City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

Title 17C
Chapter 17C.110
Section 17C.110.220

Title 17C Land Use Standards

Chapter 17C.110 Residential Zones

Section 17C.110.220 Setbacks
  1. Purpose

The setback standards for primary and accessory structures serve several purposes. They maintain light, air, separation for fire protection, and access for fire fighting. They reflect the general building scale and placement of houses in the City's neighborhoods. They promote options for privacy for neighboring properties. They provide adequate flexibility to site a building so that it may be compatible with the neighborhood, fit the topography of the site, allow for required outdoor areas, and allow for architectural diversity. They provide room for a car to park in front of a garage door without overhanging the street or sidewalk, and they enhance driver visibility when backing onto the street.

  1. Required Setbacks

The required setbacks for primary and accessory structures are stated in Table 17C.110-3. Other setbacks may apply to specific types of development or situations. Setbacks for parking areas are stated in chapter 17C.230 SMC, Parking and Loading.

  1. Extensions into Required Building Setbacks
    1. Minor features of a structure such as eaves, awnings, chimneys, fire escapes, bay windows and uncovered balconies may extend into a required building setback up to twenty-four inches. Bays and bay windows extending into the setback also must meet the following requirements:
      1. Each bay and bay window may be up to twelve feet long, but the total area of all bays and bay windows on a building facade cannot be more than thirty percent of the area of the facade.
      1. Bays and bay windows must cantilever beyond the foundation of the building; and
      1. The bay may not include any doors.
    1. Accessory Structures.

The setback standards for accessory structures are stated in Table 17C.110-3. Fences are addressed in SMC 17C.110.230. Detached accessory dwelling units are addressed in chapter 17C.300 SMC, Accessory Dwelling Units. Signs are addressed in chapter 17C.240 SMC, Signs.

  1. Exceptions to the Required Setbacks
    1. Setback Averaging.

The front building setback is as provided in Table 17C.110-3, unless there exists a residence on both sides of the subject property; or in the case of a corner lot the lot to side in the same block. In this case, the setback is based on the average of the respective setbacks on the two adjoining lots, or one side of a corner lot. If one of the adjoining lots is vacant, the setback for the adjoining vacant lot for purposes of averaging is presumed to be as provided in Table 17C.110-3. The setback based on averaging shall not be greater than twenty feet.

  1. The rear yard of a lot established as of May 27, 1929, may be reduced to provide a building depth of thirty feet.
  1. Split Zoning.

Where a site is split between more than one zone and a building is proposed that will cross an internal lot line that is also a zoning line, no setbacks are required from that lot line.

  1. Setback – Corner Lot Subdivisions.
    1. The planning and economic development services director upon an application for a building permit, a subdivision, short subdivision, or a boundary line adjustment determines the building setback requirements for lots resulting from a corner lot subdivision. The determination of required building setbacks is based on:
      1. the purposes of the various setback requirements with respect to neighboring improvements, including setback averaging,
      1. the platting pattern in the block, and
      1. the designation of front yards on the plat, if any.
    1. In general, the building setbacks for the lots that are created through a subdivision, short subdivision, or a boundary line adjustment shall remain consistent with building setbacks as required prior to the corner lot subdivision. The figures below will be used to guide the planning and economic development services director decision.

Date Passed: Monday, September 24, 2012

Effective Date: Friday, November 2, 2012

ORD C34911 Section 7