Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Q: I would like to have my property re-zoned to business zoning.

The house next door has that and I think re-zoning will make my property worth more. I’m really confused about how to do it. I went to the meeting a few weeks ago about the King County Comprehensive Plan and I don’t really understand the process. Do you have any more information?

A:
What was explained at that meeting was the docket system. As I understand it, during the King County Comprehensive Plan up-date process currently underway, you can fill out paperwork, called a docket,which you can find at the County’s web site, or by clicking here. This will allow you to have the County look at your request for a re-zone for no fee. If they tell you that it looks like it would be possible for the re-zone to take place, you may then submit a formal request for a re-zone. That requires a fee of $1,500.
Even if you don’t submit a docket request, you can start with a pre-application meeting with the County. They can tell you if it’s likely that a re-zone can be granted and approximately what the costs will be. The point of the docket system is to save you the fee if the County would not recommend a re-zone for your property.
According to a senior official in the County’s Planning Section, the average re-zone costs about $10,000, plus $140.00/hour for review time. It could cost a great deal more but they recommend that you plan on the $10,000+ as a minimum. If the property has critical areas (streams, ponds, steep slopes, etc) it will take longer and be more expensive.
A re-zone also requires a public hearing and public notice to every property owner within a 500’ radius of your property. The public has the right to comment on the re-zone, and the County reserves the right to deny your request. To learn more go to: www.metrokc.gov/permits/info/landuse/rezone.aspx for details.