Title 17C Land Use Standards
Chapter 17C.210 Nonconforming Situations
An adult business that does not meet the standards set forth in SMC 17C.305.020(A) through SMC 17C.305.020(C) is a nonconforming adult business use. A nonconforming adult business use may continue to operate for thirty-six months following the effective date of this section in order to make a reasonable recoupment of its investment in its current location, but only if the nonconforming adult business use was lawfully existing in all respects under law prior to the effective date of this section SMC 17C.210.100. At the conclusion of the thirty-six months, such nonconforming adult business use shall be unlawful, unless the nonconforming adult business use applies for and obtains an extension of the thirty-six-month period by clearly demonstrating an extreme economic hardship (“hardship extension”) based upon an irreversible financial investment or commitment made in an arms-length transaction completed prior to the date this section became effective. A demonstration of extreme economic hardship requires the business to show that the subject property cannot be put to any reasonable alternative use. An application for a hardship extension shall be made at least sixty days before the conclusion of the aforementioned thirty-six-month period.
Procedure for seeking hardship extension. An application for a hardship extension shall be filed in writing with the planning director, and shall include evidence of purchase and improvement costs, income earned and lost, depreciation, and costs of relocation. Within ten days after receiving the application, the planning director shall forward the application and attendant materials to the hearing examiner, and shall schedule a public hearing on the application before the hearing examiner, which public hearing shall be conducted within thirty days after the planning director’s receipt of the application. Notice of the time and place of such public hearing shall be published at least ten days before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation published within the city, and shall identify the particular location for which the hardship extension is requested. The planning director may respond in writing to the application, provided that said response is submitted to the hearing examiner at least five days before the hearing. At the hearing, the parties shall have the opportunity to present all relevant arguments and to be represented by counsel, present evidence and witnesses on his or her behalf, and cross-examine any of the other party’s witnesses. The formal rules of evidence shall not apply. The hearing shall take no longer than two days, unless extended at the request of the applicant to meet the requirements of due process and proper administration of justice.
The hearing examiner shall issue a written decision within ten days after the public hearing on the application for a hardship extension. The hardship extension shall be granted only upon the hearing examiner’s determination that the applicant has made the required showing of an extreme economic hardship as required in subsection (A) above, and shall be limited in duration to the shortest time necessary to make a reasonable, though not necessarily complete, recoupment of investment.
Date Passed: Monday, August 25, 2014
Effective Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014
ORD C35136 Section 1