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Department of Permitting and Environmental Review

SO-050: Pedestrian-Oriented Commercial Development SDO


The purpose of the pedestrian-oriented commercial development special district overlay is to provide for high-density, pedestrian-oriented retail/employment uses.


Amended by Ord. 12823, 08/18/1997 (Language)
Amended by Ord. 13022, 03/28/1998 (Language)
Amended by Ord. 17485, 12/03/2012 (Map)


Pedestrian-Oriented Commercial Development SDO

Development Condition Text

21A.38.050 Special district overlay - Pedestrian-oriented commercial development.

A. The purpose of the pedestrian-oriented commercial development special district overlay is to provide for high-density, pedestrian-oriented retail/employment uses. Pedestrian-oriented commercial district shall only be established in areas designated within a community, subarea, or neighborhood plan as an urban activity center and zoned CB, RB or O.

B. Permitted uses shall be those uses permitted in the underlying zone, excluding the following:

1. Motor vehicle, boat and mobile home dealer;

2. Gasoline service station;

3. Drive-through retail and service uses;

4. Car washes;

5. Retail and service uses with outside storage, e.g. lumber yards, miscellaneous equipment rental or machinery sales;

6. Wholesale uses;

7. Recreation/cultural uses as set forth in K.C.C. 21A.08.040, except parks, sports clubs, theaters, libraries and museums;

8. SIC Major Group 75 (Automotive repair, services and parking) except 7521 (automobile parking; but excluding tow-in parking lots);

9. SIC Major Group 76 (Miscellaneous repair services), except 7631 (Watch, clock and jewelry repair);

10. SIC Major Group 78 (Motion pictures), except 7832 (theater) and 7841 (video tape rental);

11. SIC Major Group 80 (Health services), except offices and outpatient clinics (801-804);

12. SIC Industry Group 421 (Trucking and courier service);

13. Public agency archives;

14. Self-service storage;

15. Manufacturing land uses as set forth in K.C.C. 21A.08.080, except 2759 (Commercial printing); and

16. Resource land uses as set forth in K.C.C. 21A.08.090.

C. The following development standards shall apply to uses located in pedestrian-oriented commercial overlay districts:

1. Every use shall be subject to pedestrian-oriented use limitations and street facade development standards (e.g. placement and orientation of buildings with respect to streets and sidewalks, arcades or marquees) identified and adopted through an applicable community, subarea or, neighborhood plan, or the area zoning process;

2. For properties that have frontage on pedestrian street(s) or routes as designated in an applicable plan or area zoning process, the following conditions shall apply:

a. main building entrances shall be oriented to the pedestrian street;

b. at the ground floor (at grade), buildings shall be located no more than 5 feet from the sidewalk or sidewalk improvement, but shall not encroach on the public right-of-way;

c. building facades shall comprise at least 75% of the total pedestrian street frontage for a property and if applicable, at least 75% of the total pedestrian route frontage for a property;

d. minimum side setbacks of the underlying zoning are waived;

e. building facades of ground floor retail, general business service, and professional office land uses that front onto a pedestrian street or route shall include windows and overhead protection;

f. building facades along a pedestrian street or route, that are without ornamentation or are comprised of uninterrupted glass curtain walls or mirrored glass are not permitted; and

g. vehicle access shall be limited to the rear access alley or rear access street where such an alley or street exists.

3. Floor/lot area ratio shall not exceed 5:1, including the residential component of mixed use developments, but not including parking structures;

4. Building setback and height requirements may be waived, except for areas within fifty feet of the perimeter of any special district overlay area abutting an R-12 or lower density residential zone;

5. The landscaping requirements of K.C.C. 21A.16 may be waived if landscaping conforms to a special district overlay landscaping plan adopted as part of the area zoning. The overlay district landscaping plan shall include features addressing street trees, and other design amenities (e.g. landscaped plazas or parks);

6. On designated pedestrian streets, sidewalk width requirements shall be increased to a range of ten to twelve feet wide including sidewalk landscaping and other amenities. The sidewalk widths exceeding the amount required in the King County Road Standards may occur on private property adjoining the public street right-of-way; and

7. Off-street parking requirements K.C.C. 21A.18 are modified as follows for all nonresidential uses:

a. No less than one space for every 1000 square feet of floor area shall be provided;

b. No more than seventy-five percent of parking shall be on-site surface parking. Such parking shall be placed in the interior of the lot, or at the rear of the building it serves; and

c. At least twenty-five percent of the required parking shall be enclosed in an on-site parking structure or located at an off-site common parking facility, provided that this requirement is waived when the applicant signs a no protest agreement to participate in any improvement district for the future construction of such facilities. (Ord. 13022 § 30, 1998: Ord. 12823 § 4, 1997: Ord. 10870 § 578, 1993).



Effective Date

June 28, 1993


Amended by Ord. 12823, 08/18/1997 (Language)
Amended by Ord. 13022, 03/28/1998 (Language)
Amended by Ord. 17485, 12/03/2012 (Map) - See adopted 2012 King County Comprehensive Plan, Map Amendment #1

View Map(s) for SO-050. (Click on a map name in the list)

Note: If there are more than one map listed below, there may be a map file ending with a "_x" which provides an index for the remainder of the maps.