Chapter 17.05


17.05.010    Purpose.

17.05.020    Applicability.

17.05.030    Level of service standards.

17.05.040    Review process.

17.05.050    Transportation concurrency mitigation methods.

17.05.010 Purpose.

This chapter sets forth specific standards providing for city compliance with the concurrency requirements of the State Growth Management Act (GMA) and for consistency between city and county-wide planning policies under the GMA. The GMA requires that the city of Blaine “must adopt and enforce ordinances which prohibit development approval if the development causes the level-of-service on a transportation facility to decline below the standards adopted in the transportation element of the Comprehensive Plan, unless transportation improvements or strategies to accommodate the impacts of development are made concurrent with the development.” (Ord. 2883 § 1 (Att. A), 2016)

17.05.020 Applicability.

A. All projects or development activities generating more than 50 trips per peak hour must be reviewed for transportation concurrency.

B. The following development shall be exempt from the provisions of this section:

1. Any proposed development expected to generate 50 or fewer peak hour vehicular trips;

2. Construction of public transportation facilities; and

3. Road, street, sidewalk and trail projects undertaken by the city. (Ord. 2883 § 1 (Att. A), 2016)

17.05.030 Level of service standards.

A. Level of service (LOS) standard within the city is set at LOS “D” during the peak hour as adopted in the comprehensive plan.

B. Intersection LOS is calculated (for both signalized and unsignalized intersections) as per the most recent edition of the Highway Capacity Manual.

1. If a specific land use typically generates “off peak” impacts, the city may require additional evaluation to determine if additional adverse impact would occur including:

a. Weekday a.m. peak hour;

b. Weekday peak two-hour, four-hour;

c. Weekends.

2. Depending on the nature of the impact, a signalization warrant analysis may be performed as per the requirements in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

C. Roadways classified as collectors and arterials are evaluated on a standards-based threshold emphasizing adequacy of design standards and safety criteria, not traveler delays. The design standards will be referenced in the following order of precedence:

1. City of Blaine development guidelines and public works standards.

2. WSDOT Local Agency Guidelines.

3. WSDOT Design Manual.

4. AASHTO Guidelines. (Ord. 2883 § 1 (Att. A), 2016)

17.05.040 Review process.

A. The city shall utilize the following procedures for evaluating all projects or development activities for concurrency, unless the applicant otherwise noted in writing:

1. Whenever a reviewing authority is asked to consider the approval of a division of land for sale or the approval of a site plan, the reviewing official shall make a written determination of concurrency in connection with transportation facilities proposed or available for the project.

2. Certificate of Concurrency.

a. The community development director shall complete a transportation concurrency evaluation at the time a development permit is applied for or during the course of permit review. The review shall include a determination demonstrating that the proposed project meets the level of service standards whereby a certificate of concurrency shall be issued and attached or incorporated to the development permit approval. When a project is determined to have not passed level of service standards the certificate of concurrency shall be conditioned in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section, or the project shall not be approved.

b. The applicant shall provide the city with all information necessary to complete the concurrency evaluation on the proposed development. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to provide studies, surveys, traffic counts, engineering review or any other items determined to be necessary for an accurate concurrency evaluation.

c. A certificate of concurrency shall be accorded the same terms and conditions as those for the underlying development permit. If a development permit timeline is extended the certificate shall also be extended for the same time duration. A certificate of concurrency shall be valid only for the development permit approved for the same parcel and may be transferable to any new owner(s) of the parcel to which it was issued.

B. Transportation concurrency shall be established and determined by comparing trip generation to available system capacity as follows:

1. Trip Generation. Traffic calculations shall be based on the trip generation average described within the latest available edition of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) trip generation manual for the particular type and extent of the development being proposed.

2. Available Capacity. The city shall periodically evaluate traffic volumes on a sample set of roadway segments and intersections. Sample set shall be determined by the public works director based on the comprehensive plan and six-year transportation improvement plan. Available capacity shall be determined based on traffic counts in comparison to facility design. Available capacity shall take into account approved development that is not yet contributing trips to the system so that multiple concurrent approvals do not adversely impact LOS goals.

3. Concurrency Test. The projected number of trips generated by a proposed development shall be subtracted from existing or new transportation capacity of the impacted transportation facility. If projected demand is less than available capacity, the project is not adverse to level of service standards and shall be issued a certificate of concurrency.

4. Development guidelines and public works standards compliance shall be a component of concurrency review. Development standards compliance shall require the following:

a. The project makes on-site and frontage improvements, consistent with city standards for curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, trails, street trees, and lighting where appropriate, and other roads that are necessary to serve the proposed project consistent with safety and public interest, which may include a fee in-lieu;

b. The project makes such off-site facility improvements, not listed on the capital facilities plan, as are necessary to meet city standards for the safe movement of traffic and pedestrians attributable to the project. Where a developer is required to oversize an off-site facility for a project by more than 10 percent of the need generated by the proposed project, the city may consider a developer reimbursement contract as authorized by state law;

c. The project makes a contribution to the facilities relating to capacity improvements identified in the adopted six-year traffic improvement program, in the form of transportation facility impact fees calculated pursuant to Chapter 3.80 BMC, as amended. (Ord. 2883 § 1 (Att. A), 2016)

17.05.050 Transportation concurrency mitigation methods.

For any project that creates an impact that causes a facility to degrade below a LOS “D,” the city shall use the following procedures to review and evaluate mitigation methods necessary to avoid crossing the LOS threshold, or the city shall deny issuance of a certificate of concurrency:

A. If mitigation is determined necessary to maintain level of service standards for an impacted transportation facility, the applicant may choose among the following actions:

1. Reduce the size of the project until levels of service standards are met;

2. Enter into a legally binding development agreement with the city whereby all required improvements will be constructed and completed within six years of the development approval date which also insures that the financing is available to pay for the improvements at time of building permit approval;

3. Be subject to a development approval conditioned that the required improvements be completed prior to the issuance of building permits, final plat or site plan approvals associated with the development;

4. Propose transportation demand management strategies to reduce vehicle trips generated by the project development;

5. Await the city’s completion of mitigating improvements if such improvements are underway or planned as part of the city’s six-year transportation improvement plan; or

6. Any combination of the above.

B. Acceptable impact mitigation requires a finding of the following:

1. The mitigation contributes to transportation facility performance and established level of service standards;

2. The mitigation is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan;

3. Any improvements to an intersection or roadway do not shift traffic to other roadway segments or to other intersections where an adverse LOS impact will occur and there is no mitigation being proposed;

4. Any adverse environmental impacts of the facility improvements may be reasonably mitigated; and

5. The improvements are consistent with the city’s development guidelines and public works standards. (Ord. 2883 § 1 (Att. A), 2016)