Chapter 1

Chapter 1


1.010    Authority

1.011    Powers of the City Engineer

1.013    Violations

1.014    Encroachment - Abatement

1.015    Disclaimer of Liability

1.020    Purpose

1.030    Applicability

1.040    Administrative Interpretations and Revisions

1.050    Deviation from Standards

1.070    References

1.080    Alternate Standards

1.090    Permits

1.100    Plan Review

1.110    Professional Qualifications

1.120    Inspection

1.130    Securities

1.140    Errors and Omissions

1.150    Right-of-Way Site Maintenance

1.160    Penalties


1.010 Authority

This edition of the Engineering Design and Development Standards, commonly known as the EDDS, is adopted by the Olympia City Council by Ordinance, under Chapter 12.02 of the Olympia Municipal Code.

1.011 Powers of the City Engineer

The City Engineer shall have the power to:

A.    Administer provisions of these standards.

B.    Prepare and administer procedures implementing these standards.

C.    Prepare and publish, as necessary for public use, a procedures manual or manuals covering these standards.

D.    Close or restrict the usage of streets for a definite period of time as provided for the following:

1.    Drive access/culvert enclosure/curb cut - authorizing residential access (single family or duplex) or temporary access for short-term activities such as construction to a city street.

2.    Subdivision driveway access - authorizing residential access (single family or duplex) to a city street where a combined review to establish lot access requirements has previously been conducted as part of the subdivision review process and the subdivision developer is established as responsible for requirements related to driveway access.

3.    Temporary access - authorizing construction and temporary, nonexclusive use of an unopened or primitive city street right-of-way for short-term activities such as construction or logging.

4.    Private street access - authorizing the construction and permanent, nonexclusive use of a privately maintained street within the city right-of-way.

5.    Major construction authorizing major land development-related construction (including franchised utilities). These activities range from developer-financed frontage improvements, street restoration and utility extensions to developer-financed and built comprehensive street improvements, access for development of abutting industrial/commercial property, and major city street intersections.

6.    Minor construction - authorizing minor land development-related construction (including franchised utilities) including, but not limited to, paved aprons, minor curbside work, modification of streetside features, and minor private street intersections. Construction activities and associated thresholds eligible to be included under a minor construction permit shall be detailed in Department procedures. Construction activities exceeding minor construction permit thresholds shall be processed as a major construction.

7.    Blanket utility construction - a permit granting a franchised utility purveyor to cover a series of activities in the city rights-of-way. Such activities are of a less disruptive nature than normal utilities construction. Construction activities and associated thresholds eligible to be included under a blanket permit shall be detailed in Department procedures. Construction activities exceeding blanket utility permit thresholds shall be processed as a major utility construction.

8.    Major utility construction - involving major construction, disturbance, and restoration of the affected city street.

All work performed under any permit issued under these standards shall conform to the Engineering Design and Development Standards (EDDS).

1.013 Violations

It shall be unlawful to place or maintain any structure, object, or feature within the right-of-way except where done pursuant to a contract with the City, permission granted by the Department pursuant to this chapter, or other specific legal authority.

It shall be unlawful for anyone other than the Department to spill, dump, or otherwise deposit any material upon a city right-of-way except where done pursuant to contract with the City, permission granted by the Department as provided in this chapter, or other legal authority. This section shall be supplementary to state law as provided.

Any violation of this section or any other provision of these Standards declaring conduct unlawful is a misdemeanor and shall be punishable as provided in Olympia Municipal Code (OMC) 12.02.060. Each person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day any portion of which any violation of this section occurs and shall be punishable accordingly.

1.014 Encroachment - Abatement

The City Engineer or designee may remove any structure, object, feature, or material placed or spilled upon, over, or beneath the surface of any right-of-way by other than the Department unless installed and maintained pursuant to a contract with the City, permission by the Department as provided in this chapter, or other specific legal authority. The costs of any removal shall be the sole responsibility of the installer of such structure, object, feature, or material and the successors in ownership of any portion of such structure, object, feature, or material. The City may take any steps that it deems appropriate to collect the costs of such removal.

1.015 Disclaimer of Liability

Responsibility for complying with the requirements of these Standards and other applicable code provisions rests solely with the permit applicant. Without limitation thereto, the applicant is responsible for determining and accurately representing to the City the following information:

A.    Legal descriptions;

B.    Ownership interests and record title;

C.    Location of property lines and required setbacks;

D.    Land use classification (zoning);

E.    Stormwater and drainage courses; and

F.    Any other information supplied by the applicant.

The City of Olympia may rely upon all information furnished by the applicant, both oral and written, and any other information acquired by it.

1.020 Purpose

The purpose of these Engineering Design and Development Standards is to ensure that public utility and transportation-related facilities constructed in the City of Olympia meet appropriate standards for safety, constructability, durability, and maintainability.

These Standards are published in accordance with the Revised Code of Washington and accomplish the following:

A.    Provide clear and specific standards for construction or modification of facilities in the city right-of-way.

B.    Implement and administer the general development regulations contained in the City of Olympia land use codes.

C.    Ensure the design and construction of facilities in the city right-of-way complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and standards of good engineering practice.

D.    Ensure that transportation-related projects incorporate nonmotorized facilities as appropriate.

1.030 Applicability

The Engineering Design and Development Standards (EDDS) shall govern all construction, development, re-development, and/or modification of the following infrastructure:

a.    Transportation facilities, including trails,

b.    Frontage improvements, including all infrastructure located in City right-of-way (ROW),

c.    Water, Reclaimed Water, Sewer, and Stormwater facilities,

d.    Solid Waste Facilities,

e.    Private utilities located or proposed to be located in City ROW or public easements, whether occurring under permit or franchise.

The EDDS apply to both public and private projects. The EDDS apply to the infrastructure listed above, for all work located within the City of Olympia and its urban growth area. Facilities outside City ROW, such as private streets or stormwater systems, are regulated through the City’s police power authority to ensure public health, safety, and welfare.

These EDDS support and implement the goals, objectives and policies of the City of Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as the plans, standards and documents listed in Section 3.010.

Situations may arise where the application of individual standards in the EDDS may not sufficiently ensure the protection of public health, safety, and welfare. Accordingly, the City Engineer may impose additional or more stringent standards than those contained in this document or require the modification of plans, specifications, or operations to achieve the necessary public health, safety, and welfare. Modifications may include, but are not limited to, scheduling, phasing, or timing restrictions

1.040 Administrative Interpretations and Revisions

It is recognized that administrative interpretation of these Standards will be required from time to time. Such interpretations are refinements or explanations of meaning or intent issued by the City Engineer. Requests for administrative interpretations must be submitted in writing to the City Engineer.

Revisions will be issued at regular intervals to keep the document current and reduce the scope of subsequent changes. Each EDDS revision will incorporate the administrative interpretations that have been issued since the last revision.

1.050 Deviation from Standards

These Standards represent appropriate practice under most conditions, based on past experience in the City of Olympia and other jurisdictions. They are intended to provide facilities that are safe and appropriate for use in the City of Olympia.

Situations will arise where alternatives to these Standards may better accommodate existing conditions, overcome adverse topography, or allow for more cost-effective solutions without adversely affecting safety, operations, maintenance, or aesthetics.

Accordingly, requests for deviations from these Standards, or from requirements of those sections of Title 17 of the OMC listed in section 17.52.020 of the OMC, will be considered by the City Engineer. Such requests must be submitted to include supporting information demonstrating compliance with the following criteria:

A.    The deviation will achieve the intended result with a comparable or superior design and quality of improvement; and

B.    The deviation will not adversely affect safety or operations; and

C.    The deviation will not adversely affect maintenance and its associated cost; and

D.    The deviation will not adversely affect the aesthetic appearance; and

E.    The deviation will not impact future expansion, development, or redevelopment.

It is recognized that the need for and timing of a deviation request may not be predictable. Requests should be submitted as soon as the need becomes known. No request will be considered until an application for a permit or other approval has been submitted. Known deviation requests that affect lot yield or scope of development must be decided prior to any public hearing or official decision on the application. This is important for public notice and participation in the decision process.

Deviations that affect engineering design, to the extent they are known, must be decided prior to submittal of construction plans. This will prevent wasted effort in the preparation of plans with nonstandard features that cannot be approved.

Any deviation request concerning a provision of the International Fire Code requires concurrence by the City of Olympia Fire Marshal. Documentation of concurrence by the Fire Marshal must be submitted with the request.

The City Engineer reserves the right to direct or deny a deviation from these Standards at any time in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare. Formal appeals to deviation requests denied or approved shall be directed to the Hearing Examiner, per OMC 18.75.

1.070 References

General. Except where these Standards provide otherwise (including the additional standards listed in Section 3.010 of Chapter 3 of these Standards), design, construction workmanship, and materials shall be in accordance with the most current edition of the following publications published separately by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) or jointly by WSDOT and the Washington State Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA):

For access to all WSDOT Manuals, go to

A.    WSDOT/APWA Standard Plans for Street, Bridge and Municipal Construction, referred to in these Standards as the WSDOT Standard Plans.

B.    WSDOT/APWA Standard Specifications for Street, Bridge and Municipal Construction, referred to in these Standards as the WSDOT Standard Specifications.

C.    WSDOT Design Manual.

D.    WSDOT Hydraulic Manual.

E.    WSDOT Traffic Manual.

F.    WSDOT Utility Manual.

G.    WSDOT Construction Manual.

H.    WSDOT Highway Runoff Manual.

In cases where these Standards conflict with the standards or procedures of the WSDOT or the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the state or federal requirements shall take precedence for the city street projects with state or federal funding.

1.080 Alternate Standards

Through the City of Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan, the City has developed uniform infrastructure standards to be applied to all land development inside unincorporated urban growth areas (UGAs). Minimum street/street standards were adopted by Thurston County in December 1995. The City of Olympia will continue to work with Thurston County and the abutting cities to adopt mutually acceptable design standards.

A development inside an unincorporated urban growth area (UGA) may propose design elements that deviate from the current Standards. A request to deviate from these Standards must be identified during the development review process.

1.090 Permits

Other permits, approvals, or agreements may be required by the City or other jurisdictions prior to initiating any activities subject to these Standards. Questions regarding such permits, approvals, or agreements should be directed to the City’s Community Planning and Development Department.

1.100 Plan Review

Plan review requirements for city-constructed street and stormwater projects are governed by policies and procedures of the Department of Public Works.

For developer-constructed projects, all plans, reports, drawings, and specifications that support permit or land use applications are to be submitted to the Community Planning and Development Department. Copies of such supporting documentation are forwarded to the appropriate City staff for review.

Construction plan and profile drawings are required for all proposed street-related improvements, including water, sewer, stormwater facilities and stream channel improvements.

Engineering Record Drawings (previously known as as-built plans) for all construction completed within rights-of-way and easements, conforming to section 3.065 of these Standards, must be submitted prior to final inspection approval. In some cases these drawings will be required during the inspection process to approve facilities before the next phase of construction can proceed.

1.110 Professional Qualifications

Licensed professionals who prepare or are responsible for the preparation of plans, drawings, specifications, calculations, technical reports, legal descriptions, etc., for the purpose of obtaining City permits or approvals, shall be registered or authorized to practice in the State of Washington in accordance with RCW Title 18. Registration or authorization to practice shall be in the specific technical area pertinent to the documents being prepared. Exceptions to this requirement are specified in RCW Section 18.43.130.

1.120 Inspection

The City Engineer shall have authority to enforce these Standards as well as other referenced or pertinent specifications. The City Engineer shall appoint personnel, as appropriate, to inspect work completed pursuant to these Standards; they shall exercise such authority as the City Engineer may delegate.

Work performed within the public right-of-way, or outside the public right-of-way as mandated by the City land use codes, shall comply with the approved plans and specifications and these Standards. The City Engineer must approve any revision to construction plans before implementation.

It is the responsibility of the developer, contractor, or their agents to have an approved set of plans, permits, and a copy of these Standards on the job site wherever work is being accomplished.

It is the responsibility of the developer, contractor, or their agents to notify the City in advance of the commencement of any authorized work in accordance with permit requirements. A preconstruction conference and/or field review will be required by Community Planning and Development (facilitated and attended by City staff) before the commencement of any work on significant projects.

As requested by the City and outlined in these standards, the applicant/developer will be required to provide tests to substantiate the adequacy and/or placement of construction materials.

1.130 Securities

Where authorized by the City Code, securities may be required by the City Engineer to guarantee the performance of or to correct permitted work. The type and amount of security shall be pursuant to the City Code, or if not specified, at the discretion of the City Engineer.

Types of securities include, but are not limited to, cash deposits, assigned savings, and bonds. The City Engineer shall release securities upon satisfactory completion of the required work or any previously specified stipulations related to the required work.

1.140 Errors and Omissions

At the discretion of the City Engineer, any significant errors or omissions in the approved plans or information used as a basis for such approvals may constitute grounds for withdrawal of the approvals and/or stoppage of any or all permitted work. It shall be the responsibility of the developer or contractor to show cause as to why such work should continue and make such changes in plans that may be required by the City Engineer before the plans are reapproved.

1.150 Right-of-Way Site Maintenance

The developer or contractor shall schedule and control work so as to comply with all applicable provisions of the City of Olympia land use codes and applicable state and federal codes to prevent any hazards to public safety, health, and welfare.

On existing streets, two-way traffic for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians shall be maintained at all times unless detour plans or lane closures have been approved in advance by the City Engineer.

Streets, bridges, bikeways, and pedestrian facilities shall be kept free of dirt, debris, or any obstructions. Paved temporary detour(s) shall be provided during the entire time of repair or construction.

Pedestrian and vehicular access to occupied buildings shall be maintained except where written approval from the building owner has been obtained.

On-site grading shall be done in a manner to minimize off-site erosion and siltation in conformance with all statutory requirements, permits, and approved plans.

1.160 Penalties

Failure to comply with these Standards will be cause for withholding or withdrawing approval of plans or drawings, withholding of bonds, final inspection approval or occupancy certificates, and/or other penalties as provided by City code or state law.