Chapter 160 – PROCESS IV

Sections:

160.05    User Guide

160.15    Initiation of Proposals

160.20    Compliance with SEPA

160.25    Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Related Zoning Map and Code Amendments – Threshold Review

160.30    Amendments to the Zoning Code Not Related to Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan

160.35    Official File

160.40    Notice

160.45    Staff Report

160.50    Community Council Proceeding

160.55    Public Hearing

160.60    Material To Be Considered

160.65    Electronic Sound Recordings

160.70    Public Comments and Participation at the Hearing

160.75    Continuation of the Hearing

160.80    Planning Commission Action

160.85    Planning Commission Report to City Council

160.90    Publication and Effect

160.95    Jurisdiction of the Houghton Community Council

160.100    Jurisdiction of the Washington State Department of Ecology

160.05 User Guide

Various places in this code indicate that certain proposals to amend the Zoning Map, this code, and the Comprehensive Plan must be reviewed and decided upon using Process IV. This chapter describes how Process IV works.

If you wish to participate in a decision that will be made using this process, you should read this chapter. However, this chapter applies only if another provision of this code specifically states that a decision on a proposed amendment will be made using Process IV.

(Ord. 4437 § 1, 2014; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.15 Initiation of Proposals

A proposal that will be reviewed using this chapter may be initiated by the City Council or Planning Commission. In addition, the public may submit proposals to the City as part of the City’s process to amend the Comprehensive Plan or this code.

(Ord. 4437 § 1, 2014; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.20 Compliance with SEPA

The State Environmental Policy Act (Chapter 43.21C RCW) applies to some of the decisions that will be made using this chapter. The Planning and Building Director shall evaluate each proposal and, where applicable, comply with SEPA and with State regulations and City ordinances issued under authority of SEPA.

(Ord. 4437 § 1, 2014; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.25 Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Related Zoning Map and Code Amendments – Threshold Review

1.    General – The City Council shall make a threshold review of each community-initiated proposal to amend the Comprehensive Plan pursuant to KZC 140.20 and to amend the Zoning Code and/or Zoning Map done in conjunction with the process to amend the Comprehensive Plan.

2.    Threshold Review

a.    The Planning Commission shall review each proposal and make a threshold recommendation to the City Council to determine those proposals eligible for further consideration. The recommendation shall be consistent with KZC 160.60 and based on the criteria described in Chapter 135 KZC for Zoning Code amendments and in Chapter 140 KZC for Comprehensive Plan amendments.

b.    The Houghton Community Council may review any proposal within its jurisdiction and also make a recommendation to the Planning Commission and City Council.

c.    The Planning and Building Department shall provide the Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council with a staff report for the threshold review consistent with KZC 160.45 and include an analysis of the threshold criteria.

3.    Threshold Decision – After consideration of the Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council recommendations, the City Council shall decide one (1) of the following:

a.    The proposal has merit and shall be considered by the Planning Commission and City Council during the current year; or

b.    The proposal has merit, but should be considered at a subsequent amendment phase; or

c.    The proposal does not have merit and shall not be given further consideration.

(Ord. 4749 § 1, 2021; Ord. 4491 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4437 § 1, 2014; Ord. 4121 § 1, 2008; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.30 Amendments to the Zoning Code Not Related to Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan

The Planning Commission shall review each proposal and make a recommendation to the City Council. The recommendation shall be based on the criteria described in Chapter 135 KZC for Zoning Code amendments.

(Ord. 4437 § 1, 2014)

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160.35 Official File

1.    Contents – The Planning Official shall compile an official file containing all information and materials relevant to the proposal and to the City’s consideration of the proposal.

2.    Availability – The official file is a public record. It is available for inspection and copying in the Planning and Building Department during regular business hours.

(Ord. 4491 § 3, 2015; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.40 Notice

1.    Contents – The Planning Official shall prepare a notice of hearing for each proposal for which a public hearing will be held. This notice shall contain the following information:

a.    The citation of the provision that would be changed by the proposal along with a brief description of that provision.

b.    A statement of how the proposal would change the affected provision.

c.    A statement of what areas, zones or locations will be directly affected or changed by the proposal.

d.    The time and place of the public hearing.

e.    A statement of the availability of the official file.

f.    A statement of the right of any person to submit written comments to the Planning Commission and to appear at the public hearing before the Planning Commission to give comments orally.

2.    Distribution

a.    The Planning Official shall distribute this notice at least 14 calendar days before the public hearing as follows:

1)    The notice, or a summary thereof, will be published in the official newspaper of the City.

2)    The notice, or a summary thereof, will be posted on each of the official notification boards of the City.

3)    The notice will be posted on the City’s website.

b.    Public Notice Signs – If the proposal is to reclassify land on the Zoning Map, the applicant or, in the case of City-initiated proposals, the City shall provide for and erect public notice signs at least 14 calendar days before the public hearing as follows:

1)    The signs shall be designed and constructed to City standards. A copy of the notice described in subsection (1) of this section and a vicinity map, when applicable, shall be attached to each sign.

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

3)    For City-initiated proposals that involve multiple properties, one (1) public notice sign shall be placed on an adjacent public right-of-way for properties that include up to 10 lots. For multiple properties that include more than 10 lots, a minimum of two (2) such signs shall be placed. The Planning and Building Department shall approve the location of each sign.

4)    For all other proposals, 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.

5)    The signs shall be removed within seven (7) calendar days after the final public hearing.

(Ord. 4491 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4193 § 1, 2009; Ord. 4072 § 1, 2007; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.45 Staff Report

1.    General – The Planning Official shall prepare a staff report containing:

a.    An analysis of the proposal and a recommendation on the proposal; and

b.    Any other information the Official determines is necessary for consideration of the proposal.

2.    Distribution – The Planning Official shall distribute the staff report to the following parties:

a.    Each member of the Planning Commission prior to the hearing.

b.    Any person requesting it.

c.    If applicable, to each member of the Houghton Community Council prior to their proceedings on the proposal.

(Ord. 4193 § 1, 2009; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.50 Community Council Proceeding

1.    General – If the proposal is within the disapproval jurisdiction of the Houghton Community Council, that Community Council may consider the proposal at a meeting or hold a public hearing on it. The Houghton Community Council and the Planning Commission may hold joint meetings or public hearings on the proposal.

2.    Notice – If the Houghton Community Council holds a hearing, the Planning Official shall give public notice of that hearing as set forth in KZC 160.40.

3.    Recommendation – The Houghton Community Council may make a recommendation on the proposal. The Planning Official shall present the recommendation of the Houghton Community Council, if available, to the Planning Commission before the Planning Commission takes a final vote on the proposal.

(Ord. 4072 § 1, 2007; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.55 Public Hearing

1.    General – The Planning Commission shall hold one (1) or more public hearings on a proposal if:

a.    It is initiated by the City Council; or

b.    It is a proposal to amend the Comprehensive Plan or a legislative rezone proposal which is initiated by the Planning Commission and which the City Council has reviewed and decided shall be considered at a public hearing; or

c.    It is any other proposal initiated by the Planning Commission.

2.    Hearing Declared Open – The hearings of the Planning Commission and the Houghton Community Council are open to the public.

3.    Effect – The hearing of the Planning Commission is the hearing for City Council. City Council need not hold another hearing on the proposal.

(Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.60 Material To Be Considered

1.    General – The City Council, Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council shall use the decisional criteria established in the various provisions of this code, including Chapters 135 and 140 KZC, that describe the decisions that will be made using this process.

2.    Exclusion

a.    General – The City may not consider a specific proposal site plan or project in deciding whether or not a proposal should be approved through this process.

b.    Exception for Environment Information – If a proposal that will be decided upon using this process is part of a specific development plan, the City may consider all information submitted under KZC 160.35 in deciding upon that proposal.

(Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.65 Electronic Sound Recordings

The Planning Commission and, if applicable, the Houghton Community Council shall make a complete electronic sound recording of each hearing on a proposal.

(Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.70 Public Comments and Participation at the Hearing

Any interested person may participate in the public hearing in either or both of the following ways:

1.    By submitting written comments to the Planning Commission and, if applicable, the Houghton Community Council, either by delivering these comments to the Planning and Building Department prior to the hearing or by giving them directly to the Planning Commission or Community Council at the hearing.

2.    By appearing in person, or through a representative, at the hearing and making oral comments. The Planning Commission and the Houghton Community Council may reasonably limit the extent of the oral comments to facilitate the orderly and timely conduct of the hearing.

(Ord. 4491 § 3, 2015; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.75 Continuation of the Hearing

The Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council may for any reason continue the hearing on the proposal. If, during the hearing, the Commission or Community Council announces the time and place of the next public hearing on the proposal, no further notice of that hearing need be given.

(Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.80 Planning Commission Action

1.    General – Following the public hearing, the Planning Commission shall consider the proposal in light of all of the information submitted to it including the recommendation, if any, of the Houghton Community Council. The Planning Commission may modify the proposal in any way.

2.    Modifications Requiring a Rehearing – If, following the public hearing, the Planning Commission fundamentally modifies the proposal, the Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on the proposal as modified under the provisions of this chapter.

3.    Recommendation – If the Planning Commission determines that the proposal meets the applicable decisional criteria established in KZC 160.60, it may, by majority vote of the entire membership, recommend that City Council give effect to the proposal by amending the appropriate text or Zoning Map. If the Planning Commission determines that the proposal does not meet the applicable criteria, it may, by a majority vote of the members present, recommend that City Council take no action. If the Planning Commission cannot take either of the actions described in this section, this fact will be included in the report to City Council under KZC 160.85.

(Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.85 Planning Commission Report to City Council

1.    General – The Planning Official shall prepare a Planning Commission report containing the proposal, along with any explanatory information, and the Planning Commission recommendation, if any, on the proposal.

2.    Transmittal to City Council – The Planning Official shall transmit the Planning Commission report to the City Manager for consideration by City Council. The City Manager shall acknowledge receipt of the report and shall direct the clerk to certify on the report the date of receipt.

3.    Distribution – The Planning Official shall distribute the Planning Commission report to any person requesting it.

4.    City Council Consideration – Within 60 days of receipt of the Planning Commission report by the City Manager, the City Council shall consider the proposal.

5.    City Council Action – After consideration of the Planning Commission report, the City Council shall by majority vote of its total membership:

a.    Approve the proposal by adopting an appropriate resolution or ordinance; or

b.    Modify and approve the proposal by adopting an appropriate resolution or ordinance; or

c.    Disapprove the proposal; or

d.    Refer the proposal back to the Planning Commission for further proceedings. If this occurs, the City Council shall specify the time within which the Planning Commission shall report back to the City Council on the proposal.

(Ord. 4193 § 1, 2009; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.90 Publication and Effect

1.    Publication – If City Council adopts an ordinance, the City Clerk shall post or publish the ordinance as required by law.

2.    Effect – Except as stated in KZC 160.95, the ordinance will be in effect from and after five (5) days after it is posted or published as required by law.

(Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004)

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160.95 Jurisdiction of the Houghton Community Council

1.    General – If the City Council approves a resolution or ordinance within the disapproval jurisdiction of the Houghton Community Council, that resolution or ordinance shall become effective within the Houghton community only upon:

a.    Approval by a majority of the entire membership of the Houghton Community Council. Such approval shall be by resolution; or

b.    Failure of the Houghton Community Council to disapprove the resolution or ordinance within 60 days of final enactment by City Council. The vote to disapprove the resolution or ordinance must be approved by resolution by a majority of the entire membership of the Community Council.

(Ord. 4749 § 1, 2021; Ord. 4072 § 1, 2007; Ord. 3975 § 2, 2004; Ord. 3954 § 1, 2004)

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160.100 Jurisdiction of the Washington State Department of Ecology

The Washington State Department of Ecology is authorized under the authority of the Shoreline Management Act of Chapter 90.58 RCW and Chapter 173-26 WAC to approve, deny or propose modifications to the City’s shoreline master program (SMP). The City’s SMP includes the Shoreline Area chapter of the Comprehensive Plan and Chapters 83 and 141 KZC. For these components of the SMP, the City Council shall take action pursuant to KZC 160.85 and then direct the Planning Official to forward the amended SMP components to the Department of Ecology for formal review and final approval.

(Ord. 4303 § 1, 2011)

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