Chapter 20.14
APPLICATION REVIEW – GENERAL

Sections:

20.14.010    Purpose.

20.14.015    Special notice.

20.14.020    Approval required.

20.14.030    Permit assistance – Consolidated project permit review – Concurrent non-project review – Pre-application process.

20.14.040    Application required.

20.14.045    Application exemptions.

20.14.050    Filing and service.

20.14.055    Publication and posting.

20.14.060    Initial application processing.

20.14.065    Notice of application/proposal.

20.14.070    Comment period.

20.14.080    Determination of consistency/SEPA determination.

20.14.085    Notice of hearing.

20.14.090    Decision/action – Notice.

20.14.095    Compliance with notice of decision.

20.14.100    Official index for approvals to be maintained as public record.

20.14.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to specify the general requirements for filing and processing project permits under this code and to specify procedures which apply to certain non-project actions.

A. “Project permit” means any land use or environmental permit or license required from the city for a project action, including but not limited to building permits, subdivisions, binding site plans, planned unit developments, conditional uses, shoreline substantial development permits, site plan review, permits or approvals required by the city’s critical area ordinance, and site-specific rezones, but excluding non-project actions.

B. “Non-project action” means the adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan, subarea plan, or Zoning or Subdivision Code text, area-wide rezones, prezones, annexations, street vacations, or other legislative approvals. (Ord. 2008-06 § 23, 2008).

20.14.015 Special notice.

A party may request special notification of applications, environmental checklists, determinations, notices, hearings, and decisions regarding a proposal or type of proposal only by filing a written request with the department. A party may request special notification of interpretation requests and department interpretations only by filing a written request with the department. Requests for special notification must designate a single person or entity to receive notice and provide a single address which shall serve as the address for all correspondence and any required notice. It shall be the requesting party’s responsibility to notify the city in writing of any change of address or designation. A request for special notification must identify with reasonable specificity the proposal, type of proposal, or interpretation request in which the requesting party is interested. Requests for notice regarding a particular proposal shall lapse when the approving authority’s decision on the proposal becomes final. Requests for notice regarding certain types of proposals shall lapse one year following the filing of the request, and a requesting party must annually re-file such special notification requests. Requests for notice of interpretation requests shall lapse one year following the filing of the request, and a requesting party must annually re-file such special notification requests. (Ord. 2008-06 § 24, 2008).

20.14.020 Approval required.

A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, no use, development or modification to use or development, as those terms are defined by this code, may be established, placed, performed, constructed, made, or implemented, in whole or in part, without the issuance of a permit or land use decision by the city.

B. Exemptions. The following developments and actions are exempt from the review provisions of this title, except as otherwise provided in subsections C and D of this section:

1. Accessory structures under twenty square feet in area and five feet in height.

2. Exempt signs per Section 20.204.040.

3. Minor alterations to lands: includes paving, the fair market value of which does not exceed five hundred dollars, and grading, filling, stockpiling and excavation of earthen materials not exceeding fifty cubic yards or five thousand square feet of land-disturbing activity as defined in Section 13.16.020.

4. Development proposals on federally owned land.

5. Utility transmissions lines.

6. Small satellite dishes as defined in Chapter 20.170, Wireless Communication Facilities.

7. Demolition of residential accessory structures as provided in Section 20.146.040, Demolition of historic structures.

8. Temporary street use permits which are addressed by other provisions of this code and not specified in this title. (Refer to other portions of the Walla Walla Municipal Code, as appropriate, for uses permitted and permit requirements within the public street right-of-way.)

9. Landmark designations.

10. Applications for building, mechanical or plumbing permits for existing residential structures which do not change the size or use of the structure; provided, however, that applications for such permits shall be made.

11. Issuance of permits for activities for which an approval has already been granted, and the responsible official determines that environmental review is either categorically exempt under Chapter 43.21C RCW or previously completed in connection with other project permits; provided, however, that applications for such permits shall be made.

C. No development or action in a critical area or a buffer zone regulated by Chapter 21.04 shall be exempt from the review provisions of this title.

D. All developments and actions shall satisfy concurrency requirements of the city. Developments and actions otherwise exempted by subsection B of this section which do not satisfy concurrency requirements shall be subject to the review provisions of this title.

E. Non-project actions require review and approval by the city as provided in this title. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2017-45 § 61, 2017: Ord. 2012-09 § 15, 2012: Ord. 2008-06 § 25, 2008).

20.14.030 Permit assistance – Consolidated project permit review – Concurrent non-project review – Pre-application process.

A. The development services department personnel are designated as general permit assistance staff. The director may designate special permit assistance staff upon an application.

B. Consolidated Permit Review Process. Development services staff shall attempt to determine if more than one permit approval or action under this code is required for a proposal, and notify the applicant prior to issuance of a determination of completeness; provided, however, that the failure of staff to notify the applicant shall not extend the time to elect to consolidate review processes. An applicant may elect in writing to consolidate the review processes for project permits subject to the following:

1. A project permit review process shall not be consolidated with a non-project action approval process.

a. Director interpretations, Level I matters, Level II matters, Level III matters, and Level IV matters shall not be consolidated with Level V or Level VI processes;

2. The election to consolidate project permit review processes must be filed with the department prior to issuance of a determination of completeness or it is deemed waived; provided, however, that the director may consolidate project permit review processes in his or her discretion even if an election is not timely made;

3. In the event that project permit review processes are consolidated, the determination of completeness, notice of application, and notice of final decision must include all project permits being reviewed through the consolidated review process;

4. In the event that consolidated review processes involve open record hearings before the same hearing body, they will be consolidated into one joint hearing;

5. In the event that consolidated review processes involve open record hearings before more than one hearing body, they will be consolidated into one joint hearing; provided, however, that one hearing body may designate another to conduct the joint hearing on its behalf and without its presence. The hearing bodies shall separately consider the application as soon as practicable upon the record after the hearing has been conducted;

6. Consolidation shall not change the designation of the approving authority for any review process. The department shall determine the order of processing subject to the following unless otherwise ordered by the director after reviewing special processing considerations presented by a particular proposal:

a. If processes are consolidated which involve the same approving authority, they shall be scheduled in a manner which allows the approving authority to consider all matters contemporaneously, and the approving authority shall issue a consolidated final decision;

b. If processes requiring director or department decisions are consolidated with a Level III process, the director or department decisions shall be made first, and the administrative appeal, if any, of such decisions shall be consolidated and presented to the hearing examiner in a manner which allows the hearing examiner to consider the appeal and the Level III decision contemporaneously, and the hearing examiner shall issue a consolidated final decision on the appeal and the Level III matter;

c. If processes requiring director or department decisions are consolidated with a Level IV project permit process, the director or department decisions shall be made first; the appeal, if any, of such decisions shall be consolidated and decided by the hearing examiner prior to the Level IV public hearing; and the hearing examiner’s appeal decision shall be made part of the record in the Level IV public hearing, but it is not subject to revision through the Level IV process. In such cases, the hearing examiner’s appeal decision shall be deemed final for purposes of further appeal, if available, at the time of issuance of the final decision by the city council on the Level IV matter;

d. If processes requiring director or department decisions are consolidated with a Level III process and a Level IV project permit process, the director or department decisions shall be made first; the appeal, if any, of such decisions shall be consolidated and decided by the hearing examiner prior to the consolidated Level III and Level IV public hearing; the hearing examiner’s appeal decision shall be made part of the record in the consolidated Level III and Level IV public hearing, but it is not subject to revision through the Level III or Level IV processes; the hearing examiner decision on the Level III matters and, if applicable, any hearing examiner recommendation on Level IV matters shall be consolidated into a joint final decision on the Level III matter and recommendation on any Level IV matter; and all hearing examiner and planning commission recommendations on Level IV matters shall be contemporaneously presented to the city council. In such cases, the hearing examiner’s appeal decision and Level III decision shall be deemed final for purposes of further appeal, if available, at the time of issuance of the final decision by the city council on the Level IV matter;

e. If a Level III process is consolidated with a Level IV project permit process, the hearing examiner’s decision on the Level III matters and, if applicable, any hearing examiner recommendation on Level IV matters shall be consolidated into a joint final decision on the Level III matter and recommendation on any Level IV matter; and all hearing examiner and planning commission recommendations on Level IV matters shall be contemporaneously presented to the city council, but any hearing examiner final decision on the Level III matter is not subject to revision through the Level IV process. In such cases, the hearing examiner’s Level III decision shall be deemed final for purposes of further appeal, if available, at the time of issuance of the final decision by the city council on the Level IV matter;

f. If Level IV project permit processes are consolidated, the recommendations of hearing examiner and planning commission shall be contemporaneously presented to the city council.

C. Concurrent Non-Project Review.

1. Except as provided in RCW 36.70A.130 proposals to amend the Comprehensive Plan shall be considered no more frequently than once a year and all proposals shall be considered concurrently so the cumulative effect of the various proposals can be ascertained.

2. Non-project approvals may be processed concurrently with other non-project approvals at the discretion of the director, but they shall not be consolidated.

D. A preapplication conference may be required by the department prior to filing of an application, and a preapplication conference shall be required for subdivisions, short plats, planned unit developments, binding site plans, or if permit assistance staff determines prior to filing of the application that more than one permit approval or action under this code is required for a proposal. The applicant shall arrange such conference with the development services department to review the proposed action, to become familiar with the policies, plans and development requirements of the city of Walla Walla and to coordinate all necessary permits and procedures. Any information or opinions expressed by the city shall not be binding or constitute approval of the project.

E. At any time prior to issuance of a determination of completeness, the applicant may request that the following be provided:

1. A form which lists the requirements for a completed application;

2. A general summary of the procedures to be used for processing the application;

3. The references to the relevant code provisions, development standards, and regulations which may apply to the approval of the application; and

4. The city’s design guidelines.

F. It is not possible for permit assistance by staff or the conference to be an exhaustive review of all possible issues. Neither staff advice nor information provided by the city to the applicant shall bind the city or prohibit the city’s future application or enforcement of all applicable law and other requirements. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 26, 2008).

20.14.040 Application required.

Unless exempted or excepted by this title, an application must be filed for any action requiring city approval. An application for a land use decision shall consist of the materials specified in this section:

A. A completed application form, signed by the owner and applicant or authorized representative, which includes the applicant’s current address; signature by the owner may be submitted via email. The applicant shall be required to designate a single person or entity to receive determinations and notices upon an application and provide a single address which shall serve as the address for all correspondence and any required notices regarding the application. It shall be the applicant’s responsibility to notify the city in writing of any change of address or designation.

B. An explanation of intent, stating the nature of the proposal, reasons for the request, pertinent background information, information required by the pertinent sections of this code, and other information that may have a bearing on the processing of the application.

C. Proof that the property affected by the application is in the exclusive ownership of the applicant, or that the applicant has the consent of all partners in ownership of the affected property, or that the applicant has the authority to act as agent for the owner of the property.

D. A property or legal description of the property affected by the application.

E. Application fee.

F. Evidence of water and sewer availability.

G. A general or detailed site plan, as determined by the director to be necessary based on the scope of the proposal.

H. Information required by other municipal code sections for the particular type of proposal.

I. All of the information needed by the department to make determinations required by Section 20.14.060(C).

J. Additional information requested by the department such as, without limitation, a SEPA environmental checklist when required or sufficient materials to determine that an application is exempt from SEPA threshold determination requirements. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 27, 2008).

20.14.045 Application exemptions.

A. An application need not be filed for non-project actions initiated by the city; provided, however, such actions shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of this title except as provided herein; and nothing herein prohibits the city from filing an application.

B. A land use application need not be filed for annexations, and, except as provided in Sections 20.02.080 and 20.14.090 and Chapter 20.30, annexations shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 35A.14RCW instead of this title.

C. A land use application need not be filed for street vacations, and, except as provided in Sections 20.14.085 and 20.14.090 and Chapter 20.30, street vacations shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 35.79 RCW instead of this title; provided, however, that petitions for street vacations shall be filed with the department rather than the city or town clerk, and the department may require the petitioner(s) to provide information at the expense of petitioner(s) needed to consider the petition, including without limitation legal descriptions, title information and certificates, site maps, and appraisals.

D. Applications for plumbing and mechanical permits and other applications for modifications to existing residential structures which do not result in a change of use or size of a structure will serve as the application for that purpose and are required only to obtain the necessary building permits from the department. The resulting building permit will serve as the city’s approval.

E. Applications for plumbing and mechanical permits or other applications for modifications to existing commercial structures and which do not alter any aspect of the use of the structure or the size of the structure will serve as the application for that purpose and are required only to obtain the necessary building permits from the department. The resulting building permit will serve as the city’s approval. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7 (part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 28, 2008).

20.14.050 Filing and service.

A. All applications and any notices or other materials required by this code shall be filed with the department during office hours at the department’s office.

B. Applications, notices, and other materials which require payment of a fee or charge to the city shall not be deemed filed until the fee or charge is actually paid.

C. Subject to subsection B of this section, the date of filing of applications, notices and other materials shall be the date of actual receipt by the department at its office. The date on the email received by the department shall be presumptive evidence of the date of receipt based on the following:

1. Filing of any documents with the department by electronic mail transmission is at the risk of the sender and shall not be deemed complete unless the following procedures are strictly observed:

a. An electronic mail document will only be stamped “received” by the department between the hours of eight a.m. and five p.m. excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. Any transmission not completed before five p.m. will be considered received on the following business day.

D. Proof of personal service in the following form executed by department personnel shall be presumptive evidence of the date of service:

CERTIFICATE

I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Washington that I personally served a copy of the attached document upon the following named person(s) on the stated date(s): _______________.

______________________    _________

(Date and Place of Signing)    (Signature)

E. Service of any notice by the department shall be deemed timely if the notice is placed in the mail within the time permitted. Service of any notice by the department by mail shall be deemed complete for purposes of computation of subsequent time periods upon the third day following the day upon which the notice is placed in the mail, unless the third day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which case service shall be deemed complete on the first day other than a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday following the third day.

1. Proof of service by mail in the following form executed by department personnel shall be presumptive evidence of the date of service:

CERTIFICATE

I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Washington that I mailed a copy of the attached document, postage prepaid, to the following named person(s) at the stated address(es) on the stated date(s): _____________________.

______________________    _________

(Date and Place of Signing)    (Signature)

(Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 29, 2008).

20.14.055 Publication and posting.

A. The department shall publish notices for which publication is required in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. Publication is deemed complete on the date of publication. Proof of publication in the following form executed by department personnel shall be presumptive evidence of the date of publication:

CERTIFICATE

I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Washington that the content of the attached form of notice was published in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin on the following stated date(s): ________.

______________________    _________

(Date and Place of Signing)    (Signature)

B. The department shall post notices in the manner required by this code. Proof of posting in the following form executed by department personnel shall be presumptive evidence of the date of posting:

CERTIFICATE

I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Washington that the content of the attached form of notice was posted in the following described manner on the following stated date(s): ________.

______________________    _________

(Date and Place of Signing)    (Signature)

(Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 30, 2008).

20.14.060 Initial application processing.

Upon receipt of an application for a Level 1 – Level IV review, the development services department shall proceed as follows:

A. Determination of Completeness. A determination of completeness shall be made within twenty-eight days of receipt of the application. During the completeness review, the department shall attempt to identify other local, state, or federal departments and agencies which may have jurisdiction over some aspect of the application, and the department shall determine the lead agency for the proposal in accordance with Title 21. The department shall provide a written determination which states either: (1) that the application is complete; or (2) that the application is incomplete and what is necessary to make the application complete. The determination of completeness shall be made when the application is sufficient for continued processing even though additional information may be required or project modifications may be undertaken subsequently. An application is complete when it meets the submission requirements of Section 20.14.040 and other applicable code sections.

1. An application shall be deemed complete upon the expiration of the review period if the department does not provide the written determination that the application is incomplete within the time allowed. An application that has been deemed complete shall still be subject to all other applicable requirements and procedures.

2. The department’s determination of completeness shall not preclude the city from requesting additional information or studies either at the time of the notice of completeness or at some later time, if new information is required or where there are substantial changes in the proposed action.

B. Incomplete Application Procedure.

1. If the applicant receives a determination that an application is not complete, the applicant shall have ninety days to submit the necessary information. Within fourteen days after the applicant has submitted the requested information, the department shall make the determination as described in subsection A of this section, and notify the applicant in the same manner. An application shall be deemed complete upon the expiration of the extended review period if the department does not provide the written determination that the application remains incomplete within the time allowed. An application that has been deemed complete shall still be subject to all other applicable requirements and procedures.

2. If the applicant either refuses in writing to submit the additional information or does not submit the required information within the ninety-day period, the application shall lapse and be considered void ab initio; provided, however, the applicant shall not be entitled in such event to a refund for any fees or charges paid to the city.

C. Determination of Completeness – Contents. The determination shall be prepared in a manner to provide notice to the applicant and to integrate its use, when required, with the notice of application/proposal to the public and agencies with jurisdiction. Preliminary determinations and information contained in a determination of completeness shall not bind the city and are subject to continuing review and modification. The determination of completeness may incorporate by reference the application to the extent that it substantially provides the information required herein. In such case, the determination of completeness and copies thereof shall attach a copy of the application and additionally provide the information required herein that is not provided by the application. Each determination of completeness shall include:

1. The date of the application and the date of the notice of completion;

2. A description of the proposed action;

3. The determination of the lead agency for the proposal under SEPA;

4. A preliminary determination whether the proposal is categorically exempt under SEPA or subject to threshold determination requirements; if subject to threshold determination requirements, the preliminary threshold determination that it expects will issue;

5. Preliminary identification of existing environmental documents that evaluate the proposal and the location where the application and studies can be reviewed;

6. A preliminary determination and reference to the relevant code provisions, development standards, and regulations which may apply to the approval of the application; a preliminary list of those regulations that will be used for project mitigation; and, if a mitigated DNS is expected to issue, a preliminary list of conditions being considered to mitigate environmental impacts;

7. A preliminary determination of consistency for project permit proposals;

8. A list of the project permits included in the application and, to the extent known to the department, a list of other permits not included in the application which are required for the proposal;

9. A preliminary determination indicating which municipal code review level(s) will be used to process the application;

10. A preliminary determination identifying additional information or studies requested from the applicant;

11. To the extent known by the department, a preliminary determination and identification of other departments and agencies with jurisdiction over the project permit application;

12. A preliminary determination and identification of parties entitled to notice of application; and

13. Other information that the department determines to be appropriate to include.

D. The department shall electronically deliver or mail notice of any determination made under this section to the applicant, or the person or entity designated by the applicant to receive determinations and notices. The department should document the date and manner by which notice is given. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 31, 2008: Ord. 2000-6 § 2(part), 2000: Ord. 97-14 § 17, 1997).

20.14.065 Notice of application/proposal.

A. Notice of Application/Proposal – Contents. Notice of application/proposal shall be given no later than fourteen days after the application has been determined to be complete. Notice of application/proposal is not required for interpretation requests or Level I proposals that are categorically exempt under SEPA, unless a special notification request has previously been made in accordance with Section 20.14.015. If the proposal requires an open record hearing, notice of application shall be given at least fifteen days prior to the hearing.

1. Notice of application/proposal shall include:

a. The identity of the applicant;

b. The date of the notice of application/proposal;

c. Project description;

d. Preliminary identification of existing environmental documents that evaluate the proposal and the location where the application and studies can be reviewed;

e. A preliminary determination and reference to the relevant code provisions, development standards, and regulations which may apply to the approval of the application; a preliminary list of those regulations that will be used for project mitigation; and, if a mitigated DNS is expected to issue, a preliminary list of conditions being considered to mitigate environmental impacts;

f. On the first page, notice that:

i. The city uses the optional threshold determination process authorized by WAC 197-11-355;

ii. The application comment period for nonexempt proposals may be the only opportunity to comment on the environmental impacts of the proposal;

iii. The proposal may include mitigation measures under applicable codes, and the project review process may incorporate or require mitigation measures regardless of whether an environmental impact statement is prepared; and

iv. A copy of the subsequent threshold determination on the proposal may be obtained upon request;

g. The information required by Section 20.14.060(C);

h. A statement identifying the public comment period, the right to comment on the application, receive notice of and participate in hearings, request a copy of decision on the proposal once made, and any appeal rights;

i. To the extent applicable, the date, time, place, and type of hearing upon the application if such hearing has been scheduled at the time the notice of application/proposal is given; and

j. Other information that the department determines to be appropriate to include.

2. The notice of application/proposal may incorporate by reference the determination of completeness to the extent that it substantially provides the information required herein. In such case, the notice of application/proposal and copies thereof shall attach a copy of the determination of completeness and additionally provide the information required herein that is not provided by the determination of completeness. A notice of application/proposal and copies thereof which by reference incorporates a determination of completeness shall also attach any copies of documents incorporated through reference by the determination of completeness. The department shall prepare and provide a separate notice of application/proposal containing the information required by this section if either:

a. A determination of completeness was not required for the proposal;

b. A determination of completeness was not timely prepared for the proposal; or

c. The determination of completeness substantially omits the information required by Section 20.14.060(C).

B. Notice of Application – How Given.

1. Applicant Notice. The department shall electronically deliver or mail notice of application/proposal to the applicant, or the person or entity designated by the applicant to receive notice. The notice of application/proposal may be provided to the applicant or applicant’s designee contemporaneously with the determination of completeness.

2. Agency Notice. The department shall electronically mail notice of applications/proposals that are not categorically exempt under SEPA to departments and agencies with jurisdiction over the project permit application.

3. Site Plan Review Committee Notice. The department shall electronically deliver notice of application/proposal to members of the site plan review committee if the proposal requires site plan review.

4. Sustainability Committee. The department shall electronically mail notice of applications/proposals that are not categorically exempt under SEPA to the city’s sustainability committee.

5. Public Notice.

a. The department shall electronically deliver or mail notice of application/proposal of interpretation requests and Level I proposals that are categorically exempt under SEPA to parties that have filed a special notification request in accordance with Section 20.14.015. Such notice shall explain that there is no comment period, and that the proposal is categorically exempt under SEPA.

b. Anyone who has filed a special notification request in accordance with Section 20.14.015 shall receive the notice of application.

c. The notice of application shall be provided as follows:

Review Level

Notice Provided(1)

Non-SEPA exempt Level I

Mailed to adjacent property owners (2)

City’s website

Level II

Mailed to adjacent property owners (2)

City’s website

Level III

Property owners within 300 feet of project site boundaries

City’s website

Post the project site in a conspicuous location

Publish in the Union-Bulletin

Level IV (3)

Property owners within 400 feet of project site boundaries

City’s website

Post the project site in a conspicuous location

Publish in the Union-Bulletin

Level IV – Shoreline Substantial Development Permits, Shoreline Conditional Use Permit, or Shoreline Variance (4)

Property owners within 400 feet of project site boundaries

City’s website

Post the project site in a conspicuous location

Publish in the Union-Bulletin two consecutive weeks on the same day of the week

Level V

City’s website

Publish in the Union-Bulletin

Level VI

City’s website

Publish in the Union-Bulletin

Annexation Proposals

In accordance with Section 20.02.080 instead of this section

Prezone Proposals

In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 35A.14 RCW instead of this section

Street Vacations

In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 35.79 RCW instead of this section

(1)    Notice is provided to the record owner(s) of property, as shown by the records of the Walla Walla County assessor’s office.

(2)    If the owner of the proposal site owns another parcel or parcels of real property which lie adjacent to the proposal site, the notice of application/proposal shall be given to the record owner(s) of property, as shown by the records of the Walla Walla County assessor’s office, which is adjacent to any portion of the boundaries of the proposal site or such other adjacently located parcels owned by the same owner as the proposal site.

(3)    Notice of subdivision preliminary plat proposals shall be given to the Washington State Secretary of Transportation if a proposed subdivision preliminary plat is located adjacent to the right-of-way of a state highway or within two miles of the boundary of a state or municipal airport.

(4)    Notices regarding shoreline substantial development proposals shall additionally include a statement that any person desiring to submit written comments concerning an application, or desiring to receive notification of the final decision concerning the proposal as expeditiously as possible after the issuance of decision, may submit the comments or requests for decisions to the department within thirty days following the date of final publication of the notice of application; unless the proposal is for a limited utility extension or for the construction of a bulkhead or other measures to protect a single-family residence and its appurtenant structures from shoreline erosion, in which case comments must be submitted within twenty days following the date of final publication of the notice of application.

C. Combined Notice. Notice of application/proposal may be combined with notice of hearing if the hearing date has been set at the time notice of application/proposal is given. Each combined notice shall contain the notice of application/proposal information required herein and the notice of hearing information required by Section 20.14.085.

D. The department should document the date and manner by which any notice is given.

E. The department may remove posted notice upon expiration of the comment period.

F. Publication costs and costs incurred to post and remove notice at the proposal site shall be borne by the applicant in addition to other costs and fees which apply. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2012-09 § 16, 2012: Ord. 2008-06 § 32, 2008).

20.14.070 Comment period.

A. There is no public comment period on Level I proposals that are categorically exempt under SEPA.

B. There shall be a public comment period on proposals that are not categorically exempt under SEPA.

C. There shall be a public comment period on all Level II, III, IV, and V proposals even if they are categorically exempt under SEPA.

D. There shall be a public comment period on all Comprehensive Plan or Subarea Plan adoption or amendment proposals.

E. The length of the comment period shall be determined by the department and identified in the notice of application; provided, however, the comment period for a proposal shall be not less than fifteen nor more than thirty days following the date of completion of service of notice of application, or, when applicable, following the date of final publication of notice of application.

1. The comment period upon shoreline substantial development proposals shall be thirty days following the date of final publication of the notice of application; unless the proposal is for a limited utility extension or for the construction of a bulkhead or other measures to protect a single-family residence and its appurtenant structures from shoreline erosion, in which case the comment period shall be twenty days following the date of final publication of the notice of application.

F. The applicant is deemed to be a participant in the comment period, and may submit comments during the comment period in addition to those submitted by agencies and the public.

G. Comments must be submitted in writing to the department prior to expiration of the comment period.

H. The city may assume that parties which do not respond with written comments within the time period for commenting have no information relating to the proposal or its potential impact(s). Lack of comment shall be construed as lack of objection. (Ord. 2008-06 § 33, 2008).

20.14.080 Determination of consistency/SEPA determination.

A. A determination of consistency and SEPA determination shall be made within ninety days after an application is determined to be complete; unless the applicant requests an additional thirty days for such determinations, in which case the determinations shall be made within one hundred twenty days after an application is determined to be complete.

B. The department shall make a determination of consistency upon project permit applications as provided herein:

1. Level I proposals that are categorically exempt under SEPA are deemed consistent with the city’s development regulations, and a determination of consistency is not required to be made upon individual proposals.

2. A determination of consistency is not required for non-project actions.

3. The determination of consistency shall be made after the comment period for a project permit proposal expires; or, with respect to proposals for which there is no comment period, after the application is determined to be complete. The determination of consistency shall not be made until such time that the department has sufficient information to make a determination whether the proposal is categorically exempt under SEPA or subject to threshold determination requirements; and, if subject to threshold determination requirements, the threshold SEPA determination.

4. The determination of consistency may be different than the preliminary determination of consistency made in a determination of completeness.

5. The department shall determine whether the proposed project is consistent with city development regulations, or, in the absence of applicable development regulations, the appropriate elements of the Comprehensive Plan.

a. The department shall review development regulations and Comprehensive Plan elements which apply to the proposal. The development regulations reviewed shall, without limitation, include the codes, ordinances, resolutions and plans designated in Section 21.08.160. Such development regulations and Comprehensive Plan elements shall be determinative of the:

i. Type of land use permitted at the proposal site, including uses that may be allowed under certain circumstances, such as planned unit developments and conditional and special uses, if the criteria for their approval have been satisfied;

ii. Density of residential development; and

iii. Availability and adequacy of public facilities identified in the Comprehensive Plan, if the plan or development regulations provide for funding of these facilities.

b. During project review, the reviewing body shall not reexamine alternatives or hear appeals on the items identified in subsection (B)(5)(a) of this section, except issues of code interpretation.

c. Determination of items identified in subsection (B)(5)(a) of this section shall not preclude future amendment proposals for docketed deficiencies; provided, however, that amendment proposals shall be considered through the normal amendment process.

d. When making a determination of consistency, the department shall consider:

i. The type of land use proposed;

ii. The level of development proposed, such as units per acre or other measures of density;

iii. Infrastructure, including public facilities and services needed to serve the proposed development; and

iv. The characteristics of the development, such as development standards.

e. When making a consistency determination, the department should use the advisory criteria established by Chapter 365-197 WAC, as amended.

f. The determination of consistency may be contained within the staff report for the land use decision.

6. The department shall deliver, or mail, notice of any determination made under this section to anyone who has filed a request for special notice in accordance with Section 20.14.015, parties entitled to notice of the SEPA threshold determination for the proposal, and the applicant, or the person or entity designated by the applicant to receive determinations and notices.

C. The department shall make a SEPA determination as provided herein:

1. The department shall issue its decision whether a Level I proposal is categorically exempt under SEPA at the time the determination of completeness is made or as soon as practicable thereafter. The department may note on the application or place a determination that a proposal is categorically exempt in the department file for the proposal, and the department is not required to separately document that a proposal is categorically exempt.

2. When a comment period is required for a proposal by Section 20.14.070, the department shall consider timely comments and other materials on the proposal and decide after the comment period expires whether the proposal is categorically exempt under SEPA or subject to threshold determination requirements.

a. If a proposal is categorically exempt, the department may note on the application or place a determination that a proposal is categorically exempt in the department file for the proposal, and the department shall deliver or mail notice to anyone who has filed a request for special notice in accordance with Section 20.14.015 and the applicant, or the person or entity designated by the applicant to receive notice.

b. If the proposal is subject to threshold determination requirements, the responsible official shall follow the procedures outlined in Chapter 21.08, Chapter 197-11 WAC, and Chapter 43.21C RCW.

D. Nothing herein shall limit the authority of the city to approve, condition, or deny a proposal as provided in its development regulations or its policies designated in Section 21.08.160.

E. The department should document the date and manner by which any notice is given. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 34, 2008).

20.14.085 Notice of hearing.

A. Notice of Hearing – Contents and Timing. Notice of hearing shall include (1) the identity of the applicant, (2) the purpose of the hearing, including, when applicable, the location of the proposal site, (3) the date, time, and place of the hearing, and (4) the identity of the hearing body. Notice of hearing shall be given not less than fifteen days and not more than thirty days prior to the date set for public hearing.

B. Notice of Hearing – How Given.

1. Applicant/Appellant Notice. The department shall electronically deliver or mail notice of hearing on all matters to the applicant, or the person or entity designated by the applicant to receive notice. The department shall electronically deliver or mail notice of hearing on administrative appeals to the appellant(s), or the person or entity designated by the appellant(s) to receive notice.

2. The notice of hearing shall be provided as follows:

Review Level

Notice Provided (1)

Level III

Property owners within 300 feet of project site boundaries (2)

City’s website

Post the project site in a conspicuous location

Publish in the Union-Bulletin

Level IV

Property owners within 400 feet of project site boundaries (2)

City’s website

Post the project site in a conspicuous location

Publish in the Union-Bulletin

Level V

City’s website

Publish in the Union-Bulletin

Level VI

City’s website

Publish in the Union-Bulletin

Annexation proposals

Follow Section 20.02.080

Street vacation proposals

Follow Chapter 35.79 RCW

Record owner of property, as shown in the Walla Walla County assessor’s records, which is adjacent to the area of the street to be vacated

Prezone proposals

Follow Chapter 35A.14 RCW

(1)    Notice is provided to the record owner(s) of property, as shown by the records of the Walla Walla County assessor’s office.

(2)    If the owner of the proposal site owns another parcel or parcels of real property which lie adjacent to the proposal site, the notice of application/proposal shall be given to the record owner(s) of property, as shown by the records of the Walla Walla County assessor’s office, which is adjacent to any portion of the boundaries of the proposal site or such other adjacently located parcels owned by the same owner as the proposal site.

C. Combined Notice. Notice of hearing may be combined with notice of application/proposal if the hearing date has been set at the time notice of application/proposal is given. Each combined notice shall contain the notice of hearing information required herein and the notice of application/proposal information required by Section 20.14.065.

D. The department should document the date and manner by which any notice is given.

E. Continued hearings may be held at the discretion of the hearing body, but no additional notice need be given if the date, time, and place of the hearing is publicly announced at the time the hearing is continued.

F. The department may remove posted notice after the date of the public hearing even if it is continued as provided herein.

G. Publication costs and costs incurred to post and remove notice at the proposal site shall be borne by the applicant in addition to other costs and fees which apply. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 35, 2008).

20.14.090 Decision/action – Notice.

A. Project Permit Proposals.

1. A decision on a project permit proposal should be made no later than one hundred twenty days after an application is determined to be complete; provided, however, that preliminary plats, final plats, and short plats shall be approved, disapproved, or returned to the applicant for modification or correction within the time limits specified in RCW 58.17.140. The director may extend the time period for decision and the time limits specified in RCW 58.17.140 by making written findings that a specified amount of additional time is needed to process an application.

2. Final decisions by the hearing examiner shall be made within the time limits established pursuant to subsection (A)(1) of this section. Subject to those time limits, final decisions by the hearing examiner shall additionally be rendered within ten working days following the conclusion of all testimony and hearings unless a longer period is mutually agreed to in writing by the applicant and the hearing examiner; provided, that the hearing examiner may determine the time and manner by which testimony and hearings shall be deemed to be concluded.

3. The department shall electronically deliver or mail notice of decision to:

a. The applicant, or the person or entity designated by the applicant to receive notice;

b. The appellant, if any;

c. Parties that have filed a special notification request in accordance with Section 20.14.015 prior to rendering of the decision;

d. Identifiable parties who have provided addresses and have submitted substantive written comments on the proposal prior to rendering of the decision;

e. The office of the county assessor; and

f. Certain other parties identified herein:

i. The department shall additionally deliver or mail notice on Level III proposals, Level II proposals, and Level I proposals that are not categorically exempt under SEPA to the record owner(s) of property, as shown by the records of the Walla Walla County assessor’s office, which is adjacent to the proposal site. If the owner of the proposal site owns another parcel or parcels of real property which lie adjacent to the proposal site, the notice shall be given to the record owner(s) of property, as shown by the records of the Walla Walla County assessor’s office, which is adjacent to any portion of the boundaries of the proposal site or such other adjacently located parcels owned by the same owner as the proposal site.

ii. The department shall additionally deliver or mail notice on Level IV proposals to the record owner(s) of property, as shown by the records of the Walla Walla County assessor’s office, which is within four hundred feet of the proposal site, as measured from each property line of the proposal site. If the owner of the proposal site owns another parcel or parcels of real property which lie adjacent to the proposal site, the notice shall be given to the record owner(s) of property, as shown by the records of the Walla Walla County assessor’s office, which is within four hundred feet of any portion of the boundaries of the proposal site or such adjacently located commonly owned parcels, as measured from each property line.

iii. The notice given to affected property owners described by this subsection shall additionally state that the affected property owners may request a change in valuation for property tax purposes notwithstanding any program of revaluation.

4. Notice to the county assessor required herein may be given by periodic summaries which consolidate notice of decision on proposals made within a time period specified in the notice.

5. Notice of decision on project permit proposals shall include a statement of any threshold SEPA determination that has been made.

6. Notice of decision on Level I and Level II decisions shall include a statement that gives notice regarding the procedure for administrative appeal.

7. Notice of decision on Level I and Level II administrative appeals, Level III decisions, and Level IV decisions shall include the time limit for commencing an appeal of the underlying governmental action and SEPA issues if the decision is appealable, citation to the statute or ordinance establishing the time limit, and where an appeal may be filed.

8. The city shall additionally publish a summary and notice of adoption in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin for site specific amendments to the zoning map.

B. Nonproject Proposals.

1. The department shall deliver or mail notice of decision to:

a. The applicant, or the person or entity designated by the applicant to receive notice;

b. Parties that have filed a special notification request in accordance with Section 20.14.015 prior to rendering of the decision;

2. The city shall additionally give public notice as follows:

a. The city shall publish a summary and notice of adoption in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin for:

i. Zoning Code text amendments;

ii. Zoning map amendments of general applicability;

iii. Subdivision Code amendments;

iv. Planning-related regulations determined by the director to implement the Comprehensive Plan or a Subarea Plan; and

v. Adoption of a Comprehensive Plan or Subarea Plan, or amendments thereto;

b. The summary and notice of adoption shall include the time limit for commencing an appeal of the underlying governmental action and SEPA issues if the final action is appealable, citation to the statute or ordinance establishing the time limit, and where an appeal may be filed.

C. Exceptions.

1. Notice of annexations, prezones, and street vacations shall be given by publication of an ordinance summary in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin in accordance with RCW 35A.12.160 and 35A.13.200, as amended.

2. Amendments to the local Shoreline Master Program require Department of Ecology approval and are processed pursuant to RCW 90.58.090, as amended, following local legislative action. The department shall submit any amendments to the Department of Ecology for approval, and the Department of Ecology will give public notice in accordance with its procedure and rules.

D. Notice of decision on Level I and Level III administrative appeals, Level III decisions, Level IV decisions, Level V decisions, and Level VI decisions shall include the time limit for commencing an appeal of the underlying governmental action and SEPA issues if the decision is appealable, citation to the statute or ordinance establishing the time limit, and where an appeal may be filed.

E. The city may include notice of SEPA action with any notice given under this section. If a notice of decision is combined with a notice of action, the notice shall be given both as provided in this section and as required by RCW 43.21C.080, as amended.

F. The department should document the date and manner by which any notice is given. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 36, 2008).

20.14.095 Compliance with notice of decision.

A. Notice of Decision Compliance Required. Decisions issued on the basis of approved plans and applications and conditions of approval imposed by the approving authority authorize only the use, arrangement and construction set forth in the approved plans and application together with any associated conditions of approval and the final site plan. Any use, arrangement, or construction at variance with that authorized is a violation of this code and is punishable as provided in Chapter 20.42, Violations and Enforcement.

B. Site Inspection Authorized. The director, the building official, and other city officials having responsibilities under this code, or their designees, are authorized to perform interim and final inspections of all development and modifications to development to assure that it has been established and/or constructed in conformance with the final site plan and associated terms and conditions of approval. Such inspections may be coordinated with the inspections required by other applicable codes or ordinances.

C. Approval Extension. A valid decision for project permit action may be extended one time only for up to one additional year by action of the director. Requests for extensions shall be in writing to the department and shall be accompanied by the previously approved final site plan showing the location and size of any development or work already completed on the project. The director shall review the request without public notice or hearing and issue his or her decision within ten days from the receipt of the extension request. The director may (1) approve the extension, (2) approve the extension with conditions to assure the work will be timely completed, or (3) disapprove the extension. An extension shall be issued for good cause only and the burden of showing cause shall be upon the applicant. The director shall mail his or her decision to the applicant and shall specify his or her decision as final unless appealed under the provisions of Chapter 20.38, Closed Record Decisions and Appeals.

D. Decision Expiration. An approval for project permit action shall automatically expire and be terminated when:

1. A new or modified decision is issued for the parcel or parcels affected;

2. The work or action authorized in the decision has not begun within one hundred eighty days from the date of issuance thereof, unless a longer or shorter time is specified in the approval itself; or

3. The work or action authorized in the decision has not been completed within two years from the date of issuance, unless a longer or shorter time is specified in the approval itself.

Knowledge of expiration date and initiation of a request for extension of approval time are the responsibility of the applicant. The city shall not be held responsible for the notification of expiration, although it may notify the applicant of date of expiration. All requests for additional time must be submitted to the development services office prior to expiration of the decision. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2008-06 § 37, 2008).

20.14.100 Official index for approvals to be maintained as public record.

The department shall maintain an official index of all applications requiring review and approval by the reviewing body and/or approving authority. The official index shall include the application number, the applicant’s name, address and type of request and will reference the application, permits and site plan which will be kept in the appropriate file. The department shall immediately, upon issuance of a decision, place the decision with the electronic permit file. The official index required by this section shall constitute authority as to the current applicable limitations and requirements pertaining to specific approvals issued under this code and shall constitute constructive notice to third parties of the existence and terms of said approval. The director, or designee, shall be the official custodian of said index and is authorized to issue certified copies. Any unauthorized change of any kind by any person to the documents or records in the official index required by this section shall constitute a violation of this code and be punishable as provided under Chapter 20.42. (Ord. 2018-53 § 7(part), 2018: Ord. 2000-6 § 2(part), 2000: Ord. 95-5 § 1(part), 1995).