Chapter 17.04


17.04.010    Purpose.

17.04.020    Types of amendments defined.

17.04.030    Initiation of amendments.

17.04.040    Initiation of amendments that require a comprehensive plan amendment.

17.04.050    Processing amendments.

17.04.060    Public notice.

17.04.070    Amendment review schedule.

17.04.080    Special provisions.

17.04.090    Transmittal of amendments to the state.

17.04.100    Appeals.

17.04.110    Fees.

17.04.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to define the types of land use and development code amendments and establish time lines and procedures to be followed when proposals are made for amending or revising the city’s land use and development code and official maps. (Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.020 Types of amendments defined.

A. “Standard zoning map amendment” means a proposed change or revision to the official city of Blaine zoning map that affects a number of properties under various ownerships. A standard map amendment is generally comprehensive in nature, deals with homogenous communities, is geographically distinctive, or has unified interest within the city, such as a neighborhood plan. Rezone agreements may be executed for standard zoning map amendments when determined desirable by the city council.

B. “Text amendments” means a proposed change or revision in the text of this title, the city’s land use and development code. (Ord. 2879 § 1 (Exh. A § 4), 2016; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.030 Initiation of amendments.

Amendments to the Blaine land use and development code and/or to the official city zoning map or shoreline map may be initiated as follows:

A. The director may initiate the amendment process by placing the proposed amendment(s) on the review authority agenda;

B. The city’s review authority may initiate an amendment(s) by majority vote of its members to place an amendment proposal on the review authority agenda;

C. The city council may initiate an amendment by approving a resolution to place a proposed amendment(s) before the review authority. The resolution shall be forwarded to the director who, unless directed otherwise by the city council, shall place the amendment on the land use and development code docket to be scheduled for consideration by the review authority;

D. A citizen may initiate an amendment(s) and have it placed on the land use and development code docket by making application on a form provided by the director and pay a processing fee pursuant to Blaine’s unified fee schedule. The director shall be responsible for the placement of the amendment proposal on the land use and development code docket; and

E. Items are moved from the land use and development code docket to the review authority agenda of a scheduled meeting of the review authority by the secretary of the review authority. Amendments may be placed on the land use and development docket at any time during the year. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.040 Initiation of amendments that require a comprehensive plan amendment.

Amendments to the text or official maps of the Blaine land use and development code that also necessitate an amendment to the comprehensive plan shall only be placed on the land use and development code docket if the accompanying comprehensive plan amendment is initiated as provided in Chapter 16.04 BMC. If the necessary comprehensive plan amendment is not initiated by the city council, the land use and development code amendment will not be considered. (Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.050 Processing amendments.

Amendments to this title shall be processed in the following manner:

A. Citizen-Initiated Amendments. For citizen-initiated amendments the director shall evaluate each application for completeness and may request additional information of the applicant. Upon a determination that the application is complete, the proposal shall be processed as set forth in subsection B of this section.

B. Processing Amendments.

1. The director shall process amendments in the following manner:

a. Conduct environmental review under SEPA for each amendment or group of amendments as appropriate;

b. Prepare a staff report including findings and recommendations for each initiated text and/or map amendment, or group of amendments, as appropriate; and

c. Schedule a public hearing before the review authority and forward the staff report, including the result of the environmental review, to the review authority.

2. The staff report required in subsection (B)(1)(b) of this section shall:

a. Evaluate the initiated amendment(s) in relationship to the goals, objectives and policies of the Blaine comprehensive plan;

b. Consider environmental implications as identified by the city SEPA official; and

c. Evaluate compliance with any other special provision as set forth in BMC 17.04.080.

3. The review authority shall receive the staff report and schedule a public comment period to include the date of a public hearing(s) on the amendment.

4. At the conclusion of the public comment period, the review authority shall meet to evaluate and deliberate on each amendment in relationship to the following:

a. Goals, policies and objectives of the comprehensive plan; and

b. Compliance with any other special provisions as provided by BMC 17.04.080.

5. The review authority shall make a recommendation as to whether the amendment should be:

a. Approved;

b. Approved with modifications; or

c. Denied.

6. The director shall prepare an agency report containing written findings and the planning commission’s recommendation for each amendment or group of amendments, as applicable. The director shall also prepare a draft ordinance consistent with and incorporating the decision and findings of the planning commission; provided, that no draft ordinance is required if the recommendation is not to approve the amendment. The agency report, together with the draft ordinance, if any, shall be forwarded to the city council within 30 days of the planning commission’s final decision.

7. The city council shall receive the agency report and the draft ordinance, if any, and at its next regular public meeting, set a date for a public meeting, where it shall consider the findings and recommendations of the planning commission and may take any of the following actions on the amendment proposal:

a. By ordinance, adopt the amendment;

b. By motion, reject the amendment;

c. By resolution, remand the proposed amendment back to the review authority, with instructions for its reconsideration; or

d. If, after deliberating, the city council believes the public interest may be better served by departing from the recommendation of the review authority, the city council shall conduct their own public hearing on the proposed amendment. (Ord. 2811 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.060 Public notice.

Public notification of an open record hearing shall be completed in a manner consistent with the public notification requirements contained in BMC 16.04.120(B). (Ord. 2879 § 1 (Exh. A § 2), 2016; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.070 Amendment review schedule.

A. Applications for amendments to this title and official maps adopted by this title are accepted throughout the year.

B. Applications will generally be processed in the order received; provided, that the department may change the processing order if a different order would result in a more efficient use of staff time and that of the review authority. The date for establishing the processing order shall be the date the application is determined to be complete by the director. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.080 Special provisions.

A. Suggesting Revisions to the Blaine Land Use and Development Code.

1. Notwithstanding the provisions of BMC 17.04.030, interested persons, including applicants, citizens, hearing examiners, and staff of other agencies, may suggest amendments to this title and to the official maps adopted by this title by completing and submitting a suggested amendment application form provided for that purpose by the director.

2. The director shall maintain a record of each completed suggested amendment form received. There is no processing fee for submitting suggestions for amendments.

3. At least once a year, the director shall review and evaluate suggested amendments. Those suggested amendments that the director considers further the public interest or further the goals, policies or objectives of the comprehensive plan may be initiated by the director as amendment(s) by adding them to the land use and development code docket.

4. The review authority and the city council may also review the suggested amendment forms from time to time and may place a suggested amendment on the land use and development code docket in the manner established in BMC 17.04.030 for that body. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.090 Transmittal of amendments to the state.

Pursuant to RCW 36.70A.106(3) and WAC 365-195-620, the director shall notify and transmit copies of initiated amendments to this title and the official city zoning map to the Washington State Department of Commerce (DOC) and other state agencies identified on a list distributed by DOC at least 60 days prior to final adoption. The director shall also transmit a complete and accurate copy of zoning amendments to DOC within 10 days after the enacting ordinance is signed by the mayor. (Ord. 2811 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.100 Appeals.

Decisions made by the city council for this chapter shall be final and conclusive. Pursuant to RCW 36.70A.290 and 36.70A.295, appeals of a final decision by the city council under this chapter may be petitioned through the Growth Management Hearings Board of Western Washington or through direct judicial review. (Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.04.110 Fees.

All applicants shall pay fees as specified in the unified fee schedule at the time of application. (Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)