Division I. Miscellaneous

Chapter 16.04


16.04.010    Definitions.

16.04.020    Compliance with provisions required.

16.04.030    Administrator’s authority.

16.04.040    Application – Contents.

16.04.050    Survey.

16.04.060    Short plat – Specifications – Contents.

16.04.070    Bond acceptable in lieu of prior construction of improvements.

16.04.080    Notification of adjacent property owners.

16.04.090    Approval or disapproval – Criteria.

16.04.100    Approval or disapproval – Time limit.

16.04.110    Approval – Filing.

16.04.120    Resubdivision restricted.

16.04.130    Plat amendment.

16.04.140    Appeals.

16.04.010 Definitions.

For the statutory provisions on subdivisions, see Chapter 58.17 RCW. For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

A. “Administrator” means the City Manager or the designee of the City Manager.

B. “Director of Public Works” means the City Director of Public Works.

C. “Divide” means any transaction or action, not otherwise exempt or provided for under the provisions of this chapter, which alters or affects the shape, size, or legal description of any part of an owner’s land. Sale of a condominium apartment and rental or lease of a building, facility or structure which does not alter or affect the legal description of an owner’s land shall not constitute a division.

D. “Easement” means a grant by a property owner of the right to use land for a purpose or purposes.

E. “Land” means a lot or parcel.

F. “Lot” means a division of land having defined boundaries and shown on such a final plat or short plat officially recorded in the County Auditor’s office.

G. “Parcel” means a division of land having defined boundaries and is limited to the following:

1. A division of land defined in a legally executed deed prior to April 24, 1979;

2. A division of land created by sale, lease or option contract legally executed prior to April 24, 1979, which presently remains a binding and enforceable commitment as between the parties thereto, their successors and assigns;

3. The remaining division of land created as a result of actions defined by subsections (G)(1) and (2) of this section;

4. A taxation parcel which was created prior to April 24, 1979, for the purpose of creating divisions of land which were exempt from platting requirements; taxation parcels which were administratively created by the Yakima County Assessor’s Office solely for tax purposes are not parcels. Examples of taxation parcels created solely for tax purposes include senior citizen segregations, special district segregations, deed of trust or mortgage segregations, and segregations for tax exemption purposes.

H. “Planning Commission” means the City Planning Commission.

I. “Right-of-way” means land dedicated for public use.

J. “Short plat” means the map or a representation of short subdivision which conforms to the requirements of this chapter.

K. “Short subdivision” means the division of land into nine or less lots for the purpose of sale or lease in the present or future.

L. “Sunnyside standard specifications” means the engineering specifications adopted by the City governing details of construction relating to required improvements.

M. “Survey monument” means a physical object marking a permanent survey control point which is constructed and installed in compliance with the standards established by the City. [Ord. 1334 § 1, 1981; Ord. 1209 § 4, 1979.]

16.04.020 Compliance with provisions required.

It is unlawful for any person to divide land so as to constitute a short subdivision within the City or to enter into any contract for the sale or lease of any part of such land without first complying with the provisions of this chapter applicable to such division of land. [Ord. 1209 § 5(1), 1979.]

16.04.030 Administrator’s authority.

A. The administrator is vested with the duty of administering and interpreting the short subdivision provisions of this chapter and with the authority to summarily approve, disapprove, or return for modifications the proposed short subdivision.

B. The administrator may prepare and require the use of such forms as deemed necessary to administer this chapter.

C. To meet with the proponent of the subdivision at a pre-application conference as requested by the applicant for the purpose of reviewing and discussing the area proposed, traffic patterns, sewer, water, flood zones, drainage, irrigation and other matters the proposed short platter or City staff may have pertinent to the area to be considered for short platting. No fee is to be charged for these conferences. [Ord. 1384 § 1, 1983; Ord. 1209 § 5(2), 1979.]

16.04.040 Application – Contents.

A. An application for a short subdivision may be made by an owner or owners of land, or by an authorized agent of an owner or owners, or by a representative of any governmental agency if the short subdivision is sought for a governmental purpose, and such application shall be filed with the City Manager’s office.

B. Each application for a short subdivision shall include the following:

1. A written application on a form provided by the administrator and signed by the landowner or his authorized agent;

2. A report from a title company listing all parties having any interest in the property to be divided and a legal description therefor;

3. Twenty-five1 copies of the preliminary short plat prepared in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

4. A reproducible scale drawing showing the following:

a. Lots, dedicated streets and easements;

b. Size and location of water, sewer, drainage, irrigation and utility easements, including all private utilities proposed to serve the lots to be created and their point of connection with the existing services;

c. Size and location of all existing utilities, public and private, including the grade and elevation of sewer mains and distances or proposed extensions to provide service to the subdivisions;

d. If requested by the administrator, contour lines at two-foot elevation intervals for slopes less than 10 percent and five-foot intervals for slopes more than 10 percent; elevations shall be based on United States Coast and Geodetic Survey datum.

5. A nonrefundable application fee of the amount specified in SMC 2.02.020, payable to the City Treasurer.

C. After initial review and preliminary approval of the proposed short plat, the original short plat document shall be delivered to the City Public Works Department in the form set forth in SMC 16.04.060. [Ord. 2172 § 1, 2007; Ord. 1727 § 1, 1990; Ord. 1209 § 5(3), 1979.]

16.04.050 Survey.

A. A proposed short plat of land shall be prepared by, or under the supervision of, a registered land surveyor of the State as a result of a land survey.

B. All proposed short plats shall be referenced from two monumented section or quarter section corners, or two other permanent control movements.

C. All lot corners determined as a result of a land survey shall be established by the placement of permanent survey monuments. [Ord. 1209 § 5(4), 1979.]

16.04.060 Short plat – Specifications – Contents.

A. The short plat shall be legibly drawn, printed or reproduced by a process guaranteeing a permanent record in black on polyester film .003 inch thick or on tracing cloth of good quality. It shall be of a size 18 inches by 24 inches and shall be a scale of at least one inch equals 100 feet, unless the Public Works Director requests or authorizes a smaller scale. Any required signatures shall be in permanent black ink on the original document to be filed.

B. The map shall show the following:

1. The entire lot or parcel constituting the applicant’s land;

2. The taxation parcel number or numbers as assigned to the land proposed to be divided by the County Assessor;

3. The names or recording numbers of all contiguous subdivisions or short subdivisions;

4. Lot corners and lines marking the division of the land into four or less lots;

5. Location, size, purpose and nature of existing roads, streets, rights-of-way and easements adjacent to or across the land;

6. Location of any roads, rights-of-way or easements proposed to serve the lots within the short plat with a clear designation of their size, purpose and nature;

7. North arrow and scale;

8. The acknowledged signatures of all fee simple owners and other parties having an interest in the lands being subdivided, as well as the acknowledged signatures of all owners of property over which access or utility easements pass, unless such easements are previously or simultaneously recorded by separate instrument in the County Auditor’s office, certifying the following:

a. In the case of a short subdivision not containing a dedication, the following:

i. A full and correct legal description of the land to be divided as it appears on the short plat;

ii. A statement of free consent in substantially the following form, the reference to easements to be omitted where not applicable:

Know all men by these presents that the undersigned are the fee simple owners of the land hereon described; have with their free consent in accordance with their desires caused the same to be surveyed and short platted as shown hereon; and do hereby grant and reserve the easements as shown hereon for the uses indicated hereon.





b. In the case of a short subdivision containing a required dedication, the following:

i. A full and correct legal description of the land to be divided as it appears on the short plant;

ii. A statement of free consent and waiver of claim for damages in substantially the following form:

Dedication and Waiver of Claims

Know all men by these presents that the undersigned are the owners and all other parties having any interest in the land hereon described; have with their free consent and in accordance with their desires caused the same to be surveyed and short platted as shown hereon; do hereby dedicate these roads and/or rights-of-way shown as public dedications hereon to the use of the public; do hereby waive on behalf of themselves and their successors in interest all claims for damages against the City of Sunnyside, and any other governmental authority which may be occasioned to the adjacent land by the established construction, drainage and maintenance of said dedicated roads and/or rights-of-way; and do hereby grant and reserve the easements as shown hereon for the uses indicated.





c. If an offer to dedication includes, or is required to include, a waiver of direct access to any street from any property, the appropriate certificate shall additionally recite said waiver;

9. In the case of a short plat requiring a land survey, a certificate by a surveyor certifying to the accuracy of the survey and short plat in substantially the following form:

I, the undersigned, Professional Land Surveyor, do hereby certify that the short plat as shown is based upon an actual survey in accordance with the requirements of the Survey Recording Act, that the distances, courses and angles are shown hereon correctly, and that the monuments and lot corners have been set on the ground as shown hereon.


Surveyor’s Signature, Seal and Number

10. The County Treasurer’s officer certificate in substantially the following form:

I hereby certify that all chargeable regular and special assessments collectable by this office that are due and owing on the property described hereon on the date of this certification have been paid.

Dated this _____ day of ______________, _______.

By ______________________________

    Yakima County Treasurer’s Office

11. If the short plat lies wholly, or in part, in an irrigation district, a statement evidencing irrigation water right-of-way in substantially the following form:

The property described hereon is wholly, or in part, within the boundaries of the __________________________ Irrigation District and all lots within the short plat are subject to the terms, conditions, reservations and obligations in the present and future concerning irrigation water rights-of-way and easements as may be imposed by said district in accordance with the law.

12. Space for approval by the administrator. [Ord. 1727 § 2, 1990; Ord. 1209 § 5(5), 1979.]

16.04.070 Bond acceptable in lieu of prior construction of improvements.

A. The subdivider shall, if approved by the administrator as an alternative to actual construction of required improvements, provide a surety bond or other secure method approved by the City (including, without limitation, an approved waiver of protest for a local improvement district), providing for and securing to the City the actual construction of required improvements within a specified period of time and expressed in the bond or other method of security. Any bond or other method of security shall specify the improvements covered and the schedule for completion.

B. Any improvements required as a condition of the approval of the short plat shall be identified through a set of engineering plans, specifications, and cost estimates, prepared in conformance with the City of Sunnyside standard specifications for calculation of the bond amount to be required.

C. The bond, or other method of security, shall be subject to approval by the Director of Public Works prior to approval of the short plat by the administrator. In no case shall the amount of the bond or other method of security be less than 100 percent of the cost of constructing the improvements, based upon the estimated cost of construction at the time stipulated or the term of the bond and based upon an estimate for City bid and award procedures, including construction inspection, as-built drawing preparation, etc.

D. As a condition of approval of the short plat, all required improvements must be installed within the bond period or the City will proceed with order for construction unless the owner and administrator agree to a time extension and an appropriate bond is posted. [Ord. 1209 § 5(6), 1979.]

16.04.080 Notification of adjacent property owners.

Upon receipt of the short plat, the administrator shall notify, by mail, all adjacent property owners as shown by the records in the County Assessor’s office at least 10 days prior to reaching a decision on the short plat. [Ord. 1209 § 5(7), 1979.]

16.04.090 Approval or disapproval – Criteria.

The administrator shall, after conferring with appropriate officials, determine within 30 days after submission of the short plat, unless the applicant consents to an extension, whether the short plat should be approved, disapproved, or returned to the applicant for changes in light of the following criteria requirements:

A. The proposed short subdivision conforms to the comprehensive plan and zoning requirements;

B. The parcels in the proposed short subdivisions are provided access from an existing or proposed (in the plat) dedicated public right-of-way of sufficient width, in conformance with the City comprehensive street plan;

C. The proposed short subdivision meets the requirements of this chapter;

D. The public use and interest will be served by permitting the proposed division of land. [Ord. 1209 § 5(8), 1979.]

16.04.100 Approval or disapproval – Time limit.

The administrator shall approve, disapprove, or return for modification all short subdivision applications within 30 calendar days from the date of filing thereof, unless the applicant consents to an extension of such time period. In reaching his conclusion to approve or disapprove short subdivisions, the administrator shall determine whether the requirements of this chapter have been satisfied. [Ord. 1209 § 5(9), 1979.]

16.04.110 Approval – Filing.

A. The administrator shall, after determining that the requirements of this chapter have been met and that the short plat has been signed by all the proper individuals, approve the short plat by signing on the face of the short plat.

B. Each short plat approved by the administrator shall be filed for record in the office of the County Auditor and shall not be deemed approved until so filed. The subdivider shall be responsible for payment of all filing fees. [Ord. 1209 § 5(10), 1979.]

16.04.120 Resubdivision restricted.

No lot within a recorded short plat shall be further divided within a period of five years from the date of recording of the short plat unless a final plat has been approved and filed for record. [Ord. 1209 § 5(11), 1979.]

16.04.130 Plat amendment.

An approved and recorded short plat may be amended or vacated in whole, or in part, in a manner not involving a resubdivision by recording an amended short plat in accordance with the following provisions:

A. The amended short plat must comply with procedures and requirements of this chapter for original short plat approval.

B. The title of the amended short plat shall be as follows:

Short Plat No. _____________________.

Amending Short Plat No. _____________.

C. The filing fee for a short plat amendment shall be as specified in SMC 2.02.020.

D. The amended short plat shall show all of the land shown on the original short plat, shall show all deleted original lot lines as dashed lines, and shall bear the acknowledged signatures of all current fee-simple owners and contract purchasers of the affected lots within the original short plat as shown by a current title certificate.

E. The amended short plat may increase the number of lots included in the original short plat, up to the number of lots authorized pursuant to definition of “short subdivision” found at SMC 16.04.010(K), as such section now exists or is hereafter amended.

F. Minor errors not involving a change in lot lines may be corrected by the surveyor upon approval of the administrator by recording an affidavit with the County Auditor specifically referencing the short plat by number and describing the correction. [Ord. 2172 § 1, 2007; Ord. 1976 § 1, 1999; Ord. 1209 § 5(12), 1979.]

16.04.140 Appeals.

A. Appeal by Aggrieved Party. In order that the majority of short plats may be filed for record immediately after approval without third parties being thereafter misled as to their validity, any appeals from the administrator’s decision to approve a short plat shall be limited to an aggrieved person who has filed with the administrator a written notice of intention to appeal the administrator’s decision in the event that the determination may be to approve the short plat. The notice of intention to appeal must be filed prior to the administrator’s filing of the short plat in order to preserve a right to appeal. If the administrator determines to approve a short plat for which a notice of intention to appeal has been filed, the administrator shall mail notification of such decision to any person who has filed a notice of intention to appeal and shall refrain from filing the approved short plat for record until 10 calendar days has passed from the time of such mailing or until the decision is affirmed in the event an appeal is perfected.

B. Appeals by Applicant. Any person aggrieved by the administrator’s decision to disapprove a proposed short plat may perfect an appeal to the Planning Commission by complying with subsection (C) of this section without the necessity of having first filed the notice of intention required by subsection (A) of this section.

C. Appeals Procedure. An appeal shall be to the Planning Commission and shall be perfected by filing with the administrator a written notice of appeal stating the specific reasons for the appeal within 10 calendar days following issuance of the decision. The Commission, following a public hearing thereon held within 30 calendar days of filing of the notice of appeal, of which the appealing party and the subdivider are mailed written notice at least 10 days prior thereto and notice of which is published in the official City newspaper not less than five days prior thereto, may affirm or reverse the administrator’s decision, or approve the same upon compliance with conditions, if any, imposed on the Board. If the Commission approves the short plat, or if the administrator’s decision to disapprove a short plat is reversed by the Commission, the administrator shall file the short plat for record. Following the Planning Commission’s decision to affirm, reverse, or remand the decision, the appeal may be had to Superior Court pursuant to Chapter 34.04 RCW as it now exists or is hereafter amended. [Ord. 1209 § 5(13), 1979.]


Code reviser’s note: Currently the City sends copies to other agencies electronically and needs only two copies from applicants.