Chapter 19.01


19.01.001    Conflicts.

19.01.005    Definitions.

19.01.010    Procedures for processing project permits.

19.01.020    Determination of proper procedure type.

19.01.030    Project permit application framework.

19.01.040    Joint public hearings.

19.01.050    Legislative decisions.

19.01.060    Legislative enactments not restricted.

19.01.070    Exclusions from project permit application processing.

19.01.080    Administrative interpretation.

19.01.001 Conflicts.

Unless otherwise specified by Washington State statute, in the event provisions of any title of the Bridgeport Municipal Code (“BMC”), including but not limited to, Chapter 14.15, Title 15, Chapter 15.14, Title 16, except for the time limitations for short subdivisions and subdivisions, Chapter 16.12, Title 17, procedures for open record hearings, closed record appeals, notice requirements, or judicial appeals conflict with any provisions of this title, Title 19 provisions shall supersede and control. (Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)

19.01.005 Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this title.

“Building permits” mean those permits issued pursuant to Title 15, BMC as the same exists now or may hereafter be amended.

“Closed record appeal” means an administrative appeal on the record to a local government body or officer, including but not limited to, the planning commission or the city council, following an open record hearing on a project permit application when the appeal is on the record with no or limited new evidence or information allowed to be submitted and only appeal argument allowed.

“Director” means the city clerk-treasurer or other official designated by the mayor of Bridgeport.

“Excavation permits” mean those permits issued pursuant to the following chapters of the BMC, as now exist or as may be hereafter amended: Chapter 13.04.

“Exterior boundaries” means all property located adjacent to the area of a proposed project action subject to a project permit which adjacent property is owned by the project permit applicant.

“Local government” means the city of Bridgeport.

“Open record hearing” means a hearing, conducted by a single hearing body or officer, authorized by the city council to conduct such hearings, that creates the city’s record through testimony and submission of evidence and information, under procedures prescribed under Chapter 19.05 of the BMC. An open record hearing may be held prior to the city’s decision on a project permit to be known as an “open record predecision hearing.” An open record hearing may be held on an appeal, to be known as an “open record appeal hearing,” if no open record predecision hearing has been held on the project permit.

“Parties of record” means:

1.    The applicant;

2.    Any person who testified at the open record public hearing on the application and/or;

3.    Any person who submitted written comments concerning the application at the open record public hearing (excluding persons who have only signed petitions or mechanically produced form letters).

“Project permit” or “project permit application” means any land use or environmental permit or license required from the city for a project action, including but not limited to building permits, subdivisions, binding site plans, planned unit developments, conditional uses, shoreline substantial development permits, site plan review, permits or approvals required by critical area ordinances, site-specific rezones authorized by a comprehensive plan or sub area plan, but excluding the adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan, sub area plan or development regulations except as otherwise specifically included in this subsection.

“Public meeting” means an informal meeting, hearing, workshop, or other public gathering of people to obtain comments from the public or other agencies on a proposed project permit prior to the city’s decision. A public meeting may include, but is not limited to, a design review or architectural control board meeting, a special review district or city council meeting, or a scoping meeting on a draft environmental impact statement. A public meeting does not include an open record hearing. The proceedings at a public meeting may be recorded and a report or recommendation may be included in the city’s project permit application file. (Ord. 547 § 6, 2004; Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)

19.01.010 Procedures for processing project permits.

A.    Classification. For the purpose of project permit processing, all development permit applications shall be classified as one of the following: Type I, Type II (A and B), Type III or Type IV (A and B). Legislative decisions are Type V actions, and are addressed in Section 19.01.050. Exceptions from the requirements of project permit application processing are contained in Section 19.01.070.

B.    Omission or Subsequent Enactment. In the event a development permit required by the city has been omitted or has been adopted by the city council after the effective date of the ordinance codifying this title, and another specific procedure is not required by law, the director shall classify the application as one of the four procedure types, Type I, Type II (A and B), Type III or Type IV (A and B) as set forth in Sections 19.01.030(B) and (C). (Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)

19.01.020 Determination of proper procedure type.

A.    Determination by Director. The city clerk-treasurer or other official designated by the mayor (hereinafter the “director”) shall determine the proper procedure type for all project permit applications. If there is a question as to the appropriate procedure type, the director shall resolve it in favor of the higher procedure type number. The act of classifying an application for procedure type shall be a Type I action; and subject to reconsideration and appeal at the same time and in the same way as the merits of the project permit application in question.

B.    Optional Consolidated Permit Processing.

1.    Unless otherwise required, where the city must approve more than one project permit application for a given development, two or more project permit applications required for the development may be simultaneously submitted by the applicant for review at one time under a single permit processing review procedure (“consolidated permit review”). If an applicant elects the consolidated permit review process by the simultaneous submission of two or more applications: (1) the applications shall be reviewed and processed under the highest numbered procedure type that applies to any of the applications; and (2) the determination of completeness (Section 19.02.030); notice of application (Section 19.02.040); and notice of final decision (Section 19.05.070) shall include all project permits being reviewed through the consolidated review process. If project permit applications for any such development are not submitted under this optional consolidated permit review process, the highest numbered type procedure must be processed prior to the subsequent lower numbered procedure type.

2.    Applications processed in accordance with subsection (B) of this section which have the same highest numbered procedure but are assigned different hearing bodies shall be heard collectively by the highest decision-maker(s) applicable to such applications. Decision-making bodies in order of ranking are as follows: the city council is the highest, followed by the hearing examiner, the planning commission or Shoreline Hearings Board, as applicable, and then the director. Joint public hearings with other agencies shall be processed according to Section 19.01.040. (Ord. 617B § 4, 2012; Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)

19.01.030 Project permit application framework.

A.    Definitions. For purposes of this section:

“Director” means the city clerk-treasurer or building inspector.

“Hearing body” means the city council, hearing examiner, planning commission, or Shoreline Hearings Board.

B.    Action Type.

Classification for Project Permit Applications

Types I—IV Legislative








Street excavation permits

Building permits with SEPA

Short plat


Subdivision preliminary plat

Final plat

Comprehensive plan amendments

Without SEPA review




Plat vacations and alterations



Building permits without SEPA review

Critical areas alteration permits



Site rezone


Development regulations and amendments thereto

Boundary line adjustments

Reasonable use requests in critical areas


Conditional use permits



Area-wide rezone

Minor amendment to mobilehome overlay zone site plan

Street excavation permit with SEPA review


Shoreline substantial development permits




Minor amendment to RV site plan review

Administrative interpretations


Shoreline conditional use permit Shoreline variance





Home businesses






C.    Decisions.

Procedure Project Permit Applications

(Types I—IV) Legislative









Recommendation made by




Hearing examiner

Hearing examiner

Hearing examiner

Planning commission

Final decision made by




Hearing examiner

Hearing examiner

City council

City council

Notice of application








Open record public hearing


Only if appealed, open record hearing before hearing body


Yes, before hearing examiner to render final decision

Yes, before hearing examiner to render final decision


Yes, before planning commission to make recommendation to city council

Closed record appeal/final decision







Yes, or city council could decide to hold its own open record hearing

Judicial appeal








(Ord. 617B § 5, 2012; Ord. 497 § 4, 1998; Ord. 472 § 1(part), 1996)

19.01.040 Joint public hearings.

A.    Director’s Decision to Hold Joint Hearing. The director may combine any public hearing on a project permit application with any hearing that may be held by another local, state, regional, federal, or other agency, on the proposed action, as long as: (1) the hearing is held within the city limits; and (2) the requirements of subsection C, below, are met.

B.    Applicant’s Request for a Joint Hearing. The applicant may request that the public hearing on a permit application(s) be combined as long as the joint hearing can be held within the time periods set forth in this title. In the alternative, the applicant may agree to a particular schedule if that additional time is needed in order to combine the hearings.

C.    Prerequisites to Joint Public Hearing. A joint public hearing may be held with another local, state, regional, federal or other agency and the city, as long as:

1.    The other agency is not expressly prohibited by statute from doing so;

2.    Sufficient notice of the hearing is given to meet each of the agencies’ adopted notice requirements as set forth in statute, ordinance or rule; and

3.    The agency has received the necessary information about the proposed project from the applicant in enough time to hold its hearing at the same time as the local government hearing. (Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)

19.01.050 Legislative decisions.

A.    Decisions. The following decisions are legislative, and are not subject to the procedures in this chapter, unless otherwise specified:

1.    Zoning code and development regulations and amendments to development regulations (for the purposes of this section, “development regulations” are as defined in RCW 36.70A.030(7), as now exists or as may be hereafter amended);

2.    Area-wide rezones to implement new city policies;

3.    Adoption of the comprehensive plan and any plan amendments; and

4.    Annexations.

B.    Planning Commission. The planning commission shall hold a public hearing and make recommendations to the city council on the decisions in this section. The public hearing shall be held in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 19.05.

C.    City Council. The city council may consider the planning commission’s recommendation in a public hearing held in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 19.05.

D.    Public Notice. Notice of the public hearing or public meeting shall be provided to the public as set forth in Section 19.03.030(B)(4).

E.    Implementation. The city council’s decision shall become effective by passage of an ordinance or resolution. (Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)

19.01.060 Legislative enactments not restricted.

Nothing in this chapter or the project permit processing procedures shall limit the authority of the city council to make changes to the city’s comprehensive plan or to make changes to the city’s development regulations. See Chapter 19.08, Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulation Amendments. (Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)

19.01.070 Exclusions from project permit application processing.

A.    Whenever a permit or approval in the Bridgeport Municipal Code has been designated as a Type I, II, III or IV permit, the procedures in this title shall be followed in project permit processing. The following permits or approvals are specifically excluded from the procedures set forth in this title:

1.    Landmark designations;

2.    Street vacations under RCW 35.79;

3.    Other approvals relating to the use of public areas; and

4.    Other project permits, whether administrative or quasi-judicial that the city council has determined by resolution present special circumstances that warrant a different review process.

B.    Pursuant to RCW 36.70B.140(2), building permits, boundary line adjustments, other construction permits, or similar administrative approvals which are categorically exempt from environmental review under SEPA (Chapter 43.21C RCW) and Title 4 BMC (SEPA), or permits/approvals for which environmental review has been completed in connection with other project permits, are excluded from the following project permit processing procedures:

1.    Notice of application (Section 19.02.040);

2.    Except as provided in RCW 36.70B.140, optional consolidated project permit review processing (Section 19.01.020B);

3.    Joint public hearings (Section 19.01.040);

4.    Single report stating all the decisions and recommendations made as of the date of the report that do not require an open record hearing (Section 19.05.020C);

5.    Notice of decision (Section 19.05.080). (Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)

19.01.080 Administrative interpretations.

A decision as to the meaning, application or intent of any development regulation, as it relates to a specific piece of property may be requested by an applicant, staff or a citizen at any time prior to a final decision on a project permit application to which the development regulation may be applied. The request shall be on a form provided by the responsible official and include identification of the regulation in question, a description of the property and a clear statement of the issue or question to be decided. The responsible official shall issue a written interpretation within a reasonable time, but no more than fourteen working days after receipt of the completed form, and file a copy in a book or binder for such interpretations readily available to the public at the appropriate department’s service counter. The responsible official shall be appointed by the mayor. (Ord. 472 § 1 (part), 1996)