Chapter 16.01


16.01.010    Short title.

16.01.020    Scope.

16.01.030    Purpose and intent.

16.01.040    Administration.

16.01.050    Applicability.

16.01.060    Exemptions.

16.01.070    Applications required.

16.01.080    Expiration of preliminary approval and extensions of time.

16.01.090    Modifications.

16.01.100    Alterations of final plats.

16.01.110    Phasing.

16.01.120    Appeals.

16.01.130    Enforcement.

16.01.140    Ownership/successorship.

16.01.150    Regulation governing under conflict.

16.01.160    Vacations.

16.01.170    Vesting status.

16.01.180    Severability.

16.01.010 Short title.

This title shall be known hereafter as the subdivision ordinance. (Ord. C-656 § 4, 2007)

16.01.020 Scope.

This title establishes the procedure and criteria that the City will use in making a decision upon an application for a subdivision, short subdivision, or binding site plan. (Ord. C-656 § 5, 2007)

16.01.030 Purpose and intent.

A. In addition to the purposes set forth in Chapter 58.17 RCW, the purpose of the subdivision ordinance is to regulate the subdivision of land and promote the public health, safety and general welfare in accordance with standards established by the state to prevent the overcrowding of land; to lessen congestion in the streets and highways; to promote effective use of land; to promote safe and convenient travel by the public on streets and highways; to provide for adequate light and air; to facilitate adequate provision of water, sewer, parks and recreation areas, sites for schools and other public requirements; to provide for proper ingress and egress; to provide for the expeditious review and approval of proposed subdivisions which conform to zoning standards and local plans and policies; to adequately provide for the housing and commercial needs of the citizens of the City; and to require uniform monumentation of land subdivisions and conveyance by accurate legal description of land within the incorporated limits of the City;

B. To prescribe procedures for the subdivision of land in accordance with officially adopted plans, policies, and standards, including the provisions of the Airway Heights zoning code and Comprehensive Land Use Plan;

C. To provide uniform standards and regulations for the division of land;

D. To promote effective use of land consistent with environmentally sensitive development practices;

E. To further the goals and development policies of the City’s Comprehensive Plan;

F. To ensure adequate facilities are in place when property is subdivided and developed. (Ord. C-656 § 6, 2007)

16.01.040 Administration.

The Director is designated and assigned the administrative responsibilities as set forth in this title. The Director may require the use of such forms and information necessary to carry out the provisions of this title. (Ord. C-656 § 7, 2007)

16.01.050 Applicability.

These regulations shall govern the division of all land for the purpose of lease, sale or transfer into two or more lots, parcels or tracts, lot line adjustments, and lot consolidations within the corporate limits of the City. (Ord. C-656 § 8, 2007)

16.01.060 Exemptions.

A. The provisions of this title do not apply to the following:

1. Cemeteries and other burial plots while being used for that purpose;

2. Any division of land made by testamentary provisions and the laws of descent;

3. Divisions of land into lots or tracts each of which is five acres or larger;

4. Any division of land resulting from a public dedication;

5. Any public purpose segregation;

6. A division made for the purpose of alteration by adjusting boundary lines between platted or unplatted lots or both, which does not create any additional lot, tract, parcel, site, or division nor create any lot, tract, parcel, site or division which contains insufficient area and dimension to meet minimum requirements for width and area for a building site;

7. A division for the purpose of leasing land for facilities providing personal wireless services while used for that purpose. “Personal wireless services” means any federally licensed personal wireless service. “Facilities” means unstaffed facilities that are used for the transmission or reception, or both, of wireless communication services, including, but not necessarily limited to, antenna arrays, transmission cables, equipment shelters, and support structures;

8. A division of land into lots or tracts of less than three acres that is recorded in accordance with Chapter 58.09 RCW and is used or to be used for the purpose of establishing a site for construction and operation of a consumer-owned or investor-owned electric utility facility. For purposes of this subsection, “electric utility facility” means unstaffed facilities except for the presence of security personnel that are used for or in connection with or to facilitate the transmission, distribution, sale or furnishing of electricity including, but not limited to, electric power substations. This subsection does not exempt a division of land from the zoning and permitting laws and regulations of the City. Furthermore, this subsection only applies to electric utility facilities that will be placed into service to meet the electrical needs of a utility’s existing and new customers. “New customers” are defined as electric service locations not already in existence as of the date that electric utility facilities subject to the provisions of this subsection are planned and constructed.

B. A certificate of exemption shall be issued by the Director for the above exemptions following a minimum review for conformance with adopted City regulations and ordinances. Complete certificate of exemption applications shall be processed by the Director and shall be approved or denied within five working days following submittal of a complete application and payment of application fees.

C. Certificates of exemption shall run with the parcel of land described in the certificate, not the owner. (Ord. C-656 § 9, 2007)

16.01.070 Applications required.

An application is required for all actions administered by this title. An application shall be determined to be complete upon the submittal of all information required by this title and the payment of application fees. (Ord. C-656 § 10, 2007)

16.01.080 Expiration of preliminary approval and extensions of time.

Approval of preliminary plats, short subdivisions, and binding site plans shall automatically expire five years after preliminary approval is granted unless a time extension is approved by the Director.

A written request and any supporting data for time extension requests must be submitted to the Director at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the preliminary plat, short subdivision, or binding site plan. The Director may approve an extension of time for a period of up to three years, if:

A. Unforeseen circumstances or conditions which are not the result of voluntary actions of the applicant necessitate the extension of the application; and

B. Conditions in the immediate vicinity of the subject property have not changed substantially since the application was first approved; and

C. An extension of the application will not cause substantial detriment to existing uses in the immediate vicinity of the subject property or to the community as a whole; and

D. The applicant has demonstrated reasonable diligence in attempting to meet the time limit imposed. (Ord. C-656 § 11, 2007)

16.01.090 Modifications.

A. Any request to modify a preliminary subdivision, preliminary short subdivision, or preliminary binding site plan that has received preliminary approval shall be submitted to the Director. There are three ways to modify an approved preliminary plat, preliminary short subdivision, or preliminary binding site plan: process as a new application, process as an administrative amendment, or qualify for an exception.

B. General. Except as provided in subsections (C) and (D) of this section, a modification of a previously approved preliminary plat, short plat or binding site plan is treated as a new application.

C. Exception. The following modifications of preliminary plat, short plat or binding site plan approval may be reviewed administratively and do not require further review:

1. Engineering detail, unless the proposed detail modifies or eliminates features specifically required as an element of the preliminary approval;

2. Minor changes in lot lines or lot dimensions;

3. A decrease in the number of lots to be created or an increase of no more than five percent of the number of lots depicted on the preliminary plat, short plat or binding site plan.

D. Administrative Amendment.

1. Scope. A proposed amendment which the Director determines meets the criteria of this section will be processed as an administrative amendment unless the applicant has chosen to have the amendment reviewed as a new application.

2. Decision Criteria. The Director shall approve or approve with modifications a proposed amendment to an approved preliminary plat, short plat or binding site plan if:

a. The amendment maintains the design intent or purpose of the original approval; and

b. The amendment maintains the quality of design or product established by the original approval; and

c. The amendment does not cause a significant environmental or land use impact on or beyond the site; and

d. The amendment is not precluded by the provisions of the Airway Heights Municipal Code or by state law from being decided administratively; and

e. Circumstances render it impractical, unfeasible or detrimental to the public interest to accomplish the subject condition or requirement of preliminary approval.

3. Conditions. The Director may include conditions as part of an approval or approval with modifications to ensure conformance with the decision criteria above.

4. Written Decision. The Director shall issue a written decision on the administrative amendment which contains the following:

a. A description of the original preliminary plat approval and the proposed amendment; and

b. An analysis of the proposed administrative amendment using the applicable decision criteria, including the facts upon which the decision and any conditions for the project are based; and

c. A statement that the administrative amendment is approved, approved with modifications or denied subject to the provisions of this section. (Ord. C-656 § 12, 2007)

16.01.100 Alterations of final plats.

A. When an individual desires to alter a final plat or portion thereof, that individual shall file an application with the Director. The application must include the signatures of a majority of the owners of the lots, tracts, parcels, sites in the division or portion to be altered and include a list of all owners within the subdivision.

B. Upon receipt of an application for an alteration, the Director shall provide notice of the application to all owners of property within the subdivision, to those owners of property within 300 feet of the portion of the plat proposed for alteration, and by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. The notice shall either establish a date for a public hearing or provide that a hearing may be requested by a person receiving notice within 14 days of receipt of the notice. If the division is subject to restrictive covenants which were filed at the time of approval of the division, and the alteration would result in the violation of a covenant, the application shall contain an agreement signed by all parties subject to the covenants providing that the parties agree to terminate or alter the relevant covenants to accomplish the purpose of the alteration of the subdivision or portion thereof.

C. A public hearing is not required for the alteration of a final plat unless requested by a person receiving notice within 14 days of receipt of notice.

D. All applications for alteration shall be accompanied by a title report showing all persons and parties having an interest in the area subject to the alteration or portion thereof and subject to the covenants.

E. If any land within the alteration is part of an assessment district, any outstanding assessments must be equitably divided and levied against the remaining lots, parcels or tracts, or be levied equitably on the lots resulting from the alteration.

F. If any land within the alteration contains a dedication to the general use of persons residing within the division, such land may be altered or divided equitably between the adjacent properties as determined by the City Council.

G. The City Council shall determine the public use and interest in the proposed alteration and may deny or approve the application for alteration.

H. After approval, the applicant must produce a revised drawing of the approved alteration which, after signature of the City Council, must be filed with the county auditor. (Ord. C-656 § 13, 2007)

16.01.110 Phasing.

A. Any subdivision or binding site plan may be developed in phases or increments. Phasing of short plats is not permitted. A master phasing plan shall be submitted with the preliminary plat or binding site plan for approval by the Director. The phasing plan may be approved, provided:

1. It includes all land identified in the legal description for the project;

2. The phasing sequence is identified by a map;

3. Each phase has reasonable public or private infrastructure to support the number of dwelling units or lots contained within that phase;

4. The unfinalized portion meets the minimum lot size of the underlying zone for the proposed use; and

5. The Director approves the necessary documents so that all road improvements required are assured for that phase.

B. A phasing plan may be amended following preliminary approval. The amended phasing plan may be approved by the Director provided the above criteria are met. (Ord. C-656 § 14, 2007)

16.01.120 Appeals.

Any decision made under this title may be appealed by filing an appeal pursuant to Chapter 14.06 AHMC. (Ord. C-656 § 15, 2007)

16.01.130 Enforcement.

Any person, firm, corporation or association, or agent of any person, firm, corporation or association who violates any provision of this title shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor and each sale, offer for sale, lease or transfer of each separate lot, tract, or parcel of land in violation of any provision of this title or any local regulation adopted pursuant thereto shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense. (Ord. C-656 § 16, 2007)

16.01.140 Ownership/successorship.

Once preliminary and/or final plats, short plats, or binding site plans are approved or filed with the county auditor, all persons and parties, their successors, heirs or assigns, shall be bound by the conditions, dedications and inscriptions attending the plat, short plat, or binding site plan. (Ord. C-656 § 17, 2007)

16.01.150 Regulation governing under conflict.

Where this title imposes greater restrictions or higher standards upon the development of land than other laws, ordinances or restrictive covenants, the provisions of the stricter title shall prevail. (Ord. C-656 § 18, 2007)

16.01.160 Vacations.

Plat vacations shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of RCW 58.17.212. (Ord. C-656 § 19, 2007)

16.01.170 Vesting status.

A. Proposed subdivisions, short subdivisions and binding site plans shall be considered under the subdivision, short subdivision or binding site plan ordinance, and zoning or other land use control ordinances in effect on the land at the time a fully completed application for preliminary approval of the subdivision, short plat or binding site plan has been submitted to the Director.

B. The requirements for a fully completed application shall be as defined by this title.

C. The limitations imposed by this section shall not restrict conditions imposed under Chapter 43.21C RCW. (Ord. C-656 § 20, 2007)

16.01.180 Severability.

If any provisions of this title or its application to any person or circumstance are held invalid, the remainder of this title or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. C-656 § 21, 2007)