Updated Development Regulations

New Development Regulations Adopted on May 7, 2019:

City Council voted 6-0 (one Council member out of the country) to adopt new Development Regulations under Ordinance O2019-482. Interim Development Regulations adopted under Ordinance O2019-468 and O2019-471 are repealed as of May 15, 2019. The new Development Regulations adopted on May 7, 2019 are effective May 15, 2019.


Changes made with the new Development Regulations include:

To review all changes made please see Ordinance O2019-482.

Chapter 16.15 – Clearing and Grading

  1. Added prohibition on work in critical areas, when allowed, without first obtaining a permit.
  2. Added restrictions on excavation and fill with allowances for deviations in specific instances.
  3. Added restriction prohibiting speculative clearing before construction permits are issued.

Chapter 21A.15 – Technical Terms and Land Use Definitions

  1. Updated definitions for consistency and clarity.

Chapter 21A.25 – Building Height

  1. Changed method of building height measurement to average existing grade.
  2. Limited façade height to 40 feet with specific exceptions.
  3. Added 18-foot height restriction for stand-alone detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs) with exceptions.

Chapter 21A.25 – Setbacks

  1. Changed designation of setbacks from “street” and “interior” to “front”, “side”, and “rear”.
  2. Created three categories for setbacks – see SMC 21A.25.030(A) and (B):
    • General setback for all structures

    • Unique setback for primary detached dwellings (homes)

    • Unique setback for DADUs 
  3.  Added method to reduce side and rear setbacks with neighbor agreement when adjacent parcel under different ownership.

Chapter 21A.25 – Density

  1. Clarified that decimals are truncated at two numbers past the decimal point.
  2. Added a system of rounding.
    • > 10 units before rounding fractions round up at >.51 when unit is affordable duplex. Example: 11.51 = 11 market rate detached primary units and one affordable duplex unit for 13 total units
    • < 9 units before rounding fractions round up at >.71. Example: 4.71 = 4 market rate detached primary units and one affordable duplex unit for 6 total units.

Chapter SMC 21A.25 – Street Frontage

  1. Added requirement that all new lots created through subdivision process in R-1, R-4, and R-6 zones be designed to include 30 feet of street frontage on a public or private street.
  2. Added flexibility allowing averaging of street frontage across project with a minimum of 20 feet and cumulative average of 30 feet.

Chapters SMC 21A.25 and 21A.30 – Fence Heights

  1. Added allowance for fences up to eight feet limited to 32 feet in length along any setback line.
  2. Requires agreement with affected neighbor.
  3. Requires building permit.
  4. May not cause inconsistency with other adopted codes or standards.

Chapter SMC 21A.40 – Parking

  1. Added requirement that one additional parking space be provided for each new lot created through subdivision process in R-4 and R-6 Zoning Districts.
  2. Added clarifying language regarding where the parking must be located with priority hierarchy.
Staff Contact