Chapter 17.15
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ACCEPTABILITY

Sections:

17.15.010    Applicability.

17.15.020    Conformance to code.

17.15.025    Declaration of need.

17.15.027    Preapplication conference.

17.15.030    Streets to conform to comprehensive plan.

17.15.040    Conformance of streets to suggested plan.

17.15.045    Dimensions of lots.

17.15.050    Interest of public welfare.

17.15.060    Encroachment on future public areas.

17.15.070    Frontage on high-volume trafficways.

17.15.090    Buffer strips between residential and commercial areas.

17.15.100    Development proposals bordering municipalities.

17.15.110    Large subdivisions.

17.15.112    Boundary line adjustments.

17.15.114    Lots created in violation of this title.

17.15.115    Existing nonbuilding lots.

17.15.120    Connection of streets with highway.

17.15.130    Drainage of road ditches.

17.15.140    Placement of trees.

17.15.150    Sidewalks or walkways.

17.15.160    New streets and rights-of-way.

17.15.180    Parks, playgrounds, recreation spaces, and trails.

17.15.200    Dedication of certain land to state for recreational purposes.

17.15.210    Conformance to zoning code.

17.15.220    Variances.

17.15.230    Future use of streets – Intersection angles and grades.

17.15.235    Cul-de-sacs.

17.15.240    Allocation of land for playfields, parks, trails, scenic spots, etc. – Preservation of natural and cultural features.

17.15.260    Adequacy of public sewer.

17.15.270    Adequate public water supply.

17.15.275    Adequacy of access.

17.15.280    Private street plats.

17.15.285    Owners to maintain streets, easements and utilities – Organization required to guarantee maintenance and assessment of costs.

17.15.300    Approvals.

17.15.010 Applicability.

This title shall apply to all development proposals, for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership. Except as provided herein, the provisions of this title shall not apply to:

A. Cemeteries and other burial plots while used for that purpose.

B. Any division of land into lots or tracts each one of which is 20 acres or larger, or in the case of zone classifications requiring a minimum lot area greater than 20 acres, each of which complies with the lot area requirements of that classification.

C. Any division of land made by testamentary provisions or the laws of descent. Lots created by this means which do not meet current zoning will be treated the same as legal substandard lots as provided in NMC Title 18, Zoning.

D. Any division of land into lots or tracts consistent with RCW 58.17.040 for which a residential condominium binding site plan has been recorded in accordance with the provisions set forth in Chapter 17.30 NMC, Residential Condominium Binding Site Plan Review Process.

E. Any transfer of land to a public body, or any division of land solely for the installation of electric power, telephone, water supply, sewer service or other utility facilities of a similar or related nature; provided, that no more than four lots are created; and provided further, that any remaining lot or lots which are not consistent with the city’s zoning, access, or health requirements shall not be considered as building sites by the city.

F. A division made for the purpose of alteration by adjusting boundary lines, between platted or unplatted lots or both, which does not create any lot, tract, parcel, site, or division which contains insufficient area, and dimension to meet minimum requirements for width and area for a building site; provided, that the adjustment is reviewed and approved as set forth in NMC 17.15.112.

G. Any conveyance of land by a partial fulfillment deed pursuant to a real estate contract; provided, that the entire lot within the original real estate contract shall be recognized as a single legal building site until the property is subdivided in compliance with this title, and that there shall be no retransfer of any lot created by partial fulfillment deed without compliance with this title.

H. Any division of land for the purpose of lease when no residential structures other than mobile homes are permitted to be placed upon the land and for which a binding site plan for the use of the land as a mobile home park has been approved by the manager in accordance with the provisions of the zoning code section on mobile homes and mobile home parks.

I. Divisions of land by binding site plan into lots or tracts classified for industrial or commercial use pursuant to Chapter 17.25 NMC, Binding Site Plan.

J. A division for the purpose of leasing land for facilities providing personal wireless services while used for that purpose. “Personal wireless services” means any federally licensed personal wireless service. “Facilities” means unstaffed facilities that are used for the transmission or reception, or both, of wireless communication services including, but not limited to, antenna arrays, transmission cables, equipment shelters, and support structures. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.010), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.020 Conformance to code.

The development proposal shall conform to this chapter. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.020), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.025 Declaration of need.

The city council declares and finds that the city has a need for regulation of development proposals. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.02.010), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994. Formerly 17.05.010).

17.15.027 Preapplication conference.

A preapplication conference is required prior to submittal of a development proposal in accordance with pertinent provisions of the Newcastle Municipal Code and administrative rules and regulations as established by the director. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1).

17.15.030 Streets to conform to comprehensive plan.

Streets shall conform in effect to the city of Newcastle comprehensive plan as adopted or as hereafter amended, and/or to the general pattern of the street system of the city. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 2000-209 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.030), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.040 Conformance of streets to suggested plan.

If a preliminary or suggested plan or plat for the area has been made by the hearing examiner, the street layout shall be in general conformance thereto. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.040), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.045 Dimensions of lots.*

The minimum dimensions for lots shall conform to the dimensions established in the zoning code and shall not be less than the requirements for the zone in which located. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1).

*Code reviser’s note: NMC 17.15.045 was added by Ord. 2005-305 as NMC 17.15.040. It has been renumbered to avoid duplication.

17.15.050 Interest of public welfare.

The proposed development and its ultimate use shall be in the best interests of the public welfare and the neighborhood development of the area and the applicant shall present evidence to this effect when requested by the department. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.050), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.060 Encroachment on future public areas.

The property to be developed should not be a part of or encroach upon an area or areas designated in the comprehensive plan for future public facilities. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.060), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.070 Frontage on high-volume trafficways.

Frontage on high-volume trafficways shall be provided with parallel service streets or such other medium of access as may be appropriate to the conditions. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.070), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.090 Buffer strips between residential and commercial areas.

Buffer strips or other protective treatment should be provided to the extent and type as may be practicable when business, commercial, and industrial development occurs adjacent to residential development. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.090), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.100 Development proposals bordering municipalities.

Development proposals adjacent to other municipalities shall be considered with respect to the regulations and administrative rules of that municipality. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.100), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.110 Large subdivisions.

Where a property is subdivided into lots of an acre or more, the department may require an arrangement of lots and streets such as to permit a later resubdivision in conformity with the street and lot requirements specified in these regulations. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.110), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.112 Boundary line adjustments.

A. The purpose of a boundary line adjustment is to accommodate a transfer of land between adjacent legally created lots, provided no additional lot, parcel, or tract is created.

B. Any proposed adjustment of boundary lines must be reviewed and approved by the director prior to the transfer of property ownership of land between adjacent separate lots. The purpose of the director’s review is to determine if the proposed division meets the exemption requirements of NMC 17.15.010(F). In order to determine if the boundary line adjustment is exempt, the director shall examine the city’s zoning code, public works standards and other applicable policies, applicable board of health rules and regulations and, in addition for developed lots, fire and building codes.

C. All lots modified by a boundary line adjustment procedure shall not be approved for recording if such adjustment would allow a nonconforming dimension as specified in NMC 18.12.030 to become more nonconforming unless the adjustment equalizes more than one adjacent nonconforming lot.

D. No boundary line adjustment may be approved when such action would violate an applicable requirement or condition or a previous land use action, subdivision or short subdivision approval.

E. The boundary line adjustment does not become effective until it is recorded with the King County department of records and elections. The applicant shall submit one mylar copy of the boundary line adjustment after staff has reviewed the check prints. The city will forward the boundary line adjustment map to the King County department of records and elections. A copy of the recorded document shall be provided to the applicant.

F. Initial adjustment approvals shall expire if the authorized deeds transferring property ownership, together with a copy of the approved boundary line adjustment, are not recorded within one year of adjustment approval.

G. Revisions of approved boundary line adjustments may be permitted within the one-year approval period without a new application only if the authorized adjustment and the deeds transferring ownership have not been recorded. Modifications of recorded adjustments will require the review and approval of a new application package.

H. Complete Application. Applications for a boundary line adjustment shall be considered fully complete once the department determines that the application contains the following materials:

1. Name of project.

2. Parcel number and address (if available) of each affected parcel.

3. Owner name of each affected parcel.

4. Lot size of each affected parcel before and after boundary line adjustment.

5. Legal descriptions of those portions of land being transferred under the proposed BLA.

6. A title insurance certificate, which includes all parcels within the adjustment dated by the title company within 30 days of the date the application is submitted to the city, confirming that the title of the lands as described for the adjustment is in the name(s) of the applicant and/or owner(s) described in this application.

7. Existing Property Configurations Map. Provide a map at a preferable scale of one inch equal to 20 feet, but not less than one inch equal to 100 feet, which depicts the existing property configuration of all affected lots, including all lot line dimensions, existing improvements, existing and/or proposed easements, and critical areas and their buffers. The map must be produced by a professional land surveyor licensed by the state of Washington, and adhere to WAC 332-130-050.

8. Proposed Property Configurations Map. Provide a separate map that depicts the proposed property configuration, including all lot line dimensions and existing improvements intended to be retained. The map must be produced by a professional land surveyor licensed by the state of Washington, and adhere to WAC 332-130-050. This map should show any structures or improvements to each lot and the dimensions from the improvements/structures within the required setbacks to the proposed property line, as well as any wetlands, streams, standing water, or drainage course and/or any critical areas affecting the lots.

9. Lot closure calculations. (Ord. 2020-611 § 3; Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.112), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.114 Lots created in violation of this title.

A. For purposes of this title, an “innocent purchaser” shall mean an individual who has purchased real property for value, has not received actual notice that the lot has not been legally created, and has not previously been granted innocent purchaser status by the city. All contiguous lots created in violation of this title and which are under the same ownership at the time of application for innocent purchaser status shall be recognized only as a single lot.

B. An innocent purchaser of a lot created in violation of the city’s subdivision requirements who files a notarized affidavit of innocent purchase with the department on forms satisfactory to the director shall be treated as follows for purposes of determining zoning compliance, and for establishing eligibility for building permits and future subdivisions:

1. A lot recognized pursuant to this innocent purchaser provision will be treated the same as a legally subdivided lot if the parcel meets current zoning requirements for access, lot area and lot width;

2. Innocent purchaser lots which do not meet current zoning requirements, but which did meet zoning requirements in effect at the time that they were created, will be treated the same as legally created substandard lots as provided in the city’s zoning code; and

3. Innocent purchaser lots which do not meet current zoning requirements and which did not meet the zoning requirements in effect at the time of their creation will be treated the same as legally created lots for purpose of conveyance, but will not be eligible for building permits. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 97-153 § 42; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.114), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.115 Existing nonbuilding lots.

An owner of an existing nonbuilding lot may seek to have that lot recognized by the city as a legal building site by either of the following procedures:

A. Subdivision, alteration or vacation as provided in Chapter 17.70 NMC; or

B. Subdivision, as provided in Chapter 17.45 NMC. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.26.110), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994. Formerly 17.35.110).

17.15.120 Connection of streets with highway.

No plan for the replatting, subdivision or dedication of any area shall be approved by the city unless the streets shown therein are connected by surfaced road or street (according to city specifications) to an existing dedicated street of the city. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.120), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.130 Drainage of road ditches.

Proper facilities, as required by the city engineer, shall be provided for the drainage of road ditches on steep grades in order to minimize the damage of erosion. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.130), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.140 Placement of trees.

If street trees are to be used, it is preferred to have them planted inside the right-of-way. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.140), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.150 Sidewalks or walkways.

Sidewalks or walkways shall be required for all existing and proposed streets including perimeter streets in business and residential developments. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.150), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.160 New streets and rights-of-way.

Where the comprehensive plan and/or the city street plan indicates the necessity of a new right-of-way of a required width or portion thereof for street purposes, in order to complete the articulation of the city street pattern such required right-of-way or portion thereof shall be dedicated to the city. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.160), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.180 Parks, playgrounds, recreation spaces, and trails.

If required by the department or designated by the comprehensive plan, all development proposals must provide for the dedication of areas for park, playground, recreation, or trails to the extent determined necessary by the department. (Ord. 2014-497 § 4 (Exh. A); Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.180), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.200 Dedication of certain land to state for recreational purposes.

Unless topography and ground conditions prevent, the department may require the dedication of a reasonable amount of property to the state of Washington for recreational and fishing purposes forever, and may also require such dedication of the approaches to such areas as may be required by the State Department of Game. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.200), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.210 Conformance to zoning code.

No lot or portion of a lot in a development proposal shall be divided and sold or resold or ownership changed or transferred whereby resulting parcel of property shall be less than the area required for the zone in which it is located.

Covenants as to use and resale which are binding on all future owners of lots, more severe than the requirements of the city’s zoning code, may be part of the development proposal. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.210), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.220 Variances.

Variations from the dimensional standards and improvement requirements, as herein set forth, may be made by the department in those instances where they meet the intent and purpose of these standards and requirements in accordance with Chapter 18.44 NMC. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.220), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.230 Future use of streets – Intersection angles and grades.

Due regard should be given in every case to the topography of the area, the use of the street for utility purposes and its future use for rapid traffic purposes.

When any streets or alleys intersect with high-volume traffic routes or at angles that may prove dangerous, the grades shall be given special approval requirements.

Streets shall be required to intersect one another at an angle as near to a right angle as is practicable in each specific case. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.230), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.235 Cul-de-sacs.

A. Any permanent cul-de-sac shall not serve more than 13 potential dwelling units and shall not be longer than 600 feet measured from the centerline of intersecting street to the center of the bulb section.

B. Proposed exceptions to this rule will be considered by the director of community development. Any proposed exceptions shall be based on factors affecting pertinent traffic planning. Such factors that affect pertinent traffic planning may include topography, critical areas and existing development. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1).

17.15.240 Allocation of land for playfields, parks, trails, scenic spots, etc. – Preservation of natural and cultural features.

The department shall specify to the extent required the allocation of playfields, parks, trails and other open public spaces that may be essential to a proper development of the areas or neighborhood.

Due regard shall be shown for the preservation of outstanding natural and cultural features such as scenic spots, watercourses and historic sites. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.240), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.260 Adequacy of public sewer.

All development proposals must be served by an adequate public sewer system as set forth in subsections (A) and (B) of this section before the development proposal may be recorded:

A. A public sewer system shall be deemed adequate for the purpose of development approval, as specified in this title, if the applicant has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the city that:

1. The sewer system complies with applicable planning, operating and design requirements of the Coal Creek Utility District Comprehensive Sewer Plan and any subsequent amendments; and

2. A certificate of sewer availability has been issued by the Coal Creek Utility District.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this title, prior to final approval of the development proposal the approved public sewer system authorized pursuant to subsection (A) of this section shall be installed to serve each lot in accordance with a developer extension agreement signed with the Coal Creek Utility District and verification of such agreement provided to the city. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 2001-241 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.270), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.270 Adequate public water supply.

All development proposals must be served by an adequate water supply as set forth in subsections (A) and (B) of this section before the development proposal may be recorded:

A. A water supply system shall be deemed adequate for the purpose of development approval, as specified in this title, if the applicant has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the city that:

1. The water supply system complies with the applicable planning, operating and design requirements of the Coal Creek Utility District Comprehensive Water Plan, and any subsequent amendments; and

2. A certificate of water availability has been issued by the Coal Creek Utility District.

B. Except as provided in this title, prior to final approval of the development proposal the approved public water system authorized pursuant to subsection (A) of this section shall be installed to serve each lot in accordance with a developer extension agreement signed with the Coal Creek Utility District and verification of such agreement provided to the city. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 2001-241 § 2; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.08.270), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994).

17.15.275 Adequacy of access.

A. Improvements within the development proposal shall have adequate access to a street which conforms to city road standards. In order to assure safe and adequate access, the director:

1. May limit direct access to certain streets and require on-site public or private streets in lieu of individual driveways or access panhandles, in accordance with the city road standards;

2. Shall require roadway improvements consistent with NMC Title 12.

B. Right-of-Way Use Permits. Development proposals involving construction within city rights-of-way shall obtain a right-of-way use permit. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1).

17.15.280 Private street plats.

Development proposals served principally by private streets or private access easements shall not be permitted except as allowed by the criteria contained in the city of Newcastle’s public works standards, as adopted pursuant to NMC 12.05.010, and as approved by the director of community development. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 2000-209 § 2).

17.15.285 Owners to maintain streets, easements and utilities – Organization required to guarantee maintenance and assessment of costs.

All private streets, easements, community utilities and properties shall be maintained by the owners of property served by them and kept in good repair at all times. In order to ensure the continued good repair, it must be demonstrated to the department prior to the recording of the development that:

A. There is a workable organization to guarantee maintenance with a committee or group to administer the organizational functions; and

B. There is a means for assessing maintenance costs equitably to property owners served by the private streets, easements, community utilities and properties. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 2000-209 § 3).

17.15.300 Approvals.

It shall be mandatory that all new development proposals, with the exception of site plans and any amendments thereto being processed for approval by the legally constituted approving bodies concerned within, shall be signed by the King County department of assessments and recorded with the King County department of records and elections. (Ord. 2005-305 § 1; Ord. 25 Exh. A (.02.020), 1994; Ord. 20 § 1, 1994. Formerly 17.05.020).