FAQ - Current Planning

The following apply to locations within unincorporated Washington County. For questions concerning properties located within cities, visit the relevant city websites.

Construction 

  • Accessory structures 
    • Accessory structures (play structure, trellis, shed, etc.) are required to meet setback requirements from property lines. Waivers are not permitted. Each land use district (zone) in the County has unique setback requirements. Building permits may be required for accessory structures. Contact Current Planning for details. 
  • Agricultural buildings 
    • Structures outside the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) over 400 square feet and/or more than one story high require an Agricultural Building permit from Building Services. Use of these structures by the public or conversion of these structures to a residential-type use is prohibited. 
  • Construction noise outside of allowed hours 
  • Construction without a permit 
    • Land development and construction without required permits is a violation of both the CDC and the Building Code. Proper permitting ensures public health and safety is maintained. Building plan submittal and the issuance of required permits will be retroactively required as applicable. Contact Building Services for specific permitting requirements or Current Planning to report unpermitted work. 
  • Grading permits 
    • Grading permits are often required for digging and/or fill placement associated with any development activity or land use approval. Email Building Services or call 503-846-6733 before beginning any work. 

Environmental 

  • Oil spills in street/driveway 
  • Resource overlay zones 
    • Some properties are subject to regulations specific to natural resources and flood plain enhancement and protection. Regulations apply for developments proposed on properties subject to the 100-year Floodplain Overlay, Drainage Hazard Area Overlay and Significant Natural Resource Overlay. Contact Current Planning to determine if any overlays are applicable. 
  • Roosters and poultry 
    • Washington County does not regulate peacocks, roosters or the number of chickens. Structures over 51 square feet in size housing poultry need to be located at least 30 feet from any property line and at least 100 feet from any neighboring home. All structures must be a minimum of 3 feet from a property line and may be required to meet the (greater) district setbacks from all property lines. 
  • Tree removal 
    • Trees located in County-designated Significant Natural Resource (SNR) areas cannot be removed without land use review and approval. In other areas, tree removal is typically at the discretion of a property owner and does not require a permit. Contact Current Planning to determine if any regulations apply before removing trees. 

      The County does not regulate tree removal on private properties as long as the designation above does not apply. Neighboring property owners who disagree with tree maintenance/removal are eligible for free mediation services throughBeaverton Center for Mediation and Dialogue or Hillsboro Mediation Program

Housing & Neighborhoods 

  • Abandoned homes 
    • The CDC does not regulate vacant and/or abandoned homes. Additionally there are no regulations in place to compel landowners to remove neglected buildings beyond securing the property's perimeter with fencing. For concerns regarding vegetation or fire hazards contact Health & Human Services code enforcement
  • Day care of preschool in residential area 
    • Day care and preschool businesses are allowed in residential areas and are exempt from land use review if they serve less than 16 children. 
  • Home business activity 
    • Commercial business activity operated from a residence typically requires land use approval for a home occupation. A land use application is required and is subject to annual renewal. Contact Current Planning
  • Line-of-sight distance 
    • Property owners are responsible for maintaining vegetation on their properties to ensure visibility onto and within a public right-of-way is maintained. 
  • Issues with rental properties and tenanat/landlord disputes 
    • Washington County does not have a rental inspection program and is not a party to landlord/tenant disputes. Legal Aid and Community Alliance of Tenants are available to assist tenants with landlord/property issues. 
  • Multiple people living in a home 
    • The CDC does not limit the number of people sharing a home. 
  • New property owners and code violations on a property
    • Land use and building violations on a tax lot 'run with the land' and become the responsibility of new property owners, if not addressed by prior owners. New property owners will be responsible for bringing land use and building violations into compliance with County standards. 
  • Property line disputes 

Vehicles 

  • Inoperable vehicles on private property 
    • Outdoor parking or storage of more than one inoperable vehicle per tax lot is not allowed (except for wrecking yards approved through a land use application). 
  • Living in an RV 
    • Living in an RV is prohibited, with the exception of specifically approved health hardship permits outside the Urban Growth Boundary. A health hardship permit requires documentation from a physician. To file health hardship land use application, contact Current Planning
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs) and trailers on private property 
    • One RV and one trailer are allowed per tax lot, and are included in the limit of four operable vehicles and one inoperable vehicle per tax lot. 
  • RVs parked on the street 
    • RVs can be parked on residential streets within the Enhanced Sheriff's Patrol District for four days (96 hours) in any 28-day period. Email the Washington County Sheriff's Office or call the non-emergency line 503-629-0111. 
  • Street parking 
  • Vehicles allowed on private property 
    • The Washington County Community Development Code (CDC) prohibits outdoor parking/storage of five or more vehicles on a single tax lot/parcel for more than 48 hours, except as approved in conjunction with a development.