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Cluster Plat request of Bill Geyer for Alliance Properties re the 4300 Block of James Street (aka King Mountain Preliminary Plat)


Hearing Examiner #: HE-13-PL-021
Planning #:SUB2013-00011 / VAR2013-00014
Incident #:
Filing Date:06/12/2013
City Contact:Kathy Bell
Hearing Date: 07/24/2013
Description: Cluster Plat request of Bill Geyer for Alliance Properties re the 4300 Block of James Street (aka King Mountain Preliminary Plat)
Decision Date: 08/07/2013
Decision Summary:Approved with conditions.

This matter came before the Bellingham Hearing Examiner for hearing on the 24th day of July 2013 on the application of Ralph Black, Alliance Properties, for Preliminary Cluster Plat approval for the King Mountain Plat, Phase 1 located in the 4300 Block of James Street in Bellingham.
Testimony was received from Kathy Bell, Bellingham Planning and Community Development Department; Brent Baldwin, Bellingham Public Works Department; Bill Geyer, AICP, Applicant's Representative; Ralph Black, Applicant; Sonja Wingard, 721 Van Wyck Road; and Ted Stannard, 4328 Francis Avenue.
In addition to the Bellingham Municipal Code and Comprehensive Plan, the following documents were considered as part of the record: See Exhibit List.
I. FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Bill Geyer, AICP, Geyer & Associates, Inc. applied for preliminary cluster plat approval for the King Mountain Plat, Phase 1 on behalf of the property owner Ralph Black, Alliance Properties. Ralph Black and Alliance Properties, and their successors and assigns, may be referred to in these Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order as "Applicant" and/or "Developer".
2. The subject property is located in the 4300 block of James Street in Bellingham. It is in Area 13 of the King Mountain Neighborhood. This area is designated Residential Multi, Planned, 4,300 square feet per unit, up to 1,800 square feet per unit with cluster density bonus. Special Conditions include Multimodal Transportation Concurrency evaluation required, Traffic Study required, Limit driveways and side street access to arterials, shared access encouraged. Prerequisite considerations include improvement of James Street to full secondary arterial standard (new alignment from current terminus to Van Wyck/Thomas Road, right-of-way dedication and three-quarter abutting improvements required.) Special Regulations include provisions for cluster density bonuses and a portion of Area 13 is subject to Concomitant Agreement No. 2009-0459 requiring a master plan and implementing development regulations approved by the city.
3. The Applicant proposes to divide approximately 33.58 acres into 107 single-family detached lots, one multi-family tract (Lot A), Reserve Tracts A and B, Open Space tracts, and streets and utilities necessary to serve the plat. Variances are requested to allow reduction in residential street widths from 60 feet of right-of-way to 50 feet of right-of-way with additional five-foot easements on each side of the rights-of-way, and to allow sidewalks on one side only of cul-de-sacs.
4. The subject property is a portion of a larger parcel owned by the Applicant. A lot line adjustment, King Mountain Lot Line Adjustment #2423-A, is currently being processed by City staff. Preliminary approval of the lot line adjustment was issued April 26, 2013 subject to binding the lots together for the purpose of providing Lot A of the Lot Line Adjustment with street frontage. Completion and recording of the lot line adjustment is necessary for final plat approval.
5. The property was annexed into the City in September 2009 by Ordinance No. 2009-08-054. As a condition of annexation the property owners agreed to purchase or transfer a development right for every five acres of land annexed into the City and Alliance Properties was required to prepare and submit an urban village master plan for review by the City Council. The development rights have been purchased or transferred. Alliance Properties submitted an urban village master plan to the City in 2011. This plan was rejected by the City Council in August 2012 by Resolution No. 2012-25.
6. A Transportation Concurrency Certificate #CON2013-00005 was issued for proposed development of the property on March 13, 2013.
7. The applications for preliminary cluster plat approval, variances and the SEPA checklist were submitted to the City on April 22, 2013. A Notice of Complete Application was issued May 15, 2013.
8. On May 17, 2013 the City issued a Request for Information. The Applicant responded on May 24 and 28, 2013 with requested information.
9. On May 29, 2013 the City issued Notice of Application and Pending Action with a public comment period ending June 12, 2013. The site was posted by the Applicant on May 30, 2013.
10. A Determination of Non-Significance was issued on July 1, 2013 for the proposal. SEP2013-00015 is incorporated herein by reference.
11. Notice of Public Hearing was issued on July 10, 2013.
12. Amendments to the applications revising the plat layout and alignment of James Street and withdrawing variance requests for reduced setbacks, sidewalks on one side of through streets and pipestem lot design were submitted by the Applicant on July 16th and 24, 2013.
13. The subject property is currently vacant. It was cleared prior to annexation pursuant to a Forest Practices permit.
14. The property abuts the northern terminus of James Street at its southeastern corner. Gooding Avenue also abuts the property at the southeast corner of the parcel. Kearney Street abuts the parcel along the southern boundary.
15. A City-owned water reservoir and single-family residences are located south of Kearney Street. Abutting parcels to the east are vacant or developed with single-family residences. The abutting parcels to the north and west are owned by the Applicant. They are vacant except for radio towers. A radio tower easement extends onto the southwestern portion of the subject parcel.
16. Approximately 340 units are permitted on the subject parcel without a density bonus. Up to about 793 units may be permitted if density bonus provisions are satisfied. The density not utilized by the 107 single-family lots and multifamily tract proposed in this cluster plat would be allocated to the two reserve tracts shown on the face of the plat. The density allocated to the reserve tracts would be utilized in conjunction with the development of adjoining parcels of land owned by the Applicant. A separate application for division and/or development is required to divide or develop the adjoining parcels or to utilize the remaining density allocated to the reserve tracts.
17. Each of the 107 single-family lots contains at least 4,000 square feet of area. Each of these lots is at least 40 feet in width and 60 feet in depth. Nearly all of the lots are at least 100 feet deep. BMC 18.32.040 requires detached lots in cluster plats to have a minimum size of 4,000 square feet, minimum lot width of 40 feet and minimum lot depth of 60 feet.
18. James Street is proposed to be extended through the southern and southwestern portion of the plat. Newly dedicated residential streets, referred to as Residential Roads A, B, C, D and E, would provide access to the lots. James Street is planned to connect through the property to the west and north to Van Wyck Road as development occurs. Residential streets A and C are designed to provide future connectivity to properties to the east and west.
19. James Street would be improved as a secondary arterial. The design and alignment of the road will be reviewed in accordance with a Public Facilities Agreement and must satisfy City standards for secondary arterials. Modifications from the design and alignment shown on the proposed plat may be required to satisfy these standards.
20. The internal residential access streets are required to be improved to full City standard for residential access streets. Twenty-eight feet of pavement with curbs and sidewalks on both sides are required for the through streets. Cul-de-sacs are required to be improved with 24 feet of pavement, and curbs and sidewalks on both sides of the street. The Applicant requests a variance to allow the cul-de-sacs to be improved with sidewalks on only one side of the street. The Applicant also requests a variance to allow reduction in the required right-of-way width for the residential access streets from 60 feet to 50 feet, with provision of additional five-foot wide easements on both sides of the streets.
21. Kearney Street is shown abutting the southern boundary of the plat. It is shown with a 30-foot wide right-of-way which was dedicated from the property to the south. The Applicant has submitted information indicating that Kearney Street has been vacated by operation of law, pursuant to RCW 36.87.090. The status of Kearney Street has not been determined by the City and is not presently before the Hearing Examiner for determination. If Kearney Street remains a public right-of-way dedication of additional right-of-way along the southern boundary of the subject property is required.
22. BMC 18.32.040D requires a minimum of 15% of the parcel to be set aside as open space. Open space is defined in BMC 18.08.160 as, "any undeveloped parcel or tract of land designated, dedicated or otherwise reserved for public and/or private use and benefit as a natural area, greenway corridor or for recreational purposes as may be specified upon creation of said tract." The proposal provides 15% of the site as open space in a number of tracts, mostly adjacent to James St. as it winds through the southern portion of the plat. The Applicant indicates that the large open space areas on either side of James Street will provide passive and active recreational opportunities for residents and that the open space along the east/northeast side of James Street creates a buffer between the traffic and the residential lots.
23. Lot A, the proposed multi-family tract, has a site area of approximately 49,000 square feet. Development of this parcel for multi-family use will require approval of a planned development permit and multi-family design review approval pursuant to BMC 20.38 and 20.25.
24. Public water and sewer mains are required to be extended from existing mains in Kearney Street and the James Street/Gooding Avenue intersection to fully abut and serve each lot and extend to the far edge of each road terminus. The existing mains have sufficient capacity to serve the property. The Comprehensive Plan indicates the need for a water reservoir on King Mountain to serve the Cordata Pressure Zone. This reservoir will need to be located at the 370-foot elevation and at least one transmission main from the reservoir to the Cordata area will be required. An easement for the transmission main over a portion of the subject site may be required.
25. Public sewer mains are required to be extended from an existing main south of Kearney Street to fully abut and serve each lot and to extend to the far edge of each road terminus. The existing main has sufficient capacity to provide gravity service to all lots within the plat.
26. Stormwater management is required in compliance with BMC 15.42. Stormwater facilities are proposed to be located along the southern boundary of the plat.
27. The Comprehensive Plan identifies parks and trails north of the subject property. The Van Wyck Park site is located north of the plat. Development of the property to the north will require provision of land for parks and trails.
28. Geologically hazardous areas are located within the plat and adjacent to the northeast portion of the plat. A Critical Areas Analysis was submitted for the property. It indicates that the site is stable and that proposed development within the plat would not increase geological hazards to adjacent properties beyond predevelopment conditions. Additional analysis is required to determine whether each of the lots and streets within the critical areas and buffers may be developed consistent with critical areas regulations. If this analysis shows that the plat must be substantially altered to allow development of all lots and streets the alterations would be returned for further review by the Hearing Examiner.
29. BMC 17.20 requires emergency vehicle turnarounds at the terminus of streets and fire hydrants spaced in accordance with code provisions. Residences will be required to be equipped with approved fire sprinklers unless a secondary access to and from the plat is provided, i.e. the construction of James Street through to Van Wyck Road.
30. The Applicant proposes phased development of the plat.
31. City staff has recommended approval of the plat and variances subject to the conditions set forth in Exhibit B to the Staff Report, as amended in the memorandum from Kathy Bell to the Hearing Examiner dated July 24, 2013 -- City's Response to Applicant's Preferred Conditions.
32. The Applicant provided comments and objections to certain of the staff recommended conditions in the letter from Bill Geyer, AICP to the Hearing Examiner dated July 24, 2013.
33. Public comments were received for the proposal. These comments expressed concerns regarding the impact of the proposal on traffic, increased stormwater runoff, the proposal to provide narrower streets and sidewalks on only one side of the streets, increased density in the neighborhood, impacts on wetlands and habitat, possible violations in the clearing of the site, and other impacts on neighboring properties.
34. BMC 18.32.020 provides that the purpose of the cluster subdivision provisions is to allow variation in the required minimum lot size, provided the same overall density is maintained, so as to preserve open space, tree cover, recreation areas or scenic vistas, or to reduce the amount of streets and utilities where appropriate.
35. BMC 18.16.130 provides that the technical review committee may find that variances from the literal requirements of BMC 18.28.200, Street trees, would better serve the needs of the ultimate occupants of the subdivision, as well as the adjacent community and the city generally, and it may specify the alternative standard to be met and the reasons for such proposal.
36. General improvement standards for preliminary plats are set forth in BMC 18.28.
37. RCW 58.17.110 requires an inquiry into the public use and interest proposed to be served by the establishment of the subdivision and dedication and a determination that the proposed subdivision makes appropriate provisions for the public health, safety and general welfare, open spaces, drainage ways, streets or roads, alleys and other public ways, transit stops, potable water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools and school grounds. It also requires a consideration of all other relevant facts, including sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students and whether the public interest will be served by the subdivision and dedication.
38. The Applicant objects to several of the conditions recommended by City staff, including design requirements for open space tracts, location requirements for street trees, including installation on James Street, dedication of right-of-way for Kearney Street, landscaping requirements for stormwater facilities, design standards for retaining walls supporting infrastructure, and a provision that all lots are subject to the requirements of the order approving the plat.
39. A number of technical analyses were performed for the proposal or for the property and surrounding area. A traffic study was performed in April, 2013 by TSI, Inc., which also produced a traffic report in July 2010. A Critical Areas Report was provided by Aqua-Terr Systems, Inc., last dated May 23, 2013. A preliminary stormwater report was authored by Freeland & Associates, Inc. in April, 2013. A Geology and Soils Report was provided by Charles S. Lindsay of Associated Earth Sciences dated June 2010. A Stormwater Study was prepared by Jeffrey Vander Yacht, Pacific Survey and Engineering in August 2010. An Archaeological Assessment was provided by Drayton Archaeological Research dated August 2010. A Phase I Environmental Report was produced by Charles S. Lindsay. A Pileated Woodpecker Report was submitted by Wheeler Consulting Group in July 2007. Whatcom County issued a related SEPA MDNS #SEP2007-00066 in May 2007. A Final Environmental Impact Statement for the City of Bellingham, Bellingham Urban Growth Area, Five Year Review Areas and Whatcom County Urban Fringe Subareas was issued July 1, 2004. These reports and analyses are incorporated herein by reference.
40. BMC 18.32.040 sets forth minimum cluster performance criteria. These include: the proposed design addresses any special conditions, prerequisite considerations or significant environmental elements identified in the relevant neighborhood plan; the proposed design is compatible with the existing topography and preserves natural resources such as mature trees or wooded areas, significant wetlands, streams and wildlife habitat; connecting links between existing parks and open spaces are provided along streams, ridgelines, ravines, shorelines, hillsides, and wooded areas whenever possible; 15% open space; minimum design criteria, alternative parking requirements; and transition of smaller lot sizes--transitioning from lot sizes that best represent existing neighborhood patterns adjacent to existing development to smaller lot sizes within the plat.
41. Subdivision variance criteria are set forth in BMC 18.48.010. Modifications of the subdivision requirements may be granted when: because of unusual shape, exceptional topographic conditions, geological problems, environmental constraints or other extraordinary situation or condition in connection with a specific piece of property, the literal enforcement of the subdivision regulations would involve difficulties or result in an undesirable plat; or the granting of the variance results in a better lot design than previously existed. Better lot design is defined as meaning such items as larger in area, more practical site design because of topography, wetland or other environmental constraints, or the lot design will result in lots nearer to conformance to required standards; and the granting of the variance will not be unduly detrimental to the public welfare nor injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and subarea in which the subject property is located.
42. In this case, the subject property is encumbered by steep slope critical areas and buffers. Reduction of the required right-of-way width for the internal residential access streets from 60 feet to 50 feet, together with the granting of five feet of easement area (in addition to the 10 feet of easement area required for utilities) on either side of the right-of-way allows for larger lots than would be possible if the full 60 feet of right-of-way width was required, while providing for full functionality of the right-of-way and abutting easements. All of the necessary infrastructure, including standard street construction with curbs and sidewalks, and public and private utilities, can be accommodated within the 50 feet of right-of-way and additional 10 feet (plus 10 feet) of easement area. The streets which would be reduced in width will serve a limited number of residences. It is unlikely that additional right-of-way width would be necessary for future widening of these streets. The proposed variance for reduced right-of-way width would result in a better lot design and granting the variance will not be unduly detrimental to the public welfare nor injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity.
43. Residential Road E is a cul-de-sac which will serve 13 residences. It extends approximately 200 feet from Residential Road A to the center of the cul-de-sac bulb. Allowing sidewalks on one side only of this cul-de-sac will reduce impervious surface and maintenance responsibility and increase yard space for the residents of the cul-de-sac. Granting the variance for Road E will not be unduly detrimental to the public welfare nor injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity. The single sidewalk can adequately provide for safe pedestrian travel for the short distance involved and the limited number of users of the facility.
44. Residential Road C does not technically fit the definition of a cul-de-sac provided in BMC 18.08.070C: Cul-de-sac means a street right-of-way intersecting another street right-of-way at one end and which terminates with a permanent vehicular turn around at the other end. Dead-end streets or rights-of-way planned for future extension shall not be considered a cul-de-sac. Road C extends from the western edge of the plat to the eastern edge of the plat. The right-of-way provides for future extension to the east and west. Future extensions of the street could be through streets. Without a variance extensions of the street would be required to install sidewalks on both sides of the street. At least 24 lots will be served by the portion of the street east of Residential Road D. The street extends at least 600 feet to the east of Road D to the eastern edge of the plat. Elimination of the requirement to install sidewalks on both sides of Road C would be unduly detrimental to the public welfare and would not provide adequate pedestrian facilities for the lots abutting Road C or for future travelers on extensions of the street.
45. Property within the plat will be required to pay transportation impact fees which are estimated at approximately $300,000 at the time of development of the lots. These fees are used to pay for street improvements identified in the City's Six Year Capital Improvement Plan. Improvement of James Street, including intersection improvements at James Street and Bakerview Road, and other improvements to James Street south of Bakerview Road.
46. Development of the lots will also require payment of school impact fees. The property is served by the Bellingham School District. The School District did not comment on the proposal.
47. The property is within the area served by Whatcom Transportation Authority although there are no transit facilities planned for the immediate vicinity given the current low density in the area. Whatcom Transportation Authority did not comment on the proposal.
48. Subject to the conditions set forth below the proposed plat makes appropriate provisions for the public health, safety and general welfare, open spaces, drainage ways, streets or roads, alleys and other public ways, transit stops, potable water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools and school grounds, and sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students. The public interest will be served by the proposed plat and dedications. The plat will provide housing consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and extends streets and utilities that will serve the plat and provide for future connections.
II. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. Subject to the conditions set forth below the proposed plat satisfies the requirements of RCW 58.17 and BMC Title 18.
2. Subject to the conditions set forth below the proposed plat complies with the minimum cluster performance criteria of BMC 18.32.
3. The requested variance to allow reduction in the right-of-way width for residential streets from 60 feet to 50 feet, with an additional easement of five feet on either side of the rights-of-way, satisfies the variance criteria. The steep topography of the site makes it difficult to fit an appropriate number of lots in developable portions of the property. The variance allows lots that are larger in size and more functional.
4. The requested variance to allow sidewalks on only one side of cul-de-sac E satisfies the variance criteria. The cul-de-sac serves a small number of residences. Reduction in the amount of impervious surface will provide a more functional lot design with opportunities for more green space without a detrimental impact on public safety.
5. The requested variance to allow sidewalks on only one side of Road C does not satisfy the variance criteria. The street is designed to provide for future connections to the east and west. Within the plat the street will serve about 28 lots, 24 of them east of Road D. If extended the street will serve an unknown number of additional residences and provide for pedestrian travel for residents of the plat to the east and west of the plat. It is the only possible through connection for vehicles and pedestrians on the east side of the plat north of the James Street/Gooding Avenue intersection. Granting the variance would be unduly detrimental to the public interest. This determination is consistent with the decision in HE-13-PL-017 for the Halice Court Plat issued on July 10, 2013, a 20-lot plat with provisions for connectivity to adjacent properties, where a variance to allow reduced right-of-way width, similar to the variance granted in this case, was granted but a requested variance to allow sidewalks on only one side of the street was denied.
6. The proposed plat does not show any residential lots abutting the stormwater tract. However, if any lots do abut a stormwater tract it is appropriate to require buffering of the lots from the stormwater facility. A buffering requirement is consistent with the criteria specified in RCW 58.17 that the plat make appropriate provisions for the public health, safety and general welfare, and for drainage ways. The fencing or landscaping recommended by City staff for the stormwater ponds abutting residential lots is necessary for public safety.
7. The subject property contains steep slopes. It is likely that retaining walls will be necessary in the development of streets and other facilities. City staff recommends a design standard for these retaining walls. It is appropriate and consistent with RCW 58.17 to require that retaining walls that support streets and other infrastructure comply with minimal aesthetic standards that will serve the public interest. Concrete walls with visible form panel seams and tie holes and non-textured block walls supporting streets and other facilities would detract from the visual appeal of the streets and surroundings and would not serve the public interest.
8. Conditions to ensure that the open space areas are consistent with the requirements of Title 18 are appropriate. Open space areas must be provided and maintained and they must satisfy the definitional requirements of BMC 18.08.160.
9. BMC 18.16.130 provides that the technical review committee may specify an alternative standard to be met for Street Tree requirements. The staff report and recommended conditions specify street tree requirements that are consistent with, but more specific than, BMC 18.28.200. In this case, it is appropriate to provide a number of street trees along the arterial serving, and within, the plat. The purpose of requiring street trees is to provide for green space and to benefit and provide visual appeal for the streets, and not necessarily the private lots. The requirement to provide two street trees per lot establishes the total number of trees required for the plat. It does not require that each lot be abutted by two street trees.
10. Certain conditions specified in Preliminary Plat approval are continuing obligations, binding on future lot owners. These conditions include, but are not limited to, setbacks, easements, access prohibitions, and open space. It is appropriate to record notice of these continuing obligations on the face of the plat so that future property owners are made aware of the conditions.
11. Subject to the conditions set forth below the proposed plat and the variances from street width for residential streets and one-side only sidewalks on Road E should be approved.
12. Any Finding of Fact that should be denominated a Conclusion of Law shall be deemed to be a Conclusion of Law. Any Conclusion of Law that should be denominated a Finding of Fact shall be deemed to be a Finding of Fact.
III. ORDER
The proposed Preliminary Plat of King Mountain, Phase 1 is approved, subject to the following conditions:

VARIANCES:
The variance to allow reduction in the right-of-way width for residential access streets from sixty (60) feet to fifty (50) feet is granted, provided a five (5) foot exclusive easement adjacent to each side of the full length of the right-of-way is dedicated to the City on the face of the plat. This five (5) foot easement on each side of the right-of-way is in addition to the ten (10) foot easement required on each side of the right-of-way for utilities.
The variance to allow construction of sidewalks on only one side of the cul-de-sac, Road E, is granted.
The variance to allow construction of sidewalks on only one side of Road C is denied.

GENERAL PLAT REQUIREMENTS
1. The plat shall contain up to 107 single-family cluster lots plus Tract A, which may contain a single-family unit, multi-family units, or other uses permitted in BMC 20.38. Ten (10) units are proposed for the Multi-family Tract A. Additional multi-family units may be permitted on Tract A by transferring density from the reserve tracts and approval of Planned Development and Design Review Permits which allow the additional units. Additional units, including multi-family tracts, are permitted up to the maximum density allowed by the current zoning (340) provided that all lots must comply with the requirements of BMC Title 18 and Planned Development/Design Review requirements, if applicable, and any addition or redesign of lots that substantially alters the Plat as shown on Exhibit A shall require amendment of this Preliminary Plat approval. Substantial alterations shall include such items as new streets, other than streets which only serve the multi-family tracts, elimination of streets, location of multi-family tracts within the interior of the plat or in a manner that changes the character of the plat, or any other change which is not deemed minor by the Technical Review Committee.
2. The density not allocated to the single-family lots shown on the plat or multi-family units constructed shall be allocated to the Reserve Tracts A and B as place holder for future development in conjunction with development of adjacent properties. Development of these Tracts or the density allocated to them shall be subject to separate land use applications and approvals. The maximum density allocated to the Reserve Tracts shall be 233 units.
3. The plat shall be developed generally as shown on Exhibit A, except as modifications are required to comply with Bellingham Municipal Code requirements or this Order.
4. Accessory dwelling units are accessory uses and are not considered separate units for density purposes.
5. Each lot shall contain at least 4,000 square feet of site area exclusive of area designated as required open space.
6. Lot design shall comply with the requirements of BMC 18.32.
7. At least 15% of the total site area of the property shall be set aside as open space as provided below.
8. Direct vehicular access to James Street from lots is prohibited. Access easements shall be provided for ingress/egress to a residential access street for any lot that has frontage only on James Street.
9. Development of the property shall be consistent with the provisions of BMC Titles 13,15, 16, 18 and 20, and with the description of the proposal contained in the Determination of Nonsignificance, except as otherwise provided herein.
10. Preliminary Plat approval shall expire as provided in RCW 58.17.
11. Heavy equipment work shall comply with the requirements of BMC 10.24.
12. Impact/Subdivision fees for transportation, schools and parks shall be paid in accordance with applicable BMC requirements.
13. Design and construction of the plat and improvements thereon and development of the lots shall comply with all applicable requirements of the Bellingham Municipal Code.
14. All required easements for the final plat shall appear on the final plat mylar and shall be subject to the review and approval of the City of Bellingham in accordance with BMC 18.20.
15. Minor amendments may be approved by the Technical Review Committee as specified in BMC 18.20.020.
CONDITIONS FOR FINAL PLAT APPROVAL
The following conditions shall be satisfied and improvements accepted by the City prior to final plat approval pursuant to BMC 18.20. Financial surety may be accepted as provided in BMC 18.28.020.
      A. Lot Line Adjustment
          The King Mountain Lot Line Adjustment #2423-A, as approved by the City under permit #SUB2013-00003, shall be recorded at the Whatcom County Auditor's Office prior to final plat approval for the first division.
      B. Phasing
          The Preliminary Plat may be phased provided each division of development provides, at a minimum, the required public infrastructure, private utilities, and stormwater facilities to support each division in compliance with Title 18. Open space shall be provided with each phase so that the cumulative total of all open space dedications or set-asides is equal to at least 15% of the site area of all completed phases. Phased development shall also comply with the following conditions:
          1. Prior to or concurrent with final plat approval of the first division the following shall be provided by the developer and approved by the City:
              a. James Street shall be dedicated in an alignment approved by the City from its existing terminus to the western boundary of the preliminary plat, consistent with C.(1) below.
              b. If Kearney Street has not been vacated by operation of law thirty (30) feet of property abutting Kearney Street and along the remaining southern boundary of the plat shall be dedicated to the City for right-of-way purposes. The dedication shall establish an intersection at James Street in accordance with the City's design standards, which may require additional right-of-way dedication and the construction of a new road to the water reservoir.
              c. All conditions relating to the transfer/purchase of development rights identified in the Covenant to Purchase or Transfer Development Rights required as a condition of annexation to the City of Bellingham shall be fulfilled. Documentation shall be submitted to the Office of the City Attorney.
          2. Prior to final plat approval of each division of the Preliminary Plat the following shall be provided by the developer and approved by the City:
              a. If the City has designated a new water reservoir site to serve the Cordata Pressure Zone it shall be determined whether an easement is required over any portion of the proposed division of land to accommodate the water transmission main for the new reservoir. If applicable a twenty (20) foot easement shall be granted to the City for the future water transmission main serving the Cordata Pressure Zone. It shall not be the responsibility of the developer to install this main as a condition of division or development of the subject property.
              b. A required Critical Areas Permit may alter and/or reduce the buffer of any onsite geologically hazardous areas pursuant to BMC 16.55. If some critical areas are not allowed to be altered minor amendments to the plat may be required. These minor amendments may be permitted pursuant to BMC 18.20.020. If the Technical Review Committee deems the required amendments not minor the plat with the proposed amendments shall be returned to the Hearing Examiner for further consideration.
      C. Public Infrastructure
          1. Sixty (60) feet of land shall be dedicated to the City for right-of-way purposes for the extension of James Street from its current terminus to the north and to the westerly boundary of the plat, generally as shown on Exhibit A. A revised alignment that does not alter the plat design significantly may be considered and approved by the Public Works Director. If a proposed revision to the alignment is, in the Director's opinion, beyond the Director's discretion, the Technical Review Committee may review and approve the revision pursuant to BMC 18.20.020. If a proposed revision exceeds the scope of BMC 18.20.020 the plat and proposed revision shall be returned to the Hearing Examiner for further consideration.
          2. James Street shall be designed and constructed in accordance with adopted City street standards to full City standard for a secondary arterial, which includes two travel lanes, five (5) foot bicycle lanes, five (5) foot wide sidewalks, five (5) foot wide planting strips between the back of the curb and sidewalk, and, as determined necessary, southbound turn lanes at the intersection with residential streets. Additional dedication may be necessary to accommodate required southbound turn lanes in accordance with adopted City street standards. At the discretion of the Public Works Director the sidewalk may be constructed at the back of the curb for the length of the turn lanes in lieu of additional right-of-way dedication. James Street shall be posted with a 35 miles per hour speed limit and designed for a 45 miles per hour speed. James Street shall not terminate with a cul-de-sac.
          3. The design and construction of James Street shall incorporate intersections for Gooding Avenue and Kearney Street ( unless Kearney Street has been vacated by operation of law), compliant with the City's design standards.
          4. The residential access streets, except the cul-de-sac Road E, shall be dedicated to the City with a fifty (50) foot wide right-of-way generally in the location as shown on Exhibit A and through to the plat boundary. An exclusive five (5) foot wide utility easement shall be granted to the City adjacent to both sides of the rights-of-way.
          5. Road E shall be dedicated to the City with a fifty (50) foot wide right-of-way generally in the location as shown on Exhibit A.
          6. The residential access streets, except Road E, shall be constructed to full City standard of a twenty-eight (28) foot wide street with curbs and five (5) foot wide sidewalks both sides. Setback sidewalks are encouraged with a five (5) foot wide planting strip.
          7. Road E shall be constructed to full City standard of a twenty-four (24) foot wide street with curbs both sides and a five (5) foot wide sidewalk on one side of the street and along the full circumference of the bulb. Setback sidewalks are encouraged with a five (5) foot wide planting strip.
          8. All street improvements shall be installed in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the Public Works and Fire Departments.
          9. Prior to approval of a final plat for lots west of Road D as shown on Exhibit A all streets within the plat terminating at the western boundary of the preliminary plat shall be located, aligned and designed so that they can reasonably be extended to provide access to adjacent parcels consistent with the City's Comprehensive Plan, design standards, and requirements. An engineering analysis shall be provided demonstrating the feasibility of street extensions from the chosen alignment to the satisfaction of the Public Works Director.
          10. All utilities, including public water and sewer, electrical, gas, telephone and cable, shall be installed across the full frontage of each lot and as necessary to provide the orderly extension of utilities in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the Public Works Department
          11. All streetlights and street signs shall be installed in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the Public Works Department.
          12. A clearing and grading plan for the property, including rights-of-way, shall be submitted for review and approval of the Planning Department concurrent with review of civil drawings for the infrastructure.
          13. Stormwater management shall be provided in accordance with BMC 15.42 and shall be submitted for review and approval of the City concurrent with review of civil drawings. Stormwater detention facilities shall be provided in separate tracts and shall be dedicated to the City unless the City determines the design does not meet the City's maintenance requirements. Landscaping for the ponds shall be provided consistent with Section C of this Order.
          14. The design of any retaining wall supporting public or private infrastructure, on or abutting public streets, that are constructed of concrete or block material exposed greater than two (2) feet above grade shall be submitted for review and approval of the City. Concrete walls shall be finished with a material that will hide form panel seams and tie holes and be designed to blend visually with the site. Any block wall shall be textured.
      D. Open Space
          1. At least 15% of the total site area shall be set aside as open space, generally as shown on Exhibit A. Modifications to the open space tracts shown on Exhibit A may be approved by the Technical Review Committee, in accordance with BMC 18.20.020 if it determines that the changes are minor and provide at least equivalent function as those shown on Exhibit A.
          2. Each open space tract shall be located and designed to serve at least one of the functions listed in BMC 18.08.160, natural area, greenway corridor or for recreational purposes. The function of the open space tract shall be specified on the face of the plat. Open space tracts that do not function as natural areas or greenway corridors shall be designed to provide active or passive recreational opportunities.
          3. The developer shall demonstrate that no portion of any proposed open space area is encumbered by easements that would prohibit their use for the specified function.
          4. Open space tracts that are specified for recreational opportunities shall be designed to provide appropriate site conditions, taking into account finished grades, amenities, landscaping and safety measures for the anticipated uses of the space. Open space tracts that abut, or are included within, residential lots shall be designed to mitigate conflicts between uses and encroachment of residential uses onto the open space tracts.
          5. The open space tracts shall be privately owned and maintained, in separate tracts, or where feasible, consolidated into adjacent lot(s). Covenants (CCRs) shall be recorded concurrently with the Plat to define ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the separate open space tracts in perpetuity. Required covenants may not be extinguished without written consent of the City.
          6. Conservation easements or restrictions placed on the face of the Plat that are approved by the Office of the City Attorney, shall be provided to the City to ensure that the open space tracts remain in open space, that they are maintained in perpetuity, and that they function as specified on the face of the Plat.
          7. Any portion of the site that is necessary to provide stormwater management in accordance with BMC 15.42 shall not count as required open space.
          8. The design of open space tracts shall be reviewed concurrently with engineered drawings for the plat. All required landscaping and construction necessary to provide the specified open space function shall be completed prior to final plat approval for each division.
          9. If any logical trail connections to existing public parks, open spaces or trails are located on the property easements shall be provided in accordance with BMC 18.32.040C.
      E. Landscaping
          1. Street trees, in a number equaling at least two (2) per lot within the plat, shall be installed in accordance with a Street Tree Permit approved by the City in accordance with BMC 18.28.200. The trees shall be installed throughout the plat within the easements adjacent to each of the streets within the plat, including James Street and the residential access streets. A street tree permit application shall be reviewed concurrently with engineered drawings for the proposal for compliance with street tree requirements and to ensure that there are no conflicts with the proposed location of the trees and proposed public infrastructure, including required vehicular sight distances. Reasonable modifications to the proposed public infrastructure may be required to accommodate installation of street trees within the easement areas.
          2. Street trees along James Street shall be installed in a consistent, linear manner, to the extent it is feasible to do so, to define the open space abutting James Street. Lower-growing vegetation shall be installed along the James Street frontage of the open space tracts to provide a safety barrier between the recreational open space tracts and the public street.
          3. Natural area or greenway corridor open space tracts that are not currently vegetated with trees and shrubs appropriate to their function shall be landscaped as necessary with a mix of trees, shrubs and ground cover.
          4. If a stormwater detention facility is located abutting residential lots landscaping or a six (6) foot high cedar fence, or equivalent, shall be installed between the stormwater detention facilities and abutting residential lots along or abutting the rear of the lots. If landscaping is provided it shall consist of at least a ten (10) foot strip of a mixture of drought resistant native trees, shrubs and ground cover in accordance with a landscaping plan approved by the City and shall be privately maintained.
          5. Surety, in the form of a bond or assignment of funds, in a form approved by the Planning Department, for 150% of the total cost of implementing the required open space and detention facility plantings shall be submitted. The surety shall be based upon a current estimate for all work, including, but not limited to, plant materials, installation, maintenance for five (5) years, and any other contingencies. The estimates shall be approved by the Planning Department prior to submission of the surety. The surety shall be approved by the Planning Department prior to final plat approval.
      F. General Plat Requirements
          1. The requirements set forth in BMC 18.20 shall be completed.
          2. Mailboxes shall be installed as approved by the United States Postal Service. The approved location shall not interfere with traffic or the placement and design of required sidewalks.
          3. Monumentation shall be as required in BMC 18.28.180.
          4. The following shall be shown on the face of the plat:
              a. Setbacks
              b. Joint utility easements
              c. Prohibited vehicular access to James Street.
              d. Any required private access easements.
              e. Conservation easement areas and open space tracts.
              f. Right-of-way dedication and all public easements necessary to support the plat.
              g. The required five (5) foot wide easement adjacent to the Residential Access rights-of-way reserved exclusively to the City of Bellingham for right-of-way/utility easement purposes.
              h. A ten (10) foot wide easement adjacent to public rights-of-way reserved for utility purposes.
              i. A note stating that all lots are subject to those conditions set forth in this Order that are continuing obligations and requirements after final plat approval. These conditions include, but are not limited to, maintenance of open space and landscaping, setbacks, easements, and prohibition of vehicular access.
MULTI-FAMILY TRACT
Lot A shall be developed in accordance with BMC 20.38. If Lot A is developed as a multi-family site the density of 4,300 square feet per unit may be increased by allocating units from the balance of the overall allowed number of units within the plat, subject to approval of Planned Development and Design Review in accordance with BMC 20.38. Compliance with Planned Development and Design Review processes and standards are required in accordance with BMC 20.38 and 20.25, if applicable, prior to issuance of a building permit for multi-family development or allowed non-residential uses. Development shall comply with applicable provisions of BMC 20.25, 20.28 and 20.38. Access to James Street is prohibited.

LOT DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS -- SINGLE FAMILY
Individual lot development for single-family detached units shall be subject to the following conditions:
      1. Setbacks
          a. Front setback: fifteen (15) feet measured from the property line abutting a right-of-way. James Street shall be considered a side yard and not the front yard for Lot 57 and any other corner lot which abuts both James Street and a residential access street.
          b. Side/Side yard on a flanking street setback: five (5) feet measured from the property line.
          c. Rear setback: fifteen (15) feet measured from the property line.
          d. Garage: A minimum of twenty (20) feet shall be provided from the back of a sidewalk or back of curb, whichever is greater, to the garage door.
      2. Parking
          Two (2) parking spaces are required for each lot and may be provided in accordance with BMC 18.32.040.

ENTERED this 7th day of August 2013.
Bellingham Hearing Examiner
________________________________
Dawn Sturwold
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