Chapter 21.42


21.42.050    Zones and purposes.

21.42.100    Uses allowed in single-family residential zones.

21.42.103    Uses prohibited in the single-family residential zones.

21.42.105    Project design review.

21.42.110    Limitations on use.

21.42.200    Development standards.

21.42.205    Single-family dwelling standards.

21.42.210    Additional development standards.

21.42.250    Development standards for park facilities.

21.42.300    Home occupations.

21.42.400    Accessory structures and uses.

21.42.420    Placement of accessory buildings and structures.

21.42.440    Repealed.

21.42.500    Signs.

21.42.900    Other regulations.

21.42.050 Zones and purposes.

The single-family residential zones are intended to provide for detached housing with densities and styles consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the Lynnwood comprehensive plan and contribute to building and maintaining of safe, clean, and attractive residential neighborhoods with housing for people with a wide variety of housing needs. Such neighborhoods should have minimal traffic, noise, and commercial activities. (Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2571 § 3, 2005; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.100 Uses allowed in single-family residential zones.

See Table 21.42.01 for uses allowed in single-family residential zones.


Table 21.42.01 





Single-Family Dwellings (one per lot)




Adult Day-Care Centers




Adult Family Homes




Accessory Dwelling Unit+



Agricultural and Horticultural Activities, including plant nurseries+




Child Day-Care Centers+




Children – Resident Home




Family Child Care Home




Manufactured Home Developments and Manufactured Homes+




Park and Pool Lots+




Places of Worship




Public Parks




Public Utility Facilities necessary for the transmission, distribution or collection of electric, telephone, wireless communication, telegraph, cable TV, natural gas, water, and sewer utility services, excluding sewer treatment plants, offices, repair shops, warehouses, and storage yards+




Schools, Libraries or Museums, Offices of Philanthropic or Charitable Organizations, but not including Nonprofit Retail Stores




Wireless Communications Facility Attached (not permitted on residential structures); See Chapter 21.90 LMC




* Only as an accessory use at a school or place of worship.

** Only on properties with street frontage along streets designated as arterials.

+See LMC 21.42.110.


ASF    =    Allowed as an accessory use to a single-family residence.

P    =    Use is permitted as a primary use; see LMC 21.42.300 regarding home occupations.

C    =    The use may be permitted through issuance of a conditional use permit.

–    =    Use is prohibited.

(Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2571 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2512 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.103 Uses prohibited in the single-family residential zones.

A. Retail sales, production and processing of marijuana and/or marijuana-infused products.

B. Medical marijuana collective gardens, as either a primary use, accessory use, or home occupation.

C. Supervised drug consumption facilities. (Ord. 3305 § 3, 2018; Ord. 3136 § 2, 2015)

21.42.105 Project design review.

A. Design Guidelines for Nonresidential Uses. Construction of any nonresidential buildings (excluding single-family accessory structures) as allowed per Table 21.42.01, permitted by conditional use permit, in any single-family residential zone shall comply with Lynnwood Citywide Design Guidelines for All Districts and Commercial Districts as adopted by reference in LMC 21.25.145(B)(3), and receive approval pursuant to Chapter 21.25 LMC, unless otherwise specified in this chapter:

1. Construction of any nonresidential structures or buildings (excluding single-family accessory structures or buildings) with a gross floor area of more than 1,000 square feet.

2. Construction of any parking lot and/or parking structure with 20 or more stalls or paved parking area of 5,400 square feet or more.

B. Supersede. Applicable Lynnwood Citywide Design Guidelines, as adopted by reference in LMC 21.25.145(B)(3), shall supersede any development standards and requirements of this chapter that may conflict, unless otherwise specified in this chapter.

C. Gateways and Prominent Intersections. See city of Lynnwood zoning map to identify development project sites within a gateway or prominent intersection location. Such sites shall be subject to applicable gateway and/or prominent intersection design guidelines identified in the All Districts section of the Lynnwood Citywide Design Guidelines, as adopted by reference in LMC 21.25.145(B)(3). If any portion of a project site lies within a gateway or prominent intersection location, then the entire project shall comply with the applicable design guidelines. (Ord. 3415 § 43, 2022)

21.42.110 Limitations on use.

A. Agricultural and Horticultural Activities. Agricultural and horticultural activities, including plant nurseries, must be devoted to the raising of plants. No structures, uses, or accessory uses or structures are permitted, except those specifically authorized by the conditional use permit. Agricultural and horticultural activities, including plant nurseries, which are less than one acre in size are permitted uses. Agricultural and horticultural activities, including plant nurseries, which are one acre or more in size require a conditional use permit.

B. Public Utility Facilities. Public utility facilities necessary for the transmission, distribution or collection of electric, telephone, wireless communication, telegraph, cable television, natural gas, water, and sewer utility services, excluding sewer treatment plants, offices, repair shops, warehouses, and storage yards shall be subject to the following additional standards:

1. Such facilities shall not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare;

2. The applicant shall demonstrate the need for the proposed public utility facility to be located in a residential area, the procedures involved in the site selection and an evaluation of alternative sites and existing facilities on which the proposed facility could be located or co-located;

3. A site development plan shall be submitted showing the location, size, screening and design of all buildings and structures, including fences, the location, size, and nature of outdoor equipment, and the location, number, and species of all proposed landscaping;

4. The facility shall be designed to be aesthetically and architecturally compatible with the natural and built environment. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, building design and the use of exterior materials harmonious with the character of the surrounding neighborhood and the use of landscaping and privacy screening to buffer the facilities and activities on the site from surrounding properties. Any equipment or facilities not enclosed within a building (e.g., towers, transformers, tanks, etc.) shall be designed and located on the site to minimize adverse impacts on surrounding properties;

5. All wireless communications facilities shall comply with national, state or local standards, whichever is more restrictive, in effect at the time of application, for non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation;

6. The applicant shall demonstrate a justification for the proposed height of the structures and an evaluation of alternative designs which might result in lower heights. If additional height over that allowed in the zone is justified it may be approved by the city;

7. The applicant shall include an analysis of the feasibility of future consolidated use of the proposed facility with other public utility facilities.

C. Provided, that this subsection shall not apply to utility facilities located on a property which are accessory to the residential use of that property or to the transmission, distribution or collection lines and equipment necessary to provide a direct utility connection to the property or neighboring properties, or to those utility facilities located on public rights-of-way, nor shall it apply to utility facilities installed within new subdivisions, which shall be evaluated prior to plat approval and do not require a separate conditional use permit.

D. Park and Pool Lots. Park and pool lots may be permitted by conditional use permit. In considering an application for such a use, the hearing examiner shall review all impacts of the proposed use upon the surrounding neighborhood including, but not limited to, location, traffic, displacement of required stalls, noise, hours of operation, ingress and egress, signage, parking lot illumination, and aesthetic impacts. In single-family zones, park and pool lots should not be the principal use of a property, but an accessory use to a permitted or conditional use in that zone. The applicant for such a permit shall submit a site plan indicating:

1. The property boundaries;

2. The location of all buildings on the site with the floor areas of each use indicated;

3. The location and dimensions of all existing or proposed parking stalls, including the designation of those to be available to park and pool users; and

4. The location and type of all existing or proposed landscaping.

The applicant shall also submit drawings of proposed signage and an analysis of the parking demand of any existing uses on the site and the anticipated demand by park and pool users.

E. Child Day-Care Centers.

1. Considerations. Child day-care centers may be permitted by issuance of a conditional use permit. Before approval or denial of an application, the hearing examiner will consider the need for the activity in the area and all possible impacts in the area including but not limited to the following:

a. Any adverse or significant changes, alterations or increases in traffic flow that could create a hazardous situation as either a direct or indirect result of the proposed activity;

b. Any abnormal increase in demand for any public service, facility or utility;

c. The size, location, and access of the proposed site; and

d. Any adverse effects on the standard of livability to the surrounding area.

2. Requirements. In any case, the approval of the conditional use permit shall include the following requirements:

a. The applicant must be state-licensed before the operation of the facility;

b. Adequate off-street parking must be provided;

c. All outdoor play areas must be fenced with a minimum of 800 square feet plus an additional 80 square feet per additional child over 10;

d. Site and sound screening standards for the outdoor play area must be met;

e. The applicant must provide off-street access to the facility from the public right-of-way for the purpose of pickup and delivery of children;

f. The applicant must indicate the ages of the children to be cared for;

g. See LMC 21.16.290(A) for sign regulations.

F. Manufactured Home Developments. Permitted under the provisions for planned unit developments. See Chapters 21.30 and 21.70 LMC.

G. Accessory Dwelling Units. Accessory dwelling units shall be permitted subject to the provisions of this subsection.

1. Purpose.

a. To provide the opportunity for resident homeowners to enjoy companionship and security from tenants while maintaining the privacy of a single-family residence;

b. To create additional affordable housing in Lynnwood;

c. To allow a property owner to continue to reside in a neighborhood after a lifestyle change, in particular, by having the opportunity to receive rental income;

d. To develop housing that is appropriate to smaller households; and

e. To protect neighborhood stability, property values, and the appearance and character of single-family neighborhoods by regulating the installation and use of accessory dwelling units and by ensuring that properties continue to be owner-occupied.

2. Permitted Zones. Attached ADUs shall be permitted in the RS-7 and RS-8 zones. Detached ADUs shall only be permitted in the RS-8 zone.

3. Number. A maximum of one ADU shall be permitted on a lot. A lot cannot have both an attached and a detached ADU.

4. Location. Attached ADUs may be added to or within the principal residence in compliance with the RS-7 or RS-8 development standards. Detached ADUs are required to meet all development standards for the RS-8 zone and shall be located only in the rear yard.

The unit may be created by either building new habitable space or by converting existing habitable space, or by a combination of new construction and conversion.

5. Development Standards. Any new construction shall meet all the development standards for the applicable zone, except as modified by this section, and shall comply with all applicable city codes, including but not limited to required setbacks and the requirements of the adopted building, electrical, fire, mechanical and plumbing codes. Only one electric meter, and one water meter, shall be allowed for the entire parcel, serving both the primary unit and the detached ADU.

6. Size. The maximum gross floor area shall be 800 square feet or 40 percent of the habitable square footage of the primary unit, whichever is less. A maximum of one bedroom shall be provided for units less than 600 square feet in size; a maximum of two bedrooms shall be provided for units 600 square feet or greater in size. When calculating the square footage of the unit, covered exterior elements such as decks and porches will not be included. The total size of all such covered exterior elements shall not exceed 200 square feet and the design shall be consistent with the primary dwelling unit.

7. Design. The ADU/DADU shall be designed so that the appearance of the building containing the principal residence remains that of a single-family residence. At a minimum, the plans for the unit shall conform to the following guideline: the ADU/DADU shall match the exterior materials and design of the principal residence, and the pitch of the roof of the ADU/DADU should match that of the principal residence, as much as practical. Any new landscaping should conform with or improve existing landscaping.

8. Screening. The entrance(s) to an attached ADU shall be located in such a manner as not to appear as a second primary entrance to the structure which encompasses the principal residence. For an attached ADU, only one primary entrance shall be permitted; a second street-facing entrance may be permitted if it is sufficiently screened from view using either fencing, landscaping, or a combination thereof.

9. Parking. One off-street parking space, having minimum dimensions of nine feet by 17.5 feet (standard vehicle parking), shall be provided for studio and one-bedroom units and two off-street parking spaces shall be provided for two-bedroom units, in compliance with Chapter 21.18 LMC. Such parking shall be in addition to the two parking spaces required for the main residence; provided, that if at the time of the ADU application the property is nonconforming as to parking for the main residence, the applicant shall not be required to correct that nonconformity as a condition of approval of the ADU application. Parking shall be paved in conformance with standard city requirements and made to appear as one driveway servicing the primary residence. Parking may be located in a garage, carport, or in an off-street area reserved for vehicle parking. Parking may be located in tandem with parking spaces for the primary unit. Only one driveway may be used to meet the parking requirement. Parking may not encroach into any portion of the front setback, or the public or private right-of-way (including any landscaped portion).

10. Accessibility. In order to allow for barrier-free accessible design, the development and business services director may allow for reasonable deviations from the requirements of this section to install features or facilities that facilitate accessibility. Such features or facilities shall comply with the city’s building and fire codes, more particularly with the requirements for a Type A unit as referenced by the adopted standards of Chapter 16.04 LMC.

11. Owner Occupancy. The property owner (title holder or contract purchaser) must occupy either the primary dwelling unit or the accessory dwelling unit as their permanent residence. Owners shall sign and record with Snohomish County an affidavit in a form acceptable to the city attesting to their occupancy.

12. Permitting. No construction permit or occupancy permit for any structure or other improvements for an ADU or DADU shall be issued until and unless a permit for the unit is approved and recorded pursuant to this subsection.

a. Application and Fee. The property owner shall submit an application for an ADU or DADU permit to the development and business services director, including plans for creating the ADU (including design plans for any new construction), evidence of current ownership (or purchase contract), certification of owner occupancy, payment of related fees and costs as set forth in Chapter 3.104 LMC, and such other information as the director may require in order to determine whether the application conforms with city requirements.

b. Action. The development and business services director shall approve the application and issue an ADU permit if he/she finds that the application conforms with the requirements of this section and other applicable sections of this code. The application shall be exempt from the following procedure:

i. Notice of impending decision, LMC 1.35.330.

c. Validity. Any ADU permit issued pursuant to this section shall be issued only to the property owner and shall be valid only so long as the permit holder owns the property in title or as a contract purchaser. Such permit shall expire automatically upon any transfer of property ownership from the permit holder. Continued occupancy of the ADU as a separate living unit shall require application for a new permit by the contract purchaser or new property owner and renewal of the permit by the director. The development and business services director shall renew any permit under this subsection if he/she finds that the unit complies with all provisions of this section. Any permit approved under this subsection shall not be effective until evidence of recording is presented to the director. The fee for ADU or DADU permit renewal shall be the same as that for an administrative amendment, as set forth in Chapter 3.104 LMC.

d. Extension of Tenancy after Property Sale. If a property is sold and the new owner files an application for a permit, the tenants may continue to reside at the property for the remainder of any lease, or up to 90 calendar days, whichever is longer, except that such residency continuation shall not exceed one year. A single additional continuation of up to six months may be granted by the director, upon written request by both the tenant and the (new) property owner, if she/he finds that termination of residency by the tenants would impose a substantial and unusual hardship on the tenants.

e. Recording. The permit shall be recorded by the property owner and any subsequent owners with the Snohomish County auditor’s office to indicate the presence of the ADU. At a minimum, the recorded information shall:

i. Be recorded as a deed restriction which runs with the land;

ii. Identify the address of the property;

iii. State that the owner(s) reside(s) in either the primary unit or the ADU for entire calendar year;

iv. Include a written description and/or a floor and site plan of the approved unit;

v. Include a statement of the requirements and conditions of approval, as determined by the director;

vi. Include a statement that the owner will notify any prospective purchasers of the limitations of this section; and

vii. Provide for the revocation of the issued permit for the ADU if any of the requirements of this subsection are violated.

Any permit approved under this subsection shall not be effective until evidence of recordation is presented to the director within 10 calendar days of notice of approval.

f. Expiration. Any permit for a new ADU shall expire two years from the date of approval unless a building permit for the ADU has been obtained. The director may grant a single one-year extension to this time limit, provided a written request for the extension is received two weeks prior to expiration.

g. Cancellation. Cancellation of an ADU may be accomplished by the property owner by recording with the Snohomish County auditor’s office and by filing with the city a certificate stating that the ADU no longer exists on the property. Cancellation may also result from an enforcement action by the city.

h. Complaint. Upon receipt of a complaint of noncompliance, the city may require proof by the owner that all requirements of this section are met.

i. Revocation. In addition to the conditions imposed during the permit approval process, permits for ADUs shall expire automatically whenever:

i. The ADU is substantially altered and is thus no longer in conformance with the plans and drawings reviewed and approved by the city;

ii. The subject parcel ceases to maintain the required number of parking spaces; or

iii. The property owner(s) cease(s) to reside in either the primary unit or the ADU for the entire calendar year, the owner-occupied unit is rented, or the current owner fails to record the certificate as required under this section.

j. Appeal. Any action by the director may be appealed by the applicant to the hearing examiner only for noncompliance with these regulations; provided, that such appeal shall be filed in writing within 10 calendar days of mailing of a notice of action. Such appeal shall be processed as provided for in Process II, LMC 1.35.200 et seq.

13. Subdivision Prohibited. No ADU may be sold as separate property or as a condominium, or in any way be part of a subdivision of the lot upon which it is located, unless that subdivision conforms with all provisions of the Lynnwood Municipal Code.

14. Home Occupations. Home occupations may be allowed in either the primary unit or the ADU, but not both, provided the home occupation is reviewed and approved in accordance with LMC 21.42.300 and any other applicable provisions of this code. (Ord. 3399 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 3311 § 17, 2018; Ord. 3283 § 5, 2018; Ord. 3239 § 4, 2016; Ord. 2824 § 10, 2010; Ord. 2823 § 3, 2010; Ord. 2656 §§ 1, 2, 2006; Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.200 Development standards.

Table 21.42.02 Development Standards 





Minimum Lot Area++

8,400 sf

7,200 sf

4,000 sf

Minimum Lot Width

70 ft.++

60 ft.

40 ft.

Minimum Frontage at Street

30 ft.+++

30 ft.

25 ft.

Front Yard Minimum Setbacks – All Lots

Front Yard Setback

25 ft.

20 ft.

15 ft.

Abutting a Private Road or Access Easement

15 ft.

15 ft.

15 ft.

Side Yard Minimum Setbacks – Interior Lots

One Side

5 ft.

5 ft.

5 ft.

Both Sides Combined

15 ft.

10 ft.

10 ft.

Side Yard Minimum Setbacks – Corner Lots

Street Side

15 ft.

15 ft.

15 ft.

Interior Side

5 ft.

5 ft.

5 ft.

Both Sides Combined

20 ft.

20 ft.

20 ft.

Rear Yard Minimum Setbacks – All Lots

Minimum Rear Yard Setback

25 ft.

25 ft.

15 ft.*

Any Yard Abutting a Principal Arterial

Minimum Setback

25 ft.

25 ft.

20 ft.

Minimum Lot Coverage and Building Heights

Maximum Lot Coverage by Buildings

35 percent

35 percent

40 percent – habitable space

50 percent – total

Maximum Building Height

35 ft.

35 ft.

30 ft.

*    20 ft. when abutting an RS-7 or RS-8 zone.

++    See LMC 21.42.210(C).

+++    A reduction to 15 feet is allowed for lots that include an access easement that has a width that measures a minimum of 15 feet.

(Ord. 3415 § 44, 2022; Ord. 3311 § 16, 2018; Ord. 3283 § 6, 2018; Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2512 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.205 Single-family dwelling standards.

A. Site-built dwellings shall be placed on concrete or masonry perimeter foundations.

B. Manufactured homes shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturers’ specifications and, in locations outside mobile home parks, an excavated crawl space of not less than 24 inches in depth shall be provided and fully enclosed by a perimeter concrete or masonry retaining wall.

C. With the exception of replacement homes within existing mobile home parks, a manufactured home may be sited within the city of Lynnwood, provided not more than five years have elapsed since the date of manufacture, as stated on the HUD data plate. (Ord. 2571 § 5, 2005)

21.42.210 Additional development standards.

A. Parking Requirements. Each dwelling unit must provide on-site parking for two motor vehicles in accordance with the stall dimensions specified in LMC 21.18.700, Figure 21.18.1.

1. Covered or uncovered vehicle storage areas may not be within any required front or street side yard setback.

2. Use of pervious paving, “grasscrete” or similar materials for driveways and parking areas is encouraged. Paving of driveways and parking areas with wheel strips only (sometimes referred to as “Hollywood” or “California” driveways) is permitted for single-family residential parking only (including parking required for accessory units), however driveway aprons and other areas within the public right-of-way shall be paved in accordance with city standards.

B. Fences and Hedges. Fence and hedge regulations for the residential zones are as provided in Chapter 21.10 LMC.

C. Minimum Lot Area in RS-8 and RS-7 Zones. Within RS-8 or RS-7 zoned land the required minimum lot size standards for individual lots will be considered to be met if the average lot size of the lots in the subdivision or short subdivision (the total land area within lots divided by the number of lots) is equal to or larger than the required minimum lot size allowed in the respective zone; provided, that:

1. No lot shall be smaller than 90 percent of the required minimum lot size in that zone;

2. Not more than a 25 percent increase over the required minimum lot size for any individual lot shall be credited in computing average lot size;

3. Corner or reverse corner lots shall not be smaller than the required minimum lot size allowed in that zone;

4. A lot which is, by these provisions, smaller than the required minimum lot size is allowed a reduction of five feet from the required minimum lot width;

5. Final plats or short plats which utilize lot size averaging shall list the lot areas of all lots on the face of the plat; and

6. Preliminary plats approved utilizing lot size averaging shall not receive final approval by divisions unless each division individually satisfies these provisions.

D. Minimum Lot Area in RS-4 Zone. Within the RS-4 zone the minimum lot size is 4,000 square feet per single-family dwelling.

E. Small Lot Single-Family Dwelling Development Standards. Single-family dwellings built on lots zoned RS-4 shall meet the requirements contained within this section unless approved as part of a multiple-family development pursuant to the regulations within Chapter 21.43 LMC. It is the intent of these development standards that single-family dwellings on small lots be compatible with neighboring properties, friendly to the streetscape, and in scale with the lots upon which they are constructed. A minimum area for the application of the RS-4 zone shall be one acre. The development and business services director is authorized to promulgate guidelines, graphic representations, and examples of housing designs and methods of construction that do or do not satisfy the intent of these standards.

1. Where lots front on a public street or private access easement, the dwelling shall have doors and windows facing the street or private access easement. Dwellings shall have a distinct entry feature such as a porch or weather covered entryway with minimum dimensions of six feet by six feet. Covered porches open on three sides may encroach six feet into a required front yard setback.

2. If the lot abuts an alley in addition to a public street, the garage or off-street parking area shall take access from the alley, unless precluded by steep topography. Where the garage, or off-street parking area, is accessed from an alley no curb cuts shall be permitted on the public street.

3. If there is no alley access and the lot fronts on a public street or private access easement, the front of the garage shall be set back a minimum of five feet from the main front plane of the dwelling, and the dwelling shall have entry, window, and/or roofline design treatment which emphasizes the dwelling more than the garage.

4. Driveways shall not exceed 20 feet in width in the required front yard setback area.

5. Dwellings built on lots without direct frontage on a public street shall be situated to respect the privacy of abutting dwellings and to create usable yard space for the dwelling(s).

6. Lot coverage by the living space of a dwelling shall not exceed 40 percent. Total lot coverage by the dwelling and any other buildings on the lot shall not exceed 50 percent.

7. Landscaping shall be provided to enhance the streetscape, to provide privacy for dwellings on abutting lots, and to provide separation and buffering on easement access drives.

8. Accessory structures are limited to a total amount of 200 square feet in floor area, excepting garages.

9. All dwelling units shall be built to the Built Green™ standards (Three-Star level) as administered by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties.

10. All dwelling units shall conform to only those Citywide Design Guidelines, adopted by reference in LMC 21.25.145(B)(3), contained in the section on multiple-family housing and listed as follows by subject:

a. Site entry feature.

b. Pitched roof forms.

c. Windows.

d. Materials.

e. Parking structures.

F. Pre-Existing Subdivisions. Any lot described on a plat duly recorded in the land records of Snohomish County prior to January 1, 1970, may be used for a one-family dwelling if the lot dimensions and area are in conformance with LMC 21.12.300, and the buildings to be located thereon conform to all other standards of the residential zone within which the lot is located. (Ord. 3399 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 3326 § 19, 2019; Ord. 2730 § 2, 2008; Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2512 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.250 Development standards for park facilities.

A. Buildings and structures at properties designated “Parks, Recreation and Open Space” on the future land use plan map of the comprehensive plan shall be subject to the development standards in LMC 21.42.200; provided, that the development and business services director may authorize a reduction in the minimum setback from a public street to the following:

1. Structures and buildings no more than one story in height and with a gross floor area of 1,000 square feet or less: 10 feet.

2. Structures and buildings either more than one story in height or with a gross floor area greater than 1,000 square feet (or both): 25 feet.

3. Provided, that the director finds:

a. The standards in LMC 21.42.200 would not allow use of a building or structure in the park as that building or structure is intended to be used; and

b. Use of the building or structure would not adversely affect adjoining properties.

B. Notice of such approval shall be mailed to owners of property that adjoin the site of the proposed building or structure. Approval of a building or structure under this section may be appealed within 14 calendar days of issuance of a determination under this section using Process II. The date of issuance shall be three days following the date of mailing of the notice. (Ord. 3399 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.300 Home occupations.

A home occupation may be permitted by issuance of a business license, pursuant to LMC Title 5, provided the business complies with this and other applicable sections of the Lynnwood Municipal Code.

A. Area Used. A home occupation may only be conducted in the principal building and not in an accessory building. The area devoted to the home occupation may comprise no more than 25 percent of the area of the principal building. Any extension of the home occupation to the outdoors, including, but not limited to, paving of yards for parking, outdoor storage or activity, indoor storage or activity visible from outdoors (e.g., in an open garage) is prohibited.

B. Access. Access to the space devoted to the home occupation shall be from within the dwelling, not internally closed off or separated from the living areas of the dwelling, and not from a separate outside entrance.

C. Employment. No one other than members of the resident household may perform labor or personal services on the premises.

D. Stock in Trade. The processing, storing, and occasional sale of handicrafts made on the premises and other small products is allowed, subject to compliance with other conditions of this title. Such stock must be incidental to the main activity permitted by the home occupation. The display or storage of goods outside the premises or in a window is prohibited.

E. Equipment, Use, and Activities. No equipment may be used and no activities may be conducted which would result in noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odors, heat, glare, or other conditions exceeding in duration or intensity those normally produced by a residential use. Normal residential use shall be construed as including the above impacts only on an occasional weekend or evening basis (e.g., in connection with a hobby or home/yard maintenance), and not on a daily basis. Outdoor storage of equipment, materials, or more than one vehicle related to the business is prohibited. There shall be no production, generation, or storage of any hazardous waste or substance. Those individuals who are engaged in home occupations shall make available to the fire or county health departments for review the material safety data sheets which pertain to all potentially toxic and/or flammable materials associated with the use.

F. Traffic. A home occupation shall not generate traffic in excess of normal residential traffic. Normal residential traffic for the purposes of regulating home occupation traffic shall be defined as 10 trips per day and one trip per hour. There shall not be more than one client on the premises at any one time. One client constitutes those arriving in a single vehicle. Delivery services such as the Post Office, UPS, FedEx and similar, which make normal deliveries to residential neighborhoods, shall not be included in the assessment. Trips, whether personal or for business, by residents of the dwelling, shall also not be included. Home occupations that generate traffic or parking are limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

G. Certain Uses Specifically Prohibited. The following uses are specifically prohibited as home occupations:

1. Automotive repairs or detailing;

2. Small engine and major appliance repair;

3. Boarding, grooming, kenneling, or medical treatment of animals;

4. Contractors’ shops (with the exception of administrative and office functions);

5. On-site sale of firewood;

6. Sheet metal fabrication;

7. Unlicensed or uncertified (by state licensing or an accrediting agency, when available) health care or other physical or personal services administered directly to the client at this location;

8. Beauty/barber shops and other similar activities having more than one station;

9. Any other use as determined by the development and business services director with a significant potential to violate one or more of the conditions of this section.

H. Signs. Any home occupation sign must meet the residential sign regulations in LMC 21.16.290. Such signs shall display only the name and address.

I. Exemptions. The following shall not be regulated under this section: garage sales, yard sales, bake sales, and similar as long as they do not occur more than three times per year per home.

J. Process.

1. Applications. Home occupations shall be reviewed concurrently with the business license application pursuant to LMC Title 5. Applications for home occupation related business licenses shall also include a copy of a site plan showing parking and a floor plan for the premises showing access and the square footage of the total premises and the square footage allocated to the business. All home occupation business license applications shall be acknowledged by the property owner (if other than the applicant).

2. Conditions. The director of the development and business services department may impose additional conditions to mitigate any potential adverse impacts of the home occupation to the surrounding uses.

3. Business License. A business license shall be obtained and shall be maintained. If the license is not maintained, the home occupation approval shall become null and void and a new business license application shall be required to reestablish the use.

4. Review, Enforcement, and Penalties.

a. A violation of any provision of this section shall be a civil infraction. Enforcement activities will be conducted pursuant to LMC 1.40.020.

b. A home occupation may be suspended or revoked by the director of the development and business services department as an administrative decision. The director may base his action on:

i. Lack of compliance with the conditions of the permit of the business license or its approval, or with the provisions of the development code; or

ii. Upon finding that the operation of the home business creates a nuisance or hazard, or has been abandoned, or was procured by mistake, fraud or deception.

K. Inspection. The city of Lynnwood fire marshal and building official reserve the right to inspect a home occupation to ensure that related alterations and equipment are consistent with fire and building codes. (Ord. 3404 § 3 (Att. A), 2021; Ord. 3399 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2883 § 1, 2011; Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.400 Accessory structures and uses.

A. Solar Energy Systems. The use of solar energy systems (for example, attached solar greenhouses, attached solar sunspaces, and solar collectors) can be an effective and efficient method for producing energy and reducing energy consumption. The majority of residential structures within Lynnwood were constructed before solar energy systems became a viable means for producing energy, thus lot yard setbacks and height restrictions do not take such systems into account. The city of Lynnwood finds that it is in the best public interest to encourage solar energy systems. If it is found that a solar energy system would have a positive impact on energy production and conservation while not having an adverse environmental impact on the community, but the placement of such system requires violation of city setback or maximum height limitations, allowance of such systems may be permitted through the variance process and shall be encouraged. In viewing such variance request, the following shall be considered in making a determination:

1. That the solar energy system has a net energy gain;

2. That the solar energy system is designed to minimize glare towards vehicular traffic and adjacent properties;

3. That the solar energy system not adversely affect solar access to adjacent properties;

4. That the solar energy system complies with all other city zoning, engineering, building, and fire regulations; and

5. That the solar energy system is found to not have any adverse impacts on the area, which impacts shall include, but not be limited to, the effects of such system upon the views from neighboring properties and public ways.

In order to show that the proposed energy system will conform to the above, the applicant shall be required to submit a site plan and elevations showing the location, size, and dimensions of the solar energy system and its relation to all adjacent properties. Care shall be taken to ensure that the design, materials used and colors architecturally blend in with the existing structure. The city may require that the site plan and elevations and/or energy-saving calculations be prepared by an engineer, architect or builder specializing in solar energy construction.

B. Family Child Care Homes. Family child care homes are permitted as an accessory use to a dwelling.

C. Keeping Small Animals as Pets.

1. The keeping of small animals as pets shall be permitted as an accessory use.

2. Livestock, Except Chickens and Miniature Goats. The keeping of livestock (except chickens and miniature goats; see subsections (C)(3) and (C)(4) of this section) shall not be permitted except that an occupant shall be able to keep one animal, i.e., horse, cow or sheep, on a lot having a minimum of 20,000 square feet and an additional animal for each 20,000 square feet additional lot area. The entire square footage of roaming area shall be fenced. Fences must be of such a type and size as to prevent encroachment on adjacent property. Encroachment shall be defined as reaching over, under or through, as well as trespassing or intruding upon, the property of another. Accessory buildings used for housing animals shall be provided, and shall be a minimum of 200 square feet and a maximum of 250 square feet in area per animal, except as allowed by variance, and shall not be closer than 25 feet to a property line, except for those provisions provided for chickens and goats, below. An accessory building for the housing of small animals or fowl (except chickens, see below) shall not exceed 36 square feet in floor area when located on a residential lot and neither the building nor the fenced area for their roaming shall be closer than 25 feet to a property.

3. Chickens. The keeping of chickens for personal use of the household (eggs shall not be sold) shall be permitted subject to the following:

a. A maximum of five chickens may be kept per lot associated with a single-family residential dwelling unit.

b. A suitable structure to provide shelter from the elements and an outdoor pen shall be provided. The shelter and pen shall be built and maintained to prevent the chickens from breaking through, out, over, or under the same. The shelter and pen shall be kept in good working condition, shall not cause odor or noise nuisances, and must be kept in a clean and well maintained condition at all times.

i. The enclosed shelter shall provide a floor, walls, and roof and shall be a minimum of four square feet per chicken.

ii. The outdoor pen (a ground level roaming area) shall be a minimum of eight square feet per chicken.

iii. Pens and shelters shall be constructed so as to discourage predators.

iv. The outer edge of the shelter or pen shall be set back a minimum of 15 feet from side and rear property lines. Pens and shelters are not permitted in the area between the primary dwelling unit and the front property line. The side of the pen facing an adjacent residence shall be sight obscuring through the use of a solid fence.

v. Electricity provided to the shelter will require an electrical building permit.

c. Bedding/manure shall be composted or bagged and tied and placed within garbage dumpsters.

d. Roosters shall be prohibited.

e. Chickens shall not be processed on premises. Infected chickens with diseases harmful to humans shall be removed.

4. Goats. The keeping of miniature goats for personal use of the household (no commercial uses) shall be permitted subject to the following:

a. Miniature breeds of goats include the following: pygmy, Nigerian dwarf and pygora or similar breeds (based on height and weight). Adult goats shall not exceed 30 inches measured from the withers or weigh more than 100 pounds. The wither is the ridge between the shoulder blades of the goat.

b. A maximum of three miniature goats may be kept per lot associated with a minimum of 7,200-square-foot lot area of a single-family residential dwelling unit. Nursing offspring may be kept until weaned, no longer than 12 weeks after birth.

c. Male goats must be neutered.

d. All goats must be dehorned.

e. A suitable structure to provide shelter from the elements and an outdoor pen shall be provided. The shelter and pen shall be built and maintained to prevent the goats from breaking through, out, over, or under the same. The shelter and pen shall be kept in good working condition, shall not cause odor nuisances, and must be kept in a clean and well maintained condition at all times.

i. The shelter shall provide walls, a roof and a door.

ii. The outer edge of the shelter or pen shall be set back a minimum of 15 feet from side and rear property lines. Pens and shelters are not permitted in the area between the primary dwelling unit and the front property line. The side of the pen facing an adjacent residence shall be sight obscuring through the use of a solid fence.

iii. Electricity provided to the shelter will require an electrical building permit.

iv. No confinement area shall be located within a critical (sensitive) area or their buffers.

f. Goats shall not be slaughtered on premises.

g. Goats over 12 weeks old shall be annually licensed per the current fee schedules adopted for dogs in the city of Lynnwood.

5. The keeping of mink, goats (with the exception of miniature breeds permitted under subsection (C)(4) of this section), foxes, or hogs is prohibited.

D. Carnivals, Circuses, and Other Temporary Special Events. These uses are permitted if accessory to a school, place of worship, park, or other facility of a similar nature. Such activities shall not be subject to regulation by Chapter 5.30 LMC.

E. Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. Level 1 and Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations are allowed as an accessory use but shall be privately owned with restricted access (e.g., occupants of a single-family home, employees and members of the congregation in the case of a religious institution). The electric vehicle charging station shall not be open for use to the general public.

F. Shipping container or other similar storage units as defined in Chapter 21.02 LMC are not permitted as accessory structures in residential zones. (Ord. 3415 § 23, 2022; Ord. 3127 § 3, 2015; Ord. 3068 § 1, 2014; Ord. 3047 § 2, 2014; Ord. 2936 § 1, 2012; Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.420 Placement of accessory buildings and structures.

Accessory buildings or structures in RS zones. Single-family accessory structures shall comply with the following development standards:

Table 21.42.03 Placement of Accessory Structures 


Accessory Buildings and Structures – Type 1

Accessory Buildings and Structures – Type 2

Maximum area

64 SF

600 SF

Maximum height

8 ft.

15 ft. and no greater than one story

Front yard setback

Not permitted

Not permitted

Side yard setback

0 ft.

5 ft.

Street side yard setback

15 ft.

15 ft.

Rear yard setback

0 ft.

5 ft.

Habitable space

Not permitted

Not permitted


Only one Type 1 building or structure is permitted per lot. All other accessory buildings and structures must meet Type 2 requirements.

Any number of Type 2 buildings allowed provided the primary dwelling unit and all Type 2 buildings do not exceed lot coverage limit.

(Ord. 3415 § 45, 2022; Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.440 Placement of accessory buildings and structures – Corner and reverse corner lots.

Repealed by Ord. 3415. (Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.500 Signs.

See LMC 21.16.290 for sign regulations in residential zones. (Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)

21.42.900 Other regulations.

A. Parking or storage of recreational vehicles shall be in conformance with LMC 10.08.200.

B. Maintenance or repair of vehicles on residential property shall conform to the following standards:

1. Such maintenance and repair shall not be conducted on a commercial basis.

2. Any repair, painting, or maintenance work done on such vehicles shall not create an unsafe or unsightly condition or become a nuisance to residents of abutting properties.

3. Any repair, painting, or maintenance work done on such vehicles shall only be done within the hours from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

4. Violations of the preceding standards shall result in notice being given by the city to the offender to discontinue such work or operation. Failure to immediately comply will subject the property owner and/or occupant to the penalties as prescribed by this title.

C. Setbacks for Residential Heat Pumps, A/C Units, Generators and Other Noise Generating Equipment. No mechanical equipment is allowed within three feet of the side yard property line. If located within the minimum five-foot side yard setback, the applicant shall install barriers as a means of noise reduction. Common barrier materials include earth, steel, plywood and concrete. General guidelines for barrier walls include the following:

1. Place barriers as close to the source as possible without restricting airflow to/from the unit. Consult manufacturer for minimum distance requirements. Care must be taken not to restrict the airflow of the unit as this would lead to a decrease in unit efficiency.

2. Barriers must be solid (i.e., three-quarter-inch plywood or greater), extend all the way to the ground or deck and be free of holes, gaps and cracks. Noise will be transmitted through the wall if this condition is not met.

3. Weatherproof absorptive treatment can be provided with the barrier to reduce the noise reflected from the house wall.

4. A partial barrier can be provided for the unit in order to reduce the noise that would otherwise be radiated towards neighboring properties.

5. In situations where house walls will reflect sound back at the barrier, the effectiveness of the barrier shielding will be significantly reduced. To remedy this, wall surfaces facing the unit could be covered with sound absorbing material per Chapter 10.12 LMC. (Ord. 3243 § 12, 2017; Ord. 2586 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2466 § 1, 2003)