40.240.050 Applications and Procedures

A.    Application for Review and Approval.

1.    Applications received under this chapter shall be reviewed as Type II procedures specified in Section 40.510.020, except where specified otherwise herein.

2.    Prior to initiating any use or development which requires review and approval by the responsible official, an application shall be completed pursuant to this section. The responsible official shall accept and review the application pursuant to Sections 40.240.050(C) through 40.240.400 for consistency with the appropriate guidelines of this rule. Review of a proposed use or development shall commence upon the acceptance of an application by the responsible official. The responsible official will charge a fee for review of applications.

3.    Standard application forms shall be available at Clark County and Columbia River Gorge Commission offices.

4.    An application for permit review within the Columbia River National Scenic Area shall submit eight (8) individually bound copies of the following materials unless a lesser number is specified:

a.    The original application form provided by the planning responsible official shall be completed and signed by the applicant;

b.    The pre-application conference summary and a description of information submitted in response to the pre-application conference;

c.    The following maps of the GIS development packet (as available from the Community Development Department):

(1)    General location map;

(2)    Elevation contours map;

(3)    Aerial photography map (most recent year available from the Community Development Department);

(4)    Aerial photography with contours;

(5)    Current zoning map;

(6)    Current comprehensive plan map;

(7)    Map of C-Tran bus routes, park and trails;

(8)    Water, sewer and storm systems map;

(9)    Soil type map;

(10)    Environmental constraints map; and

(11)    Assessor’s quarter-section map;

d.    A narrative explaining how the application meets or exceeds each of the applicable approval criteria and standards, and issues identified in the pre-application conference, including the minimum area and dimensions of the base zone and a general description of how services will be provided to the site:

(1)    The applicant needs to provide conceptual elevation drawings for the proposed structures and a description of the height, shape, color, building materials, exterior lighting and landscaping materials. The drawings should include the appearance of proposed buildings when built and surrounding final grades (see Section 40.240.800). If the applicant feels the site is not visible from any key viewing areas this must be demonstrated;

(2)    If the site is visible from any key viewing area, the applicant is encouraged to provide photographs from the key viewing area toward the building site with balloons or other siting device to verify visual subordination. Photographs can also be used to verify the site is not visible from any key viewing area, if that is the case;

(3)    The height of buildings is required in the applications, even if the site is not visible from a key viewing area;

(4)    The applicant shall address all applicable criteria outlined in Section 40.240.800;

e.    Information necessary to demonstrate that the subject lot(s) has been created legally:

(1)    Prior county short plat, subdivision, lot determination or other written approvals, if any, in which the parcel was formally created or determined to be a legal lot; or

(2)    Sales or transfer of deed history, dating back to 1969, or a condition satisfying subsection (A)(4)(e)(1) of this section, to include copies of recorded deeds and/or contracts verifying the date of creation of the parcel in chronological order with each deed identified with the assessor’s lot number;

f.    A proposed plan drawn to scale. The scale of the plan shall be large enough to allow the responsible official to determine the location and extent of the proposed use or development and evaluate its effects on scenic, cultural, natural, and recreation resources. The map shall be prepared at a scale of one (1) inch equals two hundred (200) feet (1:2,400), or a scale providing greater detail. The plan shall clearly depict the following information:

(1)    General Information.

(a)    Applicant’s name, mailing address and phone number;

(b)    Owner’s name and mailing address;

(c)    Contact person’s name, address and phone number;

(d)    North arrow (oriented to the top, left or right of the page), scale and date;

(e)    Proposed name of project;

(f)    Vicinity map covering one-quarter (1/4) mile radius from the development site; and

(g)    Area of the site in acres or square feet;

(2)    Existing Conditions. (For purpose of fully complete determination, only those existing conditions that are shown on the GIS map, known by the applicant or are discussed in the pre-application conference summary must be included on the proposed plan.)

(a)    Environmental. On or within one hundred (100) feet of the site:

(i)    Topography (at two (2) foot contour intervals if available from a public source);

(ii)    Watercourses (streams, rivers, etc.) with thread of stream surveyed for all on-site watercourses;

(iii)    Areas prone to flooding;

(iv)    FEMA designated floodplains, flood fringe, or floodway;

(v)    Water bodies and known wetlands;

(vi)    Wetland delineation and assessment study for all on-site wetlands, four (4) copies of study required;

(vii)    Any unstable slopes and landslide hazard areas;

(viii)    Geotechnical report for all unstable slopes or landslide hazard areas on the site;

(ix)    Significant wildlife habitat or vegetation; and

(x)    Significant historic, cultural or archaeological resources;

(b)    Land Use and Transportation.

(i)    Layout, square footage and dimensions of all parcels;

(ii)    Location(s) of any existing building(s) on the site and use;

(iii)    Location and width of existing easements for access, drainage, utilities, etc.;

(iv)    Name, location and width of existing rights-of-way;

(v)    Name, location, width and surfacing materials (e.g., gravel, asphalt or concrete, etc.) of roadways and easements (private and public);

(vi)    Location of existing driveways and those driveways across the street to include distance between driveways and roadways (centerline to centerline);

(vii)    Location and width of existing pedestrian and bicycle facilities on and within one hundred (100) feet of the site; and

(viii)    Transit routes and stops within one-quarter (1/4) mile of the development site;

(c)    Water and Sewer. Make a note on the plan indicating the following:

(i)    Location and direction to the nearest fire hydrant;

(ii)    Location of existing sewage disposal systems and wells on the site; and

(iii)    Location of existing sewage disposal systems and wells within one hundred (100) feet of the site (as available from the health department);

g.    Proposed Improvements.

(1)    Environmental.

(a)    Wetland, stream, steep bank buffer areas/protected areas; and

(b)    Planned enhancement areas.

(2)    Land Use and Transportation.

(a)    Dimensions of all proposed easements;

(b)    Location (i.e., dimensions from property lines) of any existing buildings to remain on the site to include square footage. For all structures include the number of stories, construction type (e.g., metal, wood, concrete block, etc.) and proposed uses;

(c)    Setbacks from property lines shall be shown on the site plan;

(d)    Location and width of all road rights-of-way;

(e)    Location width (e.g., curb to curb distance) and surface material of all proposed roadways (private or public), provided by drawing or note and typical cross-section (from county road standards);

(f)    Location of all road segments in excess of fifteen percent (15%) grade that are either on the site or within five hundred (500) feet of the site which are being proposed for site access;

(g)    Location, width, estimated grade and surface material of off-site roads which will provide access to the site within five hundred (500) feet of the site;

(h)    Location and width of proposed driveways for corner lots and driveways where sight distance standards cannot be met;

(i)    Sight distance triangles where sight distance standards cannot be met;

(j)    Location and width of proposed pedestrian and bicycle improvements other than those in standard locations within road rights-of-way;

(k)    Location and width of proposed easements for access, drainage, utilities, etc. (provided by drawing or note);

(l)    Layout of proposed structures including square feet;

(m)    Architectural drawings and sketches, indicating floor plan, elevation, types of materials and colors, and type of construction per the International Building Code;

(n)    Narrative on proposed uses, hours of operation, frequency of truck deliveries, and construction schedule;

(o)    Location, dimensions and number of off-street parking and loading areas;

(p)    Sign plan; and

(q)    Location and dimensions of recyclable and solid waste storage areas.

(3)    Landscape Plan.

(a)    Location, number, species, size at planting, and spacing of proposed plant materials;

(b)    Location, number, species and size of existing landscape material to be removed and/or retained;

(c)    The location, type (such as sod, groundcover or shrub mass) and area (in terms of square feet and percentage of site) of all soft landscaped areas and buffers;

(d)    Location, height and materials of fences, buffers, berms, walls and other methods of screening;

(e)    Surface water management features integrated with landscape, recreation or open space areas;

(f)    Location, size and construction type of hard landscaping features such as pedestrian plazas;

(g)    Active or passive recreational or open space features;

(h)    Final site contours; and

(i)    The location of all fire hydrants;

h.    A preliminary stormwater plan pursuant to Section 40.386.030;

i.    A proposed phasing plan (if any proposed) to include transportation and water quality improvements;

j.    A transportation impact study, if required, pursuant to Chapter 40.350;

k.    A utility review from the public sewer purveyor or one (1) copy of a preliminary soil suitability analysis, or equivalent for on-site systems from the health department;

l.    A utility review from the public water purveyor, noting the ability to meet water pressure and fire flow requirements of the fire marshal or current evidence of the availability of suitable groundwater where water purveyor has determined public water or community water systems cannot be provided;

m.    A completed State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist;

n.    Applications necessarily associated with the Gorge Permit review, to the extent applicable, for variances to dimensional requirements of the base or overlay zones, for wetland and habitat permits, and for modifications to the road standards in Chapter 40.350;

o.    Any and all existing covenants or restrictions and/or easements that apply to the property;

p.    The corners of each proposed building should be staked and flagged at the time of application;

q.    Appropriate protections of the streams that are on the property need to be taken in accordance with Chapter 40.440 and Section 40.240.850;

r.    A forest practice application is required for any commercial removal of trees from the property;

s.    In the SMA, applications and/or site plans shall contain the natural resources information required in Section 40.240.880;

t.    Any additional information that the applicant feels will assist in the evaluation of the proposal including, but not limited to, maps, drawings, and development plans;

u.    The signature of the applicant and property owner or a statement from the property owner indicating that he is aware of the application being made on his property;

v.    The signature of the property owner on a statement that authorizes the responsible official or the responsible official’s designee reasonable access to the site in order to evaluate the application.

5.    Applications for the following uses or developments shall include additional information as required by the pre-application staff report or by the responsible official:

a.    All buildings, roads, or mining and associated activities proposed on lands visible from key viewing areas, pursuant to Section 40.240.800;

b.    In the GMA, production and/or development of mineral resources and expansion of existing quarries pursuant to Sections 40.240.800(B)(14) and (B)(15);

c.    In the GMA, all proposed structural development on sites visible from key viewing areas and involving more than two hundred (200) cubic yards of grading, regardless of slope, shall require a grading plan, pursuant to Section 40.240.800(B)(26);

d.    In the GMA, all applications for structural development involving more than one hundred (100) cubic yards of grading with slopes greater than ten percent (10%) shall require a grading plan pursuant to Section 40.240.800(B)(26);

e.    In the SMA, all applications for structural development involving more than one hundred (100) cubic yards of grading with slopes greater than ten percent (10%) (except trails) shall include a grading plan pursuant to Section 40.240.800(B)(26);

f.    Elevation drawings shall show the appearance of proposed structures and shall include natural grade, finished grade, and the geometrical exterior of at least the length and width of structures as seen from a horizontal view. Elevation drawings shall be drawn to scale, pursuant to Section 40.240.800(B)(26);

g.    In the GMA, vegetation management projects in public rights-of-way along scenic travel corridors, pursuant to Section 40.240.800(D)(4);

h.    Large-scale uses as listed in Section 40.240.820(A)(3)(c) shall include reconnaissance survey reports, pursuant to Sections 40.240.820(A)(3)(f) and (g);

i.    Proposed uses that would alter the exterior architectural appearance of buildings and structures that are fifty (50) years old or older, or would compromise features of the surrounding area that are important in defining the historic or architectural character of buildings that are fifty (50) years old or older, pursuant to Section 40.240.820(A)(3)(h)(3);

j.    In the GMA, new uses located in or providing recreational access to the Columbia River or its fishbearing tributaries, pursuant to Section 40.240.180(A)(1);

k.    In the GMA, any review use in a wetland or within a wetland buffer zone, pursuant to Section 40.240.840(A)(2);

l.    In the GMA, any review use in a stream, pond, lake, or within their buffer zones, pursuant to Section 40.240.850(A)(2);

m.    In the GMA, any review use within one thousand (1,000) feet of a sensitive wildlife area or site, pursuant to Section 40.240.860(A)(2). Large-scale uses as listed in Section 40.240.860(C) shall also include field survey information, pursuant to Section 40.240.860(C)(6);

n.    In the GMA, any review use within one thousand (1,000) feet of a sensitive plant, pursuant to Section 40.240.870(A)(2). Large-scale uses as listed in Section 40.240.870(C) shall also include field survey information pursuant to Section 40.240.870(C)(6);

o.    In the GMA, on lands zoned Gorge Large-Scale Agriculture, a single-family dwelling in conjunction with agricultural use, pursuant to Section 40.240.430(A)(9), and if applicable, Section 40.240.430(A)(10);

p.    In the GMA, on lands zoned Gorge Large-Scale Agriculture, a single-family dwelling not in conjunction with agricultural use, pursuant to Section 40.240.430(A)(16);

q.    In the GMA, on lands zoned Gorge Large-Scale Agriculture, a single-family dwelling for an agricultural operator’s relative, pursuant to Section 40.240.430(A)(11);

r.    In the SMA, on lands zoned Gorge Forest or Agriculture, a single-family dwelling, pursuant to Section 40.240.510(B)(10);

s.    In the SMA, on lands zoned Gorge Forest or Agriculture, forest practices, pursuant to Section 40.240.510(B);

t.    In the SMA, on lands zoned Agriculture or Forest, clearing trees for new agricultural use, pursuant to Section 40.240.510(B)(24);

u.    In the SMA, on lands designated Open Space, any new use or development, pursuant to Section 40.240.600;

v.    In the SMA, on lands zoned Gorge Agriculture or Forest, a single-family dwelling necessary and accessory to agricultural use, pursuant to Section 40.240.430;

w.    In the SMA, on lands zoned Gorge SMA Agriculture or Forest, farm labor housing and agricultural buildings, pursuant to Section 40.240.430(B)(4);

x.    In the GMA, on lands zoned Gorge Small Woodland, a single-family dwelling pursuant to Section 40.240.510(A)(1);

y.    In the GMA, on lands zoned Gorge Small Woodland, a single-family dwelling in conjunction with agricultural use pursuant to Section 40.240.430(A)(8);

z.    In the GMA, on lands zoned Gorge Woodland, agricultural labor housing, pursuant to Section 40.240.510(A)(18); and/or

aa.    Other uses as deemed necessary by the responsible official.

6.    Completed application forms shall be submitted directly to the Community Development Department.

7.    The requisite fee shall accompany the application.

(Amended: Ord. 2007-11-13; Ord. 2009-01-01; Ord. 2015-11-24; Ord. 2018-01-09)

B.    Pre-Application Conference.

    Within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area pre-application conferences shall be mandatory for land use proposals requiring Type II or Type III review pursuant to Section 40.510.020 or 40.510.030. The purposes of the conference shall be to acquaint the applicant with the substantive and procedural requirements of this chapter, to discuss the principal elements of the proposed action, and to identify guidelines that create opportunities or pose constraints for the proposed action.

C.    Contingent Vesting of Applications.

    An application that is subject to pre-application review shall earlier contingently vest on the date a complete pre-application is submitted. Contingent vesting shall become final if a fully complete application for substantially the same proposal is submitted within one hundred eighty (180) calendar days of the date the responsible official issues a written summary of pre-application review pursuant to Section 40.510.030(A)(4).

D.    Acceptance of Application.

    The responsible official shall review the application for completeness and adequacy within the time frame pursuant to Chapter 40.510. To determine that an application is fully complete refer to Section 40.240.050(A), Application for Review and Approval. Additional submittals additional to Section 40.240.050(A) may be required through reference in the pre-application report.

1.    No application shall be accepted until all documented omissions and deficiencies have been corrected by the applicant. The responsible official shall notify the applicant of all omissions and deficiencies in writing within the time frame pursuant to Chapter 40.510.

2.    No application shall be accepted which the responsible official deems cannot be acted upon reasonably within the time frame pursuant to Chapter 40.510, except when the applicant consents to a longer period for action.

3.    No application shall be accepted unless accompanied by a list of names and addresses of the adjacent property owners within five hundred (500) feet of the subject parcel. A statement from the County Assessor or appropriate agency confirming the accuracy of the list shall accompany the list.

4.    No application for a proposed use which is explicitly prohibited by Section 40.240.110 shall be accepted.

a.    The application shall be returned to the applicant.

b.    A letter, signed by the responsible official, stating that the proposed use is prohibited and citing the guideline which explicitly prohibits the proposed use, shall be sent to the applicant.

c.    Issuance of this letter shall not prohibit the applicant from appealing the decision pursuant to this title.

(Amended: Ord. 2006-08-21)

E.    Notice of Development Review.

1.    Notice of development review shall be issued pursuant to Section 40.510.020(E) or 40.510.030(E), and shall provide the following information:

a.    The notice shall state that the application and supporting documents are available for inspection at Clark County and Gorge Commission offices during normal working hours.

b.    The notice shall state the applicant must comply with all applicable local, state and federal laws.

2.    The notice shall be mailed to:

a.    The Forest Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Columbia River Gorge Commission, Indian Tribes, and the applicable city, and local library, and any other party that has requested notice; and

b.    The Washington Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program, if the responsible official or the Columbia River Gorge Commission or its staff determines that such notice is warranted; provided, that if the Columbia River Gorge Commission or its staff determines that such notice is warranted, it shall forward notice to the Heritage Program; and

c.    As determined by Section 40.510.020(E) for Type II or Section 40.510.030(E) for Type III.

3.    In addition to notice, fully complete application packets shall be routed to the Gorge Commission and any other party that has requested a fully complete application.

F.    Comment Period.

    Interested persons shall have fifteen (15) working days from the date which the notice is sent to submit written comments to the responsible official relative to the consistency of the proposed actions with the guidelines of this chapter:

1.    Within seven (7) days of the close of the comment period, the responsible official shall determine if a wildlife management plan pursuant to Section 40.240.860(F) or a rare plant protection and rehabilitation plan pursuant to Section 40.240.870(F) is required.

2.    For proposed uses or developments where a cultural resources survey (reconnaissance or historic) is required and where the Commission is performing the survey, the survey shall be completed by the close of the comment period. Upon receipt of the completed survey, the responsible official shall forward the survey to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and Indian Tribes pursuant to Sections 40.240.820(A)(2) and (B)(2)(a).

3.    Within seven (7) days of the close of the thirty (30) day reconnaissance survey comment period for SHPO and Indian Tribes, the responsible official shall determine if an evaluation of significance pursuant to Section 40.240.820(C) is required.

G.    Decision of the Responsible Official.

1.    In making a decision on a proposed use or development the responsible official shall:

a.    Consult with the applicant and such agencies as the responsible official deems appropriate;

b.    Consider information submitted by the applicant and all other relevant information available; and

c.    Consider all comments submitted pursuant to Section 40.240.050(F), and provide notice and consider the comments of the Forest Service and/or Columbia River Gorge Commission. The absence of timely comments of any parties provided notice shall not automatically preclude the responsible official from issuing a decision.

2.    The responsible official shall approve a proposed use or development only if it is consistent with the standards of this chapter and other applicable regulations. In approving a proposed development action, the responsible official may impose conditions as necessary to ensure consistency with this chapter.

3.    The responsible official shall issue a decision on a proposed use or development including findings of fact and conclusions of law and any conditions to ensure consistency with the standards of this chapter and other applicable regulations within the time frame pursuant to Section 40.510.020(F) or 40.510.030(F) except in one (1) or more of the following situations:

a.    The applicant consents to an extension of time;

b.    The responsible official determines that additional information is required pursuant to Section 40.240.050(A);

c.    The responsible official determines that additional information is necessary to evaluate the impacts of the proposed use to scenic, cultural, natural, and recreation resources; and/or

d.    Unforeseen circumstances including, but not limited to, weather or illness.

4.    The responsible official shall mail a copy of the decision to the applicant, the Commission, the Forest Service, the applicable state, the Indian Tribes, the applicable county and/or city and each person who submitted comments pursuant to subsection (F) of this section. The decision shall set forth the rights of appeal under Sections 40.510.020(H) or 40.510.030(H).

5.    The decision of the responsible official shall be final unless a notice of appeal is filed in accordance with this title.

6.    The decision of the responsible official approving a proposed development action shall become void:

a.    When the development action is not undertaken within two (2) years of the decision; or

b.    When the development action is discontinued for any reason for one (1) year or more.

7.    An applicant may request an extension of the validity of a development approval. Such request shall be considered an administrative action and shall be submitted to the responsible official prior to the expiration of such approval, in writing, stating the reason why an extension should be granted.

8.    The responsible official may grant an extension of up to twelve (12) months in the validity of a development approval if it is determined that conditions, for which the applicant was not responsible, would prevent the applicant from commencing his operation within the original time limitation. The responsible official shall not grant an extension if the site characteristics and/or new information indicates that the proposed use may adversely affect scenic, cultural, natural or recreation resources in the National Scenic Area.

9.    The development approval timelines in this section shall take precedence over the development approval timelines in Section 40.500.010(B).

H.    Standards for Applications and Expirations of Approvals.

1.    Standards for Applications – Complete Application Required. Any proposed use, development or structure shall be reviewed according to the standards in effect on the date an applicant submitted a complete land use application to the reviewing agency. A complete application is one that the reviewing agency determines meets the Management Plan’s requirements for:

a.    A complete application form;

b.    A complete site plan; and

c.    All applicable information specified in the parts of the Management Plan titled Resource Protection and Enhancement, Land Use Designations, and Administration.

Incomplete applications shall not be reviewed.

2.    Expirations of Approvals.

a.    Notice Not Required. Expiration of any land use approval issued pursuant to this Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Management Plan) shall be automatic. Failure to give notice of expiration shall not affect the expiration of a land use approval.

b.    Land Use Approvals without Structures. Any land use approval issued pursuant to the Management Plan for a use or development that does not include a structure shall expire two (2) years after the date the land use approval was granted, unless the use or development was established according to all specifications and conditions of approval in the land use approval. For land divisions, “established” means the final deed or plat has been recorded with the county recorder or auditor.

c.    Land Use Approvals with Structures. Any land use approval issued pursuant to the Management Plan for a use or development that includes a structure shall expire as follows:

(1)    When construction has not commenced within (2) two years of the date the land use approval was granted; or

(2)    When the structure has not been completed within (2) two years of the date of commencement of construction.

d.    Commencement of Construction. As used in subsection (H)(2)(c)(1) of this section, “commencement of construction” shall mean actual construction of the foundation or frame of the approved structure. For utilities and developments without a frame or foundation, “commencement of construction” shall mean actual construction of support structures for an approved aboveground utility or development or actual excavation of trenches for an approved underground utility or development. For roads, “commencement of construction” shall mean actual grading of the roadway.

e.    Completion of Structure. As used in subsection (H)(2)(c)(2) of this section, “completion of the structure” shall mean:

(1)    Completion of the exterior surface(s) of the structure; and

(2)    Compliance with all conditions of approval in the land use approval.

f.    Extension of Validity of Land Use Approvals. A request for extension of the time frames in subsections (H)(2)(b), (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section shall be submitted in writing before the applicable expiration date.

(1)    A reviewing agency may grant one (1) twelve (12) month extension to the validity of a land use approval if it determines that events beyond the control of the applicant prevented commencement of the use or development (applicable to subsection (H)(2)(b) of this section) or commencement of construction (applicable to subsection (H)(2)(c)(1) of this section) within the original two (2) year time frame.

(2)    An agency may also grant one (1) twelve (12) month extension if it determines that events beyond the control of the applicant prevented completion of the structure (applicable to subsection (H)(2)(c)(2) of this section) within the original two (2) year time frame.

(3)    A request for extension shall state the reason why events beyond the control of the applicant warrant an extension.

(4)    Approval or denial of a request for extension shall be considered an administrative decision.

I.    Appeal Process.

    Appeals will be handled pursuant to Section 40.510.020(H) for Type II applications or Section 40.510.030(H) for Type III applications.

J.    Changes or Alterations to an Approved Action.

    Any change or alteration to a development action approved by the Commission or responsible official pursuant to this rule shall be processed as new action, except that the responsible official may approve minor changes or alterations deemed to be consistent with the guidelines of this chapter and the findings and conclusions for the original action. If the responsible official approves a minor change, the Director shall notify all of the parties that would have standing to appeal the change, including the applicant, the Forest Service, the four (4) Indian tribal governments, the county planning department, and anyone who submitted comments during the comment period on the original land use application. The change itself (not the original decision) would be subject to appeal under the same time frames applicable to the original decision.

(Amended: Ord. 2006-05-04)