Community Development

Development Review Division (DRD)


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Comprehensive Plan
Unified Development Code (UDC)
Permit Information & Application Forms
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ADDRESS
  621 Sheridan Street
Port Townsend,
WA 98368

PHONE
  Phone: 360.379.4450
Fax: 360.379.4451

HOURS
 

Monday - Thursday
9:00 to 4:30                     

closed 12:00 - 1:00 for lunch

Fridays, Weekends & Holidays:  Closed


 

Page last updated: 2/25/2016

 

Revised Wetland Category Points for 2014

Update to Wetland Rating System

Revised Code Pages

The Development Review Division (DRD) is responsible for reviewing building and land use permit applications for consistency with the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Code (UDC).  Among the types of projects that DRD reviews are building permits, land divisions, zoning issues, current use tax, shoreline permits, stormwater management (clearing & grading), and forest practice conversions (Class IV-General FPA).

DRD planners are assigned to cases involving Land Use Permit Applications.  Project planners are available to answer questions related to your application and will be able to accommodate your request within the time limits presented by their caseloads.

Each day of the week a DRD planner is assigned to be the "Coach of the Day".  The Coach planner is available to answer general questions about permit procedures and pending applications.

"Coach" Schedule: Coaching services are available from 9:00 AM to Noon during the work week, except Wednesdays, when the schedule switches to 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM.  Fridays the office is closed to the public.  The Coach will also respond to phone calls and emails.  See DRD staff list below. 

Pre-Application Conference: For a greater level of detail, a customer may want to or be required to request a Pre-Application Conference (see description and Pre-App. Request Form on the Permit Information & Application Forms page).

For matters related to the Port Ludlow Master Planned Resort, visit the Port Ludlow MPR page.

Development Review Division Staff

Unified Development Code (UDC)

Link to the UDC text, including the 1989 Shoreline Master Program (SMP) currently in effect.  Effective January 16, 2002, the UDC is the set of development regulations that implement the 1998 Comprehensive Plan, as amended.  The UDC provides the performance, use, and development standards by which DRD planners review land use applications.

The UDC also contains Jefferson County's regulatory protections for "critical areas," such as critical aquifer recharge areas, geologically hazardous areas, wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

The SMP implements the Shoreline Management Act in conjunction with the State Department of Ecology.  For more information on shoreline management, visit the Shoreline Management & Planning page.

For more information about how the County development regulations work, read about permit types and review process below, consult the Land Use Permit Information Sheets, and visit the websites linked from the Web Links page.

UDC Amendments - A link to information on the process for amending the UDC, as coordinated by Long-Range Planning.

Categories of UDC Permit Types

The UDC groups land use permits required by the County into several different permit types for processing, almost all of which utilize the Permit Application. The purpose for requiring a permit to conduct a certain land use is to ensure that the proposed use is compatible with the policies of the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan and the regulations of the UDC.  The Comprehensive Plan and the UDC are accessible from the website and available for review or purchase at the DCD Permit Center in Port Townsend.  A list of the individual permits issued under the UDC is found below.

The Permit Application is required for all permits issued under the UDC, except for Evaluations of Existing Onsite Sewage Systems (EES) that are only for the sale or transfer of property.

Types of Permits

Type I Permit — This is an administrative permit (i.e., approved or denied by the UDC Administrator within DCD).  If the proposal is categorically exempt under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), there is no public notice of the permit application. However, if a Type I permit is not categorically exempt under SEPA, then notice of the application is required and written comments regarding the proposed project from agencies and the public are accepted and considered.  In all cases, there is no public hearing required on the application.  Proposals that include elements within the jurisdiction of other agencies, such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, are forwarded to those agencies for a minimum 14-day comment period.

Type II Permit — This is an administrative permit (i.e., approved or denied by the UDC Administrator within DCD).  Public notice of the application is required and written comments regarding the proposed project are accepted and considered.  There is no public hearing required on these types of applications, except for “C(d)” uses, which may require a public hearing and final decision by the Hearing Examiner, if deemed necessary by the Administrator, or if the Administrator’s final decision on a project application is appealed, in which case a public hearing is held and the final decision is made by the Hearing Examiner.

Type III Permit — This type of permit application is discretionary in nature and requires public notice and a public hearing before the Jefferson County Hearing Examiner.  The Hearing Examiner makes the final permit decision (except for certain types of shoreline permits), unless appealed.  If the project decision is appealed, then a closed-record hearing is held and final decision is made by the Appellate Hearing Examiner.

Type IV Permit — This type of permit application is ministerial in nature and does not require public notice or a public hearing (i.e., final plats).  The final decision is made by the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Type V Permit — This type of permit application is legislative in nature.  It involves review by the Jefferson County Planning Commission, which makes a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.  Public notice and a public hearing are required before the Planning Commission.  The final decision is made by the Board of County Commissioners.

For more information on Type V Permits or legislative actions, visit the Long-Range Planning page.

list of county land use permits by permit type with code reference

Note: The UDC is codified as Title 18 of the Jefferson County Code (JCC).  All previous UDC references (e.g., Section 2 Definitions) are no longer in use.

Type I Permits Refer to:
Septic Permit/Evaluation of Existing System (EES) JCC Section 18.30.040(1) and Title 8, Chapter 8.15
Building/Demolition Permit  JCC Section 18.15.040 and Table 3-1
Allowed "Yes" Use Consistency Analysis JCC Section 18.15.040 and Table 3-1
Home Business Table 3-1 and JCC Section 18.20.200
Stormwater Management JCC Section 18.30.070
Road Access JCC Section 18.30.080
Boundary Line Adjustment JCC Chapter 18.35 Article II
Minor PRRD Amendments JCC Chapter 18.15 Article VI-M
Sign Permit JCC Section 18.30.150
Site Plan Approval Advance Determination (SPAAD) JCC Chapter 18.40 Article VII
Shoreline Master Program Exemption/Permit Revisions JCC Chapter 18.25
Temporary Use (based on use may be Type II or Type III) JCC Sections 18.20.380 and 18.20.390
Type II Permits Refer to:
Discretionary “D” or Unnamed Use Classification JCC Sections 18.15.040(2), 18.15.045 and Table 3-1
Cottage Industry JCC Section 18.20.170 and Table 3-1
Short Plat, Preliminary and Final JCC Chapter 18.35 Article III
Binding Site Plan JCC Chapter 18.35 Article V
Conditional (Administrative) “C(a)” Use JCC Table 3-1 and Chapter 18.40 Article VIII
Conditional (Discretionary) “C(d)” Use JCC Table 3-1 and Chapter 18.40 Article VIII (Discretionary Permit Review Process Determined by Administrator)
Variance, Minor JCC Chapter 18.40 Article IX
Wireless Telecommunication Ordinance 06-0712-99 (UDC Appendix C)
Shoreline Substantial Development (Primary Use) JCC Chapter 18.25
Forest Practices Act/Release of Six-Year Moratorium/Release for Single-Family Residence JCC Section 18.20.160(5)(c)
Appeal JCC Chapter 18.40 Article V and Section 18.40.840 SEPA
Type III Permits Refer to:
Conditional “C” Use JCC Chapter 18.40 Article VIII
Long Plat, Preliminary* JCC Chapter 18.35 Article IV
Planned Rural Residential Development Preliminary Approval (PRRD) and Major Amendments JCC Chapter 18.15 Article VI-M (must be in conjunction with an underlying land division application)
Plat Vacation/Alteration JCC Chapter 18.35 Article I
Variance, Major JCC Chapter 18.40 Article IX
Reasonable Economic Use Variance JCC Section 18.15.220
Wireless Telecommunication Ordinance 06-0712-99 (JCC Chapter 18.42)
Shoreline Management Substantial Development, Secondary Use JCC Chapter 18.25
Shoreline Management Conditional Use JCC Chapter 18.25
Shoreline Management Variance JCC Chapter 18.25
Appeal JCC Chapter 18.40 Article V and Section 18.40.840 SEPA
Type IV Permits Refer to:
Long Plat, Final JCC Chapter 18.35 Article IV
PRRD, Final JCC Chapter 18.15 Article VI-M
Type V Permits Refer to:
Special Use (Essential Public Facilities) JCC Section 18.15.110
Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan/UDC/Land Use District Map Amendment JCC Chapter 18.45
Jefferson County Shoreline Master Program Amendment CC Chapter 18.25

For information on the fees associated with the permits listed above, visit the Permit Information & Application Forms page

Permit Review and Approval Process

All permits, including applications for allowed “Yes” uses such as residential building permits, are subject to a planner-conducted land use analysis that includes review for consistency with UDC development standards, environmentally sensitive areas, and stormwater provisions.

Process by Permit Type

Pre-application conferences with DCD staff are required for all Type II and III permit applications and for certain Type I permits (see the Pre-Application Conference request form) to orient applicants with the provisions, procedures and criteria for permit approval required by the UDC.

After a pre-application conference (if required), and an application and the applicable fees are submitted, DCD has 28 days to determine if the application is substantially complete.  If it is not complete, the applicant has 90 days to provide all the missing information.

Once the application is complete, DCD issues a notice of application (if required) and, following a minimum 14-day public comment period, issues a determination pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).  If a determination of non-significance is issued (DNS), in most cases, public notice of the determination and of the application will be posted on the property, mailed to the adjacent property owners, and published in the newspaper.  If a determination of significance (DS) is issued, the applicant would begin preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  Appeals of SEPA threshold determinations (except for a DS) on most project permits may be made to the Jefferson County Hearing Examiner.  An optional DNS process will be utilized in most cases which allows for early notification of the “likely” SEPA threshold determination to be included with the notice of application.

Generally, DCD has 120 days or less to issue a permit decision once the application has been determined to be complete.  However, this does not include time required for preparation of an EIS, if required, or any period during which the applicant has been requested to provide additional information or if substantial project revisions have been made to the application.

Type I Permit — After the public comment period for applications that involve SEPA review or the agency comment period for proposals that are within the jurisdiction of other agencies, the Administrator determines whether the project is consistent with the criteria for approval and may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application. The Administrator’s action on the permit (except for administrative code interpretations) may only be appealed to Superior Court.

Type II Permit — After the public comment period, the Administrator reviews the proposal and determines whether the project is consistent with the criteria for approval in the UDC and may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application.  For “C(d)” uses, the Administrator will review the potential impacts of the proposal and, upon determining the application to be complete, make a determination as to whether a public hearing should be required on the application.  The Administrator’s final decision on the permit may be appealed to the Jefferson County Hearing Examiner by filing a written appeal and appropriate fee within 14 days of the decision.

Type III Permit — After the public comment period, DCD staff will schedule a public hearing before the Jefferson County Hearing Examiner and prepare a staff report prior to the hearing.  The staff report will analyze whether the proposed project is consistent with the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan and the provisions of the UDC.  At the public hearing, the Hearing Examiner will review the staff report, the applicant’s presentation, and all public comment and testimony.  Within 10 days after the close of the hearing, the Hearing Examiner will determine whether the proposal is consistent with the applicable criteria for approval in the UDC and may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application.  The Hearing Examiner’s final decision on the permit may be appealed by a party of record within 14 days to a Jefferson County Appellate Hearing Examiner by filing a written appeal and appropriate fee.

Type IV Permit — The Board of County Commissioners will determine whether the requirements granted under preliminary plat approval have been satisfied in granting final plat approval.  The Board’s action on the permit may only be appealed to Superior Court.

Type V Permit — With certain limitations, Comprehensive Plan amendments may only be made once a calendar year and must conform to the “docketing” schedule established in Section 9 of the UDC.  Amendments to the UDC itself (if consistent with the Comprehensive Plan) may occur more frequently.  In all cases, a staff report from DCD will be prepared to analyze the proposed amendments for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and the Washington state Growth Management Act.  Staff will schedule a public hearing before the Jefferson County Planning Commission.  Upon the close of the hearing, the Planning Commission will make a recommendation on the proposed amendments to the Board of County Commissioners.  The Board will make the final decision on the proposed amendments.  Appeals of the Board’s decision on Comprehensive Plan or UDC amendments may be made to the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board (WWGMHB).

For more information on Type V Permits or legislative actions, visit the Long-Range Planning page.

 

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