Design Requirements for Public Access Areas
(a) Level of public access areas and limits on coverage
At least 80 percent of publicly accessible areas shall be located at grade level, or within five feet of grade level, as such grade level may change over the development parcel, and shall be open to the sky. The remainder of such publicly accessible areas may be enclosed, covered by a structure, or located more than five feet above or below grade level, provided that such publicly accessible areas are directly accessible from public access areas that are at grade level or within five feet of grade level, and in all cases have a minimum clear height of 15 feet.
At least 50 percent of the linear street frontage for the Central Open Area required under Section 133-31, paragraph (a), shall be located at the same elevation as the adjoining sidewalk of the West Loop Road. At least 80 percent of the area of the Central Open Area shall be open to the sky, and the remainder may be open to the sky or covered by a building or other structure. A minimum clear height of 30 feet shall be provided in any area of the Central Open Area covered by a building or other structure.
The northern and southern access points to the North-South Connection shall be located at the same elevation as the adjoining public sidewalk. The elevation of the North-South Connection may vary over the remainder of its length. At least 70 percent of the area of the North-South Connection shall be open to the sky, and the remainder may be open to the sky or covered by a building or other structure. A minimum clear height of 15 feet shall be provided in any area of the North-South Connection covered by a building or other structure.
Any portion of the Waterfront Connection Corridor that is covered by a building or located within a building shall have a minimum clear height of 30 feet, provided that overhead walkways, structures and lighting occupying in the aggregate no more than 10 percent of the area of the Waterfront Connection Corridor, as determined by the minimum required width, shall be permitted within the required clear height.
(b) Clear paths
The North-South Connection and the Waterfront Connection Corridor shall each have a clear path of 12 feet throughout their entire required lengths, including those connections required between the North-South Connection and the East and West Loop Roads. All such clear paths shall be accessible to persons with disabilities.
(c) Permitted obstructions
Permitted obstructions allowed under paragraph (a) of Section 62-611 may be located within any required public access area, provided that no such permitted obstructions shall be located within a required clear path. Furthermore, kiosks may be up to 500 square feet in area, and open air cafes may occupy not more than five percent of any required public access area.
A minimum of one linear foot of seating shall be provided for each 200 square feet of required public access areas. Required seating types may be moveable seating, fixed individual seats, fixed benches with or without backs, and design-feature seating such as seat walls, planter edges or steps. All required seating shall comply with the following standards:
(1) Seating shall have a minimum depth of 18 inches. Seating with 36 inches or more in depth may count towards two seats, provided there is access to both sides. When required seating is provided on a planter ledge, such ledge must have a minimum depth of 22 inches.
(2) Seating shall have a height not less than 16 inches or greater than 20 inches above the level of the adjacent walking surface. However, as described in paragraph (d)(5) of this Section, seating steps may have a height not to exceed 30 inches and seating walls may have a height not to exceed 24 inches.
(3) At least 50 percent of the linear feet of fixed seating shall have backs at least 14 inches high and a maximum seat depth of 20 inches. Walls located adjacent to a seating surface shall not count as seat backs. All seat backs must either be contoured in form for comfort or shall be reclined from vertical between 10 to 15 degrees.
(4) Moveable seating shall be credited as 24 inches of linear seating per chair. All moveable seats must have backs and a maximum seat depth of 20 inches. Moveable chairs shall not be chained, fixed, or otherwise secured while the public access area is open to the public.
(5) Seating steps and seating walls may be used for required seating if such seating does not, in aggregate, represent more than 15 percent of the linear feet of all required seating. Seating steps shall not include any steps intended for circulation and must have a height not less than six inches nor greater than 30 inches and a depth not less than 18 inches. Seating walls shall have a height not greater than 18 inches; such seating walls, however, may have a height not to exceed 24 inches if they are located within 10 feet of an edge of a public access area.
Seating shall be provided in the Central Open Area in an amount equal to a minimum of one linear foot for every 100 square feet of the Central Open Area. Such seating shall include at least one moveable chair for every 500 square feet of the Central Open Area, and at least one other seating type. One table shall be provided for every four moveable chairs. At least 15 percent of the required seating shall be located within 20 feet of any Loop Road, and at least 10 percent of such required seating shall be located within 20 feet of the North-South Connection or any supplemental public access area that connects the Central Open Area to the North-South Connection.
Seating shall be provided in the North-South Connection in an amount equal to at least one linear foot for every 150 square feet of the North-South Connection. At least 20 linear feet of such seating shall be located within 20 feet of its northern entrance and an additional 20 linear feet of such seating shall be located within 20 feet of its southern entrance. There shall be at least two types of seating in the North-South Connection.
Seating for open air cafes may be used by members of the public regardless of whether such persons are patrons of a cafe when not being used for service.
At least 20 percent of the required public access areas on the development parcel shall be comprised of planted areas, including planting beds and lawns.
At least 30 percent of the Central Open Area shall be planted with lawns, planting beds or a combination thereof.
All required public access areas shall be open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Signs stating that the North-South Connection is publicly accessible shall be posted at its northern and southern entrances. Signs indicating that the Central Open Space is publicly accessible shall be posted at its entrance from the West Loop Road and the North-South Connection.