Chapter 18.20


18.20.010    Repealed.

18.20.020    Repealed.

18.20.030    Variances.

18.20.040    Variance procedures.

18.20.050    Applicants or appellants.

18.20.060    Petition.

18.20.070    Meetings of the hearing examiner.

18.20.080    Notices.

18.20.090    Procedure.

18.20.100    Limitations to life of variance.

18.20.010 Powers of hearing examiner.

Repealed by Ord. 924. (Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 783 § 9, 2006; Ord. 516 § 4, 1990; Ord. 152 § 4, 1964. Formerly 18.20.040).

18.20.020 Rules and regulations.

Repealed by Ord. 924. (Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 516 § 5, 1990; Ord. 258A § 1, 1972; Ord. 152 § 5, 1964. Formerly 18.20.050).

18.20.030 Variances.

Where practical difficulties exist rendering compliance with the provisions of this title impractical, and such compliance would create unnecessary hardships to the owner or user of land or buildings, the hearing examiner may grant a variance in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this title or the building ordinance by varying the application of rules, regulations or provisions of this title or such ordinance relating to the use of land or structures and any construction, structural or equipment changes so long as the spirit and benefits of this title or the ordinance will be preserved. The hearing examiner shall not vary any of the rules, regulations or provisions of this title or the ordinance unless the hearing examiner, upon due and diligent investigation and after public hearing, finds that all of the following conditions exist in such case:

(1) That the variance does not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitation upon uses of other properties in the vicinity and zone in which the property on behalf of which the application was filed is located;

(2) That such variance is necessary because of special circumstances relating to the size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings of the subject property, to provide it with use rights and privileges permitted to other properties in the vicinity and in the zone in which the subject property is located;

(3) That the granting of such variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and zone in which the subject property is situated; and

(4) That the plight of the owner is not the result of the owner’s voluntary actions.

Variances authorized by this section shall be from the city’s bulk regulations and standards only. No variance shall be granted to permit a use not otherwise allowed under the zoning classification applicable to the property for which the variance is applied. (Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 152 § 6, 1964. Formerly 18.20.060).

18.20.040 Variance procedures.

Variance applications shall be processed as provided in Chapter 18.150 NPMC. (Ord. 924 § 2(I), 2015; Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 391 § 2, 1981; Ord. 152 § 7, 1964. Formerly 18.20.070).

18.20.050 Applicants or appellants.

Any person whose property rights are affected by the determination of the building official, any officer, official or any department, board or commission of the city, whose duties and responsibilities are adversely affected by the decision of the other city officer, official, board or commission, or any person having a substantial property interest or right to possession of any land or building for which special property use may be granted, or whose use and enjoyment of such land or building is rendered impractical by the application of an ordinance, may apply or appeal to the hearing examiner for issues referred by city ordinance to the hearing examiner for relief. (Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 783 § 11, 2006; Ord. 152 § 9, 1964. Formerly 18.20.090).

18.20.060 Petition.

Such applicant or appellant shall specify in writing, in such form as may be required by the rules of the hearing examiner, the facts in support of the application and shall contain such information as the hearing examiner shall deem necessary for the proper identification of the land and proposed use and the reason for claiming an error in the administrative determination of any city official. Persons objecting to the relief sought by the applicant or appellant would likewise set forth the facts in support thereof in writing which shall contain the signature of the person or persons opposing the petition. The petition or objection shall be submitted to the hearing examiner within the time provided in its rules of procedure. (Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 783 § 12, 2006; Ord. 152 § 10, 1964. Formerly 18.20.100).

18.20.070 Meetings of the hearing examiner.

The hearing examiner shall hold meetings at such times as the hearing examiner may determine. All meetings shall be open to the public in compliance with the provisions of Chapter 42.32 RCW and shall be held at the city offices as set by ordinance. (Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 534 § 2, 1992; Ord. 529 § 1, 1991; Ord. 249 § 1, 1971; Ord. 152 § 12, 1964. Formerly 18.20.120).

18.20.080 Notices.

Notice of hearings shall be given as provided in Chapter 18.150 NPMC. (Ord. 939 § 4, 2016; Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 783 § 13, 2006; Ord. 516 § 7, 1990; Ord. 152 § 13, 1964. Formerly 18.20.130).

18.20.090 Procedure.

(1) The time within which appeals from the administrative determination shall be made to the hearing examiner shall be prescribed by rules of the hearing examiner. Petitions or applications for hearings by the hearing examiner shall be filed with the city clerk. The community development staff shall serve as secretary to the hearing examiner unless the city manager shall provide and designate a secretary of the hearing examiner for the purpose of taking minutes and recording public meetings or quasi-judicial hearings.

(2) Each applicant for a conditional use or variance shall pay to the city clerk a fee in such amount as shall, from time to time, be adopted by resolution of the city council. Upon the filing of such application, the administrative official shall forthwith transmit to the hearing examiner papers and data constituting the administrative official’s record relating to such property.

(3) Appeal of Hearing Examiner Decision to the Court. Any person whose rights have been affected, who has actively participated in the hearing, and who is aggrieved by a decision of the hearing examiner may appeal to the superior court under Chapter 36.70C RCW. Transcript of a verbatim record of any proceeding appealed from and compilation of the record for court review are done at the expense of the appellant, who shall prepay the estimated expenses. Any deficiency shall be paid before the record is filed, and any overpayment shall be refunded upon preparation of the record. (Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 783 § 14, 2006; Ord. 713 § 1, 2003; Ord. 516 § 8, 1990; Ord. 391 § 3, 1981; Ord. 345 § 3, 1979; Ord. 343 § 1, 1979; Ord. 152 § 14, 1964. Formerly 18.20.140).

18.20.100 Limitations to life of variance.

The recipient of a variance shall obtain any applicable building permit and/or occupancy permit or approval of any applicable formal or informal subdivision or boundary line adjustment within one year from the date of granting of the variance. Failure to do so will cause the variance grant to lapse and be of no further force and effect. This section shall apply to all variances granted subsequent to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section. (Ord. 831 § 2, 2009; Ord. 391 § 1, 1981. Formerly 18.20.150).


Prior legislation: Ords. 426 and 18 § 14 as added by Ord. 49.