Chapter 14.04
CONSISTENCY WITH DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS AND SEPA

Sections:

14.04.010    Determination of consistency.

14.04.020    Initial SEPA analysis.

14.04.030    Categorically exempt and planned actions.

14.04.010 Determination of consistency.

A. Purpose. Consistency between a proposed project permit application, applicable regulations and comprehensive plan shall be determined through the process described in this section.

B. Consistency. During project permit application review, the director shall determine whether the development regulations applicable to the proposed project, or in the absence of applicable development regulations, the city’s comprehensive plan, address the following:

1. The type of land use permitted at the site, including uses that may be allowed if the criteria for their approval have been satisfied;

2. The level of development, such as units per acre, density of residential development in urban growth areas, or other measures of density;

3. Availability and adequacy of infrastructure and public facilities identified in the comprehensive plan;

4. Whether the plan or development regulations provide for funding of these facilities as required by Chapter 36.70A RCW; and

5. The character of the proposed development, as authorized by development standards.

C. Project Review. Project review by the director and appropriate city staff shall identify specific project design and conditions relating to the character of development, such as the details of site plans, curb cuts, drainage swales, the payment of impact fees, or other measures to mitigate a proposal’s probable adverse environmental impacts. During project review, neither the director nor any other city reviewing body may reexamine alternatives or hear appeals on matters found consistent with development regulations and/or the comprehensive plan, except for issues of code interpretation. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].

14.04.020 Initial SEPA analysis.

A. In addition to the land use consistency review, the director shall review the project permit application for consistency with the State Environmental Policy Act (“SEPA”), Chapter 43.21C RCW, the SEPA Rules, Chapter 197-11 WAC, and Chapter 18.04 WRMC, Environmental Review (SEPA), and shall:

1. Determine whether applicable regulations require studies to adequately analyze all of the proposed project’s specific probable adverse environmental impacts;

2. Determine whether applicable regulations require mitigation measures to adequately address identified environmental impacts; and

3. Provide prompt and coordinated review by other government agencies and the public on compliance with applicable environmental laws and plans, including mitigation for specific project impacts that have not been considered and addressed at the plan or development regulation level.

B. In its review of a project permit application, the director shall determine whether the requirements for environmental analysis, protection and mitigation measures in the applicable development regulations, comprehensive plan and/or in other applicable local, state or federal laws provide adequate analysis of and mitigation for the specific adverse environmental impacts of the proposal.

C. If the director bases or conditions his or her approval of the project permit application on compliance with the requirements or mitigation measures described in subsection A of this section, the city shall not impose additional mitigation under SEPA during project review for the same adverse environmental impacts.

D. A comprehensive plan, development regulation or other applicable local, state or federal law provides adequate analysis of, and mitigation for, the specific adverse environmental impacts of a proposal when:

1. The impacts have been avoided or otherwise mitigated; or

2. The city has designated in the plan, regulation or law that certain levels of service, land use designations, development standards or other land use conditions allowed by Chapter 36.70A RCW are acceptable.

E. In deciding whether a specific adverse environmental impact has been addressed by an existing city plan or development regulation, or by the regulations or laws of another government agency, the director shall consult orally or in writing with that agency and may expressly defer to that agency. In making this deferral, the director shall base or condition any project approval on compliance with these other regulations.

F. Nothing in this section limits the authority of the director in reviewing or mitigating the impacts of a proposed project to adopt or otherwise rely on environmental analyses and requirements under other laws, as provided by Chapter 43.21C RCW.

G. The director shall also review the application under Chapter 18.04 WRMC, Environmental Review (SEPA); provided, that such review shall be coordinated with the underlying permit application review. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].

14.04.030 Categorically exempt and planned actions.

A. Categorically Exempt. Actions categorically exempt under RCW 43.21C.110(1)(a) do not require environmental review or preparation of an environmental impact statement. Action that is categorically exempt under rules adopted by the Department of Ecology (Chapter 197-11 WAC) may not be conditioned or denied under SEPA.

B. Planned Actions.

1. A planned action does not require a threshold determination or the preparation of an environmental impact statement under SEPA, but is subject to environmental review and mitigation under SEPA.

2. A “planned action” means one or more types of project action that:

a. Are designated planned actions by an ordinance or resolution adopted by the city;

b. Have had the significant impacts adequately addressed in an environmental impact statement prepared in conjunction with:

i. A comprehensive plan or sub-area plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW; or

ii. A fully contained community, a master planned resort, a master planned development or a phased project;

c. Are subsequent or implementing projects for the proposals listed in subsection (B)(2)(b) of this section;

d. Are located within an urban growth area, as defined in RCW 36.70A.030;

e. Are not essential public facilities, as defined in RCW 36.70A.200; and

f. Are consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW.

C. Limitations on Planned Actions. The city shall limit planned actions to certain types of development or to specific geographical areas that are less extensive than the jurisdictional boundaries of the city, and may limit a planned action to a time period identified in the environmental impact statement or this title.

D. During project review, the city shall not reexamine alternatives to or hear appeals on the items identified in WRMC 14.04.010(B), except for issues of code interpretation.

E. Project review shall be used to identify specific project design and conditions relating to the character of development, such as the details of site plans, curb cuts, drainage swales, the payment of impact fees, or other measures to mitigate a proposal’s probable adverse environmental impacts. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].