Chapter 19.01


19.01.001    Procedures for processing project permits.

19.01.002    Determination of proper procedure type.

19.01.003    Project permit application framework.

19.01.004    Joint public hearings.

19.01.005    Legislative decisions.

19.01.006    Legislative enactments not restricted.

19.01.007    Exemptions from project permit application processing.

19.01.001 Procedures for processing project permits.

For the purpose of project permit processing, all project permit applications shall be classified as one of the following: Type I, Type II, Type III or Type IV. Legislative decisions are Type V actions, and are addressed in CHMC 19.01.005. Exclusions from the requirements of project permit application processing are contained in CHMC 19.01.007. [RCW 36.70B.120.] (Ord. 738 § 1, 1996)

19.01.002 Determination of proper procedure type.

A. Determination by Administrator. The administrator shall determine the proper procedure for all development applications. If there is a question as to the appropriate type of procedure, the administrator shall resolve it in favor of the higher procedure type number.

B. Optional Consolidated Permit Processing. An application that involves two or more procedures may be processed collectively under the highest numbered procedure required for any part of the application or processed individually under each of the procedures identified by the code. The applicant may determine whether the application shall be processed collectively or individually. If the application is processed under the individual procedure option, the highest numbered type procedure must be processed prior to the subsequent lower numbered procedure. [RCW 36.70B.060(3), 36.70B.120.]

C. Decisionmaker(s). 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 decisionmaker(s). The city council is the highest, followed by the hearing examiner, and then the administrator. Joint public hearings with other agencies shall be processed according to CHMC 19.01.004. [RCW 36.70B.060(3), 36.70B.120.] (Ord. 959 § 5, 2018; Ord. 738 § 1, 1996)

19.01.003 Project permit application framework.

Action Type









Recommendation made by:




Hearing examiner


Planning commission

Final decision made by:


Administrator/ hearing examiner

Hearing examiner

City council

City council

City council

Notice of application:

No, unless SEPA applies

No, unless SEPA applies





Open record public hearing:


Only if appealed, open record hearing before hearing examiner

Yes, before hearing examiner to render final decision

Yes, before hearing examiner

Yes, before council to render final decision

Yes, before planning commission to make recommendation to council

Closed record appeal/final decision:



Only if appealed, then before hearing examiner

City council to make final decision


Yes, or council could hold its own hearing

Judicial appeal:














Building, grading, mechanical permits (non-SEPA)

CHMC 15.04.080

Short plat

Chapter 16.12 CHMC

Variances and special exceptions

Chapter 17.72 CHMC

Preliminary plat

Chapter 16.16 CHMC

Final plat

Chapter 16.20 CHMC

Comp. plan and amendments

CHMC 19.01.005

Sign permits

Chapter 17.56 CHMC

Boundary line adjustment

Chapter 16.10 CHMC


CHMC 17.72.060

Plat amendments

Chapter 16.36 CHMC

Site-specific rezone (hearing examiner)

Chapter 17.76 CHMC

Development regulations and amendments

CHMC 19.01.005

Swimming pool permits

Chapter 17.48 CHMC

Recreational facilities permits

Chapter 17.40 CHMC

Variations and exceptions (hearing examiner)

Chapter 16.32 CHMC




Public place use permit

Chapter 12.14 CHMC

Building, grading, mechanical permits (SEPA)

CHMC 15.04.080

Variances and exceptions

CHMC 15.10.070

Conditional use permits

Chapter 17.10 CHMC



(Ord. 959 § 2, 2018; Ord. 941 § 3, 2016; Ord. 905 § 3, 2010; Ord. 853 § 4, 2003; Ord. 806 § 1, 1999; Ord. 771 § 1, 1997; Ord. 766 § 1, 1997; Ord. 741 § 1, 1996; Ord. 738 § 1, 1996)

19.01.004 Joint public hearings.

A. Administrator’s Decision to Hold Joint Hearing. The administrator 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) of this section are met. [RCW 36.70B.110(7).]

B. Applicant’s Request for a Joint Hearing. The applicant may request that the public hearing on a permit application 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 complete the hearings. [RCW 36.70B.110(7).]

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 [RCW 36.70B.110(8)];

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;

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; and

4. The hearing is held within the geographic boundary of the local government. (Ord. 738 § 1, 1996)

19.01.005 Legislative decisions.

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

1. Adoption of development regulations and amendments;

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

3. Adoption of the comprehensive plan and plan amendments;

4. Annexations; and

5. Development agreements, including the development standards and conditions for development stated therein.

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

C. City Council. The city council may consider the planning commission’s recommendation in a public hearing or public meeting, as applicable.

D. Public Notice. Notice of the public hearing or public meeting shall be provided to the public as set forth in CHMC 19.03.003(B)(4).

E. Implementation. The city council’s decision shall become effective by passage of an ordinance. (Ord. 958 § 3, 2017; Ord. 738 § 1, 1996)

19.01.006 Legislative enactments not restricted.

Nothing in this chapter or the permit processing procedures shall limit the authority of the city council to make changes to the city’s comprehensive plan, as part of an annual revision process, or to make changes to the city’s development regulations. [RCW 36.70B.020(4).] (Ord. 738 § 1, 1996)

19.01.007 Exemptions from project permit application processing.

A. Whenever a permit or approval 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, however, specifically excluded from the procedures set forth in this title:

1. Landmark designations;

2. Street vacations;

3. Street use permits;

4. Impact fee decisions;

5. Street opening permits as provided in Chapter 12.08 CHMC;

6. Public place use permits as provided in Chapters 12.14 and 17.77 CHMC.

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 CHMC Title 18, or permits/approvals for which environmental review has been completed in connection with other project permits, are excluded from the following procedures:

1. Determination of completeness (CHMC 19.02.003(A));

2. Notice of application (CHMC 19.03.001);

3. Except as provided in RCW 36.70B.140, optional consolidated project permit review processing (CHMC 19.01.002(B));

4. Joint public hearings (CHMC 19.01.004);

5. Single report stating all the decisions and recommendations made as of the date of the report that do not require an open record hearing (CHMC 19.04.002(C));

6. Notice of decision (CHMC 19.05.008);

7. Completion of project review within any applicable time periods (including the 120-day permit processing time) (CHMC 19.05.008, 19.05.009). [RCW 36.70B.140.] (Ord. 771 § 2, 1997; Ord. 766 § 2, 1997; Ord. 738 § 1, 1996)