Chapter 16.20
PRELIMINARY PLATS

Sections:

16.20.005    Administration.

16.20.010    Application content – Requirements.

16.20.020    Procedures – Generally.

16.20.030    Application.

16.20.040    Hearing – Notice.

16.20.050    Review process – Requirements.

16.20.060    Planning commission recommendation – Factors to be considered.

16.20.070    Board of county commissioners’ action.

16.20.080    Approval – Conditions.

16.20.090    Abandoned orchard removal.

16.20.095    Noxious weed control.

16.20.100    Decision – Notifications.

16.20.110    Preliminary subdivision – Decision appeals.

16.20.130    Agreements to transfer land conditioned on final plat approval.

16.20.140    Prohibition on construction other than “model homes” and required improvements before end of 30-day appeal period without release of liability.

16.20.005 Administration.

A. The Okanogan County office of planning and development director (administrator) or the administrator’s designee, referred to in this chapter as the administrator, is vested with the duty of administering and interpreting the subdivision provisions of this title;

B. The administrator may prepare and require the use of such forms as deemed necessary to administer this title;

C. The Okanogan County planning commission is vested with the duty of conducting the required public hearing on each subdivision and making a recommendation to the Okanogan County commissioners to approve, approve with conditions, or deny any subdivision proposed within the unincorporated area of Okanogan County. (Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.010 Application content – Requirements.

Any person desiring to subdivide land shall prepare a preliminary plat application for the proposed subdivision which shall be at a scale of at least one inch equals 200 feet, unless the administrator requests or authorizes a different scale, and which shall include the following information:

A. General information:

1. Proposed name of the subdivision; this name shall not duplicate any name used on a recorded plat or subdivision in Okanogan County, including municipalities of the county;

2. Location of the subdivision by section, township and range;

3. Names and addresses of the owners, subdivider, designer of the subdivision and the licensed surveyor and/or engineer;

4. Scale, north arrow and date; and

5. A full and correct legal description of the entire lot, tract, parcel, site or division constituting the applicant’s proposed subdivision.

B. Existing conditions:

1. Boundary lines of the proposed subdivision, approximate distances of acreage enclosed;

2. Elevations shall be shown by contour lines. Contours may be obtained by aerial photography, mapping or site survey work. Contour interval shall be specified following review of the proposed preliminary plat by the administrator. A smaller contour interval may be appropriate in areas intended for development where roadways, building sites, etc., are more closely related to the existing topography, whereas a greater contour interval would be acceptable in areas that are to remain undeveloped or are to be only marginally affected by the development of the subdivision. Contour interval in areas proposed for roads and other public works improvements shall be as required by the county engineer. Contour information should extend off-site approximately 100 feet in order to understand the relationship of adjacent properties;

3. The location, name, designation (public or private) of present improvement and right-of-way width, and type of surfacing of all streets, alleys and rights-of-way on and adjacent to the tract; location of any existing walks, curbs, gutters, culverts, buried conduits and utilities including storm drains. Off-site information may be shown by note rather than by survey;

4. Approximate width, location and purpose of all existing easements and auditor’s file numbers, on and adjacent to the tract. Off-site information may be shown by note rather than by survey;

5. The location of natural and physical features including but not limited to wetlands, geologic hazard areas, aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas (100-year flood plain); areas having archaeological significance, the name and direction of flow of all watercourses, and approximate boundary of designated/classified natural resource lands (e.g., forest, agricultural, or mining lands), if readily apparent or ascertainable;

6. Existing uses of the property, including the location and use of all existing structures and those structures which will remain on the property after platting.

C. Proposed subdivision plat:

1. The location, name, designation of (public or private) right-of-way or easement width, approximate radii of curves and centerline profiles of all proposed streets, alleys or roads within or on the boundary of the proposed subdivision;

2. Location, width and purpose of all easements other than roadways;

3. Approximate dimensions of all lots with proposed lot and block numbers. Lot sizes shall be in compliance with the applicable zoning laws should be responsive to individual site constraints, such as topography;

4. The locations, size and proposed use contemplated for public areas within the proposed subdivision. Note that areas designated for public use in the preliminary plat approval shall be dedicated for such use by easement to Okanogan County and indicated on the final plat before recording;

5. Thorough description of how each lot will be served by an adequate domestic water supply, including irrigation water allocation, if any;

6. A brief statement regarding the contemplated sewage disposal, and drainage improvements for the proposed subdivision. In urban areas the board, at its discretion, may require the installation of dry sanitary sewers and/or sewer lines in streets within the subdivision;

7. If the proposed subdivision would affect any irrigation district, an explanation of how it provides for the necessary irrigation provisions as prescribed by RCW 58.17.310;

8. If the subdivider desires to develop the plat in phases, the phases shall be shown on the preliminary plat. A development agreement (Chapter 18.05 OCC) shall accompany the subdivision application and plat;

9. Mileage, accurate within 100 feet, to the primary access point of each lot measured from the “zero point” (see OCC 16.08.165) of the county road from which access is obtained;

10. All roads within a subdivision shall be named, and the proposed names shall be indicated on the plat.

D. A vicinity map at an approximate scale, showing roads, streams, public buildings and areas, and any other pertinent information that will assist in the location and consideration of the proposed subdivision, including the names of adjacent subdivisions. The vicinity map shall show the relationship of the nearest town to the proposed subdivision.

E. Copies of any covenants if proposed.

F. A title report showing all parties having any full or partial interest(s) in the property to be subdivided and encumbrances.

G. Environmental checklist prepared in accordance with Chapter 43.21C RCW (State Environmental Policy Act) and OCC Title 14, as they now exist or are hereafter amended. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2010-6 § 2 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.020 Procedures – Generally.

The procedure set forth in OCC 16.20.030 through 16.20.100 shall be followed in application and approval of preliminary plats. It is intended that, to the extent possible, preliminary plat reviews will be processed simultaneously with any applications for rezones, planned developments, conditional use permits, and similar quasi-judicial or administrative actions that may be required. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.030 Application.

A. A fully completed plat application shall consist of the following, which shall be submitted to the Okanogan County office of planning and development:

1. An application on a form prepared by the administrator;

2. One 24-inch by 36-inch hardcopy and either one electronic copy (preferred) or one 11-inch by 17-inch hardcopy of the preliminary plat and supplementary material;

3. An application fee as specified in the adopted Okanogan fee schedule (see OCC 3.01.010);

4. All application content requirements per OCC 16.20.010.

B. If the administrator determines that the preliminary plat application satisfies the requirements of this chapter, the administrator shall determine that the application is complete, shall accept the application, and shall affix thereto a file number. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.040 Hearing – Notice.

When a fully completed preliminary plat application has been accepted by the administrator, the administrator or designee shall establish the date and time for a public hearing on the plat, before the planning commission, which shall not be more than 60 days from the date of complete or vested application except when additional time is required for compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (Chapter 43.12C RCW).

Notice of the public hearing, stating the time, place and purpose for which the hearing is to be held, shall be published not less than 10 days prior to the hearing, in a newspaper of general circulation within the county and a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the real property which is proposed to be subdivided is located.

Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Okanogan County office of planning and development, at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing, to the owners of all properties within 300 feet of the exterior boundaries of the proposed plat, as such owners appear on the records of the county assessor. If the owner of the real property which is proposed to be subdivided owns another parcel or parcels of real property which lie adjacent to the real property proposed to be subdivided, notice shall be given to owners of real property located within 300 feet of any portion of the boundaries of such adjacently located parcels of real property owned by the owner of the real property proposed to be subdivided in accordance with RCW 58.17.090.

The applicant is responsible for posting conspicuous notice of the hearing readily visible from nearby roads at three locations on and in the vicinity of the proposed subdivision at least 10 days prior to the public hearing. The applicant shall submit an affidavit of the posting to the Okanogan County office of planning and development prior to the public hearing. Affidavit forms are available from the Okanogan County office of planning and development and the completed affidavit shall become part of the record.

In accordance with RCW 58.17.080, as it now exists or is hereafter amended, notice of the filing of an preliminary plat of a proposed subdivision adjacent to or within one mile of the municipal boundaries of a city or town, or which contemplates the use of any city or town utilities shall be given to the appropriate city or town authorities.

The department may require such alternative notification procedures as necessary to accomplish reasonable public notification in unusual circumstances.

Notice of the filing of a preliminary plat of a proposed subdivision located adjacent to the right-of-way of a state highway or within two miles of the boundary of a state or municipal airport shall be given to the secretary of transportation. In the case of notification to the secretary of transportation, the secretary shall respond to the notifying authority within 15 days of such notice as to the effect that the proposed subdivision will have on the state highway or the state or municipal airport.

Notice shall also be given to interested state agencies such as Washington State Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Ecology. All hearing notices shall include a description of the property to be platted, including the location of the proposed subdivision. The description may be in the form of either a vicinity location sketch, a written description, an address or other reasonable means, other than a legal description, but shall include reference to the section, township, and range. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.050 Review process – Requirements.

Copies of the preliminary plat, supplementary material, and environmental documents shall be forwarded by the office of planning and development to the following agencies at least 30 days prior to the hearing date for their respective recommendations, if any:

A. Okanogan health district;

B. County engineer;

C. County assessor;

D. County building department;

E. Any affected irrigation district;

F. Soil Conservation Service (NRCS – Natural Resource Conservation District);

G. Noxious weed control board;

H. Any school district, public utility district, utility, and/or fire district encompassing any of the area included in the preliminary plat;

I. Any governmental agencies concerned including nearby cities, and appropriate federal agencies;

J. State agencies with expertise, e.g., Departments of Wildlife, Fisheries and Ecology; and

K. All affected tribes.

The recommendations of the aforesaid public agencies, if any, shall be submitted prior to the close of the public record by the planning commission. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.060 Planning commission recommendation – Factors to be considered.

The planning commission shall consider agency reports, public testimony and all other relevant facts and consider whether the proposed subdivision makes appropriate provisions for, but not limited to, public health, safety and general welfare and for such open spaces, drainageways, irrigation provisions pursuant to RCW 58.17.310, streets, alleys, other public ways, water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks, playgrounds, sites for schools and school grounds and shall consider other relevant facts, including sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students who only walk to and from school, and whether the proposed subdivision complies with the comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance and other land use controls, and whether the public use and interest will be served by the platting of such subdivision, pursuant to RCW 58.17.110.

If the planning commission finds that the proposed subdivision does make such appropriate provisions and that the public use and interest will be served, then the planning commission shall recommend approval of the preliminary plat to the board.

If the planning commission finds that the proposed subdivision does not make such appropriate provisions, or that the public use and interest will not be served, the planning commission shall recommend disapproval of the preliminary plat, or shall recommend appropriate changes or conditions be attached to the preliminary plat to insure that the public use and interest will be served. Pursuant to RCW 58.17.120, as it now exists or is hereafter amended, the planning commission shall consider the physical characteristics of a proposed subdivision site and may recommend disapproval of the proposed plat because of flood, inundation or swamp conditions. Construction of protective improvements may be included as a recommended condition of approval.

The planning commission shall, not later than at its next regularly scheduled meeting following the conclusion of the public hearing, express either a recommendation for approval, approval with conditions, recommend disapproval or remand to administrator for additional consideration. The recommendation shall be based upon the factors specified in this section, and every such recommendation shall be in writing and shall include findings of fact and conclusions to support the recommendation including a finding that the proposed subdivision is in conformity with any applicable zoning ordinance or other land use controls. Any conditions to be fulfilled prior to final plat approval shall be incorporated in the planning commission’s written recommendation. The office of planning and development shall transmit a copy of the planning commission’s recommendation to the county engineer, the health district, the subdivider, the subdivider’s surveyor or engineer, and all parties requesting notice. A record of the public hearing shall be kept by the office of planning and development and shall be open to public inspection. The recommendation of the planning commission shall be submitted to the board of county commissioners not later than 14 days following the planning commission’s action on the proposed subdivision. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.070 Board of county commissioners’ action.

Upon receipt of the recommendation of the planning commission, the board shall at it’s next public meeting set the date for the public meeting where it may adopt or reject the recommendation of the planning commission. If, after considering the matter at a public meeting, the board deems a change in the recommended action is necessary, it shall conduct its own public hearing at which it may approve or disapprove the preliminary plat and adopt findings and conclusions in support thereof. If a public hearing is held by the board, notice shall be given to the parties requesting notice and/or given notice of the hearing before the planning commission. (Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.080 Approval – Conditions.

A. Pursuant to RCW 58.17.110, as it now exists or is hereafter amended, the board of county commissioners shall inquire into the public use and interest proposed to be served by the establishment of the subdivision and dedication.

B. The board shall determine if appropriate provisions are made for, but not limited to, the public health, safety and general welfare, for open spaces, drainageways, streets, alleys, other public ways, water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks, playgrounds, sites for schools and school grounds, and shall consider all other relevant facts including sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students who only walk to and from school, and including the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance and other land use controls and determine whether the public use and interest will be served by the subdivision and dedication.

C. The board shall also consider any recommendation from the planning commission regarding flood inundation, swamp conditions or any other conditions to protect the health, safety and welfare affecting the proposed plat, and may require protective improvements as a condition of the approval. Any such requirement shall be noted on the face of the plat. The proposed subdivision and dedication shall not be approved unless the Board makes written findings that:

1. Appropriate provisions are made for the public health, safety and general welfare and for such open spaces, drainage ways, streets or roads, alleys, other public ways, fish and wildlife habitat, water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks and recreations, playgrounds, schools and school grounds, and all other relevant facts, including sidewalks and other planning features that insure safe walking conditions for students who only walk to and from school; and

2. The public use and interest will be served by the platting of such subdivision and dedication. If the board finds that the proposed plat does not make such appropriate provisions, or that the public use and interest will not be served, the board may disapprove the proposed plat. Dedication of land to any public body, or fees paid in lieu thereof, may be required as a condition of subdivision approval and shall be clearly shown on the final plat. A release from damage to be procured from other property owners shall not be required as a condition of plat approval. Preliminary plats of any proposed subdivision and dedication shall be approved, disapproved, or returned to the applicant for modification or correction within 90 days from date of filing thereof unless the applicant consents to an extension of such time period. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.090 Abandoned orchard removal.

Before preliminary approval is given any plat, removal of an abandoned fruit orchard within the plat shall be completed or bonded as a condition of approval in order to protect existing orchards from pest and disease associated with abandoned orchards; provided, that the recommendation may allow designated trees to remain standing on individual lots for the use and enjoyment of homeowners; provided, further, that an effective program of pest and disease control is carried out by the property owners on the remaining trees pursuant to Chapter 15.08 RCW, as it now exists or is hereafter amended. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit the authority or jurisdiction of the Okanogan County horticultural pest and disease control board under Chapter 15.08 or 15.09 RCW. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.095 Noxious weed control.

Before preliminary approval is given any plat, a noxious weed control plan outlining species present, proposed control method(s) and project timetable shall be provided. In addition, preventative measures shall be outlined to insure that the development does not introduce new weed species to the area or spread any infestations of noxious weeds that may already exist on the property. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.100 Decision – Notifications.

The decision of the board of county commissioners shall be in writing and shall include findings of fact and conclusions to support the decision. It shall be sent to the office of planning and development, the county engineer, the health district, the subdivider and the subdivider’s surveyor or engineer and all parties requesting copies or those participating in the hearing process. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.110 Preliminary subdivision – Decision appeals.

An appeal of any decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny a proposed preliminary plat may be initiated in accordance with Chapter 16.45 OCC, Appeals. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.130 Agreements to transfer land conditioned on final plat approval.

If performance of an offer or agreement to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer a lot, tract, or parcel of land following preliminary plat approval is expressly conditioned on the recording of the final plat containing the lot, tract, or parcel under this chapter, the offer or agreement is not subject to RCW 58.17.200 or 58.17.300 and does not violate any provision of Chapter 58.17 RCW or this chapter. All payments on account of an offer or agreement condition as provided in this section shall be deposited in an escrow or other regulated trust account and no disbursement to seller(s) shall be permitted until the final plat is approved and recorded. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).

16.20.140 Prohibition on construction other than “model homes” and required improvements before end of 30-day appeal period without release of liability.

No new building permits shall be issued, nor shall any construction or site alterations begin within a preliminary plat before the 30-day appeal period on final plat approval as provided for in RCW 58.17.180 has expired except for a home constructed or placed on the property for demonstration purposes and those authorized improvements required as part of the plat approval and access and inspections relating to the approved plat. An applicant for a building permit on a parcel of record that is the subject of an approved plat may be issued a building permit and may proceed with construction before the end of the 30-day appeal period if she/he signs a statement absolving the county of liability arising from issuance of said permit in any appeal filed. (Ord. 2012-2 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 95-7 § 1, 1995).