Chapter 15.16
PROCEDURES FOR TYPES OF LAND USE DECISIONS

Sections:

Article I. Types of Land Use Permit Applications

15.16.010    Land use permit processes.

15.16.020    Legislative decisions.

15.16.030    Determining appropriate review.

Article II. Review Process I: Minor Administrative Decision Review

15.16.040    Applicability.

15.16.050    Decisions included.

15.16.060    Action taken.

Article III. Review Process II: Planning Director Review

15.16.070    Applicability.

15.16.080    Decisions included.

15.16.090    Action taken.

Article IV. Review Process III: Hearing Examiner Review

15.16.100    Review Process III.

15.16.110    Review Process IIIA.

15.16.120    Review Process IIIB.

15.16.130    Hearing examiner—Duties.

15.16.140    Jurisdiction.

15.16.150    Project review.

15.16.160    Time period for decisions and appeals.

15.16.170    Final action.

15.16.180    Reports by city staff and applicant/appellant.

15.16.190    Open public hearing.

15.16.200    Decision, recommendation, conditions.

15.16.205    Variances to the requirements of the zoning code (EMC Title 19).

15.16.210    Examiner’s decision and recommendation—Findings required.

15.16.220    Notice of examiner’s decision.

15.16.230    Reconsideration.

15.16.240    Remand from council.

15.16.250    Appeal of city’s decision.

15.16.260    Dismissal—Exhaustion.

15.16.270    Jurisdiction retained by examiner.

Article V. Review Process IV: Board of Adjustment—Public Hearing for Variance

15.16.280    Repealed.

15.16.290    Repealed.

15.16.300    Repealed.

15.16.310    Repealed.

Article VI. Review Process VA: Planning Commission and City Council Review

15.16.320    City council decisionmaking.

15.16.330    Applicability.

15.16.340    Action taken.

15.16.350    Informational list of legislative actions.

Article VII. Review Process VB: Historic Commission and City Council Review

15.16.360    Applicability.

15.16.370    Action taken.

Article VIII. Review Process VI: City Council Review

15.16.380    Review Process VI.

15.16.390    Applicability.

15.16.400    Action taken.

Article I. Types of Land Use Permit Applications

15.16.010 Land use permit processes.

For the purpose of project review, all land use permit applications shall be classified as one of the following:

A.    Review Process I or P, minor administrative review decisions;

B.    Review Process II or A, planning director administrative review decisions;

C.    Review Process IIIA or C, hearing examiner decisions;

D.    Review Process IIIB, hearing examiner and city council quasi-judicial decisions;

E.    Review Process IV (Reserved);

F.    Review Process VA, planning commission and city council land use quasi-judicial decisions;

G.    Review Process VB, historic commission and city council land use quasi-judicial decisions; and

H.    Review Process VI, city council approval of final subdivisions (plats) and final approval of performance agreement rezones. (Ord. 3619-18 § 2, 2018: Ord. 2975-07 § 3, 2007: Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 1(A), 2001)

15.16.020 Legislative decisions.

Legislative decisions are not subject to the permit process procedures of this title. In order to promote a public understanding of governmental actions relating to land use and the environment, certain legislative decisions are included in and governed by Chapter 15.32. Specifically, public notice requirements for certain legislative decisions made by the city council that relate to land use and the environment are also set forth in this title. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 1(B), 2001)

15.16.030 Determining appropriate review.

A.    The director shall determine the proper classification for all project permit applications. Any reference in the zoning code or other city ordinance to a review process that no longer exists shall be construed to refer to the comparable process in this title. If the director determines that the choice among appropriate classifications cannot be ascertained from the code and its intent, the director shall resolve it in favor of the higher classification number.

B.    A project that involves two or more land use permits may be processed collectively under the highest numbered classification required for any part of the application or processed individually under each of the classifications identified by the specific city regulation. The applicant may determine whether the application is processed under the individual procedure option (see Section 15.20.060). If the application is processed under the individual procedure option, the highest numbered classification must be processed prior to the subsequent lower numbered procedure. For any project dependent on a legislative decision, including a change in the comprehensive plan (see Chapter 15.32), the legislative decision must be made prior to processing the land use permit application.

C.    Applications processed in accordance with subsection B of this section that have the same highest numbered classification, but are assigned different hearing bodies, shall be heard by the highest decisionmaker. The city council is the highest, followed by the hearing examiner or planning commission, as applicable, the director, and then the planning department or other authorized city staff. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 1(C), 2001)

Article II. Review Process I: Minor Administrative Decision Review

15.16.040 Applicability.

Review Process I applies to permit applications that involve minor administrative land use decisions. The focus of minor administrative review is code compliance verification. Review Process I applications shall be reviewed administratively by the planning department staff to determine compliance with the city’s zoning code and other applicable ordinances and regulations. If a Review Process I application is not categorically exempt under SEPA, the application shall be processed under Review Process II. Administrative determinations made by the planning department staff that are not associated with an application specifically listed in Section 15.16.050 and that are categorically exempt under SEPA are not subject to the procedures and requirements of this title. (Ord. 3003-07 § 1, 2007: Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 2(A), 2001)

15.16.050 Decisions included.

A.    Review Process I applications include the following minor administrative decisions:

1.    Accessory dwelling unit;

2.    Alternative methods of architectural modulation in the M-1 zone as provided in Section 19.27.020(A)(2)(e);

3.    Authorization to exceed maximum fence height in front yard setback as provided by Section 19.39.070(A)(1);

4.    Buffer width reduction for streams (Sections 19.33D.490(D) and 19.37.170(C)) or wetlands (Sections 19.33D.450(E) and 19.37.110(C)) or alteration of geologically hazardous areas or standard buffer (Section 19.37.080(C)) if proposal is categorically exempt under SEPA;

5.    Certification of nonconforming lot, use, building, or parking;

6.    Commercial daycare in business zones except in the M-S zone;

7.    Design guideline approvals for proposals categorically exempt under SEPA when no modification of development standards proposed;

8.    Development of previously altered ESAs when the proposal is categorically exempt under SEPA (Section 19.33D.580 or 19.37.250);

9.    Determination of completeness (for applications);

10.    Interpretations by the director of applicable land use requirements and development regulations;

11.    Home occupations permits;

12.    Land divisions, as follows:

a.    Binding site plan with previously approved site plan;

b.    Boundary line adjustments;

c.    Final binding site plan;

d.    Final binding site plan with site plan approval;

e.    Final cluster short subdivision;

f.    Final residential condominium binding site plan;

g.    Final short subdivision of nine lots or less;

h.    Final unit lot subdivision or final unit lot short subdivision;

i.    Final short subdivision alteration or vacation;

j.     Final unit lot subdivision alteration or vacation or short subdivision alteration or vacation;

k.    Final short subdivision with nonconforming structures;

l.     Final unit lot subdivision with nonconforming structures or final unit lot short subdivision with nonconforming structures;

m.    Minor amendment to land division;

n.    Final plat or subdivision;

o.    Alteration or vacation of final subdivisions;

p.    Final cluster subdivisions;

13.    Land uses in WRM zone which are consistent with adopted management plan and which are categorically exempt under SEPA;

14.    Landscaping modification as provided by Section 19.35.070;

15.    Nonconforming use—continuation, alteration, modification as provided by Section 19.38.030(A);

16.    Nonconforming structure—alteration or expansion as provided by Section 19.38.040(A);

17.    Outdoor use, activity, and storage for established use;

18.    (Reserved);

19.    Planning director’s promulgation of administrative rules, procedures and interpretation of the zoning code;

20.    Public park development approved by park commission consistent with adopted park master plan which is categorically exempt under SEPA as provided for by Section 19.33A.030;

21.    Reasonable use determinations, if no modification of zoning standards (under Section 19.33D.400(B) or 19.37.050(B));

22.    Relocation of electric facilities, lines, equipment or appurtenances, natural gas, cable communications, pipes, mains, equipment or appurtenances, telephone facilities, lines related to environmentally sensitive areas as provided by Section 19.33D.400(A)(9)(b) and (c) or 19.37.050(A)(8)(b) and (c);

23.    Remodels or additions to single-family residences in the historic overlay zone;

24.    Repealed;

25.    Sign permits;

26.    Temporary use permits;

27.    Use permits;

28.    Zoning code compliance regarding building permits and application of development standards by the director;

29.    Zoning determination concerning business license applications;

30.    Vehicular access location. Any determination by the city engineer/planning director on location and design of vehicular access to private property or public facilities;

31.    Modifications of the regulations and requirements of Chapter 13.16 (Driveways) and commute trip reduction ordinance;

32.    Reduction of up to twenty-five percent of the required minimum number of off-street parking spaces for nonresidential uses with approved transportation demand management plan as set forth in Chapter 19.34;

33.    Reduction of up to twenty-five percent of the required minimum number of off-street parking spaces for nonresidential uses with approved parking study as set forth in Chapter 19.34;

34.    Reduction of off-street parking for transportation alternatives and mixed-use projects;

35.    Reduction of required off-street parking for projects using shared parking as set forth in Chapter 19.34;

36.    Accessory dwelling units: waiver of off-street parking as provided in Chapter 19.34;

37.    Modification of development standards as provided in Section 19.19.060;

38.    Modification of maximum percentage of residential street frontage on TOD streets as provided in Section 19.19.020;

39.    Modification of development standards as provided in Section 19.20.900, unless otherwise indicated as a Review Process II;

40.    All other review processes listed in the zoning code as Review Process I or P. (Ord. 3619-18 § 3, 2018: Ord. 3379-14 § 2, 2014: Ord. 2973-07 § 9, 2007; Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 2(B), 2001)

15.16.060 Action taken.

A.    For all Review Process I Applications. If proposed actions that fall into the category of Review Process I are subject to other regulations, including any regulations of other agencies, issuance of a permit by the city does not excuse the applicant of the requirement to obtain all other required permits and approvals prior to initiating construction of the project. Action taken on the application shall be one of the following:

1.    Permit issuance or approval, which may include conditions on the project;

2.    Permit denial explaining the reasons the permit was not approved; or

3.    A letter explaining what additional information is necessary or other approvals which are required before the permit can be issued.

An administrative appeal to the examiner is provided. Any appeals shall be in accordance with the appeals section of this title (see Chapter 15.24, Article IV).

B.    Supplemental Considerations for Review of a Boundary Line Adjustment, Binding Site Plan with Previously Approved Site Plan, or Minor Amendment to a Land Division.

1.    If the director, in consultation with the city engineer, determines that the application is consistent with the land division evaluation criteria and development standards in Title 18 and other applicable city ordinances and city standards, the application shall be approved. Written findings and conclusions are not required. The director and other city staff as required are authorized to execute the final land division map.

2.    If the director determines that the application is not consistent with these standards, the director may disapprove the application stating reasons for disapproval, or return it to the applicant for modification or correction with specific conditions or revisions that must be met for approval.

3.    A binding site plan with a previously approved site plan shall be approved, disapproved, or returned to the applicant within thirty days of the determination of completeness, unless the applicant consents in writing to an extension.

C.    Supplemental Considerations for Review of Final Land Divisions under Review Process I (Including Final Short Subdivision, Cluster Short Subdivision, Binding Site Plan, and Residential Condominium Binding Site Plan).

1.    If the director and city engineer find that the final land division conforms to all terms of preliminary approval and meets the requirements of Title 18, applicable state law, and applicable city ordinances and standards in effect at the time of preliminary approval, the final land division shall be approved. Written findings and conclusions are not required. The director and other city staff as required may execute the final land division map.

2.    If the terms of the preliminary approval have not been met, or the application is not consistent with Title 18, applicable state law, or other applicable city ordinances or city standards, the city may disapprove the application, citing reasons for disapproval, or may return the application to the applicant for modification or correction with specific conditions or revisions that must be met for approval.

3.    Final short subdivisions shall be approved, disapproved, or returned to the applicant not later than thirty days after the determination of completeness. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 2(C), 2001)

Article III. Review Process II: Planning Director Review

15.16.070 Applicability.

Review Process II applies to permit applications that involve a greater exercise of administrative discretion by the director. Except as specified in this section, no public hearing is required for Review Process II applications. Public notice requirements are specified in Chapter 15.24.

A land use permit issued under Review Process II shall terminate if a permittee does not apply for a building permit within eighteen months (or, with an extension, twenty-four months), except where a time limit on the land use permit is otherwise established under federal or state law, city ordinance, or an executed development agreement (see Section 15.20.110). (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 3(A), 2001)

15.16.080 Decisions included.

A.    Review Process II applications include the following administrative decisions:*

1.    Alteration of a designated significant feature within an historic overlay zone;

2.    Alteration of category II and III streams as provided by Section 19.33D.500(B)(2);

3.    Atrium appurtenance approval as provided by Section 19.39.040(B)(2);

4.    Buffer width reduction for streams (Sections 19.33D.490(D) and 19.37.170(C)) or wetlands (Sections 19.33D.450(E) and 19.37.110(C)) or alteration of geologically hazardous areas or standard buffer (Section 19.37.080(C)) if proposal is not categorically exempt under SEPA;

5.    Change or expansion of a nonconforming use (up to twenty-five percent) as provided by Sections 19.38.030(C) and (D);

6.    Comprehensive design plan permits as provided by Section 19.36.210;

7.    Design guideline approval, when proposal includes modification of development standards and design guidelines and for projects not categorically exempt under SEPA;

8.    Determination of proportionality for correctional facilities;

9.    Determination of prohibited heavy manufacturing uses with potentially noxious impacts in M-1 and M-M zones as provided by Sections 19.27.020(G)(19) and 19.28.020(D)(18);

10.    Development of nonconforming lots which do not meet minimum lot area or building area requirements as provided by Section 19.38.080(C);

11.    Development of previously altered ESAs when the proposal is not categorically exempt under SEPA as provided by Sections 19.33D.580(B)(1) and 19.37.250(B)(1);

12.    Deviation from historic overlay zone standards and guidelines;

13.    (Reserved);

14.    Extension of amateur radio tower or antenna beyond sixty-five feet (Section 19.39.040(A)(3));

15.    Exterior finish for buildings in M-1 zone located within three hundred feet of residentially zoned properties (Section 19.27.020(A));

16.    Final PDO development plan as provided by Section 19.29.110;

17.    Floodplain development permit application when a shoreline permit is not required (Section 19.30.060(B));

18.    Land divisions, as follows:

a.    Preliminary binding site plan;

b.    Preliminary binding site plan with site plan approval;

c.    Preliminary residential condominium binding site plan;

d.    Preliminary short subdivision alteration or vacation;

e.    Preliminary short subdivision of nine lots or less;

f.    Preliminary short subdivision with nonconforming structures;

g.    Preliminary subdivision of fifty lots or less;**

h.    Preliminary subdivision alteration or vacation;

i.    Subdivision or short subdivision variance as provided in Section 18.32.010;

19.    Land uses in WRM zone consistent with adopted management plan when not categorically exempt under SEPA (Section 19.30A.020);

20.    Minor expansion of an existing special property use;

21.    Outdoor use, activity, and storage: modification of standards;

22.    (Reserved);

23.    (Reserved);

24.    Phase approval and development approval implementing an institutional overlay zone master plan or approval of minor revisions (cannot change use or character or allow increase in intensity of development) as provided by Section 19.33B.060;

25.    Public park development not part of or in conformance with an adopted master plan or which exceeds the city’s SEPA thresholds for categorical exemptions as provided by Section 19.33A.030;

26.    Conceptual site plan review for projects that do not otherwise require a land use permit and are not categorically exempt under SEPA;

27.    Project review for public projects that are not categorically exempt under SEPA;

28.    Proposals required to be reviewed by the historic commission in the historic overlay zone per neighborhood conservation guidelines and historic zoning overlay standards (not including those listed under administrative review by staff, which is Review Process I);

29.    Reasonable use determinations with modification of zoning standards (under Chapter 19.37);

30.    Reestablishment or change in use of nonconforming grocery store as provided by Section 19.38.100(B);

31.    Shoreline permits (less than one acre of the project footprint area is within shoreline jurisdiction);

32.    Stream and wetland filling, modification, and mitigation as provided for in Chapter 19.37;

33.    Transfer of development rights under Section 19.33D.400(D) or 19.37.050(B)(3);

34.    Wetland alteration for category I, category II and Silver Lake watershed as provided by Sections 19.33D.460(B)(1), (2), and (5) and 19.37.120(B)(1), (2), and (3);

35.    Wetland mitigation banking approval as provided by Sections 19.33D.460(C)(10) and 19.37.120(C)(12);

36.    Clinic- and medical-related activities as provided by Section 19.16.040(C);

37.    All other review processes listed in the zoning code as Review Process II;

38.    All Review Process I and project permit applications that are not categorically exempt under SEPA;

39.    Alternative best available science decisions as provided by Section 19.37.050(E);

40.    Accessory buildings over two hundred square feet which have metal siding or corrugated roofing as provided by Section 19.07.020(K);

41.    Accessory buildings which exceed one thousand square feet in area as provided by Section 19.07.020(M);

42.    Accessory buildings which exceed fifteen feet in height as provided by Section 19.07.020(J);

43.    Rockeries and retaining walls retaining soil (fill) four feet or greater in height in required building setback areas, as provided by Section 19.39.150(C)(5)(d);

44.    Use of basement or other building spaces for uses not specifically listed as permitted use in the UM zone as provided by Section 19.19.025;

45.    Buffer management as provided by Section 19.37.060(B)(2);

46.    Removal of nonhazardous trees as provided by Section 19.37.060(B)(3)(c);

47.    Adaptive reuse of nonresidential buildings in residential zones as provided by Section 19.41.150(E);

48.    Supportive housing development as provided in Section 19.39.155;

49.    Accessory dwelling units: reduction of rear setback for non-alley lots; increase in allowable lot coverage by building; or modification of design standards as provided in Chapter 19.07;

50.    Electric fences in commercial or industrial zones;

51.    Reduction of greater than twenty-five percent in the required minimum number of off-street parking spaces with approved parking study as set forth in Chapter 19.34;

52.    Modification of parking location standards in Chapter 19.34;

53.    All other review processes listed in the zoning code as Review Process II or A.

*    SEPA threshold determinations frequently include mitigation requirements as provided for in the SEPA ordinance (Chapter 20.04). Any SEPA condition based on SEPA substantive authority as provided for in the SEPA ordinance (Chapter 20.04) shall be identified in the land use permit decision, as provided in this integrated local project review process.

**    An open public hearing may be required under the following circumstances, in which case the application shall be processed under Review Process III: (i) a public hearing is required by Title 18; (ii) any affected person files a written request for a hearing with the planning department within twenty-one days of the notice of application (public comment period); or (iii) either prior to or within the public comment period, the director or the city engineer and/or their designees require an open public hearing.

(Ord. 3619-18 § 4, 2018: Ord. 3600-18 § 2, 2018; Ord. 3534-17 § 8, 2017; Ord. 3500-16 § 9, 2016; Ord. 3484-16 § 3, 2016: Ord. 3323-13 § 3, 2013: Ord. 3185-10 § 1, 2010: Ord. 3167-09 § 4, 2009: Ord. 3097-08 § 1, 2008: Ord. 3003-07 § 2, 2007: Ord. 2973-07 § 10, 2007; Ord. 2909-06 § 66, 2006; Ord. 2719-03 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 3(B), 2001)

15.16.090 Action taken.

A.    For All Review Process II Applications. All Review Process II administrative decisions shall be issued in writing and shall state the final SEPA determination on the proposed project. The director or his designee shall review the application for consistency and compliance with the applicable evaluation criteria and development standards. The director may attach to any permit approval such conditions as may be necessary to assure compliance with this title, other applicable city ordinances and regulations, or any regulations administered by local or other agencies. Action taken on the application shall be one of the following:

1.    Permit issuance or approval, which may include any conditions or requirements on the project deemed necessary by the director; or

2.    Permit denial explaining the reasons the permit was not approved.

Issuance of a permit by the city does not excuse the applicant of a requirement to obtain all required permits and approvals from local or other agencies prior to proceeding with construction.

An administrative appeal to the examiner is provided. Any appeals shall be in accordance with the appeals section of this title (see Chapter 15.24, Article IV).

B.    Supplemental Considerations for Land Divisions. For land division decisions under Review Process II:

1.    If the director and city engineer find that the proposed land division is consistent with the land division evaluation criteria and development standards in Title 18 and other applicable city ordinances and city standards, the application shall be approved.

2.    If the director and city engineer find that the proposed land division is not consistent with these standards, the director and city engineer may disapprove the application stating reasons for disapproval, or return it to the applicant for modification or correction with specific conditions or revisions that must be met for approval.

3.    Decisions on all Review Process II land divisions shall include findings of fact and conclusions that include the following, as applicable:

a.    Appropriate provisions, consistent with city development standards, are made for the public health, safety, and general welfare and for such open spaces, drainage ways, streets or roads, alleys, other public ways, transit stops, potable water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools and schoolgrounds and all other relevant facts, including sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students who only walk to and from school; and

b.    The public use and interest will be served by the platting of such subdivision and dedication.

4.    Approval of a proposed land division shall constitute authorization for the applicant to develop the land division as required in the approved application. Development shall be in accordance with the plans and specifications as approved by the city subject to compliance with all conditions and requirements of the preliminary approval. A preliminary land division approval under Review Process II requires a final land division approval under Review Process I or VI, as required by this chapter. (Ord. 3460-15 § 2, 2015: Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 3(C), 2001)

Article IV. Review Process III: Hearing Examiner Review

15.16.100 Review Process III.

Review Process III is a discretionary review process in which the land use hearing examiner may approve, approve with conditions, modify, or disapprove an application based upon the requirements of the city’s comprehensive plan, land use regulations, other applicable city ordinances or regulations, or any other applicable regulations administered by federal, state, regional, or local, or other agencies. Specific criteria may apply to certain of the listed Review Process III applications.

The criteria which the examiner shall use in evaluating such requests are specified in the applicable land use ordinance (including the zoning code, land division ordinance, etc.) for each underlying land use action that the examiner has the authority to review. Review Process III applies to all permit applications that require an open public hearing before the examiner.

Public notice is specified in Chapter 15.24. An administrative SEPA procedural appeal is provided to the examiner for Review Process III decisions, which shall be heard at the open public hearing on the permit. A SEPA procedural appeal is also provided to the examiner for certain other city proposals (see Section 15.24.310). Any other appeal shall be to superior court following the examiner’s final decision under Review Process IIIA or the city council’s final decision under Review Process IIIB. Any appeals shall be in accordance with the appeals section of this title (see Chapter 15.24, Article IV).

A land use permit issued under Review Process III shall terminate if a permittee does not apply for a building permit within eighteen months (or, with an extension, twenty-four months), except where a time limit on the land use permit is otherwise established under federal or state law, city ordinance, or an executed development agreement (see Section 15.20.110). (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(A), 2001)

15.16.110 Review Process IIIA.

A.    Review Process IIIA applies to the following actions for which the examiner issues a final decision on the application after an open public hearing:

1.    Appeals of Review Process I and II planning director decisions, including appeals of the application of development standards by the director;

2.    Clinic and medical related activities overlay and office overlay as provided by Section 19.16.040(B);

3.    Change in manufacturing activities which do not comply with M-1 zone uses and standards as provided by Section 19.27.040(C);

4.    Commercial daycare in all residential zones and A-1 and B-1 zones;

5.    Conditional use permits;

6.    Detached accessory building which exceeds fifteen feet in height or one thousand square feet in area as provided by Sections 19.07.020(J) and (M);

7.    Expansion of a nonconforming use (greater than twenty-five percent);

8.    Jails and correctional facilities siting in the B-3 and C-1 zones as provided by Section 19.39.105;

9.    Land divisions, as follows:

a.    Preliminary cluster subdivision or cluster short subdivision;

b.    Preliminary subdivision of more than fifty lots;

c.    Preliminary subdivision of fifty lots or less if an open public hearing is required (see footnote on Review Process II, Section 15.16.080);

d.    Subdivision or short subdivision alteration or vacation if an open public hearing is required (see footnote on Review Process II, Section 15.16.080);

10.    Land uses in WRM zone consistent with adopted management plan located in areas subject to a city shoreline substantial development permit as provided by Section 19.30A.020;

11.    Parking modification requests for Review Process III projects and quantity and location of parking for Review Process III projects as provided by Chapter 19.34;

12.    Public utility and infrastructure exception under Sections 19.33D.400(E) and 19.37.050(C);

13.    Shoreline permits (one acre or more of the project footprint is within shoreline jurisdiction);

14.    Shoreline permits requiring a shoreline variance or shoreline conditional use permit;

15.    Special property use permits listed as Review Process III in city ordinance;

16.    Time extension for nonconforming adult use business as provided by Section 19.39.025(B)(3);

17.    Variances in accordance with Section 19.30.080, 19.34.070(A)(2), 19.41.130, or 20.08.150;

18.    Adaptive reuse of nonresidential buildings in residential zones as provided by Section 19.41.150(E);

19.    (Reserved);

20.    All other review processes listed in the zoning code as Review Process III;

21.    Any other action not explicitly listed herein which the examiner is given jurisdiction over and for which a review process is not identified shall be processed using Review Process III;

22.    Supportive housing development as provided in Section 19.39.155;

23.    All other review processes listed in the zoning code as Review Process III or C. (Ord. 3619-18 § 5, 2018: Ord. 3500-16 § 10, 2016; Ord. 3484-16 § 4, 2016: Ord. 2975-07 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2719-03 § 2, 2003; Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(B), 2001)

15.16.120 Review Process IIIB.

Review Process IIIB applies to hearing examiner and city council quasi-judicial decisions. The examiner’s action on Review Process IIIB applications shall constitute a recommendation to city council. Following an open public hearing, the examiner shall make a recommendation to city council on the following:

A.    Rezones and planned residential developments that are consistent with the comprehensive plan;

B.    Public park development located in areas subject to the shoreline substantial development permit requirements of the city’s shoreline master program as provided by Section 19.33A.030(C); and

C.    All other review processes listed in the zoning code as Review Process IIIB.

The city council may accept the findings or conclusions of the examiner, remand the recommendation to the examiner, or reverse the decision of the examiner. The city council’s action shall be based upon the examiner’s record. No new information or evidence may be presented to the city council. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(C), 2001)

15.16.130 Hearing examiner—Duties.

The duties of the examiner regarding the applications and decisions listed in this article shall be as set forth in Sections 15.16.140 through 15.16.270. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D), 2001)

15.16.140 Jurisdiction.

The examiner shall render decisions and recommendations on all applications and appeals required by ordinance to be heard by the examiner. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(1), 2001)

15.16.150 Project review.

The examiner shall receive and examine available information including environmental checklists and environmental impact statements, conduct public hearings, prepare a record thereof, enter findings of fact and conclusions based upon those facts, and enter decisions as provided herein. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(2), 2001)

15.16.160 Time period for decisions and appeals.

The time period for a decision by the city should not exceed one hundred twenty calendar days following notification of application’s completeness, as specified in Chapter 15.20, Article III. The time period for consideration and decision on an appeal should not exceed ninety calendar days for an open record appeal hearing. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(3), 2001)

15.16.170 Final action.

The decisions of the examiner shall represent the final action on the applications and decisions specified in Review Process IIIA above, including consolidated SEPA appeals on these actions. The recommendations of the examiner shall not represent final action on the applications and decisions specified in Review Process IIIB; the city council decision following any remand shall represent final action. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(4), 2001)

15.16.180 Reports by city staff and applicant/appellant.

When an application has been set for public hearing, the planning department or other appropriate city departments shall coordinate and assemble the comments and recommendations of other city departments and governmental agencies having an interest in the subject application and shall prepare a report summarizing the factors involved and the proposed findings and recommendations. At least five working days prior to the scheduled hearing, the report shall be filed with the examiner and copies thereof shall be mailed to the applicant and made available for use by any interested party for the cost of reproduction; provided, however, any appeal heard by the examiner under this title shall be subject to the procedures in the appeals section of this title (see Chapter 15.24, Article IV). (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(5), 2001)

15.16.190 Open public hearing.

Before rendering a decision on any application or appeal or making a recommendation, the examiner shall hold one open public hearing thereon. Notice of the time and place of the public hearing and hearing procedures are specified in Chapter 15.24. The examiner may continue or reconvene the hearing in order to implement the purposes and provisions of this title. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(6), 2001)

15.16.200 Decision, recommendation, conditions.

A.    Applicable to All Actions. The examiner’s decision or recommendation may be to grant or deny the applications, or the examiner may recommend or require of the applicant such conditions, modifications and restrictions as the examiner finds necessary to make the project compatible with its environment and carry out the objectives and goals of the city’s environmental policy ordinance, comprehensive plan, shoreline management master program, housing assistance plan, other applicable plans and programs adopted by the city council, the zoning code (Title 19), the Land Division Ordinance (Title 18), other applicable codes and ordinances of the city and regulations of other agencies. The scope of the examiner’s review for any hearing, recommendation, or decision on a proposed permit or appeal is further specified in Section 15.24.290. Conditions, modifications and restrictions which may be imposed are, but are not limited to:

1.    Exact location and nature of development, including additional building and parking area setbacks, screening in the form of landscaped berms, landscaping or fencing;

2.    Measures to avoid or otherwise mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of the development;

3.    Hours of use or operation or type and intensity of activities;

4.    Sequence and scheduling of the development;

5.    Maintenance of the development;

6.    Duration of use and subsequent removal of structures;

7.    Granting of easements and dedications of roads, walkways, utilities or other purposes and dedication of land or other provisions for public facilities, the need for which the examiner finds would be generated in whole or in significant part by the proposed development;

8.    Provisions which would bring the proposal into compliance with the comprehensive plan;

9.    Posting of assurance devices as required to insure compliance with any conditions, modifications and/or restrictions imposed on the proposal.

B.    Additional Considerations for Land Divisions. A decision on a Review Process III land division shall be based upon the following:

1.    If the examiner finds that the proposed land division is consistent with the land division evaluation criteria and development standards of Title 18, all other applicable city ordinances and city standards, the application shall be approved.

2.    If the examiner finds that the proposed land division is not consistent with Title 18 or other applicable city ordinances or city standards, the examiner may disapprove the application, stating reasons for disapproval, or may continue the hearing and return the application to the applicant for modification or correction with specific conditions or revisions that must be met for approval.

3.    Approval of the preliminary subdivision or other land division subject to Review Process III shall constitute authorization for the applicant to develop the subdivision facilities and improvements as required in the approved preliminary land division. Development shall be in accordance with the plans and specifications as approved by the city subject to compliance with all conditions and requirements of the preliminary approval.

C.    For the purposes of this section, the examiner shall have all the powers of the director (except for that of the SEPA responsible official), and those powers necessary to fulfill his/her function as land use hearing examiner, including recommendations for docketing revisions to plans and development regulations (see Section 15.12.030). (Ord. 2975-07 § 4, 2007; Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(7), 2001)

15.16.205 Variances to the requirements of the zoning code (EMC Title 19).

A.    Criteria. The criteria to be used for evaluating variance requests are specified in Section 19.41.130(C).

B.    Denial of a Variance. Denial of a variance or a minor change of an approved site plan shall become effective as of the date set forth in the order. No person shall be allowed to apply for the same variance or minor change on the same site within one year following the effective date of the order denying the variance or minor change. (Ord. 2975-07 § 2, 2007)

15.16.210 Examiner’s decision and recommendation—Findings required.

When the examiner renders a decision or recommendation, the examiner shall make and enter written findings and conclusions from the record on all issues presented to the examiner, which support such recommendation or decision. Unless the applicant agrees to an extension or the examiner is hearing an appeal, the examiner shall render a decision or recommendation, as applicable, within ten working days of the conclusion of a hearing.

For land division applications, findings and conclusions required herein shall address the following, as applicable:

A.    Appropriate provisions, consistent with city development standards, are made for the public health, safety, and general welfare and for such open spaces, drainage ways, streets or roads, alleys, other public ways, transit stops, potable water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools and schoolgrounds and all other relevant facts, including sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students who only walk to and from school; and

B.    The public use and interest will be served by the platting of such subdivision and dedication. (Ord. 3460-15 § 3, 2015: Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(8), 2001)

15.16.220 Notice of examiner’s decision.

Not later than three working days following the rendering of a written decision or recommendation, copies shall be mailed to the applicant and to other persons who have requested notice of the decision by signing a register provided at the hearing. Alternatively, the city may transmit the decision electronically to any person who so indicates on the register at the hearing. The city shall retain the right to charge a reasonable fee to recover costs associated with providing such copies. The person mailing such decision shall prepare an affidavit of mailing, in standard form, and such affidavit shall become a part of the record of such proceedings. If the examiner is making a recommendation to the city council, the recommendation and a copy of the examiner’s record shall be transmitted to the city council. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(9), 2001)

15.16.230 Reconsideration.

Any aggrieved party of record who has actively participated in the hearing before the examiner may file a written request for reconsideration with the examiner within ten working days after the written decision of the examiner has been rendered. “Actively participated in the hearing before the examiner” means the party has submitted oral or written testimony, excluding persons who have merely signed a petition. This request shall set forth the specified errors of fact and/or law relied upon. The examiner may deny the request in writing or issue a revised decision or reconvene the public hearing. If the hearing is reconvened, notice of said reconvened hearing shall be mailed to all parties of record not less than ten working days prior to the hearing date. The examiner’s written decision shall be rendered within fifteen working days of the conclusion of the reconvened hearing. Notice of the decision shall be provided as specified in Section 15.16.220. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(10), 2001)

15.16.240 Remand from council.

When the city council entertains a recommendation from the examiner, the city council may accept the findings or conclusions of the examiner, remand the recommendation to the examiner or reverse the decision of the examiner. Council’s action shall be based upon the examiner’s record. No new information or evidence may be presented to the city council. After receiving the recommendation following remand, the city council shall either accept the recommendation of the examiner or reverse the decision of the examiner. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(11), 2001)

15.16.250 Appeal of city’s decision.

The decision of the examiner constitutes the final decision of the city except when the examiner makes a recommendation to city council, then the final decision of the city shall be the city council’s. Appeals of the city’s final decision shall be to Snohomish County superior court in accordance with Chapter 36.70C RCW; provided, however, appeals from the city’s final decision on shoreline permits shall be to the Shoreline Hearings Board under Chapter 90.58 RCW. Any appeals shall be in accordance with the appeals section of this title (see Chapter 15.24, Article IV). (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(12), 2001)

15.16.260 Dismissal—Exhaustion.

A.    Under a motion filed by the city or a party to the appeal, the examiner may summarily dismiss an appeal or application in whole or in part without hearing when the examiner determines that the appeal or application is untimely, without merit on face, frivolous, beyond the scope of his/her jurisdiction, brought merely to secure a delay or that the applicant/appellant lacks standing. If the examiner issues a dismissal order, the examiner shall explain the reasons for the dismissal.

B.    If the examiner issues an order requiring the applicant, or any other party to the appeal, to provide additional information within a specified time period, and the party to which the order is directed fails to provide the information by the required deadline, the examiner may dismiss the appeal, issue a decision on the basis of information in the record, or take other action as deemed appropriate by the examiner.

C.    No person may seek judicial review of any decision or determination of the city unless the person first exhausts the administrative remedies provided by the city, except for an appeal of a determination by the director that a proposed land use is in violation of the zoning code. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(13), 2001)

15.16.270 Jurisdiction retained by examiner.

Whenever the examiner renders a decision, the examiner retains jurisdiction for the purpose of making minor changes. A “minor change” is one or more changes which do not alter the scope of the decision. Upon receipt of an application for a minor change, the examiner may approve or disapprove a minor change by issuance of a written order. It shall be the discretion of the examiner to reconvene the hearing. If the examiner does not reconvene the hearing, the examiner may request written clarification or comments of the minor changes. Such comments will become part of the official record. Copies of the order shall be mailed to all parties of record. Within ten days of the issuance of the order, a party of record may submit a written request with the examiner’s office requesting a hearing. Upon receipt of such request, the examiner’s order approving the minor change will be stayed pending the hearing. Absent receipt of a request for hearing, the order shall become final upon expiration of the ten-day period. An open record hearing on a proposed change shall be considered a subsequent action and is not barred by the limitation on a single open record hearing for a land use permit. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 4(D)(14), 2001)

Article V. Review Process IV:
Board of Adjustment—Public Hearing for Variance

15.16.280 Applicability.

Repealed by Ord. 2975-07. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 5(A), 2001)

15.16.290 Hearing.

Repealed by Ord. 2975-07. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 5(B), 2001)

15.16.300 Review criteria.

Repealed by Ord. 2975-07. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 5(C), 2001)

15.16.310 Action taken.

Repealed by Ord. 2975-07. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 5(D), 2001)

Article VI. Review Process VA:
Planning Commission and City Council Review

15.16.320 City council decisionmaking.

Two types of discretionary decisions are made by city council. One type of decision relates to legislative decisions and shall be governed solely by Chapter 15.32 (see Section 15.16.350 for an illustrative list of these actions). A second type is a quasi-judicial decision that relates to an approval of a specific proposed project on specific property, which follows Review Process IIIB, Review Process VA, or Review Process VB procedures in this chapter, as applicable. This type of decision does not include a request to city council to authorize or fund a city project or to participate in a project that will subsequently be applying for a land use permit (which shall be legislative decisions). (Ord. 2992-07 § 1, 2007: Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 6(A), 2001)

15.16.330 Applicability.

Review Process VA applies and is limited to land use permit applications that require a recommendation by the planning commission and a decision by the city council. These quasi-judicial actions include:

A.    Adoption of a “planned development” overlay zone or a rezone or other zoning revision that is not of area-wide significance or general applicability;

B.    Adoption of institutional overlay zone that is not of area-wide significance or general applicability as provided by Section 19.33B.030;

C.    Changes or revisions to institutional overlay zone master plan which are not consistent with prior city council approval (Section 19.33B.060);

D.    Modification of design criteria for design overlay zone as provided by Section 19.31.070;

E.    PRD proposal requiring a comprehensive plan change;

F.    Special aviation uses in the zoning code (Section 19.41.150(D)). (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 6(B), 2001)

15.16.340 Action taken.

Following a public hearing or meeting, the planning commission shall make a recommendation to the city council. The city council shall hold an open public hearing on the planning commission recommendation. In reviewing the recommendation of the planning commission, the city council shall have the authority to approve, disapprove or modify the proposal in whole or in part, or continue its open public hearing and remand the proposal in its entirety or the portions of the proposal about which it has concerns to the planning commission for further consideration. The planning commission may hold a public hearing or meeting as part of its deliberations on any remand. Public notice shall be provided as specified in Chapter 15.24.

The city council decision shall take the form of an ordinance or resolution that represents the final decision of the city, supported by findings and conclusions. The ordinance or resolution may be accompanied by other documents, such as a development agreement. Any appeals shall be to superior court in accordance with the appeals section of this title (Chapter 15.24). (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 6(C), 2001)

15.16.350 Informational list of legislative actions.

The city council also makes certain legislative decisions regarding land use actions. Those decisions are not subject to the local project review procedures set forth in this title.

The legislative decisions are governed solely by Chapter 15.32 and are listed here only for purposes of providing in this subsection an informational listing of common land use actions taken by the city council. These actions include the adoption or revision of any of the following:

A.    Comprehensive plan or comprehensive plan map;

B.    Subarea plan;

C.    Planned action ordinance or resolution;

D.    Area rezone in conjunction with a comprehensive plan change;

E.    Planned development or other overlay zone;

F.    Development regulation or other code revisions, including revisions to the zoning code text;

G.    Any other legislative action identified in the zoning code as Review Process V. (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 6(D), 2001)

Article VII. Review Process VB:
Historic Commission and City Council Review

15.16.360 Applicability.

Review Process VB applies to historic commission and city council review of proposed demolition of a structure listed in the Everett register of historic places or property within an Everett register historic district only. Proposals require a public hearing or meeting before the historic commission and an open public hearing before the city council.

A.    Historic overlay zone designation as provided by Section 19.33.020;

B.    Modification to historic overlay zone standards for properties within an H overlay zone (Section 19.33.100). (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 7(A), 2001)

15.16.370 Action taken.

The historic commission shall make a recommendation to city council. The city council shall hold an open public hearing on the recommendation of the historic commission and make the final decision. The city council shall adopt findings and conclusions as part of its decision. The city council may by act by motion, resolution or other method.

In reviewing the recommendation of the historic commission, the city council shall have the authority to approve, disapprove or modify the proposal in whole or in part, or continue its open public hearing and remand the proposal in its entirety or the portions of the proposal about which it has concerns to the historic commission for further consideration. The historic commission may hold a public hearing or meeting as part of its deliberations on any remand. Public notice shall be provided as specified in Chapter 15.24. Any appeals shall be to superior court in accordance with the appeals section of this title (Chapter 15.24). (Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 7(B), 2001)

Article VIII. Review Process VI:
City Council Review

15.16.380 Review Process VI.

Title 18 requires the city council “upon completion of the project in full compliance with the resolution of intent to rezone” to give effect to the rezone by making a change to the zoning boundary and zoning map. (Ord. 3619-18 § 6, 2018: Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 8(A), 2001)

15.16.390 Applicability.

Review Process VI applies only to final city council approval of the following:

A.    City council final approval of resolution of intent rezones. (Ord. 3619-18 § 7, 2018: Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 8(B), 2001)

15.16.400 Action taken.

A.    City Council Decision on Performance Agreement Rezones—Resolutions of Intent. As provided for in Section 19.41.160(D), the city shall give effect to a site specific rezone by the adoption of an ordinance or resolution, or by adoption of an ordinance or resolution in conjunction with a development agreement between the city and the applicant as provided in RCW 36.70B.170, to implement the rezone and make the change to the zone boundary or zone classification on the zoning map that was approved in the resolution of intent to rezone. The ordinance or resolution shall contain the legal description of the property being rezoned. (Ord. 3619-18 § 8, 2018: Ord. 2530-01, Ch. 4 § 8(C), 2001)