Chapter 16.01


16.01.010    Short title.

16.01.020    General authority.

16.01.030    Purpose.

16.01.040    Scope.

16.01.050    Exemptions.

16.01.060    Undefined words and phrases.

16.01.065    Administration.

16.01.070    Definitions.

16.01.080    Notification.

16.01.090    Application of EMC Titles 11, 12, 13, 14, 18 and 20.

16.01.100    Critical area tracts.

16.01.110    Significant trees – Clearing violation.

16.01.120    On-site sewage disposal.

16.01.125    Exceptions – On-site sewage disposal.

16.01.130    Violation – Penalty.

16.01.140    Transfer of land prior to final plat approval.

16.01.150    Land surveys and recording fees.

16.01.160    Recording certificates.

16.01.170    Preliminary consultation.

16.01.180    Building and occupancy permit.

16.01.190    Severability.

16.01.200    Appeal.

16.01.010 Short title.

The ordinance codified in this title, together with any amendments, shall be known as the “Edgewood subdivision code.” (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.020 General authority.

The ordinance codified in this title is adopted under the authority of Chapters 35A.58 and 58.17 RCW and RCW 35A.11.020. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.030 Purpose.

The purpose of this title is to regulate the division of land lying within the corporate limits of the city of Edgewood, and to promote the public health, safety, aesthetics, orderly growth, development, character, and general welfare in accordance with the standards established by the state of Washington and the city, and to:

A. Prevent the overcrowding of lands;

B. Lessen congestion and promote safe and convenient travel by the public on streets and highways;

C. Promote the effective use of lands;

D. Facilitate adequate provision for water, sewage (including on-site sewage system), storm drainage, streets, schools, parks, recreational areas, and other public requirements;

E. Require uniform monumenting of land divisions and conveyance by accurate legal description;

F. Implement the goals, objectives and policies of the Edgewood comprehensive plan;

G. Require compliance with Chapter 18.40 EMC;

H. Provide for adequate light and air;

I. Provide for proper ingress and egress;

J. Provide for the housing and commercial needs of the community;

K. Protect environmentally sensitive areas; and

L. Encourage the conservation of nonrenewable energy resources. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.040 Scope.

A. This title applies to all divisions of land and adjustment of property boundaries separating two or more lots of record, unless exempt under EMC 16.01.050.

B. Where this title imposes greater restrictions or higher standards upon the development of land than other laws, ordinances or restrictive covenants, the provisions of this title shall prevail.

C. The provisions set forth in this title shall constitute the minimum requirements necessary to promote the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.050 Exemptions.

This title does not apply to the following:

A. The division of lots that result in individual tracts of 20 or more acres.

B. Cemeteries and other burial plots while used for that purpose.

C. Divisions of land made by testamentary provisions, or the laws of descent.

D. A division of land for the purpose of lease when no residential structure other than mobile homes or travel trailers are to be placed upon the land when a binding site plan has been approved by the city for the use of the land in accordance with this title.

E. Division of land due to condemnation or sale under threat thereof, by an agency or division of government vested with the power of condemnation.

F. Divisions of land into lots or tracts if:

1. Such division is the result of subjecting a portion of a parcel or tract of land to either Chapter 64.32 or 64.34 RCW following the recording of a binding site plan for all such land;

2. The improvements constructed or to be constructed thereon are required by the provisions of the binding site plan to be included in one or more condominiums or owned by an association or other legal entity in which the owners of units therein or their owners’ associations have a membership or other legal or beneficial interest;

3. A binding site plan has been approved in accordance to Chapter 16.05 EMC, and is recorded with the Pierce County auditor; and

4. The binding site plan thereon contains the following statement:

All development of the land described herein shall be in accordance with the Binding Site Plan, as it may be amended. Upon completion, the improvements on the land shall be included in one or more condominiums or owned by an association or other legal entity in which the owners of units therein or their owners’ associations have a membership or other legal or beneficial interest.

G. A division of land into lots or tracts of less than three acres that is recorded in accordance with Chapter 58.09 RCW (Survey Recording Act) and is used or to be used for the purpose of establishing a site for construction and operation of consumer-owned or investor-owned electric utility facilities. The exemption only applies to electric utility facilities that will be placed into service to meet the electrical needs of a utility’s existing and new customers. New customers are defined as electric service locations not already in existence as of the date that electric utility facilities, subject to the provisions of this section, are planned and constructed.

H. A division of land for the purpose of leasing land for facilities providing personal wireless services while used for that purpose.

I. A division of land for the purpose of dedicating to the public such tracts of land for open spaces, drainage ways, roads, alleys, easements, parks, playgrounds, sites for schools, school grounds, water supplies, sanitary wastes and other general purposes that may be required to protect the public health, safety and welfare. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.060 Undefined words and phrases.

The definition of any word or phrase, not listed in this title, which is in question when administering this title, shall be defined from one of the following sources that are incorporated herein and adopted by reference. Said sources shall be utilized to find the desired definition in the order listed as follows: EMC Title 18, city of Edgewood development code; the city of Edgewood comprehensive plan; any other portion of the Edgewood Municipal Code or other city resolution, ordinance, or regulation; any statute or regulation of the state of Washington (i.e., the most applicable); legal definitions from applicable case law; legal definitions from the most recent edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, Moskowitz and Lindbloom, 1993; The New Illustrated Book of Development Definitions; Webster’s; or other common dictionary. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.065 Administration.

The director is vested with the duty of administering and implementing the provisions of this title. The duties and responsibilities of the reviewing entities are specified as follows:

A. The community development department is responsible for the administration and coordination of this title unless prescribed otherwise by law, and is responsible for reviewing compliance to those requirements set forth under this title. The director is responsible for issuing decisions for boundary line adjustments, binding site plans prescribed in EMC 16.05.050(B), short subdivisions, and associated dedications, as prescribed in this title.

B. The public works department is responsible for reviewing compliance to engineering and technical requirements prescribed in EMC Title 11, Sewers; Title 12, Streets, Sidewalks and Public Places; Title 13, Water and Sewers; and floodplain certificates prescribed in EMC 14.80.060(A)(4). The city engineer is responsible for accepting the layout of streets, alleys and other rights-of-way, design of bridges, sewage and water systems, and other structures; and making recommendations to the decision making authority regarding dedication to the public of such improvements.

C. Pierce County fire protection district No. 8 is responsible for reviewing compliance to fire access and fire safety requirements that are prescribed in EMC 15.05.110, International Fire Code.

D. The Tacoma-Pierce County health department is responsible for reviewing compliance to sewer and/or water services when sewer and/or water services are not available from the city or an authorized purveyor.

E. The authorized water purveyor is responsible for issuing water availability letters and ensuring water system improvements are adequately available to the development.

F. The hearing examiner is responsible for holding an open record hearing and issuing a decision for preliminary full subdivisions, binding site plans prescribed in EMC 16.05.050, and associated dedications; and administrative appeal hearings as prescribed in this title and Chapter 18.40 EMC.

G. The city council is responsible for issuing a decision on final full subdivisions and dedications, and amendments thereto; and administrative closed record appeal hearings as prescribed in this title and Chapter 18.40 EMC. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.070 Definitions.

For the purpose of this title, certain words and terms used in this title are defined as follows:

A. “Applicant” means the owner or owners of record of the property subject to an application for land division or lot line adjustment, or authorized representative of such owner or owners.

B. “Auditor” means the person defined in Chapter 36.22 RCW or the office of the person assigned such duties under the Pierce County Charter.

C. “Alley” means a service roadway providing a secondary means of public access to abutting property and not intended for general traffic circulation.

D. “Binding site plan” means a drawing to appropriate scale for development that meets the purposes and has the attributes and characteristics as prescribed in Chapter 16.05 EMC, which:

1. Identifies and shows the areas and locations of all streets, roads, improvements, utilities, open spaces, and any other matters specified in this code;

2. Contains inscriptions or attachments setting forth such appropriate limitations and conditions for the use of the land, as established by the city of Edgewood; and

3. Contains provisions making any development conform to the site plan.

E. “Binding site plan map” means a final drawing to scale of a binding site plan that meets all of the requirements set forth in Chapter 16.05 EMC.

F. “Block” means a group of lots, tracts or parcels within well-defined and fixed boundaries.

G. “Bond” means a written guaranty or pledge which is purchased from a bonding company (usually an insurance firm) or by an individual as security to guarantee some form of performance, properly complete construction, or other contract terms. If there is a failure to complete the contract terms, then the bonding company will make good on the terms of the contract up to the amount of the bond.

H. “Boundary line adjustment” means the alteration or adjustment of boundary lines between platted or unplatted lots or both. The resulting adjustment shall not create any additional lots, tracts, or parcels and all reconfigured lots, tracts, or parcels shall contain sufficient area and dimension to meet minimum requirements for development and building purposes. Sometimes called a lot line adjustment.

I. “Building envelope” refers to the net buildable area of a lot after applicable setbacks, easements and other restrictions on the lot are taken into account.

J. “City” means the city of Edgewood.

K. “City engineer” means the person appointed by the mayor as the city engineer for the city of Edgewood.

L. “Common open space” means shared open space areas designed and intended for the use or enjoyment of residents of a development.

M. “Community on-site septic system” means a septic system designed to simultaneously serve two or more single-family dwellings.

N. “Condominium” means real property, portions of which are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by the owners of those portions. Real property is not a condominium unless the undivided interests in the common elements are vested in the unit owners, and unless a declaration and survey map and plans have been recorded pursuant to Chapter 64.34 RCW.

O. “Critical areas” means any land or water meeting the definition set forth in EMC 14.20.010(B)(21) and RCW 36.70A.030.

P. “Cul-de-sac” means a turnaround at the end of a dead-end street having only one end open to traffic, which meets the city road standards set forth in EMC Title 12.

Q. “Dedication” means a deliberate appropriation of land by its owner for any general and public uses, reserving to himself no other rights than such as are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public uses to which the property has been devoted.

R. “Director” means the mayor or designee, unless otherwise specified.

S. “Division of land” means the creation of any new lot or lots for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership.

T. “Final plat” means the final drawing of a full subdivision and dedication prepared for filing for record with the Pierce County auditor and containing all the elements and requirements set forth in this title, and all other applicable codes and ordinances.

U. “Gated community” means a residential community sometimes characterized by closed perimeter of walls and fences, but always containing controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles. This term shall not be applied in a manner that would prevent a property owner from erecting an allowed fence or gate around their individually owned lot.

V. “Homeowners’ association” means an incorporated nonprofit organization or other legal identity operating under recorded land agreements through which:

1. Each lot owner is automatically a member;

2. Each lot is automatically subject to a proportionate share of the expenses for the organization’s activities, such as maintaining common property; and

3. A charge, if unpaid, becomes a lien against the property.

W. “Improvements” means the streets, sidewalks, trails, streetlights, fire hydrants, stormwater facilities, sanitary sewer facilities, domestic water facilities, and other utilities and facilities required by the Edgewood Municipal Code to be constructed in conjunction with approval of any particular land division.

X. “Lot” means a fractional part of divided lands having fixed boundaries and being of sufficient area and dimension to meet minimum zoning requirements for width and area. The term shall include tract, site, division or parcel.

Y. “Lot, corner” means a lot of which at least two adjacent sides abut streets other than alleys. Corner lots are situated at the intersection of two streets or roads.

Z. “Lot of record” means a lot legally created pursuant to local and state statutes and recorded with the Pierce County auditor, or a legally created lot under state and local subdivision regulations in effect at the time of creation, or a lot described by metes (distance) and bounds (direction), the description of which has also been recorded.

AA. “Meander line” means a line along a body of water intended to be used solely as a reference for surveying.

BB. “Model home” means a structure constructed for dwelling purposes, but used for sales of other homes. For the purpose of this code, “model home” shall be defined as a dwelling in accordance with EMC 18.20.070.

CC. “Panhandle” means an irregular extension or protrusion of a lot created for the purpose of providing such lot with frontage on a public or private street or accessway.

DD. “Piggyback” or “accumulative short subdivision” means multiple short subdivision of contiguous existing lots held under common ownership, which would result in the creation of seven or more lots within a five-year period of the initial short subdivision approval. “Ownership,” for the purpose of this definition, means ownership as established at the date of the initial short subdivision approval.

EE. “Plat” means a neat and approximate drawing or representation of a proposed full subdivision showing the general layout of streets, lots, blocks, streets and alleys, or other divisions and dedications consistent with the provisions of this title and Chapter 58.17 RCW.

FF. “Preliminary plat” means a neat and approximate drawing or representation of a proposed full subdivision showing the general layout of streets, lots, blocks and other elements of a full subdivision consistent with the provisions of this title and Chapter 58.17 RCW. The preliminary plat shall be the basis for the approval or disapproval of the general layout of a full subdivision.

GG. “Private street” means a street that is not deeded to the city and is used for access to lots that do not front on a public street. This includes, but is not limited to, access easements, pipestems, and panhandles accessing short subdivisions. Private streets may be required to provide public access to nonmotorized transportation.

HH. “Public services” means any or all privately or publicly owned utility services, including water, sanitary, storm, gas and/or electric services.

II. “Public way” means any publicly owned land set aside for surface transportation purposes, including vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian transportation, whether improved or not improved.

JJ. “Right-of-way” means land owned, dedicated or conveyed to the public, used primarily for the movement of vehicular, wheelchair, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. Right-of-way may be intended to be occupied by electrical transmission lines, oil or gas pipelines, water lines, sanitary storm sewer, and land privately owned; provided, that such land has been developed and constructed in compliance with all applicable laws and standards for a public right-of-way.

KK. “Roadway” means that portion of an approved street intended for the accommodation of vehicular traffic, generally between curb lines on an improved surface.

LL. “Short plat” means a neat and accurate drawing or representation of a short subdivision.

MM. “Sidewalk” means a paved, surfaced, or leveled area, paralleling and usually separated from the street, used as a pedestrian walkway.

NN. “Street” means a public thoroughfare or easement that acts as a primary means of ingress or egress to one or more lots, parcels, areas or tracts of land and includes the terms “roadway,” “highway,” “lane,” “avenue” or similar designation. For the purposes of this title, the definition of street includes all public and private utilities such as communication lines, cable television lines, electrical lines and equipment, natural gas distribution lines, stormwater, water and sewer facilities, trails, paths and other similar facilities commonly found in street rights-of-way.

OO. “Street, public” means an approved street, whether improved or unimproved, held in public ownership and intended to be open as a matter of right to public travel.

PP. “Subdivision, full” means the division or redivision of land into seven or more lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions for the purpose of sale, lease, or transfer of ownership. Also referred to as a subdivision.

QQ. “Subdivision, phased” means a full subdivision that is developed in increments over a period of time.

RR. “Subdivision, short” means the division or redivision of land into six or fewer lots, tracts, parcels, sites, or divisions for the purpose of sale, lease, or transfer of ownership.

SS. “Trail” means a type of sidewalk used for pedestrian and other nonmotorized traffic that connects development in full subdivisions, short subdivisions and binding site plans to public facilities such as schools and parks, major commercial areas, and development in other full subdivisions, short subdivisions and binding site plans. See Chapter 12.12 EMC. (Ord. 15-447 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 14-415 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.080 Notification.

In addition to any notice requirements prescribed in Chapter 18.40 EMC, whenever a mailed notice for nearby property owners is required for a short subdivision or full subdivision, the notice shall be sent to all property owners within at least 300 feet, or three lots deep, whichever is the greater distance, from around the perimeter of any portion of the boundary of the subject property. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.090 Application of EMC Titles 11, 12, 13, 14, 18 and 20.

The provisions of EMC Title 11, Sewers; Title 12, Streets, Sidewalks and Public Spaces; Title 13, Water and Sewers; Title 14, Critical Areas; Title 18, Development Standards; and Title 20, SEPA, shall apply to this title. If a provision of this title conflicts or overlaps with the provision of another ordinance of the city, the most restrictive provision or the provision imposing the highest standard prevails. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.100 Critical area tracts.

Pursuant to EMC 14.10.070(H), prior to final approval of any full subdivision, short subdivision, or binding site plan, the part of the critical area and required buffer which is located on the site shall be placed in a separate tract or tracts. In lieu of a separate tract, an applicant may propose to establish an alternative permanent protective mechanism; however, approval of such is based upon the department’s or hearing examiner’s, as applicable, determination that such alternative mechanism provides the same level of permanent protection as designation of a separate tract or tracts. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.110 Significant trees – Clearing violation.

If significant trees on a property are removed in violation of EMC 18.90.180, the city shall not accept any application for a short subdivision or preliminary full subdivision, nor approve any final short plat or final plat until such time that the violation is resolved to the city’s satisfaction consistent with its regulations. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.120 On-site sewage disposal.

Approval of on-site sewage disposal systems from the Tacoma-Pierce County health department is required whenever public sanitary sewer systems are not available. Preliminary approval from the health department of any proposed on-site sewage systems shall accompany any application for a short subdivision, preliminary full subdivision or binding site plan. Approvals shall be based on the percolation test simulating high water conditions. The city engineer shall review the findings of the Tacoma-Pierce County health department for accuracy and not accept the health department’s approval if it does not meet the city’s requirements.

A. On-site sewage disposal systems for existing lots shall be located on the lot(s) they are intended to serve except as authorized under EMC 16.01.125.

B. Community on-site septic systems compliant with the Tacoma-Pierce County health department (TPCHD) regulations as set forth within the most current version of the TPCHD environmental health code are permissible. (Ord. 14-415 § 4 (Exh. C); Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.125 Exceptions – On-site sewage disposal.

An existing on-site sanitary “private disposal” system may be approved as an off-site sewage disposal system when such approval, as part of a subdivision application review, (A) would not adversely affect the public interest, and (B) would provide for greater compliance with the provisions of the subdivision code overall. The approval of an exception under this section must be noted in the findings of a formal written decision or staff report conditions and subject to final approval by the city. Any off-site sewage system must comply with the Tacoma-Pierce County health department requirements for properly certifying and recording all easements related to the off-site system prior to any subdivision or short subdivision final approval. (Ord. 12-385 § 2).

16.01.130 Violation – Penalty.

Violations of this title shall be enforced as set forth in Chapter 18.85 EMC. (Ord. 17-495 § 1; Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.140 Transfer of land prior to final plat approval.

Whenever any parcel of land is divided into five or more lots, no person, firm, corporation or agents of them shall sell, transfer or advertise for sale or transfer any such lot without having a final plat recorded unless preliminary plat approval expressly conditions a performance of an offer or agreement to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer a lot, tract, or parcel of land on the recording of the final plat pursuant to RCW 58.17.205.

If performance of an offer or agreement to sell, lease or otherwise transfer a lot, tract, or parcel of land following preliminary full subdivision approval is expressly conditioned on the recording of the final plat containing the lot, tract, or parcel under Chapter 16.04 EMC, the offer or agreement shall not be subject to the penalties in EMC 16.01.130 and shall not be considered a violation of any provisions of this title. All payments on account of an offer or agreement conditioned shall be deposited in an escrow or other regulated trust account and no disbursement to sellers shall be permitted until the final plat is recorded. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.150 Land surveys and recording fees.

A. A survey in accordance with Chapter 58.09 RCW and Chapter 332-130 WAC is required for all short plats, plats, binding site plans and boundary line adjustments. The applicant is responsible for all land survey fees, recording fees, county fees and other governmental jurisdictional fees.

B. A Washington State licensed land surveyor, registered pursuant to Chapter 18.43 RCW, shall prepare all proposed short plats, plats, binding site plans and boundary line adjustments.

C. The surveyor shall certify on the final document to be recorded that it is a true and correct representation of the lands actually surveyed. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.160 Recording certificates.

The following certificate shall be shown on the face of all final short plats, plats, binding site plans and boundary line adjustments; except the certificate prescribed in subsection (D) of this section, which is required for a final plat only. The director shall approve the format of the certificates.

A. Owner’s free consent.

B. Director.

C. Public works director/city engineer.

D. Mayor, representing the city council’s approval.

E. Pierce County assessor/treasurer.

F. Tacoma-Pierce County health department when on-site sewage disposal is used. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.170 Preliminary consultation.

Any person who desires to subdivide land within the boundaries of the city should consult with city staff at an early date to become familiar with the requirements of this title and for assistance in understanding the engineering requirements and the construction standards of the city. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.180 Building and occupancy permit.

A. No building permit, septic tank permit, occupancy permit or other development permit shall be issued for any lot, tract or tract of any land divided in violation of this title, except that an innocent purchaser of value may obtain permits needed for development if such purchaser shows the following:

1. The lot was purchased at a market value not reflecting the illegal division;

2. The purchaser exercised reasonable diligence but did not know of the illegal division; and

3. The public interest will not suffer;

4. A written notice of the date, time and place of the proposed action is mailed by first class mail to the owners of record of the parcels adjacent to the subject property and they are given 10 days to respond.

B. No building permit for a structure that may have occupancy other than a temporary contractor’s office or temporary storage building shall be issued for a structure on a lot or parcel within lands being divided prior to final approval and recording of the plat, short plat or binding site plan. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.190 Severability.

If any provision of this title or its application to any person or legal entity or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of the title, or the application of the provision to other persons or legal entities or circumstances, shall not be affected. (Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).

16.01.200 Appeal.

Appeals of administrative decisions relating to the permit applications in this title shall be processed subject to the appeal procedures applicable to the individual permit (Process I, II, III or IV) as set forth in Chapter 18.40 EMC. (Ord. 17-495 § 2; Ord. 06-269 § 2 (Exh. A)).