Chapter 21A.70
NONCONFORMANCE, TEMPORARY USES, AND RE-USE OF FACILITIES

Sections:

21A.70.010    Purpose.

21A.70.020    Nonconformance – Applicability.

21A.70.030    Nonconformance – Creation, continuation, and forfeiture of nonconformance status.

21A.70.040    Nonconformance – Abatement of illegal use, structure or development.

21A.70.050    Nonconformance – Re-establishment of discontinued nonconforming use, or damaged or destroyed nonconforming structure or site improvement.

21A.70.060    Nonconformance – Modifications to nonconforming use, structure, or site improvement.

21A.70.070    Nonconformance – Expansions of nonconforming uses, structures, or site improvements.

21A.70.080    Nonconformance – Required findings.

21A.70.090    Nonconformance – Residences.

21A.70.100    Temporary use permits – Uses requiring permits.

21A.70.110    Temporary use permits – Exemptions to permit requirement.

21A.70.120    Temporary use permits – Duration and frequency.

21A.70.130    Temporary use permits – Parking.

21A.70.140    Temporary use permits – Traffic control.

21A.70.150    Temporary construction buildings.

21A.70.160    Temporary construction residence.

21A.70.170    Temporary mobile home for medical hardship.

21A.70.180    Temporary real estate offices.

21A.70.190    Temporary school facilities.

21A.70.195    Temporary homeless encampment use permit.

21A.70.200    Re-use of facilities – General standards.

21A.70.210    Re-use of facilities – Re-establishment of closed public school facilities.

21A.70.010 Purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are to:

(1) Establish the legal status of a nonconformance by creating provisions through which a nonconformance may be maintained, altered, reconstructed, expanded or terminated;

(2) Provide for the temporary establishment of uses that are not otherwise permitted in a zone and to regulate such uses by their scope and period of use;

(3) Provide a permitting process and standards for homeless encampments for homeless persons, consistent with state laws; and

(4) Encourage the adaptive re-use of existing public facilities that will continue to serve the community, and to ensure public review of redevelopment plans by allowing:

(a) Temporary re-use of closed public school facilities retained in school district ownership, and the reconversion of a temporary re-use back to a school use;

(b) Permanent re-use of surplus nonresidential facilities (e.g., schools, fire stations, government facilities) not retained in school district ownership; or

(c) Permanent re-use of historic structures listed on the National Register or designated as county landmarks. (Ord. O2014-372 § 3; Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.020 Nonconformance – Applicability.

(1) All nonconformances except nonconforming uses and improvements related to the provisions of Chapter 21A.50 SMC shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

(2) The provisions of this chapter do not supersede or relieve a property owner from compliance with:

(a) The requirements of the Uniform Building and Fire Codes; or

(b) The provisions of this code beyond the specific nonconformance addressed by this chapter. (Ord. O2013-350 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.030 Nonconformance – Creation, continuation, and forfeiture of nonconformance status.

Once created pursuant to SMC 21A.15.800, a nonconformance may be continued in a manner consistent with the provisions of this chapter. However, nonconformance status is forfeited if the nonconformance is discontinued beyond the provisions of SMC 21A.70.050. Once nonconformance status is forfeited, the nonconformance shall not be re-established. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.040 Nonconformance – Abatement of illegal use, structure or development.

Any use, structure or other site improvement not established in compliance with use and development standards in effect at the time of establishment shall be deemed illegal and shall be discontinued or terminated and subject to removal pursuant to the provisions of SMC Title 23. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.050 Nonconformance – Re-establishment of discontinued nonconforming use, or damaged or destroyed nonconforming structure or site improvement.

A nonconforming use that has been discontinued or a nonconforming structure or site improvement that has been damaged or destroyed may be re-established or reconstructed if:

(1) The nonconforming use, structure, or site improvement that previously existed is not expanded;

(2) A new nonconformance is not created; and

(3) The use has not been discontinued for more than 12 months prior to its re-establishment, or the nonconforming structure or site improvement is reconstructed pursuant to a complete permit application submitted to the department within 12 months of the occurrence of damage or destruction. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.060 Nonconformance – Modifications to nonconforming use, structure, or site improvement.

Modifications to a nonconforming use, structure, or site improvement may be reviewed and approved by the department pursuant to the code compliance review process of SMC 21A.100.010 provided that:

(1) The modification does not expand any existing nonconformance; and

(2) The modification does not create a new type of nonconformance. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.070 Nonconformance – Expansions of nonconforming uses, structures, or site improvements.

A nonconforming use, structure, or site improvement may be expanded as follows:

(1) The department may review and approve, pursuant to the code compliance process of SMC 21A.100.010, an expansion of a nonconformance provided that:

(a) The expansion shall conform to all other provisions of this title, except that the extent of the project-wide nonconformance in each of the following may be increased up to 10 percent:

(i) Building square footage;

(ii) Impervious surface;

(iii) Parking; or

(iv) Building height.

(b) No subsequent expansion of the same nonconformance shall be approved under this subsection if the cumulative amount of such expansion exceeds the percentage prescribed in subsection (1)(a) of this section.

(2) A special use permit shall be required for expansions of a nonconformance within a development authorized by an existing special use or unclassified use permit if the expansions are not consistent with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section.

(3) A conditional use permit shall be required for expansions of a nonconformance:

(a) Within a development authorized by an existing planned unit development approval; or

(b) Not consistent with the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.080 Nonconformance – Required findings.

Modifications or expansions approved by the department shall be based on written findings that the proposed modification or expansion of a nonconformance located within a development governed by an existing conditional use permit, special use permit, unclassified use permit, or planned unit development shall provide the same level of protection for and compatibility with adjacent land uses as the original land use permit approval. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.090 Nonconformance – Residences.

Any residence nonconforming relative to use may be expanded, after review and approval through the code compliance process set forth in SMC 21A.100.010, subject to all other applicable codes besides those set forth in this chapter for nonconformances. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.100 Temporary use permits – Uses requiring permits.

Except as provided by SMC 21A.70.110, a temporary use permit shall be required for:

(1) Uses not otherwise permitted in the zone that can be made compatible for periods of limited duration and/or frequency; or

(2) Limited expansion of any use that is otherwise allowed in the zone but that exceeds the intended scope of the original land use approval. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.110 Temporary use permits – Exemptions to permit requirement.

(1) The following uses shall be exempt from requirements for a temporary use permit when located in the CB, NB, or O zones for the time period specified below:

(a) Uses not to exceed a total of 30 days each calendar year:

(i) Christmas tree lots;

(ii) Fireworks stands; and

(iii) Produce stands.

(b) Uses not to exceed a total of 14 days each calendar year:

(i) Amusement rides, carnivals, or circuses;

(ii) Community festivals; and

(iii) Parking lot sales.

(2) Any use not exceeding a cumulative total of two days each calendar year shall be exempt from requirements for a temporary use permit.

(3) Any community event held in a park and not exceeding a period of seven days shall be exempt from requirements for a temporary use permit. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.120 Temporary use permits – Duration and frequency.

Temporary use permits shall be limited in duration and frequency as follows:

(1) The temporary use permit shall be effective for no more than 180 days from the date of the first event;

(2) The temporary use shall not exceed a total of 60 days; provided, that this requirement applies only to the days that the event(s) actually take place;

(3) The temporary use permit shall specify a date upon which the use shall be terminated and removed; and

(4) A temporary use permit shall not be granted for the same temporary use on a property more than once per calendar year; provided, that a temporary use permit may be granted for multiple events during the approval period. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.130 Temporary use permits – Parking.

Parking and access for proposed temporary uses shall be approved by the City. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.140 Temporary use permits – Traffic control.

The applicant for a proposed temporary use shall provide any parking/traffic control attendants as specified by the Sammamish police chief. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.150 Temporary construction buildings.

Temporary structures for storage of tools and equipment, or for supervisory offices, may be permitted for construction projects; provided, that such structures are:

(1) Allowed only during periods of active construction; and

(2) Removed within 30 days of project completion or cessation of work. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.160 Temporary construction residence.

(1) A mobile home may be permitted on a lot as a temporary dwelling for the property owner, provided a building permit for a permanent dwelling on the site has been obtained.

(2) The temporary mobile home permit shall be effective for a period of 12 months. The permit may be extended for one additional period of 12 months if the permanent dwelling is constructed with a finished exterior by the end of the initial approval period.

(3) The mobile home shall be removed within 90 days of:

(a) The expiration of the temporary mobile home permit; or

(b) The issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the permanent residence, whichever occurs first. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.170 Temporary mobile home for medical hardship.

(1) A mobile home may be permitted as a temporary dwelling on the same lot as a permanent dwelling, provided:

(a) The mobile home together with the permanent residence shall meet the setback, height, building footprint, and lot coverage provisions of the applicable zone; and

(b) The applicant submits with the permit application a notarized affidavit that contains the following:

(i) Certification that the temporary dwelling is necessary to provide daily care, as defined in SMC 21A.15.262;

(ii) Certification that the primary provider of such daily care will reside on-site;

(iii) Certification that the applicant understands the temporary nature of the permit, subject to the limitations outlined in subsections (2) and (3) of this section;

(iv) Certification that the physician’s signature is both current and valid; and

(v) Certification signed by a physician that a resident of the subject property requires daily care, as defined in SMC 21A.15.262.

(2) Temporary mobile home permits for medical hardships shall be effective for 12 months. Extensions of the temporary mobile home permit may be approved in 12-month increments subject to demonstration of continuing medical hardship in accordance with the procedures and standards set forth in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The mobile home shall be removed within 90 days of:

(a) The expiration of the temporary mobile home permit; or

(b) The cessation of provision of daily care. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.180 Temporary real estate offices.

One temporary real estate office may be located on any new residential development; provided, that activities are limited to the initial sale or rental of property or units within the development. The office use shall be discontinued within one year of recording of a short subdivision or issuance of a final certificate of occupancy for an apartment development, and within two years of the recording of a formal subdivision. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.190 Temporary school facilities.

Temporary school structures may be permitted during construction of new school facilities or during remodeling of existing facilities; provided, that such structures are:

(1) Allowed only during periods of active construction or remodeling;

(2) Do not expand the student capacity beyond the capacity under construction or remodeling; and

(3) Removed within 30 days of project completion or cessation of work. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.195 Temporary homeless encampment use permit.

Homeless encampments are allowed only pursuant to a homeless encampment use permit, which shall be a Type I permit issued by the director in accordance with the following conditions:

(1) For the purposes of this section a homeless encampment may only be hosted by a religious organization, and must be located on real property owned or controlled by the religious organization.

(2) Duration and Frequency.

(a) No homeless encampment shall operate within the City of Sammamish for more than four consecutive calendar months, except that the director may allow up to five additional days to accommodate moving onto or off a site.

(b) The director shall not grant a homeless encampment use permit that is proposed to commence on a site that contained a homeless encampment within the last 18 calendar months. For the purposes of this subsection, the 18 months shall be calculated from the last day of the prior homeless encampment’s occupancy.

(c) No more than one homeless encampment may be located in the City at any time.

(d) No more than one homeless encampment within the City limits shall be allowed in any period of 365 consecutive days.

(3) All homeless encampments shall obtain, prior to occupancy, all applicable City of Sammamish and other agency permits, licenses and approvals.

(4) Permit Process Requirements.

(a) Neighborhood Meeting. The applicant shall conduct a neighborhood meeting to inform nearby residents and the public about the proposed homeless encampment prior to submittal of an application.

(i) The applicant shall provide notice of the neighborhood meeting by mail, first class and postage prepaid, to all owners of real property within 500 feet of the lot(s) containing the proposed homeless encampment, provided such area shall be expanded as necessary to send mailed notices to at least 20 different property owners. The notice of the neighborhood meeting shall be mailed at least 15 days prior to the neighborhood meeting.

(ii) Prior to the neighborhood meeting, a representative of the sponsor and managing agency shall meet and confer with the following entities regarding the neighborhood meeting and any proposed security measures for the homeless encampment: the Sammamish police department; the administration of any public or private elementary, middle, junior high, or high school; and the operators of any properly licensed child care service, within 500 feet of the boundaries of the proposed site, and unaffiliated with the sponsor.

(iii) At the neighborhood meeting, a representative of the sponsor and managing agency shall present in writing and verbally the proposed homeless encampment location, timing, site plan, code of conduct, encampment concerns, and a security management plan. The presentation shall also include copies of all previously submitted comments received on the proposed homeless encampment, including comments from the Sammamish police department, schools, and child care services. Copies of the agenda and the other specified comments and materials shall be provided by the applicant at the meeting. The meeting shall be conducted on the proposed homeless encampment site whenever feasible.

(b) Application. An applicant shall submit a complete application for a homeless encampment use permit at least 30 days before the occupancy of a homeless encampment.

(c) Notice of Application. The City shall provide a notice of application per the mailed notice requirements of SMC 20.05.060(7).

(d) Warrant and Sex Offender Checks. Managing agencies shall obtain warrant and sex offender checks from the King County sheriff’s office (“warrant check”) for all homeless encampment residents. For homeless encampment residents initially moving onto the site with the homeless encampment, the warrant check must be completed at least seven days prior to the homeless encampment moving onto the site. For residents moving into the homeless encampment during the permit period, the warrant check must be completed on or before the date that the new resident moves on site. If a warrant check reveals a homeless encampment resident or prospective resident is or is required to be a registered sex offender or has an active warrant, the managing agency or sponsor shall immediately contact and so advise the City or Sammamish police department. The sponsor shall be responsible for verifying that the warrant checks occur.

(5) Parking, Transportation, and Security.

(a) Parking.

(i) Each lot occupied by a homeless encampment must provide or have available a parking and vehicular maneuvering area.

(ii) A homeless encampment and the parking of any vehicles associated with a homeless encampment shall not displace the sponsor site’s parking lot in such a way that the sponsor site no longer meets the minimum or required parking of the principal use as required by code or previous approvals unless an alternative parking plan has first been approved by the director.

(b) Transportation Plan.

(i) The sponsor or managing agency shall submit a plan with the permit application demonstrating the ability for residents to obtain access to methods of communication and services such as grocery, supplies, and medical care.

(ii) The plan shall provide for a means of transportation to an appropriate public transportation stop and include any proposed alternative means of transportation such as private or volunteer shuttle service and/or reasonable bicycle/pedestrian paths.

(c) Security Management Plan.

(i) The sponsor or managing agency shall submit a plan with the permit application demonstrating security measures, site specific or otherwise, necessary to ensure the safety of the residents of the temporary encampment and the public.

(ii) At a minimum, the plan shall specify the following:

(A) The person or entity responsible for providing security;

(B) The type of security to be used, e.g., private security firm, volunteers, or other means; and

(C) Recommendations and/or requirements provided by the police department.

(6) Maximum Occupancy. A homeless encampment shall be limited to a maximum occupancy not to exceed 100 persons, depending on the conditions of the proposed site (e.g., physical size, topography, site constraints, etc.). A homeless encampment use permit may be conditioned to establish occupancy of less than 100 persons, depending on the conditions of the proposed site. After a homeless encampment reaches its maximum capacity, any individual who arrives after sundown (and who meets all screening criteria) will be allowed to stay for one night, after which the individual shall not be permitted entry until a vacancy is available. Such occurrences shall be logged and reported to the director on a weekly basis.

(7) Minor Residents. No children under the age of 18 shall be allowed to stay overnight in a homeless encampment unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If any other child under the age of 18 attempts to stay overnight at a homeless encampment, the managing agency shall immediately contact the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Child Protective Services, or its successor.

(8) Structures. Any permanent structures, as determined by the director, shall meet the requirements of all SMC provisions and receive any necessary permits. All temporary structures for homeless encampments shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) Homeless encampment structures and facilities shall be located a minimum of 20 feet away from any property line, unless otherwise approved by the director;

(b) A six-foot-high sight-obscuring fence, vegetative screen or other visual buffering shall be provided between a homeless encampment and any abutting residential property. The director shall consider existing vegetation, fencing, topographic variations and other site conditions in determining compliance with this requirement and may modify the fence requirement when the objective is substantially achieved by other means;

(c) Exterior lighting must be directed downward, away from adjoining properties, and contained within the homeless encampment; and

(d) If the homeless encampment includes tents or membrane structures in excess of 400 square feet, or canopies in excess of 400 square feet, as defined by the International Fire Code, then a permit and approval for the tent, canopy or membrane structure shall first be obtained from the fire marshal.

(9) Smoking Area. A designated smoking area shall be provided on site in the location which would result in the least impact on neighboring properties based on distance.

(10) Debris. Each site occupied by a homeless encampment shall be left free of debris, litter, or other evidence of the homeless encampment upon the homeless encampment moving from the site.

(11) Health Department Compliance. Homeless encampments shall comply with all applicable standards of the Seattle-King County health department, or its successor.

(12) Code Compliance and Hours of Service. Homeless encampments shall comply with all codes and regulations of the state of Washington, City, and other agencies with jurisdiction concerning, but not limited to, drinking water connections, human waste, solid waste disposal, electrical systems, cooking, food handling, and fire-resistant materials. Servicing of portable toilets and trash dumpsters is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, except in the case of bona fide emergency or under the terms of a permit condition approved by the director in the case of demonstrated necessity.

(13) Inspections. Homeless encampments shall permit regular inspections by regulatory personnel, including but not limited to, City staff, police department, fire department, King County health department, and any other regulatory agencies with jurisdiction to check for permit and other code compliance by the homeless encampment.

(14) Required Services. Homeless encampments shall have services such as food, water, and waste disposal supervised by the sponsor or managing agency.

(15) Resident Log. The managing agency shall maintain a resident log of all people residing at the homeless encampment. Such log shall be kept on site at the homeless encampment. When signing the log, prospective encampment residents shall provide a state of Washington driver’s license, state of Washington identification card, a driver’s license or identification card issued by another state, or other similar document that confirms a person’s identity. The sponsor shall be responsible for verifying that the log is being properly kept and that the required identification is being provided.

(16) Code of Conduct. Sponsors and managing agencies shall ensure enforcement of a code of conduct at homeless encampment sites. The code of conduct shall substantially include the following:

(a) Possession or use of illegal drugs and marijuana is not permitted;

(b) No alcohol is permitted;

(c) No weapons are permitted;

(d) All knives over three and one-half inches must be turned in to the managing agency for safekeeping;

(e) No violence is permitted;

(f) No open flames are permitted;

(g) No trespassing onto private property in the surrounding neighborhood is permitted;

(h) No littering on the homeless encampment site or in the surrounding neighborhood is permitted; and

(i) No convicted sex offender shall reside in the homeless encampment.

Nothing within this section shall prohibit a sponsor or managing agency from imposing and enforcing additional code of conduct conditions not otherwise inconsistent with this section.

(17) Permit Violation Process. Upon a determination that there has been a violation of any condition of permit approval, the director may give written notice to the sponsor describing the alleged violation pursuant to SMC Title 23 and other applicable code authority, or may instead immediately pursue available judicial or other remedies. Any violation of a subsequently issued stop work order under Chapter 23.70 SMC is declared a nuisance and may be remedied by injunctive relief, revocation of the homeless encampment use permit and vacation of the site by the homeless encampment, or any other available remedy in law or equity.

(18) Health and Safety Permit Conditions. The director may modify or establish any requirements necessary to mitigate impacts from homeless encampments on the public health and safety in accordance with the purpose of this chapter.

(19) Application. An applicant for a homeless encampment use permit shall submit all of the following, unless modified by the director:

(a) Application form for a homeless encampment use permit;

(b) A site plan, which extends 50 feet beyond the proposed site’s property boundaries, drawn to scale showing all of the following:

(i) All existing structures;

(ii) Existing parking stalls;

(iii) Parking stalls proposed to be unavailable for parking vehicles during the homeless encampment;

(iv) All proposed temporary structures;

(v) Proposed electrical and plumbing connections;

(vi) Location of trash receptacles, including trash dumpsters;

(vii) Location of toilets and other sanitary facilities;

(viii) Location and details of any proposed connection to wastewater, potable water, stormwater, electrical supply, or other public or private utility systems;

(ix) Proposed and existing ingress and egress;

(x) Any permanent alterations on the lot to the site or structures;

(xi) A designated smoking area; and

(xii) Access routes for emergency vehicles;

(c) Proposed fencing or screening detail or a typical section of same;

(d) Written authorization from the sponsor on whose property the homeless encampment is to be located;

(e) A copy of any agreements with other parties regarding use of parking, either on site or off site;

(f) A copy of any agreement between the sponsor, the managing agency, and any schools and/or child care services;

(g) A copy of the code of conduct;

(h) The applicant shall provide the following neighborhood meeting documentation:

(i) The date, time, and location of the meeting;

(ii) Contact information for all persons representing the managing agency and sponsor at the meeting;

(iii) A summary of comments provided for the meeting attendees by the applicant, managing agency or sponsor prior to or during the meeting;

(iv) A summary of comments received from meeting attendees or other persons prior to or during the meeting; and

(v) Copies of documents submitted or presented at the meeting;

(i) The Transportation and Security Management Plans;

(j) Any other information deemed necessary by the director to protect public health and safety for the processing of a homeless encampment use permit; and

(k) Application filing fees in an amount established by City resolution.

(20) Modification for Emergencies. The provisions herein shall not apply when for the preservation of public health and safety the situation necessitates a need for emergency management planning and the application of SMC 21A.05.040(5). (Ord. O2014-372 § 4)

21A.70.200 Re-use of facilities – General standards.

The interim or permanent re-use of surplus nonresidential facilities in residential zoned areas shall require that no more than 50 percent of the original floor area be demolished for either permanent or interim re-use of facilities. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

21A.70.210 Re-use of facilities – Re-establishment of closed public school facilities.

The re-establishment or reconversion of an interim nonschool use of school facilities back to school uses shall require a site plan and the issuance of a conditional use permit. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)