Chapter 21.63


21.63.010    Purpose.

21.63.020    Applicability.

21.63.030    Timing of street frontage improvements.

21.63.040    Street frontage improvements – When required.

21.63.050    Frontage improvements for existing dwellings.

21.63.060    Right-of-way dedication.

21.63.070    Alternative to constructing street frontage improvements.

21.63.080    Financial guarantee.

21.63.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to require the installation of street frontage improvements on City streets and pedestrian facilities for all new development, including land divisions, as a condition of development approval to incorporate transportation improvements that are reasonably necessary and consistent with RCW 82.02.020 to mitigate the direct impacts of the development. (Ord. 705 § 6 (Att. A), 2020)

21.63.020 Applicability.

(1) The installation of street frontage improvements in accordance with adopted Transportation Infrastructure Standards and Specifications prescribed in Chapter 12.09 WMC is required prior to issuance of development and building permits for all new development and redevelopment for all land use types, except for the following:

(a) Reconstruction, remodels, alterations, or expansion to existing detached single-family and two-family (duplex) dwellings, except as prescribed in WMC 21.63.050;

(b) Construction of new attached or detached accessory dwelling units meeting the criteria set forth in WMC 21.41.020; and

(c) Reconstruction, remodel, alteration or expansion of existing multifamily, mixed-use or nonresidential development where the reconstruction, remodel, alteration or expansion will not result in an increase of more than 10 new p.m. peak hour trips, or an increase of not more than 10 percent in average daily trips (minimum 20 new average daily trips), whichever increase is less.

(2) The Public Works Director may waive or modify the requirements for constructing street frontage improvements if installation of the required improvements would cause significant adverse environmental or safety impacts. Modifications may require approval of a transportation infrastructure deviation. (Ord. 737 § 24, 2022; Ord. 705 § 6 (Att. A), 2020)

21.63.030 Timing of street frontage improvements.

(1) The installation of street frontage improvements is required prior to issuance of any certificate of occupancy (including temporary certificate of occupancy) for new construction not exempt pursuant WMC 21.63.020, or prior to final approval for subdivisions, short subdivisions and binding site plans, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section.

(2) Applicants required to construct street frontage improvements, but who have not completed such improvements by the time set forth in subsection (1) of this section, may, if approved by the Public Works Director, provide a financial guarantee as prescribed in WMC 21.63.080 or Chapter 21.92 WMC if for approval of a final short subdivision, subdivision, or binding site plan to ensure such improvements are completed. (Ord. 720 § 24, 2021; Ord. 705 § 6 (Att. A), 2020)

21.63.040 Street frontage improvements – When required.

(1) The developer at their sole cost is required to construct complete half-street frontage improvements in accordance with adopted Transportation Infrastructure Standards and Specifications, and the minimum requirements for fire apparatus access roads set forth in the Fire Code, as follows:

(a) On the side of the public street or planned public street that abuts their property; and

(b) Where development abuts more than one public or planned public street, frontage improvements are required along such adjoining public or planned public streets that provide direct access to the development; and

(c) Other streets, whether abutting or off site, where the development impacts service levels (see Chapter 21.90 WMC), or creates dangerous or hazardous conditions, or negatively impacts operational efficiencies of the street.

(2) Beyond the development’s property frontage, the developer shall provide ramps or other appropriate transition from the new sidewalk or walkway to the existing shoulder, and pavement and channelization tapering back to the existing pavement and channelization as needed for safety. The street frontage improvements shall be continued off site, if and to the extent deemed necessary by the Public Works Director, to provide safe traveling conditions.

(3) If the Public Works Director determines that a public street is already fully developed in accordance with Transportation Infrastructure Standards and Specifications, a permit or approval may be granted without requiring additional infrastructure construction, except as that determined needed to comply with the specified standards. (Ord. 705 § 6 (Att. A), 2020)

21.63.050 Frontage improvements for existing dwellings.

(1) Reconstruction, remodels, alteration or expansion of existing detached single-family and two-family (duplex) dwellings that involves removing more than 50 percent of the lineal footprint of the exterior wall framing, including attached garages, or that involves expanding the gross floor area of the building, excluding the garage area, by more than 1,500 square feet using a baseline of the dwelling as it existed on February 1, 2021, shall be required to install frontage improvements pursuant to subsection (2) of this section. This section does not apply to existing dwellings that are subject to the frontage improvements applied as conditions for approving a short subdivision, subdivision or binding site plan.

(2) Frontage improvements shall be required only to the extent to meet the predominant character/condition of the existing fronting roadway where the majority of parcels are already developed. For example, if the predominant character/condition is improved with curb and gutter, but not sidewalk, the subject development would be required to provide curb and gutter only.

(3) The predominant character/condition is defined by considering the existing frontage condition for all parcels fronting the half street within one block, or a 600-lineal-foot radius measured from the center of the property line abutting the street, whichever distance is greater. If less than 50 percent have frontage improvements or have only partial frontage improvements, the subject development must meet that standard. If 50 percent or more have full frontage improvements, full half-street frontage consistent with this chapter is required. (Ord. 705 § 6 (Att. A), 2020)

21.63.060 Right-of-way dedication.

If a right-of-way dedication is necessary to meet the right-of-way widths set forth in the Transportation Infrastructure Standards and Specifications, the dedication shall be a condition of permit approval and shall be executed prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy. (Ord. 705 § 6 (Att. A), 2020)

21.63.070 Alternative to constructing street frontage improvements.

(1) When the Public Works Director determines that street frontage improvements cannot or should not be constructed at the time of building or land division construction due to such circumstances as traffic safety, pending projects, existing local improvement district covenants, or other unusual circumstances, the developer shall, as directed by the Public Works Director and prior to issuance of the building permit or final approval of a short subdivision, subdivision or binding site plan, and consistent with RCW 82.02.020, do one of the following:

(a) Pay to the City an amount equal to the developer’s cost of installing the required improvements with such construction value to be based on reasonable estimates of costs, including administrative costs, as approved by the Public Works Director; or

(b) Record an agreement that provides for these improvements to be installed by the developer by a date acceptable to the City; or

(c) Record an agreement to not protest a local improvement district to improve the street frontage.

(2) If the developer pays the City pursuant to subsection (1)(a) of this section, these funds must be expended within the time set forth in RCW 82.02.020.

(3) If, at a time subsequent to the issuance of a building permit, a local improvement district is established that includes the property for which the building permit was issued, and if such condition or agreement as prescribed in this section has been performed by the developer, the condition or agreement may be considered in the compilation of the local improvement district assessment roll as a preexisting contract with the City, for which the developer may be credited against the assessment with the appropriate amount of costs of construction expended by the developer. (Ord. 705 § 6 (Att. A), 2020)

21.63.080 Financial guarantee.

(1) Applicants required by their permit to construct street frontage improvements, but who have not completed such improvements by the time the final inspection or certification of occupancy could otherwise be given or issued, may be allowed by the Public Works Director to provide a financial guarantee in a form acceptable to the City.

(2) The amount of the financial guarantee shall be 150 percent of the total cost of the improvements including design, all costs associated with construction and inspection of the project, which such costs must be approved by the Public Works Director.

(3) Applicants have one year from posting of financial guarantee to complete the improvements. The Public Works Director may approve a longer time period to complete the improvement if the applicant can demonstrate good cause for the delay. Thereafter, the City may avail itself of the proceeds of the financial guarantee to complete the street frontage improvements.

(4) In deciding whether to accept a financial guarantee, the following should be considered:

(a) Whether only minor items of the required improvements need to be completed, such as the final lift of asphalt pavement and/or landscaping;

(b) Whether the City and/or other public agency’s capital project needs to be completed ahead of the required improvements to allow for logical sequence of construction to prevent damage or disruption to the improvements being made;

(c) Whether the need for the financial guarantee is not the result of deliberate actions of the applicant;

(d) The extent to which public health, safety, and welfare are not endangered by allowing the certificate of occupancy to be approved without the required improvements being completed, prior to final approval; and

(e) Other relevant criteria.

(5) Before the City releases a financial guarantee, the applicant shall post a maintenance guarantee, pursuant to WMC 15.42.350 through 15.42.400. (Ord. 705 § 6 (Att. A), 2020)