Planning Department Notice about proposed land use changes

City-of-Kirkland-LogoLARGE The following message is from the Planning Department:

The City has been reviewing regulations for various commercial, office, and industrial zones in an effort to create more consistent and practical rules for various land uses.  Phase 1 of the project was completed last year and Phase 2 is now underway.  The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on draft amendments on May 23, 2013 (7:00 p.m., Council Chambers).  The following list highlights some of the changes under consideration.  No changes are proposed to any residential zones.  For detailed information on any of the proposed amendments and the upcoming public hearing, please visit the project webpage.  The webpage contains a detailed summary of the changes that shows which changes affect which neighborhoods.

  • Make setbacks for school/daycare uses consistent with setbacks for other structures in commercial zones.  For example, daycare uses in some commercial zones require a 50’ setback, which would preclude them from locating in a mixed use building with 20’ setbacks.  Reducing the school/daycare setback
  • Remove inconsistent setbacks for “structured play areas” for school/daycare uses and allow more consistent established setbacks and landscape buffers to govern these areas.
  • Develop an improved method of measuring how much commercial space is required when properties in the Market Street Corridor 3 (MSC 3) and North Rose Hill 1A and 1B (NRH 1A & 1B) zones are redeveloped. Current regulations require 75% of the ground floor of a structure to be commercial, but are not clear about how structured parking and residential uses are considered.  The proposed method would require a minimum depth of commercial space along street frontages and allow other uses behind that commercial frontage.  In the MSC 3 zone, the commercial space would also have a minimum 13’ height and the maximum allowed building height would be increased from 30’ to 33’ to accommodate the taller commercial space.
  • Remove regulations in the Community Business (BC & BCX), Light Industrial/Technology (LIT), and Planned Area 6G (PLA 6G) zones that allow height increases above the maximum height through a Hearing Examiner review process.
  • Make setbacks and landscape buffers consistent between office and retail uses in mixed use zones.  This avoids the potential issue of a mixed use project built to a lesser standard not being able to accommodate different tenants over time.
  • Codify Planning Director Interpretations applying to:

o    Schools in the LIT zone

o    Retail orientation in the Central Business District 7 (CBD 7) zone

  • Clarify appeal provisions for Design Review Board appeals.
  • Make regulations for assisted living uses consistent with other residential uses.
  • Codify requirement that structural columns are not allowed to encroach into minimum dimensions for parking stalls.
  • Correct references to State statutes for mini-schools and mini-daycare.