Chapter 14.10
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ADMINISTRATION1 Amended Ord. 22-932

Sections:

14.10.010    Designation of responsible official.

14.10.020    Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

14.10.030    Fees.

14.10.040    Public notice. Amended Ord. 22-932

14.10.050    Notice – Statute of limitations.

14.10.060    Administrative appeals.

14.10.010 Designation of responsible official.

(1) For those proposals for which the city is a lead agency, the responsible official shall be the director of the department of community development. The responsible official shall make the threshold determination, supervise scoping and preparation of any required environmental impact statement, and perform any other functions assigned to the lead agency or responsible official by the State Environmental Policy Act rules.

(2) The responsible official shall be responsible for the city’s compliance with Chapter 197-11 WAC whenever the city is a consulted agency, and is authorized to develop operating procedures that will ensure that responses to consultation requests are prepared in a timely fashion and include data from all appropriate departments of the city.

(3) The director of the department of community development has the authority to adopt rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this title and has the authority to administer and enforce this title and any such rules and regulations. It is unlawful to violate or fail to comply with any provision of this title or any such rule or regulation.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 49, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 04-468, § 3, 11-16-04; Ord. No. 90-40, § 1(20.40.10, 20.40.20), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 18-46.)

14.10.020 Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

(1) The responsible official, upon receiving an application for a nonexempt action or initiation by a city department of a nonexempt action, shall determine the lead agency for that proposal under WAC 197-11-050 and 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, unless the lead agency has been previously determined or the responsible official is aware that another department or agency is in the process of determining the lead agency.

(2) When the city is not the lead agency for a proposal, all departments of the city shall use and consider as appropriate either the determination of nonsignificance or the final environmental impact statement of the lead agency in making decisions on the proposal. No city department shall prepare or require preparation of a determination of nonsignificance or environmental impact statement in addition to that prepared by the lead agency unless the responsible official determines a supplemental environmental review is necessary under WAC 197-11-600.

(3) If the city, or any of its departments, receives a lead agency determination made by another agency that appears inconsistent with the criteria of WAC 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, it may object to the determination. Any objection must be made to the agency originally making the determination or the city must petition the Department of Ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11-946 within the 15-day time period. Any such petition on behalf of the city shall be initiated by the responsible official.

(4) The responsible official is authorized to make agreements as to lead agency status or shared lead agency’s duties for a proposal under WAC 197-11-942 and 197-11-944.

(5) The responsible official shall require sufficient information from the applicant to identify other agencies with jurisdiction.

(6) A “completed application and environmental checklist” is defined to be:

(a) Answers to all checklist items;

(b) All expanded environmental studies determined by the city to be required, whether provided by the city, another agency with jurisdiction and/or expertise, or by the applicant at the request of the city;

(c) Text description and documents for nonproject action;

(d) Master land use application;

(e) Self-addressed, stamped envelopes required pursuant to FWRC;

(f) All required filing fees.

(7) Within 28 days of receipt of an application and an environmental checklist, the responsible official shall either:

(a) Respond to the applicant in writing with a letter of completeness or incompleteness; or

(b) Request in writing any additional information reasonably related to the responsible official’s determination whether or not the proposal is likely to have significant adverse environmental impacts.

(8) In the event applicant submits less than the complete information requested by the responsible official pursuant to subsection (8)(a) or (b) of this section, the application shall not be considered complete.

(Ord. No. 20-898, § 3, 10-20-20; Ord. No. 04-468, § 3, 11-16-04; Ord. No. 93-192, § 1, 11-9-93; Ord. No. 90-40, § 1(20.50.10 – 20.50.50), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 18-47.)

14.10.030 Fees.

(1) The city shall establish fees for its activities in accordance with the provisions of this title:

(a) Threshold determination. For every environmental checklist the city will review when it is lead agency, the city shall collect a fee from the proponent of the proposal prior to undertaking the threshold determination. The time periods provided by this title for making a threshold determination shall not begin to run until payment of fees.

(b) Environmental impact statement.

(i) When the city is the lead agency for a proposal requiring an environmental impact statement and the responsible official determines that the environmental impact statement shall be prepared by employees of the city, the city may charge and collect a reasonable fee from any applicant to cover costs incurred, including overhead, by the city in preparing the environmental impact statement. The responsible official shall advise the applicant of the projected costs for the environmental impact statement prior to actual preparation.

(ii) The responsible official may determine that the city will contract directly with a consultant for preparation of an environmental impact statement, or a portion of the environmental impact statement, for activities initiated by some persons or an entity other than the city and may bill such costs incurred including overhead directly to the applicant. Such consultants shall be selected by the city.

(iii) The applicant shall pay the projected amount to the city prior to commencing work. The city will refund the excess, if any, at the completion of the environmental impact statement. If the city’s costs exceed the projected costs, the applicant shall immediately pay the excess, and the city is not obligated to proceed until the monies have been received. If a proposal is modified so that an environmental impact statement is no longer required, the responsible official shall refund any fees collected under subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this section which remain after incurred costs, including overhead, are paid.

(c) Appeals. All appeals shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable appeal fee.

(2) The city may collect a reasonable fee from an applicant to cover the cost of meeting the public notice requirements of this chapter relating to the applicant’s proposal. The city may charge any person for copies of any document prepared under this title, and for mailing the document in a manner provided by state law.

(Ord. No. 04-468, § 3, 11-16-04; Ord. No. 90-40, § 1(20.290.10 – 20.290.30), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 18-48.)

14.10.040 Public notice. Amended Ord. 22-932

(1) The city shall give public notice for project-related actions as follows:

(a) Notices will be posted on the city website, published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city, posted prominently on the site and mailed to all owners of real property as shown in the records of the county assessor located within 300 feet of the site and any interested party or agency who has filed its name directly with the responsible official or as part of a public hearing or scoping process for the following situations:

(i) When the responsible official issues a determination of nonsignificance, optional determination of nonsignificance, or mitigated determination of nonsignificance;

(ii) When an appeal had been filed related to a threshold determination as provided in this chapter;

(iii) A draft environmental impact statement is available for public review and comment.

(b) In addition to the requirements of subsection (1)(a) of this section, notices will be mailed to all owners of real property as shown in the records of the county assessor within 600 feet of a proposed project-related action for the following situations:

(i) When the city commences scoping;

(ii) Whenever the city holds a public hearing as required by WAC 197-11-535.

(2) Notice of public hearing shall be issued no later than 14 days before a public hearing.

(3) Notice of a threshold determination or environmental impact statement hearing on nonproject proposals shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city, mailed to interested parties or agencies who have registered with the city, and posted in the City Hall and library.

(4) The responsible official shall maintain a public list of all State Environmental Policy Act actions known as the “City of Federal Way State Environmental Policy Act Register.” The register shall be available for public inspection during normal working hours. The register will be revised as needed and the responsible official will mail copies to any person who has made a request and paid in advance a fee based on the cost of reproducing and mailing. The requirements of this subsection are not mandated by state regulations but will be provided by the city as voluntary extra notice. Failure to provide this notice shall not affect the validity of any action or proceeding related to the State Environmental Policy Act.

(5) The responsible official shall maintain a public list of the names of parties or agencies who have indicated interest in receiving public notices related to any State Environmental Policy Act procedures.

(6) The city may require an applicant to compensate the city for costs of compliance with the public notice requirements for the applicant’s proposal or to provide addressed lists and addressed, stamped envelopes, unless that requirement is waived by the responsible official.

(Ord. No. 20-898, § 4, 10-20-20; Ord. No. 04-468, § 3, 11-16-04; Ord. No. 90-40, § 1(20.180.10 – 20.180.60), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 18-49.)

14.10.050 Notice – Statute of limitations.

The city, applicant or proponent may publish a notice of action as provided by RCW 43.21C.080 for any final action taken under the provisions of this chapter. The form of the notice shall be substantially in the form provided in WAC 197-11-990.

(Ord. No. 04-468, § 3, 11-16-04; Ord. No. 90-40, § 1(20.250), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 18-50.)

14.10.060 Administrative appeals.

(1) Any interested party may appeal to the hearing examiner a threshold determination, a determination of the adequacy of a final environmental impact statement, and the conditioning or denial of an action. No more than one appeal may occur regarding threshold determinations or final environmental impact statements and the appeal shall consolidate any appeals of procedural and substantive determinations under SEPA with any hearing or appeal on the underlying action in a single simultaneous hearing before one hearing officer, except for appeals of a determination of significance; appeals of a procedural determination made by an agency when the agency is the project proponent, or is funding the project; and appeals of a procedural determination made by an agency on a nonproject action. The appeal shall be conducted under the provisions of process IV; provided, that the notice distribution requirements of process IV shall be replaced with the notice distribution requirements of FWRC 14.10.040.

(2) Appeals are subject to the provisions of WAC 197-11-680(3), and the restrictions in RCW 36.70B.050 and 36.70B.060 that local governments provide no more than one open record hearing and one closed record appeal for permit decisions.

(3) All appeals filed under this section must be filed in writing with the city clerk within 14 calendar days of the date of the decision appealed or the conclusion of the comment period or completion of the giving of required notices, whichever is longer; provided, that appeals of determinations of nonsignificance for which public comment is required are extended seven additional days. All appeals shall contain a specific statement of reasons why the decision of the responsible official is alleged to be in error.

(Ord. No. 14-760, § 13, 3-4-14; Ord. No. 09-594, § 15, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-573, § 9, 12-4-07; Ord. No. 04-468, § 3, 11-16-04; Ord. No. 97-291, § 3, 4-1-97; Ord. No. 93-185, § 1, 8-17-93; Ord. No. 92-133, § 4, 4-21-92; Ord. No. 90-40, § 1(20.240.10 – 20.240.70), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 18-51.)


1

Cross reference: City government, FWRC Title 2.