Mixed use development is an important component of successful transit-oriented development, traditional neighborhood development, and smart growth/livable community development schemes. Mixed use developments contain a complementary mix of uses such as residential, retail, commercial, employment, civic and entertainment uses in close proximity - sometimes in the same building. Compatibility issues are addressed through performance standards, transition tools, careful site layout and building design, rather than by separating uses into single use zones.
When a wide variety of uses are located in close proximity to each other, walking and cycling become practical means of travel. For mixed use development to succeed, varied land uses must be within convenience walking distance of each other (one quarter mile, 5 - 10 minutes) and there must be direct, safe, and convenient connections between the uses. Residents in mixed use developments can take care of many daily needs without having to drive elsewhere. Mixed use development allows convenient access between work, home and other uses and services. In addition, mixed use development can contribute vitality and interest for residents, additional customers for neighborhood businesses, and a variety of housing choices. This webpage points to additional information and resources for accomplishing successful mixed use development. Please see Mixed Use Development in Plain English for MRSC's one page explanation of the concept.
- Colorado Springs Mixed Use Design Manual - This guide is particularly well-illustrated with attractive examples. It focuses on zoning and subdivision standards for mixed use districts, street standards and parking.
- Commercial and Mixed-Use Development Code Handbook (), Oregon Transportation and Growth Management (TGM) Program, Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) - This comprehensive guide includes policies, best practices, and model code. Although a bit older, it is still a highly useful guide.
- Internal Trip Capture Estimator for Mixed-Use Developments (), Texas Transportation Institute, 12/2007 (published 02/2010) - Tool for estimating trip generation for mixed-use developments, accounting for internal trip capture.
- Lakewood, CO Related Documents and Plans for West Corridor Light Rail, adopted 10/2007 - Includes link to Transit Mixed Use Zone District Development Manual. This manual provides examples of appropriate transit-oriented development around Lakewood's light rail stations. Focuses on design and amenities, and is intended to help citizens and developers understand the zone district requirements and to the level of quality expected by the City for all projects located within zone. Also, links to more recent, interesting mixed use guidelines for specific districts including a corridor, and an arts district
- Mixed-Use Development in the Twin Cities: Issues and Best Practices, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Neighborhood Development Center, 10/01/2003 - A guide and model practice for creating neighborhood based mixed-use development projects. The document still has useful suggestions.
- Mixed Use Development/Transit Oriented Development - Interesting set of financing programs compiled by the State of Massachusetts
- Smart Growth in Demand: Google asks Mountain View, CA for mixed-use development, posted by Alex Goldschmidt, Smart Growth America, 03/16/2011
- Smart Growth, Smart Choices Series: Mixed-Use Development (Whitepaper) (), by Edward A. Tombari, National Association of Home Builders, 01/2005 - Still useful observations from the building industry perspective
- South Bay Mixed Use Guidebook (), prepared for the South Bay Cities Council of Governments with funding from the Southern California Association of Governments, 07/2007
- Tools for Mixed-Income TOD, by Douglas Shoemaker with Center for Transit Oriented Development, 07/05/2006 - Evaluates tools and strategies to create mixed income TODs, and offers best practices
- Trip Generation Tool for Mixed Use Developments, Environmental Protection Agency, 06/2011 - Trip Generation Model
Mixed Use Codes
Washington Large/Medium-Sized Cities
- Issaquah Municipal Code Sec. 18.07.370 - Residential Mixed Use Developments
- Puyallup Municipal Code Ch. 21.31 - MX - Mixed Use Zones
- Vancouver Municipal Code Sec. 20.430 - Commercial and Mixed Use Districts
Washington Small Cities
- Battleground Municipal Code Ch. 17.122 - Mixed Use Districts
- Gig Harbor Municipal Code Ch. 17.91 - Mixed Use District Overlay
- Mukilteo Municipal Code Ch. 17.25 - Design Standards for Mixed-Use Development
- Port Townsend Municipal Code Ch.17.18 - Mixed Use Districts and Ch. 17.40 - Mixed Use Developments
- Snoqualmie Municipal Code Ch. 17.30 - MU Mixed Use District Regulations
- Sumner Municipal Code Ch. 18.26 - Planned Mixed-Use Development (PMUD)
- Tumwater Municipal Code Ch. 18.20 - Mixed Use Zone District
- Yelm Municipal Code Ch. 17.45 - Mixed Use Planned Development
Outside of Washington
- Atlanta Regional Commission Community Choices Model Ordinance: Mixed Use Development ()
- Austin, TX Design Standards and Mixed Use Subchapter () - See Sec. 4.3
- Boulder, CO Mixed Use Zoning Districts - Includes data and illustrations of projects
- Cambridge, MA Zoning Ordinance Article 14.000 (), Mixed Use Development District, Cambridge Center
- Eugene, OR Mixed Use Development - Program description, examples, useful documents.
- Hillsboro, FL Zoning Code Sec. 48A - Mixed Use Districts - Includes floor areas bonuses for green development, noise reduction design, and gathering places
- La Mesa, CA
- Vancouver, BC Zoning and Development Bylaw - See commercial districts C-5, C-6, C-2, and C-2C1, and Section 11 - Additional Regulations
Mixed Use Parking Requirements or Parking Reduction Provisions
A number of communities allow for reduced parking requirements in mixed-use centers and developments in which the uses operate at different times from one another throughout the day. Less parking is needed at any given time compared to districts such as office districts where most businesses operate on a similar schedule . Businesses with varying hours of operation are often able to share the same parking spaces while maintaining adequate parking for customers. In addition, when a variety of uses are located in close proximity to residential uses, it is easier to accomplish some commuting, shopping and errands by walking or cycling, reducing the need to drive and park. The following are examples of shared parking and other parking approaches that can work well in mixed use development.
- San Diego, CA Municipal Code Ch. 14, Article 2, Division 5 () - Parking Regulations - See Table 142-05D in Sec. 142.053 and Sec. 145.0545 on shared parking
- San Diego, CA Shared Parking Agreement ()
- Scottsdale, AZ City Code Vol. II, Appendix B, Article IX, Sec. 9.104(E)
- Township of Lower Merion (Montgomery County, PA) Zoning Code Ch. 155, Art. XVIIB - Mixed Use Special Transit District (MUST), Sec. 155-87.23 - Parking and loading requirements - Includes formulas for parking at various peak hours by type of use
Live Work Units
Live-work units are a type of mixed-use development, combining commercial or manufacturing space within the same structure as a residential living space for the business owner. They have similar benefits to mixed use development and eliminate altogether the need to commute to work. In addition, they can provide affordable work and housing space, meet the needs of special groups such as artists, and serve to incubate new businesses. Both large and small cities, such as Seattle and Sumner, have provided for live-work housing. Tacoma is proactively recruiting artists to the community as a part of its economic development strategy and offers help with finding artists' live-work spaces. Some communities, such as San Francisco, are trying to work out problems including keeping its artist lofts affordable.
General Live-Work Information
Seattle Live-Work Codes
Portland Live-Work Information
- Portland Zoning Code Sec. 33.583.280, in Ch. 33.583 - St. Johns Plan District - Provides flexibility to facilitate live-work in an employment zone
- Portland Municipal Code Ch. 24.85.040(C) - Occupancy Change to Live/Work Space - Facilitates conversion to live/work use
Other Live-Work Programs
- Best Practices in Housing: Ground-Oriented, Medium Density Housing (GOMDH) (), Greater Vancouver Regional District Housing Task Group, Vancouver, B.C., 2003 - City of Surrey - Live-work best practices described here are still useful
- San Francisco, CA
- How Live/Work Units Fit into the Affordable Housing Crisis, (San Francisco) Urban Action, 2001
- Industrial Protection Zones, Live/Work Projects and Community Plans, San Francisco Budget & Legislative Analyst - Problems with Live/Work displacing Industrial
- San Francisco Planning Code Article 8 - Mixed Use Districts - See Sec. 813, 815, 816, 817, and 818 and related tables.
- San Francisco Planning Commicssion Resolution No.17525, 2008 - Discourages conversion to certain other uses including live/work, in portions of industrial protection district: Encourages mixed use in housing zone
- Berkeley City Code Ch. 20E.20 - Live-Work Provisions