Three draft rules are available that would interpret a height measurement technique, landscaping provisions (green factor) and frequent transit service (used in calculating parking requirements in certain areas). These rules are anticipated to be effective at the same time, April 19, 2011, as related legislation that was recently adopted by the City Council: the Lowrise multifamily code update (Ordinance 123495) and clarified in clean-up legislation (Council Bill 117117, still awaiting an ordinance number). All rules can be downloaded from the Related Documents page of our website: www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/Multifamily_Code_Update/Overview/.
DRAFT Rule 8-2011, Frequent Transit Service
The purpose of this rule is to define DPD’s requirements for demonstrating that a development site is eligible to be developed without the provision of parking (pursuant to 23.54.015 Table B, Row M) or qualifies for a 20 percent reduction in amount of required parking (pursuant to 23.54.020.F) due to the site’s location within walking distance of a transit stop with frequent transit service.
DRAFT Rule 9-2011 Height Measurement
This rule clarifies two aspects of the height measurement method as follows:
- Under the general rule for height measurement, it adds a simpler method as an option for determining the average grade on a lot. The current approach calculates the average grade using the midpoint of every wall segment of the proposed structure. The proposed optional method would allow for drawing a rectangle around the proposed structure and determining average grade using the midpoint of each of the four sides of that rectangle. This simpler “drawing a rectangle” method is used successfully by many local jurisdictions, and should save time and money for applicants who opt to use it.
- The rule clarifies the option to the general rule that allows the average grade to be re-set multiple times to promote structures that better follow topography. The proposal would allow this option to be used on gently as well as steeply sloping lots, and would remove the requirement that the building be divided into equal segments for the purposes of measuring height.
DRAFT Rule 10-2011, Clarifying Landscape Standards, Including the Green Factor Requirement
This rule clarifies code requirements relating to landscaping, including the Seattle Green Factor. Updating the previous landscaping rule (DR 6-2009), the new rule reflects recent code changes and public feedback. To better align with the 2009 Stormwater Code and to respond to recommendations by Seattle’s Urban Forestry Commission, the draft rule includes new provisions for soil quality and depth. It also provides greater detail on vegetated wall specifications to ensure good design of these features. Finally, the Green Factor score sheet is updated to reflect changes in the 2010 Multifamily Residential code updates.