Chapter 35A.63 RCW

PLANNING AND ZONING IN CODE CITIES

Sections

35A.63.010Definitions.
35A.63.015"Solar energy system" defined.
35A.63.020Planning agencyCreationPowers and dutiesConflicts of interest.
35A.63.030Joint meetings and cooperative action.
35A.63.040Regional planning.
35A.63.050Receipt and expenditure of funds.
35A.63.060Comprehensive planGeneral.
35A.63.061Comprehensive planRequired elements.
35A.63.062Comprehensive planOptional elements.
35A.63.070Comprehensive planNotice and hearing.
35A.63.071Comprehensive planForwarding to legislative body.
35A.63.072Comprehensive planApproval by legislative body.
35A.63.073Comprehensive planAmendments and modifications.
35A.63.080Comprehensive planEffect.
35A.63.100Municipal authority.
35A.63.105Development regulationsConsistency with comprehensive plan.
35A.63.107Development regulationsJurisdictions specifiedElectric vehicle infrastructure.
35A.63.110Board of adjustmentCreationPowers and duties.
35A.63.120Administration and enforcement.
35A.63.130Provisions inconsistent with charters.
35A.63.140Duties and responsibilities imposed by other acts.
35A.63.145Prohibitions on manufactured homesReview required"Designated manufactured home" defined.
35A.63.146Manufactured housing communitiesProhibitions of code city due to community status as a nonconforming use.
35A.63.149Residential care facilitiesReview of need and demandAdoption of ordinances.
35A.63.150Public hearings.
35A.63.152Public noticeIdentification of affected property.
35A.63.160Construction1967 ex.s. c 119.
35A.63.170Hearing examiner systemAdoption authorizedAlternativeFunctionsProcedures.
35A.63.200Conformance with chapter 43.97 RCW required.
35A.63.210Child care facilitiesReview of need and demandAdoption of ordinances.
35A.63.215Family day-care provider's home facilityCity may not prohibit in residential or commercial areaConditions.
35A.63.220Moratoria, interim zoning controlsPublic hearingLimitation on length.
35A.63.230Accessory apartments.
35A.63.240Treatment of residential structures occupied by persons with handicaps.
35A.63.250Watershed restoration projectsPermit processingFish habitat enhancement project.
35A.63.260Planning regulationsCopies provided to county assessor.
35A.63.270General aviation airports.
35A.63.280Conditional and special use permit applications by parties licensed or certified by the department of social and health services or the department of correctionsMediation prior to appeal required.
35A.63.290Application for a permit to site an energy plant or alternative energy resourceWritten notice to United States department of defense.

NOTES:

Acquisition of interests in land for conservation, protection, preservation, or open space purposes by cities: RCW 64.04.130.
Appearance of fairness doctrineApplication to local land use decisions: RCW 42.36.010.
Associations of municipal corporations or municipal officers to furnish information to legislature and governor: RCW 44.04.170.


35A.63.010
Definitions.

The following words or terms as used in this chapter shall have the meanings set forth below unless different meanings are clearly indicated by the context:
(1) "Chief administrative officer" means the mayor in code cities operating under the mayor-council and commission forms, the city manager in code cities operating under the council-manager forms, or such other officer as the charter of a charter code city designates as the chief administrative officer.
(2) "City" means an incorporated city or town.
(3) "Code city" is used where the application of this chapter is limited to a code city; where joint, regional, or cooperative action is intended, a code city may be included in the unrestricted terms "city" or "municipality".
(4) "Comprehensive plan" means the policies and proposals approved by the legislative body as set forth in RCW 35A.63.060 through 35A.63.072 of this chapter and containing, at least, the elements set forth in RCW 35A.63.061.
(5) "Legislative body" means a code city council, a code city commission, and, in cases involving regional or cooperative planning or action, the governing body of a municipality.
(6) "Municipality" includes any code city and, in cases of regional or cooperative planning or action, any city, town, township, county, or special district.
(7) "Ordinance" means a legislative enactment by the legislative body of a municipality; in this chapter "ordinance" is synonymous with the term "resolution" when "resolution" is used as representing a legislative enactment.
(8) "Planning agency" means any person, body, or organization designated by the legislative body to perform a planning function or portion thereof for a municipality, and includes, without limitation, any commission, committee, department, or board together with its staff members, employees, agents, and consultants.
(9) "Special district" means that portion of the state, county, or other political subdivision created under general law for rendering of one or more local public services or for administrative, educational, judicial, or political purposes.



35A.63.015
"Solar energy system" defined.

As used in this chapter, "solar energy system" means any device or combination of devices or elements which rely upon direct sunlight as an energy source, including but not limited to any substance or device which collects sunlight for use in:
(1) The heating or cooling of a structure or building;
(2) The heating or pumping of water;
(3) Industrial, commercial, or agricultural processes; or
(4) The generation of electricity.
A solar energy system may be used for purposes in addition to the collection of solar energy. These uses include, but are not limited to, serving as a structural member or part of a roof of a building or structure and serving as a window or wall.

NOTES:

Severability1979 ex.s. c 170: See note following RCW 64.04.140.
Local governments authorized to encourage and protect solar energy systems: RCW 64.04.140.



35A.63.020
Planning agency—Creation—Powers and duties—Conflicts of interest.

By ordinance a code city may create a planning agency and provide for its membership, organization, and expenses. The planning agency shall serve in an advisory capacity to the chief administrative officer or the legislative body, or both, as may be provided by ordinance and shall have such other powers and duties as shall be provided by ordinance. If any person or persons on a planning agency concludes that he or she has a conflict of interest or an appearance of fairness problem with respect to a matter pending before the agency so that he or she cannot discharge his or her duties on such an agency, he or she shall disqualify himself or herself from participating in the deliberations and the decision-making process with respect to the matter. If this occurs, the appointing authority that appoints such a person may appoint a person to serve as an alternate on the agency to serve in his or her stead in regard to such a matter.

NOTES:

Severability1979 ex.s. c 18: See note following RCW 35A.01.070.



35A.63.030
Joint meetings and cooperative action.

Pursuant to the authorization of the legislative body, a code city planning agency may hold joint meetings with one or more city or county planning agencies (including city or county planning agencies in adjoining states) in any combination and may contract with another municipality for planning services. A code city may enter into cooperative arrangements with one or more municipalities and with any regional planning council organized under this chapter for jointly engaging a planning director and such other employees as may be required to operate a joint planning staff.

NOTES:

Effective date1969 ex.s. c 81: See note following RCW 35A.13.035.



35A.63.040
Regional planning.

A code city with one or more municipalities within a region, otherwise authorized by law to plan, including municipalities of adjoining states, when empowered by ordinances of their respective legislative bodies, may cooperate to form, organize, and administer a regional planning commission to prepare a comprehensive plan and perform other planning functions for the region defined by agreement of the respective municipalities. The various agencies may cooperate in all phases of planning, and professional staff may be engaged to assist in such planning. All costs shall be shared on a pro rata basis as agreed among the various entities. A code city may also cooperate with any department or agency of a state government having planning functions.

NOTES:

Effective date1969 ex.s. c 81: See note following RCW 35A.13.035.



35A.63.050
Receipt and expenditure of funds.

Any code city or any regional planning commission that includes a code city, when authorized by the legislative bodies of the municipalities represented by the regional planning commission, may enter into an agreement with any department or agency of the government of the United States or the state of Washington, or its agencies or political subdivisions, or any other public or private agency, to arrange for the receipt and expenditure of funds for planning in the interest of furthering the planning program.



35A.63.060
Comprehensive plan—General.

Every code city, by ordinance, shall direct the planning agency to prepare a comprehensive plan for anticipating and influencing the orderly and coordinated development of land and building uses of the code city and its environs. The comprehensive plan may be prepared as a whole or in successive parts. The plan should integrate transportation and land use planning.



35A.63.061
Comprehensive plan—Required elements.

The comprehensive plan shall be in such form and of such scope as the code city's ordinance or charter may require. It may consist of a map or maps, diagrams, charts, reports and descriptive and explanatory text or other devices and materials to express, explain, or depict the elements of the plan; and it shall include a recommended plan, scheme, or design for each of the following elements:
(1) A land-use element that designates the proposed general distribution, general location, and extent of the uses of land. These uses may include, but are not limited to, agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, educational, public, and other categories of public and private uses of land. The land-use element shall also include estimates of future population growth in, and statements of recommended standards of population density and building intensity for, the area covered by the comprehensive plan. The land use element shall also provide for protection of the quality and quantity of groundwater used for public water supplies and shall review drainage, flooding, and stormwater runoff in the area and nearby jurisdictions and provide guidance for corrective actions to mitigate or cleanse those discharges that pollute Puget Sound or waters entering Puget Sound.
(2) A circulation element consisting of the general location, alignment, and extent of existing and proposed major thoroughfares, major transportation routes, and major terminal facilities, all of which shall be correlated with the land-use element of the comprehensive plan.



35A.63.062
Comprehensive plan—Optional elements.

The comprehensive plan may include also any or all of the following optional elements:
(1) A conservation element for the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources.
(2) An open space, park, and recreation element.
(3) A transportation element showing a comprehensive system of surface, air, and water transportation routes and facilities.
(4) A public-use element showing general locations, designs, and arrangements of public buildings and uses.
(5) A public utilities element showing general plans for public and franchised services and facilities.
(6) A redevelopment or renewal element showing plans for the redevelopment or renewal of slum and blighted areas.
(7) An urban design element for general organization of the physical parts of the urban landscape.
(8) Other elements dealing with subjects that, in the opinion of the legislative body, relate to the development of the municipality, or are essential or desirable to coordinate public services and programs with such development.
(9) A solar energy element for encouragement and protection of access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems.

NOTES:

Severability1979 ex.s. c 170: See note following RCW 64.04.140.



35A.63.070
Comprehensive plan—Notice and hearing.

After preparing the comprehensive plan, or successive parts thereof, as the case may be, the planning agency shall hold at least one public hearing on the comprehensive plan or successive part. Notice of the time, place, and purpose of such public hearing shall be given as provided by ordinance and including at least one publication in a newspaper of general circulation delivered in the code city and in the official gazette, if any, of the code city, at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. Continued hearings may be held at the discretion of the planning agency but no additional notices need be published.



35A.63.071
Comprehensive plan—Forwarding to legislative body.

Upon completion of the hearing or hearings on the comprehensive plan or successive parts thereof, the planning agency, after making such changes as it deems necessary following such hearing, shall transmit a copy of its recommendations for the comprehensive plan, or successive parts thereof, to the legislative body through the chief administrative officer, who shall acknowledge receipt thereof and direct the clerk to certify thereon the date of receipt.



35A.63.072
Comprehensive plan—Approval by legislative body.

Within sixty days from its receipt of the recommendation for the comprehensive plan, as above set forth, the legislative body at a public meeting shall consider the same. The legislative body within such period as it may by ordinance provide, shall vote to approve or disapprove or to modify and approve, as modified, the comprehensive plan or to refer it back to the planning agency for further proceedings, in which case the legislative body shall specify the time within which the planning agency shall report back to the legislative body its findings and recommendations on the matters referred to it. The final form and content of the comprehensive plan shall be determined by the legislative body. An affirmative vote of not less than a majority of total members of the legislative body shall be required for adoption of a resolution to approve the plan or its parts. The comprehensive plan, or its successive parts, as approved by the legislative body, shall be filed with an appropriate official of the code city and shall be available for public inspection.



35A.63.073
Comprehensive plan—Amendments and modifications.

All amendments, modifications, or alterations in the comprehensive plan or any part thereof shall be processed in the same manner as set forth in RCW 35A.63.070 through 35A.63.072.



35A.63.080
Comprehensive plan—Effect.

From the date of approval by the legislative body the comprehensive plan, its parts and modifications thereof, shall serve as a basic source of reference for future legislative and administrative action: PROVIDED, That the comprehensive plan shall not be construed as a regulation of property rights or land uses: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That no procedural irregularity or informality in the consideration, hearing, and development of the comprehensive plan or a part thereof, or any of its elements, shall affect the validity of any zoning ordinance or amendment thereto enacted by the code city after the approval of the comprehensive plan.
The comprehensive plan shall be consulted as a preliminary to the establishment, improvement, abandonment, or vacation of any street, park, public way, public building, or public structure, and no dedication of any street or other area for public use shall be accepted by the legislative body until the location, character, extent, and effect thereof shall have been considered by the planning agency with reference to the comprehensive plan. The legislative body shall specify the time within which the planning agency shall report and make a recommendation with respect thereto. Recommendations of the planning agency shall be advisory only.



35A.63.100
Municipal authority.

After approval of the comprehensive plan in accordance with provisions of this chapter, the legislative body, in developing the municipality and in regulating the use of land, may implement or give effect to the comprehensive plan or parts thereof by ordinance or other action to such extent as the legislative body deems necessary or appropriate. Such ordinances or other action may provide for:
(1) Adoption of an official map and regulations relating thereto designating locations and requirements for one or more of the following: Streets, parks, public buildings, and other public facilities, and protecting such sites against encroachment by buildings and other physical structures.
(2)(a)(i) Dividing the municipality, or portions thereof, into appropriate zones within which specific standards, requirements, and conditions may be provided for regulating: The use of public and private land, buildings, and structures; the location, height, bulk, number of stories, and size of buildings and structures; size of yards, courts, and open spaces; density of population; ratio of land area to the area of buildings and structures; setbacks; area required for off-street parking; protection of access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems; and such other standards, requirements, regulations, and procedures as are appropriately related thereto.
(ii) Eliminating the minimum gross floor area requirements for single-family detached dwellings or reducing the requirements below the minimum performance standards and objectives contained in the state building code.
(b) The ordinance encompassing the matters of this subsection (2) is hereinafter called the "zoning ordinance." No zoning ordinance, or amendment thereto, shall be enacted by the legislative body without at least one public hearing, notice of which shall be given as set forth in RCW 35A.63.070. Such hearing may be held before the planning agency or the board of adjustment or such other body as the legislative body shall designate.
(3) Adoption of design standards, requirements, regulations, and procedures for the subdivision of land into two or more parcels, including, but not limited to, the approval of plats, dedications, acquisitions, improvements, and reservation of sites for public use.
(4) Scheduling public improvements on the basis of recommended priorities over a period of years, subject to periodic review.
(5) Such other matters as may be otherwise authorized by law or as the legislative body deems necessary or appropriate to effectuate the goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan or parts thereof and the purposes of this chapter.

NOTES:

Severability1979 ex.s. c 170: See note following RCW 64.04.140.



35A.63.105
Development regulations—Consistency with comprehensive plan.

Beginning July 1, 1992, the development regulations of each code city that does not plan under RCW 36.70A.040 shall not be inconsistent with the city's comprehensive plan. For the purposes of this section, "development regulations" has the same meaning as set forth in RCW 36.70A.030.

NOTES:

SeverabilityPart, section headings not law1990 1st ex.s. c 17: See RCW 36.70A.900 and 36.70A.901.



35A.63.107
Development regulations—Jurisdictions specified—Electric vehicle infrastructure.

(1) By July 1, 2010, the development regulations of any jurisdiction:
(a) Adjacent to Interstate 5, Interstate 90, Interstate 405, or state route number 520, with a population over twenty thousand, and located in a county with a population over one million five hundred thousand; or
(b) Adjacent to Interstate 5 and located in a county with a population greater than six hundred thousand; or
(c) Adjacent to Interstate 5 and located in a county with a state capitol within its borders;
planning under this chapter must allow electric vehicle infrastructure as a use in all areas except those zoned for residential or resource use or critical areas. A jurisdiction may adopt and apply other development regulations that do not have the effect of precluding the siting of electric vehicle infrastructure in areas where that use is allowed.
(2) By July 1, 2011, or six months after the distribution required under RCW 43.31.970 occurs, whichever is later, the development regulations of any jurisdiction adjacent to Interstate 5, Interstate 90, Interstate 405, or state route number 520 planning under this chapter must allow electric vehicle infrastructure as a use in all areas except those zoned for residential or resource use or critical areas. A jurisdiction may adopt and apply other development regulations that do not have the effect of precluding the siting of electric vehicle infrastructure in areas where that use is allowed.
(3) By July 1, 2011, or six months after the distribution required under RCW 43.31.970 occurs, whichever is later, the development regulations of any jurisdiction planning under this chapter must allow battery charging stations as a use in all areas except those zoned for residential or resource use or critical areas. A jurisdiction may adopt and apply other development regulations that do not have the effect of precluding the siting of electric vehicle infrastructure in areas where that use is allowed.
(4) Cities are authorized to adopt incentive programs to encourage the retrofitting of existing structures with the electrical outlets capable of charging electric vehicles. Incentives may include bonus height, site coverage, floor area ratio, and transferable development rights for use in urban growth areas.
(5) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "Battery charging station" means an electrical component assembly or cluster of component assemblies designed specifically to charge batteries within electric vehicles, which meet or exceed any standards, codes, and regulations set forth by chapter 19.28 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540.
(b) "Battery exchange station" means a fully automated facility that will enable an electric vehicle with a swappable battery to enter a drive lane and exchange the depleted battery with a fully charged battery through a fully automated process, which meets or exceeds any standards, codes, and regulations set forth by chapter 19.28 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540.
(c) "Electric vehicle infrastructure" means structures, machinery, and equipment necessary and integral to support an electric vehicle, including battery charging stations, rapid charging stations, and battery exchange stations.
(d) "Rapid charging station" means an industrial grade electrical outlet that allows for faster recharging of electric vehicle batteries through higher power levels, which meets or exceeds any standards, codes, and regulations set forth by chapter 19.28 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540.
(6) If federal funding for public investment in electric vehicles, electric vehicle infrastructure, or alternative fuel distribution infrastructure is not provided by February 1, 2010, subsection (1) of this section is null and void.

NOTES:

FindingPurpose2009 c 459: See note following RCW 47.80.090.
Regional transportation planning organizationsElectric vehicle infrastructure: RCW 47.80.090.



35A.63.110
Board of adjustment—Creation—Powers and duties.

A code city which pursuant to this chapter creates a planning agency and which has twenty-five hundred or more inhabitants, by ordinance, shall create a board of adjustment and provide for its membership, terms of office, organization, jurisdiction. A code city which pursuant to this chapter creates a planning agency and which has a population of less than twenty-five hundred may, by ordinance, similarly create a board of adjustment. In the event a code city with a population of less than twenty-five hundred creates a planning agency, but does not create a board of adjustment, the code city shall provide that the city legislative authority shall itself hear and decide the items listed in subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this section. The action of the board of adjustment shall be final and conclusive, unless, within twenty-one days from the date of the action, the original applicant or an adverse party makes application to the superior court for the county in which that city is located for a writ of certiorari, a writ of prohibition, or a writ of mandamus. No member of the board of adjustment shall be a member of the planning agency or the legislative body. Subject to conditions, safeguards, and procedures provided by ordinance, the board of adjustment may be empowered to hear and decide:
(1) Appeals from orders, recommendations, permits, decisions, or determinations made by a code city official in the administration or enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or any ordinances adopted pursuant to it.
(2) Applications for variances from the terms of the zoning ordinance, the official map ordinance or other land-use regulatory ordinances under procedures and conditions prescribed by city ordinance, which among other things shall provide that no application for a variance shall be granted unless the board of adjustment finds:
(a) The variance shall not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitation upon uses of other properties in the vicinity and zone in which the property on behalf of which the application was filed is located; and
(b) That such variance is necessary, because of special circumstances relating to the size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings of the subject property, to provide it with use rights and privileges permitted to other properties in the vicinity and in the zone in which the subject property is located; and
(c) That the granting of such variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and zone in which the subject property is situated.
(3) Applications for conditional-use permits, unless such applications are to be heard and decided by the planning agency. A conditional use means a use listed among those classified in any given zone but permitted to locate only after review as herein provided in accordance with standards and criteria set forth in the zoning ordinance.
(4) Such other quasi-judicial and administrative determinations as may be delegated by ordinance.
In deciding any of the matters referred to in subsections (1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section, the board of adjustment shall issue a written report giving the reasons for its decision. If a code city provides for a hearing examiner and vests in him or her the authority to hear and decide the items listed in subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this section pursuant to RCW 35A.63.170, then the provisions of this section shall not apply to such a city.

NOTES:

Severability1979 ex.s. c 18: See note following RCW 35A.01.070.



35A.63.120
Administration and enforcement.

In order to carry into effect the purposes of this chapter, administrative and enforcement responsibilities, other than those set forth in RCW 35A.63.110, may be assigned by ordinance to such departments, boards, officials, employees, or agents as the legislative body deems appropriate.



35A.63.130
Provisions inconsistent with charters.

Insofar as the provisions of an existing charter of a municipality are inconsistent with this chapter, a municipality may exercise the authority, or any part thereof, granted by this chapter notwithstanding the inconsistent provision of an existing charter.



35A.63.140
Duties and responsibilities imposed by other acts.

Any duties and responsibilities which by other statutes are imposed upon a planning commission may, in a code city, be performed by a planning agency, as provided in this chapter.



35A.63.145
Prohibitions on manufactured homes—Review required—"Designated manufactured home" defined.

(1) Each comprehensive plan which does not allow for the siting of manufactured homes on individual lots shall be subject to a review by the city of the need and demand for such homes. The review shall be completed by December 31, 1990.
(2) For the purpose of providing an optional reference for cities which choose to allow manufactured homes on individual lots, a "designated manufactured home" is a manufactured home constructed after June 15, 1976, in accordance with state and federal requirements for manufactured homes, which:
(a) Is comprised of at least two fully enclosed parallel sections each of not less than twelve feet wide by thirty-six feet long;
(b) Was originally constructed with and now has a composition or wood shake or shingle, coated metal, or similar roof of not less than 3:12 pitch; and
(c) Has exterior siding similar in appearance to siding materials commonly used on conventional site-built uniform building code single-family residences.
(3) Nothing in this section precludes cities from allowing any manufactured home from being sited on individual lots through local standards which differ from the designated manufactured home as described in this section, except that the term "designated manufactured home" shall not be used except as defined in subsection (2) of this section.



35A.63.146
Manufactured housing communities—Prohibitions of code city due to community status as a nonconforming use.

(1) After June 10, 2004, a code city may designate a manufactured housing community as a nonconforming use, but may not order the removal or phased elimination of an existing manufactured housing community because of its status as a nonconforming use.
(2) A code city may not prohibit the entry or require the removal of a manufactured/mobile home, park model, or recreational vehicle authorized in a manufactured housing community under chapter 59.20 RCW on the basis of the community's status as a nonconforming use.

NOTES:

Transfer of residual funds to manufactured home installation training account2011 c 158: See note following RCW 43.22A.100.



35A.63.149
Residential care facilities—Review of need and demand—Adoption of ordinances.

Each municipality that does not provide for the siting of residential care facilities in zones or areas that are designated for single-family or other residential uses, shall conduct a review of the need and demand for the facilities, including the cost of any conditional or special use permit that may be required. The review shall be completed by August 31, 1990. A copy of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations resulting from the review shall be sent to the *department of community development by September 30, 1990.
On or before June 30, 1991, each municipality that plans and zones under this chapter shall have adopted an ordinance or ordinances that are necessary to implement the findings of this review, if the findings indicate that such changes are necessary, or shall notify the *department of community development as to why such implementing ordinances were not adopted.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: Powers, duties, and functions of the department of community development and the department of trade and economic development were transferred to the department of community, trade, and economic development by 1993 c 280, effective July 1, 1994. The "department of community, trade, and economic development" was renamed the "department of commerce" by 2009 c 565.



35A.63.150
Public hearings.

The legislative body may provide by ordinance for such additional public hearings and notice thereof as it deems to be appropriate in connection with any action contemplated under this chapter.



35A.63.152
Public notice—Identification of affected property.

Any notice made under chapter 35A.63 RCW that identifies affected property may identify this affected property without using a legal description of the property including, but not limited to, identification by an address, written description, vicinity sketch, or other reasonable means.



35A.63.160
Construction—1967 ex.s. c 119.

This title is intended to implement and preserve to code cities all powers authorized by Article XI, section 11 of the Constitution of the state of Washington and the provision of this title shall not limit any code city from exercising its constitutionally granted power to plan for and to make and enforce within its limits all such local police, sanitary, and other regulations in the manner that its charter or ordinances may provide.



35A.63.170
Hearing examiner system—Adoption authorized—Alternative—Functions—Procedures.

(1) As an alternative to those provisions of this chapter relating to powers or duties of the planning commission to hear and report on any proposal to amend a zoning ordinance, the legislative body of a city may adopt a hearing examiner system under which a hearing examiner or hearing examiners may hear and decide applications for amending the zoning ordinance when the amendment which is applied for is not of general applicability. In addition, the legislative body may vest in a hearing examiner the power to hear and decide those issues it believes should be reviewed and decided by a hearing examiner, including but not limited to:
(a) Applications for conditional uses, variances, subdivisions, shoreline permits, or any other class of applications for or pertaining to development of land or land use;
(b) Appeals of administrative decisions or determinations; and
(c) Appeals of administrative decisions or determinations pursuant to chapter 43.21C RCW.
The legislative body shall prescribe procedures to be followed by a hearing examiner. If the legislative authority vests in a hearing examiner the authority to hear and decide variances, then the provisions of RCW 35A.63.110 shall not apply to the city.
(2) Each city legislative body electing to use a hearing examiner pursuant to this section shall by ordinance specify the legal effect of the decisions made by the examiner. The legal effect of such decisions may vary for the different classes of applications decided by the examiner but shall include one of the following:
(a) The decision may be given the effect of a recommendation to the legislative body;
(b) The decision may be given the effect of an administrative decision appealable within a specified time limit to the legislative body; or
(c) Except in the case of a rezone, the decision may be given the effect of a final decision of the legislative body.
(3) Each final decision of a hearing examiner shall be in writing and shall include findings and conclusions, based on the record, to support the decision. Such findings and conclusions shall also set forth the manner in which the decision would carry out and conform to the city's comprehensive plan and the city's development regulations. Each final decision of a hearing examiner, unless a longer period is mutually agreed to in writing by the applicant and the hearing examiner, shall be rendered within ten working days following conclusion of all testimony and hearings.

NOTES:

FindingSeverabilityPart headings and table of contents not law1995 c 347: See notes following RCW 36.70A.470.
Severability1994 c 257: See note following RCW 36.70A.270.
Severability1977 ex.s. c 213: See note following RCW 35.63.130.



35A.63.200
Conformance with chapter 43.97 RCW required.

With respect to the National Scenic Area, as defined in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, P.L. 99-663, the exercise of any power or authority by a city pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to and in conformity with the requirements of chapter 43.97 RCW, including the Interstate Compact adopted by RCW 43.97.015, and with the management plan regulations and ordinances adopted by the Columbia River Gorge commission pursuant to the Compact.



35A.63.210
Child care facilities—Review of need and demand—Adoption of ordinances.

Each municipality that does not provide for the siting of family day care homes in zones or areas that are designated for single-family or other residential uses, and for the siting of mini-day care centers and day care centers in zones or areas that are designated for any residential or commercial uses, shall conduct a review of the need and demand for child care facilities, including the cost of any conditional or special use permit that may be required. The review shall be completed by August 31, 1990. A copy of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations resulting from the review shall be sent to the *department of community development by September 30, 1990.
On or before June 30, 1991, each municipality that plans and zones under this chapter shall have adopted an ordinance or ordinances that are necessary to implement the findings of this review, if the findings indicate that such changes are necessary, or shall notify the *department of community development as to why such implementing ordinances were not adopted.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: Powers, duties, and functions of the department of community development and the department of trade and economic development were transferred to the department of community, trade, and economic development by 1993 c 280, effective July 1, 1994. The "department of community, trade, and economic development" was renamed the "department of commerce" by 2009 c 565.
FindingsPurposeSeverability1989 c 335: See notes following RCW 35.63.170.
Definitions for RCW 35A.63.210: See RCW 35.63.170.



35A.63.215
Family day-care provider's home facility—City may not prohibit in residential or commercial area—Conditions.

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, no city may enact, enforce, or maintain an ordinance, development regulation, zoning regulation, or official control, policy, or administrative practice that prohibits the use of a residential dwelling, located in an area zoned for residential or commercial use, as a family day-care provider's home facility.
(2) A city may require that the facility: (a) Comply with all building, fire, safety, health code, and business licensing requirements; (b) conform to lot size, building size, setbacks, and lot coverage standards applicable to the zoning district except if the structure is a legal nonconforming structure; (c) is certified by the department of children, youth, and families licensor as providing a safe passenger loading area; (d) include signage, if any, that conforms to applicable regulations; and (e) limit hours of operations to facilitate neighborhood compatibility, while also providing appropriate opportunity for persons who use family day-care and who work a nonstandard work shift.
(3) A city may also require that the family day-care provider, before state licensing, require proof of written notification by the provider that the immediately adjoining property owners have been informed of the intent to locate and maintain such a facility. If a dispute arises between neighbors and the family day-care provider over licensing requirements, the licensor may provide a forum to resolve the dispute.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a city from imposing zoning conditions on the establishment and maintenance of a family day-care provider's home in an area zoned for residential or commercial use, so long as such conditions are no more restrictive than conditions imposed on other residential dwellings in the same zone and the establishment of such facilities is not precluded. As used in this section, "family day-care provider" is as defined in RCW 43.216.010.

NOTES:

Effective date2018 c 58: See note following RCW 28A.655.080.



35A.63.220
Moratoria, interim zoning controls—Public hearing—Limitation on length.

A legislative body that adopts a moratorium or interim zoning ordinance, without holding a public hearing on the proposed moratorium or interim zoning ordinance, shall hold a public hearing on the adopted moratorium or interim zoning ordinance within at least sixty days of its adoption, whether or not the legislative body received a recommendation on the matter from the planning agency. If the legislative body does not adopt findings of fact justifying its action before this hearing, then the legislative body shall do so immediately after this public hearing. A moratorium or interim zoning ordinance adopted under this section may be effective for not longer than six months, but may be effective for up to one year if a work plan is developed for related studies providing for such a longer period. A moratorium of [or] interim zoning ordinance may be renewed for one or more six-month periods if a subsequent public hearing is held and findings of fact are made prior to each renewal.



35A.63.230
Accessory apartments.

Any local government, as defined in RCW 43.63A.215, that is planning under this chapter shall comply with RCW 43.63A.215(3).



35A.63.240
Treatment of residential structures occupied by persons with handicaps.

No city may enact or maintain an ordinance, development regulation, zoning regulation or official control, policy, or administrative practice which treats a residential structure occupied by persons with handicaps differently than a similar residential structure occupied by a family or other unrelated individuals. As used in this section, "handicaps" are as defined in the federal fair housing amendments act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3602).



35A.63.250
Watershed restoration projects—Permit processing—Fish habitat enhancement project.

(1) A permit required under this chapter for a watershed restoration project as defined in RCW 89.08.460 shall be processed in compliance with RCW 89.08.450 through 89.08.510.
(2) A fish habitat enhancement project meeting the criteria of RCW 77.55.181 shall be reviewed and approved according to the provisions of RCW 77.55.181.

NOTES:

FindingsPurposeReportEffective date1998 c 249: See notes following RCW 77.55.181.



35A.63.260
Planning regulations—Copies provided to county assessor.

By July 31, 1997, a code city planning under RCW 36.70A.040 shall provide to the county assessor a copy of the code city's comprehensive plan and development regulations in effect on July 1st of that year and shall thereafter provide any amendments to the plan and regulations that were adopted before July 31st of each following year.



35A.63.270
General aviation airports.

Adoption and amendment of comprehensive plan provisions and development regulations under this chapter affecting a general aviation airport are subject to RCW 36.70.547.



35A.63.280
Conditional and special use permit applications by parties licensed or certified by the department of social and health services or the department of corrections—Mediation prior to appeal required.

A final decision by a hearing examiner involving a conditional or special use permit application under this chapter that is requested by a party that is licensed or certified by the department of social and health services or the department of corrections is subject to mediation under RCW 35.63.260 before an appeal may be filed.



35A.63.290
Application for a permit to site an energy plant or alternative energy resource—Written notice to United States department of defense.

(1) Upon receipt of an application for a permit to site an energy plant or alternative energy resource that is connected to electrical transmission facilities of a nominal voltage of at least one hundred fifteen thousand volts, the city shall notify in writing the United States department of defense. The notification shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) A description of the proposed energy plant or alternative energy resource;
(b) The location of the site;
(c) The placement of the energy plant or alternative energy resource on the site;
(d) The date and time by which comments must be received by the city; and
(e) Contact information of the city permitting authority and the applicant.
(2) The purpose of the written notification is to provide an opportunity for the United States department of defense to comment upon the application, and to identify potential issues relating to the placement and operations of the energy plant or alternative energy resource, before a permit application is approved. The time period set forth by the city for receipt of such comments shall not extend the time period for the city's processing of the application.
(3) For the purpose of this section, "alternative energy resource," "energy plant," and "electrical transmission facility" shall each have the meaning set forth in RCW 80.50.020.