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 17E
Chapter 17E.060
Section 17E.060.770

Title 17E Environmental Standards

Chapter 17E.060 Shoreline Regulations

Article VII. Shoreline Development Standards by District: Part II. Shoreline Development Standards

Section 17E.060.770 Visual Access Setback
  1. Purpose.

To preserve views of the river corridor and the scenic environment along the river from the public street system.

  1. Visual access shall be achieved by setting buildings back a minimum of fifteen feet from property lines adjacent to public rights-of-way that intersect the shoreline jurisdiction.
  1. The following shall apply in the visual access setback:
    1. No structures shall be allowed over a height of thirty-six inches; and
    1. Vegetative landscaping shall be allowed.

TABLE 17E.060.770-1



Shoreline District Dimensional Standards

Downtown (Alternatives)

Campus (Alternatives)


Great Gorge / Downriver

Latah Creek

Shoreline Buffer

See Shoreline Buffers Map and SMC 17E.060.720

Structure Setback from Shoreline Buffer[2]

25 feet[2]

15 feet[2]

Visual Access Setback[5]

15 feet[3]

Maximum Width of All Structures Parallel to OHWM

70% of the width of the site generally running parallel to the OHWM[4][5]

Maximum Lot Coverage


Tall Building Design Standards

Buildings over 55 feet in height also follow SMC 17C.250.030 and SMC 17C.250.040

Maximum Structure Height by Shoreline District[6][7]

Distance from OHWM


0 feet - 75 feet

30 feet

Greater than 75 feet - 100 feet

40 feet

40 feet

35 feet

Greater than 100 feet -200 feet

Alternative 1 = 55 feet

Alternative 2 = 55 feet base with a Skinny Tower - 150 feet total height (See Shoreline Tall Building Standards for Alternative 2)

Public Access Pathway Width

Public Access Pathway Width

Minimum of 10 feet[8]



Within the shoreline districts, the most restrictive development standards of both the underlying zone and the shoreline district apply.


See the shoreline buffers map to determine the buffer width within the shoreline jurisdiction.


Buildings shall be set back at least fifteen feet from property lines adjacent to public rights-of-way that intersect the shoreline district. This does not apply to structures below grade.


See SMC 17E.060.770 for exceptions.


See SMC 17E.060.800 for pedestrian views and access for large buildings over three hundred feet.


No structures are allowed within the shoreline buffer and structure setback.


No structure shall exceed thirty-five feet above average grade level within the shoreline jurisdiction that will obstruct the view of a substantial number of residences on or adjoining such shorelines except where the SMP or underlying zoning does not prohibit such development and only when overriding considerations of the public interest will be served. See SMC 17E.060.290(Y), Physical and Visual Public Access.


Public access pathways within a shoreline buffer shall not exceed ten feet in width.

Date Passed: Monday, April 19, 2021

Effective Date: Sunday, May 23, 2021

ORD C36034 Section 9