions, and any recommended finding pursuant to SMC 17.30.060 relating to permitted uses and SMC 17.30.070(C) relating to deviations from development standards of this chapter and code. The recommendation of the planning commission shall be based upon its findings, which shall be included in the resolution, as to whether the development proposal substantially complies with the Snoqualmie Vicinity Comprehensive Plan, the policies of any applicable subarea master plan, the requirements of any applicable annexation implementation plan and the purposes and objectives of this chapter, and including but not limited to the following:

1. The legislative findings, purposes and objectives of SMC 17.30.010 and 17.30.020 specifically advanced by the proposal;

2. Adequacy of the provisions for each of the following, where applicable:

a. Water supply,

b. Wastewater treatment facilities,

c. Stormwater management,

d. Electrical power supply,

e. School impact mitigation,

f. Affordable housing,

g. Open space, natural areas, parks, recreation areas, or greens, commons or public assembly areas,

h. Municipal services and facilities,

i. Fiscal impact guarantees,

j. Transportation systems management, and

k. Viewshed protection;

3. Environmental impacts and mitigation, including but not limited to the following, where applicable:

a. Wetlands protection,

b. Critical areas protection,

c. Water quality protection,

d. Flood hazard zone protection, and

e. Air quality protection. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.130 City council action.

After receipt of the planning commission findings and recommendation, and upon consideration of the director’s or designee’s staff report and any other evidence it deems relevant, the city council shall consider the mixed use application at a public meeting, not more than 90 days after receipt by the city council; provided, on application made prior to expiration of the 90-day period, city council may on good cause shown extend the time for consideration for one additional period of up to 90 days. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to request consideration by city council at a public meeting within the time period allowed, and any application not brought before city council within such time period shall be deemed abandoned. After such deliberation as it may deem necessary, the council may by resolution approve, approve with conditions or deny the proposed mixed use final plan, which resolution shall contain the council’s findings and decision, which may incorporate by reference the findings and recommendation of the planning commission in whole or in part. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 813 § 1, 1998; Ord. 769 § 25, 1996; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.140 The final plan.

A. The site plan and conditions, as approved by city council, shall constitute the “final plan” for purposes of this chapter. Approval of the final plan does not of itself authorize development, but provides the standards against which applications for subsequent approvals and permits for development proposals are to be reviewed. The final plan is intended to provide a broad conceptual framework within which future discretionary review, including but not limited to subdivisions, binding site improvement plans and design review, will be conducted.

B. Approval of the final plan constitutes mixed use approval.

C. The final plan shall be recorded with the county department of records and elections.

D. The director shall maintain a true, accurate and complete copy of the final plan. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.150 Subsequent approvals and permits.

A. The planning official shall administratively determine the procedures and forms for subsequent permits and approvals under this section, so long as such procedures and forms are in conformance with the approved final plan.

B. Applications for subsequent permits and approvals shall be approved only when substantially in conformance with the approved final plan.

C. The planning official shall determine within 45 days after receipt whether any application subsequent to approval of the final plan is substantially in conformance therewith; provided, subdivisions shall be subject to the process mandated by state law and any applicable city regulations.

D. The subsequent application shall be considered substantially in conformance with the approved final plan when the proposal:

1. Is within the scope and intent of the final plan;

2. Is of a similar size and scale and does not present appreciably different environmental effects from those identified during the final plan review process;

3. Does not reduce overall acreage identified as dedicated public areas, open space or buffering areas;

4. Does not materially change the balance of uses; and

5. Does not exceed the limitations of any development standards approved pursuant to SMC 17.30.070.

E. Notice of the planning official’s determination as to whether a subsequent application is substantially in conformance with the approved final plan shall be mailed to the applicant and published, and such determination shall be final unless appeal is taken to the city council within 15 days after the date of publication.

F. Applications for subsequent subdivisions or permits for construction shall include the proposed covenants, conditions and restrictions, and any other matter required as a condition of the final plan.

G. A determination of consistency with the final plan shall not exempt the subsequent application from the necessity of obtaining any other required local, state or federal permits or compliance with any other applicable requirements. (Ord. 1203 § 8, 2018; Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.160 Concurrent processing of development proposal applications.

Applications for development approvals, including but not limited to subdivisions, may be submitted with applications for mixed use approval and may, to the extent practicable, be processed concurrently. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.170 Sureties.

When the final plan approves phased development, conditions shall be established for sureties or other performance guarantees acceptable to the city for infrastructure, open space, landscaping and any other performance required as a condition of mixed use approval. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.180 Expiration of mixed use approval.

A mixed use approval shall expire and become void unless substantial construction is commenced within three years of the date of approval of the final plan, or within a longer period if specifically authorized in the phasing or construction schedules approved in the final plan and is substantially completed within the approved phasing or construction schedules; provided, such time periods shall be tolled during the pendency of any litigation related to the mixed use project that prevents the applicant from commencing or completing such construction; and further provided, that prior to the expiration of the mixed use approval, an applicant may apply directly to city council for one or more extensions not to exceed one year each. The city council shall approve such extension or extensions upon a finding of good cause. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).

17.30.190 Amendment of final plan.

All provisions of this chapter shall apply to applications for amendment of an approved final plan, except such application need only detail the proposed changes. All changes to the approved final plan, which are not determined to be in substantial conformance therewith pursuant to SMC 17.30.150, including any request to materially alter the entire phasing schedule contained in a mixed use approval, shall require amendment of the final plan. (Ord. 1198 § 22 (Exh. D), 2017; Ord. 744 § 2, 1995).