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City of Yakima, Washington

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City of Yakima, Washington ...

    City of Yakima, Washington

    Hearing Examiner’s Recommendation

    May 8, 2003

In the Matter of Rezone Application )

    Submitted by: )

     ) UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

    Terry P. Morton )

     )

    For a rezone of three (3) parcels from )

    R-2, Two-Family Residential, to )

    CBDS, Central Business District )

    Support, and Environmental Review )

    Summary of Recommendation. The Hearing Examiner recommends approval of this rezone application.

    Basis for Recommendation. Based upon a view of the site on April 23, 2003; the testimony and evidence presented at an open record hearing on April 24, 2003;

    the information contained in the application and staff report; and a review of both

    the Yakima Urban Area Comprehensive Plan and the Yakima Urban Area Zoning

    Ordinance, the Hearing Examiner makes the following:

    FINDINGS

    ndApplicant. Hordan Planning Services for Terry P. Morton, 410 North 2 Street

    Yakima, WA 98901.

    Examiner’s Decision 1 Terry Morton

    Central & Fair Ave

    UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

Location. 906 East Central Avenue and 1302 & 1304 Fair Avenue, Yakima

    Washington; Parcel Numbers 191330-14459, 14450 & 14451.

Application. This application requests a non-project rezone of three (3) parcels

    totaling about .69 of an acre in area from R-2, Two-Family Residential, to CBDS,

    Central Business District Support, at the intersection of East Central and Fair

    Avenues, and concurrent SEPA environmental review thereof.

Notices. Notices for the hearing and the SEPA processes were provided in

    accordance with applicable ordinance requirements in the following manner:

    Mailing of SEPA notice of proposal March 7, 2003

     Mailing of public hearing notice March 7, 2003

     Mailing of SEPA notice of decision March 28, 2003

     Publishing of SEPA decision March 28, 2003

     Posting of public hearing notice on property April 4, 2003

     Publishing of public hearing notice April 4, 2003

State Environmental Policy Act. A Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS)

    was issued by the City of Yakima on March 28, 2003. There were no comments

    received on the environmental review of this rezone proposal during the 20-day

    comment period and there was no appeal of said determination.

Current Zoning and Land Uses. The site is currently zoned R-2 and is vacant.

    The existing zoning and existing land uses on adjacent properties are:

    Location Zoning Land Use

    North R-2 Vacant

    East M-1 County Fairgrounds

    West R-2 Residential

    South R-2 Residential

     2

    Examiner’s Decision

    Terry Morton

    Central & Fair Ave

    UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

    Rezone Review Criteria. Recommendations regarding rezone applications within the Yakima Urban Area must be based upon criteria specified in Section

    15.23.030 of the Yakima Municipal Code:

    1. Testimony at public hearing. Assistant Planner Mary Lovell and the

    applicant’s representative Bill Hordan spoke in favor of the proposed rezone.

    Greg Stewart, the Central Washington State Fair Association President and

    General Manager, submitted two letters and spoke about concerns regarding

    potential uses of the property which he illustrated by submitting numerous

    photographs of existing uses in the vicinity of the fairgrounds. He expressed

    concern specifically that the applicant would use the property in conjunction with

    his towing business because inoperative cars had been moved onto the lot and at

    least one such car was seen parked across the street from the property near an

    entrance to the fairgrounds. He also expressed concern more generally that the

    property would be used for automotive related uses and other uses permitted in the

    CBDS zoning district that could involve storage and use of unsightly objects. The

    applicant Terry Morton dispelled Mr. Stewart’s immediate concerns when he testified that he does not intend to use the subject property in connection with his

    towing business, that vehicles had only temporarily been stored on his property

    until he located other property where he now stores them and that he had nothing

    to do with the vehicle that had been parked across the street from his property. Mr.

    Hordan indicated that he could not recommend that his client agree to a contract

    rezone limiting his client’s future options for the property. He submitted

    photographs showing that the fairgrounds property is surrounded by many

    automotive uses of the type that Mr. Stewart would wish to prevent from being

    established on the applicant’s property and indicated that some automotive uses

    take place on the fairgrounds. He also pointed out that only Boise Cascade’s M-2

    zoning designation is less restrictive than the fairgrounds’ M-1 zoning designation.

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    Examiner’s Decision

    Terry Morton

    Central & Fair Ave

    UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

    Mr. Hordan’s inventory of automotive related uses in the vicinity of the fairgrounds included the Yakima Speedway, three gas stations, four mini marts,

    Cummins, Hyster, Kenworth Northwest truck sales and repairs, All Star Towing,

    C & J Auto House sales and rebuilders, Baker’s Auto Repair, Competitive

    Engineering race car builders, Pacific Avenue tractor sales, Bowden’s Auto Parts, Classic Auto Wash, Peninsula Truck Lines, Paul’s Body Shop, Chris’ Recovery

    Shop, Schuck’s Auto Supply, EZ Towing, Tiger Oil, M & R Auto Sales and County shops where gravel is stored for road uses. City Planner Mary Lovell

    explained that uses surrounding the fairgrounds which Mr. Stewart described as

    unsightly were either started prior to annexation or prior to adoption of existing

    zoning development standards and that future CBDS uses on the subject property

    would be subject to existing screening and other requirements that cannot be

    imposed upon existing “grandfathered” uses.

    2. Suitability of property for proposed use. The property is well suited

    for the uses permitted within the CBDS zoning district. Its size, location and

    proximity to other uses allowed in the CBDS zoning district satisfy this criteria.

    3. Recommendations from interested agencies and departments. No

    agencies submitted any recommendations concerning this non-project rezone. No

    technical problems with this rezone application were noted at the design services

    team meeting held on March 19, 2003. No written comments were received since

    this is a non-project rezone. All necessary public services for future property

    development are readily available. The City Traffic Engineer will defer

    concurrency review under the Transportation Capacity Management Ordinance

    until a specific land use is proposed.

    4. Compliance with the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance.

    The applicant requested a change to the future land use map from Medium Density

    Residential to Arterial Commercial during the annual Comprehensive Plan

     4

    Examiner’s Decision

    Terry Morton

    Central & Fair Ave

    UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

amendment process in 2001. The Regional Planning Commission and the Joint

    Board comprising the City Council and County Commissioners approved the plan

    amendment to Arterial Commercial. The Yakima City Council adopted the

    Ordinance authorizing the change to the future land use map on November 18,

    2001. This rezone will bring the subject property into compliance with its

    comprehensive plan designation and is consistent with the following Policies and

    Objectives of the comprehensive plan:

    (a) The Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map designates this area as suitable for Arterial Commercial development. The Future Land Use to Zoning

    Map Consistency Chart, Figure III-3, states that the Arterial Commercial

    designation is compatible with the CBDS, Central Business District Support

    zoning district.

    (b) Objective G1.1 seeks to encourage the physical development of the Yakima urban area in a manner that enhances its image as the cultural and

    business center.

    (c) Policy C8.2 seeks to encourage major commercial, industrial, and multi-family developments to locate within city limits.

    (d) Policy G9.4 seeks to encourage commercial, industrial, office and multi-family developments to locate in distinct clusters in planned growth areas.

    Insofar as the of the Yakima Urban Area Zoning Ordinance is concerned, Chapter 15.03.030 states that the purpose of the CBDS zoning district is to

    accommodate wholesale and retail activities with some high-density residential

    development. This district is primarily located near the central business district

    and along the major arterials leading to the central business district. Chapter 15.05

    of the zoning ordinance which establishes basic development requirements as

    minimum criteria which must be met to assure land use compatibility and specific

standards for lot size, maximum lot coverage, minimum building setbacks, parking,

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    Examiner’s Decision Terry Morton

    Central & Fair Ave UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

    building height and sight screening will be applied or adjusted following prescribed public notice and comment requirements when a specific land use is proposed for this property.

    5. Adequacy of public utilities. This property is currently served by all

    necessary public utilities. Street access is from East Central Avenue, which is classified as a Local Access Street, and Fair Avenue, which is classified as a Minor Arterial Street.

    6. Compatibility of proposed use. This is a non-project rezone.

    Compatibility will be determined for future uses based upon Table 4-1 of the Urban Area Zoning Ordinance. Some of the uses permitted in the CBDS zone would need to be effectively screened to prevent them from becoming unsightly to adjoining residents and to patrons of the fairgrounds. Even though the subject parcels are immediately surrounded by residential uses on three sides, the area seems to be more in transition to CBDS uses than to residential uses. CBDS uses are nearby and are the predominant uses surrounding the fairgrounds. The fairgrounds presently is used for mixed recreational uses, including some automotive-related uses. Its M-1 zoning designation allows additional diverse uses which are more compatible with CBDS uses than are some of the present uses of the fairgrounds. Mr. Stewart has made many good points in his letters and testimony regarding the need to present a positive image to visitors and others utilizing the recreational facilities at the fairgrounds. The future uses on the subject property which could otherwise become unsightly will be required to be sight screened. Insofar as Mr. Stewart suggests that current sight screening requirements might not effectively screen such uses, the problem he raised about fences becoming unsightly because of graffiti is already a concern of the City Council which is considering new ordinance provisions to deal with that difficult problem. The Hearing Examiner is not inclined to conclude that existing sight

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    Examiner’s Decision

    Terry Morton

    Central & Fair Ave

    UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

screening requirements for the subject property will necessarily be ineffective

    because of the present problem with graffiti. Any type of sight screening could

    potentially become ineffective because of vandalism. The evidence presented by

    the Planning Department and by Mr. Hordan indicates that CBDS uses on the

    subject property will be compatible with the many other CBDS uses in the vicinity

    and as compatible as possible with the fairground uses across Fair Avenue to the

    east so long as future sight screening requirements and steps to control graffiti are

    effective -- at least as effective as they reasonably can be in view of the practical

    and legal difficulties involved in adoption and enforcement of ordinance

    provisions specifically addressing those issues.

    7. Public Need. This rezone fulfills the public need for zoning regulations

    and uses that are consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

    CONCLUSIONS

1. The Hearing Examiner has jurisdiction to issue a recommendation to the City

    Council on this rezone application.

    2. The public notice requirements of Chapters 15 and 16 of the Yakima Municipal

    Code have been satisfied.

    3. SEPA review resulted in the issuance of a declaration of nonsignificance on

    March 28, 2003 and the evidence does not disclose any significant adverse

    environmental impacts that would result from approval of this rezone request.

    4. Adequate public services are in place to satisfy the utility and access

    requirements of this proposal.

    5. Testimony at the hearing was in favor of this rezone application, although the

    president and general manager of the neighboring fairgrounds facility to the east

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    Examiner’s Decision Terry Morton

    Central & Fair Ave UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

would prefer to see certain uses permitted in the CBDS zoning district excluded

    from the rezone, a request which is not agreeable to the applicant and which is

    properly addressed by the imposition of appropriate sight screening requirements

    in effect when the specific use of the property is proposed.

    6. The proposed rezone is consistent with the future land use map designation as

    Arterial Commercial. The property is now designated Arterial Commercial by the

    Yakima Urban Area Comprehensive Plan and is located in a mixed-use

    commercial and residential area of the City.

    7. This rezone satisfies the seven criteria specified in Section 15.23.030 Yakima

    Municipal Code for approving the rezone.

    8. All agencies and city departments indicate that public services are available to

    the site and that this rezone would not create any infrastructure problems.

    RECOMMENDATION

    The Hearing Examiner recommends that this rezone from R-2, Two-Family

    Residential, to CBDS, Central Business District Support, be APPROVED.

    DATED THIS 8th day of May, 2003.

     ________________________________

     Gary M. Cuillier, Hearing Examiner

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    Examiner’s Decision

    Terry Morton

    Central & Fair Ave

    UAZO RZ #1-03; EC #1-03

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