Chapter 18.12
SHORT SUBDIVISIONS

Sections:

18.12.010    Purpose.

18.12.020    Scope.

18.12.030    Application submittal and contents.

18.12.040    Preliminary short plat – Preparation.

18.12.050    Preliminary short plat – Contents.

18.12.060    Approval criteria.

18.12.070    Short plat review process.

18.12.080    Modifications to an approved preliminary short plat.

18.12.090    Improvement method report.

18.12.100    Public works director’s certificate of improvements.

18.12.110    Final short plat requirements.

18.12.120    Accompanying documents – Final short plat.

18.12.130    Final short plat approval.

18.12.140    Time limitation on final short plat submittal.

18.12.150    Effect of an approved final short plat – Valid land use.

18.12.160    Distribution of copies and filing of final short plat.

18.12.170    Transfer of ownership following short plat approval.

18.12.180    Building and occupancy permits – Issuance after final short plat approval.

18.12.190    Accumulative short plats.

18.12.010 Purpose.

The procedures regulating short subdivisions are established to promote orderly and efficient division of lots on a small scale and to comply with the provisions of Chapter 58.17 RCW and all applicable zoning and land use codes and ordinances, as adopted by the city of Port Townsend. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.020 Scope.

Any land being divided into nine or fewer parcels, lots, tracts, or sites, and which land has not been divided in a short subdivision within the previous five years, shall meet the requirements of this chapter. The land approved for a short subdivision may not be further divided in any manner within a period of five years without the filing of a final plat. However, when a short plat contains fewer than nine parcels, the owner of the short plat may file an alteration within a five-year period to create up to nine lots within the boundaries of the original short plat; provided, that the parcel is not held in common ownership with a contiguous parcel which has been subdivided within the preceding five years. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.030 Application submittal and contents.

To be considered complete, the application for a short subdivision shall include the following:

A. The application for approval of a short subdivision shall be submitted to DSD on forms to be provided by the department along with the appropriate fees established by Chapter 20.09 PTMC;

B. A completed land use permit application form, including all materials required pursuant to PTMC 20.01.100, and including any application submittal requirements under Chapter 19.05 PTMC, Critical Areas;

C. A sworn certification by the applicant verifying whether the applicant has any interest in any land within 200 feet of any portion of the subject property. Such interest in land may be by reason of ownership, contract for purchase by agreement or option by any person, family member, firm or corporation in any manner connected with the applicant or the development;

D. The dimensions and area of each proposed lot or parcel to accurately show that each lot or parcel contains sufficient area to satisfy minimum zoning and health requirements. The area of land contained in access easements, access panhandles or pipestem configurations shall not be included in the lot size computations;

E. Five paper copies of a preliminary short plat meeting the standards of PTMC 18.12.040 and 18.12.050;

F. Where site conditions require geotechnical analysis to assess or address any probable significant adverse environmental impacts, including environmentally sensitive area conditions, a geotechnical report or study prepared by a competent geologist or geological engineer or other similar professional may be required if deemed necessary by the public works director or the director;

G. The applicant shall submit a stormwater drainage plan in conformance with the requirements of Chapter 13.32 PTMC, including any soil test information as may be deemed necessary by the public works director;

H. The applicant shall state the estimated quantities of any fill to be exported from the site and imported to the site; and

I. Where an applicant seeks approval of a small-scale short subdivision, including but not limited to proposals seeking division of property into four or fewer lots, the director shall have the discretion and authority to waive certain application requirements, so long as adequate information is submitted to fulfill all requirements in accordance with all applicable local, state and federal laws, including but not limited to Chapters 58.17 and 43.21C RCW (SEPA). (Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.040 Preliminary short plat – Preparation.

The preliminary short plat shall be prepared in accordance with the following requirements:

A. The preliminary short plat shall be prepared by a Washington State licensed engineer or land surveyor registered or licensed by the state of Washington. The preparer shall certify on the short plat that it is a true and correct representation of the lands actually surveyed. The preparation of the plat shall comply with the Survey Recording Act, Chapter 58.09 RCW and Chapter 332-130 WAC as now adopted or hereafter amended. Upon surveying the property, the surveyor shall place temporary stakes on the property to enable the city to locate and appraise features of the short plat in the field. The datum to be used for all surveying and mapping shall be as follows: The projection name is the state plane; the projection spheroid is GRS 1980; the coordinate system is the Washington State Plane North Zone; and the horizontal datum is NAD 83.

B. All geographic information portrayed by the preliminary short plat shall be accurate, legible and drawn to a horizontal scale of 50 feet or fewer to the inch, except that the location sketch and typical street cross-sections may be drawn to any other appropriate scale.

C. A preliminary short plat shall be 18 inches by 24 inches in size, allowing one-half-inch borders, and if more than one sheet is needed, each sheet shall be numbered consecutively and an index sheet showing the entire property and orienting the other sheets, at any appropriate scale, shall be provided. In addition to other map submittals, the applicant shall submit one copy of each sheet reduced to 8-1/2 inches by 11-1/2 inches in size. If more than one sheet is required, an index sheet showing the entire subdivision with street and highway names and block numbers (if any) shall be provided. Each sheet, including the index sheet, shall be of the above specified size.

D. The area of each proposed lot or parcel depicted on the short plat map shall accurately show that each lot or parcel contains sufficient area to satisfy minimum zoning and health requirements. The area of land contained in access easements, access panhandles or pipe-stem configurations shall not be included in the lot size computations. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.050 Preliminary short plat – Contents.

A. A preliminary short plat shall be submitted on one or more sheets and shall provide the following information. All specifications for public improvements shall conform with the engineering design standards:

1. The name of the proposed subdivision together with the words “Preliminary Short Plat”;

2. The name and address of the applicant;

3. The name, address, stamp and signature of the professional engineer or professional land surveyor who prepared the preliminary plat;

4. Numeric scale (50 feet or fewer to the inch), graphic scale, true north point, and date of preparation;

5. Identification of all land, trees, and tree canopy intended to be cleared; the trees or tree canopy intended to be preserved per PTMC 19.06.120, Tree conservation standards; and the location of the proposed access to the site for clearing and grading during site development and construction; and

6. A form for the endorsement of the director of DSD, as follows:

APPROVED BY CITY OF PORT TOWNSEND

_____________________

_______

Development Services Department Director

Date

B. The preliminary plat shall contain a vicinity sketch sufficient to define the location and boundaries of the proposed subdivision with respect to surrounding property, streets, and other major constructed and natural features.

C. Except as otherwise specified in this chapter, the preliminary short plat shall contain the following existing geographic features, drawn lightly in relation to proposed geographic features:

1. The boundaries of the property to be subdivided, and the boundaries of any adjacent property under the same ownership as the land to be subdivided, to be indicated by bold lines;

2. The names of all adjoining property owners, or names of adjoining developers;

3. All existing property lines lying within the proposed subdivision, including lot lines for lots of record which are to be vacated, and all existing property lines for any property lying within 200 feet of the subject property which is under the same ownership as the property to be subdivided (as described in PTMC 18.12.030(C)) shall be shown in broken lines;

4. The location, right-of-way widths, pavement widths and names of all existing or platted streets, whether public or private, and other public ways within 200 feet of the property to be subdivided;

5. The location, widths and purposes of any existing easements lying within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision;

6. The location, size and invert elevations of sanitary sewer lines and stormwater management facilities lying within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision or those which will be connected to as part of the proposed subdivision;

7. The location and size of existing water system facilities including all fire hydrants lying within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision or those which will be connected to as part of the proposed subdivision;

8. The location, size and description of any other underground and overhead facilities lying within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision;

9. The location of any environmentally sensitive areas as described in Chapter 19.05 PTMC, including all floodplains, lying within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision;

10. The location, size and description of all significant trees as defined in PTMC 18.04.060 lying within existing public rights-of-way to be improved within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision;

11. The location of existing sections and municipal corporation boundary lines lying within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision;

12. The location of any well existing within the proposed subdivision;

13. Existing contour lines at intervals of five feet for average slopes exceeding five percent, or at intervals of two feet for average slopes not exceeding five percent. Existing contour lines shall be labeled at intervals not to exceed 20 feet. If applicable, indicate slopes equal to or greater than 15 to 25 percent, equal to or greater than 26 to 39 percent, and equal to or greater than 40 percent, by shading or color;

14. The location of any existing structures lying within the proposed subdivision. Existing structures to be removed shall be indicated by broken lines, and existing structures not to be removed shall be indicated by solid lines.

D. The preliminary plat shall show the following proposed geographic features:

1. The boundaries in bold solid lines of all proposed lots, the area and dimensions of each proposed lot, and the proposed identifying number or letter to be assigned to each lot and/or block;

2. The right-of-way location and width, the proposed name of each street, alley, or other public way to be created and the estimated tentative grades of such streets. Where roadways may exceed the maximum allowable grade or alignment, the public works director may require sufficient data, including centerline profiles and cross-sections if necessary, to determine the feasibility of said roadway;

3. The location, width and purpose of each easement to be created;

4. The boundaries, dimensions and area of public and common park and open space areas;

5. Identification of all areas proposed to be dedicated for public use, together with the purpose and any condition of dedication;

6. Proposed final contour lines at intervals of five feet for average slopes exceeding five percent, or at intervals of two feet for average slopes not exceeding five percent. Final contours shall be indicated by solid lines. Contour lines shall be labeled in intervals not to exceed 20 feet;

7. The building envelopes, as defined in PTMC 18.04.060, shall be indicated for each lot;

8. Proposed monumentation;

9. Proposed location and description of all water system improvements, including all proposed fire hydrants;

10. Proposed location and description of all sewer system improvements, including profiles and, if needed, all pump stations and their connections to the existing system;

11. Proposed location and description of all stormwater management system improvements;

12. Proposed street cross-sections, showing proposed bicycle and pedestrian pathways and sidewalks (if applicable);

13. Proposed type and location of street lighting (if applicable);

14. Proposed type and location of landscaping (if applicable);

15. Proposed location and typical cross-section of trails (if applicable);

16. Proposed location and description of transit stops and shelters (if applicable);

17. Proposed restrictions or conditions on development (if applicable).

E. Upon review of an application, the director and/or public works director may require additional pertinent information as needed to satisfy any regulatory requirements. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-6 § 3), 2010; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2837 § 2(Exh. B § 1), 2003; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.060 Approval criteria.

In addition to the review criteria provided in Chapter 20.01 PTMC, the following criteria are the minimum measures by which each proposed short subdivision will be considered:

A. Short subdivisions shall be given preliminary approval, including preliminary approval subject to conditions, upon finding by the director that all of the following have been satisfied:

1. The proposed subdivision conforms to all applicable city, state and federal zoning, land use, environmental and health regulations and plans, including, but not limited to, the following:

a. Port Townsend comprehensive plan;

b. Port Townsend zoning code;

c. Engineering design standards;

d. Critical Areas Ordinance (Chapter 19.05 PTMC);

2. Utilities and other public services necessary to serve the needs of the proposed subdivision shall be made available, including open spaces, drainage ways, streets, alleys, other public ways, potable water, transit facilities, sanitary sewers, parks, playgrounds, schools, sidewalks and other improvements that assure safe walking conditions for students who walk to and from school;

3. Conservation of existing trees, and/or the planting of new trees, shall be provided consistent with Chapter 19.06 PTMC, Article III, Standards for Tree Conservation;

4. Approving the proposed subdivision will serve the public use and interest and adequate provision has been made for the public health, safety, and general welfare.

B. Notwithstanding approval criteria set forth in subsection A of this section, in accordance with RCW 58.17.120, as now adopted and hereafter amended, a proposed subdivision may be denied because of flood, inundation or swamp conditions. Where any portion of the proposed subdivision lies within both a flood control zone, as specified by Chapter 19.05 PTMC and Chapter 86.16 RCW, and either the one percent flood hazard area or the regulatory floodway, the city shall not approve the preliminary plat unless it imposes a condition requiring the applicant to comply with Chapter 19.05 PTMC and any written recommendations of the Washington Department of Ecology. In such cases, no development permit associated with the proposed subdivision shall be issued by the city until flood control problems have been resolved. (Ord. 2837 § 2(Exh. B § 2), 2003; Ord. 2778 § 2, 2001; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.070 Short plat review process.

A. An application for a short subdivision shall be processed according to the procedures for Type II land use decisions, except short subdivisions that involve right-of-way vacations or plat alterations which will require a Type III land use decision process, established in Chapter 20.01 PTMC, Land Development Administrative Procedures.

B. The director shall solicit comments from the public works director, fire chief or designee, local utility providers, police chief, building official, school district, adjacent jurisdictions if the proposal is within one mile of another city or jurisdiction, Washington State Department of Transportation if the proposal is adjacent to a state highway, and any other state, local or federal officials as may be necessary.

C. Based on comments from city departments and applicable agencies and other information, the director shall review the proposal subject to the criteria of PTMC 18.12.060. A proposed short plat shall only be approved when consistent with all the provisions of PTMC 18.12.060.

D. An applicant for a short subdivision may request that certain requirements established or referenced by this chapter be modified. Such requests shall be processed according to the procedures for variances in Chapter 20.01 PTMC, and shall satisfy the criteria of Chapter 17.86 PTMC, Variances. (Ord. 2982 § 20, 2008; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.080 Modifications to an approved preliminary short plat.

A. Minor modifications to a previously approved preliminary short plat, not involving the location or relocation of a lot, tract or parcel lot line and not involving the location or relocation of a street, may be requested by the applicant and approved by the director subject to the provisions for Type I decisions in Chapter 20.01 PTMC. Before approving such amendment, the director shall make written finding and conclusions that the following exist:

1. The modification will not be inconsistent or cause the short subdivision to be inconsistent with the decision of the city preliminarily approving the application;

2. The modification will not cause the short subdivision to violate any applicable city policy or regulation;

3. A short subdivision may be modified only if the intent of its original conditions is not altered.

B. Modifications which exceed the criteria above shall be processed as a new preliminary short plat application. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.090 Improvement method report.

Following preliminary plat approval and approval of all plans and prior to submission of a final plat for the director’s approval, the applicant shall submit to the director three copies of a report describing the method by which the applicant proposes to carry out the minimum improvements required and the time period within which such improvements will be completed. The applicant shall submit all design and construction drawings required in conformance with the engineering design standards. This improvement method report shall be signed by the applicant and be accompanied by any applicable proposed performance guarantees. The director shall transmit two copies of the improvement method report with all drawings and other submittals to the public works director. Improvements may be made or guaranteed by either of the following methods, subject to the discretion and approval of the director:

A. By actual installation and approval of all improvements in accordance with the preliminary plat, city engineering design standards, and approved construction drawings. Actual construction of improvements is mandatory for short subdivision of four or fewer lots; or

B. By furnishing to the city a plat or subdivision bond or cash deposit in escrow for the full cost of the improvements, or other security satisfactory to the director, in which assurance is given the city that the installation of the minimum improvements will be carried out as provided by plans submitted and approved and in accordance with city engineering design standards, and under the supervision of the public works director. The amount of the performance bond or other security shall be 120 percent of the estimated cost for the city to contract for construction of the improvements as determined by the public works director, and shall be of a duration in accordance with the engineering design standards. If the phased installation of improvements is proposed, the improvement method report shall describe the proposed phasing, the timing for construction, and proposed methods of guaranteeing and assuring the city that adequate installation of improvements will occur in conformance with the phasing schedule. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.100 Public works director’s certificate of improvements.

No permit for the construction of improvements within an approved subdivision shall be issued by the city until the improvement method report, all construction drawings, proposed performance guarantees, and other submittals in conformance with the engineering design standards have been received and approved by the public works director. All construction of improvements shall be inspected and approved in conformance with the engineering design standards. After completion of all required improvements or the guarantee of the construction of all required improvements, the public works director shall submit a certificate in triplicate to the director stating the required improvements or guarantees are in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the preliminary short plat, including the city’s decision approving the short plat, and in accordance with city’s engineering design standards. The director shall transmit one copy of the certification to the subdivider, together with a notice advising the subdivider to prepare a final plat for the proposed short subdivision. One copy of the certificate shall be retained by the director. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.110 Final short plat requirements.

The applicant must submit a reproducible copy plus three paper copies of the proposed final short plat to the director. The reproducible copy of the approved final short plat will contain the elements as described in PTMC 18.12.050, with the exception of subsection (D)(7), and shall include certifications and other requirements as provided in PTMC 18.16.120 for full plats. (Ord. 2982 § 8, 2008; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.120 Accompanying documents – Final short plat.

A. In cases where any restrictive deed covenants or CC&Rs will apply to lots or parcels within a subdivision, a typewritten copy of such covenants, bearing all necessary signatures, shall be submitted along with the final plat. Where the recordation of specific deed restrictions or CC&R provisions have been required as a condition of preliminary plat approval, the director shall approve and sign the deed restriction or CC&Rs prior to final plat approval.

B. The final plat shall be accompanied by a current (within 30 days) title company certification of:

1. The legal description of the total parcel sought to be subdivided;

2. Those individuals or corporations holding an ownership interest or any other encumbrances affecting the title of said parcel. Such individuals or corporations shall sign and approve the final plat prior to final approval;

3. Any lands to be dedicated shall be confirmed as being owned in fee title by the owner(s) signing the dedication certificate;

4. Any easements or restrictions affecting the property to be subdivided with a description of purpose and referenced by the auditor’s file number and/or recording number; and

5. If lands are to be dedicated or conveyed to the city as part of the subdivision, an A.L.T.A. title policy may be required by the public works director.

C. All maintenance, performance and guarantee bonds or other guarantees as may be required by the public works director in accordance with PTMC Titles 12 and 13 and the approved improvement method report to guarantee the acceptability and/or performance of all public improvements. (Ord. 2982 § 9, 2008; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.130 Final short plat approval.

The final short plat shall be approved by the director upon satisfaction of all conditions of approval and all requirements as provided in this section and Chapter 18.24 PTMC. Final approval of short plats by the city council shall not be required. All final short plats shall be approved, disapproved or returned to the applicant within 30 days of their filing, unless the applicant consents to an extension of time in writing. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.140 Time limitation on final short plat submittal.

A. Approval of a preliminary short plat shall expire unless the applicant submits a proposed final plat in proper form for final approval within seven years after preliminary approval. DSD shall not be responsible for notifying the applicant of a pending expiration. Preliminary short plats may receive an unlimited number of subsequent three-year extensions in accordance with the following criteria:

1. Extension requests shall be filed in writing with the DSD director at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the approval period or any subsequent approved extension;

2. The applicant for an extension shall demonstrate the following:

a. Active effort in pursuing completion of the short plat or, at a minimum, a reasonable justification for granting of the extension;

b. That there are no significant changes in conditions that would render approval of the extension contrary to the public health, safety or general welfare;

c. That the extension request will not be inconsistent or cause the short plat to be inconsistent with the findings, conclusions, and decision of the city approving the original short plat;

d. That the extension will not cause the short plat to violate any applicable city policy or regulation in effect at the time of the extension request that differs significantly from those in effect at the time of original short plat approval.

B. The DSD director shall take one of the following actions upon receipt of a timely extension request:

1. Approve the extension request if no significant issues are presented under the criteria set forth in this section;

2. Conditionally approve the extension request if any issues identified are substantially mitigated by minor revisions to the original approval and the criteria of subsection A of this section are still met;

3. Deny the extension request if any significant issues presented cannot be substantially mitigated by minor revisions to the approved plan.

C. A request for extension approval shall be processed as a Type II action, with additional notice provided to adjacent property owners within 300 feet of the preliminary short plat. Appeal and post-decision review of a Type II action is permitted as provided in Chapter 20.01 PTMC. (Ord. 3154 § 7 (Exh. I), 2016; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2761 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.150 Effect of an approved final short plat – Valid land use.

Any lots in a final short plat filed for record shall be a valid land use notwithstanding any change in zoning laws for a period of five years from the date of filing. A short subdivision shall be governed by the terms of approval of the final short plat, and the statutes, ordinances and regulations in effect on the date of preliminary plat approval for a period of five years after final short plat approval unless the city council finds that a change in conditions creates a serious threat to the public health or safety of residents within or outside the short subdivision. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.160 Distribution of copies and filing of final short plat.

The director shall distribute the original and copies of the approved final short plat as follows:

A. The original shall be returned to the applicant to be forwarded to the county auditor for filing;

B. Prior to the issuance of any building permits, one recorded reproducible copy shall be transmitted to the public works director;

C. One recorded paper copy shall be retained in the files of the DSD; and

D. One recorded paper copy shall be provided to the building official for assignment of addresses. (Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.170 Transfer of ownership following short plat approval.

Whenever any parcel of land lying within the city is divided under the provisions of this chapter relating to short subdivision, no person, firm, or corporation shall sell or transfer any such lot, tract, or parcel without having first received final approval of the short plat and having recorded the final short plat with the Jefferson County auditor. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that a final short plat is fully certified and filed for record with the Jefferson County assessor prior to transferring ownership of any land. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.180 Building and occupancy permits – Issuance after final short plat approval.

A. No building permit for a structure other than a temporary contractor’s office or temporary storage building shall be issued for a lot or parcel within an approved short subdivision prior to a determination by the fire chief or designee that adequate fire protection and access for construction needs exists.

B. No building permit for a structure other than a temporary contractor’s office or temporary storage building shall be issued for a lot or parcel within an approved short subdivision until the applicant complies with the improvement method report, all requirements of the public works department’s certificate of improvements, and all requirements of the final plat approval.

C. No occupancy permit for a structure other than a temporary contractor’s office or other approved temporary building shall be issued for a structure on a lot or parcel within an approved subdivision prior to final inspection and approval of all required improvements which will serve such lot or parcel to the satisfaction of the public works director and city building official. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.12.190 Accumulative short plats.

Accumulative short plats are not permitted. The short subdivision process may not be utilized to apply for a series of short plats within two years from any application, thereby circumventing the full subdivision procedures. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).