Washington County adopted a ruling in 1959 that required building permits in the unincorporated area. This was at a time when the county was in the middle of developing all of the zoning for the county. Building permits were issued and inspected using a basic safety code developed by the county.

On Sept. 22, 1964, the County adopted a Home Rule Charter which included Ordinance #25 adopting the 1964 Uniform Building Code as the standard for the Washington County Code.

In 1973, Oregon introduced and passed legislation for a statewide building code program. Key concepts included in this legislation were statewide uniformity, adoption of model codes; state building code composed of speciality codes, i.e. structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, boiler, elevator, local enforcement, certification of building inspectors and officials by July 1, 1977, and a training program financed by a 1% surcharge on all building permits.