Chapter 14.04


14.04.010    Short Title

14.04.014    Purpose and Intent

14.04.020    Authority

14.04.030    Jurisdiction

14.04.040    Effective Date

14.04.050    Relationship to Existing Zoning, Subdivision and Flood Control Ordinances

14.04.060    Relationship to Land Use Plan

14.04.070    No Use or Sale of Land or Buildings Except in Conformity with Title Provisions

14.04.080    Fees

14.04.090    Severability

14.04.100    Computation of Time

14.04.110    Miscellaneous

14.04.115    Consistency Determination

14.04.120    Adoption of Supporting Administrative Guidelines

14.04.130    Exemptions From Certain State Requirements

14.04.010 Short Title.

This title shall be known and may be cited as the Lake Stevens Land Use Ordinance. (Ord. 468, 1995)

14.04.014 Purpose and Intent.

(a)    The purpose of the Land Use Code is to create a livable and sustainable city by establishing standards, procedures, and minimum requirements to achieve the following general intentions and purposes for the City of Lake Stevens:

(1)    To establish regulatory procedures and standards for review and decision-making of all proposed development in the City.

(2)    To foster and preserve public health, safety, comfort, and welfare, and to aid in the harmonious, orderly, aesthetically pleasing, and socially beneficial development of the City, in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan.

(3)    To adopt a development review process that is:

(i)    Efficient, in terms of time and expense;

(ii)    Effective, in terms of addressing the natural, historic, and aesthetic resources and public facility implications of any proposed development, while also protecting and improving the quality of life in the City; and

(iii)    Equitable, in terms of consistency with established regulations and procedures, respect for the rights of all property owners, and consideration of the interests of the citizens and residents of the City.

(4)    To prohibit or condition incompatible land uses or certain aspects of land uses by regulating density and dimensional aspects of development, ensuring that new development(s) install all private and public infrastructure necessary to serve said new development and protecting critical areas.

(5)    To implement the Comprehensive Plan of the City by:

(i)    Establishing regulations and conditions governing the erection and use of buildings and other structures and the uses of land planned for the future as specified in the Comprehensive Plan;

(ii)    Securing safety from fire, panic, and other dangers;

(iii)    Lessening automobile congestion of the streets;

(iv)    Providing for adequate light and air;

(v)    Preventing the overcrowding of land;

(vi)    Avoiding undue congestion of population and facilitating the adequate provision of transportation, potable water, wastewater disposal, schools, parks, and other public requirements of the City;

(vii)    Dividing the City into zoning districts, defining certain terms, designating the uses and intensities thereof that are permitted in the different districts, and providing lot size and other density and dimensional requirements;

(viii)    Establishing performance standards that apply to all new development as well as the redevelopment of all lands in the City;

(ix)    Defining the functions of the Planning Department, Public Works Department, Hearing Examiner, Design Review Board, Planning Commission, and City Council and other relevant agencies with respect to the administration and enforcement of this Land Use Code.

(6)    To regulate the subdivision of land to:

(i)    Ensure that adequate drainage facilities are provided in developing portions of the City;

(ii)    Promote coordinated land development; and

(iii)    Require uniform monumenting of land subdivisions and conveyance by accurate legal description.

(7)    To be consistent with the City of Lake Stevens’ Comprehensive Plan by ensuring that all development in the City will be served by adequate public facilities.

(8)    To require that all new land development activity contribute its proportionate share of the funds, land, and/or public facilities necessary to accommodate the impacts that such new development has on public facilities and services having a rational nexus to the proposed development and for which the need is reasonably attributable to the proposed development.

(9)    To provide for a penalty for the violation of this Land Use Code.

(b)    The zoning districts established in Chapter 14.36 are designated based on there being adequate public infrastructure and facilities provided at the time that the individual properties within that district are developed and/or used in a manner consistent with the uses allowed in that zoning district. Adequate public infrastructure and facilities are defined as being built to their planned capacity since the planned capacity is based on anticipated population at build-out under those zoning districts. (Ord. 811, Sec. 11, 2010; Ord. 741, Sec. 3, 2007; Ord. 501, Sec. 1, 1995)

14.04.020 Authority.

(a)    This title is adopted pursuant to the authority contained in Chapter 35A.63 RCW (Planning and Zoning in Code Cities), Chapter 35A.58 RCW (Boundaries and Plats), Chapter 36.70A RCW (Growth Management - Planning by Selected Counties and Cities), Chapter 86.16 RCW (Flood Management), RCW Title 58 (Boundaries and Plats), and any other appropriate State regulations.

(b)    Whenever any provision of this title refers to or cites a section of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) or Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and that section is later amended or superseded, the title shall be deemed amended to refer to the amended section or the section that most nearly corresponds to the superseded section. (Ord. 811, Sec. 12, 2010)

14.04.030 Jurisdiction.

(a)    This title shall be effective throughout the City’s planning jurisdiction. The City’s planning jurisdiction comprises the area within the corporate boundaries of the City, and as extended per subsection (b) of this section.

(b)    The City of Lake Stevens and Snohomish County may enter into an interlocal agreement granting partial or full planning jurisdiction to the City within any or all portions of the Lake Stevens Urban Growth Area (as established in both jurisdictions’ comprehensive plans).

(c)    In addition to other locations required by law, a copy of a map showing the boundaries of the City’s planning jurisdiction shall be available for public inspection in the Planning Department.

14.04.040 Effective Date.

The provisions in this title were originally adopted on April 17, 1995, and became effective on May 1, 1995.

14.04.050 Relationship to Existing Zoning, Subdivision and Flood Control Ordinances.

To the extent that the provisions of this title are the same in substance as the previously adopted provisions that they replace in the City’s zoning, subdivision, streets and sidewalks, parking, landscaping, flood control, building and construction, sign, shoreline management, drainage, sewer, or fee ordinances and/or titles, they shall be considered as continuations thereof 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 title merely by the repeal of the zoning ordinance.

14.04.060 Relationship to Land Use Plan.

It is the intention of the Council that this title implement the planning policies adopted by the Council for the City and its urban growth area, as reflected in the Comprehensive Plan and other planning documents. While the Council reaffirms its commitment that this title and any amendment to it be in conformity with adopted planning policies, the Council hereby expresses its intent that neither this title nor any amendment to it may be challenged on the basis of any alleged nonconformity with any planning document.

14.04.070 No Use or Sale of Land or Buildings Except in Conformity with Title Provisions.

(a)    Subject to Chapter 14.32 (Nonconformities), 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 his control except in accordance with all of the applicable provisions of this title.

(b)    For purposes of this section, the “use” or “occupancy” of a building or land relates to anything and everything that is done to, on, or in that building or land.

14.04.080 Fees.

(a)    Reasonable fees sufficient to cover the costs of administration, review, inspection, publication of notice and similar matters may be charged to applicants for project review, sign permits, conditional use permits, administrative conditional use permits, event permits, subdivision plat approval, zoning amendments, variances and other administrative relief. The amount of the fees charged shall be as set forth in the City’s budget or as established by resolution of the Council filed in the office of the City Clerk.

(b)    Fees established in accordance with subsection (a) of this section shall be paid upon submission of a signed application or notice of appeal, or as otherwise provided by said fee resolution. (Ord. 821, Sec. 3, 2009; Ord. 811, Sec. 13, 2010)

14.04.090 Severability.

It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Council that the sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, and phrases of this title are severable, and if any such section, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase is declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction in a valid judgment or decree, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, or phrases of this title since the same would have been enacted without the incorporation into this title of such unconstitutional or invalid section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase.

14.04.100 Computation of Time.

(a)    Unless otherwise specifically provided, the time within which an act is to be done shall be computed by excluding the first and including the last day. If the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, that day shall be excluded. When the period of time prescribed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays shall be excluded.

(b)    Unless otherwise specifically provided, whenever a person has the right or is required to do some act within a prescribed period after the service of a notice or other paper upon him and the notice or paper is served by mail, three days shall be added to the prescribed period.

14.04.110 Miscellaneous.

(a)    As used in this title, words importing the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter.

(b)    Words used in the singular in this title include the plural and words used in the plural include the singular.

14.04.115 Consistency Determination.

(a)    Pursuant to RCW 36.70B.040, the City shall review all project permit applications for consistency with applicable City development regulations or, in the absence of adopted development regulations, with the appropriate elements of the Comprehensive Plan or subarea plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW. In the consistency review, the City shall consider the following factors:

(1)    The type of land use permitted;

(2)    The level of development, such as units per acre or other measures of density;

(3)    Infrastructure, including public facilities and services needed to serve the development; and

(4)    The characteristics of the development, such as development standards.

(b)    No specific or separate documentation of consistency is required, except that for projects receiving a written report or other documentation from the department, consistency shall be documented in the report. For projects not requiring a written report, consistency shall be indicated on the permit or decision. (Ord. 811, Sec. 14, 2010)

14.04.120 Adoption of Supporting Administrative Guidelines.

(a)    City departments may administratively adopt guidelines, standards, reference materials, forms, or other documents that aid the public, applicant, staff, or decision-maker in interpreting and administering this document.

(b)    Those documents administratively adopted per subsection (a) of this section shall be on file with the Planning and Community Development Department. (Ord. 903, Sec. 2, 2013; Ord. 811, Sec. 15, 2010; Ord. 796, Sec. 1, 2009; Ord. 731, Sec. 2, 2006; Ord. 468, 1995)

14.04.130 Exemptions From Certain State Requirements.

(a)    The following project permits are exempt from the provisions of RCW 36.70B.060 through 36.70B.080 and 36.70B.110 through 36.70B.130 unless otherwise required by this title:

(1)    Landmark designations;

(2)    Street vacations;

(3)    Other approvals relating to the use of public areas or facilities; or

(4)    Other project permits, whether administrative or quasi-judicial, that the Planning Director has determined present special circumstances that warrant a review process different from that provided in RCW 36.70B.060 through 36.70B.080 and 36.70B.110 through 36.70B.130.

(b)    The following permits are exempt from RCW 36.70B.060 and 36.70B.110 through 36.70B.130 unless otherwise required by this title:

(1)    Lot line or boundary adjustments;

(2)    Building and other construction permits;

(3)    Similar administratively approved permits that are categorically exempt from environmental review under Chapter 43.21C RCW; or

(4)    Administratively approved permits for which environmental review has been completed in connection with other project permits. (Ord. 811, Sec. 16, 2010; Ord. 511, Sec. 12, 1996)