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Monday, June 19th

Shared Strategy Offer Considered By CC



The County Council has reached consensus to continue to move forward on an agreement with Shared Strategy for Puget Sound (SSPS) to assist the County in updating the County Critical Area Ordinace. Jim Kramer, the Executive Director of SSPS, made a presentation to the County Council in January of this year outlining the history and purpose of the organization and it's willingness to aid San Juan County in updating its Critical Areas Ordinance: Past Story
Mr. Kramer told the Council that SSPS could help to provide funding to assist SSPS and the County to work together toward drafting a Critical Areas Ordinance that would meet the requirements of the Growth Management Act, and further, that the work product and the form of the relationship between SSPS and the County could become a model for other counties in the state.

Last Tuesday Mr. Kramer returned with a "San Juan County and Shared Strategy Memorandum of Agreement" .. According to the Memorandum, the County and SSPS will "support the development of an ecosystem-based management program". While the memo does not go into specifics as to what this means, or as to exactly what is in the program to be managed, what is clear is that SSPS has a goal of protecting and increasing salmon runs in Washington. Toward that end, the group is interested in working with local governments to further their goals; and would like their relationship with San Juan County to be a pilot program for other such relationships in the state.

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Wednesday, June 14th

Fire Code Fees Adopted



ig_FIRE-CHIEFS-1 (68k image)
(Only Chiefs show up for public hearing)

The County Council held a public hearing Tuesday to accept testimony on a proposed ordinance for fire code fees and permits for fires. There was no testimony, and the Council passed the ordinance with only a couple changes to the draft ordinance (Past Story) that had been proposed.

The one major change was to change the proposed charge of 1.1% of value for a construction permit for residential and Commercial, to the more easily understood and administered flat fee of $350 for residential and $500 for commercial. plus $10.00 per sprinkler head.


Outdoor or Open Burning Permit will cost $10.00 for fires less than 10 feet in diameter/height, and if over 10 feet the fee goes up to $150.00. There will continue to be an exception for recreational fires, for which there will be no charge

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Tuesday, June 13th

Hearing On Fire Code Fees



The County Council will hold a public hearing at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, June 13, 2006, in the County Council Hearing Room (2nd Floor Courthouse) to accept testimony on a proposed ordinance for fire code fees and permits for fires.

According to the fee schedule, an Outdoor or Open Burning Permit will cost $10.00 for fires less than 10 feet in diameter/height, and if over 10 feet the fee goes up to $150.00.

There are also charges for a "Constructing Permit" of 1.1% of the value of the permit "with a cost modifier of 1.3, and/or local valuation information". If a permit is determined to be commercial, then the Plan Review charge is 65% of the building permit fee.

There are a total of 21 different categories of fees: FIRE CODE FEES.doc
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Tuesday, June 6th

Proposed ADU Ordinance



(NOTE: The sections in BOLD are new language, the sections ITALIC are proposed to be removed.)

NOW THEREFORE be it ordained by the County Council of San Juan County, State of Washington:

Section 1. San Juan County Code Section 18.20.010 and Ordinance 21-2002 shall be amended as follows:

18.20.010 "A" definitions.

"Accessory dwelling unit" (ADU) means a second structure or living unit that is accessory to the principal single-family residential living unit and provides the basic requirements of sleeping quarters, heating, kitchen facilities, and sanitation, and which shares a lot with a principal residence. Types of ADU's include "internal ADU"; "attached ADU"; "free-standing ADU"; and "guest house."


"Accessory Dwelling Unit" (ADU) means a living area that is incidental to the principal single family residential structure, located on the same lot, that provides for sleeping quarters, kitchen, and sanitation facilities. An ADU may be attached or detached.

"Attached ADU" means an accessory dwelling unit that is physically connected to the principal residence. To be connected, the ADU and principal residential unit must be connected by at least one common wall or be structurally interdependent in some other way.

"Attached Accessory Dwelling Unit" (AADU) means an ADU which is internal to or attached to the principal residence by (a) a common wall, or (b) a continuous roof and exterior wall enclosures, or (c) a continuous roof no less than six feet in width, the area of which is included in the living area of the ADU.


Section 2. San Juan County Code Section 18.20.040 and Ordinance 21-2002 shall be amended to read as follows:

18.20.040 "D" definitions.

"Dwelling unit" means one or more rooms or structures designed for occupancy by an individual or family, which contain kitchen facilities, sleeping quarters and sanitary facilities, for use solely by the dwelling's occupants. A main residence and an accessory dwelling unit that meets the requirements of Section 18.40.240(A) of this Code constitute a single dwelling unit.

"Dwelling Unit" means a single unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. A primary residence and an ADU that meets the requirements of Section 18.40.240 of this code constitute a single dwelling unit. Recreational vehicles are not dwelling units.

"Detached ADU" means an accessory dwelling unit that is physically distinct from the primary residence. To be detached, the ADU and primary dwelling unit may not be connected or must be structurally independent per the International Residential Code.



Section 3. San Juan County Code Section 18.20.060 and Ordinance 21-2002 shall be amended to read as follows:

18.20.060 "F" definitions.

"Freestanding ADU" means an accessory dwelling unit that is physically distinct from the principal residence. To be free-standing, the ADU and principal residential unit may not be connected or must be structurally independent per the uniform building code.

Section 4. San Juan County Code Section 18.20.070 and Ordinance 21-2002 shall be amended to read as follows:

18.20.070 "G" definitions.

"Guest house" means an accessory dwelling unit that is not rented, but is designed and most commonly used for irregular residential occupancy by family members, guests, and persons providing health care or property maintenance for the owner. (Ord. 21-2002 3; Ord 12-2002 3; Ord. 5-2002 2; Ord. 2-1998 Exh. B 2.3)

Section 5. San Juan County Code Section 18.20.090 and Ordinance 21-2002 shall be amended to read as follows:

18.20.090 "I" definitions.

"Internal ADU" (sometimes also known as an accessory apartment) means an accessory dwelling unit that is wholly or mostly contained within the principal residential unit. An internal ADU may occupy a floor or a portion of a floor or floors within the principal residential unit.

"Internal Accessory Dwelling Unit" (IADU) means an ADU that is part of the principal single family residential dwelling and provides for egress and ingress between the IADU and principal single family residential dwelling, or that shares a common wall with the principal single family residential dwelling, but has separate egress and ingress.


Section 6. San Juan County Code Section 18.40.240 and Ordinance 21-2002 5; and Ordinance 2-1998 Exh. B 4.18 shall be amended to read as follows

18.40.240 Accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
The following standards apply to all accessory dwelling units:
A. Where not otherwise prohibited by this code, one internal, attached or freestanding accessory dwelling unit is permitted on any lot having a single-family residence as the principal use of the lot. This ADU shall not be counted in density calculations and shall not require a density unit in addition to that for the principal residence.
B. An accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed 1,000 square feet in living area.
C. An accessory dwelling unit shall be served by the same driveway as the principal residence unless site conditions warrant a separate access.
D. A freestanding accessory dwelling unit that is permitted after December 3, 2002, shall meet the following siting location standards:
1. Locate new freestanding ADUs outside of the most sensitive open space features of the site;
2. Locate new freestanding ADUs and their utilities and driveways in order to minimize intrusion on the most sensitive open-space features of the site. Use the same water system and driveway to serve the principal residence and freestanding ADU unless separate systems or driveway would have fewer impacts to the environment;
3. Maintain existing orchards, meadows and pasture areas;
4. Leave ridgelines and contrasting edges between landscape types unbroken by structures;
5. On rolling open or steep open slopes, locate new freestanding ADUs so that the buildings will be screened by existing vegetation or terrain; and
6. Ensure the protection of features such as wetlands and wildlife habitat.
E. At least one additional off-street parking space shall be provided for the accessory dwelling unit in addition to the parking required for the principal residence.
F. Accessory dwelling units must be owned by the owner of the single-family residence.
G. Accessory dwelling units existing as of the date of adoption of this code will be excepted from the standards in subsection (B) of this section.
H. No more than one structure shall be designated as an accessory dwelling unit on any residential lot unless the applicable density for that lot allows for additional residences.
I. Vacation (short-term) rentals of an accessory dwelling unit for periods less than 30 days shall also be subject to the requirements in SJCC 18.40.270.


A. Accessory Dwelling Unit. Where not otherwise prohibited by this code, only one attached or detached accessory dwelling unit is permitted on any lot for which this code allows a single-family residence as the principal use of the lot, provided that all of the requirements of this section are met, except where the applicable density for that lot allows for additional residences.Each detached accessory dwelling unit shall be counted as a separate dwelling unit for density calculations, except when allowed pursuant to an ADU permit.

B. A detachedADU is permitted in the Eastsound Urban Growth Area, the Lopez Village Urban Growth Area and in all Activity Center Land Use District, except Island Center District, on any lot that allows a single family residence as the principal use of the lot. Each ADU in these areas shall not be counted in density calculations.

C. A detached ADU is permitted in the following land use districts: All Rural Lands, RFF, RR, RGU, AG, and FOR subject to the provisions of this section.

D. An accessory dwelling unit is prohibited in the Rural Industrial, Rural Commercial, Natural, and Conservancy land use districts.

E. An accessory dwelling unit is prohibited on parcels in the Island Centers district per SJCC 18.30.030 Table 3.1, footnote 13.

F. The following standards apply to all accessory dwelling units:

1. Size. An accessory dwelling unit permitted subsequent to the adoption of this ordinance shall not exceed 1,000 square feet in living area as defined in SJCC 18.20.120.
2. Parking. At least one additional off-street parking space shall be provided for the accessory dwelling unit in addition to the parking required for the principal residence.
3. Driveway. An accessory dwelling unit shall use the same driveway as the principal residence.
4. Ownership. An accessory dwelling unit must be owned by the owner of the single-family residence.
5. Permits. Every new accessory dwelling unit will require a building permit. Every conversion of an existing structure to an accessory dwelling unit must meet all the requirements of this section and will require a building permit. Any additions to an existing building shall not exceed the allowable lot coverage or encroach onto setbacks. The size and design of the ADU shall conform to applicable standards in the building, plumbing electrical mechanical, fire, health and any other applicable codes.

G. The following standards apply to all detached accessory dwelling units:

1. ADU Permit. Every new detached accessory dwelling unit and every conversion of an existing structure to a detached accessory dwelling unit that do not meet the density requirement in which they are located will require an "ADU Permit." No more than one ADU Permit shall be issued to a property owner in any calendar year. The fee for an ADU permit shall be the same as that for stormwater review. Prior to issuing any ADU Permit, the applicant must submit for approval a site plan showing that the accessory dwelling unit and principal residence will meet the requirements of this Section 18.40.240.

a. Within land use districts located inside of the boundaries of activity centers and urban growth areas, there is no restriction on the number of permits for detached accessory dwelling units.

b. Outside of the boundaries of activity centers and urban growth areas, the number of detached ADU Permits in any calendar year shall not exceed twelve percent (12 %) of the total number of building permits for new single family residences issued for the previous calendar year outside the boundaries of activity centers and urban growth areas. Two percent (2 %) of the permits released in any one year shall be restricted for the conversion of existing accessory structures that have legally existed for no less than five years. Permits shall be issued on a first come/first served basis under procedures established by the Administrator. No unassigned permits shall carry forward to the next year.


2. Distance. The maximum distance between the closest vertical walls of the main house and any detached accessory dwelling unit shall be no more than 100 feet.

3. Water. An application for a detached accessory dwelling unit shall include evidence of the availability on site of one equivalent residential unit of water in addition to the water required for the principal residence.

4. Location. Locate new detached ADU's and their utilities and driveways to avoid or minimize intrusion on the most sensitive open-space features of the site, including but limited to:
a. Existing orchards, meadows and pasture areas;
b. Areas of native plants, wild flowers and forest;
c. Ridgelines and contrasting edges between landscape types unbroken by structures;
d. Ridgelines and contrasting edges between landscape types unbroken by structures;
e. Rolling open or steep open slopes, and
f. Critical Areas.

5. Parcel Size.

a. A detached ADU is not permitted on parcels less than one acre in size except in urban growth areas and activity centers.
b. A detached ADU on parcels larger than one acre and smaller than 5 acres, except in urban growth areas and activity centers, is permitted with the following restrictions:

i. One garage building and/or one accessory dwelling unit, each of which covers no more than 1,000 square feet of land area and each of which is no taller than 24 feet above existing grade as measured along a plumb line at any point.
ii. A combination of these uses in a single story
structure no larger than 2,000 feet of land area and no taller than 16 feet above existing grade as measured along a plumb line at any point where either the garage building and/or accessory building unit do not exceed 1,000 square feet.
iii. A combination of these uses in a two-story
structure no larger than 2,000 feet of total gross floor area, and no taller than 24 feet above existing grade as measured along
a plumb line at any point where either the garage building and/or accessory building unit do not exceed 1,000 square feet.

c. The minimum parcel size for the construction of a detached accessory dwelling unit is five acres for any parcel with waterfront, 10 acres for parcels located in the agricultural district, and 20 acres for parcels located in the forest district and one acre for all parcels located in a rural land use district. This restriction does not apply to parcels located in urban growth areas or activity centers.

6. Sequence of Construction. Either the accessory dwelling or the principal residence may be built first. Regardless of the sequence of construction, every detached accessory dwelling unit must comply with the requirements of Section 18.40.240. When the principal residence is constructed after the ADU, the applicant must show that the structure indicated as the accessory dwelling unit was constructed according to all applicable requirements in effect at the time the building permit was issued for the accessory dwelling and the accessory dwelling unit does not exceed 1,000 square feet of living area.


Section 8. SJCC Section 18.40.270 and Ord. 21-2002 5; Res. 145-1998; Ord. 2-1998 Exh. B 4.19.3 are hereby amended to read as follows:

18.40.270 Vacation (short-term) rentals of residences or accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
The following standards apply to all vacation (short-term; less than 30 days) rentals of single-family residential units and accessory dwelling units or portions thereof:
A. No more than three guests per bedroom shall be accommodated at any one time.
B. The vacation rental of a principal residence or accessory dwelling unit shall be operated in a way that will prevent unreasonable disturbances to area residents.
C. At least one additional off-street parking space shall be provided for the vacation-rental use in addition to the parking required for the residence or accessory dwelling unit.
D. If any food service is to be provided the requirements for a bed and breakfast residence must be met.
E. No outdoor advertising signs are allowed.
F. The owner or a long-term lessee may rent either the principal residence or the accessory dwelling unit on a short-term basis (vacation rental), but not both.
G. Where there are both a principal residence and an accessory dwelling unit, the owner or long-term lessee must reside on the premises, or one of the living units must remain unrented.
H. In all activity center land use districts, rural residential, and conservancy land use districts, the vacation rental of a residence or accessory dwelling unit may be allowed by provisional ("Prov") permit only if the owner or lessee demonstrates that the residence or accessory dwelling unit in question was used for vacation rental on or before June 1, 1997. When internal land use district boundaries are adopted for an activity center this provision will apply to VR and HR districts but not to the activity center in general.
I. Vacation rental accommodations must meet all local and state regulations, including those pertaining to business licenses and taxes.
J. Owners of vacation rentals must file with the administrator a 24-hour contact phone number.
K. The owner or lessee of the vacation rental shall provide notice to the tenants regarding rules of conduct and their responsibility not to trespass on private property or to create disturbances. If there is an easement that provides access to the shoreline, this shall be indicated on a map or the easement shall be marked; if there is no access, this shall be indicated together with a warning not to trespass.
G. Detached Accessory Dwelling Units cannot be separately leased or rented for less than 30 days.

Section 10. Savings Clause. This ordinance shall not affect any pending suit or proceeding; or any rights acquired; or liability or obligation incurred under the sections amended or repealed; nor shall it affect any proceeding instituted under those sections. All rights and obligations existing prior to adoption of this ordinance shall continue in full force and affect.

Section 11. Effective Date. Notice of adoption of this ordinance shall be published in the official County newspaper as required by the County Charter and RCW 36.70A.290(2)(b). Promptly upon adoption, the County will apply to the Growth Board for an Order of Compliance and a determination that the Order of Invalidity issued on April 17, 2003 shall be lifted, canceled or removed. This ordinance shall take effect upon the effective date of an Order of the Western Washington Growth Board which has the effect of lifting, canceling or removing the Order of Invalidity entered on April 17, 2003 as it pertains to the San Juan County Ordinance regarding freestanding accessory dwelling units.

Section 12. Severability. If any provision of this ordinance or its application to any person is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance and the application to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.


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Thursday, June 1st

Salary Commission Cuts Council Pay



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(File photo of Salary Commission)

The San Juan County Salary Commission (SC) has determined that the County Council members should be paid less now that they have a County Administrator responsible for all of their former administrative duties.

The County Council members are currently receiving $68,067.39, but in the future that will be reduced to $31,938.00 for the incoming Council members. Bob Myhr is coming up for election, and if he runs and is elected, he will receive the reduced salary, along with all future members of the Council. In addition to their base pay, they will continue to receive benefits; and of course their staff and administrative needs and costs will continue to be provided by the County.

The SC interviewed all of the elected officials to hear from them what their duties were, and then reviewed the pay scales from other jurisdictions in the state to determine a range of pay for the various positions and duties of each office. They then used this data as a starting point for their discussion.

When SJC Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord had his turn before the SC, he was the only one that started off the interview by stating his office was underpaid, and the monthly salary should be increased to bring it in line with other such positions in the state. The SC has increased his pay from $97,822.85, to $105,159.60

As was expected, the SC found that the other elected officials would receive basically the same amount as they now do, with a modestly adjusted increase from the current $65,801.55, to $67,428.00. However the one exception was the Sheriff, who has been in the odd position of receiving somewhat less than the Under-Sheriff, because the salary of the Under-Sheriff is set by union negotiations with the County, and as a result he makes more than the Sheriff. The Salary Commission determined that the Sheriff will receive 2% more than the Under Sheriff -at least for 2007

The process is not over, for the SC still has to draft their full report and set the "cost of living" per cent increases, but the salaries are now set, and can only be changed by the Salary Commission. The SC is a standing body with staggered four year terms, and while independent of the County Council, they are appointed to their position by the Council.


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