Chapter 16.20


16.20.010    Scope and application.

16.20.020    Exceptions.

16.20.030    Definitions.

16.20.040    Open space requirements.

16.20.050    Open space qualifications.

16.20.060    Fee in lieu of open space dedication.

16.20.010 Scope and application.

Except as set forth below, the requirements and standards of this chapter shall apply to each and every residential development as defined herein, including subdivisions, apartments, townhouses, site plans and mobile home parks, and, as deemed necessary by the responsible official to meet the purposes of this chapter, to each and every action subject to review by the city pursuant to the subdivision chapters of the Othello Municipal Code. (Ord. 1269 § 1 (part), 2008).

16.20.020 Exceptions.

The requirements and standards of this chapter do not apply to solely commercial or industrial development, including subdivisions, site plans, and other developments which do not include residential dwelling units. (Ord. 1269 § 1 (part), 2008).

16.20.030 Definitions.

(a)    “Dwelling unit” means any building or portion thereof which contains living facilities, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation, for not more than one family, or any lot designated and intended for such use.

(b)    “Gross area” means the total area to be subdivided or otherwise developed without subtracting any open space, rights-of-way, public lands, nonresidential lots, or utility lands and easements.

(c)    “Net built area” means the developed area directly associated with dwellings, including all setbacks and yards. The net built area is calculated by subtracting any designed open space, public rights-of-way, public lands, commercial or industrial lots not to include dwelling units, and lands to be used exclusively for utilities, such as stormwater or sewage storage or treatment facilities, high voltage power lines, or natural gas transmission lines, from the total area to be platted or otherwise developed.

(d)    “Open space” means an area of land or water designated and reserved primarily for uses which require minimal buildings and impermeable surfaces and which is supplemental and in addition to any setbacks, yards, streets, vehicular access or parking areas and similar areas ordinarily associated with residential development. Open space may include but is not limited to green belts, parks, athletic fields, recreation areas and trails, or environmentally sensitive areas.

(e)    “Qualified open space” means open space that has all of the attributes and characteristics set forth in Section 16.20.050.

(f)    “Residential development” means any proposal to construct, install, or to subdivide land for the purpose of constructing or installing, any building for use and occupancy as a dwelling unit, not including hotels, motels, recreational vehicle parks, and similar developments intended solely for temporary or seasonal occupancy. (Ord. 1269 § 1 (part), 2008).

16.20.040 Open space requirements.

(a)    All residential developments shall include, as a condition of approval, either the dedication of a portion of the site to be developed as qualified open space for public purposes, or the payment of a fee in lieu of dedication, or both, pursuant to this chapter. The applicant may either dedicate the land, or make payment of a fee in lieu thereof pursuant to this chapter.

(b)    For purposes of all single-family residential developments, any dedication of open space pursuant to this chapter shall be five percent of the gross area of the proposed development and shall be qualified open space as provided by Section 16.20.050. For purposes of all multifamily residential developments and combined single-family and multifamily residential developments, any dedication of open space pursuant to this chapter shall be ten percent of the gross area of the proposed development and shall be qualified open space as provided in Section 16.20.050.

(c)    The city may waive the dedication requirements of this chapter, provided the applicant makes an adequate showing that the purposes of this chapter will be served by the creation of a private open space that otherwise meets the requirements of qualified open space. Under such circumstances, the city may, in its sole discretion, authorize the establishment of a private open space under appropriate terms and conditions.

(d)    The city may also, in its sole discretion, allow both the imposition of a fee in lieu of dedication and the dedication of open space, provided the city determines that the purposes of this chapter are served by allowing a combination of both. Under such circumstances, the fee in lieu of dedication shall be reduced proportionately with the amount of open space dedicated. (Ord. 1269 § 1 (part), 2008).

16.20.050 Open space qualifications.

To qualify as open space for purposes of this chapter, all dedicated open space must have the following attributes and characteristics:

(a)    Use. Open space shall be dedicated for one or more of the following uses:

(1)    Environmental interpretation or other education.

(2)    Park, recreational land, or athletic field.

(3)    Off-road footpaths or bicycle trails.

(4)    Any other use found by the city to further the purposes of this chapter.

(b)    Suitability. All areas dedicated as open space must be suitable for one or more of the uses described in subsection (a) of this section and be of such topographic, geologic, and other physical characteristics so as to be, in the view of the city engineer and the city administrator, suitable. Areas including above ground utilities and stormwater retention facilities are declared to be unsuitable, except to the extent such facilities are available for seasonal use and the city finds that the land is otherwise qualified open space.

(c)    Siting. All open space lands must be located and sized to be suitable for their intended purposes. The city may deny approval of the dedication where proposed open spaces are so located or sized as to be unreasonably inefficient for the public or private owner to maintain or utilize, or which the city deems to be isolated by barriers or unreasonably remote by distance from the intended users or to be of no benefit to the residents of the proposed development or to the public.

(d)    Access. In order to serve the recreational needs of the public, at least seventy-five percent of dedicated open space associated with each development must be accessible to either the general public or to all residents of the associated development.

(e)    Ownership. The applicant shall warrant that he or she is dedicating full fee title to the open space free and clear of any and all encumbrances. All documents associated with such dedication shall be subject to review and approval by the city. The city may require that any such documents be recorded as appropriate in the form of the document.

(f)    Notice—Amendment. Notice of the dedication shall be provided by means appropriate to the intended use. Such notice shall include at a minimum one posted sign and one form of public record of the dedication use which can reasonably be expected to be revealed by a title abstract of the property. Such record may include a statement on the face of a recorded plat or recorded deed covenants and restrictions.

(g)    Off-Site Open Space. The dedicated open space may be off site and outside the proposed development; provided, that the open space is qualified open space in all other respects, that the applicant certifies and warrants that he or she has the necessary authority to convey the off-site property in fee title to the city, free and clear of any and all encumbrances, and that such off-site open space is within the boundaries of the city.

(h)    Failure of Qualifications. Where no site within the proposed development meets the above qualifications, the city may require that the applicant offer lands outside the development or pay the fee in lieu of dedication, in either respect pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 1269 § 1 (part), 2008).

16.20.060 Fee in lieu of open space dedication.

(a)    Unless land within a proposed development is dedicated in accordance with Section 16.20.040, final approval of the development shall be contingent upon payment of a fee in lieu of dedication from the developer to the city. The fee so collected shall be appropriated only for the acquisition and development of open space, park sites, and recreational facilities within the city. Expenditure of such fees shall only be through capital budget and program appropriations by the city council. Fees collected must be allocated to specific neighborhood park, open space, or recreation projects within five years of fee acceptance.

(b)    The fee in lieu of dedication of open space for a single-family residential development shall be five percent of the value of the gross area of the proposed development or multiple-family residential development shall be ten percent of the value of the gross area of the proposed development.

(c)    Such fees shall be due and payable prior to issuance of the final residential development approval by the city with which such fee is associated. Where a property lien is granted, the city may allow deferral of payment until such time as building permits are to be issued. Such fee shall be deposited in the appropriate fund of the city. Should such fee not be expended within five years of receipt by the city, upon written demand to the finance officer, the fee will be refunded to the then owner of such residence or lot to which the fee is attributable. (Ord. 1269 § 1 (part), 2008).