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5A - Recommendation to City Council on an ordinance amending Section 9-7-7 "Building Height, Appurtenances" Return to Agenda CITY OF BOULDER PLANNING BOARD AGENDA ITEM MEETING DATE: October 21, 2010 AGENDA TITLE: Public hearing and recommendation to City Council of an ordinance that proposes amendments to Title 9, "Land Use Code" B.R.C. 1981 related to section 9-7-7, "Building Height, Appurtenances," B.R.C. 1981. REQUESTING DEPARTMENT: David Driskell, Executive Director of Community Planning and Sustainability Charles Ferro, Land Use Review Manager Jonathan Koehn, Regional Sustainability Coordinator Karl Guiler, Planner II Brian Holmes, Zoning Administrator OBJECTIVES: 1. Hear Staff presentation 2. Planning Board discussion 11 3. Recommend changes to the code to City Council SUMMARY Staff is proposing a change to Chapter 9-7 of the Land Use Code to remove a restriction within section 9-7-7, "Building Height, Appurtenances," B.R.C. 1981 relative to roof area limitations for rooftop renewable energy sources. This proposed change would align the Land Use Code with a ballot initiative to change the City Charter to permit renewable energy improvements above the city height limit of 55 feet and for areas greater than 25% of the roof coverage limit. Should the proposed change pass on Nov. 2, 2010, the attached ordinance (Attachment A) would be ready for adoption by City Council to enact the change within the Land Use Code. DISCUSSION City Charter Section 84 of the City Charter sets the maximum height in the City of Boulder to 55 feet (see Attachment B with proposed change). Subsection (a) of that section also specifies what appurtenances may occur above that height limit. Presently, the section does not contain references to renewable energy sources and also limits any necessary mechanical appurtenances to no more than 25% of the roof top coverage. The proposed change to this section, which will be decided by a public vote on November 2, 2010, proposes to add the following underlined language to the charter: Agenda Item 5A Page 1 of 11 Previous View Return to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page Sec. 84. Height limit. All buildings and other structures throughout the city shall be limited to a height not exceeding fifty-five feet. This height limit shall not apply to., (a) spires, belfries, cupolas, or domes not used for human occupancy, nor to silos, parapet walls, cornices without windows, antennas, chimneys, ventilators, skylights, or other necessary mechanical appurtenances usually carried above the roof level so long as they do not take up more than twenty-five percent of the roof area, nor to (b) light poles at government-owned recreation facilities, nor to (c) light and traffic signal poles in the right-of-way, nor to service and transmission line electrical utility poles, nor to (d) renewable energy improvements carried on or above the roof level. The addition of renewable energy improvements, including but not limited to solar facilities would not be an appurtenance restricted to the 25% coverage limitation as other appurtenances. The proposed change is to encourage renewable energy sources, specifically roof top solar collection systems, within the City of Boulder. Land Use Code Section 9-7-7, "Building Height, Appurtenances," B.R.C. 1981 includes standards for all appurtenances in the city and includes restrictions for such appurtenances over the height limit. While the Land Use Code exempts renewable energy sources from the rooftop coverage limit of 25% below 55 feet, they are limited by that percentage above 55 feet in accordance with the charter, as it is currently drafted. The proposed change within Attachment A is achieved through the elimination and addition of the following text as noted below: Paragraph 9-7-7 "Building Height, Appurtenances", should be amended as follows: 9-7-7(a), Appurtenances: (3) No appurtenance may have useable floor area except for mechanical equipment installations; have more than twenty-five percent coverage of the roof area of the building; or be more than sixteen feet in height. For the purposes of this paragraph, "coverage" means the total area enclosed by the screening and "roof area" means outside top covering of a building which is parallel to the ground. (4) A rooftop solar systern may exceed the roof area Gaverage requirements in paragraph (a)(3) above if the height Of SUGh 8ystern on the building r()Gf is under fifty five feet in height. The Gity manager may vary an -ernent for rneGhanoGal equipment if sueh sGreening will interfere with the effieient E)peration o tlae-selar-systel~ (c) Roof Top Solar Systems. Roof top solar systems shall comply with the requirements of this subsection and may exceed the roof area coverage requirements in paragraph (a)(3) if: (1) The height of the roof top solar system: (A) Is under fifty-five feet in height; or Agenda Item 5A Page 2 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page Return to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page For buildings or rooftop solar systems that exceed 55 feet in height, the roof top system is: (i) Mounted so that the solar panels are no greater than two feet from a plane parallel to the surface of a roof with a pitch of greater than 2:12. (ii) Mounted so that the solar panels are no greater than ten feet from the surface of a flat roof with a pitch of less than 2:12. (2) The city manager may vary any screening requirement for mechanical equipment if such screening will interfere with the efficient operation of the roof top solar system. (3) A roof top solar system is not required to be accessory to the building upon which it is located. As noted above, this proposed change would align the Land Use Code with the proposed ballot initiative to change the City Charter to permit renewable energy improvements above the city height limit of 55 feet and for areas greater than 25% of the roof coverage limit should it be approved by the voters. Additionally, the proposed changes introduce performance standards to help control the visual impacts of the installation of roof top solar collection systems above 55 feet by requiring flush-mounted panel installation on pitched roofs (roofs exceeding a 2:12 slope are considered "pitched") (see Figure 1 below) and allowing a maximum of 10 feet from the surface of a flat roof (roofs below a 2:12 slope are considered flat roofs) (see Figure 2 below). fi 2' MAX 12 2. MIN 55' MAX BUILDING HEIGHT Figure 1- Solar panels on roofs exceeding 2:12 slope. 12 2 MAX n I % 14' MAX 55' MAX BUILDING / HEIGHT Figure 2- Solar panels on roofs not exceeding 2:12 slope. Should the proposed change pass on Nov. 2, 2010, the attached ordinance (Attachment A) would be ready for adoption by City Council to enact the change within the Land Use Code. Agenda Item 5A Page 3 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page Return to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page If the proposed change to the City Charter is not passed by voters on November 2nd, staff would not proceed to City Council with the proposed change. PUBLIC OUTREACH Staff contacted a few local solar installation companies who took staff on a tour of several rooftop solar installations. While most installation companies feel that less regulation is preferable, based on the input that staff has received from local installers, the standards proposed would not preclude or prevent reasonable roof top solar collection systems above 55 feet. RECOMMENDATION Staff recommends that Planning Board recommend approval of the proposed change to section 9- 7-7, "Building Height, Appurtenances," B.R.C. 1981 to the City Council. Approved B D d Driskell, Ex u I irector Department of Community Planning and Sustainability ATTACHMENTS A. Draft Ordinance B. Proposed change to Section 84 of the City Charter. Agenda Item 5A Page 4 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page Return to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page Attachment A ORDINANCE NO. AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 9-7, "FORM AND BULK STANDARDS," B.R.C. 1981 BY THE ADDITION OF STANDARDS RELATED TO ROOFTOP RENEWABLE ENERGY IMPROVEMENT TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES TO THE CITY CHARTER APPROVED BY THE VOTERS IN THE NOVEMBER 2, 2010 GENERAL ELECTION, AND SETTING FORTH RELATED DETAILS. BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BOULDER, COLORADO: Section 1. Section 9-7-7, B.R.C. 1981 is amended to read. 9-7-7 Building Height, Appurtenances. (a) Appurtenances: Appurtenances may be added under the following circumstances: (1) The addition of an appurtenance to a building is permitted if it does not cause the building height to exceed the height allowed in this section, considering, for this purpose only, the uppermost point of the appurtenance to be the uppermost point of the roof. (2) The city manager may approve additions of appurtenances to buildings causing a building height to exceed the maximum permitted height if the following standards are met: (A) There is a fiinctional need for the appurtenance; (B) The functional need cannot be met with an appurtenance at a lesser height; and (C) Visible materials and colors are compatible with the building to which the appurtenance is attached. (3) No appurtenance may have useable floor area except for mechanical equipment installations; have more than twenty-five percent coverage of the roof area of the building; or be more than sixteen feet in height. For the purposes of this paragraph, "coverage" means the total area enclosed by the screening and "roof area" means outside top covering of a building which is parallel to the ground. (4) (a)(3) if the height of sueh system on ~he buildin r-e is fifty five feet in height. S~Reh screening will inter-fer-P, 401,414 fl4pQf, , , . tion Af theselar System. All mechanical equipment is screened from view, regardless of the height of the building, unless in the opinion of the city manager such screening conflicts with the function of the mechanical equipment. The city manager will determine if the screening K TLMo-solar land use regulation-.DOC Agenda Item 5A Page 5 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page Return to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page of the equipment is adequate in form, materials, and color based on the following criteria: (A) Screening is consistent with the building design, colors, and materials; (B) Appurtenances are placed on the portion of the roof which is least visible from adjacent streets and properties; (C) The height of the screen is the minimum appropriate to adequately screen the mechanical equipment; and (D) Screening does not increase the apparent height of the walls of the building. The use of parapet walls to screen mechanical equipment is discouraged. The height of parapet walls should be the minimum necessary to screen mechanical equipment. (65) A parapet wall may exceed the height requirements of this title by up to eighteen inches if the parapet is necessary to accommodate rooftop drainage or to provide fire protection. (76) An applicant may appeal the decision of the manager under this section to the planning board under the procedures set forth in section 9-2-7, "Development Review Action," B.R.C. 1981. (b) Landmarked Appurtenances: Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, appurtenances of buildings landmarked under chapter 9-11, "Historic Preservation," B.R.C. 1981, may be repaired or restored to their previous height, upon approval of the landmarks board. If the board approves such a repair or restoration, the approval is not effective until thirty days after the date of its approval. Promptly after the approval of the repair or restoration, the city manager will forward to the city council a written report, including a description of the repair or restoration and the reasons for the approval. The manager will publish notice of the approval once in a newspaper of general circulation in the city within thirty days after the approval is granted by the board. Upon receiving such report and at any time before the effective date of the approval, the council may rescind the approval and call- up the request for its consideration at a public hearing, which constitutes a revocation of the approval. (c) Rooftop Solar Systems: Rooftop solar systems shall comply with the requirements of this subsection and may exceed the roof area coverage requirements innarag a h_a)(-3if- 1) The height of the rooftop solar system- (APIs under- fifty-five feet in hei hg tor (B)-- For bu ld n s or rooftop solar systems that exceed 55 feet in height-, the rooftop system is: (i) Mounted so that the solar panels are no greater than two feet from a -plane parallel to the surface of a roof with a pitch of greater than 2:12. (ii) Mounted so that the solar panels are no greater than ten feet from the surface of a flat roof withitch of less then 2.12. (2) The city manes eg r ma vary any screen n quirement_formechanical e-q--pment if such screening will interfere with the efficient operation of the rooftop solar system. K:\PLCU1o-so1ar land use regulation-.DOC Agenda Item 5A Page 6 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page Return to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page (3) A rooftop solar system is not required to be accessory to the building upon which it is located. Section 2. This ordinance is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the city, and covers matters of local concern. Section 3. The city council deems it appropriate that this ordinance be published by title only and orders that copies of this ordinance be made available in the office of the city clerk for public inspection and acquisition. INTRODUCED, READ ON FIRST READING, AND ORDERED PUBLISHED BY TITLE ONLY this day of , 20. Mayor Attest: City Clerk on behalf of the Director of Finance and Record READ ON SECOND READING, PASSED, ADOPTED, AND ORDERED PUBLISHED BY TITLE ONLY this day of , 20. Mayor Attest: City Clerk on behalf of the Director of Finance and Record K:\PLCU1o-so1ar land use regulation-.DOC Agenda Item 5A Page 7 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page R turn to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page Attachment B I ORDINANCE NO. 7736 2 (Charter Section 84 - 3 Height Limitations) 4 AN ORDINANCE SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF THE CITY OF BOULDER AT THE SPECIAL MUNICIPAL 5 COORDINATED ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, 6 NOVEMBER 2, 2010, THE QUESTION OF AMENDING CITY CHARTER SECTION 84 TO ALLOW THE INSTALLATION 7 OF ROOFTOP RENEWABLE ENERGY IMPROVEMENTS TO THE TOPS OF BUILDINGS THAT EXCEED 55 FEET IN 8 HEIGHT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH IMPROVEMENTS ARE APPURTENANT OR OTHERWISE ACCESSORY TO THE BUILDING; AND SETTING FORTH 10 RELATED DETAILS. ] I BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BOULDER, 12 COLORADO: 13 14 Section 1. A special municipal coordinated election will be held in the City of Boulder, 15 county of Boulder and state of Colorado, on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, between the hours of 16 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 17 Section 2. At that election a question shall be submitted to the electors of the City of 18 Boulder entitled by law to vote, that will allow voters to consider the following amendment to 19 20 Section 84 of the City Charter pertaining to height limits. 21 (Material to be added to the Charter is shown by double underlining and material to be deleted is 22 shown stricken through with solid lines): 23 Sec. 84. Height limit. 24 All buildings and other structures throughout the city shall be limited to a height 25 not exceeding fifty-five feet. This height limit shall not apply to_ 26 Forma ted: ]ustified, Indent: Left: ,{aZspires, belfries, cupolas, or domes not used for human occupancy, nor to ' l i 0.75", Right: 0.5", Numbered + I Level: I + Numbering Style: a, b, c, 27 silos, parapet walls, cornices without windows, antennas, chimneys, + Start at: I + Alignment: Left + ventilators, skylights, or other necessary mechanical appurtenances Aligned at: 0.25° +Tab after: 0s" 28 + Indent at: 0.5", Tabs: 1", List tab + Not at 0.5" http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/ftles/Electionst20l0/Ord._773G_ _Sec6on_84_-_Height-1004.doc Agenda Ite Agenda Item 5A Page 8 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page R )turn to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page 1 usually carried above the roof level so long as they do not take up more than twenty-five percent of the roof area, nor to 2 Might poles at government-owned recreation facilities, nor to 3 (ight and traffic signal poles in the right-of-way, nor to service and transmission line electrical utility poles, nor to (d) renewable energy, improvements carried on or above the roof level. 5 "Height" means the vertical distance from the lowest point within twenty-five feet 6 of the tallest side of the structure to the uppermost point of the roof. 7 The purposes of this height limitation are to promote the health, safety, and 8 general welfare of the community; to secure safety from fire, panic, wind 9 turbulence, and other dangers; to provide adequate light and air to abutting properties and the neighborhood; to prevent the overcrowding of land; to avoid 10 undue concentration, of population; to prevent the encroachment of privacy; to I I lessen traffic congestion in the streets; to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks, and other public requirements; to 12 insure personal safety by encouraging intensive use at the sidewalk level; to 13 encourage the most appropriate use of land; to conserve and enhance property values; to preserve the integrity and character of established neighborhoods; to 14 preserve scenic views of the mountain backdrop, which are a unique asset to the 15 community and provide a distinctive character and setting for the city and which provide an attraction to tourists, visitors, and students of the University of 16 Colorado; and to protect a public investment of over $3,000,000.00 in the 17 mountain backdrop. 18 Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section 84, the following 19 provisions shall apply solely to that portion of the area known as Boulder Crossroads which is delineated by (i) the northern boundary line of Arapahoe 20 Avenue, (ii) the southern boundary line of Canyon Boulevard as extended eastward to 30th Street, (iii) the eastern boundary line of 28th Street, and (iv) the 21 western boundary line of 30th Street: 22 23 Subject to approval through the development review process, "height" shall be defined as the vertical distance measured from the Federal Emergency 24 Management Agency's flood protection elevation at 28th Street of 5,288 feet, as determined in accordance with the North America Vertical Datum of 1988, to a 25 plane above such elevation. 26 27 28 http://www.houldereolorado.gov/files/Elections/2010/Ord._7736_--Seedon_84= _Height-1004.doc Agenda lte Agenda Item 5A Page 9 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page R turn to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page 1 Section 3. The official ballot shall contain the following ballot title, which shall also be 2 the designation and submission clause for the question: 3 4 QUESTION NO. 2C HEIGHT LIMIT 5 Shall section 84 of the charter be amended pursuant to ordinance 6 no. 7736 to allow the installation of rooftop renewable energy improvements on the tops of buildings without regard to whether 7 the improvements or building exceed 55 feet in height? g The proposed amendment would add `rooftop renewable energy improvements' to the current list of allowed exceptions to the 9 height limit. 10 ] 1 For the question Against the question 12 Section 4. If a majority of all the votes cast at the election on the question submitted are 13 for the question, the question shall be deemed to have passed. 14 15 Section 5. The election shall be conducted under the provisions of the Colorado 16 Constitution, the Charter and ordinances of the City, the Boulder Revised Code, 1981, and this 17 ordinance, and all contrary provisions of the statutes of the state of Colorado are hereby 18 superseded. 19 Section 6. The city clerk of the City of Boulder shall give public notice of the election in 20 21 the manner required by law for Charter amendments. 22 Section 7. The notice of the election shall include the ballot title. 23 Section 8. The officers of the City are authorized to take all action necessary or 24 appropriate to effectuate the provisions of this ordinance and to contract with the county clerk to 25 conduct the election for the City. 26 27 28 littp://www.bouldercolorado.gov/fles/Electionst2Gl0/Ord._7736_-_Section_84_-_Height-1004.doc Agenda Ite Agenda Item 5A Page 10 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page Return to Agenda Item 5A Cover Page I Section 9. If any section, paragraph, clause, or provision of this ordinance shall for ally 2 reason be held to be invalid or unenforceable, such decision shall not affect any of the remaining 3 provisions of this ordinance. 4 Section 10. This ordinance is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of 5 6 the residents of the City, and covers matters of local concern. 7 Section 11. The council deems it appropriate that this ordinance be published by title 8 only and orders that copies of this ordinance be made available in the office of the city clerk for 9 public inspection and acquisition. 10 INTRODUCED, READ ON FIRST READING, AND ORDERED PUBLISHED BY I1 l2 TITLE ONLY this 6th day of July 2010. 13 14 Mayor 15 Attest: 16 17 18 City Clerk on behalf of the Director of Finance and Record 19 20 READ ON SECOND READING, PASSED, ADOPTED, AND ORDERED 21 PUBLISHED BY TITLE ONLY this 20th day of July 2010. 22 23 24 Mayor Attest: 25 26 27 City Clerk on behalf of the 28 Director of Finance and Record http:lhvww.bouldercolorado.gov/filcsUcedons/2610/ihd._7736_ _Seedon_84_--Height-1004.doc Agenda Ite Agenda Item 5A Page 11 of 11 Previous View Item 5A Cover Page