City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

***Note: Many local criminal codes can now be located under Chapter 10.60 SMC while others are now cited under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), which was incorporated into the municipal code in 2022. (See SMC 10.58.010). Code Enforcement, including Noise Control and Animal Regulations are located in Chapters 10.62 through 10.74.

Title 17C
Chapter 17C.124
Section 17C.124.520

Title 17C Land Use Standards

Chapter 17C.124 Downtown Zones

Section 17C.124.520 Base/Middle/Top – Building Design

  1. Purpose.
    To reduce the apparent bulk of the buildings by providing a sense of “base” and “top.”
  2. Base/Middle/Top Implementation.

    1. Buildings shall have a distinct “base” at the ground level, using articulation and materials such as stone, masonry, or decorative concrete. (P)

    2. The “top” of the building shall be treated with a distinct outline with elements such as a projecting parapet, cornice, or projection. (P)



A distinctive cornice with parapet define the top


The changes in amount and form of
windows along with details such as
belt lines help to define the base,
middle, and top.


 Different materials can be used at the ground level
to define a "base."

Date Passed: Monday, December 14, 2009

Effective Date: Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ordinance C34522 Section 1