FAQ - About My Property
A legal lot is a parcel of land developed through laws in effect at the time of the original subdivision. The criteria to determine the legal status of a lot is specified in section 18.04.045 of Title18 of the Thurston County Code.
The determination of legal lot status is accomplished through a legal lot determination, which carries a fee. Land Use and Environmental Review staff members are responsible for researching the deed history and making a determination.
If a parcel of land is determined not to have been created legally, the owner may be eligible to apply for building or other permits if the criteria for determining innocent purchaser status is met to the satisfaction of Permit Assistance Center staff. Click here to see an information bulletin and application form on innocent purchaser status (SA 029). To speak with a Permit Assistance Center staff member on this subject, call (360) 786-5490 ext. 0.
A taxable lot is a parcel which appears on the Thurston County Assessor's map and has been assigned a tax parcel number by the Assessor. Tax parcel numbers are assigned for billing purposes. A tax parcel number is not necessarily an indication that the lot was legally created.
Properties are zoned within communities to ensure that different types of development are properly situated relative to each other and that there are adequate setbacks, open space, parking, and landscaping for each type of development. Click here to find out how your property is zoned.
If your building site is within 500 feet of any lands zoned for long-term agriculture, long-term forestry or mining, you will be notified and asked to sign a resource notification form before receiving a building permit. This form states that you are aware of possible negative impacts to your property resulting from the activities allowed on these resource lands.
It depends on how your property is zoned and the type of structure you are building. Once you know your zoning code, go to Title 20 of Thurston County Code (or Titles 21, 22 or 23 for the Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia Urban Growth Areas, respectively). Click on your zoning type and scroll down to "design standards" or "development standards." Note: Setback requirements are also referred to as "yard" requirements.
Yes, and those limits are defined in the zoning code and the Shoreline Master Program (the more protective applies). Please follow the instructions for identifying setbacks (above).
Minimum lot sizes are determined by how property is zoned. Once you know your zoning code, go to Title 20 of Thurston County Code (or Titles 21, 22 or 23 for the Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia Urban Growth Areas, respectively). Click on your zoning type and scroll down to "design standards" or "development standards." If you live along a river, stream or marine waterbody, minimum lot sizes will also be spelled out in the Shoreline Master Program (the more protective applies).
Subdivision of property is a complicated process that requires a presubmission conference. Whether your lot may be subdivided depends on the total acreage, as well and the minimum lot size acre mandated by your property's zoning code. Please contact our Permit Assistance Center to talk to a staff person about how to proceed. Click here for an application and information bulletin (SA 026).
Development on a specific property is determined by its zoning. Once you know your zoning code, go to Title 20 of Thurston County Code (or Titles 21, 22 or 23 for the Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia Urban Growth Areas, respectively). Click on your zoning type and scroll down to "Primary Uses" or "Permitted Uses."
There are two different types of accessory uses that serve as dwelling units, and each has its own criteria for permitting:
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs, also referred to as a mother-in-law apartments) are generally allowed in most residential zones within the urban growth areas of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater, but are very limited in unincorporated Thurston County.
Family Member Units are generally allowed in most residential zones within unincorporated Thurston County, but not in the urban growth areas of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater. Family Member Units are temporary mobile/manufactured or modular homes that house a family member.
The first step is to know your zoning and lot size. Contact the Permit Assistance Center and we'll be happy to help.
The Permit Assistance Center maintains records for unincorporated Thurston County only. See the quick-tools bar on our home page to get property information online (hover over the icons for a description).
Customers need to fill out an application for a boundary line adjustment. Click here for the applications and an information bulletin (SA 023).
Click here to find out how to get an address.
Please click here for contact information.
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