Chapter 17.16
PRELIMINARY PLAT

17.16.000    Chapter Contents

Sections:

17.16.010    Conference prior to submission of application.

17.16.020    Submission of application.

17.16.030    Format and content.

17.16.040    Distribution of copies.

17.16.050    Public hearing--Setting date.

17.16.060    Time limitations.

17.16.070    Public hearing--Notice.

17.16.080    Public hearing--Approval procedure.

17.16.090    Review criteria.

17.16.100    Action--Notification of applicant.

17.16.010 Conference prior to submission of application

Prior to the submission of the preliminary plat application, the subdivider or his representative may meet with the Director to discuss preliminary sketches or studies. At this time, said Director shall make available all pertinent information as may be on file relating to the general area. It is the purpose of this conference to eliminate as many potential problems as possible in order for the preliminary plat to be processed without delay. The conference should take place prior to detailed work by an engineer or surveyor. Discussion topics at this time would include such things as the comprehensive plan, development standards, Shore-line Master Plan, zoning, availability of sewer and water, latecomer charges, development concepts, other city requirements and permits, and the environmental impact of the plat. If the applicant owns adjacent land, the possibilities of future development should be discussed.

(Ord. 6967 §11, 2015; Ord. 4529 §4(1), 1984).

17.16.020 Submission of application

A.    Filing of Application. The subdivider shall prepare a preliminary plat and environmental checklist, together with improvement plans and other supplementary material required to indicate his general program and objectives, and shall submit a minimum of 17 copies of the preliminary plat and supplementary data to the office of the Planning Department. The Planning Department shall assign the subdivision a permanent file number. The Planning Department shall inform the applicant within two weeks of the date of receipt of the application of any deficiencies found in the preliminary plat application. The Planning Department shall return the application to the plat applicant if it is deemed incomplete or inaccurate. The time set forth in Sections 17.16.050 and 17.16.060 for hearing plat applications shall not run until all information has been provided in a complete and accurate manner as determined by the Planning Department. Resubmittals with the necessary information making the application complete must be submitted within six months of original filing. If not, the file shall be considered void and unexpended filing fees refunded.

B.    Environmental Checklist and Impact Statements. Each and every preliminary plat submitted to the planning department shall be accompanied by an environmental checklist. If it is determined that an environmental impact statement is required to be completed, then the plat shall not be considered as submitted until the final environmental impact statement has been completed. No public hearing on the preliminary plat shall be held until the final environmental impact statement (if required) has been completed and been made available for the general public.

C.    Responsibility for Data Accuracy. Accuracy for all data and information submitted on or with a preliminary plat shall be the responsibility of the applicant. Any proposed plat found to be inaccurate or misleading so as to hamper the decision of the Hearing Examiner and/or the City Council shall be returned to the applicant with a letter stating that the plat must be corrected and returned to the Planning Department.

(Ord. 4529 §4(2), 1984).

17.16.030 Format and content

A.    General. Preliminary plats shall be prepared in conformance with the requirements set forth in this section.

B.    Format.

1.    Preliminary plats shall bear the seal of a registered land surveyor or registered professional engineer licensed to practice in the state.

2.    Preliminary plats shall be accompanied by a completed environmental checklist prepared by the applicant, or applicant’s representative, on forms provided by the Department.

3.    Preliminary plats shall be drawn on paper having maximum dimensions of 24" by 36", and at a horizontal scale between 200’ to the inch and 50’ to the inch. Where vertical profiles are required, the scale shall be between ten feet to the inch and two feet to the inch. Other scales or paper dimensions may be used where deemed appropriate by the Community Planning and Development and Public Works Departments.

4.    Preliminary plats shall be accompanied by all information required by the Application Content Lists. See OMC 18.77.010.

(Ord. 5594 §2, 1996; Ord. 4529 §4(3), 1984).

17.16.040 Distribution of copies

The Planning Department shall distribute copies of the preliminary plat and pertinent information to the following:

A.    Olympia Public Works Department (three copies);

B.    Thurston County Health Department;

C.    Olympia Fire Department;

D.    Olympia Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department;

E.    Appropriate school district;

F.    Appropriate telephone company;

G.    Puget Power;

H.    Washington Natural Gas Company;

I.    Thurston County Assessor;

J.    Appropriate engineer and city or county officials when such plats are located within one mile of a city or county boundary;

K.    Department of Transportation, when such plats are located within 300’ of a state highway rights-of-way, or within 2 miles of a state or municipal airport;

L.    Department of Ecology, when such plats are situated in a floodplain or flood control zone as provided in RCW Chapter 86.10;

M.    Other public officials, agencies community groups or citizens as required by law.

(Ord. 5570 §13, 1995; Ord. 4529 §4(4), 1984).

17.16.050 Public hearing –Setting date

Upon receipt of a preliminary plat and all required information, the Planning Department shall set a date for public hearing before the hearing examiner. The hearing shall be within one hundred six (106) calendar days from the date the application is deemed complete, or within sixty-two (62) calendar days from the issuance of the final environmental impact statement, when one is required.

(Ord. 5570 §13, 1995; Ord. 4529 §4(5), 1984).

17.16.060 Time limitations

A.    Preliminary plats shall be approved, disapproved or returned to the applicant for modification or correction within one hundred twenty (120) calendar days from date the application is deemed complete, unless the applicant consents to an extension of such time period; provided, that if an environmental impact statement is required as provided in RCW 43.21C.031, the one hundred twenty (120) day period shall not include the time to prepare and circulate the environmental impact statement.

(Ord. 5570 §13, 1995; Ord. 4529 §4(6), 1984).

17.16.070 Public hearing –Notice

A.    Notice of the date, time and place of the public hearing shall be given as follows:

1.    Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Planning Department not less than 10 days prior to the date of hearing as follows: Notice shall be given to all of the owners of land adjacent to and within 300’ of the exterior boundary of the proposed plat. If the applicant owns adjoining land, the distance of notification shall be measured from the outside of the ownership. Names and addresses for such property owners shall be as shown on the latest records of the county assessor, and shall be supplied to the Planning Department by the applicant. Failure of any person to receive the notice shall not invalidate the hearing.

2.    Notice of the hearing shall be published by the Planning Department at least once, not less than ten calendar days prior to the date of hearing, in a newspaper of general circulation within the city.

3.    Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Planning Department to any town, city or county whose boundaries are adjacent to or within one mile of the proposed subdivision.

4.    Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Planning Department to the State Department of Transportation on every proposed subdivision located within 300’ of the rights-of-way of a state highway or within 2 miles of a state or municipal airport.

5.    Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Planning Department to the State Department of Ecology, Division of Water Resources, if the land is situated in a floodplain or flood control zone as provided in RCW Chapter 86.10, and to any other federal, state or local agency as may be relevant to determine if the public use and interest may be served by the proposed subdivision.

6.    Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Planning Department to any city or town whose utilities are contemplated to be used by the proposed subdivision.

7.    Notice of the hearing shall be posted by the Planning Department on or near the property in one conspicuous place. The notice must be viewable from a public rights-of-way.

B.    All hearing notices shall include a description of the location of the proposed subdivision. The description may be in the form of either a vicinity location sketch or a written description other than a legal description.

(Ord. 5570 §13, 1995; Ord. 4529 §4(7), 1984).

17.16.080 Public hearing –Approval procedure

Preliminary plat applications shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of this title, Chapters 18.78, 18.82, and Chapter 14.04 of this code. Approval of a preliminary plat by the hearing examiner is final and conclusive.

(Ord. 6886 §19, 2013; Ord. 5517 §7, 1995; Ord. 4529 §4(8), 1984).

17.16.090 Review criteria

A.    Council and Examiner Inquiry into Public Use and Interest. The council, hearing examiner and Planning Department shall inquire into the public use and interest proposed to be served by the establishment of the subdivision and dedication. The council or hearing examiner shall determine if appropriate provisions are made for, but not limited to, the public health, safety and general welfare, for open spaces, drainageways, streets, alleys, other public ways, water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks playgrounds, sites for schools and school grounds, fire protection and other public facilities, and shall consider all other relevant facts, including the physical characteristics of the site and determine whether the public interest will be served by the subdivision and dedication. If the council or hearing examiner find that the proposed plat makes appropriate provisions for the above, then it shall be approved. If the council or hearing examiner find that the proposed plat does not make such appropriate provisions or that the public use and interest will not be served, then the council or hearing examiner shall disapprove the proposed plat.

B.    Dedication. Dedication of land or payment of fees to any public body may be required as a condition of subdivision approval. Evidence of such dedication and/or payment shall accompany final plat approval.

C.    Release from Damages from Other Property Owners. The council or hearing examiner shall not, as a condition of plat approval, require an applicant to obtain a release from damages from other property owners.

D.    Flood hazard areas. The council or hearing examiner shall consider the physical characteristics of a proposed subdivision site, and may disapprove a proposed plat because of flood, inundation or swamp conditions. Construction of protective improvements may be required as a condition of approval, and such improvements shall be noted on the final plat. No plat shall be approved covering any land situated in a flood control zone as provided in RCW Chapter 86.16, without the prior written approval of the State Department of Ecology.

E.    Health Department. As a condition of preliminary plat approval, the health department may require lot sizes larger than the minimum permitted by the zoning code in those instances where topography, soils, water table or other conditions make larger lot sizes necessary in order to prevent possible health hazards due to water contamination or sewage disposal system malfunction.

F.    School District. When a preliminary plat wholly or partially contains a school site proposed in the comprehensive plan or other officially adopted plans, or when the school district finds a reasonably foreseeable need for such a site, the applicant may be required to dedicate a portion of the plat or reserve it for future purchase by the school district. The city shall require evidence of need from the school district as a prerequisite to requiring dedication or reservation. The council or hearing examiner may recommend a time limit on the effective period of any reservation.

G.    Fire District. When the affected fire district finds a reasonably foreseeable need for a site wholly or partially contained within the preliminary plat, the applicant may be required to dedicate a portion of the plat or reserve it for future purchase by the fire district. The city shall require evidence of need from the fire district as a prerequisite to requiring dedication or reservation. The council or hearing examiner may recommend a time limit on the effective period of any reservation.

H.    Parks. When a preliminary plat contains a portion of a trail or open space network which is indicated in the park plan element of the comprehensive plan or other officially adopted plan, an area encompassing such trail or open space network may be required to be set aside for its intended purpose by the granting of a trail or open space easement to the city, dedication or reservation for future purchase by the public. The council or hearing examiner may determine a reasonable time or specify the event, limiting the effective period of the reservation.

I.    Shoreline Management. Whenever a preliminary plat is wholly or partially located within an area subject to the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Act of 1971, RCW Chapter 90.58, the applicant shall comply with the Shoreline Master Program for the Thurston Region, Title 14 of this code and RCW Chapter 90.58.

(Ord. 4529 §4(9), 1984).

17.16.100 Action –Notification of applicant

Upon final approval, disapproval or modification of the preliminary plat, the Planning Department shall notify the applicant and his authorized representative by mail within ten days of said action. The action of the hearing examiner or city council shall be noted on two copies of the preliminary plat, including reference to any attached documents describing conditions imposed. The Planning Department shall return one copy to the subdivider and retain one copy for the permanent file.

(Ord. 4529 §4(10), 1984).