Chapter 18F.40
SUBDIVISIONS – PRELIMINARY AND FINAL PLATS Revised 3/18 Revised 12/18

Sections:

18F.40.010    Purpose.

18F.40.020    Applicability.

18F.40.030    Proposed Preliminary Plat Requirements. Revised 3/18

18F.40.050    Model Homes.

18F.40.060    Final Plat Requirements. Revised 3/18 Revised 12/18

18F.40.070    Preliminary Plats-Time Extensions.

18F.40.080    Proposed Alterations to a Recorded Final Plat.

18F.40.090    Phasing of a Subdivision. Revised 12/18

18F.40.010 Purpose.

The purpose of Chapter 18F.40 PCC is to describe the process and provide the standards for the review and approval of subdivisions, subdivision amendments, and subdivision alterations. (Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 7 (part), 2013; Ord. 2005-11s2 § 1 (part), 2005)

18F.40.020 Applicability.

The provisions of Chapter 18F.40 PCC apply to subdivisions, subdivision amendments, or alterations. (Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 7 (part), 2013; Ord. 2005-11s2 § 1 (part), 2005)

18F.40.030 Proposed Preliminary Plat Requirements. Revised 3/18

A.    Time Limitations. Applications for preliminary plats, amendments and final plats shall be processed as outlined in Title 18 PCC, Development Regulations – General Provisions.

B.    Public Hearing Required. Planning and Public Works (PPW) shall set a date for public hearing before the Examiner after all requests for additional information or plan corrections, as set forth in PCC 18.60.020 C., have been satisfied and an environmental determination, when applicable, has been issued. The public hearing shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 18.80 PCC, Development Regulations – General Provisions, and Chapter 1.22 PCC.

C.    Required Written Findings and Determinations. The Examiner's written decision on the preliminary plat shall include findings and conclusions, based on the record, to support the decision. The Examiner shall inquire into the public use and interest proposed to be served by the establishment of the subdivision and dedication. A proposed subdivision and dedication shall not be approved unless the Examiner makes written findings that:

1.    Appropriate provisions are made for, but not limited to, the public health, safety and general welfare, for open spaces, drainage ways, critical areas, streets or roads, alleys, other public ways, transit stops, potable water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools and school grounds, and all other relevant facts including sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students who walk to and from school; and

2.    The public use and interest will be served by the subdivision and dedication.

D.    Approval. The Examiner has the authority to approve or deny any proposed preliminary plat and may impose additional or altered conditions and requirements as necessary to assure that the proposal conforms with the intent of the Comprehensive Plan, applicable community plans, and other applicable County codes and state laws.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 7 (part), 2013; Ord. 2005-11s2 § 1 (part), 2005)

18F.40.050 Model Homes.

It shall be the purpose and intent of Chapter 18F.40 PCC to allow the construction up to four detached single-family dwellings or four attached dwellings within a preliminary subdivision, which has been approved in accordance with all existing plans and regulations. The purpose of model home dwellings shall be to demonstrate a variety of housing designs together with all associated on-site improvements, e.g., landscaping, improved driveway, patios, etc. Model homes when proposed shall be established subject to the following criteria:

A.    Model homes must meet the requirement of all County departments with respect to being certified for use occupancy;

B.    Only one model home may be occupied as a temporary real estate office pursuant to PCC 18A.38.050 B.;

C.    Approval of model homes does not constitute a division of the property;

D.    A detached single-family dwelling unit when contained on one lot shall be considered one model home in a detached single-family subdivision. A total of four detached dwelling units are permitted as model homes at the time a final plat application has been accepted;

E.    A duplex structure when contained on one lot shall be considered one model home in a duplex subdivision. A total of eight dwelling units for the entire preliminary plat, to include all phases or divisions are permitted as model homes;

F.    An existing dwelling(s) shall be counted against the number of allowable model homes;

G.    The footprint of all existing model homes, including roof overhangs, porches, decks, etc. shall be shown on the final plat to ensure that there are no encroachments into required setbacks.

(Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 7 (part), 2013; Ord. 2007-85s § 4 (part), 2007; Ord. 2005-11s2 § 1 (part), 2005)

18F.40.060 Final Plat Requirements. Revised 3/18 Revised 12/18

A.    Time Limitations.

1.    Applications for final plats shall be processed in accordance with Title 18 PCC. Applications for final plat shall be submitted to Planning and Public Works within the time periods specified in RCW 58.17.140 except as otherwise allowed pursuant to a phasing plan approved in accordance with PCC 18F.40.090. All reviewing departments shall review such proposed final plat for compliance with the Examiner's conditions of approval and upon completion of its review forward to the Examiner for approval. The Department's or the Examiner's approval may occur beyond the time periods specified in RCW 58.17.140 after preliminary plat approval when all related studies and applications have received approvals and the final plat application was submitted within the time limitations specified herein.

2.    Upon receipt of the final plat application, all County reviewing departments shall respond by approval, denial, or return to the applicant for modification within 30 days of filing unless the applicant consents to extensions of given time period.

3.    The approval of a preliminary plat shall be deemed null and void if the application for final plat or an application for time extension is not submitted within the time limitations specified herein.

4.    Applicants will provide documentation to Pierce County setting forth a homeowners association or entity responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and amenities including, but not limited to, parks, private roads, stormwater, and open space.

B.    Tract Ownership. Tracts created through a subdivision process shall be owned in undivided interests by the owners of each numbered lot, and shall be an appurtenance to each numbered lot, unless the Examiner makes specific conditions for alternative ownership as a condition of approval.

C.    Required Written Findings and Determinations. The Department's written decision on the final plat shall include findings and conclusions, based on the record, to support the decision. A proposed final plat shall not be approved unless the Department makes written findings that:

1.    All conditions of preliminary plat approval have been met;

2.    The final plat meets all standards established by state law and this Title relating to final plats;

3.    The proposed final plat bears the certificates and statements of approval required by this Title and state law;

4.    A title report, no later than 30 days old, has been furnished confirming title of the land in the name of the owner(s) whose signature(s) appear on the plat certificate; and

5.    The required facilities and improvements have been completed or required bond or financial guarantees have been provided as set forth in PCC 18F.30.040 C.

D.    Approval. The Department may approve, or approve with conditions, the proposed final plat if the criteria contained in this Section have been met.

E.    Optional Public Hearing. The Applicant or Department may request a public hearing before the Hearing Examiner to consider changes or cumulative change or deviations in the final plat from the preliminary plat.

(Ord. 2017-89s § 4 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2014-109s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 7 (part), 2013; Ord. 2009-18s3 § 5 (part), 2009; Ord. 2005-11s2 § 1 (part), 2005)

18F.40.070 Preliminary Plats-Time Extensions.

A.    General Requirements.

1.    The applicant or owner(s) may request a 1-time, 1-year time extension beyond the five years within which to submit a final plat, unless approved under PCC 18F.40.090.

2.    Knowledge of the expiration date and initiation of a request for a time extension is the responsibility of the applicant or owner(s) of the property.

3.    A written application for a time extension shall be filed with the Planning Department prior to the expiration of preliminary plat approval.

4.    Upon filing of an application for time extension, a copy shall be sent to each party of record together with departments or agencies that were involved in the process of preliminary plat approval. By letter, the Department shall request written comments be delivered to the Department within 30 days of the date of the letter.

5.    If alteration or additions of conditions of approval are requested by a party of record, County Department or State Agency, the applicant/owner(s) shall be provided with a copy of such proposal and shall have ten working days in which to respond. Upon expiration of the response period, the Department may set a date for public hearing. The public hearing shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 18.80 PCC, Notice, and Chapter 1.22 PCC.

6.    If approved, the 1-year time extension shall be calculated from the date of the Hearing Examiner's approval of the extension.

7.    If a request for a time extension is denied, the applicant or owner shall have 60 days from the date the denial decision was rendered to submit for final plat approval. The final plat will be processed in accordance with PCC 18F.40.060 B.

B.    Hearing Examiner's Authority. The Examiner has the authority to approve or deny all requests for time extensions. The Examiner may, upon request by a party of record or County department or agency, alter or expand the conditions of approval applicable to any such plat, provided that such conditions are consistent with laws or regulations adopted subsequent to original approval or such changes are necessary for the protection of the public health, safety or general welfare as a result of material changes in, or discovery of, relevant conditions or circumstances which have occurred since the date of filing of the preliminary plat application.

C.    Required Written Findings and Determinations. The Examiner's written decision on the final plat time extension shall include findings and conclusions, based on the record, to support the decision. A proposed final plat time extension shall not be approved unless the Examiner makes written findings that:

1.    Unusual circumstances beyond the applicant's/owner(s) control have occurred that prevented approval of the final plat within the initial five year time period; and

2.    The applicant/owner(s) have complied with all other requirements contained herein.

D.    Approval. The Examiner may approve, or approve with conditions, the proposed final plat time extension if the criteria contained in this Section have been met.

(Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 7 (part), 2013; Ord. 2011-18 § 4, 2011; Ord. 2005-11s2 § 1 (part), 2005)

18F.40.080 Proposed Alterations to a Recorded Final Plat.

Plat alterations typically apply to those elements which are common to the entire plat such as, but not limited to, trails, roads, buffers, open space, drainage easements, park and recreation sites, etc. A plat alteration provides a process to alter or modify a portion of a recorded final plat.

A.    General Requirements.

1.    The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the following:

a.    Boundary line adjustments (See Chapter 18F.70 PCC);

b.    Vacation of a public road in a final plat (Road vacations shall follow the procedures established in Chapter 36.87 RCW);

c.    An affidavit of correction pertaining to scrivener's errors;

d.    Alteration or replatting of any plat of state-granted tidelands or shorelands;

e.    Short plats or large lots;

f.    Binding site plans; or

g.    The creation of additional lots.

2.    A revised drawing of the approved alteration shall be recorded with the County Auditor and shall replace and supercede that portion which is being altered.

3.    If any land within the alteration is part of an assessment district, any outstanding assessments shall be equitably divided and levied against the remaining lots, parcels or tracts, or be levied equitably on the lots resulting from the alteration.

4.    If any land within the alteration contains a dedication to the general use of persons residing within the subdivision, such land may be altered and divided equitably between the adjacent properties.

5.    The application shall contain the signatures of the majority of those persons having an ownership interest of lots, tracts, parcels, sites, or divisions in the subject subdivision or portion to be altered. If the subdivision is subject to restrictive covenants which were filed at the time of the approval of the subdivision and the application for alteration would result in the violation of a covenant, the application shall contain an agreement signed by all parties subject to the covenants providing that the parties agree to terminate or alter the relevant covenants to accomplish the purpose of the alteration of the subdivision or portion thereof.

6.    Application material shall be routed to Planning, Assessor-Treasurer, Development Engineering, Utilities, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Fire Prevention Bureau or other reviewing Department or Agency as determined by the Planning Department.

B.    Public Hearing Required.

1.    A public hearing shall be required for a plat alteration if any of the following occurs:

a.    The proposed alteration contains significant changes to the plat, as determined by the Hearing Examiner; or

b.    The Director receives a request for a public hearing from a person receiving notice within 14 days of notice.

2.    The Planning Department shall set a date for public hearing before the Examiner after all requests for additional information or plan correction, as set forth in PCC 18.60.020 C., have been satisfied, and environmental review of the proposal has occurred. Any required public hearing shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 18.80 PCC, Development Regulations – General Provisions, and Chapter 1.22 PCC.

C.    Hearing Examiner's Authority. If a public hearing is required, the Examiner has the authority to approve or deny the proposed alteration and may impose additional or altered conditions and requirements as necessary to assure that the proposal conforms with the intent of the Comprehensive Plan, applicable community plans, and other applicable County codes and state laws.

D.    Required Written Findings and Determinations. The Director's/Examiner's written decision on the alteration shall include findings and conclusions, based on the record, to support the decision. A proposed plat alteration shall not be approved unless the Director/Examiner makes written findings that the proposed plat alteration conforms with the intent and goals, objectives and policies, and standards of the County's current Comprehensive Plan and County regulations. In the event that a public hearing is required for a plat alteration, the Examiner shall make additional findings to establish that the public use and interest will be served by the proposed plat alteration.

E.    Approval. The Examiner may approve or approve with conditions, the proposed plat alteration if the criteria contained in this Section have been met.

1.    Approvals shall include a note on the face of the plat that states:

"This altered plat of _____________ lot(s) ______________, supercedes lot(s) of the final plat of _________________."

2.    A brief written narrative explaining what is being altered shall also be included on the plat.

(Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 7 (part), 2013; Ord. 2005-11s2 § 1 (part), 2005)

18F.40.090 Phasing of a Subdivision. Revised 12/18

Portions of an approved preliminary plat may be processed separately for recording in phases; provided that all phases are approved within the time limits set forth in this Section, and provided that the phasing plan does not violate the intent of the preliminary plat.

A.    Phasing. Any preliminary plat with a minimum of 30 lots may be phased subject to the following requirements:

1.    At the time of preliminary plat application or major amendment application the applicant must state his/her desire to phase a development. The applicant must provide the County with a conceptual phasing map showing the proposed phases, phasing schedule, and a corresponding list of amenities for each phase;

2.    The Hearing Examiner shall have the authority to designate or require the phase in which necessary density, infrastructure, traffic mitigation, critical areas, parks, stormwater mitigation, vegetation preservation areas, or other required amenities and requirements are completed;

3.    As each phase is submitted for final plat it will be reviewed for compliance with the approved phasing plan for the subdivision;

4.    Each phase must have a minimum of 10 lots;

5.    The first phase of a phased subdivision must be submitted for final plat approval in accordance with PCC 18F.40.060 A.1. Each subsequent phase must be submitted for final plat consideration consistent with the schedule determined by the Examiner. The Examiner can approve a range from one to three years between phases. Failure to submit application for final plat approval consistent with the phasing plan will result in expiration of the uncompleted phases of the plat;

6.    All amenities for all phases of a development must be installed and maintained prior to granting final plat approval for any phase beyond 10 years from the date of preliminary plat approval unless the Examiner determines special circumstances exist that warrant extending installation of amenities or improvements; and

7.    For projects that exceed 10 years or more from preliminary plat approval, the Examiner shall have the authority to bring future phases in compliance with specific design standards that may have been updated or changed since the initial application date.

B.    Preliminary plats with less than 30 lots may be phased but are not allowed any additional time extensions except as provided in PCC 18F.40.070, Preliminary Plats – Time Extensions.

C.    Time Limitations.

1.    The Examiner can approve a phasing plan for plats for up to 10 years from the date of preliminary plat approval subject to compliance with subsection A. above.

2.    The Examiner can approve a phasing plan for plats up to 15 years from the date of preliminary plat approval for projects with 150 or more lots subject to compliance with subsection A. above and the following standards and provisions:

a.    The phasing plan is supported by a marketing plan or economic analysis that provides justification for more phase time based on the economic health of existing and forecasted market, and provides a build-out rate based on supply and demand of comparable lots or homes.

b.    The marketing plan or economic analysis is prepared by an economist, accredited realtor, market analyst, statistician, or other professional forecaster approved by the Examiner.

c.    The Examiner can adjust the phasing schedule for final plat submittal at each final plat hearing when supported by an amended study provided the final phase is submitted for final plat approval prior within 15 years of preliminary plat approval.

3.    The Examiner may approve phasing plans in excess of 15 years from the date of preliminary plat approval for subdivisions of 300 or more lots subject to compliance with subsections A.1. through 6. above and the following standards and provisions:

a.    The preliminary plat or major amendment application requesting approval of the phasing plan must be submitted prior to January 1, 2016.

b.    The phasing plan is supported by a marketing plan or economic analysis that provides justification for more phase time based on the economic health of existing and forecasted market, and provides a build-out rate based on supply and demand of comparable lots or homes.

c.    The marketing plan or economic analysis is prepared by an economist, accredited realtor, market analyst, statistician, or other professional forecaster approved by the Examiner.

d.    The Examiner shall have the authority to adjust the phasing schedule for final plat submittal at each final plat hearing when supported by an amended marketing plan or economic analysis.

e.    The Examiner shall have the authority to impose current development regulations for any phase that has not received final plat approval within 15 years of preliminary plat approval.

f.    Project progress reports shall be provided to the Hearing Examiner every three years as conditioned in the Examiner's decision. Such reports shall demonstrate adequate progress is being made consistent with the market plan/economic analysis. In the event the Hearing Examiner determines that adequate progress has not been made during the prior three-year period, the Hearing Examiner shall have the authority to impose additional conditions as necessary to respond to the failure to make adequate progress. Failure to submit application for final plat approval consistent with the phasing plan will result in expiration of the uncompleted phases of the plat as set forth in subsection A.5 above.

D.    The Examiner may deviate from the established phasing boundaries or required amenities per phase outlined in the approved preliminary plat decision through the minor amendment process, PCC 18F.40.040.

E.    Expiration. Knowledge of the expiration date of the preliminary plat is the responsibility of the applicant. The preliminary plat application shall become null and void if the applicant fails to file for final plat approval in accordance with PCC 18F.40.050 B.1. for the remaining phase(s) prior to the expiration date of preliminary plat approval.

F.    Each phase of a subdivision shall be governed by the terms of approval of the final plat for a period of five years after the date of final plat approval.

G.    Nothing in this Section shall be construed to supersede the vesting provisions located in Chapter 18.160 PCC, Vesting.

(Ord. 2018-68s § 5 (part), 2018; Ord. 2014-109s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 7 (part), 2013; Ord. 2005-11s2 § 1 (part), 2005)