Chapter 12.01


12.01.010    Title.

12.01.020    Application.

12.01.030    Purpose.

12.01.040    Authority.

12.01.050    Definitions – Use of words and phrases.

12.01.060    Rules of construction.

12.01.070    Liability.

12.01.080    Violations and penalties.

12.01.090    Severability.

12.01.100    Appeals.

12.01.010 Title.

This Title shall be entitled “Streets, Sidewalks, and Public Places.” This chapter shall be entitled “General Provisions.” [Ord. 1578 § 1, 2013.]

12.01.020 Application.

This Title shall apply to the use, improvement and development of rights-of-way, streets and the utilities contained therein. This chapter shall apply to all chapters contained in this Title. [Ord. 1578 § 2, 2013.]

12.01.030 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this Title and the chapters contained herein, to establish provisions relating to the use and improvement of rights-of-way and the open streets, walkways and utilities contained therein. These provisions provide for and promote the health, safety and welfare of the general public, and are not intended to create or otherwise establish or designate a particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by the terms of this chapter or procedures adopted under this chapter. [Ord. 1578 § 3, 2013.]

12.01.040 Authority.

The Planning, Building and Public Works Director shall have the power to:

(1) Prepare and adopt procedures as needed to implement this Title and to carry out the responsibilities of the Department. Such procedures do not require approval of the City Council unless specifically set forth herein;

(2) Administer and coordinate the enforcement of this Title and all procedures adopted under this Title relating to the use of rights-of-way;

(3) Advise the City Council, City Manager, and other City departments on matters relating to use of the right-of-way;

(4) Carry out such other responsibilities as required by this Title, state law, or other codes, ordinances, resolutions, or procedures of the City;

(5) Request the assistance of other City departments to administer and enforce this Title; and

(6) Assign the responsibility for interpretation and application of specified procedures to the traffic engineer. [Ord. 1578 § 4, 2013.]

12.01.050 Definitions – Use of words and phrases.

As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter clearly requires otherwise, the words or phrases defined in this section shall have the indicated meanings. Words not defined shall have the meanings set forth in the most recent version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

“Assessment reimbursement area” means all real properties that will benefit from a street system improvement.

“Campus” means a development site under a single public or private ownership, upon which a structure or structures exist. By way of illustration and not limitation, a campus includes a public or private school, a multifamily development, a retirement housing facility, a nursing home facility, a continuing care retirement community, a boarding home, a hospital, a recreational facility, a business park, and a shopping center.

“Citation and notice” means a written document initiating a criminal proceeding after an arrest and issued by an authorized peace officer, in accordance with the Criminal Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction.

“Complaint” means a written document certified by the City Attorney initiating a criminal proceeding in accordance with the Criminal Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction.

“Department” means the Planning, Building and Public Works Department.

“Developer” means the owner, developer, and/or building permit applicant who is required by any ordinance of the City, or as the result of review under state law, or in connection with any discretionary decision of the City Council to construct street system improvements which do not abut the development site (“off-site street system improvements”).

“Development” means a private improvement to real property requiring electrical or communication services including, but not limited to, such services being distributed to subdivisions, short subdivisions, planned unit developments, or single-family or commercial building sites.

“Development site” means the lot or lots upon which real property improvements are proposed to be constructed.

“Directive memorandum” means a letter from the City to a right-of-way use permittee, notifying the recipient of specific nonconforming or unsafe conditions and specifying the date by which corrective action must be taken.

“Electrical or communication systems” means facilities carrying electrical energy, including, but not limited to, electric power, telephone, and cable television services; provided, however, that the term shall not include the following facilities:

(a) Electrical utility substations, pad-mounted transformers, and switching facilities not located on the public right-of-way;

(b) Electrical transmission systems of a voltage of 55 kV or more;

(c) Street lighting standards;

(d) Telephone pedestals, cross-connect terminals, repeaters, and cable warning signs;

(e) Municipal equipment, including but not limited to traffic control equipment, and police and fire sirens;

(f) Temporary services for construction or replacement of existing overhead facilities due to damage by natural or man-made causes.

“Franchised utilities” means utilities that have City approval to use City right-of-way for the purpose of providing their services within the City, whether by written franchise granted by the City or otherwise.

“Frontage” means that portion of the development site abutting public right-of-way; provided, however, in the case of development sites which are not substantially rectangular, such as “pipe-stem” lots, the frontage shall be equal to the greatest linear distance of the lot which is parallel to the public right-of-way. In the case of corner lots, “frontage” means any portion of the development site abutting any public right-of-way.

“Fronting” means abutting a public right-of-way or public rights-of-way.

“Minor addition, rebuild, replacement, or relocation” includes the installation of secondary conductors, changing wire size or type, pole replacement, relocation of poles at a distance of not more than 50 feet, replacing secondary wire with primary wire to serve not more than two new customers, hardware replacement on existing poles, and the like.

“New electrical or communication service” means installation of service lines to a building where none existed before, and shall not include restorations and repairs.

“Nonconforming paved street surface” means asphaltic concrete, cement concrete, or permeable pavement street surface (as defined in DMMC 11.12.010) that does not conform with the current “City of Des Moines Street Development Standards,” but that the Public Works Director finds to be adequate for projected vehicular traffic.

“Nonprofit” means not for a monetary gain unless for charitable purposes.

“Notice of violation” means a document mailed to a permittee or unauthorized user and posted at the site of a nonconforming or unsafe condition.

“Off-site street system improvements” means street system improvements required to be similarly constructed on public right-of-way between the development site and a paved street surface.

“On-site street system improvements” means street system improvements that are required to be constructed on public right-of-way adjacent to the frontage of the development site and extending to the centerline of the public right-of-way.

“Oral directive” means a directive given orally by City personnel to correct or discontinue a specific condition.

“Paved street surface” means street surface that is either standard street surface or nonconforming paved street surface.

“Permit” means a document issued by the City granting permission to engage in an activity not allowed without a permit.

“Planning, Building and Public Works Director” means the Planning, Building and Public Works Director or his/her designated representative.

“Private use” means use of the public right-of-way for the benefit of a person other than as a thoroughfare for any type of vehicles, pedestrians, or equestrians.

“Procedure” means a procedure adopted by the Planning, Building and Public Works Director, to implement this chapter, or to carry out other responsibilities as may be required by state law, this chapter or by other codes, ordinances, or resolutions of the City or other agencies.

“Real property improvements” means:

(a) Construction of a structure on an unimproved lot, except for one single-family residence;

(b) Additions, alterations, or repairs to an existing structure other than one single-family residence, where square footage is added to the structure, or the construction of accessory buildings as defined in Title 18 DMMC, except for one single-family residence; or

(c) Construction of an additional structure or structures on a campus.

“Right-of-way” means all public streets, alleys, and property granted or reserved for, or dedicated to, public use for streets and alleys, together with public property granted or reserved for, or dedicated to, public use for walkways, sidewalks, trails, shoulders, drainage ditches, bike ways and horse trails, whether improved or unimproved, including the air rights, subsurface rights, and easements related thereto.

“Sidewalk routes” means sidewalk routes shown on a map prepared by the Planning, Building and Public Works Director and adopted by the City Council by resolution or by ordinance pursuant to the Comprehensive Plan.

“Standard street surface” means street surface that is paved in accordance with current “City of Des Moines Street Development Standards.”

“Stop work notice” means a notice posted at the site of an activity that requires all work to be stopped until the City approves continuation of work.

“Storm water facility” is as defined in Title 11 DMMC.

“Street assessment reimbursement contract” means contracts authorized by chapter 35.72 RCW, for street system improvements.

“Street system improvements” include a half street section of street pavement (including appropriate subpaving preparation), storm water facilities, sidewalks where required, curbs and gutters if used, street lighting, right-of-way landscaping (including street trees where required), and other similar improvements as required by the “City of Des Moines Street Development Standards.”

“Street use official” means the designated employees of the Planning, Building and Public Works Department responsible for inspecting the installation of warning and safety devices in the public right-of-way and restoration of public rights-of-way disturbed by work.

“Surface water drainage facilities” means piped and covered surface water drainage, including catch basins, and such detention, retention, and biofiltration as the Planning, Building and Public Works Director shall require in accordance with sound engineering principles and the adopted ordinances and policies of the City.

“Underground location service” means the underground utilities location center that will locate all underground utilities prior to an excavation.

“Unpaved street surface” means street surface that is neither standard nor nonconforming paved street surface.

“Unsafe condition” means any condition which the Planning, Building and Public Works Director determines is a hazard to health, or endangers the safe use of the right-of-way by the public, or does or may impair or impede the operation or functioning of any portion of the right-of-way, or which may cause damage thereto. [Ord. 1671 § 4, 2017; Ord. 1578 § 5, 2013.]

12.01.060 Rules of construction.

The following rules of construction shall apply unless inconsistent with the obvious meaning in the context of the provision.

(1) Tense. Words used in the present tense shall include the future tense.

(2) Number. Words used in the singular shall include the plural, and words used in the plural shall include the singular.

(3) Headings. In the event that there is any conflict or inconsistency between the heading of a chapter, section, or paragraph of this code, and the content thereof, the said heading shall not affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the content.

(4) Citations. Citations to state or federal laws shall mean that law as presently constituted or as it may be subsequently amended in the future. [Ord. 1578 § 6, 2013.]

12.01.070 Liability.

It is the specific intent of this Title and procedures adopted under this Title to place the obligation of complying with the requirements of this Title upon the permittee, and no provision is intended to impose any duty upon the City, or any of its officers, employees, or agents. Nothing contained in this Title is intended to be or shall be construed to create or form the basis for liability on the part of the City, or its officers, employees, or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of the permittee to comply with the provisions of this Title, or by reason or in consequence of any act or omission in connection with the implementation or enforcement of this Title or any procedures adopted under this Title by the City, its officers, employees, or agents. [Ord. 1578 § 7, 2013.]

12.01.080 Violations and penalties.

(1) Violation. No person shall violate or fail to comply with the provisions of this Title.

(2) Civil Infraction. A violation or a failure to comply with the provisions of this Title is a civil infraction and a violator may be penalized as is more specifically set forth in chapter 1.24 DMMC, Civil Infractions.

(3) Civil Violation and Penalty. A violation or a failure to comply with the provisions of this Title is further a civil violation and may be penalized and/or abated as is set forth in chapter 1.28 DMMC, Civil Violations and Penalties.

(4) Criminal Penalty. In addition to or as an alternative to any other penalty provided in this Title or by law, a person convicted of a violation of this Title is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Upon conviction a person may also be ordered to abate, discontinue or correct a violation of this Title.

(5) Superior Court – Civil Action. In addition to or as an alternative to any other penalty provided in this Title or by law, a violation or a failure to comply with the provisions of this Title may be enforced by a civil action filed in King County Superior Court in any manner allowed by law. [Ord. 1578 § 8, 2013.]

12.01.090 Severability.

The provisions of this Title are severable. If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this code is adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the code. [Ord. 1578 § 9, 2013.]

12.01.100 Appeals.

Appeals of decisions made pursuant to this Title shall be as set forth in the applicable chapter and pursuant to chapter 18.20 DMMC. [Ord. 1578 § 10, 2013.]