(1) Any person who owns or is in possession of any property, use, process or equipment from which sound can emanate may apply to the administrator for a Modified Standards Permit (MSP) to provide relief from the requirements of SCC 10.01.030 or rules or regulations adopted under SCC 10.01.030 governing the quality, nature, duration or extent of discharge of noise. A MSP may apply to all noise sources of a particular class or type. The application shall be accompanied by such information and data as the administrator may require. The administrator has authority to rule on the application, subject to the provisions of this section and to any rules and regulations adopted under this section.
(2) Criteria. The administrator may grant a MSP if the administrator finds that:
(a) The noise occurring or proposed to occur does not endanger public health, welfare, or safety; and
(b) In considering the relative interests of the applicant, other owners or possessors of property likely to be affected by the noise, and the general public the MSP is warranted; and
(c) The MSP, if granted, will further a public interest; and
(d) The applicant demonstrates the requirements for a temporary, technical or economic MSP under subsection (3) of this section are met.
(3) Categories of MSPs.
(a) Temporary. The administrator may grant a temporary MSP, not to exceed 14 days, for any activity, use, process or equipment which the administrator determines is temporary in nature. All such determinations shall be made in accordance with the procedures outlined in subsection (2) of this section.
(b) Technical. The administrator may grant a technical MSP on the ground that there is no practical means known or available for the adequate prevention, abatement or control of the noise involved. The duration of a technical MSP shall be until such practical means for prevention, abatement or control become known or available. A technical MSP shall be subject to the holder’s taking of any alternative measures that the administrator may prescribe. The holder of a technical MSP shall make reports to the administrator on a yearly or more frequent basis, as required by the administrator, detailing actions taken to develop a means of noise control or to reduce the noise involved, and must relate these actions to pertinent current technology.
(c) Economic. The administrator may grant an economic MSP on the ground that compliance with the particular requirement or requirements for which the MSP is sought will require the taking of measures which, because of their extent or cost, must be spread over a period of time. The duration of the MSP shall be for a period not to exceed such reasonable time as is required, in the view of the administrator, for the taking of the necessary measures. An economic MSP shall contain a timetable for the taking of action in an expeditious manner and shall be conditioned on the applicant’s adherence to the timetable.
(4) Application Fee. Application for a MSP or for renewal of a MSP shall be accompanied by payment of a nonrefundable fee as follows:
(a) Temporary MSP $100.00
(b) Technical or economic MSP $250.00
In addition to this nonrefundable fee, applicants for technical or economic MSPs shall pay all additional costs not covered by the fee. Such costs include, but are not limited to:
(i) Consultant charges for acoustical or economic studies;
(ii) Field inspections;
(iii) All hearing costs;
(iv) Any time in excess of five hours required to review the original application. All such charges shall be based upon actual costs paid by the county when an outside contractor is used to perform the work. When the work is performed by county staff the charge shall be $40/hour.
(5) MSP not Held as a Right. A MSP or its renewal shall not be a right of the applicant or holder of the MSP or renewal, but shall be at the reasonable discretion of the administrator. The administrator shall retain jurisdiction over all MSPs. Upon a petition for review being filed by any person affected by a MSP or by any public official, the administrator may, in his/her discretion, call an administrative conference for the purpose of reviewing that MSP. Procedures governing such administrative conferences shall be in accordance with subsection (6) of this section. Upon accepting a petition for review the administrator may, for good cause shown, temporarily stay the force and effect of all or any part of the MSP until the review is finally adjudicated. The administrator may reaffirm, modify or rescind all or any part of the MSP being reviewed, provided that permanent modifications or rescission may only take place following an administrative conference.
(6) Administrative Procedures.
(a) The administrator shall adopt rules and regulations governing the application for and granting of MSPs, including provision for notice and/or administrative conferences. The administrator shall have authority to:
(i) Receive and examine available information,
(ii) Make decisions,
(iii) At his/her discretion, hold administrative conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues,
(iv) Dispose of procedural requests or similar matters, and
(v) Take any action authorized by or necessary to carry out this section.
(b) No technical or economic MSP may be granted without due notice to the public and opportunity to comment. If comments in opposition to the granting of the MSP are received, no technical or economic MSP may be granted until after an administrative conference has been held.
(c) Temporary MSPs may be granted by the administrator upon application.
(d) Notice of a MSP request and/or administrative conference shall be as provided in Section 30.70.045(1), (2) and (3) except that the time and place for the administrative conference shall be set by the administrator and the notices shall be mailed to all property owners and residents within 500 feet of the property line of the lot containing the noise source, provided that if the MSP being requested is related to a mining use or operation the notice shall be provided to all property owners and residents within 1,500 feet. Preparation and mailing of notice to such owners and residents on applications involving repair, replacement, or construction of a public highway shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
The administrator’s decision shall be final and may be appealed in the manner provided in subsection (8) of this section.
(7) Renewal. MSPs, except temporary MSPs, granted under chapter 10.01 may be renewed on terms and conditions and for periods which would be appropriate on the initial granting of a MSP. No renewal of a technical or economic MSP shall be granted except on application made at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the MSP.
(8) Appeals. Any person aggrieved by the denial, granting or the terms and conditions of the grant of a noise MSP by the administrator may appeal such decision to the hearing examiner under the following procedures:
(a) Appeals shall be filed and processed pursuant to the provisions of chapter 2.02 SCC.
(b) At the hearing, the appellant shall have the burden of proof, which burden shall be met by a preponderance of the evidence.
(c) The decision of the examiner shall be final and conclusive with an optional right of reconsideration as provided in SCC 2.02.170 and may then be reviewable by an action for writ of review filed in Snohomish county superior court as provided in chapter 2.02 SCC; except as may be limited by chapters 43.21C RCW, 197-11 WAC and 30.61 SCC.
(9) Suspension of Enforcement Action. An owner or possessor of a pre-existing use or activity for which a MSP has been requested shall be free from enforcement action regarding the noise covered in the MSP application until such time as the MSP has been granted or denied. (Added by Ord. 97-023 § 1, June 4, 1997, Eff date Jan. 1, 1998; Amended by Ord. 99-037 § 3, June 9, 1999, Eff date June 21, 1999; Amended by Ord. 02-098, Dec. 9, 2002, Eff date Feb. 1, 2003; Amended by Amended Ord. 16-029, May 11, 2016, Eff date May 23, 2016).