Chapter 14.40


14.40.010    Pre-application conference.

14.40.020    Application forms.

14.40.030    Notice of complete application.

14.40.040    SEPA review.

14.40.050    Design review.

14.40.060    Concurrency.

14.40.070    Staff report.

14.40.080    Decision.

14.40.090    Written decision – Content.

Code reviser’s note: Ordinance 1505 did not include BLMC 14.40.070. BLMC 14.40.080 through 14.40.100 in the ordinance have been editorially renumbered to prevent gaps in numbering.

14.40.010 Pre-application conference.

The director shall conduct a pre-application conference if requested by the applicant. (Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).

14.40.020 Application forms.

A. All applications for permits, land use decisions, and other city approvals specified in the development code shall be submitted on application forms prepared by the director.

B. All applications shall be signed by the property owner or an authorized representative. (Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).

14.40.030 Notice of complete application.

A. An application is complete for purposes of this section when it contains all of the following:

1. A completed application form.

2. All applicable fees.

3. Written authorization of the property owner.

4. A completed environmental checklist for projects subject to review under the SEPA.

5. All accompanying information required for the type of permit.

B. Within 28 days, except for telecommunications applications which shall be notified within 10 days, after receiving a project permit application, the director shall mail or personally deliver to the applicant a notice that advises the applicant of other agencies that may have jurisdiction over the proposal, if known at that time, and states either:

1. That the application is complete; or

2. That the application is incomplete and what is necessary to make the application complete.

C. Failure of the director to respond to the applicant, in writing, within the 28-day time frame, shall be deemed as the city’s acceptance of the application for processing.

D. Within 14 days after an applicant has submitted to the city the additional information identified as being necessary for a complete application, the director shall make a determination of completeness and notify the applicant in the manner provided in subsection B of this section.

E. The director’s issuance of a determination of completeness shall not preclude the city from requesting additional information or studies, either at the time of the determination of completeness or at some later time if additional information is required or where substantial changes in the proposed action occur.

F. For the purposes of this section, applications are deemed received until a notice of complete application is issued by the director or the mandatory period to deem an application complete has passed. (Ord. 1644 § 1, 2020; Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).

14.40.040 SEPA review.

A. All developments and permits subject to the provisions of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Chapter 43.21C RCW, shall be reviewed in accordance with Chapter 16.04 BLMC.

B. SEPA review shall be conducted concurrently with development project review. Threshold determinations shall be issued within 90 days of the date of the notice of complete application issued by the city.

C. The following actions are exempt from concurrent review under SEPA:

1. Project permits categorically exempt from SEPA.

2. Project permits that are part of actions previously reviewed under SEPA.

3. Project permits subject to planned actions, so long as the proposed component of the planned action is consistent with the environmental impact statement (EIS) issued for the planned action. (Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).

14.40.050 Design review.

If the proposal is not exempt from design review pursuant to Chapter 14.95 BLMC, the design commission shall review it and issue a recommendation of conformance (with or without conditions) or nonconformance with the applicable subarea plans and design guidelines. (Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).

14.40.060 Concurrency.

Permit applications shall contain the information necessary to determine whether a concurrency determination is required under BLMC 19.02.070(B)(1). The director may delay issuance of a determination of completeness until the director has received any traffic study or other information necessary to issue a concurrency determination in accordance with BLMC 19.02.070. The director shall issue the concurrency determination, if applicable, at any appropriate point in the permit process prior to or concurrent with the decision on the permit application. (Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).

14.40.070 Staff report.

A. For permits requiring a staff report, upon conclusion of the review of the permit application, the director shall prepare a staff report identifying the proposed development; evaluating and analyzing the consistency of the development with applicable plans, codes, criteria and regulations; consolidating the comments of all city departments and outside agencies on the development proposal; proposing findings, conclusions and appropriate conditions of development; and, if applicable, making a recommendation for action on the proposal to the decision making body.

B. The staff report shall be distributed to the applicant; to city departments; affected outside agencies; and, if applicable, to the decisional body for consideration in advance of the formal public meeting, hearing, or action on the proposed development. Staff reports will be available to the public prior to the formal public meeting, hearing, or action on the proposed development. (Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).

14.40.080 Decision.

A. The decision maker shall determine if the application is consistent with the development code and the policies of the comprehensive plan and notify the applicant within 120 days of the determination of completeness, except as provided in subsection B of this section, as calculated pursuant to BLMC 14.10.070 subject to the following:

1. The decision maker may include in a decision any conditions of approval that are necessary to ensure that the proposal complies with all applicable development code and comprehensive plan policies.

2. If the proposal is not exempt from design review, the decision maker shall not issue a final decision until the design commission has reviewed the applications and made recommendations to the director; unless the design commission delegates its design review on a specific application to the director pursuant to BLMC 14.95.030.

3. No building permit shall be issued until all related, necessary permits are final, including appeals to the hearing examiner, unless the director(s) waives this prohibition based on the applicant signing a statement acknowledging the appeal period and agreeing to remove or modify the permitted work at the applicant’s expense should an appeal result in revocation or modification of the appealed permit.

4. Short plats shall not be recorded until after the appeal period has lapsed.

B. Telecommunications.

1. The FCC establishes shot clock types and times for permit review of wireless telecommunication facilities. The shot clock starts when a complete application is submitted to the city. The clock pauses when an application is deemed incomplete; the city will notify the applicant of incompleteness within 10 days. The shot clock is restarted at resubmittal.

2. Shot clocks for application review will run as follows:


Type of Review

Shot Clock

ROW Permit

30 days

Eligible facilities modifications and collocation of new small cell sites

60 days

Construction of new small cell facility

90 days

Construction of new facilities other than small cell facilities

120 days

3. If the city determines that the application does not qualify as an eligible facilities modification, the city will notify the applicant of that determination in writing and will process the application as a WCF permit application, as applicable.

4. To the extent federal law provides a “deemed granted” remedy for applications not timely acted upon by the city, no such application shall be deemed granted until the applicant provides notice to the city, in writing, that the application has been deemed granted after the time period provided in subsection (B)(2) of this section has expired. (Ord. 1644 § 2, 2020; Ord. 1533 § 4, 2016; Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).

14.40.090 Written decision – Content.

A. If a written decision is required, the decision maker for the underlying permit, as established by BLMC 14.30.020, shall issue a written decision that shall include at least the following content:

1. A description of the proposed use or action;

2. The location of the property;

3. A statement regarding the status of SEPA review of the proposed actions, if applicable;

4. The date of the public hearing, if applicable;

5. A statement identifying the ordinance or criteria governing the application;

6. Findings of fact and conclusions supporting the decision;

7. The decision denying or approving the application and any conditions, if applicable;

8. The procedures for administrative appeal, if any; and

9. The duration of permit approval and a statement summarizing the applicable permit expiration and extension procedures.

B. A copy of the staff report prepared consistent with BLMC 14.40.070 may serve as the final written decision; provided, that the information required pursuant to subsection A of this section is included with the copy of the staff report. (Ord. 1505 § 4, 2015).