Chapter 18.18
SUBDIVISION AND RECOGNITION OF LOTS OF RECORD

Sections:

18.18.010    Purpose.

18.18.020    Scope.

18.18.030    Approval criteria – All lots of record.

18.18.040    Application submittal and contents – Nine or fewer lots.

18.18.050    Application review – Nine or fewer lots.

18.18.060    Application submittal and contents – More than nine lots of record.

18.18.070    Application review – More than nine lots of record.

18.18.080    Building and occupancy permits for nine or fewer lots of record – Issuance after final approval.

18.18.090    Accumulative application for recognition of nine or fewer lots of record.

18.18.010 Purpose.

A. The procedures regulating lots of record are established to promote orderly and efficient development of and construction upon lots on a small scale in compliance with the provisions of Chapter 58.17 RCW and all applicable codes and ordinances, as adopted by the city of Port Townsend. This chapter is adopted to provide for expedited review of nine or fewer lots of record platted prior to 1937 through the Type I permit application and review process, so long as an applicant owns no more than nine lots of record within 200 feet of any portion of the property. In situations where an applicant seeks to develop more than nine lots of record, or owns more than nine lots within 200 feet of the subject property, the application shall fully conform with the full subdivision process. In adopting this chapter, the city intends to ensure that the same standards for environmental review and the design and installation of public improvements are implemented for all projects having similar impacts upon the environment and public services and facilities. The city finds that the fact that properties were platted prior to the adoption of Chapter 58.17 RCW does not provide a rational basis for exempting such properties from land use and environmental regulations adopted for the protection of public health, safety, welfare, and preservation of the environment.

B. This chapter provides uniform, predictable standards for property development throughout Port Townsend. This chapter is further intended to facilitate the consolidation of lots of record which are downzoned in the R-I zoning district to implement the Port Townsend Comprehensive Plan. This chapter is intended to require compliance with the city’s engineering design standards for public improvements necessary to serve all areas of the city, to ensure that appropriate public services and facilities are provided concurrently with development in accordance with the Growth Management Act, Chapter 36.70A RCW, and to ensure that all properties in the city uniformly comply with all regulatory standards and requirements to protect public health, safety and welfare and the protection of the built and natural environment. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.18.020 Scope.

A. This chapter shall apply only to property development requiring a building or other land use permit where the extension of public water and/or sewer utilities is required, and/or requiring the opening and development of an unopened public street. This chapter shall not apply to any minor construction, including but not limited to temporary structures, fences, and property improvements not requiring the extension of public water and/or sewer service or requiring the opening and development of an unopened public street. This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit the transfer, purchase or sale of lots of record.

B. Upon the request of a property owner of lots of record where property development will not require the extension of public water and/or sewer utilities, and/or the opening and development of an unopened public street, and upon payment of applicable fees, the director shall certify that the lot or lots conform with the requirements of this chapter.

C. Any proposed development of nine or fewer lots of record platted prior to 1937, either in the original lot density and configuration or if consolidation of the lots is proposed, shall be expeditiously processed as a Type I permit application in accordance with Chapter 20.01 PTMC. To obtain expedited Type I permit review, an applicant may consolidate more than nine lots of record into a proposal seeking approval of nine or fewer lots through the use of deed restrictions or restrictive covenants approved by the city.

D. Where an applicant owns one lot of record (and owns no other lots of record within 200 feet of the subject property), or where the applicant proposes to consolidate more than one lot to establish one building site through the use of restrictive covenants approved by the city, the director shall certify that the lot conforms with all requirements of this title so long as the lot meets minimum lot size requirements in accordance with PTMC Title 17, and the lot is developed in compliance with all pertinent requirements of the city’s engineering design standards. The director shall complete a certification of conformance and recognition of lots of record, which shall be recorded by the applicant with the Jefferson County auditor. Notwithstanding certification of the lot under the provisions of this chapter, the applicant must satisfy all applicable requirements of the Port Townsend Municipal Code.

E. Where an applicant owns nine or fewer lots of record platted prior to 1937, the director shall review the application through a checklist established to determine whether the design and development of the lots conform with the requirements of this chapter. Upon determining that the design and development conform with this chapter, the director shall complete a certification of conformance and recognition of lots of record which shall be recorded with the Jefferson County auditor. In the event the director determines that the lots of record fail to conform with the requirements of this chapter, the applicant shall be required to apply for short subdivision approval in conformance with Chapter 18.12 PTMC.

F. Where an applicant owns more than a total of nine lots, including the subject property, within 200 feet of any portion of the subject property, the proposed development shall apply for full subdivision approval in accordance with Chapter 18.16 PTMC.

G. In order to maximize opportunities for creative site design, affordable housing development and affordable provision of public improvements, applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the flexible development standards and bonus densities offered through the planned unit development process, Chapter 17.32 PTMC.

H. Except as provided in RCW 58.17.170, as now adopted and hereafter amended, any lots of record subdivided in 1937 or thereafter shall be recognized as formally subdivided in accordance with this chapter. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.18.030 Approval criteria – All lots of record.

With the exception of applicants owning one lot of record (who own no other lots of record within 200 feet of the subject property), the following criteria are the minimum measures by which each certification and recognition of lots of record will be considered:

A. The layout, design, density, size and other attributes of all lots within the proposal are consistent with all applicable city, state and federal zoning, land use, environmental and health regulations and plans, including but not limited to:

1. Port Townsend Comprehensive Plan;

2. Port Townsend Zoning Code;

3. Engineering design standards;

4. Critical Areas Ordinance (Chapter 19.05 PTMC); and

5. State of Washington Department of Health standards for on-site wastewater disposal (septic) systems, if applicable;

B. Access to a public road for each segregated parcel is in accordance with the city’s engineering design standards;

C. The probable significant adverse environmental impacts of the proposed development, together with any practical means of mitigating adverse impacts, have been considered such that the proposal will not have an unacceptable adverse effect upon the quality of the environment, in accordance with Chapter 19.04 PTMC and Chapter 43.21C RCW;

D. Notwithstanding approval criteria set forth in subsection A, in accordance with RCW 58.17.120, as now adopted and hereafter amended, development of lots of record 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;

E. Adequate provision is made for drainage ways, streets, alleys, other public ways, water supplies and sanitary wastes;

F. In addition to other engineering design standards and criteria, sidewalks and/or other improvements that assure safe walking conditions shall be required where students will walk to and from school; and

G. Approving the application will serve the public use and interest and adequate provision has been made for the public health, safety and general welfare. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.18.040 Application submittal and contents – Nine or fewer lots.

A. The application for recognition of nine or fewer lots of record 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. To be considered complete, the application shall include the following:

1. A completed land use permit application form, including all materials required pursuant to PTMC 20.01.100;

2. A copy of the plat map and any surveys of record and a site plan showing the building envelopes, as defined in PTMC 18.04.060, for each lot, and all existing and proposed utility locations and street or other transportation improvements;

3. 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;

4. If on-site wastewater (septic tanks) disposal is proposed under the limited circumstances where city code does not require connection to the city’s municipal sewer system, the applicant shall provide verification from the Jefferson County environmental health department that the site is adequate to accommodate on on-site sewage disposal system. (Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.18.050 Application review – Nine or fewer lots.

A. An application for recognition of nine or fewer lots shall be processed according to the procedures for Type I land use decisions established in Chapter 20.01 PTMC, Land Development Administrative Procedures.

B. Based on comments from the public works director, public health official, and other applicable agencies and departments, and all other available information, the director shall approve the proposed recognition of nine or fewer lots of record only upon verifying through completion of a checklist form that the requirements and standards of PTMC 18.18.030 have been satisfied. An application may be granted preliminary approval subject to certain, delineated conditions. The director shall conduct the review based upon checklists developed by DSD to determine whether the platted lot and street configuration and design of public improvements satisfy approval criteria. Upon satisfying all approval criteria, the director shall approve the original platted lot and street design in accordance with the recorded plat map and shall certify that the plat conforms with all requirements of this title, subject to the requirement that the applicant shall install all improvements in compliance with the city’s engineering design standards. The certification recognizing the platted lots of record shall be filed by the applicant with the Jefferson County auditor.

C. If conditions of approval are imposed, the application shall not receive final approval until all conditions of approval have been met to the satisfaction of the director.

D. Through application review, the director may determine that as a consequence of the geographic, topographic, environmental or other features or constraints of the site, and/or as a consequence of the inability of the proposal to meet any other approval criteria, the platted lot and street layout and design shown on the recorded plat map fail to meet the city’s approval criteria set forth in this chapter and fail to meet the requirements of RCW 58.17.110, as now adopted or hereafter amended. Under such circumstances, the applicant shall be required to apply for short subdivision approval in accordance with Chapter 18.12 PTMC. The director shall issue summary written findings and conclusions supporting the decision, providing the applicant with generalized, preliminary guidance in conforming the application with the requirements of Chapter 18.12 PTMC. The application fee shall be credited to the preapplication conference fee for short subdivision review. (Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.18.060 Application submittal and contents – More than nine lots of record.

A. An application for approval of subdivision and recognition of more than nine lots of record shall be processed as a full subdivision, prepared in accordance with all requirements of Chapter 18.16 PTMC.

B. To be considered complete, the application for recognition of more than nine lots of record shall include all information in accordance with Chapter 18.16 PTMC. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.18.070 Application review – More than nine lots of record.

A. An application for subdivision and recognition of more than nine lots of record shall be processed as a full subdivision in accordance with Chapter 18.16 PTMC, according to the procedures for Type III land use decisions established in Chapter 20.01 PTMC, Land Development Administrative Procedures.

B. To take advantage of expedited Type I permit processing standards, more than nine lots of record may be consolidated to nine or fewer lots by deed restrictions or restrictive covenants approved by the city.

C. An applicant for recognition and subdivision of lots of record may request that certain requirements established or referenced by this section 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. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.18.080 Building and occupancy permits for nine or fewer lots of record – Issuance after final 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 project subject to this chapter prior to a determination by the fire chief or designee that adequate fire protection and access for construction needs exist.

B. 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 which the director has certified as conforming with this chapter 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 the DSD director. Prior to the issuance of occupancy permits, the applicant shall provide DSD with a photocopy of the certification of conformance and recognition of lots of record bearing the Jefferson County auditor’s recording or filing stamp. Installation, inspection and approval of improvements shall be conducted in accordance with the city’s engineering design standards. (Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).

18.18.090 Accumulative application for recognition of nine or fewer lots of record.

The accumulative application for recognition of nine or fewer lots of record within 200 feet of the subject parcel shall be construed to constitute the accumulative short subdivision of property as defined in PTMC 18.04.060, which is not permitted. The expedited process for legally recognizing nine or fewer lots of record may not be utilized to apply for a series of lot recognitions thereby circumventing the full subdivision procedures. (Ord. 2572 § 2, 1997).