State of Washington
68th Legislature
2023 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Walen, Duerr, Bateman, Reed, Fitzgibbon, Ramel, Peterson, Macri, Tharinger, Wylie, and Santos
Prefiled 12/12/22.Read first time 01/09/23.Referred to Committee on Housing.
AN ACT Relating to local government design review; and amending RCW 36.70B.020 and 36.70B.120.
Sec. 1. RCW 36.70B.020 and 1995 c 347 s 402 are each amended to read as follows:
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Closed record appeal" means an administrative appeal on the record to a local government body or officer, including the legislative body, following an open record hearing on a project permit application when the appeal is on the record with no or limited new evidence or information allowed to be submitted and only appeal argument allowed.
(2) "Local government" means a county, city, or town.
(3) "Open record hearing" means a hearing, conducted by a single hearing body or officer authorized by the local government to conduct such hearings, that creates the local government's record through testimony and submission of evidence and information, under procedures prescribed by the local government by ordinance or resolution. An open record hearing may be held prior to a local government's decision on a project permit to be known as an "open record predecision hearing." An open record hearing may be held on an appeal, to be known as an "open record appeal hearing," if no open record predecision hearing has been held on the project permit.
(4) "Project permit" or "project permit application" means any land use or environmental permit or license required from a local government for a project action, including but not limited to building permits, subdivisions, binding site plans, planned unit developments, conditional uses, shoreline substantial development permits, site plan review, permits or approvals required by critical area ordinances, site-specific rezones authorized by a comprehensive plan or subarea plan, but excluding the adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan, subarea plan, or development regulations except as otherwise specifically included in this subsection.
(5) "Public meeting" means an informal meeting, hearing, workshop, or other public gathering of people to obtain comments from the public or other agencies on a proposed project permit prior to the local government's decision. A public meeting may include, but is not limited to, ((a design review or))an architectural control board meeting, a special review district or community council meeting, or a scoping meeting on a draft environmental impact statement. A public meeting does not include an open record hearing. The proceedings at a public meeting may be recorded and a report or recommendation may be included in the local government's project permit application file.
Sec. 2. RCW 36.70B.120 and 1995 c 347 s 416 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Each local government planning under RCW 36.70A.040 shall establish a permit review process that provides for the integrated and consolidated review and decision on two or more project permits relating to a proposed project action, including a single application review and approval process covering all project permits requested by an applicant for all or part of a project action and a designated permit coordinator. If an applicant elects the consolidated permit review process, the determination of completeness, notice of application, and notice of final decision must include all project permits being reviewed through the consolidated permit review process.
(2) Consolidated permit review may provide different procedures for different categories of project permits, but if a project action requires project permits from more than one category, the local government shall provide for consolidated permit review with a single open record hearing and no more than one closed record appeal as provided in RCW 36.70B.060. Each local government shall determine which project permits are subject to an open record hearing and a closed record appeal. Examples of categories of project permits include but are not limited to:
(a) Proposals that are categorically exempt from chapter 43.21C RCW, such as construction permits, that do not require environmental review or public notice;
(b) Permits that require environmental review, but no open record predecision hearing; and
(c) Permits that require a threshold determination and an open record predecision hearing and may provide for a closed record appeal to a hearing body or officer or to the local government legislative body.
(3) A local government may provide by ordinance or resolution for the same or a different decision maker or hearing body or officer for different categories of project permits. In the case of consolidated project permit review, the local government shall specify which decision makers shall make the decision or recommendation, conduct the hearing, or decide the appeal to ensure that consolidated permit review occurs as provided in this section. The consolidated permit review may combine an open record predecision hearing on one or more permits with an open record appeal hearing on other permits. In such cases, the local government by ordinance or resolution shall specify which project permits, if any, shall be subject to a closed record appeal.
(4)(a) When reviewing a housing development permit application, a local government planning under RCW 36.70A.040 may only require administrative design review to determine compliance with any applicable design standards.
(b) For the purposes of this subsection (4):
(i) "Administrative design review" means a determination of compliance with design-related development regulations conducted solely by local government employees without either a public meeting or review by an external board.
(ii) "Housing development" means a proposed or existing structure that is used as a home, residence, or place to sleep by one or more persons including, but not limited to, single-family residences, manufactured homes, multifamily housing, group homes, and foster care facilities.
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