Chapter 12.16
STREET AND ALLEY VACATIONS

Sections:

12.16.010    Owner defined.

12.16.020    Owners of private property – Sufficient signature determination.

12.16.030    Petition – Right to make.

12.16.040    Petition – Contents – Signatures.

12.16.050    Petition – Filing fee.

12.16.060    Petition – Hearing – Time fixed.

12.16.070    Petition – Withdrawal prohibited.

12.16.080    Hearing – Posting notice.

12.16.090    Hearing – Decision.

12.16.100    Petitions – Supplemental – Conditions.

12.16.110    Granting – Conditions.

12.16.120    Easements

12.16.130    Rededication.

12.16.140    Waterfront.

12.16.150    Compensation.

12.16.160    Recording.

12.16.170    Granting – Portion of petitioned area.

12.16.010 Owner defined.

The term “owner of an interest in real estate” means the owner of fee title, mortgagors and contract vendees. (Ord. 281 § 1, 1990).

12.16.020 Owners of private property – Sufficient signature determination.

For the purpose of determining the sufficiency of signatures of owners of private property on the petition or consent to vacate, the following rules shall govern:

(A) The signature of an owner, as determined by the records of the county auditor, shall be sufficient without the signature of his or her spouse.

(B) In the case of mortgaged property, the signature of the mortgagor shall be sufficient.

(C) In the case of property subject to a contract of purchase, the signature of the contract vendee shall be required.

(D) In the case of ownership by corporation, the signature of any officer authorized by the bylaws or resolution of the board of directors shall be sufficient when evidenced by an excerpt of the bylaws or the resolution, certified by the secretary of the corporation, granting such authority.

(E) In the case of property owned by the estate of a decedent or incompetent, the signature of the duly qualified administrator or executor or guardian shall be equivalent to the signature of the owner of the property. (Ord. 281 § 2, 1990).

12.16.030 Petition – Right to make.

The owners of an interest in any real estate abutting upon any street or alley may petition the town council to vacate the street or alley or any portion thereof, or the town council may itself initiate such vacation procedures by resolution. (Ord. 281 § 3, 1990).

12.16.040 Petition – Contents – Signatures.

The petition shall describe the street or alley or a portion thereof desired to be vacated, and shall be signed by the owners of more than two-thirds of the private property abutting upon the part of the street or alley sought to be vacated. (Ord. 281 § 4, 1990).

12.16.050 Petition – Filing fee.

The petition properly signed shall be filed with the town clerk upon payment of a filing fee, which shall be paid into the general fund of the town to aid in defraying of expenses incurred by the town in checking the sufficiency of such petition and investigating or reporting the facts, and shall not be returned to the petitioners regardless of the town council’s action on such petition. The amount of the fee shall be determined as follows:

(A) One to five separate ownerships abutting the proposed vacation, a minimum fee of $10.00;

(B) An additional sum of one dollar for each additional ownership over five. (Ord. 281 § 5, 1990).

12.16.060 Petition – Hearing – Time fixed.

(A) Petition Method. If signed by the owners of more than two-thirds of the property abutting the portion of the street or alley to be vacated, at a regular council meeting following the filing of such petition, the council, by resolution, shall fix a time when the petition will be heard and determined, which time shall not be more than 60 days nor less than 20 days after the date of passage of such resolution.

(B) Resolution Method. In cases where vacation is initiated by town council resolution, the resolution shall include the date for a hearing on the vacation. (Ord. 281 § 6, 1990).

12.16.070 Petition – Withdrawal prohibited.

No petitioner may withdraw his petition or consent after the council has set a time for hearing, although the petitioner may be heard at the public hearing, to present any information which bears upon the public advantage to be served or harmed by the proposed vacation. (Ord. 281 § 7, 1990).

12.16.080 Hearing – Posting notice.

(A) Petition Method. At least twenty days prior to the hearing, the town clerk shall issue a written notice which shall be posted as follows:

(1) In three of the most public places in the town, and

(2) In a conspicuous place on a portion of the street or alley to be vacated.

The notice shall contain a statement that a petition requesting vacation has been filed or a resolution passed to vacate the portion described in the notice, along with a statement of the time and place set for the hearing on the matter.

(B) Resolution Method – Additional Notice. In all cases where the proceeding is initiated by town council resolution, in addition to the above-required notice, a similar notice shall be sent by mail at least fifteen days before the hearing to each owner of any property abutting upon any part of the street or alley sought to be vacated. Ownership shall be determined as shown on the rolls of the county treasurer, and directed to the address shown thereon.

(C) Resolution Method – Divestiture of Jurisdiction to Proceed. If 50 percent or more of the abutting property owners file written objections to the proposed vacation with the clerk, prior to the time of hearing, the town shall not proceed with the resolution. (Ord. 281 § 8, 1990).

12.16.090 Hearing – Decision.

At the time of the hearing on the vacation, or at such time as the same may be continued by the town council, the matter shall be considered, and those desiring to speak on the vacation shall be heard. Following the hearing, the council shall determine whether to grant the petition and/or proceed with the vacation. Such determination shall include, but not be limited to, consideration of the following criteria:

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

(B) Whether the substitution of a new and different way would be more useful to the public; or

(C) Whether the substitution of a new and different way would be more useful to the public; or

(D) Whether conditions may so change in the future as to provide a greater use or need than presently exists; and

(E) Whether objections to the proposed vacation are made by owners of private property (exclusive of petitioners) abutting the same. (Ord. 281 § 9, 1990).

12.16.100 Petitions – Supplemental – Conditions.

Supplemental petitions, or objections, containing signatures of additional persons or owners of abutting property petitioning for and consenting to such vacation may be filed as a part of, and considered with, the initial petition; provided, that such supplemental petitions shall not extend the description of the area sought to be vacated or add a new or different condition to such vacation. (Ord. 281 § 10, 1990).

12.16.110 Granting – Conditions.

If the town council dvetermines to grant the vacation, such action shall be made by ordinance with such conditions or limitations as the council deems necessary and proper to preserve any desired public use or benefit. (Ord. 281 § 11 (part), 1990)

12.16.120 Easements.

If the town council deems that to grant the vacation shall be to the public’s interest and advantage, the council may, by ordinance, vacate such street, alley or part thereof, reserving to the town an easement or the right to exercise and grant easements in respect to the vacated land for the construction, repair and maintenance of public utilities and services and may impose such other conditions or limitations as it deems necessary and proper to preserve any desired public use or benefit. (Ord. 281 § 11 (A), 1990).

12.16.130 Rededication.

If the council finds that future development of undeveloped land abutting such street or alley may alter or increase need or public use in such strip, such vacation may be granted only upon execution of a covenant running with such abutting land to rededicate such a portion upon a declaration of public use and necessity by the council. (Ord. 281 § 11 (B), 1990).

12.16.140 Waterfront.

The town shall not be authorized or have authority to vacate such street or alley, or any parts thereof, if any portion thereof abuts on any body of water unless such vacation is sought to enable the town to acquire the property for port purposes, boat moorage or launching sites, park, viewpoint, recreational or educational purposes, or other public uses. This proviso shall not apply to industrial zoned property. (Ord. 281 § 11 (C), 1990).

12.16.150 Compensation.

Any ordinance granting a street or alley vacation may provide that it shall not become effective until the owners of property abutting upon each side of the street or alley, or part thereof so vacated, shall compensate the town by the following formula:

(A) Using the most current Snohomish County Assessor Roll, the town will determine the assessed value of the property most adjacent to the property to be vacated. The town will then be compensated by one half of that figure.

(B) Should that figure not be acceptable to either the petitioner or the town, then an appraiser approved by both the town and the petitioner shall be contracted. The party or parties who object shall be responsible for the appraiser’s fee.

(C) The town may waive compensation for public facilities or institutions. (Ord. 281 § 11 (D), 1990).

12.16.160 Recording.

Upon its effective date, a certified copy of the ordinance granting vacation shall be recorded by the city clerk in the office of the Snohomish County Department of Records and Elections. (Ord. 281 § 11 (E), 1990).

12.16.170 Granting – Portion of petitioned area.

If, after a hearing, the council determines that the petition cannot be granted in whole, but that a portion of the area described in the original petition may be vacated, the council may, by ordinance, vacate such portion in accord with the provisions of Sections 12.16.110 through 12.16.160. (Ord. 281 § 12, 1990).