Chapter 18.22


18.22.010    Home occupations.

18.22.020    Fences or hedges.

18.22.030    Bed and breakfast houses.

18.22.040    Churches, hospitals, schools and meeting halls.

18.22.050    Public utility facilities.

18.22.060    Raising and grazing of livestock and poultry.

18.22.070    Boathouses.

18.22.080    Yard projections.

18.22.090    Accessory dwelling units.

18.22.100    Off-street parking and loading requirements.

18.22.120    Repealed.

*Prior legislation: Ord. No. 515. Formerly Chapter 18.24 BLMC.

18.22.010 Home occupations.

The following requirements apply to all home occupations hereafter established in a residential zone:

A. On-premises retail sale of goods not produced, processed or fabricated in the dwelling unit shall not be permitted, except:

1. Mail order sales;

2. Telephone sales with off-site delivery;

3. Nonprofit organizations sponsoring fundraising sales.

B. Home occupations involving the following activities shall be prohibited in residential zones:

1. Auto, watercraft, aircraft and heavy equipment engine repair over 10 horsepower;

2. Auto, watercraft, aircraft and heavy equipment body work or painting;

3. Parking or storage of heavy equipment;

4. Storage of building materials for use off-site;

5. Fabrication or repairing of items that can not be physically carried by an average sized person.

C. No display may be seen from outside the premises.

D. No materials, products or equipment may be stored outside a building or other structure.

E. No sign may be displayed except as permitted in BLMC 15.28.070.

F. No structural alteration may be made which are not customary in residential buildings.

G. No offensive noise, smoke, dust, vibrations, heat, humidity, glare, or other objectionable matter may be produced. Home occupations shall not be visible or audible from any point on the property line.

H. No more than 25 percent of the total floor area, or 500 square feet of floor area, whichever is less, may be devoted to said home occupation.

I. No one not residing on the premises may be employed in said home occupation.

J. A business license must be obtained from the city. (Ord. 1112 § 1, 2005; Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.020 Fences or hedges.

A. Fences shall not exceed six feet in height, within a required rear or side yard setback.

B. Fences and hedges shall not exceed four feet in height within 10 feet of sidewalk or within 15 feet of the paved edge of a street, whichever distance is greater; except as provided below:

1. Fences and hedges that are no more than 60 percent sight obscuring, such as chain link, wrought iron or similar material, may be six feet in height;

2. Fences and hedges may be six feet in height if there is not vehicular access from the street along the lot line and the fence or hedge complies with subsection F of this section;

3. Fences and hedges may be six feet in height along the front lot line; provided, that the adjacent street is classified as a principal or minor arterial and the fence or hedge complies with subsection F of this section.

C. The following are prohibited:

1. Fences made of barbed wire, razor wire, concertina wire or similar material;

2. Electric fences; and

3. Fencing made of plywood less than five-eighths inch thick, particle board, paper, visqueen plastic, plastic tarp, cloth, or similar material.

D. Fences and hedges shall not be constructed or grown:

1. Within three feet of a fire hydrant;

2. In a manner which interferes with access to storm or sanitary sewer manholes and other appurtenances which require access for maintenance purposes.

E. Hedges shall be maintained in a manner so that the hedge does not overhang onto an adjoining property or a street.

F. Fences and hedges that are more than 60 percent sight obscuring shall not exceed 42 inches in height within a “clear view triangle.”

G. The height of a fence or a hedge shall be measured as the vertical distance between the top hedge or the top fence material excluding the fence posts to the lowest grade within three feet of the fence or hedge.

H. A fence or hedge shall not be placed on a berm or fill unless the total height of the fence to include the berm or the fill does not exceed the maximum allowed height.

I. The director may allow fences that do not conform to the regulations of this section if the director finds that such fences are needed to protect the public health and safety in the following situations:

1. Outdoor recreation establishments or park and recreation facilities;

2. Public facilities and stormwater management infrastructure;

3. Minor and major utility facilities;

4. Permitted agricultural activities;

5. Wireless communication facilities; or

6. To prohibit illegal dumping. (Ord. 1627 § 4, 2019; Ord. 1230 § 1, 2007; Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.030 Bed and breakfast houses.

The following requirements apply to all bed and breakfast houses hereafter established as a permitted or accessory use in a residential zone:

A. The bed and breakfast house shall be conducted in such a manner as to give no outward appearance nor manifest any characteristics of a business, in the ordinary meaning of the term, that would infringe upon the right of the neighboring residents to enjoy a peaceful occupancy of their homes. The guest establishment shall be operated within the principal structure and not in any accessory structure.

B. The owner shall be the operator of the facility and shall reside on the premises.

C. There shall be no more than five guest rooms for persons other than the members of the immediate family of the operator. (Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.040 Churches, hospitals, schools and meeting halls.

The following requirements apply to all churches, hospitals, schools and public or private meeting halls and lodge buildings hereafter established as a permitted use in a residential zone:

A. All buildings and structures on the site shall have a floor area ratio of no more than 35 percent of the area of the site.

B. Buildings and structures (except fences) are not closer than 30 feet to a common property line with a lot in a residential district.

C. Off-street parking on side yards is permissible; provided, that a view obstructing fence or hedge at least five feet high is placed between the parking area and any residential lot. (Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.050 Public utility facilities.

The following requirements apply to all public utility uses hereafter established as a permitted or accessory use in a residential zone:

A. The facilities relate directly to the distribution of services and do not include offices, warehouses, storage or service yards or similar use.

B. The site shall be landscaped consistent with the surrounding residential area.

C. Fences or hedges placed on property lines or so close thereto so as to require entry onto adjoining property for maintenance shall require written approval by the affected property owner, said approval to be filed with the city engineer. (Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.060 Raising and grazing of livestock and poultry.

Livestock and poultry must be kept in such a manner that meets all of the following minimum standards.

A. Enclosures and grazing areas for livestock shall be placed on a lot no less than one acre and there shall be no more than two livestock per acre of enclosed usable pasture area.

B. Enclosures and grazing area for poultry shall be available. There shall be no more than three poultry on a lot under one acre or six poultry per acre and no more than 12 poultry on any residential property.

C. The pastoral roaming area for livestock or poultry shall be maintained no closer than 45 feet from a dwelling on an adjacent lot.

D. No structure used primarily to house or feed livestock or poultry shall be closer than 45 feet from an adjacent property line.

E. Livestock and poultry shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 6.04 BLMC. (Ord. 1384 § 3, 2011; Ord. 1381 § 8, 2011; Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.070 Boathouses.

A. Boathouses shall be subject to the Shoreline Code codified as BLMC Title 16, Division III.

B. The height of a boathouse shall not exceed 10 feet. (Ord. 1641 § 15, 2020; Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.080 Yard projections.

Every required front, rear and side yard shall be open and unobstructed from the ground to the sky unless otherwise provided:

A. Overhangs for roofs are permitted up to a maximum of 18 inches.

B. Open, unenclosed, unroofed decks may extend into setbacks; provided, that said decks are constructed at grade elevations, or in no event shall exceed 18 inches above grade, and not closer than three feet from a property line.

C. Fences and walls as specified in BLMC 18.22.020 may project into front, rear and side yards.

D. Wheelchair ramps may project into any required yard to the extent necessary to perform their proper function.

E. Detached single-story accessory structures, except for accessory dwelling units, may occupy 25 percent of the total area of a side yard and rear yard; provided, that the structure shall maintain a minimum three-foot setback. The side yard does not include any portion of the lot within 20 feet of the front property line for purposes of this calculation.

F. Low impact storm water management features may encroach into a yard, including, but not limited to:

1. Rain barrels or cisterns, six feet or less in height;

2. Planter boxes;

3. Bioretention areas; and

4. Similar low impact storm water management features, as determined by the director.

G. Mechanical equipment associated with residential uses, such as HVAC units, swimming pool pumps or filters, and security lighting, may encroach into a side interior or rear yard.

H. Minor structures accessory to utilities (such as hydrants, manholes, and transformers and other cabinet structures and related fences) may encroach into a setback. (Ord. 1641 § 16, 2020; Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.090 Accessory dwelling units.

A. The regulations contained in these sections have been adopted to:

1. Provide homeowners with a means of providing companionship and security.

2. Add affordable units to the existing house supply.

3. Make housing units within the city available to moderate-income people.

4. Provide an increased choice of housing that responds to changing needs, lifestyles (e.g., young families, retired), and modern development technology.

5. Protect neighborhood stability, property values, and the single-family residential appearance by ensuring the ADUs are installed in a compatible manner under the conditions of this section.

6. Increase density in order to better utilize existing infrastructure and community resources, support public transit, neighborhood retail and commercial services.

B. Any property owner seeking to establish or construct an ADU shall obtain an ADU permit in addition to any required building permit.

1. Any person desiring to establish, construct, or legalize an ADU shall submit an application prepared using forms and checklists provided by the director. The director shall prepare a submittal checklist providing a list of the application materials that shall be considered the minimum necessary to constitute a complete application.

2. Either the primary residence or the ADU must be occupied by the owners of the property. In addition, an ADU shall not be segregated in ownership from the primary structure. The owner(s) of the property shall occupy the primary residence or the ADU as their principal residence for at least six months of every year. The owners shall sign a covenant agreeing to this condition and the other requirements of this section which shall be recorded with the Pierce County auditor. The applicant is responsible for recording the document with the Pierce County auditor and providing a conformed copy to the city. The form of the covenant shall be specified by the director.

3. After receiving a completed application and approving an ADU permit, the ADU shall be inspected to ensure that the ADU complies with all of the requirements of subsection C of this section.

4. Satisfactory inspection of the property and verification that the covenant discussed in subsection (B)(2) of this section has been recorded with Pierce County shall result in the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

C. The creation of an ADU shall be subject to the following requirements, which shall not be subject to waiver or variance:

1. One ADU shall be allowed per legal building lot as an accessory use to a single-family residence;

2. An ADU shall not be located on a lot which contains either a duplex or multiple-family dwelling units.

3. Either the principal residence or the unit designed to become the ADU may be constructed first. If the unit designed to be the ADU is built first, it shall be considered the primary residence until a second unit is built and shall be subject to the utility connection fees provided for in BLMC 13.04.070 and 13.12.100. The second unit built shall be considered an ADU for purposes of the utility connection fee exemptions provided for in BLMC 13.04.070(D)(2)(c) and 13.12.100(E).

4. An ADU shall not contain less than 300 square feet if constructed as part of a primary residential unit, and no less than 450 square feet, excluding any related garage and stair areas, if constructed in a structure detached from the primary residential structure.

5. An ADU whether within the primary residence or in a detached structure shall not contain more than 1,200 square feet, excluding any related garage and stair areas.

6. The square footage of an ADU within the primary residence shall not exceed 40 percent of the total square footage of the primary residence.

7. In the R-1 and RC-5 zoning districts, an ADU shall be located within the primary residence; provided, that an ADU located in a structure detached from the primary residence shall be allowed on lots in the R-1 and RC-5 zoning districts that have an area of 10,000 square feet or more.

8. In the R-2 zoning district, an ADU may be located within the primary residence or within a structure detached from the primary residence.

9. There shall be one off-street parking space provided for an ADU with one bedroom and two off-street parking spaces provided for an ADU with two or more bedrooms. Off-street parking spaces for the ADU shall be in addition to those which are required for the primary residence and shall be located in a carport, garage, or designated space.

10. An ADU shall be designed to maintain the appearance of the existing single-family residence.

a. An ADU shall be compatible with the existing color, roof pitch, siding and windows of the primary residence.

b. Only one entrance shall be permitted in the front of the primary residence and a separate entrance for the ADU constructed within the primary residence shall be located on the side or rear and not visible from the street.

c. The entrance to an ADU constructed within a structure detached from the primary residence shall not be oriented towards a street.

d. The maximum building height of a structure detached from the primary residence containing an ADU shall be 18 feet.

11. The accessory dwelling unit shall meet all technical code standards including building, electrical, fire, plumbing and other applicable code requirements.

12. Legalization of Nonconforming ADU. All owners of an illegal ADU shall be required to either legalize the unit or remove it. (Ord. 1584 § 2, 2017; Ord. 1505 § 22, 2015; Ord. 1221 § 5, 2007; Ord. 988 § 2, 2003; Ord. 747A § 1, 1998; Ord. 747 § 1, 1997).

18.22.100 Off-street parking and loading requirements.

The minimum off-street parking and loading requirements shall be as follows; provided, that in the DC and DM zones and in the transit-oriented development overlay, the minimum number of spaces shall be reduced by 50 percent:

A. For each single-family dwelling unit: two spaces;

B. Multiple Dwelling Units.

1. For all multiple dwelling units, whether or not one or more buildings are used, there shall be assigned two paved off-street parking spaces per individual dwelling unit located thereon;

2. The parking lot or area shall be so designed as to give ingress and egress according to the city codes and standards and prior to the issuance of a building permit for a multiple dwelling unit, a parking plan must be submitted to and approved by the planning director;

C. For every four hospital beds: one space;

D. For each nursing home bed: one space;

E. For every five seats in a church or in a public meeting hall: one space;

F. For each employee on duty in a public or private permitted use: one space;

G. For each 100 square feet of a permitted use not otherwise mentioned herein: one space;

H. For every 6,000 square feet of hospital, church or public meeting hall space, or day care facility, one off-street loading area of at least 360 square feet is required;

I. For each accessory dwelling unit, one off-street parking space in addition to the basic parking requirements for the primary dwelling unit(s). (Ord. 1155 § 13, 2005; Ord. 1137 § 5, 2005; Ord. 747 § 1, 1997; Ord. 740 § 8, 1997).

18.22.120 Wireless communications facilities.

Repealed by Ord. 1533. (Ord. 746 § 6, 1997).