Chapter 17.60


17.60.010    Purpose.

17.60.020    Scope.

17.60.030    Process.

Article I. Preliminary Plats

17.60.100    Submittal requirements.

17.60.110    Referral to other offices.

17.60.120    Community development services department action.

17.60.130    Hearing examiner action.

17.60.140    City council action.

17.60.150    Preliminary plat criteria for approval.

17.60.160    Time limitation.

17.60.170    Expiration.

Article II. Final Plats

17.60.200    Conformance to approved preliminary plat.

17.60.210    Submittal requirements.

17.60.220    Required improvements.

17.60.230    Design and review of improvements.

17.60.240    Permits.

17.60.250    Supervision and inspection.

17.60.260    Deferred improvements.

17.60.270    As-built plans.

17.60.280    Community development services’ recommendation.

17.60.290    Public works’ recommendation.

17.60.300    Review – Referral to other departments and agencies.

17.60.310    Review – Departmental approval.

17.60.320    Review – Submission to city council.

17.60.340    City council.

17.60.350    Review – Time limitation.

17.60.360    Review – Recordation.

17.60.370    Review – Extension of approval date.

17.60.010 Purpose.

The procedures regulating preliminary and final plats are established to:

A. Promote the orderly and efficient division and redivision of land within the city;

B. Avoid placing undue and unnecessary burdens on both the applicant and the city;

C. Achieve the goals of the comprehensive plan and Growth Management Act; and

D. Promote the public health, safety, morals and general welfare, while complying with the provisions of Chapter 58.17 RCW. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.020 Scope.

Any land being divided into five or more parcels, lots, tracts or sites for any purpose and any land which has been divided into four or more parcels, lots, or tracts under the short subdivision procedures within five years shall conform to the procedures and requirements of the preliminary and final plat articles of this chapter. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.030 Process.

The subdivision process for preliminary and final plats is governed by the Type II-CC review process, involving five basic steps:

A. The applicant may contact the city staff on an informal basis to discuss the possibility of subdividing the subject area and to acquaint themselves with any city regulations or policies with which they may not be familiar.

B. The applicant may then schedule a pre-application conference through the community development services department to obtain feedback on the initial layout of the subdivision and clarify code requirements affecting layout of lots.

C. The third step is the formal submission and review of the properly prepared preliminary subdivision application through the public hearing and review process.

D. The fourth step is the resubmittal of the preliminary plat drawing for staff review of compliance with conditions of approval and submittal of civil construction plans, and land disturbance permit application followed by infrastructure construction.

E. The fifth step is the formal submission and the review of the final plat application. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

Article I. Preliminary Plats

17.60.100 Submittal requirements.

Applications for preliminary plats shall be submitted to the community development services department consistent with Chapter 17.66 BMC. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.110 Referral to other offices.

A preliminary plat application, that has been deemed complete, shall be circulated by the community development services department to pertinent city departments and public agencies. Each official or agency may file written recommendations with the community development services department. Refer to BMC 17.50.070. (Ord. 2970 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.120 Community development services department action.

A. The preliminary plat decision is made through the Type II-CC review process. The community development services department shall assemble and transmit to the hearing examiner all pertinent information and departmental recommendations at least seven calendar days before the hearing.

B. A copy of the material given to the hearing examiner shall be provided to the applicant, a copy shall be provided for public review in the community development services department offices, and a copy shall be made available on the city’s website. (Ord. 2970 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.130 Hearing examiner action.

A. The hearing examiner shall hold a duly noticed public hearing pursuant to BMC 17.06.110. The hearing examiner shall review the preliminary plat, consider the community development services department recommendation, and consider public testimony and exhibits submitted at the public hearing.

B. After review and consideration of public testimony the hearing examiner shall recommend approval, conditional approval, or denial of the preliminary plat in a public meeting. Such decision may occur on the same date as the public hearing, or it may occur at the next regularly scheduled meeting after the public hearing.

C. Prior to making a recommendation on the preliminary plat, all applicable conditions of approval deemed necessary to fulfill the purpose of this code shall be specified by the hearing examiner and the hearing examiner shall formulate findings of fact and conclusions of law for consideration with the recommendation.

D. The hearing examiner’s recommendation shall be forwarded to the city council for review during a regularly scheduled meeting not more than 30 days after the adoption of the recommendation. (Ord. 2970 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.140 City council action.

A. Upon receipt of a hearing examiner recommendation the city council shall consider and deliberate on the application in a closed record public meeting. The city council shall approve, conditionally approve, deny or remand the application to the hearing examiner. An action to remand shall include specific direction on issues for the hearing examiner to further evaluate.

B. A notice of decision shall be processed consistent with BMC 17.06.120. Written findings shall be included in the notice of decision and shall be retained in the project file at the city.

C. Prior to any additional processing of development permits for the site, the applicant shall submit a revised preliminary plat that is consistent with all conditions of preliminary plat approval to the community development services department. Approval of a preliminary plat shall constitute approval for the applicant to develop construction plans and specifications for all facilities and improvements, as required, in strict conformance to the approved preliminary plat, design standards, and any special conditions required by the city council, and to prepare a land disturbance permit application. (Ord. 2970 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.150 Preliminary plat criteria for approval.

The city council shall make the following findings upon approving a preliminary plat:

A. The preliminary plat is generally consistent with the goals and policies of the comprehensive plan;

B. The preliminary plat is consistent with the applicable zoning, critical areas, shoreline, Growth Management Act goals and policies, and State Environmental Policy Act regulations;

C. The application complies with lot and plat design standards as required under Chapter 17.74 BMC, Subdivision Design Requirements, unless specifically varied through the process outlined in Chapter 17.62 BMC, Plat Variance, or Chapter 17.68 BMC, Planned Unit Development (PUD);

D. That the subdivision and related dedication will serve the public interest, and not be detrimental to the public health, safety and general welfare;

E. Appropriate provisions are made for, but not limited to, open spaces and drainage ways; roads, streets, alleys and transit stops; potable water supply, sanitary sewer, electricity and franchise utilities; parks and recreation; sidewalks and other pedestrian corridors; and facilities that preserve the quality of the neighborhood;

F. That all applicable requirements of Chapter 58.17 RCW et seq., not included above, have been met. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.160 Time limitation.

Time limits for a decision on a preliminary plat are as defined in BMC 17.06.090. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.170 Expiration.

A. Approval of any preliminary plat shall expire and the preliminary plat shall be considered invalid five years from the date of such preliminary plat approval unless an extension of the approval period is granted by the approving authority pursuant to this section. Upon expiration of preliminary plat approval or any extension granted pursuant to this section, all construction work on the plat shall cease except any work required by the city for the purpose of public safety and/or protection of the environment.

B. Extensions shall be granted only in one-year increments. However, the approving authority may grant a total of not more than two successive extensions as long as each extension is considered individually.

C. Upon expiration of preliminary plat approval, or any extension of preliminary plat approval, the applicant shall be required to resubmit for preliminary plat approval notwithstanding any improvements completed under the prior approval.

D. The timely and proper submittal of a request for extension of a preliminary plat is the responsibility of the applicant.

E. Requests for extension of preliminary plat approval must be submitted to the community development services department, shall be in writing, shall be presented a minimum of 30 days prior to the plat expiration date and shall set forth any reasons to justify the requested extension.

F. A properly submitted request for extension will stay the expiration of the preliminary plat until the approving authority’s decision on the extension takes place.

G. Factors to be considered in the determination shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Evidence of intention on the part of the applicant to complete the plat;

2. Unusual engineering problems, weather, or factors beyond the applicant’s control;

3. Changes in city construction standards and/or land use regulations that might make additional review on the proposed subdivision advisable;

4. Changes in conditions on surrounding lands that might make additional review on the proposed subdivision advisable.

H. If the approving authority determines that it may be desirable to amend the original approval conditions of the preliminary subdivision prior to granting an extension, the approving authority shall hold a duly noticed public hearing on the proposed amendments.

I. The action of the approving authority to grant or deny an extension shall take place in a regularly scheduled public meeting. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

Article II. Final Plats

17.60.200 Conformance to approved preliminary plat.

All design and construction of plat improvements shall be in conformance with the approved preliminary plat. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.210 Submittal requirements.

When the applicant believes they have reached 80 percent completion of the plat infrastructure, the engineer of record shall complete a statement demonstrating the project completion status, and the applicant shall then submit a final plat application. Applications for final plats shall be submitted to the community development services department consistent with Chapter 17.66 BMC. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.220 Required improvements.

Each applicant may be required to grade, pave and mark streets and alleys, install curbs and gutters, sidewalks, trails, parks, survey monuments, sanitary and storm sewers, water mains, street lights and street signs, together with all appurtenances thereto, in accordance with the preliminary plat approval and the specifications and standards of this code. Infrastructure shall be approved by the public works department and in accordance with standards of the city. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.230 Design and review of improvements.

All required improvements shall be designed by a licensed engineer and shall be reviewed and approved by the city before any construction is started. Improvement designs shall be submitted for review in plan and profile form showing street lines, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, water lines and any similar improvements drawn to a one inch to 20 feet horizontal scale with any variations to be approved by the public works director or designee. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.240 Permits.

Prior to proceeding with any subdivision improvements, the applicant shall obtain a land disturbance permit and other permits from the city as are necessary. The applicant is also responsible for complying with all applicable permit requirements of other federal, state and local agencies. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.250 Supervision and inspection.

A licensed engineer, unless found to be unacceptable to the public works department, shall be responsible for the supervision and inspection of all subdivision improvements. The engineer shall submit weekly inspection reports to the public works director or designee. Alternatively, the public works director may require inspection to be conducted by a third-party inspection through a city contractor at the expense of the developer. All improvements shall be certified in writing as completed in accordance with plans and specifications as approved by the public works department. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.260 Deferred improvements.

A. Written Notice. A final plat shall not be approved by the city council until all required improvements are constructed in a satisfactory manner and approved by the responsible city departments, or sufficient bond in a form acceptable to the city has been satisfactorily posted in lieu of completion. In the event an applicant wishes to defer certain on-site improvements, written notice shall be made to the community development services department.

B. Bonding. The applicant shall furnish a performance bond to the city in an amount equal to 150 percent of the estimated cost of the deferred improvements. The decision of the public works director, regarding the amount of the performance bond, shall be final and conclusive.

C. Time Limit. Such bond, to be filed with and held by the city clerk, shall list the exact work that shall be performed by the applicant and shall specify that all of the deferred improvements be completed within one year from the notice of decision of the final plat by the city council. Extensions of this time period may be authorized by the public works director. In the event an extension is authorized, the bond shall be revised to reflect the new completion date.

D. Check in Lieu of Bond. The applicant may substitute a cashier’s check, assignment of funds, or any other method of security acceptable to the city in lieu of a performance bond. Such substitution shall be made payable to the city of Blaine and shall be in the same amount and carry with it the same restrictions as the bond for which it is substituting.

E. Proceed Against Bond or Other Security. The city reserves the right, in addition to all other remedies available to it by law, to proceed against such bond or other security in lieu thereof.

F. Binding Upon Applicant. The requirement of the posting of any performance bond or other security shall be binding upon the applicant, his heirs, successors and assigns. (Ord. 2970 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.270 As-built plans.

As-built plans shall be submitted to the public works department and shall be on reproducible material acceptable to that department. Electronic copies of as-built plans in a format acceptable to the department may be required at the discretion of the public works department. As-built plans are subject to review and acceptance by the public works director or designee. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.280 Community development services’ recommendation.

The community development director shall prepare a written recommendation for approval or denial verifying the applicant’s completion and/or bonding of the required park, trail, open space, and mitigation requirements in accordance with the provisions of this code and the specifications and standards of the city. The recommendation shall be included in a report to the city council. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.290 Public works’ recommendation.

The public works director shall prepare a written recommendation for approval or denial verifying the applicant’s completion of the required infrastructure installations and/or bonding in accordance with the provisions of this code and the specifications and standards of the city. The recommendation shall be submitted to community development services for inclusion in the report to the city council. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.300 Review – Referral to other departments and agencies.

The community development services department may distribute the final plat to all departments and agencies receiving the preliminary plat, and to any other departments, special purpose districts and other governmental agencies deemed necessary. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.310 Review – Departmental approval.

Within 30 calendar days of the date of receipt of a complete final plat application, the public works department shall review the final plat and submit to the community development services department a written report addressing the following conditions:

A. The facilities and improvements required to be provided by the applicant have been completed or, alternatively, that the applicant has submitted with the proposed final plat a performance bond or other security in conformance with this code;

B. The plat is technically correct and accurate as certified by the land surveyor responsible for the plat. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.320 Review – Submission to city council.

Within 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of a public works department report and any other pertinent written comments, the community development services department shall forward the proposed final plat, the public works report and written recommendation of the public works director and community development director to the city council. The time limit may be extended if the applicant agrees to an extension.

The final plat decision is made by the city council in a public meeting. No public hearing is required for a final plat. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.340 City council.

The city council shall approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the proposed final plat. If the city council finds that the proposed plat makes appropriate provisions for the public health, safety, general welfare, and for such open spaces, drainage ways, streets, alleys, other public ways, water supplies, sanitary sewers, parks, playgrounds, sites for schools and school grounds as were required by preliminary plat approval, and that the public use and interest will be served by the platting of such subdivision, then the subdivision shall be approved. If the city council finds that the proposed plat does not make such appropriate provisions or satisfy the conditions of preliminary plat approval, then the subdivision shall be disapproved. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.350 Review – Time limitation.

The city shall issue notice of final decision on a final plat within 120 days after the applicant is notified of a complete application, unless the applicant consents to an extension of such time period, in accordance with RCW 36.70A.065. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.360 Review – Recordation.

Before the final plat is submitted to the mayor for signature, it shall be signed by the finance director, public works director and the community development director. Upon approval by the city council, it shall be signed by the mayor and attested by the city clerk. Recordation shall be consistent with BMC 17.50.080. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.60.370 Review – Extension of approval date.

Final approval by the city council of a portion of the final plat will constitute an automatic extension of one year from the notice of decision issuance date for the remainder of the final plat. A total of two extensions for a period of one year may be granted by the city council through subsequent request by the applicant consistent with BMC 17.60.170. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)