Zoning Ordinance Amendments - Building and Site Design

Case: OA-17-002
Zoning Ordinance Amendments


Staff Presentation


Attachments Building and Site Design

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Site Design recommendation 5 - Step Backs

A walk down W Colfax at Iris demonstrates how the pedestrian scale feels with a three story structure up next to the street. Assuming 45’ would permit four stories, we propose a 35’ max height or three stories for first step back and every two stories thereafter. This is more of a concern in areas where low profile structures exist. The larger buildings would tend to crowd them, primarily on Colfax where many historic uses would be in the community’s interest to preserve as part of its redevelopment.

Recommendation 6 - RMF setbacks
Parking set backs - we propose that the 10’ setback be permitted only in the case where street parking is provided; without street parking a 25’ setback is required.

Recommendation 9 - Development menu
Table 17.14.1 item 13 - Unbundled Parking - we oppose unbundled parking due to the risk of spillover parking into stable, less-dense neighborhoods. Unbundled parking is more applicable to urban centers.

It was suggested during a study session that developers be encouraged to work with community in selecting best options. Incentivize by adding it to the menu under “Other”, or otherwise stating explicitly under “Open option”.

04/28/2018 9:27 pm
Paul Ditson - ENA
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Site Design recommendation 4 - Height Transitions - Eiber comments

We favor the 45 degree bulk plane limitation.

04/28/2018 8:15 pm
Paul Ditson - ENA
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Site Design recommendation 3 - Building Height Measurement - Eiber comments

The reasoning is understood, but there is some skepticism that developers might find some sort of nuance to permit adding another floor that they otherwise would not be able to. Be wary of height creep.

This will allow the gable wall height to increase. Consideration should be given to adjacent properties that face the gable ends. Will 45 degree block plane be applicable? What would be the effect of a steep roof vs shallow? I.e. a steep roof would have a higher midpoint than a lower pitched roof.

Can, or should, different height standards be applied to flat vs. pitched roofs, and the latter be preferred over the former?

It appears that the three story townhouses at 10th and Balsam have a roof deck. This effectively makes a four story structure if one considers the roof as active outdoor space. This arrangement is undesirable to neighbors who are losing back yard privacy. Bad enough that it’s a three story building with a five foot setback shadowing their property, but putting a party deck on top is adding insult to injury. Can the design standards regulate roof deck use? Assuming that access to the roof requires a covered stair well, shouldn’t that be considered in the height measurement? Or should the max height include any safety railing above the roof cope? Can’t quite tell if that’s the case on 10th, but the possibility does exist.

04/28/2018 3:25 pm
Paul Ditson - ENA
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Site Design recommendation 2 - Public Amenities - Eiber comments

More open space is always a good idea. As density of development increases, more demand will be placed on shrinking public open space resources. If development does not include it as an integral part of the project, it is then incumbent upon the city to make accommodations. Specifically along the W Colfax and light rail corridor, the growth anticipated by the comp plan will over stress the few public parks in the area.

Plazas can be an attractive amenity only if held to a high standard of quality. Furthermore, plazas are generally comprised of impermeable surface area. In the spirit of sustainability, and in order to help mitigate increasing demands on the storm sewer system and depletion of the water table, as well as reducing demand for district water, we suggest developers be encouraged to design as much green space as possible and require that any hard surface areas that count as “open space” be permeable.

Tree lawns and separated sidewalks offer a great opportunity to capture storm runoff, reducing demand on the storm system. Please refer to for some very good ideas coming out of Portland OR and other cities. Check the website for other ideas for making use of storm water and grey water. We propose instituting design requirements and standards for curb cuts into the ordinance, for example requiring x lin ft of tree lawn per ft of curb and appropriate curb cuts for diverting water. Also consider requiring landscape watering systems be controlled based on moisture content of the soil.

Consider taking this opportunity to implement a study of the N Dry Gulch area to identify opportunities to implement these practices, with the expectation that it could reduce the impact and cost of gulch remediation.

04/28/2018 12:51 pm
Paul Ditson - ENA
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Site Design recommendation 1 - Design Committees - Eiber neighborhood comments

We see the value in design committees, this is a very good idea. The planning Director mentioned during a study session that neighborhood organizations could be included in the committee review process if they take the initiative. We would like to see this made a more formal commitment somehow. How would an organization express their interest in participating in the review? What guidelines or restrictions would apply to such involvement?

How will this process be defined? Who identifies the standards or guidelines that the committee will adopt? Is that done by the committee for each project, or will there be best practices defined?

How long will the pilot project be under review? If it is to be the Union corridor, it could go on for years as the area develops. So then will other areas need to wait until the pilot is completed? Concern is that a lot of development could occur before the pilot completes, and would not benefit from the input of a committee.

04/28/2018 11:57 am
Paul Ditson - ENA
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

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