Chapter 18.55


18.55.010    Purpose.

18.55.020    Application.

18.55.030    Authority.

18.55.040    Accommodation procedure.

18.55.050    Criteria.

18.55.010 Purpose.

The federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Act amendments require that reasonable accommodations be made in the rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford disabled persons equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. The rights created by the statutes are requirements of federal law and shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with federal case law. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)

18.55.020 Application.

The planning director is therefore authorized to make reasonable accommodations in the provisions of this code as such provisions apply to dwellings occupied or to be occupied by disabled persons as defined by the federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Act amendments. Accommodations may include:

A.    Increasing the number of nonrelated persons allowed to live together in a single-family house.

B.    Reducing setback requirements to retrofit a house with handicapped accessible facilities.

C.    Other modifications to the zoning code necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, provided such modification does not reduce public safety nor keep the intent of the code from being met. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)

18.55.030 Authority.

Exceptions from code requirements are made pursuant to the requirements of the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. Section 3604(f)(3)(B); and Washington law against discrimination, Chapter 29.60 RCW, for persons with disabilities as defined by federal law in 42 U.S.C. Section 3602(h). (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)

18.55.040 Accommodation procedure.

A.    Request. Any person with a disability, or a person acting on his or her behalf, who wishes to be excused from an otherwise applicable requirement of this code must provide the planning director with verifiable documentation of the disability and need for accommodation. Such accommodation shall be reasonable, personal to the applicant and granted pursuant to the definitions and requirements of the Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Act amendments as the same exists or is hereafter amended.

B.    Decision Process.

1.    Planning Director Authority. If disability and need for accommodation are demonstrated, the planning director, in consultation with the city attorney, is hereby authorized to vary, modify, or waive the provisions of the zoning code, in order to provide reasonable accommodation necessary to afford a disabled person the opportunity to use a dwelling. The planning director’s decision shall be made in writing and provided to the requestor and any other person(s) who request a copy of the decision.

2.    The planning director shall act within ten working days on the request for accommodation.

3.    The planning director shall not charge a fee for responding to such request.

4.    The planning director’s decision shall constitute final action by the city on the request for accommodation and review of that decision will be available only in court. Any action seeking review must be filed no more than twenty-one days after the director’s decision. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)

18.55.050 Criteria.

The planning director or his or her designee may determine that such reasonable accommodations may be necessary in order to comply with the federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Act amendments. All such accommodations shall be personal to the applicant and shall expire immediately if the disabled applicant terminates occupancy at the subject site. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)