Zoning Code Draft & Summaries
The City of Brooklyn has been working with McBride Dale Clarion (MDC) to update our Zoning Code to more closely align with the 2020 Master Plan.
At this point in the drafting of the updated code, we have completed the chapters for zoning districts and uses, dimensional and design standards, fences, landscaping and buffering, and parking and loading. We are currently drafting the signage, lighting, and administration chapters.
Full PDFs of the draft chapters and summaries of significant changes are below.
1. Zoning Districts and Uses Summary
There are some strategic amendments proposed to the city’s zoning map. The biggest change is the addition of the Public Facilities (PF) and Parks and Open Space (PO) zoning districts. Other proposed changes include:
- The commercial properties on Tiedeman Road on the south side of I-480 and on Brookpark Road west of Tiedeman Road, are proposed to be changed from Limited Industrial (L-I) to General Business (G-B).
- The Terraces at Northridge on Biddulph Road is proposed to change from Single Family Dwelling House (SF-DH) to Apartment House (A-H) since that property is already developed as a multi-family project.
- Select parcels on Westbrook Rd and Memphis Ave are proposed to change from SF-DH and A-H to Dwelling House (D-H) to align with existing uses, to prevent high-density residential from being constructed on the Rabbit Run property, and to allow for more housing options to develop in certain areas on Memphis Ave.
Uses and Use-Standards
The uses that are permitted in the city’s zoning code were reviewed and updates are proposed including new uses, revised use terms, revised use permissions, the removal of outdated uses, and new standards for uses.
- New residential uses and use updates include:
- Accessory dwellings
- Residential facilities and residential treatment facilities (aligned with state and federal requirements and subject to specific use standards)
- Live/work dwellings (subject to specific use standards and allowed only in the A-H and MF-PD districts)
- Attached single family, typically referred to a townhomes or row houses (subject to specific use standards and setbacks– not permitted in SF-DH)
- Bed and breakfasts (not permitted in SF-DH)
- New use standards for small-scale and large-scale multi-family (only permitted in the A-H and MF-PD residential districts)
- Updated accessory structure regulations to allow for two structures where only one is permitted today
- Reduced setbacks for swimming pools (10’ to 5’ to allow for swimming pools on smaller lots)
- New commercial uses and use updates include:
- Live/work dwellings (subject to specific use standards and allowed only in the R-B district)
- Allowing attached single family and small multi-family residential in the R-B district and allowing small and large scale multi-family in the G-B district. Additionally, multi-family in the commercial districts are only allowed in areas identified for this use in the Master Plan and are subject to specific design standards.
- Animal training, boarding, and pet day cares (subject to specific use standards)
- Breweries and distilleries
- Conference centers
- Mixed use buildings and developments
- New use specific standards for large-scale retail uses
- New use standards for auto-related uses including fuel stations, repair, car washes, and auto sales
- Distance requirements for certain uses to ensure a proper distribution throughout the city (distance is currently proposed at 3,000 feet, that distance is being reviewed by legal to determine if it can be increased)
- New Industrial uses and use updates include:
- Clarification of distribution, fulfillment, and warehousing uses and new use specific standards for such uses
- Distinguishing between artisan, light, and heavy manufacturing
- New standards for self-storage facilities to require them to be multi-story with interior units
2. Development and Design Dimensional Standards Summary
The dimensional standards include the code requirements for building setbacks and height, required lot size and width, minimum open space, and similar standards. The proposed changes to the dimensional standards are summarized below:
- Residential Standards – The required lot size, lot width, and setbacks have been updated based on the city’s existing development patterns as many of the city’s existing residential lots do not meet the required regulations in the city’s code. The draft regulations proposed “right-sizing” these standards to reflect existing and envisioned residential development patterns. Many of the current regulations were not changed include maximum height, side and rear yard setbacks, and maximum lot coverage. The following are the proposed changes:
- Front yard setback – proposed change from 40’ to 25’
- Lot width – proposed change from 75’ to 50’
- Minimum lot area – proposed change from 10,000 sq. ft. to 7,500 sq. ft.
- Minimum floor area of residential unit – proposed change from 820-1,050 sq. ft. depending on unit type to 1,000 sq. ft.
- Public Facilities and Parks and Open Space Standards – New standards were created for the two proposed districts. The dimensional standards were created based on current and expected development within these districts.
- Commercial Standards – The dimensional standards for the R-B and G-B districts were updated based on the recommendations of the city’s master plan. The recommendations were focused on making the city’s commercial areas destinations that are walkable and attractive. Many of the current regulations were not changed include side and rear yard setbacks, parking lot setbacks, and open space requirements. The following are the proposed changes:
- Front yard setback – proposed change from 30’ to 5’
- Lot width – proposed change from 100’ to 50’
- Minimum lot area – proposed change from 20,000 sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft.
- Maximum building height – proposed change from a maximum of 52’ to a maximum of 35’ with the ability to have a building up to 50’ if it is a mixed-use building
- Industrial Standards – The industrial regulations were not significantly changed as the current regulations are working well.
A proposed new addition to the city’s code is design standards that establish standards to promote high quality architecture and building design. The standards will be required for all new buildings (except for single family attached and detached and two family dwellings) and major additions to existing buildings. Conformance with the design standards will be reviewed and approved by planning commission as part of the site plan process. The standards include:
- Style – Architectural style is not restricted, but buildings will be evaluated on the quality and creativity of design
- Monotony – Building designs should be varied to avoid monotony within a development or area
- Building Materials – Buildings shall be constructed primarily out of a mix of high-quality materials that are detailed in the regulations
- Character – New development should complement the existing and intended character of the area
- Pedestrian Orientation – Developments shall be designed with an emphasis on pedestrian safety and access
- Roof Forms – Roof designs and materials shall complement the building design
- Architectural Treatments – Blank walls shall be avoided
- Windows – First floor elevations shall include window openings when adjacent to public walkways.
- Screening – Exterior equipment, dumpsters, and loading areas shall be screened from view
3. Fences Summary
As part of the zoning code update, the city’s residential and non-residential fence regulations were reviewed and updated. The proposed changes are summarized below.
Residential fence regulations
No significant changes are proposed to the residential fence regulations. The illustrations below show where the fences are permitted for residential properties on interior, corner, and through lots.
Images of permitted fence location on interior, corner, and through lot (from left to right)
Non-Residential fence regulations
No significant changes are proposed to the non-residential fence regulations. Regulations were added for fences on through lots. The illustrations below show where fences are permitted for non-residential properties on interior, corner, and through lots.
4. Parking and Loading Summary
New parking regulations
The city’s existing parking regulations were reviewed and updated. As part of the process, we worked with city staff to review and update the parking requirements for each use. We also aligned the list of uses in the required parking table with the use table to make the terms consistent throughout. Additional parking regulations that were added include:
- Bicycle Parking Regulations – The proposed code includes new regulations that require developments to provide bicycle parking on site
- Electric Vehicle Parking – New regulations are proposed for electric vehicle parking, including how many spaces you can have and the location and types of spaces. These are optional and are not required.
- Stacking Space Requirements – The proposed code includes requirements for how many stacking spaces are required for uses that include drive-thrus such as a fast food restaurant, bank, car wash, or pharmacy. The number of spaces required is based on the intensity of the use. Additionally, the planning commission can increase the number of required stacking spaces for uses that have extremely high-demand drive-thrus in order to ensure that cars will not stack into public roads or driveways.
The following list of parking modifications are proposed as part of the code update to allow flexibility in the design of off-street parking areas.
- Providing Less Parking – The regulations include a provision that allows the planning commission to approve a reduction in the number of required spaces (up to 50% of the total number required) if the applicant can justify why the request is needed. This could be due to the size of the property, location of shared parking facilities, on-street parking, being located on a transit route, or having a use that demands less parking that the required amount.
- Excessive Parking – If an applicant requests a number of parking spaces that greatly exceeds the number of required spaces, the planning commission can require the applicant to reduce the amount of parking provided.
- Phasing Plan – An applicant can request to phase the construction of the required number of parking spaces. The planning commission shall determine if the phasing plan is appropriate based on the needs of the applicant. There shall be clear indications in the approval of a phasing plan for when each phase shall be constructed.
- Shared Parking – The code proposes to allow uses that are next to each other, and which are not open at the same time or that have different peak hours, to share parking facilities provided that not more than 50% of the required number of spaces are shared. An executed agreement is required between applicable parties to allow this modification.
5. Landscaping and Buffering Summary
The city’s current code has very limited landscaping requirements. The draft code proposes new landscaping requirements that are summarized below.
The proposed code requires buffering between incompatible uses such as residential uses that are next to industrial uses.
- When multi-family dwellings, commercial, industrial, public/institutional, or mixed use developments are next to a single family or two family dwelling or any industrial use is next to a commercial, or public/institutional use, a minimum 10’ wide buffer is required along the side and/or rear property line that consists of one of the following options:
- 1 deciduous tree planted every 30’ + a continuous row of 6’ tall evergreens
- A 6’ wall or opaque fence + 1 deciduous tree planted every 30’
- A double row, staggered planting of 6’ evergreens planted every 15’
- A 40’ wide buffer with a 6’ tall earth berm with trees planted every 30’
- When any off-street parking lot for a multi-family dwelling, commercial, industrial, public/institutional, or mixed use development is next to a public or private street, single family or two family dwelling, the following buffering is required:
- A minimum 10’ wide buffer that consists of 1 deciduous tree planted every 30’ and shrubs planted every 3’
Parking Lot Landscaping
The code proposes to require landscaping within parking lots that have more than 15 parking spaces. The following would be required:
- A minimum of 5% of the parking lot will be made up of landscaped areas
- 1 tree shall be provided for every 10 parking spaces
- 6 shrubs shall be provided for every 10 parking spaces
- A landscaped area shall interrupt, at a minimum, every 15 spaces
The code proposes to require street trees to be planted along public and private streets when development occurs. The spacing of the required trees shall be based on the size of the street trees that are proposed – the bigger the tree the further they can be spaced apart.
The plant species used within the city shall be identified as appropriate for this region. No invasive species to this region shall be used anywhere in the city. This includes Bradford Pear trees, which the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has added to the list of invasive plant species meaning it will be illegal to plant or sell them in Ohio.