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A. When the City receives a land use development permit application, consistency between the proposed project and the applicable regulations and Comprehensive Plan shall be determined through the process in this section and concurrently through the City’s adopted SEPA ordinance (Chapter 14.90 SMC). An approved land use permit as defined in SMC 14.20.020(D) shall be issued by the City only after the proposal has met all the requirements of the Snohomish Municipal Code.

B. During land use development permit review, the City shall determine whether the proposed project is consistent with applicable development regulations. In the absence of applicable development regulations, the City shall determine whether the adopted Comprehensive Plan contains policies which address the unregulated impacts. This determination of consistency shall include evaluation of the following:

1. The type of land use permitted at the site, including uses that may be allowed under certain circumstances, such as conditional uses, if the criteria for their approval have been satisfied;

2. The level of development, such as units per acre or other measures of density or intensity;

3. Availability and adequacy of infrastructure, public facilities and services identified in the Comprehensive Plan and needed to serve the development; and

4. The character of the development and consistency with development standards.

C. The following types of permits require at least one public hearing:

Hearing Examiner

City Council

Conditional Use Permit

Planned Residential Development

Preliminary Plat


Wireless Communications Facilities (Category 3 Tier 4)

Comprehensive Plan Amendment

Development Agreement


Street Vacation

D. SEPA Analysis.

1. The City shall review the land use development permit application for compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Chapter 43.21C RCW, the SEPA Rules, Chapter 197-11 WAC, and the City’s SEPA ordinance, Chapter 14.90 SMC, and shall:

a. Determine whether the applicable regulations require studies that adequately analyze all of the land use development permit application’s specific probable adverse environmental impacts;

b. Determine if the applicable regulations require measures that adequately address such environmental impacts;

c. Determine whether additional studies are required and/or whether the land use development permit application should be conditioned with additional mitigation measures; and

d. Provide prompt and coordinated review by government agencies and the public regarding compliance with applicable environmental laws and plans, including mitigation for specific project impacts that have not been considered and addressed at the plan or development regulation level.

2. In its review of a land use development permit application, the City may determine that the requirements for environmental analysis, protection and mitigation measures in the applicable development regulations, Comprehensive Plan and/or in other applicable local, state or federal laws provide adequate analysis of and mitigation for the specific adverse environmental impacts of the application.

a. The City may make the determination provided for in this subsection if:

i. In the course of land use development permit review, including any required environmental analysis, the City considers the specific probable adverse environmental impacts of the proposed action and determines that these specific impacts are adequately addressed by the zoning and development standards or other applicable requirements of the Comprehensive Plan, or other local, state, or federal rules or laws; and

ii. The City bases or conditions its approval on compliance with these requirements or mitigation measures.

b. If the City’s Comprehensive Plan and development regulations adequately address a project’s probable specific adverse environmental impacts, as determined under this subsection, the City shall not impose additional mitigation under SEPA during project review. Project review shall be integrated with environmental analysis under this chapter.

c. A Comprehensive Plan or development regulation shall be considered to adequately address an impact if the City, through the planning and environmental review process under Chapters 36.70A and 43.21C RCW, has identified the specific adverse environmental impacts and:

i. The impacts have been avoided or otherwise mitigated; and

ii. The City Council has designated acceptable certain level of service, land use designations, development standards or other land use planning required or allowed by Chapter 36.70A RCW.

3. If the City bases or conditions its approval of the land use development permit application on compliance with the requirements of mitigation measures described in subsection (D)(1) of this section, the City shall not impose additional mitigation under SEPA during project review.

4. In its decision whether a specific adverse environmental impact has been addressed by an existing rule or law of another agency with jurisdiction with environmental expertise with regard to a specific environmental impact, the City shall consult orally or in writing with that agency and may expressly defer to that agency. In making this deferral, the City shall base or condition its land use development permit approval on compliance with these other existing rules or laws.

5. Planned Actions.

a. A planned action does not require a threshold determination or the preparation of an environmental impact statement under SEPA, but is subject to environmental review and mitigation under SEPA.

b. A “planned action” means one or more types of project action that:

i. Are designated planned actions by an ordinance or resolution adopted by the City;

ii. Have had the significant impacts adequately addressed in an environmental impact statement prepared in conjunction with:

AA Comprehensive Plan or subarea plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW, or

BA fully contained community, a master planned development or a phased project;

iii. Are subsequent or implementing projects for the proposals listed in subsection (D)(5)(b)(ii) of this section;

iv. Are located within an urban growth area, as defined in RCW 36.70A.200;

v. Are not essential public facilities, as defined in RCW 36.70A.200; and

vi. Are consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan adopted under Chapter 36.70A RCW.

c. The City shall limit planned actions to certain types of development or to specific geographical areas that are less extensive than the jurisdictional boundaries of the City, and may limit a planned action to a time period identified in the environmental impact statement or in the ordinance or resolution designating the planned action under RCW 36.70A.040.

E. Upon determination that the proposed project is consistent with the Snohomish Comprehensive Plan, adopted development regulations and standards, and SEPA, a single staff report shall be prepared which consolidates all land use development permit decisions. The report shall state any mitigation required or proposed under the development regulations or through SEPA. If a threshold determination, other than a determination of significance, has not been previously issued by the City, the report shall include or append the SEPA threshold determination for the project. The SEPA threshold determination shall be issued at least 15 calendar days prior to the opening of the public hearing.

F. If the applicant so elects, an application that involves two or more land use development permits may be processed under a consolidated review and approval process. The consolidated single process used shall be that which corresponds to the highest decision classification. The single process shall include a single staff report and final decision, and shall require, at a maximum, a single open record hearing, with the exception of Type 5 permits, and no more than one closed record appeal. If an applicant elects not to have the multi-permit application processed under the consolidated process, all permits shall be processed individually according to the process applicable to each permit. (Ord. 2338, 2017)