Chapter 17.63


17.63.010    Purpose and intent.

17.63.020    Applicability.

17.63.030    Exemptions.

17.63.040    Application.

17.63.050    Approval authority and hearing.

17.63.060    Considerations.

17.63.070    Findings.

17.63.080    Conditions.

17.63.090    Permit issuance.

17.63.100    Appeal.

17.63.110    Revocation.

17.63.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of design review is to provide a process for promoting the orderly and harmonious growth of the downtown and central business district; to encourage development in keeping with the desired character of the downtown and central business district; and to ensure physical and functional compatibility between uses. The design review permit established by this chapter is intended to provide a process for consideration of development proposals to ensure that the design and layout of commercial, multifamily residential, and mixed use development will constitute suitable development and will not result in a detriment to the city or to the environment. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.020 Applicability.

A design review permit is required for the following projects within the downtown and central business district as designed under the D-A and D-B zoning districts:

A. Multifamily residential development;

B. Nonresidential and mixed use development (e.g., commercial, office, industrial, public/quasi-public); and

C. Additions to the above projects where 500 or more gross square feet is being added to existing structures. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.030 Exemptions.

The following structures and activities are exempt from design review. However, such structures may require additional permits and plan check, such as a ministerial building permit, to ensure compliance with adopted building code standards and applicable zoning code provisions.

A. Single-family homes;

B. Additions to single-family residential homes;

C. Additions to nonresidential and mixed use structures less than 500 square feet in size;

D. Accessory structures consistent with the provisions of this title;

E. Installation of signs consistent with the provisions of this title;

F. Repairs and maintenance to the site or structure(s) that do not add to, enlarge, or expand the area occupied by the structure, or the gross floor area of the structure;

G. Interior alterations that do not increase the gross floor area within the structure, or change/expand the permitted use of the structure (e.g., tenant improvements); and

H. Construction, alteration, or maintenance by a public utility or public agency of underground or overhead utilities intended to service existing or nearby approved developments (e.g., water, gas, electric or telecommunication supply or disposal systems, including wires, mains, drains, sewers, pipes, conduits, cables, fire-alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants, and similar facilities and equipment). (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.040 Application.

A. Application Contents. An application for design review may be made by a property owner or his authorized agent upon forms provided by the city clerk and giving such information as may be prescribed by the secretary of the planning commission. At this time, the application will be reviewed for completeness by the city clerk based on the following guidelines:

1. Every application for design review shall be accompanied by a drawing or plot plan, drawn to scale, and showing the lot and building site or sites, the proposed location of the buildings on the lot, accurate dimensions of the buildings, of the yards and of the lots, drawings of all elevations or sides of the buildings showing how the buildings will look when constructed, including building finishes and colors, and such other information as may be necessary to provide for the enforcement of these regulations or the intelligent consideration of the design review request.

2. Environmental documentation as described in Chapter 17.12 HMC shall be prepared.

B. Application Completeness Determination. If the application is deemed incomplete, the application is returned to the applicant. If the application is deemed complete, the city clerk shall accept the application.

C. Filing Fee. The city clerk shall charge and collect a filing fee for such application, as determined by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.050 Approval authority and hearing.

A. Approval Authority. The designated approving authority for design review is the planning commission. The project review committee provides a recommendation and the planning commission approves, conditionally approves, or denies the design review application in accordance with the requirements of this title. Design review approval is required prior to issuance of any ministerial building permits or site improvement plans and prior to or in conjunction with discretionary action of corresponding development applications.

B. Hearing. Upon receipt of the application in proper form, the city clerk shall place the item on the planning commission’s agenda for public hearing not more than 30 days after the date the application is determined to be complete. Within 30 days after the conclusion of the public hearing, the planning commission shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny the design review application. Notice of the action taken shall be mailed to the applicant.

C. Public Hearing Notice. Notice of public hearing shall be given for the time and in the manner as established by resolution of the city council, which shall be either:

1. By mailing said notice postage prepaid at least 10 days prior to the public hearing to all property owners whose names and addresses appear on the latest adopted tax roll as owning property within a distance of 300 feet from the exterior boundaries of the applicant’s property; or

2. By publication of said notice in an official newspaper of the city and by posting of said notice in a conspicuous place on or close to the property at least 10 days prior to the hearing. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.060 Considerations.

In conducting a design review, the designated approving authority shall consider the following:

A. Considerations relating to site layout, the orientation and location of building, signs, other structures, open spaces, landscaping and other development features in relation to the physical characteristics, zoning, and land use of the site and surrounding properties;

B. Considerations relating to traffic, safety, and traffic congestion, including the effect of the development plan on traffic conditions on abutting streets, the layout of the site with respect to locations and dimensions of vehicular and pedestrian entrances, exits, driveways, and walkways, the adequacy of off-street parking facilities to prevent traffic congestion, and the circulation patterns within the boundaries of the development;

C. Considerations necessary to ensure that the proposed development is consistent with the general plan and the downtown vision plan, including but not limited to the density of residential units; and

D. Considerations relating to the availability of public services, including, but not limited to, water, sewer, drainage, police and fire; and whether such services are adequate based upon city standards. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.070 Findings.

A design review permit, or any modification thereto, shall be granted only when the designated approving authority makes all of the following findings:

A. The proposed project is consistent with the objectives of the general plan, complies with applicable zoning regulations, the downtown vision plan, improvements standards, and other applicable standards and regulations adopted by the city;

B. The proposed project will not create conflicts with vehicular, bicycle, or pedestrian transportation modes of circulation;

C. The site layout (orientation and placement of buildings and parking areas), as well as the landscaping, lighting, and other development features are compatible with and complement the existing surrounding environment and ultimate character of the area under the general plan; and

D. That the proposed development complies with the regulations of the downtown code, promotes the spirit of downtown by integrating the fabric of its public and private built environment (the downtown’s DNA – what makes its unique character) and complementing the architectural quality of the downtown. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.080 Conditions.

The designated approving authority may modify plans in whole or in part and may condition the design review permit to ensure specific design features and conformance with all applicable provisions of this title. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.090 Permit issuance.

The final action of the design review permit by the designated approving authority shall constitute approval of the permit. Such permit shall only become valid after the designated 10-day appeal period has been complete as provided in HMC 17.63.100, Appeal. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.100 Appeal.

A. A written appeal may be taken to the city council by the applicant for design review or by any person, firm, corporation, group, or association aggrieved or affected by the decision of the planning commission with respect to any application for design review.

B. Such appeals shall be filed in duplicate with the city clerk within 10 days from the date of action by the planning commission or from the expiration of the 30-day completeness period described in HMC 17.63.040, Application. The appeal shall specifically state the grounds for the appeal and how the planning commission failed to conform to the requirements of these regulations.

C. Before accepting an appeal, the city clerk shall charge and collect a fee as determined by resolution of the city council.

D. The city clerk shall immediately transmit one copy of said appeal to the city planner, who shall inspect the appeal for defects and validate said appeal within 48 hours of receipt. If said appeal is defective for any reason, the building inspector shall send immediate notice to the applicant of the fact and the type and nature of said defect or defects.

E. The filing of an appeal shall stay the issuance of subsequent permit(s) (e.g., building permits). (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).

17.63.110 Revocation.

A. The planning commission may, by resolution and after a public hearing with notice in accordance with HMC 17.63.050, Approval authority and hearing, revoke any design review permit for noncompliance with any of the conditions set forth in the resolution granting the application. Written notice of intention to revoke shall be mailed to the applicant not less than 30 days before the planning commission hearing. Said revocation may be appealed in the manner provided in HMC 17.63.100, Appeal. Similarly, if the circumstances surrounding the granting of a design review permit have substantially changed, the planning commission may, on a vote of not less than four-fifths of its members, revoke any design review.

B. If an established time limit for development expires, or if a time limit for the duration of the continuation of the use has been established as one of the conditions, said permit shall be revoked upon such date of expiration without any notification of the owners thereof.

C. The revocation of the design review permit shall have the effect of denying all rights granted by the design review permit. (Ord. 469 § 1 (Exh. B), 2009).