Division Manager: Andy Back
Development in unincorporated Washington County must comply with plans, policies and codes from the County, state and Metro. Staff work with developers, consultants and citizens to ensure it’s done safely and correctly.
Many projects require development review approval before building permits are issued. Staff reviews all proposals to ensure they adhere to the Community Development Code (CDC). The CDC regulates land use and development activities in unincorporated areas of the County.
Fee changes effective Jan. 1
In June 2020, the Washington County Board of Commissioners opted to increase Building and Current Planning fees. To help mitigate the financial impact on our customers, half of the increase was effective July 1, 2020; the second half is effective Jan. 1, 2021.
Unlike many area jurisdictions, both LUT Building Services and Current Planning operate on a cost-recovery basis – meaning that these work groups’ activities are supported entirely by fees for service. These increases are cost-recovery measures necessary to maintain operations. For a complete list of LUT fee increases, see Current Planning Fee Schedule FY 2021-22 or visit the Washington County Fiscal Year 2020-21 Fee Schedule (pages 13-31) or see the LUT Current
- Building Services fees: Most fees will increase 2.5%
- Current Planning fees: While most fees are increasing a minimum of 2.5%, other targeted increases are also being implemented to achieve cost recovery.
County addresses Significant Natural Resources issues
The Washington County Board of Commissioners adopted A Engrossed Land Use Ord. No. 869, which amended standards in Community Development Code Section 422 that were not clear and objective. The ordinance provides further clarity and transparency in the development review process and was intended to ensure natural resource provisions are consistent with state law and in compliance with the County's adopted Goal 5 program.
The ordinance was effective Dec. 15. It addresses concerns raised in a Land Conservation and Development Commission enforcement order, which was also lifted Dec. 15.
As a supplement to A Engrossed Land Use Ord. No. 869, staff drafted Habitat Assessment Guidelines to assist applicants with submitting materials to meet the new code requirements. Specifically, applicants are required to complete a Habitat Assessment to identify, evaluate and rate habitat values within field-verified, habitat-related SNR areas. The guidelines also provide the technical methodology for delineating Upland/Wildlife Habitat. See the staff report and draft guidelines