Fair Housing Ordinance

Project Manager: Kim Armstrong, Senior Planner | Email Long Range Planning


Ordinance icon - Fair HousingFederal Fair Housing laws prohibit housing discrimination based on a person's race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status and disability. State law further prohibits discrimination based on marital status, source of income, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status or status as a victim of domestic violence. Washington County also has the responsibility to affirmative further Fair Housing, which includes addressing rules and regulations that may unfairly discourage development of housing that serves people who are members of a protected class.

Portions of the Community Development Code (CDC) need to be updated to better comply with Fair Housing best practices, as well as state and federal laws and regulations. Work in 2018 will include updates to the County's group care definitions and requirements, including the list of group care types. The County will also consider temporary day/overnight homeless shelter operations at religious institutions as a type of group care that serves populations entitled to Fair Housing protections.

Issue Paper 2018-02: Fair Housing Code Updates, was released April 6. Staff presented this paper to the Board of Commissioners at its April 17, 2018 work session.

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Ordinances Adopted

  • Ordinance No. 832A, amending the Community Development Code, an element of the Comprehensive Plan, relating to fair housing and group care updates was adopted 9/18/18 and is effective 10/18/18.

  • Ordinance No. 842  makes limited amendments to the Community Development Code (CDC) to facilitate development of housing. The ordinance amends certain setbacks within three districts, corrects/clarifies standards of the Transit-Oriented: Retail Commercial (TO:RC) district related to day care facility classification and housing, reduces certain landscape area requirements, allows omission of sidewalk on one side of a private street in some cases, reduces minimum residential driveway widths, and updates related parking standards. This ordinance was adopted 9/18/18 – and is effective 11/23/18.

  • Ordinance 859 amends the CDC relating to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in urban unincorporated Washington County to comply with state law, simplify standards and encourage housing development. This ordinance was adopted 9/17/19 and was effective 11/29/19.


Additional Resources

Visit the 2018 Land Use Ordinance page for a list of hearing dates, times, and materials for all land use ordinances filed or adopted in the 2018 ordinance season.