Skip to main content
Loading…
This section is included in your selections.

A. Essential Public Facilities Land Use Table. See LMC 18A.10.120(D) for the purpose and applicability of zoning districts.

Zoning Classifications

Essential Public Facilities

R1

R2

R3

R4

MR1

MR2

MF1

MF2

MF3

ARC

NC1

NC2

TOC

CBD

C1

C2

C3

IBP

I1

I2

PI

OSR1

OSR2

Airport (Seaplane) (B)(1)*

C

Community and technical colleges, colleges and universities (B)(1), (B)(2)

C

C

C

C

Correctional facilities (B)(1),(B)(2)

C

Electrical transmission lines of higher voltage than 115 kV, in existing corridors of such transmission lines

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Electrical transmission lines of higher voltage than 115 kV, in new corridors (B)(1), (B)(2)

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

Group home

See LMC 18A.40.120, Special needs housing

In-patient facility including but not limited to substance abuse facility (B)(1), (B)(2)

C

C

C

C

Intercity high-speed ground transportation (B)(1)

P

P

C

Intercity passenger rail service (B)(1)

P

P

P

C

Interstate Highway 5 (I-5) (B)(1)

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Mental health facility (B)(1), (B)(2), (B)(4) through (B)(11)

C

Military installation (B)(1)

Minimum security institution (B)(1), (B)(2)

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

Secure community transition facility (SCTFs) (B)(1), (B)(2), (B)(3)

C

C

Solid waste transfer station (B)(1), (B)(2)

C

C

C

C

C

Sound Transit facility (B)(1)

P

P

C

Sound Transit railroad right-of-way (B)(1)

P

P

P

P

P

P

Transit bus, train, or other high capacity vehicle bases (B)(1)

P

Washington State Highway 512 (B)(1)

P

P

Work/training release facility (B)(1), (B)(2)

C

C

P: Permitted Use C: Conditional Use “–”: Not allowed

*Numbers in parentheses reference use-specific development and operating conditions under subsection (B) of this section.

B. Development and Operating Conditions.

1. RCW 36.70A.200 requires cities to include in their comprehensive plans a process for identifying and siting essential public facilities (EPFs). EPFs are described in the Growth Management Act (GMA) as those facilities which are typically difficult to site, but are needed to support orderly growth and delivery of services. The GMA states that no local comprehensive plan or development regulation may preclude the siting of essential public facilities.

2. Except for existing electrical transmission lines of higher voltage than 115 kV and military installations, essential public facilities shall require a conditional use permit. In addition to the regular conditional use permit review criteria, the following shall apply:

a. Documentation of Need. Project sponsors must demonstrate the need for their proposed EPFs. Included in the analysis of need should be the projected service population, an inventory of existing and planned comparable facilities and projected demand for this type of essential public facility.

b. Consistency with Sponsor’s Plans. The proposed project should be consistent with the sponsor’s own long-range plans for facilities and operations.

c. Consistency with Other Plans. The proposal must demonstrate the relationship of the project to local, regional and state plans. The proposal should be consistent with the comprehensive plan and other adopted plans of the prospective host community. In evaluating this consistency, consideration shall be given to urban growth area designations and critical area designations, population and employment holding capacities and targets, and the land use, capital facilities and utilities elements of these adopted plans.

d. Relationship of Service Area to Population. With the exception of linear transmission facilities, the facility’s service area population should include a significant share of the host community’s population, and the proposed site should be able to reasonably serve its overall service area population.

e. Minimum Site Requirements. Sponsors shall submit documentation showing the minimum siting requirements for the proposed facility. Site requirements may be determined by the following factors: minimum size of the facility, access, support facilities, topography, geology, and mitigation needs. The sponsor shall also identify future expansion needs of the facility.

f. Alternative Site Selection. The project sponsor shall search for and investigate two (2) alternative sites before submitting a proposal for siting review. The proposal shall indicate whether any alternative sites have been identified that meet the minimum site requirements of the facility. The sponsor’s site selection methodology will also be reviewed. Where a proposal involves expansion of an existing facility, the documentation shall indicate why relocation of the facility to another site would be infeasible.

g. Distribution of Essential Public Facilities. In considering a proposal, the City shall examine the overall distribution of essential public facilities within greater Pierce County to avoid placing an undue burden on any one community.

h. Public Participation. Sponsors shall encourage local public participation in the development of the proposal, including mitigation measures. Sponsors shall conduct local outreach efforts with early notification to prospective neighbors to inform them about the project and to engage local residents in site planning and mitigation design prior to the initiation of formal hearings. The sponsor’s efforts in this regard shall be evaluated.

i. Consistency with Local Land Use Regulations. The proposed facility shall conform to local land use and zoning regulations that are consistent with the applicable county-wide planning policies. Compliance with other applicable local regulations shall also be required.

j. Compatibility with Surrounding Land Uses. The sponsor’s documentation shall demonstrate that the site, as developed for the proposed project, will be compatible with surrounding land uses.

k. Proposed Impact Mitigation. The proposal must include adequate and appropriate mitigation measures for the impacted area(s) and community(ies). Mitigation measures may include, but are not limited to, natural features that will be preserved or created to serve as buffers, other site design elements used in the development plan, and/or operational or other programmatic measures contained in the proposal. The proposed measures shall be adequate to substantially reduce or compensate for anticipated adverse impacts on the local environment.

3. Additional Siting Criteria for SCTFs.

a. In no case shall a secure community transition facility (SCTF) be sited adjacent to, immediately across a street or parking lot from, or within the line-of-sight of risk potential activities or facilities in existence at the time a site is listed for consideration. Line-of-sight has been estimated to be six hundred (600) feet from a risk potential activity or facility, which distance has been determined to be the maximum distance at which it is possible to reasonably visually distinguish and recognize individuals. Through the conditional use process, line-of-sight may be considered to be less than six hundred (600) feet if the applicant can demonstrate that visual barriers exist or can be created which would reduce the line-of-sight to less than six hundred (600) feet.

b. The site or building shall meet all of the security requirements of RCW 71.09.285.

c. No SCTF may be located within six hundred (600) feet of any residentially zoned property.

4. Additional Siting Criteria for Mental Health Facilities – Purpose. The purpose of the public facilities master plan process is to encourage essential public facilities civic uses on large parcels of land to be developed holistically, with internally compatible uses and physical development and with accommodations made for natural site and environmental conditions, assuring that:

a. Appropriate provisions are made for water, sanitary sewer, drainage ways, utilities, roadways, emergency services, and any other applicable infrastructure or services;

b. Critical areas will be protected;

c. Usable open space will be provided;

d. Appropriate provisions are made for motorized and nonmotorized transportation circulation, including sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students who walk to and from school;

e. Approval criteria and mitigation measures are established which include general design elements and linkage components; and

f. The safety of the general public as well as workers at and visitors to the facility is ensured.

5. Applicability.

A public facilities master plan is required for all essential public facilities civic uses which utilize contiguous parcels of land totaling twenty (20) acres or more and which are zoned Public/Institutional.

Exemption from a Public Facilities Master Plan. A public facilities master plan is not required for installation of portable classrooms as approved by the Director subject to Process Type I administrative action; permitted uses in the PI zoning district; renovations, remodeling and general maintenance, provided there is no expansion in occupiable space greater than one thousand (1,000) square feet of the structure proposed for renovation/remodeling; roof repairs; infrastructure improvements to existing systems (e.g., interior streets; sidewalks; lighting; security equipment; landscaping; and storm water, sewer, water, and power utilities); emergency repairs; and installation of fire/life safety equipment).

6. Uses. Uses not included in an approved public facilities master plan, except those listed in subsection (B)(5) of this section, shall not subsequently be allowed upon the site except by review and approval of an amended public facilities master plan following the same process as establishment of an initial public facilities master plan.

When a new essential public facility civic use is proposed which requires a public facilities master plan or amendment to an existing plan and it is located on the same property or site of an already established essential public facility civic use, the City shall require the project proponent to prepare a compatibility study which, at minimum, contains the following information on a form prescribed by the City:

a. The purpose of the proposed essential public facility civic use;

b. An operational characteristics description of the proposed essential public facility civic use and an operational characteristics description of the existing use or uses;

c. An evaluation of the potential effects of the proposed essential public facility civic use upon the existing use or uses;

d. An evaluation of the potential effects of the proposed essential public facility civic use upon the adjacent properties;

e. An evaluation of the potential effects of the proposed essential public facility civic use upon at-risk or special needs populations, including but not limited to children and the physically or mentally disabled; and

f. Identification of any applicable mitigation measures designed to address any potential effects identified through the evaluation required herein.

7. Previous Permits. A previously adopted public facilities permit issued under Pierce County predating City incorporation, or a previously adopted administrative use or other permit issued pursuant to LMC Title 18 or 18A after City incorporation, may constitute an adopted public facilities master plan for the purposes of fulfilling the requirements herein. Any subsequent amendment(s) sought to an existing public facilities permit shall follow the process for a public facilities master plan.

8. Process. A public facilities master plan shall be reviewed as a Process Type III permit under LMC 18A.20.080.

9. Termination and Expiration of Approval. If a condition of approval is violated, or if any provision of this code is violated, the Director may, in his sole discretion, initiate a revocation of the public facilities master plan which shall require a public hearing before and decision by the Hearing Examiner. Nothing in this section shall limit or affect the revocation of building permits, issuance of stop orders or other similar proceedings authorized by this code.

Recognizing that the nature of essential public facilities often requires approval of significant capital appropriations and that the appropriations process may be unpredictable, a public facilities master plan typically would not expire unless and until the slate of projects to be completed thereunder has been substantially completed, and new projects that are not included in the scope of the public facilities master plan are proposed. In such case, the proponent shall undertake an update which shall follow the same process as an initial public facilities master plan.

10. Discontinuance of Public/Institutional and/or Essential Public Facilities Civic Use. When a public/institutional and/or an essential public facilities civic use has been discontinued for a period of six (6) or more months, the use of land and/or structure(s) shall be considered discontinued. In the event of discontinuance, the public/institutional and/or essential public facilities civic use shall be demolished in accordance with the provisions of the International Building Code.

11. Adaptive Reuse. In the event that a public/institutional and/or an essential public facilities civic use is proposed for adaptive reuse, where buildings/structures are repurposed for viable new uses and modern functions, other than those originally intended, to address present-day needs, a public facilities master plan is required. Adaptive reuse does not constitute an exemption from a public facilities master plan as is outlined in subsection (B)(5) of this section. [Ord. 738 § 2 (Exh. A), 2020; Ord. 726 § 2 (Exh. B), 2019.]