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Code Enforcement Handbook For Municipalities

  1. Authority to Enforce the Code.

General.  The Washington Constitution provides that:  “[a]ny city, county, town or township may make and enforce within its limits all such local police, sanitary and other regulations as are not in conflict with general laws.”[1]

 Zoning.  Cities and towns in Washington have long been required to adopt comprehensive plans which serve the public interest by anticipating and influencing the orderly and coordinated development of land and building uses.[2]  Zoning ordinances implement and give effect to the comprehensive plan by dividing the city into appropriate zones within which specific standards […]

September 13th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Development Agreements to Mitigate the Impacts of Development (RCW 82.02.020) and “Discretionary” Development Agreements

by
Carol A. Morris
Morris Law, P.C.
3304 Rosedale Street N.W., Suite 200
Gig Harbor, WA 98380
253-851-5090

1 Speech delivered before the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys (2015).

A. What is a “Development Agreement?” A development agreement is a contract entered into between a property owner and a municipality to address the issues that may arise during the lengthy and expensive project planning and construction process. It may address any number of development issues, including, but not limited to, conditions of annexation, extension of vested rights, the responsibility of each party for infrastructure installation, timing of such installation for phased developments, dedications, payment of fees to […]

June 28th, 2016|Model Development Code|0 Comments

Should Your City Change to a Hearing Examiner System?

by
Carol A. Morris
Morris Law, P.C.
3304 Rosedale St. N.W., Suite 200
Gig Harbor, WA  98335
(253) 851-5090

In many cities, quasi-judicial land use project permit applications (conditional use permits, variances, preliminary plats, site specific rezones, etc.) are first given an open record hearing before the planning commission or board of adjustment.  A final decision is made by the commission/board, and any appeals are handled by the city council in a closed record hearing.[1]  Or, if the board makes a recommendation instead of a final decision, the city council considers it in the closed record hearing and makes the final […]

August 26th, 2013|Land Use Law, Zoning Laws|0 Comments

Concurrency and Moratoria

by
Carol A. Morris
Morris Law, P.C.
3304 Rosedale St. N.W., Suite 200
Gig Harbor, WA  98335
(253) 851-5090

I.          CONCURRENCY

A.        In General.  Concurrency ordinances are land use regulations designed to ensure that the necessary public facilities and services to support new development are adequate and available, based on adopted levels of service, at the time that the impacts of the development occur.  The State Subdivision Act (chapter 58.17 RCW) has long required that the county or city adopt findings that “adequate provision” has been made for potable water, sanitary sewer, roads, streets and schools in order to approve a preliminary […]

July 26th, 2013|Land Use Law|0 Comments

Subdivisions – Recent Developments in Concurrency, Expiration of Approval, Completion and Maintenance of Public Improvements

by
Carol A. Morris
Morris Law, P.C.
3304 Rosedale St. N.W., Suite 200
Gig Harbor, WA  98335
(253) 851-5090

I.          Background. 

            Those cities and towns planning under the Growth Management Act[1] (“GMA”) must have transportation concurrency ordinances which allow the municipality to deny the development (under certain circumstances), based on the traffic generated by the development.[2]  GMA encourages municipalities to adopt concurrency ordinances for other public facilities and services, such as water and sewer.[3]  Both GMA and non-GMA cities also must perform basic concurrency analyses prior to making a final decision on any short or preliminary plat.[4]

“Concurrency” […]

June 26th, 2013|Land Use Law|0 Comments

Moratoria Handbook for Municipalities

Association of Washington Cities
Risk Management Services Agency

DOWNLOAD THE FULL ARTICLE PDF

by
Carol A. Morris
Morris Law, P.C.
3304 Rosedale St. N.W., Suite 200
Gig Harbor, WA  98335
(253) 851-5090

INTRODUCTION

The focus of this Handbook is to provide guidance on moratoria.  Information has been included on the purpose of moratoria, the difference between the various types of moratoria and how to adopt a moratorium.  Explanations have been provided of the purpose and importance of each step in the process, with tips on how to complete them.  Form ordinances are attached to guide moratoria adoption.

We hope you will find the format and content of this […]

April 25th, 2013|Land Use Law|0 Comments