Chapter 17.74


17.74.010    Purpose.

17.74.020    Goals.

17.74.030    Applicability.

17.74.040    Procedural authority.

17.74.050    Right-of-way widths.

17.74.060    Additional right-of-way.

17.74.070    Utility easements.

17.74.080    Required improvements.

17.74.090    Block lengths.

17.74.100    Neighborhood pattern.

17.74.110    Irregular lot shapes.

17.74.120    Lot orientation.

17.74.130    Flag lots.

17.74.140    Through lots.

17.74.150    Storm water management.

17.74.160    Trail corridors.

17.74.170    Parks and open space.

17.74.180    Waiver of requirements.

17.74.190    Completion or performance bond.

17.74.200    Warranty of workmanship.

17.74.210    Appeals.

17.74.010 Purpose.

The subdivision design standards are intended to provide predictability to developers while ensuring the citizens of Blaine benefit from quality neighborhood design that promotes public health, safety and welfare while encouraging active lifestyles through neighborhood connectivity by nonmotorized transportation. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.020 Goals.

A. Promote public health, safety and welfare;

B. Promote neighborhood connectivity to other neighborhoods, parks, recreational facilities, school facilities, and commercial centers;

C. Increase safe nonmotorized access and mobility throughout the city;

D. Avoid nonmotorized and vehicular movement conflicts while improving safety;

E. Support transportation options that contribute to reduced traffic congestion, improved transit connections, improved air quality, reduced fuel consumption and promote public health and fitness;

F. Promote equitable and timely review of development proposals; and

G. Provide predictability to property owners. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.030 Applicability.

A. These standards shall apply to all short plats, long plats and general binding site plans.

B. The standards as established by this code shall apply to previously approved permits only if a new application for a permit or amendment is submitted for review and approval. Upon application submittal for a permit or amendment, all standards of this chapter are applicable to the project or development. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.040 Procedural authority.

The community development services (CDS) department shall be responsible for administering this code unless otherwise noted. The public works department is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of public facilities and infrastructure. All public and private improvements shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the development guidelines and public works standards. If adopted city standards do not give adequate guidance another appropriate design standard specified by community development services and public works shall apply. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.050 Right-of-way widths.

The minimum rights-of-way required for the following street classifications are as follows:

A. Arterial streets: 80 feet;

B. Collector, local or minor access streets: 60 feet;

C. Alleys: minimum 20 feet;

D. Private streets: the minimum right-of-way required for private streets shall meet the requirements of the International Fire Code and shall be approved by the review authority. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.060 Additional right-of-way.

When a development is proposed adjacent to a public right-of-way that does not meet the standard width requirements as defined under BMC 17.74.050, additional right-of-way shall be dedicated to the city so that all portions of property under contiguous ownership of the project proponent front on standard width rights-of-way. Additional right-of-way may also be required for future planned infrastructure or improvements identified in the 20-year capital improvement plan, Blaine comprehensive plan, or other adopted planning documents which identifies capital improvements. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.070 Utility easements.

A minimum five-foot-wide public utility easement shall be dedicated adjacent to all public rights-of-way whenever feasible. Utility easements shall be provided consistent with the development guidelines and public works standards section 3.16.000. Such easements shall be dedicated to the city and shall be used primarily for the installation of required service utilities. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.080 Required improvements.

The project proponent shall construct or make the following on-site and adjacent right-of-way improvements in compliance with the city’s comprehensive plan and they shall be designed in accordance with the public works guidelines and development standards unless otherwise noted. All such construction improvements shall be accepted by the city prior to recordation of any development. The community development and public works directors may together authorize alternatives when determined to better serve public health, safety and welfare.

A. Municipal Utilities.

1. Any property proposed for development must be serviced with city utility services including but not limited to sanitary sewer, water, power, and storm water. The proponent is required to extend city utilities required to service the proposed development along the entire frontage and make all required connections. Any existing substandard or deficient service shall be improved to the satisfaction of the public works director.

2. The public works director may grant exceptions for short plats in East Blaine when municipal utilities are unavailable.

B. Street Improvements.

1. Public streets shall be constructed to a partial width standard acceptable to the public works director when one side of the street is being developed. Full standard streets are required when both sides of a public street are being developed, or when in the opinion of the public works director construction of a partial street section will compromise the public health, safety or general welfare.

2. All public and private streets shall be designed to the development guidelines and public works standards Table of Minimum Street Design Standards (Figure 4-c). Approval of reduced standards are at the discretion of the public works director but shall be considered based on the following reasons:

a. Standards established through the planned unit development process;

b. Standards established through the plat variance process;

c. To avoid creating a disconnected system which may affect public safety;

d. With the agreement to a no protest to LID or payment of in-lieu funds where improvements are best incorporated into a future project.

C. Street Lighting.

1. Street lighting at all intersections, including alleyways and pedestrian facilities, is required. Street lighting shall be installed consistent with the development guidelines and public works standards section 4.05, Illumination.

2. In the West Blaine Planning Area, street lighting shall be of a style and design consistent with the wooden pole mounted street lighting existent in the planning area. Spacing shall be per the development guidelines and public works standards.

D. Street Trees.

1. Street trees are required on all collector and arterial streets and shall be located in tree-wells or planting strips. Street trees are also required on all public streets in residential developments and shall be located so as not to obstruct transportation facilities. Street tree species shall be selected from the official street tree list and shall be installed per the development guidelines and public works standards section 4.07.100.

2. Street trees are not generally utilized in the West Blaine Planning Area. In lieu of street trees, naturalized groupings of three to five trees together with native and ornamental shrubs shall be included in the streetscape with a density and spacing as determined through the planned unit development review process.

E. Pedestrian Facilities.

1. Sidewalks shall be required on all public streets as indicated in the development guidelines and public works standards. Bicycle facilities and public trails are required as indicated in the 2009 nonmotorized transportation plan. Construction standards for bikeways are provided in the development guidelines and public works standards section 4.04.000. Crosswalks shall be provided when determined necessary by the public works director.

2. In the West Blaine Planning Area, pedestrian circulation will generally be provided by a paved trail system, which may be augmented by crushed rock trails and concrete sidewalks where these alternatives may be more appropriate given the density development, volume of traffic, and mix of land uses. Nonmotorized transportation improvements shall be determined through the planned unit development review process. (Ord. 2872 § 2 (Exh. A-4), 2015; Ord. 2805 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011; Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.090 Block lengths.

Block length requirements are defined in this section. In limited circumstances, pedestrian access may be provided that will satisfy block length requirements when, in the opinion of the community development director, additional vehicle access will be detrimental to the neighborhood. The public works director and community development director may approve an alternative transportation design provided it contributes a greater benefit to the community.

A. In the Central Blaine planning area short pedestrian scaled blocks shall be required and the standard block length is established at 400 feet maximum.

B. In the East Blaine planning area neighborhood blocks shall be designed to create efficient access and vehicle movements and the standard block length is established at 600 feet maximum or through the planned unit development process.

C. In the West Blaine planning area block lengths shall be established by the Semiahmoo master plan or through the planned unit development process. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.100 Neighborhood pattern.

Residential neighborhood patterns should generally be designed in a grid based on the following guidelines:

A. No more than 12 single-family lots on one side of a street should be located on one block between intersections;

B. Residential blocks should generally consist of two rows of lots separated by alleyways;

C. New streets should be configured with buildable lots on both sides of the street if possible;

D. Lots that are accessed from the alleyway by vehicle are preferred over lots that have driveways on the public street;

E. Curvilinear streets are encouraged for arterials and collectors;

F. Nonmotorized through access is encouraged for cul-de-sac streets;

G. Street stubs shall be provided where adjacent property has development capacity of four or more units;

H. Where street stubs exist on adjacent property, the developing property shall connect to those stubs.

I. In the West Blaine Planning Area, subsections (B) and (D) of this section are not applicable. Alleys are used exclusively in multifamily development sites for rear access at the discretion of the property developer. (Ord. 2872 § 2 (Exh. A-4), 2015; Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.110 Irregular lot shapes.

Lots should generally be rectangular in shape. To avoid extreme lot shapes, a circle with the diameter equal to the zoning district minimum lot width must fit fully within all platted lots. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.120 Lot orientation.

All new lots shall be designed to face the primary street frontage. Wherever feasible, lots shall be arranged so that the rear line does not abut the side line of an adjacent lot. This requirement does not disallow corner lots. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.130 Flag lots.

All lots shall abut upon or have adequate access to a public right-of-way. Lots served by easement or panhandle shall be avoided where feasible and are not the preferred lot or access configuration. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.140 Through lots.

Through lots that abut a public or private street on the front and rear of the property are not the preferred lot or access configurations. If no feasible alternative exists, through lots may be approved provided vehicle access is precluded on one street and that street frontage includes a five-foot landscape buffer and easement. A note to such effect shall be recorded on the face of the plat. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.150 Storm water management.

Typically storm water systems have a significant influence on the plat’s final design. For this reason, the following requirements shall apply to ensure proposed systems meet state requirements and their construction is feasible:

A. Preliminary storm water reports shall be reviewed by the city engineer or a third party city-approved consultant at the expense of the applicant to ensure that appropriate provisions for storm water have been made prior to approval of a preliminary plat or binding site plan.

B. Developments should locate and design storm water systems based on the following guidelines:

1. Fenced storm water features should not be located adjacent to public rights-of-way or public places.

2. Unfenced, open storm water features may be located adjacent to public rights-of-way or public places.

3. Open storm water features should be designed to appear as a natural feature, unfenced and planted with native vegetation.

4. In instances where storm water pond fencing is required, it shall be coated with a darkly colored material, with the intent of minimizing the visual impact.

5. Developments are expected to utilize low impact development techniques where feasible. As an alternative, traditional storm water management techniques may be approved by the public works director. Low impact development techniques are those defined by the Low Impact Development Technical Manual for Puget Sound dated January 2005, or an alternative adopted as part of the Department of Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington, current edition. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.160 Trail corridors.

A. Trail easements shall be provided by any development when such development is located within any trail corridor identified by the comprehensive plan or the nonmotorized transportation plan. The residents or tenants of the development shall be provided access to the trail easement. The area of the trail easement is included in all lot area calculations.

B. Trail design shall be reviewed by the community development director for consistency with adopted standards for:

1. Width of the trail corridor;

2. Location of the trail corridor on the site;

3. Surfacing improvements; and

4. Use(s) permitted within the corridor.

C. Maintenance of any trail corridor or improvements, retained in private ownership, shall be the responsibility of the owner or other separate entity capable of long-term maintenance and operation in a manner acceptable to the community development director, provided:

1. A provision for the maintenance of the recreation space must be provided in the covenants of the development, or in some other binding document; and

2. Any recreation space not maintained to the city’s standards shall be maintained by the city at the homeowners’ expense. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.170 Parks and open space.

Developments shall provide parks and open space as defined in the comprehensive plan, the park and recreation plan and the nonmotorized transportation plan. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.180 Waiver of requirements.

The review authority may waive one or more requirements of this code section, when in their opinion and with a showing of good cause by the applicant all of the following are met:

A. The project is excessively burdened with public infrastructure improvements;

B. The public infrastructure improvements to be waived will not temporarily or permanently degrade public health, safety or wellness. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.190 Completion or performance bond.

In addition to the requirements in BMC 17.60.260 for preliminary plats, the following shall apply.

A. Prior to the submission of a final plat for approval, all streets, alleys, utilities, monumentation and other improvements specified in this chapter shall be installed and completed by the owner or developer to the satisfaction of the public works director. Such improvements shall meet the standards specified in this code.

B. A performance bond or a security satisfactory to and accepted by the city in writing in the amount of 150 percent of the value of the incomplete required improvements may be posted in lieu of installation of such improvements. Such bond or other security shall be based on an estimate prepared by a licensed engineer in the state of Washington, and must be recommended for approval by the public works director and approved by the city council. The performance bond or other security shall specify exactly what improvements are covered and a time schedule for completion. The performance bond or other security may be released upon completion and acceptance of all improvements and the posting of a maintenance bond for two years at 10 percent of the value of the performance bond or other security. Prior to approval and acceptance of the performance bond, the project proponent shall submit a performance bond processing fee to the city as may be set forth in the city’s applicable rates and fees schedule. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.200 Warranty of workmanship.

All design, materials and workmanship shall be warranted by the project proponent and their successors in interest for a minimum of two years to be free of defects. Any defects requiring major repair which occur within the two-year warranty period shall be remedied immediately upon notification by the public works department. Repairs shall be made in such a manner as to fully restore the infrastructure to the satisfaction of the public works director. Further, after such repairs, the warranty on any or all construction elements that the public works director deems are still at a potential risk of defect shall be extended for an additional five years and the maintenance bond extended to cover those facilities. The public works director may require the amount of the maintenance bond be increased based on the value of the infrastructure subject to an extended warranty period. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.74.210 Appeals.

Appeals shall be governed by BMC 17.50.065. (Ord. 2787 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)