9-14-1:    Intent

9-14-2:    Petition For Vacation

9-14-3:    Hearing, Notice Required

9-14-4:    Street, Alley Right-of-Way

9-14-5:    Street Vacation Process

9-14-6:    Vacation Restrictions

9-14-7:    Abutting Property Owners, Limits Vacated

9-14-8:    Compensation From Vacations

9-14-9:    Appraisal Fees

9-14-10:    Administrative Procedure For Right-of-Way Vacations

9-14-1 INTENT:

It is the intention of the City Council that provisions of State law governing the street vacation procedure as set forth in chapter 35.79 RCW as it presently exists or as it may be amended shall control and that this Chapter shall be supplemental thereto. (Ord. 3635, 6-7-1982)


A.    Requirements For Petition: The owners of an interest in any real estate abutting upon any street or alley within the City may petition the City Council for the vacation of the street or alley or any part thereof. The petition shall be on a form prescribed by the City, shall contain a full and correct description of the property sought to be vacated and shall be signed by the owners of more than two-thirds (2/3) of the property abutting upon the part of such street or alley to be vacated. (Ord. 3635, 6-7-1982)

B.    Filing Fee: Upon the filing of the petition with the City Clerk, the petitioning owners shall simultaneously pay a street vacation filing fee in the amount stipulated in Section 4-1-180 to compensate the City for administrative cost and expense in the processing, checking and handling such application, which fee shall likewise include the publication and posting expense of any notice pertaining to the vacation. (Ord. 4266, 4-16-1990; amd. Ord. 4723, 5-11-98)

C.    Sufficiency Of Signature: For the purpose of determining the sufficiency of signatures of “owners of private property” on the petition, or consent to vacate, the following rules shall govern:

1.    The signature of an owner, as determined by the County Comptroller, shall be sufficient without the signature of his or her spouse.

2.    In the case of mortgaged property or property subject to a contract of purchase, the signature of the mortgagor or the contract vendee, as the case may be, shall be sufficient.

3.    In the case of ownership by a corporation, the signature of any officer authorized by the bylaws or resolution of the board of directors of the corporation shall be sufficient when evidenced by an excerpt of the bylaws or resolution, certified by the secretary of the corporation, granting such authority.

4.    In the case of property owned by the estate of a decedent or incompetent, the signature of the duly qualified personal representative or guardian shall be equivalent to the signature of the owner of the property.

D.    Undetermined Owner: In the case where the “owner of interest” cannot be determined, a current title report may be required to be furnished by the applicant, at the applicant’s expense, for each abutting parcel of land. (Ord. 3635, 6-7-1982)


A.    After verification of the petition by the Public Works Administrator or duly authorized representative, the City Council shall by resolution fix the time for the hearing on such petition, which time shall not be more than sixty (60) days nor less than twenty (20) days after the passage of such resolution. Notice thereof shall be given as provided for by RCW 35.79.020. Additional notice shall be required for vacation petitions of a developed street. Notice shall be mailed to all property owners within a radius of three hundred feet (300') of the proposed vacation area. The hearing shall be held before the City Council as provided for in RCW 35.79.020, as amended. (Amd. Ord. 4943, 1-14-2002; Ord. 5450, 3-2-09)

B.    The City Council shall seek the recommendation of the Public Works Department as to the advisability of the proposed vacation, the necessity for retention of utility easement, and the classification of the street or alley pursuant to RMC 9-14-4 of this Chapter. (Amd. Ord. 4860, 9-18-2000)

C.    The City Council shall take testimony at the public hearing to determine whether the vacation is in the public interest, whether the property is not required for overall circulation of traffic within the City, and that the requested vacation is not detrimental to the public health, safety and general welfare.

D.    After the close of the public hearing, the City Council shall determine whether the vacation should be granted, the classification of the street or alley and the compensation to be paid, if any, in accordance with RMC 9-14-5 of this Chapter.

E.    The City further reserves the right to retain an easement for the construction, repair and maintenance of public utilities and public services. (Ord. 3635, 6-7-1982)


For the purposes of this Ordinance, all streets and alleys within the City, whether acquired by plat, grant, dedication, gift, acquisition or condemnation are subject to provisions of this Ordinance. (Ord. 4266, 4-16-1990)


If the petition for street vacation is approved by the City Council the applicant may complete the process as follows: (Ord. 3635, 6-7-1982)

A.    Applicant shall pay a street vacation processing fee in the amount stipulated by RMC 4-1-180 to defray the remaining administrative costs of processing and completing the proposed vacation.

B.    The City shall receive compensation in accordance with RCW 35.79.030, which amount for the purpose of this Chapter is to be determined by an appraisal; provided, that the City Council shall have authority, upon recommendation of the administration, to accept real property or a property right in lieu of a part or all of the cash compensation that would be paid. When the value of the property or property right is less than the cash compensation required for the alley or street right-of-way to be vacated, the petitioner shall pay the difference to the City. When the value of the property or property right exceeds the value of the alley or street right-of-way to be vacated, the City shall pay the difference to the petitioner.

C.    Following a recommendation for vacation after a public hearing by the City Council or committee thereof, the petitioner shall make, or cause to be made, an appraisal in writing by an M.A.I. or other qualified appraiser, as approved by the City, and furnish the results thereof unto the Planning/Building/Public Works Administrator for evaluation and recommendation to the City Council for acceptance and determination of the compensation due the City. In the event other property or property rights are accepted in lieu of payment, the petitioner shall further obtain appraisals of the fair market value of property or property rights to be given to the City in lieu of cash compensation as contemplated in subsection B of this Section. (Ord. 4266, 4-16-1990; amd. Ord. 4860, 9-18-2000)

D.    Financial Incentives For Area A Of The Auto Mall Improvement Area: All street vacation fees and compensation for right-of-way may be waived by the City Council for developing properties in Auto Mall Improvement Area A (that area bounded by Grady Way South, Rainier Avenue South, I-405, and Lind Avenue South) when:

1.    The properties are designated to be vacated on the Auto Mall Improvement Plan Map (Resolution No. 3182);

2.    The application for street vacation conforms to RMC 9-14-10, Administrative Procedure For Right-Of-Way Vacations; and

3.    The uses proposed conform to RMC 4-2-060, Zoning Use Table. (Ord. 4723, 5-11-1998)

E.    When a street or alley is vacated for a governmental agency, and compensation is required, compensation shall be based upon the administrative costs of the vacation and may, at the discretion of the City Council, be based upon original cost to the City of acquisition. No governmental agency is exempt from compensating the City for the vacation of a street or alley right-of-way. (Ord. 4266, 4-16-1990)

F.    In the event that the compensation for the vacation has not been paid within ninety (90) days of the determination by the City Council of the compensation to be paid, the petition shall be deemed to have been abandoned and shall be denied. (Ord. 3635, 6-7-1982)


(Rep. by Ord. 4266, 4-16-1990)


Upon the vacation of any street or alley as hereinabove provided for, the property within the limits so vacated shall belong to the abutting property owners, one-half (1/2) to each. If the City Council ascertains and determines during the public hearing on the vacation petition that the acquisition of the right-of-way by the City occurred in some proportion other than equally from abutting ownerships, the Council shall set forth in its decision the proportions so established and the vacated property shall be conveyed to the abutting owners in such proportions. A certified copy of the ordinance vacating any such street or alley or part thereof shall be filed for record with the King County Recorder’s office. Additional copies thereof may be furnished to such governmental agencies as may have an interest therein. (Ord. 3635, 6-7-1982)


Compensation received from the vacation shall be placed in the Street Construction Fund for street capital improvements, unless otherwise provided by the City Council. (Ord. 3635, 6-7-1982; amd. Ord. 5279, 5-7-2007)


Petitioner shall pay the actual cost for preparation of the appraisal report. The appraisal fees are in addition to the filing fee and the processing fee. (Ord. 4266, 4-16-1990; amd. Ord. 4860, 9-18-2000; Ord. 4943, 1-14-2002)


Exception: In the Auto Mall (Area A), bounded by S.W. Grady Way, Rainier Avenue South, Seneca Avenue S.W. and I-405, as well as the half block bounded by S.W. Grady Way, Seneca Avenue S.W., the alley between S.W. 12th Street and S.W. Grady Way, and Raymond Avenue S.W., applications for vacations of right-of-way, or portions thereof, whether initiated by the City or the property owners, will follow the normal procedure for establishing public hearings, but thereafter will be processed according to the following procedure for uses which comply with RMC 4-3-040C, Uses Permitted In Auto Mall Improvement District:

A.    Property Services completes a master appraisal for the entire Auto Mall.

B.    Property Services processes all private and City initiated applications (all fees waived) for vacations.

C.    City staff review applications to insure that the proposal conforms to the adopted plan, and that access to individual properties is maintained and does not impede street configuration and public safety. Comments are given to Property Services.

D.    Property Services provides an appraisal reconciliation for each application, transfer of title, and final report with recommendations. The applicant will provide legal description and map exhibits. The City Clerk provides requisite notice to adjacent property owners and interested parties.

E.    Public Works Administrator reviews and approves final report. (Ord. 5450, 3-2-09)

F.    Transfer of property ordinance adopted by City Council. (Ord. 4608, 5-20-1996; amd. Ord. 4845, 6-5-2000; Ord. 4943, 1-14-2002)