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Title 17C
Chapter 17C.124
Section 17C.124.220
 

Title 17C Land Use Standards

Chapter 17C.124 Downtown Zones

Section 17C.124.220 Height & Massing
  1. Purpose.
    The height and massing standards control the overall scale of buildings. These standards downtown allow for building height and mass at a scale that generally reflects the most intensive area within the City. The standards help to preserve light, air, and the potential for privacy in lower intensity residential zones that are adjacent to the downtown zones.

  2. Height and Massing Standards.
    The height and massing standards for all structures are stated in Table 17C.124-2 and as shown on the zoning map. Bonus height may be allowed as defined in SMC 17C.124.220(E). The Bonus height provisions are not available within downtown zones that have a maximum height specified on the zoning map by a dash and a maximum height specified after the zone map symbol (i.e. DTG-100).

    1. Changes to the Maximum Height Provisions.
      Changes to the height limits are not allowed outside of a downtown plan update process.

    2. Pitched roof forms and accessible decks may extend above the height limit; however, if the space within the pitched roof is habitable, it shall only be used for residential purposes.

    3. Projections Allowed.
      Chimneys, flag poles, satellite receiving dishes, and other similar items with a width, depth, or diameter of five feet or less may rise ten feet above the height limit, or five feet above the highest point of the roof, whichever is greater. If they are greater than five feet in width, depth, or diameter, they are subject to the height limit.

    4. Rooftop Mechanical Equipment.
      All rooftop mechanical equipment must be set back at least fifteen feet from all roof edges visible from streets. Elevator mechanical equipment may extend up to sixteen feet above the height limit. Other rooftop mechanical equipment which cumulatively covers no more than ten percent of the roof area may extend ten feet above the height limit.

    5. Radio and television antennas, utility power poles, and public safety facilities are exempt from the height limit except as provided in chapter 17C.355A.SMC, Wireless Communication Facilities.

    6. Architectural Projections.
      The height limits do not apply to uninhabitable space under four hundred square feet in floor area that is devoted to decorative architectural features such belfries, spires, and clock towers.

    7. Ground Floor Allowed Height.
      The first story of the building may be up to twenty-five feet tall and still count as only one story.

  1. Special Height Districts.
    Special height districts are established to control structure heights under particular circumstances such as preservation of public view or airport approaches and protection. See chapter 17C.170 SMC, Special Height Overlay Districts.

  2. Downtown West End Special Height District.
    For the properties shown in Figure 17C.124.220-1 that are located in the area generally west of Monroe Street, east of Cedar Street, and between Main Avenue and Riverside Avenue, the maximum height shall be as shown in Figures 17C.124.220-1 and 17C.124.220-2.



Figure 17C.124.220-1

Notes for Figure 17C.124.220-1.

    1. Thirty-five feet high from Cedar Street and Main Avenue street grade (highest street elevation fronting the parcel). Horizontally, fifty feet in depth from Cedar Street and Main Avenue right-of-way/property line.

    2. Seventy feet high from Cedar Street and Main Avenue street grade (highest street elevation fronting the parcel). Horizontally, seventy-five feet in depth beginning fifty feet from the Cedar Street and Main Avenue right-of-way/property line.

    3. Seventy feet in height from Wilson Avenue street grade (highest street elevation fronting the parcel).

    4. One hundred fifty feet high from Riverside Avenue street grade (highest street elevation fronting the parcel). Horizontally, one hundred feet in depth from the Riverside Avenue right-of-way/property line.

    5. One hundred fifty feet high from Cedar Street and Main Avenue street grade (highest street elevation fronting the parcel).

    6. One hundred fifty feet high from Riverside Avenue street grade (highest street elevation fronting the parcel). Horizontally, two hundred twenty-five feet in depth from the Riverside Avenue right-of-way/property line.



Figure 17C.124.220-2

  1. Additional Height Within Specific Height Designation Areas.
    Additional stories for structures where the maximum height is specified with a dash after the zoning map symbol (i.e. DTG-70).

    1. One additional story is allowed for every fifteen feet of upper story structure stepback from a street lot line, up to the maximum number of stories allowed in the zone without a maximum height specified.

    1. In the DTC-100 zone one additional story is allowed for every fifteen feet of upper story structure stepback from Spokane Falls Boulevard. There is no upper story structure stepback required from street lot lines that are not adjacent to Spokane Falls Boulevard after the first fifteen feet of upper story structure stepback from Spokane Falls Boulevard.

  1. Structure Standards Above the Seventh Above Ground Story.
    These standards are designed to transition the building bulk and mass for buildings exceeding seven stories in the DTG, DTU, and DTS zones.

    1. Upper Story Setback.
      All stories above the seventh story shall be setback from all property lines and street lot lines a minimum of fifteen feet.

    2. Exception.
      The provision of an exterior public space as defined below allows for encroachment into the upper story stepback. The allowed area of encroachment may not exceed an area equal to five times the area of the exterior public space.

    Exterior Public Space(s) – A Plaza or Courtyard With a Minimum Area of Two Hundred Square Feet.
    A plaza or a courtyard is a level space accessible to the public, at least ten feet in width, with a building façade on at least one side. The elevation of the courtyard or plaza shall be within thirty inches of the grade of the sidewalk providing access to it. For courtyards, at least sixty percent of the green shall be planted with trees, ground cover and other vegetation. For plazas, at least fifteen percent, but no more than sixty percent of the space shall be planted with trees, ground cover and other vegetation. Courtyards and plazas shall also include seating, pedestrian-scale lighting, decorative paving, and other pedestrian furnishings. The use of artists to create fixtures and furnishings is strongly encouraged.

  2. Bonus Height.
    The bonus height provisions are not available within specially designated height areas or the downtown zones that have a maximum height specified on the zoning map by a dash and a maximum height specified after the zone map symbol (i.e. DTG-100).

Additional bonus stories may be achieved if a development incorporates specified and described public amenities allowing bonus height and stories above the number of stories allowed outright in the zone. The bonus stories are in addition to what is specified in Table 17C.124-2. The number of stories above the number of stories allowed outright may be increased through a ministerial process intended to ensure that each amenity both satisfies design criteria and serves a public purpose in the proposed location. Amenities provided must be associated with the use for which the height increase is sought. Proposed amenities shall have a public benefit that is appropriate considering the height increase being achieved.

    1. Structure Standards for Stories Above the Twelfth Above Ground Story.
      These standards are designed to transition the apparent building height and mass for buildings that exceed twelfth stories in the DTG, DTU, and DTS zones. All stories above the twelfth story must meet the following standards. The following floor area and maximum diagonal plan tower dimension shall be measured from the inside face of the outside wall.

      1. On sites less than or equal to thirty-four thousand square feet in size:

        1. the maximum tower floor plate area per site is twelve thousand square feet;

        2. the maximum tower diagonal plan dimension is one hundred fifty feet.

      2. On sites over thirty-four thousand square feet in size:

        1. the maximum tower floor plate area per site is thirty-six percent of the total site area;

        2. the maximum tower diagonal plan dimension is based upon the following formula: Maximum tower diagonal plan dimension = (Square Root of (Site Area x 2)) x 0.6).

    2. Bonus Height Provisions.

      1. The following items quality for addition structure height.

        1. Permanent Affordable Housing.
          Structure envelop devoted to permanent affordable household living space (housing units affordable to households making less than eighty percent of area median income for the City as defined by HUD) is not subject to a height or story limit.

        2. Affordable Housing Building Volume Bonus.
          An area equal to the area devoted to permanent affordable housing that lies below the twelfth story may be added above the twelfth story in residential use that is not affordable housing.

        3. Historic Landmark Transfer of Development Right (TDR).
          Subject to the requirements of chapter 17D.070 SMC, Transfer of Development Rights, additional building height and gross floor area may be transferred from a building on the Spokane register of historic places that is within a downtown zone to a new development within a downtown zone. The TDR may be transferred from a historic landmark located on the same site or from a historic landmark located on a separate site.

      2. Two Story Bonus.
        The following items each qualify for two bonus stories.

        1. Ground Floor Uses that “Spill” onto Adjacent Streets.
          One ground floor use that “spills” (single use) per one hundred foot of structure street frontage.

        Preferred uses include retail sales and service or entertainment use, or any combination thereof, located on the ground floor with direct access and fronting on a street.

        1. Canopy Covering at Least Fifty Percent of Adjacent Frontage Over Public Sidewalk.
          A virtually continuous canopy structure. A canopy is a permanent architectural element projecting out from a building facade over a sidewalk or walkway. A canopy shall be at least five feet in horizontal width and be no less than eight feet and no more than twelve feet above grade.

        2. Alley Enhancements.
          Decorative paving, pedestrian-scaled lighting, special paving, and rear entrances intended to encourage pedestrian use of the alley.

        3. Additional Streetscape Features.
          Seating, trees, pedestrian-scaled lighting, and special paving in addition to any that are required by the design standards and guidelines.

        4. Small Scale Water Feature.
          A small scale minor water feature integrated within an open space or plaza between the structure and public sidewalk. Small scale minor water features are generally designed to be viewed but not physically interacted with.

        5. Incorporating Historic Features and Signage.
          Including historic plaques or markings about the local area or site. Reusing historic building elements and features on the site. Reusing existing landmark signs.

        6. Incorporating Bicycle Parking Enhancements.
          Providing covered bicycle parking for all required bicycle parking along with other bicycle amenities such as secured bicycle lockers and equipment storage facilities.

      3. Four Story Bonus.
        The following items qualify for four bonus stories each.

        1. Additional Building Stepback Above the Seventh Floor.
          An additional ten feet of upper floor stepback from the street lot lines.

        2. Preferred Materials in Pedestrian Realm.
          Use of brick and stone on the building facades that face streets on the first three stories of the building.

        3. Multiple Ground Floor Uses that “Spill” onto Adjacent Streets.
          One ground floor use that “spills” per thirty feet of structure street frontage. Preferred uses include retail sales and service or entertainment use, or any combination thereof, located on the ground floor with direct access and fronting on a street.

        4. Major Exterior Public Spaces/Plaza.
          A plaza or courtyard, with a minimum area of four hundred square feet or one percent of the site size, whichever is greater. A plaza or a courtyard is a level space accessible to the public, at least ten feet in width, with a building façade on at least one side. The elevation of the courtyard or plaza shall be within thirty inches of the grade of the sidewalk providing access to it. For courtyards, at least sixty percent of the green shall be planted with trees, ground cover and other vegetation. For plazas, at least fifteen percent, but no more than sixty percent of the space shall be planted with trees, ground cover and other vegetation. Courtyards and plazas shall also include seating, pedestrian-scale lighting, decorative paving and other pedestrian furnishings. The use of artists to create fixtures and furnishings is strongly encouraged.

        5. Workforce Housing Greater Than Twenty-five Percent of the Total Number of Housing Units.
          For this bonus, the housing units shall be affordable to households earning one hundred twenty percent or less of area medium income (AMI). For homes to be purchased the total housing payment (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, PITI) shall be no more than thirty-three percent of income. For rental housing the rent plus utilities shall be no more than thirty percent of income.

        6. Public Art.
          Public art includes sculptures, murals, inlays, mosaics, and other two-dimensional or three-dimensional works, as well as elements integrated into the design of a project (e.g., fountain) that are designed and crafted by one or more artists. Such artists must be listed on a registry of either the Washington state arts commission or the Spokane arts commission. To receive the bonus, public art must be documented at a value that is at least one percent of the construction value of the bonus stories.

        7. Through-block Pedestrian Connections.
          Through-block pedestrian connection providing a continuous walkway accessible to the public, at least ten feet in width, paved with decorative paving and lighted for nighttime use. It may be covered or open to the sky.

        8. Major Water Feature.
          A major water feature integrated within an open space or plaza between the structure and public sidewalk. A major water feature is designed to be viewed and is large enough to be physically interacted with by the public. It shall be at least ten square feet in size as measure in plan view.

        9. Green/Living Roof.
          A planted area of a roof covering greater than fifty percent of the roof surface.

      4. Eight Story Bonus.
        The following items qualify for eight bonus stories each.

        1. Workforce Housing Greater Than Fifty Percent of the Total Number of Housing Units.
          For this bonus, the housing units shall be affordable to households earning one hundred twenty percent or less of area medium income (AMI). For homes to be purchased the total housing payment (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, PITI) shall be no more than thirty-three percent of income. For rental housing the rent plus utilities shall be no more than thirty percent of income.

        2. Bicycle Commuter Shower Facilities.
          Structures containing two hundred thousand square feet or more of office gross floor area shall include shower facilities and clothing storage areas for bicycle commuters. One shower per gender shall be required. Such facilities shall be for the use of the employees and occupants of the building, and shall be located where they are easily accessible to parking facilities for bicycles.

    Date Passed: Monday, November 2, 2015

    Effective Date: Monday, November 2, 2015

    ORD C35312 Section 9