Chapter 15.03
ZONING DISTRICTS

Sections:

15.03.010    Purpose and establishment of zoning districts.

15.03.020    District and map overlay intent statements.

15.03.030    Map of zoning districts and overlays.

15.03.010 Purpose and establishment of zoning districts.

The following zoning districts are established to protect the public health, safety and general welfare by implementing the goals and policies adopted in the Yakima urban area comprehensive plan:

Residential Districts

—    Suburban Residential District (SR)

—    Single-Family Residential District (R-1)

—    Two-Family Residential District (R-2)

—    Multifamily Residential District (R-3)

Commercial Districts

—    Professional Business District (B-1)

—    Local Business District (B-2)

—    Historical Business District (HB)

—    Small Convenience Center District (SCC)

—    Large Convenience Center District (LCC)

—    Central Business District (CBD)

—    General Commercial District (GC)

—    Regional Development District (RD)

—    Airport Support District (AS)

Industrial Districts

—    Light Industrial District (M-1)

—    Heavy Industrial District (M-2)

District Overlays

—    Airport Safety Overlay (ASO)

—    Floodplain Overlay (FO)

—    Greenway Overlay (GO)

—    Institutional Overlay (IO)

—    Master Planned Development Overlay (PD)

(Ord. 2016-029 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2016: Ord. 2008-46 § 1 (part), 2008: Ord. 2001-04 § 1, 2001: Ord. 2947 § 1 (part), 1986).

15.03.020 District and map overlay intent statements.

The district intent statements define the specific purpose of each district and/or zoning map overlay. They shall reflect the policies of the Yakima urban area comprehensive plan; serve as a guide for determining the appropriate location of uses; help determine appropriate conditions for development; and help the administrative official interpret the standards and provisions.

A.    Suburban Residential District (SR). The intent of the suburban residential district is to provide a variety of residential lifestyles with densities generally ranging from one unit per five net residential acres to seven units per net residential acre. The higher density is reviewed and considered to be permitted when a public water system and the regional sewer system are available, or if these utilities are not available, community water and sewer systems may be allowed after review by Yakima County health district and the city of Yakima. (See YMC Chapter 15.05, Table 5-1.) This district is further intended to:

1.    Limit residential density to one unit per five net residential acres in areas where flooding, airport noise, or other environmental constraints make the land unsuitable for residential use at higher densities. Development at a lower density will be reviewed to allow conversion to higher densities once utilities are available or other limiting issues are mitigated;

2.    Maintain surface and groundwater quality along with the avoidance of potential health hazards, by limiting residential density to one unit per five net residential acres, in areas where public services will not be provided, and the dwelling units have individual wells and septic tanks. Development at a lower density will be reviewed to allow conversion to higher densities once utilities are available or other limiting issues are mitigated;

3.    Provide the opportunity for suburban residential development, up to three dwelling units per net residential acre, in areas with either public water service or a community sewer system; and

4.    Allow residential development to seven dwelling units per net residential acre in areas with both public water service and sewer system.

This district is characterized by a mixture of land uses and residential densities including small farms, scattered low-density residential development, and clusters of higher-density residential development. The minimum lot size in the district varies according to the suitability of the land for development and the provision of urban level services. See YMC 15.05.030(E).

B.    Single-Family Residential District (R-1). The single-family residential district is intended to:

1.    Establish new residential neighborhoods for detached single-family dwellings free from other uses except those which are compatible with, and serve the residents of, this district, which may include duplexes and zero lot lines if established during the subdivision process;

2.    Preserve existing residential neighborhoods for detached single-family dwellings free from other uses to ensure the preservation of the existing residential character, and serve the residents of this district; and

3.    Locate moderate-density residential development, up to seven dwelling units per net residential acre, in areas served by public water and sewer system.

Detached single-family dwellings are the primary use in this district. The district is characterized by up to sixty percent lot coverage; access to individual lots by local access streets; required front, rear and side yard setbacks; and one- and two-story structures. The density in the district is generally seven dwelling units per net residential acre or less.

This zone is intended to afford single-family neighborhoods the highest level of protection from encroachment by potentially incompatible nonresidential land uses or impacts. Nonresidential uses within these zones are not allowed; except for public or quasi-public uses, which will be required to undergo extensive public review and will have all necessary performance or design standards assigned to them as necessary to mitigate potential impacts to adjacent residences.

Duplex and multifamily development up to seven dwelling units per net residential acre may be allowed in accordance with Table 4-1.

C.    Two-Family Residential District (R-2). The purpose of the two-family residential district is to:

1.    Establish and preserve residential neighborhoods for detached single-family dwellings, duplexes and other uses compatible with the intent of this district; and

2.    Locate residential development with densities up to twelve dwelling units per net residential acre in areas receiving a full range of public services including public water and sewer service, and police and fire protection.

The district is characterized by up to sixty percent lot coverage, access via local access streets and collectors, one- and two-story buildings, some clustering of units, and required front, rear and side yard setbacks. Typical uses in this district are single-family dwellings and duplexes. The density in this district generally ranges from seven to twelve dwelling units per net residential acre. However, development up to eighteen dwelling units per net residential acre may be allowed in accordance with YMC Chapter 15.04, Table 4-1.

D.    Multifamily Residential District (R-3). The multifamily residential district is intended to:

1.    Establish and preserve high-density residential districts by excluding activities not compatible with residential uses;

2.    Locate high-density residential development more than twelve dwelling units per net residential acre in areas receiving the full range of urban services;

3.    Locate high-density residential development near neighborhood shopping facilities; and

4.    Locate high-density residential development so that traffic generated by the development does not pass through lower-density residential areas.

The district contains a variety of attached or clustered multifamily dwellings.

E.    Professional Business District (B-1). The professional business district is intended to:

1.    Establish and preserve areas for professional offices;

2.    Provide a buffer between commercial clusters and residential neighborhoods; and

3.    Locate professional offices in areas presently receiving a full range of urban services.

Professional offices and, in some areas, a mix of professional offices and multifamily dwellings are the primary uses in the district.

Generally, the professional business district contains smaller lot or parcel sizes. Residential densities are generally greater than twelve dwelling units per net residential acre. Building coverage may be as high as eighty percent of the site. Sitescreening requirements have been established to soften the visual impact of large buildings and parking lots and to minimize potential nuisances from light, noise and glare. Development standards are intended to accommodate a mixture of high-density residential development and office uses.

F.    Local Business District (B-2). The purpose of the local business district is to:

1.    Provide areas for commercial activities that meet the small retail shopping and service needs of the community; and

2.    Accommodate small-scale commercial uses that need a higher level of visibility and easy access to major arterials.

Uses characteristic of this district include small retail sales and service establishments.

G.    Historical Business District (HB). The purpose of the historical business district is to recognize existing isolated commercial structures in otherwise residential areas, to allow those structures to be occupied by traditional neighborhood business uses, and to allow these structures to be replaced if destroyed. This district is not intended to allow structural expansion, or expansion of the use onto adjoining lots. It is further intended that this district is not to serve as a small convenience center (SCC). Examples of HB uses are: taverns, small grocery stores, laundromats, and other businesses serving the immediate residential neighborhood around this district. This zoning district is not intended to be allowed to be further expanded or formed.

H.    Small Convenience Center District (SCC). The purpose and intent of the small convenience center district is to:

1.    Provide areas for commercial activities outside the downtown commercial district that meet community retail shopping and service needs; and

2.    Accommodate small commercial centers, generally two to five acres in size, where most of the commercial uses have located in a coordinated manner around a common parking lot and one major commercial approach driveway.

Small convenience centers serve the day-to-day convenience shopping and service needs of the surrounding neighborhood and should be designed to minimize undesirable impacts of the center on the neighborhood it serves. Uses in this district should be retail or personal service establishments dealing directly with the consumer, the primary occupants usually being such uses as a supermarket, fast food restaurants and drug store.

I.    Large Convenience Center (LCC). The purpose and intent of the large convenience center district is to:

1.    Provide areas for commercial activities outside the downtown commercial district that meet the retail shopping and service needs of the community; and

2.    Accommodate commercial centers, generally five to ten acres in size, where most of the commercial uses are coordinated in a manner around a common parking lot and usually with two major commercial approach driveways.

Large convenience centers serve the shopping and service needs of multiple surrounding neighborhoods and should be designed to minimize the impacts. Uses in this district should be larger retail or personal services, the primary occupants usually being such uses as multiple-tenant shopping, restaurants, office complexes, and multi mixed-uses.

J.    Airport Support District (AS). The purpose of the airport support district is to accommodate airport and aircraft related activities within the airport property. This district includes the Yakima Air Terminal. A variety of uses are permitted. However, the intensity of development is directly related to airport and/or aircraft related uses.

K.    General Commercial District (GC). The purpose of the general commercial district is to accommodate wholesale and retail activities with some high-density residential development. This district is primarily located near and along the major arterials as designated in the Yakima urban area comprehensive plan. Like the CBD district, a variety of land uses are permitted. However, the intensity of development is intended to be less than in the CBD district.

L.    Central Business District (CBD). The purpose of the central business district is to preserve the business district of the city of Yakima as the region’s center of commerce, finance, government, industry, recreation, and culture. This district is characterized by very intensive development and a variety of land uses including retail sales and service establishments, high-density residential development, financial institutions, professional buildings, and government offices.

M.    Regional Development District (RD). The purpose of the regional development district is to provide high visibility from the interstate and state highways of the city of Yakima to provide regional commerce, office campus, recreation, large-scale retail, culture, light manufacturing, processing, research, and large multiple mixed uses. This district is characterized by very intensive development and a variety of land uses including retail sales and service establishments, high-density residential development, financial institutions, professional office buildings, hotels, condominiums, and corporation headquarters.

N.    Light Industrial District (M-1). The intent of the light industrial district is to:

1.    Establish and preserve areas near designated truck routes, freeways, and the railroad for light industrial uses;

2.    Direct truck traffic onto designated truck routes and away from residential streets; and

3.    Minimize conflicts between uses in the light industrial district and surrounding land uses.

The light industrial district provides areas for light manufacturing, processing, research, wholesale trade, storage, and distribution facilities.

Uses permitted in this district should not generate noise levels, light, odor, or fumes that would constitute a nuisance or hazard.

O.    Heavy Industrial District (M-2). The intent of the heavy industrial district is to:

1.    Establish and preserve areas near designated truck routes, freeways, and railroads for heavy industrial uses;

2.    Direct heavy truck traffic onto designated truck routes and away from residential streets; and

3.    Minimize conflicts between heavy industrial uses and surrounding land uses.

The heavy industrial district provides areas for manufacturing, assembling, fabrication, processing, and distribution and storage facilities. Uses in this district have the potential to generate high levels of noise, light, odor, fumes, or smoke that require their protection from encroachment by incompatible land uses.

P.    Airport Overlay (AO). The airport overlay is intended to protect the airspace around the Yakima Air Terminal at McAllister Field from airspace obstructions or hazards and incompatible land uses. In addition to the regulations of the principal use district, the airport overlay includes provisions for:

1.    Preserving land adjacent to the Yakima Air Terminal at McAllister Field for future commercial and industrial development; and

2.    Assuring that land uses, locating near the airport, are compatible with noise, height obstruction and other impacts from the airport operation.

Q.    Floodplain Overlay (FO). The purpose of the floodplain overlay is to:

1.    Protect natural drainage systems associated with floodways and floodplains;

2.    Ensure that new development will not affect the flood elevations in surrounding areas;

3.    Ensure adequate protection of life, health, and property from flood events;

4.    Control development located within the one-hundred-year floodplain unless it is possible to mitigate;

5.    Ensure development is restricted within the floodway unless it is water dependent;

6.    Emphasize FEMA standards in planning for flood prevention and damage reduction;

7.    Comply with the city of Yakima’s shoreline master program;

8.    Minimize the expenditure of public money for flood-control projects;

9.    Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken with public money;

10.    Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water lines, sewer lines, and streets;

11.    Protect river, creek, and stream channels from encroachment so that flood heights and flood damage will not be appreciably increased;

12.    Ensure that potential buyers are notified that FEMA mapping is used to help identify that property is in an area of special flood hazards;

13.    Ensure that property owners who occupy flood hazard areas have adequate information when they apply for development changes to their property so the property owner can assess the results of their development actions;

14.    Continue to implement the National Flood Insurance Program; and

15.    Use and enforce the building code to help minimize losses due to flooding.

R.    Greenway Overlay (GO). The Yakima River Regional Greenway Plan was adopted to preserve and maintain the Yakima River as a natural resource for all citizens to enjoy. The greenway corridor extends from Yakima Canyon to Union Gap. Greenway boundaries were originally defined in 1977 by the State Legislature with the creation of the Washington State Yakima River Conservation Area.

The greenway corridor is classified into natural, conservation, and recreation areas. Each greenway corridor area may contain various facilities developed by the Greenway Foundation, such as pathways, recreational sites, boat landings, parks, playgrounds, campgrounds, and group camps. Many of the greenway facilities, such as trails, have been constructed on the top of existing dikes and levees. The greenway provides access for levee maintenance and repair and to be responsible for damage to trails caused by flooding.

In addition to the provisions of the principal use district, the purpose of the greenway overlay is to:

1.    Make the greenway more attractive and accessible to the public;

2.    Assure development conserves shoreline vegetation and controls erosion;

3.    Implement the city shoreline master program and the Yakima River Regional Greenway Plan;

4.    Limit development to activities which are particularly dependent on a location in the greenway;

5.    Preserve and protect the fragile natural resources and culturally significant features along the greenway;

6.    Increase public access to publicly owned areas of the greenway where increased use is desirable;

7.    Protect public and private properties from the adverse effects of improper development in hazardous shoreline areas; and

8.    Give preference to uses creating long-term over short-term benefits.

S.    Master Planned Development Overlay (PD). The master planned development overlay is intended to allow larger scale, mixed-use developments in selected areas of the city where certain development requirements may be adjusted as necessary to promote an integrated approach to planning and site design. The city finds that such developments require special review and conditioning to ensure that adjacent areas are preserved and protected. (YMC Chapter 15.28.)

T.    Institutional Overlay (IO). The institutional overlay is intended to allow designated community institutions that are valuable and necessary to the community, but which are located adjacent to or within residential zones. The city finds that these institutions require special review and conditioning to ensure that adjacent residential areas are preserved and protected. (YMC Chapter 15.31.)

The institutional overlay includes provisions to:

1.    Make the institution more compatible and accessible to the public;

2.    Assure development has the ability for future expansion;

3.    Provide increased protection such as increased buffers as the institution locates closer to residential districts, especially R-1; and

4.    Utilize the goals and policies of the Yakima urban area comprehensive plan. (Ord. 2020-001 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2020: Ord. 2019-044 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2019: Ord. 2018-047 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2018: Ord. 2016-029 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2016: Ord. 2011-52 § 2 (part), 2011: Ord. 2008-46 § 1 (part), 2008: Ord. 2001-04 § 2, 2001; Ord. 95-13 §§ 1, 2, 1995; Ord. 3019 § 11, 1987; Ord. 2947 § 1 (part), 1986. Formerly 15.03.030).

15.03.030 Map of zoning districts and overlays.

A.    Adoption, Changes, Filing, and Replacement.

1.    The zoning districts established by this title are defined as shown on the official zoning map for the Yakima urban growth area. The official zoning map, together with all the explanatory material thereon, is adopted by reference and declared to be a part. In addition, any adopted overlay shall be displayed on the zoning map as identified by the adopted ordinance.

2.    The official zoning map for the unincorporated portion of the Yakima urban growth area shall be maintained in the Yakima County planning division. The city of Yakima department of community development shall maintain the official zoning map for that portion of the Yakima urban area within the Yakima city limits.

3.    Each official zoning map shall be identified by the adopted ordinance of the appropriate jurisdiction and the date of adoption. The official zoning map maintained by the city shall be the final authority as to the current zoning status of land.

4.    Any changes in the district boundaries established by this title shall be made in accordance with the provisions. The official zoning map shall be promptly changed after the amendment has been approved by the respective legislative body.

5.    No changes of any kind shall be made on the official zoning map except in conformance with the procedures. Any unauthorized change by any person(s) shall be considered a violation and punishable as provided under YMC Chapter 15.25.

6.    If the official zoning map becomes damaged, destroyed, lost, or difficult to interpret because of the nature or number of changes and additions, the legislative body may, by resolution, adopt a new official zoning map, which shall supersede the prior official zoning map. The new official zoning map may correct drafting or other errors or omissions in the prior official zoning map, but no such correction shall have the effect of amending the original zoning ordinance or any subsequent amendment thereof.

B.    Basis for Mapping the Floodplain Overlay Area, Warning and Disclaimer of Liability. The floodplain overlay shall be that area within the one-hundred-year floodplain shown on the federal flood insurance rate maps (FIRM) for the city and county. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) periodically updates these maps. (Ord. 2016-029 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2016: Ord. 2011-52 § 2 (part), 2011: Ord. 2008-46 § 1 (part), 2008: Ord. 2947 § 1 (part), 1986. Formerly 15.03.040).