Friday, April 24, 2009

Draft Code: Street Sections

The new Code language shown below deals with street sections. This Code is intended to provide clear direction on street design while also allowing for a new level of controlled flexibility with an administrative variance process.

Currently Chapter 21.40 Design Standards (sections 21.40.010 through to 21.40.075) is almost exactly the same as the language in Chapter 11.17 Street Design Standards. This entire Chapter will be reworked to eliminate this redundancy. As part of that, the following Code language will be used to direct street design.

XXX.XX.XX1 Required Street Improvements. All land divisions with more than nine (9) residential units or 18 multifamily units accessing the same street must provide public streets that meet the configurations described in Table XXXX: Required Street Improvements

Table XXXX. Required Street Improvements (to be added in OHMC)

XXXXX2. The City has a two-tiered process for reviewing alternative residential street designs which do not meet the requirements in Table XXX. In the first tier, applicants for residential subdivisions and PRDs may request to vary from the required configuration of the essential elements within a street section. These types of alterations are reviewed administratively through an “adjustment” process. In the second tier, applicants may propose unique street designs which do not contain one or more of the essential elements under a Type IV waiver process reviewed by Planning Commission.

XXX.XX.X3 Adjustment Application for Alternative Street Designs.
(1) The Director may at the request of an applicant, allow adjustments under a Type II Review process to the street sections specified in Table XXXX “Required Street Improvements standards” in residential subdivisions and PRDs. If an adjustment is requested, it must meet all of the following criteria:
(a) All of the “essential elements” continue to be provided in the street design. Essential elements are defined as:
(1) Pedestrian facilities must be provided on both sides of the street. Pedestrian facilities must be a minimum of five (5) feet in width, but need to be either concrete or hard packed gravel. However, hard packed gravel surfaces may only be provided adjacent to open spaces, and shall not be provided adjacent to residential lots.
(2) Adequate guest parking is provided. In place of on-street parallel parking lanes, applicants for residential subdivisions and PRDs may provide alternative parking designs, including head-in or diagonal parking, parking courts in cul-de-sacs, or parking in side alleys. A minimum of one (1) guest parking space per three (3) residential units must be provided, whether or not parking is provided in parallel spots, an alternative design or a combination. Guest parking spaces must meet the parking space size and access requirements specified in OHMC section 19.44.110. The guest parking spaces must be within 500 feet of 80 percent of the units within the subdivision or PRD.
(3) A landscaping element which has a continuous dimension of ten (10) feet in width. The landscape element may be one or more landscape strips located within the street section. Low impact development (LID) bio-retention and stormwater treatment facilities may be interpreted as a landscape elements.
(4) Two, minimum ten (10) foot wide travel lanes.

(3)Waiver for Alternative Street Designs. Applicants for residential subdivisions may also propose alternative street designs which do not contain the essential elements listed in OHMC section XXXX. The waiver will be reviewed under a Type IV review as specified in OHMC 18.20.260. process by the Planning Commission.

(4) Application Materials for Alternative Street Sections. Requests to for alternative street designs, either under the Adjustment or Waiver processes, must be received from the applicant at the time of preliminary plat or preliminary PRD development plan submittal and must contain at least the following:
(a) section drawings prepared by an Engineer certified in the State of Washington that clearly illustrate the proposed street improvements.
(b) written rationale for requesting to vary the Required Street Improvements which describes:
(i) how the proposed street section will provide an equal or better street design for vehicles and pedestrians.
(ii) the proposed design will not compromise vehicle or pedestrian safety,
(iii) public utilities, such as storm, sewer and water can continue to be provided,
(iv) all comprehensive plan designated vehicular and pedestrian connections will continue to be provided and,
(v) all pedestrian facilities will continue to meet ADA standards.
(c) if an applicant is applying for a Waiver to vary from the required street elements, all of the following additional criteria must be met:
(i) there are unique site conditions which necessitate alternative street designs not common on other residential sites or
(ii) essential elements which have been eliminated from the street design are unnecessary either from a functional (pedestrian or automobile movement) or safety standpoint and,
(iii) the applicant proposes to offset the loss of the essential element by replacing it with another element (i.e. bike lanes in place of landscaping) within the street section or the development proposal contains unique, high-quality components which achieve a higher level of design than would otherwise be provided, such as additional open space, unique architecture, or other site amenities and,
(iv) essential elements are not being eliminated for applicant convenience.

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