Chapter 15.250
REVIEW AND DECISION CRITERIA FOR CERTAIN PERMITS

Sections:

15.250.010    Temporary use permits – Type II review process.

15.250.020    Site development permits – Type I or II review process.

15.250.030    Design review – Type II review process.

15.250.040    Conditional use permits – Type III review process.

15.250.050    Variances – Type III review process.

15.250.060    Rezones – Type IV or V review process.

15.250.070    Repealed.

15.250.080    Master plan for P-R zone uses – Type IV review process.

15.250.090    Comprehensive plan amendments – Type V review process.

15.250.100    Land development code amendments – Type V review process.

15.250.110    Siting essential public facilities – Type V review process.

15.250.010 Temporary use permits – Type II review process.

A.    Purpose. A temporary use permit is a mechanism by which the city may permit a use to locate within the city on private property on an interim basis, without requiring full compliance with the LDC or by which the city may permit seasonal or transient uses not otherwise permitted.

B.    Procedures. Temporary uses are subject to the Type II review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC.

C.    Decision Criteria. The director may approve or modify and approve an application for a temporary use permit if:

1.    The temporary use will not be detrimental to public health, safety, or welfare, nor injurious to property and improvements in the immediate vicinity of the subject temporary use;

2.    The temporary use is not incompatible in intensity and appearance with existing land uses in the immediate vicinity of the temporary use;

3.    Adequate parking is provided for the temporary use and, if applicable, the temporary use does not create a parking shortage for the existing uses on the site;

4.    Hours of operation of the temporary use are specified; and

5.    The temporary use will not create noise, light, or glare which would adversely impact surrounding uses and properties.

D.    Time Period. A temporary use permit is valid for up to 60 calendar days from the effective date of the permit, except that the director may establish a shorter time frame or extend a temporary use permit for up to one year. Temporary uses for more than one year shall require review and approval by city council as a Type IV decision. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.020 Site development permits – Type I or II review process.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of a site development permit is to provide a mechanism to review activities that involve clearing and removal of vegetation, excavation, grading, and earthwork construction that may or may not be in preparation of site development within the city in order to protect public health, safety, and welfare by:

1.    Minimizing adverse storm water impacts generated by the removal of vegetation and alteration of landforms;

2.    Protecting water quality from the adverse impacts associated with erosion and sedimentation;

3.    Minimizing aquatic and terrestrial wildlife habitat loss caused by the removal of vegetation;

4.    Protecting sensitive areas from adverse clearing and grading activities;

5.    Preventing damage to property and harm to persons caused by excavations and fills; and

6.    Establishing administrative procedures for the issuance of permits, approval of plans, and inspection of clearing and grading operations.

B.    Applicability. A site development permit is required for the following activities or as determined by the director:

1.    The construction of two or more detached single-family dwelling units on a single parcel;

2.    Site improvements associated with short plat and subdivisions;

3.    The construction of two or more nonresidential or multifamily structures on a single parcel; or

4.    All clearing, grading, or fill activities, except those exempt activities specified in subsection (C) of this section.

C.    Exemptions. The following activities are exempt from site development permit requirements herein; however, they may still be subject to SEPA review (see Chapter 15.270 ECC) and critical areas review (see Division VI of this title):

1.    An on-site excavation or fill for basements and footings of a building, retaining wall, parking lot, or other structure authorized by a valid building permit. This shall not exempt any fill made with the material from such excavation nor exempt any excavation having an unsupported height greater than five feet after the completion of such structure;

2.    Maintenance of existing driveways or private access roads within their existing road prisms; provided, that the performance and restoration requirements of this chapter are met and best management practices are utilized to protect water quality;

3.    Any grading approved by the city engineer within a publicly owned road right-of-way, provided this does not include clearing or grading that expands further into a critical area or buffer;

4.    Clearing, grading or fill by a public agency for the following routine maintenance activities:

a.    Roadside ditch cleaning, provided the ditch does not contain salmonids;

b.    Pavement maintenance;

c.    Normal grading of gravel shoulders;

d.    Maintenance of culverts;

e.    Maintenance of flood control or other approved surface water management facilities; and/or

f.    Routine clearing within road right-of-way;

5.    Cemetery graves; provided, that this exception does not apply except for routine maintenance if the clearing or grading is within a critical area as regulated in Division VI of this title;

6.    Minor stream restoration projects for fish habitat enhancement by a public agency, utility, or tribe within a critical area as regulated in Division VI of this title;

7.    Any clearing, grading or fill that has been approved by the director as part of a commercial site development permit and for which a financial guarantee has been posted;

8.    The following activities are exempt from the clearing, grading and fill requirements of this chapter and no permit shall be required, subject to the limitations in critical areas and their buffers as set out in Division VI of this title:

a.    Normal and routine maintenance of existing lawns and landscaping, including up to 50 cubic yards of top soil, mulch, or bark materials added to existing landscaped areas;

b.    Emergency tree removal to prevent imminent danger or hazard to persons or property;

c.    Normal and routine horticultural activities associated with commercial orchards, nurseries, or Christmas tree farms. This does not include clearing, grading or in order to develop or expand such activities;

d.    Normal and routine maintenance of existing public park properties and private and public golf courses. This does not include clearing, grading or fill in order to develop or expand such activities in critical areas;

e.    Removal of noxious weeds from steep slope hazard areas and the buffers of streams and wetlands;

f.    Pruning and limbing of vegetation for maintenance of above-ground electrical and telecommunication facilities; provided, that the clearing is consistent with the electric, natural gas, cable communication and telephone utility exemption in critical areas as regulated in Division VI of this title;

9.    The cutting and removal of any coniferous tree of less than eight inches DBH or any deciduous tree of less than 12 inches DBH when not located within a critical area or buffer;

10.    The pruning, limbing, and general maintenance of trees outside of environmentally critical areas and buffers, consistent with the requirements of Division VI of this title;

11.    The pruning, limbing, and general maintenance of trees in buffers or that are otherwise required to be retained pursuant to Division VI of this title;

12.    An excavation that is less than two feet in depth or does not create a cut slope greater than five feet in height and steeper than one unit vertical in two units horizontal (66.7 percent slope), that does not exceed 50 cubic yards on any one lot and does not obstruct a drainage course, excluding work in critical areas and their buffers;

13.    A fill less than one foot in depth and placed on natural terrain with a slope flatter than one unit vertical in five units horizontal (20 percent slope), or less than three feet in depth, not intended to support structures, that does not exceed 50 cubic yards on any one lot and does not obstruct a drainage course, excluding work in critical areas and their buffers; and

14.    Normal routine maintenance of existing single-family drainage systems, including but not limited to excavation to replace existing pipes, catch basins and infiltration trenches, that does not exceed 50 cubic yards on any one lot and does not obstruct a drainage course, excluding work in critical areas and their buffers.

D.    Procedures. Site development permits are subject to the Type I review process; provided, however, that when such projects require a SEPA threshold determination, the action becomes a Type II permit in all respects (see Chapter 15.210 ECC for review process details).

E.    Operating Conditions and Standards of Performance.

1.    Any activity that will clear, grade, fill or otherwise disturb the site, whether requiring a clearing, grading, or fill permit or not, shall provide erosion and sediment control (ESC) that prevents, to the maximum extent possible, the transport of sediment from the site to drainage facilities, water resources, and adjacent properties. Erosion and sediment controls shall be applied as specified by the temporary ESC measures and performance criteria and implementation requirements in the city’s erosion and sediment control standards.

2.    Cuts and fills shall conform to the following provisions unless otherwise approved by the director:

a.    Slope. No slope of cut and fill surfaces shall be steeper than is safe for the intended use and shall not exceed two horizontal to one vertical, unless otherwise approved by the director;

b.    Erosion Control. All disturbed areas including faces of cuts and fill slopes shall be prepared and maintained to control erosion in compliance with subsection (E)(1) of this section;

c.    Preparation of Ground. The ground surface shall be prepared to receive fill by removing unsuitable material such as concrete slabs, tree stumps, brush, and car bodies;

d.    Fill Material. Except in an approved sanitary landfill, only earth materials that have no rock or similar irreducible material with a maximum dimension greater than 18 inches shall be used;

e.    Drainage. Provisions shall be made to:

i.    Prevent any surface water or seepage from damaging the cut face of any excavations or the sloping face of a fill; and

ii.    Carry any surface waters that are or might be concentrated as a result of a fill or excavation to a natural watercourse, or by other means approved by the city engineer;

f.    Bench/Terrace. Benches, if required, at least 10 feet in width shall be back-sloped and shall be established at not more than 25 feet vertical intervals to control surface drainage and debris. Swales or ditches on benches shall have a maximum gradient of five percent;

g.    Access Roads – Maintenance. Access roads to grading sites shall be maintained and located to the satisfaction of the city engineer to minimize problems of dust, mud, and traffic circulation;

h.    Access Roads – Gate. Access roads to grading sites shall be controlled by a gate when required by the director;

i.    Warning Signs. Signs warning of hazardous conditions, if such exist, shall be affixed at locations as required by the director;

j.    Fencing. Fencing, where required by the director, to protect life, limb, and property, shall be installed with lockable gates that must be closed and locked when not working the site. The fence must be no less than five feet in height and the fence material shall have no horizontal opening larger than two inches;

k.    Setbacks. The tops and the toes of cut and fill slopes shall be set back from property boundaries and from structures as far as necessary for safety of the adjacent properties and structures and to prevent damage resulting from water runoff or erosion of the slopes;

Slopes and setbacks shall be determined by the director; and

l.    Hours of Operation. Hours of operation, unless otherwise authorized by the director, shall be between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

F.    Decision Criteria. A site development permit that complies with all applicable development regulations as provided in this title shall be approved. [Ord. 4696 § 2, 2015; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.030 Design review – Type II review process.

A.    Purpose.

1.    To promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the city;

2.    To recognize that land use regulations aimed at the orderliness of community growth, the protection and enhancement of property values, the minimization of discordant and unsightly surroundings, the avoidance of inappropriateness and poor quality of design and other environmental and aesthetic objectives provide not only for the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens, but also for their comfort and prosperity and the beauty and balance of the community, and as such, are the proper and necessary concerns of local government;

3.    To increase awareness of design considerations among the citizens of Ellensburg; and

4.    To create a review process that balances flexibility and predictability for applicants, staff, public officials, and community members.

B.    Minor and Major Project Design Review.

1.    Exterior modifications to any property that is on the landmarks register are reviewed for applicable design review by the landmarks and design commission pursuant to ECC 15.280.090.

2.    For all non-landmarks register properties, exterior modifications and new construction are subject to both major and minor design review, as defined in ECC 15.130.040, and are reviewed for conformance with applicable land use and zoning provisions in Division III, applicable community design provisions in Division IV, and applicable project design provisions in Division V, plus other applicable provisions set forth in the LDC.

3.    The director shall have the authority to determine if a minor exterior modification to a non-landmarks register property is not significant, and therefore does not require design review, based on factors such as the scope, location, context and visibility of the change or modification. The director may determine that design review is not required for such minor exterior modifications including, but not limited to: repainting structures to similar colors; relocating, modifying or adding mechanical equipment; reorganization of portions of parking lots involving less than five spaces; modifications to locations of existing lighting; or minor changes to existing approved landscaping; provided, that cost of work does not exceed 15 percent of the structure’s current Kittitas County assessed value as of the time the initial application for the work is submitted.

If there is no current Kittitas County assessed value for a structure, a current appraisal of the structure, which shall be provided by the applicant and acceptable to the director, shall be used as the value point of reference for the structure.

C.    Procedures. Minor and major design review projects are subject to the Type II review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC.

1.    Major design review projects require a preapplication meeting (see ECC 15.220.010); and

2.    Projects on landmarks register properties which include one or more departure requests require a review and approval by the landmarks and design commission through a Type II review process as set forth in Table 15.210.050(B).

3.    Projects not on landmarks register properties which include one or more departure requests require a review and approval by the director through a Type II review process as set forth in Table 15.210.050(B).

D.    Decision Criteria. Decision criteria for minor and major design review projects are set forth in Divisions III through V of this title. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.040 Conditional use permits – Type III review process.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of a conditional use permit is to locate a permitted use on a particular property, subject to conditions placed on the permitted use to ensure compatibility with nearby land uses.

B.    Procedures. Conditional use permits are subject to the Type III review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC.

C.    Decision Criteria. The city may approve or approve with conditions only if the applicant demonstrates that:

1.    The size of the site is adequate for the proposed use, including all facilities and amenities that are required by this title or desired by the applicant;

2.    The proposed use will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, and general welfare of the community and will not introduce hazardous conditions at the site that cannot be mitigated to protect adjacent properties;

3.    The topography, soils, and other physical characteristics of the site are appropriate for the use and potential problems due to weak foundations soils can be eliminated or reduced to the extent necessary to avoid hazardous situations;

4.    The proposed use will not be injurious to, or adversely affect the uses, property, or improvements adjacent to, or in the vicinity of the site upon which the proposed use is to be located;

5.    The proposed use is compatible with adjacent land uses and consistent with the character of the surrounding area;

6.    The proposed use will be supported by adequate water, sewer, storm drainage, schools, electrical, police, fire protection facilities and services. The use will not overburden or adversely affect said public facilities and services;

7.    The traffic generated by the proposed use will not unduly burden the traffic circulation system in the vicinity;

8.    An adequate site layout is proposed for on-site circulation and transportation activities, considering the potential impacts of the proposed use on traffic flow and control, emergency vehicle movements and safety associated with the suitability of access points, on-site drives, parking, loading and unloading areas, refuse collection and disposal points, sidewalks, bike paths, or other transportation facilities required by this title or desired by the applicant;

9.    The proposal will cause no unreasonably adverse effects to wetlands, shorelands, wildlife habitat, and other critical areas;

10.    Buffering devices such as fencing, landscaping or topographic characteristics adequately protect adjacent properties from adverse effects of the proposed use, including adverse visual or auditory effects;

11.    The granting of the conditional use is consistent and compatible with the intent of the goals, objectives and policies of the comprehensive plan;

12.    The proposed use complies with the appropriate development and performance and all other applicable provisions of the city of Ellensburg development standards; and

13.    All conditions necessary to lessen any impacts of the proposed use have been included in the project design or will be required as conditions of approval.

D.    Appropriate Conditions for Approval. In approving a conditional use, the planning commission may impose conditions including, but not limited to, any of the following conditions:

1.    Limit the manner in which the use is conducted, including restricting the time an activity may take place and imposing restraints to minimize environmental effects such as noise, vibration, air pollution, glare and odor;

2.    Establish a special yard or other open space, lot area or dimension;

3.    Limit the height, size or location of a building or other structure;

4.    Designate the size, number or nature of vehicle access points;

5.    Increase the amount of street dedication, roadway width or improvements within the street right-of-way;

6.    Designate the size, location, screening, drainage, surfacing or other improvements of off-street parking or truck loading areas;

7.    Limit or otherwise designate the number, size, location, and height of lighting of signs;

8.    Limit the number and intensity of outdoor lighting or require its shielding;

9.    Require screening, landscaping or another facility to protect adjacent or nearby property and designate standards for installation or maintenance of the facility;

10.    Require and establish the size, height, location or materials for a fence;

11.    Protect existing trees, vegetation, water resources, wildlife habitat or other significant natural resources;

12.    Impose special conditions on the proposed development to ensure that it is in conformance with the surrounding neighborhood and the intent and purpose of the zoning district classification; and/or

13.    Require such financial guarantees and evidence that any applied conditions will be complied with. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.050 Variances – Type III review process.

A.    Purpose. A variance is a mechanism by which the city may grant relief from the zoning provisions and standards of the LDC, where practical difficulty renders compliance with the LDC an unnecessary hardship.

B.    Procedures. Variance permits are subject to the Type III review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC.

1.    Administrative variances may be allowed for proposals that are within 10 percent of compliance of applicable dimensional standards, subject to the Type II review procedures set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC.

C.    Decision Criteria. The city may approve, approve with conditions, or deny variances. Granting of variances requires compliance with all of the following:

1.    The variance is necessary because of the unique size, shape, topography, or location of the subject property;

2.    The strict enforcement of the provisions of this title creates an unnecessary hardship to the property owner;

3.    The subject property is deprived, by provisions of this title, of rights and privileges enjoyed by other properties in the vicinity and under an identical zone, however, the existence of similar nonconforming uses of neighboring lands, structures, or buildings in the same zone shall not be considered grounds for the issuance of a variance;

4.    The need for the variance is not the result of deliberate actions of the applicant or property owner, including any past owner of the same property;

5.    The variance is compatible with the comprehensive plan;

6.    The variance does not create a health or safety hazard;

7.    The granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to:

a.    The property or improvements in the vicinity, or

b.    The zone in which the subject property is located;

8.    The variance does not relieve an applicant from:

a.    Any of the procedural or administrative provisions of this title, or

b.    Any standard or provision that specifically states that no variance from such standard or provision is permitted, or

c.    Use or building restrictions, or

d.    Any provisions of the critical areas development standards except as provided in Division VI;

9.    The variance from setback or height requirements does not infringe upon or interfere with easement or covenant rights or responsibilities;

10.    The variance does not allow the establishment of a use that is not otherwise permitted in the zone in which the proposal is located; and

11.    The variance is the minimum necessary to grant relief to the applicant. [Ord. 4807 § 28, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.060 Rezones – Type IV or V review process.

Site-specific rezones to change the current zoning of a property to a new zoning category that is consistent with the comprehensive plan land use designation for the property are reviewed as Type IV processes. Type V reviews involve the legislative revisions to the zoning map for area-wide changes including comprehensive plan updates and those proposed to implement subarea plans.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide procedures for amending the text, maps, and charts of this title, and amendment criteria for amending the official zoning map.

B.    Procedures. Site-specific rezones are subject to the Type IV review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC. All other rezones are subject to the Type V review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC.

C.    Site-Specific Rezone Decision Criteria. The city may approve or approve with modifications an application for a rezone of property only if the applicant has adequately demonstrated that all of the following statements apply to the proposed rezone:

1.    Conditions have changed since the imposition of the zoning classification on the property;

2.    The proposed rezone bears a substantial relationship to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare;

3.    The proposed rezone is consistent with the comprehensive plan; and

4.    The proposed rezone to a particular zoning district shall be consistent with the development standards in the LDC for the zoning district.

Applicants may propose conditions to be imposed on the site-specific rezone in order to mitigate any detrimental effect the rezone might have on uses or property in the immediate vicinity of the proposed rezone. Any conditions imposed by the city on the rezone shall be incorporated in a development agreement executed by the city council and the property owner(s), under the procedures set forth in RCW 36.70B.170 through 36.70B.200 and Chapter 15.380 ECC, Development Agreements.

The burden of this demonstration is on the rezone applicant. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.070 Master site plans for regional retail commercial projects – Special review process.

Repealed by Ord. 4769. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.080 Master plan for P-R zone uses – Type IV review process.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of the master plan is to permit appropriate institutional development within specific boundaries while minimizing impacts, and to balance the public benefits of the growth and change of the community’s major institutions with the livability and vitality of the community’s neighborhoods.

B.    Applicability. Recognizing that some institutions require long-range development plans and consist of large areas of land with multiple land uses, a master plan may be prepared for all, or a portion, of an entity’s land area which is subject to this chapter and which master planned land encompasses an area of three acres or more.

C.    Application Submittal Requirements. In addition to the submittal requirements set forth in ECC 15.220.020(B), master plan applications shall include at a minimum: boundaries, land uses, circulation within and adjacent to the area, parking, utilities, open spaces, landscaping, and specific development standards. Such development standards may depart from provisions in Divisions III through V herein, provided the applicant demonstrates that the proposed standards meet the purpose and decision criteria herein.

D.    Procedures. Land development code amendments are subject to the Type IV review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC.

E.    Decision Criteria. The city council may approve or approve with modifications a master plan proposal if:

1.    The proposal minimizes impacts to surrounding uses;

2.    The proposal balances the public benefits of the growth and change of the community’s major institutions with the livability and vitality of the community’s neighborhoods; and

3.    The proposal will not adversely affect the public health, safety or general welfare.

Upon the approval and adoption of the master plan by the city council, the development standards and requirements, if any, established in the master plan shall apply within the boundaries of the area subject to the master plan. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.090 Comprehensive plan amendments – Type V review process.

A.    Purpose. A comprehensive plan amendment or review is a mechanism by which the city may modify the text or map of the comprehensive plan in accordance with the provisions of the Growth Management Act, in order to respond to changing circumstances or needs of the city, and to review the comprehensive plan on a regular basis.

B.    Initiation of Text and Map Amendments.

1.    The city’s comprehensive plan shall be subject to continuing evaluation and review by the city. Any amendment or revision to the comprehensive plan shall conform to Chapter 36.70 RCW.

2.    Comprehensive plan amendments may be initiated by citizens, by the planning commission or other boards and commissions of the city, city staff, city council, or any other interested persons including applicants, hearing examiners and staff of other agencies. The proposed amendments or revisions to the comprehensive plan shall be docketed and considered by the city no more frequently than once every year except that amendments may be considered more frequently under the following circumstances:

a.    The initial adoption of a subarea plan. Subarea plans adopted under this section must clarify, supplement, or implement jurisdiction-wide comprehensive plan policies, and may only be adopted if the cumulative impacts of the proposed plan are addressed by appropriate environmental review under Chapter 43.21C RCW;

b.    The development of an initial subarea plan for economic development located outside of the 100-year floodplain in a county that has completed a state-funded pilot project that is based on watershed characterization and local habitat assessment;

c.    The adoption or amendment of a shoreline master program under the procedures set forth in Chapter 90.58 RCW;

d.    The amendment of the capital facilities element of a comprehensive plan that occurs concurrently with the adoption or amendment of a county or city budget; or

e.    The adoption of comprehensive plan amendments necessary to enact a planned action under RCW 43.21C.440; provided, that amendments are considered in accordance with the public participation program established by the county or city under RCW 36.70A.130(2)(a) and all persons who have requested notice of a comprehensive plan update are given notice of the amendments and an opportunity to comment.

3.    All docketed amendment proposals shall be considered by the city concurrently so the cumulative effect of the various proposals can be ascertained. However, the city may adopt amendments or revisions to its comprehensive plan that conform with Chapter 36.70 RCW after appropriate public participation whenever an emergency exists or to resolve an appeal of a comprehensive plan filed with the growth management hearings board or with a court.

C.    Periodic Review of Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations. The Growth Management Act requires the city to periodically conduct a thorough review of its comprehensive plan and regulations to bring them up to date with any relevant changes in the Growth Management Act and to respond to changes in land use and population growth. Consistent with the schedule in RCW 36.70A.130, the city shall periodically review and, if necessary, revise and adopt its comprehensive plan and development regulations every eight years.

D.    Procedures. Comprehensive plan amendments are subject to the Type V review process with the following variations:

1.    A complete application for a comprehensive plan amendment shall be made on the comprehensive plan amendment form provided by the Ellensburg community development department. Additional supporting materials, such as photographs, statistics, etc., shall be included with the application;

2.    The city will accept applications for comprehensive plan amendments between January 1st and June 30th of every year. The start of that acceptance period shall be advertised in accordance with the city’s noticing requirements;

3.    In the city council’s second regular meeting in July, the city council shall review the proposed amendments timely submitted for consideration to be docketed for review that year. Each proposed amendment shall be accompanied by the amendment application materials and a staff discussion of the proposed amendment with a recommendation on whether or not the proposed amendment is an appropriate amendment subject and is ready for consideration to be docketed for review that year;

4.    Within 15 calendar days of the docketing date, the proposed amendments chosen to be docketed by city council shall then be transmitted to the SEPA responsible official for SEPA review and to the planning commission for review at a public hearing, and a 60-day notice of intent to adopt comprehensive plan or development regulation amendments shall be sent to the Washington State Department of Commerce. The city council may also request other city boards or agencies or other governmental entities to provide comments and recommendations on proposed comprehensive plan amendments. The comments and recommendations must be submitted to the city by the date of the planning commission’s hearing unless the city grants an extension of time. Letters of support or objection to a proposed comprehensive plan amendment may be filed by any interested party. The letters must be filed by the date of the city council public hearing unless an extension of time is granted;

5.    The SEPA responsible official shall issue a notice of the SEPA threshold decision on the docketed amendments on or before the second Friday in August;

6.    The planning commission shall schedule and hold a public hearing on the docketed amendments and shall then make a recommendation to city council prior to council’s first regular meeting in October. The planning commission shall make one of four decisions in considering comprehensive plan text and map amendments:

a.    Approval in the form submitted for public hearing;

b.    Approval with changes;

c.    Approval in part; or

d.    Disapproval;

7.    A public hearing to consider the docketed amendments shall be scheduled for city council’s first regular meeting in October. Any appeal of the SEPA threshold determination shall also be heard at that public hearing;

8.    The city council, after a recommendation from staff and the planning commission, and after holding a public hearing, shall make one of the following decisions:

a.    Approval in accordance with the findings and recommendations submitted by the planning commission;

b.    Approval with modifications;

c.    Refer all or part of the plan text or map amendment proposal back to the planning commission;

d.    Refer all or part of the plan text or map amendment proposal to the following year’s annual amendment process; or

e.    Disapprove.

If the city council’s decision is to refer the amendment request back to the planning commission, the council must specify which matters it wishes reconsidered by the planning commission. The final form and content of the comprehensive plan is determined by the city council; and

9.    The comprehensive plan together with any and all amendments shall be provided to the city clerk to be placed in a permanent file and made available for public inspection. The city shall also transmit a complete and accurate copy of its comprehensive plan amendments to the Washington State Department of Commerce within 10 days of adoption in accordance with state law. [Ord. 4807 § 29, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.100 Land development code amendments – Type V review process.

A.    Purpose. An amendment to the LDC (and, where applicable, amendment of the zoning map) is a mechanism by which the city may bring its land use and development regulations into conformity with the comprehensive plan or respond to changing conditions or needs of the city.

B.    Procedures. Land development code amendments are subject to the Type V review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC. Site-specific rezones are governed by ECC 15.250.060.

C.    Decision Criteria. The city council may approve or approve with modifications an amendment proposal for the text of the LDC if:

1.    The amendment is in accordance with the comprehensive plan; and

2.    The amendment will not adversely affect the public health, safety or general welfare; and

3.    The amendment is not contrary to the best interest of the citizens and property owners of the city. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.250.110 Siting essential public facilities – Type V review process.

A.    Purpose. To establish a process for establishing facilities identified in RCW 36.70A.200 that are typically difficult to site.

B.    Procedures. Siting essential public facilities is subject to the Type V review process as set forth in Chapter 15.210 ECC, with the following supplemental provisions:

1.    Service Area. The director shall determine if the facility serves a regional, countywide, statewide or national need. If it does, then the director may condition the review with a requirement that the review process include one or more sites in parts of the service area outside of Ellensburg.

2.    Multi-Jurisdictional Review. Where more than one local government is involved in the review process, Ellensburg staff shall participate in a multi-jurisdictional review process and use the data, analysis and environmental documents prepared in that process in the city’s review if Ellensburg determines those documents are adequate.

C.    Decision Criteria. The city council may approve or approve with modifications the siting of essential public facilities if:

1.    The amendment is in accordance with all city ordinances and the comprehensive plan (notably Chapter 11, Essential Public Facilities), including:

a.    The future land use map;

b.    The capital facilities element and budget; and

c.    The utilities, community housing, economic development, urban growth area, and transportation elements;

2.    The amendment will not adversely affect the public health, safety or general welfare; and

3.    The amendment is not contrary to the best interest of the citizens and property owners of the city. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]