§ 21.301.10  HEIGHT.
   (a)   Purpose and intent. The city recognizes the importance of structure height in maintaining and creating neighborhood character, in casting shadows, in fostering economic development and in encouraging redevelopment. The provisions of this section are intended to:
      (1)   Preserve neighborhood character;
      (2)   Allow tall buildings in appropriate areas;
      (3)   Protect single-family, two-family and townhome dwellings from significant shadows;
      (4)   Facilitate the provision of telecommunication services while minimizing visual impacts; and
      (5)   Minimize the impact of taller buildings on adjacent uses and pedestrians.
   (b)   Height limits.
      (1)   Buildings and structures other than towers.
         (A)   Height limits map. Buildings and structures other than towers may not exceed the maximum height and building stories shown for their location on the official height limits map, which is hereby incorporated by reference as a part of the city code and is available online and in the Planning Division offices. Any proposed amendments to the height limits map will be considered amendments to the city code and must follow the same approval procedure. Buildings and structures other than towers are also subject to the use related height limits, airport related height limits, shadow standards and building step back standards discussed below.
         (B)   Single- and two-family residential uses. In addition to the height limits map, all sites with single- and two-family residential uses must also meet the following additional height limitations:
            (i)   Buildings must not exceed two stories in height;
            (ii)   At the five-foot side setback line, building height must not exceed 19 feet;
            (iii)   For portions of buildings between the five-foot and the 20-foot side setback line, building height may increase at no more than a 1:1 ratio to side setback (for example, at ten feet from the side lot line, building height is limited to 24 feet, see Figure 21.301.10(b)(1)(B)(vii) below);
            (iv)   Beyond the 20-foot side setback line, building height must not exceed 40 feet on facades facing a street. Facades that do not face a street have no height limit beyond the 20-foot side setback line;
            (v)   Flat roofed buildings must not exceed 30 feet in height on facades facing a street; and
            (vi)   Structures other than buildings must not exceed 30 feet in height.
            (vii)   Graphic illustration: single- and two-family residential height limits near side lot lines.
   Figure 21.301.10(b)(1)(B)(vii)
* Exception - beyond the 20-foot side setback line, facades that do not face a street have no height limit.
      (2)   Towers.
         (A)   Within all designated residential property the maximum height of any tower, including all antennas and other attachments, must not exceed 30 feet.
         (B)   Outside of designated residential property but within residential zoning districts, the maximum height of any tower, including all antennas and other attachments, must not exceed one foot for each four feet the tower is set back from designated residential property up to a maximum height of 75 feet.
         (C)   Within all nonresidential zoning districts, the maximum height of any tower, including all antennas and other attachments, must not exceed one foot for each two feet the tower is set back from designated residential property up to a maximum height of 75 feet in non-industrial zoning districts and 100 feet in industrial zoning districts.
   (c)   Airport related height limits. In addition to other height limitations noted in this section, no new building, structure or tower may be constructed or established; no existing building, structure or tower may be altered, changed, rebuilt, repaired or replaced; and no tree may be allowed to grow or be altered, repaired or replaced, or replanted in anyway so as to project above any airspace surface shown in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Zoning Ordinance.
   (d)   Shadows. The following required standards are intended to preserve daylight and solar access for residents of buildings on protected residential property.
      (1)   Prohibited shadows. New buildings and structures (or multiple buildings on the same site) must not exceed a height that would cast shadows on existing residentially used buildings on protected residential property at both 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on December 21.
      (2)   Shadow study. Any application for a building or structure (or multiple buildings on the same site) with the potential as determined by the issuing authority to cast shadows on existing residentially used buildings on protected residential property must include a shadow study. The shadow study must include an accurate site plan showing the proposed building, surrounding residentially used buildings on protected residential property, and the shadows that would be cast by the proposed building(s) or structure(s) at both 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on December 21. The shadow study must take into account differences in topography and must assume the following:
 
Time on December 21
Solar Azimuth
Shadow Length
10:00 a.m.
148.92 degrees
3.61 x structure height
2:00 p.m.
206.01 degrees
3.19 x structure height
 
   (e)   Pedestrian street step back standards. The following required standards are intended to maintain a pedestrian scale and character, minimize the impacts of shadows and minimize the impacts of wind currents along pedestrian oriented streets by limiting building height near the street. The standards apply only to buildings and structures along pedestrian street segments designated on the official height limits map, which is hereby incorporated by reference in the city code and is available online and in the Planning Division offices. Any proposed amendments to the pedestrian street segments designated on the height limits map will be considered amendments to the city code.
      (1)   Pedestrian street step back standard. The height of any portion of a new building or structure above the fourth story adjacent to a pedestrian street segment may not exceed the horizontal distance of that portion of the structure to the centerline of the adjacent pedestrian street segment, except that portions of buildings or structures more than 80 feet from the centerline of the adjacent pedestrian street segment are exempt from further step back. See Figure 21.301.10(e)(4) below for an illustration of the pedestrian street step back standard. For the purposes of pedestrian street step back standards, building height is calculated relative to the elevation of the centerline of the street.
      (2)   Exceptions.
         (A)   To allow building variation along individual block faces, up to 25% of the width of an individual block face may include existing or proposed buildings that exceed the pedestrian street step back standard. For the purposes of this section, a BLOCK FACE is one side of a block measured from curb to curb.
         (B)   In situations where one development spans both sides of a pedestrian street segment, the pedestrian street step back standard is waived if, on the opposite side of a designated pedestrian street segment from a proposed building:
            (i)   No building exists or is proposed; or
            (ii)   An existing or proposed building does not exceed one story.
         (C)   In situations where one development spans both sides of a pedestrian street segment, the pedestrian street step back standard is waived if the distance between buildings on opposite sides of the street, measured at their closest point, is greater than twice the height of the taller building as measured according to subsection (i)(1) below.
      (3)   Flexibility. Applicants may seek pedestrian street step back standard flexibility through the planned development process by demonstrating that other means will be used to maintain a quality pedestrian environment that avoids a canyon effect, including but not limited to varying building heights and setbacks, providing sufficient spacing between opposing buildings across streets, and providing interspersed parks and open spaces.
      (4)   Graphic illustration: step back standard along a pedestrian street segment.
   Figure 21.301.10(e)(4)
   (f)   Step back from residential standards. The following required standards are intended to minimize the impacts of shadows on protected residential property and preserve residential neighborhood character. The standards apply to new buildings and structures within 100 feet of protected residential property, except single-family, two-family, townhouse and rowhouse dwellings, and their accessory buildings and structures, which are exempt from residential step back standards.
      (1)   Step back from residential standard. The height of any portion of a new building or structure may not exceed the horizontal distance of that portion of the structure to the nearest protected residential property line, except that portions of buildings or structures more than 100 feet from the nearest protected residential property line are exempt from further step back. See Figure 21.301.10(f)(2) below for an illustration of the step back from residential standard. For the purposes of step back from residential standards, building height is calculated relative to the elevation at the protected residential property line.
      (2)   Graphic illustration: step back standard near protected residential property.
   Figure 21.301.10(f)(2)
   (g)   Exceptions. The following exceptions to the standards of this section apply:
      (1)   Public utility structures, including, but not limited to, water towers, public safety antennas, lights and signals, power and telephone poles, public safety radio towers and poles supporting emergency warning devices are required to meet airport related height limits but are not required to comply with the other height limits of this section. When a public utility structure outside the public right-of way is extended or replaced to accommodate the co-location of a commercial wireless telecommunication service facility, such extension must comply with the requirements of this section;
      (2)   Antenna mounting structures in the public right-of-way are required to meet airport related height limits but are not required to comply with the other height limits of this section. Instead, their height is regulated by Chapter 17, Article IV of the city code;
      (3)   Places of assembly for worship and their related sanctuaries, steeples, spires, bell towers and similar structures are required to meet airport related height limits but are not required to comply with the other height limits of this section. Instead their height is regulated by city code § 19.63;
      (4)   Multi-user towers may exceed the height limitations of subsection (b)(2) above by up to 20 feet provided they comply with airport related height limits;
      (5)   In accordance with the Federal Communications Commission’s preemptive ruling PRB1, a tower erected for the primary purpose of supporting amateur radio antennas may exceed 30 feet in height provided that a determination is made by the Planning Manager that the proposed tower height is technically necessary to successfully engage in amateur radio communications and provided it complies with airport related height limits;
      (6)   Residential chimneys, up to four feet in width or depth, may exceed the height limitations of this section by up to two feet provided they comply with airport related height limits; and
      (7)   Access doors and garage doors to basements, underground garages and tuckunder garages may exceed the height limitations of this section by up to 11 feet provided the width of wall area or areas exposed to accommodate the doors does not exceed 50% of the width of the elevation through which it provides access and does not exceed 10% of the total width of all facades on the building measured in elevation view.
   (h)   Flexibility. Flexibility to the requirements of this section may be granted by the City Council through the planned development approval process discussed in city code § 19.38.01 and through the variance process discussed in city code § 2.85.04.
   (i)   Measurement.
      (1)   Height. The height of structures, buildings and towers is determined by measuring the vertical distance from the lowest proposed ground elevation that abuts the structure, building or tower to the highest point on any part of the structure, building or tower, including rooftop equipment, antennas and lightning rods. In the event a tower is mounted on top of another structure or building, the tower height is determined by measuring the vertical distance from the lowest proposed ground elevation that abuts the structure or building on which the tower is mounted to the highest point on any part of the tower, including antennas and lightning rods.
         In the event that the grade has been or is proposed to be increased for the primary purpose of increasing the elevation of the structure, building or tower instead of for normal engineering purposes such as facilitating drainage or achieving gravity flow sewer operation, the height is measured from the lowest elevation required for normal engineering purposes that abuts the structure, building or tower.
      (2)   Building stories. The number of stories is determined by counting the total number of above-ground, habitable floors in the building, not including walk-out basements, attics or underground parking.
(Ord. 2010-29, passed 11-1-2010; Ord. 2015-3, passed 1-26-2015; Ord. 2015-5, passed 1-26-2015; Ord. 2015-15, passed 5-18-2015; Ord. 2017-15, passed 5-22-2017)