Chapter 36.70 RCW

PLANNING ENABLING ACT

Sections
Purpose and intent.
Expenditure of funds declared public purpose.
Definitions.
"Solar energy system" defined.
CommissionCreation.
DepartmentCreationCreation of commission to assist department.
Authority for planning.
Regional planning commissionAppointment and powers.
CommissionComposition.
CommissionAppointmentCounty.
CommissionMembershipTermsExisting commissions.
CommissionVacancies.
CommissionRemoval.
CommissionOfficers.
Planning agencyMeetings.
Planning agencyRules and records.
Planning agencyJoint meetings.
DirectorAppointment.
DirectorEmployees.
Joint director.
Special services.
Board of adjustmentCreationZoning adjustor.
Board of adjustmentMembershipQuorum.
Board of adjustmentAppointmentAppointment of zoning adjustor.
Board of adjustmentTerms.
Board of adjustmentVacancies.
Board of adjustmentRemoval.
Board of adjustmentOrganization.
Board of adjustmentMeetings.
Board of adjustmentRules and records.
Appropriation for planning agency, board of adjustment.
Accept gifts.
Conference and travel expensesCommission members and staff.
Public noticeIdentification of affected property.
Statement of restrictions applicable to real property.
Comprehensive plan.
Comprehensive planRequired elements.
Comprehensive planAmplification of required elements.
Comprehensive planOptional elements.
Comprehensive planCooperation with affected agencies.
Comprehensive planFiling of copies.
Comprehensive planPublic hearing required.
Comprehensive planNotice of hearing.
Comprehensive planApprovalRequired voteRecord.
Comprehensive planAmendment.
Comprehensive planReferral to board.
Comprehensive planBoard may initiate or changeNotice.
Comprehensive planBoard may approve or changeNotice.
Planning agencyRelating projects to comprehensive plan.
Planning agencyAnnual report.
Planning agencyPromotion of public interest in plan.
Planning agencyCooperation with agencies.
Information to be furnished agency.
Manufactured housing communitiesProhibitions of county due to community status as a nonconforming use.
Planning regulationsCopies provided to county assessor.
Right of entryCommission or planning staff.
Special referred mattersReports.
Required submission of capital expenditure projects.
Relating capital expenditure projects to comprehensive plan.
Referral procedureReports.
Development regulationsConsistency with comprehensive plan.
General aviation airportsSiting of incompatible uses.
Official controls.
Official controlsForms of controls.
Official controlsAdoption.
Official controlsPublic hearing by commission.
Official controlsNotice of hearing.
Official controlsRecommendation to boardRequired vote.
Official controlsReference to board.
Official controlsAction by board.
Official controlsBoard to conduct hearing, adopt findings prior to incorporating changes in recommended control.
Official controlsBoard may initiate.
Board final authority.
Procedures for adoption of controls limited to planning matters.
EnforcementOfficial controls.
Child care facilitiesReview of need and demandAdoption of ordinances.
Accessory apartments.
Conditional 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.
Subdividing and platting.
County improvements.
Development regulationsJurisdictions specifiedElectric vehicle infrastructure.
Planning agencyTime limit for report.
Final authority.
Prerequisite for zoning.
Text without map.
Zoning mapProgressive adoption.
ZoningTypes of regulations.
Residential care facilitiesReview of need and demandAdoption of ordinances.
Family day-care provider's home facilityCounty may not prohibit in residential or commercial areaConditions.
Establishing zones.
All regulations shall be uniform in each zone.
Classifying unmapped areas.
Interim zoning.
Moratoria, interim zoning controlsPublic hearingLimitation on length.
Procedural amendmentsZoning ordinance.
Board of adjustmentAuthority.
Board of adjustmentQuasi-judicial powers.
Board of adjustmentAppealsTime limit.
Board of adjustmentNotice of time and place of hearing on conditional permit.
Board of adjustmentAppealNotice of time and place.
Board of adjustmentScope of authority on appeal.
Zoning adjustorPowers and duties.
Zoning adjustorAction final unless appealed.
Board of adjustmentAction finalWrits.
Inclusion of findings of fact.
Short title.
Duties and responsibilities imposed by other acts.
Chapter alternative method.
Elective adoption.
Hearing examiner systemAdoption authorizedAlternativeFunctionsProcedures.
Conformance with chapter 43.97 RCW required.
Fish enhancement projectsCounty's liability.
Treatment of residential structures occupied by persons with handicaps.
Watershed restoration projectsPermit processingFish habitat enhancement project.
NOTES:
Acquisition of interests in land for conservation, protection, preservation, or open space purposes by counties: RCW 64.04.130.
Alternative planning enabling act: Chapter 35.63 RCW.
Appearance of fairness doctrineApplication to local land use decisions: RCW 42.36.010.
County, sewerage, water, and drainage systems as part of comprehensive plan: Chapter 36.70 RCW.
Expediting completion of projects of statewide significanceRequirements of agreements: RCW 43.157.020.
Joint operations by political subdivisions, deposit and control of funds: RCW 43.09.285.
Unfit dwellings, buildings, and structures: Chapter 35.80 RCW.


36.70.010
Purpose and intent.

The purpose and intent of this chapter is to provide the authority for, and the procedures to be followed in, guiding and regulating the physical development of a county or region through correlating both public and private projects and coordinating their execution with respect to all subject matters utilized in developing and servicing land, all to the end of assuring the highest standards of environment for living, and the operation of commerce, industry, agriculture and recreation, and assuring maximum economies and conserving the highest degree of public health, safety, morals and welfare.



36.70.015
Expenditure of funds declared public purpose.

Regional planning under the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a proper public purpose for the expenditure of the funds of counties, school districts, public utility districts, housing authorities, port districts, cities or towns or any other public organization interested in regional planning.



36.70.020
Definitions.

The following words or terms as used in this chapter shall have the following meaning unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context:
(1) "Approval by motion" is a means by which a board, through other than by ordinance, approves and records recognition of a comprehensive plan or amendments thereto.
(2) "Board" means the board of county commissioners.
(3) "Certification" means the affixing on any map or by adding to any document comprising all or any portion of a comprehensive plan a record of the dates of action thereon by the commission and by the board, together with the signatures of the officer or officers authorized by ordinance to so sign.
(4) "Commission" means a county or regional planning commission.
(5) "Commissioners" means members of a county or regional planning commission.
(6) "Comprehensive plan" means the policies and proposals approved and recommended by the planning agency or initiated by the board and approved by motion by the board (a) as a beginning step in planning for the physical development of the county; (b) as the means for coordinating county programs and services; (c) as a source of reference to aid in developing, correlating, and coordinating official regulations and controls; and (d) as a means for promoting the general welfare. Such plan shall consist of the required elements set forth in RCW 36.70.330 and may also include the optional elements set forth in RCW 36.70.350 which shall serve as a policy guide for the subsequent public and private development and official controls so as to present all proposed developments in a balanced and orderly relationship to existing physical features and governmental functions.
(7) "Conditional use" means a use listed among those classified in any given zone but permitted to locate only after review by the board of adjustment, or zoning adjustor if there be such, and the granting of a conditional use permit imposing such performance standards as will make the use compatible with other permitted uses in the same vicinity and zone and assure against imposing excessive demands upon public utilities, provided the county ordinances specify the standards and criteria that shall be applied.
(8) "Department" means a planning department organized and functioning as any other department in any county.
(9) "Element" means one of the various categories of subjects, each of which constitutes a component part of the comprehensive plan.
(10) "Ex officio member" means a member of the commission who serves by virtue of his or her official position as head of a department specified in the ordinance creating the commission.
(11) "Official controls" means legislatively defined and enacted policies, standards, precise detailed maps and other criteria, all of which control the physical development of a county or any part thereof or any detail thereof, and are the means of translating into regulations and ordinances all or any part of the general objectives of the comprehensive plan. Such official controls may include, but are not limited to, ordinances establishing zoning, subdivision control, platting, and adoption of detailed maps.
(12) "Ordinance" means a legislative enactment by a board; in this chapter the word, "ordinance", is synonymous with the term "resolution", as representing a legislative enactment by a board of county commissioners.
(13) "Planning agency" means (a) a planning commission, together with its staff members, employees and consultants, or (b) a department organized and functioning as any other department in any county government together with its planning commission.
(14) "Variance." A variance is the means by which an adjustment is made in the application of the specific regulations of a zoning ordinance to a particular piece of property, which property, because of special circumstances applicable to it, is deprived of privileges commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same vicinity and zone and which adjustment remedies disparity in privileges.



36.70.025
"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.



36.70.030
Commission—Creation.

By ordinance a board may create a planning commission and provide for the appointment by the commission of a director of planning.



36.70.040
Department—Creation—Creation of commission to assist department.

By ordinance a board may, as an alternative to and in lieu of the creation of a planning commission as provided in RCW 36.70.030, create a planning department which shall be organized and function as any other department of the county. When such department is created, the board shall also create a planning commission which shall assist the planning department in carrying out its duties, including assistance in the preparation and execution of the comprehensive plan and recommendations to the department for the adoption of official controls and/or amendments thereto. To this end, the planning commission shall conduct such hearings as are required by this chapter and shall make findings and conclusions therefrom which shall be transmitted to the department which shall transmit the same on to the board with such comments and recommendations it deems necessary.



36.70.050
Authority for planning.

Upon the creation of a planning agency as authorized in RCW 36.70.030 and 36.70.040, a county may engage in a planning program as defined by this chapter. Two or more counties may jointly engage in a planning program as defined herein for their combined areas.



36.70.060
Regional planning commission—Appointment and powers.

A county or a city may join with one or more other counties, cities and towns, and/or with one or more school districts, public utility districts, private utilities, housing authorities, port districts, or any other private or public organizations interested in regional planning to form and organize a regional planning commission and provide for the administration of its affairs. Such regional planning commission may carry on a planning program involving the same subjects and procedures provided by this chapter for planning by counties, provided this authority shall not include enacting official controls other than by the individual participating municipal corporations. The authority to initiate a regional planning program, define the boundaries of the regional planning district, specify the number, method of appointment and terms of office of members of the regional planning commission and provide for allocating the cost of financing the work shall be vested individually in the governing bodies of the participating municipal corporations.
Any regional planning commission or municipal corporation participating in any regional planning district is authorized to receive grants-in-aid from, or enter into reasonable agreement with any department or agency of the government of the United States or of the state of Washington to arrange for the receipt of federal funds and state funds for planning in the interests of furthering the planning program.
NOTES:
Commission as employer for retirement system purposes: RCW 41.40.010.



36.70.070
Commission—Composition.

Whenever a commission is created by a county, it shall consist of five, seven, or nine members as may be provided by ordinance: PROVIDED, That where a commission, on June 10, 1959, is operating with more than nine members, no further appointments shall be made to fill vacancies for whatever cause until the membership of the commission is reduced to five, seven or nine, whichever is the number specified by the county ordinance under this chapter. Departments of a county may be represented on the commission by the head of such departments as are designated in the ordinance creating the commission, who shall serve in an ex officio capacity, but such ex officio members shall not exceed one of a five-member commission, two of a seven-member commission, or three of a nine-member commission. At no time shall there be more than three ex officio members serving on a commission: PROVIDED FURTHER, That in lieu of one ex officio member, only, one employee of the county other than a department head may be appointed to serve as a member of the commission.



36.70.080
Commission—Appointment—County.

The members of a commission shall be appointed by the chair of the board with the approval of a majority of the board: PROVIDED, That each member of the board shall submit to the chair a list of nominees residing in his or her commissioner district, and the chair shall make his or her appointments from such lists so that as nearly as mathematically possible, each commissioner district shall be equally represented on the commission.



36.70.090
Commission—Membership—Terms—Existing commissions.

When a commission is created after June 10, 1959, the first terms of the members of the commission consisting of five, seven, and nine members, respectively, other than ex officio members, shall be as follows:
(1) For a five-member commissionone, shall be appointed for one year; one, for two years; one, for three years; and two, for four years.
(2) For a seven-member commissionone, shall be appointed for one year; two, for two years; two, for three years; and two, for four years.
(3) For a nine-member commissiontwo, shall be appointed for one year; two, for two years; two, for three years; and three, for four years.
Thereafter, the successors to the first member shall be appointed for four year terms: PROVIDED, That where the commission includes one ex officio member, the number of appointive members first appointed for a four year term shall be reduced by one; if there are to be two ex officio members, the number of appointive members for the three year and four year terms shall each be reduced by one; if there are to be three ex officio members, the number of appointive members for the four year term, the three year term, and the two year term shall each be reduced by one. The term of an ex officio member shall correspond to his or her official tenure: PROVIDED FURTHER, That where a commission, on the effective date of this chapter, is operating with members appointed for longer than four year terms, such members shall serve out the full term for which they were appointed, but their successors, if any, shall be appointed for four year terms.



36.70.100
Commission—Vacancies.

Vacancies occurring for any reason other than the expiration of the term shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired portion of the term except if, on June 10, 1959, the unexpired portion of a term is for more than four years the vacancy shall be filled for a period of time that will obtain the maximum staggered terms, but shall not exceed four years. Vacancies shall be filled from the same commissioner district as that of the vacating member.



36.70.110
Commission—Removal.

After public hearing, any appointee member of a commission may be removed by the chair of the board, with the approval of the board, for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.



36.70.120
Commission—Officers.

Each commission shall elect its chair and vice chair from among the appointed members. The commission shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the commission.



36.70.130
Planning agency—Meetings.

Each planning agency shall hold not less than one regular meeting in each month: PROVIDED, That if no matters over which the planning agency has jurisdiction are pending upon its calendar, a meeting may be canceled.



36.70.140
Planning agency—Rules and records.

Each planning agency shall adopt rules for the transaction of its business and shall keep a public record of its transactions, findings, and determinations.



36.70.150
Planning agency—Joint meetings.

Two or more county planning agencies in any combination may hold joint meetings and by approval of their respective boards may have the same chair.



36.70.160
Director—Appointment.

If a director of planning is provided for, he or she shall be appointed:
(1) By the commission when a commission is created under RCW 36.70.030;
(2) If a planning department is established as provided in RCW 36.70.040, then he or she shall be appointed by the board.



36.70.170
Director—Employees.

The director of planning shall be authorized to appoint such employees as are necessary to perform the duties assigned to him or her within the budget allowed.



36.70.180
Joint director.

The boards of two or more counties or the legislative bodies of other political subdivisions or special districts may jointly engage a single director of planning and may authorize him or her to employ such other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the joint planning program.



36.70.190
Special services.

Each planning agency, subject to the approval of the board, may employ or contract with the planning consultants or other specialists for such services as it requires.



36.70.200
Board of adjustment—Creation—Zoning adjustor.

Whenever a board shall have created a planning agency, it shall also by ordinance, coincident with the enactment of a zoning ordinance, create a board of adjustment, and may establish the office of zoning adjustor: PROVIDED, That any county that has prior to June 10, 1959, enacted a zoning ordinance, shall, within ninety days thereof, create a board of adjustment.



36.70.210
Board of adjustment—Membership—Quorum.

A board of adjustment shall consist of five or seven members as may be provided by ordinance, and a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business.



36.70.220
Board of adjustment—Appointment—Appointment of zoning adjustor.

The members of a board of adjustment and the zoning adjustor shall be appointed in the same manner as provided for the appointment of commissioners in RCW 36.70.080. One member of the board of adjustment may be an appointee member of the commission.



36.70.230
Board of adjustment—Terms.

If the board of adjustment is to consist of three members, when it is first appointed after June 10, 1959, the first terms shall be as follows: One shall be appointed for one year; one, for two years; and one, for three years. If it consists of five members, when it is first appointed after June 10, 1959, the first terms shall be as follows: One shall be appointed for one year; one, for two years; one, for three years; one, for four years; and one, for six years. Thereafter the terms shall be for six years and until their successors are appointed and qualified.



36.70.240
Board of adjustment—Vacancies.

Vacancies in the board of adjustment shall be filled by appointment in the same manner in which the commissioners are appointed in RCW 36.70.080. Appointment shall be for the unexpired portion of the term.



36.70.250
Board of adjustment—Removal.

Any member of the board of adjustment may be removed by the chair of the board with the approval of the board for inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.



36.70.260
Board of adjustment—Organization.

The board of adjustment shall elect a chair and vice chair from among its members. The board of adjustment shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the board.



36.70.270
Board of adjustment—Meetings.

The board of adjustment shall hold not less than one regular meeting in each month of each year: PROVIDED, That if no issues over which the board has jurisdiction are pending upon its calendar, a meeting may be canceled.



36.70.280
Board of adjustment—Rules and records.

The board of adjustment shall adopt rules for the transaction of its business and shall keep a public record of its transactions, findings and determinations.



36.70.290
Appropriation for planning agency, board of adjustment.

The board shall provide the funds, equipment and accommodations necessary for the work of the planning agency. Such appropriations may include funds for joint ventures as set forth in RCW 36.70.180. The expenditures of the planning agency, exclusive of gifts, shall be within the amounts appropriated for the respective purposes. The provisions herein for financing the work of the planning agencies shall also apply to the board of adjustment and the zoning adjustor.



36.70.300
Accept gifts.

The planning agency of a county may accept gifts in behalf of the county to finance any planning work authorized by law.



36.70.310
Conference and travel expenses—Commission members and staff.

Members of planning agencies shall inform themselves on matter affecting the functions and duties of planning agencies. For that purpose, and when authorized, such members may attend planning conferences, meetings of planning executives or of technical bodies; hearings on planning legislation or matters relating to the work of the planning agency. The reasonable travel expenses, registration fees and other costs incident to such attendance at such meetings and conferences shall be charges upon the funds allocated to the planning agency. In addition, members of a commission may also receive reasonable travel expenses to and from their usual place of business to the place of a regular meeting of the commission. The planning agency may, when authorized, pay dues for membership in organizations specializing in the subject of planning. The planning agency may, when authorized, subscribe to technical publications pertaining to planning.



36.70.315
Public notice—Identification of affected property.

Any notice made under chapter 36.70 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.



36.70.317
Statement of restrictions applicable to real property.

(1) A property owner may make a written request for a statement of restrictions applicable to a single parcel, tract, lot, or block of real property located in an unincorporated portion of a county to the county in which the real property is located.
(2) Within thirty days of the receipt of the request, the county shall provide the owner, by registered mail, with a statement of restrictions as described in subsection (3) of this section.
(3) The statement of restrictions shall include the following:
(a) The zoning currently applicable to the real property;
(b) Pending zoning changes currently advertised for public hearing that would be applicable to the real property;
(c) Any designations made by the county pursuant to chapter 36.70A RCW of any portion of the real property as agricultural land, forestland, mineral resource land, wetland, an area with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water, a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area, a frequently flooded area, and as a geological hazardous area; and
(d) If information regarding the designations listed in (c) of this subsection are not readily available, inform the owner of the procedure by which the owner can obtain that site-specific information from the county.
(4) If a county fails to provide the statement of restrictions within thirty days after receipt of the written request, the owner shall be awarded recovery of all attorneys' fees and costs incurred in any successful application for a writ of mandamus to compel production of a statement.
(5) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Owner" means any vested owner or any person holding the buyer's interest under a recorded real estate contract in which the seller is the vested owner; and
(b) "Real property" means a parcel, tract, lot or block: (i) Containing a single-family residence that is occupied by the owner or a member of his or her family, or rented to another by the owner; or (ii) five acres or less in size.
(6) This section does not affect the vesting of permits or development rights.
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to create any liability on the part of a county.
NOTES:
Effective date1996 c 206 §§ 6-8: See note following RCW 35.21.475.
Findings1996 c 206: See note following RCW 43.05.030.



36.70.320
Comprehensive plan.

Each planning agency shall prepare a comprehensive plan for the orderly physical development of the county, or any portion thereof, and may include any land outside its boundaries which, in the judgment of the planning agency, relates to planning for the county. The plan shall be referred to as the comprehensive plan, and, after hearings by the commission and approval by motion of the board, shall be certified as the comprehensive plan. Amendments or additions to the comprehensive plan shall be similarly processed and certified.
Any comprehensive plan adopted for a portion of a county shall not be deemed invalid on the ground that the remainder of the county is not yet covered by a comprehensive plan. *This 1973 amendatory act shall also apply to comprehensive plans adopted for portions of a county prior to April 24, 1973.
NOTES:
*Reviser's note: "This 1973 amendatory act" refers to 1973 1st ex.s. c 172 § 1.



36.70.330
Comprehensive plan—Required elements.

The comprehensive plan shall consist of a map or maps, and descriptive text covering objectives, principles and standards used to develop it, and shall include each of the following elements:
(1) A land use element which designates the proposed general distribution and general location and extent of the uses of land for agriculture, housing, commerce, industry, recreation, education, public buildings and lands, and other categories of public and private use of land, including a statement of the standards of population density and building intensity recommended for the various areas in the jurisdiction and estimates of future population growth in the area covered by the comprehensive plan, all correlated with the land use element of 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 major thoroughfares, major transportation routes, trunk utility lines, and major terminal facilities, all of which shall be correlated with the land use element of the comprehensive plan;
(3) Any supporting maps, diagrams, charts, descriptive material and reports necessary to explain and supplement the above elements.



36.70.340
Comprehensive plan—Amplification of required elements.

When the comprehensive plan containing the mandatory subjects as set forth in RCW 36.70.330 shall have been approved by motion by the board and certified, it may thereafter be progressively amplified and augmented in scope by expanding and increasing the general provisions and proposals for all or any one of the required elements set forth in RCW 36.70.330 and by adding provisions and proposals for the optional elements set forth in RCW 36.70.350. The comprehensive plan may also be amplified and augmented in scope by progressively including more completely planned areas consisting of natural homogeneous communities, distinctive geographic areas, or other types of districts having unified interests within the total area of the county. In no case shall the comprehensive plan, whether in its entirety or area by area or subject by subject be considered to be other than in such form as to serve as a guide to the later development and adoption of official controls.



36.70.350
Comprehensive plan—Optional elements.

A comprehensive plan may include
(1) a conservation element for the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources, including water and its hydraulic force, forests, water sheds, soils, rivers and other waters, harbors, fisheries, wild life, minerals and other natural resources,
(2) a solar energy element for encouragement and protection of access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems,
(3) a recreation element showing a comprehensive system of areas and public sites for recreation, natural reservations, parks, parkways, beaches, playgrounds and other recreational areas, including their locations and proposed development,
(4) a transportation element showing a comprehensive system of transportation, including general locations of rights-of-way, terminals, viaducts and grade separations. This element of the plan may also include port, harbor, aviation and related facilities,
(5) a transit element as a special phase of transportation, showing proposed systems of rail transit lines, including rapid transit in any form, and related facilities,
(6) a public services and facilities element showing general plans for sewerage, refuse disposal, drainage and local utilities, and rights-of-way, easements and facilities for such services,
(7) a public buildings element, showing general locations, design and arrangements of civic and community centers, and showing locations of public schools, libraries, police and fire stations and all other public buildings,
(8) a housing element, consisting of surveys and reports upon housing conditions and needs as a means of establishing housing standards to be used as a guide in dealings with official controls related to land subdivision, zoning, traffic, and other related matters,
(9) a renewal and/or redevelopment element comprising surveys, locations, and reports for the elimination of slums and other blighted areas and for community renewal and/or redevelopment, including housing sites, business and industrial sites, public building sites and for other purposes authorized by law,
(10) a plan for financing a capital improvement program,
(11) as a part of a comprehensive plan the commission may prepare, receive and approve additional elements and studies dealing with other subjects which, in its judgment, relate to the physical development of the county.
NOTES:
Severability1979 ex.s. c 170: See note following RCW 64.04.140.
"Solar energy system" defined: RCW 36.70.025.



36.70.360
Comprehensive plan—Cooperation with affected agencies.

During the formulation of the comprehensive plan, and especially in developing a specialized element of such comprehensive plan, the planning agency may cooperate to the extent it deems necessary with such authorities, departments or agencies as may have jurisdiction over the territory or facilities for which plans are being made, to the end that maximum correlation and coordination of plans may be secured and properly located sites for all public purposes may be indicated on the comprehensive plan.



36.70.370
Comprehensive plan—Filing of copies.

Whenever a planning agency has developed a comprehensive plan, or any addition or amendment thereto, covering any land outside of the boundaries of the county as provided in RCW 36.70.320, copies of any features of the comprehensive plan extending into an adjoining jurisdiction shall for purposes of information be filed with such adjoining jurisdiction.



36.70.380
Comprehensive plan—Public hearing required.

Before approving all or any part of the comprehensive plan or any amendment, extension or addition thereto, the commission shall hold at least one public hearing and may hold additional hearings at the discretion of the commission.



36.70.390
Comprehensive plan—Notice of hearing.

Notice of the time, place and purpose of any public hearing shall be given by one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and in the official gazette, if any, of the county, at least ten days before the hearing.



36.70.400
Comprehensive plan—Approval—Required vote—Record.

The approval of the comprehensive plan, or of any amendment, extension or addition thereto, shall be by the affirmative vote of not less than a majority of the total members of the commission. Such approval shall be by a recorded motion which shall incorporate the findings of fact of the commission and the reasons for its action and the motion shall refer expressly to the maps, descriptive, and other matters intended by the commission to constitute the plan or amendment, addition or extension thereto. The indication of approval by the commission shall be recorded on the map and descriptive matter by the signatures of the chair and the secretary of the commission and of such others as the commission in its rules may designate.



36.70.410
Comprehensive plan—Amendment.

When changed conditions or further studies by the planning agency indicate a need, the commission may amend, extend or add to all or part of the comprehensive plan in the manner provided herein for approval in the first instance.



36.70.420
Comprehensive plan—Referral to board.

A copy of a comprehensive plan or any part, amendment, extension of or addition thereto, together with the motion of the planning agency approving the same, shall be transmitted to the board for the purpose of being approved by motion and certified as provided in this chapter.



36.70.430
Comprehensive plan—Board may initiate or change—Notice.

When it deems it to be for the public interest, or when it considers a change in the recommendations of the planning agency to be necessary, the board may initiate consideration of a comprehensive plan, or any element or part thereof, or any change in or addition to such plan or recommendation. The board shall first refer the proposed plan, change or addition to the planning agency for a report and recommendation. Before making a report and recommendation, the commission shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed plan, change or addition. Notice of the time and place and purpose of the hearing shall be given by one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and in the official gazette, if any, of the county, at least ten days before the hearing.



36.70.440
Comprehensive plan—Board may approve or change—Notice.

After the receipt of the report and recommendations of the planning agency on the matters referred to in RCW 36.70.430, or after the lapse of the prescribed time for the rendering of such report and recommendation by the commission, the board may approve by motion and certify such plan, change or addition without further reference to the commission: PROVIDED, That the plan, change or addition conforms either to the proposal as initiated by the county or the recommendation thereon by the commission: PROVIDED FURTHER, That if the planning agency has failed to report within a ninety day period, the board shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed plan, change or addition. Notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing shall be given by one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and in the official gazette, if any, of the county, at least ten days before the hearing. Thereafter, the board may proceed to approve by motion and certify the proposed comprehensive plan or any part, amendment or addition thereto.



36.70.450
Planning agency—Relating projects to comprehensive plan.

After a board has approved by motion and certified all or parts of a comprehensive plan for a county or for any part of a county, the planning agency shall use such plan as the basic source of reference and as a guide in reporting upon or recommending any proposed project, public or private, as to its purpose, location, form, alignment and timing. The report of the planning agency on any project shall indicate wherein the proposed project does or does not conform to the purpose of the comprehensive plan and may include proposals which, if effected, would make the project conform. If the planning agency finds that a proposed project reveals the justification or necessity for amending the comprehensive plan or any part of it, it may institute proceedings to accomplish such amendment, and in its report to the board on the project shall note that appropriate amendments to the comprehensive plan, or part thereof, are being initiated.



36.70.460
Planning agency—Annual report.

After all or part of the comprehensive plan of a county has been approved by motion and certified, the planning agency shall render an annual report to the board on the status of the plan and accomplishments thereunder.



36.70.470
Planning agency—Promotion of public interest in plan.

Each planning agency shall endeavor to promote public interest in, and understanding of, the comprehensive plan and its purpose, and of the official controls related to it.



36.70.480
Planning agency—Cooperation with agencies.

Each planning agency shall, to the extent it deems necessary, cooperate with officials and agencies, public utility companies, civic, educational, professional and other organizations and citizens generally with relation to carrying out the purpose of the comprehensive plan.



36.70.490
Information to be furnished agency.

Upon request, all public officials or agencies shall furnish to the planning agency within a reasonable time such available information as is required for the work of the planning agency.



36.70.493
Manufactured housing communities—Prohibitions of county due to community status as a nonconforming use.

(1) After June 10, 2004, a county 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 county 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.



36.70.495
Planning regulations—Copies provided to county assessor.

By July 31, 1997, a county planning under RCW 36.70A.040 shall provide to the county assessor a copy of the county'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.



36.70.500
Right of entry—Commission or planning staff.

In the performance of their functions and duties, duly authorized members of a commission or planning staff may enter upon any land and make examinations and surveys: PROVIDED, That such entries, examinations and surveys do not damage or interfere with the use of the land by those persons lawfully entitled to the possession thereof.



36.70.510
Special referred matters—Reports.

By general or special rule the board creating a planning agency may provide that other matters shall be referred to the planning agency before final action is taken thereupon by the board or officer having final authority on the matter, and final action thereon shall not be taken upon the matter so referred until the planning agency has submitted its report within such period of time as the board shall designate. In reporting upon the matters referred to in this section the planning agency may make such investigations, maps, reports and recommendations as it deems desirable.



36.70.520
Required submission of capital expenditure projects.

At least five months before the end of each fiscal year each county officer, department, board or commission and each governmental body whose jurisdiction lies entirely within the county, except incorporated cities and towns, whose functions include preparing and recommending plans for, or constructing major public works, shall submit to the respective planning agency a list of the proposed public works being recommended for initiation or construction during the ensuing fiscal year.



36.70.530
Relating capital expenditure projects to comprehensive plan.

The planning agency shall list all such matters referred to in RCW 36.70.520 and shall prepare for and submit a report to the board which report shall set forth how each proposed project relates to all other proposed projects on the list and to all features in the comprehensive plan both as to location and timing. The planning agency shall report to the board through the planning director if there be such.



36.70.540
Referral procedure—Reports.

Whenever a county legislative authority has approved by motion and certified all or part of a comprehensive plan, no road, square, park or other public ground or open space shall be acquired by dedication or otherwise and no public building or structure shall be constructed or authorized to be constructed in the area to which the comprehensive plan applies until its location, purpose and extent has been submitted to and reported upon by the planning agency. The report by the planning agency shall set forth the manner and the degree to which the proposed project does or does not conform to the objectives of the comprehensive plan. If final authority is vested by law in some governmental officer or body other than the county legislative authority, such officer or governmental body shall report the project to the planning agency and the planning agency shall render its report to such officer or governmental body. In both cases the report of the planning agency shall be advisory only. Failure of the planning agency to report on such matter so referred to it within forty days or such longer time as the county legislative authority or other governmental officer or body may indicate, shall be deemed to be approval.
NOTES:
PurposeCaptions not law1991 c 363: See notes following RCW 2.32.180.



36.70.545
Development regulations—Consistency with comprehensive plan.

Beginning July 1, 1992, the development regulations of each county that does not plan under RCW 36.70A.040 shall not be inconsistent with the county'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.



36.70.547
General aviation airports—Siting of incompatible uses.

Every county, city, and town in which there is located a general aviation airport that is operated for the benefit of the general public, whether publicly owned or privately owned public use, shall, through its comprehensive plan and development regulations, discourage the siting of incompatible uses adjacent to such general aviation airport. Such plans and regulations may only be adopted or amended after formal consultation with: Airport owners and managers, private airport operators, general aviation pilots, ports, and the aviation division of the department of transportation. All proposed and adopted plans and regulations shall be filed with the aviation division of the department of transportation within a reasonable time after release for public consideration and comment. Each county, city, and town may obtain technical assistance from the aviation division of the department of transportation to develop plans and regulations consistent with this section.
Any additions or amendments to comprehensive plans or development regulations required by this section may be adopted during the normal course of land-use proceedings.
This section applies to every county, city, and town, whether operating under chapter 35.63, 35A.63, 36.70, [or] 36.70A RCW, or under a charter.



36.70.550
Official controls.

From time to time, the planning agency may, or if so requested by the board shall, cause to be prepared official controls which, when adopted by ordinance by the board, will further the objectives and goals of the comprehensive plan. The planning agency may also draft such regulations, programs and legislation as may, in its judgment, be required to preserve the integrity of the comprehensive plan and assure its systematic execution, and the planning agency may recommend such plans, regulations, programs and legislation to the board for adoption.



36.70.560
Official controls—Forms of controls.

Official controls may include:
(1) Maps showing the exact boundaries of zones within each of which separate controls over the type and degree of permissible land uses are defined;
(2) Maps for streets showing the exact alignment, gradients, dimensions and other pertinent features, and including specific controls with reference to protecting such accurately defined future rights-of-way against encroachment by buildings, other physical structures or facilities;
(3) Maps for other public facilities, such as parks, playgrounds, civic centers, etc., showing exact location, size, boundaries and other related features, including appropriate regulations protecting such future sites against encroachment by buildings and other physical structures or facilities;
(4) Specific regulations and controls pertaining to other subjects incorporated in the comprehensive plan or establishing standards and procedures to be employed in land development including, but not limited to, subdividing of land and the approval of land plats and the preservation of streets and lands for other public purposes requiring future dedication or acquisition and general design of physical improvements, and the 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.
"Solar energy system" defined: RCW 36.70.025.



36.70.570
Official controls—Adoption.

Official controls shall be adopted by ordinance and shall further the purpose and objectives of a comprehensive plan and parts thereof.



36.70.580
Official controls—Public hearing by commission.

Before recommending an official control or amendment to the board for adoption, the commission shall hold at least one public hearing.



36.70.590
Official controls—Notice of hearing.

Notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing shall be given by one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and in the official gazette, if any, of the county at least ten days before the hearing. The board may prescribe additional methods for providing notice.



36.70.600
Official controls—Recommendation to board—Required vote.

The recommendation to the board of any official control or amendments thereto by the planning agency shall be by the affirmative vote of not less than a majority of the total members of the commission. Such approval shall be by a recorded motion which shall incorporate the findings of fact of the commission and the reasons for its action and the motion shall refer expressly to the maps, descriptive and other matters intended by the commission to constitute the plan, or amendment, addition or extension thereto. The indication of approval by the commission shall be recorded on the map and descriptive matter by the signatures of the chair and the secretary of the commission and of such others as the commission in its rules may designate.



36.70.610
Official controls—Reference to board.

A copy of any official control or amendment recommended pursuant to RCW 36.70.550, 36.70.560, 36.70.570 and 36.70.580 shall be submitted to the board not later than fourteen days following the action by the commission and shall be accompanied by the motion of the planning agency approving the same, together with a statement setting forth the factors considered at the hearing, and analysis of findings considered by the commission to be controlling.



36.70.620
Official controls—Action by board.

Upon receipt of any recommended official control or amendment thereto, the board shall at its next regular public meeting set the date for a public meeting where it may, by ordinance, adopt or reject the official control or amendment.



36.70.630
Official controls—Board to conduct hearing, adopt findings prior to incorporating changes in recommended control.

If after considering the matter at a public meeting as provided in RCW 36.70.620 the board deems a change in the recommendations of the planning agency to be necessary, the change shall not be incorporated in the recommended control until the board shall conduct its own public hearing, giving notice thereof as provided in RCW 36.70.590, and it shall adopt its own findings of fact and statement setting forth the factors considered at the hearing and its own analysis of findings considered by it to be controlling.



36.70.640
Official controls—Board may initiate.

When it deems it to be for the public interest, the board may initiate consideration of an ordinance establishing an official control, or amendments to an existing official control, including those specified in RCW 36.70.560. The board shall first refer the proposed official control or amendment to the planning agency for report which shall, thereafter, be considered and processed in the same manner as that set forth in RCW 36.70.630 regarding a change in the recommendation of the planning agency.



36.70.650
Board final authority.

The report and recommendation by the planning agency, whether on a proposed control initiated by it, whether on a matter referred back to it by the board for further report, or whether on a matter initiated by the board, shall be advisory only and the final determination shall rest with the board.



36.70.660
Procedures for adoption of controls limited to planning matters.

The provisions of this chapter with references to the procedures to be followed in the adoption of official controls shall apply only to establishing official controls pertaining to subjects set forth in RCW 36.70.560.



36.70.670
Enforcement—Official controls.

The board may determine and establish administrative rules and procedures for the application and enforcement of official controls, and may assign or delegate such administrative functions, powers and duties to such department or official as may be appropriate.



36.70.675
Child care facilities—Review of need and demand—Adoption of ordinances.

Each county that does not provide for the siting of family day care homes in zones 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 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 30, 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 36.70.675: See RCW 35.63.170.



36.70.677
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).



36.70.678
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.



36.70.680
Subdividing and platting.

The planning agency shall review all proposed land plats and subdivisions and make recommendations to the board thereon with reference to approving, or recommending any modifications necessary to assure conformance to the general purposes of the comprehensive plan and to standards and specifications established by state law or local controls.



36.70.690
County improvements.

No county shall improve any street or lay or authorize the laying of sewers or connections or other improvements to be laid in any street within any territory for which the board has adopted an official control in the form of precise street map or maps, until the matter has been referred to the planning agency by the department or official having jurisdiction for a report thereon and a copy of the report has been filed with the department or official making the reference unless one of the following conditions apply:
(1) The street has been accepted, opened, or has otherwise received legal status of a public street;
(2) It corresponds with and conforms to streets shown on the official controls applicable to the subject;
(3) It corresponds with and conforms to streets shown on a subdivision (land plat) approved by the board.



36.70.695
Development regulations—Jurisdictions specified—Electric vehicle infrastructure.

(1) By July 1, 2010, the development regulations of any jurisdiction with a population over six hundred thousand or with a state capitol within its borders planning under this chapter must allow electric vehicle infrastructure as a use in all areas within one mile of Interstate 5, Interstate 90, Interstate 405, or state route number 520, 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 planning under this chapter must allow electric vehicle infrastructure as a use in all areas within one mile of Interstate 5, Interstate 90, Interstate 405, or state route number 520, 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) Counties 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.



36.70.700
Planning agency—Time limit for report.

Failure of the planning agency to report on the matters referred to in RCW 36.70.690 within forty days after the reference, or such longer period as may be designated by the board, department or official making the reference, shall be deemed to be approval of such matter.



36.70.710
Final authority.

Reports and recommendations by the planning agency on all matters shall be advisory only, and final determination shall rest with the administrative body, official, or the board whichever has authority to decide under applicable law.



36.70.720
Prerequisite for zoning.

Zoning maps as an official control may be adopted only for areas covered by a comprehensive plan containing not less than a land use element and a circulation element. Zoning ordinances and maps adopted prior to June 10, 1959, are hereby validated, provided only that at the time of their enactment the comprehensive plan for the county existed according to law applicable at that time.



36.70.730
Text without map.

The text of a zoning ordinance may be prepared and adopted in the absence of a comprehensive plan providing no zoning map or portion of a zoning map may be adopted thereunder until there has been compliance with the provisions of RCW 36.70.720.



36.70.740
Zoning map—Progressive adoption.

Because of practical considerations, the total area of a county to be brought under the control of zoning may be divided into areas possessing geographical, topographical or urban identity and such divisions may be progressively and separately officially mapped.



36.70.750
Zoning—Types of regulations.

Any board, by ordinance, may establish classifications, within each of which, specific controls are identified, and which will:
(1) Regulate the use of buildings, structures, and land as between agriculture, industry, business, residence, and other purposes;
(2) Regulate location, height, bulk, number of stories and size of buildings and structures; the size of yards, courts, and other open spaces; the density of population; the percentage of a lot which may be occupied by buildings and structures; and the area required to provide off-street facilities for the parking of motor vehicles.



36.70.755
Residential care facilities—Review of need and demand—Adoption of ordinances.

Each county that does not provide for the siting of residential care facilities in zones 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 30, 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.



36.70.757
Family day-care provider's home facility—County may not prohibit in residential or commercial area—Conditions.

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, no county 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 facility serving twelve or fewer children.
(2) A county 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 early learning 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 who work a nonstandard work shift.
(3) A county 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 day-care provider over licensing requirements, the licensor may provide a forum to resolve the dispute.
(4) This section may not be construed to prohibit a county from imposing zoning conditions on the establishment and maintenance of a family day-care provider's home serving twelve or fewer children in an area zoned for residential or commercial use, if the 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 43.215.010.
NOTES:
Reviser's note: *(1) The department of early learning was abolished and its powers, duties, and functions were transferred to the department of children, youth, and families by 2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 § 802, effective July 1, 2018.
**(2) RCW 43.215.010 was recodified as RCW 43.216.010 pursuant to 2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 § 821, effective July 1, 2018.



36.70.760
Establishing zones.

For the purpose set forth in RCW 36.70.750 the county may divide a county, or portions thereof, into zones which, by number, shape, area and classification are deemed to be best suited to carry out the purposes of this chapter.



36.70.770
All regulations shall be uniform in each zone.

All regulations shall be uniform in each zone, but the regulations in one zone may differ from those in other zones.



36.70.780
Classifying unmapped areas.

After the adoption of the first map provided for in RCW 36.70.740, and pending the time that all property within a county can be precisely zoned through the medium of a zoning map, all properties not so precisely zoned by map shall be given a classification affording said properties such broad protective controls as may be deemed appropriate and necessary to serve public and private interests. Such controls shall be clearly set forth in the zoning ordinance in the form of a zone classification, and such classification shall apply to such areas until they shall have been included in the detailed zoning map in the manner provided for the adoption of a zoning map.



36.70.790
Interim zoning.

If the planning agency in good faith, is conducting or intends to conduct studies within a reasonable time for the purpose of, or is holding a hearing for the purpose of, or has held a hearing and has recommended to the board the adoption of any zoning map or amendment or addition thereto, or in the event that new territory for which no zoning may have been adopted as set forth in RCW 36.70.800 may be annexed to a county, the board, in order to protect the public safety, health and general welfare may, after report from the commission, adopt as an emergency measure a temporary interim zoning map the purpose of which shall be to so classify or regulate uses and related matters as constitute the emergency.



36.70.795
Moratoria, interim zoning controls—Public hearing—Limitation on length.

A board that adopts a moratorium, interim zoning map, interim zoning ordinance, or interim official control without holding a public hearing on the proposed moratorium, interim zoning map, interim zoning ordinance, or interim official control, shall hold a public hearing on the adopted moratorium, interim zoning map, interim zoning ordinance, or interim official control within at least sixty days of its adoption, whether or not the board received a recommendation on the matter from the commission or department. If the board does not adopt findings of fact justifying its action before this hearing, then the board shall do so immediately after this public hearing. A moratorium, interim zoning map, interim zoning ordinance, or interim official control 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, interim zoning map, interim zoning ordinance, or interim official control 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.



36.70.800
Procedural amendments—Zoning ordinance.

An amendment to the text of a zoning ordinance which does not impose, remove or modify any regulation theretofore existing and affecting the zoning status of land shall be processed in the same manner prescribed by this chapter for the adoption of an official control except that no public hearing shall be required either by the commission or the board.



36.70.810
Board of adjustment—Authority.

The board of adjustment, subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards as provided by the zoning ordinance or the ordinance establishing the board of adjustment, if there be such, shall hear and decide:
(1) Applications for conditional uses or other permits when the zoning ordinance sets forth the specific uses to be made subject to conditional use permits and establishes criteria for determining the conditions to be imposed;
(2) Application for variances from the terms of the zoning ordinance: PROVIDED, That any variance granted shall be subject to such conditions as will assure that the adjustment thereby authorized shall not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and zone in which subject property is situated, and that the following circumstances are found to apply;
(a) because of special circumstances applicable to subject property, including size, shape, topography, location or surroundings, the strict application of the zoning ordinance is found to deprive subject property of rights and privileges enjoyed by other properties in the vicinity and under identical zone classification;
(b) that the granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and zone in which subject property is situated.
(3) Appeals, where it is alleged by the applicant that there is error in any order, requirement, permit, decision, or determination made by an administrative official in the administration or enforcement of this chapter or any ordinance adopted pursuant to it.



36.70.820
Board of adjustment—Quasi-judicial powers.

The board of adjustment may also exercise such other quasi-judicial powers as may be granted by county ordinance.



36.70.830
Board of adjustment—Appeals—Time limit.

Appeals may be taken to the board of adjustment by any person aggrieved, or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the county affected by any decision of an administrative official. Such appeals shall be filed in writing in duplicate with the board of adjustment within twenty days of the date of the action being appealed.



36.70.840
Board of adjustment—Notice of time and place of hearing on conditional permit.

Upon the filing of an application for a conditional use permit or a variance as set forth in RCW 36.70.810, the board of adjustment shall set the time and place for a public hearing on such matter, and written notice thereof shall be addressed through the United States mail to all property owners of record within a radius of three hundred feet of the exterior boundaries of subject property. The written notice shall be mailed not less than twelve days prior to the hearing.



36.70.850
Board of adjustment—Appeal—Notice of time and place.

Upon the filing of an appeal from an administrative determination, or from the action of the zoning adjustor, the board of adjustment shall set the time and place at which the matter will be considered. At least a ten day notice of such time and place together with one copy of the written appeal, shall be given to the official whose decision is being appealed. At least ten days notice of the time and place shall also be given to the adverse parties of record in the case. The officer from whom the appeal is being taken shall forthwith transmit to the board of adjustment all of the records pertaining to the decision being appealed from, together with such additional written report as he or she deems pertinent.



36.70.860
Board of adjustment—Scope of authority on appeal.

In exercising the powers granted by RCW 36.70.810 and 36.70.820, the board of adjustment may, in conformity with this chapter, reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from, and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as should be made and, to that end, shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken, insofar as the decision on the particular issue is concerned.



36.70.870
Zoning adjustor—Powers and duties.

If the office of zoning adjustor is established as provided in this chapter, all of the provisions of this chapter defining the powers, duties, and procedures of the board of adjustment shall also apply to the zoning adjustor.



36.70.880
Zoning adjustor—Action final unless appealed.

The action by the zoning adjustor on all matters coming before him or her shall be final and conclusive unless within ten days after the zoning adjustor has made his or her order, requirement, decision or determination, an appeal in writing is filed with the board of adjustment. Such an appeal may be taken by the original applicant, or by opponents of record in the case.



36.70.890
Board of adjustment—Action final—Writs.

The action by the board of adjustment on an application for a conditional use permit or a variance, or on an appeal from the decision of the zoning adjustor or an administrative officer shall be final and conclusive unless within ten days from the date of said action the original applicant or an adverse party makes application to a court of competent jurisdiction for a writ of certiorari, a writ of prohibition or a writ of mandamus.



36.70.900
Inclusion of findings of fact.

Both the board of adjustment and the zoning adjustor shall, in making an order, requirement, decision or determination, include in a written record of the case the findings of fact upon which the action is based.



36.70.910
Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Planning Enabling Act of the State of Washington".



36.70.920
Duties and responsibilities imposed by other acts.

Any duties and responsibilities which by other acts are imposed upon a planning commission shall, after June 10, 1959, be performed by a planning agency however constituted.



36.70.930
Chapter alternative method.

This chapter shall not repeal, amend, or modify any other law providing for planning methods but shall be deemed an alternative method providing for such purpose.



36.70.940
Elective adoption.

Any county or counties presently operating under the provisions of chapter 35.63 RCW may elect to operate henceforth under the provisions of this chapter. Such election shall be effected by the adoption of an ordinance under the procedure prescribed by RCW 36.32.120(7), and by compliance with the provisions of this chapter.



36.70.970
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 issue recommendations on applications for plat approval and applications for amendments to the zoning ordinance, the county legislative authority may adopt a hearing examiner system under which a hearing examiner or hearing examiners may hear and issue decisions on proposals for plat approval and for amendments to the zoning ordinance when the amendment which is applied for is not of general applicability. In addition, the legislative authority 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, 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 authority shall prescribe procedures to be followed by a hearing examiner.
Any county which vests in a hearing examiner the authority to hear and decide conditional uses and variances shall not be required to have a zoning adjuster or board of adjustment.
(2) Each county legislative authority electing to use a hearing examiner pursuant to this section shall by ordinance specify the legal effect of the decisions made by the examiner. Such legal effect 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 authority;
(b) The decision may be given the effect of an administrative decision appealable within a specified time limit to the legislative authority; or
(c) Except in the case of a rezone, the decision may be given the effect of a final decision of the legislative authority.
(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 county's comprehensive plan and the county'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.



36.70.980
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 county or 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.



36.70.982
Fish enhancement projects—County's liability.

A county is not liable for adverse impacts resulting from a fish enhancement project that meets the criteria of RCW 77.55.181 and has been permitted by the department of fish and wildlife.
NOTES:
FindingsPurposeReportEffective date1998 c 249: See notes following RCW 77.55.181.



36.70.990
Treatment of residential structures occupied by persons with handicaps.

No county 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).



36.70.992
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.
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