Chapter 12.34


12.34.010    Statement of purpose.

12.34.020    Definitions.

12.34.030    Initiation.

12.34.040    Petition.

12.34.050    Petition – Fee.

12.34.060    Petition – Site information.

12.34.070    Petition – Acceptance.

12.34.080    Petition – Presentation to council.

12.34.090    Resolution – Special rules.

12.34.100    Staff report.

12.34.110    Hearing – Notice.

12.34.120    Hearing.

12.34.130    Decision – Criteria.

12.34.140    Decision – Content.

12.34.150    Petition – Compensation.

12.34.160    Appraisal – Cost.

12.34.170    Payment of compensation.

12.34.180    Waterfront streets – Additional requirements.

12.34.190    Ordinance – Recording.

12.34.010 Statement of purpose.

This chapter, which establishes procedures, notice requirements and fees for the vacation of streets and alleys within the city, implements the authority granted to the city by Chapter 35.79 RCW and RCW 35A.47.020. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.020 Definitions.

A. “Director” means the director of public services or the director’s designee.

B. “Vacation” means relinquishment of the city’s interest in streets and alleys. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.030 Initiation.

The vacation of a street or alley may be initiated by:

A. Resolution of the city council; or

B. Petition to the city council by two thirds of owners of real property abutting upon the street or alley. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.040 Petition.

The petition shall be in a form prescribed by the director and shall contain

A. The name, address and telephone number of each petitioner;

B. The name, address, and telephone number of the representative of petitioners;

C. The supporting documents required by LFPMC 12.34.060; and

D. A discussion of the criteria established in LFPMC 12.34.130. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.050 Petition – Fee.

Each petition shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee in an amount established by resolution of the city council to defray a portion of the administrative costs incurred in processing the petition and publishing, posting and mailing notices. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.060 Petition – Site information.

A. The petition shall be accompanied by: (1) a vicinity map of the general area of the proposed vacation; (2) a plat map showing the parcels abutting the street or alley to be vacated; and (3) a legal description of the property to be vacated. Each shall be prepared by a professional land surveyor registered in the state of Washington.

B. The petition shall be accompanied by two copies of a real estate appraisal required by LFPMC 12.34.160.

C. An environmental checklist completed on a form provided by the city.

D. Such other information or material as the director may reasonably require. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.070 Petition – Acceptance.

Upon receipt of the petition and fee, the city clerk shall forward the petition to the director who shall determine whether:

A. The petition has been signed by the owners of more than two-thirds of the property abutting the part of the street or alley to be vacated;

B. The requirements of LFPMC 12.34.040 have been met; and

C. The vacation and any subsequent easements drafted will deny direct access to any property.

The director shall accept a properly signed petition for a vacation that meets the requirements of LFPMC 12.34.040 and that the vacation will not deny direct access to any property; otherwise, the director shall reject the petition and return it to the petitioners with a written explanation for such rejection. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.080 Petition – Presentation to council.

The director shall present an accepted petition to the city council within 30 days of acceptance of the petition. The city council shall adopt a resolution scheduling a hearing before the council not be more than 60 days nor less than 20 days after the adoption of the resolution. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.090 Resolution – Special rules.

A. Where the city council initiates the vacation by resolution, that resolution shall fix the time when the proposed vacation will be heard by the city council.

B. If 50 percent or more of the abutting property owners file written objections with the city clerk before the hearing, the city shall not proceed with the vacation. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.100 Staff report.

A. The director shall prepare a written report on any proposed vacation, which shall:

1. Address the criteria of LFPMC 12.34.130, and such other information the director deems appropriate; and

2. Contain comments of the fire district planning department and the police department, and any utilities, public or private, having jurisdiction or utilities within the boundaries of the area to be vacated.

B. The report shall be submitted to the city council and to the representative of the petitioners no less than 10 days before the hearing. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.110 Hearing – Notice.

The city clerk shall give no less than 20 days’ notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing by:

A. Publishing written notice once in the city’s official newspaper;

B. Posting conspicuously at each end of the street or alley a placard, at least 11 inches by 14 inches, depicting a map of the proposed vacation; and

C. Mailing written notice to all petitioners and their representatives at the addresses on the petition and to all owners of property abutting the street or alley, as shown on the records of the King County assessor. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.120 Hearing.

The hearing on the petition or resolution shall be held on the day fixed by resolution. The city council may delegate conduct of the hearing to a council committee, which shall report its recommendation on the petition to the city council, which shall adopt or reject the recommendation without further hearing. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.130 Decision – Criteria.

The decision of the city council shall be based upon, but not be limited to, consideration of whether:

A. Vacation of the street or alley will better serve the public;

B. Public access to or use of the street or alley is no longer required;

C. Substitution of a new public way would be more useful to the public;

D. Future conditions may provide a greater use or need than presently exists; and

E. Nonpetitioning owners of abutting property, governmental agencies or members of the public object to the proposed vacation. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.140 Decision – Content.

A decision to grant the vacation shall be incorporated into an ordinance containing:

A. Conditions or limitations necessary and proper to preserve any desired public use or benefit;

B. A provision retaining easements for construction, repair and maintenance of existing utilities and services and, if appropriate, for future utilities and services; and

C. A requirement for a survey with the appropriate corners flagged in the field. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.150 Petition – Compensation.

Before a petition is granted, the owners of property abutting the vacated property shall compensate the city by payment of the appraised value of vacated property that was acquired at public expense; otherwise, such owners shall pay the city one half of the appraised value. In addition, abutting property owners shall pay the cost of physical closure and road repairs. In lieu of a monetary payment, the city may accept conveyance of an interest in real property accompanied by title insurance purchased at the property owner’s expense. Real property interests shall be credited against the required compensation at the rate of one-half of the appraised fee value of property conveyed as an easement, or the full appraised value of property conveyed in fee; provided, that the property owners or the city shall pay to the other the difference whenever the value of the credit is less or greater than amount of required compensation. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.160 Appraisal – Cost.

The director shall determine the appraised value of the property vacated, or any property offered to the city in lieu of monetary compensation, from an appraisal by a state-certified real estate appraiser designated as either an “MAI” or “SRA” by the Appraisal Institute. The petitioners shall secure and pay for such appraisal. The director, at city expense, may order a second appraisal from an equally qualified appraiser. The amount of compensation shall be determined by the highest appraised value. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.170 Payment of compensation.

The director shall notify the petitioner’s representatives of the amount of compensation. The petitioners shall pay the director who shall transmit the payment to the city finance director for deposit in the street fund and make a written report of the payment to the city council. If the city has accepted real property in lieu of monetary compensation, the director shall transmit to the city council the recorded instrument of conveyance and a policy of title insurance insuring title of the property in the name of the city. Upon notification of payment, the council shall adopt an ordinance granting the petition. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.180 Waterfront streets – Additional requirements.

A. If any portion of the street or alley abuts a body of salt or fresh water, the city council may vacate such street or alley only:

1. To enable the city to acquire the property for port purposes, beach or water access, boat moorage or launching sites, park, public view, recreation, or educational purposes, or other public uses; or

2. By adopting a resolution that finds that the street or alley is not presently being used as a street or alley and is unsuitable for port purposes, beach or water access, boat moorage, launching sites, park, public view, recreational, or educational purposes; or

3. To implement a plan, adopted by resolution or ordinance, that provides comparable or improved public access to the shoreline area abutting the street or alley.

B. Before adopting an ordinance vacating a street or alley under subsection (A)(2) of this section, the city council shall:

1. Compile an inventory of all right-of-way abutting the same body of water abutted by the street or alley;

2. Conduct a study to determine if the street or alley is unsuitable for use by the city for the purposes identified in subsection (A)(2) of this section; and

3. Confirm by written findings in the adopted ordinance that the street or alley is unsuitable for the purposes identified in subsection (A)(2) of this section, and that the vacation is in the public interest.

C. The notice of hearing required by LFPMC 12.34.110 shall include notice that the street or alley is public access, and that anyone objecting to the proposed vacation should attend the public hearing or send a letter of objection to the director.

D. The city may use money received under this section only for acquiring beach or water access, moorage or launching sites, or sites providing the public with a view of a body of water. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)

12.34.190 Ordinance – Recording.

A certified copy of the ordinance vacating a street or alley, or part thereof, shall be recorded by the city clerk in the office of the King County auditor. (Ord. 839 § 1, 2000)