Skip Navigation

Infill Setback and Building Height (TC-4-20)

Infill Setback and Building Height (TC-4-20)

This text changes will repeal and replace the current methods in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) for calculating how building height is measured, how the primary street setback is determined for infill development, and change the maximum side wall plane height for infill development. View the Infill Setback and Building Height (TC-4-20) ordinance. 

Background information:

The current method for calculating building height uses the average of all elevations of a structure in determining overall height and requires that it be measured from the more restrictive of pre-development and post-development grade. The method was intended to keep proposed development in scale and proportion with surrounding buildings.  However, this method created much complexity and proved to be confusing. The proposed text change would revise this method to that of the previous ordinance where only the building elevation that is most parallel to the primary street is used in calculating the overall building height. It would also allow pre-development and post-development grade to be averaged to determine the measuring point, instead of using the more restrictive grade.

The current regulations for determining infill setbacks identifies several criteria and scenarios for determining the distance in which a building may be located from the adjacent street.  Like the current building height calculation method, these regulations created complexity and confusion.  The proposed method has been considerably scaled-down and should be easier to use in determining the required setback.

The maximum side wall height will also be modified.  The maximum height of any side wall for infill development will be increased from the current 22 feet to the proposed 25 feet or the average height of the two abutting neighboring wall planes, whichever is greater.  The new method for determining overall building height will also be used to measure side wall height.

Current Rules:

1. For building height, the average grade is determined by calculating the average of the highest and lowest elevation along pre-development grade or improved grade (whichever is more restrictive) along each building elevation and averaging all elevations. Where land disturbance has been approved by the City through the mass-grading process, average grade shall be considered the improved grade following the completion of the mass grading. 

2. For measuring building height on a property that slopes upward to the rear of the lot, building height is measured from the average grade of the front and rear wall planes.

3. In determining the comparative sample for residential infill compatibility, a sampling process is used to obtain a sampling of at least three and up to six nearby lots.

4. The primary street setback is measured based on a maximum variation from the median setback of the comparative sample.

5. The side setback plane (side wall) has a maximum height of 22 feet or the average height of the two abutting neighboring wall planes, whichever is greater. The current standard allows the wall height to increase by 1 foot for every foot of horizontal distance the wall is moved from the side setback line, however it cannot exceed the maximum height allowed within the district.

Proposed Text Change:

1. Average grade shall be considered to be the average post-development grade along the building elevation that is most parallel and closest to the primary street setback.  Exception is given to any building that is subject to infill compatibility standards, where average grade shall be determined by averaging the four points consisting of the highest and lowest elevations of both pre-development and post-development grade along the building elevation closest and most parallel to the primary street.

2. For measuring building height on a property that slopes upward to the rear of the lot, building height is measured from the average grade of the front and rear wall planes.  

3. In determining the comparative sample for residential infill compatibility, the proposed applicability standards will be simplified to the four closest buildings (or three for a corner lot).

4. The infill compatibility rules will not apply in Historic Districts, Street Side Historic Overlay Districts, or to Historic landmarks.

5. The method for determining the primary street setback will be based upon the location of the structures within the comparative sample.  The proposed structure must be no closer than the smallest primary street setback and no further than the largest primary street setback within the comparative sample.  Other factors such as riparian buffers, floodways, steep slopes, and pre-established tree conservation areas may also influence the building setback.

6. The side wall plane maximum height will be increased to 25 feet or the average height of the two abutting neighboring wall planes, whichever is greater. The current standard that allows for an increase by 1 foot for every foot of horizontal distance the wall is moved from the side setback line will remain. 

Public Meeting Schedule:

This text change has been referred to the Text Change Committee of the Planning Commission and will likely be discussed at a September meeting.

What is your current residential address? (This information may be included with your comments in the staff report sent to the Planning Commission.)
Closed for Comments
* What is your full name? (This information may be included with your comments in the staff report sent to the Planning Commission.)
Closed to responses
Do you have any questions about this text change? If so, ask in the comment box below. We will be sure to respond to your question here. Please note that your question is public and can be seen by others.
Closed for Comments
Do you have any comments about this text change? If so, leave them in the comments box below. Please note that your comments will not be visible to others on this platform but will be public record presented to the Planning Commission.
Closed for Comments