Public Hearing on Town Center Amendments
On July 6 the City Council will be holding a public hearing on several Town Center zoning code amendments.
The first of the proposed amendments modifies and adds some definitions to the zoning code. Definitions for "basement", "grade point", "ground floor", "story", and "story above grade point" would either be amended or added to clarify the code and for consistency with other areas of the code. "Studio" and "open bedroom studio" would be defined and a parking standard of 0.75 space per unit applied. Currently any unit 2 bedrooms or less require 1.25 parking spaces.
The second of the proposed amendments would allow what the City is calling "transitional uses" around the perimeter of the Town Center zone. The reason the City gives for this is because it is difficult to make a zoning or building height transition at the street face, you end up with existing single family residences on one side of the street facing potentially larger mixed-use buildings on the other side of the street. So what this amendment would allow is these transitional uses on properties facing the Town Center zone and accessed off the a street abutting Town Center zone properties. See the image below for what properties this would apply to.
What would these allowed transitional uses be? One of the uses would be townhomes with the additional requirement that the side and rear yard setbacks, the distance a building can be from a property line, are the same as the underlying single family zone as well as the building height limits.
The other transitional use would be off-site parking associated with Town Center uses that are within 150 feet. This would be mitigated with dense vegetative screening against any single family residences. So for example, a multi-family building in the Town Center zone could provide parking for their tenants on one of the transitional properties.
The third proposed amendment modifies some general development standards, here are a few of them:
- Existing single family residences are no longer "permitted" in the Town Center zone. This means that while the existing single family homes can certainly be maintained, sold and continue to be used as single family residences they could not be expanded or added on to.
- Eliminate the maximum FAR (floor area ratio) requirement.
- Increase minimum lot size for platted lots to 20,000 square feet.
- Some changes to the townhome development standards.
- Prohibition of auto-oriented uses (drive through windows, car washes, auto repair/maintenance, etc.) along 56th Ave W.
The fourth proposed amendment adds some language that would prohibit parking from being leased for uses not associated with an on-site use.
The fifth proposed amendment modifies some text that previously prohibited closed stormwater systems, such as a detention vault, from being within 10-feet of a building.
More information about these proposed amendments can be found here.