Chapter 14.27
DEVELOPMENT REGULATION AND ZONING MAP AMENDMENTS

Sections:

14.27.010    Purpose.

14.27.020    Applicability.

14.27.030    Application procedures.

14.27.040    Decision criteria.

14.27.050    Staff report – SEPA review – Public participation – Transmission to Washington State Department of Commerce.

14.27.060    Planning Commission review.

14.27.070    City Council action.

14.27.080    Minor corrections exempt.

14.27.010 Purpose.

This chapter establishes the procedures and criteria for amending the text and tables of the City’s development regulations and the City’s official zoning map. (Ord. 25-08 § 1 (Exh. 1))

14.27.020 Applicability.

The procedures and criteria of this chapter shall apply to:

(1) Amendments to the text and tables of the City’s development regulations, as set forth in the Covington Municipal Code, which are not in conjunction with a comprehensive plan amendment.

(2) Amendments to the City’s official zoning map that are not in conjunction with a comprehensive plan amendment. Rezones do not include amendments to designations on the City’s future land use map, which are comprehensive plan amendments subject to the provisions of Chapter 14.25 CMC. (Ord. 25-08 § 1 (Exh. 1))

14.27.030 Application procedures.

(1) Who May Initiate.

(a) Privately Initiated. Any person or group may request a development regulation amendment or area-wide zoning map amendment. Only a property owner or authorized agency of a property owner may request a site-specific zoning map amendment. Such requests are subject to the formal application process set forth in this section.

(b) City-Initiated. The City Council, and any City commission, department, or staff member, may initiate a development regulation, or area-wide or site-specific zoning map amendment. Such proposed amendments are not subject to the formal application process or fees set forth in this section.

(c) Any person or group may informally suggest a development regulation or zoning map amendment to the City Council and request their sponsorship for the amendment. Agreement to sponsor such an amendment is at the discretion of the City Council.

(2) Application. Applicants may propose amendments by submitting such requests on forms prescribed by the City. The City shall establish specific application procedures and make those available to the public. No amendment proposal shall be processed until the Community Development Director determines that the information necessary to review and decide upon the amendment is complete.

(3) Three-Year Limitation. A specific property, policy topic or land use issue shall not be the subject of a privately initiated amendment proposal and reviewed by the City more frequently than once every three years.

(4) Fees. Applications submitted by private individuals or groups are subject to application and processing fees as set forth in the current fee resolution. Applicants may also be responsible for fees related to environmental analysis and review (SEPA process) if these are required by the nature of the amendment. No fees shall apply to City-initiated amendment proposals. (Ord. 25-08 § 1 (Exh. 1))

14.27.040 Decision criteria.

The City Council’s approval, modification, deferral, or denial of an amendment proposal shall be based on the following criteria:

(1) The proposed amendment is consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the comprehensive plan;

(2) The proposed amendment is consistent with the scope and purpose of the City’s zoning ordinances and the description and purpose of the zone classification applied for;

(3) Circumstances have changed substantially since the establishment of the current zoning map or district to warrant the proposed amendment;

(4) The proposed zoning is consistent and compatible with the uses and zoning of surrounding property;

(5) The property that is the subject of the amendment is suited for the uses allowed in the proposed zoning classification;

(6) The amendment is in compliance with the three-year limitation rule as specified in CMC 14.27.030(3); and

(7) Adequate public services could be made available to serve the full range of proposed uses in that zone. (Ord. 25-08 § 1 (Exh. 1))

14.27.050 Staff report – SEPA review – Public participation – Transmission to Washington State Department of Commerce.

The Community Development Director shall review all applications to determine whether the information necessary to review and decide upon an amendment application is complete. The Director may reject any complete application that is clearly inconsistent with the City’s comprehensive plan, and will notify the applicant of the decision in writing. For those privately initiated applications that are complete and appear to be consistent with the City’s comprehensive plan, and for any City-initiated amendment proposals, the Director shall complete the following:

(1) Staff Report. The Director shall prepare a staff report on the proposed amendment to be presented to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation. The staff report should contain:

(a) Findings of fact;

(b) An evaluation as to how the amendment meets the prescribed criteria;

(c) A summary of public comment on the amendment; and

(d) A description of any alternatives or proposed changes to the amendment;

(2) SEPA Review. The Director or SEPA official shall conduct a SEPA review and notify applicants as to the need for a SEPA checklist and environmental impact statement. Applicants will be responsible for any fees associated with SEPA analysis;

(3) Public Participation. The City shall provide notice and opportunity for public comment, as deemed appropriate given the nature of the proposed amendment; and

(4) Transmission to Washington State Department of Commerce. The Director shall transmit the proposed amendment to the Washington State Department of Commerce at least 60 days prior to the expected date of final City Council action on the proposed amendment. (Ord. 25-08 § 1 (Exh. 1))

14.27.060 Planning Commission review.

The Planning Commission shall hold a noticed public hearing on proposed amendments and make a recommendation to the City Council as to whether each proposed amendment meets the criteria in CMC 14.27.040. (Ord. 25-08 § 1 (Exh. 1))

14.27.070 City Council action.

The City Council shall consider the Planning Commission’s recommendation, and may hold an additional hearing on the amendments at its discretion. The City Council’s approval, modification, deferral, or denial of an amendment proposal shall be based on the criteria set forth in CMC 14.27.040. The City shall transmit a copy of the development regulation or zoning map amendments to Washington State Department of Commerce within 10 days of the City Council’s final adoption. (Ord. 25-08 § 1 (Exh. 1))

14.27.080 Minor corrections exempt.

An amendment that does not result in any substantive change to the content or meaning of a development regulation, such as a correction to punctuation or numbering or a typographical or technical error, shall be exempt from the notice and hearing requirements of this chapter. In such cases, the Director may make a recommendation directly to the City Council. (Ord. 25-08 § 1 (Exh. 1))