Chapter 21.04


21.04.010    Authority.

21.04.020    Purpose and adoption by reference.

21.04.030    Additional definitions.

21.04.040    Designation of responsible official.

21.04.050    Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

21.04.070    Additional considerations in time limits applicable to the SEPA process.

21.04.080    Additional timing considerations.

21.04.090    Purpose and adoption by reference.

21.04.100    Use of exemptions.

21.04.110    Environmental checklist.

21.04.120    Mitigated DNS.

21.04.125    Responding to comments (SEPA).

21.04.130    Purpose and adoption by reference.

21.04.140    Preparation of EIS – Additional considerations.

21.04.150    Additional elements to be covered in an EIS.

21.04.160    Adoption by reference.

21.04.170    Public notice.

21.04.180    Designation of official to perform consulted agency responsibilities for the city.

21.04.190    Purpose and adoption by reference.

21.04.200    Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

21.04.205    Appeals.

21.04.210    Substantive authority.

21.04.220    Notice.

21.04.225    Planned actions.

21.04.230    Definitions – Adoption by reference.

21.04.240    Categorical exemptions – Adoption by reference.

21.04.250    Agency compliance – Adoption by reference.

21.04.260    Environmentally sensitive areas.

21.04.270    Fees.

21.04.300    Adoption by reference.

21.04.010 Authority.

The city of Puyallup adopts the ordinance codified in this chapter under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), RCW 43.21C.120, and the SEPA Rules, WAC 197-11-904. This chapter contains this city’s SEPA procedures and policies. The SEPA rules, Chapter 197-11 WAC, must be used in conjunction with this chapter. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.020 Purpose and adoption by reference.

PMC 21.04.020 through 21.04.080 contain the basic requirements that apply to the SEPA process. The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC by reference:


197-11-040    Definitions

197-11-050    Lead agency

197-11-055    Timing of the SEPA process

197-11-060    Content of environmental review

197-11-070    Limitations on actions during SEPA process

197-11-080    Incomplete or unavailable information

197-11-090    Supporting documents

197-11-100    Information required of applicants.

(Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.030 Additional definitions.

In addition to those definitions contained within WAC 197-11-700 through 799, when used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context indicates otherwise.

(1) “Department” means any division, subdivision or organizational unit of the city established by ordinance, rule or order.

(2) “SEPA rules” means Chapter 197-11 WAC adopted by the Department of Ecology.

(3) “Ordinance” means the ordinance, resolution, or other procedure used by the city to adopt regulatory requirements.

(4) “Early notice” means the city’s response to an applicant stating whether it considers issuance of a determination of significance likely for the applicant’s proposal (mitigated determination of nonsignificance (DNS) procedures). (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.040 Designation of responsible official.

(1) For those proposals for which the city is the lead agency, the responsible official shall be the city director of planning and community affairs or his designee.

(2) For all proposals for which the city is the lead agency, the responsible official shall make the threshold determination, supervise scoping and preparation of any required environmental impact statement (EIS), and perform any other functions assigned to the “lead agency” or “responsible official” by those sections of the SEPA rules that were adopted by reference in WAC 173-806-020.

(3) The city shall retain all documents required by the SEPA rules (Chapter 197-11 WAC)     and make them available in accordance with Chapter 42.17 RCW. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.050 Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

(1) The department within the city receiving an application for or initiating a proposal that involves a nonexempt action shall determine the lead agency for that proposal under WAC 197-11-050 and 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, unless the lead agency has been previously determined or the department is aware that another department or agency is in the process of determining the lead agency.

(2) When the city is the lead agency for a proposal, the department receiving the application shall determine the responsible official who shall supervise compliance with the threshold determination requirements, and if an EIS is necessary, shall supervise preparation of the EIS.

(3) When the city is not the lead agency for a proposal, all departments of the city shall use and consider, as appropriate, either the DNS or the final EIS of the lead agency in making decisions on the proposal. No city department shall prepare or require preparation of a DNS or EIS in addition to that prepared by the lead agency, unless required under WAC 197-11-600. In some cases, the city may conduct supplemental environmental review under WAC 197-11-600.

(4) If the city or any of its departments receives a lead agency determination made by another agency that appears inconsistent with the criteria of WAC 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, it may object to the determination. Any objection must be made to the agency originally making the determination and resolved within 15 days of receipt of the determination, or the city must petition the Department of Ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11-946 within the 15-day time period. Any such petition on behalf of the city may be initiated by the director of planning and community affairs.

(5) Departments of the city are authorized to make agreements as to lead agency status or shared lead agency duties for a proposal under WAC 197-11-942 and 197-11-944; provided, that the responsible official and any department that will incur responsibilities as the result of such agreement approve the agreement.

(6) Any department making a lead agency determination for a private project shall require sufficient information from the applicant to identify which other agencies have jurisdiction over the proposal. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.070 Additional considerations in time limits applicable to the SEPA process.

The following time limits shall apply when the city processes licenses for all private projects and those governmental proposals submitted to the city by other agencies:

(1) Categorical Exemptions. The city shall identify whether an action is categorically exempt within seven days of receiving a completed application.

(2) Threshold Determinations.

(a) The city shall complete threshold determinations that can be based solely upon review of the environmental checklist for the proposal no sooner than 14 calendar days from the date of providing public notice that an applicant’s application has been determined to be complete.

(b) When the responsible official requires further information from the applicant or consultation with other agencies with jurisdiction:

(i) The city shall request such further information within 28 calendar days of receiving an adequate application and completed environmental checklist;

(ii) The city shall wait no longer than 30 days for a consulted agency to respond;

(iii) The responsible official shall complete the threshold determination within 14 calendar days of receiving the requested information from the applicant or the consulted agency.

(c) When the city must initiate further studies, including field investigations, to obtain the information to make the threshold determination, the city should complete the studies within 30 days of receiving an adequate application and a completed checklist.

(d) The city shall complete threshold determinations on actions where the applicant recommends in writing that an EIS be prepared, because of the probable significant adverse environmental impact(s) described in the application, within 14 calendar days of receiving an adequate application and completed checklist. (Ord. 2479 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.080 Additional timing considerations.

(1) For nonexempt proposals, the DNS or final EIS for the proposal shall accompany the city’s staff recommendation to any appropriate advisory body, such as the planning commission.

(2) If the city’s only action on the proposal is a decision on a building permit or other license that requires detailed project plans and specifications, the applicant may request in writing that the city conduct environmental review prior to submission of the detailed plans and specifications. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.090 Purpose and adoption by reference.

This section through PMC 21.04.120 contain the rules for deciding whether a proposal has a probable significant, adverse environmental impact requiring an environmental impact statement (EIS) to be prepared. This section through PMC 21.04.120 also contain rules for evaluating the impacts of proposals not requiring an EIS. The city adopts the following sections by reference, as supplemented in this section through PMC 21.04.120:

RCW    43.21C.410


197-11-300    Purpose of this part

197-11-305    Categorical exemptions

197-11-310    Threshold determination required

197-11-315    Environmental checklist

197-11-330    Threshold determination process

197-11-335    Additional information

197-11-340    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS)

197-11-350    Mitigated DNS

197-11-355    Optional DNS process

197-11-360    Determination of significance (DS)/ initiation of scoping

197-11-390    Effect of threshold determination.

(Ord. 3119 § 66, 2016; Ord. 2980 § 20, 2011; Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.100 Use of exemptions.

(1) Each department within the city that receives an application for a license or, in the case of governmental proposals, the department initiating the proposal shall determine whether the license and/or the proposal is exempt. The department’s determination that a proposal is exempt shall be final and not subject to administrative review. If a proposal is exempt, none of the procedural requirements of this chapter apply to the proposal. The city shall not require completion of an environmental checklist for an exempt proposal. Pursuant to RCW 43.21C.031, the city may define by ordinance or resolution “planned actions” that shall not require a threshold determination or preparation of an environmental impact statement. Planned actions are project actions that have had significant impacts adequately addressed in an environmental impact statement prepared in conjunction with a comprehensive/subarea plan and are subsequent to or implementing projects for proposals contained within those plans.

(2) In determining whether or not a proposal is exempt, the department shall make certain the proposal is properly defined and shall identify the governmental licenses required (WAC 197-11-060). If a proposal includes exempt and nonexempt actions, the department shall determine the lead agency, even if the license application that triggers the department’s consideration is exempt.

(3) If a proposal includes both exempt and nonexempt actions, the city may authorize exempt actions prior to compliance with the procedural requirements of this chapter, except that:

(a) The city shall not give authorization for:

(i) Any nonexempt action,

(ii) Any action that would have an adverse environmental impact, or

(iii) Any action that would limit the choice of alternatives pursuant to WAC 197-11-070;

(b) A department may withhold approval of an exempt action that would lead to modification of the physical environment, when such modification would serve no purpose if nonexempt action(s) were not approved; and

(c) A department may withhold approval of exempt actions that would lead to substantial financial expenditures by a private applicant when the expenditures would serve no purpose if nonexempt action(s) were not approved. (Ord. 2479 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.110 Environmental checklist.

(1) A completed environmental checklist (or a copy), in the form provided in WAC 197-11-960, shall be filed at the same time as an application for a permit, license, certificate, or other approval not specifically exempted in this chapter; except, a checklist is not needed if the city and applicant agree an EIS is required, SEPA compliance has been completed or SEPA compliance has been initiated by another agency. The city shall use the environmental checklist to determine the lead agency and, if the city is the lead agency, for determining the responsible official and for making the threshold determination.

(2) For private proposals, the city will require the applicant to complete the environmental checklist, providing assistance as necessary. For city proposals, the department initiating the proposal shall complete the environmental checklist for that proposal.

(3) The city may require that it, and not the private applicant, will complete all or part of the environmental checklist for a private proposal, if either of the following occurs:

(a) The city has technical information on a question or questions that is unavailable to the private applicant; or

(b) The applicant has provided inaccurate information on previous proposals or on proposals currently under consideration. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.120 Mitigated DNS.

(1) As provided in this section and in WAC 197-11-350, the responsible official may issue a DNS based on conditions attached to the proposal by the responsible official or on changes to, or clarifications of, the proposal made by the applicant.

(2) An applicant may request in writing early notice of whether a DS is likely under WAC 197-11-350. The request must:

(a) Follow submission of a permit application and environmental checklist for a nonexempt proposal for which the department is lead agency; and

(b) Precede the city’s actual threshold determination for the proposal.

(3) The responsible official should respond to the request for early notice within 15 working days. The response shall:

(a) Be written;

(b) State whether the city currently considers issuance of a DS likely and, if so, indicate the general or specific area(s) of concern that is/are leading the city to consider a DS; and

(c) State that the applicant may change or clarify the proposal to mitigate the indicated impacts, revising the environmental checklist and/or permit application as necessary to reflect the changes or clarifications.

(4) As much as possible, the city should assist the applicant with identification of impacts to the extent necessary to formulate mitigation measures.

(5) When an applicant submits a changed or clarified proposal, along with a revised or amended environmental checklist, the city shall base its threshold determination on the changed or clarified proposal and should make the determination within 15 days of receiving the change or clarified proposal:

(a) If the city indicated specific mitigation measures in its response to the request for early notice, and the applicant changed or clarified the proposal to include those specific mitigation measures, the city shall issue and circulate a DNS under WAC 197-11-340(2).

(b) If the city indicated areas of concern, but did not indicate specific mitigation measures that would allow it to issue a DNS, the city shall make the threshold determination, issuing a DNS or DS as appropriate.

(c) The applicant’s proposed mitigation measures (clarifications, changes or conditions) must be in writing and must be specific. For example, proposals to “control noise” or “prevent storm water runoff” are inadequate, whereas proposals to “muffle machinery to X decibel” or “construct 200 foot storm water retention pond at Y location” are adequate.

(d) Mitigation measures which justify issuance of a mitigated DNS may be incorporated in the DNS by reference to agency staff reports, studies or other documents.

(6) Mitigated DNS(s) issued under WAC 197-11-340(2) require a 14-day comment period and public notice.

(7) Mitigation measures incorporated in the mitigation DNS shall be deemed conditions of approval of the permit decision and may be enforced in the same manner as any term or condition of the permit, or enforced in any manner specifically prescribed by the city.

(8) If the city’s tentative decision on a permit or approval does not include mitigation measures that were incorporated in a mitigated DNS for the proposal, the city should evaluate the threshold determination to assure consistency with WAC 197-11-340(3)(a) (Withdrawal of DNS).

(9) The city’s written response under subsection (2) of this section shall not be construed as a determination of significance. In addition, preliminary discussion of clarifications or changes to a proposal, as opposed to a written request for early notice, shall not bind the city to consider the clarifications or changes in its threshold determination. (Ord. 2954 § 22, 2010; Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.125 Responding to comments (SEPA).

In addition to the procedures for responding to timely written comments adopted by reference herein (WAC 197-11-340), the responsible official shall maintain the ability to stay the appeal period from officially beginning while considering the merits of and formally replying to a timely submitted comment letter regarding a preliminary DNS/MDNS. Once the responsible official has officially responded to the commenting party, a final determination of nonsignificance (DNS) shall be issued with a revised appeal period timeline. The responsible official shall at that time notify the applicant, commenting party and Department of Ecology that the DNS/MDNS has been “retained,” “modified” to include new analysis or mitigation, or “withdrawn.” The final DNS shall be issued to the commenting party and applicant; while not required, the responsible official may also issue the final DNS to stakeholders and interested parties originally notified of the preliminary DNS. The responsible official should respond to the commenting party within 10 business days of receiving a timely submitted comment letter. (Ord. 3031 § 11, 2013).

21.04.130 Purpose and adoption by reference.

PMC 21.04.130 through 21.04.150 contain the rules for preparing environmental impact statements. The city adopts the following sections by reference, as supplemented by PMC 21.04.130 through 21.04.150:


197-11-400    Purpose of EIS

197-11-402    General requirements

197-11-405    EIS types

197-11-406    EIS timing

197-11-408    Scoping

197-11-410    Expanded scoping

197-11-420    EIS preparation

197-11-425    Style and size

197-11-430    Format

197-11-435    Cover letter or memo

197-11-440    EIS contents

197-11-442    Contents of EIS on nonproject proposals

197-11-443    EIS contents when prior nonproject EIS

197-11-444    Elements of the environment

197-11-448    Relationship of EIS to other considerations

197-11-450    Cost-benefit analysis

197-11-455    Issuance of DEIS

197-11-460    Issuance of FEIS.

(Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.140 Preparation of EIS – Additional considerations.

(1) Preparation of draft and final EISs (DEIS and FEIS) and draft and final supplemental EISs (SEIS) is the responsibility of the responsible official. Before the city issues an EIS, the responsible official shall be satisfied that it complies with this chapter and Chapter 197-11 WAC.

(2) The DEIS and FEIS or draft and final SEIS shall be prepared by city staff, the applicant, or by a consultant selected by the city or the applicant. If the responsible official requires an EIS for a proposal and determines that someone other than the city will prepare the EIS, the responsible official shall notify the applicant immediately after completion of the threshold determination. The responsible official shall also notify the applicant of the city’s procedure for EIS preparation, including approval of the DEIS and FEIS prior to distribution.

(3) The city may require an applicant to provide information the city does not possess, including specific investigations. However, the applicant is not required to supply information that is not required under this chapter or that is being requested from another agency. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.150 Additional elements to be covered in an EIS.

The following additional elements are part of the environment for the purpose of EIS content, but do not add to the criteria for threshold determinations or perform any other function or purpose under this chapter:

(1) Economy;

(2) Social policy analysis;

(3) Cost-benefit analysis. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.160 Adoption by reference.

PMC 21.04.160 through 21.04.180 contain rules for consulting, commenting, and responding on all environmental documents under SEPA, including rules for public notice and hearings. The city adopts the following sections by reference, as supplemented in PMC 21.04.160 through 21.04.180:


197-11-500    Purpose of this part

197-11-502    Inviting comment

197-11-504    Availability and cost of environmental documents

197-11-508    SEPA register

197-11-535    Public hearings and meetings

197-11-545    Effect of no comment

197-11-550    Specificity of comments

197-11-560    FEIS response to comments

197-11-570    Consulted agency costs to assist lead agency.

(Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.170 Public notice.

(1) Whenever the city issues a notice of a complete application having been filed, it shall not issue a threshold determination (if required) until the expiration of a 14-calendar-day public comment period. If an open record hearing is required for the proposal, the city shall issue the threshold determination at least 15 calendar days prior to the hearing.

(2) Whenever the city issues a DNS under WAC 197-11-340(2) or a DS under WAC 197-11-360(3) the city shall give public notice as follows:

(a) If public notice is required for a nonexempt license, the notice shall state whether a DS or DNS has been issued and when comments are due.

(b) If no public notice is required for a permit or approval, the city shall give notice of the DNS or DS by:

(i) Publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, city, or general area where the proposal is located;

(ii) Notifying public or private groups which have expressed interest in a certain proposal or in the type of proposal being considered.

(c) Whenever the city issues a DS under WAC 197-11-360(3), the city shall state the scoping procedures for the proposal in the DS as required in WAC 197-11-408 and in the public notice.

(3) Whenever the city issues DEIS under WAC 197-11-455(5) or a SEIS under WAC 197-11-620, notice of the availability of those documents shall be given by:

(a) Indicating the availability of the DEIS in any public notice required for a nonexempt license; and

(b) Posting the property, for site-specific proposals;

(c) Publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, city, or general area where the proposal is located;

(d) Notifying public or private groups which have expressed interest in a certain proposal or in the type of proposal being considered.

(4)  The city shall integrate the public notice required under this section with existing notice procedures for the city’s nonexempt permit(s) or approval(s) required for the proposal.

(5) The city may require an applicant to complete the public notice requirements for the applicant’s proposal at his or her expense. (Ord. 2479 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.180 Designation of official to perform consulted agency responsibilities for the city.

(1) The director of planning and community development shall be responsible for preparation of written comments for the city in response to a consultation request prior to a threshold determination, participation in scoping, and reviewing a DEIS.

(2) The director of planning and community development shall be responsible for the city’s compliance with WAC 197-11-550 whenever the city is a consulted agency and is authorized to develop operating procedures that will ensure that responses to consultation requests are prepared in a timely fashion and include data from all appropriate departments of the city. (Ord. 2479 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.190 Purpose and adoption by reference.

This section contains rules for using and supplementing existing environmental documents prepared under SEPA or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the city’s own environmental compliance. The city adopts the following sections by reference:


197-11-600    When to use existing environmental documents

197-11-610    Use of NEPA documents

197-11-620    Supplemental environmental impact statement – Procedures

197-11-625    Addenda – Procedures

197-11-630    Adoption – Procedures

197-11-635    Incorporation by reference – Procedures

197-11-640    Combining documents.

(Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.200 Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

PMC 21.04.200 through 21.04.220 contain rules for SEPA’s substantive authority, such as decisions to mitigate or reject proposals as a result of SEPA. PMC 21.04.200 through 21.04.220 also contain procedures for appealing SEPA determinations to agencies or the courts. The city adopts the following sections by reference.


197-11-650    Purpose of this part

197-11-655    Implementation

197-11-660    Substantive authority and mitigation

197-11-680    Appeals.

(Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.205 Appeals.

The city establishes the following SEPA appeal procedure under RCW 43.21C.075 and WAC 197-11-680:

There shall be no administrative appeals of SEPA procedural determinations concerning a proposal for a nonproject action or for an action where the city is the proponent or is funding the proposal and is conducting SEPA review prior to submitting an application for a project permit. Any appeal of such determinations, not linked to a specific underlying action shall be, if one is authorized by law, to the superior court of Pierce County within the time limit established by statute or ordinance or, if none, within 14 calendar days.

(1) Threshold Determinations.

(a) Any aggrieved or adversely affected agency or person may appeal a mitigated determination of nonsignificance (MDNS), or a determination of nonsignificance (DNS) which is linked to a specific underlying city action or city land use action by filing a notice of appeal with the development and permitting services department within 14 calendar days of the issuance of the threshold determination or the expiration of any required comment period for a threshold determination (WAC 197-11-340(2)). This appeal period shall be extended for an additional seven calendar days if the appeal is of a DNS for which public comment is required under state law or city rules adopted under SEPA.

(i) The notice of appeal shall be filed on forms provided by the development and permitting services director.

(ii) The notice of appeal shall set forth how the appellant is aggrieved or adversely affected and the specific reason, rationale, and/or basis for the appeal.

(iii) Fees associated with such appeals shall be paid to the city upon the filing of the appeal in accordance with a fee schedule established by resolution of the city council to cover the cost of processing such appeals.

(b) If the notice of appeal has been timely filed and complies with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, the hearing examiner shall conduct a public hearing into the merits of the appeal at which the examiner shall hear and receive testimony, documentary evidence, and arguments from the appellant(s) solely on the issues raised or identified by the appeal. If other public hearings are required by law for the project which is subject to the appeal, then the appeal hearing shall be conducted in conjunction with the required public hearing for the underlying permit action.

(i) The appellant(s) shall have the burden of going forward with the evidence and the ultimate burden of persuasion.

(ii) Notice of any public hearing held pursuant to this section shall be provided as specified in PMC 2.54.100.

(iii) The examiner may continue the hearing from time to time without further mailed or delivered notice.

(iv) The hearing examiner shall maintain an electronic record of the testimony and arguments presented and a record of any physical evidence/documents presented.

(v) The examiner’s decision shall be rendered within 10 working days of the conclusion of any appeal hearing unless a longer period is agreed to in writing by the appellant.

(vi) The examiner’s decision shall include findings of fact and conclusions which support the decision.

(vii) The hearing examiner’s decision under this section may be to grant or deny the appeal in whole or in part or remand the threshold determination to the responsible official for reconsideration.

(viii) Appeal hearings held by the examiner pursuant to this section shall be de novo.

(ix) The examiner’s decision shall become final on the date of issuance.

(c) Appeal of an examiner’s decision on threshold determinations, together with the final decision on a proposal, shall be to the superior court for Pierce County, the Growth Management Hearings Board, or the Shoreline Hearings Board, as the law requires based on the type of action being appealed.

(2) Adequacy of Environmental Impact Statements. Appeal of the final decision of the adequacy of an environmental impact statement shall be to the superior court of Pierce County within the time limit established by statute or ordinance or, if none, within 14 days.

(3) SEPA Substantive Authority. The city council of the city of Puyallup eliminates legislative appeal of decisions to condition or deny proposals based on SEPA substantive authority. Appeals relating to decisions to condition or deny proposals based on SEPA substantive authority shall be made to the superior court of Pierce County within the time limit established by statute or ordinance for appealing subsections (2)(b) and (c) of this section.

(4) Substantial Weight Accorded Responsible Official. All determinations by the city’s responsible official including determinations concerning procedural requirements or the presence or absence of any requirements shall carry substantial weight in any appeal proceeding under this title.

(5) Record. For any appeal under this section, the city shall provide for a record that shall consist of the following:

(a) Findings and conclusions;

(b) Testimony under oath; and

(c) A taped or written transcript, the cost of which shall be borne by the appellant.

(6) Exhaustion of Remedies. SEPA appeal procedures, as provided in this section, must be utilized prior to judicial review of that SEPA process. (Ord. 3287 § 1, 2023; Ord. 2479 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2320 § 1, 1992).

21.04.210 Substantive authority.

(1) The policies and goals set forth in this chapter are supplementary to those in the existing authorization of the city.

(2) The city may attach conditions to a permit or approval for a proposal as long as:

(a) Such conditions are necessary to mitigate specific probable adverse environmental impacts

identified in environmental documents prepared pursuant to this chapter; and

(b) Such conditions are in writing; and

(c) The mitigation measures included in any such conditions are reasonable and capable of being accomplished; and

(d) The city has considered whether other local, state, or federal mitigation measures applied to the proposal are sufficient to mitigate the identified impacts; and

(e) Such conditions are based on one or more policies in subsection (4) of this section and cited in the license or other decision document.

(3) The city may deny a permit or approval for a proposal on the basis of SEPA as long as:

(a) A finding is made that approving the proposal would result in probable significant adverse environmental impacts that are identified in an FEIS or final SEIS prepared pursuant to this chapter; and

(b) A finding is made that there are no reasonable mitigation measures capable of being accomplished that are sufficient to mitigate the identified impact; and

(c) The denial is based on one or more policies identified in subsection (4) of this section and identified in writing in the decision document.

(4) The city designates and adopts the following policies as the basis for the city’s exercise of authority pursuant to this section:

(a) The city shall use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of state policy, to improve and coordinate plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the state and its citizens may:

(i) Fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;

(ii) Assure for all people of Washington safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;

(iii) Attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;

(iv) Preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage;

(v) Maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice;

(vi) Achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life’s amenities; and

(vii) Enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.

(b) The city recognizes that each person has a fundamental and inalienable right to a healthful environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.

(c) The city’s substantive SEPA authority to condition or deny projects, proposals or connected actions shall be exercised on the basis of the regulations, plans, studies, reports, or codes identified in subsection (4)(d) of this section, each of such items being adopted and/or reaffirmed by this reference.

(d) The city formally designates the following regulations, plans, studies, reports or codes, as presently constituted or as amended, updated, supplemented, or revised, except where specifically excluded, as possible basis for the exercise of authority pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act of 1971 as amended:

(i) City of Puyallup Municipal Code;

(ii) City of Puyallup comprehensive plan;

(iii) City of Puyallup six-year street transportation improvement plan as amended and updated;

(iv) City of Puyallup capital improvements plan;

(v) City of Puyallup comprehensive storm drainage plan;

(vi) City of Puyallup sanitary sewer system comprehensive plan and subsequent area studies, including but not limited to the City of Puyallup East Valley Service Area Analysis and the City of Puyallup Options for Providing Service, Southwest Area Study;

(vii) City of Puyallup comprehensive water system plan;

(viii) City of Puyallup shoreline management master plan;

(ix) City of Puyallup comprehensive parks, recreation and open space plan;

(x) City of Puyallup Street Development and Engineering Standards;

(xi) Institute of Transportation Engineers, Trip Generation;

(xii) Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington, Washington State Department of Ecology;

(xiii) Not used;

(xiv) Code of the Pierce County Board of Health;

(xv) Pierce County River Improvement Puyallup River Basin Comprehensive Flood Control Management Plan;

(xvi) Washington State Shoreline Management Act of 1971, and all subsequent amendments;

(xvii) American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (“AASHTO”) Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities, current edition, and the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, current edition;

(xviii) Flood Insurance Study for the City of Puyallup, with accompanying flood insurance maps, August 15, 1980, or as amended and adopted;

(xix) Washington State Department of Ecology Criteria for Sewage Works Design, current edition;

(xx) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) with Washington State Modifications, current edition;

(xxi) AASHTO Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (“Green Book”), current edition;

(xxii) Washington State Department of Transportation Design Manual, current edition;

(xxiii) Highway Capacity Manual Special Report 209, current edition;

(xxiv) Trip Generation Manual, ITE, 7th Edition or current edition with city-approved modifications;

(xxv) Traffic Access and Impact Studies for Site Development, ITE;

(xxvi) Traffic Engineering Handbook, ITE, current edition;

(xxvii) Washington State Department of Transportation Standard Plans, current edition;

(xxviii) Manual for Traffic Signal Design, ITE, Second Edition;

(xxix) Parks Impact Fee Study, current updated version;

(xxx) Rate Study for Impact Fees for Roads, current updated version;

(xxxi) The Washington State Department of Transportation Standard Specifications for Road, Bridge, and Municipal Construction, current edition;

(xxxii) AASHTO Guide for Design of Pavement Structures, current edition;

(xxxiii) AASHTO Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide, current edition;

(xxxiv) Water, Sewer, and Storm and Surface Water System Development Charges Study, current updated version; and

(xxxv) City of Puyallup planning documents not specifically listed above but referenced in the environmental analysis of the city’s comprehensive plan.

(e) It is the city’s policy to protect its residents and businesses from the long-term consequences of successive incremental negative environmental impacts associated with a specific proposal or its connected action(s). Accordingly, the city may condition or deny proposals in order to mitigate or prevent such long-term impacts.

(f) Unusual circumstances related to a site, a proposal, or a connected action, as well as probable significant adverse environmental impacts not capable of adequate mitigation using the foregoing provisions, may be cause for denial of a proposal or development of site-specific or project-specific SEPA mitigation. (Ord. 3197 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3130 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 3119 § 67, 2016; Ord. 3115 § 1, 2016; Ord. 2858 § 1, 2006; Ord. 2709 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2644 § 1, 2000; Ord. 2372 § 1, 1993; Ord. 2324 § 4, 1992; Ord. 2320 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2191 § 1, 1989; Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.220 Notice.

(1) The city, applicant for, or proponent of an action may publish a notice of action pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080 for any action.

(2) The form of the notice shall be substantially in the form provided in WAC 197-11-990. The notice shall be published by the city clerk, applicant or proponent pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.225 Planned actions.

(1) The city adopts the following sections, as presently constituted or as may be subsequently amended, by reference:


197-11-164    Planned actions – Definition and criteria.

197-11-168    Ordinances or resolutions designating planned actions – Procedures for adoption.

197-11-172    Planned actions – Project review.

(2) The city endorses the procedures in the SEPA rules adopted in this chapter for project proposal review as a “planned action” and will apply the provisions of WAC 197-11-164 through 197-11-172 to projects which meet the criteria for planned action environmental review under RCW 43.21C.031.

(3) Where a project proposal meets the requirements and criteria for a planned action set forth in WAC 197-11-164 through 197-11-172, and any planned action ordinance adopted by the city, the responsible official shall not be required to issue a threshold determination or EIS under the provisions of this chapter.

(4) Nothing in this section limits the city from using this chapter or other applicable law to place conditions on the project in order to mitigate nonsignificant impacts through the normal project review and permitting process.

(5) Public notice for projects that qualify as planned actions shall be tied to the underlying permit. If notice is otherwise required for the underlying permit, the notice shall state that the project has qualified as a planned action. If notice is not otherwise required for the underlying permit, no special notice is required. (Ord. 2829 § 1, 2005).

21.04.230 Definitions – Adoption by reference.

PMC 21.04.230 through 21.04.240 contain uniform usage and definitions of terms under SEPA. The city adopts the following sections by reference, as supplemented by WAC 173-806-040:


197-11-700    Definitions

197-11-702    Act

197-11-704    Action

197-11-706    Addendum

197-11-708    Adoption

197-11-710    Affected tribe

197-11-712    Affecting

197-11-714    Agency

197-11-716    Applicant

197-11-718    Built environment

197-11-720    Categorical exemption

197-11-722    Consolidated exemption

197-11-724    Consulted agency

197-11-726    Cost-benefit analysis

197-11-728    County/City

197-11-730    Decisionmaker

197-11-732    Department

197-11-734    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS)

197-11-736    Determination of significance (DS)

197-11-738    EIS

197-11-740    Environment

197-11-742    Environmental checklist

197-11-744    Environmental document

197-11-746    Environmental review

197-11-748    Environmentally sensitive area

197-11-750    Expanded scoping

197-11-752    Impacts

197-11-754    Incorporation by reference

197-11-756    Lands covered by water

197-11-758    Lead agency

197-11-760    License

197-11-762    Local agency

197-11-764    Major action

197-11-766    Mitigated DNS

197-11-768    Mitigation

197-11-770    Natural environment

197-11-772    NEPA

197-11-774    Nonproject

197-11-776    Phased review

197-11-778    Preparation

197-11-780    Private project

197-11-782    Probable

197-11-784    Proposal

197-11-786    Reasonable alternative

197-11-788    Responsible official

197-11-790    SEPA

197-11-792    Scope

197-11-793    Scoping

197-11-794    Significant

197-11-796    State agency

197-11-797    Threshold determination

197-11-799    Underlying governmental action.

(Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.240 Categorical exemptions – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts by reference the following rules for categorical exemptions, as supplemented in this chapter including WAC 173-806-070, 173-806-080, and 173-806-190, except, as allowed under WAC 197-11-800(1)(d), the maximum fill or excavation allowed as a categorically exempt activity from SEPA shall be 500 cubic yards and the maximum number of parking stalls allowed as a categorically exempt activity from SEPA shall be 40:


197-11-800    Categorical exemptions

197-11-880    Emergencies

197-11-890    Petitioning DOE to change exemptions.

(Ord. 3119 § 68, 2016; Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.250 Agency compliance – Adoption by reference.

PMC 21.04.250 through 21.04.290 contain rules for agency compliance with SEPA, including rules for charging fees under the SEPA process, designating environmentally sensitive areas, listing agencies with environmental expertise, selecting the lead agency, and applying these rules to current agency activities. The city adopts the following sections by reference, as supplemented by WAC 173-806-045 through 173-806-053 and PMC 21.04.250 through 21.04.290:


197-11-900    Purpose of this part

197-11-902    Agency SEPA policies

197-11-916    Application to ongoing actions

197-11-920    Agencies with environmental expertise

197-11-922    Lead agency rules

197-11-924    Determining the lead agency

197-11-926    Lead agency for governmental proposals

197-11-928    Lead agency for public and private proposals

197-11-930    Lead agency for private projects with one agency with jurisdiction

197-11-932    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one agency, when one of the agencies is a county/city

197-11-934    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from a local agency, not a county/city, and one or more state agencies

197-11-936    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one state agency

197-11-938    Lead agency for specific proposals

197-11-940    Transfer of lead agency status to a state agency

197-11-942    Agreements on lead agency status

197-11-944    Agreements on division of lead agency duties

197-11-946    DOE resolution of lead agency disputes

197-11-948    Assumption of lead agency status.

(Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.260 Environmentally sensitive areas.

(1) The responsible official shall designate environmentally sensitive areas under the standards of WAC 197-11-908 and shall file maps designating such areas, together with the exemptions from the list in WAC 197-11-908 that are inapplicable in such areas, with the Department of Ecology, Headquarters Office, Olympia, Washington. The environmentally sensitive area designations shall have full force and effect of law as of the date of filing.

(2) The city shall treat proposals located wholly and partially within an environmentally sensitive area no differently than other proposals under this chapter, making a threshold determination for all such proposals. The city shall not automatically require an EIS for a proposal merely because it is proposed for location in an environmentally sensitive area.

(3) Certain exemptions do not apply to lands covered by water, and this remains true regardless of whether or not lands covered by water are mapped. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.270 Fees.

The city shall require the following fees for its activities in accordance with the provisions of this chapter:

(1) Threshold Determination. For every environmental checklist the city will review when it is lead agency, the city shall collect a fee as established by resolution of the city council from the proponent of the proposal prior to undertaking the threshold determination. The time periods provided by this chapter for making a threshold determination shall not begin to run until payment of the fee.

(2) Environmental Impact Statement.

(a) When the city is the lead agency for a proposal requiring an EIS and the responsible official determines that the EIS shall be prepared by employees of the city, the city may charge and collect a reasonable fee from any applicant to cover costs incurred by the city in preparing the EIS. The responsible official shall advise the applicant(s) of the projected costs for the EIS prior to actual preparation; the applicant shall post bond or otherwise ensure payment of such costs.

(b) The responsible official may determine that the city will contract directly with the consultant for preparation of an EIS, or a portion of the EIS, for activities initiated by some person or entity other than the city and may bill such costs and expenses directly to the applicant. The city may require the applicant to post bond or otherwise ensure payment of such costs. Such consultants shall be selected by mutual agreement of the city and applicant after a call for proposals.

(c) If a proposal is modified so that an EIS is no longer required, the responsible official shall refund any fees collected under (a) or (b) of this subsection which remain after incurred costs are paid.

(d) The city shall collect a fee, as established by resolution of the city council, from the proponent of the proposal prior to undertaking the preparation of the DEIS to cover EIS processing expenses.

(3) The city may collect a reasonable fee from an applicant to cover the cost of meeting the public notice requirements of this chapter relating to the applicant’s proposal.

(4) The city shall not collect a fee for performing its duties as a consulted agency.

(5) The city may charge any person for copies of any document prepared under this chapter, and for mailing the document, in a manner provided by Chapter 42.17 RCW. (Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).

21.04.300 Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following forms and sections by reference:


197-11-960    Environmental checklist

197-11-965    Adoption notice

197-11-970    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS)

197-11-980    Determination of significance and scoping notice (DS)

197-11-985    Notice of assumption of lead agency status

197-11-990    Notice of action.

(Ord. 2038 § 1, 1984).