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(1) Each department that receives an application for a license or, in the case of governmental proposals, the department initiating the proposal shall determine whether the license and/or the proposal is exempt. The department’s determination that a proposal is exempt shall be final and not subject to administrative review. If a proposal is exempt, the procedural requirements of this chapter shall not apply. The county shall not require completion of an environmental checklist for an exempt action.

(2) In determining whether or not a proposal is exempt, the department shall make certain the proposal is properly defined (WAC 197-11-060) and shall identify the governmental licenses required. If a proposal includes exempt and nonexempt actions, the department shall determine the lead agency, even if the license application that triggers the department’s consideration is exempt.

(3) If a proposal includes both exempt and nonexempt actions, the county may authorize exempt actions prior to compliance with the procedural requirements of this chapter, except that:

(a) The county shall not give authorization for:

(i) any nonexempt action;

(ii) any action that would have an adverse environmental impact; or

(iii) any action that would limit the choice of reasonable alternatives;

(b) A department may withhold approval of an exempt action linked to a nonexempt action that would lead to modification of the physical environment, when such modification would have no purpose if nonexempt action(s) were not approved; and

(c) A department may withhold approval of exempt actions linked to a nonexempt action that would lead to substantial financial expenditures by a private applicant when the expenditures would serve no purpose if nonexempt action(s) were not approved. (Added by Amended Ord. 02-064, Dec. 9, 2002, Eff date Feb. 1, 2003).