Chapter 17.04


17.04.010    Brewster Zoning Ordinance.

17.04.020    Purpose.

17.04.030    Authority.

17.04.040    Compliance required.

17.04.050    Interpretation and application of provisions.

17.04.060    Scope.

17.04.070    Severability.

17.04.080    Establishment of zone districts and regulations.

17.04.090    Zoning map.

17.04.100    Interpretation of zoning map.

17.04.110    Zoning of annexations.

17.04.120    Impact assessment.

17.04.010 Brewster Zoning Ordinance.

The ordinance codified in this title shall be known as the “Brewster Zoning Ordinance.” (Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998; Ord. 253 Art. 1 (A), 1965)

17.04.020 Purpose.

The general purposes of this title are to promote the public health, safety, general welfare and interest in the city by:

A. Establishing a desirable pattern of land use that reflects the needs of the residents of the city;

B. Ensuring the efficient use of public investment in community facilities, roads and utilities;

C. Providing clear and stable guidelines for public and private development;

D. Providing flexible means to stimulate creativity while maintaining sufficient control to achieve the objectives of the city’s comprehensive plan;

E. Establishing adequate building setback and regulations to ensure adequate light, air and open space as well as preventing the spread of fire;

F. Providing for residential, commercial, recreational and industrial sites that satisfy the needs of the residents of the city;

G. Preventing and abating conditions considered by the city and its residents to be nuisances that degrade the value of property and quality of life;

H. Furthering the goals and policies of the city’s comprehensive plan;

I. Complying with the provisions of RCW Chapter 35A.63 and the Growth Management Act, both as amended. (Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 253 Art. I(B), 1965)

17.04.030 Authority.

The ordinance codified in this title is adopted pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 35.70 RCW, as amended, which empowers the city to enact a zoning ordinance and 35A.63 RCW which provides for its administration and amendment. (Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998)

17.04.040 Compliance required.

After the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title, no new building or structure shall be erected, reconstructed, altered, or relocated; nor shall any new building, structure, or premises be used for any purpose unless such action is in compliance with the provisions of this title. (Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 253 Art. I(C), 1965)

17.04.050 Interpretation and application of provisions.

A. When the provisions of this title impose a greater restriction upon the use of buildings and premises or upon the height of buildings and structures or require larger open spaces than are imposed or required by other laws, ordinances, codes, easements, regulations or covenants, the provisions of this title shall control.

B. The administrator shall review and determine any questions involving the proper interpretation or application of the provisions of this title that may be requested by any property owner, tenant, government officer, department, board or commission affected. The administrator’s decision shall be in keeping with the spirit and intent of this title and of the city’s comprehensive plan.

C. A record shall be kept of all interpretations and rulings made by the administrator and such decision shall be binding for future administration. (Ord. 857 §§ 2, 3, 2014; Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 548 § 1, 1992; Ord. 253 Art. 10(A), 1965)

17.04.060 Scope.

This title shall apply to all lands located within the city of Brewster to the extent authorized under the Constitutions and laws of the state of Washington and of the United States. (Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998)

17.04.070 Severability.

The provisions of this title are severable. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this title is adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this title. (Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998)

17.04.080 Establishment of zone districts and regulations.

A. For the purposes of this title, the zone districts described in Table 17.04.080 are established.

B. Standards specific to many land uses are described in Chapter 17.10 of this title. The allowed uses for each district are shown in Table 17.10.020, District Use Chart. Required setback, height, density, lot coverage, and other requirements are found in Section 17.10.090. Parking requirements are described in Chapter 17.32.

Table 17.04.080

Zone Districts Established

Zone district


Formerly known as*

Primary purpose

single-family residential


low density residential

Provide low to medium (<10 dwelling units/acre)

density residential uses.

mixed density residential


general residential

Provide for the development of a mixture of housing types that have medium to high (5—20 dwelling units/acre) levels of density and for limited small scale commercial uses through the administrative permit process (Chapter 17.80).

central business district


general commercial

Provide suitable areas for uses compatible with present and future retail/wholesale commercial activities and second story residential uses.

mixed commercial/ light industrial


highway commercial

Provide for simultaneous development of selected commercial and light industrial uses along S.R. 97.

heavy industrial



Provide areas for those industrial uses that may create noise, fumes, discharges and heavy traffic.

public use


not applicable

Provide for the continuation and establishment of public facilities including but not limited to parks, schools, cemeteries, other publicly funded structures and utility-related capital facilities.

critical areas overlay


not applicable

Provides protection of critical areas, as required and defined by the Washington Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.060).

airport industrial


not applicable

Provides areas for commercial and light industrial uses that are aviation related or not in conflict with aviation activities and consistent with FAA required airport overlay requirements.

*    Previous name of zone district, as established by Ord. 253 (adopted in 1965).

(Ord. 876 § 1, 2016; Ord. 857 § 5, 2014; Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998)

17.04.090 Zoning map.

The location and boundaries of the districts designated in this title are established as shown on the map entitled the Brewster zoning map. The zoning map shall be adopted by ordinance with the ordinance number shown thereon, the date adopted, and shall be signed by the mayor. The signed map shall be maintained on display at City Hall and considered a part of this title. The zoning map may be amended as set forth in this title. (Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998)

17.04.100 Interpretation of zoning map.

Where uncertainty exists as to the boundaries of districts as shown on the Brewster zoning map, the following rules shall apply:

A. Boundaries indicated as approximately following the centerlines of streets, highways, or alleys shall be construed as following such centerlines;

B. Boundaries indicated as approximately following platted lot lines shall be construed as following such lot lines;

C. Boundaries indicated as approximately following the corporate limits of the city shall be construed as following the corporate limits of the city;

D. Boundaries indicated as following railroad lines shall be construed to be midway between the main tracts;

E. Boundaries indicated as following shorelines shall be construed to following such shorelines, and in the event of change in the shoreline shall be construed as moving with the actual shoreline; boundaries indicated as approximately following the centerlines of streams, rivers, lakes or other bodies of water shall be construed to follow such centerlines;

F. Boundaries indicated as parallel to or extensions of features indicated in subsections (A) through (E) of this section shall be so construed. Distances not specifically indicated on the Brewster zoning map shall be determined by the scale of the map;

G. Where physical or cultural features existing on the ground are inconsistent with those shown on the Brewster zoning map or in other circumstances not covered by subsections (A) through (F) of this section, the administrator shall interpret the district boundaries. (Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998)

17.04.110 Zoning of annexations.

Any lands annexed to the city shall be zoned consistent with the comprehensive plan land use designation for the area to be annexed. (Ord. 857 § 4, 2014: Ord. 668 § 1 (part), 1998)

17.04.120 Impact assessment.

A. The impacts of a proposed use shall be considered in determining whether the use is to be allowed, and shall be considered in determining any conditions under which a land use permit or building permit may be granted. This process is not intended to permit uses that are prohibited within a given zoning district or for developments that are required to complete a SEPA checklist. Nothing in this section shall be construed to give any property owner a right to use any property in any manner that requires a land use permit unless such permit has first been granted and is in full force and effect pursuant to all conditions attached thereto.

B. Any new use or change in use, including home businesses, will require an impact assessment. Applicants will be required to submit a completed impact assessment checklist as part of the process of applying for a land use permit, building permit, or business license. The city shall use the impact assessment checklist as one means of notifying applicants of performance standards that may pertain to a given development proposal or permit application and providing guidance in meeting those standards.

C. Single-family dwellings, when used solely as such, are exempt from the impact assessment requirement. However, all uses, including single-family dwellings, must comply with the applicable performance and development standards. An impact assessment may be required for any single-family dwelling proposed to be used for a home business as part of the administrative permitting requirement pursuant to Chapter 17.80.

D. In making a determination regarding impacts, the administrator or designated decision-making body shall consider the performance standards specified in Chapter 17.10. The administrator or designated decision-making body may require applicants to submit additional information to fully and fairly evaluate the impacts of the proposed use. Decisions will be based on the information provided in the applicant’s completed impact assessment checklist, as well as any other information requested by the administrator or decision-making body.

E. The applicant for a proposed use may use design features or other measures to mitigate impacts, where feasible. Examples of mitigation include buffering and limitations on hours of operation. Any mitigating measures required by the city shall be considered conditions of approval, and shall be reduced to writing, and recorded or entered on the face of a recorded plat, site plan map, or permit documentation as applicable. (Ord. 876 § 2, 2016)