Chapter 17.56


17.56.010    Building site calculations.

17.56.020    Junk.

17.56.025    Composting.

17.56.030    Building occupancy.

17.56.040    Vision clearance at intersections.

17.56.050    Recreational vehicles (RVs).

17.56.055    Recreational vehicle parking.

17.56.070    Eaves.

17.56.080    Chimneys.

17.56.090    Accessory buildings.

17.56.100    Wells.

17.56.110    Trees.

17.56.120    Use of premises for the keeping of livestock.

17.56.125    Use of premises—Kennels.

17.56.130    Gas station standards.

17.56.140    Auto wrecking and junkyard standards.

17.56.150    Building on multiple lots.

17.56.160    Vesting of rights.

17.56.170    Prohibited uses.

17.56.175    Residential foster dog permit.

17.56.010 Building site calculations.

In calculating the area of building sites or required open spaces, no such area or required open space shall be considered as serving an existing building and a building to be erected, it being the purpose and intent of this title that every building or structure whether erected heretofore shall not have the yards or site areas reduced below the standards required in this title. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.020 Junk.

In no district will there be permitted a collection of junk, trash, scrap, unlicensed used cars or parts of cars, equipment, abandoned sheds or buildings, which are a menace to the health, safety and general welfare of the neighborhood, except where specific provisions are made concerning such items in this title governing a use district. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.025 Composting.

(a)    Composting of household vegetation shall be permitted within all residential zones of the city upon the conditions set forth in this section. All composting in residential zones shall be conducted in the backyard of the property using only vegetation grown on the premises in the composting process. The composting process shall be carried out in a manner that:

(1)    Does not create an odor;

(2)    Does not create a harborage for insects, rodents or other vectors;

(3)    Does not create an unsightly condition which is the subject of complaint by two or more persons residing in the vicinity of the compost operation; and

(4)    Produces a product which is reused on the premises.

The owner of the property shall be responsible to ensure any composting performed on the premises complies with the provisions of this code. A failure to observe any provision of this code regulating composting is a violation of this code subjecting any violator to a civil penalty as provided in Chapter 1.10.

(b)    Composting in commercial or industrial zones shall be permitted as a conditional use. In determining whether or not a conditional use shall be permitted, the location and purpose of the composting project shall be considered; whether the process is a commercial process for sale shall be a consideration; the nature and extent of controls necessary to avoid unauthorized dumping of junk, debris or inappropriate materials at the composting site are all to be considered. An evaluation of the impact of traffic generated by such a facility on surrounding properties shall be considered in review of the conditional use request. The proximity to residential zones, the prevailing wind directions, the process to control odors and vector attraction and the means to provide a shut down of the process in the event composting is abandoned at the location to avoid the creation of a landfill or dumping area shall be considered in the conditional use review process. All commercial composting, including demonstration projects, shall comply with all federal and state statutes, rules and regulations concerning the location and operation of composting facilities. (Ord. 980 § 1, 1996).

17.56.030 Building occupancy.

No structure or structures shall be occupied until they have met all the minimum occupancy requirements as stated in the State Building Code. (Ord. 1546 § 5, 2020: Ord. 973 § 1, 1995: Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.040 Vision clearance at intersections.

In all residentially zoned areas, no fence, wall, structure of any kind, bush or foliage, shall be erected or placed or be allowed to grow or to be maintained at a height of over three and one-half feet above the established top of any curb grade on any public or privately owned land within an area having a direct base line as follows:

(a)    Street Intersections. Intersecting two street lines at points twenty-five feet from the intersection of such street lines or such street lines produced;

(b)    Alley Entrances. Intersecting the street and alley line at points twenty feet from the intersection of such street and alley lines or such street and alley lines produced. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.050 Recreational vehicles (RVs).

No recreational vehicle, whether licensed or unlicensed, shall be parked on a public street, alley or right-of-way for a period of more than seventy-two hours, except as permitted as provided in Section 17.56.055(b). No recreational vehicle shall be used as living quarters, either permanently or temporarily, unless the vehicle is within an RV park in the proper district. (Ord. 1147 § 2, 2003; Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.055 Recreational vehicle parking.

(a)    It is unlawful for any person to store or park a trailer, travel trailer, truck camper, boat or recreational vehicle on any public street or alley for more than seventy-two hours in any six-month period.

(b)    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a recreational vehicle may be lawfully parked in one location on a city street right-of-way for a period not to exceed ten days in any six-month period provided the occupant of the recreational vehicle or the occupant of the adjacent tract of land shall notify the city police department in person of the intent to occupy the recreational vehicle on the right-of-way within forty-eight hours of first parking the recreational vehicle where it will be located for up to ten days.

(c)    Recreational vehicles including travel trailers, boats, truck campers, and motor homes or wheeled trailers may be parked on any premises occupied by the registered owner of such recreational vehicle for storage; provided, that such vehicle shall be set back from the property line of the premises where it is stored the same setback distances as are required for the wall of a structure of similar height per the regulations of the city. Any recreational vehicle so parked for storage shall be unoccupied and not connected to a public or private sewer system.

(d)    Wheeled vehicles, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, truck campers, and boats parked off street shall not encroach into the public right-of-way or within the first five feet from the back edge of the curb or edge off roadway if no curb exists. If no curb exists, the city may determine in its sole discretion the edge of the roadway for purpose of this subsection.

(e)    No recreational vehicle, travel trailer, truck camper, or boat parked pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be connected to a public or private sewer system.

(f)    There shall be no more than one recreational vehicle, travel trailer or truck camper permitted to be stored on any tract of land within the city not lawfully designated for the storage or locating of such vehicles such as, but not limited to, a recreational vehicle park or storage yard. There shall be no more than one recreational vehicle, travel trailer or truck camper permitted to be occupied on a temporary basis by a visitor for no more than ten days in any six-month period on any tract of land within the city not lawfully designated for the occupancy of such vehicles, such as a recreational vehicle park.

(g)    All vehicles parked pursuant to this section, including but not limited to wheeled vehicles, recreational vehicles, wheeled trailers, travel trailers, truck campers, and boats shall display reflectors or warning devices so that such vehicle is seen at night by drivers using the public streets or alleys adjacent to the location where the vehicle is parked. (Ord. 1147 § 3, 2003).

17.56.070 Eaves.

Eaves, cornices, belt courses and similar ornamentations may extend over a side yard for a distance of not more than two feet. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.080 Chimneys.

Chimneys may extend into a side yard for a distance of not more than twelve inches. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.090 Accessory buildings.

In a residential district, not more than twenty-five percent of the rear yard may be occupied by accessory or other buildings. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.100 Wells.

Window wells and stairwells shall not extend into a side yard, nor shall stairwells extend into the front yard. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.110 Trees.

No trees or shrubs shall be planted beyond the property line except by special permit from the planning commission. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.120 Use of premises for the keeping of livestock.

The keeping or raising of sheep, goats, horses, cattle, fowl, rabbits, birds, bees, reptiles or any other animal, except domestic household pets, or except when kept in a bona fide veterinary clinic, or except as provided in the S-1 suburban zone is prohibited within the city limits of Othello; provided, however, that homing pigeons, also known as racing pigeons, are exempt from the provisions of this section, provided such pigeons each have a registered band, are kept and maintained so as not to constitute a public nuisance, and that no more than twenty-four birds are kept on the premises at any time. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.125 Use of premises—Kennels.

Commercial kennels, as defined in Section 17.09.430, are permitted only in the industrial zones subject to the following requirements:

(a)    A commercial kennel permit must be applied for and obtained from the city prior to the establishment of a commercial kennel. Any person desiring to obtain such a permit must file an application on a form provided by the city with the animal control officer or his/her designee containing such information as the animal control officer shall require.

(b)    In addition to obtaining a business license pursuant to Chapter 4.04, the annual fee for a commercial kennel permit is one hundred dollars. Commercial kennel permits shall expire one year from the date of issuance. The permit may be revoked for noncompliance prior to the expiration date.

(c)    All commercial kennels shall be operated so as to provide for the proper care of the animals, including but not limited to sufficient food, drink, shelter, protection, veterinary care, and sanitation.

(d)    No commercial kennel shall be operated so as to constitute a nuisance to any neighboring properties.

(e)    Should any animals be sold to a city resident and said animal is required to be licensed pursuant to Chapter 6.04, the commercial kennel operator and/or owner shall ensure that said animal is properly licensed as part of the sale. (Ord. 1341 § 1, 2011).

17.56.130 Gas station standards.

All gas stations shall meet the following standards:

(a)    All areas of the property not used for buildings, facilities or landscaping shall be paved with not less than two-inch asphalt concrete pavement, or a minimum four-inch concrete. Curbs, sidewalks and driveways shall be of concrete construction, and shall be constructed along the full length of the property abutting existing city streets. Drainage facilities shall be constructed as approved by the public works director.

(b)    Driveways, parking, service and delivery areas shall be designed and constructed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section so that all vehicles parking, being serviced, or making deliveries shall be wholly on private property and shall proceed into and off the property in a generally forward direction.

(c)    Minimum lot size for such facilities shall be twelve thousand square feet. Minimum lot frontage for two driveways shall be one hundred twenty lineal feet. Minimum lot frontage for one driveway shall be one hundred lineal feet.

(d)    Off-street parking shall be provided for a minimum of eight vehicles. An area eight feet by twenty feet shall constitute the minimum space for one vehicle.

(e)    A minimum traffic lane of twelve feet shall be provided between the pump island and the property line.

(f)    An eight-foot screening fence or hedge on side and rear yards shall be provided when facilities adjoin an existing residentially developed lot.

(g)    Outdoor lighting shall be such as to avoid glare or direct lighting of adjoining property.

(h)    No light, sign or canopy shall be erected at the intersection of any streets in such a manner as to obstruct free and clear vision, or at any location where, by reason of the position, size, shape, color or method of operation, it may interfere with, obstruct the view of, or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device; or which makes use of “stop,” “look,” “drive-in,” “danger” or any other word, phrase, symbol or character in such manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.140 Auto wrecking and junkyard standards.

All auto wrecking yards or junkyards shall meet the following standards:

(a)    The storage and wrecking yard shall be completely enclosed with a solid metal fence, minimum height of eight feet, and the fence shall be painted. The fence shall be repainted or repaired within thirty days after order of the planning commission rendered after hearing according to the requirements of the commission. The order shall be directed to the owner of the realty involved. The owner of the realty involved shall be given ten days’ notice of the hearing, and such notice shall be served in the same manner as a summons in a civil action is required to be served. Repainting or repairing shall be ordered when the painting or fencing has deteriorated to such an extent as to become an eyesore or detrimental or dangerous to adjacent property.

(b)    The planning commission shall have the power to waive the eight-foot fence restriction on any side, other than the sides bordering public streets, upon examination of the location and a finding by the commission that such an omission will not be unduly detrimental to adjacent and surrounding property. Such a waiver however does not eliminate any fencing on the sides as may be required by the Washington Motor Vehicle Code.

(c)    Any outdoor lighting shall be installed such as to avoid glare or direct lighting of adjacent or surrounding property.

(d)    The fence shall be completed before the auto wrecking yard, or junkyard, is used or occupied for such purposes. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.150 Building on multiple lots.

Whenever a structure is built upon more than one adjacent platted lots the construction of such building shall act to eliminate the lot line covered by the structure and to cause the lots as a single lot for purposes of the application of this title and Titles 14 and 16 of this code. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.160 Vesting of rights.

Applications for all zone changes, conditional use permits, variances and other applications which may vest a right in the applicant shall be considered under the provisions of the municipal code and the other zoning ordinances and standards of the city in effect on the date a fully complete application, meeting the requirements of this title and this code including payment of all fees, is filed. Until a complete application is filed, such applications shall be reviewed subject to any zoning or other land use control ordinances or statutes that become effective prior to the date that notice of the responsible official’s decision on such applications is made in writing, if the decision can be appealed to the hearing examiner, or prior to the date of the responsible official’s decision if no hearing examiner appeal is available. If approval of a request is given by issuance of a permit, adoption of an ordinance or the granting of a variance, and the implementation of that permit, ordinance or variance is delayed by litigation or administrative appeals beyond the vesting periods that apply by state law for the permit, ordinance or variance obtained, such approval shall be deemed withdrawn and that proposal shall be required to conform to codes, ordinances and standards in place at the time performance shall actually commence. (Ord. 948 § 2 (part), 1995).

17.56.170 Prohibited uses.

The following uses are prohibited in all zones except as specifically allowed below:

(a)    Portable toilets except for emergency or construction use with permission from the city public works director obtained prior to placement.

(b)    Electric fences or any device designed to give an electric shock to any person coming in contact therewith except within the open space zone subject to:

(1)    No electric fence shall be placed closer than twenty-five feet to the property boundary.

(2)    Where the property boundary is adjacent to a residential zone, appropriate signage in both English and Spanish shall be posted indicating that an electric fence is in operation and to keep away.

(3)    All equipment used in conjunction with the electric fence shall be UL approved and properly maintained.

(4)    Electric fencing material shall be considered temporary and in use only when animals are present.

(c)    Boats and water craft used for habitation purposes.

(d)    The use of any vehicle or trailer as a dwelling.

(e)    Any signs, except as permitted by this code, or other city or state regulation.

(f)    The production, processing, and/or retailing of marijuana or products containing marijuana are prohibited within the city of Othello. However, nothing herein shall be interpreted to prevent persons from possessing or using marijuana for personal consumption if and as allowed by the Revised Code of Washington. (Ord. 1473 § 1, 2016: Ord. 1373 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1256 § 1, 2007).

17.56.175 Residential foster dog permit.

(a)    Permit Required. Any person desiring to use a residence in any residential zone for the fostering of shelter or rescue dogs shall first procure a permit to do so.

(b)    Conditions of Permit. Permit applications shall be on a form provided by the city and shall include all information deemed necessary by the animal control officer including, but not limited to, certification from a nationally recognized dog rescue or shelter organization which identifies the dog to be fostered, provides proof of vaccinations (a minimum of all puppy shots), and an identification tag.

(c)    Limit on Number. All permits are limited to two foster dogs at any given time.

(d)    Limit on Duration. All permits are limited to a period of sixty days; provided, that permittee may request one sixty-day extension from the animal control officer.

(e)    Permit Fee. No permit fee is required for a residential foster dog permit. (Ord. 1342 § 1, 2011).