(6)   Public Space. 617
The public space bonus may be earned by providing (1) open space, public parks, or public plazas or (2) a public room. Public open space, public parks or public plazas provided to earn a floor area or height bonus shall count towards the required open area. Public space provided to earn a floor area or height bonus under this subsection shall not be counted toward a public art requirement unless it is designed by an artist and is approved through the public art process in § 14-702(5) (Public Art).
(a)   Qualifying Criteria for Open Space, Public Parks, and Public Plazas.
A floor area bonus or height bonus may be earned by providing open space, public parks, or public plazas, provided they meet the following qualifying standards:
(.1)   The space shall be open to the sky, except for arbors and trellises.
(.2)   The space shall include a minimum of 5,000 sq. ft. of contiguous area.
(.3)   The space shall meet all public access design and engineering requirements for areas required to be accessible to those with physical impairments under the Americans with Disabilities Act and any implementing regulations adopted by the City.
(.4)   No more than fifty percent (50%) of the space shall be located more than three ft. above the level of the sidewalk adjacent to the lot containing the space. If the public space is located within the Special Flood Hazard Area, the Commission may waive this requirement provided that the Commission determines that the issuance of this waiver would beneficially serve the public interest. 618
(.5)   The space may not be used for parking, loading, or vehicle movements, or for vehicles to access areas used for parking, loading, or other vehicle movements.
(.6)   The space shall include trees, landscaped areas, walkways, seating, water features, or similar elements. A minimum of thirty percent (30%) of the space shall be landscaped and may incorporate a water feature. All elements shall be appropriately scaled and designed to enhance the space.
(.7)   Water features shall meet the following criteria:
(.a)   The feature shall be located in a public space.
(.b)   The feature may consist of fountains, water walls, water channels, water sculptures, pools, or ponds.
(.c)   The water feature shall be appropriately scaled and designed to enhance the space.
(.d)   The water feature shall be in operation from at least April 1 through October 30 each year, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m, daily.
(.e)   The water feature shall not be counted toward a public art requirement unless it is designed by an artist and is approved through the public art process in § 14-702(5) (Public Art).
(.8)   Landscaped areas and trees shall be subject to the requirements of § 14-705 (Landscape and Trees). At least one tree shall be provided for every 1,000 sq. ft. of public space in addition to those required by § 14-705 (Landscape and Trees).
(.9)   Lighting shall be provided in the space. The maximum height of the lighting shall be 15 ft. with an illumination level of 2.0 maintained foot-candles. At least one light shall be provided for every 500 sq. ft. of public space and lighting shall be provided along walkways at 100 ft. intervals. Lighting design shall be subject to the requirements of § 14-707 (Outdoor Lighting).
(.10)   The space shall be connected to a sidewalk, but may not disrupt the continuity of an existing street wall.
(.11)   The space shall be open to the public at least during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
(.12)   The public open space, park, or plaza shall be located so as to receive natural light during the day.
(b)   Qualifying Criteria for Public Rooms.
A floor area bonus or height bonus may be earned by providing a public room, provided it meets the following minimum standards:
(.1)   The space is within a building that allows for year-round, climate controlled use by the public and that has access to the public street, transit concourses or transit stations either directly or through another connecting area open to the public.
(.2)   The space shall meet all public access design and engineering requirements for areas required to be accessible to those with physical impairments under the Americans with Disabilities Act and any implementing regulations adopted by the City.
(.3)   The space shall include a minimum of 5,000 sq. ft. of contiguous floor area and shall have a minimum unobstructed height of 24 ft.
(.4)   All or part of the space may be located at the level of any transit concourse or transit station to which it has direct access, or at any level between the level of that transit station or concourse and ground level.
(.5)   The space may not be used for parking, loading, or vehicle movements, or for vehicles to access areas used for parking, loading, or other vehicle movements.
(.6)   The space must include access to a public amenity, such as retail sales, libraries and cultural exhibits, eating and drinking establishments, public restrooms, or other attraction. Spaces that simply serve as a lobby for the transit concourse or building tenants do not qualify.
(.7)   Seating shall be provided within the space.
(.8)   The space shall be open to the public at least during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
(c)   Approval Criteria.
(.1)   Planning Commission Review.
(.a)   In addition to the qualifying criteria of § 14-702(6)(a) and § 14-702(6)(b), L&I shall not issue a building permit until the Commission has reviewed the proposed public open space, public park, public plaza, or public room subject to this bonus and determined that, in the opinion of the Commission:
(i)   The design of the space will beneficially serve the public interest in terms of pedestrian access, overall layout, and provided amenities; and
(ii)   The space includes a suitable amount of lighting, trees, landscaped areas, walkways, seating, water features, or similar elements, as applicable, and that these elements are appropriately located so as to maximize the utility of the space.
(.b)   The Commission shall have 30 days upon receipt by the Commission of an application to review all proposed public open space, public parks, public plazas, or public rooms subject to this bonus; after the 30-day review period has passed, the approval of the Commission shall be presumed.
(.2)   Restrictive Covenant.
The applicant must execute and record a restrictive covenant in favor of the City, acting through the Department of Planning and Development, approved as to form by the Law Department, which requires all applicable open spaces, public parks, public plazas, and public rooms to be constructed and maintained, consistent with the requirements of this § 14-702(6), for the life of the building.
(d)   Bonus Floor Area or Building Height. 619
The additional gross floor area or building height earned by providing public space is:
 
Amount of Public Space as Percentage of Lot Area
Additional Gross Floor Area, as Percentage of Lot Area
Additional Building Height
CMX-3
(within /TOD only)
CMX-4
CMX-5
/CDO
/ECO
10 - 15% of lot area
30%
100%
200%
N/A
N/A
16 - 20% of lot area
40%
150%
300%
12 ft.
12 ft.
21 - 30% of lot area
50%
200%
400%
24 ft.
24 ft.
31 - 40% of lot area
50%
200%
400%
36 ft.
24 ft.
41 - 50% of lot area
50%
200%
400%
48 ft.
24 ft.
 

 

Notes

617
   Amended, Bill No. 130274 (approved June 25, 2013); amended, Bill No. 161003-A (approved May 8, 2017).
Subsection 14-702(6) - Recent Amendment
This subsection has been amended by Bill No. 210075 (approved March 30, 2021).
618
   Amended, Bill No. 190811-A (approved December 30, 2019).
619
   Amended, Bill No. 130274 (approved June 25, 2013); amended, Bill No. 150505 (approved December 1, 2015); amended, Bill No. 170162 (approved July 11, 2017); amended, Bill No. 190811-A (approved December 30, 2019).