A. Applicable Review.
1. Review Is Required. All development in Downtown shall be reviewed by the Director consistent with the terms of this Part 20.25A LUC through the administration of Part 20.30V LUC (Master Development Plan), and Part 20.30F LUC (Design Review) using the applicable procedures of Chapter 20.35 LUC. A Master Development Plan is required where there is more than one building or where the development of a project is proposed to be phased. Design Review is required for all Downtown projects. A Development Agreement is required for departures from Part 20.25A LUC that are not permitted to be granted through an administrative process, and shall be consistent with Chapter 36.70B RCW.
2. Effect of Approval. Approval of the Design Review, and the Master Development Plan and any Development Agreement where required, shall constitute the regulations governing development and operation of an approved development for the life of the project. Such approval shall be contingent upon compliance with the conditions specified in the approval, conformance with all applicable development standards, the payment of all fees, and the submittal of assurance devices as may be required. The approval shall expire as provided pursuant to LUC 20.40.500, unless otherwise provided for in this Part 20.25A LUC.
B. Master Development Plan.
1. Scope of Approval. Master Development Plan review (Part 20.30V LUC) is a mechanism by which the City shall ensure that the site development components of a multiple building or phased single building proposal are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and meet all applicable development standards and guidelines. Design, character, architecture and amenity standards and guidelines shall be met as a component of the Design Review (Part 20.30F LUC). Master Development Plan approvals required pursuant to subsection B.2 of this section shall identify proposed building placement within the project limit and demonstrate compliance with the following development requirements, standards, and guidelines:
a. Dimensional requirements pursuant to LUC 20.25A.060 as listed below:
ii. Lot coverage;
v. Outdoor plaza space required to achieve maximum building heights above the trigger for additional height identified in LUC 20.25A.075.A, or the variable heights allowed by LUC 20.25A.060.A Note 12.
b. Areas identified to accommodate required parking with entrance and exit points and required loading shown in relationship to the right-of-way as required pursuant to LUC 20.25A.090.
c. Areas identified to accommodate street and pedestrian circulation pursuant to LUC 20.25A.090, including the anticipated location of any Grand Connection construction pursuant to LUC 20.25A.175, and pedestrian bridges pursuant to LUC 20.25A.100.
2. When Required. An applicant for a project with multiple buildings located within a single project limit shall submit a Master Development Plan for approval by the Director pursuant to Part 20.30V LUC. An applicant for a single building project shall submit a Master Development Plan for approval by the Director pursuant to Part 20.30V LUC when building construction is proposed to be phased.
C. Design Review.
1. Scope of Approval. Design Review is a mechanism by which the City shall ensure that the design, character, architecture and amenity components of a proposal are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and any previously approved Master Development Plan, and meet all applicable standards and guidelines contained in City Codes including the terms of any departure granted pursuant to subsection D of this section. Design Review is a mechanism by which the City shall ensure that the site development components of a proposal are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and meet all applicable standards and guidelines contained in City Codes when site development components were not approved as part of a Master Development Plan.
3. Compliance with an applicable Master Development Plan or Departure. In addition to the decision criteria in LUC 20.30F.145, each structure and all proposed development shall comply with any approved Master Development Plan applicable to the project limit described in a Design Review application. If the application for Design Review contains elements inconsistent with an applicable Master Development Plan, the Director shall not approve the Design Review unless the Master Development Plan is amended to include those elements.
1. Administrative Departures by the Director. Due to the varied nature of architectural design and the unlimited opportunities available to enhance the relationship that occurs between the built environment and the pedestrians, residents and commercial tenants that use built spaces, strict application of the Land Use Code may not always result in the Downtown livability outcomes envisioned by the Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of this subsection is to provide an Administrative Departure process to modify provisions of the Land Use Code when the strict application would result in a Downtown development that does not fully achieve the policy vision as it is articulated in the general sections of the Comprehensive Plan and the Downtown Subarea Plan.
a. Applicability. The Director may, through the Master Development Plan or Design Review processes, approve a proposal that departs from specific numeric standards contained in LUC 20.25A.090, 20.25A.110 and 20.25A.140 through 20.25A.180, or that departs from Land Use Code requirements that specifically provide an opportunity for the Director to approve a departure subject to the provisions of this subsection. For example, specific Administrative Departures are allowed from the dimensional requirements pursuant to the terms of LUC 20.25A.060.B that describe a range of exceptions and intrusions that can be approved as part of a permit review process.
b. Decision Criteria. The Director may approve or approve with conditions an Administrative Departure from applicable provisions of the Land Use Code if the applicant demonstrates that the following criteria have been met:
i. The resulting design will advance a Comprehensive Plan goal or policy objective that is not adequately accommodated by a strict application of the Land Use Code; and
ii. The resulting design will be more consistent with the purpose and intent of the Land Use Code; and
iii. The modification is the minimum reasonably necessary to achieve the Comprehensive Plan objective or Land Use Code intent; and
iv. Any Administrative Departure criteria required by the specific terms of the Land Use Code have been met; or
c. Limitation on Authority. Administrative Departures may only be approved consistent with the limitations contained in the Land Use Code section that authorizes the departure, or through a variance granted under the terms of Part 20.30G LUC. This subsection does not limit the ability of an applicant to pursue legislative departures that are authorized through a Development Agreement pursuant to the terms of subsection D.2 of this section and consistent with Chapter 36.70B RCW.
2. City Council Departures. There are many opportunities for creativity and innovation in the design of Downtown projects that advance the vision and policy goals articulated in the Comprehensive Plan. The accommodation of iconic opportunities can be constrained by the Code, the amenity list and associated Amenity Design Criteria that were drafted to foster development of a livable Downtown while ensuring timely, predictable, and consistent administration of regulations that are drafted to be applicable to a widely variable range of projects. The purpose of this subsection is to provide a departure process to create a Flexible Amenity as envisioned in LUC 20.25A.070.D.4 Amenity 18, and to approve final construction design for privately developed spaces that function as part of the public realm.
c. Limitations on Modification.
i. Development Agreements are an exception, and not the rule and shall not be used to vary provisions of the Land Use Code which, by the terms of that Code, are not identified as appropriate for modification through a Development Agreement.
iii. Development Agreements shall not be used for proposals that are capable of being approved through administration of the Master Development Plan or Design Review processes using the flexibility tools such as Administrative Departures and variances that currently exist in the Code.
E. Procedural Merger. Within a Downtown Land Use District, any administrative decision required by this Part 20.25A LUC or by the Land Use Code, including but not limited to the following, may be applied for and reviewed as a single Process II Administrative Decision, pursuant to LUC 20.35.200 through 20.35.250:
3. Design Review, Part 20.30F LUC; and