A. Character and Site Guidelines. Purpose. These guidelines address the qualities that make the OLB 2 District unique. They describe what makes an area a special, distinct “place,” not simply a group of individual buildings and streets.
1. Integrate the Natural Environment.
a. Intent. Integrate new landscape areas, natural drainage/LID features, sustainable design elements and green open spaces into site design. Reinforce existing linkages and orient buildings to the existing natural and landscaped features of the surrounding area.
b. Guideline. Site and building design should capitalize on existing elements of the natural environment, such as parks and open spaces, trails, and critical areas. Designs should also integrate new natural features, such as street trees, natural drainage systems and open space amenities for residents, employees and visitors. Depending on the location, this may be accomplished through integration of the natural environment with new development or providing a smooth transition between the natural and built environments.
i. The following existing natural environments and connections should be protected and incorporated into new development or redevelopment:
(1) Active and passive gathering places and walkways oriented toward parks and open, natural spaces.
(2) Clear and convenient public access to open space amenities.
(4) For properties that can be seen from 1-90, views of urban elements against a green, forested backdrop.
ii. The minimum landscape development requirements of LUC 20.20.520 apply, and site development should maximize the retention of existing vegetation. Trees installed as a part of general site landscaping shall be a minimum of 2.5 inches in caliper or as approved by the Director, and 8 to 12 feet high.
iii. Developments and design features that promote environmental sustainability such as natural drainage techniques, preservation and enhancement of critical areas, green walls, and green roofs are encouraged.
2. Promote Architectural Compatibility.
a. Intent. New buildings should contribute to the quality and character of the area.
b. Guideline. Buildings should relate to nearby buildings, with similar design characteristics. Some degree of variation in architectural elements is encouraged to create a sense of growth and development over time. The building’s form, materials and colors should enhance the area’s overall character.
i. Architectural elements used at a scale and level of detailing proportionate to the size of the building.
ii. The design of buildings should incorporate elements such as special architectural details, distinctive color schemes, special art and other features, which are sensitive to and enhance the surrounding area and serve to differentiate the development from other developments in the City.
v. Rooftop and mechanical equipment should be fully screened, accommodated within the maximum height limit, and integrated into the building design. Atgrade mechanical equipment should not be permitted.
vi. Building design should provide for architecturally integrated signage. Signs should be in proportion to the development and oriented to the main direction access and to pedestrian movement. Signs should meet the requirements of Chapter 22B.10 BCC, Sign Code.
3. Promote Community Gathering.
a. Intent. A comfortable, well-designed site provides an inviting and attractive area for community gathering.
b. Guideline. Gathering spaces are well-defined, inviting, secure, and attractive. They provide space for both active use and areas of respite for employees, general public and visitors to the site. They provide space to enjoy the natural environment with weather protection. All gathering spaces should be easily and safely linked with pedestrian access from and through the development.
i. Outdoor gathering spaces should be incorporated into areas near active ground floor uses to provide opportunity for a variety of activities as well as areas for stopping, sitting, and viewing. Spaces should be accessible, safe, and usable in all seasons.
ii. Trees, shrubs, and plants should define walkways, gathering spaces, and amenities.
iii. Site features such as fences, walls, refuse and recycling enclosures, and light fixtures should be designed and located to contribute to the pedestrian environment and community gathering spaces.
iv. Incorporate public art the design of which:
(1) Responds or relates to the unique characteristics of the surrounding area;
(2) Utilizes durable, vandal-resistant materials; and
(3) Is designed to age well.
4. Build Compatible Parking Structures and Lots.
a. Intent. Use design elements to enhance the compatibility of parking structures with the urban streetscape.
b. Guideline. Parking structures should be designed so that their streetscape interface has a consistent form, massing and use of materials with the vision for the area. Preference is given to parking structures that do not face public sidewalks. However, if due to site constraints there are sidewalk facing parking structures, the frontages facing the sidewalk should be designed to appear like any other occupied buildings in the area. The horizontal garage form can be broken down by adding more wall surface and usable retail space, while retaining adequate garage ventilation as defined by Mechanical Code.
ii. Parking structures should feature the following elements:
(1) Small openings that may be glazed to function as windows.
(2) Stairways, elevators and parking entries and exits that occur at mid-block.
(3) Single auto exit/entry control point to minimize number and width of driveway openings (entry and exit points may be separated).
(5) Cladding to disguise sloped floors from the outside view.
iii. Parking areas should be designed to minimize conflicts between pedestrian and vehicular movements. Parking area landscaping should be used to define and separate parking, vehicular access, and pedestrian areas within parking lots.
iv. Loading areas should not be located between the building and the street unless there is no alternative location possible. Loading areas, if located between the building and the street, should be oriented away from the street and screened to minimize views of the loading area from the street and sidewalk. Loading areas should not be located on the side of a building which faces toward a residential use.
v. Parking areas shall include planting trees of 2.5 inches caliper or 14 to 16 feet high and 42-inch-high shrubs at approximately 35 feet on-center parallel to the aisle, or shall be screened as a service yard using similar materials. Other parking lot landscaping shall meet LUC 20.20.520 requirements for Type V landscaping.
vi. Any parking areas located along a street or pathway must be screened with shrubs that are 42 inches high or as approved by the Director.
vii. Bicycle racks shall be provided on site. Facilities for a minimum of 10 bicycles shall be provided for developments having 100 or fewer parking stalls. For each 100 additional stalls, facilities for 5 additional bicycles should be provided.
B. Pedestrian Emphasis Guidelines. Purpose. The pedestrian emphasis guidelines promote an environment where pedestrians are a priority. The highest consideration should be given to the ease and comfort of pedestrian movement and gathering places.
1. Enhance the Pedestrian System.
a. Intent. Prioritize the pedestrian by eliminating barriers and ensuring that walking routes are convenient, direct and pleasant.
b. Guideline. Pedestrian routes should be attractive, easy to use and encourage walking and activity. Sidewalks should be continuous, avoiding interruptions such as vehicle curb cuts or changes in direction or grade. The portion of the sidewalk dedicated to walking should be free of barriers such as utility poles, newspaper boxes, cafe tables and chairs, permanent planters, tree grates, waste and recycling receptacles, mechanical equipment, or other obstructions and clutter.
i. The pedestrian network should include:
(1) Direct pedestrian routes.
(2) Minimal curb cuts along pedestrian routes for pedestrian safety and comfort. Internal drives between sites should be continuous.
(3) Pedestrian routes that are safely integrated with the street system.
(4) Maintain pedestrian access where rights-of-way have traditionally been located.
ii. In multiple-building complexes, buildings should be located to facilitate safe and comfortable pedestrian movement between buildings. Building location should be chosen to facilitate pedestrian and vehicular connections to buildings on adjacent properties.
iv. Parking areas should include pedestrian walkways and be designed to minimize conflicts between pedestrian and vehicular movements. Parking area landscaping should be used to define and separate parking, access, and pedestrian areas within parking lots.
vi. Opportunities should be found for safe, convenient, and pleasant pedestrian connections to existing transit facilities. Where needed, shelters and lay-bys for transit vehicles should be incorporated into the site development.
vii. Frequent and attractive connections between destinations through a well-connected network of streets and pathways must be provided and include the following:
(1) Planned streets that connect with surrounding streets to permit the convenient movement of traffic and to facilitate emergency access and evacuation.
(2) An integrated and connected network of streets to provide “direct” walking route options, orientation, a sense of place, and multiple travel route options.
viii. Internal streets must meet the following requirements:
(2) Planter strips shall be included on all internal access streets and will be at least five feet in width.
ix. Pedestrian walkways should meet the following requirements:
(1) Landscape allows visibility and access and does not block pathway.
(2) Walkways, of six feet in width minimum, shall be provided from the public sidewalk or right-of-way to the building. At a minimum, walkways should be located to connect focus points of pedestrian activity such as transit stops and street crossings to the major building entry points.
(3) Walkways should be provided to connect with walkways or potential walkway locations on adjoining properties in the district to create an integrated internal walkway system along the desired lines of pedestrian travel. The width of the walkway should be commensurate with the anticipated level of pedestrian activity along the connecting walkway.
(4) Walkway surfaces should be designed to be visually attractive and distinguishable from driving surfaces through the use of durable, low maintenance surface materials such as pavers, bricks, or scored concrete to enhance pedestrian safety and comfort.
C. Architectural Guidelines. Purpose. The architecture guidelines promote high-quality development while reinforcing the area’s sense of place by encouraging innovative design, construction techniques and materials that reflect local character.
1. Provide Interesting Building Massing.
a. Intent. Use architectural features to break down the mass and scale of buildings to create a comfortable sense of enclosure with an uninterrupted street edge.
b. Guideline. The length and breadth of a building should be friendly in scale and inviting to the pedestrian. Portions of a large building mass should be broken into smaller, appropriately scaled modules, with changes in plane indicated by projections and indentations. This allows an overly large building to appear as multiple smaller, side-by-side buildings. Vertical and horizontal elements should be used to create a human scale and form a coherent pattern providing visual interest to the public.
i. Long expanses of building frontage must be broken down both horizontally and vertically. Buildings with nonresidential uses on the ground floor must have articulation features along the street front to create a pattern of smaller spaces.
iii. Vertical articulation of windows, columns and bays is encouraged.
2. Create Attractive Building Silhouettes and Rooflines.
a. Intent. Building rooflines should enliven the pedestrian experience, provide visual interest with details that create forms and shadows, and create a distinct identity.
b. Guideline. A building’s silhouette should be compatible with the intended character of the area and enhance the streetscape. In some cases, it may be appropriate to mark an entryway with a distinct form to emphasize the significance of the building entry. Roof massing should be simple, yet contain elements of architectural detailing and have some level of articulation.
i. Buildings visible from I-90 should have a distinctive silhouette to create a unique identity within Eastgate and announce the entry into Bellevue.
ii. Buildings should incorporate a combination of the following elements:
(1) Vertical architectural expressions of important building functions such as entries.
(2) Varied roofline heights.
(3) Well-detailed cornices that have significant proportions (height and depth) and create visual interest and shadow lines. Green roof or rooftop terraces are encouraged.
3. Design Welcoming Entries.
a. Intent. Design entries appropriate to their purpose that contribute to the graceful transition between public and private realms.
b. Guideline. Architectural detail should be used to help emphasize the purpose of the building entry and to bring life and vitality to the street.
ii. Where retail uses are provided, entrances should be provided at frequent intervals to generate pedestrian activity.
iii. Where residential uses are provided:
(1) Weather protection at building entries.
(2) Transparent doors, windows, or glazing near the door.
(3) Double or multiple doors.
(4) Visibility and security. Entrances should be visible from the street or pedestrian path and located in areas with high pedestrian activity or where residents can view the entry.
(5) Building name and address.
iv. Entrances should feature some of the following elements:
(1) Building lighting that emphasizes entrances.
(2) Doors combined with special architectural detailing and hardware.
4. Promote Visually Interesting and Inviting Windows.
a. Intent. Windows should create an open and inviting atmosphere that adds visual interest and enhances the experience of the building both inside and out.
b. Guideline. Windows should add activity and variety at the street level, providing views both in and out. Their size and detailing should be of a human scale with regular spacing and a rhythm of similarly shaped windows.
c. Recommended. Vision glass that provides visual access to the activity within the building should be provided at the ground floor façade in retail areas. In other areas, commercial ground floors should feature a substantial amount of vision glass on the ground floor façade between two and eight feet above grade. (Ord. 6366, 8-7-17, § 10)