Chapter 17.48


17.48.010    Definitions.

17.48.020    Recreational and utility vehicles in residential zones.

17.48.030    Commercial vehicles parked on public or private property.

17.48.040    Off-street vehicle parking for single-family residential uses.

17.48.045    Off-street vehicle parking for non-single-family residential uses.

17.48.050    Maximum grades permitted.

17.48.060    Plan review.

17.48.070    Repealed.

17.48.010 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this chapter:

A. “Alley lot” means a lot or parcel that has a property line bordered by an alley.

B. “Auxiliary parking” or “auxiliary driveway” means any area excluding the required minimum improved surfaces for parking or driveways that provides for the parking or driving of vehicles.

C. Repealed by Ord. 421.

D. “Corner lot” means a lot or parcel abutting upon two or more streets at their intersection or upon two parts of the same street forming an interior angle of less than one hundred thirty-five degrees.

E. “Director” means the city’s mayor or designee.

F. “Front yard” means the area between a lot’s or parcel’s property line that is adjacent to the street and the required building setback line, except that corner lots shall be considered to have only one front yard as measured from the street on which the lot or parcel takes or is expected to take its address.

G. “Garage” means a freestanding building, or a portion of a building, that has been legally permitted and constructed to provide vehicle storage, having three walls, a roof and a closable garage door.

H. “Improved public right-of-way” means a public right-of-way that has an improved surface.

I. “Inoperative vehicle” means a vehicle that cannot be operated or towed behind a vehicle on a public street due to the condition of the vehicle or the status of the ownership, registration, or license of the vehicle.

J. “Improved surface” means an area that is covered by a permanent hard surface, including concrete, asphalt, or pavers in accordance with the city’s engineering standards, or any combination of materials with pervious features, such as ribbon driveways, that have been permitted by the director as a functionally equivalent hard surface.

K. “Junk vehicle” means a vehicle having at least three of the following characteristics:

1. Is three years old or older;

2. Is extensively damaged or requires repair equal to or in excess of the fair market value of the vehicle;

3. Has a fair market value equal to the approximate value of the scrap in it;

4. Is hazardous or a nuisance due to damage, broken glass or exposure to the elements.

L. “Maintained surface” means a surface that consists of gravel material contained in a defined area of the property without spilling into the street, sidewalk, or adjoining property and that has no more than fifty percent of its surface area comprised of exposed soil or plant material, unless the surface has otherwise been permitted by the director as an improved surface.

M. “Motor vehicle” means any car, truck, van or motorcycle used for the transportation of passengers, but not including recreational or utility vehicles.

N. “Recreational or utility vehicle” means a vehicular-type unit primarily designed for recreation, camping, travel, or hauling, which has its own motor power or is typically mounted on or towed by another vehicle, including but not limited to: motor homes, campers, travel trailers, boats over fourteen feet in length, horse trailers, and utility trailers.

O. “Residential zone” means a residential use district or a single-family zone under the city zoning ordinance.

P. “Unimproved surface” means a soil and/or planted surface.

Q. “Vehicles” means motor vehicles and/or recreational or utility vehicles, unless described otherwise in this chapter. (Ord. 442 § 7 (Exh. G) (part), 2016: Ord. 421 § 1, 2015; Ord. 406 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012: Ord. 400 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012)

17.48.020 Recreational and utility vehicles in residential zones.

In a residential zone, any number of recreational or utility vehicles may be parked within a garage. Recreational or utility vehicles outside of a garage in a residential zone shall be parked in compliance with all applicable codes and regulations, including the following:

A. A maximum of two recreational or utility vehicles are allowed to be located on a single-family residential lot except when parked inside a garage.

B. Recreational or utility vehicles shall be parked on an improved surface, except:

1. Where an existing maintained surface was constructed prior to adoption of this chapter, the recreational or utility vehicle may park on the existing maintained surface.

2. Where a recreational or utility vehicle is legally parked in a rear or side yard, it may be parked on either an improved surface or an unimproved surface.

C. Recreational or utility vehicles shall not intrude into the public right-of-way, or public property, or obstruct sight visibility from adjacent driveways, or obstruct the view of traffic control devices.

D. A recreational or utility vehicle shall not be occupied by any person or persons unless it is entirely located on a lot or parcel that contains a single-family dwelling unit and the lawful occupant of the house has given permission for the person or persons to occupy the recreational or utility trailer; provided, that such occupancy does not create a public health hazard or nuisance and this occupancy shall not exceed two weeks within any six-month period.

E. Recreational or utility vehicles parked outside of a building shall be maintained in a clean, stable and well-kept state, which means that they shall not have a broken window, shall not have body damage or rust affecting more than ten percent of the vehicle’s exterior surface, excluding the vehicle’s undercarriage, and shall not have the appearance of substantial disrepair or neglect.

F. Recreational or utility vehicles equipped with liquefied petroleum gas containers shall meet the standards of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Valves or gas containers shall be closed when the vehicle is parked or stored. In the event of leakage, immediate corrective action must be taken.

G. Recreational or utility vehicles stored in a front yard shall be parked on an improved surface or on a maintained surface.

H. No more than two recreational or utility vehicles may be parked anywhere on a property outside of a legal and fully enclosed structure.

I. Recreational or utility vehicles parked in a side or rear yard may be parked:

1. On an unimproved surface that is mowed and tended to;

2. On a maintained surface; or

3. On an improved surface. (Ord. 442 § 7 (Exh. G) (part), 2016: Ord. 406 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012: Ord. 400 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012)

17.48.030 Commercial vehicles parked on public or private property.

A. No person shall park or store a commercial vehicle on any dwelling lot in any residential zone unless approved for such parking under a home occupation business license. For the purposes of this section, “commercial vehicle” means any vehicle, the principal use of which is the transportation of commodities, merchandise, produce, freight, vehicles, animals, passengers, for hire, or which is used primarily in construction or farming, including but not limited to bulldozers, backhoes, tractors and cranes.

B. Exceptions to this requirement are:

1. Fire trucks, emergency squads, and other similar vehicles that are considered essential for the public safety;

2. School district vehicles, public transportation vehicles;

3. Personal farm vehicles not for hire (small tractors, riding lawnmowers and other such vehicles);

4. Public utility vehicles;

5. The provisions of this section shall not apply to commercial vehicles which are being loaded or unloaded; and

6. One commercial vehicle per dwelling lot if the commercial vehicle is:

a. Less than nineteen thousand five hundred one pounds manufactured gross vehicle weight;

b. Less than twenty-five feet long;

c. Less than ten feet in height.

C. The city engineer may require an applicant to provide an off-street loading space having access to a public right-of-way or street. Such loading space shall be of adequate size to accommodate the maximum number and size of vehicles which would be simultaneously loaded or unloaded in connection with the business conducted in such building. No part of a truck or van using the loading space may back up out of or project into the public right-of-way or street.

D. Each off-street loading space shall measure not less than thirty feet by twelve feet and shall have an unobstructed height of fourteen feet six inches, shall be made permanently available for such purposes, and shall be surfaced, improved and maintained in conformance with approved engineering standards.

E. Violations of this section shall constitute a Class A nontraffic civil infraction for the first day, Class B for the second day, and a Class C for each sequential day. The fines are applied per BMC 1.28.030. (Ord. 442 § 7 (Exh. G) (part), 2016: Ord. 421 §§ 2, 3, 2015; Ord. 406 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012: Ord. 400 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012)

17.48.040 Off-street vehicle parking for single-family residential uses.

A. A maximum of one off-street parking space per bedroom shall be on an improved surface. The area included in a garage may satisfy the requirement for required off-street parking spaces. The requirement for an improved surface shall be enforced in conjunction with property improvements and nonconformance requirements under BMC 17.08.040.

Exception: Parking for secondary dwelling units shall be regulated through the conditional use permit process.

B. Any parking space or driveway that adjoins a public right-of-way must be designed in a manner that accommodates a twenty-foot-long vehicle without the vehicle protruding into the public right-of-way. In no case shall a vehicle be parked in such a manner as to obstruct a sidewalk or other public right-of-way.

C. No more than fifty percent of the front yard shall consist of an improved surface to be used for the parking or driving of vehicles. An exception shall be made in cases where because of the lot’s or parcel’s configuration, for instance in a cul-de-sac development, the front yard does not have adequate area to simultaneously comply with the minimum parking requirement prescribed under subsection A of this section and the fifty percent limit described above. In such cases, the fifty percent limit may be exceeded subject to the building official’s written approval that specifically allows the additional improved surface or maintained surface within the front yard. Total lot coverage must comply with the requirements of the city zoning ordinance for total lot coverage.

D. Auxiliary parking spaces and auxiliary driveways must consist of an improved surface, except that any auxiliary parking or auxiliary driveway installed prior to adoption of this chapter may continue to consist of a maintained surface until such time as a new building or a building addition is constructed or permitted for construction on the same lot or parcel.

E. No more than two vehicles may be parked in the rear yard of a residence unless contained in a legal and fully enclosed structure.

F. When located behind the front building line, all parked or stored vehicles shall provide at least three feet of clear, unobstructed access between the building wall and the vehicle for fire protection purposes. This requirement is not applicable to vehicles parked within a garage.

G. Junk vehicles, inoperative vehicles, or vehicles that are inoperable or unused for thirty days or more shall be stored inside a legal and fully enclosed structure.

H. Motor vehicles belonging to persons other than a resident of a property may not be stored on the property outside of a legal and fully enclosed structure.

I. Motor vehicles shall be parked on an improved surface anywhere on a property, or on a maintained surface.

J. A vehicle that is parked in a side yard shall be at least three feet away from the structure, and shall allow for at least five feet of clear access on one side or the other between the structure and the property line.

K. All outdoor stored vehicles must be maintained in a clean and safe manner.

L. Installation of an improved surface is subject to approval from the director. For conditional uses, low impact development (LID) techniques shall be employed to the maximum extent feasible. LID facilities proposed in any installation shall be designed in accordance with the Puget Sound Partnership and Washington State University Extension Program’s Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound (LID Manual), as existing or as amended, and shall take into account site and soil conditions, access and long-term maintenance.

M. No more than one vehicle access from the public right-of-way to any one dwelling unit, except with approval from the director. (Ord. 442 § 7 (Exh. G) (part), 2016: Ord. 406 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012: Ord. 400 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012)

17.48.045 Off-street vehicle parking for non-single-family residential uses.

A. This section applies to non-single-family residential uses with:

1. Projects involving two thousand square feet or more of new parking area, replaced parking area or new plus replaced parking area; or

2. Projects that exceed fifty percent of the assessed or appraised value, whichever is higher, of improvements on site in any one consecutive twelve-month period. Any appraisal shall be conducted by a Washington State-certified real estate appraiser.

B. Requirements.

1. All non-single-family residential uses shall provide parking based on anticipated parking demand. For sites with over two thousand square feet of parking area or five thousand square feet of total impervious surface, the study shall be completed by a professional engineer or equally qualified individual with expertise in parking analyses. Parking shall be shared between properties to the extent feasible. The parking requirement may be reduced for sites where the peak parking requirements occur at different times of the day, week, or year. A maximum of one parking space per one hundred square feet of gross floor area shall be provided.

2. Low Impact Development (LID) techniques shall be employed to the maximum extent feasible. LID facilities proposed in any installation shall be designed in accordance with the Puget Sound Partnership and Washington State University Extension Program’s Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound (LID Manual), as existing or as amended, and shall take into account site and soil conditions, access and long-term maintenance. LID techniques shall not be used in fire lanes.

3. Minimum parking stall and aisle specifications.


Standard Car Stalls

One-Way Aisles

Two-Way Aisles

Stall Angle (°)

Stall Width (ft.)

Stall Center (ft.)

Stall Depth (ft.)

Aisle Width (ft.)

Aisle Width (ft.)

0 (parallel – one side)






0 (parallel – both sides)






















































90 (perpendicular)






45 (herringbone)






4. Handicap accessible parking stalls shall be provided in accordance with the International Building Code per Chapter 51-50 WAC. Accessible stalls count towards the required parking.

5. Uses that require ten or more parking stalls or that turn over once per hour or more (such as retail, dining, or institutional uses) shall provide a minimum of one bicycle rack.

6. Improved pedestrian access walkways shall be provided between streets and sidewalks and building entrances, and between parking lots and building entrance(s).

7. Landscaping shall:

a. Be provided to screen the visual impact of vehicles and site lighting, particularly after dark;

b. Not exceed three feet in height within fifteen feet of the street entrance;

c. Provide a minimum of one tree per ten parking spaces. Trees shall be set back from any parking space a minimum of five feet;

d. Provide a minimum of seventy-five percent evergreen species;

e. Be protected from vehicle and pedestrian areas by curbing, a low wall, or other physical barrier; and

f. Provide a minimum of ten feet of landscaping along all street frontages and parcel lines that abut residentially zoned parcels.

8. Parking lot lighting elements shall not exceed sixteen feet in height. All lighting shall be shielded from the sky and adjacent properties and structures. (Ord. 442 § 7 (Exh. G) (part), 2016)

17.48.050 Maximum grades permitted.

Grades for off-street parking areas exceeding six percent shall be subject to review by the city engineer. (Ord. 442 § 7 (Exh. G) (part), 2016: Ord. 406 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012: Ord. 400 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012. Formerly 17.48.060)

17.48.060 Plan review.

No building, grading or tenant improvement permit shall be issued until plans showing provisions for the required off-street parking have been submitted to and approved by the director as conforming to the standards of this chapter. (Ord. 442 § 7 (Exh. G) (part), 2016: Ord. 406 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012: Ord. 400 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012. Formerly 17.48.070)

17.48.070    Enforcement.

Repealed by Ord. 435. (Ord. 406 § 1(Exh. A(part)), 2012)