Neighborhood Business (NB) Zoning District Review

In 2017, the City Council asked the Planning Commission to review the rules for the Neighborhood Business (NB) zoning district.  This district is the last holdover commercial district from King County and has been used in the City since incorporation in 1998.

The NB zoning district is located in two places along Juanita Drive—at NE 170th Street and at NE 153rd Place:

 

REVISED LAND USES

As a first step in the process, the Planning Commission studied permitted, prohibited and conditional land uses.  (Conditional uses require approval of a special land use permit with public notice of an application.)  Definitions of land uses can be found here.

On June 15, 2017, a public open house was held to obtain input from property owners, tenants and neighbors on the draft recommendations. The Commission’s recommendations would make the following changes:

 

North area (NE 170th Street and Juanita Drive NE)

Newly prohibited uses:

Air transportation service

Outdoor arts, entertainment

Cemetery, columbarium, mausoleum

College/university

Regional land use

Secure facility

Standalone townhomes

Transportation

Utility facility

 

Newly permitted uses:

 

Drinking place

Educational service – all types (some types previously not permitted)

Mobile food service

Retail sales -- all types (some types previously not permitted)

Social assistance (no longer required to be in a “surplus nonresidential facility”)

 

Uses proposed to require a conditional use permit:

 

Ambulatory surgery center

Indoor arts, entertainment (except artist studios which are permitted outright)

Automotive service, marine and non-marine (automotive sales continue to be prohibited except as an accessory use)

Community residential facility

Fire/police facility

Laboratory

Light manufacturing

Religious institution

Standalone parking, unless commuter parking on an existing lot shared with a permitted use.

Supportive living facility

Vehicle refueling station

 

Other changes:

 

Retail sales, personal service, educational service, and eating and drinking place are limited in size to 5,000 sq.ft. per use, with a total of 15,000 sq.ft. contiguous.

 

 

South area (NE 153rd Place and Juanita Drive NE)

Newly prohibited uses:

Air transportation service

Outdoor arts, entertainment

Cemetery, columbarium, mausoleum

College/university

Fire facility

Regional land use

Secure facility

Standalone parking

Transportation

Utility facility

 

Newly permitted uses:

 

Educational service – all types (some types previously not permitted)

Mobile food service

Retail sales -- most types (some types previously not permitted)

 

Uses proposed to require a conditional use permit:

 

Indoor arts, entertainment (except artist studios which are permitted outright)

Automotive service, marine and non-marine (automotive sales continue to be prohibited except as an accessory use)

Light manufacturing

 

Other changes:

 

Retail sales, personal service, educational service, and eating and drinking place are limited in size to 5,000 sq.ft. per use, with a total of 15,000 sq.ft. contiguous.

 

REVISED DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS

As a second step in the review process, the Planning Commission has considered development standards for these two areas (allowable heights, densities, etc.).  The proposed amendments to the development standards, including the revised land use allowances, can be found here - Proposed North Zoning District Chart and Proposed South Zoning District Chart.  The north area at NE 170th Street and Juanita Drive NE would become a new subarea to the Community Business (CB) zoning district.

The amendments include the following changes:

North area (NE 170th Street and Juanita Drive NE) - now called Community Business zone Juanita subarea

  • Significantly increase allowable residential density (from 8-12 dwelling units per acre to 24-36 dwelling units per acre) and reduce street setbacks.  This amendment supports the Planning Commission's interest in the north NB area as a location for increased density with a pedestrian orientation, given its walkable proximity to downtown.
  • Eliminate the opportunity to go up to 75' in height with additional setbacks.  A 75' tall building would not be in keeping with surrounding development.
  • Apply new design standards to encourage a pedestrian orientation.
  • Increase maximum floor area of residential uses in mixed-use developments from 50% to 75%.

South area (NE 153rd Place and Juanita Drive NE)

  • Increase allowable densities to more closely reflect neighboring development (from 8-12 dwelling units per acre to 18-24 dwelling units per acre).  Neighboring properties are zoned for multifamily development at densities ranging from 12-18 units per acre.  Allowing mixed use to develop at 24 dwelling units per acre offers an incentive to that type of development.
  • Eliminate the opportunity to go up to 75' in height with additional setbacks.  A 75' tall building would not be in keeping with surrounding development.
  • Eliminate floor area ration (FAR) restrictions and let height and setbacks control building form.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The Planning Commission is considering whether or not affordable housing should be required or incentivized in the NB areas in exchange for proposed increases in residential density.  The mandatory approach would require that all new residential projects provide some (10%?) affordable housing units in exchange for the increased density.  The voluntary approach would make provision of affordable housing only a requirement if a permit applicant chose to develop at the higher residential densities.  Preliminary draft code amendments for the two approaches can be found here.  Other features of the two approaches include the ability to provide fewer units if more affordable, and consideration of the payment of a fee in-lieu of construction for fractions of required dwelling units.

 

PROPOSED COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENTS

Comprehensive Plan amendments are proposed with the Neighborhood Business project.  Drafts of the amendments can be found here.

 

PUBLIC HEARING ON JULY 25

A public hearing on the preliminary recommendations will be held on Tuesday, July 25, 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.  Written comments also are welcome.

Please contact Lauri Anderson at landerson@kenmorewa.gov or at 425-398-8900 with questions or to have your name added to the email list for this project.

 

 

Last updated: Wed, 07/19/2017 - 9:40am