Chapter 12.24


12.24.010    Initiation of procedure.

12.24.020    Filing fee.

12.24.030    Criteria.

12.24.040    Provisions for rededication – Easements.

12.24.050    Partial vacation.

12.24.060    Classification for determining compensation.

12.24.070    Amount of compensation.

12.24.080    Appraisals.

12.24.090    Compensation procedure.

12.24.100    Trade in lieu of compensation.

12.24.110    Waiving compensation – Other governmental agencies.

12.24.010 Initiation of procedure.

Vacation of public right-of-way or easements may be initiated by the owners of abutting property or by the city in accordance with the procedures described in Chapters 35.79 and 35A.47 RCW. (Ord. 1510 § 1, 1986).

12.24.020 Filing fee.

Petitions for vacation shall be filed with the city clerk together with a nonrefundable filing fee in such an amount as may be determined from time to time by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 1510 § 2, 1986).

12.24.030 Criteria.

Following the required hearing the council shall determine:

A. Whether a change of use or vacation of the described portion will better serve the public good; or

B. Whether the area is no longer required for public use; or

C. Whether the public benefit of the area’s use is insufficient to justify the cost of maintenance; or

D. Whether the substitution of an alternate way would be more useful to the public; or

E. Whether future changes in conditions may increase public use or need; or

F. Whether objections by other abutting property owners override the request of petitioners. (Ord. 1510 § 3, 1986).

12.24.040 Provisions for rededication – Easements.

The council may reserve to the city any portion of the right-of-way deemed necessary for the construction, repair and maintenance of public utilities and other services any may impose such other conditions or limitations as it deems necessary and proper to preserve any desired public use or benefit. If the council finds that future development of land abutting such street or alley may alter or increase the need or public use they may require execution of a covenant running with the land to rededicate such portion upon a declaration of public use and necessity by the city council. (Ord. 1510 § 4, 1986).

12.24.050 Partial vacation.

The council may determine that a smaller portion of the area requested be vacated and may so order. (Ord. 1510 § 5, 1986).

12.24.060 Classification for determining compensation.

For the purpose of this chapter, all properties within the city primarily used or reserved for use as public ways, including streets and alleys, are declared to be within one of four classes:

A. Class I: Real property on which city holds fee simple title;

B. Class II: Real property on which the interest of the city is limited to a public easement or right of use for particular purposes and not qualifying under Class IV below, and has been part of a dedicated public right-of-way for 25 years or more;

C. Class III: Real property on which the interest of the city is limited to a public easement or right of use for particular purposes and not qualifying under Class IV below, and has been part of a dedicated public right-of-way for less than 25 years;

D. Class IV: Easements conveyed to or held by the city for which no public funds have been expended in the acquisition and which would otherwise be classified as Class II or Class III, except for the fact that the grantor has applied for vacation of the same. (Ord. 2159 § 1, 2003; Ord. 1510 § 6, 1986).

12.24.070 Amount of compensation.

The amount of compensation required to be paid to the city as a condition precedent to the vacation of a public way shall be determined according to the following criteria:

A. Class I property shall be considered a sale of a capital asset and shall be compensated for at 100 percent of its fair market value;

B. Right-of-way over Class II property shall be compensated for in the amount of 100 percent of the fair market value of said property;

C. Right-of-way over Class III property shall be compensated for in the amount of 50 percent of the fair market value of said property;

D. Vacation of Class IV rights-of-way shall not require compensation in excess of filing fees. (Ord. 2159 § 2, 2003; Ord. 1510 § 7, 1986).

12.24.080 Appraisals.

Determinations of fair market value for purposes of this chapter shall be made by appraisal of the subject property prepared at the direction of the city administrator or his designee. The cost of any appraisals shall be added to the amount of compensation established by EMC 12.24.070. Such appraisals shall take into account any retained right of the city for future use which would restrict the private use of the property. (Ord. 1510 § 8, 1986).

12.24.090 Compensation procedure.

In the case of Class I, II or III properties, upon a finding, after a public hearing, that requirements for approval set forth in EMC 12.24.030 are satisfied, the city council may adopt a motion to approve conditionally the petition and direct the city administrator to secure an appraisal of the subject property. The applicant shall post a $2,500 cash deposit with the city treasurer to ensure payment of the cost of the appraisal. Upon notification that the amount of required compensation has been established, the applicant shall have 90 days to deposit such amount together with appraisal cost with the city treasurer. Credit shall be given for the balance of the deposit, if any. Upon notification of receipt of all sums due, the city council shall, in accordance with its prior motion of approval, adopt a resolution authorizing the city administrator to execute an appropriate deed to convey Class I property or adopt an ordinance of vacation of a Class II or III property. All funds received as compensation pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited in the city’s street fund or such other fund as may be designated by the council. (Ord. 2159 § 3, 2003; Ord. 1510 § 9, 1986).

12.24.100 Trade in lieu of compensation.

In lieu of payment of monetary compensation the petitioners may grant or dedicate to the city for street purposes real property useful for that purpose where the property to be acquired by such exchange has a fair market value at least equal to the amount of cash compensation that would otherwise be required. The city shall not be obligated to accept such an exchange and the decision of the city administrator on the acceptability of the alternate property offered shall be final. (Ord. 1510 § 10, 1986).

12.24.110 Waiving compensation – Other governmental agencies.

Where vacation or transfer of a public way is applied for by or on behalf of another governmental agency or jurisdiction, the city council may waive any compensation required by this chapter, except filing fees, if the council deems such a waiver to be in the public’s interest and advantage. A transfer or vacation of property on which compensation has been waived under this section shall be accompanied by a covenant providing that the city shall be compensated for the fair market value of the interest conveyed or vacated at the time of any future sale or lease of the subject property by such other governmental agency. (Ord. 1510 § 11, 1986).