Chapter 13.100
VACATION

Sections:

13.100.010    Vacation.

13.100.020    Process.

13.100.030    County road frontage owners’ petition.

13.100.040    Engineer’s report.

13.100.050    Notice of hearing.

13.100.060    Hearing.

13.100.070    Expense of proceeding.

13.100.080    Compensation to county as condition to vacation.

13.100.085    Appraised value.

13.100.090    Vacation of roads abutting bodies of water prohibited, exception.

13.100.100    Retention of easement for utilities and services.

13.100.110    Vacation in conjunction with land development.

13.100.010 Vacation.

Vacation of a road or right-of-way is characterized as a Type E transaction and is controlled by Chapter 36.87 RCW and the provisions of this chapter. Road and/or right-of-way vacation procedures may be initiated either in response to council request, or, when the engineer determines that the criteria for road and/or right-of-way vacation exist, may be initiated independently by the engineer on his/her own initiative or in response to a frontage owners petition.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended Ord. 96-028 § 86, June 12, 996, Eff date June 29, 1996).

13.100.020 Process.

When a county road and/or right-of-way or any part thereof, as determined by the engineer, is considered useless, and the public will be best served by the vacation and abandonment of such road and/or right-of-way, the engineer shall prepare an ordinance for consideration by the council vacating such road and/or right-of-way, except the engineer shall prepare a motion when the road and/or right-of-way vacation is proposed as part of a development application under SCC 13.100.110. The ordinance or motion shall be accompanied by supporting exhibits consisting of:

(1) Where applicable, a county road frontage owners’ petition as specified in SCC 13.100.030;

(2) The engineer’s report with contents as specified in SCC 13.100.040;

(3) A notice of public hearing as specified in SCC 13.100.050;

(4) An itemized list of costs and expenses incurred in the examination, report and determination of appraised value pertaining to the proposed vacation;

(5) Any exhibits and other documentation deemed necessary by the engineer to adequately explain the proposed vacation of the county road and/or right-of-way.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended Ord. 96-028 § 87, June 12, 1996, Eff date June 29, 1996; Amended by Ord. 13-051, July 31, 2013, Eff date Aug. 12, 2013).

13.100.030 County road frontage owners’ petition.

Owners of the majority of the frontage on any county road and/or right-of-way, or portion thereof, may petition the council to vacate and abandon the same or any portion thereof.

(1) The petition must show the name, address and land owned for each petitioner and set forth that such county road and/or right-of-way is useless as part of the county road system and that the public will be benefited by its vacation and abandonment.

(2) The petition shall be accompanied by:

(a) An application fee in the amount specified in chapter 13.110 SCC; and

(b) A legal description, square footage and map, prepared by a surveyor licensed by the state of Washington, for both the county road and/or right-of-way proposed to be vacated and the property adjacent to the proposed vacation owned by each petitioner.

(3) Subsequent to receipt of a complete petition and application fee and upon being satisfied that the petition has been signed by petitioners actually owning frontage along the adjacent county road and/or right-of-way or portion thereof, the engineer shall proceed with the vacation process as specified in SCC 13.100.020.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended Ord. 96-028 § 88, June 12, 1996, Eff date June 29, 1996; Amended by Ord. 13-051, July 31, 2013, Eff date Aug. 12, 2013).

13.100.040 Engineer’s report.

The engineer shall examine any county road and/or right-of-way or portion thereof proposed to be vacated and abandoned and shall report to the council on the following:

(1) Whether the county road and/or right-of-way should be vacated and abandoned;

(2) Whether the same is in use or has been in use;

(3) The condition of the road and/or right-of-way;

(4) Whether it will be advisable to preserve all or a portion of the road and/or right-of-way for the county transportation system of the future;

(5) Whether the public will be benefited by its vacation and abandonment;

(6) Whether compensation is required under SCC 13.100.080 and, if so, the appraised value of the area sought to be vacated as determined under SCC 13.100.085;

(7) The classification of the road and/or right-of-way area according to whether expenditures were made in the acquisition, improvement or maintenance of the right-of-way, and the nature of the county’s property interest therein, according to the following classifications:

(a) Class A. Road and/or right-of-way in which the county has a fee simple interest and public expenditures were made,

(b) Class B. Road and/or right-of-way in which the county has a fee simple interest and no public expenditures were made,

(c) Class C. Road and/or right-of-way in which the county has an easement interest and public expenditures were made, or

(d) Class D. Road and/or right-of-way in which the county has an easement interest and no public expenditures were made;

(8) Whether the proposed area to be vacated contains utilities;

(9) All other matters which will be of interest to the council including an itemized list of costs and expenses incurred in the examination, report, determination of appraised value and all proceedings pertaining to such petition to vacate and abandon;

(10) Whether the proposed area to be vacated abuts a body of salt or fresh water in accordance with SCC 13.100.090.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended Ord. 96-028 § 89, June 12, 1996, Eff date June 29, 1996; Amended by Ord. 13-051, July 31, 2013, Eff date Aug. 12, 2013).

13.100.050 Notice of hearing.

The council, after reviewing the engineers report as specified in Section 13.100.030 SCC, may at regular council work session, modify and/or introduce the ordinance and set a public hearing for action on the report and proposed ordinance. Notice of the hearing shall be published by the council in the county official newspaper at least once a week for two consecutive weeks preceding the date fixed for the hearing and a copy of the notice shall be posted for at least 20 days preceding the day fixed for hearing at each end of the county road and/or right-of-way or portion thereof proposed to be vacated or abandoned.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended Ord. 96-028 § 90, June 12, 1996, Eff date June 29, 1996).

13.100.060 Hearing.

On the day fixed for the hearing, the council shall consider the report of the engineer, together with any evidence for or any objection against such vacation and abandonment. If the county road and/or right-of-way is found useful as a part of the county road system it shall not be vacated, but if it is not useful and the public will be benefitted by the vacation, the council, by ordinance, may vacate the road and/or right-of-way or portion thereof.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended Ord. 96-028 § 91, June 12, 1996, Eff date June 29, 1996).

13.100.070 Expense of proceeding.

Regardless of the council’s decision to vacate or not to vacate the road and/or right-of-way, the petitioners or other proponent seeking the vacation shall pay to the county road fund, upon request, the itemized costs and expenses detailed in SCC 13.100.020(4), also identified as the permit fee under SCC 13.110.010(2)(b). Payment shall be made prior to recording of the ordinance or motion for vacation. Upon payment of these costs and the meeting of any other terms and conditions included in the ordinance or motion granting vacation and entered into its minutes, the road or portion thereof shall be considered vacated.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended Ord. 96-028 § 92, June 12, 1996, Eff date June 29, 1996; Amended by Ord. 13-051, July 31, 2013, Eff date Aug. 12, 2013).

13.100.080 Compensation to county as condition to vacation.

(1) The council in its ordinance of vacation or motion of vacation under SCC 13.100.110(1) shall require persons benefiting from the vacation of county roads to pay the county for the value of the property vacated as established under subsection (2) of this section and SCC 13.100.085 within one year of the date the ordinance or motion is adopted by council. Timely payment of that compensation shall be one of the conditions precedent to the actual vacation of the county road right-of-way, unless the council waives some or all of the compensation requirement under subsection (3) of this section.

(2) Compensation, except when waived pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, shall be required according to the following schedule:

(a) Class A. One hundred percent of the appraised value as determined under SCC 13.100.085;

(b) Class B and C. Fifty percent of the appraised value as determined under SCC 13.100.085; or

(c) Class D. Zero percent of the appraised value as determined under SCC 13.100.085.

(3) The engineer may recommend, and the council shall have the authority, to waive some or all of the compensation required under subsections (1) and (2) of this section in the following circumstances:

(a) The vacation request is independently initiated by the engineer or in response to a council request;

(b) The petitioners are the original grantors of the county road and/or right-of-way and no public expenditures were made;

(c) Environmental or topographical conditions exist that make the opening and/or improvement of the county road and/or right-of-way impractical; or

(d) A new county road and/or right-of-way of equal or greater utility to public transportation purposes is provided to replace the road and/or right-of-way subject to vacation.

(4) Failure to make payment of the compensation required under this section within one year of the date the ordinance or motion is adopted by council means the ordinance or motion shall not be recorded and the road and/or right-of-way shall not be considered vacated.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended by Ord. 13-051, July 31, 2013, Eff date Aug. 12, 2013).

13.100.085 Appraised value.

(1) The appraised value of the county’s interest in the county road and/or right-of-way subject to the vacation request will be calculated by determining the sum of the assessed land value of each petitioner’s parcel based on the records of the county assessor, then dividing that sum by the total square footage of each parcel, and multiplying the resulting value by the total square footage of the portion of the county road and/or right-of-way adjacent to each parcel that is subject to the road and/or right-of-way vacation request.

(2) If a petitioner disagrees with the appraised value determined pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, a petitioner may obtain and submit to the engineer an independent appraisal of the county road and/or right-of-way subject to the vacation request. The independent appraisal shall be conducted by an appraiser appearing on the current Washington State Department of Transportation approved appraiser list and have experience in road and/or right-of-way vacations. The costs of obtaining the independent appraisal shall be the sole financial responsibility of the petitioner. The engineer may, but is under no obligation to, modify the appraised value determined under subsection (1) of this section based on the independent appraisal. The costs associated with the engineer’s review of the independent appraisal shall be considered a cost and expense incurred in the determination of appraised value under SCC 13.100.020(4) and included in the permit fee under SCC 13.110.010(2)(c).

(Added by Ord. 13-051, July 31, 2013, Eff date Aug. 12, 2013).

13.100.090 Vacation of roads abutting bodies of water prohibited, exception.

No county road or part thereof shall be vacated which abuts on a body of salt or fresh water unless the purpose of the vacation is to enable any public authority to acquire the vacated property for port purposes, boat moorage or launching sites, or for park viewpoint, recreational, educational or other public purposes, or unless the property is zoned for industrial uses.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985).

13.100.100 Retention of easement for utilities and services.

Whenever a county road and/or right-of-way or any portion thereof is vacated, the council may include in the ordinance or motion authorizing the vacation a provision that the county retain an easement in respect to the vacated land for the construction, repair, and maintenance of utilities and services which at the time the ordinance or motion is adopted are authorized or are physically located in a portion of the land being vacated; provided, that the council shall not convey such easement to any utility purveyor or other entity or person but may convey a permit or franchise to a utility purveyor to effectuate the intent of this section.

(Added Ord. 85-051, § 3, July 3, 1985; Amended Ord. 96-028 § 93, June 12, 1996, Eff date June 29, 1996; Amended by Ord. 13-051, July 31, 2013, Eff date Aug. 12, 2013).

13.100.110 Vacation in conjunction with land development.

Where vacation of a county road and/or right-of-way is proposed as part of a development application that requires approval by the hearing examiner, and the engineer determines that the criteria for vacation exist, the function of the council as set forth in SCC 13.100.020, 13.100.040, SCC 13.100.060, SCC 13.100.070 and SCC 13.100.080 may, upon written request by the developer, be performed by the hearing examiner. Council review of the report of the engineer and ordinance in accordance with SCC 13.100.050 shall not be required.

(1) The engineer shall prepare a motion for consideration by the hearing examiner for vacation of the county road and/or right-of-way, in lieu of the ordinance required by SCC 13.100.020.

(2) The hearing on the vacation shall be held concurrent with the open record hearing on the development proposal. Notice in accordance with SCC 13.100.050 shall be published by the department of planning and development services and incorporated within the notice of the hearing on the development proposal.

(3) The hearing examiner shall make findings as to whether the subject county road and/or right-of-way is not useful and whether the public will be benefitted by the vacation, and shall make a recommendation to the county council as to whether vacation should be approved and any conditions that should apply. The hearing examiner’s recommendation shall be subject to reconsideration pursuant to SCC 2.02.167 to the same extent as any other hearing examiner decision.

(4) The county council shall consider such recommendation at a public meeting. If the county council determines that the county road and/or right-of-way should be vacated, it shall be vacated by motion.

(5) The county council may determine at the public meeting that additional public testimony is warranted to consider the vacation and set a date for an additional public hearing in accordance with SCC 13.100.050 and SCC 13.100.060.

(Added Ord. 96-028 § 94, June 12, 1996, Eff date June 29, 1996).