Loading...
D_HEX_Decision_and_Add'l_Exhibits_KC_Parks_Renton_Shops_190717.pdf1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 1 CAO VARIANCE - 1 BEFORE THE HEARING EXAMINER FOR THE CITY OF RENTON RE: King County Parks – Renton Shop Conditional Use, Administrative Site Plan, Landscape Variance, and Refuse and Recyclable Modification LUA19-000090, SA-A, CU-H, V-A, MOD ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND FINAL DECISION Summary King County is requesting administrative site plan review, a hearing examiner conditional use permit, a landscape variance and refuse and recycling modification to replace the existing Central Maintenance Facility at 3005 NE 4th St. The applications are approved subject to conditions. A major point addressed by the Applicant and City during the hearing was a staff recommended condition requiring the Applicant to swap a building proposed on the south end of the project with a building proposed for the north end. The City had recommended this condition because it determined that the storage building proposed for the north end of the project site would not be compatible with a community college building planned for the adjoining lot to the north. The County made a very compelling presentation asserting that the northern building was the least intense use of the project site and that requiring it to be relocated would disrupt the functional design and interrelationships of the project buildings, thus requiring a significant redesign. In post- hearing briefing the parties were ultimately able to agree upon a compromise where the buildings could remain in their proposed locations but the bulk and scale of the northern building would be reduced by breaking it up into three smaller buildings. The parties were not able to agree upon the amount of northern perimeter landscaping necessary to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 2 CAO VARIANCE - 2 buffer the three buildings from the community college use adjoining to the north. The City wanted 15 feet of fully sight obscuring fencing and the County wanted this limited to ten feet as required by City code and was willing to increase the width up to 15 feet at various portions of the northern boundary where project design facilitated that amount of space. Given that RMC 4-4-070F4d only requires ten foot wide fully sight obscuring landscaping for the project and the absence of any compelling evidence from the City that additional landscaping is necessary under applicable conditional use criteria, this Decision determines that ten feet of landscaping is sufficient along the entire northern boundary to assure compatibility of adjoining uses as determined in Finding of Fact No. 5B. Conditions No. 6 and 7 of this decision integrates the parties agreement to break Building C into three buildings and also imposes the ten foot landscaping requirement found to be sufficient mitigation in Finding of Fact No. 5B. Testimony Note: The following is a summary of testimony provided for the convenience of the reader only and should not be construed as containing any findings of fact or conclusions of law. The focus upon or exclusion of any particular testimony or hearing evidence in this summary is not reflective of the priority or probative content of any particular hearing evidence and no assurance is made as to accuracy. Clark Close, Renton Senior Planner, summarized the staff report. In response to examiner questions, Mr. Clark confirmed that if the particle pollution analysis discloses any adverse impacts that the City would then require modification. Staff considered the authority to require mitigation was implied from the condition recommending the analysis. Branda Bradford, Applicant, summarized her memo, Ex. 34. She noted that the Applicant has no objections to recommended conditions 1, 3, 4 and 6. On the bike condition, she noted that City staff may have overlooked that the Applicant was proposing a second location for bike storage that composed of bike lockers just above Building A. They’re weatherproof secure containers that are lockable. The Applicant is willing to do the particle pollution analysis, but is concerned that dust generating activities on adjoining properties would generate inaccurate readings as to pollution generated by the Applicant. The ecology blocks are meant to store source separated construction waste. Separated construction waste such as wood, metal, asphalt and concrete is stored until the bins are full and then transported out for recycling. These materials are inert and don’t generate dust by the Applicant is still willing to do the particle analysis. Ms. Bradford asked that the condition for the particle analysis be modified to allow the particle analysis to be conducted prior to final building approval, because of contracting time frames. Ms. Bradford noted that the biggest area of concern for the Applicant is the condition requiring Building A and C be relocated. The Applicant believes the proposed design is consistent with all applicable development standards and zoning standards. The uses allowed in the CA zone notably 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 3 CAO VARIANCE - 3 include indoor and outdoor storage uses, including vehicle storage. That’s compatible with what’s allowed in the industrial zone. The blend of uses proposed is also contemplated by the comprehensive plan designation for the site. The County has paid particular attention to the contemplated community college to the north and received no comments during SEPA review in regard to the proposed storage location. The 2016 community college master plan for the site shows parking on southern property line abutting the proposed storage use. The proposed design also serves as a good transition between CA and IL zones. The County anticipated not only the types of adjoining uses but also their intensity. The County placed the least intense uses along the northern property line for the community college. The most intense uses are on the south. Storage building C contains materials not routinely accessed by the County crews. The covered but not enclosed area contains equipment and the like that isn’t used very frequently. The shops on the north side of Building B are mostly internal and involve very infrequent loading/unloading activities. The south side of Building B involves loading/unloading on a frequent basis. Building A is a crew building with offices on top, where crews enter their vehicles on the first floor and drive to their assignments. There’s no code authority for the required reconfiguration. The CA zone has a requirement that it’s building face Third Ave, which makes the subject lot the backyard of the community college parcel to the north. Ms. Bradford referenced attachment D to Ex. 34, which diagrammed the site as to how it would be configured under the staff recommendation verses proposed. The project is registered with the In ternational Living Futures Institute due to its energy features. Both Building A and B are covered in solar panels. Building A is located on the southern portion of the property to take maximum advantage of sunlight and prevailing winds. Relocating A to the north side of the property would put the panels in the shadow of the shop building, requiring additional solar panels and it’s uncertain that there’s room to add enough panels to operate the building’s solar powered equipment. The County also had hired a specialty consultant with national expertise on maintenance and operational facilities to assist in preparing a design that was efficient and safe. Numerous site planning workshops and traffic analysis were conducted to reach the final design with buildings, parking and yards assessed in multiple different locations. Based upon this work the County determined that the proposed site design is the most efficient use of the site for both heavy equipment, parks and construction vehicles and pedestrians. In particular, the top of the two drive aisles is envisioned to be the return location for trucks. There’s a buffer between Building A and the bottom drive aisle to provide safety separation for visitors. Persons will often be leaving Building A to use vehicles located in Building B. If the building were moved to the north that wouldn’t work for dispatch and would have to be redesigned. There’s also a functional visual connection between the second floor offices of Building A and the shops/storage facilities of Building B where line of site is part of the communication between the offices and workers in Building B. Requiring the relocation of the buildings will also prevent the County from retaining existing building on-site during construction, thereby requiring off-site relocation of employees. Given the large number of factors that had to be balanced and addressed in configuring the currently proposed site plan, the building relocation requested by staff would require a significant re-design of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 4 CAO VARIANCE - 4 the site plan and most of the buildings. The function of the buildings is directly dependent upon where they’re located. The redesign would cost 1.5-1.8 million and delay of 6-10 months. The County would like to work with City staff to address their concerns. One option would be to break Building C into three smaller buildings. The Applicant would also like to have the its approved permits have an expiration period of three years because construction will take at least two years. In responses to examiner questions, Ms. Bradford noted that the reconfiguration request was a surprise as it hadn’t come up in prior permit review. The examiner left the record open a week for the parties to see if they could work out an agreement on how to address reconfiguration. Mr. Clark agreed to the requested modification to particle analysis. John Chavez, City engineering, stated he was ok with the three year extension on civil permits. Confirmation with the building department was still necessary for three year expiration on the building permits. Exhibits The June 18, 2019 Staff Report Exhibits 1-30 identified at Page 2 of the Staff Report were admitted into the record during the hearing. The following exhibits have also been admitted: Exhibit 31: Staff PowerPoint Exhibit 32: Google Earth aerial of project vicinity Exhibit 33: City of Renton COR maps Exhibit 34: Memo from Brenda Bradford dated June 17, 2019 Exhibit 35: PowerPoint from County Exhibit 36: City Response to Ex. 34 dated June 25, 2019 Exhibit 37: County Reply to Ex. 36 dated July 2, 2019 Exhibit 38: City Response to Ex. 37 dated July 2, 2019 Exhibit 39: County Reply to Ex. 38 dated July 8, 2019 FINDINGS OF FACT Procedural: 1. Applicant. The Applicant is the King County Parks and Recreation Division, 201 S Jackson St, #700, Seattle, WA 98104. 2. Hearing. A hearing was held on the applications on June 18, 2019 in Renton City Hall. The record was left open through July 8, 2019 for written comment. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 5 CAO VARIANCE - 5 3. Project Description. King County is requesting administrative site plan review, a hearing examiner conditional use permit, a landscape variance and refuse and recycling modification to replace the existing Central Maintenance Facility at 3005 NE 4th St. The proposal consists of three (3) new buildings, separate staff and visitor parking areas, fleet and equipment parking, and covered and uncovered storage. Building A is a 27,000 sf 2-story Crew/Administration building located along the south edge of the property, Building B is a 20,900 sf 2-story Shop building located near the middle of the site and Building C is a 4,500 sf single-story enclosed and covered storage building along the northern boundary. The site would also include a variety of storage areas using ecology blocks as material storage bins, utility trailers and other equipment parking along the north and west boundaries. Roughly 7,700 sf of this storage area would be covered, but not fully enclosed. The Applicant is requesting a landscape variance to not provide the full perimeter parking lot landscaping and the required interior parking lot landscaping for parking stalls located within the gated rear storage yard area. In addition, the Applicant is requesting a modification to waive the fencing and screening requirements of the refuse and recyclable standards for two (2) trash compactor areas within the gated rear storage yard area. Access to the site is from Jefferson Ave NE. The site is located within the Aquifer Protection Area (Zone 2) and contains regulated slopes. Five (5) out of the eight (8) on-site trees are proposed to be retained. Project completion date is by 2022 and the existing facility would continue to operate throughout construction. 4. Adequacy of Infrastructure/Public Services. The project will be served by adequate and appropriate infrastructure and public services as follows: A. Water and Sewer Service. Water and sewer service will be provided by the City of Renton. B. Fire and Police. The City of Renton will provide police service and the Renton Fire Authority will provide fire service. Police and Fire Prevention staff indicated that sufficient resources exist to furnish services to the proposed development; if the Applicant provides Code required improvements and fees. C. Drainage. Public works staff have determined that the preliminary design and technical drainage review submitted by the Applicant are consistent with adopted city standards. As compliant with City standards, adequate provision is made for drainage. A Preliminary Drainage Plan and Technical Information Report (TIR), dated January 15, 2019, was prepared by HDR Engineering, Inc.. Based on the City’s flow control map, the site falls within the Flow Control Duration Standard area matching Forested Site Conditions and is within the Lower Cedar Drainage Basin. The development is subject to drainage review in accordance with the 2017 City of Renton Surface Water Design Manual (RSWDM) and the Applicant would be required to provide basic enhanced water quality treatment. On-site infrastructure improvements include the use of low- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 6 CAO VARIANCE - 6 impact development stormwater features such as bio-engineered swales, rain gardens, infiltration galleries, and detention facilities. A Construction Stormwater Permit is also required from Department of Ecology is required since clearing and grading of the site exceeds one acre. The development is subject to a surface water system development charge (SDC) for stormwater. D. Parks/Open Space. The project is not residential in nature and no park impact fees or specific parks facilities are required. The Applicant is proposing open space associated with Building A, along the south side of the building. The plans include a gravel path, deck and bench areas, and landscaping. This passive recreation area would be accessible to County employees. E. Transportation and Circulation. The proposal is served by adequate transportation facilities. The project site does not have direct frontage onto any City public right of way. Current and proposed site access is via driveways to a private access easement, which connects to NE 3rd St, which is classified as a Principal Arterial Street with an existing right-of-way (ROW) width of approximately 105 feet. A Draft Traffic Impact Analysis, dated November 16, 2018, was provided by HDR, Inc. (Exhibit 16). The analysis found one intersection potentially affected by the proposal, specifically the intersection of NE 3rd St and Jefferson Ave NE. The study determined that the proposal would reduce the level of service of the intersection from B to C, which is still within adopted standards. The Synchro analysis in Attachment B to the Applicant’s traffic report, Ex. 16, indicates a LOS C in the PM peak Hour for the Horizon Year 2022 Condition with Project; however, LOS B is shown in Table 3. A condition of approval require the Applicant to submit a final Traffic Impact Analysis must be submitted for review and approval by Development Engineering prior to civil construction permit approval. As part of that final report, the Applicant shall revise Table 3 to show LOS C and the 4th sentence in the text before Table 3 by adding “and LOS C, respectively” after “maintaining LOS B.” Increased traffic created by the development will be mitigated by payment of transportation impact fees. The transportation impact fee is applicable at time of building permit based on the type of land use. Transportation impact fees that are current at the time of building permit is payable at the time of building permit issuance. The proposed development passed the City of Renton Transportation Concurrency Test, see Exhibit 23. City public works staff have reviewed the project site and found it acceptable, which presumably includes a determination that on-site circulation is safe for pedestrians and vehicles. The Applicant also testified that a consultant was hired to assist in a rigorous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 7 CAO VARIANCE - 7 design process with the objective of maximizing both safety and efficiency. As further testified by the Applicant, the southern driveway aisle has been separated from the pedestrian heavy circulation between Building A and B to further safe circulation as well. The proposal provides for desirable transitions and linkages between uses, streets, walkways and adjacent properties. The site provides vehicle and pedestrian access from the intersection of NE 3rd St and Jefferson Ave NE. A sidewalk and landscape buffer are in place along NE 3rd St and a wide private access road (Jefferson Ave NE) provides a safe walking area for pedestrians to access the site. Once inside the site, a series of internal paved drives and drive aisles provide access to the facility. Sidewalks and paths are almost entirely provided around Building A and a concrete path will connect Building A to Building B. The proposal adequately separates loading and delivery areas from parking and pedestrian areas. The Applicant provided a site plan that indicated a separate parking, loading and delivery area for staff and visitors. The west two-thirds of the property would be used to store fleet vehicles, heavy machinery and equipment and more conventional surface parking lot would be located near the site access from Jefferson Ave NE. F. Schools. The project is not residential in nature. No impacts to schools are anticipated and no fees are required. G. Refuse and Recycling. RMC 4-4-090 sets the standard for adequate refuse and recycling facilities. In manufacturing and other nonresidential developments, a minimum of three (3) square feet per every one thousand (1,000) square feet of building gross floor area shall be provided for recyclables deposit areas and a minimum of six (6) square feet per one thousand (1,000) square feet of building gross floor area shall be provided for refuse deposit areas. A total minimum area of one hundred (100) square feet shall be provided for recycling and refuse deposit areas. The Applicant has provided two (2) separate trash compactor locations dispersed throughout the site, in easily accessible areas for both users and hauling trucks. One is located along the north property line and a second would be located near the southwest portion of the site, west of the buildings and outside the respective landscape screening buffers (Exhibit 3). This decision approves a modification request to waive fencing and screening requirements to the trash compactor locations. H. Parking. Adequate provisions are made for parking. The Applicant is proposing up to 136 surface parking spaces for visitors and staff, including up to six (6) electric vehicle charging spaces. There would also be an expansive lot with parking and yard storage for 105 fleet vehicles and heavy machinery within the confines of the facility (Exhibit 3). As required by RMC 4-4-080.E.2, the Applicant is required to provide a range of 54 to 122 parking spaces for general office use in Building A (27,000 square feet), a minimum 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 8 CAO VARIANCE - 8 of 14 parking spaces for shop use in Building B (20,900 square feet), and a minimum of six (6) parking spaces for storage use in Building C (4,500 square feet and 7,700 square feet of ecology block storage bins). The allowed parking range for the proposed uses combined is 74 to 142 spaces. The designated parking spaces and proposed locations provide adequate parking for County employees, fleet vehicles, machinery, visitors, and yard storage. Per RMC 4-4-080.F.11.a bicycle parking spaces are required at 10 percent (10%) of the number of required off-street parking spaces. The Applicant is proposing eight (8) County standard bicycle racks at the front of Building A with up to sixteen (16) bicycle parking spaces which complies with the minimum number of bicycle parking spaces for the Renton Shop facility. The proposed location of the bicycle parking would be visible to cyclists and would not impede or create a hazard to pedestrians or vehicles nor would they conflict with vehicle vision clearance standards. In addition, Building A includes a metal awning that extends over the bicycle racks for weather protection. Per RMC 4-4-080.F.11.c bicycle parking shall be provided for secure extended use and shall protect the entire bicycle and its components and accessories from theft and weather. Acceptable examples include bike lockers, bike check-in systems, in-building parking, and limited access fenced areas with weather protection. In Ex. 36, City staff recognized that bike lockers proposed just north of Building A provide eight secured spaces for bicycles as required by RMC 4-4-080.F.11.c. I. Landscaping. As conditioned, it is determined that the proposal provides for adequate and appropriate landscaping because the proposal complies with applicable City landscaping standards. A conceptual landscape plan with fencing was submitted with the project application (Exhibit 6). The Applicant is requesting a landscape variance from RMC 4-4-070.F.6 to not provide the full perimeter parking lot landscaping and the required interior parking lot landscaping for parking stalls located within the gated rear storage yard area. The proposed landscape planting plan includes a predominantly native plant pallet with a variety in plant branching structure, heights, evergreen cover, and fruiting plants. The Renton Shops landscape plan proposes 103 new trees as follows: 8 - pacific madrone, 18 - vine maple, 17 - ‘bowhall’ red maple, 7 - serviceberry, 7 - incense cedar, 7 - Douglas fir, 8 - Garry oak, 13 - cascara, 10 - western hemlock, and 8 - Redmond linden. The preliminary plant schedule also includes meadow planting, stormwater planting, perimeter screening planting, visitor parking lot interior planting, perimeter planting, street frontage planting, general shrub and perennial planting, and pre-grown sedum mat with native and adaptive perennial wildflower plugs for a green roof (see plant schedule for more information). The landscape plan includes an eighteen-foot (18') wide fully sight-obscuring landscaped visual barrier along the abutting stor-house self-storage property to the west, a ten-foot (10’) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 9 CAO VARIANCE - 9 wide to 23’-6” wide partially sight-obscuring landscaped visual barrier to the Commercial Arterial (CA) property to the north, enhanced parking lot perimeter planting throughout the visitor parking lot, and a ten-foot (10') wide street frontage landscape strip along Jefferson Ave NE. Other important site features include hardscape, a two-foot (2’) high gravity block wall along portions of Jefferson Ave NE between the parking and the landscape frontage, a six-foot (6’) high black metal ornamental picket fencing around three sides of the visitor parking lot (north, south and east), an eight-foot (8’) high perimeter chain link and security fencing to cordon off the shops, storage, and fleet vehicle and equipment storage area, a crushed rock path south of Building A, decks and benches, bike racks to the east of Building A, yard lights, and a ground mounted flagpole (former Kingdome Stadium flag pole). The location of the flagpole is pending final King County approval. At the time of building permit submittal, a detailed landscape plan would be submitted to, and approved by, the Current Planning Project Manager prior to engineering permit approval. Staff recommends as a condition of approval, that the Applicant provide a final detailed landscape plan to be reviewed and approved by the Current Planning Project Manager prior to construction permit approval. 5. Adverse Impacts. There are no significant adverse impacts associated with the proposal. On December 6, 2018, King County (SEPA lead agency), issued a Determination of Non- significance (DNS) for the project. Adequate infrastructure serves the site as determined in Finding of Fact No. 4. Impacts are more specifically addressed as follows: A. Views. No impact to views is anticipated. The proposed one- and two-story structures would be 15’, 28’-3” and 34’ above grade at the top of structure or roof. Staff have determined that the proposed buildings are not anticipated to interrupt any visual accessibility to attractive natural features for neighboring properties. There is no evidence to the contrary. B. Compatibility. The proposal is fully compatible with surrounding use. The project site is located near a heavily trafficked arterial corridor, NE 3rd St. Two- and three-story buildings, high-traffic fast food restaurants and strip commercial developments make up a large portion of the development along the corridor. The immediate neighborhood and adjacent developed sites surrounding the Renton Shop site are generally industrial in nature with large trucks, garbage haulers, construction equipment, maintenance facilities, outdoor storage, administrative offices, and a large self-storage complex. The proposed Renton Shop facility would include a two-story administrative office building, a two- story shop/storage building and a one-story storage building. The adjacent self-storage business is primarily single story structures, but is currently undergoing a renovation for the construction of a three-story 56,835 square foot self-storage structure. The nearby King County Renton Transfer Station features a large, tall, covered structure but it is not readily visible from the Renton Shop site. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 10 CAO VARIANCE - 10 The only major disagreement between staff and the Applicant was the location of Building C along the northern property line. Building C was proposed to serve as a storage facility. City staff did not believe this use was compatible with the community college use anticipated for the lot adjoining the project site to the north and recommended a condition requiring the relocation of Building C by trading its proposed location with Building A, an administrative building. The Applicant made a very compelling argument that trading the locations of Building A and C would not enhance compatibility and would require a major redesign of the project costing 1.5-1.8 million, delaying the project by 6-10 months and potentially precluding the Applicant from implementing an effective solar energy design. In uncontested evidence, the Applicant noted that Building C accommodated the least intense part of the project, as it would be used for storage of equipment that would be used the least at the project site. Further, the north side of Building B contains one shop that will be used daily for crew dispatching and three shops whose activities are primarily conducted internally with less frequent loading/unloading. The south side of Building B contains the warehouse (Stores) and seven other shops that will be used daily for crews dispatching/loading/unloading. The Applicant also established a functional relationship between the administrative offices of Building A and the shops and vehicle storage facilities of Building B that would be subverted by the trading of Building A and C. In post-hearing written analysis, staff agreed that the Applicant had presented a compelling argument for retention of the buildings in their proposed locations, with the caveat as offered by the Applicant that Building C be broken up into three separate buildings in order to reduce mass and scale impacts and that additional screening and landscaping be provided to reduce aesthetic impacts. An outstanding point of disagreement between Applicant and staff was the amount of landscaping necessary to serve as an aesthetic barrier to the community college use to the north. Staff recommended 15 feet of fully sight obscuring landscaping. As pointed out by the County in Ex. 36, RMC 4-4-070F4d only requires ten feet of fully sight obscuring landscaping between commercial and industrial uses, or in the alternative 15 feet of partially sight obscuring landscaping. The Renton Municipal Code contemplates that ten feet is sufficient to provide fully sight obscuring landscaping. Staff have not presented any evidence or compelling reason why this legislative acceptance of ten feet is insufficient to provide fully-sight obscuring landscaping along the north property line of the project. For this reason, it is determined that ten-foot wide landscaping is sufficient to mitigate the aesthetic/compatibility impacts of Building C and the staff recommended condition of approval will be revised accordingly. C. Light, glare, noise and privacy. The proposal will not create any significant adverse light, noise or glare impacts and will not impact privacy for residential uses. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 11 CAO VARIANCE - 11 The site and adjacent properties would experience temporary noise increases during construction activities. Noise levels are not expected to change that much over time given the proposed 22.6% change in staffing levels over the first year of operations. With the larger shop space, more maintenance activities are expected to occur within the confines of the enclosed structure. In addition, the existing wood shop operation is expected to continue, but would be housed within an insulated space within the Building B. Exterior lighting for security purposes would be provided around the perimeter, parking lot, pedestrian walkways, and on the buildings. The Applicant is expecting to install similar lighting found at nearby businesses. Fixtures would be fitted with shields to direct light to the ground or focused at a particular location to prevent spillage onto an adjacent parcel or toward a neighboring building. The trees proposed within the landscaping plan would be used to help mitigate noise, light and glare from the development. D. Critical Areas and Natural Features. The proposal will not create any significant adverse impacts to critical areas. The only critical areas at the project site are geologically hazardous areas and a wellhead protection area. Staff have found the proposal to be consistent with the City’s critical areas ordinance. For that reason, impacts to the steep slopes and well head protection area are found to be adequately mitigated. The critical areas are addressed in more detail as follows: i. Steep Slopes. The Applicant submitted a Preliminary Geotechnical Evaluation, prepared by Aspect Consulting (dated March 20, 2018; Exhibit 15) with the project application. The Report identifies several geologic and one seismic hazard that could affect the project area’s development (see Table 1, in Exhibit 15). Topographically, the ground surface of the site is relatively flat with only about five (5) feet of elevation difference from the west boundary of the parcel to the east boundary. As shown in the Existing Conditions Survey (Exhibit 5), portions of the western property boundary contain regulated slopes. Most of the site is shown as >15 percent to <25 percent, with a small, narrow strip shown as >25 percent to <40 percent (Sensitive Slope) at the slope’s toe. According to the Critical Areas Overview Technical Memorandum, prepared by HDR (dated October 31, 2018; Exhibit 17) that was submitted with the project application, the steep slopes do not appear to be natural features, but were likely formed by historic fill and grading. The Applicant is proposing to retain and enhance a 30-foot wide buffer that appear to contain the significant slopes along the western portion of the property. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 12 CAO VARIANCE - 12 According to the geotechnical report, shallow spread footings are an appropriate foundation type and typical activities associate with site development would have no adverse impacts on surrounding properties. All project construction would be required to comply with the recommendations in the Geotechnical Evaluation submitted with the building permit application. ii. Wellhead Protection Area. The site and surrounding area is within a Wellhead Protection Area designated as Zone 2. Zone 2 is defined as the land area situated between the 365-day groundwater travel time contour and the boundary of the zone of potential capture for a well or well field owned or operated by the City. No groundwater was observed during previous geotechnical borings on the site (conducted in February 2018). The overall purpose of the aquifer protection regulations is to protect aquifers used as potable water supply sources by the City from contamination by hazardous materials. According to the geotechnical report, site preparation within the proposed construction footprint should include removal of fill and soils containing roots, organics, debris, and any other deleterious materials. Approximately 19,500 cubic yards of fill material is proposed to be brought into the site. Such fill would be used for the structural needs of the buildings and would be obtained from approved local fill sources. Since fill is proposed for project development, a fill source statement would be required to be submitted to the City to ensure clean fill is used. The fill source statement would be required to be submitted with the construction permit application. Impacts to the Wellhead Protection Area are not anticipated as a result of the subject project, provided the City of Renton codes are complied with E. Tree Retention. Adequate provisions are made for tree retention as the Applicant has demonstrated that trees will be retained as required by the City’s tree retention standards. A Tree Assessment was prepared by King County Parks (dated January 11, 2019; Exhibit 13). The Applicant also prepared and submitted a corresponding Tree Retention Inventory Plan (dated December 21, 2018; Exhibit 12). The 5.7 acre site is largely developed with only eight (8) trees growing on the site. Just outside the property limits is 12 more trees to the north. With the exception of Tree Nos. 1-3 (30” - western white pine, 6”, 7” and 8” - Japanese maple with 3 stems, <4” - Japanese Maple with 5 stems) the trees are viable and are at a low risk for several years to come. The Applicant is proposing to retain Tree Nos. 4 through 8 (black cottonwoods), along the western portion of the site. The saved trees range in caliper from 4” to 14” diameter at breast height. The three (3) trees proposed to be removed were a result of their proximity to the proposed new improvements to the site. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 13 CAO VARIANCE - 13 The Applicant is required to retain ten percent (10%) of the trees located within the industrial zone that are not located within the proposed rights-of-way or access easements. The Applicant is proposing to retain more than the minimum required ten percent (10%) trees onsite. In addition, the Applicant is also proposing a landscaping plan to enhance the perimeter and visitor parking area to increase the number of trees onsite. During construction, trees required to be retained (i.e., protected trees, including off-site trees), would be required to comply with the tree protection measures during construction per RMC 4-4-130.H.9. The central components of tree protection include defining and protecting the drip line, erecting and maintaining a temporary six-foot-high chain link construction fence with placards around the tree to be retained, protecting the tree from grade changes, keeping the area clear of impervious surface material, restricting grading within the drip line, providing three inches (3”) of bark mulch within the required fencing, retaining a certified arborist to ensure trees are protected from development activities, and alternate protection/safeguards as necessary. Conclusions of Law 1. Authority. A hearing examiner conditional use permit (Type III review) is required by RMC 4-2-060G for government offices and facilities in all zones. All other consolidated project applications are Type III or lower. RMC 4-8-080(C)(2) requires consolidated permits to each be processed under “the highest-number procedure”. The Type III review is the “highest-number procedure” and therefore must be employed for the conditional use and site plan approval. As outlined in RMC 4-8-080(G), the hearing examiner is authorized to hold hearings and issue final decisions on Type III applications subject to closed record appeal to the Renton City Council. 2. Zoning/Comprehensive Plan Designations. The subject property is within the Employment Area (EA) Comprehensive Plan land use designation and the Light Industrial (IL) zoning classification. 3. Review Criteria/Refuse and Recycle Modification/Landscape Variance. Conditional use criteria are governed by RMC 4-9-030(D) and site plan review standards by RMC 4-9-200(E)(3). Applicable standards are quoted below in italics and applied through corresponding conclusions of law. The proposal satisfies all quoted standards as conditioned for the reasons identified in the conclusions of law. The findings and conclusions of Staff Report Finding No. 23 and 24 are adopted in support of the Applicant’s landscape variance and refuse and recycling modification to find that all criteria for approval of the variance and modification are met as well. CONDITIONAL USE The Administrator or designee or the Hearing Examiner shall consider, as applicable, the following factors for all applications: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 14 CAO VARIANCE - 14 RMC 4-9-030(C)(1): Consistency with Plans and Regulations: The proposed use shall be compatible with the general goals, objectives, policies and standards of the Comprehensive Plan, the zoning regulations and any other plans, programs, maps or ordinances of the City of Renton. 4. As conditioned, the proposal is consistent with all applicable comprehensive plan policies and development standards as outlined in Findings No. 16-17 of the staff report, adopted by this reference as if set forth in full. RMC 4-9-030(C)(2): Appropriate Location: The proposed location shall not result in the detrimental overconcentration of a particular use within the City or within the immediate area of the proposed use. The proposed location shall be suited for the proposed use. 5. For the reasons identified in Finding of Fact No. 4 and 5, the proposal is compatible with surrounding uses, will be served by adequate infrastructure and will not create significant adverse impacts to adjoining properties. For these reasons the proposed location is suited for the proposed use. There is no evidence in the record of any overconcentrated parks maintenance facilities as these uses are unique and none is reasonably anticipated given the unique nature of the use. RMC 4-9-030(C)(3): Effect on Adjacent Properties: The proposed use at the proposed location shall not result in substantial or undue adverse effects on adjacent property. 6. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 5, as conditioned, there are no significant adverse impacts associated with the proposal, so it will not result in substantial or undue adverse effects on adjacent property. RMC 4-9-030(C)(4): Compatibility: The proposed use shall be compatible with the scale and character of the neighborhood. 7. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 5, the proposed use is compatible with the scale and character of the neighborhood. RMC 4-9-030(C)(5): Parking: Adequate parking is, or will be made, available. 8. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 4, the proposal includes parking that is consistent with applicable parking standards, which sets a legislative standard for adequate parking. RMC 4-9-030(C)(6): Traffic: The use shall ensure safe movement for vehicles and pedestrians and shall mitigate potential effects on the surrounding area. 9. As outlined in Finding of Fact No. 4, the proposal provides for safe circulation and adequate traffic mitigation and facilities. RMC 4-9-030(C)(7): Noise, Light and Glare: Potential noise, light and glare impacts from the proposed use shall be evaluated and mitigated. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 15 CAO VARIANCE - 15 10. As conditioned, as determined in Finding of Fact No. 5, the proposal will not result in any adverse light, noise or glare impacts. RMC 4-9-030(C)(8): Landscaping: Landscaping shall be provided in all areas not occupied by buildings, paving, or critical areas. Additional landscaping may be required to buffer adjacent properties from potentially adverse effects of the proposed use. 11. As shown in the site plans for the proposal, all undeveloped portions of the site are landscaped. SITE PLAN RMC 4-9-200(E)(3): Criteria: The Administrator or designee must find a proposed project to be in compliance with the following: a. Compliance and Consistency: Conformance with plans, policies, regulations and approvals, including: i. Comprehensive Plan: The Comprehensive Plan, its elements, goals, objectives, and policies, especially those of the applicable land use designation; the Community Design Element; and any applicable adopted Neighborhood Plan; ii. Applicable land use regulations; iii. Relevant Planned Action Ordinance and Development Agreements; and iv. Design Regulations: Intent and guidelines of the design regulations located in RMC 4-3-100. 12. As concluded in Conclusion of Law No. 4 and as conditioned, the proposal is consistent with the City’s comprehensive plan, development regulations and design standards. RMC 4-9-200(E)(3)(b): Off-Site Impacts: Mitigation of impacts to surrounding properties and uses, including: i. Structures: Restricting overscale structures and overconcentration of development on a particular portion of the site; ii. Circulation: Providing desirable transitions and linkages between uses, streets, walkways and adjacent properties; iii. Loading and Storage Areas: Locating, designing and screening storage areas, utilities, rooftop equipment, loading areas, and refuse and recyclables to minimize views from surrounding properties; 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 16 CAO VARIANCE - 16 iv. Views: Recognizing the public benefit and desirability of maintaining visual accessibility to attractive natural features; v. Landscaping: Using landscaping to provide transitions between development and surrounding properties to reduce noise and glare, maintain privacy, and generally enhance the appearance of the project; and vi. Lighting: Designing and/or placing exterior lighting and glazing in order to avoid excessive brightness or glare to adjacent properties and streets. 13. As conditioned, the criteria quoted above are met. As outlined in Finding of Fact No. 4(E), the proposal provides for desirable transitions and linkages between uses, streets, walkways and adjacent properties. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 4G, the proposal complies with the City’s refuse and recycling standards. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 5, the proposal will not adversely affect any views. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 4, as conditioned, the proposal is consistent with the City’s landscaping standards, which includes perimeter landscaping to provide buffering to adjacent uses. The proposal will not create any significant light impacts, including excessive brightness or glare, for the reasons identified in Finding of Fact No. 5. RMC 4-9-200(E)(3)(c): On-Site Impacts: Mitigation of impacts to the site, including: i. Structure Placement: Provisions for privacy and noise reduction by building placement, spacing and orientation; ii. Structure Scale: Consideration of the scale of proposed structures in relation to natural characteristics, views and vistas, site amenities, sunlight, prevailing winds, and pedestrian and vehicle needs; iii. Natural Features: Protection of the natural landscape by retaining existing vegetation and soils, using topography to reduce undue cutting and filling, and limiting impervious surfaces; and iv. Landscaping: Use of landscaping to soften the appearance of parking areas, to provide shade and privacy where needed, to define and enhance open spaces, and generally to enhance the appearance of the project. Landscaping also includes the design and protection of planting areas so that they are less susceptible to damage from vehicles or pedestrian movements. 14. The criteria quoted above are met. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 5, the proposal will not create any significant privacy or noise impacts. As conditioned with the break-up of Building C into three smaller buildings, the scale of the proposal is entirely appropriate and compatible with existing development on site and the industrial and planned public nature of the surrounding uses. Natural features are adequately protected. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 5(D and E), natural features (trees and critical areas) are adequately protected. As conditioned, the proposal complies with the City’s landscaping standards as outlined in Finding of Fact No. 4. The staff report 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 17 CAO VARIANCE - 17 identifies that approximately 75 to 80 percent of the site would be covered by structures, asphalt or other impervious surfaces. It doesn’t appear that the Applicant can further reduce impervious surfaces. Given that the project site is flat except for regulated slopes contained within the western buffer, the amount of new impervious surface (if any) does not significantly affect the natural landscape. RMC 4-9-200(E)(3)(d): Access and Circulation: Safe and efficient access and circulation for all users, including: i. Location and Consolidation: Providing access points on side streets or frontage streets rather than directly onto arterial streets and consolidation of ingress and egress points on the site and, when feasible, with adjacent properties; ii. Internal Circulation: Promoting safety and efficiency of the internal circulation system, including the location, design and dimensions of vehicular and pedestrian access points, drives, parking, turnarounds, walkways, bikeways, and emergency access ways; iii. Loading and Delivery: Separating loading and delivery areas from parking and pedestrian areas; iv. Transit and Bicycles: Providing transit, carpools and bicycle facilities and access; and v. Pedestrians: Providing safe and attractive pedestrian connections between parking areas, buildings, public sidewalks and adjacent properties. 15. The proposal as conditioned provides for adequate access and circulation as required by the criterion above for the reasons identified in Finding of Fact No. 4E. RMC 4-9-200(E)(3)(e): Open Space: Incorporating open spaces to serve as distinctive project focal points and to provide adequate areas for passive and active recreation by the occupants/users of the site. 16. The criterion is met. As identified in Finding of Fact No. 4, the Applicant is proposing open space associated with Building A, along the south side of the building. The plans include a gravel path, deck and bench areas, and landscaping. This passive recreation area would be accessible to County employees. RMC 4-9-200(E)(3)(f): Views and Public Access: When possible, providing view corridors to shorelines and Mt. Rainier, and incorporating public access to shorelines. 17. There are no view corridors to shorelines or Mt. Rainier affected by the proposal as determined in Finding of Fact No. 5. RMC 4-9-200(E)(3)(g): Natural Systems: Arranging project elements to protect existing natural systems where applicable. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 18 CAO VARIANCE - 18 18. The City’s critical area regulations identify and adequately protect all natural systems of significance. As determined in Finding of Fact No. 5, the project protects all affected critical areas as required by the critical area regulations. RMC 4-9-200(E)(3)(h): Services and Infrastructure: Making available public services and facilities to accommodate the proposed use. 19. The project is served by adequate services and facilities as determined in Finding of Fact No. 4. RMC 4-9-200(E)(3)(i): Phasing: Including a detailed sequencing plan with development phases and estimated time frames, for phased projects. 20. The project is not phased, although the Applicant contemplates a potential addition of office space to Building A that is currently unfunded with no planned construction date. DECISION As conditioned below, the site plan, conditional use, refuse and recycle modification and landscape variance applications meet all applicable permit criteria for the reasons identified in the conclusions of law. The project is subject to the following conditions of approval: 1. The Applicant shall provide a final detailed landscape plan to be reviewed and approved by the Current Planning Project Manager prior to construction permit approval. 2. The Applicant shall provide a particle pollution analysis to be reviewed and approved by the Current Planning Project Manager prior to final building permit approvals. 3. The Applicant shall submit a lighting plan with fixture details at the time of building permit review for review and approval by the Current Planning Project Manager prior to building permit issuance. 4. A concrete pedestrian sidewalk and a pedestrian gate in the ornamental fence shall be provided between Jefferson Ave NE and the vestibule entrance of Building A. A final detailed site plan shall be submitted to and approved by the Current Planning Project Manager prior to issuance of the construction permits. 5. The Applicant shall submit a final Traffic Impact Analysis for review and approval by Development Engineering prior to civil construction permit issuance. 6. The Applicant shall provide a minimum 10 foot (10’) wide fully sight-obscuring landscaped visual barrier between Storage Building C and the north property line. The Applicant shall also provide a black ornamental metal fence to be installed along the north property line on the eastern edge of the site. At the transition to the yard, a sight-obscuring black security fence to be installed on the north property line. The County shall submit proposed fence options to the Current Planning Project Manager prior to issuance of the construction permit. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 CONDITIONAL USE and SITE PLAN - 19 CAO VARIANCE - 19 7. Storage Building C shall be divided into a minimum of three (3) separate storage buildings to reduce the overall scale and impact of the storage uses. The Applicant shall provide a revised landscape plan and a revised Composite Site Plan to be reviewed and approved by the Current Planning Project Manager prior to civil construction permit issuance. 8. The City shall grant a civil permit approval for this project to remain valid for a period of three (3) years from the date of issuance. As for a building permit, a construction schedule will be required to be submitted to the Building Official for review and approval prior to issuance of the building permit. At that point, the Building Official can establish the permit duration. 9. The uses of Building C shall be limited to the least intensive uses of the project site, storing equipment and materials that are used less frequently than items in the shops or in the fleet. Further, uses along the north property line shall be limited to vehicle parking, equipment parking, equipment storage and covered storage. DATED this 17th day of July, 2019. City of Renton Hearing Examiner Appeal Right and Valuation Notices As consolidated, RMC 4-8-080(G) classifies the application(s) subject to this decision as Type III applications subject to closed record appeal to the City of Renton City Council. Appeals of the hearing examiner’s decision must be filed within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the decision. A request for reconsideration to the hearing examiner may also be filed within this 14-day appeal period. Affected property owners may request a change in valuation for property tax purposes notwithstanding any program of revaluation.