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A. Purpose. Town Center is one of the City’s primary gathering places. Its mix of shops and restaurants, offices, hotel rooms and conference facilities, and eventually residences in the heart of the City is intended to bring people together during the day and evening for planned or casual meetings. The design of the buildings, street patterns, and public plazas are modern yet reflect the historic district in adjacent Old Town. Improvements in walking connections between the two districts will help both areas thrive. The long-term vision for Town Center is that it will continue to develop as a major gathering and entertainment place within the community, that its trails will be connected to Marymoor Park by a grade-separated connection across SR 520, and that transit service to and from the center will provide a choice equal in attractiveness to automobiles, walking, and biking. The design and development of this zone is controlled by a Master Plan established to ensure that development here integrates with and positively influences future redevelopment of the greater downtown area, and retains traditional building styles, street patterns, variety of uses, and public amenities.

B. Maximum Development Yield.

Table 21.10.050A
Maximum Development Yield

Allowed

Base

Maximum

Illustrations

Height

5 stories

6 stories

Example of a 5-story building

Example of 6-story building

Lot Coverage

100 percent

100 percent

These are office building examples using Transfer Development Rights or Green Building Program to achieve the maximum achievable floor area within the maximum allowed building height. Residential and mixed-use residential developments may achieve similar results. Residential and mixed-use residential developments may have similar height, but volume will differ due to setback and open space requirements.

C. Regulations Common to All Uses.

Table 21.10.050B
Regulations Common to All Uses

Regulation

Standard

Notes and Exceptions

Front Setback (distance from back of curb)

Front and side street (commercial use)

See RZC 21.10.150. Map 10.4, Town Center Pedestrian System

A. Setbacks along Downtown streets are regulated by the Downtown Pedestrian System which specifies street frontage standards between the street curb and the face of buildings, depending on site location. 

B. All new development shall comply with the adopted Town Center Master Plan and Design Guidelines.

Setback Line (distance from property line)

Side Commercial

0 feet

All new development shall comply with the adopted Town Center Master Plan and Design Guidelines.

Rear Commercial

0 feet

All new development shall comply with the adopted Town Center Master Plan and Design Guidelines.

Side Residential

See RZC 21.10.130.D,Residential Setback Requirements

All new development shall comply with the adopted Town Center Master Plan and Design Guidelines.

Rear Residential

10 feet

All new development shall comply with the adopted Town Center Master Plan and Design Guidelines.

Yard adjoining BNSF ROW or Parks

14 feet

Other Standards

Minimum Building Height

n/a

Maximum Building Height without TDRs or GBP

Varies

Mixed-Use area: four stories; hotel and conference center, full service – eight stories; other hotel - six stories. Office Park area: five stories. Bear Creek Retail Area: three stories. Mixed-use residential or residential use in Town Center: five stories outright. The Technical Committee shall administratively allow the height in the Mixed-Use overlay area to be increased to six stories if the building facade is recessed above the second floor and building modulation is provided to mitigate the bulk and mass from the additional height allowance.

Maximum Building Height with TDRs or GBP

Varies

One floor of additional height may be achieved with the use of Transfer Development Rights. See RZC 21.10.160, Using Transfer Development Rights (TDRs), or through compliance with RZC 21.67, Green Building and Green Infrastructure Incentive Program (GBP), except they may not be used to exceed eight stories where eight stories is allowed through bonus provisions.

Maximum Height Within Shorelines (SMP)

35 feet

A. This height limit is restricted to that portion of the building physically located within the Shoreline Jurisdiction. (SMP)

B. The maximum height of structures, including bridges, that support a regional light rail transit system may be higher than 35 feet, but shall be no higher than is reasonably necessary to address the engineering, operational, environmental, and regulatory issues at the location of the structure. (SMP)

Maximum Lot Coverage

Varies

Governed by the Downtown Element of the Comprehensive Plan and the Town Center Master Plan and Design Guidelines.

Base FAR Without TDRs

Varies

A minimum of 600,000 square feet of gross leasable area shall be maintained as retail use. The maximum gross leasable area of allowed commercial space without TDRs is 1.49 million square feet. The 1.49 million square feet limit may be increased to a maximum of 1.80 million square feet through the acquisition and use of TDRs or the GBP, provided that TDRs or the GBP may not be used to increase the height of the hotel and conference center, full service, above eight stories/100 feet, and that a minimum of 140,000 square feet be reserved for a hotel and conference center, full service. The additional square footage allowed may be used for infill retail and general service uses that are part of mixed-use residential developments or infill developments. Floor area for residential uses is exempt from TDR requirements and maximum commercial floor area limitations.

Allowed Residential Density

Depends on Lot Size

See RZC 21.10.130.B, Downtown Residential Densities Chart.

Drive-through

n/a

Drive-through facilities are prohibited except where expressly permitted in the Allowed Uses and Basic Development Standards table below.

D. Allowed Uses and Basic Development Standards. The following table contains the basic zoning regulations that apply to uses. To use the chart, read down the left-hand column titled “Use.” When you have located the use that interests you, read across to find regulations that apply to that use. Uses are permitted unless otherwise specified in the Special Regulations column. Permitted uses may require land use permit approval. See RZC 21.76.020, Overview of the Development Process, for more information. Uses not listed are not permitted. 

Table 21.10.050C
Allowed Uses and Basic Development Standards

Section

Use

Parking Ratio:
Unit of Measure Minimum required, Maximum allowed

Special Regulations

Residential1

1

Attached dwelling unit, 2-4 units

Dwelling Unit (1.0, 2.25) Plus one guest space per four units for projects with six units or more. Curbside parking along the site may be counted towards up to 25 percent of the required off-street parking.

A. Maximum density per lot dependent upon size and width of lot, per RZC 21.10.130.B, Downtown Residential Densities Chart.

B. Affordable Housing requirements apply to developments of 10 units or more. See RZC 21.20.020, Applicability.

2

Multifamily Structure, Mixed-Use Residential

3

Dormitory

Bed (0.5, 1.0)

4

Residential suite

5

Housing Services for the Elderly

See Special Regulations.

Parking requirements are as follows:

A. Multifamily housing for senior citizens: Unit (0.5, 2.0).

B. Nursing home or long-term care facility: 4 patient beds (1.0, 1.0).

C. Retirement residence with no skilled nursing facility: Unit (1.0, 1.0). 

D. Retirement residence with skilled nursing facility: Worker on largest shift (1.25, 1.25). A traffic mitigation plan is required. The plan shall address traffic control; parking management, including mitigation of overflow parking into adjoining residential areas; and traffic movement to the arterial street system.  

General Sales or Service

6

General Sales or Services

1,000 sq ft gfa (3.5, 5.0)

A. Uses not permitted include:

1. Gas station.

2. Automobile sales with outdoor display and storage.

3. Rental storage and mini-warehouses.

4. Retail sales or services involving drive-through/drive-up facilities, except drive-through facilities confined within the garage of a multistory building of at least three stories shall be allowed when the drive-through lanes provide a queuing length adequate to serve peak demand without overflowing onto public sidewalks or streets, as determined by a professional traffic engineer and approved by the City

B. Shall not be materially detrimental in terms of noise, truck traffic, and other potential operational impacts with nearby multistory mixed-use/residential developments

C. Auto repair without outdoor storage and outdoor service is allowed provided:

1. All service/repair work is performed indoors. 

2. There is no overnight storage of customer vehicles in outdoor parking areas.

D. Parking standards for restaurant uses:

1. Sit-down restaurant: 1,000 sq ft gfa (9.0, 9.0).

2. Take-out restaurant: 1,000 sq ft gfa (10.0, 10.0).

3. The Technical Committee may waive the parking requirement for restaurant/deli/café uses less than 750 sq ft gfa that support/enhance the City’s vision for creating/enhancing Downtown as a pedestrian place provided :

a. The use is located in an office building and primarily serves the occupants and guests of the office building; or

b. The use is visible from and within 100 feet of a promenade or Downtown park, such as Luke McRedmond Park, Anderson Park, O’Leary Park, The Edge Skate Park, or the 83rd Street Promenade, for example, or within 100 feet of a critical areas buffer of the Sammamish River and access to the River Trail, and the use is designed to enliven the pedestrian environment and primarily cater to pedestrians and outdoor patrons.

7

Hotels, Motels, and Other Accommodation Services1, 2

Rental room (1.0, 1.0)

Conference center space: adequate to accommodate peak use

8

Marijuana retail sales

1,000 sq ft gfa (2.0, 5.0)

See RZC 21.41 Marijuana-related uses for additional requirements.

Transportation, Communication, Information, and Utilities

9

Road, Ground Passenger, and Transit Transportation

1,000 sq ft gfa (3.5, 5.0)

Regional light rail transit system and office uses only. No vehicle storage.

10

Rapid charging station

Adequate to accommodate peak use

Shall not be located on a parcel that abuts a residential zone, RZC 21.04.030 Comprehensive Allowed Uses Chart.

11

Battery exchange station

Shall not be located on a parcel that abuts a residential zone.

12

Communications and Information

1,000 sq ft gfa (3.5, 5.0)

13

Local Utilities

14

Wireless Communication Facilities

N/A

See RZC 21.56. Wireless Communication Facilities, for specific development requirements.

Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

15

Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

Adequate to accommodate peak use

16

Natural and other recreational parks

1,000 sq ft gfa (0, adequate to accommodate peak use)

Education, Public Administration, Health Care, and Other Institutions

17

Education, Public Administration, Health Care, and Other Institutions, except those listed below

See Special Regulations

Parking: The number of spaces must be adequate to accommodate the peak customer and employee shift, demonstrated by a parking study or other study submitted by the applicant and approved by the Code Administrator.

18

Day Care Center

Provisions for day care centers include:

A. Shall provide parking as follows: Employee on maximum shift (1.0, 1.0).

B. Play equipment shall be located no less than 10 feet from any property line.

C. Parking: The number of spaces must be adequate to accommodate the peak shift as determined by the Code Administrator after considering the probable number of employees, etc.

19

Religious Institutions

1,000 sq ft gfa (10.0, 10.0) or 1/5 fixed seats

A. A seat is one fixed seat or 18 inches on a pew or bench, or seven square feet in the general assembly are, including aisle space, but excluding stage, podium, lobby, and space for musical instruments.

B. A traffic mitigation plan is required. The plan shall address traffic control; parking management, including mitigation of overflow parking into adjoining residential areas; and traffic movement to the arterial street system.

Other

20

Funeral Homes and Services

1,000 sq ft gfa (10.0, 10.0) or 1/5 fixed seats

Excludes crematoriums.

21

Vending Carts, Kiosks

A. Shall not locate in required parking, landscaping, or drive aisle area, or any area that would impede emergency access.

B. Shall not reduce or interfere with functional use of walkway or plaza to below standards of Americans with Disabilities Act.

C. Structures shall be secured to prevent tipping and endangering public safety.

D. Maximum size is six feet wide by ten feet long.

E. Administrative design review required for structures.

22

Automobile Parking Facilities

Surface parking lots are prohibited.

Notes:

1Permanent supportive housing, as defined under RCW 36.70A.030, and transitional housing, as defined under RCW Chapter 84.36, are allowed in all land use districts where residential dwellings and/or hotel uses are allowed, subject to RZC 21.57.010,Permanent Supportive Housing, Transitional Housing, and Emergency Housing.

2Emergency housing, as defined under RCW 36.70A.030, and emergency shelter, as defined under RCW 36.70A.030, are allowed in all land use districts where hotel uses are allowed. Emergency housing is subject to RZC 21.57.010, Permanent Supportive Housing, Transitional Housing, and Emergency Housing. Emergency shelter is subject to RZC 21.57.020, Emergency Shelter.

(Ord. 2642; Ord. 2652; Ord. 2679; Ord. 2709; Ord. 2803; Ord. 2836; Ord. 2919; Ord. 2978; Ord. 3074)

Effective on: 2/12/2022