Chapter 18.01


18.01.010    Incorporation of testimony and records.

18.01.015    Incorporation of resolution of findings of fact.

18.01.020    Purpose.

18.01.030    Applications for land use approvals.

18.01.040    Exception as to applications pending review.

18.01.050    Automatic special use status.

18.01.060    Development standards for special uses.

18.01.070    Sites with split zoning.

18.01.080    Conversion of public and semi-public development.

18.01.090    Approval process.

18.01.100    Decision criteria.

18.01.110    Expansion of nonconforming use.

18.01.010 Incorporation of testimony and records.

These regulations incorporate and reference the public record of these ordinance adoption proceedings, including the resolution and exhibit, recitals made by staff, and the public testimony and documents received at public hearing. [Ord. 18-064, § 1, 7-24-18; Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.015 Incorporation of resolution of findings of fact.

These regulations incorporate the resolution of “Findings of Fact” adopted contemporaneously by the Board of Commissioners to these interim official controls in response to the referenced matters therein and herein. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.020 Purpose.

A. Certain uses are subject to the special use standards because they may have adverse effects on the environment, overburden public services, change the desired character of an area or create major nuisances. A review of these uses is necessary due to the potential individual or cumulative impacts they may have on the surrounding area or neighborhood. The special use review provides an opportunity to allow the use when there are minimal impacts, to allow the use but impose mitigation measures to address identified impacts or to deny the use if the impacts cannot be resolved.

B. Uses that require a special use review and are subject to the standards of this chapter are identified below. The review procedures and decision making for various special use situations are located in Chapter 2.05 CCC, CCC 18.10.280 to 18.10.295, and Chapter 19.11 CCC, SEPA. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.030 Applications for land use approvals.

Any application for new land use approvals or for approvals on expanded, existing land use that are submitted to the Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning, Department of Health, Department of Public Works, or any other County department, after the time and date of adoption hereunder, and are subject to but which did not address these interim regulations, shall be returned as incomplete along with a refund of any application or processing fees, and at the option of the applicant, for completion and resubmission. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.040 Exception as to applications pending review.

These interim official controls shall not affect land use applications for land use approvals for which a complete application has been accepted by any County department prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. For any applications which have been submitted prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, but which have not been reviewed for completeness by the applicable County department, the applicant will have 30 days from the date of the completeness review letter from the department to submit a complete application in order to vest. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.050 Automatic special use status.

Over time, the zoning standards applicable to a specific site may change. This may result from changes to the zoning standards or the zoning map, including annexation rezonings. Following an amendment to the zoning standards or zoning map that changes a use that was previously allowed outright or was a conforming use to a special use under the amended regulation or map, the use is considered an approved special use and may continue to operate. Any changes to the use are subject to the criteria and process of CCC Title 18, and the appropriate criteria of this chapter. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.060 Development standards for special uses.

The development standards for special uses are those of the base zone, any applicable overlay zones, and any relevant standards in CCC 18.10.280 to 18.10.295, and as set forth below for specific special uses. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.070 Sites with split zoning.

When a proposed use is located on a parcel which has more than one zone, and the use is a special use, any proposals on the allowed site will be subject to special use review standards and use conditions of the more restrictive or conditioned zone. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.080 Conversion of public and semi-public development.

When the need for an existing public or semi-public development in any zone no longer exists, the building may be converted to those uses listed in the zone in which it is located. The development may be converted to any use allowed in the base zone if a special use permit is approved by the Hearing Examiner after public hearing. The Hearing Examiner must find the existing development suitable for the proposed use and that the proposed use is not unduly detrimental to the immediately surrounding properties. To qualify for the special use permit hearing, the public or semi-public development may not have more than 12,000 square feet of total floor area in any building, which building must have been constructed to house the public or semi-public use and operated as such use for a minimum of five years. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.090 Approval process.

A request for a new special use is subject to Hearing Examiner review under Chapter 2.05 CCC unless another type of application is indicated in the primary use table of the zone. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.100 Decision criteria.

Decision criteria for special uses are generally stated in CCC 18.10.280 to 18.10.295, except as stated below. Those special uses with decision criteria, in addition to that provided in this chapter, are listed below. Requests for special uses will be approved if the Hearing Examiner finds that the applicant has shown that all of the decision criteria have been met.

A. Essential public facility. [Reserved]

B. Mining. [Reserved]

C. Race facilities. These approval criteria apply to outdoor race facilities, which shall be allowed only as a special use permit in all zones.

1. For purposes of this section “race facilities” shall include any private location, course or track intended for periodic or seasonal motor sports and recreational use, including competitive racing, vehicle testing and driving skills activities with motorized vehicles, off-road vehicles and motorcycles, and including but not limited to: racetracks, speedways, drift tracks, drag strips, kart tracks, and motocross tracks, and shall include the entire area of the parcel of land and approved perimeter buffer areas posted or designated for such use, and including all improvements normally associated with such facilities such as parking (including RV parking), bleachers, stages, information and registration structures, loading or unloading areas, viewing areas, campgrounds, picnic areas and shelters, refuse collection areas, restroom facilities, signage, lighting, caretaker housing, administrative structures and maintenance storage areas, and incidental accessory features such as fencing, potable water sources, portable sanitation facilities, and admission or ticket booths. As used herein, competitive racing events, recreation or driving skills shall mean that the facility serves more than an immediate family living on the site, and their occasional guests. “Occasional guest” as used in this section shall mean a relative or friend of the family who is invited to use the facility without cost on infrequent, irregular visits.

2. Development site review conditions shall address:

a. On-site vehicle circulation and off-site traffic control measures;

b. Compliance with building and health codes;

c. Protection for critical areas;

d. Stormwater flow control and water quality treatment;

e. Visual screening from adjoining residential properties;

f. On-going monitoring and reporting to measure compliance with the development and operating agreements;

g. Fire protection;

h. Potable water supply and sanitary disposal; and

i. Any other impacts or potential impacts addressed during SEPA or that are related to the specific site being developed including impacts to or from: historic and cultural resources, fish and wildlife, dust, erosion, noise and/or vibration, or any other elements of the natural or built environment, and operations of the proposed facility.

3. Development operating conditions shall address:

a. Days and hours of operation;

b. Frequency and nature of general usage and scheduled events;

c. Use activities, including types and numbers of motor vehicles;

d. On-site and off-site lighting, dust, smoke, particulates, and odor; and

e. Maximum noise levels. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]

18.01.110 Expansion of nonconforming use.

A. For purposes of CCC 18.02.090(B), a pre-existing, lawful use, structure or facility which is nonconforming with the standards under this chapter may be continued and maintained, provided it is not enlarged, expanded, extended, replaced or altered in any way which increases its nonconformity unless a special use permit is granted by the Hearing Examiner under Chapter 2.05 CCC, CCC 18.10.280 to 18.10.295, and Chapter 19.11 CCC, SEPA. Any enlargement, expansion, extension, replacement or alteration of nonconforming uses, nonconforming facilities or nonconforming structures shall be required to comply with the special use provisions of this chapter; provided, that portions of nonconforming structures that legally existed prior to adoption of this section shall not be subject to such provisions, except as expressly required by fire or building or health related state standards.

1. Normal maintenance of existing nonconforming structures, improvements or facilities includes those usual acts to prevent a decline or lapse, or cessation from a lawfully established condition. Examples of normal maintenance shall be painting, reroofing and similar remedial actions to maintain safe building requirements under the state building code. Normal reconstruction or rebuilding means to restore a structure, improvement or facility to a state comparable to its original condition prior to damage from natural causes which did not exceed 50 percent of the replacement costs thereof.

2. Enlargement, expansion, extension, replacement or alteration of a nonconforming use or structure which is necessary to accommodate handicapped accessibility requirements, fire code, or other life safety-related code requirements is allowed outright when said modification is expressly mandated by local, state, or federal standards. [Ord. 18-042 § 1, 6-12-18.]