Chapter 18.120


18.120.010    Description and purpose.

18.120.020    Definitions.

18.120.030    Concurrency determination.

18.120.040    Exemptions.

18.120.050    Concurrency monitoring.

18.120.060    Intergovernmental coordination.

18.120.070    Fees.

18.120.010 Description and purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to set forth standards providing for municipal compliance with the concurrency requirements of the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA) and to further provide for consistency between municipal and county-wide planning policies under GMA. GMA requires that adequate street capacity be provided concurrently with development to handle the increased traffic projected to result from such growth and development. GMA also authorizes local jurisdictions to establish concurrency parameters for facilities other than transportation. Spokane County’s adopted county-wide planning policies, which affect all jurisdictions in the county, add domestic water and sanitary sewer systems to the concurrency determination of adequate capacity concurrent with new development. Therefore, this chapter addresses concurrency management in the context of the municipal street system, domestic water system, and sanitary sewer system.

A. When concurrency management for a segment of the transportation system is regional in nature as determined by the Spokane County steering committee of elected officials, the Spokane regional transportation council (SRTC) shall be responsible for a concurrency determination in accordance with level of service (LOS) standards adopted for the regional transportation system. (Ord. 722 § 174, 1998)

18.120.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, certain words and terms are defined herein. Words used in the present tense include the future; words used in the singular number include the plural; and words in the plural numbers include the singular.

A. “Concurrency” means municipal street, domestic water, and sanitary sewer infrastructure systems needed to achieve and maintain the standards for level of service (LOS) adopted in the city’s comprehensive plan, as such comprehensive plan now exists or as it may be subsequently amended in the future, are available to serve new development no later than six years after the impacts of development are incurred.

B. “Concurrency determination” means the comparison of an applicant’s impacts on concurrency facilities to the capacity, including available and planned capacity of the concurrency facilities.

C. “Development permit” means a land use or building permit. Development permits are classified as exempt, final, or preliminary. Exempt permits are set forth in DPMC 18.120.040.

D. “Development permit, final” means a building permit.

E. “Development permit, preliminary” means one or more of the following permits: a conditional use permit, a preliminary plat, a rezone, a shoreline permit, a short plat, or any other official action of the city having the effect of authorizing the development of land.

F. “Level of service (LOS)” means an indicator of the extent or degree of service provided by, or proposed to be provided by, a facility based on and related to the operational characteristics of a facility. LOS is an established minimum capacity of certain capital facilities that must be provided per unit of demand or other appropriate measures as needed. LOS standards are found in the transportation and capital facilities elements of the city’s comprehensive plan, as such comprehensive plan now exists or as it may be subsequently amended in the future.

G. “Reserve level of service (LOS) capacity” means total capacity of concurrency facilities less currently existing demands, and less committed but not yet implemented demands upon such concurrency facilities and services.

H. “Vested” means the right to develop or continue development in accordance with the laws, rules, and other regulations in effect at the time vesting is achieved. (Ord. 722 § 174, 1998)

18.120.030 Concurrency determination.

Level of service (LOS) standards are the benchmarks used to determine if concurrency facilities are adequate to serve new development. LOS standards are used to calculate the capacity of concurrency facilities for each development. Concurrency is determined by comparing the capacity required to the uncommitted capacity that is available.

A. A concurrency determination shall be performed by the city prior to the issuance of a preliminary development permit. If the concurrency determination results in a finding that concurrency facilities and services are sufficient to serve the development, the appropriate city department(s) shall reserve the capacity required for the final development permit. Such capacity shall not be returned to the uncommitted amount of reserve capacity unless and until the application is, for whatever reason, denied, rejected, expired, or otherwise invalidated.

1. A concurrency determination does not compromise the city’s ability to address project mitigation under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), where applicable.

B. If the concurrency determination results in a finding that one or more concurrency facilities do not have sufficient reserve capacity to serve the development, the application shall be returned to the applicant with an explanation as to the deficiencies with the affected concurrency facility or facilities. Development approval is prohibited if the development causes the LOS of a concurrency facility to decline below the LOS adopted in the transportation and/or capital facilities elements of the city’s comprehensive plan, as such comprehensive plan now exists or as it may be subsequently amended in the future, unless improvements or strategies to accommodate the impacts of development are made concurrent with the development. The applicant may:

1. Mitigate capacity impacts by arranging with the city for the provision of additional capacity of the affected concurrency facility or facilities required either concurrent with the development, or within six years of when the impact is incurred; or

2. Revise the proposed development by reducing impacts so as to maintain a satisfactory LOS; or

3. Phase the proposed development to coincide with later availability of increased concurrency facility capacity; or

4. Accept denial of the application. (Ord. 722 § 174, 1998)

18.120.040 Exemptions.

While the following permits are exempt from the concurrency requirements of this chapter, the city is not precluded from mitigating the impacts of such permits through other mechanisms such as by a local improvement district, by State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) compliance, etc. The following development permits are exempt from concurrency determination requirements:

A. Any addition or accessory structure to a residence, public facility, or business with no change or increase in use or increase in the number of dwelling units;

B. Interior or exterior renovations or modifications of structures with no change or increase in use or increase in the number of dwelling units;

C. Replacement structures with no change or increase in use or increase in the number of dwelling units;

D. Temporary structures;

E. Resurfacing of existing driveways, streets, or parking lots;

F. Landscaping, lighting, or fencing;

G. Signs;

H. Demolitions;

I. Sanitary sewer permit for an existing single-family residence;

J. Domestic water service permit for an existing single-family residence;

K. Street vacations;

L. Lot line adjustments;

M. Permits for construction of single-family or two-family residences on platted lots of record existing before the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter; provided, that such lot or combination of lots forming a development parcel duly conforms to the minimum size standards of the underlying zone as set forth in other chapters of this title;

N. Final plats; provided, that the requirements of DPMC 18.120.030 were satisfied at the time of preliminary plat approval;

O. Variances authorized in this title which pertain to standards for height, bulk, yard areas, parking, and similar standards which do not influence the density or intensity of the use permitted pursuant to the zone in which such use is located;

P. The subsequent building permit for an approved development; provided, that the requirements of DPMC 18.120.030 were satisfied at the time of preliminary development approval and there is no change in use, densities, and intensities; or

Q. Those uses identified as exempt under the state’s Shoreline Management Act. (Ord. 722 § 174, 1998)

18.120.050 Concurrency monitoring.

The city shall monitor final development permits for their impact on concurrency facilities. The impacts from final development permits exempt under DPMC 18.120.040 shall be taken into consideration. The city shall determine whether final development permit impacts should be monitored on an annual or more frequent basis. (Ord. 722 § 174, 1998)

18.120.060 Intergovernmental coordination.

The city may enter into an interlocal agreement with Spokane County or other entities to coordinate level of service (LOS) standards, concurrency mitigation strategies, and other facets of concurrency management. (Ord. 722 § 174, 1998)

18.120.070 Fees.

Fees in an amount specified by resolution of the city council shall be paid upon the filing of any development permit application to defray the expenses of conducting concurrency determinations, providing written information, and for providing other concurrency management services in support of this chapter. (Ord. 722 § 174, 1998)