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All parcels in the county are zoned for specific uses. There are 2 ways to view the zoning for the parcel you are interested in:
Please refer to section 18.15.040 of the UDC (Unified Development Code) for the County for the definitions of the each of the zoning designations.
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Setbacks are the minimum distance (measured in feet) from a building to the front, side and rear property lines or any other lot line to the nearest structure placed on the property, excluding eaves of less than 24 inches. Jefferson County’s minimum rear and side setbacks are 5 feet. Generally, Jefferson County’s setbacks are:
For more details, please review our:
The County allows parcels zoned Rural Residential 1:5 (RR 1:5), Rural Residential 1:10 (RR 1:10),an Rural Residential 1:20 (RR 1:20) to have:
You can learn more about specific land uses by reviewing the chart in our Unified Development Code (UDC) in section 18.15.040.
If you are planning on purchasing any land and/or a home in Jefferson County, we highly recommend that you speak with a Land Use Planner (using the CAM process), especially if the parcel is on shoreline or on or near any critical areas.
Permits for any parcel can be found by visiting our Permit Database Search Tool. Once there, you can type in the parcel number or address to research all permits applied for and/or issued for a property.
Building a tiny home as a residence is the same as a “regular” home (see brochure). The home needs to be sited outside any critical area buffers like streams and geohazardous areas (like landslide-prone areas). You would also need to hook it up to a septic system and have potable water. Check with Environmental Health on septic and water requirements at (360) 385-9444. If you have questions about the construction of the home, contact our Building Plans Examiner at (360) 379-4461.
Here’s a link to Labor and Industries regarding tiny homes: https://lni.wa.gov/licensing-permits/manufactured-modular-mobile-structures/tiny-homes/.
Canvas yurts can be permitted as a temporary living structure, such as seasonal camping, but may not contain a heating element or plumbing and have size restrictions. In order for a yurt to meet code and be allowed, it must be less than 500 sq feet, unheated and unplumbed and only used for temporary use, such as camping. Yurts, built using a standard canvas exterior over a wooden frame, are not able to meet energy code for heat retention and do not meet the requirements for fire, life and safety and therefore are not permissible as a residence. With these guidelines, a yurt can be permitted along with the platform or decking it will be built upon.
Hard-sided yurts are permitted so long as they meet energy code. Pre-engineered kits are available from online resources.
Please refer to Chapter 31 in the International Building Code (IBC) regarding Special Construction for more information.