Chapter 18.05
PROCEDURES FOR PROPOSING LAND USE POLICY AND APPROVING LAND USE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS (REGULATORY REFORM ACT ESHB 1724)

Sections:

Article I. Introduction

18.05.010    Purpose.

18.05.020    Rules of interpretation.

Article II. Definitions

18.05.030    General.

18.05.040    “A”.

18.05.050    “B”.

18.05.060    “C”.

18.05.070    “D”.

18.05.080    “E”.

18.05.090    “F”.

18.05.100    “G”.

18.05.110    “H”.

18.05.120    “I”.

18.05.130    “J”.

18.05.140    “K”.

18.05.150    “L”.

18.05.160    “M”.

18.05.170    “N”.

18.05.180    “O”.

18.05.190    “P”.

18.05.200    “Q”.

18.05.210    “R”.

18.05.220    “S”.

18.05.230    “T”.

18.05.240    “U”.

18.05.250    “V”.

18.05.260    “W”.

18.05.270    “X”.

18.05.280    “Y”.

18.05.290    “Z”.

Article III. Administration

18.05.300    Roles and responsibilities.

18.05.310    City Manager – Director – Principal Planner – City Engineer.

18.05.320    City Council.

18.05.330    Planning Commission.

18.05.340    Hearing Examiner authority and jurisdiction.

Article IV. Application Process – Consolidated and Incremental Procedures

18.05.350    Application.

18.05.360    Preapplication meetings.

18.05.370    Letter of completeness.

18.05.380    Technical review session.

18.05.390    Environmental review.

Article V. Public Notice Requirements

18.05.400    Notice of development application.

18.05.410    Notice of administrative approval.

18.05.420    Notice of public hearing.

18.05.430    Notice of appeal hearings.

18.05.440    Notice of decision.

Article VI. Review and Approval Process

18.05.450    Administrative approvals without notice.

18.05.460    Administrative approvals subject to notice.

18.05.470    Planning Commission actions.

18.05.480    City Council actions.

18.05.490    Hearing Examiner actions.

18.05.500    Procedures for public hearings.

18.05.510    Procedures for closed record appeals.

18.05.520    Reconsideration.

18.05.530    Remand.

18.05.540    Final decision.

Article VII. Appeals

18.05.550    Appeal of administrative interpretations and approvals.

18.05.560    Decisions on development applications.

18.05.570    Judicial appeal.

Article VIII. Land Use Plans and Implementation

18.05.580    Comprehensive plan and map.

18.05.590    Zoning text and map.

18.05.600    Annexation.

Article IX. Hearing Matrix and Land Use Project Procedures Flow Chart

18.05.610    Decision and hearing matrix.

18.05.620    Land use project procedures time line.

Article I. Introduction

18.05.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to describe procedures for proposing, amending, and implementing land use policy and for submitting, reviewing and approving land use development or redevelopment projects. It provides for incremental and consolidated application, review, and approval processes for land development in the City of Mountlake Terrace in a manner that is clear, concise, and understandable. It is further intended to comply with state guidelines for combining and expediting development review and integrating environmental review and land use development plans. Final decision on development proposals shall be made within 120 days of the date of the letter of completeness except as provided in MTMC 18.05.540.

The City of Mountlake Terrace intends to meet the requirements and the spirit of the state of Washington Regulatory Reform Act by adopting this “procedures” ordinance as well as revising several ordinances that relate to land use policy and development. The following titles and chapters of this code also apply to land use policy and project development:

Chapter 2.55 MTMC

Planning Commission duties

Chapter 2.120 MTMC

Hearing Examiner

Chapter 15.05 MTMC

Building Code: sections re: regulation of removal of trees

Chapter 15.30 MTMC

Mobile Homes

MTMC Title 16

Environment

MTMC Title 17

Subdivisions

MTMC Title 18

Land Use Planning and Development

MTMC Title 19

Zoning

The pertinent requirements of the above ordinances, as may be amended, shall be utilized in conjunction with this chapter. In the case of procedural differences, this chapter shall prevail. In terms of specific application requirements and standards, the most extensive or restrictive shall apply. (Ord. 2481 § 19, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.1, 1996).

18.05.020 Rules of interpretation.

A. For the purposes of the Development Code, all words used in the code shall have their normal and customary meanings, unless specifically defined otherwise in this code.

B. Words used in the present tense include the future.

C. The plural includes the singular and vice-versa.

D. The word “shall” is mandatory.

E. The word “may” indicates that discretion is allowed.

F. The word “used” includes designed, intended, or arranged to be used.

G. The masculine gender includes the feminine and vice versa.

H. Distances shall be measured horizontally unless otherwise specified.

I. The word “building” includes a portion of a building or a portion of the lot on which it stands. (Ord. 2117 § 1.2, 1996).

Article II. Definitions

18.05.030 General.

The following definitions shall apply to ordinances regarding procedures for land use planning and development. Further definitions may be found in ordinances that pertain to proposing, amending, and implementing land use policy and for submitting, reviewing, and approving land use projects. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.040 “A”.

“Annexation” means the procedures by which lands become incorporated into the City.

“Applicant” means person(s) seeking development approval from the City.

“Application process, consolidated” combines all the development approvals and environmental review for concurrent review and approval.

“Application process, incremental” means each application relative to a land use action is considered in sequence. (Ord. 2481 § 20, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.050 “B”.

“Binding site plan” is a drawing to scale which (A) identifies and show the areas and locations of all streets, roads, improvements, utilities, open spaces, and any other matters identified in Chapter 17.05 MTMC; (B) contains inscriptions or attachments setting forth such appropriate limitations and conditions for the use of the land as are established by the decision-maker with authority to approve the site plan; (C) contains provisions making any development be in conformity with the site plan.

“Building” means a structure having a roof for the shelter of persons or property.

“Building area, building site” means an area within a lot upon which a building to accommodate the principal use of the lot could be practicably built, bound by the setbacks or any environmental limitations.

“Building Official” means the Building Official of the City of Mountlake Terrace or his/her designee who carries out certain duties, especially related to Chapter 15.05 MTMC.

“Building, principal or main” means the building which accommodates the principal or primary use of a site or lot. (Ord. 2659 § 2, 2015; Ord. 2481 § 21, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.060 “C”.

“City” means the City of Mountlake Terrace.

“City Council” means the City Council of the City of Mountlake Terrace.

“City Engineer” means the City Engineer of the City of Mountlake Terrace or his/her designee.

“City Manager” means the City Manager of the City of Mountlake Terrace or his/her designee.

“Closed record appeal” means an appeal to the appropriate authority, pursuant to MTMC 18.05.610 or other applicable codes, based on the existing record.

“Comprehensive Plan” means the adopted Mountlake Terrace Comprehensive Plan as amended and updated in conformance with the Growth Management Act.

“Comprehensive Plan amendment” means an amendment or change to the text or maps of the Comprehensive Plan.

“Concurrency” means that adequate public facilities are available when the impacts of development occur. This definition includes the two concepts of “adequate public facilities” and of “available public facilities” as defined in MTMC Title 17.

“Conditional use” means a use allowed in one or more zones as defined by the Zoning Code, but which because of characteristics peculiar to such use, the size, technological processes or equipment, or because of the exact location with reference to surroundings, streets, and existing improvements or demands upon public facilities, requires a special permit in order to provide a particular degree of control to make such uses consistent and compatible with other existing or permissible uses in the same zone and mitigate adverse impacts of the use.

“Conditional use permit” means permits are granted with conditions for conditional uses. There are three types of conditional use permits: for essential public services, for conditional uses as described in the several zoning districts, and for home occupations.

“Coverage” means the total ground coverage of all buildings or structures on a site measured from the outside of external walls or supporting members.

“Critical areas” means areas of environmental sensitivity, which include the following areas and ecosystems:

A. Wetlands;

B. Areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water;

C. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas;

D. Frequently flooded areas; and

E. Geologically hazardous areas.

“Critical Areas Ordinance” means the set of regulations adopted under the Growth Management Act to protect critical areas (environmentally sensitive areas). (Ord. 2659 § 3, 2015; Ord. 2481 § 22, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.070 “D”.

“Date of decision, effective date” means the date on which final action occurs and from which the appeal period is calculated. Specific ordinances may define effective dates of orders. If the effective date of a decision is in question, the pertinent ordinance shall prevail.

“Dedication” means the donation of land to the City for any public purpose.

“Density” means the number of permitted dwelling units allowed or occurring on each acre of land.

“Developer” means any person who proposes an action, required approval or seeks a permit for a land use activity.

“Development decision” means any land use permit or action including but not limited to: larger and smaller site plans for residential, commercial, light industrial, and office uses, subdivisions, binding site plans, lot line adjustments, rezones, conditional use permits, or variances.

“Director” means the Director of Community and Economic Development or his/her designee.

“Docket” means a list of items to be considered for Comprehensive Plan and map and Zoning Ordinance and map updates. (Ord. 2600 § 2, 2012; amended by City request, 1/11; Ord. 2481 § 23, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.080 “E”.

“Easement” means an authorization by a property owner for another to use the owner’s property for a specified purpose.

“Effective date” means the date a final decision becomes effective.

“Essential public facilities” means essential public facilities, as defined in RCW 36.70A.200, as now or hereinafter may be amended. Such facilities may be owned or operated by a unit of local, state, or federal government, by a public utility or transportation company, or by any other entity providing a public service as its primary mission; provided, that the facility is either a necessary facility or a component of a necessary system to meet a public need.

“Essential public facilities, Type A” means Type A essential public facilities, as defined in MTMC 18.15.020.

“Essential public facilities, Type B” means Type B essential public facilities, as defined in MTMC 18.15.020. (Ord. 2659 § 4, 2015; Ord. 2481 § 24, 2008; Ord. 2342 § 1, 2003).

18.05.090 “F”.

“Final decision” means the final action by the Principal Planner, City Engineer, Director, City Manager, Planning Commission or City Council. (Ord. 2481 § 25, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.100 “G”.

Reserved. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.110 “H”.

“Hearing Examiner” means the individual(s) appointed pursuant to MTMC 2.120.030 and empowered to conduct open record hearings or review appeals from orders, recommendations, permits, decisions or determinations made by a City Official, applications for variances, and applications for conditional use permits or any other class of applications for or pertaining to development of land or land use. (Ord. 2481 § 26, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.120 “I”.

The description of the “intensity of land use” includes but is not limited to the following: lot coverage by structures or impervious area, trip generation, and need for performance standards to control noise, glare, traffic, air and water quality. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.130 “J”.

Reserved. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.140 “K”.

Reserved. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.150 “L”.

“Lot consolidation” means the process by which two or more lots are combined into one or more lots. Lot lines are eliminated but none are relocated or moved.

“Lot line adjustment (boundary line adjustment)” means the adjustment of a boundary line between existing lots which results in no more lots than existed before the adjustment. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.160 “M”.

“Mayor” means the Mayor of Mountlake Terrace or his/her designee.

“Mitigation contribution” means a cash donation or other valuable consideration offered by the applicant in lieu of: (A) a required dedication of land for public parks, recreation, open space, public facilities, or schools; or (B) road improvements needed to maintain adopted levels of service or to ameliorate identified impacts and accepted on the public’s behalf as a condition of approval of a subdivision, plat or binding site plan. Voluntary contributions may be accepted by the City.

“Mobile home parks” means any plot of ground upon which mobile homes, occupied for dwelling or sleeping purposes, are located. The ordinance providing for mobile home parks establishes minimum standards for construction and maintenance, utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions to make mobile home parks safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation. (Ord. 2481 § 27, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.170 “N”.

Reserved. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.180 “O”.

“Open record public hearing” means a hearing, conducted by a single hearing body or officer authorized by the local government to conduct such hearings that creates the local government’s record through testimony and submission of evidence and information. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.190 “P”.

“Party of record” means any person who has testified at a hearing or has submitted a written statement related to a development action and who provides the City with a complete address. Persons or entities who signed “form letters” and/or petitions do not become a party of record.

“Person” means any person, firm, business, corporation, partnership of other associations or organizations, marital community, municipal corporation or governmental agency.

“Planned action” means a significant development proposal as defined in RCW 43.21C.031 as amended.

“Planning Commission” means the body appointed pursuant to Chapter 2.55 MTMC.

“Planning Division” means the Planning Division of the Community Development Department.

“Plat” means a map or representation showing thereon the division of a tract or parcel of land into lots, blocks, streets and alleys or other divisions and dedications.

“Plat, final” is the final drawing of the subdivision and dedication prepared for filing of record with the County Auditor, and containing all elements and requirements set forth in Chapter 58.17 RCW and MTMC Title 17.

“Plat, preliminary” is a neat and approximate drawing of a proposed subdivision showing the general layout of streets, private streets, alleys, lots, blocks and other elements of a subdivision consistent with the requirements of MTMC Title 17. The preliminary plat shall be the basis for the approval or disapproval of the general layout of a subdivision of five or more lots.

“Plat, short” is the map or representation of a short subdivision.

“Primary or principal use” means the predominant use of the land or building, to which all other uses are secondary.

“Principal Planner” means the person designated by the Director to perform certain duties.

“Project” means a proposal for development or redevelopment with buildings, structures, or other site improvements.

“Public facilities and utilities” means land or structures owned by or operated for the benefit of the public use and necessity, including but not limited to public facilities defined in RCW 36.70A.030, as amended.

“Public hearing” means an open record hearing at which evidence is presented and testimony is taken.

“Public improvement” means any structure, utility, roadway or sidewalk for use by the public, provided or required as a condition of development approval. (Ord. 2659 § 5, 2015; Ord. 2481 § 28, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.200 “Q”.

Reserved. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.210 “R”.

“Rezone” means a change in classification from one zoning district to another. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.220 “S”.

“Secure facilities use permit” means a land use permit for a secure community transition facility, pursuant to Chapter 18.20 MTMC.

“Site plan, larger scale” means one that involves new land use development projects of 50,000 square feet or more, or the addition, or redevelopment, or alteration of 50,000 square feet or more. Larger-scale residential site plans have 50 or more residential units.

“Site plan, smaller scale” means one that involves new land use development projects that total less than 50,000 square feet, or alterations or redevelopment of less than 50,000 square feet.

“Special use permit – wireless” means a process similar to conditional use permit providing for administrative and Hearing Examiner review for selected wireless communication facilities.

“Structure” means a combination of materials constructed and erected permanently in or on the ground or attached to something having a permanent location on the ground, not including utility poles and related ground- or pad-mounted equipment, residential fences less than six feet high, retaining walls, rockeries and other similar improvements of a minor character less than three feet high.

“Subdivision” means the division or redivision of land into five or more lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions for the purpose of sale or lease, or transfer of ownership, except as provided in MTMC 17.01.030(D), and includes all resubdivision of land.

“Subdivision Ordinance” means an ordinance regulating the subdivision and dedication of land in the City of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, providing rules and regulations for the approval of plats, subdivisions and dedications; prescribing subdivision design procedures, criteria, and standards; providing for minimum improvements to be made or forms of surety for required improvements; providing for variations of standards; and providing penalties for the violation of its provisions.

“Subdivision, short” means the division or re-division of land into four or less lots, tracts, parcels or divisions for the purpose of sale or lease. (Ord. 2659 § 6, 2015; Ord. 2481 § 29, 2008; Ord. 2342 § 2, 2003).

18.05.230 “T”.

Reserved. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.240 “U”.

“Use” of property means the purpose or activity for which the land, or building thereon, is occupied, maintained, designed, arranged or intended. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.250 “V”.

“Variance” means an adjustment in the application of the specific provisions of an ordinance providing for same to a particular piece of property. A variance may apply to a particular piece of property which, because of its unique physical character, is deprived of privileges commonly enjoyed by other properties in similar circumstances. Variance criteria established by the pertinent ordinance shall be met. In no case shall a variance be granted at a cost to public health, welfare or safety. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.260 “W”.

“Watercourse” means the course or route followed by waters draining from the land, formed by nature or man and consisting of a bed, banks, sides and associated wetlands and headwaters. A watercourse shall receive surface and subsurface drainage waters and shall flow with some regularity, but not necessarily continuously, naturally and normally, in draining from higher to lower lands. The watercourse shall terminate at the point of discharge into a larger receiving body such as a lake. Watercourses shall include sloughs, streams, creeks, and associated wetlands.

“Wetland” or “wetlands” means areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and lakes, and all of which are considered to be part of the watercourse and drainage system of the City and shall include the headwater areas where the watercourse first surfaces.

Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland sites, including but not limited to irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities. However, wetlands include those artificial wetlands intentionally created to mitigate conversion of wetlands. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.270 “X”.

Reserved. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.280 “Y”.

Reserved. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

18.05.290 “Z”.

“Zone, zone district” means a defined area of the City within which the use of land is regulated and certain uses permitted and other uses excluded as set forth in the Zoning Ordinance and on the Zoning Map.

“Zoning Ordinance” means an ordinance regulating land use for the purpose of promoting the health, safety and welfare of the general public and including: definitions; purpose, permitted land uses, and dimensional requirements in each zone district; permit review procedures; planned unit development regulations; parking and landscaping requirements; general provisions; sign regulations; and enforcement provisions. (Ord. 2117 § 1.3, 1996).

Article III. Administration

18.05.300 Roles and responsibilities.

A. The City. The regulation of land development is a cooperative activity including many different elected and appointed boards and City staff. The specific responsibilities of these bodies is set forth below.

B. The Applicant/Developer. An applicant/developer is expected to read and understand the City regulations regarding project development and be prepared to fulfill the obligations placed on the developer by ordinances pertaining to the land use project development which include: State Environmental Policy Act, Shoreline Management Act, Binding Site Plan, Drainage Plans and Erosion Control Plans, Mobile Home Parks, Subdivision, and the Zoning Ordinances. (Ord. 2117 § 2.1, 1996).

18.05.310 City Manager – Director – Principal Planner – City Engineer.

A. Authorities.

1. City Manager. The City Manager works with the City Council to provide the necessary budget and staff for land use planning and development activities. The City Manager is responsible for hiring staff to perform these duties. The City Manager is responsible for forwarding staff reports to the City Council.

The City Manager signs short plats and lot line adjustments based on written recommendation by the Principal Planner and the City Engineer. The City Manager signs binding site plans after they are certified by the City Engineer.

2. Director. The Director oversees the City’s planning and development services, provides policy direction, and coordinates with other departments for land use planning and development. The Director advises the City Manager, Planning Commission, City Council, department directors, and the public on policy measures and on regulatory ordinances that affect the future development of the municipality.

The Director is responsible for coordinating, preparing or overseeing the preparation of staff reports for land use plans and projects and to make recommendations to the Planning Commission, Hearing Examiner, and City Council. The Director is the responsible official for issuing environmental determinations for the Community Development Department.

The Director has primary responsibility for administering and interpreting ordinances including but not limited to Buildings and Construction, Zoning, Shoreline Management Act, Critical Areas, Subdivisions, Land Use and Development, Controlling Stormwater Runoff from New Development, and the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The Director manages the Comprehensive Plan update process and shall maintain a docket of items to be considered for such update. The Director also implements the Comprehensive Plan and coordinates the update of the Comprehensive Plan, consistent with the Growth Management Act.

3. Principal Planner. The Principal Planner, in consultation with the Director and the City Engineer, coordinates review of subdivision, mobile home, and binding site plan proposals. The Principal Planner also serves as the primary contact for proposing, amending, and implementing land use policy and for submitting, reviewing and approving land use projects.

The Principal Planner, as authorized by the Director, coordinates the annexation process in consultation with the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk, Finance Officer, Police and Fire Departments, City Engineer, and Director.

4. City Engineer. For purposes of this chapter, the City’s appointed Engineering Services Director is the City Engineer. For land use planning and development, the City Engineer assists the Principal Planner and Director in administering the Subdivision, Mobile Home, and Binding Site Plan Codes. The City Engineer carries out responsibilities as designated pursuant to Chapter 19.95 MTMC, Transportation Code.

B. Administrative Approvals.

1. The City Manager, upon recommendation by the Director and City Engineer, grants short plat and lot line adjustment approvals.

2. The Director, in consultation with pertinent departments and divisions, such as fire, police, parks, and engineering, grants administrative approvals of site plans, selected “special use permit – wireless” communication facilities, accessory conditional uses, temporary uses, time extensions, fence permits, garage sale permits, and SEPA threshold determinations as identified by the pertinent ordinances. (Ord. 2600 § 3, 2012; Ord. 2481 § 30, 2008; Ord. 2174 § 8, 1997; Ord. 2117 § 2.2, 1996).

18.05.320 City Council.

In addition to its legislative responsibility, the City Council shall review and act on the following subjects:

A. Recommendations of the Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner as may be requested by the City Council or as may be initiated by the Planning Commission.

B. Following an open record hearing, the City Council shall act on:

1. Annexations.

2. Recommendations of the Hearing Examiner or Planning Commission for:

a. Preliminary plats;

b. Planned unit developments;

c. Rezones that are concurrent with a Comprehensive Plan amendment proposal.

3. Recommendations of the Planning Commission for:

a. Comprehensive Plan and map amendments;

b. Zoning text and map amendments;

c. Amendments to the Subdivision Code, the Environmental Code, the Mobile Home Park Ordinance, and MTMC Title 18 (Land Use Planning and Development).

4. Zoning for annexations.

5. Appeals of site-specific rezone decisions. (Ord. 2481 § 31, 2008; Ord. 2342 § 3, 2003).

18.05.330 Planning Commission.

A. The Planning Commission shall hold public meetings, review and file reports with recommendations on the following applications and subjects:

1. Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, or the Official Map;

2. Amendments to the Subdivision Code;

3. Amendments to the Zoning Code;

4. Amendments to the Environmental Code;

5. Amendments to the Mobile Home Park Ordinance;

6. Amendments to the zoning map, excluding any such amendments that are associated with a site-specific application that is not concurrent with a Comprehensive Plan amendment;

7. Applications for preliminary plats and plats;

8. Other actions requested or remanded by the City Council;

9. Planned unit developments;

10. Zoning for annexations.

B. The review criteria are described in the pertinent ordinances. (Ord. 2481 § 32, 2008; Ord. 2342 § 3, 2003).

18.05.340 Hearing Examiner authority and jurisdiction.

A. The Hearing Examiner shall hold open record hearings, and review and act on the following subjects:

1. Variances from the standards and dimensional regulations of the Zoning Code, such as height, width, size, setback and yard restrictions;

2. Conditional use permits;

3. Temporary housing units;

4. Appeals from administrative decisions and/or code interpretations by the City Manager, Director, Principal Planner or City Engineer;

5. Temporary uses;

6. Time extensions;

7. Special use permits – wireless.

B. The review criteria and procedures for the Hearing Examiner are contained in the pertinent ordinances. (Ord. 2481 § 33, 2008; Ord. 2174 § 8, 1997; Ord. 2117 § 2.5, 1996).

Article IV. Application Process – Consolidated and Incremental Procedures

18.05.350 Application.

A. The City shall consolidate development application and review in order to integrate the development permit and environmental review process, while avoiding duplication of the review processes. The applicant may elect to use a step-by-step (or incremental) process for proposals involving a Comprehensive Plan amendment, variance, or conditional use permit.

1. Consolidated Development Approval. The consolidated development application and review process integrates all the development approvals and environmental review. For example, if a larger scale site plan approval is requested and a variance is needed for approval and an environmental review is necessary, all of these processes will be consolidated. When comments are requested from other departments and agencies, comments will be requested for environmental review purposes as well as for the site plan and the variance request. The staff report will address both site plan and variance. If there is an appeal of the environmental review, it will be heard with the site plan and variance hearing.

2. At the option of the applicant, the applicant may make concurrent application for project approval and construction (engineering) site development permits and building permits. Decisions for such applications will be made in the following order:

a. SEPA determination;

b. Project approval;

c. Site construction (engineering) development permits;

d. Building permits.

In the interest of timely approval and permitting, the site construction (engineering) permits and building permit applications may be reviewed concurrently. The building permits will not be issued, however, until the requirements set forth in MTMC 15.05.300 and the applicable City ordinances are met.

3. All applications for approval shall include the information specified in the application form. City staff responsible for aspects of the development approval may require such additional information as reasonably necessary to fully and properly evaluate the proposal. Planning staff typically coordinates requests for additional information.

B. The applicant shall apply for all development applications identified in the preapplication meeting.

C. The typical complete application for any land use development project, which includes but is not limited to site development plan (commercial, industrial and multiple-family), subdivisions, conditional use permit, secure facilities use permit, or variance, shall include information as specified on forms obtained from the City. Construction and building permits have separate filing requirements.

1. The Planning Department may require the applicant to provide an accurate list of addresses of property owners within 300 feet of the boundaries of the proposal and stamped, addressed legal-sized envelopes for the same list. If inaccurate addresses are used, an unreasonable number of mailings are returned, or property owners that should have been notified have not been notified due to improperly addressed envelopes, hearing(s) will be continued until sufficient addresses have been provided for notice.

2. The applicant shall reimburse the City, per fee schedule, for each mailing prior to the hearing date.

D. One preapplication meeting with appropriate staff members shall be required, unless such requirement is waived by the Planning Department.

1. The meeting is intended to answer questions about project feasibility and the types of requirements for submitting an application. Appropriate staff members may include Engineering, Fire, Police, Building, and Planning.

2. Additional requirements or requirements that may be waived will be documented at the preapplication meeting.

3. Once an application has been submitted and considered complete, further information may be necessary to conduct project review. All review will cease until additional information is received. When an applicant has failed to respond to information requests within 90 days of notification, the application will be considered null and void unless reasonable efforts have been made to arrange for the information and the Planning staff has been so informed in writing.

4. It is the applicant’s responsibility to learn the provisions of the Mountlake Terrace ordinances relating to the application. The ordinances are available at the Building, Planning, and Engineering counter.

5. Additional information that may be helpful to the request is welcomed and encouraged. (Ord. 2342 § 4, 2003).

18.05.360 Preapplication meetings.

A. Informal. Applicants for development are encouraged to participate in one informal meeting prior to the formal preapplication meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss, in general terms, the proposed development, City design standards, design alternatives, and required permits and approval process.

B. Formal. Every person proposing a development, excepting persons proposing developments where land use approvals are not necessary, shall attend a preapplication meeting. The purpose of the preapplication meeting is to discuss the nature of the proposed development, application and permit requirements, fees, review process and schedule, applicable plans, policies and regulations. In order to expedite development review, the City shall invite all affected departments, jurisdictions, agencies and/or special districts to the preapplication meeting. To prepare for the formal preapplication meeting, the applicant shall provide a sketch plan of the proposal showing rights-of-way, access points, and proposed structures, property dimensions, and setbacks. (Ord. 2729 § 14, 2018; Ord. 2700 § 8, 2016; Ord. 2117 § 3.2, 1996).

18.05.370 Letter of completeness.

A. For applications determined to be incomplete, the City shall, within 28 days of receipt of the application, identify, in writing, the specific requirements or information necessary to constitute a complete application. Upon submittal of all of the additional information, the City shall, within 14 days of receipt of such information, issue a letter of completeness or identify what additional information is required.

A project application shall be declared complete only when it contains all of the following materials:

1. A fully completed, signed, and acknowledged development application and all applicable review fees.

2. A fully completed, signed, and acknowledged environmental checklist for projects subject to review under the State Environmental Policy Act.

3. The information specified for the desired project in the appropriate ordinances.

4. Partial responses to requests for additional information shall not constitute a resubmittal by the applicant.

B. During review, additional information may be requested. This shall not affect the completeness of an application, but it shall interrupt the 120-day review and approval period until the information is received.

C. If there is no response to any request for additional information within 90 days, the application shall be considered invalid.

D. All applications for development permits, variances and other City approvals shall be submitted on forms provided by the City. (Ord. 2117 § 3.3, 1996).

18.05.380 Technical review session.

A. Immediately following the issuance of a letter of completeness, the City shall hold a technical review session (TRS). The TRS may be composed of representatives of all affected City departments, utility districts, the fire department, and any other entities or agencies with jurisdiction.

B. The TRS shall review the development application for compliance with City plans and regulations, coordinate necessary permit reviews, and aid in identifying the development’s environmental impacts. (Ord. 2117 § 3.4, 1996).

18.05.390 Environmental review.

A. Developments and planned actions subject to the provisions of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) shall be reviewed in accordance with the policies and procedures contained in the City’s SEPA Ordinance (Chapter 16.05 MTMC) and as required by the State Environmental Policy Act.

B. SEPA review shall be conducted concurrently with development project review. The following are exempt from concurrent review:

1. Projects categorically exempt from SEPA.

2. Components of previously completed planned actions, to the extent permitted by law and consistent with any previous environmental determinations granted for the planned action. (Ord. 2117 § 3.5, 1996).

Article V. Public Notice Requirements

18.05.400 Notice of development application.

A. Within 14 days of issuing a letter of completeness, the City shall issue a notice of development application to the public, departments and agencies within the jurisdiction. The notice shall include but not be limited to the following:

1. The name of the applicant.

2. Dates of:

a. Receipt of application;

b. The letter of completeness (notice of completion date);

c. Notice of application.

3. The location of the project.

4. A brief project proposal description including the necessary permits, the environmental information used to review project and any studies, as applicable.

5. The expiration date of the maximum 30 day public comment period.

6. Date, time and place of hearing and hearing type, if known.

7. Statement of preliminary determination on proposal, if applicable.

8. Location of information and who to contact to review or obtain copies of it.

B. The public shall be notified by:

1. Posting of the property; and

2. Posting the official city information distribution sites;

3. Request by anyone providing self stamped addressed envelope(s) to receive a list of complete applications pertinent to the public comment period or pending public hearing attached to the Planning Commission agenda.

C. Notices of all development applications, whether requiring public hearing or not, shall be included as an attachment to the Planning Commission agenda.

D. The public, agencies and jurisdictions are requested to provide comment, preferably in writing, to the Planning staff regarding any proposed project within the 30-day comment period. Comments may be about the project itself, environmental consequences associated with the project, or its construction, all in the same correspondence. Staff will consider all information received in making an environmental determination and in preparing staff reports.

E. The public shall have an opportunity to speak (provide public testimony) at the time of public hearing for those projects that have open record public hearings. (Ord. 2117 § 4.1, 1996).

18.05.410 Notice of administrative approval.

Public notification of development applications which are approved administratively shall be provided by a notice of administrative approval. The notice shall be made as follows:

A. The purpose of the notice is to notify public of the City’s intent to grant approval.

B. The notice shall identify the applicant, location and nature of the proposal, City contact and the deadline to request an appeal (open record hearing).

C. Notification shall be made by mail only, to all immediately adjacent property owners.

D. Notice shall be posted on site.

E. Notice shall be made as soon as possible but no less than 10 days before City approval becomes effective. (Ord. 2117 § 4.2, 1996).

18.05.420 Notice of public hearing.

Notice of a public hearing for all open record hearings shall be given as follows:

A. Time of Notice. Except as otherwise required, public notification of meetings, hearings, and pending actions shall be made by:

1. Publication at least 10 days before the date of a public hearing, or pending action in the official newspaper of general circulation; and

2. Mailing at least 10 days before the date of a public hearing, or pending action to all property owners as shown on the records of the County Assessor and to all street addresses of properties within 300 feet, of the boundaries of the property which is the subject of the meeting or pending action. Addressed, pre-stamped envelopes shall be provided by the applicant; and

3. Posting at least 10 days before the hearing, or pending action in the official City information distribution sites.

4. Posting at least one notice on the subject property at least 10 days before the date of a public hearing or pending action.

B. Content of Notice. The public notice shall include a general description of the proposed project, action to be taken, a nonlegal description of the property or a vicinity map or sketch, the time, date and place of the public hearing and the place where further information may be obtained.

C. Continuations. If, for any reason, a public hearing on a pending action cannot be completed on the date set in the public notice, the hearing may be continued to a date certain and no further notice under this section is required. (Ord. 2117 § 4.3, 1996).

18.05.430 Notice of appeal hearings.

In addition to the posting and publication requirements, notice of appeal hearings shall be as follows:

A. For administrative approvals, notice shall be mailed to the applicant and the immediately adjacent property owners.

B. For Hearing Examiner or Planning Commission decisions, mailed to the applicant and all parties of record. (Ord. 2481 § 34, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 4.4, 1996).

18.05.440 Notice of decision.

A. A written notice for all final decisions, which includes threshold determinations and procedures for administrative appeals, shall be sent to the applicant and all parties of record.

B. For development applications requiring Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner review and City Council approval, the notice shall be the signed ordinance, resolution, or copy of the pertinent sections of the minutes.

C. For the purposes of this chapter, the date on which a land use decision is issued is:

1. Three days after a written decision is mailed by the local jurisdiction or, if not mailed, the date on which the local jurisdiction provides notice that a written decision is publicly available;

2. If the land use decision is made by ordinance or resolution by a legislative body sitting in a quasi-judicial capacity, the date the body passes the ordinance or resolution; or

3. If neither subsection (C)(1) nor (2) of this section applies, the date the decision is entered into the public record.

4. For a reconsideration, the date of the oral announcement of the final decision. (Ord. 2749 § 2, 2019; Ord. 2481 § 35, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 4.5, 1996).

Article VI. Review and Approval Process

18.05.450 Administrative approvals without notice.

A. The Director, in consultation with the City Engineer, may approve, approve with conditions or deny the following without notice:

1. Lot line adjustment.

2. Lot consolidation.

3. Time extension.

4. Minor amendments or modifications to approved developments or permits. Minor amendments are those which may affect the precise dimensions or location of buildings, accessory structures and driveways, but do not:

a.  Affect overall project character;

b. Increase the number of lots, dwelling units, or density;

c. Decrease the quality or amount of open space; or

d. Impact ability of the project to meet the requirements of City codes and ordinances except as permitted under original approval.

B. The Director’s decisions under this section shall be final on the date issued. (Ord. 2481 § 36, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 5.1, 1996).

18.05.460 Administrative approvals subject to notice.

A. The Director may grant preliminary approval or approval with conditions or may deny the following actions subject to the notice and appeal requirements of this chapter:

1. Smaller scale site plans.

B. Final Administrative Approvals. Preliminary approvals under this section shall become final subject to the following:

1. If no appeal is submitted, the preliminary approval becomes final at the expiration of the 10-day notice period.

2. If a written notice of appeal is received within the specified time, the matter will be referred to the City Council for a public hearing. (Ord. 2481 § 37, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 5.2, 1996).

18.05.470 Planning Commission actions.

A. Staff Report. The Planning staff shall prepare a staff report on the proposed development or action summarizing the comments and recommendations of City departments, affected agencies and special districts, and evaluate the development’s consistency with the City’s Zoning Ordinance, adopted plans and regulations. When the Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner holds an open record public hearing, the staff report shall include recommendations, draft findings of fact and conclusions of law, and proposed recommendations for consideration.

B. Meeting. As authorized, the Planning Commission shall consider and make recommendations on proposals to be heard by the City Council. In so doing, the Commission shall discuss the development proposal with the applicant, staff, and interested public before making recommendations to the City Council. The Planning Commission should consider and base its recommendations on the following:

1. Type of land use;

2. The density or intensity of use;

3. The availability and adequacy of public facilities;

4. Compliance with specific development and Comprehensive Plan standards;

5. That the environmental impacts are consistent with applicable development regulations or, in the absence of applicable regulations, the adopted Comprehensive Plan; and

6. Other factors relevant to the proposal, e.g., previous approvals, engineering standards, other City codes, regulations and standards.

C. Hearing. The Planning Commission shall conduct a public hearing on development proposals over which the Planning Commission has final jurisdiction and approve, approve with conditions, or deny for the purpose of taking testimony, hearing evidence, considering the facts germane to the proposal, and evaluating the proposal for consistency with the City’s codes, adopted plans and regulations including the following:

1. Type of land use;

2. The density or intensity of use;

3. The availability and adequacy of public facilities;

4. Compliance with specific development and Comprehensive Plan standards;

5. That the environmental impacts are consistent with applicable development regulations or in the absence of applicable regulations, the adopted Comprehensive Plan; and

6. Other factors relevant to the proposal, i.e., previous approvals, engineering standards, other City codes, regulations and standards.

The Planning Commission shall then make a determination to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application. Notice of the Planning Commission hearing shall be in accordance with MTMC 18.05.420.

D. Required Findings. The Planning Commission shall not approve or deny a proposed development unless it first makes findings of fact and conclusions of law consistent with the evidence and determination made. The findings of fact and conclusions of law shall address:

1. The development is consistent or is not consistent with Comprehensive Plan goals and policies.

2. The development meets or does not meet the requirements and intent of the applicable city ordinances.

3. The development makes or does not make adequate provisions for open space, drainage ways, streets and other public ways, transit stops, water supply, sanitary wastes, parks and recreation facilities, playgrounds, sites for schools and school grounds as applicable.

4. The development adequately mitigates or does not adequately mitigate impacts identified under the Critical Area Ordinance and SEPA determination.

5. The development is or is not beneficial to the public health, safety and welfare and is in the public interest.

6. The development does or does not lower the level of service of transportation and/or neighborhood park facilities below the minimum standards established within the Comprehensive Plan. If the development results in a level of service lower than those set forth in the Comprehensive Plan, the development may be approved if improvements or strategies to raise the level of service to meet or exceed the minimum standard are made concurrent with the development. For the purpose of this section, “concurrent with the development” is defined as the required improvements or strategies are in place at the time of occupancy, or a financial commitment is in place to complete the improvements or strategies within six years of approval of the development.

7. The area, location and features of any land proposed for dedication are a direct result of the development proposal, are reasonably needed to mitigate the effects of the development, and are proportional to the impacts created by the development.

8. The development satisfactorily addresses or does not satisfactorily address criteria for review and consideration set forth in subsection B or C of this section as applicable.

E. Recommendation. Following review of a development proposal or action at the Planning Commission meeting, the Planning Commission shall provide written findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendation and promptly forward them to the decision-making body for consideration.

F. Determination. Following review of a development proposal or action, the Planning Commission shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Planning Commission shall make a determination to approve, approve with conditions or deny the development proposal or action.

If the proposal is considered by the Planning Commission at a meeting, the Planning Commission shall file a report and can consider subsections B through (D)(8) of this section in doing so. (Ord. 2481 § 38, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 5.3, 1996).

18.05.480 City Council actions.

A. Actions. Upon receiving a recommendation from the Planning Commission or notice of any other matter requiring the Council’s attention, the Council shall perform the following actions as appropriate:

1. Hold an open record public hearing and make a determination on the Planning Commission recommendation.

2. Hold a closed record appeal and make a decision.

B. Required Findings and Conclusions. The City Council shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law on applications and/or consider any Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner report on those applications. The findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be consistent with MTMC 18.05.560(B). The City Council may accept, reject, or modify the findings of fact and conclusions of law.

C. Decisions. The City Council shall make its decision by motion, resolution, or ordinance as appropriate.

1. A Council decision based on a report filed by the Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner with recommendations, or following a public hearing on a proposal or action, shall be made by taking one of the following actions:

a. Approve as recommended.

b. Approve with additional conditions.

c. Modify, with or without the applicant’s concurrence; provided, that the modifications do not:

i. Enlarge the area or scope of the project.

ii. Increase the density or proposed building size.

iii. Significantly increase adverse environmental impacts as determined by the responsible official.

d. Deny (reapplication or resubmittal is permitted).

e. Deny with prejudice (reapplication or resubmittal is not allowed for one year).

f. Remand for further proceedings and/or evidentiary hearing.

2. A Council decision following a closed record appeal shall be made by taking one of the following actions:

a. Grant the appeal in whole or in part.

b. Deny the appeal in whole or in part.

c. Remand for further proceedings and/or evidentiary hearing. (Ord. 2481 § 39, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 5.4, 1996).

18.05.490 Hearing Examiner actions.

A. Actions. Upon receiving an application or report from City staff on a proposal or action, the Hearing Examiner shall hold an open record public hearing.

B. Required Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. The Hearing Examiner shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law on applications or proposals before him/her. The findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be consistent with MTMC 2.120.110 and 18.05.560(B).

C. Closed Record Appeals. Upon receiving a request to appeal a decision by City staff, the Hearing Examiner shall hold a closed record public hearing and may remand or overturn the staff decision if it is not consistent with City codes, regulations, and standards. (Ord. 2481 § 40, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 5.5, 1996).

18.05.500 Procedures for public hearings.

Public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the hearing body’s rules of procedure and shall serve to create or supplement an evidentiary record upon which the body will base its decision. The Chair shall open the public hearing and, in general, observe the following sequence of events:

A. Staff presentation, including submittal of any administrative reports. Members of the hearing body may ask questions of the staff.

B. Applicant presentation, including submittal of any materials. Members of the hearing body may ask questions of the applicant.

C. Testimony or comments by the public germane to the matter. Members of the hearing body may ask questions. Questions directed to the staff or the applicant shall be posed by the Chair at its discretion.

D. Rebuttal, response or clarifying statements by the staff and the applicant.

E. The evidentiary portion of the public hearing shall be closed before the hearing body shall deliberate on the matter before it. (Ord. 2117 § 5.6, 1996).

18.05.510 Procedures for closed record appeals.

Closed record appeals shall be conducted in accordance with the hearing body’s rules of procedure and shall serve to provide argument and guidance for the body’s decision. Closed record appeals shall be conducted generally as provided for public hearings in MTMC 18.05.500. No new evidence or testimony shall be given or received. The parties to the appeal may submit timely written statements or arguments. (Ord. 2117 § 5.7, 1996).

18.05.520 Reconsideration.

A. Requirements. A party to a public hearing or closed record appeal may seek reconsideration only of a final decision by filing a written request for reconsideration with the Principal Planner within 10 days of the oral announcement of the final decision. The request shall comply with the following requirements:

1. The name and address of the project;

2. The name of the party of record affected by the decision;

3. The address of the party-of-record affected by the decision;

4. The nature of the proposal as it affects the party-of-record.

B. Review. The Council or hearing body shall consider the request at its next regularly scheduled meeting, without public comment or argument by the party filing the request. If the request is denied, the previous action shall become final. If the request is granted, the Council or hearing body may immediately revise and reissue its decision or may call for argument in accordance with the procedures for closed record appeals. Reconsideration shall be granted only when an obvious legal error has occurred or a material factual issue has been overlooked that would change the previous decision. (Ord. 2117 § 5.8, 1996).

18.05.530 Remand.

A. Decisions by Planning Commission and Hearing Examiner. For hearings and decisions made by the Planning Commission and/or Hearing Examiner which are authorized for appeal to the City Council, the City Council shall have the authority to accept or reject any findings or conclusions, or to remand the decision of the Hearing Examiner or Planning Commission for further hearing on a specific matter of the record. The Council shall specify the items or issues to be considered and the time frame for completing the additional work. The Council may hold a public hearing on a closed record appeal only for the limited purposes identified in RCW 34.05.562(1).

B. Decisions by City Council. For decisions of the City Council, the Court may remand the matter back to the City Council. (Ord. 2481 § 41, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 5.9, 1996).

18.05.540 Final decision.

A. Time Frame. The final approval on a development proposal shall be made within 120 days from the date of the letter of completeness. Exceptions to this include:

1. Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Map and Zoning Code and Map requested by applicants.

2. Any time required to correct plans, perform studies or provide additional information; provided, that within 14 days of receiving the requested additional information, the Principal Planner or designee shall make a written determination whether the information is now adequate to resume the project review.

3. Substantial project revisions made or requested by an applicant, in which case the 120 days will be calculated from the time that the City determines the revised application to be complete.

4. All time required for the preparation and review of an environmental impact statement.

5. Projects involving the siting of an essential public facility.

6. An extension of time mutually agreed upon by the City and the applicant.

7. All time required to obtain a variance, unless consolidated with the project review.

8. Any remand to the hearing body.

9. All time required for the administrative appeal of a determination of significance.

B. Effective Date. The final decision of the Council or hearing body shall be effective on the date stated in the decision, motion, resolution, or ordinance; provided, that the date from which appeal periods shall be calculated shall be the date the Council or hearing body takes action on the motion, resolution, or ordinance. (Ord. 2117 § 5.10, 1996).

Article VII. Appeals

18.05.550 Appeal of administrative interpretations and approvals.

Administrative interpretations and administrative approvals may be appealed, by the applicant or any party of record, to the Hearing Examiner (see decision and hearing matrix, MTMC 18.05.610). (Ord. 2481 § 42, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 6.1, 1996).

18.05.560 Decisions on development applications.

A. Hearing. As appropriate, the Hearing Examiner, Planning Commission, or City Council shall conduct a public hearing on development proposals over which it has final jurisdiction and approve, approve with conditions, or deny for the purpose of taking testimony, hearing evidence, considering the facts germane to the proposal, and evaluating the proposal for consistency with the City’s codes, adopted plans and regulations, including the following:

1. Type of land use;

2. The density or intensity of use;

3. The availability and adequacy of public facilities;

4. Compliance with specific development and Comprehensive Plan standards;

5. That the environmental impacts are consistent with applicable development regulations or, in the absence of applicable regulations, the adopted Comprehensive Plan; and

6. Other factors relevant to the proposal, i.e., previous approvals, engineering standards, other City codes, regulations and standards.

The appropriate authority shall then make a determination to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application. Notice of the public hearing shall be in accordance with MTMC 18.05.420.

B. Required Findings. The appropriate authority shall not approve or deny a proposed development unless it first makes findings of fact and conclusions of law consistent with the evidence and determination made. The findings of fact and conclusions of law shall address:

1. The development is consistent or is not consistent with Comprehensive Plan goals and policies.

2. The development meets or does not meet the requirements and intent of the applicable City ordinances.

3. The development makes or does not make adequate provisions for open space, drainage ways, streets and other public ways, transit stops, water supply, sanitary wastes, parks and recreation facilities, playgrounds, sites for schools and school grounds as applicable.

4. The development adequately mitigates or does not adequately mitigate impacts identified under the Critical Areas Ordinance and SEPA determination.

5. The development is or is not beneficial to the public health, safety and welfare and is in the public interest.

6. The development does or does not lower the level of service of transportation and/or neighborhood park facilities below the minimum standards established within the Comprehensive Plan. If the development results in a level of service lower than those set forth in the Comprehensive Plan, the development may be approved if improvements or strategies to raise the level of service to meet or exceed the minimum standard are made concurrent with the development. For the purpose of this section, “concurrent with the development” is defined as the required improvements or strategies are in place at the time of occupancy, or a financial commitment is in place to complete the improvements or strategies within six years of approval of the development.

7. The area, location and features of any land proposed for dedication are a direct result of the development proposal, are reasonably needed to mitigate the effects of the development, and are proportional to the impacts created by the development.

8. The development satisfactorily addresses or does not satisfactorily address criteria for review and consideration set forth in subsection A or B of this section as applicable.

C. Recommendation. Following review of a legislative or development proposal or action at the Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner meeting, the Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner shall provide written findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations, and promptly forward them to the decision-making authority for consideration.

D. Determination. Following review of a development proposal or action, the appropriate authority shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law. The appropriate authority shall make a determination to approve, approve with conditions or deny the development proposal or action. If the proposal is considered by the Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner at a meeting, the Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner shall file a report and can consider subsections A and B of this section in doing so. (Amended by City request, 1/11; Ord. 2481 § 43, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 6.2, 1996).

18.05.570 Judicial appeal.

A. Appeals from the final decision of the City Council, Planning Commission or Hearing Examiner, and for which all other appeals specifically authorized have been timely exhausted, shall be made to Snohomish County Superior Court within 21 days of the date of the notice of action, unless another time period is established by state law or local ordinance.

B. Notice of the appeal and any other pleadings required to be filed with the court shall be served on the City Clerk, Director, and City Attorney within the applicable time period. This requirement is jurisdictional.

C. The cost of transcribing and preparing all records ordered certified by the court or desired by the appellant for such appeal shall be borne by the appellant. The appellant shall post with the City Clerk prior to the preparation of any records an advance fee deposit in the amount specified by the City Clerk. Any overage will be promptly returned to the appellant. (Ord. 2481 § 44, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 6.3, 1996).

Article VIII. Land Use Plans and Implementation

18.05.580 Comprehensive Plan and map.

A. Frequency and Content for Updating the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan shall be updated no more often than once every year. The update shall consider levels of service for transportation, sewer and water and may consider other levels of service such as police and fire services, park facilities and programs, planning, engineering, and building services, and financial office services. The purpose of considering levels of service is to assure concurrency of development with levels of service.

B. Docket. The Comprehensive Plan shall also consider a docket of items which may be used to add to, or change, the Comprehensive Plan. The docket is maintained by the Principal Planner. The need for change may relate to a need to change the Comprehensive Plan map, or a need to change the Plan to provide consistency with a change, or need to change, the zoning text.

C. Update Procedure. Approximately nine months after the last Comprehensive Plan and Map update, the Principal Planner shall review items that have accumulated in the docket. The Principal Planner shall inform the public, through public notice in a paper of general circulation, as an information item on the agendas of the City Council, Planning Commission, and Hearing Examiner*, and in regular posting places of the City, that the City shall consider an update of the Comprehensive Plan and Map. This notice shall include the purpose(s) of updating the Comprehensive Plan and Map, a deadline for submitting recommended changes, adding to the docket, and a tentative hearing schedule.

D. Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall hold at least one public meeting on the docket of items and/or recommendations to change the plan and map, and may request City Council to recommend any areas for study. The Planning Commission may establish sub-committees for study which shall include members of the public and at least two Planning Commissioners. In all cases, the sub-committee shall have a majority representing residents of the City.

At the public meetings, the Planning Commission shall consider the information from public testimony, subcommittees, and staff. Following consideration of changes and verifying concurrency of recommended change with levels of service for transportation, sewer, and water, the Planning Commission shall recommend changes in the Comprehensive Plan and Map to City Council.

E. The City Council shall review the recommendation of the Planning Commission in a regularly scheduled meeting and set a Public Hearing to consider changes to update the Comprehensive Plan and Map. The Public Hearing for changes in the Comprehensive Plan and Map may be held at the same meeting when recommended changes to the zoning text and map consistent with the Comprehensive Plan amendments are also heard.

F. A sub-area plan may be adopted at any time as long as it is generally consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and concurrency is provided with appropriate levels of service. (Amended by City request, 1/11; Ord. 2117 § 7.1, 1996).

*Code reviser’s note: Ordinance 2481 repealed the Board of Adjustment provisions and replaced them with provisions concerning the Hearing Examiner. The reference to the Board of Adjustment has been editorially updated to refer to the Hearing Examiner.

18.05.590 Zoning text and map.

A. The zoning text may be changed at any time as long as the change is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Immediately following a change(s) in the Comprehensive Plan and Map, the Zoning Ordinance text and map must be changed to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and Map.

B. When the docket is reviewed and the public is informed of the update for the Comprehensive Plan and Map, the public shall also be notified that:

1. Any rezone requests should be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan Map; and

2. A request to change the Zoning Map may involve a change in the Comprehensive Plan Map.

C. The Planning Commission shall have a public hearing and make a recommendation to City Council consistent with MTMC 18.05.470(C) and MTMC 18.05.580(D).

D. The City Council shall hold a public hearing and make a final determination on the zoning text or map changes consistent with MTMC 18.05.480. (Amended by City request, 1/11; Ord. 2117 § 7.2, 1996).

18.05.600 Annexation.

A. The City’s annexation procedures shall follow the requirements of state law.

B. An annexation shall be adopted by ordinance. First reading of the ordinance shall occur following a public hearing on the annexation per state law. The proposed ordinance shall be forwarded to the Boundary Review Board of Snohomish County together with any application materials required. Following Boundary Review Board action, if any, the City shall have a second reading and consider adopting the ordinance to annex.

C. The Comprehensive Plan Map shall be used to establish the zoning classification for an area to be annexed. The zoning shall be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan Map.

D. The City shall adopt zoning for the annexation area in a separate ordinance. Planning Commission should consider and recommend an appropriate zoning classification to the City Council. Planning Commission’s consideration shall include review for concurrency and consistency of the proposed zoning or use, if known, with the Comprehensive Plan and Map and any applicable levels of service. If the applicant requests a zoning classification other than that shown on the Comprehensive Plan Map the applicant shall make a concurrent application for a Comprehensive Plan amendment. (Amended by City request, 1/11; Ord. 2117 § 7.3, 1996).

Article IX. Hearing Matrix and Land Use Project Procedures Time Line

18.05.610 Decision and hearing matrix.

A. The decision and hearing matrix describes administrative decisions, public meetings, open record public hearings and closed record appeal responsibilities of the Planning Commission, Hearing Examiner, City Council and Court.

Decision and Hearing Matrix 

Project Type

Decision

Public Meeting and Recommendation

Open Record Hearing

Open Record Appeal

Closed Record Appeal

Access easement

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Annexation

City Council

 

City Council

 

 

Conditional use permit

Hearing Examiner

 

Hearing Examiner

 

Court

Conditional use permit for accessory use

Hearing Examiner

 

Hearing Examiner

 

Court

Short plat

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Binding site plan

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Preliminary plat

City Council

Planning Commission

City Council

 

Court

Plat alteration

City Council

 

City Council

 

Court

Formal subdivision/plat

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Planned unit development

City Council

Planning Commission

City Council

 

Court

Mobile home park site plan

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Site plan

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

 

Variance

Hearing Examiner

 

Hearing Examiner

 

Court

Appeal of staff decision

Hearing Examiner

 

Hearing Examiner

 

Court

Tree removal plan on undeveloped lot

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Special use sign permit and comprehensive sign design approval

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Other development approval

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Home occupation

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

SEPA appeal

Hearing Examiner

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Approval of temporary gravel parking lot

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

Court

Shoreline Management Act (SMA) permit

Director

 

 

Hearing Examiner

(State) Shoreline Hearings Board

Essential public permit facilities, Type A

Hearing Examiner

 

Hearing Examiner

 

Court

Secure facilities use permit

Hearing Examiner

 

Hearing Examiner

 

Court

 

Process Type

Public Hearing for Recommendation

Public Hearing for Decision

Comprehensive Plan amendment

Planning Commission

City Council

Comprehensive Map amendment

Planning Commission

City Council

Zoning text amendment

Planning Commission

City Council

Zoning for annexation

Planning Commission

City Council

Zoning Map amendment (rezone) that is not part of an application, except when such application is associated with a concurrent Comprehensive Plan amendment

Planning Commission

City Council

Zoning Map amendment (rezone) that is part of an application and not associated with a concurrent Comprehensive Plan

 

Hearing Examiner1

Amendment to Mobile Home Park Ordinance, Environmental Code, Land Use Planning and Development (MTMC Title 18), or Subdivision Code

Planning Commission

City Council

1 Provided, that the decision is subject to a closed record appeal to the City Council.

(Ord. 2716 § 3, 2017; Ord. 2659 § 7, 2015; Ord. 2481 § 45, 2008; Ord. 2117 § 8.1, 1996).

18.05.620 Land use project procedures time line.

Project time line to meet ESHB 1724 Regulatory Reform Act of 1995 requirements:

A. Preconference to Discuss Concepts, Submittal Requirements.

1. By appointment, one free meeting.

2. The Planning Department shall inform the applicant, or their representative, of application requirements.

3. Subsequent meetings will be assessed an hourly fee, per fee schedule.

B. Application Submittal.

1. Within 28 days of the date of receipt of the initial application, City staff will assess the completeness of the initial application.

2. City shall inform the applicant, in writing, by the twenty-eighth day if the application is complete or if additional information is required. The City shall provide a list of information, if any, that is still required.

3. City staff has 14 days to assess the completeness of resubmittals and inform the applicant in writing per subsection (B)(2) of this section.

4. Applications which are determined by the Principal Planner to be substantially deficient in meeting the requirements for a complete application upon review of the second resubmittal will be assessed additional fees.

5. Failure on the part of the City to provide written notification within 28 days for an initial application, and 14 days for resubmittals, shall automatically be determined as a complete application and initiate the 120-day review and decision time line. Additional information may, however, be requested as necessary to review the application.

C. Public Notice of Application.

1. The City shall notify the public that a complete application has been received within 14 days of making the assessment. The City shall describe the application to the public in terms of type of land use, density or intensity, pertinent infrastructure requirements, and environmental factors.

2. The public comment period shall be 30 days.

3. All complete applications, whether a public hearing is required or not, shall be noted on the next regular Planning Commission agenda.

4. When an open record hearing is required, notice of receipt of application must be given 15 days before the hearing date.

D. Review and Decision on Application.

1. Threshold SEPA determinations shall be made within 90 days from the date the application is considered complete. A 30-day extension may be requested by the applicant.

2. Review of and a final decision on the application shall be made within 120 days from the date the application is considered complete, assuming no additional information is required and an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required.

3. Public notification of a decision shall be given by the one-hundred-twentieth day.

4. If the decision cannot be made within the 120 days, written documentation listing the reasons for the delay must be provided along with an estimated date of decision.

5. Exemptions from the 120-day time line:

a. Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and/or Zoning Code is required.

b. Siting of an essential public facility, Type A.

c. Application is substantially revised by applicant, as determined by Principal Planner with advice from other reviewing departments.

6. The 120-day time line is suspended from the date of notice whenever one of the following occurs. Applicant must be given written notification of these items to suspend the time line. The time line continues from the date of resubmittal:

a. Project plans must be corrected.

b. Additional information is required.

c. Additional studies are required.

d. Any period during which an environmental impact statement is being prepared following a determination of significance.

e. Any period for administrative appeal of project permits if open record or closed record appeal hearings, or both, are allowed.

E. Appeals.

1. Time periods for open record or closed record appeals are not included in the 120-day time line.

2. Appeals must be filed within 14 days of the decision date, unless otherwise specified by the municipal code.

3. Open record appeals must take place within 90 days of the decision date.

4. Closed appeals must take place within 60 days of the decision date.

5. City or the applicant can extend the time period for appeals through a mutual agreement.

6. The appeal period is extended in cases that warrant public comment for issues involving determinations of significance. (Ord. 2342 § 5, 2003).