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(1) Each department within the town that receives an application for a license or, in the case of governmental proposals, the department initiating the proposal, shall determine whether the license, permit and/or proposal is exempt. The department’s determination that a proposal is exempt shall be final and is not subject to administrative review. If a proposal is exempt, none of the procedural requirements of this chapter apply to the proposal. The town shall not require completion of an environmental checklist for an exempt proposal.

(2) In determining whether or not a proposal is exempt, the department shall make certain that the proposal is properly defined and shall identify the governmental licenses required (WAC 197-11-070). If a proposal includes exempt and non-exempt 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 town may authorize exempt actions prior to compliance with the procedural requirements of this chapter, except that:

(a) The town 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 alternatives.

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

(c) A department may withhold approval of exempt actions that would lead to substantial financial expenditures by a private applicant when the expenditures would serve no purpose if the nonexempt actions were not approved.

The town will normally identify whether an action is categorically exempt within 30 days of receiving a completed application. The responsible official shall certify when an application is complete based upon review of the environmental checklist, or for project permit applications, based on the requirements for a complete application set forth in the town’s code for each permit type. If additional information is required to supplement the checklist, the application shall not be certified complete until the required information is received by the superintendent. (Ord. 581 § 2, 2016)