Chapter 18.44


18.44.010    Title.

18.44.020    Purpose.

18.44.030    Temporary dwellings authorized.

18.44.040    Temporary dwellings – Conditions.

18.44.050    Temporary dwellings – Permits.

18.44.060    Permit termination and renewal.

18.44.070    Appeals.

18.44.075    Violations – Penalties.

18.44.080    Severability.

18.44.090    Effective date.

18.44.010 Title.

This chapter may be cited as the “Cowlitz County Temporary Dwelling Permit Code.” [Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]

18.44.020 Purpose.

The Board of County Commissioners deems it necessary to provide for the approval of temporary dwellings on lots already occupied by principal dwellings in order to satisfy certain personal hardships or needs of the rural and agricultural community without necessitating platting or short platting. Because such hardships or needs are personal and generally transitory, the approval of temporary dwellings shall not constitute a long-term land use commitment which may conflict with the Comprehensive Plan and implementing regulations.

This chapter identifies appropriate cases of hardship or need, provides criteria and a process for evaluating applications, and imposes minimum conditions on the establishment and maintenance of temporary dwellings. [Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]

18.44.030 Temporary dwellings authorized.

Subject to the conditions and upon issuance of the permit provided for in this chapter, one or more temporary dwellings may be established and maintained on a lot, tract or parcel already occupied by a principal dwelling for use only by one of the following:

A. A person who is to receive from or administer to a resident of the principal dwelling continuous care and assistance necessitated by advanced age or infirmity; or

B. A caretaker, hired hand or other similar employee working on the lot, tract or parcel in connection with an agricultural or related use of the premises. [Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]

18.44.040 Temporary dwellings – Conditions.

Temporary dwellings authorized in this chapter, shall be subject to the following minimum conditions:

A. A temporary dwelling permit as provided for by this chapter shall be obtained for all temporary dwellings to be placed on a lot, tract or parcel for more than 30 days;

B. The lot, tract or parcel shall be of such size and configuration, and the temporary dwelling shall be located thereon in such manner, as to enable compliance with applicable Comprehensive Plan, zoning, health, building code, and fire code regulations except density requirements;

C. The temporary dwelling shall be designed, constructed and maintained in a manner which will facilitate its removal on the termination of the permit. Temporary dwelling includes but is not limited to a mobile home, motor home, travel trailer or camper not attached to a motor vehicle;

D. A current vehicular license if applicable, shall be maintained on the temporary dwelling;

E. No more than one temporary dwelling per lot, tract or parcel shall be authorized under this chapter if the primary dwelling is a mobile home, unless approved by the Board of Adjustment;

F. No rent or other remuneration is paid for the occupancy of the temporary dwelling;

G. There are no anticipated adverse impacts on the neighborhood;

H. The public health, safety, and general welfare will not be adversely affected;

I. There are no reasonable alternatives to the establishment of a temporary dwelling. [Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]

18.44.050 Temporary dwellings – Permits.

A. Applications for temporary dwelling permits shall be submitted to the Department of Building and Planning on forms provided by the county and shall be accompanied by a processing fee established for a mobile home placement permit, and shall include:

1. A site plan showing the size and boundaries of the lot, tract or parcel, the location of all existing buildings, and the proposed location of the temporary dwelling;

2. A description of the proposed temporary dwelling;

3. Documentation of approval of water supply and sewage disposal system by the appropriate governmental agency;

4. A notarized statement signed by the applicant setting forth the facts which specify the need for the temporary dwelling; provided, that if the applicant is relying upon CCC 18.44.030(A), a letter from a medical doctor establishing the need for continuous care and assistance shall also be submitted. The statement must also indicate facts showing that there are no reasonable alternatives to the establishment of a temporary dwelling.

B. A permit for a single temporary dwelling may be issued by the Department of Building and Planning upon a finding that all the conditions of this chapter have been met. The issuance of a permit for an additional temporary dwelling on a site already occupied by one or more temporary dwellings shall be reviewed and approved by the Board of Adjustment. [Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]

18.44.060 Permit termination and renewal.

A. A temporary dwelling permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid for one year or until the termination of the conditions authorizing the temporary dwelling, whichever shall occur first.

B. A temporary dwelling permit may be renewed within 60 days from the date of expiration by filing a notarized statement showing the conditions authorizing the temporary dwelling still exist and setting forth any changes to the information previously furnished. Said permit shall be renewed unless the Department of Building and Planning finds that the conditions authorizing the permit have changed or that the temporary dwelling no longer meets the requirements set forth in this chapter.

C. A temporary dwelling permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be canceled or revoked at any time by the Hearing Examiner, if appointed pursuant to CCC 18.10.340, as amended, if it is found by the Hearing Examiner at a public hearing called for the purpose of considering such cancellation or revocation that:

1. Any of the conditions upon issuance of the permit as set forth in this chapter have not been complied with; or

2. The conditions authorizing the permit have changed.

D. Upon termination of the temporary dwelling permit, occupancy shall cease immediately and the temporary dwelling shall be removed. [Ord. 95-193, § 34, 12-4-95; Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]

18.44.070 Appeals.

A. A person aggrieved by the granting or denial of a temporary dwelling permit may appeal the Department’s decision to the Hearing Examiner, appointed pursuant to CCC 18.10.340, as amended, within 20 calendar days. Any such appeal shall be filed in writing, along with the appropriate fee, with the Department of Building and Planning within 20 calendar days of the issuance of the decision. The appeal shall specify the reasons therefor. The Director shall provide the Hearing Examiner with findings and documentation relating to the decision being appealed. The Hearing Examiner, following a de novo hearing, shall affirm, modify or reverse the decision. The appellant carries the burden of proof on appeal.

Upon the filing of an appeal with appropriate fee, the Director shall set the public hearing before the Hearing Examiner. If the appeal is filed 20 calendar days or more before the Hearing Examiner’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, he/she shall hear the appeal at that meeting as set by the Director. For appeals filed within 19 calendar days of the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, the Hearing Examiner shall hear the appeal in the subsequent month.

Notice of the time, date and place of the hearing shall be sent to the appellant and the permittee by first class mail prior to the public hearing. Legal notice of the hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation and the subject property shall be posted with said notice not less than 10 calendar days prior to the public hearing.

Within 10 calendar days after the public hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall issue a written decision, including findings of fact on which its decision is based. Such written decision shall be available to the appellant and the public upon request.

B. Fees for appeals of the Department’s decision shall be from time to time established by resolution by the Board of County Commissioners.

C. Appeals of the Hearing Examiner decision shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction, pursuant to the Land Use Petition Act, Chapter 347, Washington Laws, 1995. [Ord. 95-193, § 35, 12-4-95; Ord. 95-033, § 1, 3-13-95; Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]

18.44.075 Violations – Penalties.

It is a civil infraction for any person to violate this chapter or assist in the violation of this chapter. Violations are subject to the provisions of Chapter 2.06 CCC. Any violation is a public nuisance. Each day a violation exists is a separate violation. Payment of any penalty imposed for a violation does not relieve a person from the duty to comply with this chapter. [Ord. 93-102, § 29, 7-6-93.]

18.44.080 Severability.

Should any section, clause or provision of this chapter be declared by the courts to be invalid, the same shall not affect the validity of this chapter as a whole or any part thereof other than that so declared to be invalid. [Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]

18.44.090 Effective date.

This ordinance shall become effective immediately upon adoption. [Ord. 6473, 1-7-80.]