Uptown Square is located off of South 320th Street. File photo

Federal Way City Council approves multi-family code amendments

The Federal Way City Council unanimously approved several code amendments for multi-family housing development on Tuesday.

The second and current moratorium on the development of multi-family, senior and special needs housing in Federal Way will expire on June 6.

The approved ordinance states the code amendments will “allow for growth and development consistent with the Federal Way Comprehensive Plan’s overall vision” in addition to the plan’s land-use elements and household projections.

The amendments allow developers with buildings facing an arterial to include up to 50 percent of the total length of the ground floor as commercial use. Each new development must have a mix of bedroom units, shared living areas and social gathering areas. Mandatory recycling, space for solid waste and location requirements for solid waste are all part of the new solid-waste requirements.

The code amendments also require developers to vary the architectural elements in design guidelines, as well as increase setbacks for building on property adjacent to non-multi-family zones. Safety plans and security cameras should be incorporated into design guidelines, and a maintenance plan and inspection program will also be required.

Tenants of multi-family housing could get more parking under the changed codes.

The code amendments specify there will be one space per unit if there is underground or structured parking or 1.7 parking stalls per unit if there is surface parking.

Senior and special needs housing within 100 feet from single-family residential zones cannot be higher than 30 feet and must be set back 20 feet from the property line.

Multi-family housing within 100 feet of a single-family residential zone cannot be more than 100 feet “above the average building elevation” and must be 20 feet from the property line of that zone, according to city documents.

The next step will be for the city to conduct a zoning review.

For more information, visit www.ci.federal-way.wa.us.

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