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City of Puyallup

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AI- 3498   12.    
City Council Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/05/2013  
Subject:    Municipal Code Land Use Amendments (Misc.)
Presenter: Tom Utterback
Department: Development Services  

Recommended Action
Conduct second reading of an ordinance amending and adding various zoning and development regulations within Puyallup Municipal Code Titles 2, 19, 20 and 21, as recommended by the Planning Commission.
Periodically, the Planning Commission considers miscellaneous minor amendments to land use sections of the City's Municipal Code.  Consistent with the Council-approved Planning Commission work program, the Commission has recently reviewed a small group of proposed code amendments. These possible amendments were identified due to: recent changes in state law, to clarify or improve existing permit processes, or to achieve consistency with federal standards.

The attached staff memo describes the proposed amendments, which pertain to preliminary plat and SEPA timelines, binding site plan procedures, residential zone setbacks and floodplain verbiage. The Planning Commission reviewed these amendments over multiple work sessions held on September 12, October 10, and November 14, 2012. The Planning Commission then held a duly-noticed public hearing on December 5, 2012; following the hearing, the Commission unanimously (6-0, with one Commissioner absent) recommended that the City Council approve the proposed amendments.
Previous Actions (Discussions/Presentations)
As noted, the Planning Commission reviewed the subject code amendment text at three separate public workshops in 2012. The Commission then held a public hearing on December 5th, leading to this recommendation to City Council. The City Council-approved Planning Commission work program for 2012-2013 supports the Commission's periodic work on miscellaneous land use code amendments such as these.

The City Council approved first reading of this ordinance at its regular meeting of January 22, 2013.  For second reading on February 5th, staff has corrected one minor number reference in the proposed amendment to Sec. 20.25.020 (RM zone sideyard setback).     
Summary of Proposal
The subject code amendment package, as recommended by Planning Commission, focuses on five areas of Puyallup's Municipal Code contained in titles 2, 19, 20 and 21. Please reference the attached staff report for a more detailed discussion of each item. 

1.) Preliminary plat timelines (PMC 19.08.140) 
2.) Binding site plan committee (PMC 2.54, 19.10, 20.10.015)
3.) Responding to SEPA comments (PMC 21.04.125)
4.) RM-20 side yard setbacks (PMC 20.25.020, .027) 
5.) Flood protection ordinance (PMC 21.07.060)  
During its review, the Planning Commission considered alternatives for all amendments, including:

1.) Preliminary plat timelines (PMC 19.08.140) - While state law defines the preliminary plat timeline for new residential subdivisions (with limited local ability to deviate from those RCWs), an option for time extensions is available for local jurisdictions to adopt into local regulations. Currently, new preliminary plats are regulated through state law and local ordinance as follows: 

> The RCW provides certain older plats (those approved prior to December 31, 2007) with a nine-year window, with a local option to adopt procedures for possible time extensions beyond that state-allowed maximum. The proposed amendment to the PMC would establish consistency with this nine-year provision in the RCW. 
> Preliminary plats approved between January 1, 2008 and December 30, 2014 are provided a seven-year approval time window to finalize a plat with the ability for a one-year extension (a total of eight years, with Hearing Examiner approval of any requested time extension).
> After December 30, 2014, all plats are provided a five-year approval window. The Puyallup Municipal Code provides a possible option for two separate one-year time extensions (seven years in total).

The Planning Commission did consider a possible time extension for these older plats covered under the latest revisions to state law. However, the Commission did not find that a possible ten-year approval window was warranted or served the public interest, and is recommending consistency with current state law with no possible time extension for plats covered under the nine-year approval window provision.  

The City Council could adopt additional time extension options which would allow owners of these older plats the possibility of more time to complete improvements needed to finalize an approved preliminary plat. Options should include procedures for reviewing time extension requests, to address who considers and approves such requests (administrative, Hearing Examiner or otherwise).

2.) Binding site plan committee (PMC 19.10) - The Planning Commission recommended that the City Council extinguish the staff-level Binding Site Plan Committee in favor of Hearing Examiner review of binding site plan applications.   
The City Council could reject this Planning Commission-recommended amendment and maintain the status quo, commissioning the Binding Site Plan Committee to continue reviewing such permit requests. Another option could create an allowance in code for the review of binding site plans to be completed adminstratively. 

3.) RM-20 side yard setbacks (PMC 20.25.020, .027) - The Planning Commission recommended City Council amend the side yard setback table for RM-20 parcels when they abut other similarly zoned and used parcels only (e.g. multi-family to multi-family land use interface only). Buffering and setback provisions when RM-20 projects abut single-family uses would remain unchanged.

The City Council could reject or modify the recommended code amendment to a different setback value.

Other items included in the Planning Commission-recommended code amendment package relate to administrative processes (e.g. SEPA comments) or consistency with federal standards (e.g. the flood protection ordinance under the NFIP).

Fiscal Impact
Amount Budgeted:
Bid Amount:
City Funding Needed for Project:
Funds from Other Sources:
Ongoing Staff Costs:
Fiscal Impacts:
The majority of the Planning Commission recommended amendments to the Puyallup Municipal Code are procedural in nature and thus have no quantifiable fiscal impact.

Changes to the city's preliminary plat regulations (needed to establish consistency with changes to state law) may, however, result in extended time allowances to facilitate the completion of improvements (e.g. roads, utilties, etc.) for new subdivisions constructed under older preliminary plats. If this results in more established development, it could generate additional system development fees, impact fees and increased property tax revenue long-term.
Staff report
Code text

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