Chapter 15.220
PERMIT REVIEW PROCEDURES

Sections:

15.220.010    Preapplication meeting.

15.220.020    Application.

15.220.030    Determination of completeness.

15.220.040    Public notice of application.

15.220.050    Notice board requirements.

15.220.060    Optional consolidated permit process for multi-agency permit applications.

15.220.070    Permit processing time limits.

15.220.080    Public notice of decision.

15.220.090    Limitations on refiling of applications.

15.220.100    Limitation on number of applications.

15.220.110    Permit expiration timelines for clearing, grading and fill, and site development permits.

15.220.010 Preapplication meeting.

A preapplication meeting is required prior to submitting an application for any Type III or IV permit, major design review project (Type II review) permit, short plats (Type II review), duplexes, multifamily dwellings, and commercial projects. Other applications may be required to have a preapplication meeting at the discretion of the director based on the complexity of the project.

Applicants for other permits are encouraged to request a preapplication meeting with the city. Preapplication meetings with staff provide an opportunity to discuss the proposal in general terms, identify the applicable city requirements and the permit review process including the permits required by the action, timing of the permits and the approval process.

The director shall specify submittal requirements for preapplication meetings, which shall include a critical areas information form if critical areas are involved with the project. Plans presented at the preapplication meeting are nonbinding and do not “vest” an application or a proposed project unless such plans have been submitted as part of a project permit application that previously has been deemed complete by the city. A summary of a preapplication meeting, including any documentation provided to the city by the applicant or to the applicant by the city, shall be made and included in the project file following the meeting. [Ord. 4807 § 18, 2018; Ord. 4803 § 3, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.020 Application.

A.    Who May Apply. An application may be submitted by:

1.    The property owner or any agent of the property owner with written authorization of agency to submit the application for the property owner for any Type I, II, III or IV permit. The city council, planning commission, or city staff may initiate a Type V application except for comprehensive plan amendments which are governed by ECC 15.250.090.

2.    Each applicant submitting a project permit to the city shall designate a single person or entity to receive determinations and notices under this title. The applicant shall include the name, current address and current telephone number of the designated person or entity. The applicant shall be responsible for immediately notifying the city of any change of name, address or telephone number of the designated person or entity.

B.    Submittal Requirements.

1.    The director shall prepare written submittal requirements for each type of permit application, including type, detail, and number of copies to be submitted for an application to be deemed complete. The director may waive specific submittal requirements determined to be unnecessary for review of an application. The director may require additional material such as maps, studies, or models when the director determines such material is needed to adequately assess the proposed project. Applicants may obtain application materials from the community development department.

2.    In addition to the submittal requirements and conditions set forth above, the following project permit applications require specific submittal materials that are set forth in the identified LDC sections:

a.    Short subdivision, preliminary subdivision, and binding site plan submittal requirements are set forth in Chapter 15.260 ECC;

b.    Certificate of appropriateness application requirements are set forth in Chapter 15.280 ECC;

c.    Regional retail commercial master site plan application requirements are set forth in Chapter 15.390 ECC; and

d.    Critical area determinations are set forth in Division VI. [Ord. 4807 § 19, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.030 Determination of completeness.

A.    Written Determination. Within 28 calendar days after receiving an application for a Type I, II, III or IV decision, the director shall provide to the applicant a written determination that the application is complete, or that the application is incomplete and what is necessary to make the application complete. If the director does not provide a written determination within the 28 calendar days, the application shall be deemed complete as of the end of the twenty-eighth calendar day.

B.    Additional Information Request and Timeline.

1.    If the additional information requested by the director is not fully submitted within 90 calendar days from the date it was requested, the application shall be considered withdrawn and any unspent filing fees, as determined by the director, shall be returned to the applicant. The applicant may submit a written request for up to a 90-day extension of this deadline. The director may grant a single extension if there is a demonstration that the applicant is actively working on obtaining the requested information, and such extension is in the interests of the city.

2.    Within 14 calendar days after receiving any additional information needed to make the application complete, the director shall provide to the applicant a written determination that the application is complete, or that the application is incomplete and what is necessary to make the application complete.

C.    Criteria. A permit application is complete for the purposes of this section when it meets the submittal requirements established by the director in ECC 15.220.020, even though additional information may be required or subsequent project modifications may occur. The determination of completeness shall not preclude the director from requesting additional information or studies either at the time of the determination of completeness or later, if new information is required to complete review of the application or substantial changes in the permit application are proposed. [Ord. 4807 § 20, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.040 Public notice of application.

A.    Issue Notice. Within 14 calendar days of the determination of completeness, the city shall issue a notice of application for all Type II, III, and IV projects. Notice of any SEPA pre-threshold determination comment opportunities available pursuant to Chapter 15.270 ECC or critical area determination comment opportunities pursuant to Division VI shall be combined with the notice of application.

B.    Notice Contents. The notice of application shall include the following information:

1.    The dates of application, determination of completeness, and the date of the notice of application;

2.    The name and address of the applicant or the applicant’s designated agent;

3.    The location and description of the project;

4.    The requested actions and any required studies, if known;

5.    The date, time, and place of any predecision public meeting or open record hearing, if one has been scheduled;

6.    Identification of any environmental or critical area documents related to the project, if any, and where they are located for review;

7.    A statement of the limits of the public comment period. With the exception of short subdivisions which have a 14-calendar-day comment period, the comment period for all applications subject to review under this section is 21 calendar days beginning on the day following the date of notice of application;

8.    A statement of the right of any person to comment on the application, receive notice of and participate in any hearings, request a copy of the decision once made, and any appeal rights;

9.    The name and phone number and email address of the city staff contact for the application;

10.    Identification of the known development regulations that will be used in determining consistency of the project with the comprehensive plan; and

11.    Any other information that the city determines to be appropriate.

C.    Public Notification. The notice of application shall be made available to the public, through the following methods:

1.    Mail. For site-specific proposals requiring a Type II (except signs), Type III or Type IV review process, the department shall mail notice to owners of real property located within 300 feet of the subject property and to any agencies with jurisdiction;

2.    Post Site. The applicant for site-specific proposals requiring a Type III or IV review process and/or requiring SEPA review pursuant to Chapter 15.270 ECC, shall post a notice board on the site at the applicant’s expense within five calendar days after the date of issuance of the determination of complete application per the requirements set forth in ECC 15.220.050 and 15.270.120; and

3.    Newspaper. For Type II permits (except signs), site-specific proposals requiring a Type III or Type IV review process, and for non-site-specific proposals requiring a Type V review process, the department shall also publish a notice of the application in the newspaper of general circulation for the general area in which the proposal is located. This notice shall include the project location and description, the type of permit(s) required, comment period dates, staff contact information, and the location where the complete application may be reviewed.

D.    Public Comments. The department must receive all comments received on the notice of application by 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the comment period. Comments may be mailed, emailed, faxed, or personally delivered. [Ord. 4807 § 21, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.050 Notice board requirements.

Posted notice for a proposal as required in ECC 15.220.040(C)(2) shall consist of one or more notice boards posted at the applicant’s expense by the applicant within five calendar days following the department’s issuance of a determination of completeness as follows:

A.    Notice Board. The department shall provide the applicant with a reduced paper copy of the required notice which the applicant shall be responsible for enlarging to a six-square-foot (two feet tall by three feet wide) waterproof sign for posting;

B.    Number of Boards. A single notice board shall be posted for a project. This notice board may also be used for the posting of the notice of decision and notice of hearing. Additional notice boards may be required by the department when:

1.    The site does not abut a public road;

2.    A large site abuts more than one public road; or

3.    The department determines that additional notice boards are necessary to provide adequate public notice;

C.    Location of the Notice Board. The notice board shall be located:

1.    At the midpoint of the site’s street frontage or as otherwise directed by the department for maximum visibility;

2.    Five feet inside the street property line except when the board is structurally attached to an existing building; provided, that no notice board shall be placed more than five feet from the street property without approval of the department;

3.    So that the top of the notice board is between seven to nine feet above grade; and

4.    Where it is completely visible and readable from the facing property line of the site;

D.    Notice boards shall be:

1.    Maintained in good condition by the applicant during the notice period through the time of the final city decision on the proposal, including the expiration of any applicable appeal periods and, for decisions that are appealed, through the time of the final resolution of any appeal. Failure to properly maintain the notice board in good condition and in the proper location as specified above may result in the director making a determination that there is a need to provide additional time for public notice;

2.    In place at least 21 calendar days prior to the date of any required hearing for a Type III or IV project, or at least 14 calendar days following the department’s issuance of a determination of completeness for any Type II project;

3.    Removed within 14 calendar days after the final decision has been made on the project and all applicable appeal periods have passed; and

4.    Removal of the notice board prior to the required time above may be cause for discontinuance of city review until the notice board is replaced and remains in place for the specified time period; and

E.    An affidavit of posting shall be submitted to the department by the applicant within seven days following the department’s determination of completeness to allow continued processing of the application by the department. [Ord. 4807 § 22, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.060 Optional consolidated permit process for multi-agency permit applications.

The applicant for a development permit(s) from the city which also involves applications for development permits from other agencies may request that one open record public hearing be held between the city and any other public agency with jurisdiction. The intention of such combined public hearing would be to supply the different public agencies with the same public record for their separate review and decision-making process.

Such request for a combined public hearing shall be subject to mutual agreement between the applicant and the city as to the timing of the public hearing and the expense related to compiling the record required by the various public agencies involved. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.070 Permit processing time limits.

A.    Decisions on Type I permits should be issued within 30 calendar days from the date of issuance of a determination that the application is complete and, in the event that the decision will take longer than 30 calendar days, the applicant shall be notified and provided with a reason for the delay and an estimate of the time frame in which the decision will be made. Decisions on Type II, III, or IV project permits shall be made within 120 calendar days from the date of issuance of a determination that the application is complete. Exceptions to this 120-calendar-day time limit are:

1.    Substantial project revisions are made or requested by an applicant, in which case the 120 calendar days will be calculated from the time that the city determines the revised application to be complete;

2.    The time required to prepare a critical area report pursuant to Division VI (if applicable) and the time required to issue a draft and final environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (if applicable);

3.    Any period for administrative appeals of project permits;

4.    Landmarks and design commission certificates of appropriateness must be issued within 30 calendar days of the application being deemed complete, unless the COA involves another permit application review process, in which case the permit processing time limits are governed by that other permit application review process, or unless the COA is for a demolition in which case the time limits set forth in ECC 15.280.090 shall apply;

5.    Amendments to the comprehensive plan or LDC for which the schedule for adoption is established legislatively;

6.    Short subdivisions, preliminary and final subdivisions, and binding site plans which are governed by the processing time limits set forth in Chapter 15.260 ECC; or

7.    Development agreements (see Chapter 15.380 ECC and RCW 36.70B.200).

B.    The time limits set for Type I, II, III, or IV projects do not include:

1.    Any period of time during which the applicant has been requested in writing by the department to correct plans, perform studies, including critical area reports pursuant to Division VI, or provide additional information. This period of time shall be calculated from the date the department notifies the applicant of the need for such additional information, studies or reports, until the date the department determines that the additional information satisfies the request for such information or 14 calendar days after the date the information has been provided to the department, whichever is earlier.

2.    If the department determines that the additional information submitted to the department by the applicant under subsection (B)(1) of this section is insufficient, the department shall notify the applicant of the deficiencies in writing within 14 calendar days from the date the information was provided to the department, and the procedures provided in subsection (B)(1) of this section shall apply as if a new request has been made.

C.    If the department is unable to issue its final decision on a project permit application within the time limits provided for in this section, it shall notify the applicant of that inability to issue the final decision within the prescribed time limits. Such notice shall include a statement of the reasons why the time limit has not been met and an estimated date for issuance of the notice of decision. [Ord. 4807 § 23, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.080 Public notice of decision.

For Type I, II, III, and IV project permits, the director shall issue and mail a notice of decision to the parties of record, to any person who, prior to the rendering of the decision, requested notice of the decision in writing and to the Kittitas County assessor’s office. The notice of decision may be a copy of the final report, and must include the SEPA threshold determination and critical area final determination if the project was not categorically exempt from SEPA and critical area determination. For Type III and IV permits, the notice of decision shall also be posted on the subject property and published in the city’s official newspaper pursuant to the requirements in ECC 15.220.040(C) and 15.220.050. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.090 Limitations on refiling of applications.

Upon denial of an application by the director, the hearing examiner or the city council, no new application for substantially the same proposal shall be accepted within one year from the date of denial. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.100 Limitation on number of applications.

The city shall not accept more than one application for a development proposal for each development site at any one time, unless all applications are necessary for the same development proposal. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.220.110 Permit expiration timelines for clearing, grading and fill, and site development permits.

A site development permit may be issued pursuant to ECC 15.250.020 approving land clearing, grading, fill, and/or infrastructure improvements required in conjunction with the development of a site. The expiration limitations of this permit are as follows:

A.    Site Development PermitPermit Expiration. Site development permits shall become invalid unless start of construction authorized by such permit is commenced within 180 calendar days after its issuance, or if the start of construction authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 calendar days after the time construction is commenced. Site development permits associated with subdivision applications shall expire when the preliminary subdivision approval has expired as set forth by RCW 58.17.140.

B.    Site Development PermitPermit Extension. The director is authorized to grant a single 180-calendar-day extension when the applicant requests an extension in writing at least 60 days before the expiration of the site development permit. Extensions may be granted for those permits issued in conjunction with a preliminary subdivision approval that has been extended as provided in RCW 58.17.140 but shall expire when the preliminary subdivision approval has expired as set forth in RCW 58.17.140. Denial of extension requests shall be appealable to city council as an open record appeal. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]