S-0065.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5462



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1997 Regular Session


By Senators Hale, Anderson, Haugen, Patterson, Goings, McCaslin and Winsley


Read first time 01/27/97.  Referred to Committee on Government Operations.

Changing local government permit timeline provisions.

    AN ACT Relating to local government permit timelines; and amending RCW 36.70B.110 and 36.70C.040.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 36.70B.110 and 1995 c 347 s 415 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) Not later than April 1, 1996, a local government planning under RCW 36.70A.040 shall provide a notice of application to the public and the departments and agencies with jurisdiction as provided in this section.  If a local government has made a threshold determination ((of significance)) under chapter 43.21C RCW concurrently with the notice of application, the notice of application shall be combined with the threshold determination ((of significance)) and the scoping notice for a determination of significance.  Nothing in this section prevents a determination of significance and scoping notice from being issued prior to the notice of application.

    (2) The notice of application shall be provided within fourteen days after the determination of completeness as provided in RCW 36.70B.070 and include the following in whatever sequence or format the local government deems appropriate:

    (a) The date of application, the date of the notice of completion for the application, and the date of the notice of application;

    (b) A description of the proposed project action and a list of the project permits included in the application and, if applicable, a list of any studies requested under RCW 36.70B.070 or 36.70B.090;

    (c) The identification of other permits not included in the application to the extent known by the local government;

    (d) The identification of existing environmental documents that evaluate the proposed project, and, if not otherwise stated on the document providing the notice of application, such as a city land use bulletin, the location where the application and any studies can be reviewed;

    (e) A statement of the public comment period, which shall be not less than fourteen nor more than thirty days following the date of notice of application, and statements of the right of any person to comment on the application, receive notice of and participate in any hearings, request a copy of the decision once made, and any appeal rights.  A local government may accept public comments at any time prior to the closing of the record of an open record predecision hearing, if any, or, if no open record predecision hearing is provided, prior to the decision on the project permit;

    (f) The date, time, place, and type of hearing, if applicable and scheduled at the date of notice of the application;

    (g) A statement of the preliminary determination, if one has been made at the time of notice, of those development regulations that will be used for project mitigation and of consistency as provided in RCW 36.70B.040; and

    (h) Any other information determined appropriate by the local government.

    (3) If an open record predecision hearing is required for the requested project permits, the notice of application shall be provided at least fifteen days prior to the open record hearing.

    (4) A local government shall use reasonable methods to give the notice of application to the public and agencies with jurisdiction and may use its existing notice procedures.  A local government may use different types of notice for different categories of project permits or types of project actions.  If a local government by resolution or ordinance does not specify its method of public notice, the local government shall use the methods provided for in (a) and (b) of this subsection.  Examples of reasonable methods to inform the public are:

    (a) Posting the property for site-specific proposals;

    (b) Publishing notice, including at least the project location, description, type of permit(s) required, comment period dates, and location where the complete application may be reviewed, in the newspaper of general circulation in the general area where the proposal is located or in a local land use newsletter published by the local government;

    (c) Notifying public or private groups with known interest in a certain proposal or in the type of proposal being considered;

    (d) Notifying the news media;

    (e) Placing notices in appropriate regional or neighborhood newspapers or trade journals;

    (f) Publishing notice in agency newsletters or sending notice to agency mailing lists, either general lists or lists for specific proposals or subject areas; and

    (g) Mailing to neighboring property owners.

    (5) A notice of application shall not be required for project permits that are categorically exempt under chapter 43.21C RCW, unless a public comment period or an open record predecision hearing is required.

    (6) A local government shall integrate the permit procedures in this section with environmental review under chapter 43.21C RCW as follows:

    (a) Except for a threshold determination ((of significance)), the local government may not issue ((its threshold determination, or issue)) a decision or a recommendation on a project permit until the expiration of the public comment period on the notice of application.

    (b) If an open record predecision hearing is required and the local government's threshold determination requires public notice under chapter 43.21C RCW, the local government shall issue its threshold determination at least fifteen days prior to the open record predecision hearing.

    (c) Comments shall be as specific as possible.

    (7) A local government may combine any hearing on a project permit with any hearing that may be held by another local, state, regional, federal, or other agency provided that the hearing is held within the geographic boundary of the local government.  Hearings shall be combined if requested by an applicant, as long as the joint hearing can be held within the time periods specified in RCW 36.70B.090 or the applicant agrees to the schedule in the event that additional time is needed in order to combine the hearings.  All agencies of the state of Washington, including municipal corporations and counties participating in a combined hearing, are hereby authorized to issue joint hearing notices and develop a joint format, select a mutually acceptable hearing body or officer, and take such other actions as may be necessary to hold joint hearings consistent with each of their respective statutory obligations.

    (8) All state and local agencies shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible with the local government in holding a joint hearing if requested to do so, as long as:

    (a) The agency is not expressly prohibited by statute from doing so;

    (b) Sufficient notice of the hearing is given to meet each of the agencies' adopted notice requirements as set forth in statute, ordinance, or rule; and

    (c) The agency has received the necessary information about the proposed project from the applicant to hold its hearing at the same time as the local government hearing.

    (9) A local government is not required to provide for administrative appeals.  If provided, an administrative appeal of the project decision, combined with any environmental determinations, shall be filed within fourteen days after the notice of the decision or after other notice that the decision has been made and is appealable.  The local government shall extend the appeal period for an additional seven days, if state or local rules adopted pursuant to chapter 43.21C RCW allow public comment on a determination of nonsignificance issued as part of the appealable project permit decision.

    (10) The applicant for a project permit is deemed to be a participant in any comment period, open record hearing, or closed record appeal.

    (11) Each local government planning under RCW 36.70A.040 shall adopt procedures for administrative interpretation of its development regulations.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 36.70C.040 and 1995 c 347 s 705 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) Proceedings for review under this chapter shall be commenced by filing a land use petition in superior court.

    (2) A land use petition is barred, and the court may not grant review, unless the petition is timely filed with the court and timely served on the following persons who shall be parties to the review of the land use petition:

    (a) The local jurisdiction, which for purposes of the petition shall be the jurisdiction's corporate entity and not an individual decision maker or department;

    (b) Each of the following persons if the person is not the petitioner:

    (i) Each person identified by name and address in the local jurisdiction's written decision as an applicant for the permit or approval at issue; and

    (ii) Each person identified by name and address in the local jurisdiction's written decision as an owner of the property at issue;

    (c) If no person is identified in a written decision as provided in (b) of this subsection, each person identified by name and address as a taxpayer for the property at issue in the records of the county assessor, based upon the description of the property in the application; and

    (d) Each person named in the written decision who filed an appeal to a local jurisdiction quasi‑judicial decision maker regarding the land use decision at issue, unless the person has abandoned the appeal or the person's claims were dismissed before the quasi‑judicial decision was rendered.  Persons who later intervened or joined in the appeal are not required to be made parties under this subsection.

    (3) The petition is timely if it is filed and served on all parties listed in subsection (2) of this section within ((twenty‑one)) fourteen days of the issuance of the land use decision.

    (4) For the purposes of this section, the date on which a land use decision is issued is:

    (a) Three days after a written decision is mailed by the local jurisdiction or, if not mailed, the date on which the local jurisdiction provides notice that a written decision is publicly available;

    (b) If the land use decision is made by ordinance or resolution by a legislative body sitting in a quasi‑judicial capacity, the date the body passes the ordinance or resolution; or

    (c) If neither (a) nor (b) of this subsection applies, the date the decision is entered into the public record.

    (5) Service on the local jurisdiction must be by delivery of a copy of the petition to the persons identified by or pursuant to RCW 4.28.080 to receive service of process.  Service on other parties must be in accordance with the superior court civil rules or by first class mail to:

    (a) The address stated in the written decision of the local jurisdiction for each person made a party under subsection (2)(b) of this section;

    (b) The address stated in the records of the county assessor for each person made a party under subsection (2)(c) of this section; and

    (c) The address stated in the appeal to the quasi‑judicial decision maker for each person made a party under subsection (2)(d) of this section.

    (6) Service by mail is effective on the date of mailing and proof of service shall be by affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury.


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