Chapter 20.11


20.11.001    Scope, purpose, and intent.

20.11.005    General rules for processing applications.

20.11.006    Determination of complete application – Maximum time periods for processing applications.

20.11.007    Consolidated permit review process.

20.11.010    Applications become part of permanent record.

20.11.012    Notice to applicants, public, and agencies with jurisdiction.

20.11.015    Withdrawal of applications.

20.11.020    Revision of applications.

20.11.022    Inactive applications.

20.11.025    Effect of written testimony and signatures on petitions.

20.11.030    Filing fees.

20.11.040    Availability of maps and planning documents.

20.11.050    Exceptions to permit application process.

20.11.060    Statement of restrictions.

20.11.001 Scope, purpose, and intent.

This chapter establishes the rules and procedures for handling and management of project permit applications and records pertaining to matters under this code. The city recognizes the fundamental land use planning choices made in the comprehensive plan, zoning code and other development regulations shall serve as the basis for project review. During project review, the city shall not, except for issues of code interpretation, re-examine alternatives to or hear appeals on (a) the type of land use permitted at a site; (b) the density of residential development; or (c) the availability and adequacy of public facilities for which funding is provided in the capital facilities plan element of the comprehensive plan. (Ord. 2478 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.11.005 General rules for processing applications.

Applications to initiate consideration of matters under this code may be made by persons or agencies, including owners, bona fide agents, the commission and the council. Each applicant shall designate a contact person/entity to receive determinations and notices required by this code. Applications shall be made on forms furnished by the planning and community development department, and shall be accompanied by the required fee and any other information as may be prescribed by the planning and community development director. No application shall be considered filed in the absence of such properly completed application, required fee, and supportive materials as may be deemed necessary for a full and fair review by the responsible reviewing bodies. (Ord. 2478 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.11.006 Determination of complete application – Maximum time periods for processing applications.

(1) In general, all applications shall be processed within 120 calendar days of the date the application is determined as being complete. The planning and community development director shall establish procedures to ensure that environmental review as required by Chapter 21.04 PMC and Chapter 43.21C RCW occurs in combination with procedures for review of project permits. If a project requires more than one permit approval from the city, procedures shall provide for an optional consolidated review of all project permit applications through one review process and a single, 120-calendar-day time period.

(2) Within 28 calendar days after receiving a project permit application, the director shall mail or provide in person a written determination to the applicant stating either:

(a) The application is complete; or

(b) The application is incomplete and stating what is necessary to make the application complete.

Within 14 calendar days after an applicant has submitted the additional information identified as being necessary for a complete application, the director shall notify the applicant in writing whether the application is complete or what additional information is necessary.

(3) The written determination shall also identify other agencies of local, state or federal governments that may have jurisdiction over some aspect of the application.

(4) A project permit application is complete when it meets the applicable procedural submission requirements and is sufficient for continued processing, even though additional information may be required or modification of the project may be subsequently undertaken. A determination of completeness shall not preclude the director from requesting additional information or studies either at the time of the notice of completeness or subsequently if new information is required or substantial changes in the proposed action occur.

(5) An application shall be deemed complete if the director does not provide a written determination to the applicant that the application is incomplete as provided in subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(6) The notice of final decision on a project permit application shall be issued within 120 calendar days after the applicant has been notified that the application is complete; provided, that the above time limit does not apply if a project permit application:

(a) Requires an amendment to the comprehensive plan or development regulations;

(b) Requires the siting of an essential public facility as provided in RCW 36.70A.200;

(c) Is substantially revised by the applicant, in which case the time period shall start from the date the revised project permit application is determined to be complete.

(7) If the city is unable to issue its final decision within the required time limits, it shall provide written notice of this fact to the applicant, stating the reasons why the time limits have not been met and providing an estimated time for issuance of the notice of final decision. Nothing herein shall cause the city to be liable for damages for failure to meet the 120-calendar-day time limit. (Ord. 2754 § 2, 2003; Ord. 2478 § 1, 1996).

20.11.007 Consolidated permit review process.

For proposed project actions requiring two or more project permits, the director shall establish an integrated and consolidated review process which includes a single application review and approval process, covering all necessary project permits. For consolidated permits, the determination of completeness, notice of application and notice of final decision must include all project permits being reviewed through the consolidated permit review process. An applicant shall have the option of choosing to have a project action processed through the consolidated process.

If an applicant elects to use the consolidated process, the city shall prepare a single consolidated staff report for any hearing. No more than one open record hearing and no more than one closed record appeal may be required for any consolidated permit action. If an action involves permits for both actions which do not require public notice or hearings and for actions which do require public notice and hearings, the city may combine an open record public hearing with an open record appeal hearing on other permits, if agreed to by the applicant. Chapter 2.54 PMC specifies which project permit applications/appeals are subject to review by the hearing examiner. (Ord. 2478 § 1, 1996).

20.11.010 Applications become part of permanent record.

Applications filed under this title shall be numbered consecutively in the order of their filing, and shall become a part of the official records of the city. Copies of all notices, application materials, staff reports, actions, and certification of posting, mailing or publication shall state the file number and be filed with the application. (Ord. 2478 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.11.012 Notice to applicants, public, and agencies with jurisdiction.

(1) Within 28 calendar days of the city receiving a development permit application, said applicant shall be notified in writing as to whether or not the application is deemed complete or incomplete, pursuant to the procedures in PMC 20.11.006. For permits subject to the Puyallup Shoreline Management Program (SMP), see Chapter 8, Section E for noticing requirements. The development services director shall publish and administratively maintain a comprehensive table outlining public noticing procedures for all development permit applications. Within 14 calendar days of determining the completeness of an application, notice of the application shall be provided to the public and departments and agencies with jurisdiction. If a determination of significance has been made pursuant to Chapter 21.04 PMC and Chapter 43.21C RCW, the notice of application shall be combined with the determination of significance and scoping notice. Projects categorically exempt from environmental review pursuant to Chapter 21.04 PMC and Chapter 43.21C RCW shall not require notice, unless a public comment period or public hearing is required as part of the project action.

(2) The notice shall contain the following information:

(a) The date of application, the date of the notice of completion for the application;

(b) A description of the proposed project action and a list of the project permits included in the application and, if applicable, a list of any requested studies;

(c) The identification of other permits not included in the application to the extent known by the city;

(d) The identification of existing environmental documents that evaluate the proposed project and the location where the application and studies can be reviewed;

(e) A statement of the public comment period, which shall not be less than 14 nor more than 30 calendar days from the date of notice of application, and statements of the right of any persons to comment on the application, receive notice of and participate in any hearings, request a copy of the decision once made, and any appeal rights. Public comments will be accepted at any time prior to the closing of the record of an open record hearing, if any, or, if no open record hearing is provided, prior to the decision on the project permit;

(f) The date, time, place and type of hearing, if applicable and scheduled at the date of the notice of application;

(g) A statement of the preliminary determination, if one has been made at the time of notice, of those development regulations that will be used for project mitigation and of consistency with applicable development regulations; and

(h) Any other appropriate information.

(3) If an open record hearing is required for the requested project action, the notice of application shall be provided at least 15 calendar days prior to the hearing.

(4) If an open record hearing is required for the requested project action, the director shall provide mailed notice to the same notification district for which notice of the public hearing is given.

(5) For project actions not requiring a hearing, the director may use different types of notice depending on the category of project permit or type of project action. Methods of notice may include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) Posting the property for site-specific proposals;

(b) Publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the area;

(c) Notifying public or private groups or individuals with a known interest in a certain proposal or in the type of proposal being considered;

(d) Notifying the news media;

(e) Publishing notice in agency newsletters or sending to agency mailing lists;

(f) Mailing notice to neighboring property owners;

(g) Posting notice in prominent public locations.

(6) Projects categorically exempt from environmental review under Chapter 21.04 PMC shall not require the above notice unless a public comment period or open record hearing is required by this code.

(7) The permit procedures in this section shall be integrated with the environmental review required under Chapter 21.04 PMC as follows:

(a) Except for a determination of significance, the city may not issue its threshold determination, or issue a decision or recommendation on a project permit until the expiration of the public comment period on the notice of application.

(b) If an open record hearing is required and the city’s threshold determination requires public notice under Chapter 21.04 PMC, the city shall issue its threshold determination at least 15 calendar days prior to the open record hearing.

(c) Comments shall be as specific as possible.

(8) The city shall provide notice of decision on any project permit action to the applicant and to any person who submitted substantive comments on the application or, prior to the rendering of the decision, requested notice of the decision. The notice of decision may be a copy of the report or decision on the project permit application, whether final action occurred administratively, by the hearing examiner, or by the city council. All notices shall include a statement of any threshold determination made under Chapter 21.04 PMC and Chapter 43.21C RCW and state the procedures for filing an appeal of the decision. (Ord. 3113 § 1, 2016; Ord. 2478 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2410 § 1, 1994).

20.11.015 Withdrawal of applications.

Any applicant may withdraw an application at any time, provided the withdrawal is in writing and signed by all persons who signed the original application or their successors in interest. When a proper withdrawal is received, the application shall be deemed null and void. If such withdrawal is accomplished prior to publication of notice of hearing, reimbursement of fees submitted in association with said application shall be prorated to withhold the amount of city costs incurred in processing the application prior to time of withdrawal. These city costs shall be based upon a determination by the community development director of the total hours expended in project review from the time of project application to time of withdrawal, utilizing an hourly dollar amount for staff time as established by resolution. If such withdrawal is not accomplished prior to publication of notice of hearing, there shall be no refund of all or any portion of such fee. (Ord. 2316 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.11.020 Revision of applications.

Any applicant may revise an application, provided such revision is made in writing at least 15 days before scheduled consideration of the application by the commission, board and/or council. Such revision shall be deemed to supersede the prior application documents. If such revision is significant enough to require a revised staff report by the director, the director may assess another application fee equal to one-half that required for the original application, and may reschedule the date of consideration of the commission, board or council, if necessary. (Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.11.022 Inactive applications.

Pursuant to PMC 20.11.006(6), there may be instances during project review where an applicant has been requested to correct plans, perform required studies, or provide additional required information. The community development director shall establish procedures, including notice to applicants of pending closure, whereby an applicant who has failed to respond to requests within a one-year time period shall have his/her application officially closed with or without a full or partial refund of application fees. (Ord. 2662 § 1, 2000).

20.11.025 Effect of written testimony and signatures on petitions.

If signatures or written testimony of persons other than the owners of the property making application are required or offered in support of or in opposition to an application, or other pending action, they shall be received as evidence of notice having been served upon them of the pending application, or as evidence of their opinion on the pending issue. (Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.11.030 Filing fees.

Fees shall be paid to the city upon the filing of applications and appeals in accordance with a fee schedule established from time to time by resolution of the city council to cover the costs of processing such application or appeal. Money received from payment of such fees shall be deposited into the general fund. Separate from such application fees, the community development director shall have the authority to require the payment of charges to cover the expenses for those miscellaneous special work/research requests which he or she determines to require a commitment of staff resources clearly over and above those typically involved in standard application processing or providing public information. Charges for such special requests shall be based upon actual staff time involved in responding to said request using an hourly staff dollar charge as established by resolution. (Ord. 2346 § 1(1), 1993; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.11.040 Availability of maps and planning documents.

Copies of maps, charts, plats and other descriptive matter and documents made and provided for by this title shall be available for public viewing during the planning department’s regular business hours. (Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.11.050 Exceptions to permit application process.

(1) The following project permits are exempt from compliance with the provisions of PMC 20.11.006 and 20.11.012: landmark designations, street vacations, or other approvals relating to the use of public areas or facilities, or other project permits that the city council by ordinance or resolution has determined present special circumstances that warrant a different review process.

(2) The following project permits are exempt from compliance with the provisions of PMC 20.11.012: boundary line adjustments, short plats, and building or construction permits which are categorically exempt from environmental review under Chapter 21.04 PMC and Chapter 43.21C RCW, or for which environmental review has been completed in connection with other project permits. (Ord. 2478 § 1, 1996).

20.11.060 Statement of restrictions.

A property owner may make a written request for a statement of restrictions applicable to a single parcel, tract, lot or block of real property. Within 30 days of the receipt of such a request, the city shall provide the owner, by registered mail, a statement of restrictions including the following:

(1) The zoning currently applicable to the property;

(2) Pending zoning changes currently advertised for public hearing that would apply to the property;

(3) Any current use taxation status and other overlays or special designations (e.g., floodplain) made by the city applicable to the property, including any known environmentally critical area conditions.

If information regarding the designations listed in subsection (3) of this section are not readily available, the city shall inform the owner of the procedure by which the owner can obtain that site-specific information. (Ord. 2513 § 1 (Att. A § 1), 1997).