Chapter 16.10   AMENDMENTS TO THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS


16.10.010   Purpose and types of amendments.

A.

Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to establish procedures for legislative amendment of the city's comprehensive plan map/text and the development regulations. In addition, this chapter will describe the city's public participation process, which is intended to solicit comments and suggested amendments to the city's comprehensive plan and development Regulations for consideration. The public participation process described herein is supplemented by a booklet that provides additional detail.

B.

Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Development Regulations. The comprehensive land use plan is defined as the generalized, coordinated land use policy statement of the city, and the accompanying map, adopted under the Growth Management Act (chapter 36.70A RCW). the development regulations are the controls placed on development or land use activities by the city, including, but not limited to, the city's codes on zoning, critical areas, official controls, planned unit developments, subdivisions, binding site plans and the Shoreline Master Program.

C.

Types of Amendments. The applications that will be processed under this chapter as legislative amendments are comprehensive plan amendments to the comprehensive plan map or policies and development regulation amendments (to the text of the development regulations) which do not implement the existing comprehensive plan.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.020   Administration of legislative amendments to development regulations.

The director is authorized to administer the provisions of this chapter. The planning commission shall have the authority to hold the public hearing on any proposed legislative amendments to the development regulations, and to provide a recommendation to the city council. The city council shall consider the planning commission's recommendation during a public meeting or a public hearing and shall make a final decision.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.030   Procedure for amendments to development regulations.

The following steps shall be followed in the processing of applications for amendments to development regulations:

A.

Section 16.10.040(C): Director's determination that the application is complete;

B.

Section 16.10.060: SEPA compliance and transmittal to state;

C.

Section 16.10.070: Notice of public hearing;

D.

Section 16.10.080: Public hearing before the planning commission;

E.

Reserved.

F.

Section 16.10.090: City council consideration of application;

G.

Section 16.10.100: Final decision, transmittal to state;

H.

Section 16.10.110: Appeal to growth management hearings board (if any).

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.040 Submission   of applications for amendments to development regulations (who may submit and when).

A.

Who May Submit Applications. Any interested person, including citizens, hearing examiners, staff of other agencies, planning commission and city council members, may submit an application for an amendment of a development regulation.

B.

When Applications May be Submitted. The text of the city's adopted development regulations may be amended at any time, provided that the amendment is consistent with the city's comprehensive plan and land use map. When inconsistent with the comprehensive plan and land use map, the amendment shall be processed concurrent with any necessary plan amendments using the process and timelines for comprehensive plan amendments in Sections 16.10.120 through 16.10.240 of this chapter. Applications that do not include the information required in Section 16.10.050 shall not be processed.

C.

Director's Determination that the Application is Complete. The director shall review the application(s) after submission to determine whether the application(s) include the information required by Section 16.10.050. Applicants shall be notified if additional information is required, but this procedure is not subject to the determination of completeness in RCW 36.70B.070 for project permits.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.050   Requirements for a complete application.

The following materials shall be submitted to the city for a complete application for a development regulation amendment (or comprehensive plan amendment, if applicable):

A.

An application form provided by the city;

B.

Name, address, phone number and e-mail of the applicant and if the applicant is not the property owner, proof of the property owner's consent to the submission of the application;

C.

Name, address, phone number and e-mail of the owner of the property identified in the application (if applicable);

D.

A legal description of the property, if applicable;

E.

A description of the proposed amendment and any associated development proposals, if applicable. Formal site-specific or project-related amendments shall include plans, information and/or studies that accurately depict existing and proposed uses(s) and improvements. Proposed site-specific or project related amendments that do not specify propose use(s) and potential impacts will be assumed to have maximum impact to the environment, public facilities and services;

F.

Proposed amendatory language, preferably shown in "bill" format (i.e., new language underlined; language proposed for deletion in strikeouts);

G.

An explanation of the rationale for the proposed amendment;

H.

An explanation of how the proposed amendment and associated development proposal(s) if any, conform to, conflict with, or relate to the criteria set forth in Section 16.10.220;

I.

A completed SEPA checklist including the supplement sheet for nonproject actions (if applicable);

J.

Application fee as set forth in the city's resolution adopted for this purpose; and

K.

Any additional information reasonably deemed necessary by the planning director to evaluate the proposed amendment.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.060   SEPA compliance and transmittal to state.

If an application for an amendment to the development regulations is submitted outside of the annual comprehensive plan amendment process, SEPA shall be performed on the application as set forth in Chapter 19.04 (city's SEPA ordinance). If applicable, the city shall notify the State Department of Commerce of its intent to adopt the proposed amendment(s) to the development regulations at least sixty days prior to final adoption.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.070   Public notice.

A.

Notice of any public hearing on an application for an amendment to a development regulation submitted outside of the annual comprehensive plan amendment process set forth in this chapter, shall be given by one publication in the official newspaper of the city at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing and by posting a copy of the notice of public hearing in City Hall and on the city's website. Additional notice may be required by state or local law (e.g., statutory notice requirements for amendments to the Shoreline Master Program), or additional notice may be provided as deemed appropriate by the director.

B.

The public notice shall include the following:

1.

The purpose(s) of the amendment;

2.

The deadline for submitting comments on the amendment;

3.

A tentative hearing schedule; continued hearings may be held by the planning commission but no additional notices need be published.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.080   Planning commission public hearing.

The planning commission shall hold a public hearing on an application for an amendment to a development regulation and shall make a recommendation to the city council, using the criteria set forth in Section 16.10.220, as applicable. There is no limit on the number of public hearings or continuation of public hearings that the commission (or city council) may hold on a proposed amendment.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.090   City council action.

The city council shall consider the proposed amendment to the development regulations and the planning commission's recommendation at a regularly scheduled meeting. The city council shall also apply the criteria set forth in Section 16.10.220, as applicable, in order to make a final decision.

A.

If the city council concludes that no change in the recommendation of the planning commission is necessary, the city council may make a final determination on the proposed amendment(s) without holding another public hearing, and make a final decision.

B.

If the city council concludes that a change in the recommendation of the planning commission is necessary, the city council shall consider whether another opportunity for public review and comment is needed under RCW 36.70A.035(2)(a) and if so, it shall hold another public hearing before making a final decision.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.100   Final decision, transmittal to state and appeals.

If the city council decides not to adopt the proposed amendment to the development regulations, it shall pass a resolution with the associated findings and conclusions to support its decision. If the city council decides to adopt the proposed amendment to the development regulations, it shall adopt an ordinance with the associated findings and conclusions to support its decision. A copy of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be sent to the State Department of Commerce within ten days after final adoption.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.110   Appeal of legislative amendments to development regulations.

Appeals of the city's final decision may be filed with the growth management hearings Board, pursuant to RCW 36.70A.290.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.120   Administration of annual comprehensive plan amendments.

A.

Legislative Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan. The director is authorized to administer the provisions of this chapter. The planning commission shall have the authority to hold the public hearing on any proposed comprehensive plan amendment(s), and to provide a recommendation to the city council. The city council shall consider the planning commission's recommendation during a public meeting or a public hearing and make a final decision.

B.

Development Agreement. A legislative amendment to the comprehensive plan that is site-specific may be approved subject to the execution, delivery and recording of a development agreement between the city council and the property owner of the subject property (or the legal owner of a beneficial interest in the subject property). The development agreement may impose conditions to address the criteria set forth in Section 16.10.220, and approval of the comprehensive plan amendment shall be conditioned upon performance or compliance with the terms and conditions of the development agreement. The city may revoke (or take other action allowed by law) a comprehensive plan amendment executed with a development agreement for failure to comply with the development agreement. An applicant proposing a comprehensive plan amendment with a development agreement shall submit the proposed development agreement with the application materials described in Section 16.10.050. The city will evaluate the proposed development agreement together with the proposed comprehensive plan amendment (see Chapter 18.66 on development agreements), to determine whether the amendment should be approved.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.130   Submission of applications (who may submit and when).

A.

Who May Submit Applications for Amendments Related to a Site-Specific Development Proposal. Proponents of land development projects and/or property owner(s) or their authorized representative(s), may file an application for a proposed amendment to the comprehensive plan relating to a site-specific proposal. The complete application shall consist of the materials described in Section 16.10.050. The application filing fee as set forth in the city's fee resolution shall accompany the application, which shall also require the applicant to pay for the applicant's portion of the SEPA review attributable to the application.

B.

Who May Suggest Amendments. Any interested person, including citizens, hearing examiners, staff of other agencies, planning commission and city council members, may suggest an amendment to the comprehensive plan. Generally, suggested amendments should be limited to proposals that broadly apply to the goals, policies and implementation strategies of the comprehensive plan rather than amendments designed to address site-specific issues of limited applicability. If an application is not submitted for the suggested amendment by the interested person, the planning director shall include the suggested amendment on a docket that is maintained each year for this purpose. The process described in Sections 16.10.160 through 16.10.170 of this chapter shall resolve the question whether such suggested amendments will be considered during the annual review process.

C.

Amendments Considered Once a Year. Applications for amendments to the city's comprehensive plan may not be considered more frequently than once every year, except: (1) under the circumstances described in RCW 36.70A.130(2)(i) through (v); (2) when needed to resolve an emergency condition or situation that involves public health, safety or welfare and when adherence to the amendment process set forth in this chapter would be detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare. Situations involving official legal or administrative action affecting the city will be reviewed by the city council with advice from the city attorney to determine whether an emergency exists warranting an emergency comprehensive plan amendment. Except as otherwise provided in RCW 36.70A.130(2)(a), all comprehensive plan amendments shall be considered concurrently so that the cumulative effect of the various proposals may be ascertained.

D.

Deadline for Application Submittal. All applications for comprehensive plan amendments shall be submitted to the planning director by March 1st of the current calendar year (or be included in the director's docket of suggested amendments by this date) in order to be considered during that year's amendment process; except that city-sponsored proposals to amend the capital facilities element of the comprehensive plan may be accepted later than other proposed amendments because of their relationship to the city's annual budget process. Applications that do not include the information required under Section 16.10.050 for a complete application, or which are not received by the deadline set forth in this subsection, shall not be processed.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.140   Preliminary docket.

A.

Contents. A preliminary docket shall be maintained by the planning director, which shall consist of the following:

1.

All applications submitted before the March 1st deadline to amend the comprehensive plan;

2.

All amendments suggested during the year by citizens, the planning commission, city council, staff, departments or other agencies.

B.

Planning Director Responsibilities. After compiling the preliminary docket, the planning director shall review the suggested amendments and prepare a report concerning which suggested amendments that the planning director believes should be placed on the final docket for consideration during the annual amendment process. In addition to addressing the need, urgency and appropriateness of each suggested amendment, the staff report shall include, but not be limited to, a consideration of the following:

1.

The availability of sufficient planning staff to substantively review the suggested amendments and manage the public review process with available staff; and

2.

Anticipated planning costs and budget for processing the suggested amendments.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.150   Optional city council/planning commission workshop on preliminary docket.

The city council and planning commission may, but are not required to, hold a noticed joint workshop meeting to gather information regarding the items on the preliminary docket and the planning director's report and recommendation. If held, notice of the joint workshop meeting shall be given by publication in the city's official newspaper at least one time, ten days prior to the date of the meeting and by posting a copy of the meeting notice at City Hall and the city's website, which shall include a statement of the purpose of the joint workshop.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.160   Planning commission hearing on preliminary docket.

The planning commission shall hold a noticed public hearing to accept public comment regarding the suggested amendments on the preliminary docket. Following the hearing, the planning commission shall prepare a report and recommendation identifying those suggested amendments that it is recommending for consideration by the city council during the annual amendment process. The planning commission's recommendation shall be based upon the perceived need, urgency and appropriateness of each suggested amendment. The planning commission's report and recommendation shall also include those proposed amendments resulting from its periodic assessment set forth in Section 16.10.250, as applicable. Notice of the planning commission's hearing shall be given as set forth in Section 16.10.070.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.170   City council decision—Adoption of final docket.

The city council shall review and consider the planning commission's report and recommended final docket at a regularly scheduled council meeting. The city council may adopt the planning commission's recommended final docket without a public hearing; however, in the event that a majority of the city council decides to add or subtract suggested amendments, it shall first hold a public hearing, noticed as set forth in Section 16.10.070.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.180   Final docket—Contents.

The final docket adopted by the city council shall include the following:

A.

All applications for comprehensive plan amendments for site-specific amendments timely submitted under Section 16.10.130; and

B.

Any proposals for suggested amendments which the city council elects to consider during the annual amendment process.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.190   Effect of final docket.

The city council's decision to adopt the final docket does not constitute a decision or recommendation that the substance of any site-specific amendment or suggested amendment be adopted. No additional amendment proposals shall be considered by the city after adoption of the final docket for that year, except for those identified in RCW 36.70A.130(2)(i) through (v), and city-sponsored proposals to amend the capital facilities element of the comprehensive plan as set forth in RCW 36.70A.130(2)(a)(iv).

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.200   SEPA on final docket.

The final docket as adopted by the city council shall first be reviewed and assessed by the planning director, who shall prepare a staff report and recommendation on each proposed amendment. The planning director shall also be responsible for conducting SEPA review of all items on the final docket, as required by Chapter 19.04 BDMC. As appropriate, the planning director shall solicit comments regarding the proposed amendments from the public and/or government agencies. The planning director shall also be responsible for providing notice and opportunity for public comment as deemed appropriate, given the nature of the proposed amendments and consistent with RCW 36.70A.140 and SEPA (chapter 43.21C RCW and chapter 197-11 WAC). Issuance of the SEPA threshold decision on the proposed comprehensive plan amendments shall be coordinated such that if an appeal of the SEPA threshold decision is filed, the appeal can be considered under the procedure in Chapter 19.04 BDMC.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.210   Planning commission public hearing on final docket.

A.

All proposed amendments on the final docket shall be reviewed and assessed by the planning commission, which shall make a recommendation to the city council after holding at least one public hearing.

B.

After the public hearing(s), the planning commission shall develop findings and conclusions to support its recommendation to the city council that the proposed amendment(s) be denied, approved, or approved with conditions or modifications.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.220   Evaluation criteria for proposed amendments.

The planning commission shall review the proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan and development regulations under the following criteria to develop findings and conclusions to support its recommendation:

A.

All Amendments. All of the comprehensive plan amendments shall be reviewed under the following criteria:

1.

Whether the proposed amendment(s) conform to the Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW);

2.

Whether the proposed amendment(s) are consistent with and implement the city's comprehensive plan, including the goals, policies and implementation strategies of the various elements of the plan;

3.

Whether circumstances related to the proposed amendment(s) and/or the area in which it is located have substantially changed since the adoption of the city's comprehensive plan;

4.

Whether the assumptions upon which the city's comprehensive plan is based are no longer valid, or whether new information is available which was not considered during the adoption process or any annual amendments of the city's comprehensive plan; and

5.

Whether the proposed amendment(s) reflects current, widely held values of the residents of the city.

B.

Amendments for Site-Specific Proposals. In addition to the above, any proposal for a site-specific development or amendment shall be reviewed under the following criteria:

1.

Whether the proposed site-specific amendment(s) meets concurrency requirements for transportation and does not adversely affect adopted level of service standards for other public facilities and services (e.g., police, fire and emergency medical services, parks, fire flow and general governmental services);

2.

Any proposed site-specific amendment(s) will not result in probable significant adverse impacts to the city's transportation network, capital facilities, utilities, parks and environmental features that cannot be mitigated, and will not place uncompensated burdens upon existing or planned service capabilities;

3.

In the case of a site-specific amendment(s) to the comprehensive plan's land use map, that the subject parcels are physically suitable for the requested land use designation and the anticipated land use development, including, but not limited to, the following: (i) access; (ii) provision of utilities; and (iii) compatibility with existing and planned surrounding land uses;

4.

The proposed site-specific amendment(s) will not create pressure to change the land use designation of other properties, unless the change of land use designation for other properties is in the long-term best interests of the city as a whole;

5.

The proposed site specific amendment(s) does not materially affect the land use and population growth projections that are the bases of the comprehensive plan;

6.

If within an incorporated urban growth area (UGA), the proposed site-specific amendment(s) does not materially affect the adequacy or availability of urban facilities and services to the immediate area and the overall UGA;

7.

The proposed amendment(s) is consistent with any applicable county-wide policies for the city and any other applicable inter-jurisdictional policies or agreements, and any other local, state or federal laws.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.230   City council action.

The city council shall consider the proposed comprehensive plan amendments and the planning commission's recommendation at a regularly scheduled meeting. The city council shall also apply the criteria set forth in Section 16.10.220, as applicable, in order to make a final decision.

A.

If the city council concludes that no change in the recommendation of the planning commission is necessary, the city council may make a final determination on the proposed amendment(s) without holding another public hearing, and make a final decision.

B.

If the city council concludes that a change in the recommendation of the planning commission is necessary, the city council shall consider whether another opportunity for public review and comment is needed under RCW 36.70A.035(2)(a) and if so, it shall hold another public hearing before making a final decision.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.240   Final decision, transmittal to state and appeals.

A.

The council's final action on the docket must be taken by the second regular council meeting in December of each year. If the city council decides not to adopt the proposed comprehensive plan amendments, it shall pass a resolution with the associated findings and conclusions to support its decision. If the city council decides to adopt the proposed development regulations, it shall adopt an ordinance with the associated findings and conclusions to support its decision. A copy of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be sent to the State Department of Commerce within ten days after final adoption.

B.

All appeals to the adoption of an amendment(s) to the city's comprehensive plan or development regulations shall be filed with the Growth Management Hearings Board in accordance with the provisions of RCW 36.70A.290 and Chapter 36.70A RCW.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)

16.10.250   Planning commission periodic assessment—Recommendations on amendments.

A.

Timelines. The planning commission shall review, and if necessary, recommend revisions to the comprehensive plan during a periodic assessment performed in accordance with RCW 36.70A.130. The planning commission shall complete its assessment of the comprehensive plan by November 1st of the year prior to the assessment. Any amendments recommended by a majority vote of the planning commission shall be forwarded to the planning director by March 1st of the year in which the periodic assessment is conducted. The planning director shall place all such recommended amendments on the preliminary docket to be considered during the final docket selection process set forth in Sections 16.10.140 through 16.10.170 of this chapter.

B.

Criteria Governing Planning Commission Assessment. The planning commission's periodic assessment and recommendation shall be based upon, but shall not be limited to, an inquiry into the following growth management indicators:

1.

Whether growth and development as envisioned in the comprehensive plan is occurring faster or slower than anticipated, or is failing to materialize;

2.

Whether the capacity of the city to provide adequate services has diminished or increased;

3.

Whether sufficient urban land is designated and zoned to meet projected demand and need;

4.

Whether any of the assumptions upon which the plan is based are no longer found to be valid;

5.

Whether changes in county-wide attitudes necessitate amendments to the goals of the plan and the basic values embodied within the comprehensive plan;

6.

Whether changes in circumstances dictate a need for amendments; and

7.

Whether inconsistencies exist between the comprehensive plan and the GMA or the comprehensive plan and any county-wide planning policies for the city.

(Ord. No. 1044, § 4, 12-18-14)