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PDFWAC 365-197-050

Criteria to analyze consistency of project actions.

(1) In considering the four basic categories of project consistency, it may not be clear on initial review whether a project is consistent with a particular applicable development regulation, or in its absence, the comprehensive plan. The following criteria, in the form of questions, are intended to assist cities/counties, applicants, and reviewers in analyzing for consistency.
(a) Type of land use: Is the project's proposed land use within the range of allowable uses identified for this site in the comprehensive plan/development regulation? This would include uses that may be allowed under certain circumstances if they satisfy approval criteria, for example, planned unit developments, conditional uses, or special uses.
(b) Level of development: Is the project's proposed land use within the range of densities, including dwelling units per acre or other measures of intensity, as defined in the comprehensive plan/development regulations? Other measures of intensity may include, but are not limited to, such measures as square footage of nonresidential development, number of employees, or floor area ratio.
(c) Infrastructure: Are the system-wide public facilities and services necessary to serve the development available? To make this decision, the local jurisdiction should ask:
(i) Is the system-wide infrastructure sufficient to serve the development? (If yes, no need to ask the next question.)
(ii) Have any system improvements needed for the proposed development and site:
(A) Been identified as necessary to support development in the comprehensive plan; and
(B) Had provision for funding in the comprehensive plan (e.g., capital facilities plan, utilities element, transportation improvement plan)? Alternatively, can the applicant demonstrate capacity, e.g., through a certificate of concurrency process? (If yes, no need to ask the next question.)
(iii) Will the proposed project use more capacity than the usage or assumptions on which the capital facilities plan, utilities element, or transportation improvement plan were based, or will the project cause current service levels to fall below level of service standards identified in the comprehensive plan? (If yes, does the applicant want to pay for the improvements or allow the GMA county/city to docket the issue for future plan amendment?)
(d) Characteristics of development: Does the proposed project:
(i) Meet or fall within the range of numerical standards that apply? (Examples of numerical standards may include, but are not limited to, number of dwelling units per acre, floor area ratio, building setbacks, building height, lot size, lot coverage, minimum width and depth for new lots, parking requirements, and density/intensity bonuses or incentives. In applying some of these standards, some overlap may occur with the analysis for level of development, i.e., units per acre and floor area ratio.)
(ii) Promote or not substantially conflict with narrative standards that apply? (Examples of narrative standards include performance standards, engineering or design criteria, methods for determining compliance such as monitoring or contingency plans, and mandatory policies or criteria.) Analysis of consistency with narrative standards may be contingent upon preparation, completion, and approval of required studies, plans, determinations, or monitoring (e.g., delineation of critical areas, mitigation plans, etc.).
(e) For purposes of this section, "system-wide" infrastructure means those public services or facilities that may be needed to serve a geographic area greater than the specific site on which the project is located. For example, sewer systems, water systems, or transportation systems that serve a geographic area beyond the project site. Public services or facilities that are not system-wide and may be needed on or near a proposed project (such as drainage facilities, utility connections or transportation improvements to primarily serve the project) should be addressed through analysis of the characteristics of development.
(2) Analysis of project consistency should take into consideration regulatory standards and policies that provide a method to reconcile a project's proposed type of development, level of development, infrastructure needs, or characteristics of development with development regulation and/or comprehensive plan requirements. Such provisions include, but are not limited to, variance and conditional use procedures, innovative land use techniques, developer funding for infrastructure construction or improvements, and project-specific mitigation measures.
(3) If the information needed to analyze project consistency does not exist in the applicable development regulations or comprehensive plan, the county or city should determine whether a deficiency exists pursuant to WAC 365-197-060.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70B.040. WSR 01-13-039, ยง 365-197-050, filed 6/13/01, effective 7/14/01.]
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