Storm Drainage.
Wastewater Disposal.
Excavation Standards.
Fill Standards.
Soil-Engineering Geology Report.
Erosion Control.
Elevating By Fill, Pilings and Diking.
Access Requirements.
Ingress/Egress, Driveways and Access.
Residential Driveways.
Commercial and Multi-Family Driveways.
Emergency Vehicle (EV) Access Standards.
Exemptions from Site Development Permits.

The provisions of this chapter shall be in addition to any other applicable adopted regulations.

12A.10.010Storm Drainage.

Storm drainage review and inspection shall be required in accordance with Chapter 12A.11 of this Title. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.020Wastewater Disposal.

All development proposals shall be served by a wastewater disposal system, including both collection and treatment facilities as follows.

A. For the issuance of a building permit, preliminary plat approval, or other land use approval for an existing lot of record, documentation shall be provided indicating that the disposal system for the project site is consistent with adopted rules and regulations of Pierce County Sewer Utility and/or the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department;

B. Prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for a building or change of use permit, the applicant shall provide documentation to the City that an approved wastewater disposal system has been properly installed to serve each building, unit, tenant space, or lot; and

C. All new subdivisions, including short plats, preliminary and final plats, binding site plans and condominium conversions shall require connection to the public sewer system prior to recordation of the subdivision instrument. An appropriate financial guarantee may be posted with the sewer utility, health department, or the City of Lakewood prior to physical connection at the discretion of the City Engineer and Community Development Director. (Ord. 591 § 76, 2015; Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)


(Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.031Excavation Standards.

Cut slopes shall be no steeper than is safe for the intended use and shall not be steeper than 2 horizontal to 1 vertical, or as recommended by a soils engineer. The cut depth shall be set back from property lines as follows:

Cut Depth

Set Back Distance

Under 5 Feet

2 Feet

5 - 20

Feet Height of Cut/2

Over 20 Feet

10 Feet

(Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.032Fill Standards.

Fills which are intended for building sites shall be constructed in conformance with the requirements of the latest edition of the International Building Code (IBC), as adopted by the City of Lakewood, and an assignment of allowable soil-bearing pressures will be determined under the jurisdiction of the City Building Official in accordance with the latest edition of the IBC.

Fill slopes shall be no steeper than is safe for the intended use and shall not be steeper than 2 horizontal to 1 vertical, or as recommended by a soils engineer. Fill sites shall be approved by the engineer as suitable locations for the proposed fill.

The ground surface for fills over five feet in height shall be prepared by removing vegetation, non-complying fill, topsoil, and other unsuitable materials; scarifying to provide a bond with the new fill; and, where existing slopes are steeper than 5 horizontal to 1 vertical, by benching into competent material as determined by the engineer. The bench under the toe of a fill on a slope steeper than 5 horizontal to 1 vertical shall be at least 10 feet wide, or as recommended by a soils engineer.

Except as permitted by the City, no material other than earth material shall be buried or placed in fills. Placement of other than earth material is regulated by state statutes or federal laws and additional permits may be required. Fills shall be constructed using earth materials, compaction methods, and construction techniques so that stable fills are created.

The toe or catch point of fill slopes shall be set back from the site boundary line in accordance with the following table unless a retaining wall is designed by the engineer and constructed for the project:

Fill Depth

Set Back Distance

Under 5 Feet

2 Feet

5 - 40 Feet

Height of Fill/2

Over 40 Feet

20 Feet

(Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.033Soil-Engineering Geology Report.

When site conditions or the proposed work involve slide-prone or unstable soils, in accordance with LMC 14A.146 or as determined by the City Engineer, the applicant shall be required to retain a soils engineer to prepare a report that includes data regarding the nature, slide potential, soil bearing capacity, and slope stability of existing soils; conclusions and recommendations for grading procedures and design criteria for corrective measures when necessary; and opinions and recommendations covering adequacy of sites to be developed. The report shall be stamped and signed by the engineer. Recommendations in the report shall be incorporated in the proposed plans or specifications. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.040Erosion Control.

All proposed projects that will clear, grade, or otherwise disturb a site shall provide erosion and sediment controls to prevent, to the maximum extent possible, the transport of sediment from the project site to downstream drainage facilities, water resources, and adjacent properties. Both temporary and permanent erosion and sediment controls shall be designed, implemented, and maintained as described in Chapters 12A.05 and 12A.11 LMC and the Engineering Standards Manual. (Ord. 648 § 2, 2016; Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)


Flood hazard areas are designated in LMC 14A.158.000. Development in the Flood Hazard Overlay is regulated by LMC 18A.40.100 – 170. The following provisions apply to project proposals located in flood hazard areas and requiring site development permits. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.051Elevating By Fill, Pilings and Diking.

No filling or grading shall be permitted which increases flood hazards, water velocities, or flood elevations. Compensatory storage volumes may be required. Armoring protection such as rock riprap or bulkheads shall be constructed to protect filled areas when water velocities exceed two feet per second. All armoring protection shall be elevated at least three feet above the base flood elevation. All construction elevated by piling shall be designed by a professional structural engineer and approved by the City prior to construction. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.052Access Requirements.

Private roads and access easements and all public or future public roads shall be armored and elevated one foot above the base flood elevation. Parking lots are not considered as private roads or access easements. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)


A floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the height and/or velocity of flood waters which carry debris, potential projectiles, and erosion potential. Encroachments, filling, new construction, and substantial improvements shall be prohibited except as follows:

A. Work done by or for a public agency or utility; such as bridges, flood control works, revetments, retaining walls, drainage structures, or other structures necessary to promote the public health, safety, and welfare when the improvements do not obstruct the floodway, increase the water surface elevation more than one foot, or cause an adverse impact to adjacent, cross-channel or downstream properties, and the improvements use appropriate flood hazard protection standards.

Certification by a registered professional engineer is required to verify that the proposed work shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

B. Agricultural uses or recreational facilities that do not require the installation of utilities or structures.

C. Repairs and/or interior remodels (which are not substantial improvements) to a structure that do not increase the ground floor area or overall square footage of the structure. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.060Ingress/Egress, Driveways and Access.

Driveways and driveway approaches shall be constructed in accordance with the Engineering Standards Manual.

All development proposals shall provide adequate access to a street system or fire lane system that provides life safety/rescue access, and other adopted fire protection requirements for buildings.

Except for a single family dwelling (not located on an arterial street), all development access shall be provided with adequate aisles/driveways and/or turnaround areas so that all vehicles may enter the street in a forward manner. The access shall be designed and constructed to facilitate the flow of traffic on and off the site, with due regard to pedestrian and vehicle safety, and which shall be clearly and permanently marked and defined.

Wherever a potential access exists to any property from both a local access road and a road of a higher classification, the City shall refuse access to the higher classified road for residential uses.

Lots of record in existing formal plat subdivisions, short plats and large lots not served by a minor or major driveway shall be permitted a minimum of one residential driveway.

All driveway locations shall be shown on the plat maps and/or on the site development plans. Residential driveway locations for lots in formal plats are not restricted to any location unless so noted on the plat maps. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.061Residential Driveways.

Driveway locations shall be unified whenever possible to create the fewest number of accesses onto a street. Driveways that serve only one lot shall be located a minimum of 5 feet from an adjacent property line where the driveway enters the right-of-way. The City Engineer or designee may approve driveways for flag lots on easements to land-locked properties to be located 2.5 feet from an adjacent property line.

Residential driveways shall be constructed the maximum practical distance but in no event less than thirty-five feet or the posted speed limit in feet, whichever is greater, from a side street or intersection. The distance is measured from the road right-of-way line to the nearest edge of the driveway. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.062Commercial and Multi-Family Driveways.

Commercial and multi-family driveways shall be located a minimum of 125 feet from a side street or intersection except where physical site conditions and spacing of existing driveways may cause the City to require another location. The 125 feet is measured along the property line from the right-of-way of the perpendicular street to the edge of the driveway. New driveways that would create a four-legged intersection are undesirable unless the existing City street has an arterial classification, or if a stop condition to the City street exists. Access to a corner lot with a frontage less than 155 feet in width will be established on a case-by-case basis by the City and the driveway(s) shall be placed at such a location to maximize safety.

New driveway locations created by the platting of property shall be unified whenever possible to create the fewest number of accesses onto a City street.

The number, location, and size of commercial and multi-family driveways shall be determined by the volume and type of traffic generated by the development, other driveways in the vicinity of the proposed approach, the amount of lot frontage along the City street, and channelization/traffic control on the City street along the lot frontage.

When multiple driveways to one parcel or development are permitted, they shall not be less than 125 feet apart, measured from centerline to centerline.

A minimum of two major driveways shall be required for developments that will generate 500 ADT or more unless other mitigating measures are approved by the City.

Notwithstanding the requirements of these Regulations, the number and location of major driveways may be more restrictive than described herein if deemed necessary by the City. The City shall base its determination on existing and projected traffic volumes and channelization and signalization on the existing City street, traffic, and turning movements generated by the existing and/or proposed project and other applicable traffic design criteria.

When a three-lane driveway is requested, a traffic engineering study along with a signing, striping, and traffic channelization plan shall be done by the applicant's engineer for submittal to the City for review and approval. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.063Emergency Vehicle (EV) Access Standards.

The following provisions are required for property access roads and shall be approved by the City Engineer and Fire Marshal:

A. Length. Approved emergency vehicle (EV) access road shall extend to within 150 feet of all portions of the facility and all portions of the exterior walls of the first story of the building as measured by an approved route around the exterior of the facility.

B. Width. EV access servicing not more than two dwelling units shall not be less than 15 feet wide. EV access for all other projects shall not be less than 24 feet with no parking, 28 feet with parking on one side and 32 feet with parking on both sides.

C. Vertical Clearance. EV access shall have an unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 13 feet, six inches. The City, after conferring with the Fire Marshal, may allow a reduction in the vertical clearance, provided such reduction does not impair access by emergency vehicles, and approved signs are installed and maintained indicating the established vertical clearance.

D. Surface Requirements. EV access shall be designed and maintained to support the imposed loads of fire apparatus and shall be paved with asphalt or concrete so as to provide all-weather driving capabilities. Exception: access designated “Emergency Vehicles Only” may be designed by a professional engineer and can be alternative surfacing, as approved by the City Engineer or designee.

E. Turning Radii. A minimum outside turning radius of 45 feet shall be provided for all EV access.

F. Number of Accesses. More than one EV access may be required for commercial developments when it is determined by the Pierce County Fire District No. 2 that access by a single street may be impaired by vehicle congestion, condition of terrain, climatic conditions, or other factors that could limit access unless mitigation acceptable to the City and the Fire District is provided.

G. Grade. The maximum grade (vertical profile grade) of an EV access shall be 15 percent. All sections of EV accesses with grades over 12 percent shall be paved with 0.17 feet compacted asphalt concrete or its cement concrete equivalent.

H. Dead End Road Access. Dead end emergency access roads or drive aisles in excess of 150 feet in length shall be provided with an approved area for turning around fire apparatus. The turnaround shall be as follows:

1. New additions; alterations or tenant improvements, on a dead end street or interior drive access aisle, that increase the number of uses to the site shall construct an EV turnaround.

2. A hammerhead turnaround or a cul-de-sac shall be provided within all new commercial/industrial projects whose EV access meets the “Dead End Access Road” criteria.

3. Hammerhead turnarounds and cul-de-sac design shall comply with the latest edition of the Engineering Standards Manual.

I. Modifications to the Standards. The Fire Marshal may modify the emergency vehicle access requirements of this section in accordance with the latest edition of the International Fire Code (IFC) or as amended by City ordinance. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2016; Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)


A building permit issued by the City is required when gates are installed over private streets and driveways. The following requirements shall be met:

A. Gates which serve ten (10) or more dwelling units shall have an Opticom activation system or an equivalent and compatible system that is approved by the Fire Marshal.

B. Gates shall have rapid-entry key capabilities compatible with the Fire District per IFC, Section 506.

C. All electrically-activated gates shall have default capabilities to the unlocked position.

D. The minimum clear width of a gate shall be compatible with the street or driveway required width.

E. Gates that might be obstructed by the accumulation of snow shall not be installed.

F. A vehicular turn around shall be provided in front of the gate.

Gates on residential driveways shall be set back from the right-of-way line a minimum of 20 feet. Gates on private streets and commercial and multi-family driveways shall be set back from the right-of-way line a minimum of 60 feet. (Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)

12A.10.080Exemptions from Site Development Permits.

Subject to the requirements of International Building Code appendix “J,” the following work is exempt from the requirements of these regulations.

A. Construction or maintenance of public roads or flood control projects when done by a public agency sponsoring the project has completed a SEPA Checklist, if required, has been approved by the City, and the work is in existing public right-of-way or easement dedicated to or owned by the City of Lakewood.

B. The import or disturbance of not more than a total of 25 cubic yards of material, throughout the life of a development from its existing condition, except in sensitive areas; import or disturbance placed within 25 feet of a drainage course, pothole, or floodplain; and for road construction.

C. Cutting and Clearing and/or grubbing of a parcel of land or portion thereof less than 5,000 square feet except in sensitive areas.

D. The stockpiling or broadcasting of less than 500 cubic yards of topsoil, peat, sawdust, mulch, bark, chips or solid nutrients on a lot, tract, or parcel of land, per year except in floodplains and except in sensitive areas.

E. The installation of utilities in accordance with a valid City permit, well drilling activities, installation of sanitary drain fields, or excavation for soil logs.

F. Emergency sandbagging, diking, ditching, filling or similar work during or after periods of extreme weather conditions when done to protect life or property.

G. The excavation or filling required to accommodate only the footprint of a proposed single family residential structure in preparation for the proposed structure. (Ord. 583 § 7, 2014; Ord. 501 § 3 (part), 2009.)