Chapter 17.116
AREA REGULATIONS

Sections:

17.116.010    Floor area.

17.116.020    Lot size.

17.116.030    Open space.

17.116.040    Lot coverage.

17.116.050    Landscape surface ratio.

17.116.060    Lot coverage and landscape surface ratio for approved single-family residence permits and multiple-family developments.

17.116.070    Effect of involuntary lot size reductions on compliance with area regulations.

17.116.010 Floor area.

A.    Minimum Required. Any building intended in whole or part for residential purposes shall provide a minimum floor area and basement or other above-grade utility area as specified by the regulations for the district in which such building is located.

1.    The minimum floor area requirement for residential use shall be based upon the number of bedrooms and is stated in terms of the minimum total usable residential floor area required per family as shown in the following table:

Required Minimum Floor Area Per Family By Districts

District

1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 Bedroom

4+ Bedroom

R-1

1,800

1,800

1,800

2,000

R-2

1,600

1,600

1,600

1,800

R-3

1,400

1,400

1,400

1,600

R-4

1,400

1,400

1,400

1,600

M-1

1,400

1,400

1,400

1,600

M-2

800

1,000

1,300

1,500

VAB

650

800

1,050

not applicable

2.    In the case of a single-family detached residential building which has more than a single floor level, the total of all livable floor area which is not over any other livable floor area shall be called the first floor area and shall conform to the required minimum total floor area, except that in the case of any building with more than one floor level, such minimum required first floor area may be reduced two square feet for every one square foot increase in total livable floor area, but in no case to less than one thousand (1,000) square feet.

3.    Total floor area must be increased by two hundred (200) square feet if at least three hundred (300) square feet of basement or above grade utility area is not provided for each dwelling unit.

4.    In the case of any lot of record on December 21, 1965, where at least five dwellings of less than the minimum required floor area exist within a radius of five hundred (500) feet of such lot, a reduction in the required minimum floor area shall be permitted to conform to the average of all dwellings within the radius, but in no case to less than one thousand two hundred (1,200) square feet of total livable floor area.

B.    Maximum Floor Area Ratio Permitted. The maximum total floor area of the principal building shall not exceed that permitted under the floor area ratio as specified by the regulations for the district in which such building is located. The floor area ratio is not intended to define livable or habitable space; rather, it is intended to control bulk.

C.    How Measured.

1.    Residential FAR Floor area shall be measured at each level from outside of exterior wall to outside of exterior wall. In a split level building, the first floor level shall be the lowest level defined as a story. Each level above atrium or vaulted areas shall be measured. Excluded from the measurement shall be:

a.    Basements, not defined as a story;

b.    Patios and decks without roofs;

c.    Attics, whether or not a floor has been laid, those areas which are less than eight feet in height;

d.    Areas beneath building overhangs not used for living purposes.

All other areas will be included in the measurement, including all attached garages.

2.    Nonresidential FAR Floor area shall be measured at each level from outside of exterior wall to outside of exterior wall. In a split level building, the first floor level shall be the lowest level which is not over another occupied area of the building. The first floor of elevator shafts, atriums, courtyards or vaulted areas shall be measured. Excluded from the measurement shall be:

a.    Basements, used solely for purposes of storage or mechanical equipment or parking of vehicles;

b.    Areas above the first floor of elevator shafts, atriums, courtyards or vaulted areas up five percent additional square feet of floor area ratio. Further special exceptions for these areas require council approval under the provisions of Section 17.08.060 and shall be predicated upon the council’s determination that the application is consistent with the purposes of this chapter and that the design and function of such areas serves such purposes;

c.    Terraces or landings without roofs;

d.    Attics;

e.    Areas beneath building overhangs;

f.    Structures excepted from the height regulations per Section 17.136.030(B);

g.    Above-grade parking decks including ancillary retail or service uses.

All other areas will be included in the measurement.

3.    Environmentally Significant Lands. Lands located within the regional floodway, regional flood fringe and wetland preservation districts shall not be included in computing maximum floor area ratio, except as provided in Section 17.24.050. Where federal and state agencies and the city, by special approval under the provisions of this code, authorize development of such lands, computations of maximum floor area ratios shall be based upon the buildable area of lots as authorized by the city and other agencies having jurisdiction. The city may impose reasonable conditions on permits issued. Lots and building sites that were platted or developed before July 1, 1991, and which contain lands within the non-shoreland wetland overlay subdistrict may use such subdistrict lands in the calculation of maximum floor area ratio. (Ord. 2362-14 § 4, 2014; Ord. 2231-10 § 2, 2010; Ord. 2068-06 § 4, 2006; Ord. 1691 § 1(b), 1999; prior code § 17.12(1))

17.116.020 Lot size.

A.    No building shall be erected on a lot of less area or minimum width than hereinafter specified by the regulations of the district in which such building is located.

B.    No lot area shall be reduced so as to create a lot of less than the required size or so that the existing offsets, setbacks, open space or lot area would be reduced below that required by the regulations for the district in which such lot is located.

C.    Where a lot has less land area or width than required for the district in which it is located and was of record on August 1, 1961, such lot may be used for any purpose permitted in such district, but not for residential purposes for more than one family, except as otherwise provided in Chapter 17.128. (Ord. 1996-05 § 6, 2005; prior code § 17.12(2))

17.116.030 Open space.

A.    No building shall be erected, structurally altered or placed on a lot so as to reduce the usable open area of such lot to less than that specified by the regulations for that district.

B.    To be considered usable, such open area shall be readily accessible and of a size and shape that will be functional with respect to providing for the amenities and necessities of light, air, play space and landscaping. Crop land, pasture land and wooded lands may be included in the calculation of open space. Lands located within the regional floodway, regional flood fringe and wetland preservation districts shall not be included in soft open space, except as provided in Section 17.24.050E. Where federal and state agencies and the city, by special approval under the provisions of this code, authorize development of such lands, computations of required open space shall be based upon the buildable area of lots as authorized by the city and other agencies having jurisdiction. As part of the review under Section 17.100.050, the city shall impose reasonable conditions on permits issued, especially with respect to maintenance.

C.    No part of the open space provided for any building shall be included as part of the open space required for another building, except as hereinafter provided for housing projects. (Ord. 1691 § 1(c), 1999; prior code § 17.12(3))

17.116.040 Lot coverage.

A.    Maximum Lot Coverage Permitted on a Residential Lot. The sum total footprint of all principal and accessory buildings on a residential lot shall not exceed that permitted under the maximum lot coverage standard as specified by the regulations for the district in which such buildings are located.

B.    Maximum Lot Coverage on a Nonresidential Lot. As a development guide in the design and plan commission review of nonresidential development, the sum total footprint area of all principal and accessory buildings and the total surface area of all impervious accessory uses, driveways, sidewalks, parking surfaces and loading areas on a nonresidential lot should not exceed that suggested under the maximum lot coverage standard as specified by the regulations for the district in which such development is located. Greater lot coverage than suggested in the district regulations may be authorized upon approval of the plan commission under the commission’s review authority of Chapter 17.100.

C.    How Measured.

1.    Footprint area shall be measured at the first floor level from outside of exterior wall to outside of exterior wall. In a split level building, the first floor level shall include all area which is not over another occupied area of the building. Fully enclosed atriums, courtyards and vaulted areas shall be measured. Excluded from the measurement shall be patios, decks, terraces or landings without roofs, and areas beneath building overhangs.

2.    Impervious surface areas shall be measured by totaling the square feet of land occupied by all impervious accessory uses, driveways, sidewalks, parking surfaces and loading areas, exclusive of areas contained in building footprint area. (Prior code § 17.12(4))

17.116.050 Landscape surface ratio.

No building shall be erected, structurally altered, or placed on a lot nor shall any impervious accessory use, driveway, sidewalk, parking, or loading surfaces to be constructed or reconstructed on a lot so as to reduce the landscaped surface area of such lot to less than specified by the regulations for that district. The landscape surface ratio of a nonresidential lot may be reduced to less than specified in the district regulations upon approval of the plan commission under the commission’s review authority of Chapter 17.100. (Ord. 2577-19 § 7, 2019; prior code § 17.12(5))

17.116.060 Lot coverage and landscape surface ratio for approved single-family residence permits and multiple-family developments.

A.    Where a building permit has been issued for a single-family residence as of November 15, 1988, the provisions of Section 17.116.040 shall not apply to the particular building for which the permit has been issued. All permits issued after said date must comply with the provisions of Section 17.116.040.

B.    Where, under Chapter 17.100, a multiple-family residential development has been approved as of November 15, 1988, and where such approval has not expired under the provisions of Section 17.100.080, the provisions of Sections 17.116.040 and 17.116.050 shall not apply to the particular plans approved for such development. All multiple-family residential developments approved under Chapter 17.100 after said date must comply with the provision of Sections 17.116.040 and 17.116.050. (Prior code § 17.12(6))

17.116.070 Effect of involuntary lot size reductions on compliance with area regulations.

Lots that would be more nonconforming with respect to area regulations by losing lot area to public acquisition may be reviewed and approved for special exception under Section 17.08.060 to retain all or part of their previously allowed floor area and/or lot coverage and to have proportionally reduced useable green space. (Ord. 1871 § 3, 2002)