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A. Review Criteria for All Development.

1. All shoreline permits or statements of exemption issued for development or use within shoreline jurisdiction shall include written findings prepared by the City, documenting compliance with bulk and dimensional policies and regulations of this program. The City may attach conditions to the approval as necessary to assure consistency with Chapter 90.58 RCW and this program.

2. All uses and development on shorelines of the state shall be determined consistent with the policy and provisions of the Act and this Shoreline Master Program. Any new or expanded building or structure of more than thirty-five (35) feet above average grade level shall only be permitted if it will not obstruct the view of a substantial number of residences and when the public interest will be served.

B. Substantial Development.

1. Permit Required. A substantial development permit is required prior to commencement of construction of a structure or commencement of a use or activity constituting “substantial development” as defined in WAC 173-27-040, which is not exempt, within the shorelines of the City. No development shall be undertaken within the shoreline jurisdiction unless such development is authorized by a substantial development permit or an exemption.

2. A substantial development permit shall be granted only when the development proposed is consistent with:

a. The policies and procedures of the Act;

b. The provisions of Chapter173-27 WAC; and

c. The applicable policies and regulations of this Shoreline Master Program.

C. Developments Exempt from the Substantial Development Permit Process.

1. A development or activity determined by the Planning Director, or designee, to meet the provisions of WAC 173-27-040 or to otherwise be specifically exempt under the Shoreline Management Act is not considered shoreline substantial development and a shoreline substantial development permit is not required.

2. Exemptions shall be construed narrowly. Only those developments that meet the precise terms of one (1) or more of the listed exemptions may be granted exemption from the substantial development permit process.

3. All exempt development and activities within the shoreline jurisdiction shall be consistent with the provisions of the Shoreline Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program. An exemption from the substantial development permit process is not an exemption from compliance with the Act or this master program, nor from any other regulatory requirements. To be authorized, all uses and developments must be consistent with the policies and provisions of this master program and the Act.

4. A development or use that is listed as a conditional use pursuant to the local master program or is an unlisted use, must obtain a conditional use permit even though the development or use does not require a substantial development permit. When a development or use is proposed that does not comply with the bulk, dimensional and performance standards of the master program, such development or use can only be authorized by approval of a variance.

5. Applicants requesting a determination of exemption pursuant to this section shall submit a written justification and provide adequate documentation of consistency with the applicable exemption provision(s). The burden of proof that a development or use is exempt from the permit process is on the applicant.

6. Where an exemption is granted for a development or activity meeting the conditions in subsections (C)(6)(a) and (C)(6)(b) of this section, the City shall prepare and issue a written determination that cites the applicable exemption provision and contains the findings of the Planning Director regarding the proposal’s consistency with the Shoreline Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program. This letter of exemption shall be provided to the applicant and the Department of Ecology.

a. The activity will occur waterward of the ordinary high water mark; or

b. The project will require either of the following federal permits:

i. For a project on or over navigable waters, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 10 permit under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899; or

ii. For a project involving discharge of dredge or fill material to any water or wetland, a Section 404 permit under the Federal Clean Water Act.

D. Conditional Use Permit.

1. The purpose of a CUP is to provide flexibility in authorizing uses in a manner consistent with RCW 90.58.020. Accordingly, special conditions may be imposed to prevent undesirable effects of the proposed use and/or to assure consistency of the project with the Act and this program.

2. A development or use that is listed as a conditional use pursuant to this program, or is an unlisted use, must obtain a conditional use permit even if the development or use does not require a substantial development permit.

3. A shoreline conditional use permit may be approved as provided by RCW 90.58.140, RCW 90.58.143, and WAC 173-27-160, provided the applicant can demonstrate all of the following:

a. That the proposed use is consistent with the policies of RCW 90.58.020 and the master program;

b. That the proposed use will not interfere with the normal public use of public shorelines;

c. That the proposed use of the site and design of the project is compatible with other authorized uses within the area and with uses planned for the area under the comprehensive plan and Shoreline Master Program;

d. That the proposed use will cause no significant adverse effects to the shoreline environment in which it is to be located; and

e. That the public interest suffers no substantial detrimental effect.

4. In the granting of all conditional use permits, consideration shall be given to the cumulative impact of additional requests for like actions in the area. For example, if conditional use permits were granted for other developments in the area where similar circumstances exist, the total of the conditional uses shall also remain consistent with the policies of RCW 90.58.020 and shall not produce substantial adverse effects to the shoreline environment.

5. Uses which are specifically prohibited by this master program may not be authorized with a conditional use permit.

6. When a conditional use is requested, the Hearing Examiner shall be the approval authority for the City. However, shoreline conditional use permits are subject to review and final approval by the Washington State Department of Ecology per RCW 90.58.140(10) and WAC 173-27-200.

E. Variance Permit.

1. The purpose of a variance permit is strictly limited to granting relief from specific bulk, dimensional, or performance standards set forth in this program where there are extraordinary or unique circumstances relating to the property such that the strict implementation of this master program will impose unnecessary hardship on the applicant or thwart the policies set forth in RCW 90.58.020.

2. A development or use that does not comply with the bulk, dimensional and/or performance standards of this program shall require a shoreline variance even if the development or use does not require a substantial development permit.

3. As provided by RCW 90.58.140 and WAC 173-27-170, a shoreline variance should be granted in circumstances where denial of the permit would result in a thwarting of the policy enumerated in RCW 90.58.020. In all instances extraordinary circumstances shall be shown and the public interest shall suffer no substantial detrimental effect.

4. Variance permits for development and/or uses that will be located landward of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM), and/or landward of any wetland, may be authorized provided the applicant can demonstrate all of the following:

a. That the strict application of the bulk, dimensional or performance standards set forth in the applicable master program precludes, or significantly interferes with, reasonable use of the property;

b. That the hardship described in subsection (E)(4)(a) of this section is specifically related to the property, and is the result of unique conditions such as irregular lot shape, size, or natural features and the application of the master program, and not, for example, from deed restrictions or the applicant’s own actions;

c. That the design of the project is compatible with other authorized uses within the area and with uses planned for the area under the comprehensive plan and Shoreline Master Program and will not cause adverse impacts to the shoreline environment;

d. That the variance will not constitute a grant of special privilege not enjoyed by the other properties in the area;

e. That the variance requested is the minimum necessary to afford relief; and

f. That the public interest will suffer no substantial detrimental effect.

5. Variance permits for development and/or uses that will be located waterward of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) or within any wetland may be authorized provided the applicant can demonstrate all of the following:

a. That the strict application of the bulk, dimensional or performance standards set forth in the applicable master program precludes all reasonable use of the property;

b. That the proposal is consistent with the criteria established under subsection (E)(4)(b) through (E)(4)(f) of this section; and

c. That the public rights of navigation and use of the shorelines will not be adversely affected.

6. In the granting of all variance permits, consideration shall be given to the cumulative impact of additional requests for like actions in the area. For example, if variances were granted to other developments and/or uses in the area where similar circumstances exist, the total of the variances shall also remain consistent with the policies of RCW 90.58.020 and shall not cause substantial adverse effects to the shoreline environment.

7. A variance from City Land Use Development Code requirements approved pursuant to Chapter 14.70 SMC shall not be construed to mean a variance from the Shoreline Master Program development regulations. Similarly, a variance from the Shoreline Master Program development regulations granted pursuant to this chapter shall not be construed to mean a variance from development standards in other chapters of this title.

8. Consistent with WAC 173-27-170(5), shoreline variances may not authorize a land use that is otherwise prohibited by this program.

9. When a shoreline variance is requested, the Hearing Examiner shall be the approval authority for the City. However, shoreline variance permits are subject to review and final approval by the Washington State Department of Ecology per RCW 90.58.140(10) and WAC 173-27-200.

F. Permit Revisions.

1. A permit revision is required whenever the applicant proposes substantive changes to the design, terms, or conditions of a project from that which is approved in the permit. Changes are substantive if they materially alter the project in a manner that relates to its conformance to the terms and conditions of the permit, the Shoreline Management Program, and/or the policies and provisions of Chapter 90.58 RCW. Changes that are not substantive in effect do not require approval of a revision. A request to revise a substantial development, conditional use, or variance permit shall be accompanied by detailed plans and text describing the proposed changes to the permit.

2. If the Planning Director, or designee, determines that the proposed changes are within the scope and intent of the original permit and consistent with the Shoreline Master Program and the Shoreline Management Act, the revision may be approved. Within the scope and intent of the original permit shall mean all of the following:

a. No additional over-water construction is involved except that pier, dock, or float construction may be increased by five hundred (500) square feet or ten (10) percent from the provisions of the original permit, whichever is less;

b. Ground area coverage and height may be increased by a maximum of ten (10) percent from the provisions of the original permit;

c. The revised permit does not authorize development to exceed any standard approved by variance for the original permit;

d. Additional or revised landscaping is consistent with any conditions of the original permit;

e. The use authorized with the original permit is not changed; and

f. No adverse environmental impacts will be caused by the project revision.

3. If the revision, or the sum of the revision and any previously approved revisions, will violate the criteria specified in subsection (F)(2) of this section, a new shoreline substantial development permit, conditional use permit, or variance, as appropriate, shall be required.

4. When a shoreline permit revision is requested, the City shall make a decision to approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the request. However, if the original permit involved a conditional use or variance, the revision shall be subject to review and final approval by the Washington State Department of Ecology per WAC 173-27-100. (Ord. 2336, 2018)

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