Chapter 17.64
BINDING SITE PLANS

Sections:

17.64.010    Applicability.

17.64.020    Purpose.

17.64.030    Binding site plan review procedures.

17.64.040    General binding site plan review procedure.

17.64.050    General binding site plan approval criteria.

17.64.060    Time limitation.

17.64.070    Referral to other offices.

17.64.080    Specific binding site plan review procedure.

17.64.090    Infrastructure improvements.

17.64.100    Specific binding site plan approval criteria.

17.64.110    Modifications.

17.64.010 Applicability.

The division of commercial or industrial zoned land for sale or lease when used for commercial or industrial purposes; the division of land that supports the further division of property by the creation of condominium units; the division of land for lease when used as a mobile home park, recreational vehicle park, or trailer court; or the division of land into lots or tracts pursuant to RCW 58.17.040(7). (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.020 Purpose.

A. The purpose of this section is to provide an alternative to the traditional platting process for the division of land and to establish the necessary requirements for site development which will include but are not limited to:

1. Allowed range of uses and approximate number of tenants;

2. Required infrastructure improvements and phasing of improvements;

3. Identification and protection of critical areas;

4. Mitigation for impacts to critical areas.

B. The process is intended to allow flexibility in the timing of required infrastructure improvements as determined appropriate by the review authority. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.030 Binding site plan review procedures.

The review and approval of a binding site plan is a two-step process: general and specific. No sale of land divided through a binding site plan process shall be allowed prior to final approval and recordation of a specific binding site plan providing for such sale. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.040 General binding site plan review procedure.

A. Through a Type II-CC decision process, the city council shall make a decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the proposed general binding site plan.

B. All approvals shall be subject to a development agreement as authorized under Chapter 36.70B RCW et seq.

C. Following a city council decision to approve, the community development director and public works director shall coordinate with the applicant to draft a development agreement that includes the following details:

1. Legal description of the property to be bound by the agreement;

2. Map showing the general binding site plan;

3. Specific infrastructure requirements, including a phasing plan for infrastructure installation;

4. Special building restrictions including design standards appropriate to the type of uses permitted;

5. General land use regulations that may supplement the zoning;

6. Landscape and streetscape plans, as applicable;

7. Critical area buffers and/or mitigation requirements;

8. Minimum infrastructure levels of service and access requirements that must be complete prior to approval of any specific binding site plans.

D. The city council shall have final authority to review and approve any development agreement. A public hearing shall be held by the city council to consider the development agreement prior to approval.

E. Upon approval of the agreement by the developer and the city, the applicant shall complete the general binding site plan consistent with the requirements of this chapter and the agreement. This site plan must be prepared and stamped by a registered land surveyor who shall certify that the general binding site plan is a true and correct representation of the land surveyed and stamped by a professional engineer that all infrastructure improvements required under the general binding site plan can be constructed.

F. Both the general binding site plan and the agreement shall be filed and recorded with the county auditor’s office consistent with BMC 17.50.080. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.050 General binding site plan approval criteria.

A. The city council shall make the following findings upon approving a general binding site plan plat:

1. The site plan is generally consistent with the comprehensive plan in light of any changed conditions since its adoption;

2. The site plan is consistent with the applicable zoning, critical areas, shoreline, and State Environmental Policy Act regulations;

3. The site plan 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);

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

5. 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, parks and recreation; sidewalks and other pedestrian corridors; and amenities that promote the quality of the neighborhood.

B. Written findings shall be included in the notice of decision and shall be retained in the project file at the city. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.060 Time limitation.

If no specific binding site plans have been approved within five years of the date of approval of the general binding site plan by the city council, the general binding site plan and development agreement shall expire. The city council may extend the time limit for one year at a time. Only two such extensions shall be approved. If all specific binding site plans are not submitted or completed by the end of all approved extensions (maximum of seven years), then the general binding site plan shall be considered abandoned. No action shall be taken on an abandoned site plan except resubmission. (Ord. 2811 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.070 Referral to other offices.

A general binding site plan application, that has been deemed complete, shall be circulated by the community development services department to pertinent city departments and public agencies through the technical review committee review process. Each official or agency may file written recommendations with the community development services department within 14 days of the date of receipt of the technical review packet or may attend the technical review committee meeting to comment on the project. In addition, where the proposed plan abuts a state right-of-way or abuts Whatcom County jurisdiction, the State Department of Transportation and/or Whatcom County planning and development services shall be provided copies of the plan for review and comment. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.080 Specific binding site plan review procedure.

A. The purpose of the specific binding site plan is to provide a timely staff review of site plan divisions; ensure appropriate conditions and requirements have been met; and provide proper recording of divisions for sale or transfer. No occupancy permit or use of the parcel or lease area(s) being created by a specific binding site plan shall be issued or allowed until all necessary improvements and requirements specified by this title and general binding site plan agreement have been met.

B. Upon compliance with the requirements of the director and all conditions of the general binding site plan agreement, the specific binding site plan shall be signed by the owners and the others noted in Chapter 17.66 BMC. Once signed, the specific binding site plan shall be filed for record with the county auditor’s office. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.090 Infrastructure improvements.

It is the intent of this section to allow the required infrastructure improvements to be installed prior to building construction.

A. Before approval may be granted for any specific binding site plan, the following improvements have been provided or will be provided prior to issuance of a building permit under the conditions specified in the development agreement:

1. Street improvements;

2. Stormwater management;

3. Water;

4. Wastewater;

5. Appropriate dedications or easements as required;

6. All applicable private franchise utilities and city utilities.

B. If the development of the site is to be done in phases, the applicant shall submit a schedule of installation of the required improvements to coincide with the development phasing. Such improvement schedule is subject to approval of the public works director.

C. A professional engineer shall design all improvements in accordance with the city’s development guidelines and public works standards and the appropriate utility comprehensive plans. Any phased infrastructure shall be designed and constructed such that it is sized for and otherwise accommodates the need for extensions and demand created by future phases.

D. Surety covering construction performance and guaranteeing the construction shall be required. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.100 Specific binding site plan approval criteria.

A. The community development director shall make the following findings upon approving a specific binding site plan:

1. The specific binding site plan is consistent with the development agreement;

2. The specific binding site plan is consistent with the applicable zoning, critical areas, shoreline, and State Environmental Policy Act regulations;

3. The specific binding site plan 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);

4. That the specific binding site plan is consistent with the general binding site plan and the intent of the approval thereof.

B. Written findings shall be submitted to the applicant and shall be retained in the project file at the city. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.64.110 Modifications.

A. The community development director shall consider any modifications to a general or specific binding site plan. The director may allow minor modifications to the agreement without modifying the instrument after consultation with the technical review committee. A “minor modification” is defined as a modification that meets the following provisions:

1. The modification does not violate any provisions of this title;

2. The lot area requirements are not varied by more than 10 percent;

3. The common open space and/or usable open space is not reduced by more than 10 percent;

4. The total ground area covered by buildings is not increased more than five percent;

B. All other modifications shall require amendment to the general binding site plan agreement. An amendment shall be processed in the same manner as the original application. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)