Chapter 17.12
GENERAL DESIGN STANDARDS

Sections:

17.12.010    Design standards required.

17.12.020    Future subdivision and access.

17.12.030    Blocks.

17.12.040    Minimum lot size.

17.12.060    Residential lot building sites.

17.12.070    Natural vegetation and features.

17.12.080    Clearing and grading.

17.12.090    Wetlands and drainage.

17.12.100    Hazards.

17.12.110    Streets.

17.12.120    Driving surface and rights-of-way.

17.12.130    Cul-de-sacs.

17.12.140    Street signs.

17.12.150    Topography.

17.12.160    Maximum street grades.

17.12.170    Street names.

17.12.180    Lot access.

17.12.190    Private streets.

17.12.200    Underground utilities.

17.12.210    Park and open space area standards for divisions of land.

17.12.010 Design standards required.

All divisions of land shall comply with the following standards of design and development except as noted elsewhere in this title.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.020 Future subdivision and access.

All land divisions shall be designed to accommodate the future land division of adjoining lands by providing for adequate future access and utility service. Pedestrian and bicycle access to schools, parks, shorelines, recreation areas and open space shall be provided by walkway where street access is unsafe or inadequate.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.030 Blocks.

Blocks in nonresidential zones shall be dimensioned to accommodate the intended purpose of the land. All blocks shall be arranged so as to minimize the number of intersections and access points on arterial streets.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.040 Minimum lot size.

Lots or tracts shall conform to the size requirements set forth in the zoning district unless dedicated or restricted by covenant for open space, park, recreational or other community or public use. In subdivisions intended for single-family dwelling units or townhouse/rowhouse development (as defined in TMC Chapter 18.04), a separate lot or tract shall be provided for each dwelling unit, not including accessory dwelling units. If the land division is submitted in phases/divisions of development, each phase/division submitted for approval shall meet all provisions of this section.

(Ord. O96-008, Amended, 11/05/1996; Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.060 Residential lot building sites.

Each residential lot in low density residential zones shall have a building site no less than one thousand six hundred square feet in area within which a suitable building can be built and served by utilities and vehicular access unless dedicated or restricted by covenant for open space, park, recreation or other public use. The building site area herein required shall not exceed a twenty-five percent cross slope or include any very severe development limitation areas. Such building sites shall be indicated on the face of the preliminary land division.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.070 Natural vegetation and features.

Natural vegetation and features such as trees, streams, wetlands, and wildlife habitat shall be preserved to the greatest extent feasible and in accordance with the requirements of TMC Title 16 and TMC Chapter 18.47.

(Ord. O97-024, Amended, 03/03/1998; Ord. O96-004, Amended, 04/16/1996; Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.080 Clearing and grading.

Proposed clearing and grading should be minimized by the use of shared access driveways and careful location of streets and building sites.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.090 Wetlands and drainage.

Wetlands and natural drainage ways shall be subject to review under TMC Chapters 16.28 (Wetland Protection Standards) and 16.32 (Fish and Wildlife Habitat Protection).

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.100 Hazards.

Where land division and development of land may pose a hazard to the land division and nearby properties because of steep slopes, unstable soils, excessive stormwater runoff or soil erosion, the land divider shall have the burden of presenting evidence satisfactory to the city of hazard mitigation. In the absence of such evidence, division of such land shall be denied.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.110 Streets.

The size of streets and their associated rights-of-way shall be as shown on the street standards chart for the class of street which is appropriate to serve the land division and anticipated community traffic, existing and potential. In areas where the division is adjacent to an existing street, right-of-way dedications shall be made to the existing street centerline.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.120 Driving surface and rights-of-way.

All roads shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the adopted “Development Standards for the City of Tumwater” in effect at the date of acceptance of the preliminary land division.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.130 Cul-de-sacs.

A.    All cul-de-sacs shall be designed in accordance with the adopted “Development Standards for the City of Tumwater” in effect at the date of acceptance of the preliminary land division.

B.    Parking is prohibited in cul-de-sac turnarounds and shall be posted.

C.    An improved pathway for pedestrian and bicycle use shall be dedicated to the public to connect cul-de-sac streets to nearby areas where such a pathway is necessary to provide convenient access to schools, parks, public transit stops, shopping centers, other cul-de-sacs or pathways, and other community services, or as otherwise necessary for public convenience and safety. Such pathways shall be designed to maintain the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists and owners of properties adjacent to the pathway.

(Ord. O96-008, Amended, 11/05/1996; Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.140 Street signs.

Street signs shall be installed by the subdivider as specified by the community development department.

(Ord. O2011-002, Amended, 03/01/2011; Ord. O96-027, Amended, 10/15/1996; Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.150 Topography.

All streets should be designed to conform to the topography of the site, in order to reduce street grades and minimize the need for cuts and fills.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.160 Maximum street grades.

Maximum street grades shall be in accordance with the adopted “Development Standards for the City of Tumwater.”

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.170 Street names.

All streets shall be named or numbered as specified by the city. The land divider is encouraged to submit requested street names to the city for its consideration.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.180 Lot access.

Each lot shall have a minimum of ten feet of unobstructed access to a street, directly or by access easement.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.190 Private streets.

Private streets shall be constructed to meet or exceed the design standards established on the street standards chart for the city. Public access to developments or parts of developments containing private streets shall not be limited by the use of gates or other measures except when said limitation was approved by the city as a part of the consideration of the related preliminary land division approval.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.200 Underground utilities.

Electrical power, telephone, cable television, fiber optics and other transmission lines shall be installed underground.

(Ord. 1308, Added, 10/15/1991)

17.12.210 Park and open space area standards for divisions of land.

A.    For residential subdivisions in which the majority of the dwelling units will be duplexes or single-family detached dwellings, a minimum of ten percent of the total gross site area shall be set aside for park and open space area.

B.    For residential subdivisions in which the majority of the dwelling units will be fourplexes, multifamily dwellings, roominghouses, rowhouses, townhomes, or triplexes, a minimum of fifteen percent of the gross site area shall be set aside for park and open space area.

C.    For subdivisions or binding site plans that will contain mixed use development, a minimum of fifteen percent of the gross site area shall be set aside for park and open space area.

D.    For new commercial or industrial binding site plans, short plats, and subdivisions of ten acres or more, a minimum of five percent of the gross site area shall be set aside for park and open space area. A commercial or industrial binding site plan, short plat, or subdivision that includes a master plan that provides for a park or open space area meeting the intent of this provision shall be considered to have fulfilled this requirement.

E.    For the purpose of calculation of the park and open space area, the park and open space area shall be separate and distinct from required yards, setbacks, and landscaped areas.

F.    The community development director in consultation with the parks and recreation director may accept a fee in lieu for park and open space area subject to the following:

1.    The fee in lieu for park and open space area is only allowed where the amount of land required for park or open space area in the division of land is smaller than one acre in size and consists of:

a.    Less than or equal to any combination of forty dwelling units or less in duplexes or single-family detached dwellings;

b.    Less than or equal to any combination of sixty dwelling units in fourplex, multifamily, roominghouses, rowhouses, townhomes or triplex dwellings;

c.    Less than or equal to sixty residential dwelling units included in a mixed use development; or

d.    Any commercial or industrial subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan smaller than twenty acres in size.

2.    When determining whether to accept a fee in lieu for park and open space area, the community development director in consultation with the parks and recreation director shall consider the following:

a.    The availability of other existing or planned public park within one-half mile of the subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan;

b.    Whether the other existing or planned public park is or will be accessible from the subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan by sidewalk or paved pedestrian path; and

c.    The overall public benefit of accepting a fee instead of the land for park and open space area.

3.    The fee shall be based on an assessed valuation of the portion of the subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan that would otherwise be required to be set aside.

4.    The fee shall be paid prior to the recording of the subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan.

G.    For all residential subdivisions, at least fifty percent of the area set aside for park and open space area must be for active recreation, with the remainder set aside for passive recreation. For all nonresidential subdivisions, all the area set aside for park and open space area may be for passive recreation.

1.    The following areas may be counted towards fulfilling the active recreation requirements:

a.    Children’s play equipment, such as slides, swings, and play structures;

b.    A paved hard court for activities such as basketball, tennis, or pickleball;

c.    Athletic fields for activities such as soccer or baseball and similar team sports;

d.    Multiuse trails for pedestrians and bicycles meeting WSDOT multiuse trail design standards;

e.    A flat, open lawn area with a surface suitable for unstructured active play;

f.    Community gardens as defined in TMC 18.04.030, C definitions; and

g.    Other similar active recreation facilities if approved by the community development director in consultation with the parks and recreation director.

2.    That portion of stormwater ponds with active recreation facilities anticipated to be usable at least six months of the year may be counted towards fulfilling the active recreation requirement, provided these facilities are consistent with the drainage design and erosion control manual for Tumwater.

3.    The following areas may be counted towards fulfilling the passive recreation requirements:

a.    Facilities for walking, such as unpaved trails;

b.    Landscaped areas with benches and other amenities;

c.    Picnicking facilities, such as picnic tables and shelters;

d.    Public plazas;

e.    Vegetated decks and rooftops, provided the deck or rooftop is accessible to all residents and employees of the subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan;

f.    Stormwater ponds with perimeter trails or year-round water features consistent with the drainage design and erosion control manual for Tumwater;

g.    Tree protection areas preserved under TMC Chapter 16.08, provided access is provided within these areas via an unpaved trail consistent with the regulatory requirements for these areas;

h.    Wetland buffers under TMC Chapter 16.28, wellhead protection areas under TMC Chapter 16.26, and special flood hazard areas under TMC Chapter 18.38, provided access is provided within these areas via an unpaved trail consistent with the regulatory requirements for these areas; and

i.    Other similar passive recreation facilities if approved by the community development director in consultation with the parks and recreation director.

H.    The park and open space area shall have convenient access for residents or employees of the subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan and the park and open space area shall be consolidated to provide maximum access, visibility, usability, minimization of impacts to residential uses, and ease of maintenance. These requirements may be waived by the community development director upon a finding that the residents or employees of the subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan would receive a greater benefit if the required park and open space area were provided in another configuration due to the size of the division of land, unique topographic conditions, or other factors determined by the community development director.

I.    The park and open space area shall be designed and placed in consideration of existing and potential park and open space areas on adjacent parcels to allow for consolidation or provision of future opportunities for consolidation of park and open space areas.

J.    Except where removal is required to meet active recreation requirements in this chapter, existing trees and significant native vegetation shall be retained in park and open space areas unless an alternate landscaping plan for such areas is required or approved by the community development director.

K.    Park and open space areas shall be held in single ownership where such ownership assumes full responsibility for maintenance and operation, or held in common ownership by all of the owners in the subdivision, short plat, or binding site plan through a property owners’ association or similar organization. As a condition of approval, the city may require or choose to accept dedication, when the park and open space area set aside is one or more of the following:

1.    Greater than two acres.

2.    Adjacent to an established or future city park or school grounds.

3.    Includes public access to a body of water, wetland, critical habitat, or other environmentally sensitive area.

4.    If the city determines it is in the public interest to accept land for park and open space area.

L.    Maintenance of park and open space areas shall be provided for as described in TMC Chapter 17.22.

(Ord. O2020-015, Amended, 02/16/2021; amended during 2011 reformat; O2011-002, Amended, 03/01/2011; Ord. O96-021, Added, 12/02/1997)