Chapter 16.08


16.08.010    Purpose.

16.08.020    Definitions.

16.08.030    Applicability.

16.08.040    Application.

16.08.050    Resubdivision prohibition.

16.08.060    Preliminary approval.

16.08.070    Design – General.

16.08.080    Design – Minimum lot size.

16.08.090    Design – Frontage.

16.08.100    Design – Setbacks.

16.08.110    Design – Lot access.

16.08.120    Design – Public streets.

16.08.130    Design – Private roads.

16.08.140    Design – Easements.

16.08.150    Final approval.

16.08.160    Vacation and alteration.

16.08.170    Appeals.

16.08.180    Prohibitions.

16.08.190    Injunctive remedy.

16.08.200    Violation and enforcement.

16.08.010 Purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are:

A. To comply with Chapter 58.17 RCW, which mandates that towns adopt regulations, procedures, and appoint personnel for the approval of short subdivisions; and

B. To protect the public health, safety and general welfare by requiring that the division of land into two or more, but less than five, parcels proceeds in accordance with standards which will prevent the overcrowding of land; facilitate adequate provisions for water supplies, sewage, drainage ways, fire and police protection; provide adequate space, light and air; provide for proper ingress and egress; ensure convergence by accurate legal descriptions; and ensure that the general taxpaying public is not in the future required to incur development costs which are rightfully the responsibility of the subdivider. (Ord. 1059 § 1, 1998)

16.08.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter the terms set out in this section shall have the meanings indicated.

A. “Dedication” means the deliberate appropriation of land by an owner for any general and public use, reserving to the owner no other rights than such as are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public uses to which the property has been devoted. Public dedication shall not be construed to include the deeding of additional rights-of-way for the purpose of widening existing town streets. The intention to dedicate shall be evidenced by the owner by the presentment for filing of a final short plat showing the dedication thereon and the acceptance by the public shall be evidenced by the approval of such short plat for filing by the town.

B. “Final short plat” means the final drawing of the short plat and dedication prepared for filing for record with the county auditor and containing all elements and requirements set forth in this chapter and state law.

C. “Lot” means a fractional part of short- platted lands, having fixed boundaries and being of sufficient area and dimension to meet minimum zoning requirements for width and area. The term shall include tracts and parcels.

D. “Lot depth” means the distance measured from the midpoint of the lot line fronting a road or street to the midpoint of the line opposite.

E. “Lot width” means the distance measured between the midpoints of the two principal side lot lines at approximately right angles to the lot depth.

F. “Preliminary short plat” means an initial drawing of a proposed short plat showing the general layout of streets and alleys, lots, blocks, and other elements of a proposed short plat, which shall be the basis for approval or disapproval of the general layout of a short plat.

G. “Replat” means a map or representation of a short plat that has been altered, vacated, or partially vacated.

H. “Short subdivision” means the division or redivision of land into four or fewer lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions for the purpose of sale, lease, or transfer of ownership. (Ord. 1059 § 2, 1998)

16.08.030 Applicability.

Except under those circumstances set forth in RCW 58.17.040, every division of land within the town into four or less lots, parcels or tracts shall proceed in compliance with this chapter. (Ord. 1059 § 3, 1998)

16.08.040 Application.

The land use administrator is vested with the duty of administering the provisions of this chapter. Any person intending to divide land under this chapter shall submit a short plat application, which shall include a map and the following information:

A. The name of the proposed short subdivision;

B. The legal description of land contained within the short subdivision;

C. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of all persons, firms, and corporations holding interests in said land;

D. The name, address, telephone number and seal of the registered land surveyor who made, or under whose supervision was made, a survey of the proposed short subdivision;

E. The date of said survey;

F. The boundary lines of the proposed short subdivision;

G. The location of all existing monuments and markers;

H. The boundaries of all blocks and lots within the proposed short subdivision, together with the numbers proposed to be assigned each lot and block;

I. The location, names and width of all existing streets and easements within the proposed short subdivision and adjacent thereto;

J. The location and, where ascertainable, sizes of all permanent buildings, wells, watercourses, all bodies of water, all utilities, municipal boundaries, section lines, township lines, and other important features existing upon or under the land proposed to be short subdivided;

K. A layout of proposed streets, alleys, utility mains, and parcels;

L. A map of the general vicinity in which the land proposed for short subdivision lies, upon which are identified owners of land adjacent to the subdivision and the names of any adjacent subdivisions;

M. A copy of all restrictive covenants proposed to be imposed upon land within the subdivision;

N. The calculated area in square feet of all lots;

O. Space for approval by the town; and

P. A certificate signed by the county treasurer certifying that all taxes for one year in advance, on all the property in the proposed short subdivision, and all delinquent assessments for which the land within the short subdivision may have been liable have been duly paid, satisfied or discharged. Said certificate shall read as follows:

TREASURER’S CERTIFICATE: All taxes and assessments of the current year, _______, including advance taxes per RCW 58.08.040, for current year tax not yet levied or certified and any delinquent taxes or assessments which have become a lien upon the lands herein described have been fully paid and discharged according to the records of my office. If any penalty fees are due under the provisions of the Open Space or DFL Law (Chapters 84.33 and 84.34 RCW), this does not guarantee that they have been paid. ______________________________

San Juan County Treasurer    Date

(Ord. 1281 § 2, 2005; Ord. 1059 § 4, 1998)

16.08.050 Resubdivision prohibition.

Land divided under this chapter may not be further divided in any manner for a period of five years from the date of recording of the final short plat unless it is divided in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 16.04 FHMC, except that when the short plat contains fewer than four parcels, this section shall not prevent the owner or owners of any lot or lots within the boundaries of the original short plat from filing an application within the five-year period to create up to a total of four lots within the boundaries of the original short plat, so long as the owners of all lots located within the boundaries of the original short plat shall provide written consent at the time of application. (Ord. 1059 § 5, 1998)

16.08.060 Preliminary approval.

A. A completed application shall be submitted to the land use administrator, accompanied by an original preliminary short plat and necessary fees. This application and preliminary short plat will be reviewed and approved or disapproved by the land use administrator, who shall determine if the proposed short plat meets the requirements of this chapter.

B. Whenever the property proposed for a short plat contains development that is connected to the town’s water system or sewer system, or both, preliminary approval shall not be given until one of the following requirements is met:

1. All of the existing development will be located on only one of the proposed lots; or

2. Where the existing development will be on more than one of the proposed lots, the preliminary plat must indicate which one of the proposed lots being served by the town shall be entitled to continued water service through the existing connection and must also indicate that new approved water service connections for all other proposed lots then receiving town water services must be obtained as a condition of final approval. (Ord. 1311 § 1, 2006; Ord. 1059 § 6, 1998)

16.08.070 Design – General.

A. All streets, private roads, sidewalks, curbs, storm sewers, and related structures or devices shall be designed for construction in accordance with town standards in effect at the time of preliminary approval.

B. Land on which exists any topographical condition hazardous to the safety or general welfare of persons or property in or near a proposed short subdivision shall not be short subdivided unless the construction of protective improvements will eliminate the hazards, or not expose persons or property to the hazard. Protective improvements and restrictions on use shall be clearly noted on the short plat. (Ord. 1059 § 7, 1998)

16.08.080 Design – Minimum lot size.

The minimum lot size for any lot short subdivided under this chapter shall be 9,000 square feet. (Ord. 1059 § 8, 1998)

16.08.090 Design – Frontage.

No lot shall have a width of less than 60 feet at the front or rear building site lines and every lot shall have at least 30 feet of frontage upon the public access. (Ord. 1422 § 2, 2010; Ord. 1059 § 9, 1998)

16.08.100 Design – Setbacks.

Every short plat shall provide upon its face a setback restriction that complies with the setback requirements of the zone within which the plat exists. (Ord. 1059 § 10, 1998)

16.08.110 Design – Lot access.

All lots shall be served by a public street or by an approved private road, as determined by the town. (Ord. 1146 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1059 § 11, 1998)

16.08.120 Design – Public streets.

Where a short subdivision abuts a public street having insufficient width to conform to current minimum design standards for town streets, dedication of sufficient additional rights-of-way to the town may be offered. (Ord. 1059 § 12, 1998)

16.08.130 Design – Private roads.

All private roads within a short subdivision shall comply with the following requirements:

A. Private roads shall include a cul-de-sac and shall have a minimum right-of-way easement of 30 feet, except for the area of the cul-de-sac, which shall be sufficient to accommodate a 25-foot radius. The road easement, including the cul-de-sac area, shall be set forth on the face of the plat;

B. The area of any lot burdened by the private road easement shall not be included within the calculation of lot area for purposes of minimum lot size under FHMC 16.08.080 or any other applicable town ordinance;

C. The short plat shall expressly set forth the terms of a private road maintenance agreement, binding upon all lots within the short plat, and shall state that construction, maintenance, and drainage of the private road shall not be the responsibility of the town; and

D. Prior to any new development on any lot accessed by a private road, the applicant for the development permit shall install a hard surface road to the new lot, with a minimum width of 20 feet. If the lot abuts a cul-de-sac within the short subdivision, the applicant shall also install a hard surface on it, with a minimum finished radius of 25 feet. (Ord. 1146 § 3, 4, 2000; Ord. 1059 § 13, 1998)

16.08.140 Design – Easements.

Easements for all utilities, public and private, shall be of sufficient width to assure maintenance and to permit future utility installations. (Ord. 1059 § 14, 1998)

16.08.150 Final approval.

A final short plat, conforming to all of the terms of the preliminary short plat approval, shall be furnished to the land use administrator for filing within one year of preliminary approval. All information set forth on the face of the final short plat shall also be furnished in such digital form as is required by the town. A final short plat shall not be deemed approved until filed with the county auditor. The subdivider shall bear all costs of such filing and reproduction of necessary copies. (Ord. 1059 § 15, 1998)

16.08.160 Vacation and alteration.

Whenever any person is interested in the vacation of any short plat or portion thereof, the town shall process such request in accordance with the provisions of RCW 58.17.212 and/or 58.17.215, as applicable; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to land platted prior to October 14, 1971, the effective date of Ordinance No. 379. (Ord. 1270 § 2, 2005; Ord. 1059 § 16, 1998)

16.08.170 Appeals.

Any person who deems himself/herself aggrieved by any decision, interpretation or action of the administrator may request a review of that decision, interpretation or action of the administrator by the council. Such request must be made in writing to the administrator within 14 days after the date of the administrator’s action. Said written request shall state clearly the basis for the appeal. Within seven days of receiving such a request, the administrator will forward to the council all pertinent documents required for the short subdivision application, the written request for review, and a written analysis of the issues involved in the appeal. The administrator shall send copies of the analysis to the applicant and the appellant. (Ord. 1059 § 17, 1998)

16.08.180 Prohibitions.

No building permit, shoreline management permit, or other development permit shall be issued for any lots divided in violation of this chapter. The prohibition contained in this section shall not apply to an innocent purchaser for value without actual notice. All purchasers or transferees of property shall comply with provisions of this chapter and each purchaser or transferee may recover his damages from any person, firm, corporation or agent selling, transferring or leasing land in violation of this chapter, including any amount reasonably spent as a result of inability to obtain any development permit and spent to conform to the requirements of this chapter as well as cost of investigation, suit, and reasonable attorney’s fees occasioned thereby. Such purchaser, transferee or lessor may, as an alternative to conforming his property to these requirements, rescind the sale, transfer or lease and recover cost of investigation, suit, and reasonable attorney’s fees occasioned thereby. Following preliminary approval, property may be offered for sale or lease prior to the approval and recording of the final short plat as long as any offer or agreement for sale or lease shall expressly include a provision stating that the offer is subject to approval of the final short plat and that installation or construction of all required improvements to the property, and review, approval and recording of the final short plat shall be accomplished prior to completion of any sale or lease. (Ord. 1059 § 18, 1998)

16.08.190 Injunctive remedy.

Whenever any parcel of land is divided in violation of this chapter and any person, firm, corporation, or agent sells, transfers or leases any such lot, tract or parcel without having a final short plat recorded as required herein, the town shall commence an action to restrain and enjoin further subdivisions or sales, transfers or leases, and compel compliance with all provisions of this chapter. The costs of such action shall be taxed against the person, firm, corporation or agent selling, transferring or leasing property. In the enforcement of this chapter, the town may accept an assurance of discontinuance of any act or practice deemed in violation of this chapter from any person engaging in such act or practice. Any such assurance shall be in writing and shall be filed with and subject to the approval of the San Juan County superior court. The violation of such assurance shall constitute prima facie proof of a violation of this chapter. (Ord. 1059 § 19, 1998)

16.08.200 Violation and enforcement.

A. A violation of this chapter or of any condition placed upon an approved plat is hereby declared both a public nuisance and a Class 1 civil infraction, as defined in Chapter 1.18 FHMC. Each day that a violation of this chapter exists may be treated as a separate infraction.

B. Except in circumstances where there is a serious and imminent threat to public health or safety the town shall attempt to gain compliance by use of the civil infraction procedures set forth in Chapter 1.18 FHMC, prior to filing a public nuisance abatement action in San Juan County superior court.

C. The penalty for committing a civil infraction under this chapter shall be as set forth in Chapter 1.18 FHMC. (Ord. 1644 § 1, 2018; Ord. 1059 § 20, 1998)