Chapter 23.48


23.48.010    Purpose of the site plan review.

23.48.020    Site plan approval required.

23.48.030    Site plan application requirements.

23.48.040    Site plan – Conditions of approval.

23.48.050    Exceptions to site plan review process.

23.48.060    Optional administrative site plan review.

23.48.070    Effect of optional administrative site plan approval.

23.48.010 Purpose of the site plan review.

The purpose of the site plan approval process is to facilitate project design that is compatible with adjacent land uses and is in keeping with the physical constraints of the project site. The site plan review is not intended to determine whether a particular land use activity is appropriate on a particular site. Land uses that are otherwise permitted in this title shall not be denied through the site plan review process unless such uses cannot meet the development and/or performance standards required for the use. [Ord. 28-05 § 1.02].

23.48.020 Site plan approval required.

Site plan approvals are required for the following types of development:

A. Commercial Development. Where commercial property in excess of five acres is proposed for development in a C-LB – limited business, C-1 – neighborhood retail, C-2 – retail business, CBD –central business district or WF – waterfront district;

B. Multiple-Family Dwellings. Where construction of any multiple-family dwelling or dwellings containing an aggregate of 20 or more dwelling units is proposed for development in an R-3 – multiple-family residential, or C-LB – limited business district. [Ord. 28-05 § 1.02; Ord. 32-11 § 17].

23.48.030 Site plan application requirements.

For any project requiring a site plan approval as identified in RMC 23.48.020, a site plan shall be submitted to the hearing examiner for review and approval as a Type II permit application as defined in RMC 19.20.030. A site plan and application form shall be submitted to the administrative official, showing the following information:

A. Boundaries and dimensions of the property;

B. Location and width of boundary streets;

C. Dimensions, location and number of dwelling units for each existing or proposed structure on the site;

D. Roadways, walkways, off-street parking, and emergency vehicle access;

E. Fencing and landscaping, showing location, type, dimensions and character; and

F. Location, dimensions and character of recreational facilities and open space.

G. The site plan shall be drawn in a concise and accurate manner, and of an appropriate scale for clarity in review. Copies shall be submitted in a number determined by the administrative official to be appropriate and sufficient.

H. Where a multiple-family development is proposed to be constructed in phases, the site plan shall include all phases, regardless of size, in the proposed development. After a site plan providing for phased development has been approved by the hearing examiner, no further approval is required so long as each phase of development conforms to the approved site plan. [Ord. 28-05 § 1.02; Ord. 24-14 § 1.01; Ord. 13-16 § 1].

23.48.040 Site plan – Conditions of approval.

Site plan approvals may be made subject to any condition(s) which the hearing examiner determines to be necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare or otherwise bring a proposed development into compliance with the purpose and intent of this title. Such conditions may include but are not limited to increased setbacks, and buffers, including landscaping, fences and walls; restrictions on the type and location of outdoor lighting; surfacing of parking areas and driveways; the installation of stormwater drainage facilities; the construction and location of service roads and alleys; the points of vehicular ingress or egress; the regulation of the time and type of various activities; vibration, noise, odors or similar nuisances, and the type, size and location of signs. [Ord. 28-05 § 1.02; Ord. 24-14 § 1.01].

23.48.050 Exceptions to site plan review process.

This section shall not apply to any developments that have been approved as a planned unit development pursuant to Chapter 23.50 RMC or authorized through the issuance of shoreline substantial development permit pursuant to RMC Title 26. [Ord. 28-05 § 1.02].

23.48.060 Optional administrative site plan review.

In all instances where formal site plan review is not required, an applicant(s) may request that the city complete a site plan review of their proposed project. In order to begin this optional process, the applicant shall submit a site plan application to the administrative official for review and approval. A site plan and application form shall be submitted showing the information specified in RMC 23.48.030.

Site plan approvals may be granted subject to all condition(s) which the administrative official determines to be necessary to comply with city of Richland development requirements, as established in RMC Titles 22, 23, 24, 26, and 27. Such conditions may be based upon the recommendations of other city officials, who are typically involved in the review of development proposals. A site plan approval shall remain valid for a period of one year; provided, that the administrative official may grant extensions of up to one year upon the written request of the applicant. [Ord. 28-05 § 1.02].

23.48.070 Effect of optional administrative site plan approval.

Once granted, an applicant can rely on the approved site plan. The city shall not require the modification of an approved site plan or the modification of any condition of approval attached to the approved site plan; provided, that nothing in this section shall prevent an applicant and the city from jointly agreeing to the modification of an approved site plan. In the event that the applicant modifies the site plan, the city shall have the opportunity to modify the site plan approval previously issued. For the purposes of this section, modification of the site plan includes but is not limited to the following types of changes:

A. Modification in building use, size, height, type of construction, building footprint, or location on the site;

B. Modification in the number, size, location or arrangement of off-street parking spaces, or loading areas;

C. Change in the number, size or location of access points to adjacent public streets;

D. Change in location of city utility lines or storm drainage facilities;

E. Change in location of any existing or proposed utility and/or access easements;

F. Change in location, type or size of landscaping materials proposed to be installed on site; or

G. Any other change that results in the site plan not meeting a minimum requirement or design standard contained in the city’s development standards. [Ord. 28-05 § 1.02].