Chapter 10.24


10.24.005    Purpose.

10.24.010    Land uses.

10.24.050    Development standards.

10.24.005 Purpose.

These zoning and development standards are intended to implement the central business district subarea plan. The general purpose of the central business district (CBD) designation and corresponding standards are:

(1) To build on Wenatchee’s historic identity and strengthen the vitality of downtown.

(2) To create a cohesive identity for the CBD.

(3) To enhance linkages to the waterfront, general commercial areas and neighborhoods.

(4) To support and incubate new business development in a creative and artistic environment.

(5) To increase the permanent residential population within downtown through creation of new dwelling units available to the full range of local incomes.

(6) To encourage the transition of vacant and/or underutilized properties to new business and residential opportunities. (Ord. 2017-33 § 1 (Exh. B); Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.24.010 Land uses.

All permitted, accessory, conditional and prohibited uses within this district shall be as shown in Chapter 10.10 WCC, District Use Chart, provided all applicable provisions of the WCC are met. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.24.050 Development standards.

Development in this district shall meet all of the applicable provisions of this title and all other rules, regulations and provisions of the WCC, and shall comply with the provisions below. Also, most residential developments, including mixed use development that features at least one dwelling unit, are subject to conformance with applicable sections of the Residential Design Guidelines.

(1) Development standards for the CBD zoning district are detailed in WCC 10.46.040.

(2) Off-Street Parking. Off-street parking shall be exempt for all buildings in existence on or before January 15, 2018. New construction shall be subject to the following criteria:

(a) One off-street parking space for each guest room, suite, or dwelling unit for hotels, motels, and other residential units. All other uses exempt.

(b) Demonstration of off-street loading space for trucks and delivery vehicles shall be provided.

(c) One hundred percent of the required parking may be provided through either:

(i) A shared parking agreement as provided for in WCC 10.60.040; provided the distance required of WCC 10.60.040(4) shall be expanded up to a one-half mile radius; or

(ii) An overnight parking permit acceptable to the city.

(3) Repealed by Ord. 2020-35.

(4) General Storage. Storage of materials and merchandise, other than for display purposes, shall be located inside buildings or enclosed and/or screened from public view by a 100 percent view-obstructing fence and/or landscaping.

(5) All applicable provisions of Chapters 10.47 and 10.48 WCC shall apply to development in this district.

(6) Landscaping. All development shall meet the Wenatchee landscape and screening standards as described in Chapter 10.62 WCC.

(7) Architectural Scale. The intent is to incorporate architectural design features to enhance downtown’s historic identity and to increase visual interest.

(a) Building Articulation and Modulation. New building facades visible from public and private streets, common open space, and common parking areas shall be articulated and modulated for the full height and width of the structure and shall include at least three of the following:

(i) Repeating distinctive window patterns at intervals less than 40 feet.

(ii) Vertical building modulation at intervals no greater than 50 feet. Minimum depth of modulation (setback or extension forward) is five feet, and the minimum width for each modulation is 10 feet (except balconies).

(iii) Horizontal modulation (upper level stepbacks). To qualify for this measure, the minimum upper story setback is five feet.

(iv) Articulation of the building’s top, middle, and bottom. This typically includes a distinctive ground floor or lower floor design, consistent articulation of middle floors, and a distinctive roof line.

(v) Change in building material or siding style (perhaps coordinated with horizontal building modulation and a change in color).

(vi) Alternative methods as approved by the director that reduce the perceived bulk and scale of the buildings and add visual interest. For example, buildings using high-quality materials such as brick and special facade detailing may not need much modulation to provide visual interest.

(8) Exterior Building Materials. The intent is to ensure consistent building design that utilizes building materials reinforcing downtown’s historic identity and long-term investment. Building material standards shall apply only to wall surfaces that are visible from a public right-of-way, not including alleys. Minor repair and maintenance is exempt from these standards. Minor repair constitutes less than 30 percent of any wall surface.

(a) Encouraged Materials.

(i) Masonry, marble, granite, tile and stone.

(ii) Concrete Block. When used for the facade of any building, concrete blocks shall be split, ground-faced, or demonstrate other treatment approved by the director. To add visual interest, the use of specialized textures and/or colors used effectively with other building materials and details is encouraged. A designed mix of masonry (for example, concrete block with courses of brick interspersed) is acceptable.

(iii) Exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) and similar troweled finishes (stucco):

(A) EIFS shall be detailed to provide durable corners and edges. Trim or some other detailed treatment should be incorporated at openings (e.g., doors and windows) to reduce weather penetration and add a sense of refinement. EIFS shall be sheltered from extreme weather by roof overhangs or other methods.

(B) EIFS is prohibited within two vertical feet of the sidewalk or ground level. Masonry or other similar durable/permanent materials shall be used.

(b) Limited Materials. The materials listed under this subsection shall not cumulatively make up more than 30 percent of any exterior wall surface visible from public rights-of-way, not including alleys.

(i) Mirrored glass (45 percent or less light transmittance).

(ii) Textured or scored plywood (including T-111 or similar plywood).

(iii) Stucco board.

(iv) Metal siding.

(v) Vinyl siding.

(vi) Hardi board.

(c) Chain-link fences are prohibited.

(d) As an alternative, the applicant may propose exceptions to the building materials section. Proposals will be processed as a Type III application and will be reviewed by the planning commission in accordance with the following criteria:

(i) The building meets the architectural scale and blank wall limitation standards;

(ii) The building meets the goals and policies of the comprehensive plan and CBD subarea plan;

(iii) The applicant demonstrates:

(A) Innovative design and/or new technology superior in quality, which still meets the intent of the exterior building materials standards; or

(B) It is necessary to better address unique aspects of the project or shows a comprehensive approach to the overall project.

(9) Blank Wall Limitation. The intent is to reduce blank wall impacts on the pedestrian and business district environment. Provide varied, pedestrian-friendly building facades and sidewalk activities. Avoid the creation of blank walls and dull facades that deaden the surrounding space and create an uninviting street environment.

(a) Development Standards. Blank walls, including retaining walls, are not allowed adjacent to or within 50 feet of a public street right-of-way or a public park. At least 40 percent of the wall area between two feet and 10 feet in height must be pedestrian friendly. Pedestrian-friendly facades shall have one or more of the following characteristics:

(i) Transparent Windows. Transparent window area or display windows which provide visibility into building interiors. The following transparency standards apply:

(A) Glass must be clear or lightly tinted in windows, doors, and displays. Because it does not provide visibility between the street and building interiors, reflective, opaque, or painted glass is excluded.

(B) Doors and entry windows must be transparent to meet this requirement. If they are not, they shall be considered blank walls.

(ii) Art or Architectural Treatment. Sculpture, mosaic, glass block, opaque art glass as relief artwork, or similar features of visual interest. Structural architectural elements may be acceptable as an administrative waiver if the design meets the intent of this section.

(iii) Vertical Trellis. A permanent vertical trellis in front of the wall with climbing plants or plant materials.

(iv) Pedestrian Plazas. Pedestrian plazas may meet this requirement if the design complies with pedestrian-oriented space standards as detailed in WCC 10.40.030(2).

(10) Parking Lot Location and Site Access. Surface parking areas shall not be located between the primary building and the public right-of-way (excluding alleys).

(a) Surface parking lots that face street intersection corners are prohibited, except where the director determines that there is no other viable option based on other requirements of the WCC.

(b) Existing curb cuts shall be used unless proposed cuts are approved by the city engineer, based on an assessment of safety and traffic considerations.

(c) Access to State Route 285 (Mission and Chelan Avenue) is subject to Chapter 7.36 WCC, Vehicular Access to State Highway System.

(11) Parking Garage Design. Parking garages must be designed to obscure the view of parked cars. Specific standards and considerations for parking structures include:

(a) No more than 120 feet of grade level commercial street frontage shall be occupied by parking. Parking structures wider than 120 feet must incorporate other uses along the street front to meet this requirement.

(b) Where commercial space is not provided on the grade level adjacent to the sidewalk, features such as planters, decorative grilles, or works of art as approved by the department are required:

(i) Five-foot setbacks incorporating a landscaping planter.

(ii) Where the garage wall is built to the sidewalk edge, the facade shall use a combination of artwork, grillwork, special building material treatment/design, and/or other treatments as approved by the director that enhance the pedestrian environment. In order to meet transparency requirements, garages can incorporate openings with grillwork or other treatments to resemble windows. (Ord. 2020-35 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2019-35 § 9; Ord. 2017-33 § 1 (Exh. B); Ord. 2011-49 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2011-25 § 4; Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))