Skip to Main Content
City Attorney Banner

Code Interpretation Log

General:
Interpretations of Code text are sometimes necessary by staff. This Interpretation Log collects some of the staff interpretations – it is impossible to document every interpretation made by every staff person as they administer the City Code. Some interpretations are dependent upon the underlying facts of the situation that resulted in the written interpretation below, but the key fact may not be included within the description of the interpretation. Interpretations are not formally adopted (except for Formal Interpretations under the Community Development Code) and are subject to revision or rescission for a number of reasons, i.e., change of law, change of method, or a prior interpretation is reexamined and determined to be incorrect. If you have a question about how a code provision is interpreted, please contact the Department and explain your specific situation or general inquiry.


Community Development Code – LOC Chapter 50:
In addition to staff interpretations, the Community Development Code specifically provides for both “Informal Interpretation” and “Formal Interpretation.” See LOC 50.01.005.1. No Formal Interpretations have been requested within the past 10 years. A request for a written Informal Interpretation can be made to Planning staff or to the City Attorney orally or in writing. Some of the Informal Interpretations are posted in the log below. An Informal Interpretation is not subject to notice, appeal or fee and is not binding on future land use decisions on the subject property or in general. However, an Informal Interpretation can be challenged by applying for a Formal Interpretation and then appealing. A Formal Interpretation may also be applied for directly, without first seeking an Informal Interpretation.


Table of Contents:
This log -- containing some staff interpretations and Informal Interpretations -- is updated monthly.  If you have any question about how a code provision is interpreted or may be applied to your situation, please contact the Department and explain your specific situation.

Chapter 24 - Transient Lodging

Chapter 42 - Streets and Sidewalks Chapter 45 - Building Code
Chapter 47 -Sign Code Chapter 50 - Community Development Code Chapter 55 - Trees

 

 

 

 

Chapter 50 - Community Development Code

LOC 50.01 General Provisions
LOC 50.02 Base Zoning Districts
LOC 50.03 Use Regulations and Conditions
LOC 50.04 Dimensional Standards
LOC 50.05 Overlay and Design Districts
LOC 50.06 Development Standards
LOC 50.07 Review and Approval Procedures
LOC 50.08 Adjustments, Alternatives, and Variances
LOC 50.09 Enforcement and Penalties
LOC 50.10 Definitions and Rules of Measurement
LOC 50.11 Appendices

 

Chapter 24 - Transient Lodging Tax

(back to top)

 
CODE REFERENCE CATEGORY TOPIC DATE NOTES CODE REFERENCE
24.02.010 Hotel, Motel, B&B Renting Rooms in a Dwelling 2/18/2010 A property owner wants to rent rooms out of his house.  Transient housing is defined in Chapter 24 as 30 days or less.  Therefore, if the rental terms are for less than one month, the use is considered a hotel/motel or Bed & Breakfast (if food is served), which is not allowed in residential zones. 24.02.010
           

Chapter 42 - Streets and Sidewalks        

(back to top)  
CODE REFERENCE CATEGORY TOPIC DATE NOTES CODE REFERENCE
42.19.070(1) Sidewalk Café Sidewalk Café Permit 10/11/2006 Code says Sidewalk Café Permits are good from 1 year of issuance.  The café permit is invalid without a valid business license for the restaurant, so Applicant should be advised that the Sidewalk Café Permit is valid for 1 year or until a business license expires (and is not renewed). 42.19.070(1)
           

Chapter 47 - Sign Code

(back to top)  
CODE REFERENCE CATEGORY TOPIC DATE NOTES CODE REFERENCE
47.03.015 Signs Signs and Murals 2/18/2011 A mural, even if it does not contain text, is considered a sign when it "relates to the use of a site or structure."  Therefore, a mural of daisies would be considered a sign when located on a flower shop, but not when located on a bagel shop.  A "site" is not limited to the parcel on which the business or activity is located, i.e., a "site" can cross property lines depending on who is funding and erecting the mural.  As an example, the owner of the flower shop wanted to paint a mural of flowers on the exposed blank wall of the neighboring business, a bagel shop.  As the flower shop is the beneficiary of the mural, it is considered a sign for the flower shop and the "site" crosses property lines to include the wall. 47.03.015
47.03.015, Sign Signs Signs Painted on Parking Spaces 11/8/2006 Stencils painted on parking spaces - for the purpose of identifying spaces reserved for certain tenants - are considered "incidental" signs, regulated by Section 47.06.205 (Permanent Signs Exempt From Permit and Fee) 47.03.015, Sign
47.08.305 Signs Temporary Banner Signs 10/4/2006 Cannot apply for temporary banner signs over the ROW (Boones Ferry, Hwy 43) more than 6 months in advance.  
           

Chapter 50 - Community Development Code

 
LOC 50.01 - General Provisions (back to top)  
CODE REFERENCE CATEGORY TOPIC DATE NOTES CODE REFERENCE
50.01.003.4 Non-Compliance Partitions 1/4/2011 A partition or lot line adjustment that creates a non-compliance (this is different than a non-conforming condition) with the Code cannot be approved unless the non-compliance is concurrently remedied through a variance or a RID.  
50.01.004.3.a.iv Boathouse Applicability of Zone Standards 10/25/2006 The zone district boundaries end at the private lot, thus zoning regulations do not apply to boathouses or other structures located entirely on Lake Corp parcels (GIS error extends zone color to lake edge on zoning maps).  For boathouses that straddle the property line, the upland parcel's zoning regulation applies to the entire boathouse. 50.01.004.3.a.iv
50.01.006.1 Non-Conforming Hard or Impervious Surfaces, R-6, R-DD (Old Town), Glenmorrie Overlay and Lake Grove R-7.5 Overlay 8/22/2011 The R-6 and R-DD (Old Town) zones and the Lake Grove R-7.5 and Glenmorrie overlays have limits on the amount of hard surface.  Non-conforming hard surfaces can be moved around on the site.  

50.01.006.1.c

Setbacks Eaves, Non-Conforming Setbacks 8/16/2006 On a dwelling with non-conforming setbacks, new 2' eaves would increase the encroachment and would therefore not be allowed. 50.04.003.8.a, 50.01.006.1.c
50.01.006.4.a.ii Non-Conforming Non-Conforming Elements Not Transferable 6/27/2007 Non-conforming features such as setbacks, height, design features,and lot coverage are not transferable to a different part of the site or structure.  "Rebuilding" means maintaining the same footprint, either horizontal or vertical. 50.01.006.4.a.ii
50.01.006.4.a.ii(2) Non-Conforming Remodels and Maintenance 12/19/2011 In regards to voluntary reconstruction or remodeling, the non-conformity is lost when the work removes the portion of the structure that is non-conforming.  For example, for requirements relating to the bulk/mass/form of the structure, work may occur within or on the shell of the structure without loss of the non-conformity, but removal of a portion of the structure would result in a loss of the non-conformity.  If a regulation affects the inside of the house, i.e., floor area, then the floor area cannot be reduced and reconstructed.  See CAO Memorandum 12/19/11.  (This applies only to Single Family or Duplex Dwellings, Accessory Structures, and Historic Landmarks.  Other non-conforming structures still have the 50% rule.) 50.01.006.4.a.ii(2), 50.01.006.4.a.iv
50.01.006.4.a.iv Non-Conforming Remodels and Maintenance 12/19/2011 In regards to voluntary reconstruction or remodeling, the non-conformity is lost when the work removes the portion of the structure that is non-conforming.  For example, for requirements relating to the bulk/mass/form of the structure, work may occur within or on the shell of the structure without loss of the non-conformity, but removal of a portion of the structure would result in a loss of the non-conformity.  If a regulation affects the inside of the house, i.e., floor area, then the floor area cannot be reduced and reconstructed.  See CAO Memorandum 12/19/11.  (This applies only to Single Family or Duplex Dwellings, Accessory Structures, and Historic Landmarks.  Other non-conforming structures still have the 50% rule.) 50.01.006.4.a.ii(2), 50.01.006.4.a.iv
50.01.006.4.a.iv Non-Conforming Non-Conforming Decks and Elevated Driveways 1/4/2011 Typically, maintenance for these types of structures occurs all at one time, rather than piecemeal.  They can be rebuilt as long as they are not enlarged or expanded in any way. 50.01.006.4.a.iv
50.01.006.4.b Non-Conforming Non-Conforming Structures, Additions and Rebuilding 7/17/2008 (1) If the construction is occurring outside of the non-conformity, no need to do the 50% analysis – build away. (2) If the construction is occurring in the area of non-conformity AND is not increasing the degree of non-conformity AND is less than 50% of the cost of rebuilding the entire structure, the re/construction is allowed. (3)  If the construction is occurring in the area of non-conformity AND is more than 50% of the cost of rebuilding the entire structure, must get Variance approval to legalize the non-conformity. (Note: this does not apply to non-conforming single family or duplex dwellings, accessory structures, or historic landmarks, which are governed by LOC 50.01.006.4.a. 50.01.006.4.b
50.01.030.5 Flag Lot Legalization of a Parcel; Imposition of Flag Lot Standards 7/17/2009 Phantom Bluff Court was vacated decades ago while under County jurisdiction.  As a result, most of the lots along Phantom Bluff Court became non-conforming because they did not meet the access standard, which requires that every lot abut a street for at least 25 feet.  One such lot was illegally partitioned, and the owner now wants to legalize the second lot.  Technically, the lot seeking legalization is not a Flag Lot because the parent parcel does not have street frontage (see definition of Flag Lot).  However, under 50.01.030.5, the City may impose conditions of approval, including compliance with the Flag Lot standards, to insure that the development does not have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhood.  In addition, a minor variance to the Access Standard (50.06.003.1) is required for the legalized lot. 50.10.003.1.a, Flag Lot; 50.01.003.5.c, 50.08.002.3.j
     
LOC 50.03 - Use Regulations and Conditions (back to top)  
50.03.002.3 Delicatessen Delicatessen 10/16/1995 A delicatessen is a place where one can purchase prepared food, primarily cold food (such as sandwiches and potato salads), for off-site consumption purposes only.  Delicatessens involve a minimum amount of on-site cooking.  No more than 2 tables (and 8 chairs) are allowed as an accessory use intended primarily for customers waiting for their orders to be prepared.  No table service is allowed. 50.03.002.3
  Smoking Lounge Smoking Lounge 2/18/2010 A smoker's lounge is considered similar to other retail uses.  Smoke shops must be certified by the State's Department of Human Services, and at least 75% of the business' gross revenue must come from tobacco sales.  There are other State restrictions - see this site for details.  
50.03.003.1.f Floor Area Accessory Structure Size, Floor Area Exemptions 1/5/2009 The size of an accessory structure in most residential zones is limited to 600 or 800 square feet (see 50.04.001.1.d.ii), and the size of a Secondary Dwelling Unit is limited to 800 square feet (see 50.03.003.1.f).  The Floor Area exemptions of 200-400 square feet, as found in 50.04.001.1.d.i, cannot be used to increase the size of an accessory structure or a detached Secondary Dwelling Unit.  These exemptions apply to the Floor Area calculated for the entire site. 50.04.001.1.d.ii, 50.03.003.1.f, 50.04.001.1.d.i
50.03.003.1.f Setbacks Secondary Dwelling Units 9/24/2008 What setbacks - primary structure or accessory structure - apply to a detached Secondary Dwelling Unit (SDU)?  A detached SDU must meet the zone setbacks and height limitations for accessory structures.  In this case, the specific trumps the general.  The definition of a SDU is very general, but LOC 50.03.003.1.f lists specifically the tree configurations possible for SDUs:  conversion of existing space, construction of an addition to the primary structure, and accessory structure. 50.03.003.1.f
50.03.003.1.f.i(5), See discussion of this issue in LU 07-0083 Non-Conforming Secondary Dwelling Units 6/22/2009 A secondary dwelling unit, whether located within a non-conforming dwelling or in a non-conforming detached accessory structure, must be in conformance with the site development limitations of the underlying zone.  Staff construes this as requiring that the SDU not have an effect upon the site’s conformance to the zone requirements and if the primary or accessory structure is non-conforming to setbacks (including the front setback plane) or height, then the SDU may only be located within the structure such that it complies with all required setbacks and height requirements absent an exception or variance that is applicable to the SDU. 50.03.003.1.f.i(5), See discussion of this issue in LU 07-0083
50.03.003.1.f.i(5), See discussion of this issue in LU 07-0083 Non-Conforming Secondary Dwelling Units 6/22/2009 If the non-conforming structure where the SDU will be located is non-conforming to lot coverage, Floor Area, or side setback plane, the SDU may still be located within the non-conforming structure as long as it would not increase the degree of that non-conformity and provided that all other requirements of the zone are met.  For instance, if existing structures on a site are non-conforming to lot coverage, a garage on the site that gets an exemption to lot coverage through LOC 50.04.001.1.f.iii could not be converted to an SDU since that would increase the lot coverage; however, the SDU could be located elsewhere within an existing structure as long as it occupies space that is already counted to lot coverage. 50.03.003.1.f.i(5), See discussion of this issue in LU 07-0083
50.03.004.1.a Accessory Use Accessory Use 11/7/2011 To determine when a use is considered "accessory," consider (1) Generally accepted uses to a primary use based on "state of the industry," (2) Whether the accessory use is in scale with the primary use, (3) Whether the impacts of the accessory use significantly alter the impacts of the primary use (i.e., traffic volume), and (4) Whether the accessory use is the same scale as would be found for a primary use elsewhere (Example: if a gas station has become generally accepted as accessory to a grocery store, i.e., Safeway, Costco, the gas station is NOT an accessory use if the size of the proposed use would be consistent with a stand-alone primary use.  In other words, one or two pump station might be permissible as an accessory use, but 4-8 pumps would be typically found as a stand-alone primary use, and therefore it is not an “accessory use” to a grocery store. 50.03.004.1.a, Planning Commission direction October 2011
50.03.004.2 Setbacks Pool (in-ground) Setbacks 5/2/2008 An in-ground pool does not have to meet any setback because it does not obstruct "from the ground to the sky," but rather becomes the ground surface itself.  However, if the pool is surrounded by a deck or a paved area that meets the Code definition of "patio" (at least 5 feet wide), this area must meet the 3-foot setback in LOC 50.22.045(2). Noise-producing equipment such as the motor must meet accessory structure setbacks. 50.04.003.8.b, 50.03.004.2
50.03.004.2.b Setbacks Parking Pads 12/9/2008 Parking pads are considered accessory structures (like a detached garage), and must meet accessory structure setbacks; these setbacks can be reduced through 50.03.004.2.b, if all criteria are met. 50.03.004.2.b
50.03.005.5.a Farmer's Markets Farmer's Markets 4/9/2009 The specific regulations regarding Farmer's Markets in Subsection (a) of 50.03.005.5 override the general heading of 50.03.005.5.a, "In commercial, industrial and public use zones."  As a result, Farmer's Markets are allowed only in three areas:  East End Business District, West End Business District, and the Lake Grove Industrial Park District. 50.03.005.5.a
           
LOC 50.04 - Dimensional Standards (back to top)  
50.04.001.f.i Lot Coverage Height of Structure 10/18/2010 Lot coverage is determined by primary structure height, even if an existing accessory structure is taller than the house. 50.04.001.f.i
50.04.001.f.iii Lot Coverage Exemptions for Garages 6/20/2007 Section 50.04.001.f.iii allows 200 sq. ft. exemptions to lot coverage for attached garages that are rear and side-loading.  This section is not cumulative - only one exemption is allowed. 50.04.001.f.iii
50.04.001.f.iii Lot Coverage Garages, Lot Coverage Exemptions 9/19/2007 For a garage that qualifies for a lot coverage exemption under 50.04.001.f.iii, living space above the garage is also exempted from lot coverage. 50.04.001.f.iii
50.04.001.f.iii Lot Coverage Lot Coverage Exemption, Side Loading Garage 8/15/2007 For homes that have both front-loading and side-loading garage stalls, homeowner gets up to 200 square foot lot coverage exemption for stalls that are considered side-loading (LOC 50.04.001.f.iii). If the side-loading garage is only 150 square feet, the exemption to lot coverage is only 150 square feet. 50.04.001.f.iii
50.04.001.f.iii Non-Conforming Expansion of Structure 9/19/2007 An existing dwelling that is non-conforming to lot coverage can add a garage that qualifies for lot coverage exemptions under LOC 50.04.001.f.iii, so long as the resulting lot coverage is not increased.  [Note:  this interpretation does not apply to non-conforming single family or duplex dwellings, accessory structures, or historic landmarks, which are regulated by LOC 50.01.006.4.a]. 50.04.001.f.iii
50.04.001.g.ii Height Height Exception, Width of Side Elevation 4/9/2008 A covered porch is included in the width of a side elevation when determining the structure width for exceptions to the maximum building height.  The width is measured to the outside of the support post of the covered porch, not to the eave (applies to all zoning districts with Height Exception criteria). 50.04.001.g.ii
50.04.001.1.d.i(2) Floor Area Accessory Structure Size, Floor Area Exemptions 1/5/2009 The size of an accessory structure in most residential zones is limited to 600 or 800 square feet (see 50.04.001.1.d), and the size of a Secondary Dwelling Unit is limited to 800 square feet (see 50.03.003.1.f).  The Floor Area exemptions of 200-400 square feet, as found in 50.04.001.1.d.i(2), cannot be used to increase the size of an accessory structure or a detached Secondary Dwelling Unit.  These exemptions apply to the Floor Area calculated for the entire site. 50.04.001.1.d, 50.03.003.1.f, 50.04.001.1.d.i(2)
50.04.001.1.d.i(2) Floor Area Habitable Areas of an Accessory Structure 6/20/2007 200-400 square feet of habitable area of a detached accessory structure, whether on the ground floor or above the ground floor, is exempt from floor area. 50.04.001.1.d.i(2)
50.04.001.1.d.ii Lot Coverage, R-6 Trellis Connecting Dwelling with SDU 9/4/2009 A property owner wants to convert a non-conforming accessory structure to an SDU, but it exceeds the accessory structure size limits due to its height.  By connecting the SDU to the main dwelling with a trellis, the SDU becomes part of the primary structure.  While generally "trellises (and) other landscaping features" are exempt from lot coverage calculations in the R-6 zone, this trellis is not exempt because it is a structural part of the house and is not used for landscaping purposes. 50.04.001.1.d.ii, 50.04.001.2.f.ii(3), 50.10.003.2, Accessory Building
50.04.001.2.e.ii(2) R-6 Front Porch, Projection   In the R-6 zone, the covered front porch must be at least 6 feet deep; this covered porch may extend into the front yard setback up to 6 feet. 50.04.0062.e.ii(2), 50.06.001.3.b
50.04.001.2.f.iii(2) Impervious Surface Impervious Surface, R-6, R-DD (Old Town) and Glenmorrie Overlay 9/26/2007 For the purposes of calculating impervious surface in the R-6 zone, R-DD zone and Glenmorrie Overlay, the following items are counted as impervious (this is not an exclusive list): footprint of house and any accessory structure, carport, covered porches, swimming pools, spas, and eaves deeper than 2 feet.  The following items are considered pervious: paving systems that are designed to be permeable (except in Glenmorrie), and wood decks.  In Glenmorrie, in paved areas that include both plant and non-plant material, the non-plant material is considered impervious.  50.04.001.2.f.ii(5), 50.04.001.2.f.iii(2), 50.05.001.4
50.04.001.2.f.ii(3) Lot Coverage, R-6 Trellis Connecting Dwelling with SDU 9/4/2009 A property owner wants to convert a non-conforming accessory structure to an SDU, but it exceeds the accessory structure size limits due to its height.  By connecting the SDU to the main dwelling with a trellis, the SDU becomes part of the primary structure.  While generally "trellises (and) other landscaping features" are exempt from lot coverage calculations in the R-6 zone, this trellis is not exempt because it is a structural part of the house and is not used for landscaping purposes. 50.04.001.d.ii, 50.04.001.2.f.ii(3), 50.10.003.2, Accessory Building
50.04.001.2.f.ii(4) Impervious Surface Impervious Surface, R-6, R-DD (Old Town) and Glenmorrie Overlay 9/26/2007 For the purposes of calculating impervious surface in the R-6 zone, R-DD zone and Glenmorrie Overlay, the following items are counted as impervious (this is not an exclusive list): footprint of house and any accessory structure, carport, covered porches, swimming pools, spas, and eaves deeper than 2 feet.  The following items are considered pervious: paving systems that are designed to be permeable (except in Glenmorrie), and wood decks.  In Glenmorrie, in paved areas that include both plant and non-plant material, the non-plant material is considered impervious. 50.04.001.2.f.ii(4), 50.04.001.2.f.iii(2), 50.05.001.4
50.04.001.3.f.iv Height Mean lake elevation and datum in the R-W zone 6/4/2010 Per LOC 50.04.001.3.f.iv, in the R-W zone, height is measured from the Oswego Lake Surface Elevation. 50.04.001.3.f.iv
50.04.003.2 Lot Dimensions Exceptions to Lot Dimensions and Setbacks 1/23/2008 For partitions and subdivisions, LOC 50.04.003.2 allows a 15% adjustment to lot coverage, yard setbacks or height, and a 10% adjustment to lot area, lot width, lot depth or lot frontage in order to prevent an existing structure from becoming non-conforming.  These adjustments apply to (1) the lot where the existing structure is located and (2) other lots in the partition or subdivision only to the extent that a non-conformity for the existing structure is avoided.  A Code update will clarify the intent of this section and remove its applicability to subdivisions. 50.04.003.2
50.04.003.3 Setbacks Exceptions and Variances 6/2/2010 The Exceptions allowed under 50.04.003.3.a cannot be used in conjunction with a Variance or Residential Infill Design Review (RID), as both Variances, RIDs and Exceptions are applied to the required zone standards. 50.04.003.3
50.04.003.4 Fences Driving Range Netting 7/17/2009 A golf course wants to increase the heights of its poles on which netting is strung to contain balls at the driving range.  The poles are exempt from height limits of the zone under 50.04.003.4.  However, under the definition of a "fence," if the netting extends to the ground it is considered a fence and the golf course must apply for a variance to the fence height standards (10 feet) of 50.06.004.2.c.x.  Replacement of the netting does not require review if the height of the netting and poles is not increased. 50.06.004.2.c.x, 50.04.003.4
50.04.003.8.b Boathouse Elevated Walkways 10/25/2006 For a boathouse that is located entirely on Lake Corp property (which is unzoned), an elevated walkway that connects to the boathouse and is under 30 inches above grade is not subject to zone standards.  Elevated walkways greater than 30 inches above grade are considered part of the boathouse and thus the upland zoning regulations would apply to the entire boathouse. 50.04.003.8.b
50.04.003.8.b Setbacks Pool (In-ground) Setbacks 5/2/2008 An in-ground pool does not have to meet any setback because it does not obstruct "from the ground to the sky," but rather becomes the ground surface itself.  However, if the pool is surrounded by a deck or a paved area that meets the Code definition of "patio" (at least 5 feet wide), this area must meet the 3-foot setback in LOC 50.04.003.8.b. Noise-producing equipment such as the motor must meet accessory structure setback. 50.04.003.8.b, 50.03.004.2
50.04.004.3 R-6 Solar Lots, Maximum Shade Point 10/11/2006 Lots that were created before the adoption of the Solar Code (1988) are not exempt from the Maximum Shade Point (MSP) requirements of 50.06.007.2.c, regardless of whether or not the lot meets the Design Standards for Solar Access in 50.06.007.1.d.  The MSP requirements apply to building permits for any structure in the R-7.5, R-10 and R-15 zones, all single family detached structures in any zone, unless the lot qualified for an exemption through 50.04.004.3. 50.06.007.2.b, 50.04.004.3
Table 50.04.001-1 Density Maximum Density, Street Dedication 10/3/2007 The are of street right-of-way, whether along the edge of a property (street dedication) or in the interior of the property (access), is subtracted from the gross square footage of the lot prior to calculating the minimum and maximum density.  See definition of Net Developable Acre.  For partitions where street dedication may affect the number of possible lots, the practice of allowing the street dedication to be provided in an easement is questionable and discouraged. 50.10.003.2, Net Developable Acre; Table 50.04.001-1
Table 50.04.001-1 Floor Area Floor Area and Garages 7/7/2010 For dwellings that provide a garage, Table 50.04.001-1 allows bonus floor area in the R-7.5, R-10 and R-15 zones. This bonus floor area may be used to expand either the dwelling or the garage (although it cannot be used to expand a detached garage in violation of LOC 50.04.001.1.d). Table 50.04.001-1
Table 50.04.001-1 Garage Appearance and Location, Partitions and Lot Line Adjustments Discrepancy Between Plat and Survey 11/9/2010 Advances in measuring technology often result in discrepancies between the platted dimensions of a lot (width, depth, lot size) and the new surveyed dimensions.  For Garage Appearance and Location standards, which do not apply to lots less than 50 feet in width, the City will rely on platted lot dimensions based on rounding and the degree of numerical significance – the “trigger” is stated as a whole number (i.e., 50 feet, not 50.0 feet), therefore a surveyed dimension of 49.7 feet is rounded to 50 feet to determine if the trigger is applicable. For lot line adjustments and partitions, a minor variance is available for relief from such discrepancies.  In cases where the platted widths of abutting lots are 50 feet AND the owner is re-orienting the internal lot line, a condition of approval will be imposed which prohibits the resulting lots from being exempted from the Garage Appearance and Location Standards. Table 50.04.001-5, 50.06.001.4.a.iii(5)
Table 50.04.001-1 Setbacks Non-Conforming Structure 10/4/2006 An existing structure sits 1' from the side property line in R-7.5, but 25' on the other side.  Proposed addition to the side with room to spare can go to 10' (assuming under 18' high); does not have to go to 14' to meet 15' total side setback. Table 50.04.001-1
Table 50.04.001-3 Floor Area Floor Area Bonus for Each Dwelling Unit 2/18/2011 In the residential zones, the Floor Area formula provides a bonus for “each residential unit providing a garage.”  On lots on which more than one dwelling unit is located (e.g., duplex, SDU), each unit must provide a separate garage or carport (not simply a dedicated stall in a shared garage) in order to qualify for an additional FA bonus. Table 50.04.001-3
Table 50.04.001-5 R-6 Street Side Setback 9/30/2010 "Road surface" means the edge of pavement.  The standard in the table should have read:  "20 feet from edge of pavement, but never less than 7.5 feet." Table 50.04.001-5
Table 50.04.001-5 Setbacks Garage Opening Setback 9/30/2010 The new Garage Opening setback in R-6 applies only to the lot line that faces the garage opening. Table 50.04.001-5
Table 50.04.001-6 Setbacks Additions in R-6 9/30/2010 Additions to Primary and Accessory Structures that Were Built Before July 1, 2010:  Structures built before July 1, 2010, get the old side yard setbacks for the R-6 zone, regardless of whether the structure is conforming or non-conforming. Table 50.04.001-6
           
LOC 50.05 - Overlay and Design Districts (back to top)  
50.05.001.4 Impervious Surface Impervious Surface, R-6, R-DD (Old Town) and Glenmorrie Overlay 9/26/2007 For the purpose of calculating impervious surface in the R-6 zone, R-DD zone and Glenmorrie Overlay, the following items are counted as impervious (this is not an exclusive list):  footprint of house and any accessory structure, carport, covered porches, swimming pools, spas, and eaves deeper than 2 feet.  The following items are considered pervious:  paving systems that are designed to be permeable (except in Glenmorrie), and wood decks.  In Glenmorrie, in paved areas that include both plant and non-plant material, the non-plant material is considered impervious. 50.04.001.2.f.ii(5), 50.04.001.2.f.iii(2), 50.05.001.4
50.05.004.8.f Hanging Baskets Hanging Baskets 6/17/2011 For new construction and substantial remodeling downtown, LOC 50.05.004.8.f requires seasonal hanging baskets placed within parking lots and along streets and sidewalks.  This standard is not applicable if there are no light poles or similar structures on which to place hanging flower baskets. 50.05.004.8.f
50.05.007.5.b Lake Grove Village Center Overlay Architectural Styles, Remodels 9/30/2010 When an existing building does not fit into one of the allowed architectural styles per LOC 50.05.007.5.b, exterior improvements that do not transform the design to a permitted architectural style require a Major Adjustment (unless the change is so minor that no Building Permit is required).  The architectural style standard only applies to that portion of the exterior improvement, and not the entire structure.  (These permitted architectural styles only apply until the Lake Grove Village Center Handbook is adopted.) 50.05.007.5.b
50.05.007.5.d.v Lake Grove Village Center Overlay Rain Protection 9/30/2010 Rain protection is required over public sidewalks, internal sidewalks, and plazas when the building wall abuts the sidewalk.  IF there is a landscape strip or other material that prohibits pedestrian activity next to the building wall, the rain protection standard does not apply. 50.05.007.5.d.v
50.05.007.5.g.ii Lake Grove Village Center Overlay Roof Material 9/30/2010 The Overlay lists acceptable roof materials as slate, tile, shakes or wood shingles, or synthetic materials that are made to look like those products.  The list does not apply to flat roofs or eco-roofs. 50.05.007.5.g.ii
50.05.007.6.e.viii(5)(b) Lake Grove Village Center Overlay Landscaping Buffer 9/30/2010 The Overlay requires a 10-foot landscaped buffer between parking areas and any residentially-zoned property, then references the landscaping standard for properties abutting R-7.5 and R-10 zones, which also requires a 6-foot tall wood or masonry sight-obscuring fence.  The fence is ONLY required if the abutting lot is R-7.5 or R-10. 50.05.007.6.e.viii(5)(b) and 50.05.007.6.f.i
50.05.007.6.f.i Lake Grove Village Center Overlay Landscaping Buffer 9/30/2010 The Overlay requires a 10-foot landscaped buffer between parking areas and any residentially-zoned property, then references the landscaping standard for properties abutting R-7.5 and R-10 zones, which also requires a 6-foot tall wood or masonry sight-obscuring fence.  The fence is ONLY required if the abutting lot is R-7.5 or R-10. 50.05.007.6.e.viii(5)(b) and 50.05.007.6.f.i
50.05.010.02 Sensitive Lands Boundary of RP, RC Overlay District 8/4/2010 The RP and RC overlay districts can extend past the "upland" properties along Oswego Lake, the canals and onto Lake Corp property. 50.05.010.02
50.05.010.2 Sensitive Lands Boathouses, Lake Corp 10/25/2006 Mapped Overlay Districts on Lake Corp property apply to boathouses. 50.05.010.2
50.05.010.2.b Sensitive Lands Resources Protected Under LODS 3 and 4; Further Partitioning 12/22/2010 Per LOC 50.05.010.2.b.i, the regulations of LOC 50.05.010 don't apply to a project if a resource was previously identified and protected under Lake Oswego Development Standard (LODS) 3 (stream corridors) or 4 (wetlands) within the boundaries of a partition, subdivision, Planned Development or lot line adjustment.  This holds true if development occurs on a vacant lot or if re-development occurs on a developed lot.  However, LOC 50.05.010 does apply in the following circumstances:  (1) the lot where the resource was identified and protected is further divided; (2) a lot line adjustment will divide a resource; and (3) a lot line adjustment will change the distribution of a resource between the subject properties. 50.05.010.2.b
50.05.010.2.c Sensitive Lands Development in RP or RC District 2/18/2011 LOC 50.05.010.2.c exempts from review a limited amount of development inside an RP or RC District and their constructive setbacks.  The 200-square foot development applies to detached structures, or decks that are attached to the primary structure AND are less than 30" above grade.  The 700 square-foot development applies to additions and alterations that expand the footprint of the primary dwelling, including decks that are over 30" above grade. 50.05.010.2.c
50.05.010.2.c.i Sensitive Lands Vertical Expansion 3/17/2010 The Code allows the "vertical expansion of an existing structure within the footprint of that structure" located in a sensitive lands overlay.  Vertical can mean building up or building down (under a deck, for example).  In either case, the development cannot remove any native vegetation. 50.050.010.2.c.i
50.05.010.4.b Lot Coverage and Floor Area Substandard Encumbered Lots 6/9/2010 Given that (1) legal substandard lots are generally eligible for minor variances to increase lot coverage, and (2) 50.05.010.4.b allows setbacks to be reduced without a variance if the setback reduction better protects an RC or RP resource, a substandard lot that is encumbered by an RP or RC overlay cannot use 50.05.010.4.b or 50.05.010.6.d in conjunction with a minor variance to lot coverage to get a bigger house. 50.05.010.4.b, 50.05.010.6.d, 50.08.002.3.d
50.05.010.4.b.iii Setbacks Setback Modification Under 50.05.010 6/2/2010 Section 50.05.010.4.b.iii implies that a setback modification under 50.05.010 could be processed ministerially if it is not part of an application that includes a minor or major development.  As the standards under which a modification of setbacks can occur are discretionary, a setback modification under 50.05.010 is always considered a Minor Development. 50.05.010.4.b.iii, 50.07.003.14.a.i
50.05.010.5.b Sensitive Lands RCPA Boundary 2/1/2011 The RCPA does not have to follow the outer edge of the contiguous tree canopy, i.e., a portion of a tree's canopy can fall outside of the RCPA, but only in circumstances where the intrusion is warranted to meet the RCPA criteria of 50.05.010.5.b, and an arborist's report and investigation using air spading shows that development within the tree canopy will not be harmful to the tree(s). 50.05.010.5.b
50.05.010.6.d Lot Coverage and Floor Area Substandard Encumbered Lots 6/9/2010 Given that (1) legal substandard lots are generally eligible for minor variances to increase lot coverage, and (2) 50.05.010.4.b allows setbacks to be reduced without a variance if the setback reduction better protects an RC or RP resource, a substandard lot that is encumbered by an RP or RC overlay cannot use 50.05.010.4.b or 50.05.010.6.d in conjunction with a minor variance to lot coverage to get a bigger house. 50.16.040, 50.05.010.6.d, 50.08.002.3.d
50.05.010.6.d Sensitive Lands Encumbered Lots 3/26/2010 If there is room for one owner to build/expand outside of the overlay district and any buffer(s), the owner must rely on protected riparian area reduction, protected riparian area averaging, and setback reduction before relying on 50.05.010.6.d and the calculation of the maximum-sized house on the minimum-sized lot for the zone. 50.05.010.6.d
           
LOC 50.06 - Development Standards (back to top)  
50.06.001.2.b Flag Lot Street Front Setback Plane 9/30/2010 While Flag Lots that use a flag pole (not an easement) for access "front" a street, Flag Lots are not subject to to the Street Front Setback Plane requirement. 50.06.001.2.b
50.06.001.2.b and d Setbacks Setback Planes, Special Street Setback 11/22/2006 When a special street setback is applied to a property, the setback plane starts at the cumulative setback line of any required yard AND special street setback. 50.04.002, 50.06.001.2.b and d
50.06.001.2.b and d Street Front Setback Plane Measurement at Grade 1/14/2011    
50.06.001.2.b and d, CAO Memo January 11, 2011 Street Front Setback Plane Point of Measurement when Setback Increased 1/14/2011 A PD approved a front yard setback of 45 feet (requested by the applicant) in order to protect trees and provide stormwater facilities in the front yard.  The PD did not modify the location of measurement for the front setback plane, so the front setback plane is measured at the increased setback line.  A PD Modification could alter the location of where the front setback plane is measured.  [50.06.001.2.b and d]. 50.06.001.2.b and d, CAO Memo January 11, 2011
50.06.001.2.e Side Yard Setback Plane, Interior Lots Grade 9/30/2010 The side yard setback plane is measured from an extension of the grade at the building wall to the property line (applies to all zoning districts with Side Yard Setback Plane standards). 50.06.001.2.e
50.06.001.2.f.iii Side Yard Appearance and Screening Depth of Planting 9/30/2010 The screening allowed under Treatment 3 cannot be placed more than 20 feet away from the side plane of the structure (applies to all zoning districts). 50.06.001.2.f.iii
50.06.001.2.f.iii Side Yard Appearance and Screening Distance Between Structures 9/30/2010 To use the screening option under Treatment 3, there must be a minimum of 15 feet between dwellings.  This will not prohibit the abutting neighbor from decreasing his/her setback in the future, and there will be no Notice of Development Restriction recorded on the abutting property (applies to all zoning districts). 50.06.001.2.f.iii
50.06.001.2.f.iv(2) Balcony Side Yards on Corner Lots 9/30/2010 For the purpose of this section, "balcony" and "deck" are synonymous. 50.06.001.2.f.iv(2)
50.06.001.3.b Front Porch Secondary Dwelling Units 7/18/2011 The requirement that dwellings in the R-6 zone require a front porch does not apply to Secondary Dwelling Units. 50.06.001.3.b
50.06.001.3.b R-6 Front Porch, Projection   In the R-6 zone, the covered front porch must be at least 6 feet deep; this covered porch may extend into the front yard setback up to 6 feet. 50.04.001.2.e.ii(2), 50.06.001.3.b
50.06.001.4 Garage Appearance and Location, Partitions and Lot Line Adjustments Discrepancy Between Plat and Survey 11/9/2010 Advances in measuring technology often result in discrepancies between the platted dimensions of a lot (width, depth, lot size) and the new surveyed dimensions.  For Garage Appearance and Location standards, which do not apply to lots less than 50 feet in width, the City will rely on platted lot dimensions based on rounding and the degree of numerical significance – the “trigger” is stated as a whole number (i.e., 50 feet, not 50.0 feet), therefore a surveyed dimension of 49.7 feet is rounded to 50 feet to determine if the trigger is applicable. For lot line adjustments and partitions, a minor variance is available for relief from such discrepancies.  In cases where the platted widths of abutting lots are 50 feet AND the owner is re-orienting the internal lot line, a condition of approval will be imposed which prohibits the resulting lots from being exempted from the Garage Appearance and Location Standards. Table 50.04.001-1, 50.06.001.4
  Misc. Square Footage 10/11/2006 A commercial development was approved for 4 buildings, each 100,000 square feet in size.  Building #1 came in at 98,000.  Can Building #2 absorb the lost square footage, taking it to 102,000 square feet?  Staff agreed that this would meet the test of substantial compliance, provided that the new layout does not affect trees, intensity, landscaping or parking.  
50.06.001.4.a.ii Corner Lot Garage Appearance and Location 11/10/2010 On a corner lot, the garage is considered front-loading toward the street that the garage doors face (unless it is considered rear-loading, or side-loading along an internal property line).  It is not simultaneously considered side-loading from the second street.  The Garage Appearance and Location standard that requires exposed garage walls to have more than one plane or 10% fenestration does not apply to the side walls of front-loading garages. 50.06.001.4.a.ii
50.06.001.4.a.iv(2)(b) Garage Appearance and Location Zero Lot Line Dwellings and Duplex 9/30/2010 The standards of LOC 50.06.01.4.a.iv(2)(b) apply only when the garage frontage is between 60 and 75% of the width of the façade, and not for 0 to 75%. 50.06.001.4.a.iv(2)(b)
50.06.001.4.a.iv.(2)(b)(iv)3 Outdoor Living Spaces Garage Appearance and Location, Zero Lot Line Dwellings 10/4/2010 The width of the required outdoor living space is defined as the width of the dwelling façade.  "Enclosed" only means along the front property line. 50.06.001.4.a.iv.(2)(b)(iv)3
50.06.004.2.c.i(1) Fences Height Adjacent to Access 8/15/2007 Residential fences are limited to 4 feet in height when located within 10 feet of a "property line abutting a public or private street or an access easement which serves more than 2 lots."  If an access way provides non-vehicular access to the property, then this limitation does not apply and a 6 foot fence is allowed. 50.06.004.2.c.i(1)
50.06.004.2.c.i(1) Fences Height on Through Lot 8/15/2007 Residential fences are limited to 4 feet in height when located within 10 feet of a "property line abutting a public or private street or an access easement which serves more than 2 lots." On a Through Lot, where the primary access is from Street A and the rear property line abuts Street B, a public or private street that serves more than 2 lots, the 4 foot limitation applies along both Street A and Street B. 50.06.004.2.c.i(1)
50.06.004.2.c.vii Setbacks Retaining Walls 12/9/2008 Retaining walls greater than 4 feet in height must meet PRIMARY structure setbacks; retaining walls are NOT considered accessory structures and CANNOT use 50.03.004 to reduce the side and rear setback. 50.06.004.2.c.vii
50.06.004.2.c.x Fences Driving Range Netting 7/17/2009 A golf course wants to increase the heights of its poles on which netting is strung to contain balls at the driving range.  The poles are exempt from height limits of the zone under 50.04.003.4.  However, under the definition of a "fence," if the netting extends to the ground it is considered a fence and the golf course must apply for a variance to the fence height standards (10 feet) of 50.06.004.2.c.x. Replacement of the netting does not require review if the height of the netting and poles is not increased. 50.06.004.2.c.x, 50.04.003.4
50.06.004.2.c.x(4) Lot Coverage Elevated Driveways 3/10/2010 Elevated driveways, while exempt from setbacks, are counted toward lot coverage (all portions more than 30" above grade). 50.06.004.2.c.x(4), 50.10.003.2, Lot Coverage
50.06.004.2.d.i Fences Good Neighbor Fence 11/1/2006 A property owner erected a "good neighbor" fence on his property, then erected a taller second fence 4 feet inside it that exposed the structural elements to his abutting neighbor's property.  The intent of the "good neighbor" fence requirement was met if the property owner screened the structural elements that are visible from the abutting neighbor's property; the entire height of the second fence did not have to be screened. 50.06.004.2.d.i
50.06.001.5.g.ii Setbacks Conflicting Code Standards 2/1/2011 LOC 50.11.006, Appendix F of the CI zone requires a 50-foot setback along the Highway 43 right of way (the only public street abutting the Marylhurst Campus).  The Building Design standards require new buildings to be located within 30 feet of a public street [LOC 50.06.001.5.g.ii].  The specific standard (minimum 50-foot setback in the CI zone) trumps the general standard (maximum 30 feet for new buildings); no variance is necessary to the Building Design standards in order to construct a new building on campus that is more than 50 feet from the public street. 50.06.001.5.g.ii, LOC 50.11.006, Appendix F
Table 50.06.002-1 Parking Guest Parking, Condos 8/2/2006 Code requires that condominium projects need to provide 25% of their required parking for visitor parking.  Underground parking could be used to meet this standard, provided a buzzer system is installed that allows visitors to contact tenants to grant entrance to the parking garage. Table 50.06.002-1
Table 50.06.002-1 Parking Volunteers 10/25/2006 For those uses that calculate required parking based on number of employees, volunteers count toward the Minimum Off-Street Parking Space Requirements (Appendix 50.55-A). Table 50.06.002-1
50.06.007.2.b R-6 Solar Lots, Maximum Shade Point 10/11/2006 Lots that were created before the adoption of the Solar Code (1988) are not exempt from the Maximum Shade Point (MSP) requirements of 50.06.007.2.c, regardless of whether or not the lot meets the Design Standards for Solar Access in 50.06.007.1.d.  The MSP requirements apply to building permits for any structure in the R-7.5, R-10 and R-15 zones, and all single family detached structures in any zone, unless the lot qualifies for an exemption through 50.04.004.3. 50.06.007.2.b, 50.04.004.3
           
LOC 50.07 - Review and Approval Procedures (back to top)  
50.07.003.1.h 180 Days 180 Days to Complete an Application; Extensions 9/23/2009 The applicant has 180 days to complete an application;  this clock starts from the date of the incomplete Letter.  Subsequent submittals and staff review must take place within that 180 days, or the application is voided; the 180-day clock is not restarted with each submittal.  The applicant can request one additional 180-day review period -- it starts immediately after the end of the first 180-day period. 50.07.003.1.h
50.07.003.3.a.i(1) Notice Notice Lists 10/11/2006 Code requires notice lists from the "most recent" tax rolls.  County updates its rolls once a year at the beginning of October, so an application that is filed months before but is not complete until October could have out-of-date mailing labels.  Solution:  At Pre-App, notify applicant that an updated list could be required, depending on when the application is deemed complete.  Staff will push the internal time line for completeness up a few days to be able to notify applicant in a timely manner if new labels are required. 50.07.003.3.a.i(1)
50.07.003.i.g.iii; see CAO email 12/17/2007 120 Day Review Historic Review & 120 Day Review Requirement 12/17/2007 The 120 day review requirement applies to the historic review process for:  designation, undesignation, alterations, demolition and moving a landmark. 50.07.003.i.g.iii; see CAO email 12/17/2007
50.07.003.11; See CAO Memo 6/22/2009 PD Modification Zoning Standards "Locked" 6/22/2009 Original PD subdivision was approved in 1984, with one or more modifications to the zone standards; one property owner now seeks a small setback modification.  The modification of a previously-approved setback does not "unlock" the zoning standards for the entire PD subdivision;  the scope of the requested setback modification is measured from the setback established by the original PD subdivision approval. 50.07.003.11; See CAO Memo 6/22/2009
  Public Records Anonymity and Redaction 12/7/2009 In some instances, a person that has submitted a comment/document may wish to remain anonymous or may wish to retract the comment altogether.  In the case of requested anonymity, we may redact the identifying information from the document for inclusion in the record and seal the original copy.  In cases where the person who submitted the comment wishes to retract the letter altogether, the letter shall be sealed and shall not be considered in reviewing the application.  In both cases, the original sealed document will be kept in the the file until it is expunged in accordance with the retention schedule.  
  Public Records Public Records 12/7/2009 When the City has received a document (particularly when it has been stamped "received"), it becomes a public record.  A person that submits a document that has been received by the City may not then ask for the document back, as it is now a public record and must be retained in accordance with the retention schedule required by public records law (see CAO or City Recorder regarding retention schedules).  
  Public Records Sealed Documents 12/7/2009 Sealed documents shall not be microfiched.  When files are purged for microfiching, any sealed documents should be filed with the CAO until they are ready to be expunged according to the retention schedule.  A note should be microfiched with the file stating that the sealed record is filed with the CAO and referencing the date it is scheduled to be expunged.  
50.07.003.14.a.i Setbacks Setback Modification Under 50.05.010 6/2/2010 Section 50.05.010.4.b.iii implies that a setback modification under 50.05.010 could be processed ministerially if it is not part of an application that includes a minor or major development.  As the standards under which a modification of setbacks can occur are discretionary, a setback modification under 50.05.010 is always considered a Minor Development.

50.16.040(3), 50.07.003.14.a.i

50.07.004.8.d Sensitive Lands Lake Elevation and RP Districts 8/4/2010 Where RP district overlays abut Oswego Lake and the canals, the RP boundary ends at the Lake elevation of 98.6 feet. 50.07.004.8.d
50.07.007.2.a Flag Lot Applicability of Standards 2/18/2011 The new (2010) Flag Lot standards allow more flexibility to certain zone standards.  The 2010 Flag Lot standards do not apply to flag lots created before 2010 that are now the subject of a lot line adjustment application, and the applicant cannot voluntarily choose to be subject to these standards. 50.07.007.2.a
50.07.007.2.a.ii Flag Lot Flag Lot Standards 2/1/2011 A flag lot that was not created under the flag lot standards cannot voluntarily choose to develop according to 50.07.007.2. 50.07.007.2.a.ii
50.07.007.2.c.i Flag Lot Access 10/4/2010 "Developable" is defined as "partitionable." 50.07.007.2.c.i
50.07.007.2.d.i Flag Lot Front Yard 10/4/2010 A Flag Lot that takes access via a flag pole (rather than an easement) "fronts" on a public street, and therefore the front yard on such a lot is measured from the front line that abuts the public street. 50.07.007.2.d.i
50.07.007.2.d.i Flag Lot Front Yard 10/4/2010   50.07.007.2.d.i, Figure 50.07.007-A
50.07.007.2.d.iv Lot Coverage Flag Lots, Lot Coverage 8/16/2006 The flag pole area is not excluded from lot coverage calculation.  However, for purposes of minimum lot size, the flag pole area or access easement is excluded. 50.10.003.2, Lot Area, 50.07.007.2.d.iv
50.07.007.2.e.iii Flag Lot Maximum Structure Height 11/20/2008 LOC 50.07.007.2.e.iii requires that the maximum structure height on flag lots be either (a) 22 feet, or (b) the average height of all dwellings on lots abutting the parent parcel, whichever is greater.  Assuming the parent parcel and all abutting parcels are in the same zoning district, the actual height of the abutting structures is used in figuring the average, even if an abutting structure is non-conforming to the zone height standard.  In any case, the maximum structure height on the flag lot cannot exceed the maximum height specified in the zone. 50.07.007.2.e.iii
50.07.007.2.e.iii Flag Lot Site Area for Legalizing an Illegally-Created Flag Lot 11/20/2008 When legalizing an illegally-created flag lot, the boundary of the ORIGINAL lot from which the illegal lot was created is used in determining which abutting lots are used in the calculation for maximum structure height.  The applicant gets no benefit from the illegal creation of the lot. 50.07.007.2.e.iii
50.07.007.2.e.iv Flag Lot Access Lanes 1/4/2011 The access lane for a flag lot(s) cannot be closer than 5 feet from any existing structure, including structures both on or off the parent parcel. 50.07.007.2.e.iv
50.07.007.2.e.v(3)(b) Flag Lot Setbacks 10/4/2010 Providing "similar" setbacks is not the same as providing the "same" setbacks.  The largest setback(s) on a flag lot should be adjacent to the largest setback(s) on abutting lots, but they do not have to match numerically. 50.07.007.2.e.v(3)(b)
50.07.007.2.e.vi Flag Lot Lot Width and Depth 10/4/2010 Basically, on flag lots, the 100-foot lot depth requirement is thrown out, but the lot depth can't be less than the lot width required by the zone. 50.07.007.2.e.vi
50.07.007.2.f.iii Flag Lot Landscaping and Screening 11/23/2010 When Flag Lots are created, LOC 50.07.007.2.f.iii requires screening along the rear and side yards "where the new development" occurs.  The landscaping and screening is required only on the Flag Lot(s), regardless of whether the Flag Lot is vacant or developed. 50.07.007.2.f.iii
50.07.007.4.c.iii; See CAO Memo 6/22/2009 PD Modification Review Criteria 6/22/2009 Original PD subdivision was approved in 1984, with one or more modifications to the zone standards; one property owner now seeks a small setback modification.  The proposed modification is reviewed under the current PD review criteria (sense of privacy, scale, and open space), and is compared against the PD subdivision as it was originally approved. 50.07.007.4.c.iii; See CAO Memo 6/22/2009
           
LOC 50.08 - Adjustments, Alternatives, and Variances (back to top)  
50.08.003.2.h Sensitive Lands RCPA Construction Setback 2/1/2011 The 5' construction setback can be reduced through a major variance. 50.08.003.2.h
50.08.002.3 Flag Lot Access Line Setback 7/12/2011 A reduction to this 5-foot separation requirement can be processed as a minor variance, per LOC 50.08.002.3, which allows "small changes from the Code requirements which will have little or no effect on adjacent property owners." 50.08.002.3
50.08.002.3.d Lot Coverage and Floor Area Substandard Encumbered Lots 6/9/2010 Given that (1) legal substandard lots are generally eligible for minor variances to increase lot coverage, and (2) 50.05.010.4.b allows setbacks to be reduced without a variance if the setback reduction better protects an RC or RP resource, a substandard lot that is encumbered by an RP or RC overlay cannot use 50.05.010.4.b or 50.05.010.6.d in conjunction with a minor variance to lot coverage to get a bigger house. 50.05.010.4.b, 50.05.010.6.d, 50.08.002.3.d
50.08.002.3.e Variances Variances 10/4/2010 The heading of the table should just read "Minimum Lot Size." 50.08.002.3.e
50.08.002.3.h Setbacks Setback Planes 10/25/2006 Section 50.08.002.3.h allows a Minor Variance for dormers that do not exceed the height of the roof ridge of the existing dwelling, under the qualification that the structure is non-conforming relative to lot coverage or setbacks.  "Setback" is interpreted to include all Setback Planes.  However, the Minor Variance does not exempt the applicant from Setback Plane standards, thus, only 2 dormers would be allowed to project into a Front Setback Plane per 50.06.001.2.b. 50.08.002.3.h
50.08.002.3.j Flag Lot Legalization of a Parcel; Imposition of Flag Lot Standards 7/17/2009 Phantom Bluff Court was vacated decades ago while under County jurisdiction.  As a result, most of the lots along Phantom Bluff Court became non-conforming because they did not meet the access standard, which requires that every lot abut a street for at least 25 feet.  One such lot was illegally partitioned, and the owner now wants to legalize the second lot.  Technically, the lot seeking legalization is not a Flag Lot because the parent parcel does not have street frontage (see definition of Flag Lot).  However, under 50.01.003.5, the City may impose conditions of approval, including compliance with the Flag Lot standards, to insure that the development does not have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhood.  In addition, a minor variance to the Access Standard (50.06.003.1) is required for the legalized lot. 50.10.003.2, Flag Lot; 50.01.003.5, 50.08.002.3.j
50.08.002.3.k Flag Lot Drive Aisle Width 7/12/2011 Infill 2 made a distinction between "driveways" and "access lanes" in the flag lot standards.  However, the variance classifications were not amended to reflect this distinction.  LOC 50.08.002.3.k applies to both driveway and access lanes on Flag Lots. 50.08.002.3.k
50.08.002.3.m.iii Non-Conforming Variances 10/4/2010 The yard setback cannot be reduced to less than 50% of the zone standard (not 50% of the existing non-conforming setback). 50.08.002.3.m.iii
           
LOC 50.10 - Definitions and Rules of Measurement (back to top)  
50.10.003.2, Accessory Building Lot Coverage R-6 Trellis Connecting Dwelling with SDU 9/4/2009 A property owner wants to convert a non-conforming accessory structure to an SDU, but it exceeds the accessory structure size limits due to its height.  By connecting the SDU to the main dwelling with a trellis, the SDU becomes part of the primary structure.  While generally "trellises (and) other landscaping features" are exempt from lot coverage calculations in the R-6 zone, this trellis is not exempt because it is a structural part of the house and is not used for landscaping purposes. 50.04.001.1.d, 50.04.001.2.f.ii(3), 50.10.003.2, Accessory Building
50.10.003.2, Alteration, Major (Historic Preservation); See CAO's letter dated Feb. 3, 2009 Historic Landmark, Lot Segregation Historic Landmark, Lot Segregation 2/3/2009 The Vose House at 791 4th Street is a designated City Landmark, and the historic "site" consists of 2 platted lots as described in the Cultural Resources Inventory.  The house appears to be located entirely on the northern lot, but could be encroaching into the setbacks if the original lots were segregated.  A Major Alteration is required to either (1) separate the southern lot from the northern lot, or (2) develop the southern lot in a manner that is compatible with the historic character of the Vose House.  Note:  this interpretation is site-specific. 50.10.003.2, Alteration, Major (Historic Preservation); See CAO's letter dated Feb. 3, 2009
50.10.003.2, Detached Structures, Breezeways Detached Structures, Breezeways Detached Structures, Breezeways 5/6/2013 Under the definition of "Detached," a breezeway connecting two structures does not make the structures "attached" for the purposes of compliance with development standards.  The term "breezeway" is not defined.  In order for two structures to be considered attached, the connector, the connector must be roofed and must have a solid wall on at least one side which does not allow breeze to pass through;  the wall(s) could have functioning doors and windows. 50.10.003.2, Detached Structures, Breezeways
50.10.003.2, Flag Lot Flag Lot Legalization of a Parcel; Imposition of Flag Lot Standards 7/17/2009 Phantom Bluff Court was vacated decades ago while under County jurisdiction.  As a result, most of the lots along Phantom Bluff Court became non-conforming because they did not meet the access standard, which requires that every lot abut a street for at least 25 feet.  One such lot was illegally partitioned, and the owner now wants to legalize the second lot.  Technically, the lot seeking legalization is not a Flag Lot because the parent parcel does not have street frontage (see definition of Flag Lot).  However, under 50.01.003.5.c, the City may impose conditions of approval, including compliance with the Flag Lot standards, to insure that the development does not have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhood.  In addition, a minor variance to the Access Standard (50.06.003.1) is required for the legalized lot. 50.10.003.2, Flag Lot; 50.01.003.5.c, 50.08.002.3.j
50.10.003.2, Floor Area Floor Area Porches, Covered and Enclosed 5/7/2008 Covered porches that are enclosed on three sides with walls are counted as Floor Area regardless of whether there is a door or not.  Temporary screening or netting is not considered a "wall." 50.10.003.2, Floor Area
50.10.003.2, Floor Area Floor Area Storage Areas and Floor Area 6/20/2007 Unfinished attics and storage spaces in garages and accessory structures do not count toward Floor Area. 50.10.003.2, Floor Area
50.10.003.2, Garage, Private Floor Area Carport, Garage 9/30/2010 A carport is a garage; it counts to Floor Area even though it does not have walls; and is also eligible for the Floor Area bonus. 50.10.003.2; Garage, Private
50.10.003.2, Group Care Home Group Care Group Care Homes 12/20/2006 Clarified that in a Group Home the number of dependent persons is limited to five individuals per home, not five per family member. 50.10.003.2, Group Care Home
50.10.003.2, Guesthouse Non-Conforming Converting Non-Conforming Garage to Living Space 11/7/2007 A homeowner can convert a detached garage that is non-conforming to setbacks into living space.  However, living space cannot be used as a Guesthouse if it is larger than 400 sf because it would create a NEW non-conformity. 50.10.003.2, Guesthouse
50.10.003.2, Height of Building Floor Area Story and Increased Grade 1/20/2010 Floor area is a calculation intended to regulate the bulk of a dwelling, and the area of a basement is counted toward Floor Area based on several factors, including the amount of exposure of basement wall above the adjacent grade or height of the story immediately above basement as measured from adjacent grade [See "Story" definition, LOC 50.10.003.2].  The grade next to a partially exposed basement wall can be increased so that the basement is not counted toward Floor Area; however, the ultimate height of the dwelling is still measured from the existing grade. 50.10.003.2, Story; Height of Building
50.10.003.2, Height of Building Height Window Wells 6/4/2008 The "floor" of a window well, no matter the vertical depth, does not constitute finished grade (and thus building height is not measured from it) unless the width is more than 6 feet and/or the horizontal depth is more than 3 feet. 50.10.003.2, Height of Building
50.10.003.2, Lot Area Lot Coverage Flag Lots, Lot Coverage 8/16/2006 The flag pole area is not excluded from lot coverage calculation.  However, for purposes of minimum lot size, the flag pole area or access easement is excluded. 50.10.003.2, Lot Area, 50.07.007.2.d.iv
50.10.003.2, Lot Coverage Lot Coverage Elevated Driveways 3/10/2010 Elevated driveways, while exempt from setbacks, are counted toward lot coverage (all portions more than 30" above grade). 50.06.004.2.c.x(4), 50.10.003.2, Lot Coverage
50.10.003.2, Lot Coverage Lot Coverage Outdoor Fireplaces 9/20/2006 If the fireplace/cooktop is over 30" and is permanent, it counts toward lot coverage. 50.10.003.2, Lot Coverage
50.02.005, Lots, Steeply Sloped Steeply Sloped Lots Front Lot Line 9/30/2010 In the definition of Steeply Sloped Lot, "front line" means "front lot line." 50.10.003.2
50.10.003.2, Minor Public Facility Setbacks Utility Setbacks 1/23/2008 Utility boxes located on private property do not have setback requirements.  However, utility boxes housed inside a structure (similar to an accessory structure) are minor public facilities which must meet primary structure setbacks.  
50.10.003.2, Net Developable Acre Density Maximum Density, Street Dedication 10/3/2007 The area of street right-of-way, whether along the edge of a property (street dedication) or in the interior of the property (access), is subtracted from the gross square footage of the lot prior to calculating minimum and maximum density.  See definition of Net Developable Acre.  For partitions where street dedication may affect the number of possible lots, the practice of allowing the street dedication to be provided in an easement is questionable and discouraged. 50.10.003.2, Net Developable Acre; Table 50.04.001-1
50.10.003.2, Setback Line Setbacks Subterranean Garage (or Living Space) 4/4/2007 Applicant has a lot that slopes up from the street, and wants to add a third garage bay dug into the hillside.  The front plane of the garage meets side yard setbacks, but a portion of the buried garage will extend into the side yard setback.  Because a setback is measured from "the ground to the sky," the encroachment is permissible, provided the original grade is restored.  To verify that original grade is restored, a post-construction survey may be required.  
50.10.003.2, Story Floor Area Story and Increased Grade 1/20/2010 The grade next to a partially exposed basement wall can be increased so that the basement is not counted toward Floor Area;  however, the ultimate height of the dwelling is still measured from the existing grade. 50.10.003.2, Story; Height of Building
50.10.003.2, Through Lot Through Lot Minimum Lot Width 8/15/2007 A Through Lot, which has two front yards, must meet the minimum lot width standards at both front yards.  An "elephant foot" frontage must be 25 feet in depth from the street.  Through 50.04.003.6, the City Manager can waive the depth requirements of the normal front yard on a Through Lot if the prevailing front yard pattern on adjoining lots warrants it; however, the yard is still considered a "front" yard. 50.10.003.2, Through Lot
           
LOC 50.11 - Appendices   (back to top)  
LOC 50.11.006, Appendix F Setbacks Conflicting Code Standards 2/1/2011 LOC 50.11.006, Appendix F of the CI zone requires a 50-foot setback along the Highway 43 right of way (the only public street abutting the Marylhurst Campus).  The Building Design standards require new buildings to be located within 30 feet of a public street [LOC 50.06.001.5.g.ii].  The specific standard (minimum 50-foot setback in the CI zone) trumps the general standard (maximum 30 feet for new buildings); no variance is necessary to the Building Design standards in order to construct a new building on campus that is more than 50 feet from the public street. 50.06.001.5.g.ii, 50.11.006, Appendix F
           

Chapter 55 - Trees

(back to top)  
55.02.020, Removal Trees Removal, Multiple 3/10/2010 The definition of "removal" includes more than simply physically uprooting a tree from a site; topping, excessive trimming and damaging a tree are also considered removal.  Thus, a tree can be "removed" multiple times over the years (e.g., annual topping or severe pruning), each requiring a permit (or fine if removed without a permit). 55.02.020, Removal
55.02.020, Removal Trees Trees, Overhanging Property Line 9/20/2006 A property owner owns land "from the ground to the sky."  A property owner can trim tree branches that hang over his/her property line, but cannot do so if it constitutes a "removal," i.e., cannot remove more than 50% of the crown, trunk or root system and cannot damage the tree to the point that it declines and dies.  Only the property owner can apply for a tree removal. 55.02.020, Removal
55.02.042(4)(a) Trees Hazard Tree Removal; Enforcement 1/7/2011 The City will not require the removal of a hazardous tree on private property unless the tree is threatening public interests such as the right-of-way or utilities. 55.02.042(4)(a)
55.02.082(1)(c) Trees Tree Removal Notice 12/4/2009 For Type 2 tree removals, the tree code requires the public notice sign to be posted "on the subject property in a location which is clearly visible and readable to vehicles traveling on a public street. . .".  When there is a conflict between these two requirements, e.g., if subject site is a flag lot served by an access easement, the sign should be posted in the easement area so that it is clearly visible to passing vehicles. 55.02.082(1)(c)