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A. Rules and Records.

1. The design commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business, subject to the approval of the city council.

2. A majority of the membership shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. Action by the design commission shall be by majority vote of the members constituting the quorum. A tie vote on a motion to approve shall constitute a failure of the motion and a denial of the application.

3. The code official shall serve as executive secretary of the design commission and shall be responsible for all records. All meetings of the design commission shall be open to the public. The design commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings and such minutes and a copy of its rules shall be kept on file in the office of the city clerk and open to inspection by the public.

B. Powers of the Design Commission and Additional Functions.

1. No building permit or other required permit shall be issued by the city for any major new construction or minor exterior modification of any regulated improvement without prior approval of the design commission or code official as authorized pursuant to MICC 19.15.010(C)(4)(a). Certain development and activities that do not require a permit are subject to design review as provided in subsection (C)(1)(c) of this section.

2. The design commission or code official may require a bond or assignment of funds as set out in MICC 19.01.060(C) to secure the installation and maintenance of landscaping, screens, and other similar site improvements.

3. When the city council deems it necessary to retain consultants for a proposed capital improvement, the council shall seek recommendations from the design commission as to the selection of consultants to provide design services.

4. Consultants or city officials charged with the design responsibility for a major capital improvement shall hold preliminary discussions on the proposed project with the design commission to obtain its preliminary recommendations as to aesthetic, environmental and design principles and objectives. In addition, the design commission shall review major capital improvements at the completion of the design development phase. A capital improvement approved by the city council after review and recommendations by the design commission may be implemented on a phasing basis without further review so long as the improvement is developed in substantial conformity with the reviewed plan. Significant deviations from an approved plan shall be submitted to the design commission for its further review and recommendations.

5. The design commission or code official shall complete its review and make its decision and/or recommendations pursuant to the process set forth in subsection C of this section, and the review and decision and/or recommendations shall be based upon the design objectives and standards set forth in subsection C of this section, with such amendments as may be made from time to time.

6. Additional Functions. The design commission may undertake the following additional functions as needed:

a. The design commission may assist any person, group, or agency who requests design advice on matters not requiring formal commission action.

b. The design commission shall consult and cooperate with the planning commission and other governmental bodies on matters affecting the appearance of the Island. The design commission may offer recommendations to the appropriate city agencies and officials on legislation to promote aesthetic and environmental values.

c. The design commission shall act as the appeal authority for design review decisions made by the code official for minor exterior modifications.

C. Design Review Procedure.

1. General.

a. Intent. The intent of the design review process is to ensure that regulated development in all land use zones complies with design objectives and standards established in Chapters 19.11 and 19.12 MICC.

b. Scope. No building permit or other required permit shall be issued by the city for development of any regulated improvement without prior approval of the design commission or code official as authorized pursuant to this chapter. Deviations from a plan approved by the design commission or code official shall be permitted only upon the filing and approval of an amended plan. In no instance shall the design commission’s or code official’s action conflict with the city’s development code or other applicable city ordinances or with state or federal requirements. Certain development and activities that do not require a permit are subject to design review as provided in subsection (C)(1)(c) of this section.

c. Review Authority.

i. The following development proposals shall require design commission review:

(a) New buildings;

(b) Any additions of gross floor area to an existing building(s);

(c) Any alterations to an existing building that will result in a change of 50 percent, or more, of the exterior surface area;

(d) Any alterations to a site, where the alteration will result in a change to the site design that affects more than 50 percent of the development proposal site; and

(e) Any alterations to existing facades, where the building is identified by the city as an historic structure;

ii. All other development proposals requiring design review and not requiring design commission review under subsection (C)(1)(c)(i) of this section shall be reviewed by the code official. The code official shall have the authority to determine that an application normally reviewed by code official shall require design commission review and approval, based on factors such as the scope, location, context, and visibility of the proposed change or modification; and

iii. Exemptions from Design Review. The following activities shall be exempt from either design commission or code official design review:

(a) Any activity which does not require a building permit; or

(b) Interior work that does not alter the exterior of the structure; or

(c) Normal building and site maintenance including repair and replacement that involves no material expansion or material change in design. For example, replacement in kind of roof mounted heating and cooling equipment or ventilation equipment does not require design review.

d. Process.

i. Time Frame and Procedure. Design review shall be conducted in accordance with the timelines and procedures set forth in MICC 19.15.040, Review procedures. Design review is not subject to the one open record hearing requirement or consolidated permit review processing.

ii. Written Recommendations. All decisions of the design commission shall be reduced to writing and shall include findings of fact and conclusions that support the decisions.

2. Review Process.

a. Study Session. In addition to the preapplication meeting, an applicant for a project that will require design review and approval by the design commission shall meet with the design commission in a study session to discuss project concepts before the plans are fully developed. At this session, which will be open to the public, the applicant should provide information regarding its site, the intended mix of uses, and how it will fit into the focus area objectives. The design commission may provide feedback to be considered in the design of the project.

b. Plan Submittal. All materials shall be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to any meeting dates including study sessions, public meetings, and public hearings. The final plans shall be in substantial conformity with approved preliminary plans. (Ord. 19C-21 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. 18C-08 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. 17C-12 § 10; amended during 3/15 supplement; Ord. 11C-04 § 3; Ord. 04C-08 § 4; Ord. 03C-10 § 6; Ord. 03C-06 § 4; Ord. 02C-04 § 4; Ord. 99C-13 § 1. Formerly 19.15.040).