Chapter 17.04


17.04.010    Intent.

17.04.020    Purpose.

17.04.030    Applicability.

17.04.040    Severability.

17.04.050    Conflict.

17.04.060    Administration.

17.04.010 Intent.

The intent of this title is to combine and consolidate the application, review and approval process for land development in the city in a manner that is clear, concise and understandable. It is further intended to comply with state guidelines for combining and expediting development review and environmental review and land use development plans. Final decision on development proposals shall be made within one hundred twenty days of the date of the letter of completeness, except as provided in Section 17.06.030 of this title. (Ord. 1443-496 § 1 (part), 1996)

17.04.020 Purpose.

In enacting this title, the city council intends to establish a mechanism for implementing the provisions of RCW Chapter 36.70A regarding compliance, conformity and consistency of proposed projects with the comprehensive plan, related plans, and implementing development regulations. In order to achieve this purpose, the council finds that:

A.    Given the extensive investment of time and effort that both public agencies and local citizens are making, and will continue to make, in the plans and development regulations for their community, it is essential that project review start from the fundamental land use planning choices made therein. If the plans or implementing regulations identity type of land use, specific residential density, design standards and/or identify and provide for funding of public facilities needed to serve the proposed development and site, these decisions at a minimum provide the foundation for further project review unless there is a question of code interpretation. The project review process, including the environmental review process under RCW Chapter 43.21C and the consideration of consistency, should start from this point and not reanalyze these land use planning decisions in making a permit decision.

B.    Comprehensive plans and development regulations adopted by the city under RCW Chapter 36.70A and environmental laws and rules adopted by state and federal government have addressed a wide range of environmental subjects and impacts. These provisions typically require environmental studies and contain specific standards to address various impacts associated with a proposed development, such as building size and location, drainage, transportation requirements and protection of critical areas. When a permitting agent applies these existing requirements to a development proposal, some or all of the projects potential environmental impacts will be avoided or mitigated. Through the integrated project review process described in this title, the city manager or designee will determine whether these plans, regulations or rules adequately analyze and address a project’s potential environmental impacts. Project review should not require additional studies or mitigation under RCW Chapter 43.21C where existing regulations have adequately addressed a project’s probable specific adverse environmental impacts.

C.    Consistency with existing plans, regulations and rules should be determined in the project review process by considering four factors found in applicable regulations and plans: the type of land use allowed; the level of development allowed, such as residential density; adequacy of infrastructure; and the character of the proposed development, including compliance with development standards, and specific design standards. This approach is consistent with current city practice and represents no additional burden on applicants or local government. The city intends that this approach should be largely a matter of checking compliance with existing requirements for most projects, while more complex projects may require more analysis.

D.    A determination of consistency between the proposed project and existing applicable plans and regulations, should allow project review under development regulations and environmental regulations to run concurrently. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1443-496 § 1 (part), 1996)

17.04.030 Applicability.

These rules apply to all permits and approvals under Titles 2, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of this code and to any related regulation implementing these provisions or any other ordinance or law. (Ord. 1443-496 § 1 (part), 1996)

17.04.040 Severability.

If any section or provision of this title or its application to any person or circumstances is declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this title. (Ord. 1443-496 § 1 (part), 1996)

17.04.050 Conflict.

Whenever any conflict occurs between this title and any applicable title of this code, this title shall prevail. (Ord. 1443-496 § 1 (part), 1996)

17.04.060 Administration.

The regulation of Title 17 shall be under the supervision of the city manager; provided, however, that the city manager may delegate the duty of enforcing the provisions of Title 17 to other designees or appointees. The city manager, designee or appointee may make such administrative determinations for the proper administration and enforcement of Title 17; provided, that said determinations are not contrary to Title 17. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1443-496 § 1 (part), 1996)