Chapter 19.08
PRELIMINARY SUBDIVISION PROCEDURES

Sections:

19.08.010    Preapplication conference.

19.08.020    Application, submittal and contents.

19.08.030    Review process.

19.08.040    Determination of completeness, resubmittal and expiration of application.

19.08.050    Public notice of application process.

19.08.060    Review and action timeline.

19.08.070    Application distribution.

19.08.080    Review criteria.

19.08.090    Administrative review.

19.08.100    Hearing examiner review.

19.08.110    Hearing examiner decision.

19.08.120    Notice of decision to applicant.

19.08.130    Transfer of property.

19.08.140    Adjustments of an approved preliminary plat.

19.08.150    Phasing.

19.08.010 Preapplication conference.

Persons intending to file a preliminary subdivision plat application shall first participate in a preapplication conference as provided by SMC 19.02.030. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.020 Application, submittal and contents.

A. Preapplication Conference.

1. Prior to the filing of a preliminary subdivision application, the developer shall apply for a preapplication conference as provided in SMC 19.02.030.

2. The development review team shall advise the developer as to procedure, conformity to applicable ordinances and comprehensive plan policies.

3. Attendance and participation in a preapplication conference shall not vest an application. Vesting of an application shall only occur when a complete application has been submitted and accepted for review along with the applicable fee as provided by the city of Sultan annual fee schedule.

B. Development Authorization Required.

1. Preliminary subdivision applications require a Level III review and decision process as provided by Chapter 19.26 SMC.

2. As provided in Chapter 197-11 WAC, State Environmental Policy Act checklist shall be submitted along with supporting materials as required to fully analyze the environmental impacts of the proposed subdivision.

C. Application for Preliminary Subdivision. Application for preliminary subdivision approval shall consist of the following:

1. One CD with individual PDFs of each item listed below.

2. One original plus four copies of the permit application form.

3. Two vicinity maps (on eight-and-one-half by 11-inch).

4. Written project narrative (detailed description of proposal).

5. Two public notice materials.

6. One original (wet stamped) plus four full-size copies of plat.

7. Two 11-by-17-inch copies of plat.

8. Two eight-and-one-half-by-11-inch copies of plat.

9. Tree survey, if required.

10. One original SEPA signed plus four copies.

11. Soils report.

12. Traffic impact analysis.

13. Stormwater drainage report.

14. Wetland study.

15. Geotechnical report.

16. Title report, 30 days to current at time of submittal.

17. Any other items deemed necessary by the planning director in order to review the application for compliance with development regulations. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1200-14 § 5; Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.030 Review process.

A preliminary plat shall be reviewed in accordance with Chapter 19.26 SMC as a Type III decision. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.040 Determination of completeness, resubmittal and expiration of application.

See SMC 19.26.050 for determination of completeness provisions. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.050 Public notice of application process.

Notice shall be provided as required for Level III process in Chapter 19.26 SMC. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.060 Review and action timeline.

A. Action Timeline. As provided by RCW 58.17.140, preliminary plats shall be approved, disapproved or returned to the applicant for modification or correction within 90 days, unless the applicant consents to the extension of such time period; provided further, that if an EIS is required as provided in RCW 43.21C.030, the specified period shall not include the time spent preparing and circulating the EIS by the city.

B. Timeline Waiver for Modification. Should modification and/or mitigation be requested by the director as a result of technical review of the application, the director shall request a waiver of the specified time period. If the applicant does not agree to the waiver, the application shall proceed to the hearing and the director may recommend denial of the application. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.070 Application distribution.

The director shall transmit copies of the proposed preliminary plat and appropriate accompanying materials to the following:

A. City development review team;

B. Snohomish County planning and development services, if property is adjacent to property under county jurisdiction;

C. Washington State Department of Transportation, if the preliminary subdivision application covers property located in close proximity to the right-of-way of a state highway;

D. Tribal governments that may have a specific interest;

E. Any other federal, state or local agencies as may be relevant. These may include the following:

1. Sultan school district;

2. Local utility providers;

3. Communication service providers. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.080 Review criteria.

The development review team and the hearing examiner shall use the ordinances, plans, standards and concepts listed in this section in review of a preliminary subdivision proposal. Findings in support of staff recommendations and hearing examiner decisions shall be drawn from and reference these criteria.

A. Each proposed subdivision shall be reviewed for its compliance with all of the criteria and standards listed in this section.

1. The proposal conforms to:

a. The goals, policies, criteria and plans set forth in the city of Sultan comprehensive plan;

b. Sultan water system plan;

c. Sultan general sewer plan;

d. Sultan critical areas regulations;

e. Sultan concurrency management system;

f. Sultan stormwater management performance standards;

g. Sultan shoreline master program;

h. Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington;

i. Sultan park recreation and open space plan;

2. The proposal conforms to the development standards set forth in SMC Title 16, Zoning Code;

3. The proposal conforms to the requirements of this chapter and Public Works Engineering, Design and Development Standards (EDDS), and Chapter 19.42 SMC, Public Facility Requirements;

4. The proposed street system conforms to the Public Works Design and Development Standards (EDDS);

5. The proposed subdivision is laid out in such a manner as to provide for the safe, orderly and efficient circulation of traffic;

6. The proposed subdivision will be adequately served with city-approved water and sewer and other utilities appropriate to the nature of the subdivision;

7. The layout of lots and their size and dimensions take into account topography and vegetation on the site in order that buildings may be reasonably sited, to minimize disruption of the site, topography, trees and vegetation;

8. Identified hazards and limitations to development have been considered in the design of streets and lot layout to assure street and building sites are on geologically stable soil considering the stress and loads to which the soil may be subjected. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.090 Administrative review.

A. Development Review Team. The development review team shall meet and provide comments as a team to the director. If individual members have comments that the development review team does not endorse for inclusion in the team report, these comments may be forwarded to the director under separate cover and shall be considered in assembly of the director’s report.

B. City Engineer Review. As a member of the development review team, the city engineer shall be responsible for reviewing the preliminary plat as it relates to:

1. Proposed means of water supply;

2. Proposed means of sewage disposal;

3. Conformance of the proposal to any plans, policies or regulations pertaining to streets and utilities;

4. Conformance of the proposal to any plans, policies or regulations pertaining to utilities including concurrency and level of service;

5. Any other issues related to the interests and responsibilities of the city engineer and the director of public works.

C. Subdivision Phasing. If a subdivision proposal is designed for phased development, the development review team shall determine that the design adequately accommodates continuity of public improvements. Each phase must be designed to be a complete code standard subdivision under the assumption that subsequent phases will not be developed. Each phase must be designed for code standard ingress and egress. Utilities and public facilities, including streets, must be designed to code standard without reliance on further phases and shall provide for proper extension of these facilities to subsequent phases.

D. Land Acquisition. Any public agency with power to acquire land by condemnation or otherwise for public uses may, at any time prior to approval of a preliminary plat, notify the city and the developer of its intention to acquire some or all of the land in a proposed subdivision for public uses.

E. Director’s Report. The director shall cause a report on the proposal to be prepared for the hearing examiner’s consideration prior to the scheduled public hearing. The director’s report shall utilize the following:

1. Analysis of criteria listed in SMC 19.08.080;

2. Input from any notified property owners or community citizens;

3. Development review team;

4. SEPA analysis and comments from SEPA notified agencies;

5. Reports from any consultants engaged in review of the proposal on behalf of the city;

6. Input and comments received from any public or quasi-public agencies.

F. Transmittal of Input to the Hearing Examiner. Comments received in a timely manner, as well as any written comments received in response to a notice of public hearing, shall either be transmitted to the hearing examiner or incorporated into a report prepared by the director and submitted to the hearing examiner, prior to the scheduled public hearing.

G. Simultaneous Processing. The director shall ensure that, to the extent possible, the preliminary plat will be processed simultaneously with other approvals related to the subject property. This provision may be waived by mutual agreement of the city and the applicant. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.100 Hearing examiner review.

A. Public Hearing. Pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 2.26 and 19.26 SMC, the hearing examiner shall conduct a public hearing in conformance with Level III procedures.

B. Decision. The hearing examiner shall approve, deny, or approve with conditions the preliminary plat as provided by Chapter 2.26 SMC. The hearing examiner shall not approve the application for preliminary plat unless he finds the proposed subdivision is in conformance with the criteria listed in SMC 19.08.080. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.110 Hearing examiner decision.

Upon closing the public hearing and considering all appropriate and relevant materials and testimony, the hearing examiner shall prepare a report addressing the standards and criteria in SMC 19.08.080 and issue a decision. The hearing examiner’s decision shall accomplish one or more of the following:

A. Approve the proposed plat with or without conditions;

B. Return the proposed subdivision to the applicant for modification or correction within 180 days from the date of notice of such decision;

C. Disapprove the proposed plat;

D. The hearing examiner may require the subdivider to enter into a developer/subdivision agreement to memorialize the preliminary plat conditions of approval, requirements for the construction of all infrastructure improvements including plan submittals, inspections, bonding, including private improvements and facilities associated with the subdivision. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.120 Notice of decision to applicant.

See notice provisions of SMC 19.34.120. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.130 Transfer of property.

See SMC 19.02.100. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.140 Adjustments of an approved preliminary plat.

A. Minor Adjustments Authorized. Minor adjustments may be made and approved by the director.

B. Minor Adjustments Defined. Minor adjustments in plats are permissible with the approval of the director. Such permission may be obtained through written request without a formal application or public hearing, but a payment of any additional fee will be set by resolution. For purposes of this section, adjustments are those that have no substantial impact on neighboring properties, the general public, or those intended to occupy or use the proposed development and do not exceed 10 percent of the lots, square footage or dimensional requirements. Each time a minor modification or change is approved, a memorandum from the director with findings of fact shall be placed in the file for the permit to which it is was granted. If over time the number of minor modifications or changes cumulatively requested have or will cause such cumulative changes meet the criteria for a major change, the next subsequent minor modification or adjustment shall be treated as a major change and be processed per subsection (D) of this section.

C. Minor adjustments shall be reviewed for consistency with this chapter and the regulations of this title, as well as the following criteria:

1. The adjustment maintains the design intent or purpose of the original approval; and

2. The adjustment maintains the quality of design or product established by the original approval; and

3. The adjustment does not cause a significant environmental or land use impact on or beyond the site; and

4. The adjustment is not precluded by the terms of this title or by state law from being decided administratively; and

5. Circumstances render it impractical, unfeasible or detrimental to the public interest to accomplish the subject condition or requirement of preliminary plat or short plat approval.

D. Major Adjustments. Major adjustments in subdivisions are permissible with the approval of the hearing examiner or the director. Such permission may be obtained with a formal application and public hearing, if required, and a payment of any additional fee that will be set by resolution. For purposes of this section, major adjustments are those that have a substantial impact on neighboring properties, the general public, or those intended to occupy or use the proposed development and do not exceed 25 percent of the approved lots, square footage or dimensional requirements. Each time a major adjustment is approved, a memorandum from the director with findings of fact shall be placed in the file for the permit to which it is was granted. If over time the number of major amendments or changes cumulatively requested have or will cause such cumulative changes exceed the criteria for a major amendment, the next subsequent major amendment shall be treated as a new application and subject to all platting requirements set forth in this title. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.08.150 Phasing.

Subdivisions intended to be developed in phases must be proposed as a phased development at the beginning of the application process and designed to be phased as the design and review process proceeds. Phasing proposals shall be in conformance with the following principles, concepts and standards:

A. Each phase of a development must be designed and constructed to provide transportation systems, utility services and all other required improvements necessary to allow that phase to meet all applicable standards without regard to reliance on subsequent phases. Stated in another way, each phase must be a code-compliant subdivision in its own right based on the premise that subsequent phases may not be developed.

B. The preliminary plat and accompanying materials for a subdivision proposed to be developed in phases shall indicate and include:

1. The limits of each phase.

2. A listing of the lots, common open space, parks, etc., to be located and developed within each phase.

3. The design of the road, utility and public service systems to be included in each phase and a written explanation and analysis documenting that the utilities and facilities within each phase meet code standards as described in subsection (C) of this section.

C. To be code-compliant, each phase must specifically meet the spirit and intent of the following standards as well as all other subdivision development standards:

1. The transportation system must:

a. Cul-de-sacs and/or stub streets shall be in compliance with the Public Works Design and Development Standards (EDDS) and approved by the public works director and/or city engineer.

b. Water distribution mains must be designed and constructed to provide proper service without relying on development of subsequent phases to provide water to city standards. If a particular phase is large enough or located such that stub or dead-end mains will not provide proper service, the system shall be designed to loop through the phase to connect to the mains providing service to the development. The public works director and/or city engineer shall be the sole authority for determination of sufficiency of system design for this purpose.

c. Other utility and public service systems shall be designed and constructed to provide service at specified quality and quantity standards within each phase without reliance on construction of subsequent phases.

D. Stub streets and stub connections for utilities to adjacent phases are permitted and may be required by the city, as part of the design of each phase. Such facilities shall not substitute for the requirement to meet code standards within each phase.

E. A subdivision proposed to be developed in phases shall first be reviewed under the provisions of this chapter for compliance with all code standards as a whole development. Each phase shall then be reviewed for compliance with development standards to ensure that each phase can meet code requirements without reliance on development of subsequent phases. Additional review fees are prescribed in the city of Sultan annual fee schedule for review of phases within a subdivision.

F. Application for preliminary subdivision plat approval for a phased development shall include a draft development agreement, as per RCW 36.70B.170 and 36.70B.200, that contains the developer’s proposed development phasing and construction schedule and surety system. The development agreement shall address the provision of utilities to each phase, the timing of each phase and the expiration of the preliminary and final approvals if the phases are not completed within specified timelines.

G. Final plat review of a phased subdivision shall be applied for as provided in SMC 19.10.030. Final plat approval of a phased development shall mean that the entire development has received final approval subject to the mutually agreed provisions of the development agreement described in subsection (F) of this section. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))