Chapter 15.110


15.110.010    Certificate of authorization not required.

15.110.020    Certificate of authorization required.

15.110.030    Temporary structures.

15.110.040    Conditional use permit required.

15.110.050    Temporary uses.

15.110.060    Open air vending.

15.110.070    Home occupation – Permit required.

15.110.080    Accessory dwelling units.

15.110.010 Certificate of authorization not required.

The following accessory structures and uses do not require a certificate of authorization:

(1) Storage buildings, utility buildings and greenhouses under 120 square feet in area;

(2) Antenna/satellite dish antenna less than 20 feet high, four feet wide, and having a bulk area less than 16 square feet;

(3) Swimming pools, hot tubs, and similar structures, parks, playgrounds, tennis courts, and other recreational uses, all of a private nature, when provided in conjunction with a permitted or conditional use in a district. Swimming pools are not permitted within 25 feet of a steep slope;

(4) Fences less than six feet high;

(5) Gardens and orchards;

(6) Temporary structures or temporary use of existing structures incidental to construction work, which shall be removed upon completion or abandonment of the construction work;

(7) Interior storage areas for materials and products sold from a site. [Ord. 1211 § 2(A), 2022; Ord. 1191 § 2 (Exh. A), 2020; Ord. 963 § 1, 2005; Ord. 671 § 6.1, 1995.]

15.110.020 Certificate of authorization required.

The following accessory structures and uses require a certificate of authorization:

(1) Storage buildings, utility buildings, and greenhouses over 120 square feet in area, not to exceed 18 feet in height;

(2) Antenna/satellite dish antenna more than 20 feet high, four feet wide, and having a bulk area more than 16 square feet. Transmission or receiving towers shall be set back from all property lines a distance equal to or greater than the height of the tower;

(3) Recreational structures when not provided as part of a permitted or conditional use in a district;

(4) Fences over six feet high;

(5) On-site recycling and treatment of waste products associated with principal uses on the same site, subject to all applicable county, state, and federal regulations and permits;

(6) Any other use not exempted in LCMC 15.110.010. [Ord. 671 § 6.2, 1995.]

15.110.030 Temporary structures.

Temporary structures shall be defined as any structure or vehicle which is designed to be easily transported or dismantled after its function has been fulfilled, and which is used for residential, commercial or office purposes except the following:

(1) Floating structures used for sale of seafood and seafood products;

(2) Vehicles used for sale of produce in season, located in the Commercial Zone; provided, that this exception shall not affect any regulation of such uses imposed by other sections of this code;

(3) Small prefabricated utility buildings not exceeding 100 square feet, when used for residential accessory purposes;

(4) Recreational structures when used for recreation in an appropriately designated area;

(5) Temporary structures when used in conjunction with official local events. The structures are to be removed at the conclusion of the event. If not removed within 24 hours thereafter, the owner shall have forfeited any rights in the structure and the town of La Conner shall have the right to remove the structure;

(6) Temporary structures in the Industrial Zone for permitted uses;

(7) Shipping containers are prohibited for use as temporary structures in the Residential and Commercial Zones. [Ord. 986 § 9, 2007; Ord. 931 § 5, 2004; Ord. 671 § 6.3.A, 1995.]

15.110.040 Conditional use permit required.

(1) Temporary structures shall require an administrative conditional use permit which permit shall be limited to a set period to be established by the planning director, not to exceed 180 days. The structure shall be removed at the end of the permit period. If not removed within 10 days thereafter, the permittee shall have forfeited any rights to the structure, and the town of La Conner shall have the right to remove the structure.

(2) An administrative conditional permit holder may request an extension of a temporary structure use before the planning commission. Extensions shall not exceed 180 days.

(3) The use of any temporary structure approved through the conditional use permit process shall remain subject to the restrictions and requirements of the zone in which it is located, parking and loading requirements and other applicable regulations.

(4) When approved in accordance with this section, the placement or erection of a temporary structure shall require a building permit from Skagit County Planning and Permit Center. [Ord. 931 § 5, 2004; Ord. 901 § 6, 2003; Ord. 671 § 6.3.B, 1995.]

15.110.050 Temporary uses.

Temporary uses in conjunction with an official local event shall be subject to the town’s Special Events Application procedure and shall be exempt from the permit procedure of this chapter.

(1) Under this provision, the planning commission may allow a temporary permit, subject to the provisions of a conditional use permit, for a period not to exceed six months for a use not otherwise allowed in the zone, and not otherwise provided for under this chapter; provided, that the applicant provides evidence substantiating the following:

(a) There is no reasonable alternative to the temporary use;

(b) The permit will be necessary for a limited period of time;

(c) The temporary use does not involve the erection of a substantial structure or require any other permanent commitment of the land;

(d) The temporary use will not be detrimental to the area or to adjacent properties.

(2) The planning commission may renew a temporary permit, for a period not to exceed the maximum period of time allowed for an initial temporary permit under this chapter, according to the procedure for a conditional use permit; provided, that the applicant provides evidence substantiating the following:

(a) The circumstances under which the original permit was granted remain substantially similar;

(b) The use will not be detrimental to the area or to adjacent properties;

(c) The use will comply with the comprehensive plan. [Ord. 671 § 6.4, 1995.]

15.110.060 Open air vending.

Open air vending not involving those items listed in RCW 36.71.090 will not be permitted except where forming an integral part of a permanent sheltered business, except for during community events. [Ord. 671 § 6.5, 1995.]

15.110.070 Home occupation – Permit required.

An applicant for a home occupation shall submit an application to Town Hall on forms provided by the planning director. A certificate of authorization for a home occupation may be issued by the planning director; provided, that the following conditions are met:

(1) The dwelling must be the primary residence of the applicant.

(2) The occupation or profession shall be carried on wholly within the principal building or other structure accessory thereto, and it shall utilize no more than 25 percent of the gross floor area of the buildings.

(3) Not more than one person who is not a member of the applicant’s immediate family and who is not a resident in the applicant’s home may be employed.

(4) There shall be no exterior display, no exterior alteration of the property including expansion of parking, no exterior storage of materials and no other exterior indication of a home occupation or variation from the residential character of the premises. A sign not exceeding three square feet, identifying the name of the business, may be attached to the building on the premises.

(5) No use shall require structural alterations to the interior of the building which changes the residential character thereof.

(6) The use of electrical or mechanical equipment that would change the fire rating of the structure or create visible or audible interference in radio or television receivers or cause fluctuations in line voltage outside the dwelling unit is prohibited.

(7) In no case shall the home occupation cause more than two additional vehicles to be parked on or near the premises on a regular basis. Adequate parking for the home occupation shall be provided on the premises.

(8) Any equipment or process used in a home occupation shall comply with Chapter 15.120 LCMC, Operational Performance Standards. [Ord. 1211 § 2(A), 2022; Ord. 671 § 6.6, 1995.]

15.110.080 Accessory dwelling units.

Accessory dwelling units shall be outright permitted uses in the residential zone under the following restrictions:

(1) An accessory dwelling may be established in an existing single-family dwelling unit or in a detached structure on a legal building lot by any one or combination of the following:

(a) Alteration of interior space of the dwelling; or

(b) Conversion of an attic, basement, attached or detached private garage, or other previously uninhabited portion of a dwelling; or

(c) Addition of attached living area onto an existing dwelling; or

(d) Construction of a detached living area.

(2) Each single-family dwelling on a legal building lot may have not more than one accessory dwelling unit.

(3) The owner of the property where the accessory dwelling unit is located must live in the corporate limits of the town of La Conner. The owner shall file evidence of residency within the town as part of the application process.

(4) The floor area of detached accessory dwellings may be no more than 900 square feet in size on those lots that are under 5,000 square feet in size. On lots 5,000 square feet or larger the floor area for the accessory dwelling may be no more than 1,000 square feet. For ADUs within an existing home the floor area can be as large as the existing primary structure (e.g., ADU could be the entire basement of existing home, ADU could be entire second story of existing garage; etc.). The floor area of an existing structure cannot be expanded for purposes of obtaining a larger ADU.

(5) The single-family appearance and character of the dwelling unit shall be maintained when viewed from the surrounding neighborhood. The accessory unit shall be compatible in appearance and character with the primary dwelling unit.

(6) Only one entrance to the residential structure may be located on any street side of the structure; provided, that this restriction shall not affect the eligibility of an existing residential structure that has more than one entrance on the street side on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.

(7) The accessory and principal dwelling units shall comply with all applicable requirements of the Building, Fire, and Zoning Codes in effect at the time a technically complete application for an accessory dwelling unit is submitted to the town.

(8) At least two spaces of off-street parking will be provided for the primary dwelling and a single off-street parking space shall be provided for the accessory dwelling unit.

(9) A permit for an accessory dwelling unit shall not be transferable to any lot other than the lot described in the application.

(10) In those instances where accessory dwelling units are rented the intent is for them to be used for long-term rental, month to month or longer. Use as short-term (less than 30 days) rentals or nightly rentals shall not be allowed. [Ord. 1191 § 2 (Exh. A), 2020; Ord. 671 § 6.7, 1995.]