Chapter 14.16A
ADMINISTRATION AND PROCEDURES

Sections:

Part I.    General Provisions

14.16A.010    Purpose and Applicability

14.16A.020    Delegation of Authority

14.16A.030    Planning Agency Identified

14.16A.040    Compliance with Title 14 Required

14.16A.050    Effect of Decisions

14.16A.060    Official File

14.16A.070    Acknowledgement of Owner

Part II.    General Review Procedures

14.16A.110    Purpose

14.16A.120    Environmental Review

14.16A.130    Construction Plan Review

14.16A.140    Building and Construction Permit Review

14.16A.150    Phasing Development

14.16A.160    Post-Annexation Processing of Building and Related Permits and Land Use Applications

14.16A.170    Engineering Design and Development Standards

14.16A.180    Security Mechanisms

Part III.    Administrative Review Procedures

14.16A.205    Purpose

14.16A.210    Types of Review

14.16A.215    Land Use Permits Required

14.16A.220    Application Procedures

14.16A.225    Noticing Requirements

14.16A.230    Time Frames for Review

14.16A.235    Modifications to Approved Permits

14.16A.240    Vacation of Approved Permits and Variances

14.16A.245    Expiration of Inactive Applications

14.16A.250    Expiration of Approvals and Approved Permits

14.16A.255    Revocation of Approved Permits

14.16A.260    Public Meetings and Public Hearings

14.16A.265    Appeals

Part IV.    Duties, Authorities and Qualifications of Permit-Issuing and Review Bodies

14.16A.310    Purpose

14.16A.320    Planning Director

14.16A.325    Public Works Director

14.16A.330    Building Official

14.16A.340    Repealed

14.16A.350    Hearing Examiner

14.16A.360    Planning Commission

14.16A.370    City Council

14.16A.380    Park Board

Part I.    General Provisions

14.16A.010 Purpose and Applicability.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish procedures for processing project permit applications and for adopting and amending Comprehensive Plans and development regulations. These procedures are intended to promote land use decisions that further the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.020 Delegation of Authority.

Wherever this title refers to any of the following agents or any other agents of authority in the City, such agent may delegate the agent’s authority in the implementation of this title to another competent agent acting in the agent’s behalf. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.030 Planning Agency Identified.

The Planning Agency (Chapter 35A.63 RCW) for the City shall be composed of the following:

(a)    The Director of the Department of Planning and Community Development;

(b)    The Building Official;

(c)    The Director of the Department of Public Works;

(d)    Repealed by Ord. 1068.

(e)    The Lake Stevens Hearing Examiner;

(f)    The Lake Stevens Planning Commission;

(g)    The Lake Stevens Park Board; and

(h)    The Lake Stevens City Council. (Ord. 1068, Sec. 2 (Exh. B), 2019; Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.040 Compliance with Title 14 Required.

(a)    All land uses, activities, construction, clearing, grading, filling, development, intensification, and structural modifications or alterations shall comply with this title and with all permits and approvals granted for the use, activity, construction, clearing, grading, filling, development, intensification, or structural modifications or alterations. No permit or approval shall be issued for any parcel of land developed or divided in violation of this title.

(b)    All divisions of land shall comply with this title. Any portion of a lot or lots that was used to calculate compliance with this title, standards, or regulations shall not be subsequently subdivided or segregated from such lot or lots or sold or transferred separately from such lot or lots.

(c)    Violations and Penalties.

(1)    Any person violating any provisions of this title shall be subject to Title 17, Enforcement Code, and Chapter 14.28, Enforcement and Review.

(2)    Any building, structure, development, activity, land use, or division of land, not in conformance with this title and not a legal nonconformance or exempted by a policy governing existing nonconforming structures or uses, is declared to be unlawful, substandard, and a public nuisance, and is subject to the enforcement and abatement provisions in Title 17, Enforcement Code, and Chapter 14.28, Enforcement and Review. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.050 Effect of Decisions.

(a)    No Occupancy or Use of Property until Requirements Fulfilled. Issuance of a land use permit authorizes the recipient to commence construction activity, subject to obtaining appropriate building permits, designed to support the approved land use. Actual commencement of the approved land use may not occur until all requirements of the permit have been satisfied.

(b)    Transfer of Permit and Permit Applications on Successors and Assigns. Active land use permits and pending land use permit applications, including subdivisions, run with the land and therefore are transferable to new owners.

(c)    Reapplication Following Denial of Permit. Whenever a land use permit or a variance is denied, such action may not be reconsidered for a period of one year from the date of denial unless the applicant clearly demonstrates that:

(1)    The zoning classification or relevant development standards have changed;

(2)    New information is available that could not with reasonable diligence have been presented at a previous hearing; or

(3)    The project is modified in such a manner so as to correct the defects on which the original denial was based. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.060 Official File.

(a)    The Planning Director shall compile an official file on each application filed containing the following:

(1)    The application materials submitted by the applicant.

(2)    Any staff reports prepared.

(3)    All written testimony received on the matter.

(4)    The electronic recording and minutes of any public hearing on the matter.

(5)    The decision of the permit-granting authority on the permit.

(6)    Any other information relevant to the matter.

(7)    Certification of publication, and a copy of the mailed notification and the date of mailing.

(b)    The official file is a public record. It is available for inspection and copying in the Planning Department during regular business hours, though availability may be temporarily restricted during or prior to public hearings while staff is preparing for the hearing.

(c)    Official files shall be kept pursuant to State retention requirements. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.070 Acknowledgement of Owner.

(a)    All applications shall be signed by the property owner or an authorized representative and shall include an accurate description of the property to be subject to the requested permit.

(b)    A developer shall operate under the property owner’s authority.

(c)    The developer and/or property owner is either an individual or a duly formed and qualified corporation, partnership or other legal entity.

(d)    The person signing all applications or other legal documents is authorized by the legal entity and/or property owner to do so. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

Part II.    General Review Procedures

14.16A.110 Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to provide general procedures for the review of development applications. Detailed administrative review procedures for applications and land use actions classified as Types I through VI are outlined in Chapter 14.16B. Decision criteria for specific permits are outlined in Chapter 14.16C. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.120 Environmental Review.

Environmental review is conducted pursuant to Title 16, SEPA Procedures and Policies. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.130 Construction Plan Review.

(a)    The purpose of this section is to establish procedures for reviewing site construction plans for site improvements. Site construction drawings are engineering documents that are required for improvements to a particular site.

(b)    Public Works Construction Plan Approval.

(1)    Upon receipt of approval of a land use permit or preliminary subdivision, the applicant is required to apply for construction plan approval relating to following elements: on-site and off-site stormwater management, erosion control measures, public road and frontage improvements, dedication or deeding of right-of-way, street trees and other required landscaping elements, utilities, and any other improvement related to the development.

(2)    The application for construction plan approval shall include a completed construction plan review application form, plans and materials as outlined in the construction plan submittal checklist, and fee as set by Council resolution.

(3)    The applicant is required to obtain approvals from the Postmaster and utility purveyors.

(4)    Following approval of the construction plans and prior to any site work, the applicant shall schedule a preconstruction meeting with the Public Works Department. All contractors, subcontractors and utility representatives are to meet to discuss any issues related to the construction activity and minimizing impacts to the neighborhood and nearby facilities.

(5)    Pursuant to Section 14.16A.180(b), the Public Works Director may require a performance security to be in place before construction activities are commenced.

(c)    Public Improvements Required before Occupancy or Final Plat. Final plat approval or certificate of occupancy shall not be granted unless the required public improvements have been installed and accepted by the Public Works Department or the subdivider has provided a completion security pursuant to Section 14.16A.180(c) to ensure that all of these requirements will be fulfilled within not more than 12 months after final plat approval or until half of the dwelling units within the plat or phase are issued building permits, whichever comes first. Replacement trees to be located on public property must be planted prior to final plat approval. Replacement trees to be located on a private lot must be installed prior to issuing a final inspection or certificate of occupancy for that lot.

(d)    Dedication of Public Stormwater Facilities. Stormwater facilities shall be dedicated to the City at the completion of development. Private and commercial stormwater facilities remain the responsibility of the property owner(s).

(e)    Maintenance of Dedicated Facilities until Acceptance. Facilities intended to be dedicated to the City shall be maintained by the owner until such time as the dedication is accepted by the City.

(f)    Protection against Defects.

(1)    Whenever public improvements are to be dedicated to the City, the developer shall post a maintenance bond or other sufficient surety pursuant to Section 14.16A.180(d) to guarantee that the developer will correct all defects in such facilities or improvements that occur within two years after the acceptance of dedication of the improvements.

(2)    An architect or engineer retained by the developer shall certify to the City that all facilities and improvements to be dedicated to the City have been constructed in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. This certification shall be a condition precedent to acceptance by the City of the offer of dedication of such facilities or improvements.

(3)    For purposes of this section, the term “defects” refers to any condition that requires repairs over and above the normal amount of maintenance required for a particular improvement.

(g)    Authorizing Use and/or Occupancy before Completion of Development under Land Use Permits. When weather conditions or other factors beyond the control of the permittee (exclusive of financial hardship) make it unreasonable for the permittee to comply with all of the requirements of the permit (exclusive of subdivision approvals), the Planning Director may authorize the commencement of the intended use or the occupancy of buildings, if the permit recipient provides a performance bond or other security to ensure that all of these requirements will be fulfilled within a reasonable period (not to exceed 12 months) and if the Building Official finds that such occupancy will not result in a safety or health hazard. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 903, Sec. 7, 2013; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.140 Building and Construction Permit Review.

Procedures and requirements for administering and enforcing building and construction codes are set forth in Chapter 14.80. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.150 Phasing Development.

(a)    Projects may be completed in phases, provided the phasing meets the requirements of this section.

(b)    The developer shall submit site plans that clearly show the various phases or stages of the proposed development and the requirements of this title that will be satisfied with respect to each phase or stage.

(c)    Each phase must stand on its own in terms of meeting the requirements of the permit and this title. For example, improvements necessary to support Phase 1 cannot be deferred to be constructed at Phase 2.

(d)    The circulation pattern at the end of each phase must result in a configuration that does not create traffic hazards and that adequately supports the level of traffic anticipated to be generated. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.160 Post-Annexation Processing of Building and Related Permits and Land Use Applications.

(a)    The purpose of this section is to clearly state the process for processing of permits in newly annexed areas consistent with any adopted interlocal agreements.

(b)    The City will honor subdivisions, short plats, and other projects that have already vested under Snohomish County development standards pursuant to this section.

(c)    The County will continue the building permit review and project inspections of vested active projects and active land use permits pursuant to any adopted annexation interlocal agreement.

(d)    After the effective date of an annexation, all new land use and building applications shall conform to City regulations, and all plan reviews and inspections will be conducted by the City.

(e)    Transfer by Request of an Applicant. An applicant may request a transfer of a pending building permit application from the County to the City by submitting a written request to the City. The City will recognize any intermediate approvals that are effective prior to transfer of the permit application.

(f)    Permit Renewal or Extension. After the effective date of annexation, any request to renew a building permit or to renew or extend a land use permit issued by the County in the annexation area shall be made to and administered by the City pursuant to Section 14.16A.250.

(g)    Applicant-Requested Change to County Vested Project or County Approved Land Use Permit. Once permit processing has been transferred to the City pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section, or a permit has been approved by the County pursuant to an adopted annexation interlocal agreement, an applicant may request a change to a permit from the City in compliance with the requirements in Section 14.16A.235. Administrative modifications will be pursuant to County code; all other modifications will be pursuant to City code.

(h)    Expiration of County Vested Permits. The vested status of permits in an annexation area which vested in the County before the effective date of the annexation shall expire pursuant to the County code. If the County code does not specifically address expiration, then Section 14.16A.250 shall govern expiration of vested status. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.170 Engineering Design and Development Standards.

(a)    The Engineering Design and Development Standards, cited routinely as the EDDS, shall govern all new construction and upgrading of transportation facilities, storm drainage facilities and utilities within City rights-of-way, whether occurring under permit or franchise, and other transportation-related improvements mandated by the City’s Land Use Code.

(b)    Work and materials installed in the existing or future rights-of-way shall conform to the currently adopted version of the EDDS.

(c)    The EDDS may be amended or revised by the City Engineer in accordance with the policies in this title and sound engineering practices. A copy of any such amendment or revision shall be filed with the City Clerk and shall be subject to a 10-day public comment period. Copies of the EDDS amendments or revisions may be secured from the Department of Public Works at appropriate fees in accordance with copying charges established by the City Council.

(d)    The City Engineer may adopt and incorporate into the EDDS, by reference, other Federal, State and local design standards and specifications and other professionally accepted engineering standards and specifications.

(e)    The currently adopted version of the Engineering Design and Development Standards shall be available in the City Clerk’s office and the Public Works Department. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.180 Security Mechanisms.

(a)    General Requirements.

(1)    As security the City may accept any of the following: bonds, letters of credit from an insured bank, a secured account with an insured bank, or a cash deposit. Other forms of security may be accepted if approved by the City Finance Director in consultation with the City Attorney.

(2)    In each case where the City requires or allows an applicant to post a security, the Public Works Director shall determine the type of security to be used.

(b)    Performance Securities.

(1)    Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a performance security shall be required for any project on a site greater than one acre in size to guarantee that a site can be closed and/or winterized if necessary, or that measures can be taken by the City to respond to weather-related emergencies.

(2)    In addition, an augmented performance security may be required by the Public Works Director to cover the cost of installing any system-wide public improvements that an applicant has agreed to install as part of his project where the lack of installation would cause the system to fail or not be completed in a timely manner.

(3)    Performance securities may be presented to the City after preliminary approval of a project but in all circumstances shall be presented prior to any site work, including clearing, grading, or construction.

(4)    Submission of a performance security may be waived by the Public Works Director if, in his opinion, said guarantee of installation is not necessary.

(c)    Completion Securities. In lieu of installing public improvements per this title or a condition of a permit, a developer may propose to post a security to ensure completion of the improvements within one year of permit approval. An extension not to exceed one year may be approved by the Public Works Director upon extension of the security or submission of a new one.

(d)    Maintenance Securities. Any developer shall provide to the City a maintenance security to cover the cost of replacing or repairing any of the public improvements installed per this title or a condition of a permit.

(e)    Amount of the Security.

(1)    The amount of a security shall be a percentage, as specified in this subsection, of the estimated cost of design, materials, and labor, based on the estimated costs on the last day covered by the device, of installing, replacing, or repairing (whichever is appropriate) the improvements covered by the security.

(i)    Performance. One hundred fifty percent of the costs specified in subsection (e)(1) of this section.

(ii)    Completion. One hundred fifty percent of the costs specified in subsection (e)(1) of this section.

(iii)    Maintenance. Twenty percent of the costs specified in subsection (e)(1) of this section.

(2)    The Public Works Director shall approve the amount of a security under subsection (a) of this section. The applicant shall prepare for the Public Works Director’s review and approval a cost estimate of the items to be covered by the security.

(f)    Reduction of Securities. In those cases where improvement securities have been made, the amount of the guarantee may be reduced upon acceptance of the dedication of a portion of the required improvements. The amount of the reduction shall not exceed the percentage which the improvements just accepted for dedication made up of all originally required improvements. In no case, however, shall the guarantee be reduced to less than 15 percent of the original amount.

(g)    Duration of Securities. All securities shall be held until released by the Public Works Director; however, the standard duration of the various securities should be as follows:

(1)    Performance. One year or until all improvements are installed and accepted by the City, whichever is greater.

(2)    Completion. One year or until all improvements are installed and accepted by the City, whichever is greater.

(3)    Maintenance. Two years; extendable by the City if repairs are made at the end of the bonding period which, in the opinion of the Public Works Director, require additional guarantee of workmanship.

(h)    Supplemental Administrative Costs. In addition to the security, the applicant shall pay a fee to the City covering the City’s actual expenses of administering, and if necessary, using the proceeds of the security. The amount of this fee will be set by resolution.

(i)    Security Agreement. In each case where a security is posted, the applicant and the Public Works Director shall sign a notarized security agreement, approved in form by the City Attorney. This agreement shall be recorded with the Snohomish County Auditor. The agreement shall provide the following information:

(1)    A description of the work or improvements covered by the security.

(2)    Either the period of time covered by the maintenance security or the date after which the City will use the proceeds of the performance security to complete the required work or improvements.

(3)    The amount and nature of the security and the amount of the cash deposit.

(4)    The rights and duties of the City and the applicant.

(5)    An irrevocable license to run with the property to allow the employees, agents, or contractors of the City to go on the subject property for the purpose of inspecting and, if necessary, doing the work or making the improvements covered by the security.

(6)    The mechanism by and circumstances under which the security shall be released. At a minimum, after the work or improvements covered by a performance security have been completed, or at the end of the time covered by a maintenance security, the applicant may request the City to release the security. If the applicant has complied with the security agreement and this Code, the Public Works Director shall release the security remaining. If the work has not been completed or repairs not made, then the City shall not release the security until such work is completed per subsection (j) of this section. Partial release of the security may be allowed; provided, that the developer provides a new security in the amount specified in subsection (e) of this section for the remaining work.

(7)    Upon release of any recorded security mechanism, a copy of the letter of release shall be filed with the Snohomish County Auditor.

(j)    Use of Security Funds by the City.

(1)    If during the period of time covered by a maintenance security, or after the date by which the required work or improvements are to be completed under a performance security, the Public Works Director determines that the security agreement has not been complied with, he shall notify the applicant of this. The notice must state:

(i)    The work that must be done or the improvements that must be made to comply with the security agreement; and

(ii)    The amount of time, not to exceed 30 days, that the applicant has to commence and complete the required work or improvements; and

(iii)    That, if the work or improvements are not commenced and completed within the time specified, the City will use the proceeds of the security to have the required work or improvements completed.

(2)    If the work or improvements covered by the security are not completed within the time specified in the notice, the City shall obtain the proceeds of the security and shall cause such work to be completed.

(3)    The applicant is responsible for all costs incurred by the City in administering, maintaining, or making the improvements covered by the security(ies). The City shall release or refund any proceeds of a performance or maintenance security remaining after subtracting all costs for doing the work or making the improvements covered by the security. The applicant shall reimburse the City for any amount expended by the City that exceeds the proceeds of the security. The City may file a lien against the subject property for the amount of any excess.

(4)    In each case where the City uses any of the funds of a security, it shall give the applicant an itemized statement of all funds used. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

Part III.    Administrative Review Procedures

14.16A.205 Purpose.

It is the intent of this part to provide the administrative review procedures for applications and land use actions classified as Types I through VI. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.210 Types of Review.

(a)    The purpose of this section is to provide an overview of the six levels of land use review. Land use and development decisions are classified into six processes based on who makes the decision, the amount of discretion exercised by the decision maker, the level of impact associated with the decision, the amount and type of input sought, and the type of appeal opportunity.

(b)    Classification of Permits and Decisions.

(1)    Type I Review - Administrative Decisions without Notice. A Type I process is an administrative review and decision by the appropriate department or division. Applications reviewed under the Type I process are minor administrative decisions and are exempt from certain administrative procedures, such as complete application review, noticing, and decision time frames. Appeals of Type I decisions are made to the Hearing Examiner, except shoreline permit appeals are made to the Shoreline Hearings Board. The permits and actions reviewed and decided as Type I are listed in the table in subsection (d) of this section.

(2)    Type II Review - Administrative Decisions with Notice. A Type II process is an administrative review and decision with recommendation from staff, City departments or others and requiring public notice at the application and/or decision stages of the review. Appeals of Type II decisions are made to the Hearing Examiner, except shoreline permit appeals are made to the Shoreline Hearings Board. The permits and actions reviewed and decided as Type II are listed in the table in subsection (d) of this section.

(3)    Type III Review - Quasi-Judicial Decisions - Hearing Examiner. This Type III process is a quasi-judicial review and decision by the Hearing Examiner. The Hearing Examiner makes a decision based on a staff report. The Hearing Examiner considers public testimony received at an open record public hearing. Public notification is provided at the application, public hearing, and decision stages of application review. Appeals of Hearing Examiner decisions are made to Snohomish County Superior Court, except shoreline permit appeals are made to the Shoreline Hearings Board. The permits and actions reviewed and decided as Type III are listed in the table in subsection (d) of this section.

(4)    Type IV Review - Quasi-Judicial Decisions - City Council with Hearing Examiner Recommendation. A Type IV process is a quasi-judicial review and recommendation by the Hearing Examiner and a decision by the City Council. The Hearing Examiner considers public testimony received at an open record public hearing. The City Council makes a decision based on a recommendation from the Hearing Examiner during a closed record public meeting. Public notification is provided at the application, public hearing, and decision stages of application review. There is no opportunity for an administrative appeal. Appeals of City Council decisions are made to Snohomish County Superior Court. The permits and actions reviewed and decided as Type IV are listed in the table in subsection (d) of this section.

(5)    Type V Review - Quasi-Judicial Decisions - City Council. A Type V process is a quasi-judicial review and decision by the City Council. Public notification is provided at the application, public hearing (if any), and decision stages of application review. There is no opportunity for an administrative appeal. Appeals of City Council decisions are made to Snohomish County Superior Court. The permits and actions reviewed and decided as Type V are listed in the table in subsection (d) of this section.

(6)    Type VI Review - Legislative Decisions - City Council with Planning Commission Recommendation. A Type VI review is for legislative and/or nonproject decisions by the City Council under its authority to establish policies and regulations regarding future private and public development and management of public lands. The Planning Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council. The Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing to obtain public testimony on the proposed legislation. The City Council may elect to conduct an additional public hearing. The actions reviewed and decided as Type VI are listed in the table in subsection (d) of this section.

(c)    Permits and Actions Not Listed. If a permit or land use action is not listed in Table 14.16A-I, the Planning Director shall make the determination as to the appropriate review procedure.

(d)    Permit-Issuing Authority and Appeal Authority. The permit-issuing authority and appeal authority for permit applications and legislative actions are established in Table 14.16A-I. A detailed explanation for each review procedure is in Chapter 14.16B under each part for each review type.

Table 14.16A-I: Classification of Permits and Decisions 

Type of Review

Land Use Actions and Permits

Recommendation By

Public Hearing Prior to Decision

Permit-Issuing Authority

Administrative Appeal Body and Hearing

TYPE I

Administrative without Public Notice

• Design Review

None

None

Department director or designee

Hearing Examiner, except shoreline permits to State Shoreline Hearings Board, and Open Record

• Administrative Deviation

• Administrative Modifications

• Boundary Line Adjustments

• Change of Use

• Code Interpretations

• Events

• Floodplain Development Permits

• Home Occupations

• Master Sign Program

• Minor Land Disturbance

• Reasonable Use Exceptions

• Shoreline Exemptions

• Signs

• Temporary Uses

TYPE II

Administrative with Public Notice

• Administrative Conditional Use (formerly Special Use)

None

None

Planning Director or designee

Hearing Examiner, except shoreline permits to State Shoreline Hearings Board, and Open Record

• Administrative Variance

• Binding Site Plans

• Final Plats (short subdivisions and subdivisions)

• Major Land Disturbance

• Planned Action Certification

• SEPA Review (early or when not combined with another permit or required for a Type I permit)

• Shoreline Substantial Developments

• Short Plats - Preliminary

• Short Plat Alterations

• Short Plat Vacations

• Site Plan Reviews

TYPE III

Quasi-Judicial, Hearing Examiner

• Conditional Uses

Planning Director or designee

Open Record

Hearing Examiner

Superior Court, except shoreline permits to State Shoreline Hearings Board, and Closed Record

• Preliminary Plats

• Shoreline Conditional Uses

• Shoreline Variances

• Variances

TYPE IV

Quasi-Judicial, City Council with Hearing Examiner Recommendation

• Essential Public Facilities

Hearing Examiner with Open Record Hearing

Closed Record

City Council

None, appeal to Superior Court

• Planned Neighborhood Developments

• Rezone - Site-Specific Zoning Map Amendments

• Secure Community Transition Facilities

TYPE V

Quasi-Judicial, City Council

• Plat Alterations

Planning Director or designee

Open Record

City Council

None, appeal to Superior Court

• Plat Vacations

• Right-of-Way Vacations

TYPE VI

Legislative, City Council with Planning Commission Recommendation

• Comprehensive Plan Amendments, Map and Text

Planning Commission with Open Record Hearing

Open Record

City Council

Growth Management Hearings Board and Closed Record

• Development Agreements

• Land Use Code Amendments

• Rezones - Area-Wide Zoning Map Amendments

(e)    Associated Land Use Determinations. Associated land use determinations are decisions that need to be made as part of another land use action or permit review, as set forth in Table 14.16A-II. Each type of determination has a separate review process determined by the Planning Director or Public Works Director, except design review, which is reviewed pursuant to Section 14.16C.050.

Table 14.16A-II: Associated Land Use Determinations 

Associated Land Use Determinations

EDDS Street Deviations

Design Review

Miscellaneous Administrative Determinations (e.g., application requirements, waiver allowed by code in parking or landscaping, etc.)

Right-of-Way Improvement Exception

Underground Utility Deviations

(Ord. 1068, Sec. 2 (Exh. B), 2019; Ord. 1023, Sec. 2 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 969, Sec. 3, 2016; Ord. 903, Sec. 8, 2013; Ord. 876, Sec. 9, 2012; Ord. 860, Sec. 3, 2011; Ord. 855, Sec. 5, 2011; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.215 Land Use Permits Required.

(a)    Prior to building construction or alteration, substantial change of use, land clearing, or grading, the property owner is required to obtain a land use permit for the proposal.

(b)    Whenever a proposed project requires more than one land use permit, the permits will be processed simultaneously using the consolidated permit process specified in Section 14.16A.220(g). (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.220 Application Procedures.

(a)    This section describes the requirements for making application for review, including pre-application conferences, submittal requirements, and fees.

(b)    Applications for development permits and other land use actions shall be made to the Department of Planning and Community Development, except Type I applications shall be made to the department which has the decision making authority (see Section 14.16A.210(d)).

(c)    The property owner or any agent of the owner with authorized proof of agency may apply for a permit or approval under the type of process specified. Consent to the application must be made by the owners or lessees of property or persons who have contracted to purchase property. Signatures by agents of these parties may be accepted, if a letter from the party with ownership interest is submitted which authorizes the agent to sign the application in their name.

(d)    Pre-Application Conferences.

(1)    To achieve efficient and effective application of the requirements of this title, a pre-application conference between the applicant and the City staff is required for projects needing a conditional use permit, planned action certification and planned neighborhood developments.

(2)    Pre-application conferences are highly recommended for applications requiring Type III, IV or V reviews, and/or design review. Pre-application conferences are optional for applications requiring Type I, II and VI reviews.

(3)    Prior to submitting an application, the applicant may arrange a conference with Planning and Public Works staff to review the proposed action, to become familiar with City policies, plans and development requirements and to coordinate all necessary permits and procedures. Pre-application procedures and submittal requirements shall be determined by the Planning Director and available in the Department of Planning and Community Development.

(4)    Since it is impossible for the conference to be an exhaustive review of all potential issues, the discussions at the conference shall not bind or prohibit the City’s future application or enforcement of all applicable law.

(5)    To request a pre-application conference, an applicant shall submit a set of preliminary plans to the City. The amount and quality of the information submitted is up to the applicant; however, better information provided initially is more likely to result in better feedback and discussion with planning staff. At a minimum, the plans should include a basic layout of the proposal, including circulation, lot patterns and building locations, location of critical areas, and other site constraints.

(e)    Submittal Requirements.

(1)    The Planning Director shall specify submittal requirements, including type, detail, and number of copies, for an application to be complete. Submittal requirements for each permit application shall be available in the Department of Planning and Community Development. At a minimum the following shall be submitted with new applications:

(i)    General application form;

(ii)    Applicable fees;

(iii)    Environmental checklist (if not exempt);

(iv)    Applicable signatures, stamps or certifications;

(v)    All required items stated in the applicable development handouts.

(2)    The Planning Director may waive in writing specific submittal requirements determined to be unnecessary for review of an application. Alternatively, the Planning Director may require additional material, such as maps, studies, or models, when the Planning Director determines such material is needed to adequately assess the proposed project and submits the request in writing to the applicant.

(3)    Applications for shoreline substantial development permits shall include submittal of the supplemental requirements set forth in Chapter 7 of the Shoreline Master Program and shoreline permits application materials.

(f)    Determination of Complete Application.

(1)    The presumption established by this title is that all of the information set forth in the specified submittal checklists is necessary to satisfy the requirements of this section. However, each development is unique, and therefore the Planning Director may request additional information, if necessary, or may waive certain items if it is determined they are not necessary to ensure that the project complies with City requirements.

(2)    The Planning Director shall make a determination of completeness pursuant to Section 14.16A.230(c).

(g)    Consolidated Permit Process.

(1)    When applying concurrently for a development that involves two or more related applications, individual permit numbers shall be assigned and separate permit fees shall be paid, but the applications shall be reviewed and processed collectively. A consolidated report setting forth the recommendation and decision shall be issued.

(2)    Applications processed in accordance with subsection (g)(1) of this section, which have the same highest numbered procedure but are assigned different hearing bodies, shall be heard collectively by the highest decision maker(s). The City Council is the highest, followed by the Hearing Examiner and then Administrative.

(3)    No hearing or deliberation upon an application for a conditional use permit, subdivision, variance, planned neighborhood development, site plan review, administrative conditional use permit, shoreline permit, or similar quasi-judicial or administrative action, which is inconsistent with the existing Zoning Map, shall be scheduled for the same meeting at which the required Zoning Map amendment will be considered by the Hearing Examiner or the City Council. This section is intended to be a procedural requirement applicable to such actions as noted in RCW 58.17.070.

(h)    Application and Inspection Fees. Fees are set forth in a separate fees resolution adopted by the City Council. (Ord. 1068, Sec. 2 (Exh. B), 2019; Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 898, Sec. 2, 2013; Ord. 876, Sec. 10, 2012; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.225 Noticing Requirements.

(a)    Mailed Notices and Postcard Notices.

(1)    Mailings shall include a mailed notice or postcard notice to owners of real property within 300 feet of the project site, or 20 property owners (whichever results in more property owners being noticed), including the project name and number and the following information. Mailings may provide a website address where detailed information is available for viewing. Mailings shall include the following information or Internet addresses to the following information:

(i)    The date of application and the date of the notice of application;

(ii)    A description of the proposed project action and a list of the project permits included in the application and, if applicable, a list of any studies requested under RCW 36.70B.070;

(iii)    The identification of other permits not included in the application, to the extent known by the City;

(iv)    The identification of existing environmental documents that evaluate the proposed project, and, if not otherwise stated on the document providing notice of application, the location where the application and any studies can be reviewed;

(v)    A statement of the limits of the public comment period;

(vi)    A statement of the right of any person to comment on the application, receive notice of and participate in any hearings, request a hearing, if applicable, request a copy of the decision once made, and any appeal rights;

(vii)    The date, time, place and type of meeting or hearing, if applicable, and if it is scheduled at the date of notice of the application;

(viii)    A statement of the preliminary determination of consistency, if one has been made at the time of notice, and of those development regulations that will be used for project mitigation;

(ix)    A map depicting the boundaries of the project site and, when applicable, a site map showing the proposal or website address where maps can be viewed;

(x)    A statement announcing the City’s goal of complying with the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, announcing accessibility, offer of assistance to persons with special needs, and availability of TDD services;

(xi)    Any other information determined appropriate by the City, such as the City’s threshold determination, if complete at the time of issuance of the notice of application.

(2)    Mailings will be sent to adjacent jurisdictions if the proposed development is within one-quarter mile of the jurisdiction’s boundary; the State Department of Transportation if the proposed development is adjacent to a State highway; and to all other agencies with jurisdiction.

(3)    Mailings shall also include the mailed or emailed notice of application or postcard notice including at least the information required in subsection (a)(1) of this section to each person who has requested such notice.

(4)    No proceeding of any procedure established in this chapter shall be found to be invalid for failure to provide mailed notice as required in this section as long as the other methods of notice have met their respective requirements and there was a good faith attempt to comply with the mailed notice requirements.

(5)    The records of the Snohomish County Assessor’s office or title company shall be used for determining the property owner of record. Addresses for a mailed notice required by this code shall be obtained from the Snohomish County real property tax records.

(6)    All public notices shall be deemed to have been provided or received on the date the notice is deposited in the mail or personally delivered, whichever occurs first.

(b)    Posted Notices.

(1)    On-Site Posting. At least one public notice board shall be posted on the site on each public right-of-way fronting on the site. The sign shall be erected in a manner that is accessible and easy to read by the general public. The Planning Director shall establish standards for size, color, layout, design, wording and placement of the notice boards, which generally shall consist of the items listed in subsection (a)(1) of this section. The Department of Planning and Community Development will provide prepared signs for on-site posting to the applicant. The applicant is responsible for posting the on-site notice and submitting a signed affidavit of on-site posting with a photo of each on-site notice.

(2)    Public Posting. A public notice shall also be posted on the official notice board at City Hall.

(3)    Special Posting for Major Land Use Actions. In addition to the general notice requirements set forth in subsections (a) and (b)(1) of this section, major land use actions shall comply with the following extraordinary signage requirements (see Section 14.16B.315(d)(3)):

(i)    Sign Size and Placement. Each sign shall be two feet by two and one-half feet in size, placed no closer than five feet from the right-of-way, visible from each public street on which the subject property has frontage, and placed outside the sight distance triangle.

(ii)    Content of Notice. Signs shall be prepared using templates or attachable letters. Hand lettered signs are not acceptable. The required sign shall include:

a.    The title “Notice of Land Use Application”;

b.    A graphic or written description of the site boundaries;

c.    Type of action/application (preliminary plat, etc.);

d.    The date of public hearing;

e.    The name and telephone number of the Department of Planning and Community Development;

f.    City of Lake Stevens logo;

g.    Other information as the Planning Director may determine to be necessary to adequately notify the public of the pending land use application.

(iii)    Responsibility for Installation and Removal.

a.    The applicant shall be solely responsible for the construction, installation, and removal of the sign(s) and the associated costs.

b.    The sign(s) shall be erected at least 10 days prior to the public hearing. The applicant shall sign an affidavit, stating that the sign(s) were installed and the date and posting of property. Photos of each sign shall also be submitted with the affidavit.

c.    The sign(s) shall be removed immediately following final action by the Hearing Examiner.

d.    If the sign is removed prior to the final action, the applicant is responsible for immediate replacement of the sign.

(c)    Responsibility for Notice. The Planning Director is responsible for providing published legal notices, mailed notices, and posted notices at City Hall. The applicant is responsible for complying with on-site posted notice requirements. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 903, Sec. 9, 2013; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.230 Time Frames for Review.

(a)    Purpose. RCW 36.70B.070 and 36.70B.080 require time frames be established to ensure applications are reviewed in a timely and predictable manner. This subsection establishes the time frames and procedures for a determination of completeness and final decision for Type II, III, IV or V reviews. No time frames are established by these statutes for Type I or VI reviews.

(b)    Computing Time. Unless otherwise specified, all time frames are indicated as calendar days, not working days. For the purposes of computing time, the day the determination or decision is rendered shall not be included. The last day of the time period shall be included; provided, that if it is a Saturday, Sunday, a day designated by RCW 1.16.050 or by the City’s ordinances as a legal holiday, then it also is excluded and the time period concludes at the end of the next business day.

(c)    Complete Application Review Time Frame. The following procedures shall be applied to new applications requiring Type II, III, IV, or V reviews. Applications requiring Type I or VI review are excluded from this requirement.

(1)    Within 28 days after receiving an application, the Planning Director shall mail, email, fax, or otherwise provide to the applicant a written determination that the application is complete, or that the application is incomplete, and what is necessary to make the application complete. The applicant has 90 days to submit the necessary information to the City.

(2)    If the Planning Director does not provide a written determination within the 28 days, the application shall be deemed complete at the end of the twenty-eighth day.

(3)    If additional information is needed to make the application complete, the Planning Director shall notify the applicant whether the application is complete or what additional information is necessary within 14 days after an applicant has submitted the information identified by the Planning Director as being needed.

(4)    An application is complete for purposes of this section when it meets the submittal requirements established by the Planning Director and is sufficient for continued processing, even though additional information may be required or project modifications may be undertaken subsequently. The determination of completeness shall not preclude the Planning Director from requesting additional information or studies either at the time of the Notice of Completeness or subsequently, if new information is required to complete review of the application or substantial changes in the permit application are proposed.

(5)    To the extent known by the City, other agencies with jurisdiction over the project permit application shall be identified in the City’s determination of completeness required by subsection (c)(1) of this section.

(d)    Application Review and Decision Time Frame.

(1)    Decisions on Type II, III, IV, or V applications shall not exceed 120 days, unless the Planning Director makes written findings that a specified amount of additional time is needed for processing of a specific complete project application. Applications for developments that are complex or that have extensive or difficult issues may take additional time. The applicant and the City may agree in writing to extend the time period.

(2)    Preliminary Plats. Pursuant to RCW 58.17.140, preliminary plats of any proposed subdivision and dedication shall be approved, disapproved, or returned to the applicant for modification or correction within 90 days from the date of filing thereof unless the applicant consents to an extension of such time period or the 90-day limitation is extended to include up to 21 days as specified under RCW 58.17.095(3). The 90-day period shall not include the time spent preparing and circulating an environmental impact statement by the local governmental agency.

(3)    Final Plats and Short Plats. Pursuant to RCW 58.17.140, final plats and short plats shall be approved, disapproved, or returned to the applicant within 30 days from the date of filing thereof, unless the applicant consents to an extension of such time period.

(4)    Appeals. The time period for consideration and decision on appeals shall not exceed 90 days for an open record appeal hearing and 60 days for a closed record appeal. The parties may agree in writing to extend these time periods. Any extension of time mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the City shall be in writing.

(5)    Exemptions. The time limits established in this title do not apply if a project permit application:

(i)    Requires an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan or a development regulation;

(ii)    Requires approval of the siting of an essential public facility as provided in RCW 36.70A.200;

(iii)    Is reviewed as Type I or VI permit;

(iv)    Is substantially revised by the applicant, in which case the time period shall start from the date at which the revised project application is determined to be complete.

(e)    Calculating Decision Time Frame. In determining the number of days that have elapsed after the City has notified the applicant that the application is complete for purposes of calculating the time for issuance of the notice of final decision, the following periods shall be excluded:

(1)    Any period during which the applicant has been requested by the City to correct plans, perform required studies, or provide additional required information. If the City determines that the information submitted by the applicant is insufficient, it shall notify the applicant of the deficiencies. The period shall be calculated from the date the City notifies the applicant of the need for additional information until the earlier of the date the local government determines whether the additional information satisfies the request for information or 14 days after the date the information has been provided to the City;

(2)    Any period during which an environmental impact statement is being prepared following a determination of significance (DS) pursuant to Chapter 43.21C RCW, or if the City and the applicant in writing shall agree to a time period for completion of an environmental impact statement;

(3)    Any period for administrative appeals of project permits, if an open record appeal hearing or a closed record appeal, or both, are allowed; or

(4)    Any extension of time mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the City.

(f)    Possible Extension of Time for Final Decision. If the City is unable to issue a final decision within the time limits provided herein, the applicant shall be provided written notice of this fact. The notice shall include a statement of reasons why the time limits have not been met and an estimated date for issuance of the notice of final decision. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.235 Modifications to Approved Permits.

(a)    Administrative modifications are reviewed and approved pursuant to Section 14.16C.025.

(b)    All other requests for changes in approved permits will be processed as new applications.

(c)    The Planning Director shall determine whether modifications of permits fall within the categories set forth above in subsections (a) and (b) of this section. However, the Planning Director shall provide the original permit issuing authority with a report on the modification and request feedback within 21 days from that authority as to the appropriateness of the determination.

(d)    An applicant requesting approval of changes shall submit a written request for such approval to the Planning Director, which request shall identify the changes. Approval of all changes must be given in writing. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.240 Vacation of Approved Permits and Variances.

(a)    Requests to vacate a permit or variance shall be made in writing to the Department of Planning and Community Development.

(b)    The Planning Director may vacate the permit or variance if the following conditions are present:

(1)    The use authorized by the permit or variance does not exist and is not actively being pursued; or

(2)    The use has been terminated and no violation of the terms and the conditions of the variance or permit exists.

(c)    Vacation of any permit or variance shall be documented by the filing of a notice of land use permit or variance vacation with the County Auditor on a form provided by the Department of Planning and Community Development. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.245 Expiration of Inactive Applications.

(a)    An application shall expire 180 days after the last date that additional information is requested, if the applicant has failed to provide the information, except that:

(1)    The Planning Director may grant one 90-day extension if the following criteria are met:

(i)    A written request for extension is submitted at least 30 days prior to the expiration date;

(ii)    The applicant demonstrates that circumstances beyond the control of the applicant prevent timely submittal of the requested information; and

(iii)    The applicant provides a reasonable schedule for submittal of the requested information.

(2)    The Department may set an expiration date of less than 180 days when the permit application is the result of a code enforcement action. Permit application expiration does not affect permits under code enforcement action.

(3)    No application shall expire when under review by the Department following submittal of a complete application or timely resubmittal of an application when all required information has been provided.

(4)    The Department may extend an expiration date for an application with no written request from an applicant when additional time for City processing or scheduling of appointments is required, when the Department needs information or responses from other agencies, or under other similar circumstances.

(b)    A permit application approved for issuance, but not paid for and issued, shall expire 90 days after the date it is approved for issuance. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.250 Expiration of Approvals and Approved Permits.

(a)    Land use approvals/permits other than subdivisions or shoreline permits shall expire automatically within one year after the issuance of such permits, if:

(1)    The use authorized by such permits has not commenced, in circumstances where no substantial construction, excavation or demolition is necessary before commencement of such use; or

(2)    Less than 10 percent of the total cost of all construction, excavation or demolition of the approved development has been completed.

(b)    Land use permits other than subdivisions shall also expire automatically if construction, grading or excavation is commenced but such work is discontinued for a period of one year.

(c)    Shoreline Development Permits. Construction activities shall be commenced or, where no construction activities are involved, the use or activity shall be commenced within two years of the effective date of a substantial development permit. However, the City may authorize a single extension for a period not to exceed one year based on reasonable factors, if a request for extension has been filed before the expiration date and notice of the proposed extension is given to parties of record on the substantial development permit and to the Department of Ecology. (RCW 90.58.143(2))

(d)    For land use permits other than preliminary short subdivisions, subdivisions and sign permits:

(1)    The Planning Director may grant one six-month extension to a permit upon showing proper justification, if:

(i)    The extension is requested at least 30 calendar days before the permit expires;

(ii)    The permittee has proceeded with due diligence and in good faith; and

(iii)    The zoning designation of the property has not changed.

(2)    Proper justification consists of one or more of the following conditions:

(i)    Economic hardship;

(ii)    Change of ownership;

(iii)    Unanticipated construction and/or site design problems;

(iv)    Other circumstances beyond the control of the applicant and determined acceptable by the appropriate department director.

(e)    Preliminary short subdivision and subdivision approvals shall expire automatically if, within five years after the issuance of such approvals:

(1)    The final plat or short plat has not been submitted to the City for approval; or

(2)    An extension has not been granted. The Planning Director may approve a single one-year original extension to the approval, if:

(i)    The request was delivered in writing to the Planning Department at least 30 calendar days prior to the approval’s expiration and meets one of the proper justifications listed in subsection (d)(2) of this section;

(ii)    The permittee has proceeded with due diligence and in good faith to complete the plat; and

(iii)    Conditions have not changed so substantially as to warrant a new application.

(f)    Additional Extension of Original Approvals for Preliminary Short Subdivisions, Preliminary Subdivisions, Conditional Use Permits, Special Use Permits, Zoning Permits, and Site Plans.

(1)    After requesting and receiving the original permit extension provided in subsection (d) or (e) of this section, a permittee or his or her successors may request of the Planning Director six months prior to expiration of permit extension a one- or two-year extension as provided in subsections (f)(3) and (4) of this section for an extension above the original extension request in subsection (e) of this section, provided all other requirements of this section are met including:

(i)    Filing with the Planning Director a sworn and notarized declaration that substantial work has not commenced as a result of adverse market conditions and an inability of the applicant to secure financing;

(ii)    Paying applicable permit extension fees;

(iii)    Paying all outstanding invoices for work performed on the permit review; and

(iv)    There are no substantial changes in the approved plans or specifications.

(2)    The total combined time period for any preliminary short subdivision or preliminary subdivision may be extended by the Planning Department under this section and shall not exceed a total extension of two years for a total of seven years’ approval; except for approvals dated on or before December 31, 2007, shall not exceed a total extension of five years by requesting additional one- or two-year extensions. The total combined time period for any conditional use permit, special use permit, zoning permit, or site plan may be extended by the Department under this section and shall not exceed a total extension of one and one-half years.

(3)    The one-year original extension of preliminary short subdivisions and preliminary subdivisions established in subsection (e) of this section may be further extended by up to an additional four years for original approvals prior to December 31, 2007, and up to an additional two years for original approvals prior to March 31, 2010. Associated permit approvals before December 31, 2014, including construction plans, clearing and grading permits, rezones, right-of-way construction, sidewalk and street deviations, and building permits shall be automatically extended for the same period subject to subsection (f)(2) of this section.

(4)    The six-month extension of conditional use permits, special use permits, zoning permits, and site plans established in subsection (d) of this section may be further extended by up to an additional one year for original approvals prior to March 31, 2010. Associated permit approvals before March 31, 2010, including construction plans, clearing and grading permits, rezones, right-of-way construction, sidewalk and street deviations, and building permits shall be automatically extended for the same period subject to subsection (f)(5) of this section.

(5)    Related shoreline development permit time requirements may not be extended past the allowed limits in WAC 173-27-090 and RCW 90.58.143.

(6)    Permits are vested to the codes in effect at the time of original approval.

(g)    Construction Plan Approvals.

(1)    Construction plans for projects reviewed under the development code shall be approved for a period of 60 months from the date the City signs the plans or until expiration of the preliminary plat, preliminary short plat, binding site plan, conditional use permit, or site plan approval. If the construction plan is not connected to another permit, it shall expire in one year with one six-month extension allowed.

(2)    The City may grant an extension of up to 12 months if substantial progress has been made by the applicant to complete construction of the approved project. Extensions shall be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Public Works Director or designee and will require a letter to be submitted to the City requesting the extension at least 30 calendar days prior to the approval’s expiration. Said letter shall demonstrate that the project has made substantial construction progress, the reason for the extension request, and an estimated timeline for completion of construction.

(3)    When the approval period or any extension thereof expires, the City’s approval of the construction plans shall be deemed automatically withdrawn. In order to receive further consideration by the City after such expiration and automatic withdrawal, construction plans must be resubmitted and must comply with the current code requirements.

(h)    Once the time period and any extensions have expired, approval/permit shall terminate and the application is void and deemed withdrawn. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 903, Sec. 10, 2013; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.255 Revocation of Approved Permits.

(a)    The hearing entity may revoke an approved permit through the same approval and/or hearing procedures for the original approval.

(b)    An approved permit may be revoked only upon finding that:

(1)    The use for which the approval was granted has been abandoned for a period of at least one year;

(2)    Approval of the permit was obtained by misrepresentation of material fact; or

(3)    The permit is being exercised contrary to the terms of approval. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.260 Public Meetings and Public Hearings.

(a)    This section sets forth procedures for public meetings and hearings in addition to processes set forth in each of the review types in Chapter 14.16B.

(b)    Public Meetings. The purpose of a public meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to learn about a project and/or the City, a board or panel, or decision maker to ask questions for a better understanding of a project. Meetings are not as formal as a hearing, do not require public testimony, and are not required to be taped. Public meetings may be required for Type III, IV or V reviews.

(c)    Public Hearings. The purpose of having hearings is to provide decision makers with an opportunity to obtain additional information and to provide the public with an opportunity to introduce that information and to make their views known. Public hearings are required for Type III, IV, V, and VI reviews. When this title or State law requires a hearing, the following shall apply:

(1)    A verbatim record shall be kept;

(2)    Those present shall be given the opportunity to testify;

(3)    The hearing authority shall be allowed to ask questions of those testifying;

(4)    The hearing shall be conducted to ensure fairness to all parties;

(5)    The hearing authority may subpoena witnesses; and

(6)    A hearing may be kept open to take additional information up to the point a final decision is made. No further notice of a continued hearing need be published unless a period of six months or more elapses between meeting dates.

(d)    Notices of public meetings or hearings shall include the following information:

(1)    The date, time, and place of the hearing.

(2)    Location of the site.

(3)    A brief description of the request, and any proposed modifications or variances.

(4)    Applicant’s name.

(5)    Project name and file number and a statement of its availability for inspection by the public.

(6)    A statement of the right of any person to submit written testimony to the appropriate permit-issuing authority and to appear at the public hearing to give testimony orally.

(7)    A statement that only persons who submit written or oral testimony to the permit-issuing authority may appeal the decision.

(8)    A statement announcing the City’s goal of complying with the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, announcing accessibility, offer of assistance to persons with special needs, and availability of TDD services.

(e)    Burden of Proof/Testimony.

(1)    The burden of presenting evidence to the permit-issuing entity sufficient to lead it to conclude that the application should be approved, conditioned, or denied shall be upon the party advancing the position.

(2)    All persons in attendance that wish to testify shall be sworn in.

(3)    All findings and conclusions necessary to the issuance of a decision shall be based upon reliable evidence.

(f)    Joint Public Meetings or Hearings.

(1)    Approval Authority’s Decision to Combine Joint Hearing. At the applicant’s request, the approval authority may combine any public hearing on a project permit application with any hearing that may be held by another local, State, regional, Federal, or other agency, on the proposed action, as long as:

(i)    The hearing is held within the City limits; and

(ii)    The requirements of subsection (f)(3) of this section are met. (RCW 36.70B.110(7))

(2)    Applicant’s Request for a Joint Meeting or Hearing. The applicant may request that the public hearing on a permit application be combined as long as the joint hearing can be held within the time periods set forth in this title. In the alternative, the applicant may agree to a particular schedule if that additional time is needed in order to complete the hearings. (RCW 36.70B.110(7))

(3)    Prerequisites to Joint Public Meeting or Hearing. A joint public hearing may be held with another local, State, regional, Federal or other agency and the City, as long as:

(i)    The other agency is not expressly prohibited by statute from doing so; (RCW 36.70B.110(8))

(ii)    Sufficient notice of the meeting or hearing is given to meet each of the agencies’ adopted notice requirements as set forth in statute, ordinance, or rule;

(iii)    The agency has received the necessary information about the proposed project from the applicant in enough time to hold its meeting or hearing at the same time as the local government hearing; and

(iv)    The meeting or hearing is held within the geographic boundary of the local government.

(g)    Modification of Application at Hearing.

(1)    In response to questions or comments by the decision maker or public at the hearing, the applicant may offer to modify the application, including the plans and specifications submitted.

(2)    If the modifications are such that the decision maker, staff or public cannot reasonably be expected to perceive the nature and impact of the proposed changes without revised plans available for review, the decision making entity may continue the hearing and direct the applicant to prepare revisions or approve the application with conditions deemed necessary to ensure the proposal meets the approval criteria.

(3)    In order to approve the modifications at the meeting, the modifications must be such that they clearly would not require reevaluations of the SEPA checklist and traffic report, additional public notice, and additional agency review. An additional review deposit may be required, if the additional review is expected to incur costs in excess of the previous deposit(s).

(h)    Record.

(1)    Tape recordings shall be made of all hearings required by this title, and such recordings shall be kept for at least two years. Accurate minutes shall also be kept of all such proceedings, but a transcript need not be made. The written decision of a Hearing Examiner shall meet the requirement for minutes of the Hearing Examiner public hearing.

(2)    Whenever practicable, all documentary evidence presented at a hearing, as well as all other types of physical evidence, shall be made a part of the record of the proceedings and shall be kept by the City for at least two years. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.265 Appeals.

(a)    This section sets forth procedures for appeals, in addition to any specific procedures set forth in each of the review types in Chapter 14.16B.

(b)    Processing of Appeals. Appeals of decisions on project permit decisions shall be processed according to the procedures outlined in each of the review types in Chapter 14.16B. The decision maker on the appeal may reverse or affirm or modify the decision, if it is found the original decision was based on faulty facts or incorrect application of the law. Any modifications to the decision shall be limited to those necessary to ensure the decision criteria of this title are met.

(c)    Effect of Appeal. Decisions on Type I, Type II, Type III, and Type IV permits are assumed valid unless overturned by an appeal decision. An appeal stays all actions by the Planning Director seeking enforcement of or compliance with the order or decision appealed from, unless the Planning Director finds that a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case proceedings shall not be stayed except by order of the Hearing Examiner or a court.

(d)    Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies. No action to obtain judicial review may be commenced unless all rights of administrative appeal provided by this title or State law have been exhausted. The cost of transcription of all records ordered certified by the court for such review shall be borne by the appellant. A copy of each transcript prepared by an appellant shall be submitted to the City for confirmation of its accuracy.

(e)    Consolidated Appeals. All appeals of project permit application decisions, other than an appeal of determination of significance (DS), shall be considered together in a consolidated appeal. (RCW 43.21C.075, 36.70B.060(6)) (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

Part IV.    Duties, Authorities and Qualifications of Permit-Issuing and Review Bodies

14.16A.310 Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to define the authorities, roles and responsibilities for the positions or entities responsible for administering this title. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.320 Planning Director.

(a)    The Planning Director enforces the municipal code unless otherwise specified. As specified in this title, the Planning Director shall be the City’s Planning and Community Development Director or designated representative.

(b)    Authority and Duties. The Planning Director or designee shall have the authority to enter and inspect buildings and land during reasonable hours with permission of the occupant or owner or by court order, to issue abatement orders and citations and to cause the termination and abatement of violations of this title unless otherwise specified. The duties of the Planning Director shall include, but not be limited to, the following: enforce and administer this title unless otherwise specified; investigate complaints and initiate appropriate action; render decisions or make recommendations as specified in this title; and keep adequate records of land use applications, enforcement actions, and appeals. The Planning Director may also review administrative modifications pursuant to Section 14.16C.025 to items previously approved by the Planning Commission and/or City Council.

(c)    Appeals. Appeals of final decisions of the Planning Director made in the course of interpretation or administration of this title shall be governed by Section 14.16A.265, Appeals. Code enforcement actions pursuant to Section 14.16A.040, Compliance with Title 14 Required, are not “final decisions” for the purpose of this section, except as otherwise provided in this title. (Ord. 1068, Sec. 2 (Exh. B), 2019; Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.325 Public Works Director.

The Public Works Director is the administrative head of the Department of Public Works. As provided in various sections, the Public Works Director is responsible for planning, administration, enforcement, and decision making as it pertains to public improvements as specified in this title, including the approval of plans for public improvements and approval of public improvements for acceptance by the City, or to delegate such authority to the Public Works staff or Planning and Community Development Director. In delegating authority, the Public Works Director or his or her representative reserves the right of final decision. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.330 Building Official.

The office of the Building Official is established to administer and enforce the building and construction codes. The rules, regulations and procedures under which the Building Official shall operate are established in Chapter 14.80. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.340 Design Review Board.

Repealed by Ord. 1068. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.350 Hearing Examiner.

(a)    The purpose of establishing a Hearing Examiner is to separate the application of land use regulations from policy making; to provide a level of expertise to conduct administrative and quasi-judicial hearings arising from the application of this title and the rules and procedures developed under it; to better protect and promote the interests of the community; and to expand the principles of fairness and due process in public hearings.

(b)    Authority and Duties. The Hearing Examiner’s authority and duties are provided in Chapter 2.48 and below:

(1)    Meetings of the Hearing Examiner.

(i)    The Hearing Examiner shall have no regularly scheduled meetings but shall meet on an as-needed basis so that he or she can take action in conformity with this title.

(ii)    The Hearing Examiner shall conduct meetings in accordance with the quasi-judicial procedures set forth in Chapters 14.16A and 14.16B.

(iii)    All meetings of the Hearing Examiner, except for mediation proceedings, shall be open to the public, and whenever feasible the agenda for each Board meeting shall be made available in advance of the meeting.

(2)    Powers and Duties of the Hearing Examiner.

(i)    The Hearing Examiner shall hear and decide:

a.    Applications for conditional use permits.

b.    Appeals from any order, decision, requirement, or interpretation made by the Planning Director or City Council.

c.    Any other matter the Hearing Examiner is required to act upon by any other City ordinance.

(ii)    In addition, the Hearing Examiner is invested within those duties and powers as specified in Chapter 2.48 (Hearing Examiner’s Office).

(3)    In carrying out the duties and powers, the Examiner shall review available information, determine findings of fact from the record, and form conclusions in support of recommendations and decisions. The findings and conclusions shall also set forth the manner in which the recommendation or decision carries out and conforms to the regulations, goals and policies of the City. The Examiner shall have the power to issue summons to compel the appearance of witnesses, to preserve order, to reconsider decisions, and shall be free from the interference of individual City Council members, Planning Commission members, City officials, or any other person. The Hearing Examiner may also exercise administrative powers and such other quasi-judicial powers as may be granted by the City Council.

(4)    On a periodic basis or as the need arises, the Examiner shall report to the Planning Commission on recommended changes to this title, the resolution of conflicts within it, and additions that address omissions.

(5)    Appeals from Final Decisions. Appeals from final decisions of the Hearing Examiner shall be governed by Section 14.16A.265, Appeals. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.360 Planning Commission.

(a)    A Planning Commission is created by Chapter 2.64 to involve residents of the City in advising the City Council on matters of community development.

(b)    Authority and Duties. The Planning Commission’s authority and duties are provided in Chapter 2.64 and this section. The Planning Commission shall serve as an advisory body to the City Council in the following respects:

(1)    The Planning Commission may make recommendations to the City Council based on its findings and conclusions and on those of its committees. It shall prepare the elements of the Comprehensive Plan or this title for adoption or modification; advise the Council regarding comprehensive land use and development policy or special area concerns; and investigate and make recommendations on matters suggested by the Council, the Mayor, Lake Stevens citizens, or upon its own initiative. Ad hoc committees may be created for special studies.

(2)    The Planning Commission shall monitor the growth and development of the City and the areas surrounding the City and shall continually reevaluate and recommend revisions to the elements of the Comprehensive Plan or Land Use Code.

(3)    The Planning Commission shall forward to the Council a periodic report on the status of this title. The Planning Commission shall monitor the hearings of the Hearing Examiner in order to stay abreast of development activities and the concerns of the public.

(c)    Public Hearings. The Planning Commission shall conduct its public hearings under this title in accordance with Section 14.16A.260, Public Meetings and Public Hearings. The Planning Commission may hold additional hearings and meetings as it sees fit to conduct its business.

(d)    Quorum. A quorum shall be considered a majority of the currently constituted membership. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.370 City Council.

(a)    The City Council makes decisions on changes to the text of this title and to the Official Zoning Map pursuant to Section 14.16C.090.

(b)    Authority and Duties. The City Council’s authority and duties are provided in Chapter 2.08.

(c)    Public Hearings. The City Council shall conduct its public hearings under this title in accordance with Section 14.16A.260.

(d)    Public Hearings and Appeals. The City Council may hold additional hearings and meetings as it sees fit to conduct its business. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)

14.16A.380 Park Board.

The authority, membership, powers, and duties of the Lake Stevens Park Board are established in Chapter 2.56 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code. (Ord. 1015, Sec. 4 (Exh. C), 2018; Ord. 811, Sec. 2 (Exh. 1), 2010)