Chapter 16.10


Article I. General Provisions

16.10.010    Purpose.

Article II. Scope

16.10.200    Applicability.

16.10.220    Redivision.

16.10.230    Alterations, revisions and corrections.

Article III. Procedure

16.10.240    Designation of administrator.

16.10.250    Application.

16.10.290    Posting of markers.

16.10.300    Administrative action.

16.10.310    Final plat approval.

16.10.340    Penalties and enforcement.

16.10.350    Notice of infraction.

16.10.360    Additional enforcement.

16.10.370    Recording.

Article IV. Short Subdivision Application, Map, and Supporting Information

16.10.420    Final short plat map.

Article V. Design Standards and Guidelines

16.10.430    Road standards.

16.10.440    Road maintenance agreements.

16.10.450    Lots - Arrangement and dimensions.

Article VI. Environmental Health Standards

16.10.470    Sewer availability.

16.10.480    Water supply standards.

Article VII. Assessor Notification

16.10.490    Segregation notification.

Article I. General Provisions

16.10.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the division of land into four lots or fewer, at least one of which is less than five acres in size. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,A, 2000]

Article II. Scope

16.10.200 Applicability.

(1) Every division of land for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership into four or less lots within the unincorporated area of Lewis County shall proceed in compliance with this chapter, except as exempted under LCC 16.02.040 or subject to the provisions of Chapter 16.12 LCC.

(2) All contiguous land shall be included within the short subdivision boundary. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1179 §3 (Exh. B), 2002; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,B, 2000]

16.10.220 Redivision.

Land within a short subdivision which has been approved within five years immediately preceding may not be further divided in any manner until a final plat thereof has been approved and filed for record pursuant to Lewis County regulations concerning the subdivision of property into five or more lots, tracts or parcels. When the original short subdivision contains less than four lots, the above prohibition shall not apply if such additional lots do not increase the original subdivision into more than four lots. After five years, further divisions may be permitted. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,C, 2000]

16.10.230 Alterations, revisions and corrections.

Any person desiring approval of an alteration to an existing short subdivision shall submit an application to the administrator. The application shall include the information required for a short subdivision of land pursuant to Chapter 17.05 LCC, including the notarized signatures of the majority of those persons having an ownership interest in the portion of the short subdivision being altered. If the short subdivision is subject to restrictive covenants or easements which were filed at the time of short subdivision approval, and the application for an alteration would result in a change to these covenants or easements, the application shall contain an agreement signed by all parties subject to the covenants or easements providing that the parties agree to terminate or alter the relevant covenants or easements to accomplish the purpose of the alteration of the short subdivision or portion thereof. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,D, 2000]

Article III. Procedure

16.10.240 Designation of administrator.

The director of the community development department of the county shall be designated as administrator and shall be responsible for interpreting, developing and applying the provisions and requirements of this chapter. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,E, 2000]

16.10.250 Application.

A short plat application shall be processed as a Type I application per Chapter 17.05 LCC. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,F, 2000]

16.10.290 Posting of markers.

Where identification markers are found necessary by any of the reviewing offices to assist in making its determination, such markers shall be placed upon the land and maintained thereon during the period extending from the time of application to the time of final action for the purpose of permitting field checks by the applicable agencies or departments. Identification may alternatively be made by flag, sign, paint or any other adequate identifying marker. Identification markers shall be clearly understandable by the reviewing agencies. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,I, 2000]

16.10.300 Administrative action.

(1) Upon reviewing an application for preliminary short subdivision approval, the administrator shall consider and review the proposed short subdivision with regard to:

(a) The public health and safety;

(b) Adequate access, including streets and roads;

(c) Adequate sewage disposal and potable water supply;

(d) Conformance with the general purposes of the Lewis County comprehensive plan, and conformance with all other county regulations and state law;

(e) The physical characteristics of the short subdivision site, including drainage, flood, inundation and swamp conditions, pursuant to RCW 58.17.120.

(2) In areas known to have poor drainage patterns, or where site visits reveal it necessary, stormwater management and site drainage patterns shall be subject to the approval of the public works division.

(3) Following the review the administrator shall do one of the following:

(a) Approve the preliminary short subdivision; or

(b) Approve the preliminary short subdivision with conditions; or

(c) Disapprove the short subdivision and the short plat thereof and so advise the subdivider in writing stating the reasons of disapproval and advising of the appeal procedure. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,K, 2000]

16.10.310 Final plat approval.

Following approval of the preliminary short subdivision, the subdivider shall be notified that he/she may proceed to develop or bond the short subdivisions facilities and required improvements. A final short plat in conformance with the approved preliminary short plat must be submitted within the time period established in LCC 17.05.140. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,L, 2000]

16.10.340 Penalties and enforcement.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or association, or agent thereof, to violate any provision of this chapter. Under RCW 58.17.300, any such person or other such party who violates Chapter 58.17 RCW or such provision of this chapter as are required thereunder, with respect to the sale, offer for sale, lease or transfer of any lot, tract or parcel of land, shall be subject to the penalties in RCW 58.17.300.

(1) Any offer or agreement to sell, lease or otherwise transfer a lot, tract or parcel of land prior to short subdivision approval is permitted if it is conditioned upon the recording of the short subdivision containing the lot, tract or parcel of land under this chapter, the offer or agreement is not subject to RCW 58.17.300 and does not violate any provision of this chapter. All other offers or agreements are prohibited prior to final short subdivision approval.

All payments on account of an offer or agreement thereby conditioned shall be deposited in an escrow or other regulated trust account and no disbursement to sellers shall be deemed permitted until the final short plat thereof is properly recorded.

(2) No building permit, on-site sewage permit, nor any other development permit shall be issued by Lewis County for any lot, parcel or tract of land created or divided in violation of this chapter, without the approval of the local health officer, if applicable, and in conjunction with administrator approval under LCC 16.02.055.

(3) In addition to any other authority authorized by state or county laws, violations may be addressed in accordance with Chapter 1.20 LCC. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,O, 2000]

16.10.350 Notice of infraction.

A notice of infraction may be issued by the administrator or designee pursuant to the provisions of LCC 1.20.040. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1180 §22, 2002; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,P, 2000]

16.10.360 Additional enforcement.

The office of the Lewis County prosecuting attorney may bring such additional injunctive, declaratory, or other actions as are necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter, and county and state laws, and the costs of such action shall be taxed by the prosecuting attorney against the person committing the violation. In the enforcement of this chapter and Chapter 58.17 RCW, the prosecuting attorney may accept assurance of discontinuance of any act or practice deemed in violation thereof from any person engaging in, or who has engaged in, such act or practice. A violation of such assurance shall for purposes of prosecution constitute and serve as prima facie proof of violation of this chapter or Chapter 58.17 RCW. Acceptance of such assurance does not relieve a party from compliance with this chapter or state law. With respect to enforcement of Chapter 58.17 RCW and with court actions filed pursuant to this chapter, any such assurance shall be in writing and be filed with and subject to the approval of the superior court. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,Q, 2000]

16.10.370 Recording.

At any time within the five years following approval of the preliminary plat, the subdivider may cause the short subdivision to be surveyed (if required) and a final short plat to be prepared. The applicant shall be required to prepare a final short plat in accordance with LCC 16.10.420. Following the submittal of the final short plat and a filing fee made payable to the Lewis County auditor, the applicant shall record the final short plat with the Lewis County auditor and the short subdivision shall become effective. Failure to so file with the county auditor within 60 days after final approval shall automatically cause a lapse of approval, and the same shall not be filed until further approval has been granted by the administrator. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1179 §3 (Exh. B), 2002; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,R, 2000]

Article IV. Short Subdivision Application, Map, and Supporting Information

16.10.420 Final short plat map.

Surveys in accordance with the Survey Recording Act shall be required for all short plat maps. All permanent monuments within the short subdivision shall be located and described, and all exterior corners on the boundaries of the short subdivision shall be monumented. All markers set shall be marked with the land surveyor’s registration number. All monuments and markers shall be shown on the face of the final short plat. The final short plat map shall be prepared on stable base mylar polyester film or equivalency. Sheet size shall be 18 by 24 inches. All drawings and lettering on the short plat map shall be clearly and legibly drawn in permanent black ink. A margin line shall be drawn completely around each sheet leaving an entirely blank margin of two inches on the left side and one inch on the remaining sides. If more than one sheet is required, each sheet shall be numbered, indexed and contain the short subdivision number. In addition to that information required on the preliminary short plat map, the final short plat map shall also include the following information:

(1) Legal description of the land contained within the short subdivision.

(2) The short plat shall be tied to the nearest controlling corner to determine the boundary of the property.

(3) The perimeter of the plat shall be depicted with heavier lines than elsewhere on the plat.

(4) The “as-built” location of physical features both on and outside the land to be subdivided which shall serve the short subdivision, such as existing roads, utilities, railroad rights-of-way, fences and wells.

(5) The face of any short plat containing a private road shall bear the following language:

WARNING: Lewis County has no responsibility to build, improve, maintain, or otherwise service the private roads contained within or providing access to the property described in this short plat.

(6) The face of all short plats shall bear the following statements:

The lots contained within this short subdivision shall not be redivided for five (5) years from the date of approval without compliance with the requirements of the Lewis County Subdivision Ordinance No. 1083, and as thereafter amended. The approval of this short subdivision does not guarantee the issuance of any other permit or approvals.

(7) The short subdivision shall include the notarized signatures of all parties with any interest in the land subdivided, consenting to the preparation and recording of the plat.

(8) The short plat shall be signed and sealed by a registered land surveyor, and shall contain the following language:

This map correctly represents a survey made by me or under my direction in conformance with the Survey Recording Act at the request of _________ On (Month/Day/Year).

Signature of Surveyor:


(Certificate of License Number to follow)

(9) If the short subdivision is subject to a dedication, a certificate on the short plat map or separate written instrument shall be required.

(10) Community Development Certification. All final short plats shall be endorsed by the Lewis County community development department and contain the following language:

Examined and approved this ____ day of ______, 20___.

Director of Community Development Dept.


(11) Treasurer’s Certification. No final short plat shall be filed with the county auditor until the county treasurer has certified that all delinquent taxes and assessment on the property as of the date of filing have been paid. The subdivider shall provide evidence that all taxes have been paid.

(12) Auditor’s Certificate. All final short plats shall be endorsed by the Lewis County auditor and shall contain the following language:

Filed for record at the request of _______, this _____ day of ________, 20___ and recorded in Volume ___ of short plats, on Page ___, Records of Lewis County, Washington.

Lewis County Auditor


(13) If a title report is used in the preparation of the short subdivision, a copy shall be provided to the administrator, and placed in the short subdivision file but shall not be recorded with the auditor. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,W, 2000]

Article V. Design Standards and Guidelines

16.10.430 Road standards.

All private roads shall be required to meet the requirements of the Lewis County private road standards, as adopted or hereafter amended. Lewis County shall have no responsibility to maintain or improve any roads which have not been dedicated to the county. The county has no responsibility to enforce any private road maintenance agreements. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,X, 2000]

16.10.440 Road maintenance agreements.

All private roads serving the short subdivision shall require a road maintenance agreement, unless a variance is approved. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,Y, 2000]

16.10.450 Lots - Arrangement and dimensions.

The lot arrangement and dimensions shall be such that there will be no foreseeable difficulties for reasons of topography or other conditions in securing permits to build upon all lots or fractional parts in compliance with Chapter 15.15 LCC, Building Setback Regulations, and “The Sewage System Rules and Regulations of the Lewis County Board of Health” and Chapters 8.40 and 8.41 LCC. In order to provide for adequate access a minimum road frontage of 30 feet shall be required for each lot; provided, that in circumstances where an easement for access to a single lot is not more than 150 feet in length, a minimum road frontage shall be required consistent with county road standards. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,Z, 2000]

Article VI. Environmental Health Standards

16.10.470 Sewer availability.

(1) All lots to be served by septic systems shall require soil evaluation tests in order to assess soil percolation rates and the relative suitability of soil conditions under the current regulation requirements.

(2) Each lot shall contain sufficient square footage to meet minimum health requirements.

(3) General Requirements. Prior to short subdivision approval the applicant shall specify the proposed means of sewage disposal for the short subdivision. Every short subdivision shall have a method of sewage disposal which is reliable, safe, and meets all of the requirements of the state and county health regulations.

(4) Individual On-Site Sewage Systems. The land divider may choose to designate individual on-site sewage systems as the means for sewage disposal in a short subdivision unless a public sewer system is available. If the short subdivision is to be served by an individual on-site sewage disposal system, each system shall be entirely contained on the same lot as the dwelling which it is intended to serve or on other land on which the lot owner possesses an easement interest. Prior to short subdivision approval, the environmental services section shall determine whether soils on each lot will safely accommodate individual on-site systems if such systems are properly constructed and managed. If conditions are found to be unsuitable for individual on-site sewage systems, or such systems cannot be accomplished consistent with state and county health regulations, individual on-site sewage systems shall not be allowed. When individual on-site sewage systems are to serve a short subdivision’s sewage disposal needs, this shall be so stated on the final short plat. It shall be the responsibility of each individual lot owner to obtain required on-site sewage disposal systems pursuant to the state and county health regulations.

(5) Community On-Site Sewage Systems. When the Lewis County environmental services section determines that individual disposal systems to serve each lot are unsuitable, and a public sewer system is not available, the land divider may, if feasible, install an on-site community disposal system. The on-site community sewage system need not serve lots which can accommodate individual on-site sewage disposal systems. Prior to short plat approval the community system shall be constructed by the land applicant in accordance with engineering plans approved by all public agencies of jurisdiction. The short subdivision lot owner’s association, or an approved public utility that is qualified to operate and maintain on-site sewage systems, shall manage the community disposal system. Maintenance and operation of the system shall be consistent with all state health and environmental requirements. When an on-site community sewage system is to be utilized to serve the short subdivision’s disposal needs, the system shall be entirely within the subdivision or short subdivision boundaries or on land controlled by the system ownership.

(6) Public Sewer System. When a public sewer system is available to serve the short subdivision, then all lots shall utilize the sewer system to satisfy its sewage disposal requirements in compliance with Lewis County Board of Health Ordinance H98-326, and as amended, Section 12 (LCC 8.40.070).

(7) Short subdivisions contiguous to lakes, streams, or other bodies of water shall be required to take the following precaution to prevent pollution of said bodies of water from septic tank effluent: A setback line from the ordinary high water mark consistent with state health law shall be established, within which no part of a sewage storage, treatment or disposal facility shall be established. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,BB, 2000]

16.10.480 Water supply standards.

(1) Lots which exceed the minimum land area requirements of “The Sewage System Rules and Regulations of the Lewis County Board of Health” for individual wells and septic systems do not need to be served by an approved public water supply system; provided, that the short subdivision meets the following: Prior to the final approval of the short subdivision the applicant shall demonstrate to the environmental services section that a potable water source is available to serve all lots. If the environmental health officer is uncertain regarding the ability of the water source to provide long-term safe and adequate water to the subdivision, the applicant shall be required to conduct a water source study completed by a qualified professional.

(a) Prior to short subdivision approval, subdivisions proposing individual wells for source water may be required to drill one well per plat. The demonstrated well shall provide at least 400 gallons per day as evidenced in a pump test or well driller’s log. The quality of water shall be approved by the Lewis County environmental services section, including location and construction as per well log, site plan and/or site visit, bacteria, nitrates, and possibly arsenic. If the water source does not meet these standards, such fact shall be a basis to deny the short subdivision if no other means of providing water to the short subdivision can be accomplished.

(2) Approved Public Water System. An approved public water system shall be provided to each lot with less than the minimum gross land area required by current on-site regulations for individual septic systems and wells. The applicant shall provide a public water supply facility and a complete water distribution system and may dedicate it to a short subdivision lot owner’s association, or a public agency if a satellite maintenance agency approved by the Lewis County environmental services section is unavailable. The dedication shall include a water supply and distribution system which includes the well, reservoir and/or treatment system and the land upon which they are located or upon land which the lot owner’s association shall have control and shall grant utility easements for the distribution system. The applicant may retain ownership of the system or dedicate it to a responsible person, either of which shall operate and maintain the system consistent with state requirements if a satellite management system is unavailable.

(3) Subdivision Water Supply System - Commitment. An approved public water system which has been developed and approved to serve a short subdivision shall be reserved for the exclusive use of the short subdivision; provided, that service connections located outside of the subdivision, in excess of those required to serve the total number of lots within the short subdivision, may be authorized by the entity or person owning the system. The public water system must also demonstrate substantial compliance with Chapter 246-290 or 246-291 WAC, as now or hereafter amended, including monitoring data on record, satisfactory construction records and plans on file, and not under any compliance or enforcement order. The public water system shall also demonstrate adequate water rights, if required, from the Washington State Department of Ecology. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,CC, 2000]

Article VII. Assessor Notification

16.10.490 Segregation notification.

When it comes to the attention of the assessor of Lewis County that a division of land that appears to be subject to the requirements of this chapter has been made but not contained within a short plat or final plat, he shall forthwith notify the planning section of such division. Upon investigation, should the planning section consider the division as an illegal short subdivision, the planning section shall notify the Lewis County prosecuting attorney. [Ord. 1269 §4, 2016; Ord. 1169, §1,IV,DD, 2000]