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 noise is allowed between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. To report crews generating noise outside these hours, file a complaint with Health & Human Services code enforcement.

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

Oil spills can be reported to Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality.

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 through Beaverton 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 or 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.

Mold issues in rental properties

Washington County does not have a rental inspection program and does not address mold within or outside of buildings. 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

Property line disputes are civil issues and need to be resolved between affected parties accordingly. Residents can obtain free mediation services at Beaverton Center for Mediation and Dialogue (east of 185th Avenue) and Hillsboro Mediation Program (west of 185th Avenue).

Tenant/landlord disputes

Washington County is not a party to landlord/tenant disputes. Legal Aid and Community Alliance of Tenants are available to assist tenants with landlord/property issues.

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

Street parking along public roads is not monitored or enforced by LUT. Email the Washington County Sheriff's Office or call the non-emergency line 503-629-0111.

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.