Chapter 17.100PROJECT PERMIT PROCEDURES

Sections:

17.100.010
Purpose.
17.100.020
Applicability.
17.100.030
Definitions.
17.100.040
Application types and classification.
17.100.050
Pre-application review.
17.100.060
Determination of completeness.
17.100.070
Type I review and decision procedure.
17.100.080
Type II review and decision procedure.
17.100.090
Type III review and decision procedure.
17.100.100
Type IV Procedure.
17.100.110
Public notice for Type II, III and IV applications.
17.100.120
Decision timelines.
17.100.130
Appeals.
17.100.140
Development approval timeline.
17.100.010Purpose.

This chapter establishes procedures for the processing of project permit applications in the City of Cle Elum consistent with Chapter 36.70B of the Revised Code of Washington.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.020Applicability.

All project permit applications shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter unless specifically exempted herein, including but not limited to building permits, land divisions, binding site plans, site plans, master planned developments, conditional uses, shoreline substantial development permits, critical area permits, and site specific rezones. Certain project permit applications may be exempt from specific procedures identified in this chapter. This chapter generally applies to permit activities under the following chapters of the City of Cle Elum Municipal Code:

Title 12 – Streets, sidewalks, and public places.

Title 15 – Buildings and construction.

Title 16 – Subdivisions.

Title 17 – Zoning.

Title 18 – Critical areas development.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.030Definitions.

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the following terms or phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the meanings designated by this section.

A. “Closed record appeal” means an administrative appeal on the record to a local government body or officer, including the legislative body, following an open record hearing on a project permit application when the appeal is on the record with no or limited new evidence or information allowed to be submitted and only appeal argument allowed.

B. “Closed record hearing” means a public hearing on the record by a local government body or officer, including the legislative body, following an open record hearing on a project permit application, when the project permit decision is on the record with no or limited new evidence or information allowed to be submitted to support the decision.

C. “Days” shall refer to calendar days.

D. “Open record hearing” means a hearing, conducted by a single hearing body or officer authorized by the city to conduct such hearings, that creates the local government’s record through testimony and submission of evidence and information, under procedures prescribed by the city in this chapter. An open record hearing may be held prior to a decision on a project permit application to be known as on open record predecision hearing. An open record hearing may be held on an appeal, to be known as an open record appeal hearing, if no open record predecision hearing has been held on the project permit.

E. “Party of record” shall mean any person, agency or organization who have submitted written comments on an application, made oral comments on an application during a public hearing or who has requested in writing to be a party of record In all cases the property owner and applicant shall be considered parties of record. In those cases where there is no public notice of the application any interested party is considered a party of record.

F. “Project permit” shall mean any land use or environmental permit or license required from a local government for a project action, including but not limited to building permits, subdivisions, binding site plans, planned unit developments, conditional uses, shoreline substantial development permits, site plan review, permits or approvals required by critical area ordinances, site-specific rezones authorized by a comprehensive plan or subarea plan, but excluding the adoption or amendments of a comprehensive plan, subarea plans, or development regulations.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.040Application types and classification.

A. Project permit applications shall be subject to a Type I, Type II, Type III or Type IV process as set forth by this chapter.

B. Where the city must approve more than one (1) permit application for a project, all applications may be considered at one time. Where different permit applications required for a development are subject to different procedure types, all applications will be subject to the procedure type that requires the greatest level of public notice and involvement.

C. The city planner shall classify all applications as a specific type. The act of classifying an application shall be a Type I process which shall be appealable at the same time and in the same manner as for the project permit application being considered. The following guidelines shall be used when establishing the procedure type for a permit:

1. Type I – This administrative process is used for applications where there are clear and objective standards involving little or no discretion in technical issues and that are exempt from SEPA review. The decision making authority for Type I permits shall be the city planner or designee. For decisions under Title 12, the decision making authority is the public works director or designee. Examples include building permits, boundary line adjustments, floodplain permits, and critical areas review (when not associated with a development permit).

2. Type II – This administrative process is used for applications where a limited amount of professional discretion is used for objective and subjective standards involving non-technical issues. The applications may be of general public interest although no public hearing is held. If a Type I application is subject to SEPA it shall be considered a Type II application for processing. The decision-making authority for Type II permits is the city planner or designee. For decisions under Title 12, the decision making authority is the public works director or designee. Examples include short plat and site plan reviews.

3. Type III – This hearing quasi-judicial process is used for applications that require a substantial amount of discretion on non-technical issues and where there is likely to be broad public interest. A public hearing is required. The decision making authority for Type III applications shall be the planning commission. Examples include conditional use permits, appeals of Type I and Type II decisions and certain variances.

4. Type IV – This quasi-judicial process is used for applications that require a substantial amount of discretion on non-technical issues and where there is likely to be broad public interest. This process requires at least one open record public hearing before the planning commission and one closed record public hearing before the city council. The final decision making authority for Type IV actions shall be the city council with the planning commission acting as a recommending body in an advisory capacity. Examples include subdivisions, site specific rezones and master planned development approvals.

Table 17.100-1. Application Procedure

Application Type

Type I

Type II

Type III

Type IV

Notice of Application

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Open Record Public Hearing

No

Only if appointed

Yes, before decision body

Yes, before recommending body

Recommending Body

N/A

N/A

Staff

Planning commission

Decision Body

Staff

Staff

Planning commission or hearing examiner

City council

City Appeal

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Appeal Body

City council

City council

City council

N/A

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.050Pre-application review.

A pre-application review is an opportunity for a potential applicant to meet with city staff to provide an understanding of the city’s development requirements for a specific application.

A. Applications subject to a Type II, III or IV process are required to conduct a pre-application meeting with staff prior to submitting an application, unless waived in writing by the city planner. Applications subject to a Type I process may choose to conduct a pre-application meeting, but one is not required.

B. To initiate a pre-application an applicant shall submit a completed form provided by the city for the purpose along with all the information identified by the form and the required fee.

C. Upon receipt of a completed form the city planner shall schedule a date and time to conduct a pre-application meeting with the applicant. The city planner may limit the days and times when a pre-application meeting may scheduled.

D. Within seven days of the pre-application meeting the city planner shall issue a summary of the pre-application review that includes the following information:

1. Summary of the application;

2. Identify the relevant approval criteria, development standards and other relevant laws and policies;

3. Evaluate information supplied by the applicant and identify any changes that may be necessary to comply with the approval criteria and development standards;

4. Applicable application fees;

5. Public facilities and improvements necessary to serve the development;

6. Current utility connection charges; and

7. Physical development limitations.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.060Determination of completeness.

A. Within twenty-eight days of receiving an application the city shall provide a determination of whether the application is complete for processing. If a determination is not made within the required twenty-eight days, the application shall be automatically deemed complete. If a determination is made that the application is incomplete the city shall clearly identify the necessary materials and set a reasonable time period in which the applicant has to submit the additional items. Following the submittal of additional items, the city shall notify the applicant within fourteen days whether the application is complete. If the submitted materials do not address the incompleteness the city may either request the additional information in the same manner as the first attempt or deny the application pursuant to subsection D.

B. An application is complete if it contains the items identified in the specific section related to the action and at a minimum the following materials:

1. A completed application form signed by the owner(s) of the property subject to the application. If the applicant is not the property owner, a signed instrument authorizing the application is required.

2. A legal description of the subject property supplied by the Kittitas County, a title company or surveyor licensed in the state of Washington, and a current county assessors map(s) showing the property(ies) subject to the application

3. For applications subject to a Type II, III or IV process, a current assessors map identifying the properties within three hundred feet of the subject site along with the names and addresses of the property owners.

4. The application fees specified by CEMC 16.48.

5. All information required by other sections of the code.

C. A determination on the completeness of an application shall be based on the presence of the required materials and shall not be based on differences of opinion as to the quality or accuracy of the submitted materials.

D. If an application is not fully complete within the time frames specified in subsection A, the city shall reject the application and return the submitted materials to the applicant along with ninety percent of required fees.

E. A determination of completeness does not prevent the city from requiring additional information or studies that are necessary to fully review the project permit.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.070Type I review and decision procedure.

The review authority shall approve, approve with reasonable conditions or deny the application pursuant to the timeliness of Section 17.100.120. A written notice of decision shall be mailed or otherwise transmitted to the applicant.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.080Type II review and decision procedure.

A. Within fourteen days of the date of determination of completeness under Section 17.100.060, the city shall issue a notice of application consistent with the provisions of Section 17.100.100.

B. Following the comment period provided for in the notice of application, the city shall mail to the applicant copies of any comments received. The review authority shall consider any comments received along with responses by the applicant to those comments in reviewing the project permits. The applicant shall have 7 days to respond to the comments submitted.

C. A decision shall be issued subject to the time limitations of Section 17.100.120, and shall contain:

1. A list of the applicable criteria and standards against which the project was measured.

2. Statement of the facts that were found to show compliance with the applicable approval sections.

3. The justification and reason for the decision.

4. The decisions to approve, approve with conditions or deny the application.

D. Within seven days of the decision date, the review authority shall issue a notice of decision to the applicant, applicant’s representative (if any), property owner, parties of record and the county assessor. The notice shall include a statement of any SEPA determination made, any appeal rights and where the complete record may be reviewed.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.090Type III review and decision procedure.

A. Within fourteen days of the date of determination of completeness under Section 17.100.060 the city shall issue a notice of application consistent with the provisions of Section 17.100.100. The notice shall be issued at least 15 days prior to the date of the public hearing. The notice may contain the date, time and location of the public hearing if scheduled at the time of the issuance of notice.

B. If a notice of public hearing is not included in the notice of application, at least 15 days prior to the public hearing date, a notice of public hearing shall be issued by the city consistent with the requirements of Section 17.100.110. The public hearing should be scheduled to allow enough time for a decision to be issued within the time limitations of Section 17.100.120.

C. At least fourteen days prior to the public hearing, the city planner shall issue a staff report describing the project, its consistency with city standards and a recommendation to approve, approve with conditions or deny the application. The staff report shall be sent to the applicant and applicant’s representative and made available to the public for review.

D. Public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of procedure adopted by the review authority and the Open Public Meeting Act, RCW 42.30 as amended and the following:

1. At the start of the public hearing the review authority shall:

a. State that testimony will be accepted only if it is applicable to the matter being reviewed and the development and approval standards.

b. State that the review authority must be unbiased in its review and whether the review authority has had any ex parte contact or has any personal and business interest in the application and provide any party the opportunity to challenge the statement.

c. State whether the review authority has visited the site.

d. State that any party that wishes to receive a copy of the decision may do so by identifying their name and address to the review authority.

e. Explain the conduct expected at the hearing.

2. At the ending of the public hearing the review authority shall announce one of the following actions:

a. That the hearing is continued to a date, time and place certain or, if not known, that a notice consistent with the initial notice will be issued; or

b. The hearing is closed but the public record will be held open to a time and date certain. The review authority shall also identify a location where written comments are to be submitted and any specific limitations there may be to the type of information that can be submitted; or

c. That the hearing and public record are closed to additional submissions and that the application is taken under advisement and a written decision will be issued; or

d. That the application is either denied, approved or approved with conditions, a summary of the decision basis and that a written decision will be issued.

E. Within twenty-one calendar days of the close of the public hearing or record, the review authority shall issue a written decision which includes at a minimum:

1. A list of the applicable criteria and standards against which the project was measured.

2. Statement of the facts that were found to show compliance with the applicable approval sections.

3. A statement of the decision along with justification and reason for the decision.

4. If the decision is to approve the application, any conditions of approval necessary to ensure compliance with applicable criteria.

F. Within seven days of receiving the decision the city planner shall mail the decision to the applicant, applicant’s representative, if any; property owner, parties of record and the county assessor. The notice shall include a statement of any SEPA determination made, any appeal rights and where the complete record may be reviewed.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.100Type IV Procedure.

A. The review and decision procedure for a Type IV application shall be the same as the process outlined in Section 17.100.090 for a Type III decision with the exception that the process shall result in a recommendation that will be considered by the city council at a closed record hearing.

B. Within seven days of receiving the recommendation from the recommending body the city planner shall forward the recommendation to the city council and mail the recommendation to the applicant, applicant’s representative, if any, property owner and parties of record. The recommendation shall include notice of the closed record hearing of the city council.

C. The city council shall consider the recommendation of the review authority at the next available regularly scheduled city council meeting or at a special meeting scheduled to consider the recommendation.

D. The city council shall review the recommendation at a closed record hearing and shall either:

1. Adopt the recommendation as written.

2. Modify the recommendation and make a decision on the project permit application.

3. Remand the project permit application for the reconsideration of a specific aspect of the project.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.110Public notice for Type II, III and IV applications.

A. A notice of application shall be issued for all Type II, III and IV applications consistent with this section. Notice of application is not required for Type 1 applications.

B. The notice of application shall contain the following information:

1. The date of application, the date of notice of completion of the application and the date of the notice.

2. The name of the applicant and the name, address and phone number of the contact person.

3. The name and telephone number of a contact person with the city.

4. The location and description of the proposed project and a list of local permits included in the application.

5. The identification of any existing environmental documents that include the proposed project.

6. The location and times where the complete application can be viewed.

7. A statement of the fourteen day public comment period, the right of any person to comment on the application, receive notice of and participate in any hearings, request a copy of the decision, and any appeal rights.

8. If known, the date, time, place and type of public hearing if applicable and scheduled.

9. A statement of the list of development regulations, if known, which will be used to review the application.

10. A statement of the application type.

11. Any other appropriate information determined to be appropriate by the city.

C. The notice of application shall be distributed to the following:

1. The applicant and applicant’s representative.

2. Owners of property within three hundred feet of the subject site. The records of the Kittitas county assessors office or licensed title company shall be used to determine the owners of record of the subject properties. Failure of any one party to receive notices is not grounds for a denial of an application provided a good faith effort was made to accurately distribute notice. A sworn certificate of mailing completed by the person conducting the mailing shall be evidence of the notice being mailed.

3. Agencies with jurisdiction.

D. Notice of application shall be published in the newspaper of general circulation. The notice shall include a brief project description, location, the date, time and place of the public hearing (if applicable), where and when comments must be submitted by and where additional information can be obtained.

E. Notice of the application shall be posted in a conspicuous location on the property subject to the application. The notice shall include a brief project description, location, the date, time and place of the public hearing (if applicable), where and when comments must be submitted by and where additional information can be obtained. A sworn certificate of posting shall be completed by the person conducting the posting and submitted as evidence of the posting.

F. If a hearing is required and not scheduled at the time the notice of application is issued a separate notice of public hearing shall be issued at least fourteen days prior to the public hearing.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.120Decision timelines.

As a goal, the city shall strive to process and issue a decision on all project permit applications within one hundred twenty calendar days of the date the application was determined to be complete under Section 17.100.060. The failure of the city to meet the one hundred twenty day goal shall not result in any penalties or obligations to the city, provided the city was diligent in attempts to process the application in a timely fashion. If the one hundred twenty day time period cannot be met by the city, the city shall notify the applicant in writing of the delay, stating the reasons why a decision can not be rendered in the required time period. In determining the number of days that have passed since the determination of completeness, the following time periods shall not be counted:

A. The time during which the applicant has been requested by the city to provide additional information or make changes to submitted materials.

B. The time period during which an environmental impact statement is being prepared. EISs shall be completed within one year of the date of the determination of significance, at which time the application shall become null and void.

C. An applicant may agree in writing to extend the time in which the review has to make a decision.

(Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.130Appeals.

A. A final decision on a Type I, II or III decision may be appealed by a party of record. No appeals to the city are permitted for Type IV decisions. Further appeals may be authorized to Superior Court or other hearing body as provided by Chapter 36.70C Revised Code of Washington. Appeals to the city must be filed within fourteen days of the date of issuance of the decision. Appeals shall be in writing and shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

1. The case number assigned by the city and the name of the application.

2. The name and signature of the party or parties filing the appeal including an address and phone number of a contact person.

3. The specific aspects of the decision which are the subject of the appeal, the legal basis of the appeal based on adopted standards and policies, and the evidence relied on to prove the error.

4. The appeal fee pursuant to CEMC 16.48.

B. Appeals of Type I and II decisions shall be heard by city council in a de novo hearing. Notice of the appeal and the hearing shall be mailed to the parties of record and to the parties entitled to notice of the decision on the application being appealed. Staff shall prepare a report on the points of the appeal, a hearing shall be conducted and a written decision made on the appeal. The decision shall be noticed as if it was a Type III decision.

C. The city council shall consider appeals of Type III decisions. Decisions shall be based on the record established for the Type III hearing including all submitted written materials, oral arguments, the decision being appealed and the argument on the appeal by the parties. At any such appeal hearing, the burden of proof shall be on the appellant to demonstrate that the Type III decision is not supported by substantial evidence, or that the Type III decision constitutes an error of law or procedure.

The city council shall consider the appeal at a closed record public hearing. The city council shall issue a written decision to affirm, reverse, modify or remand the Type III decision.

(Ord. 1384 § 1, 2013; Ord. 1153 § 1, 2001: Ord. 1139 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.100.140Development approval timeline.

A. Permit approvals shall be valid for the time periods identified in this section unless a project specific development agreement authorized by RCW 36.70B.170 provides for an alternate approval period. Within the time period the applicant shall either complete the development or have applied for the necessary construction permits to complete the development. The time period shall be measured from the date of the final decision, excluding any time period during which the application was under appeal. All decisions shall include a statement of the time limit and a date upon which the application terminates. No extensions are permitted unless indicated below.

B. Approval time periods:

1. Preliminary subdivisions – Five years.

2. Site plan reviews – Two years.

3. Conditional use permits – One year with one one hundred eighty day extension.

4. Building permits – One hundred eighty days with one one hundred eighty day extension.

5. Zoning reviews – One year.

6. Variances – One year with one one hundred eighty day extension.

7. Additional permit types – One year.

C. Permitted extensions may only be approved if the applicant can show that circumstances beyond the control of the applicant have prevented action from being taken.