Chapter 19.90
TOWN CENTER PLANNED ACTION1

Sections:

19.90.010    Purpose.

19.90.020    Definitions.

19.90.030    Procedures and criteria for evaluating and determining projects as planned actions.

19.90.040    Monitoring and review.

19.90.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to:

A. Combine analysis of environmental impacts with the City’s development of plans and regulations;

B. Designate the Mountlake Terrace Town Center as a planned action for purposes of environmental review of subsequent, implementing projects pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), RCW 43.21C.440;

C. Establish criteria and procedures, consistent with state law, that will determine whether subsequent projects qualify as planned actions;

D. Provide the public with information about planned actions and how the City will process implementing projects;

E. Streamline and expedite the land use review and approval process by relying on the environmental impact statement (EIS), EIS addendum, and supplemental EIS completed for the planned action; and

F. Apply the City’s development regulations together with the mitigation measures described in the EIS and this chapter to address the impacts of future development contemplated by the planned action. (Ord. 2756 § 2, 2019).

19.90.020 Definitions.

“Comprehensive Plan” means the Comprehensive Plan, as identified in MTMC 18.10.010.

“Department” means the Community and Economic Development Department.

“SEPA Responsible Official” means the Planning and Community Development Director or his or her designee.

“Town Center Subarea Plan” means the Town Center Subarea Plan, as identified in MTMC 19.90.030.

“Traffic Engineer” means the City’s Traffic Engineer, as designated by the City’s Engineering Services Director or his/her designee. (Ord. 2756 § 2, 2019).

19.90.030 Procedures and criteria for evaluating and determining projects as planned actions.

A. Planned Action Area. The planned action designation shall apply to the approximately 98-acre Town Center subarea, which is generally bounded by 230th Street SW on the north, 55th Avenue W on the east, 237th Street SW on the south, and Interstate Highway 5 on the west, and that is specifically shown in Exhibit A, “Planned Action Area,” which is attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter and adopted by reference as though fully set forth herein and which shall be available from the Department.

B. Environmental Document. A planned action determination for a site-specific implementing project application shall be based on the environmental analysis contained in the Town Center planned action supplemental EIS issued by the City on July 19, 2019, the EIS addendum published on April 10, 2013, and the final Town Center planned action EIS published on August 10, 2007. The mitigation measures contained in Exhibit B, which are attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter and adopted by reference as though fully set forth herein and which shall be available from the Department, are based upon the findings of the Town Center EIS, the EIS addendum, and the Town Center Plan update supplemental EIS, and shall, along with adopted City regulations, provide the framework that the City will use to review and to impose appropriate conditions on qualifying planned action projects.

C. Planned Action Designated. Land uses and activities described in the Town Center Plan update supplemental EIS, subject to the thresholds described in subsection D of this section and the mitigation measures contained in Exhibit B, are designated planned actions or planned action projects pursuant to RCW 43.21C.440 and WAC 197-11-172. A development application for a site-specific planned action project located within the Town Center planned action area shall be designated a planned action if it meets the criteria set forth in subsection D of this section and applicable laws, codes, development regulations and standards of the City.

D. Planned Action Qualifications. The following thresholds shall be used to determine if a site-specific development proposed within the Town Center planned action area is contemplated by the planned action and has had its environmental impacts evaluated in the Town Center Plan update supplemental EIS, the planned action EIS and/or the EIS addendum:

1. Land Use. The following primary land uses and levels of development described in the Town Center Plan update supplemental EIS, along with conditional and accessory uses permitted in the community business downtown district, are considered planned actions:

a. Commercial services;

b. Commercial retail;

c. Medical/health care, excluding hospitals and ambulance services;

d. Recreation/entertainment/cultural, excluding parks and plazas that are not part of an approved site plan for a permitted or conditional use;

e. Eating/drinking establishments;

f. Transportation facilities, limited to bus shelters;

g. Residential, including motels/hotels, live-work units, and attached single-family and multifamily units;

h. Manufacturing, processing or assembly of items that are sold from or displayed in a show/sales room directly fronting the street.

2. Development Thresholds.

a. The following amount of various land uses are contemplated by the planned action:

 

Land Use

Development Amount

Commercial:

625,000 sq. ft.

– Office and services

410,000 sq. ft.

– Retail

215,000 sq. ft.

Residential

3,000 units

b. If future development proposals in the Town Center planned action area exceed the development thresholds specified in this chapter, further environmental review may be required pursuant to WAC 197-11-172. Further, if proposed development would alter the assumptions and analysis in the Town Center Plan update supplemental EIS, further environmental review may be required. Provided, that shifting the total build-out between categories of uses may be permitted so long as the total build-out does not exceed the aggregate amount of development, trip generation and parking thresholds reviewed in the Supplemental EIS, and so long as the impacts of that development have been identified in the Town Center Plan EIS, EIS addendum or supplemental EIS and are mitigated consistent with Exhibit B.

3. Building Heights. Building heights shall be as identified in the applicable Town Center zoning designation(s).

4. Transportation.

a. The maximum net new p.m. peak hour weekday vehicle trips analyzed in the Town Center Plan update supplemental EIS was 930.

Vehicle Trips Generated by Proposed Action

PM Peak Hour

Current Town Center Planned Action Trip Generation

2,475

Increase in Vehicle Trips Generated by Proposed Action

930

Proposed Action Trip Generation

3,405

Source: City of Mountlake Terrace, 2013; Fehr and Peers, 2019.

b. Trip Threshold. Uses or activities that would exceed the maximum trip levels shown above would not qualify as planned actions and would require additional environmental review.

c. City Engineer Discretion. The City Engineer or his/her designee shall have discretion to determine incremental and total trip generation, consistent with the Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE) Trip Generation Manual (latest edition) or an alternative manual accepted by the City Engineer at his sole discretion, for each project permit application proposed under this planned action.

d. Traffic Impact Mitigation. All planned action projects shall pay, as a condition of approval, their proportionate share of Town Center street and other transportation improvements that have been determined to be necessary to support planned development within the Town Center. Impact fees applicable to each planned action project are identified in the schedule, and will be determined according to the methodology contained in the ordinance adopting such impact fees. The City may adjust such fees from time to time.

5. Elements of the Environment and Degree of Impacts. A proposed project that would result in a significant change in the type or degree of impacts to any of the elements of the environment analyzed in the Town Center Plan planned action EIS, EIS addendum and/or supplemental EIS, would not qualify as a planned action.

6. Changed Conditions. Should environmental conditions change significantly from those analyzed in the planned action EIS and EIS addendum, the City’s SEPA Responsible Official may determine that the planned action designation is no longer applicable until supplemental environmental review is conducted.

7. Additional Mitigation Fees. The City may adopt and apply such other fees as may be deemed necessary and appropriate to mitigate impacts to other capital facilities in the Town Center and to accommodate planned growth. Such fees, if adopted, shall be in addition to the fee required in subsection (D)(4)(d) of this section, and shall apply only to required improvements that are not addressed in this subsection.

E. Planned Action Review Criteria.

1. The City’s SEPA Responsible Official may designate as “planned actions,” pursuant to RCW 43.21C.030, applications that meet all of the following conditions:

a. The proposal is located within the planned action area identified in Exhibit A, pursuant to subsection A of this section;

b. The proposed uses and activities are consistent with those described in the planned action EIS and EIS addendum, and subsection D of this section;

c. The proposal is within the planned action thresholds and other criteria of subsection D of this section;

d. The proposal is consistent with the City of Mountlake Terrace Comprehensive Plan and the Town Center Subarea Plan;

e. The proposal’s significant adverse environmental impacts have been identified in the planned action EIS, EIS addendum and/or supplemental EIS;

f. The proposal’s significant impacts have been mitigated by application of the measures identified in Exhibits B and C, and other applicable city regulations, together with any modifications or variances or special permits that may be required;

g. The proposal complies with all applicable local, state and/or federal laws and regulations, and the Responsible Official determines that these constitute adequate mitigation; and

h. The proposal is not an essential public facility as defined by RCW 36.70A.200, unless the essential public facility is part of or accessory to a residential, office, school, commercial, recreational, service or industrial development that is designated as a planned action.

2. The City shall base its decision on designation on review of a SEPA checklist, or an alternative form developed consistent with applicable provisions of Chapter 43.21C RCW, and review of the application and supporting documentation.

3. A proposal that meets the criteria of this section shall be considered to qualify and be designated as a planned action, consistent with the requirements of RCW 43.21C.440, WAC 197-11-164 et seq., and this chapter.

F. Effect of Planned Action.

1. Designation as a planned action project means that a qualifying proposal has been reviewed in accordance with this chapter and found to be consistent with its development parameters and thresholds, and with the environmental analysis contained in the planned action EIS, EIS addendum and supplemental EIS.

2. Upon determination by the City’s SEPA Responsible Official that the proposal meets the criteria of section (D) of this section and qualifies as a planned action, the proposal shall not require a SEPA threshold determination, preparation of an EIS, or be subject to further review pursuant to SEPA.

G. Planned Action Permit Process. Applications for planned actions shall be reviewed pursuant to the following process:

1. Development applications shall meet the applicable requirements of MTMC Titles 12 through 19. Applications for planned actions shall be made on forms provided by the City and shall include a SEPA checklist or a planned action SEPA checklist.

2. The City’s Planning and Community Development Director shall determine whether the application is complete as provided in MTMC 19.110.030.

3. If the application is for a project within the planned action area defined in Exhibit A, the application will be reviewed to determine if it is consistent with the criteria of this chapter and thereby qualifies as a planned action project. The SEPA Responsible Official shall notify the applicant of his/her decision. If the project is determined to qualify as a planned action, it shall proceed in accordance with the applicable permit review procedures specified in MTMC 19.110.090, except that no SEPA threshold determination, EIS or additional SEPA review shall be required. The decision of the SEPA Responsible Official regarding qualification as a planned action shall be final.

4. Public notice and review for projects that qualify as planned actions shall be provided pursuant to RCW 43.21C.440(3)(b) and MTMC 19.110.080 and 19.110.090.

5. Development Agreement. To provide additional certainty, the City or an applicant may request consideration and execution of a development agreement for a qualifying planned action project. The development agreement may address review procedures applicable to a planned action project, permitted uses, mitigation measures, payment of impact fees, design standards, phasing, vesting of development rights, and any other topic that may properly be considered in a development agreement consistent with RCW 36.70B.170 et seq.

6. If a project is determined to not qualify as a planned action, the SEPA Responsible Official shall so notify the applicant and prescribe a SEPA review procedure consistent with the City’s SEPA regulations and the requirements of state law. The notice shall describe the elements of the application that result in failure to qualify as a planned action.

7. Projects that fail to qualify as planned actions may incorporate or otherwise use relevant elements of the Town Center Plan update supplemental EIS, as well as other relevant SEPA documents, to meet their SEPA requirements. The SEPA Responsible Official may limit the scope of SEPA review for the nonqualifying project to those issues and environmental impacts not previously addressed in the EIS, EIS addendum and supplemental EIS prepared for the Town Center Plan and planned action. (Ord. 2756 § 2, 2019).

19.90.040 Monitoring and review.

A. The City shall monitor the progress of development in the designated planned action area to ensure that it is consistent with the assumptions of this chapter and the planned action EIS and EIS addendum regarding the type and amount of development and associated impacts, and with the mitigation measures and improvements planned for the Town Center.

B. This planned action chapter and its underlying ordinance shall be reviewed no later than December 1, 2024, by the SEPA Responsible Official to determine the continuing relevance of its assumptions and findings with respect to environmental conditions in the planned action area, the impacts of development, and required mitigation measures. Based upon this review, the City may propose amendments to this chapter and/or may supplement or revise the Town Center supplemental EIS. (Ord. 2756 § 2, 2019).


1

Code reviser’s note: Section 6 of Ord. 2756 states, “This Ordinance shall expire ten (10) years from the date of adoption unless it is extended by the City Council following a report from the SEPA Responsible Official and a public hearing.”