Chapter 18.04
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW (SEPA)

Sections:

18.04.010    Authority.

18.04.020    Adoption by reference.

18.04.030    Additional definitions.

18.04.040    Designation of responsible official.

18.04.050    Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

18.04.060    Categorical exemptions and threshold determinations – Adoption by reference.

18.04.070    Categorical exemptions and threshold determinations – Time estimates.

18.04.080    Categorical exemptions – Adoption by reference.

18.04.090    Categorical exemptions – Determination.

18.04.100    Determination – Review at conceptual stage.

18.04.110    Threshold determination – Environmental checklist.

18.04.120    Completed environmental checklist defined.

18.04.130    Threshold determinations – Mitigated DNS.

18.04.140    Optional DNS process.

18.04.150    Consistency.

18.04.160    Environmental impact statement (EIS) – Adoption by reference.

18.04.170    EIS – Preparation.

18.04.180    Time for preparation of EIS.

18.04.190    EIS – Commenting – Adoption by reference.

18.04.200    Public notice.

18.04.210    Designation official to perform consulted agency responsibilities.

18.04.220    Using existing environmental documents – Adoption by reference.

18.04.230    SEPA decisions – Adoption by reference.

18.04.240    SEPA decisions.

18.04.250    SEPA policies.

18.04.260    Appeals.

18.04.270    Notice – Statute of limitations.

18.04.280    Definitions – Adoption by reference.

18.04.290    Compliance with SEPA – Adoption by reference.

18.04.300    Fees.

18.04.310    Forms – Adoption by reference.

Prior legislation: Ords. 293, 13-85, 24-99 and 20-06.

18.04.010 Authority.

The city of West Richland adopts the ordinance codified in this chapter under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), RCW 43.21C.120 and the SEPA rules WAC 197-11-904. The SEPA rules contained in Chapter 197-11 WAC must be used in conjunction with this chapter. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.020 Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference:

WAC

197-11-040    Definitions.

197-11-050    Lead agency.

197-11-055    Timing of SEPA process.

197-11-060    Content of environmental review.

197-11-070    Limitations on actions during SEPA process.

197-11-080    Incomplete or unavailable information.

197-11-090    Supporting documents.

197-11-100    Information required of applicants.

197-11-158    GMA project review – Reliance on existing plans, laws, and regulations.

197-11-164    Planned actions – Definition and criteria.

197-11-168    Ordinances or resolutions designating planned actions – Procedures for adoption.

197-11-172    Planned actions – Project review.

197-11-210    SEPA/GMA integration.

197-11-220    SEPA/GMA definitions.

197-11-225    Purpose, policy applicability and definitions.

197-11-228    Overall integration procedures.

197-11-230    Timing of an integrated GMA/SEPA process.

197-11-232    Integration procedures for preliminary planning, environmental analysis and expanded scoping.

197-11-235    Integrating documents.

197-11-259    Determination of nonsignificance for MTCA remedial action.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.030 Additional definitions.

In addition to those definitions contained within WAC 197-11-700 through 197-11-799, when used in this chapter the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the content indicates otherwise:

“Department” means any division, subdivision or organizational unit of the city established by ordinance, rule or order.

“DNS,” as listed in WAC 197-11-734, means determination of nonsignificance, whether with or without mitigation measures.

“SEPA rules” means Chapter 197-11 WAC adopted by the Department of Ecology. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.040 Designation of responsible official.

A. For those proposals for which the city is a lead agency, the responsible official shall be the community development director or such other person as the director may designate in writing.

B. For all proposals for which the city is a lead agency, the responsible official shall make the threshold determination, supervise scoping and preparation of any required environmental impact statement (EIS) and perform any other functions assigned to the lead agency or responsible official by those sections of the SEPA rules that have been adopted by reference. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.050 Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

A. The responsible official or the department receiving an application for or initiating a proposal that involves a nonexempt action shall determine the lead agency for that proposal under WAC 197-11-050 and 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, unless the lead agency has been previously determined or the department is aware that another department or agency is in the process of determining the lead agency.

B. When the city is not the lead agency for a proposal, all departments of the city shall use and consider as appropriate either the determination of nonsignificance (DNS) or the final EIS of the lead agency in making decisions on the proposal. No city department shall prepare or require preparation of a DNS or EIS in addition to that prepared by the lead agency unless the city determines a supplemental environmental review is necessary under WAC 197-11-600.

C. If the city or any department receives a lead agency determination made by another agency that appears inconsistent with criteria of WAC 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, it may object to the determination. Objection must be made to the agency originally making the determination and resolved within 14 days of receipt of determination or the city must petition the Department of Ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11-946 within the 14-day time period. Any such petition on behalf of the city may be initiated by the responsible official or any department.

D. The responsible official is authorized to make agreements as to lead agency status or shared lead agency’s duties for a proposal under WAC 197-11-942 and 197-11-944.

E. The responsible official shall require sufficient information from the applicant to identify other agencies with jurisdiction. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.060 Categorical exemptions and threshold determinations – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference as supplemented in this chapter. The city shall identify whether an action is categorically exempt within seven days of receiving a completed application:

WAC

197-11-300    Purpose of this part.

197-11-305    Categorical exemptions.

197-11-310    Threshold determination required.

197-11-315    Environmental checklist.

197-11-330    Threshold determination process.

197-11-335    Additional information.

197-11-340    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

197-11-350    Mitigated DNS.

197-11-355    Optional DNS process.

197-11-360    Determination of significance (DS)/initiation of scoping.

197-11-390    Effect of threshold determination.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.070 Categorical exemptions and threshold determinations – Time estimates.

The time estimates contained in this section apply when the city processes licenses for all private projects and those governmental proposals submitted to the city by other agencies. The actual time may vary with the complexity of the project, availability of staff, cooperation of agencies with jurisdiction or expertise, etc. The time estimates contained herein shall not be construed to be mandatory. When the stated time estimate would end on a weekend or official holiday, the time estimate shall extend to include the next day upon which the city’s administrative offices are open for business.

A. Categorical Exemptions. The city will normally identify whether an action is categorically exempt within 10 days of receiving a completed application.

B. Threshold Determinations.

1. City will normally complete threshold determinations for proposals that can be based solely upon review of environmental checklist for proposal within 14 days of the determination of a complete application in accordance with WRMC Title 14.

2. When the responsible official requires further information from the applicant or consults with other agencies with jurisdiction:

a. The city will normally request such further information within 28 days of receiving an application;

b. The city will normally wait no longer than 15 days for a consulted agency to respond;

c. The responsible official shall issue a threshold determination at least 15 days prior to a public hearing on a proposal, if a public hearing is required. If a public hearing is not required, a threshold determination shall not be issued until the public comment period on a notice of application has expired.

3. When the city must initiate further studies, including field investigations, to obtain the information to make the threshold determination, the city will normally complete the studies within 30 days of receiving a complete application.

4. The responsible official will normally respond to a request for early notice within 10 days. The threshold determination will normally be made within 15 days of receipt of the changed or clarified proposal, environmental checklist and/or permit application. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.080 Categorical exemptions – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following rules for categorical exemption of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference, as supplemented in this chapter:

WAC

197-11-800    Categorical exemptions; provided, that pursuant to WAC 197-11-800(1)(c), the city establishes a raised level of exemption for the following action as exempt from SEPA, except as provided in WAC 197-11-305 and 197-11-800(1)(a):

Any landfill or excavation of 500 or fewer cubic yards throughout the total lifetime of the fill or excavation (WAC 197-11-800(1)(b)(v)).

197-11-880    Emergencies.

197-11-890    Petitioning DOE to change exemptions.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.090 Categorical exemptions – Determination.

A. When the city receives an application for a license, permit, or, in the case of governmental proposals, a department initiates a proposal, the responsible official shall determine whether the license and/or the proposal is exempt from environmental review under this chapter. The determination that a proposal is exempt shall be final and not subject to administrative appeal. If a proposal is exempt, none of the procedural requirements of this chapter shall apply to the proposal.

B. In determining whether or not a proposal is exempt, responsible official shall make certain proposal is properly defined and shall identify governmental license or permit required. If proposal includes exempt and nonexempt actions, responsible official shall determine lead agency even if license application triggering consideration is exempt.

C. If proposal includes both exempt and nonexempt actions, city may authorize exempt actions prior to compliance with procedural requirements of this chapter, except:

1. The city shall not give authorization for:

a. Any nonexempt action;

b. Any action that would have an adverse environmental impact; or

c. Any action that would limit the choice of reasonable alternatives;

2. The city may withhold approval of any permit, application or proposal, the basis of which is an exempt action that would lead to modification of the physical environment, when such modification would serve no purpose if the nonexempt actions were not approved; and

3. The city may withhold approval of any permit, application or proposal, the basis of which is an exempt action that would lead to substantial financial expenditures by a private applicant when the expenditures would serve no purpose if the nonexempt actions were not approved.

4. A planned action as defined in RCW 43.21C.031(2) does not require a threshold determination or the preparation of an environmental impact statement under this chapter, but is subject to environmental review and mitigation as provided in this chapter. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.100 Determination – Review at conceptual stage.

A. Preapplication conferences, as provided in WRMC 14.02.010, shall also address environmental issues to familiarize the applicant with the city’s SEPA regulations, process, policies and objectives.

B. If the city’s only action on a proposal is a decision on a building permit or other license that requires detailed project plans and specifications, the applicant may request in writing that the city conduct environmental review prior to submission of the detailed plans and specifications.

C. In addition to environmental documents an applicant shall submit the following information for early environmental review:

1. A copy of any permit or license application; and

2. Other information as the responsible official determines. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.110 Threshold determination – Environmental checklist.

A. A completed environmental checklist shall be filed at the same time as an application for a permit, license, certificate or other approval not exempted by this chapter. The checklist shall be the form of WAC 197-11-960 with such additions that may be required by the responsible official in accordance with WAC 197-11-906(4).

B. A checklist is not needed if the city and the applicant agree an EIS is required, SEPA compliance has been completed, or SEPA compliance has been initiated by another agency or adoption of a previous document.

C. For private proposals, applicant is required to complete the environmental checklist. The city may provide assistance as necessary. For city proposals, the department initiating the proposal shall complete the environmental checklist for that proposal.

D. The city may decide to complete all or part of the environmental checklist for a private proposal, if any of the following occurs:

1. City has technical information on a question(s) unavailable to private applicant;

2. The applicant has provided inaccurate information on previous proposals or on proposals currently under consideration.

E. The applicant shall pay to the city the actual costs of providing information under subsection (D)(2) of this section. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.120 Completed environmental checklist defined.

A. Environmental checklist is deemed complete when following information is provided:

1. All information as requested in the checklist is provided, including complete responses to all questions in the checklist.

2. All plans and illustrations as required per the applicable city code are submitted with the environmental checklist.

3. The required number of copies of the checklist and associated plans and illustrations are submitted, as per the applicable city code.

4. Checklist is properly signed and dated.

5. All applicable fees as established in the city’s fee schedule are paid.

B. Incomplete or inaccurate responses to questions within the checklist shall be grounds for reserving a threshold determination on a proposal including scheduling of any public hearings as may be required, until such time as the information is provided by the applicant. Any period during which an applicant has been requested by the city to correct plans, perform required studies or provide additional required information shall not be included in the project permit processing time. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.130 Threshold determinations – Mitigated DNS.

A. The responsible official may issue a determination of nonsignificance (DNS) based on conditions attached to the proposal by the responsible official or on changes to, or clarifications of, the proposal made by the applicant.

B. An applicant may request in writing early notice of whether a DS is likely. The request must:

1. Follow submission of a permit application and environmental checklist for a nonexempt proposal for which the department is lead agency; and

2. Precede the city’s actual threshold determination for the proposal.

C. The responsible official’s response to the request for early notice shall:

1. State whether the city currently considers issuance of a DS likely and, if so, indicate the general or specific areas of concern that are leading the city to consider a DS; and

2. State that the applicant may change or clarify the proposal to mitigate the indicated impacts, and may revise the environmental checklist and/or permit application as necessary to reflect the changes or clarifications.

D. When an applicant submits a changed or clarified proposal, along with a revised environmental checklist, the city shall base its threshold determination on the changed or clarified proposal.

1. If the city indicated specific mitigation measures in its response to the request for early notice, and the applicant changed or clarified the proposal to include those specific mitigation measures, the city shall issue and circulate a determination of nonsignificance if the city determines that no additional information or mitigation measures are required.

2. If the city indicated areas of concern, but did not indicate specific mitigation measures that would allow it to issue a DNS, the city shall make the threshold determination by issuing a DNS or DS as appropriate.

3. The applicant’s proposed mitigation measures, clarifications, changes or conditions must be in writing and must be specific.

4. Mitigation measures which justify issuance of a mitigated DNS may be incorporated in the DNS by reference to agency staff reports, studies or other documents.

E. The city shall not act upon a proposal for which a mitigated DNS has been issued for 14 days after the date of issuance; provided, that the requirements of this section shall not apply to a DNS issued pursuant to the optional DNS process described in WRMC 18.04.140.

F. Any nonexempt permit or proposal may be conditioned or denied under SEPA, subject to the limitations in WAC 197-11-660.

G. Mitigation measures incorporated in the mitigated DNS shall be deemed conditions of approval of the licensing decision and may be enforced in the same manner as any term or condition of the permit or enforced in any matter specifically prescribed by the city. Failure to comply with the designated mitigation measures shall be grounds for suspension and/or revocation of any license issued.

H. If the city’s tentative decision on a permit or approval does not include mitigation measures that were incorporated in a mitigated DNS for the proposal, the city should evaluate the threshold determination to assure consistency with WAC 197-11-340(3)(a) relating to the withdrawal of a DNS.

I. The city’s written response under subsection C of this section shall not be construed as a determination of significance. In addition, preliminary discussion of clarification or changes to a proposal, as opposed to a written request for early notice, shall not bind the city to consider the clarifications or changes in its threshold determination. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.140 Optional DNS process.

A. If responsible official has a reasonable basis for determining that significant adverse environmental impacts are unlikely, or that mitigation measures have been identified that will reduce impacts to a nonsignificant level, the responsible official may elect to use the single integrated comment period set forth in this section. If this process is used, a second comment period will typically not be required when the DNS is issued.

B. If the optional process set forth in this section is used, the responsible official shall:

1. State on the first page of the notice of application that it expects to issue a DNS for the proposal, and that:

a. The optional DNS process is being used;

b. This may be the only opportunity to comment on the environmental impacts of the proposal;

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

d. A copy of the subsequent threshold determination for the specific proposal may be obtained upon request (in addition, the city may maintain a general mailing list for threshold determination distribution);

2. List in the notice of application the conditions being considered to mitigate environmental impacts, if a mitigated DNS is expected;

3. Comply with the requirements for a notice of application and public notice in WRMC 14.03.010; and

4. Send the notice of application and environmental checklist to:

a. Agencies with jurisdiction, the Department of Ecology, affected tribes, and each local agency or political subdivision whose public services would be changed as a result of implementation of the proposal; and

b. Anyone requesting a copy of the environmental checklist for the specific proposal (in addition, the city may maintain a general mailing list for checklist distribution).

C. If the responsible official indicates on the notice of application that a DNS is likely, an agency with jurisdiction may assume lead agency status during the comment period on the notice of application in accordance with WRMC 18.04.050 and WAC 197-11-940 and 197-11-948.

D. The responsible official shall consider timely comments on the notice of application and either:

1. Issue a DNS or mitigated DNS with no comment period using the procedures in subsection E of this section;

2. Issue a DNS or mitigated DNS with a comment period using the procedures in subsection E of this section, if the responsible official determines a comment period is necessary;

3. Issue a DS; or

4. Require additional information or studies prior to making a threshold determination.

E. If a DNS or mitigated DNS is issued under subsection (D)(1) or (D)(2) of this section, the responsible official shall send a copy of the DNS or mitigated DNS to the Department of Ecology, agencies with jurisdiction, those who commented, and anyone requesting a copy. A copy of the environmental checklist need not be recirculated. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.150 Consistency.

The city’s environmental review shall include a determination of the proposal’s consistency with existing development regulations and the comprehensive plan. The consistency review shall determine whether the impacts of the proposal have been addressed in development regulations or the comprehensive plan. The planning decisions made in these documents shall not be reanalyzed in the environmental review of individual project proposals, nor will additional studies or mitigation be required if existing regulations and documents have adequately addressed the proposal’s probable adverse impacts. The consistency determination described herein shall take place in conjunction with the consistency determination described in Chapter 14.04 WRMC. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.160 Environmental impact statement (EIS) – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference as supplemented by this chapter:

WAC

197-11-400    Purpose of EIS.

197-11-402    General requirements.

197-11-405    EIS types.

197-11-406    EIS timing.

197-11-408    Scoping.

197-11-410    Expanded scoping.

197-11-420    EIS preparation.

197-11-425    Style and size.

197-11-430    Format.

197-11-435    Cover letter or memo.

197-11-440    EIS contents.

197-11-442    Contents of EIS on nonproject proposals.

197-11-443    EIS contents when prior nonproject EIS.

197-11-444    Elements of the environment.

197-11-448    Relationship of EIS to other considerations.

197-11-450    Cost-benefit analysis.

197-11-455    Issuance of DEIS.

197-11-460    Issuance of FEIS.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.170 EIS – Preparation.

A. Responsible Official’s Responsibilities. Preparation of draft and final EISs and SEISs shall be under the direction of the responsible official. Before the city issues an EIS or SEIS, the responsible official shall be satisfied that it complies with this chapter and Chapter 197-11 WAC.

B. Time Limit. Subject to delays caused by the applicant’s failure to provide needed information and other delays beyond the city’s control, draft and final EISs will be completed within one year of the date of the determination of significance, unless the city and the applicant agree in writing to a different estimated time period for completion.

C. Requirement for Additional Information. The city may require an applicant to provide additional information which the city does not possess, including information which must be obtained by specific investigations. This provision is not intended to expand or limit an applicant’s other obligations under WAC 197-11-100, or other provisions of regulation, statute or ordinance. An applicant shall not be required to produce information under this provision which is not specifically required by this chapter, nor is the applicant relieved of the duty to supply any other information required by statute, regulation or ordinance.

D. Fees.

1. For the purpose of reimbursing the city for necessary costs and expenses relating to its compliance with the SEPA rules and this chapter in connection with private projects, the following schedule of fees is established (in addition to the fees in the city’s fee resolution):

a. For a threshold determination which requires information in addition to that contained in or accompanying the environmental checklist, a fee in an amount equal to the actual costs and expenses incurred by the city in conducting any studies or investigations necessary to provide such information;

b. For all private projects requiring an EIS for which the city is the lead agency and for which the responsible official determines that the EIS shall be prepared by the employees of the city, or that the city will contract directly with a consultant or consultants for the preparation of an EIS, a fee in an amount equal to the actual costs and expenses incurred by the city in preparing the EIS. Such fee shall also apply when the city determines that the applicant may prepare the EIS, and the responsible official determines that substantial revisions or reassessing of impacts must be performed by employees of the city to ensure compliance with the provisions of the SEPA guidelines and this chapter.

2. If the responsible official determines that an EIS is required, and that the EIS shall be prepared by employees of the city or by a consultant or consultants retained by the city, or that the applicant-prepared EIS shall be substantially rewritten by employees of the city, the private applicant shall be advised by the responsible official of the estimated costs and expenses of preparing or rewriting the EIS prior to actual preparation or rewriting, and the private applicant shall post a bond or otherwise insure payment of such costs and expenses. A consultant or consultants may be recommended by the applicant. The final decision to hire a consultant or consultants shall be made by the city council.

3. All fees owed the city under this section shall be paid in full by the private applicant prior to final action by the city on the private project. Any fee owed the city under this subsection D shall be paid by the private applicant prior to the initiation of actual preparation of an EIS (if required) or actual rewriting of an applicant-prepared EIS by the city or its consultant(s). For all EISs involving multiple applicants, the cost of preparation shall be divided among the applicants according to the nature, amount and type of work to be performed. The city shall ask the EIS consultant to estimate the costs related to the portion of the EIS associated with each application. The city shall make the final decision on the costs to be billed each applicant, regardless of whether the EIS is prepared by a consultant or the city. If a private applicant disputes the amount of the fee, the fee may be paid under protest and without prejudice to the applicant’s right to file a claim and bring an action to recover the fee. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.180 Time for preparation of EIS.

The time required to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) associated with a development application shall be agreed to by the director and applicant in writing. Unless otherwise agreed to by the applicant, a final environmental impact statement shall be issued by the director within one year following the issuance of a determination of significance for the proposal, unless the applicant or the applicant’s EIS consultant advises that a longer time period is necessary. In that case, the additional time shall be that recommended by the applicant or consultant, not to exceed an additional year. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.190 EIS – Commenting – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference as supplemented in this chapter:

WAC

197-11-500    Purpose of this part.

197-11-502    Inviting comment.

197-11-504    Availability and cost of environmental documents.

197-11-508    SEPA register.

197-11-535    Public hearings and meetings.

197-11-545    Effect of no comment.

197-11-550    Specificity of comments.

197-11-560    FEIS response to comments.

197-11-570    Consulted agency costs to assist lead agency.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.200 Public notice.

Whenever the city issues a threshold determination, or EIS requiring public notice, the city shall give public notice of the determination or the availability of the environmental documents and whether any public hearing will be held as follows:

A. Threshold Determination Notice. Public notice will be given on the following situations:

1. DNS involving another agency with jurisdiction;

2. DNS involving demolition of any structure or facility not exempted by WAC 197-11-800(2)(f) or 197-11-880;

3. DNS involving issuance of clearing or grading permits not exempted under Chapter 197-11 WAC, Part Nine, Categorical Exemptions;

4. DNS under WAC 197-11-350(2), Early Notice;

5. DNS under WAC 197-11-350(3), Mitigated DNS;

6. DNS under WAC 197-11-360(4), change from DS to DNS;

7. DS for scoping purposes;

8. Availability of a DEIS.

B. Type of Notice. Under subsection A of this section, notice will be given as follows:

1. SEPA register;

2. Posting on the official city website, or at the official posting places set forth pursuant to WRMC 1.12.010.

C. Public Hearing. Whenever a public hearing is held on a SEPA action, notice shall be given. Such notice shall precede the hearing by at least 15 days.

D. Type of Notice. Under subsection C of this section, notice will be given as follows:

1. For hearings involving Type VII applications, as set forth in WRMC 14.01.030:

a. Posting on the official city website, or publication in the official newspaper of the city; and

b. Notifying the news media.

2. For hearings on other applications:

a. Posting on or near the property; and

b. Posting on the official city website, or at the official posting places set forth pursuant to WRMC 1.12.010; and

c. Mailing to property owners within 600 feet for site-specific proposals. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.210 Designation official to perform consulted agency responsibilities.

A. The responsible official shall be responsible for preparation of written documents for the city in response to a consultation request prior to a threshold determination, participation in scoping and reviewing of a draft EIS.

B. The responsible official shall be responsible for the city’s compliance with WAC 197-11-550 whenever the city is a consulted agency and is authorized to develop operating procedures that will ensure that responses to consultation requests are prepared in a timely fashion and include data from all appropriate departments of the city. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.220 Using existing environmental documents – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference:

WAC

197-11-600    When to use existing environmental documents.

197-11-610    Use of NEPA documents.

197-11-620    Supplemental environmental impact statements.

197-11-625    Addenda – Procedures.

197-11-630    Adoption – Procedures.

197-11-635    Incorporation by reference – Procedures.

197-11-640    Combining documents.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.230 SEPA decisions – Adoption by reference.

City adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference:

WAC

197-11-650    Purpose of this part.

197-11-655    Implementation.

197-11-660    Substantive authority and mitigation.

197-11-680    Appeals.

197-11-700    Definitions.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.240 SEPA decisions.

For nonexempt proposals, the DNS or EIS for the proposal shall accompany the city staff’s recommendation. If a final EIS is or becomes available, it shall be substituted for the draft. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.250 SEPA policies.

A. The policies and goals set forth in this chapter are supplementary to the city’s existing authority.

B. The city adopts by reference the policies in the following city codes, ordinances, resolutions and plans, as now existing or hereinafter amended, as a possible basis for the exercise of substantive authority in the conditioning or denying of proposals:

1. Chapter 43.21C RCW, State Environmental Policy Act.

2. WRMC Title 5, Business Taxes, Licenses and Regulations.

3. WRMC Title 6, Animals.

4. WRMC Title 8, Health and Safety.

5. WRMC Title 10, Vehicles and Traffic.

6. WRMC Title 12, Streets, Sidewalks and Public Places.

7. WRMC Title 13, Public Services – Water, Sewer Irrigation and Stormwater.

8. WRMC Title 15, Buildings and Construction.

9. WRMC Title 16, Division of Land.

10. WRMC Title 17, Zoning.

11. Chapter 18.12 WRMC, Flood Control.

12. Chapter 18.16 WRMC, Flood Damage Prevention.

13. Chapter 18.20 WRMC, Sensitive Areas.

14. WRMC Title 19, Signs.

15. WRMC Title 20, Telecommunications.

16. The city of West Richland shoreline master program.

17. The city of West Richland comprehensive plan.

18. The city’s six-year road program.

19. The city’s comprehensive water plan.

20. The city’s comprehensive sewer plan.

21. City of West Richland public works standards.

22. City of West Richland stormwater management policies necessary to comply with NPDES Phase 2 requirements. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.260 Appeals.

A. Appealable Decisions.

1. Only the following decisions may be administratively appealed under this chapter:

a. Final threshold determination;

b. Mitigation or failure to mitigate in the SEPA decision;

c. Final EIS; and

d. Project denials.

2. If the city does not provide for a hearing or appeal on the underlying action/permit (see WRMC 14.01.030), there shall not be a SEPA administrative appeal option. In such case, the only option for appeal is through the judicial process.

B. Notice of Decision.

1. In the notice of decision issued by the city pursuant to WRMC 14.05.090 and for every decision for which an administrative appeal is available in this section, the SEPA responsible official shall give official notice of the date and place for commencing an appeal. The notice shall include:

a. Notice that the SEPA determination must be appealed within the time limit set by statute or ordinance for appealing the underlying governmental action;

b. The time limit for commencing the appeal of the underlying governmental action and SEPA determination, and the statute or ordinance establishing the time limit;

c. Where the appeal may be filed.

2. Written notice shall be provided to the applicant, all parties to any administrative appeal and all persons who have requested notice of decisions concerning the project. Such notice may be appended to the permit, the decision documents, the SEPA compliance documents or may be printed separately.

C. Timing of SEPA Administrative Appeals. Any administrative appeal shall take place prior to the city’s final decision on a proposed action. However, the SEPA appeal hearing may be consolidated with any other hearing on the underlying permit or action.

D. Number of Appeals. Only one administrative appeal to the city is allowed of the decisions listed in subsection A of this section; therefore, the planning commission’s decision on a SEPA appeal cannot be heard by the city council.

E. Consolidated Appeals. If the underlying action/permit requires a hearing, any SEPA appeal shall be consolidated with the hearing or appeal of the underlying action/permit into one simultaneous hearing, with the exception of the following:

1. An appeal of a determination of significance (DS);

2. An appeal of a procedural determination made by the city when the city is a project proponent, or is funding a project, and chooses to conduct its review under SEPA, including any appeals of its procedural determinations, prior to submitting an application for a project permit. Subsequent appeals of substantive determinations by an agency with jurisdiction over the proposed project shall be allowed under the SEPA appeal procedures of the agency with jurisdiction;

3. An appeal of a procedural determination made by the city on a nonproject action; and

4. An appeal to the city council under RCW 43.21C.060.

F. Timing of Appeal.

1. For SEPA determinations that provide for an administrative appeal, the administrative appeal shall be filed within 14 days after notice of the final determination when the determination is issued prior to the decision on the project action, or within 21 days if the SEPA determination is issued in conjunction with the decision on the project action.

G. Consideration of SEPA Responsible Official’s Decision. Procedural determinations made by the SEPA responsible official shall be entitled to substantial weight in an appeal.

H. Administrative Record. An administrative record of the appeal must be provided, and the record shall consist of the following:

1. Findings and conclusions;

2. Testimony under oath; and

3. A recorded or written transcript. (The city may require that the appellant provide an electronic transcript.)

I. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies. The city’s administrative appeal procedure must be used before anyone may initiate judicial review of any SEPA issue for which the city allows an appeal in this section.

J. Content of Appeal. Every appeal must be in writing, and must include the following:

1. The applicable appeal fee, as established by resolution of the city council;

2. Appellant’s name, address and phone number;

3. A statement describing the appellant’s standing, or why the appellant believes that he or she is aggrieved by the decision appealed from;

4. Identification of the application and decision which is the subject of the appeal;

5. Appellant’s statement of grounds for appeal and the facts upon which the appeal is based with specific references to the facts in the record;

6. The specific relief sought;

7. A statement that the appellant has read the appeal and believes the content to be true, followed by the appellant’s signature.

K. Timeliness of Appeals. On receipt of a written notice of appeal, the SEPA responsible official shall forward the appeal to the planning commission, who shall determine whether the appeal is timely prior to conducting the appeal hearing or consolidated open record hearing on an underlying project permit. A written decision will be issued if the appeal is untimely and the appeal will not proceed.

L. SEPA Appeals to the Planning Commission.

1. Jurisdiction. All SEPA appeals relating to project permit applications that are decided by the planning commission, or that require a recommendation from the planning commission to the city council, shall be heard by the planning commission. The appeal of a DNS or MDNS shall be held in conjunction with the hearing on the underlying land use action.

2. Hearing. The planning commission shall hold an open record public hearing on the appeal, as provided in Chapter 14.05 WRMC.

3. Date for Issuance of Decision. The planning commission shall issue a decision on the appeal within the time period set forth in WRMC 14.05.080, unless a longer period is agreed to in writing by the applicant.

4. Appeals of Planning Commission’s Decision. Planning commission’s decision on timeliness of an appeal and any other appeals allowed under this subsection shall be the final decision of the city. The decision and/or notice of decision shall state that any appeal of the final decision shall be filed in Benton County superior court (pursuant to Chapter 36.70C RCW), or the shorelines hearings board.

M. City Council Appeals.

1. Jurisdiction. The city council shall hear all SEPA appeals relating to legislative actions and applications, as well as all SEPA appeals relating to appealable project permit applications that are decided by the community development director (Type II permits outlined in WRMC Title 14).

2. Hearing. The city council shall hold an open record hearing on the appeal, as provided in Chapter 14.05 WRMC.

3. Record on Appeal. There are no restrictions on the evidence and testimony received by the council for an open record appeal. The city council shall follow the requirements of Chapter 14.06 WRMC for closed record appeals.

4. Appeals of City Council’s Decision. The city council’s decision on the timeliness of an appeal within its jurisdiction and any other appeals allowed under this subsection within its jurisdiction shall be the final decision of the city. The city council’s decision and/or notice of decision shall state that any appeal of the final decision may be filed in Benton County superior court within 21 days of issuance to the Growth Management Hearings Board.

N. Judicial Appeals.

1. When SEPA applies to a decision, any judicial appeal of that decision potentially involves both those issues pertaining to SEPA and those which do not. This section and RCW 43.21C.075 establish the time limits for raising SEPA issues, but existing statutes of limitation control the appeal of non-SEPA issues.

2. Appeals of the city’s final decision shall be filed in superior court, but appellants must follow RCW 43.21C.075(6)(c), which provides that judicial review under Chapter 43.21C RCW shall without exception be of the governmental action together with its accompanying environmental determinations, which contemplates a single lawsuit. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.270 Notice – Statute of limitations.

City, applicant, or proponent of an action may publish notice of action pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080 for any action. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.280 Definitions – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereafter amended, by reference, as supplemented in this chapter:

WAC

197-11-700    Definitions.

197-11-702    Act.

197-11-704    Action.

197-11-706    Addendum.

197-11-708    Adoption.

197-11-710    Affected tribe.

197-11-712    Affecting.

197-11-714    Agency.

197-11-716    Applicant.

197-11-718    Built environment.

197-11-720    Categorical exemption.

197-11-721    Closed record appeal.

197-11-722    Consolidated appeal.

197-11-724    Consulted agency.

197-11-726    Cost-benefit analysis.

197-11-728    County/city.

197-11-730    Decision maker.

197-11-732    Department.

197-11-734    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

197-11-736    Determination of significance (DS).

197-11-738    EIS.

197-11-740    Environment.

197-11-742    Environmental checklist.

197-11-744    Environmental document.

197-11-746    Environmental review.

197-11-750    Expanded scoping.

197-11-752    Impacts.

197-11-754    Incorporation by reference.

197-11-756    Lands covered by water.

197-11-758    Lead agency.

197-11-760    License.

197-11-762    Local agency.

197-11-764    Major action.

197-11-766    Mitigated DNS.

197-11-768    Mitigation.

197-11-770    Natural environment.

197-11-772    NEPA.

197-11-774    Nonproject.

197-11-775    Open record hearing.

197-11-776    Phased review.

197-11-778    Preparation.

197-11-780    Private project.

197-11-782    Probable.

197-11-784    Proposal.

197-11-786    Reasonable alternative.

197-11-788    Responsible official.

197-11-790    SEPA.

197-11-792    Scope.

197-11-793    Scoping.

197-11-794    Significant.

197-11-796    State agency.

197-11-797    Threshold determination.

197-11-799    Underlying governmental action.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.290 Compliance with SEPA – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference, as supplemented in this chapter:

WAC

197-11-900    Purpose of this part.

197-11-902    Agency SEPA policies.

197-11-908    Critical areas.

197-11-916    Application to ongoing actions.

197-11-920    Agencies with environmental expertise.

197-11-922    Lead agency rules.

197-11-924    Determining the lead agency.

197-11-926    Lead agency for governmental proposals.

197-11-928    Lead agency for public and private proposals.

197-11-930    Lead agency for private projects with one agency with jurisdiction.

197-11-932    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one agency, when one of the agencies is a county/city.

197-11-934    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from a local agency, not a county/city, and one or more state agencies.

197-11-936    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one state agency.

197-11-938    Lead agencies for specific proposals.

197-11-940    Transfer of lead agency status to a state agency.

197-11-942    Agreements on lead agency status.

197-11-944    Agreements on division of lead agency duties.

197-11-946    DOE resolution of lead agency disputes.

197-11-948    Assumption of lead agency status.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.300 Fees.

The city shall require fees as provided by resolution for its activities in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].

18.04.310 Forms – Adoption by reference.

The city adopts the following forms and sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC, as now existing or hereinafter amended, by reference:

WAC

197-11-960    Environmental checklist.

197-11-965    Adoption notice.

197-11-970    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

197-11-980    Determination of significance and scoping notice (DS).

197-11-985    Notice of assumption of lead agency status.

[Ord. 41-07 § 1, 2007].