Chapter 142 – DESIGN REVIEW

Sections:

142.05    User Guide

142.15    Development Activities Requiring D.R. Approval

142.25    Administrative Design Review (A.D.R.) Process

142.35    Design Board Review (D.B.R.) Process

142.37    Design Departure and Minor Variations

142.40    Appeals of Design Review Board Decisions

142.50    Modifications

142.55    Lapse of Approval for Design Review Board Decisions

142.60    Bonds

142.05 User Guide

Various places in this code indicate that certain developments, activities, or uses are required to be reviewed through design review or D.R. Design review may either be administrative design review (A.D.R.) or design board review (D.B.R.). This chapter describes these design review processes.

(Ord. 4177 § 2, 2009; Ord. 4107 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4097 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4037 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4030 § 1, 2006)

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142.15 Development Activities Requiring D.R. Approval

1.    Design Board Review (D.B.R.)

a.    The following development activities shall be reviewed by the Design Review Board pursuant to KZC 142.35:

1)    New buildings greater than one (1) story in height or greater than 10,000 square feet of gross floor area, or in the Market Street Corridor Historic District (MSC 3 Zone).

2)    Additions to existing buildings where:

a)    The new gross floor area is greater than 10 percent of the existing building’s gross floor area; and

b)    The addition is greater than 2,000 square feet of gross floor area; and

c)    Either:

1)    The existing building and addition total more than 10,000 square feet of gross floor area; or

2)    The addition adds another story; or

3)    Is in the Market Street Corridor Historic District (MSC 3 zone).

3)    Renovations to existing facades, where the building is identified by the City as an historic structure or is in the Market Street Corridor Historic District (MSC 3 zone).

b.    Exemptions from D.B.R. – The following development activities shall be reviewed through the administrative design review process in KZC 142.25:

1)    Any development where administrative design review is indicated in the applicable Use Zone Chart.

2)    Any development in the following zones within the Rose Hill Business District (RHBD): RH 8 except development that includes lots or portions of lots located more than 120 feet north of NE 85th Street, between 132nd Avenue NE and properties abutting 131st Avenue NE, PR 3.6, RM, PLA 17A.

3)    Any development in the MSC 1 and MSC 4 zones located within the Market Street Corridor.

2.    Administrative Design Review (A.D.R.) – All other development activities not requiring D.B.R. review under subsection (1) of this section shall be reviewed through the A.D.R. process pursuant to KZC 142.25.

3.    Exemptions from Design Review – The following development activities shall be exempt from either A.D.R. or D.B.R. and compliance with the design regulations of Chapter 92 KZC:

a.    Any activity which does not require a building permit; or

b.    Interior work that does not alter the exterior of the structure; or

c.    Normal building maintenance including the repair or maintenance of structural members; or

d.    Any development listed as exempt in the applicable Use Zone Chart; or

e.    Development of a fire station.

(Ord. 4739 § 1, 2020; Ord. 4683 § 2, 2019; Ord. 4498 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4392 § 1, 2012; Ord. 4390 § 1, 2012; Ord. 4177 § 2, 2009; Ord. 4107 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4097 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4037 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4030 § 1, 2006; Ord. 3833 § 1, 2002)

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142.25 Administrative Design Review (A.D.R.) Process

1.    Authority – The Planning Official shall conduct A.D.R. in conjunction with a related development permit pursuant to this section.

The Planning Official shall review the A.D.R. application for compliance with the design regulations contained in Chapter 92 KZC, or in zones where so specified, with the applicable design guidelines adopted by KMC 3.30.040. In addition, the following guidelines and policies shall be used to interpret how the regulations apply to the subject property:

a.    Design guidelines for pedestrian-oriented business districts, as adopted in KMC 3.30.040.

b.    Design guidelines for the Rose Hill Business District (RHBD), the Totem Lake Business District (TLBD) and Yarrow Bay Business District (YBD) as adopted in KMC 3.30.040.

c.    For review of attached or stacked dwelling units within the Rose Hill Business District (RHBD), the PLA 5C zone, the Houghton/Everest Neighborhood Center, and the Market Street Corridor, Design Guidelines for Residential Development as adopted in KMC 3.30.040.

2.    Application – As part of any application for a development permit requiring A.D.R., the applicant shall show compliance with the design regulations in Chapter 92 KZC, or where applicable, the design guidelines adopted by KMC 3.30.040, by submitting an A.D.R. application on a form provided by the Planning and Building Department. The application shall include all documents and exhibits listed on the application form, as well as application materials required as a result of a pre-design conference.

3.    Pre-Design Conference – Before applying for A.D.R. approval, the applicant may schedule a pre-design meeting with the Planning Official. The meeting will be scheduled by the Planning Official upon written request by the applicant. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for an applicant to discuss the project concept with the Planning Official and for the Planning Official to designate which design regulations, or design guidelines, apply to the proposed development based primarily on the location and nature of the proposed development.

4.    A.D.R. Approval

a.    The Planning Official may grant, deny, or conditionally approve the A.D.R. application. The A.D.R. approval or conditional approval will become conditions of approval for any related development permit, and no development permit will be issued unless it is consistent with the A.D.R. approval or conditional approval.

b.    Additions or Modifications to Existing Buildings

1)    Applications involving additions or modifications to existing buildings shall comply with the design regulations of Chapter 92 KZC, or where applicable, the design guidelines adopted by KMC 3.30.040 to the extent feasible depending on the scope of the project. The Planning Official may waive compliance with a particular design regulation if the applicant demonstrates that it is not feasible given the existing development and scope of the project.

2)    The Planning Official may waive the A.D.R. process for applications involving additions or modifications to existing buildings if the design regulations are not applicable to the proposed development activity.

5.    Lapse of Approval – The lapse of approval for the A.D.R. decision shall be tied to the development permit and all conditions of the A.D.R. approval shall be included in the conditions of approval granted for that development permit.

6.    Design departure and minor variations may be requested pursuant to KZC 142.37.

(Ord. 4683 § 2, 2019; Ord. 4637 § 3, 2018; Ord. 4496 § 2, 2015; Ord. 4495 § 2, 2015; Ord. 4491 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4392 § 1, 2012; Ord. 4357 § 1, 2012; Ord. 4333 § 1, 2011; Ord. 4177 § 2, 2009; Ord. 4107 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4097 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4037 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4030 § 1, 2006; Ord. 3956 § 1, 2004)

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142.35 Design Board Review (D.B.R.) Process

1.    Timing of D.B.R. – For any development activity that requires D.B.R. approval, the applicant must comply with the provisions of this chapter before a building permit can be approved; provided, that an applicant may submit a building permit application at any time during the design review process. An applicant may request early design review, but such review shall not be considered a development permit or to in any way authorize a use or development activity. An application for D.R. approval may be considered withdrawn for all purposes if the applicant has not submitted information requested by the City within 60 calendar days after the request and the applicant does not demonstrate reasonable progress toward submitting the requested information.

2.    Public Meetings – All meetings of the Design Review Board shall be public meetings and open to the public.

3.    Authority – The Design Review Board shall review projects for consistency with the following:

a.    Design guidelines for pedestrian-oriented business districts, as adopted in Chapter 3.30 KMC.

b.    Design Guidelines for the Rose Hill Business District (RHBD) and the Totem Lake Business District (TLBD) as adopted in Chapter 3.30 KMC.

c.    The Design Guidelines for Residential Development, as adopted in KMC 3.30.040, for review of attached and stacked dwelling units located within the Rose Hill Business District (RHBD), the PLA 5C zone, the Houghton/Everest Neighborhood Center, and the Market Street Corridor.

d.    The Parkplace Master Plan and Design Guidelines for CBD 5A as adopted in Chapter 3.30 KMC.

4.    The Design Review Board is authorized to approve minor variations in development standards within certain Design Districts described in KZC 142.37, provided the variation complies with the criteria of KZC 142.37.

5.    Pre-Design Conference – Before applying for D.B.R. approval, the applicant shall attend a pre-design conference with the Planning Official. The conference will be scheduled by the Planning Official upon written request by the applicant. The purpose of this conference is for the Planning Official to discuss how the design regulations, design guidelines, and other applicable provisions of this code and the Comprehensive Plan relate to the proposed development and to assist the applicant in preparing for the conceptual design conference. A pre-design conference may be combined with a pre-submittal meeting.

6.    Conceptual Design Conference – Before applying for design review approval, the applicant shall attend a conceptual design conference (CDC) with the Design Review Board. The conference will be scheduled by the Planning Official to occur within 30 days of written request by the applicant. The applicant shall submit a complete application for Design Review within six (6) months following the CDC, or the results of the CDC will be null and void and a new CDC will be required prior to application for design review approval. The purpose of this conference is to provide an opportunity for the applicant to discuss the project concept with the Design Review Board and:

a.    To discuss how the design regulations, design guidelines and other applicable provisions of the Comprehensive Plan affect or pertain to the proposed development;

b.    For the Design Review Board to designate which design regulations, design guidelines and other applicable provisions of the Comprehensive Plan apply to the proposed development based primarily on the location and nature of the proposed development; and

c.    For the Design Review Board to determine what models, drawings, perspectives, 3-D CAD models, or other application materials the applicant will need to submit with the design review application.

7.    Application – Following the conceptual design conference, the applicant shall submit the design review application on a form provided by the Planning and Building Department. The application shall include all documents and exhibits listed on the application, as well as all application materials required as a result of the conceptual design conference.

8.    Public Notice

a.    Contents – On receipt of a complete design review application, the Planning Official shall schedule a design response conference with the Design Review Board to occur within 60 calendar days of receiving the complete application. The Planning Official shall provide public notice of the design response conference. Public notice shall contain the name of the applicant and project, the location of the subject property, a description of the proposed project, time and place of the first design response conference, and a statement of the availability of the application file.

b.    Distribution – The Planning Official shall distribute this notice at least 14 calendar days before the first design response conference as follows:

1)    By distributing the notice or a summary thereof to owners of all property within 300 feet of any boundary of the subject property.

2)    By publishing once in the official newspaper of the City.

3)    By requiring the applicant to erect a public notice sign(s) conspicuously on or near the subject property as follows:

a)    The sign(s) shall be designed and constructed to City standards. A copy of the notice described in subsection (8)(a) of this section and a site plan and/or vicinity map shall be attached to each sign.

b)    The Planning and Building Department is authorized to develop the standards for the public notice signs necessary for implementation of this section.

c)    One (1) sign shall be erected on or near the subject property facing each public right-of-way adjacent to the subject property and private easement or tract road providing primary vehicular access to the subject property and to any property that abuts the subject property. The Planning and Building Department shall approve the location of each sign.

d)    The signs may not be removed until 21 calendar days after the final decision of the City on the application, and the applicant shall remove the signs within seven (7) calendar days thereafter.

4)    By posting the notice on the City’s website.

9.    Design Response Conference – The design response stage allows the Design Review Board to review the design plans and provide direction to the applicant on issues to be resolved for final approval. The applicant shall present a summary of the project to the Design Review Board. The Planning Official shall present a review of the project for consistency with the requirements specified in subsection (3) of this section. Public comment relevant to the application may be taken. Persons commenting must provide their full name and mailing address. The Design Review Board may reasonably limit the extent of comments to facilitate the orderly and timely conduct of the conference.

The Design Review Board shall decide whether the application complies with the requirements specified in subsection (3) of this section. The Design Review Board shall make its decision by motion that adopts approved project drawings in addition to changes or conditions required by the Design Review Board. If the Design Review Board finds that the application does not meet those requirements, it shall specify what requirements have not been met and options for meeting those requirements. The Design Review Board may continue the conference if necessary to gather additional information necessary for its decision on the design review application. If the conference is continued to a specific date, no further public notice is required; otherwise notice shall be mailed to all parties participating in the design response conference.

Conceptual Master Plan Conference for TL 2 – The Design Review Board shall consider a Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) for properties over one and one-half (1-1/2) acres in size in TL 2. The CMP shall incorporate the design principles set forth in the special regulations for the use in the TL 2 zoning chart.

Conceptual Master Plan Conference for TL 5 – The Design Review Board shall consider a Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) for properties over four (4) acres in size in TL 5. The CMP shall incorporate the design principles set forth in the special regulations for the use in the TL 5 zoning chart.

Conceptual Master Plan Conference for RHBD – The Design Review Board shall consider a Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) in the RH 3 zone within the Rose Hill Business District (RHBD). The CMP shall incorporate the design considerations for the RH 3 zone set forth in the Design Guidelines for the Rose Hill Business District.

10.    Approval – After reviewing the D.B.R. application and other application materials, the Design Review Board may grant, deny or conditionally approve subject to modifications the D.B.R. application for the proposed development. No development permit for the subject property requiring D.B.R. approval will be issued until the proposed development is granted D.B.R. approval or conditional approval. The terms of D.B.R. approval or conditional approval will become a condition of approval on each subsequent development permit and no subsequent development permit will be issued unless it is consistent with the D.B.R. approval or conditional approval. The Planning Official shall send written notice of the D.B.R. decision to the applicant and all other parties who participated in the conference(s) within 14 calendar days of the approval. If the D.B.R. is denied, the decision shall specify the reasons for denial. The final D.B.R. decision of the City on the D.B.R. application shall be the date of distribution of the written D.B.R. decision or, if the D.B.R. decision is appealed, the date of the City’s final decision on the appeal. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, if an applicant submits a complete application for a building permit for the approved D.B.R. development within 180 days of the final D.B.R. decision, the date of vesting for the building permit application shall be the date of the final D.B.R. decision.

Additional Approval Provision for TL 2 and TL 5 – The Notice of Approval for a Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) shall set thresholds for subsequent D.B.R. or A.D.R. review of projects following approval of a CMP in TL 2 or TL 5. The Notice of Approval shall also include a phasing plan for all improvements shown or described in the CMP.

Additional Approval Provision for RHBD – The Design Review Board shall determine the thresholds for subsequent D.B.R. or A.D.R. review of projects following approval of a Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) in the RHBD. The Notice of Approval for the CMP will state the thresholds for future review of projects and also include a phasing plan for all improvements shown or described in the CMP.

(Ord. 4683 § 2, 2019; Ord. 4637 § 3, 2018; Ord. 4496 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4495 § 2, 2015; Ord. 4491 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4392 § 1, 2012; Ord. 4193 § 1, 2009; Ord. 4177 § 2, 2009; Ord. 4171 § 1, 2009; Ord. 4121 § 1, 2008; Ord. 4107 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4097 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4037 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4030 § 1, 2006; Ord. 3956 § 1, 2004; Ord. 3954 § 1, 2004; Ord. 3889 § 2, 2003; Ord. 3833 § 1, 2002; Ord. 3814 § 1, 2001)

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142.37 Design Departure and Minor Variations

1.    General – This section provides a mechanism for obtaining approval to depart from strict adherence to the design regulations or for requesting minor variations from requirements in the following zones:

a.    In the CBD and YBD: minimum required yards; and

b.    In the Business District Core: minimum required yards, floor plate maximums and building separation requirements; and

c.    In the RHBD, FHNC, the PLA 5C zone, the HENC, and the TLBD: minimum required yards, and landscape buffer; and

d.    In the MSC 1 and MSC 4 zones of the Market Street Corridor: minimum required front yards; and

e.    In the MSC 2 zone of the Market Street Corridor: height (up to an additional five (5) feet), and minimum required front yards.

This section does not apply when a design regulation permits the applicant to propose an alternate method for complying with it or the Use Zone Chart allows the applicant to request a reduced setback administratively.

2.    Process – If a design departure or minor variation is requested, the D.R. decision, including the design departure or minor variation, will be reviewed and decided upon using the D.B.R. process.

3.    Application Information – The applicant shall submit a complete application on the form provided by the Planning and Building Department, along with all information listed on that form, including a written response to the criteria in subsection (4) of this section.

4.    Criteria – The Design Review Board may grant a design departure or minor variation only if it finds that all of the following requirements are met:

a.    The request results in superior design and fulfills the policy basis for the applicable design regulations and design guidelines;

b.    The departure will not have any substantial detrimental effect on nearby properties and the City or the neighborhood.

(Ord. 4683 § 2, 2019; Ord. 4637 § 3, 2018; Ord. 4636 § 3, 2018; Ord. 4495 § 2, 2015; Ord. 4491 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4437 § 1, 2014; Ord. 4392 § 1, 2012; Ord. 4390 § 1, 2012; Ord. 4333 § 1, 2011; Ord. 4177 § 2, 2009)

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142.40 Appeals of Design Review Board Decisions

1.    Jurisdiction – Appeals of the decision of the Design Review Board will be heard as follows:

a.    If a related development permit requires an open record public hearing, then the appeal shall be heard at that hearing and decided upon by the hearing body or officer or officer hearing the related development permit.

b.    If there are no other open record hearings required for related development permits, then the decision of the Design Review Board shall be heard according to the Process I appeal procedures and provisions in KZC 145.60 and judicial review procedures and provisions in KZC 145.110.

Only those issues under the authority of the Design Review Board as established by KZC 142.35(3) and (4) are subject to appeal.

2.    Who May Appeal – The decision of the Design Review Board may be appealed by the applicant or any other individual or entity who submitted written or oral comments to the Design Review Board.

3.    Time To Appeal/How To Appeal – The appeal, in the form of a letter of appeal, must be delivered to the Planning and Building Department within 14 calendar days following the date of the distribution of the Design Review Board decision. It must contain a clear reference to the matter being appealed and a statement of the specific elements of the Design Review Board decision disputed by the person filing the appeal.

4.    Fees – The person filing the appeal shall include with the letter of appeal the fee as established by ordinance.

5.    Notice

a.    Content – The Planning Official shall prepare a notice of the appeal containing the following:

1)    The file number and a brief written description of the matter being appealed.

2)    A statement of the scope of the appeal including a summary of the specific matters disputed in the letter of appeal.

3)    The time and place of the public hearing on the appeal.

4)    A statement of who may participate in the appeal.

5)    A statement of how to participate in the appeal.

b.    Distribution – At least 14 calendar days before the hearing on the appeal, the Planning Official shall distribute this notice, or a summary thereof, to the applicant, appellant(s), and Design Review Board. The notice of appeal may be combined with the hearing notice for the related development permit, if applicable.

6.    Participation in the Appeal – Only the person(s) who filed the appeal, the applicant, and the chair (or designee) of the Design Review Board may participate in the appeal. These persons may participate in the appeal in either or both of the following ways:

a.    By submitting written comments or testimony to the hearing body or officer prior to commencement of the hearing.

b.    By appearing in person, or through a representative, at the hearing and submitting oral testimony directly to the hearing body or officer. The hearing body or officer may reasonably limit the extent of oral testimony to facilitate the orderly and timely conduct of the hearing.

7.    Scope of the Appeal – The scope of the appeal is limited to the specific elements of the Design Review Board decision disputed in the letter of appeal and the hearing body or officer may only consider comments, testimony, and arguments on these specific elements.

8.    Staff Report on the Appeal

a.    Content – The Planning Official shall prepare a staff report containing the following:

1)    The written decision of the Design Review Board.

2)    All written comments received by the Design Review Board.

3)    The letter of appeal.

4)    All written comments on the appeal received by the Planning and Building Department from the appellant or applicant and within the scope of the appeal.

5)    An analysis of the specific element(s) of the Design Review Board’s decision disputed in the letter of appeal.

The Planning Official may present the staff report orally to the hearing body or officer.

b.    Distribution – At least seven (7) calendar days before the hearing, the Planning Official shall distribute the staff report to the hearing body or officer, the appellant, and the applicant.

9.    Electronic Sound Recordings – The hearing body or officer shall make a complete electronic sound recording of each hearing.

10.    Continuation of the Hearing – The hearing body or officer may continue the hearing if, for any reason, it is unable to hear all of the testimony on the appeal or if it determines that it needs more information within the scope of the appeal. If, during the hearing, the hearing body or officer announces the time and place of the continued hearing on the matter, no further notice of that hearing need be given.

11.    Decision on the Appeal

a.    Criteria – Unless substantial relevant information is presented which was not considered by the Design Review Board, the decision of the Design Review Board shall be accorded substantial weight. The decision may be reversed or modified if, after considering all of the evidence in light of the authority of the Design Review Board pursuant to KZC 142.35(3), the hearing body or officer determines that a mistake has been made. Specific allowances established by the applicable use zone charts may not be appealed unless the Design Review Board has approved exceptions to those allowances.

b.    General – The hearing body or officer shall consider all information and material within the scope of the appeal submitted by the appellant. The hearing body or officer shall adopt findings and conclusions and either:

1)    Affirm the decision being appealed; or

2)    Reverse the decision being appealed; or

3)    Modify the decision being appealed.

c.    Issuance of Written Decision – Within eight (8) calendar days after the public hearing, the hearing body or officer shall issue a written decision on the appeal. Within four (4) business days after it is issued, the hearing body or officer shall distribute the decision by mail to the appellant and the applicant.

d.    Effect – If the appeal hearing is combined with an open record hearing for a related development permit, the decision on the appeal shall become part of the decision on the related development permit. The final decision of the City on the appeal of the Design Review Board decision shall occur at the same stage as the final decision of the City on the related development permit. Any appeal or challenge of the action of the hearing body or officer on the appeal of the Design Review Board decision shall be limited to the scope of the initial appeal.

(Ord. 4491 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4413 § 1, 2013; Ord. 4320 § 1, 2011; Ord. 4250 § 1, 2010; Ord. 4193 § 1, 2009; Ord. 4177 § 2, 2009; Ord. 4107 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4097 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4037 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4030 § 1, 2006; Ord. 3954 § 1, 2004)

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142.50 Modifications

1.    The Planning Official may approve a modification to the D.R. approval for the proposed development if:

a.    The need for the modification was not known and could not reasonably have been known before the D.R. approval was granted;

b.    The modification is minor and will not, in any substantial way, change the proposed development or violate any requirement imposed by the Design Review Board. The Planning Official may consult with the Design Review Board in his/her decision; and

c.    The development that will result from the modification will be consistent with the design regulations, design guidelines, and Comprehensive Plan.

2.    Any modification, other than as specified in subsection (1) of this section, must be reviewed and decided upon as a new D.R. approval under this chapter.

(Ord. 4107 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4097 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4037 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4030 § 1, 2006)

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142.55 Lapse of Approval for Design Review Board Decisions

For final approvals under this chapter issued on or before December 31, 2014, the applicant must begin construction or submit to the City a complete building permit application for the development activity, use of land or other actions approved under this chapter within seven (7) years after the final approval of the City of Kirkland on the matter, or the decision becomes void. For final approvals under this chapter issued on or after January 1, 2015, the applicant must begin construction or submit to the City a complete building permit application for the development activity, use of land or other actions approved under this chapter within five (5) years after the final approval of the City of Kirkland on the matter, or the decision becomes void.

For final approvals under this chapter issued on or before December 31, 2014, the applicant must substantially complete construction for the development activity, use of land or other actions approved under this chapter and complete the applicable conditions listed on the notice of decision within nine (9) years after the final approval on the matter or the decision becomes void. For final approvals under this chapter issued on or after January 1, 2015, the applicant must substantially complete construction for the development activity, use of land, or other actions approved under this chapter and complete the applicable conditions listed on the notice of decision within seven (7) years after the final approval on the matter, or the decision becomes void.

For development activity, use of land, or other actions with phased construction, lapse of approval may be extended when approved under this chapter and made a condition of the notice of decision.

(Ord. 4372 § 1, 2012; Ord. 4107 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4097 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4037 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4030 § 1, 2006)

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142.60 Bonds

The Planning Official may require a bond under Chapter 175 KZC to ensure compliance with any aspect of a D.R. approval.

(Ord. 4107 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4097 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4037 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4030 § 1, 2006)

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