Chapter 18.01


18.01.010    Short title.

18.01.020    Authority, jurisdiction, compliance and applicability.

18.01.030    Purpose and intent of the Land Use Code.

18.01.040    Elements of the Land Use Code.

18.01.050    Authority and vested rights.

18.01.060    Time computation.

18.01.070    Fractions computation.

18.01.080    Map incorporated.

18.01.090    Relationship to the Comprehensive Plan.

18.01.100    Relationship to existing zoning, and other land use regulations.

18.01.010 Short title.

This Code is established and shall be known as the Issaquah Land Use Code, hereinafter “this Code.” (Ord. 2108 § 1.1, 1996).

18.01.020 Authority, jurisdiction, compliance and applicability.

A.    Legislative Authority: This Code is enacted under the authority of Article XI, Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution, and Chapter 35A.63 RCW (Planning and Zoning in Code Cities).

B.    Jurisdiction: This Code shall be effective within the corporate boundaries of the City of Issaquah, hereinafter “the City.”

C.    Compliance: No person may use, occupy or sell any land or buildings or authorize or permit the use, occupancy, or sale of land or buildings under such person’s control except in accordance with all of the applicable provisions of this Code, including Chapter 18.08 IMC (Nonconforming Situations).

D.    Applicability – Effective Date:

1.    Standards:

a.    Permit Applications and Amendments to Previously Approved Permits: This Code, as adopted and amended, applies to every development, use, action or activity commenced or engaged in after the effective date of this Code or Code amendment.

b.    Previously Approved Permits: The standards as established by the effective date in this Code shall not apply to those specific Development Permits which, prior to the City’s adoption of said Code, have received specific permit approval from the City. Approved permits include, but are not limited to, any of the following permits: Site Development Permit; Administrative Site Development Permit; Master Site Plan; Clearing/Grading; Building; Shoreline Master Program Conditional Use, Variance, Substantial Development and Exemption Permits. The standards as established by this Code shall apply to these approved permits only if a new application for a permit or amendment is submitted for review and approval. Upon application submittal for a permit or amendment, all standards of said Code are applicable to the project or development.

c.    Pipeline Projects: The standards established by this Code shall apply only to those project applications submitted after the effective date of this Code. Those complete project applications received before the effective date shall comply with the standards existing at the time of the complete application.

2.    Procedures: All the procedures established by the adoption of this Code shall be applicable to all new development review proposals as well as all development review proposals that are currently within the development review process. Interpretations regarding a current proposal’s review process shall be made by the Planning Director/Manager. (Ord. 2108 § 1.2, 1996).

18.01.030 Purpose and intent of the Land Use Code.

The purpose and intent of this Code is to:

A.    Implement Issaquah’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan by:

1.    Coordinating the City’s current and policy planning efforts;

2.    Linking development to level of service and infrastructure needs by incorporating public financial implications into the planning and decision-making process;

3.    Using a regional approach by coordinating planning efforts with surrounding jurisdictions; and

4.    Creating a link between this Code and other adopted City plans and guidelines.

B.    Protect the public health, safety and welfare by:

1.    Minimizing public, private and environmental losses due to flooding;

2.    Providing adequate privacy, air quality and safety in residential areas;

3.    Facilitating the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public facilities and services, through the orderly application of these regulations designed to guide future growth and development; and

4.    Reducing traffic impacts on roads and highways.

C.    Require consistency, clarity and enforceability of the Land Use Code by:

1.    Establishing consistency within this Code and with other City regulations;

2.    Using nontechnical language and providing clear directions for users of this Code;

3.    Ensuring project review that is completed in an efficient, timely manner; and

4.    Establishing a development review process based on enforceable guidelines, criteria and standards.

D.    Require environmental excellence by:

1.    Establishing and implementing measures to preserve Issaquah’s unique natural beauty;

2.    Preventing degradation of the environment;

3.    Using Issaquah’s natural resources responsibly;

4.    Requiring that environmental impacts are properly mitigated, despite the pressures of growth;

5.    Recognizing manmade constraints; and

6.    Preserving environmentally critical areas. (Ord. 2108 § 1.3, 1996).

18.01.040 Elements of the Land Use Code.

The elements of this Code are:

A.    Zoning districts for the distribution of land uses which are compatible with neighboring land uses and environmental constraints;

B.    A zoning map delineating the land use districts of the City;

C.    Definitions of key terminology to ensure consistent interpretations and decisions;

D.    A development review process for making land use decisions;

E.    Administrative provisions delineating the specific implementation responsibilities of this Code; and

F.    Development standards which enhance and preserve the existing scale and design of the City. (Ord. 2108 § 1.4, 1996).

18.01.050 Authority and vested rights.

A.    Authority: Unless otherwise noted in this Code, the Development Services Department Director or his or her designee shall be responsible for administering this Code. The Development Services Director or his or her designee shall have the authority to interpret this Code. Anyone may request an interpretation of this Code by filing a written request with the Permit Center. The Development Services Director or his or her designee shall respond, in writing, to all requests for a Code interpretation. Clarifying language of one interpretation of this Code may be used for another interpretation of this Code.

B.    Appeals: Appeals of Code interpretations shall be governed by Chapter 18.04 IMC, and the decision criteria within Chapter 1.32 IMC.

C.    Vested Rights: Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to require an applicant to obtain approval of any other permit or approval from the City prior to applying for a building permit. All City determinations regarding vesting shall be made only by the Development Services Director in consultation with the City Attorney.

1.    Filing a Fully Complete Application:

a.    What Constitutes a Fully Complete Permit Application: A building permit, short plat, and/or a preliminary/final plat application is defined as “fully complete” only when all of the following conditions are met:

(1)    The application is in compliance with all applicable provisions of State law and City ordinances in effect as of the date such application is filed; and

(2)    The application includes the following items:

(A)    Fully complete application form; and

(B)    Full payment of all applicable fees; and

(C)    Supporting documents as required by submittal requirements published by the Permit Center; and

(D)    All plans and drawings as required by submittal requirements published by the Permit Center; and

(E)    All other items requested by the Development Services Director as required by submittal requirements published by the Permit Center.

D.    Expiration of Vested Status of Permit or Approval: The vested status of a land use permit or approval expires with the expiration of the project permit application or with the expiration of a permit issued pursuant to an application.

E.    Other:

1.    A completed project permit application, as defined herein, does not mean or imply approval of the permit or project.

2.    A completed project permit application herein may not necessarily constitute a completed application for the purpose of processing the same. Additional information, steps, or procedures may need to be taken or completed in order to process and obtain the requested permit.

3.    Vesting hereunder shall apply only to the scope of the project applied for under the permit application. (Ord. 2746 § 2 (Exh. C), 2015; Ord. 2108 § 1.5, 1996).

18.01.060 Time computation.

Time shall be computed by calendar days. The first day of the period is excluded. The last day is included, except when the last day is a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday nor a legal holiday. (Ord. 2108 § 1.6, 1996).

18.01.070 Fractions computation.

For the computation of density, parking, impervious or pervious surface and other similar requirements set forth in this Code, all fractions of whole numbers shall be rounded to whole numbers. Fractions which are less than one-half (0.5) shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number (example: three and three tenths (3.3) shall be rounded down to three (3.0)), and fractions which are one-half (0.5) and greater shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number (example: three and seven tenths (3.7) shall be rounded up to four (4.0)). (Ord. 2108 § 1.7, 1996).

18.01.080 Map incorporated.

The zoning map, entitled Official Issaquah Zoning Map, is hereby adopted as part of this Code. This document shall be signed by the Mayor. Amendments to the zoning map shall be governed by the provisions set forth in Chapter 18.04 IMC. (Ord. 2108 § 1.8, 1996).

18.01.090 Relationship to the Comprehensive Plan.

A.    Implementation: It is the intention of the Issaquah City Council that this Code implement the City’s land use policies adopted in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in April 1995, including any adopted amendments, in compliance with the State Growth Management Act (GMA). In addition to implementing the Comprehensive Plan, this Code also further implements the GMA, which requires that local governments adopt development regulations which are consistent with their Comprehensive Plans (RCW 36.70A.0403(d)). This Code also is intended to implement the requirements of the State’s Regulatory Reform Act (ESHB 1724), which has a primary goal of integrating environmental review with Project Permit review.

B.    Conflict of Provisions: If any conflict arises between this Code and another rule, regulation, resolution, ordinance or statute which has been lawfully adopted by the City, the most restrictive provision shall govern. If any conflict arises between the text, map and any tables of this Code, the text shall govern unless otherwise stated. (Ord. 2108 § 1.9, 1996).

18.01.100 Relationship to existing zoning, and other land use regulations.

To the extent that the provisions of this Code are the same in substance as the previously adopted provisions that they replace in the City’s zoning, and other land use regulations, they shall be considered as continuations and not as new enactments unless otherwise specifically provided. In particular, a situation that did not constitute a lawful nonconforming situation under the previously adopted zoning ordinance does not achieve lawful nonconforming status under this Code merely by the repeal of the zoning ordinance. (Ord. 2108 § 1.10, 1996).