Chapter 14.19


14.19.010    Purpose.

14.19.020    Elements.

14.19.030    Adoption and amendment procedures.

14.19.010 Purpose.

The comprehensive plan is the city’s official statement concerning future growth and development. It sets forth goals, policies, and strategies to protect the health, welfare, safety, and quality of life for residents in the city of Mill Creek. The comprehensive plan is required to be consistent with and advance the goals of the Washington State Growth Management Act (“GMA”), Chapter 36.70A RCW, the Multicounty Planning Policies for the Puget Sound Region (“Vision 2040”), the Regional Transportation Plan for the Puget Sound Region (“Transportation 2040”), the Countywide Planning Policies for Snohomish County, and relevant Washington State statutes. The city implements the comprehensive plan through its municipal code, budget, and policies. (Ord. 2015-803 § 1 (Exh. A))

14.19.020 Elements.

A. The comprehensive plan shall include all planning elements required by RCW 36.70A.070, as that section may be amended or recodified.

B. The comprehensive plan may include any additional elements or items as contemplated by RCW 36.70A.080, as that section may be amended or recodified. (Ord. 2015-803 § 1 (Exh. A))

14.19.030 Adoption and amendment procedures.

A. Adoption and Amendment. The comprehensive plan and its elements is adopted and amended by ordinance of the city council, following the procedures identified in this section. Adoption and amendment of the comprehensive plan must be consistent with the procedural requirements of Chapter 36.70A RCW.

B. Annual Review Cycle. Amendments to the comprehensive plan and development regulations may be adopted by the city council no more than once each calendar year except as permitted by applicable law, including RCW 36.70A.130, as that section may be amended or recodified.

C. Application. Any person or entity may propose an amendment to the comprehensive plan. Proposals from the planning commission, city council, city manager, or city manager designee do not require a formal application or strict conformance to the application review and assessment process herein, so long as all state law requirements for public participation, review, and approval are met. All other proposals shall be made in writing on an application form approved by the city manager or designee between August 1st and September 30th of a calendar year. Said application should include information necessary for staff analysis described in subsection I of this section. Incomplete applications may be rejected and the applicant may be asked to provide additional information necessary to process the application.

D. Application Fee. For proposals requiring an application, the proposal shall not be processed until the applicant pays the applicable fee established in Chapter 3.42 MCMC.

E. Public Process.

1. For each annual review cycle, the director shall develop, update and broadly disseminate to the public a public participation program including a preliminary schedule for processing the proposed amendments consistent with RCW 36.70A.035 and 36.70A.130, as those sections may be amended or recodified.

2. For proposals that include land use designation changes and zoning reclassifications, a special notice of the acceptance of the proposal for processing shall be mailed to all property owners of record, as indicated in the records of the Snohomish County assessor, within 500 feet of the subject area. This special notice will inform property owners that an application has been filed, identify where the application and background information may be reviewed, describe in general terms the review and public comment process, establish a time and place for an informational meeting with city staff, and solicit preliminary comments.

F. Staff Initial Assessment of Proposals Requiring an Application. The director or designee shall review applications and provide an initial assessment to the planning commission, based on, at a minimum, the following criteria:

1. Is the proposal legislative in nature and otherwise appropriate in scope and subject matter to consider including in the comprehensive plan?

2. Has there been recent review or work related to the same area or issue?

3. Does city staff intend to address related areas or issues in a later amendment cycle?

4. Does the city have adequate budgeted resources to analyze the proposed amendment, and are such resources available to timely provide an informed recommendation within the requested review cycle?

G. Planning Commission Initial Assessment of Proposals Requiring an Application and Recommendation to City Council. The planning commission shall consider the application and staff’s assessment of an application and make a recommendation to the city council as to whether or not the application should be further considered during the current annual review cycle. Before making a recommendation, the planning commission may request additional information from the applicant.

H. Preliminary City Council Review of Applications.

1. Upon receiving a recommendation from the planning commission, the city council shall determine which proposals that required an application shall receive further consideration during the current annual review cycle.

2. At any time, the city council may, in its sole discretion, direct the city manager and/or the planning commission to redirect resources away from processing any or all applications or other amendment proposals before the planning commission. The city council may also choose to hold joint meetings with the planning commission, independently review any proposals, including those made by the city manager or planning commission, in order to provide policy and legislative guidance to staff and/or the planning commission.

I. Staff Analysis. Prior to the planning commission making a recommendation to the city council regarding the adoption of amendments to the comprehensive plan, the director or designee shall analyze the proposal and present that analysis in a written staff report to the planning commission. The analysis should include the following criteria:

1. Will the proposed amendment benefit the city as a whole?

2. Will the amendment adversely affect the city’s public facilities or services?

3. Will the amendment support the city’s role in governing public health, safety, and welfare?

4. Does the amendment conform to applicable provisions of state statutes, case law, regional policies, and maintain internal consistency within the city’s comprehensive plan?

The analysis of the above criteria should include, as appropriate, whether the proposed amendment addresses inconsistencies or errors in the comprehensive plan or development regulations; whether the amendment addresses changing circumstances, such as growth and development patterns, needs and desires of the community, and the city’s capacity to provide adequate services; and/or whether the amendment maintains or enhances compatibility with the existing or planned land uses and the surrounding development pattern. In addition, the analysis should document, as appropriate and necessary, public outreach and public comments, analytical data and research, economic impacts, sustainability impacts, environmental determinations, and other pertinent background information.

J. Public Hearing and Adoption.

1. Prior to recommending any comprehensive plan amendment, including those initiated by the city council, city manager, or planning commission, the planning commission will conduct at least one public hearing to solicit comments from the general public, organizations and agencies, other governmental agencies, and adjacent jurisdictions as appropriate. The city council, at its sole discretion, may also hold one or more public hearings.

2. For land use designation changes, area-wide zoning reclassifications, and interim zoning of an area-wide nature, the director shall ensure that a special notice of the public hearing is mailed to all property owners of record, as indicated in the records of the Snohomish County assessor, within 500 feet of the subject area at least 15 days prior to the hearing.

3. Consistent with Chapter 36.70A RCW, the city is required to notify the Washington State Department of Commerce and other required state agencies of the city’s intention to adopt or amend the comprehensive plan or development regulations prior to adoption by the city council, and transmit copies of the adopted plan or development regulation and any amendment after city council action.

4. Upon receiving a recommendation from the planning commission regarding a proposed comprehensive plan amendment, the city council may choose to follow the recommendation, reject the recommendation, or follow the recommendation with modifications. (Ord. 2015-803 § 1 (Exh. A))