Chapter 18.04
STATE ENVIRONMENTAL
POLICY ACT1

Sections:

18.04.010    Authority and policies.

18.04.015    Codes adopted by reference.

18.04.020    Adoption by reference.

18.04.030    Additional definitions.

18.04.040    Responsible official – Designation – Duties.

18.04.050    Lead agency – Determination and responsibilities.

18.04.060    Lead agency status – Transfer to a state agency.

18.04.070    Categorical exemptions and threshold determinations – Adoption by reference.

18.04.080    Categorical exemptions and threshold determinations – Time estimates.

18.04.090    Categorical exemptions – Adoption by reference.

18.04.100    Categorical exemptions – Flexible thresholds.

18.04.110    Categorical exemptions – Determination.

18.04.120    Threshold determinations – Review at conceptual state.

18.04.125    Consistency.

18.04.130    Threshold determinations – Environmental checklist.

18.04.135    Optional DNS process.

18.04.140    Threshold determinations – Mitigated DNS.

18.04.150    Environmental impact statement (EIS) – Adoption by reference.

18.04.160    EIS – Preparation.

18.04.170    EIS – Additional elements.

18.04.180    EIS – Commenting – Adoption by reference.

18.04.190    Public notice.

18.04.200    Designation of official to perform consulted agency responsibilities.

18.04.210    Using existing environmental documents – Adoption by reference.

18.04.220    SEPA decisions – Adoption by reference.

18.04.230    SEPA decisions.

18.04.240    SEPA decisions – Substantive authority.

18.04.250    SEPA policies.

18.04.260    Appeals.

18.04.270    Notice of action.

18.04.280    Definitions – Adoption by reference.

18.04.290    Compliance with SEPA – Adoption by reference.

18.04.300    Environmentally sensitive areas.

18.04.310    Fees.

18.04.320    Forms – Adoption by reference.

18.04.330    WACs on file.

18.04.010 Authority and policies.

The city adopts this chapter under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), RCW 43.21C.120 and the SEPA rules, WAC 197-11-904. This chapter contains the city’s SEPA procedures and policies. The SEPA rules contained in Chapter 197-11 WAC must be used in conjunction with this chapter. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.015 Codes adopted by reference.

Unless otherwise specifically stated therein, all codes which are adopted or referenced in this chapter shall be as such codes now exist or are hereinafter amended. (Ord. 785 § 1, 1998)

18.04.020 Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference:

WAC

197-11-040    Definitions

197-11-050    Lead agency

197-11-055    Timing of the SEPA process

197-11-060    Content of environmental review

197-11-070    Limitations on actions during SEPA process

197-11-080    Incomplete or unavailable information

197-11-090    Supporting documents

197-11-100    Information required of applicants

(Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.030 Additional definitions.

In addition to those definitions contained within WAC 197-11-700 through 197-11-799, when used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context indicates otherwise:

A. “Department” means any division, subdivision or organizational unit of the city established by ordinance, rule or order.

B. “Early notice” means the city’s response to an applicant stating whether it considers issuance of the determination of significance likely for the applicant’s proposal.

C. Except as provided in CHMC 18.04.260, “days” for the purpose of time limits, means a day upon which the city is open for business.

D. “SEPA rules” means Chapter 197-11 WAC adopted by the Department of Ecology.

E. “Optional DNS process” means the process set forth in WAC 197-11-355 and CHMC 18.04.135. (Ord. 785 § 2, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.040 Responsible official – Designation – Duties.

A. For those proposals for which the city is a lead agency, the responsible official shall be the city administrator or such other person as the city administrator may designate in writing.

B. For all proposals for which the city is a lead agency, the responsible official shall make the threshold determination, supervise scoping and preparation of any required EIS and perform any other functions assigned to the lead agency or responsible official by those sections of the SEPA rules that have been adopted by reference. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.050 Lead agency – Determination and responsibilities.

A. The responsible official, or the department receiving an application for or initiating a proposal that involves a nonexempt action, shall determine the lead agency for that proposal under WAC 197-11-050 and WAC 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, unless the lead agency has been previously determined or the department is aware that another department or agency is in the process of determining the lead agency.

B. When the city is not the lead agency for a proposal, all departments of the city shall use and consider as appropriate either the DNS or the final EIS of the lead agency in making decisions on the proposal. No city department shall prepare or require preparation of a DNS or EIS in addition to that prepared by the lead agency unless the city determines a supplemental environmental review is necessary under WAC 197-11-600.

C. If the city, or any of its departments, receives a lead agency determination made by another agency that appears inconsistent with the criteria of WAC 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, it may object to the determination. Any objection must be made to the agency originally making the determination and resolved within 14 days of receipt of the determination or the city may petition the Department of Ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11-946 within the 14-day time period. Any such petition on behalf of the city may be initiated by the responsible official or any department.

D. The responsible official is authorized to make agreements as to lead agency status or shared lead agency’s duties for a proposal under WAC 197-11-942 and 197-11-944.

E. The responsible official (or any department making a lead agency determination for a private project) shall require sufficient information from the applicant to identify other agencies with jurisdiction. (Ord. 785 § 3, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.060 Lead agency status – Transfer to a state agency.

For any proposal for a private project where the city would be the lead agency and for which there are one or more state agencies with jurisdiction, the responsible official may elect to transfer the lead agency duties to the state agency. The state agency with jurisdiction appearing first on the priority list in WAC 197-11-936 shall be the lead agency. To transfer lead agency duties, the responsible official must transmit a notice of the transfer, together with any relevant information available on the proposal, to the appropriate state agency with jurisdiction. The responsible official shall also give notice of the transfer to the private applicant and any other agencies with jurisdiction over the proposal. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.070 Categorical exemptions and threshold determinations – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference as supplemented in this chapter:

WAC

197-11-300    Purpose of this part

197-11-305    Categorical exemptions

197-11-310    Threshold determination required

197-11-315    Environmental checklist

197-11-330    Threshold determination process

197-11-335    Additional information

197-11-340    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS)

197-11-350    Mitigated DNS

197-11-355    Optional DNS process

197-11-360    Determination of significance (DS)/initiation of scoping

197-11-390    Effect of threshold determination

(Ord. 785 § 4, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.080 Categorical exemptions and threshold determinations – Time estimates.

The time estimates contained in this section apply when the city processes applications for all private projects and those governmental proposals submitted to the city by other agencies. The actual time may vary with the complexity of the project, availability of staff, cooperation of agencies with jurisdiction or expertise, etc. The time estimates contained herein shall not be construed to be mandatory.

A. Categorical Exemptions. The city will normally identify whether an action is categorically exempt within seven days of receiving a completed application.

B. Threshold Determinations.

1. The city will normally complete threshold determinations that can be based solely upon review of the environmental checklist for the proposal within 15 days of the date an applicant’s adequate application and completed checklist are submitted.

2. When the responsible official requires further information from the applicant or consults with other agencies with jurisdiction:

a. The city will normally request such further information within 15 days of receiving an adequate application and completed environmental checklist.

b. The city will normally wait no longer than 30 days for a consulted agency to respond.

c. The responsible official will normally complete the threshold determination within 15 days of receiving the requested information from the applicant or the consulted agency.

3. When the city must initiate further studies, including field investigations, to obtain the information to make the threshold determination, the city will normally complete the studies within 30 days of receiving an adequate application and a completed checklist.

4. The city will normally complete threshold determinations on actions where the applicant recommends in writing that an EIS be prepared, because of the probable significant adverse environmental impacts described in the application, within 15 days of receiving an adequate application and completed checklist.

5. The responsible official will normally respond to a request for early notice within 10 days. The threshold determination will normally be made within 15 days of receipt of the changed or clarified proposal, environmental checklist and/or permit application.

6. If a DS is made concurrent with the notice of application, the DS and scoping notice shall be combined with the notice of application issued under RCW 36.70B.110 and Chapter 19.03 CHMC. Nothing in this subsection prevents the DS/scoping notice from being issued before the notice of application. If sufficient information is not available to make a threshold determination when the notice of application is issued, the DS may be issued later in the review process. (Ord. 785 § 5, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.090 Categorical exemptions – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following rules for categorical exemptions from Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference, as supplemented in this chapter:

WAC

197-11-800    Categorical exemptions

197-11-880    Emergencies

197-11-890    Petitioning DOE to change exemptions

(Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.100 Categorical exemptions – Flexible thresholds.

A. The city establishes the following exempt levels for minor new construction based on local conditions:

1. For residential dwelling units in WAC 197-11-800(1)(b)(i) up to four dwelling units;

2. For agricultural structures in WAC 197-11-800(1)(b)(ii), up to 10,000 square feet;

3. For office, school, commercial, recreational service or storage buildings in WAC 197-11-800(1)(b)(iii), up to 4,000 square feet, and up to 20 parking spaces;

4. For parking lots in WAC 197-11-800(1)(b)(iv), up to 20 parking spaces;

5. For landfills and excavations in WAC 197-11-800(1)(b)(v), up to 100 cubic yards.

B. The responsible official shall send copies of all adopted flexible thresholds to the Department of Ecology, Headquarters Office, Olympia, Washington. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.110 Categorical exemptions – Determination.

A. When the city receives an application for a license or, in the case of governmental proposals, a department initiates a proposal, the responsible official shall determine whether the license and/or the proposal is exempt. The determination that a proposal is exempt shall be final and not subject to administrative review. If a proposal is exempt, none of the procedural requirements of this chapter shall apply to the proposal. The city shall not require completion of an environmental checklist for an exempt proposal.

B. In determining whether or not a proposal is exempt, the responsible official shall make certain the proposal is properly defined and shall identify the governmental license required. If a proposal includes exempt and-nonexempt actions, the responsible official shall determine the lead agency even if the license application that triggers the consideration is exempt.

C. Planned Actions.

1. A planned action does not require a threshold determination or the preparation of an environmental impact statement under SEPA, but is subject to environmental review and mitigation under SEPA.

2. A “planned action” means one or more types of project action that:

a. Are designated planned actions by an ordinance or resolution adopted by the city;

b. Have had the significant impacts adequately addressed in an environmental impact statement prepared in conjunction with:

i. A comprehensive plan or subarea plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW, or

ii. A fully contained community, a master planned resort, a master planned development or a phased project;

c. Are subsequent or implementing projects for the proposals listed in subsection (C)(2)(b)(ii) of this section;

d. Are located within an urban growth area, as defined in RCW 36.70A.030;

e. Are not essential public facilities, as defined in RCW 36.70A.200; and

f. Are consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW.

3. Limitations on Planned Actions. The city shall limit planned actions to certain types of development or to specific geographical areas that are less extensive than the jurisdictional boundaries of the city, and may limit a planned action to a time period identified in the environmental impact statement or the adoption of this code.

D. If a proposal includes both exempt and nonexempt actions, the city may authorize exempt actions prior to compliance with the procedural requirements of this chapter, except that:

1. The city shall not give authorization for:

a. Any nonexempt action;

b. Any action that would have an adverse environmental impact; or

c. Any action that would limit the choice of alternatives;

2. The responsible official may withhold approval of an exempt action that would lead to modification of the physical environment, when such modification would serve no purpose if the nonexempt actions were not approved; and

3. The responsible official may withhold approval of exempt actions that would lead to substantial financial expenditures by a private applicant when the expenditures would serve no purpose if the nonexempt actions were not approved. (Ord. 785 § 6, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.120 Threshold determinations – Review at conceptual state.

A. Pre-application conferences, as provided in CHMC 19.02.001, shall also address environmental issues to familiarize the applicant with the city’s SEPA regulations, process, policies and objectives.

B. Where the city’s only action on a proposal is a decision on a building permit or other license that requires detailed project plans and specifications, the applicant may request in writing that the city conduct environmental review prior to submission of the detailed plans and specifications.

C. In addition to the environmental documents, an applicant shall submit the following information for early environmental review:

1. Site plan;

2. Circulation plans showing ingress and egress;

3. Utility locations;

4. Topography;

5. Building heights;

6. A lighting plan;

7. A description of all landscape buffers and screening; and

8. Other information as the responsible official may determine. (Ord. 765 § 1, 1997; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.125 Consistency.

The city’s environmental review shall include a determination of the proposal’s consistency with existing development regulations and the comprehensive plan. The consistency review shall determine whether the impacts of the proposal have been addressed in development regulations or the comprehensive plan. The planning decisions made in these documents shall not be reanalyzed in the environmental review of individual project proposals, nor will additional studies or mitigation be required if existing regulations and documents have adequately addressed the proposal’s probable adverse impacts. (Ord. 785 § 7, 1998; Ord. 765 § 2, 1997)

18.04.130 Threshold determinations – Environmental checklist.

A. A completed environmental checklist shall be filed at the same time as an application for a permit, license, certificate or other approval not exempted by this chapter. The checklist shall be in the form of WAC 197-11-960 with such additions that may be required by the responsible official in accordance with WAC 197-11-906(4).

B. A checklist is not needed if the city and the applicant agree an EIS is required, SEPA compliance has been completed, or SEPA compliance has been initiated by another agency.

C. The city shall use the environmental checklist to determine the lead agency and, if the city is the lead agency, for determining the responsible official and for making the threshold determination.

D. For private proposals, the applicant is required to complete the environmental checklist. The city may provide assistance as necessary. For city proposals, the department initiating the proposal shall complete the environmental checklist for that proposal.

E. The city may decide to complete all or part of the environmental checklist for a private proposal, if either of the following occurs:

1. The city has technical information on a question or questions that are unavailable to the private applicant; or

2. The applicant has provided inaccurate information on previous proposals or on proposals currently under consideration. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.135 Optional DNS process.

A. If the responsible official has a reasonable basis for determining that significant adverse environmental impacts are unlikely, the responsible official may elect to use the single integrated comment period set forth in this section. If this process is used, a second comment period will typically not be required when the DNS is issued.

B. If the optional process set forth in this section is used, the responsible official shall:

1. State on the first page of the notice of application that it expects to issue a DNS for the proposal, and that:

a. The optional DNS process is being used;

b. This may be the only opportunity to comment on the environmental impacts of the proposal;

c. The proposal may include mitigation measures under applicable codes, and the project review process may incorporate or require mitigation measures regardless of whether an EIS is prepared; and

d. A copy of the subsequent threshold determination for the specific proposal may be obtained upon request (in addition, the city may choose to maintain a general mailing list for threshold determination distribution);

2. List in the notice of application the conditions being considered to mitigate environmental impacts, if a mitigated DNS is expected;

3. Comply with the requirements for a notice of application and public notice in RCW 36.70B.110; and

4. Send the notice of application and environmental checklist to:

a. Agencies with jurisdiction, the Department of Ecology, affected tribes, and each local agency or political subdivision whose public services would be changed as a result of implementation of the proposal; and

b. Anyone requesting a copy of the environmental checklist for the specific proposal (in addition, the city may choose to maintain a general mailing list for checklist distribution).

C. If the responsible official indicates on the notice of application that a DNS is likely, an agency with jurisdiction may assume lead agency status during the comment period on the notice of application in accordance with CHMC 18.04.060 and WAC 197-11-948.

D. The responsible official shall consider timely comments on the notice of application and either:

1. Issue a DNS or mitigated DNS with no comment period using the procedures in subsection (E) of this section;

2. Issue a DNS or mitigated DNS with a comment period using the procedures of subsection (E) of this section, if the responsible official determines a comment period is necessary;

3. Issue a DS; or

4. Require additional information or studies prior to making a threshold determination.

E. If a DNS or mitigated DNS is issued under subsection (D)(1) or (D)(2) of this section, the responsible official shall send a copy of the DNS or mitigated DNS to the Department of Ecology, agencies with jurisdiction, those who commented, and anyone requesting a copy. A copy of the environmental checklist need not be recirculated. (Ord. 785 § 8, 1998)

18.04.140 Threshold determinations – Mitigated DNS.

A. The responsible official may issue a determination of nonsignificance (DNS) based on conditions attached to the proposal by the responsible official or on changes to, or clarifications of, the proposal made by the applicant.

B. An applicant may request in writing early notice of whether a DS is likely. The request must:

1. Follow submission of a permit application and environmental checklist for a nonexempt proposal for which the department is lead agency; and

2. Precede the city’s actual threshold determination for the proposal.

C. The responsible official’s response to the request for early notice shall:

1. State whether the city currently considers issuance of a DS likely and, if so, indicate the general or specific areas of concern that are leading the city to consider a DS; and

2. State that the applicant may change or clarify the proposal to mitigate the indicated impacts, and may revise the environmental checklist and/or permit application as necessary to reflect the changes or clarifications.

D. When an applicant submits a changed or clarified proposal, along with a revised environmental checklist, the city shall base its threshold determination on the changed or clarified proposal.

1. If the city indicated specific mitigation measures in its response to the request for early notice, and the applicant changed or clarified the proposal to include those specific mitigation measures, the city shall issue and circulate a determination of nonsignificance if the city determines that no additional information or mitigation measures are required;

2. If the city indicated areas of concern, but did not indicate specific mitigation measures that would allow it to issue a DNS, the city shall make the threshold determination, issuing a DNS or DS as appropriate;

3. The applicant’s proposed mitigation measures, clarifications, changes or conditions must be in writing and must be specific;

4. Mitigation measures which justify issuance of a mitigated DNS may be incorporated in the DNS by reference to agency staff reports, studies or other documents.

E. The city shall not act upon a proposal for which a mitigated DNS has been issued for 14 days after the date of issuance.

F. Mitigation measures incorporated in the mitigated DNS shall be deemed conditions of approval of the licensing or permitting decision and may be enforced in the same manner as any term or condition of the permit or enforced in any matter specifically prescribed by the city. Failure to comply with the designated mitigation measures shall be grounds for suspension and/or revocation of any license or permit issued.

G. If the city’s tentative decision on a permit or approval does not include mitigation measures that were incorporated in a mitigated DNS for the proposal, the city should evaluate the threshold determination to assure consistency with WAC 197-11-340(3)(a) relating to the withdrawal of a DNS.

H. The city’s written response under subsection (C) of this section shall not be construed as a determination of significance. In addition, preliminary discussion of clarifications or changes to a proposal, as opposed to a written request for early notice, shall not bind the city to consider the clarifications or changes in its threshold determination. (Ord. 785 § 9, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.150 Environmental impact statement (EIS) – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference as supplemented by this chapter:

    WAC

197-11-400    Purpose of EIS

197-11-402    General requirements

197-11-405    EIS types

197-11-406    EIS timing

197-11-408    Scoping

197-11-410    Expanded scoping

197-11-420    EIS preparation

197-11-425    Style and size

197-11-430    Format

197-11-435    Cover letter or memo

197-11-440    EIS contents

197-11-442    Contents of EIS on nonproject proposals

197-11-443    EIS contents when prior nonproject EIS

197-11-444    Elements of the environment

197-11-448    Relationship of EIS to other considerations

197-11-450    Cost-benefit analysis

197-11-455    Issuance of DEIS

197-11-460    Issuance of FEIS

(Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.160 EIS – Preparation.

A. Preparation of draft and final EISs and SEISs shall be under the direction of the responsible official. Before the city issues an EIS, the responsible official shall be satisfied that it complies with this chapter and Chapter 197-11 WAC.

B. The draft and final EIS or SEIS shall be prepared at the responsible official’s option by the city staff, the applicant or by a consultant approved by the responsible official. If the responsible official requires an EIS for a proposal and determines that someone other than the city staff will prepare the EIS, the responsible official shall notify the applicant immediately after completion of the threshold determination. The responsible official shall also notify the applicant of the city’s procedure for EIS preparation, including approval of the draft and final EIS prior to distribution. Subject to delays caused by the applicant’s failure to provide needed information, and other delays beyond the city’s control, draft and final EIS’s will be completed within one year of the date of the declaration of significance, unless the responsible official and the applicant agree in writing to a different estimated time period for completion.

C. The city may require an applicant to provide information the city does not possess, including specific investigations. However, the applicant is not required to supply information that is not required under this chapter or that is being requested from another agency; provided, however, this does not apply to information the city may request under another ordinance or statute.

D. The EIS may be combined with the recommendation or report on the proposal or issued as a separate document. If issued as a combined document, the substantive SEPA decisions or recommendations shall be clearly identified. (Ord. 765 § 3, 1997; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.170 EIS – Additional elements.

The following additional elements are part of the environment for the purpose of EIS content, but do not add to the criteria for threshold determinations or perform any other function of purpose under this chapter:

A. Employment;

B. Economic values as required by Chapter 43.21H RCW;

C. Social policy analysis;

D. Cost-benefit analysis;

E. Such other elements as may be required by the responsible official. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.180 EIS – Commenting – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference as supplemented in this chapter:

WAC

197-11-500    Purpose of this part

197-11-502    Inviting comment

197-11-504    Availability and cost of environmental documents

197-11-508    SEPA register

197-11-535    Public hearings and meetings

197-11-545    Effect of no comment

197-11-550    Specificity of comments

197-11-560    FEIS response to comments

197-11-570    Consulted agency costs to assist lead agency

(Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.190 Public notice.

A. Whenever public notice is required, the city shall follow the procedures set forth in this section.

B. Public notice will be given in the following situations:

1. When the city issues the following determinations of nonsignificance (DNS):

a. DNS involving another agency with jurisdiction,

b. DNS involving the demolition of any structure or facility not exempted by WAC 197-11-800(2)(f) or 197-11-880,

c. DNS involving the issuance of a clearing or grading permit not exempted by WAC 197-11-800 through 197-11-890,

d. DNS issued following a request for early notice pursuant to WAC 197-11-350(2),

e. Mitigated DNS issued pursuant to WAC 197-11-350(3),

f. DNS issued following the withdrawal of a DS pursuant to WAC 197-11-360(4);

2. When the city issues a determination of significance to commence scoping;

3. When a draft EIS (DEIS) is available for public comment;

4. Whenever the city holds a public hearing pursuant to WAC 197-11-535;

5. Whenever the responsible official determines that public notice is required.

C. The city shall give public notice using one or more of the following methods:

1. Posting the property, for site-specific proposals;

2. Publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, city or general area where the proposal is located, when the notice coincides with a license or action requiring published legal notice;

3. Notifying public or private groups which have expressed interest in a certain proposal or in the type of proposal being considered;

4. Notifying the news media;

5. Any other reasonable method calculated to inform the public and other agencies.

D. Notice of public hearings shall be published no later than 14 days before the hearing. Notice of public hearings or nonproject proposals shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city.

E. The city may require an applicant to compensate the city for the costs of compliance with the public notice requirements for the applicant’s proposal or provide services and materials to assist. (Ord. 785 § 10, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.200 Designation of official to perform consulted agency responsibilities.

A. The responsible official shall be responsible for preparation of written comments for the city in response to a consultation request prior to a threshold determination, participation in scoping and reviewing of a draft EIS.

B. The responsible official shall be responsible for the city’s compliance with WAC 197-11-550 whenever the city is a consulted agency and is authorized to develop operating procedures that will ensure that responses to consultation requests are prepared in a timely fashion and include data from all appropriate departments of the city. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.210 Using existing environmental documents – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference:

    WAC

197-11-600    When to use existing environmental documents

197-11-610    Use of NEPA documents

197-11-620    Supplemental environmental impact statements

197-11-625    Addenda – Procedures

197-11-630    Adoption – Procedure

197-11-635    Incorporation by reference – Procedures

197-11-640    Combining documents

(Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.220 SEPA decisions – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference:

WAC

197-11-650    Purpose of this part

197-11-655    Implementation

197-11-660    Substantive authority and mitigation

197-11-680    Appeals

197-11-700    Definitions

(Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.230 SEPA decisions.

For nonexempt proposals, the DNS or draft EIS for the proposal shall accompany the city staff’s recommendation to any appropriate advisory body such as the planning commission. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.240 SEPA decisions – Substantive authority.

A. The city may attach conditions to a license or approval for a proposal so long as:

1. Such conditions are necessary to mitigate specific adverse environmental impacts clearly identified in an environmental document prepared pursuant to this chapter; and

2. Such conditions are in writing; and

3. Such conditions are reasonable and capable of being accomplished; and

4. The city has considered whether other local, state or federal mitigation measures applied to the proposal are sufficient to mitigate the identified impacts; and

5. Such conditions are based on one or more policies in CHMC 18.04.250 and cited in the permit, approval, license or other decision document.

B. The city may deny a permit or approval for a proposal on the basis of SEPA so long as:

1. A finding is made that approving the proposal would result in probable significant adverse environmental impacts that are identified in a final EIS or final supplemental EIS; and

2. A finding is made that there are no reasonable mitigation measures that are sufficient to mitigate the identified impact; and

3. The denial is based on one or more policies identified in CHMC 18.04.250 and identified in writing in the decision document. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.250 SEPA policies.

A. The policies and goals set forth in this chapter are supplementary to those in the existing authorization of the city.

B. The city adopts by reference the policies in the following city codes, ordinances, resolutions and plans:

1. Zoning ordinance (CHMC Title 17);

2. Comprehensive plan;

3. Subdivision ordinances (CHMC Title 16);

4. Building codes (CHMC Title 15);

5. Street improvement and construction specifications (CHMC Title 12);

6. Underground utilities (CHMC Title 15);

7. Public service ordinances (CHMC Title 13);

8. Health and safety ordinances (CHMC Title 8);

9. Critical areas ordinances; and

10. Any other policy of the city which has been incorporated into any ordinance, resolution, regulation, plan or code and which provides a reasonable basis for attaching conditions to the approval, or denying the proposal in order to mitigate environmental impacts. (Ord. 765 § 4, 1997; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.260 Appeals.

A. SEPA appeals shall be limited to review of final threshold determinations, the adequacy of final environmental impact statements, mitigation or failure to mitigate environmental impacts, and project denials. Appeals of declarations of nonsignificance, EIS adequacy, mitigation and project denial and open record public hearings for the underlying permit(s), as described in Chapter 19.05 CHMC, shall be consolidated and heard together. Declarations of significance, issued before a decision on the underlying permit(s), may be appealed and heard before the consolidated open record public hearing on the permit or on other SEPA issues.

B. SEPA appeals must be filed in writing with the responsible official within 14 calendar days of the date of the SEPA decision unless there is a time period for appealing an underlying permit decision, in which case the SEPA appeal shall be filed within the time period provided for the permit or decision. The hearing date for appeals of declarations of significance issued before a decision on the permit shall be not more than 45 days from the date the appeal is filed.

C. On receipt of a written notice of appeal, the responsible official shall determine if the notice is timely. If the notice is untimely, the responsible official shall advise the person(s) who filed the notice that no appeal hearing will be scheduled because the notice was untimely. If the appeal is timely, the responsible official shall set a hearing date and transmit the appeal notice to the city clerk.

D. SEPA appeals, and any consolidated public hearings on the underlying permit, shall be open record hearings as described in Chapter 19.05 CHMC. The hearing body shall take sworn testimony, consider all relevant evidence and decide the issues de novo; provided, however, that the responsible official’s decision(s) shall be given substantial weight. The hearing body shall issue a written decision, which shall include specific findings of fact and conclusions of law, within 10 working days of the close of the hearing unless a longer period is agreed to in writing by the applicant and the hearing body.

E. The hearing body’s decision on threshold determinations and EIS adequacy shall be the final decision of the city. Appeals of the hearing body’s decision on these issues shall be filed in the King County superior court. Appeals of the hearing body’s decision on SEPA mitigation and project denial shall be filed with the city council.

F. Appeals to the city council of SEPA mitigation and project denial shall be consolidated with decisions subject to city council review as described in Chapter 19.01 CHMC. Decisions not subject to city council review may not be appealed to the city council as part of a SEPA mitigation or project denial appeal. In the appeal, the city council shall review the hearing body’s open record hearing decision in a closed record appeal as described in Chapter 19.06 CHMC. The record on appeal shall consist of the hearing body’s findings of fact, conclusions of law, and decision; a taped or written transcript of the hearing; and any exhibits accepted into evidence at the hearing. No other evidence shall be considered unless it can be shown that the hearing body erred in excluding such evidence or that such evidence was not available at the time of the open record hearing. The city council may reverse the decision of the hearing body if it finds that the hearing body’s decision is (1) not based upon substantial evidence in the record; (2) contrary to law; or (3) contrary to city policies expressed in ordinances or resolutions.

G. The city council’s decision on project mitigation or denial and the underlying permits shall be the final decision of the city. Appeals of the city council’s decision shall be filed in the King County superior court.

H. The responsible official shall give official notice whenever a permit is issued or approval is granted for which a statute or ordinance establishes a time limit for commencing a judicial appeal.

I. The time limitations and procedures for judicial appeals of decisions in this section shall be as set forth in WAC 197-11-680(4). Only a party to the proceeding appealed from may appeal hearing body or city council decisions. (Ord. 765 § 6, 1997)

18.04.270 Notice of action.

A. The city, applicant for, or proponent of an action may publish a notice of action pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080 for any action.

B. The form of the notice shall be substantially in the form provided in WAC 197-11-990. The notice shall be published by the city clerk, applicant or proponent pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.280 Definitions – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference, as supplemented in this chapter:

    WAC

197-11-700    Definitions

197-11-702    Act

197-11-704    Action

197-11-706    Addendum

197-11-708    Adoption

197-11-710    Affected tribe

197-11-712    Affecting

197-11-714    Agency

197-11-716    Applicant

197-11-718    Built environment

197-11-720    Categorical exemption

197-11-721    Closed record appeal

197-11-722    Consolidated appeal

197-11-724    Consulted agency

197-11-726    Cost-benefit analysis

197-11-728    County/city

197-11-730    Decision maker

197-11-732    Department

197-11-734    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS)

197-11-736    Determination of significance (DS)

197-11-738    EIS

197-11-740    Environment

197-11-742    Environmental checklist

197-11-744    Environmental document

197-11-746    Environmental review

197-11-748    Environmentally sensitive area

197-11-750    Expanded scoping

197-11-752    Impacts

197-11-754    Incorporation by reference

197-11-756    Lands covered by water

197-11-758    Lead agency

197-11-760    License

197-11-762    Local agency

197-11-764    Major action

197-11-766    Mitigated DNS

197-11-768    Mitigation

197-11-770    Natural environment

197-11-772    NEPA

197-11-774    Nonproject

197-11-775    Open record hearing

197-11-776    Phased review

197-11-778    Preparation

197-11-780    Private project

197-11-782    Probable

197-11-784    Proposal

197-11-786    Reasonable alternative

197-11-788    Responsible official

197-11-790    SEPA

197-11-792    Scope

197-11-793    Scoping

197-11-794    Significant

197-11-796    State agency

197-11-797    Threshold determination

197-11-799    Underlying governmental action

(Ord. 785 § 11, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.290 Compliance with SEPA – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference, as supplemented in this chapter:

WAC

197-11-900    Purpose of this part

197-11-902    Agency SEPA policies

197-11-914    SEPA fees and costs

197-11-916    Application to ongoing actions

197-11-920    Agencies with environmental expertise

197-11-922    Lead agency rules

197-11-924    Determining the lead agency

197-11-926    Lead agency for governmental proposals

197-11-928    Lead agency for public and private proposals

197-11-930    Lead agency for private projects with one agency with jurisdiction

197-11-932    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one agency, when one of the agencies is a county/city

197-11-934    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from a local agency, not a county/city, and one or more state agencies

197-11-936    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one state agency

197-11-938    Lead agencies for specific proposals

197-11-940    Transfer of lead agency status to a state agency

197-11-942    Agreements on lead agency status

197-11-944    Agreements on division of lead agency duties

197-11-946    DOE resolution of lead agency disputes

197-11-948    Assumption of lead agency status

(Ord. 785 § 12, 1998; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.300 Environmentally sensitive areas.

A. The planning commission shall designate environmentally sensitive areas under the standards of WAC 197-11-908 and shall file maps designating such areas, together with the exemptions from the list in WAC 197-11-908 that are inapplicable in such areas, with the city clerk and the Department of Ecology, Headquarters Office, Olympia, Washington. The environmentally sensitive area designation shall have full force and effect of law as of the date of filing.

B. The city shall treat proposals located wholly or partially within an environmentally sensitive area no differently than other proposals under this chapter, making a threshold determination for all such proposals. The city shall not automatically require an EIS for a proposal merely because it is proposed for location in an environmentally sensitive area.

C. Certain exemptions do not apply on lands covered by water, and this remains true regardless of whether or not lands covered by water are mapped. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.310 Fees.

The city shall require the following fees for its activities in accordance with the provisions of this chapter:

A. Threshold Determination. For every environmental checklist the city will review when it is lead agency, the city shall collect a fee from the proponent of the proposal prior to undertaking the threshold determination. The amount of the fee shall be as provided in the city council’s master fee resolution. The time periods provided by this chapter for making a threshold determination shall not begin to run until payment of fees. When the city assists the applicant or completes the environmental checklist at the applicant’s request or under CHMC 18.04.110 an additional fee in the amount of the city’s actual processing costs shall be collected. In the event the city utilizes a consultant to assist the city in making the threshold determination, the applicant shall pay the consultant’s projected fee to the city prior to the consultant being retained. All consultant fees will be paid by the applicant.

B. Environmental Impact Statement.

1. When the city is the lead agency for a proposal requiring an EIS and the responsible official determines that the EIS shall be prepared by employees of the city, the city may charge and collect a reasonable fee from any applicant to cover costs incurred, including overhead, by the city in preparing the EIS. The responsible official shall advise the applicant of the projected costs for the EIS prior to actual preparation.

2. The responsible official may determine that the city will contract directly with a consultant for preparation of an EIS, or a portion of the EIS, for activities initiated by some persons or entity other than the city and may bill such costs and expenses directly to the applicant. Such consultants shall be selected by the city.

3. The applicant shall pay the projected amount to the city prior to the city commencing review. The city will refund the excess, if any, at the completion of the EIS. If the city’s costs exceed the projected costs, the applicant shall immediately pay the excess. If a proposal is modified so that an EIS is no longer required, the responsible official shall refund any fees collected under subsections (B)(1) or (B)(2) of this section which remain after incurred costs, including overhead, are paid.

C. The city may collect a reasonable fee from an applicant to cover the cost of meeting the public notice requirements of this chapter relating to the applicant’s proposal.

D. The city may charge any person for copies of any document prepared under this chapter, and for mailing the document, in a manner provided by Chapter 42.17 RCW. (Ord. 765 § 7, 1997; Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.320 Forms – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following forms and sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference:

    WAC

197-11-960    Environmental checklist

197-11-965    Adoption notice

197-11-970    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS)

197-11-980    Determination of significance and scoping notice (DS)

197-11-985    Notice of assumption of lead agency status

197-11-990    Notice of action

(Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

18.04.330 WACs on file.

The city clerk shall maintain on file for public use and examination one copy of the Washington Administrative Code sections referred to herein. (Ord. 641 § 1, 1990)

 


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Prior legislation: Ord. 404.