Chapter 17.22


17.22.010    Administrative permits.

17.22.010 Administrative permits.

An administrative permit (AP) is a means of allowing certain uses that require some review in order to ensure that the uses are consistent and compatible with other existing and permitted uses within the zone and do not create undue demands on public facilities, and to prevent and abate public nuisances.

A.    Intent. It is the intent of this section to detail the procedures required and the responsibilities of the administrator, and the city council upon appeal, in the processing, consideration, and issuance of administrative permits whenever such permits are applied for pursuant to provisions of this title. Only those uses listed as requiring an administrative permit, within a particular zone, qualify for this process, except as otherwise provided in Chapter 17.12. The administrator may determine that other similar uses, which are not listed, may qualify for this process. This process is not to replace the variance procedure or to permit uses that are prohibited within the zone.

B.    Authority. The administrator shall have the authority, subject to provisions of this section (and specifically subsection D of this section), to grant, upon such conditions as may be determined necessary in order to realize the intent of this title, an administrative permit for a use found to be in harmony with the scope and purpose of this title, the intent of the zoning district in which the use is to be located, and the goals, objectives, and policies of the Pateros comprehensive plan and in accordance with subsection D of this section.

C.    Process.

1.    Applications for administrative permits shall be filed with the administrator on forms provided by the administrator with all information as required in said form, including a completed impact assessment checklist, together with a completed SEPA environmental checklist, where required, and with payment of all applicable fees. The administrator shall determine if the application is complete and, if not complete, shall return the same to the applicant with additional required information noted.

2.    The administrator shall review all administrative permit requests. Upon receipt of a complete application, the administrator shall within fifteen (15) business days complete an impact assessment (see Section 17.04.170) and issue an initial determination to grant or deny the permit. Each determination to grant or deny an administrative permit shall be supported by written findings of fact showing specifically wherein all of the following conditions exist:

a.    That the use for which the administrative permit is requested is specified by this title as being administratively permitted within the zoning district in which the property is located, or that said use is not listed in Chapter 17.12, Table A, District Use Chart, of this title and is similar to a use that is specified by this title as being administratively permitted within the zoning district in which the property is located;

b.    That the use for which the administrative permit is requested is consistent with the description and purpose of the zoning district in which the property is located;

c.    That said use complies with all requirements of this title;

d.    That the site for which the use is proposed is of sufficient size to accommodate the proposed use and that all yards, open spaces, walls and fences, parking, loading, landscaping and other such features as are required by this title, or as are needed in the opinion of the administrator to ensure that the proposed use will be compatible and harmonious with adjacent and nearby uses, will be properly provided.

3.    The administrator’s initial determination, along with any permit conditions, shall be forwarded to the applicant and to all adjacent property owners and any relevant resource agencies and posted upon the subject property.

4.    Any affected party may appeal the administrator’s initial determination to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.40. If no appeal of the initial determination of impending administrative permit issuance is filed within five regular city business days from issuance of the administrator’s initial determination, the administrator shall render a final decision on the permit in accordance with the initial determination within five regular city business days.

D.    Conditions of Approval. In order to mitigate anticipated impacts of a proposed use or support a finding of fact or prevent and abate public nuisances associated with any project for which an administrative permit is requested, the administrator shall have the authority to require compliance with conditions and safeguards deemed necessary to mitigate the anticipated impacts of a proposed use, based on the findings of fact (per subsection (C)(2) of this section). Such conditions may be imposed that could increase requirements in the standards, criteria, or regulations of this title or other city ordinances or adopted policies. Project proponents may submit plans for proposed alternative means of mitigation impacts for review by the city. No administrative permit shall require, as a condition, the dedication of land for any purpose not reasonably related to the use of property for which the administrative permit is requested, nor posting of a bond to guarantee installation of public improvements not reasonably related to the use of property for which the administrative permit is requested.

1.    The following conditions must be met prior to approval of an administrative permit for short-term vacation rentals. Compliance with said conditions shall be reviewed on an annual basis. Noncompliance may result in revocation of permit.

a.    City and state business licenses.

b.    Transient accommodation permit.

c.    Okanogan County health district permits as appropriate for food service, if any.

d.    Parking as required in underlying zone.

e.    Written approval from the city building official documenting compliance with required health and safety regulations.

f.    Any lapse in payment of the business license may result in revocation of administrative permit.

g.    All activities related to the short-term vacation rental must occur on proposed site.

h.    Off-site signage shall not be allowed. On-site signage must conform to the following standards:

i.    Signs larger than two square feet shall be prohibited.

ii.    Signs shall not be reflective or contain internal illumination (down-lit or up-lit signs are permissible so long as the light being cast illuminates only the sign and is shielded from directing light sky-ward or across property boundaries).

i.    All visitor vehicles must be parked within the property boundaries and not on public right-of-way.

j.    Any nuisance created by any short-term vacation rental shall be subject to the nuisance code established by the city in Chapter 8.16 and Title 9.

k.    Requirements for owners and/or operators of short-term vacation rentals:

i.    Approval of Administrative Permit.

(A)    Owner shall identify location of advertising (Airbnb, etc.).

(B)    Short-term vacation rental permits are not transferable with the property.

(C)    Name and contact information for the local property manager posted on site. Owner or manager must be available twenty-four (24) hours a day seven days a week. The short-term vacation rental manager must be available to respond to complaints and emergencies and arrive at the short-term vacation rental within sixty (60) minutes of the time of contact at all times during the rental period.

(D)    Owner shall require all guests to provide the names and contact information for each guest, and vehicle license number(s).

(E)    The owner and/or operator shall enforce the general living provisions for guests as set forth below:

(1)    Outside amplified sound shall not be allowed at any time associated with the short-term vacation rental.

(2)    No outdoor fires are permitted (except propane-fired fire rings).

(3)    Small, informal noncommercial gatherings of family and friends of short-term vacation rental guests are permitted, provided the gatherings are not a disturbance to the surrounding neighborhood.

E.    Time Limitations. Any administrative permit granted by the administrator, or by the city council on appeal, shall be null and void if not exercised within the time specified in such permit or, if no time is specified, within two years of the date of approval of such permit. An administrative permit shall be deemed exercised and remain in full force and effect when a building permit has been issued and substantial construction accomplished, or when substantial investment has been made to establish the use for which the administrative permit has been granted in reliance upon said administrative permit, with the exception of renewable administrative permits granted to mobile vendors and temporary markets. If such permit is abandoned or is discontinued for a continuous period of two years, it may not thereafter be reestablished unless authorized in accordance with the procedure prescribed herein for the establishment of an administratively permitted use.

F.    Renewable Administrative Permits. Renewable administrative permits granted to mobile vendors and temporary markets shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of approval, and shall be renewable annually, providing the permit holder is in compliance with all conditions of the permit.

G.    Extension of Time. Upon written request by a property owner or his/her authorized representative prior to the date of administrative permit expiration, the administrator may grant an extension of time up to but not exceeding one year. Such extension of time shall be based upon a finding that there has been no material change of circumstances applicable to the property since the granting of said permit that would be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public health, safety and general welfare.

H.    Additions and Modifications to Sites and Structures.

1.    Minor Additions or Modifications.

a.    Minor adjustments are those that may affect the precise dimensions or siting of buildings, but that do not affect the basic character or arrangement of buildings approved, nor the development coverage of the development or the open space requirements. Such dimensional adjustments shall not vary more than ten (10) percent from the original. Minor adjustments to sites and structures permitted under existing valid administrative permits may be administratively approved by the administrator, subject to the following findings:

i.    The proposed addition or modification is determined to be in substantial conformity with any and all previous valid administrative permits for existing uses on the site.

ii.    The proposed addition or modification directly relates to a use or structure established under a previous valid administrative permit.

iii.    No more than one administrative approval for any such minor addition or modification shall be granted on a single property within any two-year period.

iv.    The proposed addition or modification shall still be subject to all other applicable city ordinances and development standards, including setback, screening, or buffering requirements.

v.    The proposed addition or modification will be served by existing streets, driveways and utilities, and will not require relocation of any existing structures or other site modifications.

b.    Upon approval of any such minor addition or modification, notice shall be provided to all parties of record with the opportunity to comment on the administrator’s decision within ten (10) business days. If a written objection is filed within ten (10) business days, the administrator shall reconsider the determination in light of the objection(s) raised and render a final decision. Any party aggrieved by the administrator’s final decision may file an appeal of that decision to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.40.

2.    Major Adjustments. Major adjustments are those that, when determined by the administrator, substantially change the basic design, coverage, open space or other requirements of the permit. When the administrator determines that a change constitutes a major adjustment, no building or other permit shall be issued without prior review and approval by the city council of such adjustment.

I.    Cancellation of an Administrative Permit. A valid administrative permit granted by the administrator, or the city council upon appeal, may be canceled at any time. Cancellation must be initiated by the owner of the property covered by an administrative permit by means of a written request to the administrator. Said permit shall then become null and void within thirty (30) days thereafter.

J.    Revocation of Permit. The administrator may revoke, suspend, or add additional conditions to any administrative permit granted under the provisions of this chapter on any one or more of the following grounds:

1.    That the approval was obtained by fraud;

2.    That any material fact was concealed or misrepresented on the administrative permit application or on any subsequent applications or reports;

3.    That the use for which such approval is granted is not being exercised;

4.    That the use for which such approval is granted has ceased to exist or has been suspended for one year or more;

5.    That the administrative permit granted is being, or recently has been, exercised contrary to the terms or conditions of such approval, or in violation of any statute, ordinance, law or regulation;

6.    That the use for which the approval was granted is being so exercised as to be detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare, or so as to constitute a nuisance.

K.    Posting of Performance Bonds. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection D of this section, whenever an administrative permit is granted upon any condition or limitation requiring development of a right-of-way, installation of utilities, or other public improvements, the person seeking the administrative permit may be required to furnish security in the form of money or a surety bond in an amount fixed by the administrator, or the city council on appeal, to ensure compliance with the conditions and limitations related to public improvements upon which said permit is granted. Every such bond shall be a performance bond and shall be in a form approved by the city attorney, shall be payable to the city, and shall be conditioned upon compliance with the conditions and limitations upon which said permit is granted.

(Ord. 807 § 2(H), 2023; Ord. 771 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2019)