Chapter 18.16
PRELIMINARY PLATS

Sections:

18.16.010    General procedure.

18.16.020    Contents.

18.16.030    Preparation specifications.

18.16.035    Neighborhood meeting.

18.16.037    Preapplication conference.

18.16.060    Notification of affected agencies.

18.16.070    Technical review committee action.

18.16.110    Time limits.

18.16.120    Modification of standards – Purpose.

18.16.130    Modification of standards – Procedure.

18.16.140    Modification of standards – Limitation.

18.16.010 General procedure.

Any property owner who wishes to divide land into 10 or more lots or utilize the cluster subdivision provisions for five or more lots or four lots or fewer if utilizing the cluster bonus provisions shall conform to the regulations hereafter stated as they pertain to preliminary plats, subdivision design, improvements and final plats. These regulations also pertain to land that has had an approved short subdivision during the previous five years and also to lots being replatted due to street vacations. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.16.010].

18.16.020 Contents.

A preliminary plat submitted for approval shall contain the following items and information:

A. Name of plat.

B. Name, address and phone number of subdivider (owner) and the land surveyor/engineer.

C. All lots, rights-of-way, open space, existing easements, and other features affecting the design of the plat.

D. Topography lines at an interval of five feet.

E. All parcels of land intended to be dedicated or temporarily reserved for public use and the conditions attached thereto accurately indicated.

F. A vicinity sketch at a scale of not more than 800 feet to the inch showing the proposed plat in relation to surrounding land; all platted rights-of-way for a distance of at least one-fourth mile, and additional area, if necessary, to show connecting streets or arterials. The plat shall include all contiguous land held in common ownership.

G. An accurate and complete legal description of the area being platted.

H. Source of water supply, method of sewage disposal and method of surface water disposal.

I. The land use classification, both present and proposed.

J. All existing conditions shall be delineated. The location, width and names of all existing or prior platted streets or other public ways, railroad and utility rights-of-way, parks and other public open spaces, permanent buildings and structures, and section and municipal corporation lines within or adjacent to the tract shall be shown. In the case of a replat, the lots, blocks, streets, alleys, easements, and parks, of the original plat being vacated, shall be shown by dotted lines in their proper position in relation to the new arrangement of the plat; the new plat being clearly shown in solid lines so as to avoid ambiguity. Existing sewers and water lines, culverts or other underground facilities within the tract indicating pipe sizes, grades and exact location as obtained from public records shall be shown. Boundary lines of adjacent tracts of unsubdivided and subdivided land showing owners shall be indicated by dotted lines for a distance of 300 feet. Existing zoning of the proposed subdivision and adjacent tracts shall be shown.

K. An environmental checklist shall be required in accordance with Chapter 43.21C RCW with the submittal of a preliminary plat application.

L. Identification of any environmentally sensitive areas. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997].

18.16.030 Preparation specifications.

A. The plat shall be prepared, drawn and certified by a land surveyor registered by the state of Washington.

B. The horizontal scale shall be no less than 100 feet to the inch.

C. The plat shall conform with the design standards governing plats as required by this chapter.

D. Six full size (24 inches by 36 inches) and two reduced (eight-and-one-half-inch by 11-inch) copies of the plat shall accompany the application for plat approval to permit distribution to the necessary persons, agencies, and organization.

E. Any person making application for a preliminary plat approval shall at the time application is made pay a fee as established by council resolution. The fee shall be nonrefundable, unless such obligation is specifically waived by the city council. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 10169 § 4, 1991; Ord. 9630 § 3, 1986; Ord. 8724 § 3, 1978; Code 1980 at § 18.16.020(g), (i) – (l)].

18.16.035 Neighborhood meeting.

Preliminary plat applications shall follow the procedures in Chapter 21.10 BMC. [Ord. 2004-09-065; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 10309 § 2, 1992].

18.16.037 Preapplication conference.

A preapplication conference is encouraged with the planning and community development department staff. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 10719 § 42, 1996].

18.16.060 Notification of affected agencies.

Upon receipt of a preliminary plat for approval, the following agencies and organizations shall be notified of the date, place and hour of the public hearing before the hearing examiner and such notifications shall be accompanied by a copy of the proposed plat:

A. Department of public works and utilities.

B. Fire department.

C. Police department.

D. Parks department.

E. The electrical distribution company.

F. The telephone company.

G. The gas company.

H. Whatcom County (if plat adjoins city limits).

I. The television cable company.

J. For preliminary plats adjacent to the right-of-way of a state highway or within two miles of the boundary of a state or municipal airport, written notice including a legal description of the short subdivision and a location map shall be sent to the Secretary of Transportation. The Secretary shall respond within 15 days of said notice as to the effect that the proposed subdivision will have on the state highway or the state or municipal airport. Notice of intent to short subdivide shall also be sent to the local airport authority. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 35; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.16.040].

18.16.070 Technical review committee action.

Upon receipt of a preliminary plat, the technical review committee consisting of the planning director as chair, public works director, assistant public works director, engineering, city attorney, fire chief, police chief, parks and recreation director or an authorized representative of each and other administrative staff as determined by the mayor, shall, after receipt of a complete application for the preliminary plat, conduct an informal meeting with the developer(s) for the purpose of reviewing and pointing out what, if any, corrections, additions, deletions, etc., should be made to the preliminary plat prior to the hearing examiner public hearing. The recommendation of the technical review committee shall be included in the staff report to the hearing examiner and forwarded to the developer(s). [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 35; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 10719 § 46, 1996; Ord. 9352 § 5, 1984; Code 1980 at § 18.16.050].

18.16.110 Time limits.

A. Approval of a preliminary plat shall expire five years from the date of hearing examiner approval; provided, that it may be extended in the following ways:

1. Upon application by the subdivider, the planning director shall have the authority to grant an extension for one additional year. The applicant must file a written request with the director at least 30 days before the expiration of the five-year period. A one-year extension shall be granted upon a showing that the applicant has attempted in good faith to submit the final plat within the five-year period.

2. Upon application by the subdivider, the planning director may, at any time within one year of the end of the five-year period, grant an extension for one year from the date the preliminary plat would have expired, even though the applicant has not filed a timely written request for extension as provided in subsection (A)(1) of this section. Such an extension may be granted if it is shown that the proposed plat is still in conformance with the city’s comprehensive plan, that the plat will meet all subdivision requirements and environmental regulations which are in effect at the time the extension is granted, and that the applicant has attempted in good faith to submit the final plat within the five-year period.

B. The preliminary plat shall be extended for a period of one year each time a division or phase of a subdivision is filed in accordance with a plan approved by the city.

C. In the event a portion of an approved preliminary plat is developed and recorded as a final plat and the remainder of the overall plat is left undeveloped for a period of five years from the date of the recording of the divisions, then the approval of the preliminary plat shall expire. The time limit may be extended as provided for in subsection (A) of this section. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 35; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9550 § 19, 1986; Ord. 8860 § 1, 1980; Code 1980 at § 18.16.080].

18.16.120 Modification of standards – Purpose.

It is hereby recognized that circumstances may exist so as to justify modification of established subdivision development standards where application is made in conjunction with the platting of innovative subdivisions and in particular cluster subdivisions as provided for pursuant to Chapter 18.32 BMC. Such modification shall only be authorized where it is found that the interests of the immediate community will be better served by the modification of such standards through the utilization of alternative land development and utilization techniques. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 8492 § 1, 1976; Ord. 8192 § 340, 1973].

18.16.130 Modification of standards – Procedure.

In the event the technical review committee, in its review of the preliminary plat proposed as provided for in BMC 18.16.070, finds that variances from the literal requirements of BMC 18.28.200, Street trees, would better serve the needs of the ultimate occupants of the subdivision, as well as the adjacent community and the city generally, it shall make a specific finding thereof specifying the alternative standard to be met and the reasons for such proposal. Such condition shall thereafter become part of the preliminary plat proposal and unless modified by the planning director or the hearing examiner, shall become a part of the preliminary plat. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 35; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 8492 § 1, 1976; Ord. 8192 § 340, 1973].

18.16.140 Modification of standards – Limitation.

A. In no event shall the street standards contained in Chapter 13.04 BMC be modified so as to diminish the quality of required streets. Where an applicant is authorized to reduce the width of a proposed street, such street shall nevertheless be placed in the standard width right-of-way. Where such a proposal contains a request for street standard modification, it shall further be the responsibility of the applicant to prepare for the hearing examiner’s consideration a diagram showing a cross section of the roadway as proposed.

B. In the event the technical review committee proposes some alternative to standard sidewalks, adequate provision shall nevertheless be made for the movement of pedestrians within the plat. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 35; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 8492 § 1; Ord. 8192 § 340, 1973].