Chapter 18.76   GATEWAY CORRIDOR OVERLAY DISTRICT

Sections:


18.76.010   Intent.

It is the intent of this section is to provide standards to:

A.

Protect the scenic character of the city's gateways along (1) the State Route 169 corridor, with its commanding views of Mount Rainier and other attractive natural features and (2) the Auburn-Black Diamond Road, where the transition into the heart of the city from the adjacent rural unincorporated area is now seamless;

B.

Protect views from these corridors to natural conditions and other features with historic quality;

C.

Regulate the development of land so it preserves, enhances and complements, rather than detracts, from a scenic experience;

D.

Provide tree canopies;

E.

Allow a gradual transition into a more urban environment.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.76.020   Area of application.

The gateway corridor overlay district shall apply to all parcels, all or a portion of which are:

A.

Within two hundred feet of the State Route 169 right of way, commencing at the city's northern most boundary to the north side of the Roberts Drive intersection; and

B.

Within two hundred feet of Auburn Black Diamond Road from the western city limits eastward to its first intersection with an arterial street.

C.

Development shall comply with all provisions of this district in addition to those prescribed by the underlying zone. In case of conflict between the provisions of the gateway corridor overlay district and the underlying zone requirements, the provisions of the overlay district shall apply. In case of conflict between the provisions of the gateway corridor overlay district and an existing development agreement, condition of annexation, or recorded conservation easement, the provision that provides the greatest amount of buffering of development from the public right of way shall apply.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.76.030   Definitions.

A.

Development. The division of land into two or more parcels, or ownerships in the case of a condominium; the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any structure; and mining, excavation, landfill, or land disturbance; and any use or extension of the use of land.

B.

Development Setback. The minimum distance by which any building or site improvement must be separated from the SR 169 or Auburn-Black Diamond Road right-of-way boundary.

C.

Multi-Modal Path. An eight-foot wide concrete path developed to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and connecting to adjacent properties and other internal sidewalks or pathways.

D.

Scenic Corridor. A roadway and its accompanying right-of-way that offers the traveling public an unobstructed opportunity to observe scenic views and scenic sites in one or more directions, and which usually has a high percentage of open landscape and mature trees within and alongside it. A corridor may include adjacent private property, depending on the context.

E.

Scenic View. A scene that offers significant viewing opportunities beyond a maximum distance of one-quarter mile.

F.

Sustainable Design. Design in which the impact of a building on the environment will be minimal over the lifetime of the structure. Buildings should incorporate the principles of energy and resource efficiency, practical applications of waste reduction and pollution prevention, high standards of indoor air quality and natural light to promote occupant health and productivity, and transportation efficiency in design and construction, during use and reuse.

G.

Topping. The severe cutting back of tree limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy, disfigure the tree, and/or threaten its continued health or growth.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.76.040   Exemptions from standards.

All new development within the gateway corridor overlay district shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, except that the following shall be exempt:

A.

Farm or agricultural-related structures and activities occurring outside the development setback.

B.

Single-family dwellings, manufactured homes and allowed accessory uses on existing lots of record.

C.

All developments existing on the effective date of this code, provided that expansions or additions to existing development on or after the effective date of this code shall not be exempt.

D.

Existing lots of record that are one acre or less in size are not exempt, but the director may grant an administrative deviation from the strict application of this code to the minimum extent that is necessary to allow a reasonable use of the parcel while not compromising the intent and purpose of the overlay district.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.76.050   Submittal requirements and administration.

All non-exempt development shall submit with the appropriate application, an existing conditions map, a site plan of the proposed development and a landscaping plan as specified in Section 18.76.060(C). When a preliminary plat is required to be filed for a subdivision in accordance with this code, this chapter shall be administered and enforced at the time a preliminary plat is filed as part of the subdivision review process by the director and the hearings examiner. In other cases such as a grading permit, development permit or building permit, this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the director.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.76.060   Site design standards.

A.

Development Setback. All development shall maintain a minimum twenty-five-foot setback for all buildings, structures and property improvements such as parking lots, except for approved road, driveway and utility crossings. With the approval of the director, the development setback may be reduced to twenty feet for one-half of the principal street frontage, with the remaining frontage setback to thirty feet.

1.

Retention of Significant Vegetation. Where existing trees and significant vegetation exist within the development setback, they should be retained as determined appropriate by the director. Setback areas where existing trees and significant vegetation is sparse may require re-vegetation with native species, as determined by the director. Vegetation within a setback area that is required to remain may be pruned and/or removed only if necessary to ensure proper sight visibility for traffic safety, to remove safety hazards or dying/diseased vegetation, or for other good cause. In all cases, it shall be unlawful to top or severely prune any tree within the development setback unless determined necessary by the director for purposes of protecting existing overhead utility lines or other safety considerations.

2.

Allowed Uses and Activities Within the Development Setback. For sites with an underlying non-residential zone designation or that are planned for non-residential use as part of a master planned development, limited portions of the development setback may be used for public plazas with seating, sidewalk café outdoor seating areas, and similar uses and activities. Signage shall be limited to directional signage and to monument signs as allowed herein. Other minor accessory features of the development may be included within the setback if compatible with the purpose of the setback or essential to the identification of the development, subject to the approval of the director. Maximum encroachment for all uses within the development setback (other than for signage) is five feet.

3.

Exceptions to Development Setback for Scenic View Shed Protection. When the application of the development setback requirement of this chapter would have the practical effect of screening from view important scenic sites, natural qualities or historic qualities, the director may modify these provisions so that views of such sites or qualities are retained. The intent of this provision is to preserve lines of sight to view distant scenery from scenic corridors. In requiring the modification, the director shall impose such other conditions as are necessary to mitigate the effect of the deviation to ensure the purpose and intent of the overlay district is met. Any modification that is allowed or imposed under this provision shall be supported by written findings setting forth the factual reasons supporting the modification.

B.

Access. All development within the gateway corridor overlay district shall provide for internal vehicle and pedestrian connectivity to abutting properties, including the opportunity for shared driveway access. Only one access point to SR 169 or the Auburn-Black Diamond Road shall be allowed for every three hundred feet of frontage. Access shall be designed and constructed to accommodate future shared access when abutting properties are developed. The director may allow a reduced distance between access points if access to an existing lot would not be possible due to lot size, topographical or other conditions, and there is no reasonable way to provide access through adjoining properties.

C.

Landscaping Plan. A landscaping plan shall be submitted with all applications for development, showing all existing and proposed features, including existing significant trees and other relevant features. Significant trees should not be removed unless their removal is necessary for placement of a structure or approved parking or access corridor, or as otherwise as approved by the director. In general, native plant materials are required, although the use of ornamental plant materials may be approved if planted in a naturalistic manner and allowed to develop in their natural form. The landscape plan must also demonstrate pedestrian connectivity within the development, to the required multi-modal path, and to future access roads and path systems. These landscaping requirements are in addition to any landscaping required in the underlying zone.

1.

Tree Requirement. In addition to the preservation of significant trees, all development shall provide an additional two trees, with an expected height at maturity of at least thirty feet, per each twenty linear feet of road frontage along either SR-169 or Auburn-Back Diamond Road. These trees shall be a planted within the development setback in a staggered or clustered configuration to ensure maximum canopy development when not in conflict with scenic view protection. These trees shall be a mixture of both native evergreen and deciduous trees, with deciduous trees preferred near buildings to allow for winter solar access. Trees shall have a minimum caliper of three inches at planting, as measured two feet from base of tree.

2.

Screening. If the required development setback does not provide adequate screening of parking lots and service and loading zones from the public right-of-way, there shall be additional landscaping, walls, fences, hedges, shrubbery and/or earthen berms to provide the screening of utilities and loading areas.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.76.070   Provisions regarding buildings and structures.

A.

Building Height. No building or structure shall exceed the following heights limits, which are intended to create a "step-back" effect to preserve view sheds. Cross-section drawings demonstrating how proposed structures meet the height requirements may be required to ensure compliance with this section.

Distance from ROW Description Maximum Building Height if
Permitted*
0 to 25' Development Setback Not
permitted
Edge of setback Development Area 15'
45' or more Development Area 35'

 

* Additional height may be permitted if the applicant meets the sustainable technologies or public amenities incentives as described below.

B.

Architectural Features. Building facade modulation is required for all facades facing a public street at intervals of no greater than thirty feet. Street-facing windows shall vary in size and height; clerestory and storefront windows are encouraged. Buildings shall have a minimum of fifty percent transparency into first floor commercial, working space or pubic area.

C.

Utilities. All utility lines including electric, telephone, data and cable television, shall be installed underground. Underground utility trenches within landscaped areas must be revegetated. Utility boxes and cabinets that are now or must, by necessity, be located above ground, shall be shielded from view from the right-of-way with existing vegetation and/or revegetation. Any aboveground boxes and cabinets shall, in addition to the required vegetative screening, be painted black or an earth tone color to otherwise blend in with its surroundings.

D.

Signage. Monument signs shall be permitted within the required development setback in accordance with provisions of this section and subject to the approval of the director. Pole signs are not permitted. Signs located beyond the setback area and not visible from the public right-of-way are not subject to the requirements of this section, but shall comply with the requirements of the underlying zone.

1.

The total allowed sign area of all signage permitted within the development setback on any one lot shall not exceed the standards of BDMC 18.82. A double-faced sign shall be considered a single sign. No more than two signs shall be permitted within the development setback area per lot, provided that this limitation shall not apply to signs pertaining to the identification of the corridor and those signs and/or interpretive panels identifying and directing the traveling public to archaeological sites, historic sites and other similar non-commercial places and features of interest.

2.

All signage shall be designed with a theme compatible with the architectural style of the development and have a brick, stone or similar masonry base. Signs should be painted a single neutral or earth tone color as determined by the director to be compatible with the architectural theme or style of the development.

3.

Internally illuminated signs are allowed; however, no flashing, blinking, fluctuating or otherwise changing light source is permitted.

4.

The main supporting structure of all signs shall be set back at least five feet from the edge of the public right-of-way.

5.

If a business entrance opens onto the development setback, then a pedestrian oriented sign may be allowed, not to exceed twelve square feet, at the entrance to the business. These signs shall not be internally illuminated, but may be indirectly lit.

E.

Walls and Fences. Walls within or along the development setback shall not be allowed, except for low-lying decorative stone walls (maximum thirty-six inches in height) for enhancement of the scenic corridor, or walls that are needed for slope stabilization. Where permitted, walls shall be located so that scenic views are maintained. Walls must consist of natural materials and shall only be of colors that blend with the vegetation or abutting landscape features. Privacy fences shall not be permitted within or along the development setback area.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009; Ord. No. 1013, § 1, 9-19-2013)

18.76.080   Sustainable design incentives.

In an effort to encourage the more widespread use of sustainable design, building heights may be increased as noted below for use of one or more of the following elements:

Sustainable Design Technology Criterion
Solar panels Must be sufficient to reduce estimated energy consumption by 20%
Green roofs on commercial buildings Must be constructed to National Roof Construction Association standards
The installation of storm water runoff collection systems to re-circulate runoff as landscaping irrigation Designed and stamped by a civil engineer
The planting of at least 25 percent more trees than required by code Landscape plan must be submitted with additional trees identified by species and location

 

Sustainable Design Bonus:

Distance from ROW Description Maximum Building Height if Permitted Maximum Building Height Bonus, if One or More Technologies Employed
0 to 25' Development Setback Not permitted Not applicable
25' to 45' Development Area 15' Additional 10' with one technology employed
45' or more Development Area 35' Additional 20' with two technologies employed

 

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.76.090   Driveways, paths and parking.

A.

Internal roadways within a development shall be designed and constructed to contribute to the scenic character of the corridor and shall be the minimum width allowed. Internal roadways shall provide connectivity to abutting properties. If an abutting property is undeveloped, the site shall be designed and constructed so connectivity can occur when the abutting property develops.

B.

Stormwater runoff shall be collected in bio-swales per city standards or best management practices.

C.

Pedestrian-scale lighting shall be employed for internal circulation and shall use horizontal cut-off fixtures. Lighting shall be installed to provide a consistent two foot-candles along any path.

D.

A continuous eight-foot-wide concrete, ADA accessible, multi-modal path shall connect all properties and shall be constructed either within the development setback or public right-of-way (or both). This path may meander as needed to protect existing significant vegetation and/or provide interest. The multi-modal path shall be connected to the front doors of all commercial development by a minimum five-foot-wide walkway.

E.

Parking. Parking lots shall not be visible from public right-of-way. Buildings should be used to screen parking whenever possible. In the case of access points where buildings at or near the setback cannot screen parking areas, internal lot landscaping shall be used to screen parking areas from view.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)