Sec. 7-8-26. Urban Place Form District.
1.0 General provisions.
1.1.   Purpose. The purpose of the Urban Place Form District is to implement transit-supportive land use recommendations as proposed in Living Asheville, the city's comprehensive plan. The Urban Place Form District will align with proposed Urban Centers of the city's Future Land Use Map.
1.2.   Intent. The main intent of the Urban Place Form District is to guide new development towards a more urban form to:
A.   Accommodate a growing population and support new businesses that increase and diversify the local economy;
B.   Mix uses and integrate a wide range of housing options, especially affordable units, closer to jobs;
C.   Improve connectivity with an emphasis on walkability, accessibility and transit supportive connections;
D.   Support a healthy environment for residents, workers and visitors with trees and comfortable open spaces.
1.3.   Applicability.
A.   Application of chapter 7, Development.
1.   All development within the Urban Place Form District shall conform with the requirements of chapter 7. The following requirements of chapter 7 do not apply in the Urban Place Form District, unless expressly stated otherwise:
a.   Section 7-10-2, Required setbacks; allowable encroachments into required setbacks;
b.   Subsection 7-11-2(c), Off-Street Parking Requirements;
c.   Subsection 7-11-2(d), Off-Street Loading Requirements;
d.   Subsection 7-11-2(e)(2), Remote Parking;
e.   Subsection 7-11-3(d)(5), Building Impact Landscaping;
f.   Subsection 7-13-4(a)(8)(a), Temporary Signs.
2.   The use of buildings and land within the Urban Place Form District is subject to all applicable local, state, and federal regulations, whether or not such other provisions are specifically referenced in the Urban Place Form District. References to other regulations or provisions of the Urban Place Form District are for the convenience of the reader. The lack of a cross-reference does not exempt a land, building, structure or use from other regulations.
B.   Conflicting provisions.
1.   Interpretation of conflicts between the Urban Place Form District and any other city ordinance or regulation (including chapter 7) are controlled by the Urban Place Form District.
2.   The graphics, illustrations and photographs used to visually explain certain provisions of the Urban Place Form District are for illustrative purposes only. Where there is a conflict between a graphic, illustration or photograph and the text, the text controls.
1.4.   Transitional provisions.
A.   New development.
1.   Except as provided in section 1.4.C below, upon the effective date of the Urban Place Form District or any subsequent amendment, any new building or other structure or any use of land must be constructed or developed only in accordance with all applicable provisions of the Urban Place Form District.
2.   No excavation or filling of land or construction of any public or private improvements may take place or commence except in conformity with the Urban Place Form District.
B.   Existing development. Any existing use, lot, building or other structure legally established prior to the effective date of the Urban Place Form District that does not comply with any provision of these specific regulations is a legal non-conformity pursuant to article 17.
C.   Previously issued permits and pending applications. Previously issued permits and pending applications will be processed in accordance with and decided pursuant to the law existing on the date the application was filed.
2.0. District standards.
2.1.   General form rules. The following general rules and definitions are applicable to the Urban Place Form District.
A.   Lot.
1.   Defined. A parcel of land either vacant or occupied intended as a unit for the purpose, whether immediate or for the future, of transfer of ownership, or possession, or for development.
2.   Lot area. Lot area is the area included within the rear, side and front lot lines. Lot area does not include existing or proposed right-of-way, whether dedicated or not dedicated to public use.
3.   Lot width. Lot width is the distance between the two side lot lines measured at the primary street property line along a straight line or along the chord of the property line on a curvilinear lot.
B.   Building coverage.
1.   The maximum area of the lot that is permitted to be covered by buildings, including both principal structures, structured parking and roofed accessory structures, including gazebos.
2.   Building coverage does not include paved areas such as driveways, uncovered porches or patios, decks, swimming pools, porte cochere, or roof overhangs of two feet or less. Surface parking is not considered part of building coverage.
C.   Building setbacks.
1.   Generally. There are four types of setbacks - primary street, side street, side interior and rear. Building setbacks apply to both principal and accessory buildings and structures except where explicitly stated otherwise.
2.   Measurement of building setbacks.
a.   The primary street setback is measured at a right angle from the primary street right-of-way line. In cases where sidewalks and street trees are located on private property, as allowed by section 4.2, the building setbacks shall be measured from the back of sidewalk.
b.   On corner lots the side street setback is measured at a right angle from the side street right-of-way line.
c.   The rear setback is measured at a right angle from the rear property line or the rear right-of-way or easement line where there is an alley. The rear property line is the property line opposite to the primary street property line.
d.   All lot lines which are not primary street, side street or rear lot lines are considered side interior lot lines for the purpose of measuring setbacks. Side interior setbacks are measured at a right angle from the side property line.
e.   In cases where a public utility easement (PUE) is on private property the building setbacks may be measured from the easement line or the setback may be reduced to zero feet from the easement line.
3.   Primary street designation.
a.   Where only one street abuts a lot, that street is considered a primary street.
b.   A lot can have more than one primary street.
D.   Parking setbacks.
1.   All parking spaces must be located behind the parking setback line. Underground parking may encroach into a required parking setback but cannot extend into a required easement or the right-of-way.
2.   The parking setback applies to surface parking and to the ground story only of a building.
3.   Parking setbacks are measured from the right-of-way.
E.   Parking location for townhouses/multifamily.
1.   General. Garage doors used for the parking of vehicles must be placed entirely to the rear of the unit and be rear-accessed and must face the rear alley or easement.
2.   Exception. Garage doors may face the street provided the following are met:
a.   Garage doors may constitute no more than 50 percent of the width of the individual townhouse unit.
b.   Combined parking and driveway area cannot be more than 50 percent of the area between the front building facade and the front property line.
c.   Any parking in the front setback must have sufficient depth so that parked cars do not encroach on the adjacent sidewalk. To provide sufficient depth, the garage doors must be set back at least 20 feet from the sidewalk.
d.   Garage doors must be recessed at least one foot behind the front wall plane or a second-story element over the garage doors must be provided that extends at least one foot beyond the front wall plane.
F.   Build-to zone (BTZ).
1.   Defined.
a.   The build-to zone (BTZ) is the area on the lot where a certain percentage of the front of any building facade must be located, measured as a minimum and maximum setback range from the edge of the right-of-way that may be a private or public street. In cases where required streetscape elements are installed on private property the building setbacks shall be measured from the back of the streetscape elements.
The required percentage specifies the amount of the front building facade that must be located in the BTZ, measured based on the width of the building divided by the width of the lot. Driveways and open spaces. Permitted driveways and open spaces may be removed from the BTZ calculations. Open spaces within the BTZ shall measure at least 60 feet deep and 25 feet wide.
b.   The BTZ applies up to the minimum required building height.
2.   Corner lots. On a corner lot, a building facade must be placed within the BTZ for the first 30 feet along the street extending from the block corner, measured from the intersection of the two right-of-way lines.
3.   Through lots. Projects on through lots may select the street to which the BTZ shall be applied.
4.   Uses allowed. With the exception of parking spaces and outdoor storage, all structures and uses (including outdoor dining) allowed on the lot are allowed in the BTZ.
5.   Driveways. In no case will driveway access to a lot be denied because of the build-to requirement.
G.   Nonconforming build-to zone.
1.   Additions. Expansion of an existing building which is unable to meet the build-to requirement, must comply with the following nonconforming provisions:
a.   Front: Addition. Any addition to the front that exceed 50 percent of the existing footprint must be placed in the BTZ; however, the addition does not have to meet the build-to percentage for the lot. A front addition is not allowed on a contributing structure in a National Register Historic District or a structure that is eligible for historic designation (although a variance may be granted where a hardship exists, including but not limited to a conflict with the NC Building Code or specific purposes for the addition that make a front location the most technically, not financially feasible option).
b.   Rear: Addition. Rear additions are allowed because the extension does not increase the degree of the nonconformity.
c.   Side: Addition. Side additions meeting the following conditions are allowed:
i.   The side addition is no greater than 500 square feet in area or 20 percent of the existing building footprint, (whichever is greater) and is less than 50 percent of the existing building width measured along the primary street.
ii.   In the case of a contributing structure in a National Register Historic District (or a structure eligible for designation), the side addition must be placed no closer than five feet from the street-facing facade of the building.
2.   New buildings. Where a new building is being constructed on a lot or site with an existing building on it that doesn't meet the build-to requirement, the following nonconforming provisions apply.
a.   Front: New Building. All new buildings must be placed in the build-to zone until the build-to percentage for the lot has been met.
b.   Rear: New Building. New buildings located outside of the build-to zone are not allowed until the build-to percentage for the lot has been met.
c.   Side: New Building. New buildings located outside of the build-to zone are not allowed until the build-to percentage for the lot has been met.
d.   Accessory Structures: New Structure. New accessory structures must be placed behind or to the side of the principal building. Outdoor dining may be placed at the front of the lot to enhance activity at the sidewalk.
H.   Setback encroachments. All buildings and structures must be located at or behind the required setbacks except as listed below.
Unless specifically stated, no building or structure can extend into a required easement or public right-of-way.
1.   Building features.
a.   Arcades, awnings/canopies, balconies, front porches and stoops may encroach into a required primary or side street setback as stated in subsection 2.1.S.
b.   Raised entries may extend into a required primary or side street setback as stated in subsection 2.1.T.
c.   Building eaves, roof overhangs, gutters, downspouts, light shelves, bay windows and oriels less than ten feet wide, cornices, belt courses, sills, buttresses or other similar architectural features may encroach up to three feet into a required setback, provided that such extension is at least two feet from the vertical plane of any lot line.
d.   Chimneys or flues may encroach up to four feet, provided that such extension is at least two feet from the vertical plane of any lot line.
e.   Unenclosed patios, decks, balconies, stoops, porches, terraces or fire escapes may encroach into a side interior or rear setback, provided that such extension is at least six feet from the vertical plane of any lot line and bufferyard requirements, if any, are met.
f.   Handicap ramps may encroach to the extent necessary to perform their proper function.
g.   Structures below and covered by the ground may encroach into a required setback.
2.   Low impact stormwater features.
a.   Low impact stormwater management features may encroach up to two feet into a primary street setback (but not into the required sidewalk), including, but not limited to:
i.   Rain barrels or cisterns, six feet or less in height;
ii.   Planter boxes;
iii.   Bio-retention areas; and
iv.   Similar features, as determined by the city engineer.
b.   Low impact stormwater management features listed above may encroach into a side interior or rear setback, provided such extension is at least two feet from the vertical plane of any lot line.
3.   Mechanical equipment and utility lines.
a.   For residential buildings only, mechanical equipment such as HVAC units and security lighting, may encroach into a required rear or side interior setback, provided that such extension is at least three feet from the vertical plane of any lot line.
b.   Minor structures accessory to utilities (such as hydrants, manholes, and transformers and other cabinet structures) may encroach into a required rear, side interior or side street setback.
4.   Other setback encroachments.
a.   Fences and walls under section 7-10-3.
b.   Property line buffers under section 4.3.
c.   Signs under section 4.4.
I.   Building height.
1.   Building height is regulated in both number of stories and feet and is measured from the average grade to the mean height level between the eaves and ridge of a gable, hip, mansard, or gambrel roof or to the highest point of roof surface of a flat roof, not including a maximum six-foot high parapet wall encroachment. In no case is a parapet allowed to exceed six feet in height above the roof deck.
2.   Average grade is determined by calculating the average of the highest and lowest elevation along natural or improved grade (whichever is more restrictive) along the front of the building parallel to the primary street setback line.
3.   An attic does not count as a story where 50 percent or more of the attic floor area has a clear height of less than seven and one-half feet; measured from the finished floor to the finished ceiling.
4.   A basement with 50 percent or more of its perimeter wall area surrounded by natural grade is not considered a story.
J.   Height encroachments. Any height encroachment not listed below is prohibited.
1.   The maximum height limits of the district do not apply to spires, belfries, cupolas, domes, smoke stacks or other type of structure not intended for human occupancy; monuments, water tanks, beer tanks, water towers or other similar structures which, by design or function, must exceed the established height limits.
2.   The following specified accessory structures, building and site features, and mechanical equipment may exceed the established height limit provided they do not exceed the maximum height by more than six feet:
a.   Chimney, flue or vent stack;
b.   Flagpole;
c.   Vegetation associated with a rooftop garden or landscaping;
d.   Skylights;
e.   Parapet wall; and
f.   Solar panels, wind turbines and rainwater collection systems.
3.   The following may exceed the established height limits provided they do not exceed the maximum building height by more than six feet, do not occupy more than 25 percent of the roof area, and are set back at least ten feet from the edge of the roof:
a.   Elevator or stairway access to roof;
b.   Rooftop shade structure;
c.   Greenhouse; and
d.   Mechanical equipment.
4.   Any of the elements listed in paragraphs 2. and 3. above are considered accessory to the principal structure and must not be used for any purpose other than as incidental to the principal structure.
K.   Ground floor elevation.
1.   Ground floor elevation is measured from top of the adjacent curb to the top of the finished ground floor.
2.   Minimum ground floor elevation applies to the first 30 feet of the lot measured from the right-of-way line, except where ground floor elevation must meet the requirements of section 7-12-1, Flood Protection.
3.   Ground floor elevation must meet the requirements of the NC Building Code.
L.   Story height.
1.   Story height is measured from the top of the finished floor to the ceiling above.
2.   Minimum ground story height applies to the first 30 feet of the building measured inward from the street-facing facade. At least 50 percent of the ground story must meet the minimum height provisions.
3.   At least 80 percent of each upper story must meet the minimum upper story height provisions.
M.   Neighborhood compatibility.
1.   Building transition plane.
a.   A building transition plane is required in certain cases when form district property is abutting an RS or RM district. When abutting an RS or RM district, a building shall not extend into a 45-degree angular plane projecting over the subject property measured from a height of 40 feet at the side interior or rear setback line. One foot of additional setback is required for every foot of height above 40 feet.
N.   Building street stepbacks. Building stepbacks require certain upper stories to be stepped back from the right-of-way line by at least ten feet. A maximum of 20 percent of the building facade width may encroach into the ten foot stepback as shown below.
O.   Transparency.
1.   The minimum percentage of windows and doors that must cover a ground or upper story facade is measured from top of the finished floor to the top of the wall plate. The percentage is derived for each story based on the transparent area of all ground or upper story windows and doors divided by the total area of the ground or upper story facade.
2.   Transparency applies to primary and side street-facing facades only, except when a building that is below grade has an average exposed height that is less than six feet above street grade.
3.   Glass is considered transparent where it has a transparency higher than 80 percent and external reflectance of less than 15 percent.
4.   An opening to a parking garage is not considered transparency.
5.   Any glass in a roll-up door for a restaurant or entertainment use (and not for loading purposes) is considered transparent.
6.   Roll-up doors that have no or limited transparency that can be rolled up during regular business hours (and are not used for the storing or parking of cars) can count for up to 50 percent of a transparency requirement.
P.   Blank wall area.
1.   Blank wall area means a portion of the exterior facade of the building that does not include: windows or doors; columns, pilasters or other articulation greater than 12 inches in depth; or a substantial material change (paint color is not considered a substantial change). The same material used in a different pattern does not constitute a substantial material change.
2.   Blank wall area applies horizontally to ground and upper story primary and side street- facing facades.
Q.   Pedestrian access.
1.   An entrance providing both ingress and egress, operable to residents or customers at all times during operating hours, is required to meet the street-facing entrance requirements. Additional entrances off another street, pedestrian area or internal parking area are permitted.
2.   The entrance spacing requirements must be met for each building, but are not applicable to adjacent buildings.
3.   Doors are not permitted to swing into a public right-of-way.
4.   An angled entrance may be provided at either corner of a building along the street to meet the street-facing entrance requirements.
5.   See subsection 2.1.T for additional entry requirements in flood prone areas.
R.   Streetscape.
1.   The required sidewalk may be wholly or partially located on private property, provided the sidewalk is located within an easement permanently dedicated to the city.
S.   Building elements.
1.   Arcade. A covered passage supported by arches or columns that is open on three sides with enclosed habitable space above.
a.   An arcade must have a clear depth from the support columns to the building's facade of at least eight feet and a clear height above the sidewalk of at least nine feet.
b.   An arcade must be contiguous and extend over at least 75 percent of the width of the building facade from which it projects.
c.   An arcade cannot encroach into a required setback or the public right-of-way.
2.   Awning/Canopy. A wall-mounted, cantilevered structure providing shade and cover from the weather for a sidewalk.
a.   An awning/canopy must be a minimum of nine feet clear height above the sidewalk and must have a minimum depth of three feet. The Planning and Urban Design Director may approve a modification to these standards in order to fit an awning or canopy on an existing building.
b.   An awning/canopy may extend into a required setback above private property.
c.   An awning/canopy may encroach up to nine feet into the public right-of-way but must be at least two feet inside the curb line or edge of pavement, whichever is greater. The encroachment requires city approval.
3.   Balcony. A platform projecting from the wall of an upper-story of a building with a railing along its outer edge, often with access from a door or window.
a.   A balcony extend up to six feet into a required setback, provided that such extension is at least two feet from the vertical plane of any lot line.
b.   A balcony must have a clear height above the sidewalk of at least nine feet.
c.   A balcony may be covered and screened, but cannot be fully enclosed.
d.   A balcony may encroach up to six feet into the public right-of-way but must be at least two feet inside the curb line or edge of pavement, whichever is greater. This requires city approval.
4.   Stoop. A small raised platform that serves as an entrance to a building.
a.   A stoop must be no more than six feet deep (not including the steps) and six feet wide.
b.   A stoop may be covered but cannot be fully enclosed (must not be screened in).
c.   A stoop may extend up to six feet, including the steps, into a required setback, provided that such extension is at least two feet from the vertical plane of any lot line.
d.   A stoop and stairs/ramp may not encroach into the public right-of-way.
T.   Flood area building entries. In flood prone areas, one of the following entry treatments must be used to meet the street-facing entry requirement.
1.   Raised entry, external. Stairs attached to the outside of a building that provides pedestrian access to the first occupiable floor in a flood prone area.
a.   Where parking is provided within or below a building on the ground level, the parking area must be screened from the right-of-way with a street wall that is at least 25 percent but no more than 75 percent opaque.
b.   The area between the street-facing building facade and the sidewalk must be planted at ground level, or in raised planters or planting beds permanently affixed to the ground. Plantings must consist of shrubs within six feet of the building facade that attain a height of at least three feet. Planting is not required at entrances to and exits from the building or within driveways. Seating areas and public art are encouraged but not required.
c.   A raised external entry may extend into a required setback, provided that such extension is at least two feet from the vertical plane of any lot line.
d.   Handrails and fences shall be a maximum of 75 percent opaque.
2.   Raised entry, internal. An at-grade building entrance that provides access to shared entry area of a building in a flood prone area.
a.   A lobby with a minimum width of 20 feet must be provided along the street- facing building facade at the level of the adjoining sidewalk with a depth of at least ten feet. Transparency must be applied to at least 40 percent of the surface area of the street-facing building facade.
b.   Where parking is provided within or below a building on the ground level, the parking area must be screened from the right-of-way with a street wall that is at least 25 percent but no more than 75 percent opaque.
c.   The area between the street-facing building facade and the sidewalk must be planted at ground level, or in raised planters or planting beds permanently affixed to the ground. Plantings must consist of shrubs within six feet of the building facade that attain a height of at least three feet. Planting is not required at entrances to and exits from the building or within driveways. Seating areas and public art are encouraged but not required.
3.   Raised entry, staircase. A staircase integral to the building that provides pedestrian access to the first occupiable floor in a flood prone area.
a.   Stairs must be constructed between grade and the lowest occupiable floor and the staircase must be a minimum width of ten feet.
b.   Where parking is provided within or below a building on the ground level, the parking area must be screened from the right-of-way with a street wall that is at least 25 percent but no more than 75 percent opaque.
c.   The area between the street-facing building facade and the sidewalk must be planted at ground level, or in raised planters or planting beds permanently affixed to the ground. Plantings must consist of shrubs within six feet of the building facade that attain a height of at least three feet. Planting is not required at entrances to and exits from the building or within driveways. Seating areas and public art are encouraged but not required.
d.   The stairs may extend into a required setback, provided that such extension is at least two feet from the vertical plane of any lot line.
U.   Maximum building length options. Street-facing building length is the maximum length of a building before a new building must be constructed. The following options can be used to meet the maximum street-facing building length set for each sub-district.
1.   Flood prone areas.
a.   Parking podium. A one-story parking podium may break the maximum street- facing building length requirement provided the following standards are met every 200 feet:
i.   A raised staircase is provided (see subsection 2.1.T.1)
ii.   A direct pedestrian connection on top of the parking podium is provided from the front of the lot to the rear, or to the intersecting alley or street behind.
iii.   The distance between buildings on top of the parking podium is at least 15 feet.
b.   Upper stories. Stories above the first occupiable story may also break the maximum street-facing building length requirement provided the following standards are met every 200 feet:
i.   A raised staircase is provided (see subsection 2.1.T.1)
ii.   A direct pedestrian connection on top of the parking podium is provided from the front of the lot to the rear, or to the intersecting alley or street behind.
iii.   The pedestrian connection is at least 15 feet in width and has a clear height of at least 11 feet.
iv.   For the width of the staircase, stories above the first occupiable story must be set back at least 15 feet from the front facade of the parking podium.
2.   Non-flood prone areas.
a.   Ground level. The ground level of a building may break the maximum street- facing building length required provided the following standards are met every 200 feet:
i.   A plaza or public space is created for a width of at least 40 feet.
ii.   The plaza/public space shall have a depth of at least 18 feet.
b.   Upper stories. The upper stories of a building may break the maximum street- facing building length requirement provided the following standards are met every 200 feet:
i.   A direct pedestrian connection is provided from the front of the lot to the rear, or to the intersecting alley or street behind.
ii.   The pedestrian connection is at least 15 feet in width and has a clear height of at least 12 feet.
iii.   For the width of the pedestrian connection, upper stories must be set back at least 15 feet from the front facade of the building.
V.   Use of materials.
1.   When selecting appropriate materials for new construction, consider the context of the surrounding environment and other structures in the vicinity of the project. Traditional materials such as brick, terra-cotta, natural stone, cast stone, wood, metal, glass, or concrete are preferred for new construction and renovations. The use of modern sustainable or green materials may justify deviations from the use of traditional materials. Synthetic finishing system materials are not permitted at the ground or street level.
2.   Primary material changes must occur only at inside corners or where they wrap around an outside corner a minimum of two feet.
2.2   Urban place regulations.
A.   Purpose and intent.
1.   Form. The Urban Place Form District is intended to accommodate the development of higher-density, mixed-use urban centers that are human scaled. A greater emphasis on interconnectivity and efficient land use highlights the pedestrian-oriented focus, where mixing residential units with commercial activity connects housing to jobs.
2.   Height. Building height is limited to four stories. Additional stories are allowed for the provision of affordable units, to not exceed six stories.
3.   Front setbacks. Ground floor facades are located within a reasonable distance to the street to encourage pedestrian activity while allowing design flexibility.
4.   Use. A broad range of commercial and residential uses are allowed. However, to encourage maximum levels of pedestrian activity and accessibility.
B.   Block and lot criteria.
C.   Siting.
D.   Access and parking.
E.   Height and mass.
F.   Public realm.
3.0 Land use.
3.1.   Principal and accessory uses.
A.   Allowable land uses.
1.   All permitted uses, special uses, conditional uses and uses expressly prohibited are identified in subsection 7-8-1(d), Table of Permitted Uses. Standards for special uses and conditional uses can be found in article XVI of this chapter. The following are exceptions to subsection 7-8-1(d):
a.   Public, Recreational, Commercial, or Industrial uses shall make up at least ten percent of the total project gross square footage.
b.   Gasoline sales.
i.   Gasoline pumps in Urban Place Form Districts shall not be located between any street and the principal structures, and shall be designed to be subordinate to the primary uses of the site.
c.   Drive-through facilities or uses.
i.   Drive through facilities shall be limited to one drive through lane.
ii.   Any part of drive through facilities (i.e. drive through lanes, stacking, ordering stations, pick-up windows, etc.) shall not be located between a street and the principal structures, and shall be designed to be subordinate to the primary uses of the site.
d.   Commercial/Business Uses. On parcels larger than five acres, the maximum limit for Commercial/Business Uses shall be 20,000 square feet unless the following conditions are met:
i.   Additional square footage for Commercial/Business Uses shall be permitted at a rate of 1,000 square feet of Commercial/Business area per each market rate residential unit created.
ii.   Additional square footage for Commercial/Business Uses shall be permitted at a rate of 2,000 square feet of Commercial/Business area per each affordable residential unit created where the units meet the affordability standards (80 percent or less of Area Median Income; affordable to and leased to income-eligible households for at least 20 years). At least 50 percent of affordable units shall accept Rental Assistance like Housing Choice Vouchers.
iii.   Small individual commercial spaces measuring 1,000 square feet or less shall not count towards the 20,000 square foot maximum limit. This exception is aimed to encourage the creation of smaller commercial spaces that could be more affordable for local businesses or small new businesses seeking a presence in a mixed-use center.
B.   Accessory uses and structures.
1.   Accessory uses and structures are permitted in conjunction with an allowed principal use. Accessory uses and structures must be accessory and clearly and customarily incidental and subordinate to a permitted principal use or structure.
C.   No accessory use or structure may be established prior to the establishment of a permitted principal use or structure.
3.2   Parking decks.
D.   Parking deck, garage, structure.
1.   Parking structures must meet all the requirements for a principal structure as specified in subsection 2.0, including the parking setbacks.
2.   In no case can structured parking exceed the height of the principal building on the site.
3.   Where upper or ground stories of structured parking are at the perimeter of a building, they must be screened so that cars are not visible from ground level view from adjacent property or adjacent public right-of-way (not including an alley). In addition, any ground story facade treatment (building materials, windows, and architectural detailing) must be continued on upper stories.
4.   Parking structure entries must not exceed 16 feet clear height and 24 feet clear width and be spaced at least 150 feet apart.
5.   The ground story of any structured parking garage shall provide a full habitable story and use (such as, but not limited to, commercial, office, retail, residential, or civic space, where permitted) along active street-side façade(s) with a minimum depth of 20 feet.
4.0. Site development.
4.1.   Streets and connectivity.
A.   Master planned large sites.
1.   Sites over two acres in size shall propose a master plan for the entire parcel that will be presented at the required pre-application meeting and that will be reviewed by staff and submitted with the zoning application.
2.   The master plan shall indicate the general street network and rights-of-way, the land use configuration within that network, the proposed development intensity (including the number of residential units and gross square footage of all nonresidential uses), and the proposed structure heights.
3.   The master plan may include properties that fall under more than one ownership so long as there exist covenants or other legally binding agreements that address cross-access, cross parking and other similar issues affecting joint operation of the projects.
4.   After approval of the master plan, regardless of scale, Urban Place Form District development projects shall be reviewed under applicable development review procedures as outlines in Article V of the UDO.
5.   Any phasing timeline for the master planned, multiphased development will not exceed seven years for total project completion.
B.   Street connectivity.
1.   Proposed streets and buildings must be interconnected and must connect with adjacent streets external to the site in order to provide multiple routes for accessible pedestrian and vehicle trips from, to and within the project. Street connectivity shall be provided by a regular grid pattern with intersections that join perpendicularly.
a.   Existing street stubs, paper streets, or half completed streets shall be extended into the development on their proper projection.
b.   Additional new streets shall strive to meet the ideal block length of 200 feet, and shall comply with the city's standards and specifications for streets.
c.   New street stubs to adjacent commercial properties are required where the difference in grade is less than 15 percent.
d.   Existing connections to nearby properties shall be maintained for cross access and shall not be closed unless improved connections are provided.
2.   Streets shall avoid cul-de-sacs and dead end roads and other features that hamper current or future connectivity, unless there is no possible alternative.
3.   Streets may terminate at a monumental structure or a public open space such as a park or a plaza. In such cases, a sidewalk or other connection must be provided to ensure network connectivity.
4.   Proposed streets may not exceed the maximum block length and (if applicable) maximum block perimeter.
C.   Pedestrian zones.
1.   Sidewalks shall be installed within the right-of-way. Where existing transportation facilities or utility easements prevent constructing the sidewalk in the right-of-way, all or a portion of required sidewalk may be installed on private property but must be constructed as close to the right-of-way as possible.
2.   Sidewalks and street trees are required along the entire block of any street with a building. If there is at least one building on a street front, that entire block face must provide sidewalk and street trees.
3.   All primary and secondary streets must provide accessible sidewalks and street trees on at least one side of a street.
4.2.   Parking.
A.   Applicability. The parking requirements of section 7-11-2 apply in the Urban Place Form District, except the sections identified below:
1.   Section 7-11-2(c), Off-Street Parking Requirements;
2.   Section 7-11-2(d), Off-Street Loading Requirements;
3.   Section 7-11-2(e)(2), Remote Parking; and
B.   Required parking. The following minimum vehicle and bicycle parking spaces are required.
USE
VEHICLE PARKING SPACES (MIN)
BICYCLE PARKING (MIN)
Spaces
Short/long term
USE
VEHICLE PARKING SPACES (MIN)
BICYCLE PARKING (MIN)
Spaces
Short/long term
Residential
All residential uses
.75/unit
.5/unit up to 2 bedrooms plus .25/additional bedroom
80%/20%
Public & Institutional
Fire, police station, day care home, adult or child, public utility or related facility
none
none
Place of worship
greater of 1/4 seats or 1/40 sf
1/5,000 sf 2 min
90%/10%
School
0.5 classrooms, plus 1/5 students for high schools
1/5,000 sf 2 min
90%/10%
All other public & institutional uses
1/500 sf
1/5,000 sf 2 min
90%/10%
Recreational
Parks, passive and greenways
none
none
All other recreational uses
1/500 sf + 1/1,000 sf outdoor use area
1/5,000 sf 2 min
80%/20%
Food, Beverage & Entertainment
Mobile food vending
none
none
All other food, beverage & entertainment uses
1/250 sf
1/2,500 sf 2 min
80%/20%
Lodging
All lodging uses
.75/guest room
1/2,500 sf 2 min
80%/20%
Retail, Service & Office
All retail, service & office uses
1/500 sf
1/2,500 sf 2 min
80%/20%
Industrial
All industrial uses
1/500 sf office space + 1/3,000 sf additional indoor space
1/5,000 sf 2 min
20%/80%
Other Use Types
All other use types
none
none
 
1.   Exception to required parking. The number of vehicle parking spaces may be reduced by 50 percent for projects located within a quarter mile of a transit stop on the frequent service corridors map, which includes the following:
a.   Patton Ave (Downtown to New Leicester Hwy).
b.   Merrimon Ave (Downtown to Beaverdam Rd).
c.   Tunnel Rd (Downtown to the VA Center).
d.   Biltmore Ave (Downtown to Biltmore Village).
e.   Haywood Rd (Downtown to Brevard Rd).
C.   Location of required automobile parking. Required vehicle parking must be located on the same lot as the use they are intended to serve, except as listed below.
1.   Off-street parking.
a.   In no case shall off-street parking be located closer to a primary street than the principal structure.
b.   Garage doors shall not face a primary street, with the exception for townhomes/multifamily of subsection 2.1.
2.   On-street parking.
a.   On-street parking shall be counted when calculating the permitted number of spaces allowed. Every on-street parking space provided shall count as one required parking space.
b.   On-street parallel parking is required in front of buildings on primary streets unless sidewalks measuring at least 18 feet that include street trees are provided. Angled or perpendicular parking shall not be permitted.
c.   NCDOT streets that operate without on-street parking are exempt from the above (b) standard.
3.   Remote parking.
a.   All required parking spaces, except required accessible spaces, can be located off-site if the remote parking area is located within an eighth of a mile (660 feet) from the primary entrance of the use served.
b.   Up to 50 percent of the required parking spaces may be located more than 660 feet off-site, if the parking area is located within 1,320 feet from the primary entrance of the use served.
c.   Specifically designated parking spaces for employees may be located off-site up to 2,640 feet from the primary entrance of the use served.
d.   The off-site parking area is measured in walking distance from the nearest point of the remote parking area to the primary entrance of the use served.
e.   Any remote parking spaces must be guaranteed by a written agreement between the owner of the remote parking area and the owner of the use served by the remote parking area. Change of ownership of either parcel requires a renewal of the agreement.
D.   Location of required bike parking.
1.   General requirements.
a.   Bicycle parking spaces must be located on paved or pervious, dust-free surface with a slope no greater than three percent. Surfaces cannot be soil, vegetation, gravel, landscape stone, or wood chips.
b.   Bicycle parking spaces must be a minimum of two feet by six feet. There must be an access aisle a minimum of five feet in width.
c.   Each required bicycle parking space must be accessible without moving another bicycle and its placement must not result in a bicycle obstructing a required walkway.
d.   Up to 25 percent of bicycle parking may be structured parking, vertical parking or wall mount parking, provided there is a five foot access aisle for wall mount parking.
e.   All racks must accommodate cable locks and "U" locks and must permit the locking of the bicycle frame and one wheel to the rack and must support a bicycle in a stable position.
2.   Short-term bicycle parking. Required short-term bicycle parking spaces are those located in a convenient and visible area at least as close as the closest non-accessible vehicle parking and within 100 feet of the primary entrance.
3.   Long-term bicycle parking.
a.   Required long-term bicycle parking spaces are those located in enclosed and secured or supervised areas providing protection from theft, vandalism and weather and must be accessible to intended users.
b.   Required long-term bicycle parking for residential uses cannot be located within dwelling units or within deck, patio areas, or private storage areas accessory to dwelling units.
c.   Long-term bicycle parking spaces for nonresidential uses may be located off- site within 300 feet of the site.
d.   The off-site bicycle parking area is measured in walking distance from the nearest point of the remote parking area to the closest primary entrance of the use served.
E.   Required vehicle loading.
1.   General provisions.
a.   Loading and unloading activities may not encroach on or interfere with the use of sidewalks, drive aisles, queuing areas and parking areas by vehicles or pedestrians.
b.   With the exception of areas specifically designated by the city, loading and unloading activities are not permitted in the public right-of-way.
c.   If determined necessary by the Planning and Urban Design Director or Transportation Director, adequate space must be made available off-street for the unloading and loading of goods, materials, items or stock for delivery and shipping.
2.   Location. If a loading area is required or provided, it must meet the following.
a.   The loading area must be located on the same lot occupied by the use served and must be accessible from a public street or alley.
b.   The loading area must be located to the side or rear of buildings. Loading areas may not be placed between a street and the associated building.
F.   Transit.
1.   Projects that fall into one or more of the triggers to be considered for Level III developments shall integrate transit shelters at bus stops on the same side of the street within 200 feet of the project limits, if transit shelters are not already present.
4.3.   Landscaping and screening.
A.   Applicability. The landscape and buffering requirements of section 7-11-3 apply in the Urban Place Form District, with the noted exceptions identified below:
1.   Exemptions. The Urban Place Form District is exempt from subsection 7-11-3(d)(5), Building Impact Landscaping.
2.   Residential buffer. When abutting a residential district, the property line buffer requirements of subsection 7-11-3(d)(1) for the property line buffer apply, except that when an opaque fence or wall is used (as described below), a bufferyard may be provided as follows:
a.   Depth: 10 feet min.
b.   Fence or Wall Height: 6 feet min./8 feet max. (The finished side of fence must face neighboring property or be designed such that both sides are the same)
c.   Evergreen Trees per 100 feet: 4
d.   Deciduous Trees (large) per 100 feet: 3
e.   Shrubs (large) per 100 feet: 10
f.   Bufferyard plantings may count toward tree canopy requirements.
B.   Site fill. Any filling of land in the floodplain will be subject to applicable state laws and the requirements of § 7-12.
4.4.   Signs.
A.   Applicability. The sign requirements of Article XIII apply in the Urban Place Form District, except as identified below:
1.   Subsection 7-13-4(a)(8)(a). See subsection 4.4.K for temporary and permanent window sign requirements.
B.   Sign types allowed by district. Signs are allowed in the Urban Place Form District as set forth below. Specific requirements for each sign type are shown on the following pages.
C.   Allocation and number of signs allowed.
1.   A-frame signs. A-frame signs are permitted as temporary signs, provided they comply with the requirements of subsection 7-13-4 (a)(8)(c).
2.   Awning signs, canopy signs, wall signs.
a.   Awning signs, canopy signs and wall signs are allocated a combined sign area of one square foot per linear foot of street-facing building facade.
b.   Any number of wall signs, awning signs or canopy signs are allowed provided the maximum allocated sign area above is not exceeded and the specific requirements for each sign type are met.
3.   Crown signs.
a.   Crown signs cannot exceed a total sign area allocation of 250 square feet per street-facing building facade.
b.   No more than two crown signs are allowed per building and no more than one crown sign per building facade is allowed.
4.   Monument signs, post signs.
a.   Where allowed, only one monument sign or post sign is allowed per street frontage, provided all signs are conforming.
b.   A monument sign cannot exceed 64 square feet in area.
c.   A post sign cannot exceed 36 square feet in area.
d.   One additional monument sign or post sign is allowed for properties with 1,000 feet or more of street frontage. Where more than one monument sign or post sign is allowed, signs along the same street frontage must be spaced a minimum of 500 feet apart.
5.   Projecting signs.
a.   A projecting sign cannot exceed nine square feet in area and only one projecting sign per ground floor tenant space is allowed.
6.   Window signs.
a.   The maximum area of all ground story windows and doors that can be covered by signs is 20 percent.
b.   The number of window signs allowed is unlimited, provided the maximum percentage of signs covering ground story windows and doors is not exceeded.
D.   Awning sign.
E.   Canopy sign.
F.   Crown sign.
G.   Monument sign.
H.   Post sign.
I.   Projecting sign.
J.   Wall sign.
K.   Window sign.
L.   Illumination. Illumination of signs must be in accordance with the following requirements.
1.   Illumination permitted by sign type.
Internal
External
Internal
External
A-Frame Sign
No
No
Awning Sign
No
No
Canopy Sign
Yes
Yes
Crown Sign
No
Yes
Monument Sign
Yes
Yes
Post Sign
No
No
Projecting Sign
No
No
Wall Sign
Yes
Yes
Window Sign
No
No
 
2.   Prohibited light sources.
a.   Blinking, flashing and chasing.
b.   Bare bulb illumination.
c.   Colored lights used in any manner so as to be confused with or construed as traffic control devices.
d.   Direct reflected light that creates a hazard to operators of motor vehicles.
e.   Lights that outline property lines, sales areas, roof lines, doors, windows or similar areas are prohibited, except for seasonal lighting or very low luminosity lighting displays using multiple lamps.
3.   External illumination.
a.   Lighting directed toward a sign must be shielded so that it illuminates only the face of the sign and does not shine directly onto public right-of-way or adjacent properties.
b.   Lighting fixtures must be directed downward rather than upward.
c.   Projecting light fixtures used for externally illuminated signs must be simple and unobtrusive in appearance and not obscure the sign.
4.   Internal illumination. Reverse channel internally back-lit letters are allowed.
4.5.   Outdoor display and storage.
M.   Applicability. The requirements of this section apply where merchandise, material or equipment is displayed outside of a completely enclosed building.
N.   Outdoor display.
1.   Defined.
a.   The outdoor display of products actively available for sale. The outdoor placement of propane gas storage racks, ice storage bins, soft drink, video rentals or similar vending machines is considered outdoor display.
b.   Outdoor display does not include merchandise or material in boxes, in crates, on pallets or other kinds of shipping containers.
2.   Standards.
a.   Outdoor display is only allowed with a permitted ground floor nonresidential use.
b.   Outdoor display must abut the primary facade with the principal customer entrance, and may not extend more than six feet from the facade or occupy more than 25 percent of the horizontal length of the facade.
c.   Outdoor display cannot exceed six feet in height.
d.   Outdoor display must be removed and placed inside a fully-enclosed building at the end of each business day, except propane gas storage racks, ice storage bins, soft drink, video rentals or similar vending machines may remain outside overnight.
e.   Outdoor display may not encroach upon any public right-of-way or sidewalk. Outdoor display may not impair the ability of pedestrians to use the sidewalk. There must be a minimum of six feet of clear distance of sidewalk at all times.
5.0.   Administration.
5.1.   Form-based code administration.
A.   UDO administrative procedures apply. The administrative procedures of the city's Unified Development Ordinance (chapter 7 of the Municipal Code) apply to the Urban Place Form District, except as expressly modified below.
B.   Pre-application conference required. A pre-application conference with the city is required prior to any application for approval in the Urban Place Form District.
6.0. Definitions.
6.1.   Defined terms.
A.   General meaning of words and terms.
1.   All words and terms used have their commonly accepted and ordinary meaning unless they are specifically defined in this Urban Place Form District or the context in which they are used clearly indicates to the contrary.
2.   When vagueness or ambiguity is found to exist as to the meaning of any word or term used, any appropriate canon, maxim, principle or other technical rule of interpretations or construction used by the Courts of this State may be employed to resolve vagueness and ambiguity in language.
B.   Graphics, illustrations and photographs. The graphics, illustrations and photographs used to visually explain certain provisions of the Urban Place Form Districts are for illustrative purposes only. Where there is a conflict between a graphic, illustration or photograph and the text, the text controls.
C.   Defined terms. The following terms are defined for the purpose of the Urban Place Form District. Terms not defined may be defined in section 7-2-5. In such case, the definition contained in section 7-2-5 applies.
Art gallery means a facility that contains a room or series of rooms where works of art are exhibited on a regular basis.
Attic means habitable or uninhabitable space within a building situated within the structure of a pitched roof and above the uppermost regular story.
BFE means base flood elevation.
Building facade means the face of a building that delineates the edge of conditioned floor space.
Ground floor means the floor of a building that is at or nearest to the level of the ground around the building. Does not include the floor of a basement.
Primary street is a street that functions as a dominant or essential street within the block, and may be understood as such by its prevalence on the corridor, network connectivity, accessibility due to topography, or otherwise as interpreted by the city. A primary street shall support pedestrians, maintain tree canopy, and accommodate vehicles without serving primarily as a parking area. There may be more than one primary street. A street without a building facing it shall not be considered a primary street.
Recreational uses may include ancillary businesses or concessions related to the recreational uses and could include but not limited to uses such as bike rentals or other park concessions.
Upper story means any story above the ground story or floor.
(Ord. No. 3216, § 1, 2-22-05; Ord. No. 3262, § 1(c), 7-12-05; Ord. No. 3445, § 1, 2-27-07; Ord. No. 3483, § 1(b), 6-2- 07; Ord. No. 3583, § 1(a), 2-12-08; Ord. No. 3643, § 1a, 7-22-08; Ord. No. 3743, § 1a, 6-9-09; Ord. No. 3874, § 1p, 6- 8-10; Ord. No. 3959, §§ 1n—p, 4-12-11; Ord. No. 4361, § 1m, 3-23-21; Ord. No. 4404, § 1b, 9-27-21)