A. Decision Time Frame. A decision to approve or deny an application shall be made within ninety (90) days of receipt of a complete application. An application may be approved subject to such terms and conditions as deemed appropriate by the Director to ensure the project meets the requirements of this chapter and is consistent with SMC Title 14, Land Use Development Code.
B. Approval of Application. The Director may approve an application for a conditional certificate of acceptance of temporary property tax exemption if it is determined that:
1. A minimum of four (4) new multifamily residential units are being constructed, converted or rehabilitated.
2. The proposed project is or will be, at the time of completion, in conformance with all approved plans and all applicable requirements of the City’s municipal code and adopted standards.
3. The project site is planned and located to meet the project eligibility requirements contained in SMC 3.50.070.
4. If applicable, the proposed multi-unit housing project meets the affordable housing requirements as described in RCW 84.14.020.
5. The owner/applicant has complied with applicable requirements of this chapter, including but not limited to application requirements contained in SMC 3.50.080.
C. Denial of Application. The Director shall deny an application if any of the criteria in subsection B of this section is not met. The Director shall state in writing the reasons for denial and shall send notice to the owner/applicant at the owner’s/applicant’s last known address within ten (10) days of the denial. An owner/applicant may appeal a denial to the City Council by filing a written appeal with the City Clerk within thirty (30) days of notification by the City to the owner/applicant the application is denied. The appeal will be based upon the record made before the Director with the burden of proof on the owner/applicant to show that there is no substantial evidence on the record to support the Director’s decision. The decision of the City Council in denying or approving the application is final. All other appeals of the Director’s decisions related to this chapter shall be made to the Hearing Examiner as directed herein.
D. Execution of Conditional Certificate. If the application is approved, the owner/applicant shall enter into a contract with the City in order to establish the property tax exemption. When the contract is executed, the Director shall issue the owner a conditional certificate of acceptance of property tax exemption. The conditional certificate expires three (3) years from the date of approval unless an extension is granted as provided in subsection F of this section.
E. Amendment of Conditional Certificate. The owner/applicant may request an amendment to the executed contract by filing a request with the Director. The contract amendment request shall contain such information as deemed necessary by the Director and at a minimum shall include a description of the status of the project, proposed language for a contract amendment, and the reason(s) for amending the contract. The request shall be accompanied by the fee as established by City Council resolution.
F. Extension of Conditional Certificate. The conditional certificate may be extended by the Director for a period not to exceed twenty-four (24) consecutive months. The owner/applicant shall submit a written request at least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the conditional certificate, stating the grounds for the extension, accompanied by a processing fee as established by City Council resolution. An extension may be granted if the Director determines that:
1. The anticipated failure to complete construction or rehabilitation within the required time period is due to circumstances beyond the control of the owner/applicant;
2. The owner/applicant has been acting and could reasonably be expected to continue to act in good faith and with due diligence; and
3. All the conditions of the original contract between the owner/applicant and the City will be satisfied upon completion of the project. (Ord. 2366, 2019)