21.04.010    Adoption of State Environmental Policy Act.

21.04.020    Adoption of designated sections of SEPA Guidelines.

21.04.030    Definitions.

21.04.040    Proposals – Responsibilities – Availability of documents.

21.04.050    Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

21.04.060    Exemptions.

21.04.070    Environmental checklist.

21.04.080    Environment impact statements.

21.04.090    Requirements for DNS, DS or SEIS – Public notice.

21.04.100    Conditions attached for approval – Findings for denial.

21.04.110    Policies for exercise of authority.

21.04.120    Fees required for activities.

21.04.010 Adoption of State Environmental Policy Act.

The City hereby adopts by reference the policies of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) as expressed in RCW 43.21C.120 and 43.21C.130. (Ord 666, 1984)

21.04.020 Adoption of designated sections of SEPA Guidelines.

The City hereby adopts by reference the following sections of WAC 197-11 (SEPA rules) adopted by the state of Washington:


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.

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.

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

197-11-390    Effect of threshold determination.

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 (optional).

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.

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.

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.

197-11-650    Purpose of this part.

197-11-655    Implementation.

197-11-660    Substantive authority and mitigation.

197-11-680    Appeals.

197-11-700    Definitions.

197-11-702    Act.

197-11-704    Action.

197-11-706    Addendum.

197-11-708    Adoption.

197-11-710    Affected tribes.

197-11-714    Agency.

197-11-716    Applicant.

197-11-718    Built environment.

197-11-720    Categorical exemption.

197-11-722    Consolidated appeal.

197-11-724    Consulted agency.

197-11-726    Cost – benefit analysis.

197-11-728    County/City.

197-11-730    Decision maker.

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    Environmentally sensitive area.

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.

197-11-758    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.

197-11-800    Categorical exemptions.

197-11-880    Emergencies.

197-11-890    Petitioning DOE to change exemptions.

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 purposals.

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 on of the agencies is a town.

197-11-934    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from a local agency, not a town 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 agencies 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.

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 666 §7, 1984)

21.04.030 Definitions.

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

"Department" means any division, subdivision or organizational unit of the City established by ordinance, rule or order.

"SEPA rules" means Chapter 197-11 WAC adopted by the department of ecology.

"Ordinance" means the ordinance, resolution or other procedure used by the town to adopt regulatory requirements.

"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 DNS procedures). (Ord 666 §3, 1984)

21.04.040 Proposals – Responsibilities – Availability of documents.

For public proposals, the head of the department making the proposal shall be the responsible official. For private proposals, the head of the department with primary responsibility for approving the permits and licenses for the proposal shall be the responsible official. When multiple officials have permitting authority, the assignment of responsibility shall be reached by agreement.

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, 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.

The City shall retain all documents required by the SEPA rules and make them available in accordance with RCW Chapter 42.17. (Ord 666 §4, 1984)

21.04.050 Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

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, 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.

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.

When the City is not the lead agency for the proposal, all departments of the City shall use and consider, as appropriate either the 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.

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 fifteen days of receipt of the determination, or the City must petition the department of ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11946 within the fifteen-day time period. Any such petition on behalf of the City may be initiated by the department head.

Any department head 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 (i.e., which agencies require nonexempt licenses?). (Ord 666 §5, 1984)

21.04.060 Exemptions.

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. Completion of an environmental checklist shall not be a requirement for an exempt proposal.

In determining whether or not a proposal is exempt, the department shall make certain the proposal is properly defined and identifies 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.

If a proposal includes both exempt and nonexempt actions, the City may authorize exempt actions prior to compliance with the procedure requirements of this chapter, except that:

1. The City shall not give authorization for any nonexempt action, any action that would have an adverse environmental impact, or any action that would limit the choice of alternatives;

2. 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

3. 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 actions) were not approved. (Ord 666 §6, 1984)

21.04.070 Environmental checklist.

A. A completed environmental checklist shall be filed at the same time as an application for a permit, license, certificate or other approval not 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 checklist shall be in the form of WAC 197-11-960 with the following additions: 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.

As provided in WAC 173-806-100 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.

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

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

2. Precede the City’s actual threshold determination for the proposal.

B. The responsible official should respond to the request for early notice within fifteen days. The response shall be written; state whether the City 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 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.

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

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 fifteen days of receiving the changed or clarified proposal.

1. 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).

2. 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.

3. 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 stormwater runoff" are inadequate, whereas proposals to "muffle machinery to X decibel" or "construct 200-foot stormwater retention pond at Y location" are adequate.

4. 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.

A mitigated DNS is issued under WAC 197-11-340(2), requiring a fifteen-day comment period and public notice. Mitigation measures incorporated in the mitigated 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 a permit, or enforced in any manner specifically prescribed by the City.

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). The City’s written response under 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 666 §7, 1984)

21.04.080 Environment impact statements.

Preparation of draft and final EISs (DEIS and FEIS) and draft and final supplemental EISs is the responsibility of the department under the direction 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. The DEIS and FEIS or draft and final SETS 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.

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. This does not apply to information the City may request under another ordinance, other than the ordinance codified in this chapter, or statute. (Ord 666 §8, 1984)

21.04.090 Requirements for DNS, DS or SEIS – Public notice.

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:

1. 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.

2. If no public notice is required for the permit or approval, the City shall give notice of the DNS or DS by posting the property, for site-specific proposals or publishing notice in the City’s official newspaper.

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

Whenever the City issues a DS 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 indicating the availability of the DEIS in any public notice required for a nonexempt license, and publishing notice in the City’s official newspaper.

Whenever possible, the City shall integrate the public notice required under this section with existing notice procedures for the City’s nonexempt permits or approvals required for the proposal.

The City may require an applicant to complete the public notice requirements for the applicant’s proposal at his or her expense.

The planning commission 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. The department shall be responsible for the town’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 666 §9, 1984)

21.04.100 Conditions attached for approval – Findings for denial.

A. The policies and goals set forth in this chapter are supplementary to those in the existing authorization of the City. The City may attach conditions to a permit or approval for a proposal so long as:

1. Such conditions are necessary to mitigate specific probable adverse environmental impacts identified in environmental documents prepared pursuant to this chapter; and

2. Such conditions are in writing; and

3. The mitigation measures included in such conditions are reasonable and capable of being accomplished; and

4. The City has considered whether other local, state, or federal mitigation measures applied to the proposal are sufficient to mitigate the identified impacts; and

5. Such conditions are based on one or more policies in Section 21.04.100(A)(4) and cited in the license or other decision document.

B. The City may deny a permit or approval for a proposal on the basis of SEPA so long as:

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

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

3. The denial is based on one or more policies identified in Section 21.04.100(A)(4) and identified in writing in the decision document. (Ord 666 §10, 1984)

21.04.110 Policies for exercise of authority.

The City designates and adopts by reference the following policies as the basis for the City’s exercise of authority pursuant to this section:

1. 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; fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations; assure for all people of Washington safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings; attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences; preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage; maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice; achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life’s amenities; and enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.

2. 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.

When any proposal or action not requiring a decision of the planning commission is conditioned or denied on the basis of SEPA by a nonelected official, the decision shall be appealable to the planning commission. Such appeal may be perfected by the proponent or any aggrieved party by giving notice to the responsible official within ten days of the decision being appealed. Review by the planning commission shall be on a de novo basis. (Ord 666 §10, 1984)

21.04.120 Fees required for activities.

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 town shall collect a fee of fifty dollars 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. 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 of the projected costs for the EIS prior to actual preparation;.the applicant shall post bond or otherwise ensure payment of such costs. The responsible official may determine that the City will contract directly with a consultant for preparation of an EIS, or a portion of the EIS, for activities initiated by some persons 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 town and applicant after a call for proposals. If a proposal is modified so that an EIS is no longer required, the responsible official shall refund any fees collected under this subsection which remain after incurred costs are paid.

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.

The City shall not collect a fee for performing its duties as a consulted agency.

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 666 §11, 1984)