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Land Use Application Terms

 Comprehensive Plan   Final Plat
 Conditional Use Permit  Growth Management Act (GMA)
 Determination of Non-Significance (DNS)  Lot Line Adjustment
 Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (DNS-M)   Preliminary Plat 
 Determination of Significance (DS)  Shoreline Management Act (SMA)
 Development Regulations  Short Plat
 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)   Site Plan Review
 Environmental Review (SEPA)  Variance

Comprehensive Plan

A Comprehensive Plan is a community's 20-year projection of its vision, or a blueprint for what the community would like to become. Most local governments are required by the State, via the Growth Management Act, to adopt a Comprehensive Plan as a way to logically plan for and manage growth over a 20-year horizon. Comprehensive Plans are drafted by a Planning Commission formed of appointed residents with an interest in planning, with assistance from the planning staff. Public officials such as City Councils or County Commissions adopt the final plan. The plan identifies community interests through a public and political process. Mandatory elements of the Comprehensive Plan include: Land Use, Housing, Capital Facilities Planning, Utilities, Rural Areas, Transportation, Parks and Recreation and Economic Development. All of these elements are combined to provide a well-balanced and livable city.

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Conditional Use Permit

A Conditional Use Permit is a process to allow certain uses in districts from which they are normally prohibited.

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Determination of Non-Significance (DNS)

A Determination of Non-Significance is the written decision by the Environmental Review Committee stating that a project will have no significant environmental impacts

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Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (DNS-M)

A Determination of Non-Significance - Mitigated is the written decision by the Environmental Review Committee stating a project will have limited environmental impacts and measures need to be taken to reduce these impacts.

Determination of Significance (DS)

A Determination of Significance is the written decision by the Environmental Review Committee stating that there are significant environmental impacts caused by a project and an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

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Development Regulations

Development Regulations are standards established by the City for zoning and processes by which zoning is implemented. These regulations limit the size, bulk or conditions of particular types of buildings or uses located within any designated district. Development regulations also include associated actions with development such as landscaping, parking, signs, etc.

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Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

An Environmental Impact Statement, created under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a statement on the effect of development proposals and other major actions that significantly affect the environment. An EIS is composed of a comprehensive report that describes the natural features and characteristics of a proposed development site and the changes that will occur as a result of the proposed development. It also addresses activities on the site, the anticipated environmental impacts, consequences of the proposed development and the mitigation measures to be taken to minimize undesirable impacts to the environment.

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Environmental Review (SEPA)

Environmental Review is a process in which environmental impacts of a proposal are reviewed in order to identify measures to reduce or eliminate those impacts. During this review process, environmental values are considered as well as technical and economic considerations. An Environmental Review Committee has been designated by the City of Renton to review projects with potential environmental impacts.

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Final Plat

A Final Plat is the final drawing of a subdivision and dedication of land prepared for recording with the King County Auditor and containing all elements and requirements outlined in the City of Renton Development Regulations.

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Growth Management Act (GMA)

The Growth Management Act was adopted in 1990 to address rapid growth in Washington State. Growth occurring in the mid to late-1980s in the Puget Sound area put a strain on roads, utilities and public services. Populations were moving farther away from employment centers resulting in the conversion of rural areas and suburban sprawl. In the late 1980s, a Growth Strategies Commission was formed to devise a plan to manage this sprawl. The committee drafted a strategy, which required counties and cities to use state guidelines to develop a Comprehensive Plan to accommodate 20-years of future growth. Cities and counties were also required to revise and adopt development regulations as a foundation from which land use decisions would be made. The goals of growth management planning include encouraging urban growth, reducing sprawl, active citizen participation and promoting economic development.

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Lot Line Adjustment

A Lot Line Adjustment is a minor adjustment of a boundary line in order to transfer land between adjacent property owners. Lot Line Adjustments must not result in a new building lot or create a lot which is non-conforming to the requirements of the Subdivision or Zoning Ordinance.

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Preliminary Plat

A Preliminary Plat is a drawing of a proposed division of land into 10 or more individual lots showing the general layout of the streets and alleys, lots, blocks and other elements of a subdivision consistent with the requirements of the City's Subdivision Regulations. The Preliminary Plat shall be the basis for the approval or disapproval of the general layout of a subdivision.

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Shoreline Management Act (SMA)

The Shoreline Management Act was adopted by Washington State in 1971, as Washington's shorelines were increasingly being developed in an uncoordinated and piecemeal way. The purpose of the SMA is to protect and restore the resources of shorelines in Washington. Rapid development threatened the valuable ecological resources and natural character along Washington's shorelines. The SMA contains three basic policy areas: shoreline preferred uses, environmental protection, and public trust. These policies provide a framework for preferred water dependent uses, protection of the shorelines and preservation of the public's right of access to and use of the shorelines. Under the SMA, local governments are required to prepare a Shoreline Master Program. The City of Renton Shoreline Master Program contains goals and policies for shoreline development and preservation based on the Shoreline Management Act.

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Short Plat

A Short Plat is the division of land into 9 or less lots, tracts, parcels, sites, or divisions for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership.

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Site Plan Review

Site Plan Review is a process to assure the physical elements of a proposed use are compatible with both the physical characteristics of the site, and with the existing and potential uses of the surrounding area.

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A Variance is a means by which citizens may be granted relief from the strict application of the provisions of certain land use regulations. The process is intended to review situations where uniform requirements would unduly burden one property more than other properties in the vicinity.

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