Chapter 16.02


16.02.010    Purpose of title.

16.02.020    Division of land to comply with title.

16.02.030    Exemptions.

16.02.040    Definitions.

16.02.050    Division of land subject to municipal code.

16.02.060    Undefined words and phrases.

16.02.010 Purpose of title.

The city council finds that the process by which all land within the city of West Richland is divided is a matter of city concern and therefore should be administered in accordance with certain standards. The purpose of this title is to regulate the division of all land and to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare in accordance with standards established to prevent overcrowding of land, to lessen congestion in the streets and highways, to promote effective land use, to promote safe and convenient travel by the public on streets and highways, to provide for adequate light and air, to facilitate adequate provisions for water, sewer, parks and recreation areas and other public requirements, to provide for proper ingress and egress and to provide for the expeditious review and approval of proposed divisions of land within the city. [Ord. 14-00 § 1, 2000; Ord. 9-92 § 1, 1992].

16.02.020 Division of land to comply with title.

Every division of land within the city, for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership, shall comply with the provisions of this title. [Ord. 14-00 § 1, 2000; Ord. 9-92 § 1, 1992].

16.02.030 Exemptions.

The following actions are exempt from the provisions of this title; provided, that in order to determine whether the action qualifies for the exemption claimed, approval must be received from the community development director. Creation of an exempt lot does not vest the owner with the right to develop the lot when it does not meet access or use requirements of the zoning district in which it is located.

A. Cemeteries and other burial plots while used for that purpose (RCW 58.17.040(1));

B. Divisions of land into lots or tracts each of which is one-sixteenth of a section of land or larger, or 40 acres or larger if the land is not capable of description as a fraction of a section of land; provided, that for purposes of computing the size of any lot under this item which borders on a street or road, the lot size shall be expanded to include that area which would be bounded by the centerline of the road or street and the side lot lines of the lot running perpendicular to such centerline;

C. Divisions made by testamentary provisions, or the laws of descent;

D. A division for the purpose of lease (not sale) when no residential structure other than mobile homes or travel trailers are permitted to be placed upon the land when the city has approved a binding site plan for the use of the land in accordance with local regulations;

E. A division authorized through Chapter 16.10 WRMC, made for the purpose of adjusting boundary lines which does not create any additional lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions, nor any lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions which contain insufficient area and/or dimensions to meet the minimum requirements for width, depth and/or area for a lot;

F. A division which is made by subjecting a portion of a parcel or tract of land to Chapter 64.32 RCW, the Horizontal Property Regimes Act (Condominiums), when all other building and zoning rules applicable to the development have been fulfilled;

G. A division for the purpose of leasing land (not sale) for facilities providing personal wireless services while used for that purpose. “Personal wireless services” means any federally licensed personal wireless service. “Facilities” means unstaffed facilities that are used for the transmission or reception, or both, of wireless communication services including, but not necessarily limited to, antenna arrays, transmission cables, equipment shelters, and support structures;

H. Divisions made by court order; provided, that this exemption shall not apply to land divided pursuant to dissolution or partition proceedings of a corporation, partnership, limited partnership, joint venture, or trust, unless the city is made a party to the proceedings and has rendered its advice to the court in respect of the division proposed to be included within such order;

I. Divisions and/or acquisitions of land pursuant to condemnation or threat of condemnation by a government agency for public purposes;

J. The division of land due to an intervening dedicated public road right-of-way that currently contains a public road, or is scheduled on the six-year TIP to contain a public road; and

K. Any division of land solely for the purpose of installation and maintenance of power, telephone, water supply, sewer service or other public/quasi-public utility facilities of a similar or a related nature; provided, that any remaining lot or lots are consistent with applicable zoning and lot size requirements. [Ord. 39-07 § 1, 2007; Ord. 14-00 § 1, 2000].

16.02.040 Definitions.

As used in this title, unless the context or subject matter clearly requires otherwise, the words or phrases defined in this section shall have the indicated meanings.

“Alley” means a public thoroughfare or right-of-way which affords only a secondary means of access to abutting property.

“Applicant” means the owner or owners of record of the property subject to an application for land division or lot/boundary line adjustment, or authorized representative of such owner or owners.

“Application” means all of the application forms, plans, and accompanying documents required for any particular land division or lot/boundary line adjustment request.

“Binding site plan” means a drawing to a scale, specified in Chapter 16.06 WRMC, which:

1. Identifies and shows the areas and locations of all streets, roads, improvements, utilities, open spaces and any other matters required;

2. Contains inscriptions or attachments setting forth such appropriate limitations and conditions for the use of the land as are established by the city; and

3. Contains provisions requiring any development to be in conformance with the binding site plan.

“Block” is a group of lots, tracts or parcels within well-defined and fixed boundaries.

“Boundary line adjustment” shall have the same meaning as “lot/boundary line adjustment,” meaning the relocation or other minor adjustment of the boundaries of a lot, in which the relocation does not result in the creation of any additional lot or lots.

“Building envelope” refers to the buildable area of a lot after applicable setbacks, easements, and other restrictions on the lot are taken into account.

“CDD” means the city of West Richland community development department.

“Common open space” means a parcel or parcels of land or an area of water or a combination of land and water within the site designated for a subdivision and designed and intended for the use or enjoyment of the public. Common open space may contain such complementary structures and improvements as are necessary and appropriate for the benefit and enjoyment of residents of the subdivision.

“Community development director” is the city of West Richland community development director or his designated representative who is responsible for administering the land division regulations within the city of West Richland.

“Condominium” means real property, portions of which are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by owners of those portions. Real property is not a condominium unless the undivided interests in the common elements are vested in unit owners, and unless a declaration and a survey map and plans have been recorded in accordance with Chapter 64.32 or 64.34 RCW. Condominiums are not confined to residential units, such as apartments, but also include offices and other types of space in commercial buildings.

“Dedication” is the deliberate appropriation of land by an owner for any general and public uses, reserving to himself no other rights than such as are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public uses to which the property has been devoted. The intention to dedicate shall be evidenced by the owner by the presentment for filing of a final plat, short plat or binding site plan showing the dedication thereon; and the acceptance by the public shall be evidenced by the approval of such plat, short plat, or binding site plan for filing by the city.

“Development permit” means any permit issued by the city of West Richland allowing the physical alteration of real property including, but not limited to, building construction, street construction, utility construction or installation, grading, filling or excavating. Approval of a subdivision, short subdivision, or lot/boundary line adjustment is not considered a development permit for the purposes of this title.

“Director” means the city of West Richland community development director or his/her designee.

“Division” is the division or redivision of land, regardless of the size of the parcels or the number of lots, for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership and includes subdivision, short subdivision or binding site plan provisions.

“Engineering design standards” is synonymous with “engineering standards” and means the city’s engineering, design, and construction standards and specifications governing the construction of public and private improvements serving developments. The city’s engineering design standards include the public works engineering design standards manual, standards for transportation facilities in accordance with city standards and standards for clearing and grading, erosion control, stormwater facilities and water and sewer improvements as provided in WRMC Title 15, this title and city standards.

“Fill” means any sand, gravel, earth, or other materials of any composition whatsoever placed or deposited by humans.

“Final plat” is the final drawing of the subdivision and dedication prepared for filing for record with the county auditor and containing all elements and requirements set forth in this title and in other regulations adopted by the city.

“Flag lot” means an irregular extension or protrusion of a lot created for the purpose of providing such lot with frontage on a public or private street or access way.

“Homeowners association” means an incorporated nonprofit organization operating under recorded land agreements.

“Improvements” means the facilities and infrastructure of a land development, including but not limited to the streets, sidewalks, street lights, fire hydrants, stormwater facilities, sanitary sewer facilities, domestic water facilities, and other utilities and facilities required by this title to be constructed in conjunction with any particular land division, as approved by the necessary city departments.

“Land division” means the creation of any new lot or lots for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership, whether such lot or lots is created by full subdivision or short subdivision.

“Lot” is the fractional part of divided lands having fixed boundaries and being of sufficient area and dimension to meet minimum zoning requirements for width and area. The term shall include tracts or parcels.

“Lot/boundary line adjustment” is synonymous with “boundary line adjustment,” meaning the relocation or other minor adjustment of the boundaries of a lot, in which the relocation does not result in the creation of any additional lot or lots.

“Lot frontage” means the boundary of a lot which is along an existing or dedicated public street, or where no public street exists, along a private road, easement or access way.

“Lot, nonconforming” means a lot of record in existence prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in WRMC Title 17 and any amendments thereto which does not meet the minimum lot size and other requirements as set forth in WRMC Title 17, Zoning.

“Lot of record” means any undeveloped lot or parcel of land shown on an officially recorded plat or short plat or a parcel of land officially recorded or registered as a unit of property and described by platted lot number or by metes and bounds and lawfully established for conveyance purposes on the date of recording of the instrument first referencing the lot. The term “lot of record” as used herein does not imply that the lot conforms with the legal regulatory requirements for subdivision of property in accordance with Chapter 58.17 RCW and this title.

“Lot, pipestem” is synonymous with “flag lot” and means a lot not meeting minimum frontage requirements and where access to the public road is by a narrow private right-of-way or driveway.

“Lot reorientation” means a boundary line adjustment proposing 90-degree lot line rotations to reposition no more than two lots such that no additional building site, lot, tract or parcel is created. “Lot reorientation” may include reorientations of lots through rotational lot line adjustments less than 90 degrees so long as the director determines the proposed reorientation to conform with all criteria for boundary line adjustments.

“Lot, through” means a lot that has both ends fronting on a street; both ends shall be deemed front.

“Meander line” means a line along a body of water intended to be used solely as a reference for surveying.

“Panhandle” means an irregular extension or protrusion of a lot created for the purpose of providing such lot with frontage on a public or private street or access way.

“Parcel merger” means the merger of two or more lots/parcels into one lot/parcel.

“Plat” is a map or representation of a subdivision, showing thereon the division of a tract or parcel of land into lots, blocks, streets and alleys or other divisions and dedications.

“Preliminary plat” is a neat and approximate drawing of a proposed subdivision showing the general layout of streets and alleys, lots, blocks and other elements of a subdivision consistent with the requirements of this title. The preliminary plat shall be the basis for the approval or disapproval of the general layout of a subdivision.

“Private street” means a street that is not deeded to the city and is used for access to secondary lots which have no direct access to a public way.

“Proof of ownership” means a photocopy of a recorded deed to property and/or a current title insurance policy insuring the status of an applicant as the owner in fee title to real property. Where proof of ownership is required by this title, the director shall have the discretion to require a current title insurance policy.

“Public street” means an approved street, whether improved or unimproved, held in public ownership or control (either through deed or easement conveyance) and intended to be open as a matter of right to public vehicular travel.

“Public way” means any publicly owned land set aside for utilities or surface transportation purposes, including vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian transportation, whether improved or not improved.

“Public works director” means the city of West Richland public works director or his/her designee, and shall include without limitation the city engineer and the city development engineer.

“Right-of-way” shall have the same meaning as “public way.”

“Roadway” means that portion of an approved street intended for the accommodation of vehicular traffic, generally between curb lines on an improved surface.

“Short plat” is the map or representation of a short subdivision.

“Short subdivision” is the division or redivision of land into eight or fewer lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership.

“Street” means a public or private thoroughfare or easement which affords primary means of access. For the purposes of this title, the definition of “street” includes all public and private utilities such as communication lines, cable television lines, electrical lines and equipment, gas distribution lines, stormwater, water and sewer facilities, sidewalks, curb or gutter, and other similar facilities commonly found in street rights-of-way.

“Subdivision” is the division or redivision of land into five or more lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership. [Ord. 13-04 § 1, 2004; Ord. 14-00 § 1, 2000; Ord. 9-92 § 1, 1992].

16.02.050 Division of land subject to municipal code.

All division of land within the city shall be subject to the design and construction standards established in Chapter 16.16 WRMC, as well as all other applicable laws and regulations of the city; provided, that this requirement shall not apply to those divisions of land described in WRMC 16.02.030. [Ord. 14-00 § 1, 2000; Ord. 9-92 § 1, 1992].

16.02.060 Undefined words and phrases.

The definition of any word or phrase, not listed in the definitions, which is in question when administering this title shall defined according to one of the following sources in order of priority:

A. Any city of West Richland resolution, ordinance, code, regulation or formally adopted comprehensive plan, shoreline master plan or program or other formally adopted land use plan;

B. Any statute or regulation of the state of Washington;

C. Legal definitions from Washington common law or a law dictionary;

D. The common dictionary. [Ord. 13-04 § 2, 2004].