§ 5. Street Level Activity Opportunity and Public Space  


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  • (a) Human activity at street level is vital to the atmosphere of a city. In order to encourage this activity, facade improvements beneath skybuildings are required. Specifically, an architectural facade change, that includes recessed sections, is required every 25 lineal feet of building frontage on a block that includes a skybuilding. Additionally, transparent openings into a public commercial space are also required every 75 lineal feet, adjacent to the right-of-way or a public space. This is considered a minimum standard unless the skyway design includes both a functional basis for the deviation and the applicant demonstrates that the proposed design is "pedestrian friendly", given the particular context. This area should provide opportunity for commercial and public activity such as street vendors, project entrances, street furniture and focal points for architectural features or public art.

    (b) In order to encourage street level activity and maintain open space at the intersections which will provide more light and air, a public space requirement for skybuildings attached to new terminus building(s) is established, outside at ground level. Skybuildings attached to new terminus building(s) require a 4:1 ratio of skybuilding square footage area to additional ground level public space, outside the right-of-way, within the same block and located at the corners of the building in order to provide open space that helps replace the admittance of light and air that may be eliminated by the skybuilding. If the property owner can demonstrate that it is impossible to provide additional public space at the corner, then the public space setback may be used to provide wider sidewalks under the skybuilding or some other design solution such as a Porte cohere private driveway. The additional public space applies to that portion of the terminus building that is a minimum of 20 feet, or below the skybuilding, whichever is higher. The portion of the terminus building that is below the skybuilding, at a minimum 20 feet, may cantilever back out to its permitted setback. (Figure B-1).

    FIGURE B-1: PUBLIC SPACE REQUIREMENT 18.B-1.png

    (c) Within the Downtown Railroad Corridor, the design review committee shall determine the appropriate requirement of ground level public space in relation to skybuilding square footage area in lieu of the 4:1 public space to skybuilding area requirement.

    (d) When a skyway is proposed to be located closer than 25 feet from the nearest right-of-way, excluding alleys, then in addition to the landscaping and screening provisions stated in Article XII of Chapter 18.12, additional landscaping shall be provided on the roof, cantilevered over the facade or a combination of both. The additional landscaping should be designed to soften the effect of the structure that will be located next to the open space provided at the intersections.