Chapter 17.32

17.32.000    Chapter Contents


17.32.010    Applicability.

17.32.020    Redivisions.

17.32.030    Defining of land included in short subdivisions.

17.32.040    Conference prior to submission of application.

17.32.050    Submission of application.

17.32.070    Responsibility for data accuracy.

17.32.080    Identification markers.

17.32.090    Time limitation for department action.

17.32.100    Format and content of preliminary application and map.

17.32.110    Distribution of copies.

17.32.120    Review criteria.

17.32.130    Approval procedures.

17.32.140    Final approval and recording.

17.32.150    Format and content of final application and map.

17.32.160    Zoning effect of final approval.

17.32.010 Applicability

Every division of land into nine or fewer lots, any one of which is less than 1/128 of a section or five acres for the purpose of sale, lease or transfer of ownership shall proceed in compliance with this chapter and Chapters 17.04 through 17.12 and 17.40 through 17.52 of this title.

(Ord. 4529 §8(1), 1984).

17.32.020 Redivisions

A.    Within a Short Subdivision. Land within a short subdivision, the short plat of 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 city regulations concerning the subdivision of property into ten or more lots, tracts or parcels.

Where there have been no sales of any lots in a short subdivision, nothing contained in this section shall prohibit a subdivider from completely withdrawing the subdivider’s entire short plat and thereafter presenting a new application.

B.    Within a Recorded Plat. Unless otherwise restricted by resolution or city ordinance, lots recorded pursuant to Chapter 17.24 may be further divided pursuant to the requirements of this Chapter; except that, any such further division of a lot within a recorded plat approved subsequent to August 11, 1969, shall be subject to all requirements of Chapter 17.24.

(Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 4529 §8(2), 1984).

17.32.030 Defining of land in short subdivisions

Where a subdivider owns a minimum of 80 acres or 1/8 of a section, the subdivider need not include the entirety of the subdivider’s ownership in the subdivider’s short subdivision; provided, that any excluded parcel(s) shall be a minimum of 40 acres or 1/16 of a section in area; and provided further, that any excluded parcel(s) shall have legal access which has been approved by the approving authority.

(Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 4529 §8(3), 1984).

17.32.040 Conference prior to submission of application

Prior to the submission of the short plat application, the subdivider or the subdivider’s representative may meet with the Director to discuss preliminary sketches or studies. At this time said Director shall make available all pertinent information as may be on file relating to the general area. It is the purpose of this conference to be processed without delay. The conference should take place prior to detailed work by an engineer or surveyor. Discussion topics at this time would include such things as the comprehensive plan, development standards, Shoreline Master Plan, zoning, availability of sewer and water, latecomer charges, development concepts, other requirements and permits, and the environmental impact of the plat. If the applicant owns adjacent land, the possibilities of future development should be discussed.

(Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 6967 §12, 2015; Ord. 4529 §8(4), 1984).

17.32.050 Submission of application

Short plat applications shall be submitted electronically to the Department through its online portal. All submitted drawings shall be in a portable document format (".pdf") meeting the requirements of ISO32000-1, Document Management – Portable Document Format – Part 1: PDF 1.7.

(Ord. 7311 §5, 2022; Ord. 5594 §5, 1996; Ord. 4529 §8(5), 1984).

17.32.070 Responsibility for data accuracy

Accuracy for all data and information submitted on or with a short plat shall be the responsibility of the applicant.

(Ord. 5570 §17, 1995; Ord. 4529 §8(7), 1984).

17.32.080 Identification markers

The subdivider shall, for identification purposes only, cause markers of a type approved by the city to be placed upon each of the approximate road frontage corners of the subject property and maintain them thereon during the period extending from the time of application to the time of final action for the purpose of permitting field checks of the proposed short subdivision. Where other data or where identification markers are found necessary by any relevant agency to assist it in making its determination, such data and 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.

(Ord. 4529 §8(8), 1984).

17.32.090 Time limitation for department action

Short plats shall be approved, disapproved or returned to the applicant for modification or correction within one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days from the date of determination of a complete application, unless the applicant gives a written consent to the extension of such time period.

(Ord. 5570 §17, 1995; Ord. 4529 §8(9), 1984).

17.32.100 Format and content of preliminary application and map

A.    Application. The application shall be on a form provided by the Department and shall contain all information required by the Application Content Lists. See chapter 18.70 OMC.

(Ord. 5594 §6, 1996; Ord. 4529 §8(10), 1984).

17.32.110 Distribution of copies

A.    The Planning Department shall distribute copies of the preliminary short plat application to the following:

1.    Thurston County Health Department;

2.    Olympia Public Works Department (three copies);

3.    Olympia Fire Department;

4.    Olympia Parks Department;

5.    Thurston County Assessor;

6.    Thurston County Treasurer;

7.    Appropriate school district;

8.    Appropriate telephone company;

9.    Puget Power;

10.    Washington Natural Gas;

11.    Any other federal, state or local agencies, and community groups, as may be relevant;

12.    All of the property owners adjacent to and within three hundred feet of the exterior boundary of the subject property, if the preliminary short plat application proposes to create more than four lots.

B.    The Planning Department shall then set a date for return of findings and recommendations from each reviewing party. If the findings and recommendations are not so returned, then the Planning Department may make such findings as it deems just.

(Ord. 4529 §8(11), 1984).

17.32.120 Review criteria

The Planning Department shall consider and review the proposed short subdivision with regard to:

A.    Its conformance to the requirements of the city’s zoning code, general purposes of the comprehensive plan, and planning standards and specifications as adopted by the laws of the state and the city;

B.    Whether appropriate provisions are made in the short subdivision for drainage ways, streets, alleys, other public ways, water supplies and sanitary wastes;

C.    The physical characteristics of the short subdivision site and may disapprove because of flood, inundation or swamp conditions. It may require construction of protective improvements as a condition of approval;

D.    All other relevant facts to determine whether the public use and interest will be served by the short subdivision.

(Ord. 4529 §8(12), 1984).

17.32.130 Approval procedures

A.    The Community Planning and Development Department may:

1.    Approve the preliminary short subdivision with or without conditions;

2.    Return the preliminary short plat to the applicant for correction or for applicant’s construction of improvements in a manner consistent with the department findings;

3.    Disapprove the short subdivision and the short plat thereof;

4.    Submit the preliminary short subdivision application to the hearing examiner for the examiner’s consideration together with the Planning Department’s recommendation. The examiner shall hear the application in accordance with the procedures of Section 18.70.170 of this code, and with such notice as is required for hearings on preliminary plat applications.

B.    Hearing Examiner Review, If Aggrieved. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Planning Department may appeal that decision to the hearing examiner. Such appeal must be made in writing, within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date the Planning Department’s written decision was made. Such appeals shall be filed with the Planning Department in writing and shall contain a brief description of why error is assigned to the department’s determination and shall be accompanied by a filing fee. The appeal shall be heard pursuant to Ordinance No. 4148, codified as Section 18.70.170 of this code, and notice shall be required as is provided for hearings on preliminary plat applications.

C.    Conditional Approvals. When the preliminary short subdivision approval is contingent upon meeting of conditions, construction of improvements or corrections, or time is necessary for obtaining of required certifications, then the approval action shall be conditional approval which shall, at the option of the approving body, be conditioned upon fulfillment within one year from the date of the action. When the approval is conditioned upon fulfillment within one year, then upon application within the time period and upon good cause shown, the approving body may grant one additional one-year time period.

(Ord. 5570 §17, 1995; Ord. 4529 §8(13), 1984).

17.32.140 Final approval and recording

A.    Final approval of the short plat shall not be given until:

1.    A final short plat map has been filed with the Planning Department;

2.    There is compliance with the requirements of the county health department and department of public works as evidenced by the signatures of said departments on the plat map;

3.    The county treasurer has certified, on the plat map, that all taxes on the land have been fully paid and discharged;

4.    The Planning Department has examined the short subdivision, found compliance with all conditions of approval and certified the plat map;

5.    The construction of all required improvements has been completed or secured in accordance with Chapter 17.44 of this title.

B.    The action approving a short plat shall become effective if, within five working days, the applicant shall have filed for record with the county auditor the final short plat thereof. The final short plat, upon recording, shall be processed in accordance with procedures established regarding plats.

(Ord. 4529 8(14), 1984).

17.32.150 Format and content of final application and map

A.    The subdivider shall submit twelve (12) dark line prints and one stable base polyester film or other approved material (hereafter referred to as Mylar) to the Department.

B.    The survey of the proposed short subdivision and preparation of the final map shall be made by or under the supervision of a registered land surveyor who shall certify on the map that it is a true and correct representation of the lands actually surveyed.

C.    The map shall be prepared on a sheet of reproducible material having dimensions of 18" by 24" and at a horizontal scale between 200' to the inch and 50' to the inch. The following shall be shown on the final short plat map:

1.    Title block, preferably located in the lower right-hand corner, to contain:

a.    Section, township and range,

b.    Date of preparation, datum, scale and north arrow,

c.    Legal descriptions of the original tract,

d.    Basis of bearings, as defined and required in WAC 332-130-050(1)(b)(iii);

2.    Vicinity sketch clearly identifying the location of the property;

3.    Plat representation, to contain:

a.    The boundary lines of the property to be divided;

b.    The development status of contiguous land, including the name of any adjacent plats and rights-of-way,

c.    The layout, dimensions and number of each lot in the short subdivision with bearings or deflection angles, radii, arcs, points of curvature and tangent bearings,

d.    The names, locations and widths of all existing streets, rights-of-way, easements, other public ways, watercourses and major transmission facilities rights-of-way within and adjacent to the proposed development,

e.    The locations and dimensions of all parcels of land intended to be dedicated or reserved for public use, or to be reserved in the deeds for the common use of the property owners if the subdivision with the purpose, conditions or limitations of such dedications or reservations clearly indicated,

f.    The locations of all existing structures within the short subdivision,

g.    Existing monuments or other such identifying markers,

h.    Lot numbers beginning with the number "1" and numbered consecutively without omission or duplication throughout the short plat. The numbers shall be solid, of sufficient size and thickness to stand out, and so placed as not to obliterate any figure;

4.    Acknowledgments and certificates, preferably located along the bottom of the map, as follows:

a.    Restrictions. The following restrictions shall show on the face of the short plat map:

i.    The following shall be required when the short plat contains a private street: "The cost of construction and maintaining all streets not herein dedicated as public streets shall be the obligation of all of the owners, and the obligation to maintain shall be concurrently the obligation of any corporation in which title of the streets may be held."

ii.    "All landscaped areas in public rights-of-way shall be maintained by the owner and the owner’s successor(s) and may be reduced or eliminated if deemed necessary for or detrimental to City street purposes."

iii.    The following shall be required when the short plat contains commonly owned tracts: "Community tracts shall be owned and maintained in common for the benefit of all lot owners. All lots have an undivided interest in the ownership and maintenance of community areas. The ownership interest in each community tract shall be stated in the deed to each lot."

iv.    The following shall be required when the installation of required improvements has not been completed prior to recording: "Pursuant to City Ordinance, the City of Olympia may deny the issuance of building or occupancy permits for any structure within this short plat until street, sidewalk, or other required plat improvements have been installed."

v.    Any additional conditions as approved by the Department.

b.    Certificate From Land Surveyor. The completed short plat shall show a certificate from the land surveyor who platted the property, in substantially the following form: "I hereby certify that this short plat map is based upon an actual survey and subdivision of a portion of Section _____, Township _____, Range _____, W.M.; that the distances and courses shown thereon are correct; that the monuments have been set and lot and block corners staked on the ground."

c.    Certificates of City Officers. The short plat shall also show the following certificates:

i.    Certificate--City Engineer.

"Examined and approved this _____ day of _________________________ [year].




Olympia City Engineer"

ii.    Certificate--Health Officer. Preliminary inspections indicate soil conditions may allow the use of septic tanks as a means of sewage disposal for some, but not necessarily all, of the building sites within this plat. Prospective purchasers of lots should inquire at the Thurston County Health Department about the issuance of septic tank permits for specific lots.

"Examined and approved this ____ day of _________________________ [year].




Health Officer"

iii.    Certificate--Assessor.

"Examined and approved this _____ day of _________________________ [year].




Thurston County Assessor"

iv.    Certificate--Treasurer.

"I hereby certify that all taxes on the land described hereon have been fully paid to and including the year _________.




Thurston County Treasurer"

v.    Certificate--Planning Director.

"Examined and approved this _____ day of _________________________ [year].




Planning Director”

vi.    Certificate--County Auditor.

"Filed for record at the request of _________________________ this _____day of _________________________, [year], at ____ minutes past _____ o’clock _____ m. and recorded in Volume _____ of Plats, on page ____, records of Thurston County, Washington.




Thurston County Auditor"




Deputy Auditor"

d.    Certificate of Owner(s).

The short plat map shall show a certificate from the persons having any interest in the short

subdivision in substantially the following form: "I, _________________________, owner in fee simple, acknowledge that the creation of this short subdivision is of my free will and consent."

D.    Supporting Documents. The following documentation shall accompany each application for final approval of a short plat: A current title report or plat certificate confirming that the title of the lands as described and shown in the plat is in the name of the owners signing the declaration of short subdivision and showing restrictions encumbering the land.

E.    Street Monuments. The surveyor preparing the plat shall submit a street monumentation plan to the Public Works Department for approval prior to setting any permanent street monuments. The Public Works Department shall determine the number and location of permanent control monument in streets within and leading into the short plat, if any. All street monuments shall conform to the standard specifications of the American Public Works Association or as amended by city standard plans.

(Ord. 7311 §6, 2022; Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 5594 §7, 1996; Ord. 4529 §8(15), 1984).

17.32.160 Zoning effect of final approval

Any lots in a short subdivision use notwithstanding any change in zoning laws for a period of five years from the date of recording.

(Ord. 4529 §8(16), 1984).