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A. Exception Request and Review Process. If the application of this chapter would deny all reasonable economic use of the subject property, the city shall determine if compensation is an appropriate action, or the property owner may apply for an exception pursuant to this section. Exceptions from the standards of this chapter may be authorized by the city in accordance with the procedures set forth in VMC 20.210.060, Type III Applications.

An application for a reasonable use exception shall be made to the city and shall include a Critical Areas Report, including mitigation plan, if necessary; and any other related project documents, such as permit applications to other agencies, special studies, and environmental documents prepared pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act (RCW 43.21C). The planning official shall prepare a recommendation to the Hearings Examiner based on review of the submitted information, a site inspection, and the proposal’s ability to comply with reasonable use exception criteria in VMC 20.740.080(B).

B. Reasonable Use Review Criteria. The city shall approve applications for reasonable use exceptions when all of the following criteria are met:

1. The application of this chapter would deny all reasonable economic use of the property;

2. No other reasonable economic use of the property has less impact on the critical area;

3. The proposed impact to the critical area is the minimum necessary to allow for reasonable economic use of the property;

4. The inability of the applicant to derive reasonable economic use of the property is not the result of actions by the applicant after the effective date of this chapter, or its predecessor;

5. The proposal does not pose a significant threat to the public health, safety, or welfare on or off the development proposal site;

6. The proposal mitigates for the loss of critical area functions to the greatest extent feasible and contributes to the Critical Areas Restoration Fund for any impacts that cannot be mitigated.

7. The proposal is consistent with other applicable regulations and standards.

C. Burden of Proof. The burden of proof shall be on the applicant to bring forth evidence in support of the application and to provide sufficient information on which any decision has to be made on the application. (Ord. M-3692, Added, 02/28/2005, Sec 2)