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Published by: Chs Blog on Mar 14, 2012
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March 11, 2012
Mayor’s proposal to allow commercial uses in Lowrise multifamily zones on Capitol Hill
Rebecca Herzfeld,rherzfeldzoning@gmail.com, 206-324-4184
In late February, 2012, Mayor McGinn submitted legislation entitled “Regulatory ReformProposal” to the City Council. The proposal includes seven amendments to zoning andenvironmental regulations.
One of the changes would allow commercial uses in Lowrise 2 (LR2) and Lowrise 3 (LR3) zonesin urban centers and near light rail stations. Capitol Hill and the Pike/Pine neighborhood to thesouth are both in the “Capitol Hill/First Hill Urban Center”.
Approximately 65 blocks of LR3 zoning in Capitol Hill and Pike/Pine would be affected by this proposed zoning amendment, as shown on the attached map (there are no LR2 zones in this area).This is more area by far than any other neighborhood in Seattle.
The following types of commercial uses would be permitted on the ground floor:Retail stores, such as grocery stores, florists, pharmacies, and clothing stores;
General services such as shoe repair, barber shops, pet daycare centers, and dry cleaning;
Customer service offices, such as branch banks, brokerage firms, and real estate offices;
General offices, such as legal, architectural, and data processing offices;Medical offices, including doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and mortuary services;“Business support services” that provide services for businesses, institutions, or governmentagencies rather than for households, such as medical laboratories.
Food processing, including the production of candy, baked goods, seafood, sausage, tofu, or  pasta, when the food is distributed to retailers or wholesalers*;
Custom and craft work, such as production of artwork, candles, and orthopedic devices,motion picture studios, and printing*; and
Restaurants in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is secondary to the service of food.Outdoor seating for restaurants would be permitted until 10 p.m.
*No mechanized assembly lines would be allowed for these uses.
 No special noise limits are proposed. The nightlife disturbance rule in the Noise Ordinance that prohibits amplified noise that is audible inside dwelling units after 10 p.m. would not apply.
The venting of odors, smoke, vapors, gas, and fumes would be required to be located and directedaway from residential uses “to the extent possible”.
 No parking would be required for the commercial uses; drive-in businesses would be prohibited.
There are no proposed size limits for outdoor sales or for outdoor storage areas for commercialuses.
Each commercial use in a building could be up to 2,500 square feet in size.
Commercial uses could be located either on the ground floor of a building with housing above, or in a single-purpose commercial building up to 18 feet tall.The Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee is holding a publichearing on the proposal on Wednesday, March 28, at 9:30 a.m. This is the link to the hearingnotice:http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cms/groups/pan/@pan/@plan/@regulatoryreform/documents/web_informational/dpdp021818.pdf , which also describes how to comment and to obtain copies of the
March 11, 2012 proposal.
March 11, 2012

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