Chapter 19.26
CONSISTENCY WITH DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS AND SEPA

Sections:

19.26.010    Determination of consistency.

19.26.020    Initial SEPA analysis.

19.26.030    Categorically exempt and planned actions.

19.26.010 Determination of consistency.

A. Purpose. When the city receives a project permit application, consistency between the proposed project and the applicable regulations and comprehensive plan shall be determined through the process in this chapter.

B. Consistency. During project permit application review, the city shall determine whether the items listed in this subsection are defined in the development regulations applicable to the proposed project. In the absence of applicable development regulations, the city shall determine whether the items listed in this subsection are defined in the city’s adopted comprehensive plan. This determination of consistency shall include the following:

1. The type of land use permitted at the site, including uses that may be allowed under certain circumstances, such as but not limited to planned unit developments and conditional and special uses, if the criteria for their approval have been satisfied;

2. The level of development, such as units per acre, density of residential development in urban growth areas or other measures of density;

3. Availability and adequacy of infrastructure and public facilities identified in the comprehensive plan, if the plan or development regulations provide for funding of these facilities as required by Chapter 36.70A RCW; and

4. Character of the development, such as but not limited to development standards. (Ord. 1411 § 5 (Exh. E) (part), 2010: Ord. 1037 § 1 (part), 1996. Formerly 19.04.010).

19.26.020 Initial SEPA analysis.

A. The city shall also review the project permit application under the requirements of SEPA and Chapter 14.06, and shall:

1. Determine whether the applicable regulations require studies that adequately analyze all of the project permit application’s specific probable adverse environmental impacts (see subsection D of this section for how determination is made);

2. Determine if the applicable regulations require measures that adequately address such environmental impacts;

3. Determine whether additional studies are required and/or whether the project permit application should be conditioned with additional mitigation measures;

4. Provide for prompt and coordinated review by government agencies and the public on compliance with applicable environmental laws and plans, including mitigation for specific project impacts that have not been considered and addressed at the plan or development regulation level.

B. In its review of a project permit application, the city may determine that the requirements for environmental analysis, protection and mitigation measures in the applicable development regulations, comprehensive plan and/or in other applicable local, state or federal laws provide adequate analysis of and mitigation for the specific adverse environmental impacts of the application.

C. If the city’s comprehensive plans, subarea plans and development regulations adequately address a project’s specific adverse environmental impacts, as determined under subsections A and B of this section, it shall not impose additional mitigation under SEPA during project review.

D. A comprehensive plan, subarea plan, development regulation or other applicable local, state or federal law permits adequate analysis of and mitigation for the specific adverse environmental impacts of an application when:

1. The impacts have been avoided or otherwise mitigated; or

2. The city has designated as acceptable certain levels of service, land use designations, development standards or other land use planning required or allowed by Chapter 36.70A RCW.

E. In its decision whether a specific adverse environmental impact has been addressed by an existing rule or law of another agency with jurisdiction and with environmental expertise with regard to a specific environmental impact, the city shall consult orally or in writing with that agency and may expressly defer to that agency. Any oral consultation shall be documented in the project permit file. In making this deferral, the city shall base or condition its project approval on compliance with these other existing rules or laws.

F. Nothing in this section limits the authority of the city in its review or mitigation of a project to adopt or otherwise rely on environmental analyses and requirements under other laws, as provided by Chapter 43.21C RCW. (Ord. 1411 § 5 (Exh. E) (part), 2010: Ord. 1037 § 1 (part), 1996. Formerly 19.04.020).

19.26.030 Categorically exempt and planned actions.

A. Categorically Exempt. Actions categorically exempt under RCW 43.21C.110(1)(a) do not require environmental review or the preparation of an environmental impact statement. An action that is categorically exempt under the rules adopted by the Department of Ecology (Chapter 197-11 WAC) may not be conditioned or denied under SEPA.

B. Planned Actions.

1. A planned action does not require a threshold determination or the preparation of an environmental impact statement under SEPA, but is subject to environmental review and mitigation under SEPA.

2. A “planned action” means one or more types of project action that:

a. Are designated planned actions by an ordinance or resolution adopted by the city;

b. Have had the significant impacts adequately addressed in an environmental impact statement prepared in conjunction with:

i. A comprehensive plan or subarea plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW; or

ii. A fully contained community, a master planned resort, a master planned development or a phased project;

c. Are subsequent or implementing projects for the proposals listed in subsection (B)(2)(b) of this section;

d. Are located within an urban growth area, as defined in RCW 36.70A.030;

e. Are not essential public facilities, as defined in RCW 36.70A.200; and

f. Are consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW.

C. Limitations on Planned Actions. The city shall limit planned actions to certain types of development or to specific geographical areas that are less extensive than the jurisdictional boundaries of the city, and may limit a planned action to a time period identified in the environmental impact statement or in the ordinance or resolution designating the planned action under RCW 36.70A.040.

D. Limitations on SEPA Review. During project reviews, the city shall not reexamine alternatives to or hear appeals on the items identified in Section 19.26.010(B), except for issues of code interpretation. Project review shall be used to identify specific project design and conditions relating to the character of development, such as, but not limited to, the details of site plans, curb cuts, drainage, the payment of impact fees, or other measures to mitigate a proposal’s probable adverse environmental impacts. (Ord. 1411 § 5 (Exh. E) (part), 2010: Ord. 1037 § 1 (part), 1996. Formerly 19.04.030).