Home & Garden Your purchase needs financing 6 Your garden needs worms 18 Your project needs building codes 24
Supplement to the Feb. 19, 2014 edition of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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2014 Home & Garden ❖ 3
Contents Plan ahead with a lender
Before your hire a contractor, get financing in order.........Page 6
Ready for remodeling
Putting a fresh touch on older homes........................ Pages 8, 10
Market moving upwards
Re-sale housing market is driver..............................Pages 12-13
2014 Home Show
Learn from local businesses, vendors............................. Page 14
Do your maintenance
Prevention is cheaper than cure..................................... Page 15
Technology costs less, saves more............................Pages 16-17
Worm bins work
Turn garbage into ‘gold’ dirt....................................Pages 18-19
How to feed your own garden........................................ Page 21
Be fish friendly
North Olympic Salmon Coalition offers advice................. Page 22
Building Codes for 2014
Index to Advertisers
Ben’s Heating Service................................ 9 Blake Tile & Stone, Inc............................. 13 Blue Heron Construction............................ 3 Bonita’s Four-Legged Friends................... 19 Carl’s Building Supply.............................. 17 Cate Comerford, AIA................................ 21 Chimacum Corner.................................... 17 Coldwell Banker Best Homes..................... 7 Dana Pointe Interiors................................ 3 DM Disposal............................................ 21 Everwarm Hearth & Home....................... 13 First Federal.............................................. 9 Food Co-op............................................. 21 Fox Draperies.......................................... 23 Frameworks............................................ 20 Frederickson Electric............................... 13 G. Little Construction .............................. 11 Grant Steel Buildings................................. 2 Habitat for Humanity EJC........................ 15 Hadlock Building Supply.......................... 40 Henery Do It Best Hardware....................... 9 Homer Smith Insurance............................. 3 Hope Roofing & Construction.................................... 17 Intergrity Homes..................................... 20 JDG Construction..................................... 21 Jefferson County Home Builders Association.................. 39
John L. Scott, Port Ludlow......................... 9 Kitchen & Bath Studio............................. 15 KSI Kelley Shields Inc............................... 17 L.D. Richert Construction........................... 7 Landmark Excavating.............................. 19 Leader Services Directory........................ 38 Lexar Homes........................................... 20 McCrorie Interiors...................................... 5 Olympic Steel.......................................... 19 Peninsula Floors & Furnishings................ 21 Peninsula Paint Co................................... 23 Power Trip Energy Company....................... 2 Printery Communications........................ 23 Purple Spring Horticulture....................... 23 Quality Landscapes................................. 19 Reed Electrical........................................ 23 Schweizer Construction Inc...................... 23 Short’s Family Farm................................. 23 Solar Hot Water....................................... 21 SOS Printing............................................ 15 Stewart Excavating................................. 21 Studio STL............................................... 15 Sunshine Propane................................... 11 Terrapin Architecture.............................. 11 Terry’s Lock & Safe................................... 21 Townsend Bay Property Management, Inc................................ 19 Windermere Port Townsend.................... 13
Start with city, county rules.....................................Pages 24-37
New permit process
Jefferson County makes changes.................................... Page 26
2014 Home & Garden Guide PUBLISHER Scott Wilson
COVER Steve Mullensky
SPECIAL SECTION EDITOR Patrick J. Sullivan
COPY EDITORS Robin Dudley Sherri Reed Sunny Parsons
MARKETING Catherine Brewer Tami Hewitt Dominic Pangelinan DESIGN & LAYOUT Chris Hawley
4 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
CONTACT Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader 226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 ptleader.com
The annual Jefferson County Master Gardeners’ annual Secret Garden Tour showcases gardens in Port Townsend and surrounding areas, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 22, 2014. Here is a scene from HeartSpace home and gardens, a 2013 tour highlight. For Secret Garden Tour information call 379-5610, ext. 211, or view mg.jefferson.wsu.edu. Photo by Patrick J. Sullivan The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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Plan ahead with your lender Before you make an offer or hire a builder, have your financing in order By Patrick J. Sullivan In the real estate industry, the job can’t be started until the paperwork is done. These days, as a buyer or a seller, that means getting your finances in order before any deals are signed or house offers made. “Before you even get out in the marketplace to look, meet with a lender,” said Karen Best, Realtor with Coldwell Banker Best Homes in Port Ludlow. She’s been in the real estate business here since 1992, and is one of the area’s top agents in terms of sales. “No one these days has the desire to buy a house they can’t afford,” Best said of her clientele, who primarily are willing to spend $300,000 and more. But it’s not just about having the money to buy; it’s about having a lender’s pre-approval on your choice of general contractor. Many contractors who were busy here during the 2003-2006 boom may not have had much work since the new construction market collapsed, starting in 2008. Last year, 2013, was the best year since 2007 in many real estate categories and new construction categories. Although the market is picking up, that does not mean the same number of contractors are available for remodels or new construction. CONTRACTORS According to Emily C. Ingram, a mortgage lending professional with experience in Jefferson County, a lender’s contractor approval is key. “As soon as you start thinking about using a particular builder, get them approved with a lender,” Ingram said. “Talk to a lender a year before you think you want to build, and certainly before you buy the property.” A residential mortgage lender offering direct financing to a borrower to build a custom home, or even for a major remodel job, may require pre-approval of the customer’s choice of general contractor. Typically, the lender would check: the contractor’s credit report, the credit
of each owner, references to make sure the builder has experience for the particular project, and whether the person has been building homes the last three or four years. The lender may talk to that contractor’s past customers, suppliers and subcontractors, to see if the business paid on time. “It’s gotten harder, at least I’ve seen it’s gotten harder for builders to meet those requirements set forth, because a lot of them don’t have great credit, and many have not been working much for three or four years,” Ingram said. Residential loans typically work on a draw system. For example, once a home’s site excavation and foundation is done, the lender pays those contractor bills. Then the next section of the project is done, and payment is made. Because the contractor may be paid only once a month, the lender needs to believe the builder has cash assets to continue construction in the case of something unexpected, like a weather delay, for example. “A lender is trying to make sure that the builder is going to be able to complete the job,” Ingram said. Lenders should understand the situation of, say, an experienced homebuilder who built five custom homes in a five-year period, and then worked on six or eight remodels in the more recent three-year period. But a homebuilder who last built a custom home five years ago, and perhaps has been working in a different field since then, may not obtain lending approval. BUYERS The institutions that do still make construction loans generally require a down payment and a reserve fund that stays in place until after the construction loan ends and the project closes. It’s also linked to whether the customer is buying the land or already owns the land. Lenders are more careful, Best said from her real estate perspective, for things such as a buyer’s debt to income ratio. “There still are some fabulous
6 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
The real estate market is picking up in Jefferson County, although new construction is nowhere near the level of eight years ago. In today’s market, heed this good advice: Do not make an offer on a house, or hire a contractor to build a house, without first meeting with a financial lender. File photo by Patrick J. Sullivan
programs for people who don’t have a 20 percent down payment,” Best said, adding that she suggests talking with a Realtor for ideas. Licensing and insurance checks are obvious standards, too. “There is a lot more paperwork these days, but it’s a safeguard for all of us,” said Dana Petrick, in her 18th year of operating Dana Pointe Interiors in Port Ludlow. As a general contractor, she does the paperwork, too. “I’m licensed, bonded and insured, and everybody that works for me has to be licensed, bonded and insured. You should not hire a contractor who isn’t.” Building a home on speculation, a “spec home,” requires a commercial loan, which is business lending. There have not been many spec homes built here in recent years, due to the economy. With so little new construction in Jefferson County over the past five years (down by a third), the real estate market has been focused on resales, Best noted. The resale
market has brought attention to properties with houses, garages, decks, walls and other things built without the proper permits. A seller needs to be aware that a potential buyer may not get a loan for a property that is not compliant with local code. “You’re going to have issues
with your buyer if they are getting a loan,” Best said. “In all cases dealing with real estate, you need to do your homework.” Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader editor Patrick J. Sullivan has been a homeowner in Port Townsend since 1989.
First things first Here are some basic pieces of advice when it comes to preparing a construction project: • Do not buy property until you have a land or lot survey, check zoning and easements, account for wetlands or other sensitive areas, and locate underground utilities that could potentially cross the property and hinder construction. • Check with the Jefferson County Department of Community Development or the
City of Port Townsend development staff to get the permit process off to a good start. Ask first, or potentially pay more later. • Do not hire a general contractor without your lender’s approval of that specific business. Give a lender three finalists to put through a thorough review process. Not all builders may qualify. • Do not hire a general contractor who is not licensed or bonded.
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2014 Home & Garden ❖ 7
Remodeling: More than a trend Clean lines, neutral colors, minimalist designs are in By Alana Linderoth A housing market driven be residential resales rather than new construction means remodeling jobs are keeping many contractors busy. A remodel may be as focused as a kitchen or bathroom, or as allencompassing as turning a dark, 1980s interior into a sweeping example of mid-2000s style. It’s also not as straight forward as building new. “[Remodeling] is a three-legged stool,” said Joe Klinker, owner of Olympic Ridge Inc. custom construction. “There are the homeowner’s wants, what the homeowner can realistically afford, and whether or not the house will sustain the changes.” Realtors will often ask a residential buyer who says they want a newer home to please define what they want. Jefferson County has a lot of homes built from the 1980s until the mid-2000s. “Houses are outdated within five years,” said Karen Best of Coldwell Banker Best Real Estate in Port Ludlow. “There’s always something new,” Best said, from fixtures to colors to cabinet styles. Klinker has been involved in the custom construction industry on the Olympic Peninsula for more than 20 years. This has allowed him to not only observe, but also be a part of, the ever-changing and evolving trends in custom work. Custom remodels currently make up about 60 percent of Klinker’s work. Bathrooms and kitchens are the most targeted areas. “Kitchens are a gathering place and social area, whereas bathrooms are a hiding and private place,” Klinker said. “Both kitchens and bathrooms, however, are some of the most used rooms in a homes and therefore end up being the most popular for remodel.”
Joe Klinker, owner of Olympic Ridge Custom Construction, built this home in Port Ludlow about five years ago and recently remodeled the basement into a small apartment-style design.
Maintaining a unified look and feel in the home is both the major goal and challenge of remodeling for Klinker and his crew. “The challenge of doing remodels is to make it look like it wasn’t remodeled at all, but instead all part of the original design,” Klinker said. RESALE REMODELS Remodeling is a matter of personal choice, combined with the practicality of the existing frame and foundation. As housing sales prices dipped, properties became available and in Port Ludlow, including waterfront homes in the early waves of resort development. Klinker worked on such a home, built in the 1980s, when being a few feet from Puget Sound was still OK. Under current regulations, it would be difficult to get approval to build in that same loca-
8 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
tion, Klinker noted. His task was to revamp almost the entire interior for a more contemporary, light and open design. The original dark, narrow rear entrance now leads to a master bedroom saturated with natural light filtering through the large windows that separate the bedroom from the crisp sea breeze. The whole living area is fresh. It went from a “dark and closed off atmosphere, to a spacious and more modern feel,” Klinker said. Another of Klinker’s recent Port Ludlow projects is a basement remodel at a home he built some years ago. The unfinished basement is more like an apartment now, with a full kitchen, bathroom, office space, guest bedroom and pool table recreation room. FIXTURE TRENDS Dana Petrick of Dana Pointe
There’s nothing like a remodeled dining nook to serve a Port Ludlow waterfront home. Photos by Alana Linderoth
Interiors Inc. is in her 18th year of business in Port Ludlow with a totally renovated showroom and revamped product line. She works with Klinker a lot.
Whether a remodel, addition or new construction, it’s key to “think things through” in advance, she said. New technology applied – Continued on page 10
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– Continued from page 8
to appliances, fixtures and finishings make a general update attractive and efficient. Choices should be made not only with the present in mind, but also the future. So what’s hot this year? “Aged or rustic brass is in and gold tones are coming back,” Petrick said of household fixtures. The National Association of Realtors said the 2014 remodel trends include modernized kitchens, brass accents, updated bathrooms, vibrant colors and sustainable material. The two fairly extensive remodels Klinker recently completed both share some of these current trends. “As far as style, vintage bathrooms with wainscoting and clawfoot tubs won’t be as popular as resort-style bathrooms that feature amenities such as large walk-in showers with multiple shower heads, heated floors or towel racks, and jetted bathtubs,” reported the National Association of Realtors based on the Hanley Wood survey findings. The master bathroom in Klinker’s waterfront job is consistent with the predicted 2014 trend with its walk-in design, dual shower heads and skylights. One trend in countertops, Petrick noted, is toward solid surface quartzite resin products which resist stains and scratches, and now come in more natural colors and
textures. One economical move in a kitchen remodel is to go for a top-end island feature with granite top, and a more economical quartzite countertop bordered with laminate or 24-by-24-inch porcelain tiles. Glass tiles are also popular, in more than just bathrooms. AGING IN PLACE Jefferson County has an older population, and most of the people moving in as buyers (or wanting to build a home) are wisely looking ahead to “aging in place” issues. Main-floor living is a desired feature, with halls and doorways to accommodate mobility issues, and bathrooms with grab bars and step-in or no-step showers. In some cases, remodel jobs are predicated on someone’s elderly parent or other relative moving into the house. “Any time we do a bathroom remodel we always suggest putting support in the wall for when grab bars are needed,” Petrick noted. “It may not be needed now, but it’s a good thing to plan ahead and if nothing else, in this market, it’s going to help with resale.” Alana Linderoth, freelance writer, wishes she had a larger kitchen. Patrick J. Sullivan, Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader editor, contributed to this story, and wishes he had a larger kitchen, too.
Location, location, location – but even a home in a great location may need an interior remodel. Here’s a Port Ludlow home’s view.
“The challenge of doing remodels is to make it look like it wasn’t remodeled at all, but instead all part of the original design.” Joe Klinker Olympic Ridge Custom Construction
It’s all about the paint On the outside, paint is one of the best investments to protect your property. “When you don’t maintain your paint, when you don’t fix your roof, that’s what leads to major deterioration of your structure itself,” said Kevin Coker, president of the Jefferson County Homebuilders Association. On the inside, paint is the most economical way to update and “to be trendy and not be committed,” said Dana Petrick, in her 18th year operating Dana Pointe Interiors in Port Ludlow. The most important thing is to pick colors true to the buyer’s comfort zone, yet still with the times. Color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, according to Pantone, a global authority on color. “The color of the year doesn’t really trickle down for about three years,” Petrick said. “What happens, if you look at the cycle of colors over the years, is a connection to how people feel. Two years ago it was Tangerine Tango; that’s when we were pulling out of recession a bit. Last year was Emerald, again a movement forward
10 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
to luxury and excellence. This year is Radiant Orchid, which is playful, it’s fun, it’s uplifting. Those vibrant colors are a signal of better times.” The paint company Sherman Williams is on a similar path. The company’s 2014 Color of the Year is Excessive Plum. No need to get carried away and make any so-called color of the year the dominant tone. Neutral colors such as ash gray, light blue and off white are classically tasteful with the trendy tones perhaps used as “pop colors” on pillows or accent walls. That way, if the trend passes in a few years, there is no need to repaint the whole room.
According to data compiled by Hanley Wood, 61 percent of remodelers surveyed expect to complete kitchen remodels in 2014. The updated kitchen in this Port Ludlow home follows the trend toward a more modern look, with neutral colors, simple, glossy countertops and minimalist designs.
The daylight basement remodel of a Port Ludlow home included a small, functional bathroom. The emphasis is on the clean, simple lines, with lowprofile hardware, an open, light-colored walk-in shower and heated towel rack. Photos by Alana Linderoth The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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2014 Home & Garden ❖ 11
Market moving upwards
Resales are powering real estate surge, new construction inches ahead By Patrick J. Sullivan The home buying, building and remodel market in Port Townsend and Jefferson County was much better in 2013 than 2012, and many are optimistic the upward trend continues in 2014. “There’s a lot more building going on,” Liz Coker, Jefferson County Home Builders Association executive director, said in January. “People are signing contracts. People are designing. There’s a lot more loan activity. Every one of the JCHB’s 17 contractors has work already signed for the coming months, which is a vast change over three years ago.” According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which deals primarily with Realtor-listed homes, the number of closed sales (residential and condominium) were 492 in 2013 compared to 404 in 2012. The median sales price (half higher, half lower) also rose in the year-to-year comparison, up to $259,250 from $233,064. There has not been much new inventory since 2008, and few homes built on speculation. The economic collapse led to hundreds of foreclosures, which have been going through the system, banking or
otherwise. That foreclosure wave has subsided. “There definitely is more demand and the exciting thing is that the average sale price is increasing so we’re seeing more buyers in what, for our market, would be considered upper end,” said Karen Best of Coldwell Banker Best Homes in Port Ludlow. “A year or two years ago, under $300,000 was the dominant price point. We’re now seeing activity above that. You can really feel the change coming and houses aren’t taking so long to sell. Now, we’re seeing multiple offers.” NEW CONSTRUCTION Although new construction permit applications rose slightly in 2013, the real estate market is primarily driven by resales. “As long as there is strong resale, it puts a lot of pressure on new construction because you can’t build a new house for the same price as someone willing to sell,” Best said. “It may end up that you put more money into a remodel but to initially get into a house, it is typically cheaper to buy a resale. At some point that is going to change again.” Also, there are not as many plats available for subdivision develop-
ment. There seems to be more “infill” now within existing developed areas. Some of these are still homes built on speculation, but there are much fewer of these “spec” homes than in years past. The good news in terms of new construction: Port Ludlow Associates has started work on 40 homes along Port Ludlow Bay, in the size range of 1,100 to 2,200 square feet. Not yet returned is a strong “second home” market, Best said. The market today involves mostly people are are retired and ready to move, or preparing for retirement and relocation. Many buyers “are getting in the market now while prices are still, quote unquote, affordable,” Best noted. The overall value of new construction in the city and county for 2013 actually was lower than 2012, but permit activity rose. The county recorded 61 new single-family home or attached dwelling unit projects (up from 54) while Port Townsend in 2013 recorded 32 (up from 24). “New construction is the single most important barometer in the county. It represents a higher assessed value, which translates into labor, materials and state and local taxes
Port Townsend Single Family Residential Building Permits 2000 54
Jefferson County Single Family Residential Building Permits
50 50 48 39 45 36 28 31
2012 54 29 34
2013 65 32
n New n Additions/Alterations
n New n Additions/Alterations
Source: City of Port Townsend
Source: Jefferson County Department of Community Development. Does not include modular homes or manufactured/mobile homes.
Value of New Construction
Value of Real Estate Transactions
'04 2005 $118.73 M
'05 2006 $109.86 M
'06 2007 $88.71 M
Source: Jefferson County Treasurer’s Office
Source: Jefferson County Assessor’s Office
12 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
Port Ludlow has the greatest residential development in Jefferson County outside the City of Port Townsend. Port Ludlow Associates in 2014 began construction of a new residential development along the waterfront. 2013 photo by Patrick J. Sullivan, flight by Collin Klopfenstein
2009 73 123
2007 208 67
2006 62 2007 46
and fees,” said Carl Smith, the county’s Director of Community Development. He does not see anything that would change those numbers dramatically in 2014. “I think this is the new normal,” Smith said of new construction permits at the two-digit level, and not
the high 100s or mid-200s common in the last decade. JOBS & HOUSES Most of the buyers Best sees are coming from outside Jefferson County, which has been the trend here for 25 years. In 2013, Jefferson
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County officially became number one in Washington for having the population with the oldest median age (half older, half younger) at 54.7 years. Nationally, Jefferson County ranks in the top 20 of 3,000 counties in terms of oldest median age. Because of quality of life attraction, the housing market, and the job market in Jefferson County, Best expects that trend to continue. “We’ve kind of created this,” she said. “Our homebuyers come from outside Jefferson County. Some move within the county but most come from outside. “People who are aging out and leaving or finding that they move here and for whatever reason it is not what they thought it was going to be, there is that flow we really depend on,” Best said. “Overall, [the real estate market] depends on people coming into the county.” She believes there is a 10-year cycle in real estate. “We are a year past the bottom,” she said, on the way up. There may be less inventory in 2014 from a buyer’s perspective, which is good from the seller’s perspective, as it pushes prices up. On the other hand, “As housing goes up in price, it makes it more difficult for people to live here if you are on the lower end of the wage scale,” Best said. There is some “starter home” activity, Best said, but so much of that is tied to the job market, “and there aren’t as many jobs here,” she noted. “It’s still nice to think of Jefferson County as an affordable county, but it is anything but that.” Still, she does not expect prices to go up as dramatically here as in some other, more urban areas. “Sellers would love to see the price rebound a little more rapidly,” Best said. “I see a slower, more steady rise.” The economy has also been hard on the local construction trades, now on the rebound. “The builder who survived [the housing market collapse], survived for good reasons,” said Coker of the Home Builders Association. “They had a good reputation, and had good business management skills. Now that things are getting better, there’s more work and the people still in place are ready to go.” Patrick J. Sullivan, Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader editor, knows enough about the construction trades to hire a professional instead of trying to do it himself. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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360-681-2877 2014 Home & Garden ❖ 13
Hands-on Home Show Jefferson County Home Builders bring out local vendors, new technology
New products, new technology and new ways to help yourself and your property are featured at the 2014 Jefferson County Home Builders Association Home & Garden Expo on Saturday, March 1, which is earlier in the season than it has been in previous years. Even better, the presentation and product information is available year-round from the organization representing a majority of the building trades in Port Townsend and Jefferson County. The free Home Show on March 1 is being staged this year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a new location, at Mountain View Commons, 1925 Blaine St. in Port Townsend. Displays and vendor booths are set up inside the gym and in the multi-purpose room (former OPEPO classroom) next door. Presentations begin at 9 a.m., with a new one slated to begin every half hour. First Federal is the primary Home Show sponsor. “Our goal is to make this a very visual show,” said Liz Coker, director of the Jefferson County Home Builders Association. “Home shows should help people decide how they want to improve their home. For most of us, our home is
our biggest investment and maintaining it should be a priority.” Featured speakers include: Doug Davis From EcoloBlue; Hans Frederickson from Frederickson Electric; Dana Ecelberger from the Conservation District; Ken Kelly from Vintage Lighting; Andy Cochrane from Power Trip Energy; Orlando Talamante, certified building analyst professional; Mike McFadden, WSU Master Gardener; Celia Fry and Lynn Meyer, certified aging in place specialist; Brenda Thornbrue, renovation specialist; and Carl Smith, director of Jefferson County Department of Community Development. The county has implemented a new fee structure in 2014, and Smith wants anyone coming in for a county permit to be aware of how to make the process a success. Coker is planning for display booths on a variety of topics and a mix of local and out-of-town vendors and businesses. New technology to be featured includes: INDUCTION LIGHTING At the Home Show, Ken Kelly of Vintage Hardware and Lighting in Port Townsend reviews lighting styles and which technology works for each space. Kelly has designed and manufactured lighting for more than 20 years. He started with CFL designing, moved to LED designs and now has added “cutting edge induction lighting.”An induction lamp is similar to a fluorescent lamp in that mercury in a gas fill inside the bulb is excited, emitting UV radiation that in turn is converted into visible white light by the phosphor coating on the bulb.
Zach Berets (left) and Brian Gaboury of Rich Stapf Construction, Inc. work on a project in Port Townsend. Gaboury is also pictured on our Home & Garden magazine cover. Photo by Steve Mullensky/Quality of Light Photography
WATER FROM AIR EcoloBlue is presenting a device that generates atmospheric water – water out of thin air. The company’s EcoloBlue 30 Series, designed for home or office, provides 8 gallons of water daily at an average cost of 20 cents a gallons, according to Douglas Davis, regional sales manager for the new product. Industrial and commercial models are also available, producing as much as 1,585 gallons a day. The technology literally pulls humidity out of the air, filters the air and purifies the water, Davis said. EcoloBlue systems can run on generators or wind or solar panels for completely off-grid water generation.
JCHBA Home Show • March 1, 2014 PRESENTATIONS County permits: New process Master Gardeners: Low-Impact Gardens Solar Power: EV Stations Lighting: Induction and LED Home Energy Rebates: PUD staff on site
DISPLAYS Water extractors technology Aging in place Vertical gardening Container planting Kids’ Planting Booth Solar arrays
LEARN MORE www.jeffcohomebuilders.com
14 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
“This is a remarkable technology,” said Kevin Coker of the Jefferson County Home Builders Association. “We think the Jefferson County market is prime for this type of technology. These units provide safe drinking water from thin air.”
Talamante suggested a scan be done before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes. A thermographic scan performed by a certified technician is usually accurate enough to use as documentation in court proceedings, he noted.
THERMOGRAPHY A thermographic inspection can reveal weaknesses that, when corrected, could save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill, said Orlando Talamante, a certified building analyst professional in Port Townsend. Infrared scanning allows energy auditors to check the effectiveness of insulation in a building’s construction, Talamante said. Thermography measures surface temperatures by using infrared tools that register light in the heat spectrum. Images on the screen represent the temperature variations and help an auditor determine whether and where insulation is needed. Because wet insulation conducts heat faster than dry insulation, thermographic scans of roofs can often detect roof leaks. They also serve as a quality control tool, to ensure that insulation has been installed correctly. In addition to using thermography during an energy assessment,
LABOR LEADERS Talamante worked as an energy audit supervisor for a community action agency in Oklahoma before moving to Port Townsend in 2013. He is now associated with Labor Leaders as an certified building analyst professional. Labor Leaders is an organization in Port Townsend with a mission to provide educational material, training and support to the youth community and general public, relating to landscaping, maintenance and other general labor disciplines. Volunteers are welcome. Visit the office at 1531 W. Sims Way in Port Townsend, or call 970903-1937. “The mission of Labor Leaders is training the younger generation. It is my personal goal to combine my knowledge with their hard work to help Jefferson County residents decrease energy loss in local homes,” he said.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
Home maintenance saves money Caulk is cheap; water damage is not
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These home maintenance tips are brought to you by the Jefferson County Home Builders Association: ROOF Starting with the roof, which is probably the most important, check for missing tiles, signs of “blistering,” or other signs of wear. It is much less costly to repair a small problem early than to deal with the moisture damage and mildew that invade once water gets into the roof and walls. While looking at the roof, be sure to remove any debris, including that pesky moss. CRACKS Walk around the house and check the caulking at corners – windows, doors and vents. These cracks are leaks into your walls that can reduce the effective R-value of your home by as much as a third. MECHANICAL While outside the home, check any mechanical equipment, such as heat pumps or air conditioners. Be sure any debris collecting on or around the unit is removed. FILTERS Inside, clean the mechanical equipment filters – not just heaters and air conditioners, but also the refrigerator (pull it out and vacuum off all that dust on the back) and ventilation systems. Remember that having any necessary maintenance or repairs done in the off season can save you money. WINDOWS Check windows to see if there is any condensation between the double panes. If so, the seal is broken and the effectiveness of the insulation is compromised. CAULKING Check the caulking at all tubs, showers, sinks and the toilet. Caulk is cheap and water damage is not. FIREPLACE Fireplaces need to be checked once a year to be sure they are safe and working properly, whether they burn wood, pellets or gas. SMOKE ALARMS Check all smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries. If you don’t know when you last replaced them, do it now. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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2014 Home & Garden ❖ 15
Solar for home and business Cost dropping, return rising on solar projects By Patrick J. Sullivan There has been no better time to power up your future with solar energy. Technology is better and less expensive than ever before, note the owners of Port Townsend–based businesses with years of experience in the solar industry. “The annual returns our clients see are in the 10 percent range,” said Andy Cochrane of Power Trip Energy. “What other investments can currently yield those returns?” Port Townsend and Jefferson County is already a statewide leader, per capita, in the number of solar power systems tied to the electric grid: 1 percent of electric meters here are bi-directional, which means they supply as well as consume power. FREDERICKSON ELECTRIC The growing popularity of electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid autos has brought a synergy between residential solar and EV charging, said Hans Frederickson, president of Frederickson Electric Inc.
Wild Birds Unlimited owners Christy and Marc Lassen in 2013 had Power Trip Energy install a 9.6 kilowatt, grid-tied photovoltaic system at their business along U.S. Highway 101 in Gardiner. Lower costs and higher return on investment are making it possible for more small businesses to consider solar systems. Photos by Power Trip Energy
His company, which has worked on some of the larger commercial solar array projects on this side of Puget sound, has also been installing commercial and residential solar arrays and working with features re-
The array has 37, 260-watt SolarWorld photovoltaic modules made in Oregon, and two PowerOne inverters (pictured) made in Arizona. Wild Bird Unlimited also has a Level II charging station.
16 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
lated to EVs. “As installation costs for solar have dropped substantially over the last few years, the economics for generating your own electricity to offset that used by an electric car are becoming favorable,” Frederickson noted. There is also the potential use of EV batteries for energy storage for emergency backup power as well as smoothing utility demand requirements. Frederickson Electric has been “getting the job of installing a new circuit for charging equipment when our customers purchase an electric car,” he said. “We’ve seen Nissan Leafs, a Chevy Volt, and a couple Teslas.” In new homes, he recommends getting wiring in place for future charging equipment, even if the owners aren’t planning on an EV. Most of the home sales in Jefferson County are resales, and little invest-
ments now have future payoffs. “Some researchers are suggesting that with current cost curves for gas, electricity, and solar, that gasolinefueled cars will become obsolete by 2030,” he said. One important distinction is that the “charger” for the EV batteries is in the EV itself. The charging equipment installed on a garage wall is simply a smart power outlet that turns the electricity to the car on and off in response to commands from the on-board charger. POWER TRIP Steve Carr and Andy Cochrane have been Power Trip Energy business partners for 12 years, and are five of the company’s eight employees who happen to be graduates of Port Townsend High School. “The price of the systems we’re installing now is a third of the price of the system we started installing 11 years ago,” Cochrane said. “The
technology is better and less expensive.” In 2013, Power Trip installed a 9.6 kilowatt, grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system at Wild Birds Unlimited along U.S. Highway 101 in Gardiner. The photovoltaic array has 37 of the 260-watt SolarWorld PV modules made in Oregon, and two PowerOne inverters made in Arizona. “Not many businesses that have done this yet,” Cochrane said. “The economics of it, for a business, when they look at investing tens of thousands of dollars, generally it is related to operations or inventory. The economics now are getting to the point where it makes a lot of sense for a business to invest in an energy upgrade.” For those considering the investment, contractors tout the improved marketplace. An array that cost about $40,000 early in 2013 would cost about
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
$35,000 early in 2014, Cochrane said, “as prices continue to drop as manufacturers continue to make their processes more efficient.” There is a 30-percent federal tax credit and sales tax exemption in Washington state, in addition to an annual production incentive that yields a check from the state every year through 2020. The incentives are geared toward grid inter tied systems. The sale of Puget Sound Energy’s holdings in East Jefferson to Jefferson County Public Utility District has not changed how the local solar companies do business, Cochrane said, as the same laws and rules apply. LEVEL II STATIONS Outside their Wild Birds Unlimited business, Marc and Christy Lassen had Power Trip install a Level II EV charging station available free to customers, and to encourage EV tourism. They also purchased a Toyota RAV4 EV, which uses the Tesla battery system and motor, to handle their business errands. “After driving their vehicle, Power Trip Energy followed suit and brought one of these SUVs into our vehicle fleet,” Cochrane noted. “With a range of over 120 miles, and the room for a ladder in back, we can handle nearly all of our solar site evaluations with this all-electric vehicle.” Power Trip has two Level II charging stations available free to the public at company headquarters, 83 Denny Ave. in Glen Cove, located just outside Port Townsend. Cochrane said these are the only publicly available Level II charging locations in the Port Townsend area. Power Trip generates about 60 percent of its own electricity using solar, so using their charging locations “is actually a way to replace your gasoline consumption with locally generated clean solar energy.”
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HOME SHOW Frederickson Electric and Power Trip Energy are both guest presenters at the Jefferson County Home Show, March 1 in Port Townsend. “There are still a lot of people who are unfamiliar with the concept of being able to generate solar and spin their meter backwards,” Cochrane said. “There’s no better time than now to learn.” The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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2014 Home & Garden ❖ 17
Worm your way into gardening Turn garbage into ‘gold’ – dirt rich in nutrients to amend your garden soil By Allison Arthur First, mason bees. Now, worms. Truly, when I set off last year to take a class on vermicomposting, I thought for sure my cityboy husband would head for the courthouse and file for divorce. After all, I had put my mason bee experiment under my daughter’s bedroom window. It was close to the apple trees I was trying to pollinate, but he and she complained, despite the fact that mason bees rarely sting. Then I ran into Al Cairns, who is not a city boy by any means. Last year he mentioned a vermicomposting class that Jefferson County was offering. So on a beautiful May day, as parents from Sunfield Farm were setting up their Maypole in the wind, Cairns and worm expert Todd Spratt from Bugabay Company in Freeland met under a tent nearby to teach about 15 people the dos and don’ts of vermiculture. GARBAGE TO GOLD Vermiculture – vermi means worm in Latin – is the fancy name for the process of getting
Todd Spratt (left), co-owner of Freeland’s Bugabay Company, listens to a question that former Jefferson County Solid Waste Manager Al Cairns answers about the benefits of vermiculture. Spratt recommends red worms in bins he’s built out of Washington cedar. The program was offered last year by the county in an effort to educate people on how to turn “garbage into gold,” in the form of creating soil. Photo by Allison Arthur
earthworms to turn organic waste into delicious dirt, the one thing all good gardeners need to succeed. As much as 30 percent of the “waste” we throw away – eggshells, the ends of asparagus, wilted lettuce, even coffee grounds, ought not to be going into the county landfill. It ought to be making its way back into the
A giant king worm makes its home in Barney Burke’s compost bin in Port Townsend. Burke has won the coveted brown ribbon – top honor – at the Jefferson County Fair for three of the six years that the composting award has been offered. Photo by Barney Burke
18 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
earth to help us grow food and flowers and make good dirt. And that’s why Cairns was so keen to teach people vermiculture. So I listened to Cairns and Spratt, asked questions, loaded up the cedar worm bin and headed home. I heeded the instructions from Spratt and installed the bottomless bin that he designed in the ground – and in an area out of my husband’s sight. The talk last May went fast, so I decided to refresh my memory with a call to Bugabay. Co-owner Teresa Spratt, like her husband, was happy to answer what are probably dumb questions that her husband answered last year that I had since forgotten. Why red worms? “The reason red worms are best is because they eat most decaying matter of garbage. They’ll eat half to their full body weight each day and on average each person is generating
one pound of food waste a day so it’s really a wonderful way to get good castings.” How much do worms cost? A pound of worms costs $30, which includes mailing, but Spratt said red worms also can be found – for free – in horse manure. If you have a friend with horses, there’s a savings. Fortunately, I do. How much does a wooden bin cost and why use cedar? The cedar compost box Spratt designed costs $125 shipped. Teresa says worms don’t like plastic and those Chinese bins have a high carbon footprint getting here. “This is a Washington job,” Teresa said. “And it’s Washington state cedar and it’s going to last a long time.” What about meat in the bin? That, I remembered correctly. Although most composting literature will tell you not to put any meat waste in your bin, Teresa notes that “worms are not vegetarian.” Rodents will not creep
into your bin if you cover the waste, ideally with horse manure or peat moss. Why does the bin have a divider? Teresa reminded me that the goal is to fill one side halfway with household leftovers, then let the worms finish that side and start filling the other side to get really good castings. BROWN-RIBBON RECIPE One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that there’s no end to learning. During a conversation with my former Leader colleague, Barney Burke, I mentioned my vermiculture project and inquired about his composting recipe. Barney was an instigator for the Jefferson County Fair offering a “brown ribbon” award for best compost. He’s won the coveted brown ribbon – equivalent to a blue ribbon in other categories – three out of six years it’s
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
been offered. Barney’s recipe includes coffee grounds, corn cobs and husks, grass clippings, leaves, deer droppings, leftover pasta and rice, as well as dirt, paper-based egg cartons, dryer lint and sawdust. He ages it all for a year, then sifts it through a half-inch screen on a wheelbarrow and then a second time through a gold-mining screen to “achieve the texture of coffee grounds.” And, yes, when he digs trenches for things like his Japanese garden, he gently transplants those native king worms into his bins to help assist in the process. Barney doesn’t consider himself a great gardener, but he does know compost and he recommended Rodale Book of Composting. Remember, there is a difference between composting and vermiculture. MORE TO LEARN After less than eight months of attempting vermiculture, I suspect I need to read up on it. My “castings” feel soggy and there are clumps of things that haven’t decayed as well as I had hoped. The ideal temperature for red worms is between 55 and 75 degrees, and I don’t think my bins got enough warmth. More horse manure is on the to-fetch list. While my worm experiment is a work in progress, my mason bee experiment was a success. Those three tubes of bees I bought in 2013 for $22 or so produced a total of 13 tubes of bees. To buy that many bees it would cost between $90 to $120. So I more than quadrupled my investment. The red worms have not been as exciting to watch as the bees. I sat with a cup of coffee and admired how hard those mason bees worked last year. In and out. In and out. However, I am excited at the prospect of using that rich, delicious dirt the worms made to grow potatoes. Bees. Worms. Potatoes. The joy of gardening seems to be that we not only grow food, we expand our horizons.
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Allison Arthur, Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader assistant editor, wants to grow bigger potatoes this year. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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20 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
Town or country, gardens, flower beds, lawns and other landscaping features keep a lot of people busy in Port Townsend and Jefferson County each year. This scene is from the 2013 Jefferson County Master Gardeners’ annual Secret Garden Tour, which in 2014 is Sunday, June 22. Photo by Patrick J. Sullivan
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
New Construction & Remodeling
GET STARTED Choose a container that’s made of wood (or some other sturdy material) and no smaller than 3 feet by 3 feet. Place it in your yard in a shady spot with good drainage. Start adding waste in a ratio of three “browns” to one “green.” Browns are carbon-rich materials and include wood chips, straw, branches, and leaves. Greens provide nitrogen and include grass clippings and kitchen scraps, like eggshells and carrot tops. When you’re adding new material, dig a hole in the pile and stir the new stuff in so it gets coated with the old mixture.
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360-385-2900 • firstname.lastname@example.org 2014 Home & Garden ❖ 21
Be fish friendly, city or rural Salmon are always downstream By Larry Montague When you think about healthy salmon habitat, most of us probably see free-flowing creeks, lush green forests and estuaries teeming with wildlife. While I tend to see hardy volunteers in chest waders sampling salmon carcasses in our local creeks, the interconnectedness of all of our landscapes our community goes without saying. Any yard with a vegetable garden and all of the driveways and roads in this community play an important role in the lives of salmon in the Puget Sound watershed. Whether you have a creek running through your backyard or whether your house is miles from the nearest body of water, the guidelines are essentially the same. Making your property salmon friendly requires the following simple steps: LANDSCAPING Start with your landscaping. When you plant native trees and shrubs around your property, you promote diversity, effective water filtration, and support native wildlife species that have adapted to living with those plants. Nonnative and invasive plants can displace native species leading to decreased food and
Larry Montague, North Olympic Salmon Coalition education and outreach assistant, at a tree-planting project along Chimacum Creek. Montague is part of an effort to plant more than 15,000 native trees on the Olympic Peninsula in 2014. NOSC photo
shelter for wildlife such as salmon.
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CHEMICALS Say no to toxic gardening chemicals. If you tend a flower or vegetable garden, be sure to use natural fertilizers and pest controls to prevent contamination of water sources and
RAIN GARDEN Create a rain garden. Along with impressive salmon runs, our region is equally renowned for our healthy gardens. Consider constructing a rain garden or another system to filter your roof and/or driveway runoff, and support the natural filtration of storm water and other rain runoff. STORM DRAINS Be aware of storm drains. By being mindful of the location of storm drains, homeowners can take steps to prevent pollutants such as detergents and automobile fluids from contaminating rainwater.
The Washington Conservation Corps crew members for 2013-2014 are (from left) Elijah Roulst, Robbie Holt, Rick Humphrey, Kori Riggle and Dylan Kelly. The crew is supervised by Owen French. Photo by Owen French
22 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
TREES Plant the right kind of trees. If you live on a creek or river, plant trees such as western red cedar and red alder on the bank. These species work together to effectively provide year-round shade, which is good for keeping the water cool (salmon re-
quire cold water temperatures) and preventing invasive species like reed canary grass from choking the stream corridor. VOLUNTEER Volunteer to plant even more trees. On Saturday, March 8, 2014, North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) teams with Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County for a large volunteer tree planting event on Chimacum Creek. This event marks a burgeoning partnership between two community-focused organizations in the business of providing homes for local residents — NOSC for salmon, and Habitat for Humanity for people. If you live on a creek and are interested in making your property more salmon friendly, you can contact NOSC’s office in Port Hadlock for technical assistance and a free site visit. We can also direct you to other organizations and resources that are dedicated to helping the people and salmon of our community.
The NOSC works to restore, enhance and protect the habitat of North Olympic Peninsula wild salmon stocks, and to promote community volunteerism, understanding, cooperation and stewardship of these resources. The Washington Conservation Corps crew and the NOSC intend to plant more than 15,000 native trees on the Olympic Peninsula in 2014. Larry Montague is the North Olympic Salmon Coalition’s education and outreach assistant.
Learn more North Olympic Salmon Coalition 205 W. Patison St. Port Hadlock 379-8051 nosc.org
See a list of salmonfriendly gardening resource links on page 36 of this magazine.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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2014 Home & Garden ❖ 23
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County
2014 Building Codes CONTENTS Chapter 1: Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . When is a building permit required? Customer assistance meetings Chapter 2: Other Permits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 3: Building Permits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . How to apply Building permit fees Chapter 4: Building Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 5: Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 6: Certificate of Occupancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 7: Smoke Detectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 8: Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Washington State Energy Code Alternatives Energy inspections
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Getting Started ▼ When Is a Building Permit Required?
The City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County have adopted the following codes: 2012 International Building Code - WAC 5150, 2012 International Residential Code - WAC 51-51, 2012 International Mechanical Code WAC 51-52, National Fuel Gas Code (NFPA 54) - WAC 51-52, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (NFPA 58) - WAC 51-52, 2009 International Fire Code - WAC 51-54, 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Plumbing Code Standards - WAC 51-56 and 51-57, Washington State Energy Code, as amended - WAC 51-11. The IBC requires a building permit before constructing, enlarging, altering, repairing, moving, converting or demolishing a structure unless expressly exempted. Exemptions include: un-heated residential detached, accessory one-story playhouse or tool and storage sheds not for human occupancy less than 200 square feet in floor area and commercial storage sheds less than 120 square feet in floor area; fences up to six feet high; movable cases, counters and partitions not over five feet
Chapter 9: Wood Heat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 10: Septic Permits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 11: Manufactured/Mobile & Modular Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 12: Shorelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jurisdiction of the act Shoreline setback Chapter 13: SEPA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Critical areas (city) Service fees Chapter 14: Subdivisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 15: Easements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 16: Jefferson County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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nine inches high; platforms, walks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below; retaining walls four feet and less measured from top of wall to bottom of footing unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or III-A liquids; and painting, wallpapering and similar finish work. Exemptions should be checked in advance. All work must meet zoning and other requirements, even if a building permit is not required. Many informational handouts are available at the City’s Development Services Department and at the Jefferson County Department of Community Development. Please call prior to starting your project, as double permit fees may be assessed for work that is undertaken without a permit. NOTE: All residential building permits now require smoke and CO2 alarms to be installed, or updated to meet or exceed WAC 51-510315.
Zoning district tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Temporary use permits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Grandfathered” buildings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Grandfathered” uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoning exceptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Variances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conditional use permits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Planned unit developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rezones, appeals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tree cutting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 18: Growth Management Act . . . . . . . . . . . .
cation conferences for Type 1A, II and III actions are required unless the applicant demonstrates to the director it is unneccesary.
Port Townsend - A Street and Utility Development permit is required for all development projects that require work in a city right-of-way. The Street and Utility Development permit is used for applications for water and sewer connections and/or main extensions, and stormwater and/or street improvements. Street and Utility Development Permit applications are available at the City’s Development Services Department; the completed application must have a site plan showing the work to be done. As a general rule, a building permit will not be issued without an accompanying Street and Utility Development Permit; however, Street and Utility Development Permits may be issued prior to a building permit when the street and utility work is needed prior to building. If only minor Public Works improvements are needed for the development (e.g., when development of a lot in a Planned Unit Development where all utilties are stubbed in), a Minor Improvement Permit (MIP) may be substituted for the Street and Utility Development Permit. The minimal fee for an MIP is $160 and it is typically used for driveways, culverts, sidewalks, parking improvements, and cable, phone and power service. Street and Utility Development or Minor Improvement Permits not tied to a building
Jefferson County Pre-application conferences are required for all Type II, III, IV and V project applications, Critical Area stewardship plans, and Type I project applications proposing impervious surfaces of ten thousand (10,000) square feet or more and/or non-single family structures of five thousand (5,000) square feet or more. Pre-application conferences for all other types of applications are optional. CHAPTER 2:
Are Other Permits Required? ▼
Pre-application conferences are required for all Type I project applications proposing impervious surfaces of 5,000 sq. ft. or more and/or non-single family structures of 5,000 feet or more. Pre-appli-
Depending on the nature and location of the project, other permits may be required in addition to a building permit. Other permits could include: Street and Utility Development Permit (SDP):
How to Get More Information CITY OF PORT TOWNSEND The Development Services Department (DSD) is located in City Hall, 250 Madison St., Suite 3, and is open between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. On Wednesdays, the office opens at 9 a.m. after a staff meeting. Appointments for commercial and multi-family projects may be made by calling the front desk at 360-379-5095. Development Services Department (DSD): Rick Sepler, Public Services Director; Michael Hoskins, Building Official; Dennis Perkon, Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer; John McDonagh, Senior Planner; Judy Surber, Senior Planner/Planning Manager; Suzanne Wassmer, Land Use Development Specialist. Public Works: Ken Clow, P.E., Public Works Director; David Peterson, P.E., City Engineer; Alex Angud, Engineering Tech; Samantha Trone, P.E., Development Review Engineer. JEFFERSON COUNTY The Department of Community Development at 621 Sheridan St. is open between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; closed on Friday.The phone number is 360-379-4450. Jodi Adams, office coordinator; Stacie Hoskins, planning manager; Michelle McConnell, long range lead associate planner and SMP update; Juel Peterson, associate planner; David W. Johnson, associate planner and Port Ludlow lead; Zoe Lamp, associate planner and DRD lead; Donna Frostholm, associate planner/ wetland scientist; Colleen Zmolek, assistant planner coach; Jim Coyne, building inspector lead; Frank Benskin, plans examiner; Mary Black, Community Development Tech II, and Director Carl Smith. Be Sure to Check for Building Code Updates The information pertaining to building code and permit requirements contained in the 2014 Home and Garden Magazine is current as it goes to press. However, building codes, zoning and other regulations are
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Chapter 17: Port Townsend Lots of record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Letter to the Assessor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Description of zoning districts . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Design review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Home occupations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 B&Bs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Setbacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Building height limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Fences and hedges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Lot coverage & min. lot requirements . . . . . 33 Outbuildings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Streets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Latecomer agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Sign code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
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GREEN INDICATES INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO
updated regularly by the city and county. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact Jefferson County (360-379-4450) or the City of Port Townsend (360-379-5095), as appropriate, before starting work.
This should be read in conjunction with the jurisdiction’s codes. If there are any errors in this document, the code prevails. Fees are based on those in effect at the time of publication. Please double-check fees with the jurisdiction. Online Permit Information You can also find zoning, building code and permit information online.
For the City of Port Townsend, go to: http://www.cityofpt.us/DSD.htm For the Port Townsend Municipal Code (PTMC), go to: http://www.codepublishing.com/wa/porttownsend.html For Jefferson County, go to: http://www.codepublishing.com/WA/JeffersonCounty For Jefferson County information and application forms, go to: http://www.co.jefferson.wa.us/commdevelopment/Permit&Applications.htm
Electrical Permits Whether you live in the city or the county, all electrical permits are handled by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). The local L&I office is located at 1605 E. Front Street, Suite C, Port Angeles,WA 98362-4628. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; an inspector is available to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Call 360-417-2700 for general information. To schedule an inspection, call 360-417-2722 by at least 4 p.m. on the business day prior to the desired inspection.The L&I inspector serving Jefferson County and the City of Port Townsend is Len Moser. For convenience, electrical permit applications are available at the County Permit Center, 621 Sheridan Street.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
permit will expire unless the work is completed within 12 months after issuance of the permit. All Street and Utility Development or Minor Improvement Permits tied to a building permit are valid as long as the building permit remains active with the Building Department. Drainage: Port Townsend – All new development within the City must have a plan for handling stormwater on-site. The 2005 Department of Ecology’s Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington was adopted by the City in February 2007. Applicants must submit a drainage plan. The level of drainage plans varies depending on the complexity of the project. Copies of the requirements are available at DSD. The City’s Engineering Design Standards and Department of Ecology handouts describe in detail the requirements for drainage plans. Additional requirements may be imposed for sites within or near Environmentally Sensitive Areas. Stormwater: Jefferson County first adopted a Stormwater Management Ordinance on November 4, 1996. The current stormwater management standards are contained in the Jefferson County Code, Sec. 18.30.070. Avoiding impacts related to erosion, sedimentation, and stormwater runoff from land clearing development is vital, consequently all projects require review under this ordinance and many projects will require the use of best management practices as outlined in the WA State Department of Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington, 2012 edition, as amended. Separate plumbing and/or mechanical permits: Are required for changes or additions to existing plumbing, heating or ventilation if not part of the building permit. Clearing and Grading Permit: If not part of the building permit, a separate clearing and grading permit is required prior to any land-disturbing activity for the City, and may be required for Jefferson County, including grading, clearing, grubbing, filling, excavating or stockpiling. There are a few exemptions that can be made by the Building Official; call the City for specific information. Any land-disturbing activity of 7,000 sq. ft. or more, or within an environmentally sensitive area, requires a stormwater management permit. Call Jefferson County for specifics. Demolition Permit: A demolition permit is required to ensure that structures are removed from the Assessor’s tax rolls and that the site is left in a safe, sanitary condition. Moving Permit: If not part of a building permit, a separate moving permit is required to move a house or other building. Lifting a house for foundation
work or other purpose requires a building permit prior to lifting. Manufactured Home Siting Permit:
(Chapter 296 - 150M WAC, Manufactured and Mobile Homes.) Manufactured homes may be placed anywhere within the City of Port Townsend’s residential zoning districts. Maps of these areas are available at DSD. Manufactured homes must also meet the following requirements: 1. Set on a permanent foundation with the space from the bottom of the home to the ground enclosed by poured concrete or concrete or masonry blocks so that no more than one foot of the perimeter foundation is visible above the ground; 2. Originally constructed with and now has a composition of wood shake or shingle, coated metal, or similar roof with a minimum 3.12 pitch; and 3. Originally constructed within 3 years of the date proposed for placement. The placement of manufactured homes that were constructed more than 3 years prior is prohibited. The title of manufactured homes must be eliminated through the state Department of Licensing as a condition of building permit approval. Manufactured homes require building permits and street development permits. Fees for manufactured home permits are based on the foundation valuation plus the cost of any site-built structures. Wood, Pellet, and Propane Stove Installations:
Require mechanical permits and inspections by the City or County Building Official and Fire Department. (Chapter 10, IRC.) Mechanical permits are required for installation of new or replacement propane containers (both above ground and underground), appliances and/or piping. Most residential mechanical permits are issued while you wait. Inspection is required for tank placement (setbacks) and piping tests. Critical Areas Permit:
Port Townsend: A critical areas permit may be required if it is determined the site is near or within a critical area such as a seismic area, wetland, steep slope, or critical drainage corridor. (See PTMC, Chapter 19.05, Critical Areas.) Jefferson County: Jefferson County requires Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) review for all permit applications except where the footprint of the structure is not changed (e.g., remodels, plumbing permits). Construction in the Intertidal Zone:
May also require additional permits from the Washington State De-
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
partment of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and approval from the Department of Natural Resources per the Aquatic Land Management Act. City or county staff will help you initiate these applications. SEPA:
For projects not exempt, an environmental checklist must be submitted in compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). HPC: (City)
Design review by the Historic Preservation Committee is required for all proposals within the historic district of the City which are also within the C-III or P-1 zoning districts (uptown and downtown business districts). It is also required for bed and breakfast inns and other uses within the historic district which require a conditional use permit. Residences are not included. Design review is also required within the Special Overlay Design Review District (north of the ferry terminal to Point Hudson and east of the bluff). (See PTMC, Chapter 17.30, Historic Preservation Code.) Sign Permit:
Sign permits are required for new signage as well as those replaced, revised, re-erected and relocated. Administrative review or committee design review for signs within the historic district is also required. Contact DSD for more information. (City Chapter 17.76, Signs.) (County: refer to JCC Section 18.30.150.) CHAPTER 3:
How to Apply for a Building Permit ▼ If the property is in Jefferson County outside of the Port Townsend city limits, apply at the Jefferson County Department of Community Development at 621 Sheridan St. in Port Townsend. In the City of Port Townsend, applications are taken by the city’s Development Services Department on the third floor of City Hall, 250 Madison St. Building permits submitted to the City are accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For commercial project submittals, appointments are required. Please call 360379-5095. Permit applications may be submitted to Jefferson County Department of Community Development. It is recommended to contact permit tech prior to submittal to check on availability or obtain a submittal time and date for application submittal. – Continued on page 26
The real estate market is picking up in Jefferson County, although new construction is nowhere near where it was eight years ago. In today’s market, heed this good advice: Do not make an offer on a house, or hire a contractor, without first meeting with a financial lender, and making sure what you want to build can be built, according to Jefferson County or City of Port Townsend rules. File photo by Patrick J. Sullivan
County has new permit process; city may raise fees The drop in new construction since 2005-2006 has led to considerable cuts in City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County staff working on property development; less building permit revenue equals fewer staff planners and inspectors. New in 2014, Jefferson County is doing what the City of Port Townsend has done for some years – charge a customer assistance fee, which kicks in after a free 15-minute customer assistance meeting. Pre-application conferences for several types of permit applications are already mandatory, with three new types of permits (including code amendments and subdivisions) mandatory as of 2014. County customer assistance fees are higher than the city: $76 an hour compared to $50 at the city. However, as of Feb. 1, the city had begun talking about a fee increase to be effective later in 2014. “The majority of cases we’ve been able to give what they want in the 15 minute grace period,” Carl Smith, director of the county’s Department of Community Development, said in January. “We want to partner with people to reduce their frustration.” Some applications are so complex, it is impossible to address everything in 15 minutes, Smith noted, but getting off on the right foot with permits and other paperwork could save a lot of time and money later. When it comes to a first-try permit application, Smith said there is a 60 percent success ratio for building applications and a 50 percent first-time completion ratio for zoning requests, including conditional use permits and lot line adjustments. Only 27 percent of subdivision applications submitted receive first-time approval, he said, because they are the most complex applications of all. Call the county DCD at 379-4450. At the city, the codes published in this Home & Garden magazine include new descriptions on modulation and the construction of walls. As always, check with the city’s Development Services Department in City Hall. Call the city DSD at 379-5095.
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– Continued from page 25
Please call 360-379-4450. Planner of the day is available 9 a.m.-noon Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and available 1-4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Applications require information concerning the construction and project site and help determine a project’s compliance with zoning and building codes. You will need the name, mailing address and telephone number of both owner and contractor; contractor’s Washington state registration number (also a City of Port Townsend business license is required of contractors for work performed within the city); construction site nine-digit parcel number and legal description (parcel numbers may be obtained from the County Assessor’s office); floor area of planned and existing buildings; and the existence of any applicable plat or other restrictions on the use of the property. Other plans, showing foundation, floor framing, section drawings (from foundation to roof) and elevations may also be required. A pre-payment of a portion of the building plan review fees is collected at time of application: $150 for projects exceeding a valuation of $15,000, and $50 for projects with a lesser valuation. Building plan review fees are collected at the time of application. Once you apply for a building permit with the necessary forms and information, the time it takes to issue the permit is site specific and varies depending on the time of year and the volume of permit applications. Larger commercial or multifamily residential projects may take longer. Per the International Building Code, a building permit may expire during the plan review process and may also expire once the permit is issued. Expiration of plan review:When a permit has not been issued within 180 days following
the date of application for want of information from the applicant, the application and plan review expire. However, the code authorizes the Building Official to extend this time for one additional 180-day period when it is determined that circumstances beyond the control of the applicant prevented action to secure the permit. Expiration of the Building Permit: CITY - Once issued, the permit expires if work does not begin within 180 days. Not unlike the one-time plan review extension, the Building Official may extend the permit for one additional 180-day period on written request by the permittee showing that circumstances beyond the control of the permittee have prevented action from being taken. If the permit expires, new fees will be required to issue a new permit. COUNTY - The issued permit expires after one year, however, extensions may be granted. Contact county to find out current renewal policy. Building Permit Fees
Building permit fees are based on project valuation, or the estimated value per square foot for each type of construction to replace the building or addition. Standard replacement value figures have been adopted by the City and County. Other City fees will be assessed for house number assignment, water and sewer connections, public works and fire review, and storm water reserve capacity catch-up fees (Other Permits, Chapter 2). System Development Charges (SDCs)
(City only) System development charges are fees charged to new development projects to ensure that, rather than being subsidized
Considering Application for a Jefferson County Building Permit? Here’s information you’ll need during your project The building permit must be posted at the job site. The building inspector will sign the permit for each stage of construction that has been satisfactorily completed. Stages of construction may include all or most of the following: 1. Footings and setbacks (rebar must be in place). 2. Foundation (rebar must be in place). 3. Under-slab plumbing (10 foot head of water). Underground insulation. 4. Framing and plumbing (done at same time; roof completed, windows installed, and electrical approved; water must be in lines). Air-seal of utility penetration. Shear wall and hold downs. 5. Masonry chimney. 6. Shear wall 7. Insulation. 8. Sheetrock nailing (before taping). 9. Stormwater 10. Zoning, as required 11. Final (including safety features and woodstove).
Jefferson County Department of Community Development, 621 Sheridan, Port Townsend (360) 379-4455: 24-hour inspection number (360) 379-4450: information number PERMITS ARE VALID FOR ONE YEAR ONLY. Contact Department of Community Development for current renewal policy. Inspections must be requested by 3 pm the day before the inspection is needed and can be called in 24 hours a day at (360) 379-4455. Please note – inspections for Mondays must be called in by 3 pm on Fridays. Please use a land line to ensure the clarity of your request. Inspections are available to all areas Mon - Thurs except for the West End which are done by appointment only. Please provide your building permit number when calling for inspections.
Please plan to be ready for your inspection. All permit owners will be charged a re-inspection fee if the job site is not ready when the inspector arrives. Although you may request a specific day according to the schedule, we regret that we are unable to accept requests for specific times of day. All inspections will be conducted between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the requested day.
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by the general ratepayers, “growth pays for growth.” Any person requesting a water or sewer connection within the City, or a water connection in Jefferson County within the City’s water service area, or an upsize of existing service, must pay SDCs. Contact the City’s Development Services Department at 360-379-5095 to find out what fees are applicable to your project. Fees may also be found on the City’s website at www.cityofpt.us; go to City Hall, Departments, Development Services Department, Fee Schedules. CHAPTER 4:
Building Plans ▼ Building permit applications are accompanied by plans and specifications drawn to scale and in sufficient detail to judge that the project will be constructed in accordance with building codes and all relevant regulations. The plans should clearly show what you intend to build, how it will be placed on your property, and how it will be constructed. All plans should be detailed enough to allow construction from the plans. In the City and the County, two sets (three sets for commercial projects) of the following plans are required: plot plan, typical framing detail, floor plan, foundation plan and elevation (vertical view). Port Townsend requires a third set of site plans for commercial projects or if utilities or street development or street access are involved. Most plans are drawn by local builders, designers and homeowners. However, the building official may require plans, computations and specifications be prepared by a licensed engineer or architect, and if so, those plans must be “wet-stamped.” If an architect or engineer (licensed in the state of Washington) has prepared and stamped your plans, one set must have an original signature and wet stamp on each page. (The other set may be copies.) At plan submittal all lateral and structural calculations (by architect or engineer) such as strapping, nailing, shearwalls, beam sizes, grade and species of lumber, truss design, holddowns, etc. shall be clearly depicted on the plans and in the details. Plans shall also include elevations, foundation, floor (structural), roof plans, cross sections and floor plans with all rooms labeled. The package of plans must include: Plot Plan
• setbacks from property lines and all existing buildings with special attention toward buildings within 10 feet (whether on applicant’s lot or neighboring lot) • street names, road easements and easements of record • off-street parking • existing and/or proposed septic tank/drainfield location, if applicable (include extra set of plans for County Health Dept.) • property lines and dimensions, including all interior lot lines • legal description • any accessory buildings • slope of land (including grade and direction, and top of slope) elevations • if waterfront property, show bank height, setback between building and top of bank, all creeks, rivers, wetlands, etc. • existing and proposed utilities: service lines and pipe size (pipe size: PT only) • drainage plans • building lines and exterior dimensions • temporary erosion and sediment control
• footings, piers & foundation walls (including interior footings) • foundation vents • posts and beams (sizes and spans) • floor joists, size, spacing, direction • plumbing sizes and locations through foundations • type and location of vapor barriers Floor Plan
• room uses and sizes • window, skylight and door locations; sizes • plumbing fixtures • smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector locations (see CO Section) • stairway: rise, run, handrails, dimensions etc. • hot water tank, furnaces, woodstove, fireplaces • attic and crawl space access • wall bracing, both interior and exterior Wall Section
• footing size and depth below finish grade • foundation wall, height, width and reinforcement (horizontal and vertical rebar placement) • finish grade • thickness of floor slab • floor joist size and spacing • floor sheathing, size and material • wall stud size and spacing • ceiling height • wall sheathing and siding, size and material • rafters, ceiling joists, trusses, seismic anchors • roof sheathing, roofing material, roof pitch, attic ventilation • insulation material and R-value in walls, floor, ceiling and slab • headers, dimensions, insulation • anchor bolts and pressure-treated plates • sheet rock thickness; fire resistive, if required • type and location of vapor barriers • framing to be used: standard, intermediate or advanced Exterior Elevations
• exterior views on front and all sides • windows • decks, steps, handrails, guardrails, landings • chimneys • finish grade • height of building per IBC Energy/Ventilation
For processing of applications under the Washington State Energy Code (WSEC) and 2012 International Residential Code (IRC), it is important that submittals also include: • location and size (cfm) of whole house ventilation fan and controls • location and size of all other exhaust fans • all exhaust duct runs and their points of termination • type and location of all outside air inlets • termination point of appliance vents • floor area • type of heat • windows and doors, brand names, class, type, U-values • all insulation R-values in walls, floor, ceiling and slab Water and Sewer Plans
Plans for new construction projects should also include water and sewer site plans. A The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
minimum of three sets of engineering plans are required for street development permits. In unincorporated areas, a water service agreement from the water supplier should also be presented. Unless the property is served by city sewer service, an on-site sewage disposal permit from the Jefferson County Environmental Health Department is also required. If the nature of the work is such that some of the required plans, calculations or construction inspection requirements are not necessary, the building official may waive those requirements. CHAPTER 5:
Inspections ▼ The building construction process involves a number of inspections. Some inspections may be omitted or combined with others, depending on the type of project. After each stage of construction is satisfactorily completed, the inspector will sign the permit posted on the site. WA State law requires that the building permit be posted on the site and that an approved set of plans also be available at the site; if plans are not on site, a re-inspection fee is charged. Inspections are made at each of the following stages of residential construction: City - Development Services Department
1. Temporary erosion and sediment control 2. Footings and setbacks (rebar and forms must be in place) 3. Foundation walls or slab (rebar and forms must be in place) 4. Under-slab plumbing 5. Drainage installations, if required (before drain lines are covered) 6. Floor framing (over crawl space prior to decking) 7. Exterior sheathing, alternate braced wall panels, and engineered sheer walls require inspection prior to cover. 8. Framing, mechanical and plumbing (done at same time with roof completed, and windows and doors installed). Electrical inspection required prior to framing inspection. (Electrical inspections are made by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries; call 360457-2683 in Port Angeles). Air-seal of utility penetration. Shear walls and hold downs. 9. Masonry chimney 10. Insulation 11. Drywall nailing 12. Public Works Final 13. Planning Final 14. Building Final / C of O Public Works Department
City: The Public Works Inspector will inspect all of the improvements approved through the Street and Utility Development or Minor Improvement Permit. The Public Works inspector must sign-off on all Public Works improvements prior to any building permit final inspection. Contact the City at 360-379-5095 to schedule inspection. County: 1. Footings and setbacks (rebar must be in place) 2. Foundation (rebar must be in place) 3. Under-slab plumbing (10-foot head of water). Underground insulation. 4. Framing and plumbing (may be done at same time; roof completed, windows installed, The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
and electrical approved; water must be in lines). Air-seal of utility penetration. Shear walls and hold downs. 5. Masonry chimney 6. Shear wall 7. Insulation 8. Sheetrock nailing (before taping) 9. Stormwater 10. Zoning, as required 11. Final (including safety features and woodstove) (Septic and road approach permits are to be finaled prior to C of O.) How to Call for an Inspection
Port Townsend - Building inspection requests are made by calling the 24-hour inspection line, 360-385-2294. Inspections requested before 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday will be made the following day. Calls made before 3 p.m. Friday will be made on Monday. When requesting an inspection, leave the permit number, the name listed on the permit, the address of the construction, the type of inspection requested, the day for which the inspection is requested, and on-site or cellular phone number. The inspection card and approved plans must be available to the Inspector at the job site. Inspections will not be made unless these items are on the site. Reinspection fees will be charged for return visits ($50). The Public Works inspection can be requested at 360-385-2294. Permits and plans must be available at the site. A minimum of 24 hours notice should be provided for public works inspections. The City reserves the right to reject any installation not inspected by the Public Works inspector. Jefferson County - Requests for inspections outside of the Port Townsend city limits must be made prior to 3 p.m. the business day before the inspection. Due to the department being closed on Fridays, Monday inspection requests must be received by 3 p.m. Thursday of the previous week. The City and County recognize the costs to builders whenever work must stop to wait for inspection. Every effort is made to visit the job site when requested to avoid delays. Nevertheless, critical work such as concrete pours or drywall taping should not be scheduled until the required inspections have been made and passed. A reinspection fee is charged each time the inspector must return for reinspection of work not ready at the initial inspection. No additional inspections will be made until all reinspection fees have been paid. CHAPTER 6:
Certificate of Occupancy ▼ A certificate of occupancy (C of O) is a written statement which certifies that the structure has passed all inspections and is ready for occupancy. When a commercial or multi-family structure passes final inspection, a certificate of occupancy is automatically issued. A certificate of occupancy is optional for single-family houses and is issued only upon request. CHAPTER 7:
Smoke Detectors ▼ All new homes need a smoke detector in
each sleeping room, in addition to those in the hallways adjacent to sleeping rooms, and one on each floor. All smoke detectors must have electric power and battery backup. For all projects requiring a permit, smoke detectors must be installed in all areas as required in the IBC for new construction. Battery-powered smoke detectors are adequate for complying with smoke detector requirements in existing construction. See smoke detector information under woodstoves. Carbon Monoxide Alarms
For new construction, an approved carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms in dwelling units within which fuel-fired appliances are installed and in dwelling units that have attached garages. Where required in existing dwellings. Where work requiring a permit occurs in existing dwellings that have attached garages or in existing dwellings within which fuel-fired appliances exist, carbon monoxide alarms shall be provided in accordance with Section R315.1. CHAPTER 8:
Washington State Energy Code ▼ The 2012 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC) is enforced statewide for residences heated by gas, oil, heat pumps and electric
resistance. Although wood heat may be used as back-up heat, it may not be listed as a primary heat source within the City of Port Townsend, but is allowed by state law in portions of Jefferson County. WSEC compliance must be included with an application for a building permit. With few exceptions, all new construction of heated space, including remodels and additions, must meet energy code standards; this applies to both residential and commercial projects. Alternatives
There are three very different ways to show your building complies with the WSEC: 1. Prescriptive Approach. The simplest but most restrictive path, this approach is based on a ratio of window area to floor area. It requires that each exterior wall, floor, window and ceiling meet specified heat loss standards. 2. Component Performance Approach. This approach compares the heat loss rate of your home, as designed, to a house of “standard design” built to WSEC requirements. It allows you to trade increased insulation in one area for less in another, or perhaps more window or skylight area. 3. Systems Analysis Approach. This is the most flexible but most complex approach. It compares building heat losses and gains, giving credit for solar and thermal mass. The com– Continued on page 28
Understanding the Washington State Carbon Monoxide Alarm Laws RCW 19.27.530 (2009) and Chapter 132 Laws of 2012 (SSB 6472) Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide can quickly build up to unsafe levels in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide killed over 1,000 Washington residents between 1990 and 2005. In the aftermath of the December 2006 windstorm, over 300 people were treated at hospital emergency rooms for CO poisoning and eight people died. Generators in garages, or near air intakes, and use of charcoal or gas grills indoors, are common causes of CO poisoning during power outages. Fuel burning appliances, attached garages, and fireplaces are also sources of CO. Beginning January 1, 2011, state law required CO alarms to be installed in all new single family homes and residences, including apartments, condominiums, hotels, and motels. State law requires CO alarms be installed in existing apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels and singlefamily residences by January 1, 2013. Owner-occupied single-family residences, legally occupied before July 26, 2009, are not required to have CO alarms until they are sold. The seller is required to equip the residence with CO alarms before any other person legally occupies the home. Substitute Senate Bill 6472 added CO alarms to the Purchase/Sale disclosure form in 2012. Exemptions SSB 5561, implemented as RCW 19.27.530, charged the State Building Code Council with adoption of administrative rules (WAC 51-50-0908) to implement the carbon monoxide alarm law and consider exemptions for some building classifications. Sleeping units or dwelling units in new or existing motels, hotels, college dormitories, and DSHS licensed boarding home and residential treatment facilities, which do not themselves contain a fuel-burning appliance, or a fuel-burning fireplace, or have an attached garage, but are located in a building with a fuel-burning appliance, or a fuel-burning fireplace, or an attached garage, need not be provided with CO alarms provided that: The sleeping unit or dwelling unit is not adjacent to any room that contains a fuel-burning appliance, a fuel-burning fireplace, or an attached garage; and The sleeping unit or dwelling unit is not connected by duct work or ventilation shafts with a supply or return register in the same room to any room containing a fuel-burning appliance, a fuel-burning fireplace, or to an attached garage; and The building has a common area CO alarm system. Enforcement Local code officials will check for compliance with the CO alarm installation requirements when a permit is required for new construction and most alterations, repairs or additions. CO alarm installation requirements 1. Alarms must be located outside of each separate sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom and on each level of the residence. 2. Single station carbon monoxide alarms must be listed as complying with UL 2034, and installed in accordance with the code and the manufacturer’s instructions. 3. Combined CO and smoke alarms are permitted. For more information State Building Code Council staff can be reached at 360-407-9279 CO poisoning and prevention – the Department of Health CO web page.
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puted annual energy consumption must be no greater than a building of “standard design” under the prescriptive approach. Additions and Remodels
Residential remodels and additions must comply with the 2012 WSEC. However, additions less than 750 square feet are not required to comply if improvements are made to the existing building to compensate for the nonconforming addition. Mechanical Ventilation
The 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) requires a mechanical ventilation system in all new construction of residential occupancies, and in residential additions which are larger than 500 square feet or include a “wet room” such as a bathroom, laundry or kitchen. The ventilation system has two separate, but related, tasks to accomplish: 1. Source Specific Ventilation: A mechanical ventilation system which removes stale air from rooms where excess water vapor or cooking odor is produced (such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, spas, or similar uses) provides source specific ventilation. 2. Whole House Ventilation: To provide good air quality in other rooms, or whole house ventilation, the system must: - Remove stale air from the bedrooms and other living spaces; -Distribute sufficient outdoor air to all habitable rooms IRC defines “habitable” space as that used for “living, eating, sleeping, or cooking.” Bathrooms, closets, or hallways are not habitable rooms. Energy Inspections
If your project includes heated space, the Washington State Energy Code requires applicants to adhere to all energy code requirements. Land use permit(s) may be required. See land use section for more information. Washington State Energy Code (WSEC) requires a building air leakage (blower door) and duct test prior to final inspection. There are three common problems found in insulation inspections: 1. Inadequate vapor retarder. The WSEC requires a vapor retarder be installed between the inside wall covering (sheet rock, etc.) and the insulation. Typically, this is accomplished with kraft-faced batt insulation face-stapled to the framing studs, or through stapling 4-mil polyethylene to the insulated walls before installing sheet rock or paneling. Approved vapor barrier paint may also be used. - Roof/ceiling assemblies in which the ventilation space above the insulation is less than an average of 12 inches must also have a vapor retarder between the inside ceiling covering and the insulation. The vapor retarder must meet the same impermeability rating as for walls. - Blown or poured loose-fill insulation may be used in attic spaces where the slope of the ceiling is not greater than three feet in 12 feet and there is at least 30 inches of clear distance from the top of the bottom chord of truss or ceiling joists to the underside of the roof sheathing at the roof ridge. - Insulation must be cut around electrical boxes and installed tightly against each box, not pushed behind the boxes. 2. Insulation baffles at eaves. Ceiling insulation often shifts or compresses where attic
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space narrows at the eaves where the roof meets the top of the walls. This blocks the flow of air, where eave vents are installed, resulting in moisture problems in the attic. To prevent this, baffles must be installed to deflect the incoming air above the insulation. 3. Caulking. To reduce infiltration of outside air, the energy code requires outside joints to be caulked or sealed. Exterior joints around windows and door frames; openings between walls and foundations; between walls and roof and between wall panels; openings at penetrations of utility services through walls, floors and roofs and rim joists exposed in stairwells; and all other such openings in the building envelope shall be sealed, caulked, gasketed, or weatherstripped to limit air leakage.
minimize heat loss to the outside. Woodstoves must be Washington State certified. The State Building Code Council has adopted two state-wide amendments to the International Building Code pertaining to the testing, certifying and labeling of factory-built masonry and concrete fireplaces. Essentially, a factorybuilt masonry or concrete fireplace must have a certification label. The Department of Energy (1-800-523-4636) maintains an approved woodstove and fireplace list.
Because soil varies, the ability of each soil to absorb sewage effluent also varies. Serious health problems can arise from an overloaded or poorly designed septic system. While most of us are acquainted with the topsoil on our property, systems must rely on the lower soils. Glaciers left deposits of till and silt over much of the area. These and clay soils can create hardpan soils which restrict water absorption. Impermeable soils keep sewage near or at the surface, or may cause back-up into the house.
Woodstoves, Fireplace Inserts, Pellet Stoves, Masonry and Concrete Fireplaces ▼ In recent years, both lending institutions and insurance companies have become increasingly cautious in lending on or insuring structures containing solid fuel appliances (woodstoves, fireplace inserts, and pellet stoves). Improper installation of these heating units has resulted in a significant increase in home fires. The City of Port Townsend requires a Mechanical Permit and Jefferson County requires an Installation Permit for retrofitting a woodstove or installing a new wood stove in an existing structure. Inspection is required, and in new construction the wood stove installation may be included in the building permit. A woodstove may not be installed as the sole source of heat but may be utilized as a secondary source of heat in the city of Port Townsend. Common errors in woodstove installation include: not enough clearance from walls or combustible surfaces, inadequate hearth extension, installing the pipe sections with the crimped end toward the chimney, or improper venting of pellet stoves. A final woodstove permit is your assurance that the stove was properly installed per the International Building Code and the International Mechanical Code. Note: When any work requiring a permit is done in a dwelling, smoke detectors must be installed per the International Building Code. The essential smoke detector requirements are: One in each sleeping room and one in any hallway leading to a sleeping room. Also, each floor, including basements, must have a smoke detector. Battery-powered smoke detectors are adequate in dwelling areas where no new construction is being done. All solid-fuel burning appliances require an outside source of combustion air supply and doors on woodstoves and fireplaces. The requirement for “tight-fitting” metal or glass doors reduces heat loss and back drafting. As houses become tighter under the new energy code, attention must be paid to the need for an adequate supply of air for combustion without detracting from indoor air quality. Therefore, a six-inch (or two 3-inch) duct for fireplaces and the manufacturer’s recommended duct design for woodstoves must be installed from the firebox to outside air. When a woodstove is installed in an existing building and the location of the woodstove prohibits direct connection to outside air, an approved wall make-up air inlet must be installed as close to the appliance as possible into the room in which the appliance is located. The duct must also have a barometric damper to
260 feet from the nearest sewer main, in which case the septic system may be repaired to serve the property, provided it can be upgraded to Jefferson County Health Department requirements. Septic Inspections
Two inspection approvals are required for septic systems. One comes at the time of application and includes a visit to the site.The second comes at the time of installation. A Septic System Primer
Onsite Septic Systems ▼ Why Septic Is Needed
When Is a Permit Required?
Any place where people live, work, or congregate that is not served by a sanitary sewer needs to have a permitted on-site sewage system. New construction to replace or remodel an existing structure requires a new permit. Temporary uses (more than 30 days) such as camps or recreational vehicles also require a permit. Applications must include plans designed by a licensed engineer or licensed septic designer. Plans are drawn to scale and show the required distances between a well, septic tank, surface water, and buildings. Prior to approval, the Jefferson County Environmental Health Department evaluates the soil on the site from a minimum of four test holes. Often, soil evaluation must be conducted during the wet season. Both primary and reserve drain fields are required and soil must be approved for each. The system should be designed for greater than typical capacity. If approved, permits are issued for the specific site, not the family or business. Permits are valid for three years. Applications are made at the Jefferson County Department of Community Development or Environmental Health Department. New on-site septic systems are only allowed in the City of Port Townsend for new single family residential development which is greater than 260 feet from the nearest city sewer main and which is not subject to any of the following: a) Subdivision, short subdivision and planned unit development (PUD) approvals subject to the Subdivision Ordinance PTMC Title 18 (as stated in PTMC 13.22.010) b) Review and threshold determination under the State Environmental Policy Act Implementing Ordinance (Chapter 19.04 PTMC) or c) Permit requirements of the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Ordinance (Chapter 19.05 PTMC). Onsite septic systems must be approved by the Jefferson County Health Department. If an on-site septic system within the City of Port Townsend fails (at any time), connection to the City’s system is required unless the nearest portion of the parcel is greater than
Waste water and sewage (effluent) must be treated to prevent disease. Effluent flows from the house to a septic tank, from where it flows into drain lines that carry it to absorbing soils.As it filters down through the soil, it is purified by soil bacteria. Two to four feet of good soil must exist below the drain field pipes to treat the effluent.The amount varies due to soil types. Soil types range from gravel to sand, sandy loam, loam, to clays. If the effluent flows or percolates (percs) too quickly, it may reach ground water without adequate purification, polluting neighboring wells or springs. If it percs too slowly, the effluent backs up into the house or resurfaces. Sandy soil requires less area than finer, loamy soils. Conventional septic systems cannot be used in clay or other impervious soils.Approved alternative systems can overcome some site limitations. On-Site-Septic systems (OSS) are effective if the following conditions exist: 1. Properly designed and installed system. 2. Adequate soil conditions. 3. System is not overloaded, neglected or impeded by excessive wastes from the house or business. 4. Solid wastes are kept at a minimum. Septic systems can handle only human excrement, toilet paper and wash water. Garbage disposals may be too much. 5. Clear liquid is visible through annual visual inspections. 6. Pumped out every three to five years. 7. The drain field is protected from vehicles. CHAPTER 11:
Manufactured/Mobile and Modular Homes ▼ Manufactured/mobile and modular homes are treated the same as site-constructed homes with respect to setbacks, water, sewage disposal, drainage, stormwater, footing drains, roof drainage and the like. A siting permit is required for both manufactured/mobile and modular homes. Modular homes are built in a factory to the standards of the International Building Code (IBC) and are installed on a conventional foundation and require a foundation plan and the appropriate inspections. Manufactured homes are built to Federal Housing and Urban Development specifications. Manufactured homes do not require a conventional foundation and may be installed per the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The blocking, plumbing, skirting, steps, and porches are inspected as part of a Manufactured Home permit. In conformance with the City’s comprehensive plan, manufactured homes are allowed in all residential zones as long as they are no more than three years old and meet other requirements (see “Manufactured Home Siting Permit” section). Mobile homes and trailer homes are not allowed in any residential zone.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
Shoreline Master Program ▼ Enacted in 1971, the Washington State Shoreline Management Act recognizes shorelines as among the most valuable and fragile of the state’s natural resources. Shoreline Act policy aims to maximize public access to the waterfront, provide for uses which are water dependent or water related and to protect and restore shoreline resources. Some projects are exempt from the shoreline permit process, but all projects must comply with the policies of the Shoreline Master Program and the Shoreline Management Act. The Jefferson County Shoreline Master Program regulates all shoreline activities outside the City limits and the Port Townsend Shoreline Master Program regulates all shoreline activities within the City limits. Port Townsend adopted an updated Shoreline Master Program in February 2007, and can be found on the City website home page under “City Plans.” A pre-application conference is required for all project proposals. Should a shoreline permit be necessary, an Army Corps of Engineers permit and a Department of Fish and Wildlife hydraulics permit may also be necessary. All application forms are available at City Hall and at the County Department of Community Development as well as online at www.co.jefferson.wa.us and at www. cityofpt.us. After a shoreline permit has been applied for, the application is advertised to allow public comment. A public hearing may be conducted. After final action by the city or county, the application is reviewed by the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE). The DOE may accept, modify or reject decisions on shoreline variances or shoreline conditional use permits. The entire process takes approximately 4 months, depending on the complexity of the project, the quality of project planning, and the number of projects already submitted. Also see Chapter 18.25 of the Jefferson County Code. Jurisdiction of the Act
The Shoreline Management Act’s jurisdiction includes all marine waters of the state; all freshwater areas of the state except rivers and streams with a mean annual flow of under 20 cubic feet per second and except lakes under 20 acres in areas; their associated wetlands; and the upland areas extending 200 feet landward. In general, if you plan to develop within 200 feet of these shorelines or to establish a permanent structure near or on the water, you will probably be required to have a shoreline permit. Very small projects may be ex-
empt from the shoreline permitting process; however, exempt projects must still be reviewed by city and county staff to ensure consistency with the Master Program. A formal exemption must be issued prior to working on an exempt project. Shoreline Setback
Single Family Residences typically require a shoreline exemption approval. On sites containing critical areas, critical area buffers may also apply, requiring increased setbacks from bluff tops or the water’s edge. Exceptions to this standard may be discussed with City or County planners. CHAPTER 13:
State Environmental Policy Act ▼ The State Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA, is a set of regulatory procedures based on the simple notion that environmental values and consequences must be considered, along with technical and economic considerations, by state and local government officials when making decisions. The SEPA process starts when someone submits a permit application or when a government agency proposes to take some official action. Not all permit activities or governmental proposals require SEPA review. There are over 200 minor actions and development activities which are exempt from the SEPA process, ranging from normal repair and remodeling to the construction of up to nine new homes. Generally speaking, the SEPA process will apply to your project if the proposal involves a subdivision of land, involves a shoreline or wetland, is a conditional use, requires a comprehensive plan amendment, or is commercial, industrial, or multi-family residential in nature. The SEPA process is two-fold. First, it attempts to understand and evaluate the environmental consequences of a proposal. (The term environment applies to the natural environment as well as the built environment. Therefore, SEPA is used to understand the effects a project would have on migratory waterfowl as well as how a proposal may impact a local transportation system.) And second, SEPA attempts to reduce potential adverse impacts or to find a less environmentally harmful way of doing the same thing. SEPA’s procedure begins with an Environmental Checklist. This questionnaire serves as an environmental disclosure statement. It is from this questionnaire and/or supplementary information, that the City or County will determine whether the impacts “may have a probable significant adverse environmental impact.” Should this be the case, an environmental impact statement (EIS) will be prepared.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
If, however, the identified impacts may be mitigated or conditioned, or if the project is modified to reduce the impacts, then a determination of non- significance (DNS) or mitigated determination of non-significance (MDNS) may be issued. Some projects have no impacts that require mitigation so a determination of nonsignificance (DNS) is made. The SEPA Responsible Official is responsible for making the threshold determination. The Jefferson County SEPA Responsible Official has jurisdiction outside the City. Once the local determination has been issued, other private, local and state agencies, tribes, as well as the public have the opportunity to review the determination and offer additional comments for consideration. A determination of non-significance is not considered final until 14 days after issuance of the threshold determination, pending comments. Depending on the comments received, the original determination may be (1) withdrawn, (2) the project’s impacts may be further mitigated or modified, or (3) left as originally issued. The SEPA threshold determination process, as it is called, takes a minimum of 40 days to complete after a complete environmental checklist is submitted and usually runs concurrently with other permit review. An “optional DNS process” may be utilized when the responsible official makes a threshold determination and issues a DNS or MDNS. Check with the City and County for further details. If the City/County determines that a proposal is likely to result in significant adverse environmental impacts, an EIS provides more opportunity for the public, agencies, and tribes to participate in assessing impacts and developing mitigation and / or alternatives. If you have questions about the applicability of SEPA to a project you may have in mind, feel free to contact the planning staff. Critical Areas (City Only) Amended 2005
Under the Growth Management Act, the City was required to identify and protect environmentally sensitive areas. As defined by the state, Critical Areas are to include wetlands and streams, frequently flooded areas, aquifer recharge areas, fish and wildlife habitat, and geologically hazardous areas including steep slopes, seismic hazards, and soils with high erosion rates. The city adopted an Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) ordinance as required under the GMA in November 1992. Revisions to the ordinance were approved in 2005 and the title was changed to “Critical Areas Ordinance” or CAO. State law now requires the use of “best available science” in developing policies and implementing regulations to protect the functions and values of critical areas. As the City grows and densities become greater, cumulative effects
from development may pose problems to the public health and safety from such hazards as increased flooding and landsliding.The City is beginning to see increasing numbers of development applications in Critical Areas as the more easily developed lots become scarce and as property buyers seek the scenic views or rural characteristics that typify many Critical Area sites. Most of the Critical Areas in the City are still largely undeveloped. The intent of the ordinance is to provide certain safeguards to Critical Areas by encouraging good site planning and construction techniques which minimize development impacts. For each type of Critical Area, such as wetland or steep slope, there are specific standards which will guide development to avoid or address a particular hazard, or protect or maintain a natural process or resource. A Critical Areas permit is required for a “development proposal.” (See 19.05.030) Development proposals include activities requiring a development permit (e.g., a building permit, clearing and grading permit or street development permit). If you suspect that your property contains or is near a Critical Area, it is recommended that you contact a planner with the City Development Services Department prior to commencing land-altering activities. Typically, the Critical Area application process begins once an application for a development proposal has been submitted. The City has maps available for use by the public showing the general location of Critical Areas. Once the City has determined that your property is in a mapped Critical Area or may meet the criteria for a Critical Area, you may be required to obtain a Critical Area permit. The Critical Area permit process begins with a required pre-appli-
cation consultation with city staff to discuss the project. Next you or your contractor submits a site construction plan which includes a field inventory of your site and, possibly, a survey to determine the property lines on your site. If your site has a Critical Area located on it, you may also be required to hire a qualified critical area consultant to prepare a Special Report describing the Critical Area’s location, its functions, or any potential hazard, and ways in which the project minimizes impacts or avoids the sensitive area. Upon approval of the site plan and any required reports, a pre-construction meeting is required between City staff, the applicant, consultants and contractors to review specific project details and methods of construction. The last step involves City staff approving field marking on the site before permitted activities may begin. If your site is uncomplicated, you may be able to complete most of the paperwork by yourself. There are some surveys and reports, such as a wetland delineation and mitigation plan, which must be handled by qualified experts. Your contractor will not necessarily be qualified to complete all of the paperwork for you, but will be able to hire the necessary experts, or you can hire them yourself. You can represent yourself at the meetings with City staff.The meetings are a good opportunity for you to ask questions. For many projects, the City may request your contractor, consultants, or subcontractors to attend, so that everyone understands the process and regulations. Processing time varies for Critical Area permits. It is dependent on the property and its development constraints and the types of information required to prepare a construction plan which minimizes critical area im– Continued on page 30
Service Fees - Port Townsend
Development service fees reflect the actual cost in staff time and hearing examiner services to process land use applications. A list of fees is available on the city’s website, www. cityofpt.us. From the home page, go to City Hall, Departments, Development Services Department, Fee Schedule. The schedule reflects a “base fee” for Development Services staff review. Applicants will be notified if processing time exceeds the base fee at which time applicants will be billed for staff time, currently at a rate of $50/hour. City Engineer Staff Review of land use projects are billed at the current rate of $50/hour. Applicants may request an estimate of the review fee. Customer Assistance Meetings (CAMS) incur a current rate of $100 fee for two hours of staff time; the current rate of $50/hour will be charged for more than two hours. One half of the current rate base fee ($50) may be credited to a subsequent, associated pre-application/land use application if submitted within the 12 months of the CAM. These fees help us continue to provide building and development services to our citizens.A copy of the complete fee schedule is available on request. (Fees are subject to change. Fees are reviewed on an annual basis and may change after the publication of this guide. Please verify with staff prior to submitting an application).
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pacts to the greatest feasible extent. Land Use Permits: City
Prior to submitting a land use application (e.g., subdivision, shoreline, revisions to shoreline management permits, Critical Area permits, variance, conditional use, binding site plans, and site specific rezones consistent with the Port Townsend comprehensive plan), staff suggests applicants apply for public information and technical assistance. There are three types: 1. A “Customer Assistance Meeting” (CAM) is $100 for two hours of staff time for the property owner (or potential purchaser or business with the property owner’s permission). It is designed to assist a potential applicant through the land use process and / or provide preliminary infrastructure requirements. A $50 per hour fee will be charged over two hours. One half of the $100 base fee ($50) may be credited to a subsequent associated pre-application if submitted within 12 months of the CAM. 2. A “Pre-Application Conference” ($150 for three hours of staff time, to $250 for five hours of staff time, plus $50 per additional staff hour, depending on the proposal) provides a written report including planning, building and general public works information pertinent to a specific development proposal. The purpose of a pre-application conference is to acquaint the applicant with the requirements of the Port Townsend Municipal Code and to allow an exchange of information and ideas based upon the applicant’s preliminary sketch of the proposal. Issues commonly addressed at a pre-application conference include permit requirements, the process, timing, public notice requirements, application fees, and submittal requirements. 3. A “Technical Conference” ($250, plus $50 per hour over five hours of staff time) provides
public works requirements that remain valid for one year from the date of review. It may be required by the public works director when streets or infrastructure is extended. CHAPTER 14:
Subdivisions (short & long) & Binding Site Plans ▼ Zoning or development codes in the City and County regulate the type and intensity of development that may occur in the community. Subdivision codes govern the process of dividing a single parcel of land into two or more parcels for further sale or development. This process is regulated to ensure that the lots which are created are usable, adequately served by roads and utilities and compatible with the neighborhoods in which they are situated. Port Townsend adopted a new subdivision code (PTMC Title 18) in 1997. In Port Townsend the Uniform Development Code identifies three different types of subdivisions: a full subdivision (10 or more lots), a short subdivision or short plat (nine lots or fewer) and a binding site plan (available for division of mixed use, commercial or industrial zoned property and for residential condominiums). The requirements are slightly different for each, since a larger subdivision requires more in the way of roads and utilities. The Jefferson County Code (Chapter 18.35) ensures that proposed subdivisions will include adequate provisions for such things as water supply, sewage disposal, and roads. This is to safeguard that property will be divided into buildable lots, this being in compliance with Washington State law and the Jefferson County Code. Short subdivision or short plat: This is the division or splitting of property into four or fewer lots. The city and county lot limits may differ.
ShorelineBuffers Buffersand and Setbacks Setbacks –- Jefferson Jefferson County Shoreline County CAO The Critical Areas Ordinance (JCC 18.22) requires a protective buffer plus a building setback along sensitive environmental features, regardless of location along the shoreline, such as: Type of Critical Area Landslide Hazard Fish & Wildlife Habitat Conservation (i.e. marine shores, streams and lakes) Wetlands
Standard Buffer 30 feet 50 – 150 feet
Building Setback + 5 feet + 5 feet
25 – 350 feet
+ 5 feet
There are also a few options to adjust the standard critical area buffer if certain criteria are met. SMP The Shoreline Master Program (SMP) has been adopted. The following standard buffers and setbacks apply to most use and development activities near the water: Type of Shoreline Marine Stream/River Lake
Standard Buffer 150 feet 150 feet 100 feet
Building Setback + 10 feet + 10 feet + 10 feet
There will also be several options to adjust the standard shoreline buffer if certain criteria are met. If a buffer/setback has already been legally established (via recorded plat, SPAAD, etc.) it will be honored.
Check with DCD for up to date information:
360.379.4450 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 621 Sheridan Street, Port Townsend
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Long subdivision or long plat: This is the division or splitting of property into five or more lots. (If the date of the last subdivision is less than five years ago, a long subdivision is required to create additional lots.) In Port Townsend, short plats and binding site plans are primarily administrative, while full subdivisions require a public hearing. In the county short plats are an administrative function, but long plats must go through the subdivision review process outlined below. Subdivision review involves a two step process: preliminary and final. The preliminary plat presents information that allows for a detailed review of the project. The final plat is designed to assure that all the conditions and improvements required during preliminary approval are implemented. The time period for the subdivision process varies, depending upon how long the applicant takes in presenting the final plat. The preliminary plat process takes up to 120 days from determination of completed application. State law now states the time limit at nine years. CHAPTER 15:
Easements ▼ An easement is generally the right of a person to go upon land owned by someone else and use it for various specified purposes. Normally, though not always, an easement runs across one piece of land for the use and benefit of one or more nearby owners, or the general public. Most common examples are easements for utility lines (e.g., water, sewer, storm drain, electrical power) and for access (e.g., roads, driveways, trails, ingress-egress). An easement often includes the right to do work to the property so that the easement can be used (e.g., digging, grading, filling, leveling, graveling, etc.), and can vary in width or length. Easements may be created by a written document; be implied by circumstances; become established through continuous use; or by other means under the law. Because easements may affect the title to or use of land, property owners should take great care to inspect the title and the property to ensure the easement is valid and sufficient. Legal assistance is advised. The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office has a file of recorded easements. CHAPTER 16:
Jefferson County ▼ Special Considerations for Jefferson County Projects: Address Numbering
The Department of Community Development assigns addresses in Jefferson County. Structures are required to have an address so that the fire department or aid car can find your structure in the case of emergency. The U.S. Postal Service also can serve you with an assigned and posted address. Floodplains
Jefferson County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Areas adjacent to streams, rivers, and marine shorelines that are subject to flooding fall within the jurisdiction of the Jefferson Flood Damage Prevention Management Ordinance. These
regulations govern development and construction within floodplains. These areas have been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and depicted on special maps. Consult the Department of Community Development and Chapter 15.15 JCC. The minimum requirements of the NFIP protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community by protecting buildings from the 100-year, or 1% chance flood, the program was not intended to address other floodplain management concerns, such as fish and wildlife habitat. On September 22, 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a Biological Opinion that required changes to the implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program in order to meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Puget Sound watershed. As a result, development proposed within the floodplain in eastern Jefferson County shall demonstrate through a habitat assessment that the development project will not have an adverse effect on listed species or designated critical habitat or provide concurrence from National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that the project is compliant with the Endangered Species Act. Habitat Assessment guidance is located at http://www. fema.gov/about/regions/regionx/nfipesa.shtm. Road Approach
Road approach permits are required any time you wish to construct an approach (driveway) to access a county road or state highway. You will need to apply for a permit at the Department of Public Works or Washington State Department of Transportation. Complete instructions for completion of the application and approach construction standards are available at the Department of Community Development. Water
Washington State requires that proof of potable (safe for drinking) water be provided prior to building permit issuance. For each building permit necessitating potable water, evidence of available and adequate water supply must be submitted with the building permit application (JCC 18.40.100).This usually means that a well must be drilled and tested, or a tap commitment must be obtained from an approved water company. Check with the Department of Community Development for more information. Zoning
The Jefferson County Code (JCC)governs how areas of the County are developed. Designed to prevent haphazard development, it deals with the relationship of uses and structures to the neighborhood as a whole and also to the individual piece of property. Zoning is based upon the Comprehensive Plan, which is a policy developed by and for the citizens of Jefferson County. The Comprehensive Plan guides land use decisions for all of us. JCC consistency review and/or permit approval is required for any commercial or industrial development in Jefferson County, home business, cottage industry, temporary use, etc. Consult with the Department of Community Development to become familiar with the JCC, which implements the Comprehensive Plan or log on to www.co.jefferson.wa.us Site Plan Approval Advance Determination (SPAAD)
A Site Plan Approval Advance Determination, or SPAAD, is to allow a prospective buyer, The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
owner or developer of land a means of obtaining advance determinations of the site requirements and constraints to particular parcels without undertaking the risk or expense of applying for a “triggering” building or other development permit. The process is intended to reduce the cost of development and aid in the facilitation of pre-development financing for applicants. Advanced site plan approval may be granted without an accompanying building or development permit only upon completion of an administrative review process to ensure consistency with the performance standards of the JCC. SPAAD approval is effective for five years from the date of original approval and will expire after five years if a building permit has not been issued. A SPAAD is not immune from changes in state or federal laws which are enacted or have an effective date after the date of the site plan approval and which may affect the performance and implementation of the site plan and associated use or activity. Environmentally Sensitive Areas
Your permit application will be reviewed by the Department of Community Development at the time of application. The intent of the review is to promote site development that is consistent with individual land owner’s goals while protecting environmental resources, which are valuable to everyone. Jefferson County requires an application and fee for removal or trimming of trees and/or removal or pruning vegetation if located within a landslide hazard area, stream and /or wetland buffer or within 150 ft. of the marine shoreline. Please check with the Coach on duty to discuss your particular proposal. (See Chapter 18.22 of the Jefferson County Code)
Comprehensive land use planning is a systematic process designed to incorporate community vision with existing conditions in the community. The plan develops clear policies to regulate appropriate future development, and implements the Growth Management Act (GMA) and other applicable state and federal regulations. The GMA requires communities to consider thirteen goals and several elements. On August 28, 1998, the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a Comprehensive Plan to guide and focus County growth over the next twenty years. The plan complies with the Growth Management Act. The Plan is published in two volumes; both volumes are available at public libraries and community centers as well as on the Internet at www. co.jefferson.wa.us. Copies are also available at the Jefferson County Department of Community Development, 621 Sheridan Street. Based on the requirements of the Growth Management Act, Countywide Planning Policies, community input, and Growth Management Hearings Board rulings, Jefferson County determined that the County’s land use and rural strategy for rural commercial lands must include the following key policy guidelines: 1. The County must ensure that rural areas of more intensive residential, commercial and industrial development are contained in a manner that preserves rural character. 2. The County must ensure that rural commercial development located outside designated Urban Growth Areas is appropriately scaled to serve the needs of the local rural community and the traveling public and to protect and enhance rural character. In terms of single family residence
Service Fees - Jefferson County
The Jefferson County DCD requires pre-applications for conditional use permits. Make sure your proposed project is allowed on your site, before investing significant time and money. Simple questions can be answered by DCD planning staff during our regular “coaching” hours at offices, 621 Sheridan St. in Port Townsend: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon; Wednesday 1 p.m. to 4:30 pm. DCD now offers a “Customer Assistance Meeting” (CAM) for providing information. The first 15 minutes are free, followed by a minimum charge of $76 for the first hour of assistance. More detailed review is available through a “pre-application” meeting with all relevant departments, for a cost of $885. A pre-application meeting is intended to guide customers through the process and provide code provisions. The pre-app process is considered extremely useful as all areas of permit review meet together with the applicant to discuss the project. Obtain a Pre-Application Conference form from DCD and submit with a check in the amount of $885. The fee is comprised of: $380 Development Review Division (billed for additional time if exceeds four hours); $156 Environmental Health; $76 Building Division; $152 Fire Code (billed for additional time if exceeds two hours); $121 Public Works. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
building permits, lots which were legally created and that meet Health Department standards for septic and water, setback requirements, critical areas restrictions and other applicable regulations may be developed even if the land use map indicates a lower density. Now that the Plan is adopted, the County has developed regulations consistent with the Plan, most of which are contained in the Jefferson County Code (JCC) or community plans. The Department of Community Development is guided in developing land use regulations by the Planning Commission. All Planning Commission meetings are public. CHAPTER 17:
Port Townsend ▼ Lots of Record (PTMC 18.18)
This process is required: • When development of 2 to 9 lots platted before 1937 requires a building or other land use permit and the extension of public water and/or sewer utilities and/or the opening and development of an unopened street. • When certification of one lot of record is needed. • When lots must be consolidated to meet minimum building site size requirements through restrictive covenants. Letter to the Assessor
When multiple lots of record that are under one (or more) tax parcel number are proposed to be divided for the purposes of sale, trade or transfer, and new, separate tax parcel number(s) are requested from the Jefferson County Assessor, the applicant can apply for a “letter to the Assessor” process. City staff will research the property and fax a letter to the Jefferson County Assessor’s office about whether the division of lots into separate tax parcels complies with the City’s subdivision code. The letter will contain basic information about current zoning, minimum lot size and the presence of any critical areas mapped on the property. A copy will be mailed to the property owner. The property owner must first pay any property taxes due to the Jefferson County Treasurer’s office and submit a signed letter confirming the request. This process is not a substitute for the Lots of Record process. If you have multiple lots for sale, please contact the planning staff ahead of time if you wish to discuss development requirements. Description of Zoning Districts (PTMC Title 17)
Property in Port Townsend, as in most cities, is classified into zoning districts to preserve public safety, to protect property values, and to facilitate provision of public services. Basically, zoning in Port Townsend is
a means to assure that nearby uses are compatible and that buildings are placed to reduce fire risks and to provide adequate open spaces for light and air. All land within the City is divided into 16 zoning districts as shown on the official zoning map. These maps are posted at DSD in City Hall and found on the city website at www.cityofpt.us under Public Works. The districts, purposes, uses and major restrictions are as follows: Residential Zoning Districts
Refer to the Port Townsend Municipal Code (PTMC) Title 17 for information pertaining to all residential zoning districts. See Table 17.16.030. Setbacks for R-I and R-II have changed. Permitted and Conditional Uses
Each zoning district permits some uses outright “P”, allows others with a Conditional Use Permit “C”, and prohibits others “X”. All use tables are within PTMC Title 17 Zoning online at: http:// www.codepublishing.com/wa/porttownsend.html. Overlay Districts
The Overlay District is a special designation that uses specific standards and requirements which are applied in addition to the basic zoning classification. The Special Design Review Overlay District (north of the ferry terminal to Point Hudson and east of the bluff) requires Historic Preservation Committee Design Review and mandatory compliance. The Special Height Overlay District extends from the waterline to the bluff in the historic commercial downtown area. Height limits vary from 25 to 50 feet and are shown on the “Official Height Overlay Map,” available at DSD. Formula Retail and Restaurant Establishments (PTMC 17.54)
Chapter 17.54 regulates the location of new or expanded “formula retail” establishments within Port Townsend.The purposes of the Formula Retail development standards are to regulate the location and operation of formula retails and restaurant establishments in order to maintain the City’s unique Victorian Seaport and surrounding rural character, the diversity and vitality of the community’s commercial districts, and the quality of life in Port Townsend residents. Businesses meeting the definition of “formula retail” establishments are regulated in the C-II General Commercial zoning district and prohibited in the C-I/MU, C-II/MU, C-I, C-II, C-II(H), CIII, M-C, and the M-II(B) Point Hudson zoning districts, and the downtown historic overlay district. “Formula retail” means a type of retail sales or rental activity and retail sales or rental establishment, including restaurants, hotels and motels, which along with fourteen or more other establishments, maintains
two or more of the following features: 1. Standardized array of merchandise or standardized menu 2. Standardized façade 3. Standardized décor and color scheme 4. Uniform apparel 5. Standardized signage 6. Trademark or service mark The following businesses are exempt from Chapter 17.54 formula business regulations: auto sales; auto tire sales and service; banks; gas (fueling) stations and convenience stores selling gasoline or other fuels; grocery stores; health care; and services, including professional services (for example, real estate offices, insurance offices, copy centers, and mail centers). Contact the city’s permit center or go to www.codepublishing.com/wa/porttownsend.html for a complete copy of this ordinance. Historic Design Review (PTMC 17.30)
Port Townsend’s National Historic Landmark District (NHLD) is a special community asset. Its impact on community character and quality of life are significant. Established by the National Park Service in 1976, the NHLD is approximately 475 acres in size and contains over 800 commercial, government, religious, residential and maritime trade buildings. In 1986, the Port Townsend Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) was created to provide design assistance and review for projects that involve historic structures (including bed and breakfast inns and other conditional uses). Its mission is to assist in creating projects that are both economically feasible and supportive of community goals. Check the City’s website for the next scheduled meeting of the HPC. Scope of HPC Review
Design review involving the HPC is required, and compliance with the outcome is mandatory, for any development project in the non-residential zones of the NHLD that requires a building or sign permit. Also, a change in paint color in these areas is subject to the following: If colors are selected from the pre-approved color palette, administrative review only is required. Other colors require a review and recommendation by the HPC. Paint colors for residential buildings are exempt from design review; however, any new additions or changes to a historic home, whether within the NHLD or outside, is also required. A map showing designated historic homes within the NHLD is available at the Development Services Department and online at the city’s web site. HPC Design Review Exemptions
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emergency repairs, ordinary maintenance and repairs, and interior remodeling or decoration. Pre-application Consultation
All projects subject to Land Use Permit Pre-Application Consultation that also require design review with the HPC will be reviewed for code compliance as part of the land use permitting process. Information on the HPC review process will be provided during the pre-application process and a separate HPC pre-application consultation may be required in addition to submittal of application materials for review at a regular HPC meeting. HPC Process and Use of Guidelines
Once a complete design review application is received, the HPC’s review must be completed within 45 days unless there are companion applications associated with the project (such as a shorelines permit). HPC review takes the form of a recommendation that is made to the Development Services Director, who makes a final decision. The HPC’s recommendation and the Director’s decision are based on locally adopted guidelines for signage, murals, awnings, exterior mechanical equipment, new additions and new construction. The review process also uses the Secretary of the Interior’s guidelines developed by the National Park Service. Information on the paint palette and all other guidelines are available at the Development Services Department. Home Occupations (PTMC 17.56)
A Home Occupation Permit is required for any home business activities that generate more than five customer or business visits per week. It is a one time fee, currently $162.50. Although businesses are generally not permitted in residential zoning districts, small home businesses may be permitted if certain conditions are met. A home occupation permit may be issued only if the business is fully enclosed within the primary residence or accessory structure, occupies no more than 50 percent (but not more than 500 square feet) of the primary structure and provides for adequate parking. At least one resident of the house must be engaged in the business and no more than three persons who are outside the immediate resident family may be employed. Noise levels and appearance must be compatible with the neighborhood and the business may not be subdivided from the residential property for sale or lease. There may be no more than five business visits per day. Hours for deliveries or non-resident employment are limited to 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday. A 3-square-foot sign is permitted which must be mounted flat to the house and may not be internally illuminated. (A sign permit is not required.) Home occupations also require a city business license. Certain types of business activities are not eligible for a home occupation permit because of their incompatibility with the maintenance of residential neighborhood character: medical or professional clinics having more than five visits a day; retail activities, except for merchandise crafted on site or items clearly accessory to a service; stables, kennels, animal husbandry or farming activities except as provided in Chapter 17.16 PTMC; vehicle repair, automobile detailing or automobile servicing activities; any activities involving more
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than five customer or business visits per day; and other uses not allowed outright or conditionally in residential zones. The following business activities are exempt from requiring a home occupation permit but must otherwise comply with the intent and provisions of the home occupation chapter: • Activities that involve no more than five vehicle visits per week • No non-resident employees • Only activities which are incidental to the residential use of the property • Instructional activities involving up to ten non-residents which occur no more than one time per week • Childcare services involving 12 or fewer children, including children who reside in the home (provided that these services comply with PTMC Chapter 17.52 Day Care Facilities) Bed & Breakfast Inns and Tourist Homes (PTMC 17.08 & 17.84)
These transient accommodations in residential zones are defined as providing lodging for periods of no more than 29 consecutive days. Only guest rooms may be rented, not entire houses. Accessory structures are only allowed if the B&B or the tourist home was established prior to June 1, 1989. A bed and breakfast inn is defined as a building with a central kitchen which provides the primary residence for the owner or operator and which offers guest rooms. Food may be served to guests. Food handling is under the jurisdiction of the Jefferson County Health Department. A tourist home is defined as the primary residence of the owner and may offer up to two guest rooms for sleeping purposes only. A bed and breakfast inn or tourist home may only be established with a conditional use permit in any of the residential zones (R-I, R-II, R-III and R-IV), but not in any other zone. (See “Conditional Use Permits” under Zoning Exceptions later in this chapter.) Lodgings with three or more units require a transient accommodation permit from the State of Washington and all units require a lifesafety inspection. Previously approved transient accommodations may apply to increase the number of guest rooms through a Modified Conditional Use Permit application. Setback (Yard) Requirements
Buildings are required to set back from property lines or other buildings to preserve light, air and open space, as well as to reduce fire hazards by impeding the spread of fire and providing adequate space for firefighting. Required setbacks are measured from property lines to building lines and do not apply to decks less than 30 inches above the ground. The roof or eaves may extend up to two feet into required setback (yard) areas. The front lot line is typically adjacent to a street right-of-way or access easement which affords the principal means of access to the property.This line is the legal property line separating private property from the street rightof-way or private access easement. The actual placement of street or sidewalk paving is not a reliable guide to locating the front lot line as few streets in Port Townsend are constructed in the center of the right-of-way. On corner lots (fronting on two intersecting streets) the property owner determines which is to be considered the front for zoning purposes. Street addresses are assigned separately based on postal and emergency vehicle
Fences, walls and other site obscuring installations or features are allowed on the property line. However, the burden shall rest How To Determine Building Height upon the property owner to demonstrate to The Zoning Ordinance defines the height of the satisfaction of DSD the lot line locations a building as the vertical distance from average (by a survey or other means). Maximum heights are the following: natural grade to the average height of the high• When abutting a public street right-of-way est roof surface (see Building Height Diagram whether opened or unopened from PTMC 17.08.020, page 35). • A solid fence shall not exceed four (4) feet For more information on how height is calculated, contact the Development Services De- in height • Any portion between four and six feet in partment at 379-5095. height shall be no less than 50 percent open Modulation (when viewed perpendicular to the property Zoning Table 17.16.030 refers to “modula- line). • Any portion between six and eight feet in tion”, which applies within the R-I and R-II residential zoning districts. Modulation is a means height shall be no less than 90 percent open • When not abutting a public street rightof breaking up the apparent bulk of continuous exterior walls as seen from a street. To break of-way • The maximum height shall be eight feet up the bulk, the code requires any wall over 20 An arbor, defined as any detached latticefeet in length that faces the street be modulated in or out at least two feet for a minimum work or archway, may not be attached to a of eight feet in length. Besides creating walls fence or wall within the required setback that are stepped back or projected forward, area (see residential zoning table 17.16.030). other ways to modulate can include a porch, a However, one arbor per property side used dormer, a bay window, a trellis that attaches to as an entrance or gate is allowed as a portion the building, and other “bump out” structures of the fence. No portion may exceed ten that can create depth and shadows at least 2 feet in height. Temporary deer fences with temporary feet in depth for an 8-foot span. Note: modulation does not apply to one- or two-car garages, stakes do not require building permits. DSD has a pre-approved deer fence design for unless they include a second story. those more “permanent” wire fences. Please note that any fence over six feet Fences and Hedges (PTMC 17.68) Fences up to 6 feet in height do not re- requires a building permit and may require quire a building permit but must meet City engineering review. There are special rules regulating retaining of Port Townsend standards for placement. Fences areCity allowed Development Services Department walls; please contact DSD before constructon the property line, but have height limits of 250 Madison Street, Suite 3 ing any wall. Fences, walls, arbors or vegeta4 feet (solid fence) in a front yardPort or Townsend, along WA 98368 block (360) 379-5095 Phone tion (360)cannot 344-4619 Fax traffic visibility, and may be any right of way. considerations. Surveys are required for new construction and additions.
Daylight Plane Restrictions What is a daylight plane? A daylight plane is a two-dimensional space that sits on the property. The residence must fit completely within this designated space. How is a daylight plane measured? The daylight plane is measured at the required side setbacks, at average grade, up a distance of 10’ for a single story residence and 19’6” for two or three story residences, and inward toward the center of the property at an angle of 45 degrees. EXAMPLE: The following diagram shows the daylight plane for a residential lot with a required 5 foot side yard setback.
30’ Height Limit
10’ * or 19’6” ** Property Line
5’ Side Yard Setback
* Single Story Residence ** Two or Three Story Residences
Exceptions to the daylight plane rule: Chimneys, vents, flues, eaves and antennas are allowed to intrude into the daylight plane. Gables and dormers are also allowed to intrude with certain size limitations. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
Modulation Like many other communities, Port Townsend is seeking to preserve neighborhood character by employing a number of tools such as setbacks, height limits and modulation. Modulation adds architectural relief. The goal is to avoid a street dominated by a long flat wall as shown below.
Some home styles have modulation built in. Stepped back walls, walls that project forward, porches, and upper story decks and railings provide depth and shadow.
only 30 inches tall in the “sight triangle” at a traffic intersection. The height of hedges is regulated only when the hedge creates a potential safety hazard to traffic visibility. Hedges in the “sight triangle” are subject to required maintenance including trimming and / or removal. Hedges shall be sufficiently set back at time of planting so mature vegetation does not encroach into the street right-of-way. Fences, walls, arbors and hedges are not allowed within public rights-of-way. Lot Coverage and Minimum Lot Requirements
The zoning code sets out the maximum portion of the lot or building site which may be covered with buildings (defined as structures over 30” above grade) as well as the minimum area and width of the lot required for development in each zone. But you don’t need to be a Victorian to have some modulation elements. This home meets modulation on both stories by using columns and a front porch as well as a modulated upper floor. What is modulation? “Modulation” means a stepping back or projecting forward of sections of the facade of a structure within specified intervals of structure width and depth, as a means of breaking up the apparent bulk of the continuous exterior walls (PTMC 17.08.040). Where does it apply? Modulation applies to all residential structures located in the R-I and R-II residential zones. It does not apply in the R-III or R-IV residential zones. What is required? Per the Port Townsend Municipal Code (PTMC) Table 17.16.030: The minimum modulation on the primary street façade: Minimum modulation depth = 2 feet; Minimum modulation width = 8 feet. Maximum wall length without modulation = 20 feet; For houses on the corner of two street right-of-ways, each side facing a street right-of-way must be modulated. This does not include alleys, but does include unopened right-of-ways. The diagram below illustrates the front façade modulation requirement: Front façade (and side façade if on the corner of two rights-of-way).
How can I incorporate modulation into my home design? For those designs that do not lend themselves to wall modulation, other ways to provide modulation besides stepping walls back or forward may include: a) Bay windows or other window treatments that extend out from the building face. b) A porch or covered entry, or a balcony. c) A deck or patio for each modulation interval. d) Spatially defining building elements, such as a trellis that attaches to the building, a canopy, a built-in window box, or another element that defines space that can be occupied by people. Note: a roof overhang alone does not meet modulation. e) Use of vertical columns. Such columns must project at least two feet from the façade and extend from the ground floor to the cornice or roofline. Does Modulation apply to a garage/outbuilding? Yes, however, garage doors are counted as a “break” in the wall length. Does a roofline require modulation? No. How does modulation apply to a multi-story residence? One story must meet the modulation requirement. Are there any exemptions to modulation requirements? The Director may grant a waiver for irregular or through lots, or for right-of-ways that are both mapped as unlikely to open and determined by the Director to be unlikely to open or when the size of the lot and the location of the proposed residence would result in a significant setback from an adjacent right-of-way. Can Departures Be Granted? The Director may consider other methods of architectural modulation which results in an equivalent or superior articulation of the building façade, which gives the building the appearance of not having flat façade surfaces for substantial portions of its length. The applicant shall submit building plan elevations and application for Design Review. (Ordinance 3038) - Ask Staff for more information. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
Outbuildings such as garages, storage sheds, garden sheds or tool sheds which are accessory to and on the same lot as a dwelling are subject to the same setbacks as the dwelling. Outbuildings must be on the same parcel as the dwelling, or on a second parcel that is legally tied to the first. A restrictive covenant may be required to be prepared by the City,
signed and recorded with the County by the applicant. Port Townsend Engineering Design Standards
The City of Port Townsend has adopted Engineering Design Standards Manual (EDS Manual), which identifies minimum requirements for development of water, sewer, stormwater, erosion control, and transportation improvements. The EDS Manual contains text and drawings which should be referred to for all development projects in the City and within the City’s water service area. The EDS Manual and the Port Townsend Municipal Code are available for review at DSD and on the City’s website. The EDS manual is also for sale for $50 per copy and $20 for a disk copy which includes the design drawings. Contact Dave Peterson, City Engineer, with specific questions regarding Engineering Design Standards. Unopened Streets and Alleys
There are many “unopened” streets and alleys in Port Townsend. Pedestrians and bicyclists have the right to use unopened streets and alleys. Property owners who landscape in unopened rights of way should do so in a manner that does not impede access and should be aware that any improvements made may have to be
Retaining Walls The Port Townsend Municipal Code, Chapter 17.68 Fences, Walls, Arbors and Hedges, addresses retaining walls. Excerpts from this chapter are: • Walls must be built on private property. (“Not Permitted in Open or Unopened Public Street Rights-of-Way” per 17.68.030.A.) • Any wall over 30 inches in height needs to be built a distance away from the corner to provide a clear vision area. (“No fence, wall, arbor, hedge or other partially or totally sight-obscuring installation or feature over 30 inches in height which poses a traffic safety hazard shall be located within a clear vision area, defined as a 20-foot by 20-foot sight triangle measured from the sidewalk, edge of pavement, or rolling surface” per 17.68.030.B.) • The property owner must know their property line locations prior to building the wall. (“The burden shall rest upon the property owner to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the director the lot line locations” per 17.68.030.C.4.) • Walls “shall comply with the requirements of the International Residential Code” (per 17.68.030.G). The 2012 International Residential Code states in Section R105 Permits that work exempt from a building permit includes: “Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge” (R105.2.3). A surcharge is defined as an overturning horizontal force acting against the wall. City staff can assist in making a determination on surcharge. Retaining walls that will support a surcharge require an engineered design, and a building permit. Prior to building a wall and certainly during the planning stages of building a wall, please contact the City Development Services Department. Staff can provide a map that illustrates the approximate location of property lines and topography, and potential critical areas. As mentioned above, it is up to the property owner to know the exact location of property lines to confirm that the wall will be built on private property and not in the public right-of-way. Bring a sketch of the wall, and information about the amount of soil that will need to be imported and/or excavated in order to build the wall, and the location of the construction entrance to the City Development Services Department between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m Monday through Friday.
removed if the right of way is developed in the future. Improvements and maintenance expenses are assumed by the property owner. New residence(s) site plans need also to show what landscaping is being proposed in right-of-way when submitting for building and/or Public Works permits.The City shall be notified of any landscaping done within public rights-of-way prior to the work being done. Rights-of-way may not be used for fences, rockeries, buildings or other obstructions to public access. Removal of trees or other vegetation must be approved in advance by the city. Private Uses of Right-of-Way (ROW) - landscape, fences, rockeries,
trees) Ordinance 3057, approved by the City Council on March 5, 2012, defines what uses residential owners may make to the ROW next to their property. Because many City streets are currently much narrower than the platted ROW, the street edge or curb is usually not the beginning of your property. Also, many ROWs are not developed with streets. The current code (which dates to the 1990s) prohibits structures and fences in the ROW area between a street and property line or in undeveloped streets, but does allow minor landscaping.The Ordinance continues this approach, but does provide some definition of what constitutes minor landscaping. The concept is that landscaping in the ROW is and should be encouraged, but not the point where it “privatizes” the ROW (turns the area from public to private space). Minor landscaping is landscaping that meets the following standards: 1) Does not interfere with streetside parking or pedestrian traffic within 8 feet of the edge of any street. In this area, only grass or simi– Continued on page 34
Figure 502.1(5) “Building height” means the vertical distance from the average natural (preexisting) grade to the highest point of the coping of a flat roof or the deck line of a mansard roof or the average height of the highest gable of a pitched or hipped roof.
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lar ground cover is appropriate. The concern is that owners should not be allowed to landscape to the point that street parking is moved in front of someone else’s property. 2) Does not interfere with sight lines at intersections, or otherwise present a hazard. 3) Generally consists of low plantings, and does not serve as a “living fence,” solid hedge or screen to prevent passersby from viewing structures on private property. Plantings or features that do not meet this standard would have the effect of privatizing the public space. (Owners who desire privacy would erect fencing or plant landscaping on their private property and not in the ROW.) 4) May consist of landscape features (wood, rocks) that are consistent with these standards. The Ordinance spells out some descriptions (specific heights and other measures) that are not requirements but are intended to define landscaping and features that would fit within the standards of “minor landscaping.” For example, shrubs are considered minor if they are less than 3 feet in height at maturity (or less than 2 feet within 10 feet of an intersection or driveway.) Planting of trees in the ROW area requires a no fee permit (to allow the Public Works Department to make sure the tree is appropriate for the location giving regard to effect on utilities and views). No trees may be cut in the ROW without City approval. The Ordinance provides for the Public Works Director to issue “departures” to allow structures or uses in the ROW based on special circumstances, for example, to allow a retaining wall in the ROW if necessary to prevent erosion. The Ordinance states: “It is not the intent ... that the Public Works Department seek out and/or abate long-standing conditions or situations that violate the standards in this section, so long as the use or structure did not present a safety hazard, was removed if it interfered with City improvements, did not interfere with views from street ends, was not intensified, and was removed if the property redeveloped. Subject to these limitations, long-standing landscaping or trees in the ROW would be allowed to remain.” Before you plan that rock wall, fence, or planting project, or cut trees or other significant vegetation, be sure you know where your property ends and the public ROW begins. If you utilize the ROW, check the Ordinance ( cityofpt.us, then Documents, then City Council, then Ordinances), or the Municipal Code 12.040.070 and .075 (City Departments, then City Council, then Municipal Code). If you have any questions, please contact Public Services at 379-5095.
Parking (PTMC 17.72)
Chapter 17.72 provides off-street parking requirements applicable to new development and redevelopment within the City of Port Townsend. The parking code is intended: to implement Comprehensive Plan parking management policies and strike a more appropriate balance between providing parking for automobiles and promoting alternative transportation modes (e.g., transit, walking and bicycles); to promote economic development and historic preservation; to reduce the creation of new impervious surfaces through lower required parking ratios, establish maximum parking limits and shared parking facilities; to reduce traffic congestion and hazards; to provide accessible, attractive, well-maintained and screened offstreet parking facilities; to provide aesthetically pleasing parking facilities in proportion to individual land use needs; and to assure the maneuverability of emergency vehicles. The off-street parking requirements apply to all new development and redevelopment within Port Townsend, with the following exceptions: 1. New development or redevelopment within non-residential areas of the National Register Historic Overlay District (includes the uptown and downtown historic commercial districts) 2. Upper floors of commercial and mixed use buildings in all commercial and mixed use zoning districts outside the historic district. All development is subject to the
bicycle parking requirements. If parking is provided it is subject to the minimum dimensions, landscaping, maintenance, and maximum parking space ratios of Chapter 17.72. Chapter 17.86 Variances includes specific criteria for variance requests to either exceed the maximum parking requirements of Chapter 17.72 or to provide less parking than would normally be required. The minimum dimensions of a standard-sized, perpendicular parking space are 9 feet by 19 feet. If the requirement is for more than 10 spaces, one-half of the spaces may be compact-sized spaces, 8 feet by 16 feet. The code sets out varying dimensions for diagonal and parallel parking spaces. Landscaping requirements for parking facilities are described in Subsection 17.72.190 of the PTMC. This section applies to all off-street parking facilities in the city except those that are accessory to single or twofamily dwellings. In cases where the City Council anticipates development may cause parking congestion, requirements in addition to those cited in Section 17.72 PTMC may be imposed pursuant to a conditional use permit or environmental determination. Be sure to check with the Development Services Department to determine the parking requirements for your project.
Latecomer agreements are 15-year contracts which allow for reimbusement to the developer by other property owners for a portion of the costs associated with design and construction of street(s) and/or utilities. For street latecomer agreements the estimated total cost for the improvements must be at least $2,500. For utility latecomer agreements the estimated total cost for the improvements must be at least $2,500 for each utility (water, sewer or storm drainage facility) or $4,000 for all utilities. Latecomer Agreements must be set up prior to starting construction of the street(s) and or utilities. The city charges $200 for each agreement to set up, collect and distribute the funds over the life of the agreement. The City also collects recording fees from the applicant for the finaled latecomer document, which is recorded at the Jefferson County Auditor’s office.
Port Townsend Sign Code (PTMC 17.76)
The Port Townsend Sign Code aims to enhance the natural beauty of the city, promote economic vitality and fair competition, and ensure public safety through care in sign placement and control of distraction and clutter. With few exceptions, a sign permit must be issued by the city before a sign may be erected. For signs located within the National Landmark Historic District, sign designs must be reviewed for compliance with the Historic Preservation guidelines prior to issuance (see “Design Review” earlier in this chapter, page 31). The Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) has adopted approved fonts and colors. Logo colors and fonts may be allowed. If they’re used on the sign, DSD may issue a permit with Administrative HPC review. Most signs are approved administratively without
Private Uses of ROW: What Is Allowed in Landscaping Areas?
Low landscaping (shrubs, plants, grasses) Trees allowed with permission of Public Works No fences
The City has adopted ordinances authorizing latecomer agreements for streets (Chapter 12.26 PTMC) and utilities (Chapter 13.04 PTMC).
Pre-approved Deer Fence Design The deer fence shown below may be built in all residential zones without a building permit, if it is constructed consistent with the dimensions and materials indicated. CHANGES IN DESIGN/MATERIALS/DIMENSIONS WILL REQUIRE A BUILDING PERMIT IF THE FENCE EXCEEDS SIX (6) FEET IN HEIGHT.
Exception: To allow for some variation in height, for every 25 feet of frontage, minor landscaping may extend up to 5 feet in height for a distance not to exceed 5 feet in width. This exception does not apply to the area within 10 feet of an intersection.
Fences may be placed on property lines if the property owner can verify the true property line locations. Temporary deer fences (with temporary stakes) do not require building permits. 2 inch x 6 inch pressure-treated
Wire in-fill (“hog wire” type) minimum 3-inch openings
top and bottom rails
8 foot Maximum Height. If any portion of the fence exceeds 6 feet, a building permit is required.
4 inch x 4 inch pressure-treated posts
8 feet maximum post spacing
Min. 8” (Hole diameter)
Concrete post holes, Minimum 8 inches in diameter, Minimum 18 inches deep If you have any questions, prior to building a fence please contact the City of Port Townsend Development Services Department staff at (360) 379‐5095, or visit our office at 250 Madison Street Suite 3, Port Townsend, WA 98368 Monday through Friday 8 AM–5 PM.
Created on 2/4/2011 Revised: _______________
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Planting area if there is no constructed curb or sidewalk – developed street. If there is no constructed curb or sidewalk, then the area that may be landscaped is between the traveled way (street) and the property line, but not within or affecting any established pedestrian path, and not within 8 feet of the street (to allow for parking).
Graphic and Measurements are for illustrative purposes only. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
the applicant going to an HPC meeting. Be sure to obtain a sign permit and the necessary design review, if applicable, before the sign is made to assure that it complies with the code. The current sign permit fee is $43, plus $10 for each additional sign on the permit. For monument and projecting signs, add $50 for building review.Administrative HPC design review is $33, and HPC committee design review is $58.
The code prescribes a maximum sign area for buildings and businesses within each zoning district. The code encourages monument directory signs for multiple business complexes. These signs are allowed in addition to allowable sign area for each individual business. The code also permits sandwich board signs in the Historic Commercial District only, un-
der certain guidelines. In 2010, after 3 years of public process the Sign Code was amended. One of the biggest changes is about sandwich board signs. They are only allowed on Water Street or Lawrence Street if the business does not have a street
window display fronting on Water Street or Lawrence Street. Sandwich boards are therefore allowed for Historic District businesses on upper stories, in lower levels, behind other – Continued on page 36
City of Port Townsend TABLE 17.20.030
Commercial Zoning Disstricts – Bulk, Dimensional and Density Requirements City of Port Townsend TABLE 17.16.030 Residential Zoning Districts – Bulk, Dimensional and Density Requirements
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
2014 Home & Garden ❖ 35
– Continued from page 35
businesses and not located on Water Street or Lawrence Street. This reverts back to the original purpose of sandwich board signs, which is to provide advertising for businesses not located on these main streets. Sandwich boards need up-to-date liability insurance, proper construction and maintenance, and HPC and sign permit approval. Generally, each store-front business in the Commercial Historic District is allowed 40 square feet of sign area. If the length of the store front is longer than 40 feet, one square foot of sign area is allowed for each lineal foot of the store front. Special provisions are made for multiple-tenant buildings and second-floor businesses. In other commercial districts, each building is allowed a minimum of 100 square feet of sign area, while each business in a multiple business complex is allowed at least 32 square feet of sign area. However, if the length of the building exceeds 100 feet or the length of the store front in a multiple business complex exceeds 32 feet, one square foot of sign area is allowed per one lineal foot of the store front for the business. Banner Signs are allowed for announcements of community events in Port Townsend, and may be erected across State Highway 20, between Benedict Street and Decatur Street. Such signs shall be limited to 30’ in width and 24” in height per sign face, and the banner and bracing systems must be designed and constructed to support the weight of the sign and the vertical and lateral forces which may occur from winds, snow or seismic activity. A community announcement sign permit is required for all banner signs. Call Peach Stebbins at 360-379-5047 to apply. First time banner is $188 and $163 for a repeat banner. In residential districts, identification signs are limited to 16 square feet for schools, churches and public buildings. Multifamily housing complexes and non-residential uses allowed in residential zones are allowed a 24-square-foot identification sign. Home occupations (separate permit required) and residences may have a wall-mounted sign up to three square feet, and no sign permit is required. Signs exempted from the ordinance include signs which are not readable from a public right-of-way, historic site plaques, window signs composed of letters less than six inches in height, barber poles, national flags, and government traffic and directional signs. Some signs may be erected without a permit as long as they meet the other requirements of the code. Among these are parking lot identification signs, real estate signs, garage sale signs, political signs and temporary construction signs (up to 16 sq. ft.). “Feather Flags” are not permitted. Examples of prohibited signs include blinking, revolving or flashing signs; single-pole signs; roof-mounted signs; signs which create a safety hazard or conflict with traffic control signs or signals; streamers; signs with any sign face larger than 25 square feet which is illuminated by internal lighting; and all freestanding signs (sandwich boards) for businesses located outside of the Commercial Historic District. Permit applications and copies of the sign code are available at the Development Services Department. Please consult the code for complete provisions, or call Suzanne Wassmer at 360-385-0644.
36 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
Temporary Use Permits (PTMC 17.60)
variances and conditional uses.
A temporary use permit is required by the City of Port Townsend for anyone who operates out of a temporary structure on private property adjacent to a public right of way. The business must be operated only in the assigned location; no mobile vending is permitted. Other requirements for obtaining a temporary use permit include permission from the owner of the property, Port Townsend business license, Washington State Retail Sales Tax Number, and Jefferson County Health Department permit where applicable for food / beverage services. A temporary use permit may be used for 6 months, with a possible two-month extension. Fee is $89 for the first year and $48 subsequently.
Variances (PTMC 17.86)
“Grandfathered” Nonconforming Buildings (PTMC 17.88)
Many of the structures built in Port Townsend prior to the zoning code of 1971 do not meet the physical restrictions of the zoning code. Front setbacks are often less than required in residential zones and some garages are built right up to the property line. They do not conform to height limits, lot coverage or other provisions which would apply to the structure if built under today’s zoning rules. Such buildings (called “legal, nonconforming” or “grandfathered” buildings) are allowed to remain and are indeed some of our most prized historic structures. Necessary maintenance and incidental alterations are allowed, but alterations may not increase the degree of nonconformity of the building. Additions or expansions of the building must meet the requirements of the zoning code. Basically, you may add to a nonconforming structure as long as the addition does not protrude into any of the required setbacks or exceed height limits or lot coverage restrictions. If these limitations result in a hardship or neighboring properties are already built in the way you wish to build, then you may wish to consider applying for a variance. (See Variances, below.) “Grandfathered” Nonconforming Uses (PTMC 17.88)
In addition to nonconforming buildings, discussed above, there are also businesses, storage yards, shops, etc., which were legally established prior to passage of the zoning code, but which could not be legally established today. These are called legal, nonconforming or “grandfathered” uses because they are allowed to continue even though the use is not permitted by the zoning code within the zoning district in which it is housed. A hotel or auto repair garage in a residential zone are examples of nonconforming uses. The building may or may not be conforming; the zoning code treats uses as a separate matter from buildings. Legal, nonconforming uses are allowed to continue, to change ownership and to be maintained, but no changes other than necessary maintenance and repairs are permitted. If the use is discontinued for 365 days the property may no longer be occupied by a nonconforming use. Zoning Exceptions
The City Council has provided two ways to consider exceptions to zoning regulations:
Like most zoning codes, the Port Townsend zoning code regulates all properties within a zoning district identically, regardless of individual site characteristics. Therefore, there may be situations where, because of some unusual site characteristic, the strict application of zoning standards may produce an especially difficult and unreasonable burden for a property owner. A variance allows a property owner to be relieved from meeting one or more provisions of the zoning code. Before granting a major variance, the Hearings Examiner must be satisfied that each of the criteria set forth in the zoning code is met in the application. These are: 1. The variance will not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitation upon uses of other properties in the vicinity and zoning district. 2. The variance is necessary because of special circumstances relating to the size, shape, topography, location or surroundings of the subject property, to provide it with use rights and privileges permitted to other properties in the vicinity and in the zoning district. 3. The granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and zoning district. 4. The special circumstances make the strict enforcement of the zoning code an unnecessary hardship. 5. The special circumstances are not the result of the actions of the applicant. 6. The variance is the minimum necessary to fulfill the purpose and need of the applicant. 7. The variance is consistent with the purposes and intent of the zoning code. 8. The variance is consistent with the goals and policies of the Port Townsend Comprehensive Plan. 9. The fact that property may be utilized more profitably will not be an element of consideration before the decision maker. A variance cannot be used to permit a use which is not otherwise permitted in a zoning district (for example, a variance cannot be used to allow an animal kennel in an R-II zone). Variance applications are available at the Port Townsend Development Services Department (DSD). Completed applications are submitted to DSD after a mandatory preapplication conference. City staff makes a determination of completeness within 28 days of submittal. Once an application is deemed complete, a final decision will be made within 120 days. Public notice is required. The applicant will receive a draft recommendation prepared by DSD staff prior to the openrecord hearing. At the hearing, city staff will make a recommendation to the Hearings Examiner to grant or deny the application. The Hearings Examiner will make a final decision on the application. The Hearings Examiner may also place conditions on the variance to minimize adverse impacts on neighboring properties. Some minor variance applications may be handled administratively without a public hearing. A minor variance would permit one of the following: A. up to 5% below the minimum lot size or
lot width for infill development; B. up to 5% below the minimum lot area for PUDs; C. up to 20% of one setback in residential zoning districts. Citizens are given a 20-day comment period before the final decision is made by the DSD Director. The Director’s decision may be appealed to the Hearing Examiner. Conditional Use Permits (PTMC 17.84)
The City Council has determined that there are certain uses which may be established only by a conditional use permit. Council has found these uses may be located in certain areas if specific conditions assure compatibility with neighboring properties are met. As is the case with a variance, there are specific criteria outlined in the zoning code for a conditional use application. Before receiving a conditional use permit, the applicant must satisfy each of the criteria set forth in the zoning code. These are: 1. The conditional use is harmonious and appropriate in design, character and appearance with the existing or intended character and quality of development in the immediate vicinity of the subject property and with the physical characteristics of the subject property; and 2. The conditional use will be served by adequate public facilities including streets, fire protection, water, sanitary sewer and storm water control; and 3. The conditional use will not be materially detrimental to uses or property in the immediate vicinity of the subject parcel; and 4. The conditional use has merit and value for the community as a whole; and 5. The conditional use is consistent with the goals and policies of the Port Townsend Comprehensive Plan; and 6. The conditional use complies with all other applicable criteria and standards of the Port Townsend Municipal Code; and 7. The public interest suffers no substantial detrimental effect. Consideration shall be given to the cumulative impact of similar actions in the area. A public hearing before the Hearings Examiner is required for some applications. The Hearings Examiner may impose additional conditions on a particular use if it is deemed necessary for the protection of the surrounding properties, the neighborhood, or the general welfare of the public. The process for a conditional use permit application is the same as for a variance request which is outlined above. Just as a variance cannot authorize a use which is not permitted by the zoning code, a conditional use permit cannot decrease the physical requirements (setbacks, height limits, parking, etc.) set forth in the code. In the event the City Council becomes aware of a neighborhood problem arising from an establishment operating under a conditional use permit, the Council may hold a public hearing to examine the extent of the problems and may impose additional conditions or rescind the permit. In order to maintain the conditional use permit, the use must not be abandoned for over one year (PTMC 17.84.140). Planned Unit Developments (PTMC 17.32)
Zoning districts and density requirements The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
serve the purpose of separating different land uses and determining to what extent individual lots can be developed in terms of height, lot coverage, etc. There may be situations; however, which call for more flexibility, such as when a large tract of land is developed by a single owner in a coordinated fashion. This type of development is permissible under the Port Townsend zoning code as a Planned Unit Development (PUD). The PUD process provides an alternative to traditional development under prescriptive zoning and subdivision standards. It enables applicants to take advantage of incentives, including flexible zoning standards, modification of requirements of the city’s engineering design standards, and bonus densities in appropriate circumstances, in exchange for public benefits. A PUD application must be accompanied by an environmental checklist and is processed with either an application for subdivision or binding site plan approval. A proposed PUD is reviewed by the Hearings Examiner at a public hearing. The minimum area allowed for a PUD is 40,000 sq. ft. in the R-I and R-II districts and 20,000 sq. ft. in the R-III and R-IV districts. There is no minimum area for the C-I/MU and C-II/MU districts. The Hearings Examiner will review the PUD proposal and give preliminary approval, subject to conditions, upon finding that the minimum criteria have been met. The proposed PUD must conform to the Port Townsend Comprehensive Plan, SEPA, all provisions of the zoning code and engineering design standards which are not proposed for modification, ESA ordinance and any other applicable regulations. Utilities and other public services necessary to serve the needs of the proposed PUD shall be made available. A proposed PUD may be denied because of flood, inundation or swamp conditions. If the Hearings Examiner approves a PUD application, the developer is required to sign an agreement stating that the development will follow the city’s guidelines. Rezones
The City of Port Townsend official zoning map divides the City into various zoning districts. The Zoning Code outlines the requirements and permitted uses for each district. Since the passage of the State Growth Management Act, there must be consistency between the zoning map and the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map, and the process for changing the zoning map is now part of the annual update of the Comprehensive Plan (see Title 20.04 for details). Appeals
In order to streamline the permit process, the City Council has delegated several permitting decisions to the Development Services Department (DSD) Director. Examples are: environmental determinations; sensitive area permits; and minor conditional use permits or variances. If anyone is unhappy with the decision that the DSD Director makes, s/ he may appeal the decision to the City Hearing Examiner. The Hearing Examiner hears appeals in a manner similar to the way a judge hears cases - listening to facts presented and making a decision based upon applicable city codes. The specific appeal periods, procedures and fees for making an appeal are found in the Port Townsend Municipal Code Chapter 20.01. Tree Cutting In Port Townsend The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
On Private or Public Land (excluding public rights-of-way): In September 2003, the City Council adopted standards for the retention, planting, and conservation of trees on public and privately owned land. These standards, contained in Chapter 19.06 of the municipal code, were intended to prevent indiscriminant tree cutting on vacant land prior to development and require a minimum number of trees, expressed in “tree units,” to be incorporated into new commercial, multifamily, public, mixed use, and residential subdivision developments. In meeting the tree credit requirements, the retention of existing trees is preferred over planting new trees. The ordinance includes exemptions for certain tree cutting activities including: • Any tree cutting on lots zoned residential (R-I, R-II, R-III, R-IV) that are 40,000 sq. ft. or less in size and also contain an existing single family residence; • Limited tree cutting on lots zoned residential that are greater than 40,000 sq. ft. in size and also contain an existing single family residence; • The removal of four trees defined as “hazard trees” (documentation from a qualified tree professional may be required); • The removal of trees associated with an approved building permit or other project permit issued by DSD, however some projects (e.g. multi-family and commercial) are still subject to minimum tree conservation standards; • Tree removal that meets the definition of “tree thinning” on vacant land requires a written exemption. For tree cutting on vacant land where no construction is proposed, tree removal beyond adopted “thinning standards” requires a tree conservation permit, the preparation of a tree conservation plan, and the removal of no more than 40% of the tree units or applicable tree canopy cover from the site. Tree cutting in environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs) such as wetlands or steep slopes require a separate ESA permit or exemption. For further information, or to determine if a tree removal activity requires a written exemption or a permit, please contact DSD prior to tree cutting. On Public Right of Way: Enacted in 1987, and modified in 1997, the Street and Park Ordinance aims to maintain and preserve the beauty of trees situated along public rights-of-way. A Minor Improvement Permit is required to trim or cut trees and shrubs within any street or alley right-of-way. The ordinance applies to unopened as well as developed streets and alleys. Whenever trees are approved to be removed within a public right-of-way, it is the responsibility of the developer (party removing trees) to arrange compensation to the underlying owner for the loss of the trees.
goals that improve the quality of life. Local jurisdictions develop their own plans that address these goals, and must at a minimum address land use, housing, transportation, capital facilities, and utilities. Port Townsend and Jefferson County coordinate planning decisions through a framework of Countywide Planning Policies that have been jointly adopted. Comprehensive Plan
In 1996 Port Townsend adopted a new Comprehensive Plan which considers 14 state planning goals and includes five elements, or chapters, which are intended to guide land use development decisions into the next century. These elements are land use, housing, transportation, capital facilities, and utilities. The City has also adopted an additional and optional element which addresses economic development. The purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to guide growth and development over the next 20 years by defining: 1. How much population and job growth should occur, and where it should be located; 2. What type of transportation, utilities and public facilities are needed to serve the future population and employment base; 3. Where people will live and what type of housing they will need; and 4. How much it will cost to provide the necessary utilities and public facilities to carry out the community’s vision. The City’s Comprehensive Plan, adopted in July, 1996, includes maps showing new land use categories for different uses, as well as goals and policies to guide local officials and the public in figuring out how Port Townsend will look, grow, and function in the future. Development proposals are now evaluated on the basis of their compliance with the plan. Other development regulations, like the subdivision and zoning codes, have been revised to be consistent with the goals, policies and land use map of the Comprehensive Plan.
Proposals that only apply to specific parcels of land must have the consent of the property owners and are subject to an application fee. Site-specific proposals may be made by submitting a Comprehensive Plan Amendment/Formal Application to DSD by March 1. The process for changing the land use and zoning for specific parcels of land is lengthy, and there is no guarantee that the proposals will be approved. To find out more about the process for changing the Comprehensive Plan, please contact the Development Services Department 360-379-5095. Urban Growth Areas (UGAs)
The GMA also requires that the County and City work together to accommodate a share of the State’s population growth. In practical terms, this means that the County and City must decide how and where they will accommodate the population growth forecast to occur over the next 20 years. Population forecasts will be revised in 2013 to reflect current population trends in the county. The GMA requires that the County designate UGAs of sufficient size to accommodate the urban growth likely to occur over the next 20 years. The Act also defines existing cities, including Port Townsend, as UGAs. Within UGAs, the full range of urban public facilities and services are to be provided (like sanitary sewers, piped and treated water, garbage disposal, public transit, etc.) to encourage people to live there. Outside UGAs, urban services are not to be provided and population densities will be lower, which should help to protect the rural character of the County and preserve important forest and agricultural lands from incompatible development. The challenge is to designate UGAs of sufficient size to accommodate the projected urban population growth, and provide these UGAs with the facilities, services and amenities to serve new residents.
Growth Management Act ▼ City of Port Townsend: The State’s Growth Management Act (GMA) requires cities and counties to make long range plans. The goals of the GMA include orderly provision of services to urban areas, protection of natural resources, affordable housing, directing growth into suitable areas, and other
The City of Port Townsend Comprehensive Plan spells out what can and cannot happen in shoreline, commercial, residential and other zones. 2013 photo by Patrick J. Sullivan, flight by Collin Klopfenstein
2014 Home & Garden ❖ 37
Resources for salmon-friendly gardening, landscape tips The North Olympic Salmon Coalition works to restore, enhance, and protect the habitat of North Olympic Peninsula wild salmon stocks and to promote community volunteerism, understanding, cooperation and stewardship of these resources. Learn more by calling 360-379-8051 or visit nosc.org Other salmon-friendly gardening information resources: Shore Stewards newsletter, “Salmon-Friendly Gardening Practices,” January 2012, by Scott Chase http://county.wsu.edu/mason/nrs/water/Documents/January-February%202012_1.pdf “Home Tips for Healthy Streams,” Fisheries and Oceans Canada. http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/publications/pdfs/hths-eng.pdf “How to Be a Salmon Friendly Gardener” brochure, Snohomish County Public Works http://www.co.snohomish.wa.us/documents/Departments/Public_Works/SolidWaste/Information/Brochures/salmonfriendlybro7-10WEB.pdf
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Water and mountain views
Cape George Colony and surrounding areas provide the water and mountain views that continue to attract newcomers who fuel Jefferson County’s real estate market. 2013 photo by Patrick J. Sullivan, flight by Collin Klopfenstein
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Building Services www.JeffCoHomeBuilders.com
BUILDERS & REMODELERS - CUSTOM HOMES & REMODELS Blue Heron Construction PO Box 718, PT Cranky Caster Construction 607 U Street, PT Habitat For Humanity 2001 W. Sims Way, PT Hope Roofing & Construction, Inc. 1240 W. Sims Way #143, PT Jeremy Vance, Inc. 46 Village Way, PL Kimball Woodwork’s 151 Fredericks St., PT Nieman Construction, Inc. Po Box 846, Quilcene Olympic Ridge Construction 2871 NE Holman Ave., Poulsbo Parcher Construction 292 Sutter Rd., PT Stapf Construction, Inc. 211 S Jacob Miller Rd., PT Tollefson Builders PO Box 100, Chimacum Wallyworks Enterprises, Ltd. 1037 Lawrence St., PT West Harbor Homes 70 Breaker Ln., PL LUMBER, BUILDING MATERIALS & SPECIALTY HARDWOODS Edensaw Woods, Ltd. 211 Seton Rd., PT Henery Hardware, Inc. 218 W Sims Way, PT Hadlock Building Supply 901 Nesses Corner, PH Carl’s Building Supply, Inc. 107 Rhody Dr., Chimacum DESIGN/BUILD FIRMS G. Little Construction 1210 W Sims Way, PT Greenpod Development, LLC 606 Roosevelt St., PT Lexar Homes 92 Kala Square Pl., PT KSI Kelley/Sheilds, Inc. 260 Kala Point Dr., PT DESIGN SERVICES Gemini Architectural Design, LLC 814 Garfield St., PT CERTIFIED AGING IN PLACE SPECIALIST Age At Home, LLC PO Box 1772, PT ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS & SOLAR INSTALLERS Frederickson Electric, Inc. PO Box 2108, PT Power Trip Energy Corporation 83 Denny Ave., PT The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
360-385-4335 970-903-1937 360-379-2827 360-385-5653 360-301-2903 360-385-4915 360-478-1952 360-302-0156 360-301-3550 360-385-3199 360-732-4080 360-385-2771 360-437-2101 360-385-7878 360-385-5900 360-385-1771 360-385-2111 360-385-1020 360-385-5614 360-379-1799 360-385-7156 360-821-9581 360-774-3088 360-385-1395 360-643-3080
Proud sponsor of the
2014 Home & Garden Show Saturday, March 1 • 9 am-5 pm
Mountain View Commons, Port Townsend
EQUIPMENT RENTALS A + Equipment Rentals EXCAVATION/ROAD WORK/CONCRETE Bernt Ericsen Excavating, Inc. Cotton Redi-Mix/Shold Excavating Seton Construction, Inc. FLOORING Peninsula Floor Coverings, Inc. Mc Crorie Carpet One INSURANCE (HOME & BUSINESS) Homer Smith Insurance MORTGAGE & BANKING SERVICES Wells Fargo Home Mortgage First Federal PAINTING SERVICES J & D Painting Services, Inc. PETROLEUM CONSTRUCTION SERVICES Pacific Environmental Services PRECISION MACHINING SERVICES Marketech International PROPANE & HEATING INSTALLATION Sunshine Propane PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Kala Point Village Association ROOFING CONTRACTOR Bartlett Roofing Hope Roofing & Construction, Inc. WINDOWS & OVERHEAD DOORS Groves & Co., Inc. Kitsap Garage Door Co.
9493 Highway 20, PT
1656 S Jacob Miller Rd., PT 121 Pomwell Rd., PH 4640 S. Discovery Rd., PT
360-385-3602 360-385-0480 360-385-0213
2405 Sims Way, PT 11662 Rhody Dr., PH
804 Water St., PT
2101 Washington St., PT 1321 Sims Way, PT
71 Petes Spur, PH
PO Box 2049, PT
192 Otto St., PT
10853 Rhody Dr., PH
20 Village Dr., PT
61 Schooner Lane, PL 1240 W. Sims Way #143, PT
PO Box 120, PH 360-385-6282 7745 NW Eldorado Blvd., Brem. 360-692-0849
2014 Home & Garden ❖ 39
In the Garden Center • Ed Hume & Territorial seeds
• Perennials, annuals, trees & shrubs grown in Washington • Organic veggie starts Come see special guest Valerie Easton, who will be making an appearance at the Garden Show for a lecture & book signing! April 26 • 3:00 PM
Introducing a new way to save on your projects. • Get a $5 coupon just for signing up! • Earn points to apply to future projects Sign up at the store during your next visit or at rewards.truevalue.com
• Get a members-only flyer full of savings and special deals
your purchase of $25 or more on April 26, 2014 Hadlock Building Supply 901 Ness’ Corner Road, Port Hadlock • 360-385-1771
Does not include sale items. Some exceptions apply, see store for details. | Item# GCOUPON5
40 ❖ 2014 Home & Garden
Come see us! JEFFERSON COUNTY HOME BUILDER ASSOCIATION
Mountain View Commons, Port Townsend • March 1 NORTH PENINSULA BUILDING ASSOCIATION
Building Expo Sequim • April 5&6 7 ANNUAL TH
Garden Show Hadlock Building Supply • April 26
TRUE VALUE PAINT better than ever! • Your favorite paint is now a Low VOC Clean Air Low Odor Formula • Come see our new Color Center!
Find us on Facebook for more info on these events!
901 Ness’ Corner Rd., Port Hadlock hadlockbuildingsupply.com
360-385-1771 The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader