Chapter 19.44
LOT AVERAGING

Sections:

19.44.010    Purpose of lot averaging provisions.

19.44.020    Applicability of lot averaging.

19.44.030    Limitations on implementation of lot averaging.

19.44.040    Lot averaging calculation.

19.44.050    Development standards in developments utilizing lot averaging.

19.44.010 Purpose of lot averaging provisions.

A. Much of the land designated by the Sultan comprehensive plan for residential development is not developable because of extensive wetlands and steep slopes that are protected by critical area regulations. Exclusion of these critical areas results in a net developable area that allows considerably fewer residential units than would be allowed if the entire property could be developed at standard zoning densities.

B. Previously, the city accommodated this circumstance by using the planned unit development (PUD) process. The city finds that the PUD process was not an appropriate regulatory tool to provide necessary critical areas protection and the residential development that resulted from PUD development did not achieve desirable results.

C. The city finds that lot averaging is an appropriate regulatory approach to protect critical areas.

D. Lot averaging is an approach to dividing land that allows a parcel to be divided such that some or all of the resulting lots are smaller than the minimum lot size required in the applicable zone to accommodate the presence of extensive wetlands and critical areas.

E. Lot averaging cannot result in a parcel being divided into a greater number of lots than would result from development at the normal minimum lot size required in the applicable zone. The total number of lots in a development implementing lot averaging cannot exceed the maximum number of lots allowed on the subject property by the applicable zone.

F. Lot averaging does not assure that the number of lots available to a developer on a particular parcel will be the same as the number available if the property were not encumbered by critical area exclusions. It is provided as a mechanism to achieve full compliance with all critical area regulations while allowing a “safety valve” to allow development densities to get closer to the allowed zoned density on properties that have significant critical areas exclusions. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.44.020 Applicability of lot averaging.

A. Lot averaging provisions of this chapter apply to and may be used by developers of land who are dividing land in conformance with the provisions of this title, and who meet the provisions set out in subsections (B) and (C) of this section.

B. Lot averaging provisions of this chapter apply to and may be used by developers of land in the following zones:

1. Low/moderate density, LDR (SMC 16.12.010).

2. Moderate density, MDR (SMC 16.12.020).

3. High density, HDR (SMC 16.12.030).

C. Lot averaging may be utilized, at the option of the developer, in the following circumstances:

1. The property proposed for development is documented to contain more than 10 percent of its total land area in critical areas that must be excluded from development under provisions of the city of Sultan critical areas regulations (Chapter 17.10 SMC) and any other applicable environmental codes. Such documentation must be provided in the form of a critical areas study approved by the city community development director to be in conformance with the standards of Chapter 17.10 SMC, Critical Areas Regulations (CAR).

2. The property proposed for development shall not be a parcel that has been configured, by short plats, boundary line adjustments and the like, in a way that artificially creates a parcel with more than 10 percent of its total area in critical areas so that the development can qualify for lot averaging.

3. The community development director will make an administrative determination that disallows application for lot averaging in cases where the community development director makes findings that the proposed development boundary has been artificially manipulated to create a development that purports to qualify for lot averaging through manipulation of boundaries to achieve a greater than 10 percent proportion of undevelopable critical areas. This administrative determination will be appealable to the hearing examiner under provisions of Chapter 2.26 SMC and other applicable provisions. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.44.030 Limitations on implementation of lot averaging.

A. Lot averaging only applies to creation of lots for detached single-family residences.

B. Lot averaging shall not be used to create lots for duplexes or multifamily dwellings as defined by SMC 16.04.040.

C. No single-family lot shall be reduced to less than 65 percent of the minimum single-family lot size required in the applicable zone (maximum reduction of 25 percent from required minimum lot size in the applicable zone).

D. No single-family lot shall be reduced in width to less than 40 feet (regardless of lot depth).

E. No single-family lot shall be reduced in depth to less than 70 feet (regardless of lot width).

F. All of the following are to be subtracted from the net square footage of a lot for the purpose of determining the area of a lot proposed for lot averaging:

1. Public right-of-way;

2. Private roads, private primary access easement; and

3. Minor portion (panhandle) of panhandle lots.

G. The area of easements other than that of the primary access (public right-of-way or private easement) shall not be subtracted from the net square footage of a lot.

H. This section shall not be implemented in conjunction with any provisions of the Sultan Municipal Code that allow density credits for set-asides of critical areas or environmentally sensitive areas.

I. This chapter shall not be applied to properties of less than two acres.

J. Developments utilizing lot averaging shall not receive preliminary or final approval as phased developments unless each phase meets the lot averaging standards for the total land area included in that phase. (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))

19.44.040 Lot averaging calculation.

A. The following calculation shall be used to determine the maximum number of lots available to a given development. The example provided is based on an 80-acre parcel with 20 acres of wetlands. The following calculations are to be used with the measurements and parameters that accurately represent the property proposed for development with lot averaging:

1. A development application for lot averaging shall use this example set of calculations with the numbers that are descriptive of the parcel proposed for development. The following factors are used in the calculation of the maximum number of lots. Terms and abbreviations in this section are defined as given the meaning provided to them as factors and results of the equations as provided below:

(TLA)

Total land area of subject development property

(ROW)

Public R-O-W or private access easement (specified by plat design) to be dedicated from within the TLA

(SDF)

Stormwater detention facilities

(TCA)

Total critical areas

(CAE-10)

Critical areas exclusion of 10 percent applicable to all projects

(CALA)

Critical areas allowed for lot averaging

(GDA)

Gross developable area

(PDA)

Potential developable area

(MLS)

Minimum lot size required in applicable zone for single-family residence

(MPL)

Maximum number of potential lots

(NDA)

Net developable area

(NMLS)

Net minimum lot size

2. Calculation of excluded wetlands and allowable wetlands is as follows:

(TLA)

= 80 acres

(CAE-10)

= (TLA) x 10% = 8 acres excluded from calculation

(TCA)

= 20 acres

(CALA)

= (TCA) – (CAE-10) = 12 acres

3. Calculation of net developable area is as follows:

(GDA)

= (TLA) – (CAE-10) = 72 acres

(ROW)

= 20 acres

(SDF)

= 1.2 acres

(PDA)

= (GDA) – ((ROW) + (SDF)) = 50.8 acres

4. Calculation of actual lots is as follows:

(PDA)

= 50.8 acres

(MLS)

= 5,000 sq. ft.

(MPL)

= (NDA) ÷ (MLS) = 442 lots

(CALA)

= 12 acres

(NDA)

= (PDA) – (CALA) = 38.8 acres

(NMLS)

= (NDA) ÷ (MPL) = 3,823 sq. ft. per lot

B. The lot averaging calculation determines the maximum number of lots available. No development is guaranteed the maximum number of lots available by this calculation. The actual number of lots shall not exceed but may be fewer than the maximum potential lots (MPL) due to circumstances of the particular property. Properties with extensive critical area exclusions will not be able to achieve the density provided by the allowed minimum lot size in the applicable zone as the lot size resulting from the calculation would be smaller than the maximum 25 percent reduction provided by this chapter.

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

19.44.050 Development standards in developments utilizing lot averaging.

A. Park facilities required for developments by the Sultan Municipal Code in general, and specifically Chapter 16.72 SMC, are required for land divisions without regard to their implementation of lot averaging standards of this chapter.

B. Road standards required for development of land divisions by this title are required in developments without regard to their implementation of lot averaging standards of this chapter.

C. All standard utility improvements required for land divisions by this title are required in developments without regard to their implementation of lot averaging standards of this chapter.

D. All standards for lot layout, setbacks, access, easements, and any other development standard for individual lots required for land divisions by this title are required in developments without regard to their implementation of lot averaging standards of this chapter.

E. Modification of specific development standards as provided by this title may be applied for and reviewed by the hearing examiner, but the fact that the development is proposing to implement lot averaging may not be used as a criterion or defense for proposing the modification.

F. The hearing examiner shall not modify the results of the calculations of this chapter as described above, and shall not modify the minimum lot size reduction authorized by this chapter below the standard of a 25 percent reduction (75 percent of the required lot size) as provided in SMC 19.44.030(C). (Ord. 1284-17 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 1144-12 § 2 (Exh. A))