Chapter 11.65


11.65.010    Definitions.

11.65.020    Policy and purpose.

11.65.030    General requirements.

11.65.040    Permit application.

11.65.050    Grant or denial of permit.

11.65.060    Conditions imposed on grant of permit.

11.65.070    Permit revocation and suspension—Hearing and appeal.

11.65.080    Effect of suspension, revocation, or expiration.

11.65.090    Assignment and relinquishment.

11.65.100    Exceptions.

11.65.010 Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

“City” means the city of Yakima, Washington.

“Department” means community and economic development department.

“Permit” means a permit to construct, maintain, and operate a skybridge in the city.

“Permittee” means the grantee of a permit.

“Skybridge” means a pedestrian walkway located in public airspace over a street, alley, or other public place in the city. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.020 Policy and purpose.

A.    The city council, finding skybridges to promise improvement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic in congested areas of the city, declares that it is the policy of the city to approve, in principle, the construction of pedestrian skybridges over city streets and alleys. Such construction is found to be in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare.

B.    The purpose of this chapter is to establish the procedure and criteria for the administration and approval of applications for permits to construct, maintain, and operate skybridges over and across streets, alleys, and other public places within the city. The city council intends that proposed skybridges shall be reviewed with regard to how well they serve the public interest and their relationship to the cityscape. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed in carrying out the intent of the city council.

C.    Adoption or enforcement of this chapter shall not be construed for the particular benefit of any individual person or group of persons, other than the general public. In the event of conflict between the intent of this section and any other section herein, this section shall govern insofar as applicable. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.030 General requirements.

A.    No skybridge shall be erected in the city, except in accordance with this chapter and at the expense of the permittee. No permit shall be issued unless all owners of the property to which the skybridge is to be connected have joined in the application for the permit.

B.    The construction of skybridges shall be in accordance with the construction plans filed with the city pursuant to subsection E of YMC 11.65.040 and shall comply with the city building code and all other applicable laws and regulations.

C.    The permittee shall be responsible for fully maintaining and keeping the skybridge in good repair.

D.    The relocation, alteration, or modification of public facilities, fixtures, or street trees or shrubs necessitated by the construction, maintenance or repair of a skybridge shall be accomplished to the satisfaction of, and under the direction of, the department at the expense of the permittee and without cost to the city.

E.    The hours of operating of skybridges shall be governed by the needs and business hours of those stores and buildings who have built, or are building, operating and maintaining skybridges, together with consideration by the city council of the public need for safety and convenience, and may be specified by the city council as a condition of the permit. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.040 Permit application.

A.    The city manager or his designee shall adopt administrative procedures with which a petitioner must comply to process a request for approval of a skybridge permit or for appeal of conditions imposed on or suspension or revocation of such permit.

B.    Any owner of any interest in real property abutting any street, alley, or other public place, as defined in YMC 15.02.020, who desires to construct a pedestrian skybridge over and above such street, alley, or other public place, shall file an application for a permit with the department on a form prepared by, or in a manner acceptable to, the department. The application shall be accompanied by a nonreturnable filing fee in conformity with Chapter 15.26 of the Yakima Municipal Code.

C.    The application shall include the following:

(1)    Conceptual drawings of the proposed skybridge, which shall include its location, size, height above ground surface, and cost estimate;

(2)    Conceptual drawings of alternatives to the skybridge, with cost estimates;

(3)    Drawings of the proposed skybridge, showing its visual appearance;

(4)    Photographs of the location and immediately surrounding area;

(5)    An environmental checklist as required (and as may be amended) by Section 6.88.090 of the Yakima Municipal Code substantially in the form provided by WAC 197-11-960 (and as may be amended);

(6)    A statement of the reasons for the necessity of the proposed skybridge; and

(7)    Any additional information deemed necessary by the department for processing the application.

D.    Within forty-five days after receipt of the application and filing fee (unless further review is required pursuant to subsection (5) of Section 11.65.040 of this chapter), the department shall make a preliminary determination of whether or not a permit should be granted, denied, or modified. The preliminary determination shall be based upon consideration of the following:

(1)    Adequacy of horizontal and vertical clearance;

(2)    Assurance of structural adequacy;

(3)    Potential conflict with existing or proposed utilities, street lighting, or traffic-control devices;

(4)    View blockage;

(5)    Interruption or interference with existing streetscape;

(6)    Reduction of natural light;

(7)    Reduction of pedestrian activity at street level;

(8)    The number of pedestrians projected to use the skybridge;

(9)    Effect on commerce and enjoyment of neighboring land use;

(10)    Availability of reasonable alternatives;

(11)    Effect on traffic and pedestrian safety;

(12)    Consistency with the city’s comprehensive plan;

(13)    Accessibility for elderly and handicapped; and

(14)    Such other matters as the department deems necessary to the public health, safety, and welfare.

In making its preliminary determination, the department may develop any additional conditions or exceptions as are consistent with the policy and purpose of this chapter. The department shall communicate its preliminary determination in writing to the applicant. If modification of the application is required, the applicant may submit such modifications, without payment of any additional fees.

E.    If the department makes a preliminary determination that the permit should be granted, the applicant shall submit construction plans to the department, which shall determine if such plans are in substantial compliance with the application.

F.    Upon completion of its review of construction plans, the department shall submit its recommendation to the hearing examiner appointed pursuant to Chapter 1.43 of this code. The examiner shall receive evidence submitted at an audio-recorded public hearing for which the department bears the responsibility of providing ten days’ notice to the parties by first-class mail and to the public by posting as described in Section 15.11.090(C). The examiner shall issue a recommendation to the city council, with findings and conclusions in accordance with Section 11.65.040(D), within ten days of the public hearing, copies of which recommendation shall be sent to the applicant within three days of its issuance. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.050 Grant or denial of permit.

The city clerk with written notice to all parties of record and the hearing examiner, shall schedule a date for a public meeting before the city council, at which time the city council shall review evidence presented to the hearing examiner pursuant to subsection F of Section 11.65.040, including the audiotape of the public hearing, and the examiner’s recommendation. The city council shall by resolution approve, deny, or approve with such requirements, conditions, or exceptions as it deems appropriate, consistent with the policy and purpose of this chapter, a permit for construction, maintenance, and operation of the proposed skybridge. The city council shall not grant a permit unless it finds that the proposed skybridge is in the public interest and no reasonable alternative to such skybridge exists. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.060 Conditions imposed on grant of permit.

The city council may impose such terms and conditions as it deems necessary upon the grant of a permit, which terms and conditions may include but shall not be limited to: the term of years for which the permit is granted and renewal periods; required hours of operation of the skybridge; provision for regular city inspection of and procedures for closure or removal of the skybridge; requirements for performance bonds, public liability insurance, indemnification, and annual fees; prohibition against assignment without city council consent; requirements for removal of the skybridge; and timely acceptance of permission.

Every resolution approving a permit shall provide that the permission granted is subject to the primary use by the city of the street, alley, or other public place under the skybridge for public travel and other public uses, and that the city expressly reserves the right to require the permittee to remove the skybridge at its sole cost and expense in case the skybridge interferes with public travel or other public uses or is in any way detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare; and that a determination by the city council that the skybridge interferes with such public travel or other public uses, or that the skybridge is detrimental to public health, safety, or welfare, shall be final and conclusive without any right of the permittee to resort to the courts to question the same. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.070 Permit revocation and suspension—Hearing and appeal.

A.    Upon it appearing that any conditions of the permit, any related agreement, or this chapter are not fully met, the director of the department or any other municipal official shall send a written, ten-day notice to the permittee specifying the violation and designating a time and place for a public hearing before the hearing examiner. Ten days’ notice of the hearing shall be provided to the public by posting as described in Section 15.11.090 C. The hearing shall be recorded on audiotape.

B.    The hearing shall be informal. The examiner may consider such testimony or materials deemed appropriate, and shall issue a decision in writing. The examiner may suspend or revoke the permit or may condition continued skybridge use if the examiner determines that the skybridge is detrimental to public safety, improperly or inadequately maintained, contrary to the then-current land use or zoning plan of the city, or interfering with, or will interfere with plans for, public travel, transportation, or utilities. The examiner’s ruling may be appealed by the city or the permittee to the city council by filing a written notice with the city clerk within fifteen days of issuance. Filing of an appeal by a permittee shall be accompanied by a fee in accordance with Chapter 15.26 of this code.

C.    The city council shall entertain such appeal in a public meeting at its next regular meeting time or other time most convenient, for which the city clerk has provided written notice to all parties of record and the hearing examiner. Its decision will be made on the evidence presented to the hearing examiner at the public hearing and on the examiner’s ruling. It may suspend, revoke, or otherwise condition continued enjoyment of permit privileges upon such terms it deems appropriate. The city council’s decision is final. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.080 Effect of suspension, revocation or expiration.

A.    Upon suspension, revocation or expiration of a skybridge permit, the skybridge shall be sealed against access or use, unless otherwise ordered by the city council.

B.    Upon revocation or expiration, the permittee shall remove the skybridge at its sole expense and liability no later than six months after the permit expires, the decision issued, or final appeal is decided as the case may be. If the permittee fails to do so, the city may proceed to remove the skybridge forthwith at the permittee’s sole expense and liability. The costs of removal, including reasonable attorneys’ fees for any legal action initiated to accomplish the removal, shall be a lien against the permittee’s premises and the permit shall so provide. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.090 Assignment and relinquishment.

No permittee may assign or relinquish permit privileges and obligations without approval of the city council, subject to conditions the city council may impose. A permittee relinquishing privileges may be required to remove the skybridge in like manner as if the permit were revoked or had expired. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).

11.65.100 Exceptions.

Nothing herein shall prevent the city council from granting exceptions or imposing conditions upon the matters regulated herein as it deems appropriate in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare. (Ord. 3256 § 1 (part), 1990).