Chapter 21.35


21.35.010    Purpose.

21.35.020    Applicability.

21.35.030    Interpretation.

21.35.040    Supplemental design review procedures.

21.35.050    Review by the Planning Commission Design Review Committee.

21.35.110    Site planning – Relationship to street front.

21.35.120    Site planning – Interior yard compatibility.

21.35.130    Site planning – Multiple building/large lot developments.

21.35.140    Mechanical equipment and service areas.

21.35.150    Site planning – Integration of biofiltration swales.

21.35.160    Street corners.

21.35.170    Site lighting.

21.35.180    Site landscaping.

21.35.190    Safety.

21.35.200    General pedestrian access requirements.

21.35.210    Pedestrian paths and circulation.

21.35.220    Pedestrian activity and plazas.

21.35.230    Vehicular access and parking.

21.35.240    Building design – Character.

21.35.250    Human scale.

21.35.260    Architectural scale.

21.35.270    Building corners.

21.35.280    Building details.

21.35.290    Materials.

21.35.300    Blank walls.

21.35.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the multifamily residential design standards is to help implement a vision that the City and those who develop in higher density residential zones have a common interest in assuring quality development that benefits property owners and the City. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.020 Applicability.

(1) This chapter shall apply as follows:

(a) All new construction within the R-12, R-18, R-24, and R-48 zones shall be subject to the multifamily residential design standards in this chapter; and

(b) In the R-1, R-4, R-6, and R-8 zones, duplex, attached and multiple-dwelling unit developments of five or more dwellings shall be subject to the multifamily residential design standards in this chapter.

(2) Alteration of any structure that affects its exterior appearance shall be subject to design review under this chapter.

(3) The City has established two thresholds to gauge the extent the requirements of this chapter shall be applied based on what is practical and reasonable for that level of improvement.

(a) If 50 percent or more of a building or structure subject to design review is altered within a period of three years, the structure shall be subject to the applicable requirements that do not involve repositioning the building or reconfiguring site development as determined by the Director.

(b) If less than 50 percent of a building or structure subject to design review is altered within a period of three years, the requirement is only that the proposed improvements meet the standards and/or guidelines and do not lead to further nonconformance with the standards and guidelines. For example, if a property owner decides to replace a building facade’s siding, then the siding shall meet the applicable exterior building material and color standards and/or guidelines, but elements such as building modulation would not be required. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.030 Interpretation.

(1) Where there is a conflict between these design standards and other City plans, policies, and regulations, the most specific standard, guideline, or regulation shall apply, as determined by the Director. For example, this title provides for a minimum street setback of 10 feet in industrial zones, whereas the design standards allow buildings to be placed on the front property line as long as they meet certain design requirements. While the design standards herein are less restrictive in this case, they are more specific in that they allow for zero setbacks if certain conditions are met; therefore, the Director will determine they apply.

(2) Each section of the design standards contains a list of “intent” statements followed by “design principles” and subsequent implementing measures. Specifically:

(a) Intent statements are overarching objectives. For example, the intent statement for the “building corners” section is to “create visual interest and increased activity at street corners.” Project applicants must be able to demonstrate how their project meets the intent, to the Director’s satisfaction.

(b) Design principle statements describe broad actions that are necessary to achieve the intent.

(c) A collection of standards implements the design principles. Specifically:

(i) Standards that use words such as “shall,” “must,” “is/are required,” or “is/are prohibited” signify required actions.

(ii) Some standards take a “toolbox” approach, in that a development may be required to include at least two design elements from a large list of options.

(iii) Standards using words such as “should” or “is/are recommended” signify recommended actions that are meant to be applied with some flexibility. Development projects must comply with such measures unless the development proposal meets the intent in some other manner, as determined by the Director.

(d) Furthermore, this chapter contains some specific standards that are easily quantifiable, while others provide a level of discretion in how they are complied with. In the latter case, the applicant must demonstrate to the Director, in writing, how the project meets the intent of the standard. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.040 Supplemental design review procedures.

The following procedures shall be applied in combination with the procedures set forth in Chapters 21.80 through 21.84 WMC.

(1) When an applicant submits a development application that triggers design review, the design review shall be combined with and the applicable project permit application consistent with WMC 21.80.040, unless the applicant requests a standalone design review process.

(2) No project approval shall be granted, no building permit issued, and no construction shall begin until the design review decision becomes final pursuant to WMC 21.80.190.

(3) With submittal of the building permit application, the Director shall determine that the final design is consistent with the issued design decision. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.050 Review by the Planning Commission Design Review Committee.

(1) The Planning Commission Design Review Committee shall review and make a recommendation to the Director on all proposed design reviews involving a request for a Director-authorized departure from the design standards.

(2) The review and recommendation of the Design Review Committee shall be based on whether the proposal is consistent with the intent statements applicable to the design standard for which the departure is requested. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.110 Site planning – Relationship to street front.

(1) Intent. People experience the City of Woodinville from streets. Streets are some of the vital spaces that bind the community together and allow for various modes of movement within the City. The intent for street fronts is:

(a) To create an active, safe pedestrian environment;

(b) To upgrade residential areas and to establish a visual identity for each area;

(c) To reflect a small village tradition in structures; and

(d) To unify streetscapes.

(2) Design Principles. All development for properties fronting on a designated “pedestrian-oriented street” as defined in WMC 21.11A.170 shall comply with the provisions in this subsection.

(a) Relate development to designated pedestrian-oriented street frontages. Adhere to the following standards unless otherwise determined by the Director:

(i) Buildings located along designated pedestrian-oriented streets shall provide weather protection at least five feet wide along sidewalks and pedestrian routes of the building’s front face. The weather protection may be in the form of awnings, marquees, canopies, or building overhangs. There may be gaps in the coverings for architectural features, landscaping, or to provide visual variety in the facade.

(ii) Buildings must present a “pedestrian-friendly building facade” along pedestrian-oriented streets containing the following:

(A) Transparent window area or window displays along the majority (more than 50 percent) of the ground floor facade;

(B) Sculptural, mosaic, or bas-relief artwork over the majority of the ground floor facade that complements the transparent window area; and

(C) At least 500 square feet of pedestrian-oriented space for every 100 linear feet of facade as measured along the property line adjoining a public street right-of-way. Such pedestrian-oriented space shall contain at least 200 square feet of landscaping for every 100 linear feet of building facade.

(iii) Building entries must have direct access to the public sidewalk (entries may be on the sides of buildings but they must be visible from the street and connected by a pedestrian pathway).

(iv) Driveways are limited to one entry lane and one exit lane per 300 lineal feet of street frontage, or one lane each way per lot if the lot’s street frontage is less than 300 feet.

(v) If insufficient right-of-way exists to allow 12-foot-wide public sidewalks, the building may be set back sufficiently to provide at least 12 feet of walking surface. Subject to the Director’s approval, development may be exempt from complying with the minimum street setback set forth in Chapter 21.32 WMC.

(b) A minimum of four of the following pedestrian amenities shall be provided near the sidewalk:

(i) Pedestrian furniture such as seating space, lighting, drinking fountain, etc.;

(ii) Pedestrian-oriented open space;

(iii) Perimeter landscaping (or lawn if configured in a “front yard” setting between building front and the sidewalk);

(iv) Space for transit and/or school bus stop with seating, if applicable;

(v) Artwork;

(vi) Decorative screen wall, trellis, or other building or site feature as approved by the Director.

(c) The City may permit deviation from the specific standards in this subsection if the Director determines that public benefit can be achieved in terms of the intent described above. The applicant must demonstrate there is a compelling reason to deviate from the specific standards that the deviation will result in increased pedestrian activity and visual interest along the street.

(3) Design Principles. All development for properties fronting on streets that are not designated as pedestrian-oriented streets shall provide the following amenities near the sidewalk:

(a) Physically define the street edge with building, landscaping or other features as approved by the Director; and

(b) Provide sufficient room for a sidewalk at least eight feet wide if there is not space in the public right-of-way.

(4) Design Principles. To use the architectural elements of building and landscaping to highlight and define the entrance. Enhance the primary building entry access of multifamily residential buildings by required and optional measures indicated below.

(a) Required Measures.

(i) Provide weather protection such as an awning, canopy, marquee, or other building element to create a covered pedestrian open space of at least 100 square feet;

(ii) Provide at least 200 square feet of landscaping at or near the entry;

(iii) In addition to requirements for bicycle parking, provide benches and other pedestrian facilities, such as kiosks, special paving, etc.;

(iv) Provide special pedestrian-scaled lighting;

(b) Optional Items.

(i) Provide a trellis, porch, or other building element that incorporates landscaping;

(ii) Provide building ornamentation such as mosaic tile, relief sculpture, ornamental wood, or metal trim, etc.;

(iii) Provide artwork or special pedestrian-scaled signs;

(iv) Other enhancements as approved by the Director. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.120 Site planning – Interior yard compatibility.

(1) Intent. To promote functional and visual compatibility between adjoining properties. In addition to the requirements of WMC 21.40.020, the provisions in this section shall apply to service and outdoor storage areas.

(2) Design Principles. Minimize visibility and impacts by providing landscape screening, buffer, or other forms of screening along property lines adjacent to incompatible uses. Incompatible uses include outdoor storage areas adjacent to any other use, service areas adjacent to any other use, commercial development adjacent to a residentially zoned or developed property.

(a) The buffer must conform with the requirements for perimeter landscaping along interior property lines set forth in WMC 21.36.070.

(b) Where outdoor storage is greater in size than 120 square feet and abuts a commercial area or industrial use, 10-foot-wide Type 2 landscaping in accordance with WMC 21.36.060 shall be provided.

(c) Integrate outdoor storage areas and loading facilities into the site design to minimize their size, reduce visual impact, and where appropriate allow for pedestrian and vehicular movement between sites.

(d) A reduction of the landscape buffer separating uses from single-family residents is prohibited. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.130 Site planning – Multiple building/large lot developments.

(1) Intent. The intent of this section is to encourage project designers to coordinate subsection (2) of this section requirements into an innovative organizational scheme that integrates the new development into the existing/proposed structure and creates a pedestrian-oriented focus. In addition to other requirements, multiple building/large lot developments are to take advantage of special opportunities to create a composition of buildings and landscape features that shall complement each other.

(2) Design Principles. Take advantage of opportunities to mitigate impacts of large developments.

(a) The site planning for all developments must demonstrate a unifying, organized design that:

(i) Incorporates open space and landscaping as a unifying element;

(ii) Where possible, incorporate environmental mitigation, screening, utilities, and dwelling drainage as positive elements (example: create a natural open space or wet pond as a site feature to accommodate surface water runoff); and

(iii) Provide pedestrian paths or walkways connecting all units and the entries of multiple buildings as required by WMC 21.37.130.

(b) Provide pedestrian paths from/to all transit stops within 1,200 feet of the site.

(c) Enhance transit stops by providing rider convenience and amenities such as transit stop shelters.

(d) Integrate on-site pedestrian circulation with adjoining right-of-way activity and development by integrating transit stops into the development of streets in addition to parking for carpools/vanpools in WMC 21.37.110. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.140 Mechanical equipment and service areas.

(1) Intent.

(a) To minimize adverse visual, olfactory, or noise impacts of mechanical equipment at ground and roof levels.

(b) To encourage more thoughtful siting of trash containers and community service areas.

(c) Locate service areas (trash containers, mechanical equipment, and storage yards) to avoid negative visual, noise, or physical impact on the street environment, and adjoining residentially zoned or developed properties.

(2) Design Principles.

(a) Reduce impacts of refuse containers and storage areas. Refuse containers shall not be visible from public sidewalks and nearby properties. They shall be screened by masonry or solid wood enclosures. The masonry enclosure is to screen refuse containers, including lids, and refuse stacked in containers. Trash collection facilities, refuse, and recycling collection points shall be designed in accordance with WMC 21.40.020(6) and subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(b) Refuse enclosure shall be a minimum eight feet tall, and:

(i) Gates shall be solid wood;

(ii) Screened trash containers shall be a minimum of 44 feet from the wall of any structure where there is access to the structure for the residents;

(iii) Locate and screen mechanical equipment at the ground level or attached to structures to reduce visual impacts from streets and adjoining properties;

(iv) Locate and screen roof mounted mechanical equipment so that the equipment is not visible within 150 feet of the structure when viewed from the ground level of adjoining properties;

(v) Match the color of roof mounted equipment with the exposed color of the roof to minimize visual impacts when equipment is visible from higher elevations nearby; and

(vi) Locate and screen utility meters, electrical conduit, and other service and utilities apparatus so as not to be visible from adjoining and nearby streets consistent with Chapter 15.39 WMC. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.150 Site planning – Integration of biofiltration swales.

(1) Intent. The design principles in this section are intended to integrate grass swales, if used, into site design while maintaining biofiltration efficiency.

(a) To provide attractive options for the provision of grass-lined biofiltration swales.

(b) To incorporate biofiltration swales and ponds into project site design and landscaping more efficiently.

(2) Design Principles. Integrate biofiltration swales and ponds into the overall site design through one of the following options:

(a) Locate biofiltration swales, ponds, or other approved biofiltration systems as part of a landscape screen. Trees may be planted near the grass swale as long as they do not substantially shade the grass within the swale. The swale or pond should be designed so it does not impede pedestrian circulation or shared parking between two or more properties.

(b) Where topography is favorable, locate biofiltration swale, wet pond, or other approved biofiltration system within the paved parking or service area. The swale or pond should be landscaped as part of the required internal parking lot landscaping and oriented so it does not impede pedestrian circulation.

(c) Incorporate landscaping and screening to visually enhance the swale without reducing maintainability and sun exposure.

(d) The incorporation of screening elements and/or landscaping into biofiltration swale design is encouraged if the biofiltration swale is located and/or designed as a positive landscaping feature with approved design and plant materials. It may be counted as part of the required site landscaping. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.160 Street corners.

(1) Intent. To create and preserve visual images for identification and spatial reference at street corners.

(2) Design Principles. Enhance the visual quality of corners at the intersections of public streets consistent with the implementing measures in Table 21.35.160.

Table 21.35.160: Street Corners Implementing Measures 


Implementing Measures

Corner Adjoins Nonpedestrian-Oriented Streets

Corner Adjoins Pedestrian-Oriented Streets


Locate building within 15 feet of either or both front property lines.




Install at least 200 square feet of ground surface area with trees and shrubs or living ground cover at or near the corner of the lot. Landscaping may include plants to form low hedge. However, care should be taken to not create a visibility or security problem.




Install a decorative screen wall at least two feet, six inches high, a trellis, or other continuous architectural element, with a length of at least 20 feet, along the street property line. Height and location of elements should not create a visibility or security problem.




Provide paved pedestrian walkway from the street corner to the building entrance.




Other elements or methods as approved by the Director if they conform with the intent of this section.



(Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.170 Site lighting.

(1) Intent.

(a) To encourage the use of lighting as an integral design component to enhance buildings, landscaping, or other site features.

(b) To encourage night sky’s visibility and to reduce the general illumination of the sky in Woodinville.

(c) To reduce horizontal light glare and vertical light trespass from a development site onto adjoining parcels and natural features.

(d) To encourage the judicious use of lighting in conjunction with other security methods to increase site safety.

(2) Design Principles. New development shall provide adequate lighting levels in all areas used by pedestrians or automobiles, including building entries, walkways, parking areas, circulation areas, and other open space areas that meet the following design criteria:

(a) All public areas shall be lighted with average minimum and maximum levels as follows:

(i) Minimum (for low or nonpedestrian and vehicular traffic areas): one-half foot-candles.

(ii) Moderate (for moderate or high-volume pedestrian areas): one to two foot-candles.

(iii) Maximum (for high-volume pedestrian areas and building entries): four foot-candles.

(b) Lighting shall be provided at consistent levels, with gradual transitions between maximum and minimum levels of lighting and between lit areas and unlit areas. Highly contrasting pools of light and dark areas shall be avoided.

(c) Parking lot lighting fixtures shall be nonglare and mounted no more than 25 feet above the ground. All fixtures over 15 feet in height shall be fitted with a full cut-off shield.

(d) Pedestrian-scaled lighting fixtures are recommended in areas of pedestrian activity. Illumination standards shall comply with the City’s transportation infrastructure standards and specifications in Chapter 12.09 WMC.

(e) Lighting shall not be permitted to trespass onto adjacent parcels or rights-of-way. Nor shall light source (luminaire) be visible at the property line.

(f) All building lights shall be directed onto the building itself and/or the ground immediately adjoining to it. The light emissions should not be visible above the roofline of the building.

(g) Light fixtures other than traditional cobra heads are required. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.180 Site landscaping.

(1) Landscape Concepts.

(a) Intent. To encourage plant species that are attractive, provide multiseasonal interest, require low maintenance, are resistant to drought, and are otherwise appropriate for conditions within the residential zones.

(b) Design Principles. Develop a site landscape design concept that should be suitable and fitting with the character of Woodinville as a community bordering rural and agricultural areas. Existing substantive vegetation and native materials in informal plantings and arrangements should be considered in the concept. More structured or formal landscaping may be allowed where it is necessary to control planting due to limited space.

(i) At a minimum, the landscape concept should include greenrows and surface water biofiltration features.

(ii) Plantings and/or site features should be scaled to larger residential structures and enhance the architectural qualities of buildings.

(iii) In addition, the concept should consider the following landscape design objectives where appropriate:

(A) Coordinate the selection of plant material to provide a succession of blooms, seasonal color, and a variety of texture;

(B) Provide a transition in landscaping design between adjoining sites, within a site, and from native vegetation areas in order to achieve greater continuity;

(C) Design landscaping to create definition between public and private spaces;

(D) Design landscaping to provide a transition between built structures (vertical planes) and the site (horizontal planes);

(E) Use plantings to accent and highlight significant site features and to define the function of the site, including parking, circulation, entries, and open space.

(2) Preferred Plant Materials.

(a) Intent.

(i) To encourage the use of hardy, attractive, and easily maintained plant material that provides multiseasonal interest and is of appropriate height to avoid overhead wires and negative impacts on public safety.

(ii) To provide visual continuity by using plant materials from a City-specified plant list of a limited number of native varieties and species.

(iii) To encourage the use of trees and shrubs as an important unifying element within the industrial areas to strengthen the image and continuity of the streetscape.

(b) Design Principles.

(i) Plantings along the frontage shall be coordinated to unify the roadway image, according to the City’s street tree plans where applicable.

(ii) Selected plant materials from the City’s list of trees and shrubs shall be used to satisfy landscape requirements to provide visual continuity along the roadway.

(3) Parking Lot Landscaping.

(a) Intent.

(i) To develop a positive image for the residential areas.

(ii) To reduce the summertime heat and glare within and adjacent to parking lots.

(iii) To provide landscaped areas within parking areas in addition to landscape buffers around the perimeters of parking lots.

(iv) To provide pleasant pedestrian ways through parking lots.

(b) Design Principles.

(i) Provide surface parking area landscaping in accordance with WMC 21.36.080.

(ii) An alternative landscaping plan for surface parking areas may be submitted in accordance with WMC 21.36.080 and one or more of the following:

(A) Integrate interior surface parking landscaping with required biofiltration swales and surface water detention ponds.

(B) Incorporate or protect natural features, including wetlands, significant trees and vegetation, and slopes.

(C) Preserve distant views.

(D) Create an extension or connection to a local park or a regional bicycle/pedestrian trail system.

(4) Tree Retention.

(a) Intent.

(i) To create and retain public open space that provides adequate access to the community.

(ii) To preserve and protect stands of mature trees.

(iii) To aid in the stabilization of soil by preventing erosion.

(iv) To reduce stormwater runoff and costs associated with it.

(v) To provide an important visual buffer and screen from traffic.

(vi) To conserve and enhance the aesthetic value of the area.

(vii) To provide natural settings for paths connecting residential areas with transit stops.

(b) Design Principles.

(i) Adhere to the requirements of Chapters 21.36 and 21.50 WMC.

(ii) Consider alternate building and parking siting strategies to preserve existing trees.

(iii) Consider the integration of pedestrian and bicycle paths with stands of mature trees where feasible to connect adjoining uses. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.190 Safety.

(1) Intent. To promote safe livable areas. The proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to increased resident sense of safety and security, and an improvement of the quality of life. As applicable, utilize Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies.

(2) Design Principles.

(a) Natural Access Control. A design concept directed primarily at decreasing crime opportunity by denying access to crime targets and creating in offenders a perception of risk. Gained by designing streets, sidewalks, building entrances and neighborhood gateways to clearly indicate public routes and discourage access to private areas with structural elements.

(i) Balcony railings should never be a solid opaque material of more than 42 inches high.

(ii) Entrances into parking lots should be defined by landscaping, architectural design, or monitored by a guard.

(iii) Dead-end spaces (e.g., no escape spaces) should be blocked by a fence or gate.

(iv) Common building entrances should have locks that automatically lock when the door closes.

(v) Hallways should be well lit.

(vi) Elevators and stairwells should be centrally located.

(vii) Access driveways should be limited to no more than two points.

(b) Natural Surveillance. A design concept directed primarily at keeping intruders easily observable. Promoted features that maximize visibility of people, parking areas and building entrances: doors and windows that look out onto streets and parking areas; pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and streets; front porches; and adequate nighttime lighting.

(i) Exterior doors should be visible from the street or by neighbors.

(ii) All doors that open to the outside should be well lit.

(iii) Four facades should have windows, if possible.

(iv) Parking spaces should be assigned to each unit located adjoining to that unit, and not marked by unit numbers.

(v) Visitor parking should be designated.

(vi) Parking areas should be visible from windows and doors.

(vii) Parking areas and pedestrian walkways should be well lit.

(viii) Recreation areas should be visible from a multitude of windows and doors.

(ix) Trash collection facilities should not create blind spots or hiding areas.

(x) Elevators and stairwells should be clearly visible from windows and doors.

(xi) Shrubbery should be no more than three feet high for clear visibility. Buildings should be sited so that the windows and doors of one unit are visible from another.

(xii) Stairwells should be well lit and open to view; not behind solid walls.

(xiii) All buildings and residential units should be clearly identified by street address numbers that are a minimum of five inches high, and well lit at night. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.200 General pedestrian access requirements.

(1) Intent.

(a) In keeping with the City’s commitment to pedestrians, priority treatment is given to pedestrian accommodations in the design of transportation modes for on-site developments using City street standards.

(b) To improve the pedestrian environment by making it easier, safer, and more comfortable to walk between dwellings, on street sidewalks, to transit stops, and through parking lots, pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and bus shelters should connect all modes of transportation.

(c) To provide convenient pedestrian circulation connecting all on-site activities to adjacent pedestrian routes and street rights-of-way.

(d) To provide safe pedestrian routes across busy streets by a variety of means, including signalized intersections at driveways with heavy traffic volumes and distinctively marked crosswalks.

(2) Design Principles. Provide safe, convenient pedestrian circulation for all users.

(a) Provide pedestrian access onto the site from the main street off of which the use is located. Where a use fronts two streets, access shall be provided from the road closest to the main entrance.

(b) Provide pedestrian access in accordance with WMC 21.37.130, unless otherwise directed by these design principles.

(c) Provide adequate lighting at building entries, and along all walkways including paths through parking lots.

(i) Lighting fixtures illuminating pedestrian areas are recommended to be at pedestrian scale.

(ii) Adequate lighting levels for safety is at least four foot-candles average at the building entry and two foot-candles average at walkways and paths (see WMC 21.35.170 for more information on lighting).

(iii) Lighting level uniformity, average to minimum, shall be 2:1 or better.

(d) Provide a safe, convenient, on-site pedestrian circulation.

(i) Provide paved pedestrian path from the street sidewalk to the main entry of all buildings.

(ii) Buildings with entries not facing the street should have a clear and obvious pedestrian access way from the street sidewalk to the entry. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.210 Pedestrian paths and circulation.

(1) Pedestrian Paths.

(a) Intent.

(i) To provide safe and direct pedestrian access in residential areas to accommodate pedestrian movement patterns, to minimize conflicts between pedestrians and vehicular traffic, and to provide pedestrian connections to neighborhoods.

(ii) To provide safe routes for the pedestrian and disabled person across parking, to entries, and between buildings.

(iii) To accommodate noncompetitive/noncommuter bicycle riders who use bicycles on short trips for exercise and convenience.

(b) Design Principles. Provide safe and direct access in residential areas for all users.

(i) Provide pedestrian circulation routes from building entries to:

(A) Services within the same development;

(B) Building entries of nearby residential complexes; and

(C) Sidewalks along abutting roadways.

(ii) Where possible, provide steps and ramps across retaining walls and slopes in accordance with WMC 21.37.130.

(iii) Where fences are erected, they shall provide for pedestrian access by gates to shopping and other common activities, especially to transit.

(iv) Adjoining landscaping shall not block visibility to and from a path, especially where it approaches a roadway or driveway according to WMC 21.40.060.

(v) Pedestrian walks shall be separated from structures at least three feet for landscaping.

(2) Access and Parking Lots.

(a) Intent.

(i) To provide safe and convenient pedestrian paths from the street sidewalk through parking lots to building entries in order to encourage pleasant walking experiences between and surrounding the dwellings.

(ii) To provide inviting, pleasant pedestrian circulation system that integrates with parking as access to nearby uses.

(b) Design Principles. Provide pathways through parking lots.

(i) Provide specially marked or paved walkways through parking lots in accordance with WMC 21.37.130.

(ii) Develop an on-site pedestrian circulation system.

(A) Develop an on-site pedestrian circulation plan in compliance with WMC 21.37.130.

(B) Integrate on-site walkways with required parking lot landscaping.

(3) Sidewalk – Size and Materials.

(a) Intent. To provide safe, convenient, and pleasant pedestrian sidewalks for circulation along all streets.

(b) Design Principles.

(i) Provide wide sidewalks along designated pedestrian-oriented streets for a variety of activities that accommodate and complement City life in accordance with the following:

(A) Provide at least 12-foot-wide sidewalks along pedestrian-oriented streets.

(B) The ground level of all new buildings located adjacent to a pedestrian-oriented street shall be set back from the street property line sufficiently to provide a sidewalk at least 12 feet wide, distance as measured from the back of the curb to the front edge of the building.

(C) Unit pavers installed in walks shall relate to existing conditions in color, texture and walk design in all designated pedestrian-oriented streets.

(D) Where street right-of-way is insufficient to provide adequate sidewalks, buildings and other site features must be set back from the public right-of-way to achieve at least the minimum sidewalk widths in accordance with the City’s adopted standards.

(ii) General requirements for sidewalks not on a designated pedestrian-oriented street include providing a clear and obvious pedestrian access way from the street sidewalk to the primary entry of a building that does not directly face the street. Separate the access way from vehicular traffic. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.220 Pedestrian activity and plazas.

(1) Intent.

(a) To provide a variety of pedestrian areas to accommodate residents and visitors on designated pedestrian-oriented streets.

(b) To provide a rich and varied recreation and open-space experience.

(2) Design Principles.

(a) Where the front building facade on a designated pedestrian-oriented street is not directly adjoining to the sidewalk, the space between the sidewalk pavement and the building (the front yard) shall be developed as a garden, lawn, and/or “pedestrian-oriented space” as defined in WMC 21.11A.170 and consistent with Table 21.35.220 at key locations:

Table 21.35.220: Pedestrian-Oriented Space Requirements 


Implementing Measures

Nonpedestrian-Oriented Streets

Pedestrian- Oriented Streets


Visual and pedestrian access including ADA access into the site from public street right-of-way.




Paved walking surfaces of either scored pattern concrete or approved unit paving.




At least two linear feet of seating area (bench, ledge, etc.) or one individual seat per each 60 square feet or fraction thereof of plaza area or open space.




Landscaping that does not act as a visual barrier.




Site furniture, artwork, or amenities such as fountains, kiosks, etc.



(b) Provide private open space for the use of residents of the development at key locations by promoting a sense of ownership for each resident. This can include shared open space for the residents allowing them to interact and establish a sense of community and belonging, creating the opportunity to share in a communal experience. The development is encouraged to provide one or more of the following:

(i) Provide each resident with an area (pea-patch) for cultivating vegetables, planting flowers, etc. Each area is encouraged to be a minimum of 50 square feet per dwelling.

(ii) Create terraced landscape areas that incorporate the communal philosophy by allowing maintenance and planting by the residents.

(iii) The development is encouraged to implement other common areas for passive use.

(iv) The Director may grant partial or complete waivers for senior assisted living dwellings for outdoor recreation space with equivalent alternative recreation opportunities. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.230 Vehicular access and parking.

(1) Access Roads in Large Lot Development.

(a) Intent.

(i) To provide vehicular access routes through large lots by connecting public and/or private roadways as directed by the City to complete the downtown street grid.

(ii) To create a safe, convenient network for vehicle circulation and parking.

(iii) To mitigate traffic impacts and to conform to the City’s objectives for better traffic circulation.

(b) Design Principles.

(i) Development projects on properties which front on two streets are to conform with the applicable City street specifications and standards for access.

(ii) Connections between streets are to be provided as indicated by the applicable City street plans/specifications and standards. If access streets are required, they shall conform to the following:

(A) Streets may be part of the parking lot/site circulation. Only parallel parking fronting directly on the access street is permitted;

(B) Street trees and sidewalks or pedestrian paths are required along access streets; and

(C) Location of ingress and egress to and from the access street shall be limited to one ingress and egress within 300 feet of curb length.

(2) Vehicle Entrances.

(a) Intent. To provide safe, convenient access to residential sites without diminishing quality pedestrian walking or visual experiences.

(b) Design Principles. Minimize driveway impacts across pedestrian walks.

(i) Parking lot entrances, driveways, and other vehicle access routes onto private property from a public right-of-way shall be restricted to no more than one entrance lane and one exit lane per 300 linear feet of property as measured horizontally along the street face. Parking lot entrances, driveways and other through vehicle access routes shall not be obstructed.

(ii) Properties with less than 300 linear feet of street frontage shall make a good-faith effort to negotiate shared access with adjoining property owners. One entry and one exit lane for vehicle access will be allowed after there is demonstrable evidence, acceptable to the City, that shared access is not feasible.

(iii) Vehicular access to corner lots shall be located on the lowest classified roadway and as close as practical to the property line most distant from the intersection; except corner lots may have one entrance per street provided the owner provides evidence acceptable to the City that they are unable to arrange joint access with an abutting property. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.240 Building design – Character.

(1) Intent.

(a) To design buildings that reflect the Northwest woodland character.

(b) To encourage building design that has visual character and creates comfortable human environments.

(2) Design Principles. “Northwest woodland character” refers to structures designed in the context of the Northwest natural setting, which includes climate, topography, ecosystems, and evolved social organization. (See WMC 21.33.380.)

(a) Building forms shall reflect Northwest woodland character.

(i) The general form of structures is to be simple, three-dimensional forms characteristic of agrarian structures. Large structures may use smaller component forms to mitigate the “big box” appearance.

(ii) Structures with multiple component forms are to be integrated for visual unity.

(iii) To visually expose those components that support and/or stabilize structures when compatible with design.

(iv) Adapt building access to site conditions for level, convenient, obvious entry.

(b) Exterior finishes are to be compatible with Northwest woodland character.

(i) Material finishes shall reflect the early 1900s domestic agrarian vernacular of materials that represent a popular architectural expression that evolved in the Northwest during this period of time.

(ii) Exterior finish colors are to be neutral shades of natural colors found in northwest woodlands or colors typical of historic agrarian structures of the northwest and may include limited use of compatible accent colors.

(iii) The arrangement, proportion and design of windows and doors shall conform with the following:

(A) The height-to-width ratio of single openings and group openings are to be proportionately scaled to the wall.

(B) Door and window details and trim that is suitably scaled to the wall.

(C) Reduce large expanses of glass used in windows and doors to smaller component windows reminiscent of early 1900s domestic agrarian structures vernacular when adjacent to sidewalks or other pedestrian accommodations. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.250 Human scale.

(1) Intent. To encourage the use of building components that relate to the size of the human body.

(2) Design Principles. Incorporate human-scale building elements. All new buildings and major exterior remodels must employ elements or techniques indicated in Table 21.35.250 towards achieving “human scale.” If a proposed building is more than 100 feet wide as measured along any facade facing a street and visible from that street, then the building shall incorporate the measures indicated for the building heights in Table 21.35.250.

Table 21.35.250: Human Scale Elements 


Implementing Measures

Building Height

<15 feet

15 – 35 feet

35< feet


Balconies or decks in upper stories; at least one balcony or deck per upper floor on the facades facing streets is required. Balconies are encouraged to be at least six feet deep and 10 feet wide.

Not Applicable




Gable or hipped roof; provided, that the hipped or gable roof covers at least one-half of the building’s footprint and has a slope greater or equal to three feet vertical in 12 feet horizontal. Use gabled forms at corners, entry, wall modulation points, etc., to adapt large structure to character described in WMC 21.35.240.





Spatially defining building elements such as a trellis, overhang, canopy, or other element that defines space that can be occupied by people.





Upper story setbacks; provided, one or more of the upper stories are set back from the face of the building at least six feet.

Not Applicable




The Director may consider other methods to provide human scale elements not specifically listed here. The proposed methods must satisfy the intent of the design principles.




(Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.260 Architectural scale.

(1) Intent. To encourage architectural scale of development that is compatible with nearby uses that have the character of agrarian structures.

(2) Design Principles. Reduce scale of large buildings. All new buildings over 2,500 square feet in gross building footprint shall provide along their facades that are visible from public rights-of-way or pedestrian routes and entries the following:

(a) Upper Story Setback. Multistory buildings must be set back at least six feet per story from the face of the lower floor (base floor must meet property line setback, as necessary) facing the public right-of-way.

(b) Horizontal Building Modulation. All building facades within 400 feet of a public right-of-way or park, and/or visible from that right-of-way or park, shall conform to the following standards:

(i) The maximum width (as measured horizontally along the building’s exterior) without building modulation shall be 50 feet.

(ii) The minimum depth of modulation shall be the greater of six feet, or not less than 0.2 multiplied by the height of the structure (finish grade to top of wall).

(iii) Roof decks or balconies may be used as all or part of the building modulation so long as each individual balcony has a floor area of 100 square feet.

(c) Modulated Roofline. Buildings may satisfy the requirement by modulating the roofline of all facades visible from a public right-of-way or park according to the following standards:

(i) For gable, hipped, or shed roofs: a slope of at least three feet vertical to 12 feet horizontal.

(ii) Other roof forms such as arched, vaulted, dormer, or saw-toothed may satisfy this design principle if the individual segments of the roof with no change in slope of discontinuity are less than 50 feet in width (measured horizontally).

(d) Building articulation may be accomplished with design elements such as the following, so long as the interval does not exceed 50 feet:

(i) Repeating distinctive window patterns at intervals less than the articulation interval;

(ii) Providing a porch, patio, deck, or covered entry for each articulation interval;

(iii) Providing a balcony or bay window for each articulation interval;

(iv) Changing the roofline by alternating dormers, stepped roofs, gables, or other roof elements to reinforce the modulation or articulation interval;

(v) Changing materials with a change in building plane;

(vi) Providing lighting fixtures, trellis, tree, or other landscape features within each interval.

(e) Cluster smaller uses and activities around entrances on street-facing facades.

(f) Include massing of substantial landscaping and/or pedestrian-oriented spaces along the building facade.

(g) The Director may authorize other methods that provide architecturally scaled elements not specifically listed in subsections (2)(a) through (f) of this section. The proposed methods must satisfy the intent of the design principles. Note that the Director may increase the 50-foot intervals for modulation and articulation to better match surrounding structures or to implement an approved design concept. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.270 Building corners.

(1) Intent. To create visual interest and increased activity at public street corners.

(2) Design Principles. Architecturally accentuate building corners at street intersections. All new buildings located within 15 feet of a property line, at the intersection of streets, public or private, are required to employ two or more of the following design elements or treatments to the building’s corner facing the intersection:

(a) Provide at least 100 square feet of sidewalk area or “pedestrian-oriented open space” as defined in WMC 21.11A.170 in addition to the otherwise required building setback.

(b) Provide a corner entrance to courtyard, building lobby, atrium, or pedestrian pathway.

(c) Include a corner architectural element such as:

(i) Bay window or turret;

(ii) Roof deck or balconies on upper stories;

(iii) Building core setback “notch” or curved facade surfaces;

(iv) Sculpture or artwork either bas-relief, figurative, or distinctive use of materials.

(d) Special treatment of pedestrian weather protection canopy at the corner of the building.

(e) Other similar treatment or element approved by the Director. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.280 Building details.

(1) Intent. To ensure that buildings have design integrity at all observable distances.

(2) Design Principles.

(a) To enhance buildings with appropriate design details. When buildings are seen from a distance, the most noticeable qualities are the overall form and color. A three-story residential building that is 100 feet wide and 35 feet tall must be observed at least 200 feet away in order for the building to fit within a person’s cone of vision so its overall shape can be perceived. At that distance, windows, doors, and other major features are clearly visible. However, within 60 feet to 80 feet from the building (approximately the distance across a typical downtown street) a person notices not so much the building’s overall form as its individual elements. Closer, the most important aspects of a building are its design details, texture of materials, quality of its finishes, and small, decorative elements. In a pedestrian-oriented business area, it is essential that buildings and their contents be attractive up close. Therefore, these design principles include implementing measures which require all buildings to incorporate design details and small-scale elements into their facades. All new buildings shall include on the facades that face a public street, park, or pedestrian route the following:

(i) The following measures are required for all buildings:

(A) Decorative rooflines: For example, an ornamental molding, entablature, frieze, or other roofline device visible from the ground level. If the roofline decoration is in the form of a linear molding or board, then the molding or board must be at least eight inches wide;

(B) Decorative treatment of windows and doors: For example, decorative molding/framing details around all ground floor windows and doors, decorative glazing, or door designs located on facades facing public streets or parks;

(C) Decorative light fixtures with a diffuse visible light source such as a globe or “acorn” that is nonglaring or a decorative shade or mounting;

(D) Decorative building materials, including the following:

1. Decorative masonry, shingle, brick, or stone;

2. Individualized patterns or continuous wood details such as fancy butt shingles in a geometric pattern, decorative moldings, brackets, wave trim or lattice work, ceramic tile, stone, glass block, Carrera glass, or similar materials;

3. Other materials with decorative or textural qualities as approved by the Director.

(E) Paved horizontal surfaces for walks or parking at or near the finish grade of a building shall be separated horizontally from any wall of a structure a minimum of four feet for landscaping. Paved surfaces may abut the structure at entrances and service areas.

(F) Note the year of construction of a building by the installation of a plaque attached to the building. Stone or masonry set integral with other masonry on the front building elevation facing the principle street may be used in lieu of a plaque. The year of construction is to be noted by numbers not less than six inches high. Other information associated with the building that may have historic interest in the future may be included in addition to the year of construction.

(ii) The following are optional measures for all buildings for this section of the design principles. Some of these items may be required by other sections of the design principles:

(A) Decorative railings, grill work, or landscape guards.

(B) Landscaped trellises.

(C) Decorative paving or artwork. The artwork may be freestanding or attached to the building, and may be in the form of mosaic mural, bas-relief sculpture, light sculpture, water sculpture, fountain, free standing sculpture, art in pavement, or similar artwork. Painted murals or graphics on signs or awnings do not qualify. All artwork used to satisfy this condition is subject to approval by the Director.

(D) Other similar features or treatments approved by the Director.

(b) Ground-story building facades on designated pedestrian-oriented streets and public parks shall provide the following:

(i) At least 500 square feet of “pedestrian-oriented space,” as defined in WMC 21.11A.170, for every 100 linear feet of facade, as measured along the property lines adjoining to streets or public parks;

(ii) Optional measures to substitute for required measures above are as follows:

(A) Sculpture, mosaic, or bas-relief artwork over 50 percent of the length of the ground floor facade; or

(B) Special landscaping or building design feature comparable to subsection (2)(b)(ii)(A) of this section and approved by the Director. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.290 Materials.

(1) Intent. To encourage the use of high-quality compatible materials that will upgrade the visual image of residential areas of Woodinville.

(2) Design Principles.

(a) Retain Vernacular Facades. Retain facades that reflect the heritage of the City. Facades of vintage buildings may be adapted to contemporary use with compatible materials.

(b) Use Compatible Building Materials.

(i) Preferred material reflects the City’s Northwest woodland character such as: wood (as used in agrarian structures); masonry; stone; and other materials subject to approval by the Director.

(ii) Materials requiring special detailing to be acceptable are as follows:

(A) Requirements for concrete block walls: If concrete blocks (concrete masonry units or “cinder blocks”) are used for walls that are visible from a public street, park, or pedestrian route then the concrete block construction must be architecturally treated in one or more of the following ways:

1. Use of textured blocks with surfaces such as split face or grooved;

2. Use of other masonry types such as brick, glass block, or tile in conjunction with concrete blocks;

3. Use of decorative coursing to break up blank wall areas.

Use matching colored mortar where color is an element of architectural treatment for any of the options above.

(B) Prohibited Materials. The following materials are prohibited in visible locations unless an exception is granted by the Director based on the integration of the material into the overall design of the structure.

1. Mirrored glass.

2. Corrugated fiberglass.

3. Chain link fencing (except for temporary purposes such as a construction site).

4. Crushed colored rock/crushed tumbled glass. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)

21.35.300 Blank walls.

(1) Intent.

(a) To reduce the visual impact of large undifferentiated walls.

(b) To reduce the apparent size of large walls through the use of various architectural and landscaping treatments.

(2) Design Principles. All “blank walls” (as defined in WMC 21.11A.030) within 50 feet of the street right-of-way, park, or adjoining lot, and visible from that street, park, or adjoining lot, shall be treated with one or more of the following measures:

(a) Install a vertical trellis in front of the wall with climbing vines or plant materials.

(b) Provide a landscaped planting bed at least eight feet wide or raised planter bed at least two feet high and three feet wide in front of the wall. Plant materials that will obscure or screen at least 50 percent of the wall’s surface within three years are to be planted in the planting bed.

(c) Providing artwork (mosaic, mural, sculpture, relief, etc.) over at least 50 percent of the blank wall surface.

(d) Other method as approved by the Director.

(e) Treatment of blank walls is to be proportional to the wall. (Ord. 737 § 2 (Att. A), 2022)