Chapter 15.110


15.110.010    Title.

15.110.020    Purpose.

15.110.030    Authority.

15.110.040    Severability.

15.110.050    Scope.

15.110.060    Roles and responsibilities.

15.110.070    Relationship to other codes.

15.110.090    Interpretation of terms.

15.110.010 Title.

This title shall be known as the land development code for the city of Ellensburg, Washington, hereafter referred to as the LDC or the code. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.110.020 Purpose.

The purpose of the LDC is to provide regulations by which the citizens of the city can guide the development of their community in a logical and orderly manner, maintain a quality environment and provide for the conservation, protection and enhancement of the public health, safety and general welfare. The LDC is not intended to create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group who will or should be specially protected or benefited by its terms. The LDC provides for the implementation of the goals and policies of the Ellensburg comprehensive plan through the adoption, administration and enforcement of zoning maps, regulations, procedures, and programs.

The LDC shall not be construed to relieve from or lessen the responsibility of any person, owning any land or building, constructing or modifying any structure or subdivision in the city, for damages to anyone injured or damaged either in person or property by any defect therein; nor shall the city or any agent thereof be held as assuming such liability by reason of any preliminary or final approval or by issuance of any permits or certificates authorized herein. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.110.030 Authority.

The LDC is enacted under the authority granted to the city of Ellensburg by the Constitution of the State of Washington, the Optional Municipal Code (RCW Title 35A), and other sections of the Revised Code of Washington. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.110.040 Severability.

The provisions of the LDC are declared to be severable. If any provision of the LDC or any code or document adopted by reference herein is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remaining provisions of the LDC. If any provision of the LDC is adjudged invalid or unconstitutional as applied to a particular property, use, building or other structure, the application of such portion of the LDC to other properties, uses, buildings, or structures shall not be affected. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.110.050 Scope.

A.    Hereafter, no use shall be conducted, and no building, structure and appurtenance shall be erected, relocated, remodeled, reconstructed, altered, demolished or enlarged unless in compliance with the provisions of the LDC, and then only after securing all permits and approvals required hereby. It shall be unlawful to build or use any building or structure or to use premises in the city for any purpose or use other than the uses listed as being permitted in the zone in which such building, land, or premises is located.

B.    Creation of or changes to lot lines shall conform to the use provisions, dimensional and other standards, and other applicable provisions of the LDC.

C.    Nonproject development and land use actions, including but not limited to rezones, annexations, and the adoption of plans and programs, shall comply with applicable provisions of the LDC.

D.    Any building, structure or use lawfully existing at the time of passage of this title, although not in compliance herewith, may continue as provided in Chapter 15.240 ECC. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.110.060 Roles and responsibilities.

A.    The elected officials, appointed commissions, hearing examiner, and city staff share the roles and responsibilities for carrying out the provisions of the LDC.

B.    The city council is responsible for establishing policy and legislation affecting land use within the city. The city council acts on recommendations of the reviewing body in legislative and quasi-judicial matters.

C.    The planning commission is the designated planning agency for the city as specified by state law. The planning commission is responsible for a variety of discretionary recommendations to the city council on land use legislation, comprehensive plan amendments and certain quasi-judicial matters. The planning commission is the decision-making body for conditional uses. See ECC 15.250.040. The planning commission duties and responsibilities are specified in the bylaws duly adopted by the planning commission.

D.    The hearing examiner is responsible for certain quasi-judicial decisions designated by this title and the review of administrative appeals.

E.    The landmarks and design commission is the designated body responsible for certain quasi-judicial and legislative decisions established by this title relating to properties identified as being on the Ellensburg landmarks register.

F.    The director shall have the authority to administer the provisions of the LDC, to make determinations with regard to the applicability of the regulations, to interpret unclear provisions, to require additional information to determine the level of detail and appropriate methodologies for required analysis, to prepare application and informational materials as required, to promulgate procedures and rules for unique circumstances not anticipated within the standards and procedures contained within the LDC, to decide all requests for non-landmarks register departures from the city’s design standards (see ECC 15.210.060 for “departure” provisions), and to enforce requirements.

G.    The rules and procedures for proceedings before the hearing examiner, appointed review bodies, and city council are adopted by ordinance and available from the city clerk’s office and the department. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.110.070 Relationship to other codes.

The LDC is part of a comprehensive program of regulation related to land use and development within the city. The Ellensburg City Code (the “ECC”) contains other regulations that relate, directly or indirectly, to land use and development, including, but not limited to, hearing examiner (Chapter 1.70A ECC), buildings and fire (ECC Title 3), traffic (ECC Title 8), utilities (ECC Title 9), and impact fees (ECC Title 14). In order to understand all of the regulations that may relate to land use and development, readers are advised to consult both the LDC and the ECC.

Where conflicts occur between provisions of this title and/or between other city codes, regulations or standards, the provisions herein shall apply. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.110.090 Interpretation of terms.

A.    For the purposes of the LDC, unless it is plainly evident from the context that a different meaning is intended, certain words and terms are herein defined as follows:

1.    The word “shall” is always mandatory, while the word “should” is not mandatory, and “may” is permissive.

2.    Words in the present tense include the future, the singular includes the plural and the plural includes the singular.

3.    The word “and” indicates that all connected items or provisions apply.

4.    The word “or” indicates that the connected items or provisions may apply singularly or in any combination.

5.    The term “either/or” indicates that the connected items or provisions shall apply singularly but not in combination.

6.    Where terms are not specifically defined in Chapter 15.130 ECC, they shall have their ordinary accepted meanings within the context with which they are used. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, latest edition, shall be considered in determining ordinarily accepted meanings.

B.    Illustrations found herein are not intended to supersede or replace written definitions, restrictions or standards. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]