This section shall establish the procedures for processing requests to vacate city-owned streets and alleys in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 35.79 RCW, Streets – Vacation.
A. The owners of property abutting a street or alley may submit a petition to the city clerk requesting that some or all of a street or alley be vacated. In addition, the city council may initiate a vacation proposal.
1. Petitions must be signed by the owners of more than two-thirds of the property abutting upon the part of such street or alley sought to be vacated.
B. The city council shall set by resolution, the date and time for a public hearing on the proposed vacation.
1. This hearing shall occur no more than sixty days and no less than twenty days after the date of the passage of such resolution.
C. This notice of public hearing shall:
1. Be posted in three of the most public places in the city and in at least one conspicuous place on the street or alley sought to be vacated.
2. Be mailed at least fifteen days before the date of the hearing to the owners of all lots, tracts, or parcels of land abutting the street or alley proposed to be vacated.
D. If fifty percent of the abutting property owners file a written objection to the proposed vacation with the city clerk prior to the time of hearing, the city shall be prohibited from proceeding with the proposed vacation.
E. The required public hearing shall be conducted before the city council and shall include:
1. The presentation of a staff report that describes the proposed vacation and that addresses such considerations as:
a. The need for the proposed vacation.
b. The current use of the street or alley.
c. Easements within the right-of-way.
d. Whether the proposed vacation is consistent with the goals and policies of the comprehensive plan.
e. Whether the street or alley abuts a body of water (See RCW 35.79.035).
f. The impact of the proposed vacation on neighboring properties.
g. Potential environmental impacts.
h. Potential impacts on the public health, safety, and welfare.
i. The public benefit of the proposed vacation.
j. The recommended methodology for determining the value of the street or alley to be vacated.
2. An opportunity for the proponent of the proposed vacation to speak.
3. An opportunity for interested parties to speak.
4. Closing comments.
F. Following the public hearing, the city council shall determine whether to proceed with the vacation as proposed, to modify the proposal, or to deny the requested vacation.
G. If the city council decides to proceed with a vacation, the city staff shall prepare an ordinance to vacate the street or alley; provided, that:
1. The owner(s) of the property abutting the street or alley to be vacated shall pay to the city an amount not to exceed one-half of the full appraised or assessed value of the area to be vacated as determined by the city.
a. If the street or alley has been part of a dedicated public right-of-way for twenty-five years or more, or if the subject property or portions thereof were acquired at public expense, the city may require the owners of the property abutting the street or alley to compensate the city in an amount that does not exceed the full appraised or assessed value of the area vacated.
2. The city may retain an easement or the right to exercise and grant easements in respect to the vacated land for the construction, repair, and maintenance of public utilities and services.
3. The vacation shall not go into effect until the required fees and charges have been paid and the city is reimbursed for all costs incurred in processing the proposed vacation.
H. A certified copy of the ordinance shall be filed with the county assessor and recorded with the county auditor.
I. One-half of the revenue received by the city as compensation for the area vacated must be dedicated to the acquisition, improvement, development, and related maintenance of public open space or transportation capital projects within the city.