Title 17C Land Use Standards
Chapter 17C.110 Residential Zones
Height Standards.The maximum height standards for all structures are stated in Table 17C.110-3. The building height shall be measured using the following method:
The height shall be measured at the exterior walls of the structure. Measurement shall be taken at each exterior wall from the existing grade or finished grade, whichever is lower, up to a plan essentially parallel to the existing or finished grade. For determining structure height, the exterior wall shall include a plane between the supporting members and between the roof and the ground. The vertical distance between the existing grade, or finished grade, if lower, and the parallel plan above it shall not exceed the maximum height of the zone.
When finished grade is lower than existing grade, in order for an upper portion of an exterior wall to avoid being considered on the same vertical plan as a lower portion, it must be set back from the lower portion a distance equal to two times the difference between the existing and finished grade on the lower portion of the wall.
Depressions such as window wells, stairwells for exits required by other codes, “barrier free” ramps on grade, and vehicle access driveways into garages shall be disregarded in determining structure height when in combination they comprise less than fifty percent of the facade on which they are located. In such cases, the grade for height measurement purposes shall be a line between the grades on either side of the depression.
No part of the structure, other than those specifically exempted or excepted under the provisions of the zone, shall extend beyond the plan of the maximum height limit.
Underground portions of the structure are not included in height calculations. The height of the structure shall be calculated from the point at which the sides meet the surface of the ground.
For purposes of measure building height in residential zones, the following terms shall be interpreted as follows:
“Grade” means the ground surface contour (see also “existing grade” and “finished grade”).
“Fill” means material deposited, placed, pushed, pulled or transported to a place other than the place from which it originated.
“Finished grade” means the grade upon completion of the fill or excavation.
“Excavation” means the mechanical removal of earth material.
Maximum Wall Height 
Maximum Roof Height 
 The height of the lowest point of the roof structure intersects with the outside plane of the wall.
 The height of the ridge of the roof.
See “Example A” below.
Exceptions to the maximum height standard are stated below:
Exceptions to the maximum structure height in the RMF and RHD zones are designated on the official zoning map by a dash and a height listed after the zone map symbol (i.e., CB-150). Changes to the height limits in the RMF and RHD zones require a rezone. Height limits are thirty feet, thirty-five feet, forty feet, fifty-five feet, seventy feet, or one hundred fifty feet depending on location.
Buildings and structures over fifty feet in height must follow the design, setback and dimensional standards found in chapter 17C.250 SMC, Tall Building Standards
Adjacent to Single-family and Two-family Residential Zones.To provide a gradual transition and enhance the compatibility between the more intensive commercial zones and adjacent single-family and two-family residential zones:
for all development within one hundred fifty feet of any single-family or two-family residential zone the maximum building height is as follows:
Projections Allowed.Chimneys, flagpoles, satellite receiving dishes and other similar items with a width, depth or diameter of three feet or less may extend above the height limit, as long as they do not exceed three feet above the top of the highest point of the roof. If they are greater than three feet in width, depth or diameter, they are subject to the height limit.
Farm Buildings.Farm buildings such as silos, elevators and barns are exempt from the height limit as long as they are set back from all lot lines at least one foot for every foot in height.
Utility power poles and public safety facilities are exempt from the height limit.
Radio and television antennas are subject to the height limit of the applicable zoning category.
Wireless communication support towers are subject to the height requirements of chapter 17C.355 SMC, Wireless Communication Facilities.
Date Passed: Monday, April 25, 2011
Effective Date: Friday, June 3, 2011
ORD C34717 Section 4