Community Development


Long-Range Planning
Comprehensive Plan
Unified Development Code (UDC)
Permit Information & Application Forms
Permit Database Search & Map Tools

  621 Sheridan Street
Port Townsend,
WA 98368

  Phone: 360.379.4450
Fax: 360.379.4451

  Monday - Thursday
9:00 to 4:30

Fridays, Weekends & Holidays Closed

Page created: 8/12/2010  Page Updated:


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New Items



SquareONE Grand Opening!

Join us in celebrating the new name of our resource center and an improved approach to customer service.  The idea behind SquareONE is to provide tools and services that encourage people to start talking to DCD early on as a ‘first stop’ for any development  project - learn about requirements, options, application paperwork, and help the permitting process go more efficiently.  A series of grand opening events was held February 18 – 22, 2014 including presentations, tours and an open house on Friday, February 21 from 9 am to 12 pm.  Learn more at the SquareONE webpage.


Castle Hill LID Garden - Nearly Complete

Grant funds have allowed rain gardens, permeable pathways, native vegetation landscaping, benches, and parking space wheel stops  to be installed.  Final steps include fixing an unanticipated drainage failure of the south swale, final planting, donations for site structures and pervious pavement, and informational signage.  Here are two temporary signs posted on-site for more info.


"How To" Handouts

Three new help documents are now available to assist  our customers to use the online resources available, including locating parcel data for your property, checking the status of your permit, and learning more about low impact development methods for managing rainwater runoff.  Learn more below.


Volunteer at the Watershed Stewardship Resource Center!


The Watershed Stewardship Resource Center is seeking friendly volunteers that are interested in learning about and sharing how low impact and sustainable development can better protect our local natural resources.  Details and Application.



Resource Center


WSRC Rain Garden Work Party

An exciting volunteer event is coming up next Saturday, September 21, 10 am – 2 pm.  A new demonstration garden is underway near the County’s offices at Castle Hill Mall, which will feature rain gardens, native plants, and drought-tolerant plants.  You’re invited to help plant them!

Please forward this e-mail to your gardening friends to spread the word.  Bring your shovels, boots, gloves, and dress for the weather.  We’ll be planting, rain or shine! 

Call for Bids

With the final design complete and the full package of plans and specs ready to go, we're excited to invite qualified contractors to bid on the installation and construction of our LID Demonstration Garden. 


Note:  the due date has been extended and the project substantially modified. Prospective bidders can download key documents here


"How To" Handouts

Three new help documents are now available to help our customers use the online resources available, including locating parcel data for your property, checking the status of your permit, and learning more about low impact development (LID) methods for managing rainwater runoff.  These are available as reference documents at each of the public research computer stations in our Resource Center and available online here:

Special thanks to our Resource Center Volunteers Kate Harper and David Heid for preparing these great educational tools!


Also available is a handout previously prepared for a workshop focused on agricultural lands, but is applicable no matter what the zoning designation.  Learn how to navigate the online mapping system and related database tools to learn more about any property in Jefferson County:


Friendly Volunteer Greeters Needed (6/2012)

The Resource Center needs volunteer greeters to provide a friendly welcome to customers and help connect them to brochures, handouts and other available information. No experience is needed and some training will be provided.  Learn more about local natural resources and how low impact methods and sustainable development techniques can help protect them.


Applications are now being accepted for the Volunteer Greeter Program:

Morning, mid-day and afternoon shifts are are now being filled.

Castle Hill LID Demonstration Garden Final Design

Soon to occupy the grassy lot across the parking lot from our Resource Center here at the Castle Hill QFC Shopping Center, we now have a final design (3 MB) for our LID Demonstration Garden!  We're currently translating the design in to a set of construction documents to ensure every component gets built just right - including the rain gardens, permeable pavement pathways, sidewalks and gathering areas, green roof entrance kiosk, rainwater collection arbor and cistern, ecoturf and native vegetation landscaping, and more.  Stay tuned for news of when we'll go to bid for installation this spring and opportunities for volunteering to help make this beautiful new learning site a success.


2012 Home Improvement Guide (3/2012)

Did you see us mentioned on pages 30 and 37 of the special supplement to the March 21, 2012 Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader newspaper?  Pick up a copy today at the Resource Center or view a summary page below:

Development Professionals Invited to Join Rosters (2/2012)  Over the next 18 months, there will be numerous ways for a variety of professionals to get actively involved in the project, including volunteer and paid opportunities.  The County's small works, vendor, and consultant services rosters will help identify professionals to be contacted about upcoming mini-grant award, workshop, stakeholder focus group, demonstration site, video tour, marketing, education and outreach, and resource center greeter opportunities.  Learn more in this press release that was published in the 3/21/12 Leader.


Educational Art Posters Are Up (11/2011)

Come see the set of beautiful and informational posters now on display in the Resource Center (photo 1; photo 2; photo 3) featuring: Rain Gardens; Low Impact Living; Puget Sound Hedgerows; Soft Shore Stabilization; Love Your Stream; and Urban Wildlife.  There are even take-home versions of two of them and plenty of brochures with similar and related information.


Staff & Volunteers (8/2011)

The Department of Community Development hired Assistant Planner Shannon Glass as our new Coach for the resource center.  She started in February bringing her background and expertise in horticulture, garden design & installation, green roofs, and landscape architecture.  Shannon joins Assistant Planner Colleen Zmolek and other DCD staff to provide a daily Coaching Services Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am to noon, and Wednesday 1:30 - 4:30 pm.


We're also working towards having staff and volunteers share the role of Receptionist/Greeter to welcome customers to the resource center and provide assistance with the resources provided.  Stay tuned for volunteer recruitment announcements or contact us to join the email list.


Open for Business with a New Look! (8/2011)

Remodeling construction was completed in February and in March, Shannon used her eye for design to arrange furniture and reconfigure this new customer service area.  We now offer a bookshelf of reference materials, two large study tables, two computer research desks – a GIS Mapping Station and an LID Learning Station – along with a rack full of brochures & handouts.  Both computer stations play a slideshow of LID and green building images and have dozens of pertinent websites and digital resources bookmarked to assist online research efforts.  We’ve also gathered a collection of educational posters that are both beautiful and full of useful information.  Topics include:

  • Rain Gardens – planted depressions designed to absorb stormwater from rooftops, driveways and more;

  • Low Impact Living - ideas for ‘water smart’ neighborhoods;

  • Puget Sound Hedgerows – living fences for fish & wildlife habitat (buffers);

  • Soft Shore Stabilization – the natural alternative to bulkheads for erosion protection;

  • Love Your Stream for families living alongside creeks, rivers and wetlands; and

  • Urban Wildlife - for backyard stewardship projects

It’s still a work in progress but the resource center is open for business (see the flyer).  We invite and encourage you to stop by to check it out!

Policy Analysis


The grant project will include stakeholder focus groups to evaluate existing policies and permit processes to create a user-friendly flowchart and identify other possible improvements. 


Land Use Focus Groups (4/2012)

Are you a land use development professional with project experience working with our Department of Community Development?  We're seeking permit applicants, contractors, architects, engineers and others to provide feedback on what barriers and benefits exist for opting to incorporate environmental protection features into project design and construction.  Stakeholder focus groups will meet for facilitated roundtable discussions this Spring.


A work group will then use the feedback to help create tools to help applicants more easily navigate the permitting process, and make suggestions to change polices, regulations and the permit review process to support more use of low impact development and other sustainable development practices.  See the recent ad from the Leader newspaper and the recruitment letter.  To get involved contact us at


Workshops & Demonstration Sites


Free LID Workshop

When:            Thursday, May 2, 2013

1:00 to 4:45pm  

Where:            Port Ludlow Conference Center

                    200 Olympic Pl, Port Ludlow, WA

Save your space today! RSVP to or call 360/379-5610 x222. This event is free and open to the public.  Informational Flyer

Description:  We'll be taking an in-depth look at a case study retrofitting rain gardens/bioretention into an existing neighborhood in Port Angeles.  We’ll also have staff from the Washington Stormwater Center explain the guidelines and regulations in various jurisdictions and we’ll also discuss permeable pavement.  WSU Professor James Freed and Shannon Glass from the Watershed Stewardship Resource Center will talk about site planning – especially in rural, forested settings.   

This workshop is designed for those who are or would like to work in the field of LID (including rain gardens) but is open to everyone interested in these important issues.

The workshop will feature Jonathan Boehme, a Professional Engineer and the Project Manager for the 4th Street Stormwater Project in Port Angeles.  He will present a case study of the 4th Street Project, where rain gardens and LID best management practices are being retrofitted into the Crown Park neighborhood to provide water quality improvements and flow attenuation.  He will present the design alternatives studied and lessons learned about rain garden placement in an established neighborhood.  

There will also be a presentation from the Washington Stormwater Center on the various new LID guidelines and regulations and how and when they apply.  This is especially important if those working in various cities and counties. This will be followed by the benefits and ways to use LID techniques in rural areas featuring experts from WSU Extension and the Jefferson County Watershed Stewardship Resource Center. 

Another Free Buffer Workshop

Do you live on a shoreline, near a bluff, adjacent to a wetland or creek, or over an aquifer?  If so, you probably live on some of the most wild and beautiful land in Jefferson County.  Come to a free workshop called “Living on the Edge – Protection for People, Property, and Habitat” to learn about ways to care for and protect these special places.

When:            Thursday, April 4, 2013


Presentations will be followed by a fieldtrip to local sites

Where:           Port Ludlow Community Center,200 Olympic Place, Port Ludlow

Save your space today! Email or call 360/379-5610 x222.

Hosted by WSU Jefferson County Extension, the Jefferson County Weed Board and the Watershed Stewardship Resource Center.  See the flyer here.

More:  This is the third in a series of three buffer workshops.  You will learn about different types of critical areas and how to best manage the buffers around them at this workshop.  Topics covered include how to use your buffer area without harming it or yourself, the role of native plants, tips on removing noxious weeds, how to enhance or restore a buffer, how to encourage birds and wildlife, and what resources are available to homeowners.  

"Critical Areas" like wetlands, streams or bluffs, have important functions in nature; filtering and cleaning water, delivering sand to the beach, providing fish and wildlife habitat, or supplying our drinking water.  Some areas may pose a potential danger including flooded creeks, eroding bluffs, and slopes prone to landslides.  Areas called "buffers" are designated to ensure everyone's safety, protect property from damage, and to keep these important places healthy.  Buffers can be enjoyed, maintained, and even enhanced by the people who own them for better function, property values and aesthetics.  This event is open to the public. Hope to see you there!


Free LID Workshop for Building Trades

You are invited a free workshop on Low Impact Development, specially designed for builders, realtors, landscape designers and contractors, engineers, architects, general contractors, paving contractors, designers, excavators, and septic designers and installers and others involved in the building trade.  This workshop is hosted by our project partner WSU Extention.  Join the growing number of building professionals providing Low Impact Development options to your clients!  

When:         Friday, March 1st, 2013

1:00pm – 4:30, includes field trip to local LID installations

Where:   Tri Area Community Center, 10 W Valley Rd. Chimacum 

Save your space today! Email or call 360/379-5610 x222. 

What You Will Learn at the workshop:  The workshop will begin with an overview of Low Impact Development techniques related to stormwater presented by Shannon Glass of the Watershed Stewardship Resource Center.  The techniques include:

  • bioretention

  • rain gardens

  • permeable pavement

  • rainwater collection and reuse

  • vegetated roofs

  • minimal excavation foundations

Local landscaper Richard Hefley will discuss protecting trees before, during and after construction. This will be followed by a lively panel discussion that includes representatives from Jefferson County, the City of Port Townsend, the Jefferson County Builder's Association, Port Ludlow Associates, and professionals with LID training from the landscaping and design and architectural professionals.  These local professionals will share their practical experience using LID techniques and the agency staff will provide an update on recent and upcoming regulations. The workshop will end with a field trip to view several local LID installations.


About LID: Low Impact Development, or LID techniques imitate the natural movement of water using rain gardens, permeable pavement or rainwater catchment and other tools.  New research is leading to new smarter solutions to dealing with rain runoff.  Regulations and customer demand is following and LID is coming to a neighborhood near you – very soon. Everyone dealing with rain runoff on a building site will want to join the emerging field of LID. 

Please bring your knowledge and your questions and join the growing LID conversation.

LID Technical Workshop Series - Washington Stormwater Center at Puyallup

For those wanting more LID education, registration will open February 19 for the Washington State University (WSU) Low Impact Development (LID) Technical Workshop Series.  This series of workshops provides the latest design guidelines, science, construction details, and practical experience necessary to properly design, build and maintain LID practices. All classes will be located at the WSU LID research facility in Puyallup, which offers extensive examples of permeable paving and bioretention, as well hands-on learning opportunities. Instructors of the four, two-day workshops are regional experts.

Engineers, planners, landscape architects, local jurisdiction staff, and others that plan, design, review, build and maintain LID projects should attend. Dates and topics for the 2013 workshops are:  Bioretention April 9-10; Permeable Paving April 23-24; Green Roof, Low Impact Foundations & Rain Water Collection May 7-8; Site Planning, Plan Review, and Inspection May 21-22. Preregistration is required.  The registration fee is $175 per workshop or $700 for all four workshops.  For more information and to register online visit: 

Free LID Workshop for Homeowners

In partnership with WSU Extension, here is a great learning opportunity:

Date:              Thursday, November 1, 2012 

Time:             12:30 - 4:00 pm 

Location:      Jefferson County Library

620 Cedar St., Port Hadlock

The focus of this free workshop is dealing with your property's stormwater runoff using low impact development (LID) techniques that imitate the natural movement of water such as rain gardens, permeable pavement or rain barrels/water catchment and other tools.

Workshop includes a classroom session with local experts from 12:30pm – 2:45pm followed by a field trip to see local examples (carpooling encouraged).  Note:  Bring your raincoat/umbrella.  Hopefully it will rain for a better educational experience... Really!

After a presentation on various LID techniques we will be heading out for a demonstration of pervious concrete and to view a couple of rain garden installations

There are spots still available at the workshop. To RSVP email: or call 360/379-5610 x222.  Learn more on the WSU Extension website.


Public Input for Resource Center Demo Garden (7/2012)

We're planning a low impact development demonstration garden at the Castle Hill Mall in Port Townsend that will feature rain gardens, permeable pavement, drought-tolerant and native plants, and other simple, effective ways to improve landscapes and reduce polluted runoff. 


Citizens who attended a recent Open House learned more about the garden, reviewed 'concept boards' and group notes from a mini-charrette event with staff and project partners, and shared design ideas and suggestions.  LID Precedent Studies for similar projects were on display to help provide context to the design process. 


Continued public input is encouraged during the current design phase. Open House materials and a comment form are below:

South County Demo Site Applications in Review


In partnership with our local WSU Extension, we're seeking a location and community support for establishing a low impact development (LID) demonstration garden somewhere in Southeast Jefferson County.  The site is envisioned to showcase stormwater management alternatives such as rain gardens, permeable pavement, green roofs, drought-tolerant and native plants, rain collection & reuse systems, and other sustainable development practices.  The idea is to have a public location where property owners and development professionals can see in person what these materials and installation techinques look like and how they function. 


Read more in this press release and at the WSU Extension - Jefferson County website.  Applications received in June are now being considered for selection.


Free LID Training for Local Development Professionals (3/2012)

Local development professionals are again invited to apply for the second round of mini-grants to attend the LID Technical Workshop Series at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center. Instructors of the four, two-day workshops are regional experts and classes will be located at the new WSU LID research facility that offers extensive examples of permeable paving and bioretention, as well hands-on learning opportunities.  These workshops will provide the latest design guidelines, science, construction details, and practical experience necessary to properly design, build and maintain LID practices: Bioretention/Rain Gardens, Permeable Paving, Green Roof, Low Impact Foundations and Rainwater Collection, Site planning, and Temporary Erosion and Sediment Control.  Learn more at WSU Extension Jefferson County website Application deadline extended to March 23, 2012; workshops are in April - May 2012.


LID Technical Workshops (8/2011)

Because a main focus of the WSRC project is to promote the use of low impact development (LID) for stormwater management, the work plan includes raising the technical knowledge of local professionals.  During May & June, nine of us attended the LID Technical Workshop Series provided by the experts at WSU Puyallup.  Through a ‘mini grant’ program, we selected six development professionals as Peer Leaders to join three of us on staff in attending four intensive two-day workshops about 1) Bioretention, 2) Permeable Paving, 3) LID for Buildings: Green Roofs, Cisterns & Pin Foundations, and 4) Site Planning, Temporary Sediment & Erosion Control, Plan Review & Inspection. Most of us also opted to pursue the LID Certificate Program.  After attending a few supplemental lectures and completing 5 tests we’re eagerly awaiting the results to see if we passed.  What this means is that the resource center can offer greater technical assistance to customers who want to explore LID options and help connect them to engineers, architects, designers, arborists and construction managers who are trained LID providers.  Our LID Professional Peer Leader volunteers will also assist us in providing local LID workshops for other development professionals and interested citizens.


LID Demonstration Gardens (8/2011)

Another key component of the WSRC project is to provide demonstration sites to showcase LID techniques and materials.  We’re making use of Shannon’s background in landscape architecture, garden design, and horticulture to begin preliminary site analysis and design work on the demo garden that will be located here at our Castle Hill Campus.  Two locations at this site are being considered and we look forward to sharing our ideas soon.  WSU Jefferson County and Clallam Conservation District will lead the efforts to create two more demo gardens in South Jefferson County and in Sequim.


Free LID Training for Professionals (4/2011)

Become a Peer Leader in Low Impact Development! Local development professionals are invited to apply for a mini-grant to attend the LID Technical Workshop Series at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center. Instructors of the four, two-day workshops are regional experts, and this year all classes will be located at the new WSU LID research facility that offers extensive examples of permeable paving and bioretention, as well hands-on learning opportunities.  These workshops will provide the latest design guidelines, science, construction details, and practical experience necessary to properly design, build and maintain LID practices:


Workshop Topic

May 3 - 4 Bioretention
May 17 - 18 Permeable Paving
May 31 -  June 1 Green Roof, Low Impact Foundations & Rainwater Collection
June 14-15 Site Planning, TESC, Plan Review, and Inspection

The mini-grants are funded as a component of the EPA grant awarded to the Jefferson County Department of Community Development.  The WSRC will award up to 15 mini-grants to local professionals to cover the registration cost of attending the LID Workshop Series ($440 value) and help offset some of the mileage costs for travel.  Engineers, planners, landscape architects, and allied disciplines that plan, design, build and maintain development projects are encouraged to apply.  Attendees are eligible for CEU’s and LID Certification. 

Code Revisions


The grant project will include a stakeholder focus group to help prepare development code revisions that will simplify and streamline the process for landowners who choose to implement 'eco-friendly' development practices.  A special focus will be on low impact development techniques for stormwater management, critical area buffer optimization and vegetation management.  Stay tuned for more details on this component...

Grant Info & Records

EPA Grant Received (7/2010)

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Jefferson County three years of federal grant funds to create the Watershed Stewardship Resource Center (WSRC).  The WSRC concept includes a new customer service desk that will provide educational information, staff consultation, and permit application assistance to land owners, developers, builders, realtors and interested citizens alike.  Proposed to be an optional 'one stop shop', the watershed center will promote low impact development as a voluntary solution to stormwater management and environmental protection requirements (such as shorelines and critical areas).  The program will help customers through the design and permitting phases of property development.  Many community partner organizations will be involved.  Read a descriptive memo along with the work plan and related materials here.

As the project gets up-and-running, more information will be made available online.  Stay tuned... and check this webpage often.

Project File (8/2010)

Documents in the public record are available via the Laserfiche WebLink under "Permits - Watershed Stewardship Resource Center".  A few tips for accessing public records:

  • The "2970 Index" is a table of contents with the title and description of each document in numerical order by file number.
  • The Index is updated each time new documents are added to the record - so view the list with the most current date. 
  • Documents are listed in Laserfiche by date, with files named by date "yyyy_ddmm" and file number "2970-xxxx".

NOTE:  New documents are frequently added to Laserfiche - check back often.  Webpage date does not reflect public record date.

More Information

If you have any questions or you need assistance in locating information, contact the WSRC:

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