Chapter 17.01


17.01.010    Title and authority.

17.01.020    Jurisdiction.

17.01.030    Purpose and intent.

17.01.040    Application.

17.01.050    Compliance.

17.01.055    Illegal uses prohibited.

17.01.060    Conflict of provisions.

17.01.070    Severability.

17.01.080    Number and gender.

17.01.010 Title and authority.

The title codified in Chapters 17.01 through 17.85 shall be known as the Wapato urban area zoning ordinance. The Wapato urban area zoning ordinance is enacted under authority granted to the city of Wapato by Article XI, Section II, of the Washington State Constitution and Chapter 36.70 RCW. (Ord. 956(part), 1993)

17.01.020 Jurisdiction.

A. Generally. This title is enacted and administered by the city of Wapato for lands and uses within the Wapato urban area. The ordinance adopted and enacted by the city of Wapato applies to all land and uses located within the city limits of the city of Wapato.

B. Wapato Area Urban Boundary--Official Boundary and Description. For purposes of this title, the Wapato urban area is hereby officially declared to be that area bounded and described:  (1) on the official zoning maps adopted in accordance with Section 17.03.040 and (2) in the “Wapato Urban Area Legal Description” attached to the ordinance codified in this title as Appendix A and hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this title. In case of conflicts between the official zoning maps and the official legal description, the official legal description shall control.

C. Existing Ordinance Superseded. The provisions of this title shall be and are hereby declared to supersede and replace all existing and future provisions of Title 17 of this code within the Wapato urban area as officially described and adopted in subsection (B) of this section. The provisions of this title shall and are hereby declared to supersede and replace the existing provisions of the zoning ordinance of this code.

D. Terminology. Unless the context clearly implies some other meaning, references to “city” or similar terms in this title refer to the city of Wapato. References to “legislative body,” “planning commission,” “fire department,” “city council” or any other official or agency under this title shall mean those officials or agencies of the city of Wapato. (Ord. 956(part), 1993)

17.01.030 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this title is to implement the Wapato urban area comprehensive plan and promote the general health, safety and welfare of present and future inhabitants of the Wapato urban area. These goals are accomplished in many ways including:

A. Achieving public and private land use decisions consistent with the policies and objectives of the Wapato urban area comprehensive plan.

B. Dividing the Wapato urban area into districts according to the use of land and structures and the intensity of such use.

C. Encouraging the location and use of structures and land for commerce, industry and residences in districts where they are compatible with neighboring land uses.

D. Encouraging development in areas where adequate public services including water and sewer, police and fire protection, roads and schools can be provided; and limiting development in areas where these facilities are not provided.

E. Securing economy in local governmental expenditures.

F. Encouraging innovative site design.

G. Providing for privacy, light, air, and view.

H. Promoting development within the Wapato urban area that is cost-effective to build and maintain.

I. Reducing the time required for public review of proposed projects.

J. Protecting existing land uses and property values and adverse impacts of adjoining developments.

K. Reducing traffic danger and congestion on the highways.

L. Minimizing public and private losses due to flooding.

This title is designed to be flexible and intentionally increases the potential uses or choices available to individual property owners. This flexibility is balanced by procedures and standards based on the Wapato urban area comprehensive plan designed to guard against and mitigate undue adverse impacts and to protect individual neighborhoods and the community’s general welfare. Both concepts are essential to this title and are declared necessary for the promotion of the general health, safety and welfare.

Further, this title divides all the land within the city of Wapato into zoning districts. Each zoning district has an intent statement that clearly defines the district’s purpose, identifies the general character of the area within that district, and establishes objectives to be achieved by development in the district. Distinctions between each district are significant and based on the Wapato urban area comprehensive plan. The intent statements serve as a guide to the administration and interpretation of this title and are declared to be an official statement of legislative finding and purpose. (Ord. 956(part), 1993)

17.01.040 Application.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to generally state and summarize the uses and activities concerning land which are regulated by this title and to generally state and outline the manner of their regulation. This section is not intended to control the more detailed provisions of this title.

B. Generally. Uses of lands are regulated by this title. “Uses” includes, by definition of this title, alterations to land itself, occupancy of land, all accessory uses, and associated structures and site improvements, or any combination thereof (see Section 17.02.020 defining “use,” “accessory use,” “structure,” and “site improvement”). “Use” also means “development.”

This title regulates such uses in two ways:  (1) by specific development standards which must be met (see Chapters 17.05, 17.06, 17.07, 17.08 and 17.09), and (2) by prior review of more significant uses to allow general policies and standards to be applied, to assure compliance with the purpose and intent of this title, and to allow more flexibility of development and use (see Section 17.01.030). Different levels of review (Class (1), (2), or (3) review) are established for different categories of uses. The level of review is generally determined by the classification of the principal use and is subject to detailed regulations, including home occupations, off-street parking, signs, site screening, temporary use permits, swimming pools, communication towers, caretaker residences and yard sales (see Chapters 17.04, 17.06, 17.07 and 17.08).

Some of the development standards are designed to be administratively adjusted upwards or downwards to accommodate the purpose and intent of the zoning district involved and flexibility of development (see Section 17.10.020).

C. New and Existing Uses Regulated. Both uses established before and after the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title are regulated, but differently depending on their status under this title. New and different uses and development are reviewed under Class (1), (2) or (3) review and, if approved, are called “approved uses.”  Previous uses whose principal use would be permitted in the zoning district in which it is located are called “existing uses.”  Existing uses are allowed to continue even though they have not been through the regular review procedures of this title and may not fully comply with the development standards of this title. Such uses may be re-established as they previously existed if damaged or destroyed (see Chapter 17.18). Previously established uses which were legally established prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title, but which have a principal use which would not be permitted in the zoning district in which it was located, are called “nonconforming uses.”  Such uses are allowed to continue but are subject to more restrictions (see Chapter 17.19).

D. Changes and Alterations to Uses and Development. Changes and alterations to approved, existing, nonconforming uses or development are also regulated by this title and are called “modifications” (see Section 17.02.020). Certain nominal modifications to approved or existing uses are exempt. Other modifications to approved or existing uses which are minor and meet certain criteria can be administratively approved with minimal review. Procedures for such modifications are contained in Chapter 17.17. More significant changes to approved or existing uses and development which do not meet the exemptions or administrative approval criteria of Chapter 17.17 must be reviewed using the normal Class (1), (2) or (3) review procedures of this title. Changes and alterations to nonconforming uses are regulated by Chapter 17.19.

E. Permits. Except as exempted, no use or development, or modifications of use or development, as those terms are defined, may be established, placed, performed, constructed or implemented, in whole or in part, without a permit. The permit required by this title is called a “development permit.”  Chapters 17.11 and 17.12 contain provisions governing such permits and applications for permits. The following uses and modifications are exempt from peer review and permit requirements; provided, that they do not involve a required site improvement contained in a previously approved final site plan or permit (some exempt uses must still comply with the standards of this title):

1. Normal structural repair and maintenance.

2. Changes to conforming structures which do not involve structural alteration.

3. Rehabilitation of dwelling units, when such rehabilitation does not expand the number of units nor physically expand the structure.

4. Accessory structures otherwise meeting the specific development standards and other requirements of this title and which do not require a building permit under the provisions of the International Building Code as adopted by the city.

5. Communication towers less than thirty-five feet in height and which meet the requirements of Chapter 17.85.

6. Exempt signs.

7. Yard sales meeting the requirements of Section 17.04.060.

8. Alterations to land including grading, leveling, paving and excavation, the fair market value of which does not exceed five hundred dollars.

9. Site screening and landscaping.

10. All grading, construction of private or public roads, landscaping, construction of sewer, wastewater facilities, water, electrical, and other utilities pursuant to an approved and valid subdivision short plat or long plat. (Ord. 1205 §1(part), 2009:  Ord. 1183 §2(part), 2008:  Ord. 956(part), 1993)

17.01.050 Compliance.

No structure, land, or use shall hereafter be constructed, erected, maintained, enlarged, altered, repaired, improved, removed, converted, or demolished except as authorized by the terms of this title. (Ord. 956(part), 1993)

17.01.055 Illegal uses prohibited.

No use that is illegal under local, state or federal law shall be allowed in any zone within the city. (Ord. 1266 §1, 2012)

17.01.060 Conflict of provisions.

In the case of conflicts between this title and other rules, regulations, resolutions, ordinances or statutes lawfully adopted by the city, the most restrictive shall govern. In case of conflicts between the text, maps and tables of this title, the text shall govern unless otherwise stated. (Ord. 956(part), 1993)

17.01.070 Severability.

This title is declared to be severable. If any division, chapter, section, paragraph, clause or other portion or any part adopted by reference is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this title. If any division, chapter, section, paragraph, clause or any portion is adjudged invalid for any reason as applied to a particular property, use or structure, the application of such portion of the zoning ordinance to other property, use, or structure shall not be affected. (Ord. 956(part), 1993)

17.01.080 Number and gender.

Words importing the singular number may also be implied to the plural of persons and things; words importing the plural may also be implied to the singular; words importing the masculine gender may be extended to females; and words importing the feminine gender may be extended to males. (Ord. 956(part), 1993)