Design Standards

Design Standards Rewrite

The City of Redmond is in the process of rewriting the design standards portion of the zoning code. Whether it is a new office building, an apartment building in Overlake, or a new mixed used building in the downtown the design standards will help define the appearance of that structure and how it relates to the rest of the community. The design standards are used by both developers/architects when they design their projects. Redmond staff and the members of the Redmond Design Review Board use these standards when reviewing for compliance these development projects.

February 2017 Draft of Design Standards Principals Matrix

February 2017 Draft of Neighborhood Design Standards (Non-Urban Center)
February 2017 Draft of Appendix for Neighborhood Design Standards (Non-Urban Center)

Redmond Design Standards Evaluation & Comparative Cities Research

Coming soon:  Draft of Urban Centers section of the code will be released in spring

Review Schedule

The initial review of this section of code will take place before the Redmond Design Review Board and is anticipated to begin in spring, followed by presentation to the Planning Commission and then Council.

Redmond Design Standards - History

In 1981, the City of Redmond established the Design Review Board and authorized them to review all building permits, with the exception of “one and/or two unit residential buildings. Projects were to be reviewed based on the criteria set forth in the Redmond Community Development Guide (RCDG), Section 20F.20.060(15)(b). Additionally, the Board was authorized to recommend additional review criteria for consideration for adoption into the RCDG. This early code appears to be a general listing of design criteria that is broken down into the following groups: Building to Site Relationship; Relationship of Building and Site to Surrounding Area; Landscaping and Site Treatment; Signs; and Miscellaneous Considerations.

In 1993, the City passed Ordinance 1756 which adopted the City’s Downtown Plan and which expanded the City’s design standards. These standards now spoke of “function” and “design” and included specific design standards for each of the individual districts in the downtown. It is from this set of standards that saw the code grow and further expand throughout the 1990’s.

New Zoning Code

In 2011 the City of Redmond completed a major rewrite of its Redmond Zoning Code (RZC). During the rewrite of the RZC Design Standards, it became apparent that a simple reorganization and streamlining of this code section would not be sufficient. The Code Rewrite Commission, the body that assisted in the rewriting of the zoning code, recommended to the City Council that the existing design standards be set aside and completely rewritten. The City Council took note of this as this was the only portion of the zoning code to receive such a recommendation from the Code Rewrite Commission.

Initial Evaluation of Redmond’s Design Standards

In 2014-15 the City of Redmond began the preparation for updating the design standards, the City Department of Planning and Community Development has conducted an evaluation of the current standards and their response to community objectives, City Comprehensive Plan policies, emerging trends and best planning and design review practices. The evaluation process included discussions with staff involved with design review, interviews with developers who have experienced the design review process and built projects in Redmond, workshops with the general public, a review of design guidelines established by comparable communities and other technical analysis.

For more information, please see the document Redmond Design Standards Evaluation & Comparative Cities Research, March 20, 2015

Summary of recommendations to consider during the update of the design standards

Design Standards – Principles to Guide the New

The Redmond City Council has adopted the following set of ten principles to help guide the writing of the new design standards.

Ten principles