Chapter 17.30
COMMERCIAL ZONES

Sections:

17.30.010    Purpose.

17.30.020    Additional requirements.

17.30.030    Allowed uses.

17.30.040    Prohibited.

17.30.050    Development standards for commercial zones.

17.30.060    Performance standards.

17.30.070    Health regulations.

17.30.080    Septic tanks.

17.30.090    Construction code requirements.

17.30.100    Commercial coaches and recreational vehicles.

17.30.110    Outside storage.

17.30.120    Fences and walls.

17.30.130    Buffer strips.

17.30.140    Storm water and drainage.

17.30.150    Ground floor windows.

17.30.160    Pedestrian standards.

17.30.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for:

A. A well-distributed system of community-based retail, service, neighborhood convenience, and regional-based retail uses;

B. Land uses that meet the needs of local residents and attract regional populations;

C. Land areas within the city to meet the needs of commercial development.

The C-1, central business district zone is intended to provide for a variety of retail business uses and services and to preserve land for such uses. It is a unique pedestrian-oriented commercial district that is the major retail, office, entertainment, and arts center for the community. Complementary residential uses are encouraged.

The C-2, general commercial and business zone is intended to provide for the general commercial and business activity of the city and to preserve land for such uses. It is intended to complement the downtown and help meet the other community needs, as well as provide an area for large scale shopping centers and other uses oriented to vehicle traffic. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.020 Additional requirements.

Additional requirements are found in other chapters of this code and other adopted city regulations, including but not limited to the following:

A. Chapter 17.10 SLMC, Citywide Regulations.

B. Chapter 17.49 SLMC, Site Plan Review.

C. Chapter 17.51 SLMC, Conditional and Unmentioned Uses.

D. Chapter 17.54 SLMC, Off-Street Parking and Loading.

E. Chapter 17.57 SLMC, Landscaping.

F. Chapter 17.58 SLMC, Signs.

G. Chapter 17.78 SLMC, Personal Wireless Service Facilities.

H. Chapter 14.12 SLMC, Critical Areas.

I. City of Soap Lake shoreline master program. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.030 Allowed uses.

A. The commercial land uses table indicates where categories of land uses may be permitted and whether those uses are allowed outright or by conditional use permit. Only commercial zones are included in this table. Land uses not listed are prohibited unless allowed through the process specified in subsection (D) of this section. Further interpretation of these zones may be obtained as specified in SLMC 18.03.020(B). Land uses are also subject to any footnotes contained within this chapter.

B. The symbols used in the table represent the following:

1. An “A” in a table cell indicates that the use is allowed subject to the applicable standards in this code in the zone listed at the top of the table.

2. A “C” in a table cell indicates that the use is allowed by conditional use permit, subject to the conditional use provisions in Chapter 17.51 SLMC and any additional standards specified.

3. An “X” in a table cell indicates the use is not allowed in the zone listed at the top of the table.

C. Procedural requirements for permits are described in SLMC Title 18.

D. Uses similar to those listed may be established as allowed or conditionally allowed through the interpretation procedures in SLMC 18.03.020(B). In determining whether a use should be permitted, the zoning administrator shall refer to the purpose statements found in SLMC 17.30.010 and the 1987 version of the Standard Industrial Classification Manual.

 

TABLE 17.30.030 LAND USES IN COMMERCIAL ZONES 

USE CATEGORIES

C-1

C-2

Retail

Retail uses (other than those listed below)

A

A

Food stores

A

A

Eating and drinking places

A

A

Drinking places

A

A

Open sales lots in conjunction with the principal use which must be in an enclosed adjoining building

X

A

Daily outdoor merchandise display

A

A

Sidewalk sales

A

A

Christmas tree sales, fireworks sales, nonprofit organization sales or activities associated with a seasonal event

A

A

Vehicle sales lot

X

A

Service stations

C

A

Drive-through for a permitted use

C

A

Wholesale

Wholesale use as an accessory use to a permitted retail use

A

A

Wholesale use when not associated with a retail use

X

A

Services

Service uses (other than those listed below)

A

A

Professional offices, other than medical/dental/psychiatric

A

A

Medical/dental/psychiatric office or clinic

C

A

Hospitals

X

C

Clubs, lodges, assembly halls

A

A

Lodging and assembly

A

A

Recreational vehicle parks (in compliance with Chapter 17.71 SLMC)

X

C

Banking and financial services

A

A

Repair facilities

C

A

Child care, day care

A

A

Veterinarian, small animals (pets)

C1

C

Veterinarian, large animals (livestock)

X

X

Animal boarding

X

C

Drive-through for a permitted use

C

A

Adult entertainment facilities, in compliance with Chapter 17.73 SLMC

X

A

Cultural, recreational, and entertainment uses

A

A

Transportation, Communication, and Utilities

Wireless communication facilities, in compliance with Chapter 17.78 SLMC

A

A

Local utilities, below ground

A

A

Local utilities, above ground

C

C

Regional utilities

C

C

Private or public passenger transportation systems

A

A

Airports, landing strips, and air transportation facilities

X

C

Heliports

C

C

Industrial and Storage

On-site hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities

C

C

Off-site hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities

X

X

Wrecking yards, salvage yards, or junk yards

X

X

Light manufacturing when subordinate to a retail sales outlet and contained in a building

A

A

Storage, warehousing, and distribution, not associated with a retail business

X

A

Construction site storage in sea-going containers or semi trailers

A

A

Permanent storage in cargo container, in compliance with Chapter 17.76 SLMC

X

C

Temporary storage in cargo container, in compliance with Chapter 17.76 SLMC

X

C

Outside storage in conjunction with a principal use which is in an enclosed adjoining building

X

A

Public and Institutional

Park, playground, athletic field, other noncommercial recreation

A

A

Outdoor recreational, entertainment, or amusement facilities

A

A

Festivals or other outdoor celebrations

A

A

Schools, public and private

C

C

Churches

C

C

Libraries

A

A

Residential

Manufactured or mobile home park

X

X

Occupancy of trailers or recreational vehicles (except in an RV park)

X

X

Residential use in conjunction with a commercial structure

A2

C

Multifamily residential use, not in conjunction with a commercial structure

C3

C

Assisted living facility

X

C

Adult family home in an existing residence

A

A

Family day care home in an existing residence

A

A

Miscellaneous

Accessory use appurtenant to any primary use and not otherwise prohibited

A

A

Removal of soil or other natural materials for the purpose of sale or use as fill material

X

X

Keeping of livestock, poultry, rabbits, or bees

X

C

Footnotes for Table 17.30.030:

1.    No outdoor boarding allowed.

2.    Existing residential uses may remain. For new residential uses, at least 50 percent of the ground floor area must be designated for retail, service, public, or commercial uses. Off-street parking for residential tenants must be provided, in compliance with Chapter 17.54 SLMC.

3.    In the C-1 zone, this use is not allowed for properties that front on Daisy, Main or Cana.

(Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.040 Prohibited.

The following are prohibited in commercial zones:

A. Outside storage, collection, or dumping of any junk, scrap, garbage, unsightly material, litter, or debris except as may be contained in an approved garbage collection container.

B. Outside storage, collection, or dumping of dismantled, partly dismantled, or wrecked vehicles, trailers, machinery, or their parts. This includes vehicles that are inoperable, unlicensed, or unable to legally be driven on public roadways. This does not apply to six or fewer vehicles located at approved or conforming repair facilities for a period of less than 30 days.

C. Any use which does not or is not capable of conforming with the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.050 Development standards for commercial zones.

A. Purpose. This section establishes the development standards and site requirements for uses in the commercial zones. The standards and rules are established to provide flexibility in project design, prevent fire danger, provide adequate access and circulation, reduce incompatibilities, and prevent overloading of infrastructure due to the impacts of development.

B. Explanation of Table. Development standards are listed down the left column of the table and the commercial zones are identified across the top row. The matrix cells contain the requirements of each zone. The footnotes identify particular requirements applicable to a specific use, standard, or zone.

 

TABLE 17.30.050 DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS IN COMMERCIAL ZONES 

Development Standards

C-1

C-2

Minimum lot size

NR

NR

Maximum lot size

NR1

NR

Maximum building height

4 stories or 62'2

4 stories or 62'2

Minimum front yard setback3

NR

15'

Maximum front setback

0'4

NR

Exterior side yard setback3

NR

15'

Interior side yard setback3

NR

NR

Rear yard setback3

NR

NR

Landscaping required (Chapter 17.57 SLMC)

New parking lots only

Yes

Buffer requirements

SLMC 17.30.130

SLMC 17.30.130

Signage

Chapter 17.58 SLMC

Chapter 17.58 SLMC

Outside storage allowed

No

SLMC 17.30.110

Fencing requirements

SLMC 17.30.120

SLMC 17.30.120

Parking required (Chapter 17.54 SLMC)

Yes

Yes

Ground floor window standards

SLMC 17.30.150

NR

Pedestrian requirements

NR

SLMC 17.30.160

NR= No requirement for the zone. Other regulations may apply.

Footnotes for Table 17.30.050:

1.    No maximum lot size; however, any use over two acres requires planning agency approval as a conditional use.

2.    The planning agency may allow buildings or structures to be erected to an additional height after a public hearing and examination of the location and upon due proof to the satisfaction of the agency that the additional height will not be detrimental.

3.    Setbacks.

a. Within the setback area shown on Table 17.30.050, no building or structure (as defined in Chapter 17.06 SLMC) shall be allowed, except flagpoles, street furniture, transit shelters, signage, fencing, slope stability structures, and improvements less than 30 inches above grade, including decks, patios, walks, and driveways. Some of these structures and improvements require a permit.

b. The setbacks shown in the table are zoning setbacks. Larger setbacks may be required by the State Building Code, State Fire Code, sight distance requirements, or landscaping requirements (Chapter 17.57 SLMC).

4.    Portions of the building may be set back further than the maximum setback to allow for features that encourage pedestrian use and activity along the street, such as building modulation, pedestrian plazas or courtyards, covered or recessed entryways, commercial uses or displays (such as vendors, newsstands, or cafes), public art (such as water features or sculptures), or seating and/or planter areas.

(Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.060 Performance standards.

Uses within the commercial zones shall not inflict upon adjacent property smoke, dust, dirt, glare, odors, steam, vibration, electrical interference, excessive hazard or noise which exceeds the maximum permissible limits as herein defined.

A. Air Quality. Emissions from combustion and incineration, emissions from sources emitting hazardous air pollutants, and emissions of suspended particles or fugitive dust shall not exceed the standards set forth in Chapter 173-400 WAC, General Regulations for Air Pollution. Where such emissions could be produced as a result of accident or equipment malfunction, safeguards standard for safe operation in the industry shall be taken. Polluted air streams shall be treated with the best available control technology.

B. Heat, Glare, and Humidity (Steam). Any activity producing humidity in the form of steam or moist air, or producing heat or glare shall be carried on in such a manner that the heat, glare, or humidity is not perceptible at or beyond the property line. Artificial lighting shall be hooded or shaded so that direct light of high intensity lamps will not result in objectionable glare.

C. Odors. Any use producing odors shall be carried on in such a manner that offensive or obnoxious odors shall not be perceptible at or beyond the property line.

D. Vibration. Every use shall be so operated that the ground vibration inherently and recurrently generated from equipment other than vehicles is not perceptible without instruments at any point beyond the property line.

E. Electromagnetic Interference. Electric fields and magnetic fields shall not be created that adversely affect the public health, safety, and welfare, including but not limited to interference with the normal operation of equipment or instruments or normal radio, telephone, or television reception from off the premises where the activity is conducted. This section does not apply to telecommunication facilities which are regulated by the FCC under the Federal Telecommunication Act of 1996 or its successor.

F. Noise. Noise within the commercial zones must not exceed the maximum permissible noise levels set forth in WAC 173-60-040 and this chapter as measured at the property line of the noise source.

Maximum Permissible Environmental Noise Levels

Noise Source

Property Receiving Noise by Zone

 

Residential

Commercial

Industrial

Commercial Zone

57 dBA*

60 dBA

65 dBA

*    Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., the noise limitations of the foregoing table shall be reduced by 10 dBA for residential receiving property.

At any time of the day or night the applicable noise limitations may be exceeded for any receiving property by no more than:

1. Five dBA for a total of 15 minutes in any one-hour period.

2. Ten dBA for a total of five minutes in any one-hour period.

3. Fifteen dBA for a total of one and one-half minutes in any one-hour period.

Exemptions to the maximum permissible noise level cited in this chapter shall be as enumerated in WAC 173-60-050, Maximum Environmental Noise Levels Exemptions.

G. Fire and Explosive Hazard. The manufacture, use, processing, or storage of flammable liquids, gases, or solids shall be in compliance with the State Fire Code, the State Building Code, National Fire Protection Association standards, and any other state or nationally recognized standards that may apply to the particular use, building, or process. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.070 Health regulations.

All uses must be in compliance with all current health regulations. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.080 Septic tanks.

A commercial use not on city sanitary sewer is allowed only by conditional use permit and only in the C-2 zone. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.090 Construction code requirements.

All uses in the commercial zones must be in compliance with the applicable requirements of the building code, the fire code, the mechanical code, and the plumbing code except as may be provided in this chapter. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.100 Commercial coaches and recreational vehicles.

Other than a recreational vehicle in a recreational vehicle park, the only allowed use of a commercial coach or recreational vehicle is as a temporary office for a period of time not to exceed 120 days in duration in specific instances where a permanent structure housing an existing licensed business has been destroyed or damaged to the extent that it is rendered unusable. The siting of temporary structures shall be approved by the building official and shall not require site plan review in conformance with Chapter 17.49 SLMC. Temporary structures shall maintain a 20-foot separation from property lines and/or other buildings or structures. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.110 Outside storage.

Outside storage is permitted in the C-2 zone when conducted in conjunction with the principal use which is in an enclosed adjoining building. Screening may be required by the planning agency as part of site plan review. Outside storage is prohibited in the other commercial zones. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.120 Fences and walls.

Fences and walls not exceeding six feet in height may be permitted subject to the requirements of this section. All fences and walls will require a fence permit to be issued by the building official prior to construction or installation. Electric and barbed wire fences are prohibited, except that security fences containing barbed wire may be permitted subject to review by the building official regarding the safety of such a fence. All applications for permits to construct or install fences or walls shall be reviewed by the building official for vehicular and pedestrian safety. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.130 Buffer strips.

Site plan review by the planning agency will be required for any contiguous commercial and residential development. Buffer strips, in addition to the perimeter landscaping requirements in Chapter 17.57 SLMC, may be required by the planning agency to separate developed contiguous commercial and residential uses from each other in order to eliminate nuisances. The planning agency may allow or require screening fences, walls, plantings, or berms or any combination thereof. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.140 Storm water and drainage.

A. Each use shall provide for approved on-site or off-site detention or control of excess storm water runoff or drainage resulting from the use. No use shall cause downstream property owners to receive storm water runoff at a higher peak flow than would have resulted from the same event had the use or improvement not been present.

B. Storm water runoff or drainage shall be controlled and contained on site except where adequate off-site storm drainage systems are available. Storm water runoff and/or drainage resulting from a use must be controlled so that water will not flow onto a public sidewalk or onto adjacent property. Drainage into city storm sewer or onto a city street must be approved by the public works director or city engineer. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.150 Ground floor windows.

A. Purpose. In pedestrian-oriented commercial areas, blank walls on the ground level of buildings are limited in order to:

1. Provide a pleasant, rich, and diverse pedestrian experience by connecting activities occurring within a structure to adjacent sidewalk area.

2. Encourage compatible design between residential and commercial uses.

3. Encourage surveillance/security opportunities by restricting fortress-like facades at street level.

4. Avoid a monotonous pedestrian environment.

B. Required Amount of Window Area.

1. Where ground floor window standards are required, exterior walls on the ground floor that are within 30 feet of a street lot line shall meet the general window standard below. However, on corner lots, the general standard needs to be met on only one street frontage. On the other street, the requirement is one-half the general standard. If the streets have the same classification, the applicant may choose on which street to meet the general standard.

2. General Standard. The windows shall be at least 40 percent of the length and 20 percent of the ground level wall area. Ground level wall area includes all exterior walls up to nine feet above finished grade. The requirement does not apply to walls of residential units or to parking structures when set back at least five feet and landscaped consistent with Chapter 17.57 SLMC in the C-1 zone.

3. Qualifying Window Features. Required window areas shall be either windows that allow views into working areas or lobbies, pedestrian entrances, or display windows set into the wall. Doors and display cases attached to the outside wall do not qualify. The bottom of the windows shall be no more than four feet above the adjacent exterior grade.

4. The applicant may submit a ground floor window plan that differs from the specific criteria set forth in this section, except that the amount of window area may not be less than the amount required in this chapter. The applicant shall clearly and in detail state what adjustments of requirements are being requested and the reasons that such adjustments are warranted. The request shall be accompanied by supplemental data, such as sketches and statistical information, that is necessary to support the adjustment. The planning agency may approve, modify, or deny the requested adjustment. In approving the alteration request, the planning agency shall make the following findings:

a. The alteration would be in keeping with and preserve the intent of the zone; and

b. The alteration would not be contrary to the public interest. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).

17.30.160 Pedestrian standards.

A. Purpose. The pedestrian standards encourage a safe, attractive, and usable pedestrian circulation system in all developments. They ensure a direct pedestrian connection between the street and buildings on the site, and between buildings and other activities within the site. In addition, they provide for connections between adjacent sites, where feasible.

B. Standards. The standards of this section apply to all development in the C-2 zone. An on-site pedestrian circulation system shall be provided. The system shall meet all standards of this section.

C. Required Connections.

1. Connection to the Street. The system shall connect all adjacent streets to the main entrance. One of the connections should be no longer than the straight-line distance from the entrance to the closest sidewalk. It may not be more than 20 feet longer or 120 percent of the straight-line distance, whichever is less.

2. Connection to Neighboring Uses. The system shall connect to all adjacent properties. The connections shall extend to the property line and connect to paths or sidewalks on neighboring properties or to the likely location of connections on those properties. When no connections exist on a neighboring property and extending a connection would create a safety hazard or it is not possible to determine the likely location of future connections on that property, the city of Soap Lake may enter into a legally binding agreement with the owner of the property being developed to construct the connection to the neighboring use when the property on which the use is located develops or redevelops. This agreement shall run with the land and be recorded in Grant County’s real property records.

3. Internal Connections. The system shall connect all buildings on the site and provide connections to other areas of the site, such as parking areas, bicycle parking, recreational areas, common outdoor areas, and any pedestrian amenities.

D. Materials.

1. The circulation system shall be paved and be at least five feet wide.

2. Where the system crosses driveways, parking areas, and loading areas, the system shall be clearly identifiable through the use of elevation changes, speed bumps, a different paving material, or other equally effective methods. Striping does not meet this requirement.

3. Where the system is parallel and adjacent to an auto travel lane, the system shall be a raised path or be separated from the auto travel lane by a raised curb, bollards, landscaping, or another physical barrier. If a raised path is used, the ends of the raised portions shall be equipped with curb ramps.

E. Lighting. The on-site pedestrian circulation system shall be lighted to an intensity where the system can be used at night by employees, residents, and customers. Lighting should be at a height appropriate for a pedestrian pathway system. (Ord. 1105 § 1, 2009).