Chapter 15.24


15.24.010    Establishment of uniform policy.

15.24.020    Definitions.

15.24.030    Base lines for addressing policy.

15.24.040    Method of assigning addresses.

15.24.050    Policy on display of building addresses.

15.24.060    Road naming policy.

15.24.070    Policy on display of proper road names.

15.24.080    Policy of County records on road naming and addressing.

15.24.090    Enforcement.

15.24.100    Severability.

15.24.010 Establishment of uniform policy.

(1) There is hereby established a uniform system of addressing buildings and other structural entities fronting on all public roads and private roads in unincorporated Skagit County, Washington. All principal dwellings, business establishments, meeting halls, occupied recreational lots, stand alone utility sites or peripheral outbuildings shall be addressed in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

(2) For the purposes of this Chapter, Skagit County shall be the determining body in instances where the predominant direction, beginning, end, etc. of a road is not readily apparent or consistent. (Ord. 17868 § 1, 2000: Ord. 17095 (part), 1998: Ord. 16681 § 1, 1997: Ord. 15435 § 1, 1994)

15.24.020 Definitions.

(1) “Building” shall mean the principal dwelling, business establishment, meeting hall or occupied recreational lot for which an address needs to be established. Other buildings such as peripheral outbuildings, sheds, garages and such shall require an address when they maintain characteristics found in Section 4 of this Chapter or when it is in the best interest of public safety, as deemed necessary by Skagit County.

(2) When a named private road or unnamed private road provides access to four or more residences, businesses or activities, those residences, businesses or activities shall be addressed off that private road.

(3) “Stand alone utility site” shall mean any type of utility service, located on a legal parcel of land with no association to a building structure, requiring periodic maintenance or readings by utility company personnel. (Ord. 17868 § 2, 2000: Ord. 17095 (part), 1998: Ord. 16681 § 2, 1997: Ord. 15435 § 2, 1994)

15.24.030 Base lines for addressing policy.

(1) The Willamette Meridian shall constitute the west baseline and shall be considered as zero for addressing purposes. This is the westernmost edge of Range 1 East at the western edge of Skagit County.

(2) The Skagit/Whatcom County line which corresponds to the northernmost edge of Township 36 North shall constitute the north baseline and shall be considered zero for addressing purposes.

(3) Each building east of the Willamette Meridian and facing or accessed from an east/west roadway shall carry an address indicating its location east of said baseline.

(4) Each building south of the Skagit/Whatcom County Line or the northern edge of Township 36 North and facing or accessed from a north/south roadway shall carry an address indicating its location south of said baseline.

(5) All buildings facing or accessed from diagonal roads shall be addressed the same as buildings on northerly and southerly roads if the diagonal runs more from the north to the south. The same rule shall apply on easterly and westerly roads if the diagonal runs more from the west to the east. The direction of the road will be as determined by Skagit County.

(6) Meandering roads or other roads that do not follow a main direction shall be determined by Skagit County to be as mainly running east/west or north/south and be numbered consistently along its length in regard to direction.

(7) Roads which under the same name, turn abruptly from one predominant direction to another shall be addressed consistently in one direction throughout their length according to whichever direction is the longest or as deemed appropriate by Skagit County.

(8) Directional designators shall not be used. Any directional element of a road name shall be in reference to a landmark or position of a road in relation to another. (Ord. 17868 § 3, 2000: Ord. 17095 (part), 1998: Ord. 16681 § 3, 1997: Ord. 15435 § 3, 1994)

15.24.040 Method of assigning addresses.

(1) The County shall be considered to be overlaid with a grid of the Township and Range system of Sections for addressing purposes. Addresses shall be assigned in relation to this grid system. Each grid square shall be approximately one mile.

(2) Addressing shall begin at the base lines increasing east and south at each grid line by 1000 numbers. Thus, each grid square shall be based on 1000 with 500 possible addresses on each side of the road.

(3) All addresses on the north side of east/west roads and on the east side of north/south roads shall be odd. All addresses on the south side of east/west roads and on the west side of north/south roads shall be even. Roads on a diagonal, or meander shall follow this system consistent with the direction they are considered to run for addressing purposes.

(4) All addresses shall be assigned along roads in sequential order in relation to the grid.

(5) For roads that do not run true east/west or north/south, the address spacing shall be altered so that when the road crosses a grid line, it will be in accordance with the grid numbering.

(6) Roads that are not capable of being addressed to fit within the grid will be addressed in a manner as to keep as much of the road within the grid as possible. Examples of problems that will occur are circular roads, loop roads and roads that will not fit because of switchbacks.

(7) Under normal circumstances for roads that run straight as if on grid lines, an address shall be allowed approximately every ten feet of frontage. (This distance will change if the section is larger or smaller than normal.)

(8) If the structure to be addressed is within fifty feet of the road and the access is in good view, it shall be addressed according to its placement in relation to the grid. If more than fifty feet from the road, or the terrain makes it not visible from the road, it will be addressed according to the location of the driveway or access.

(9) The County shall take into consideration those areas where different jurisdictional addresses should be applied to the benefit of the residents and the County. The Jurisdiction, upon requesting this action, shall assume direct responsibility for address system maintenance, notification and house number distribution for this specific geographic area. A Memorandum of Understanding shall be drafted and utilized between the Jurisdiction and the County. The MOU shall specifically identify those areas affected by the address change, the reason for the change and the time period in which the Jurisdiction's address system must be applied.

(10) Skagit County addresses will be assigned with public safety as a first priority. In the event the newly assigned number would cause confusion due to conflicting City addresses, the County may, at its discretion, opt to utilize the adjoining City's numbering scheme for individual address assignments. This may occur when a road or street begins within a city and terminates within the County. Such roads or street segments must not have connecting roads or other secondary egress other than private driveways. Such roads or street segments must be no more than approximately 1/2 of a mile in length from the end of the City's maintained right-of-way to the road or street termination in the County.

(11) There may be more than one address assigned to a legal parcel of land. Additional addresses may also be assigned to peripheral buildings located on a single, legal parcel of land when one or more of the following two characteristics exist:

(a) If the additional building or buildings are habitable or tenantable for residential, commercial, or business purposes.

(b) If the following conditions exist:

(i) There is power and/or telephone service to the building (either a separate service or an extension of the service provided at the main building) “and”

(ii) Is located 100′ or more from the main building “or”

(iii) Is not visible or accessible by emergency services from the main building. (Ord. 17868 § 4, 2000: Ord. 17095 (part), 1998: Ord. 16681 § 4, 1997: Ord. 15435 § 4, 1994)

15.24.050 Policy on display of building addresses.

(1) For structures situated fifty feet or less from the road, the address may be conspicuously placed immediately above, on or at the side of the proper door of each building so that the number can be seen plainly from the road. As an alternative, the owner may choose to post the address placard in the same manner as a structure situated more than fifty feet from the road. If it is opted by the owner to post the address on the structure, and the main entrance is on the side or does not face the road, the address shall be conspicuously placed on the side of the building facing the road.

(2) Whenever a building is situated more than fifty feet from the road, or when the view of the building is blocked the number shall be conspicuously placed on a post, gate, fence, tree, etc. This placement must be somewhere in an arc within 30 feet from where the center of the driveway or access meets the road. It will be posted in such a way so that the address placard is parallel with the main roadway or visible when accessing from either direction. It shall be at a height of between four and six feet from the level of the road. On roads which may be accessed from “only” one direction, the placard may be posted perpendicular to the main roadway in such a way that it is clearly visible when being approached by emergency responders.

(3) Addressable entities other than buildings, such as recreational lots or stand alone utility sites, shall display the address at the access or driveway in the same manner as a building located more than fifty feet from a roadway.

(4) On a corner lot, the building number shall face the road named in the address.

(5) Building addresses shall be set on a blue reflective background.

(6) Building addresses shall be white reflective numbers making them easily visible at night.

(7) Building addresses shall be plain block numerals, not script or written numbers.

(8) Building addresses shall be a minimum of 5 inches in height.

(9) If more than one address is on one driveway and the buildings or entities are further than 50 feet from the road, then the addresses shall be posted at the road and also on the buildings or addressable entities. The address shall also be posted at any confusing intersection within the private drives. (Ord. 17868 § 5, 2000: Ord. 15435 § 5, 1994)

15.24.060 Road naming policy.

(1) Road names already in use will stay the same except duplicate names may be changed. Roads having different names in different areas may be standardized. Other confusing situations may also be changed as deemed necessary by Skagit County.

(2) Names for new or renamed roads will conform to the guidelines set forth in this Chapter and be approved by Skagit County.

(3) Names should be pleasant sounding, appropriate, easy to read and pronounce (so that the public, and children in particular, can handle the name in an emergency situation). This will be determined by Skagit County.

(4) Names which are numerical (1st, 2nd), alphabetical letters (A, B), frivolous, complicated, undesirable names or unconventional spellings shall not be allowed.

(5) Duplication of names shall not be allowed. Similar sounding names are considered duplication regardless of spelling.

(6) A continuous road or one proposed to be continuous should bear the same name throughout, even though it changes direction. If the road is interrupted by a freeway, railroad, river, etc. and eventual connection is not probable, the segments shall bear different names.

(7) No separate names are to be used for a cul-de-sac or short lane or private road of less than four lots. An exception may be made if a subdivision is anticipated.

(8) When two differently named roads connect at a point which is not at an intersection, there shall be defined a definite point where one ends and the other begins.

(9) Existing roads now carrying more than one name shall be changed to the name under which the road travels the longest distance or has the most addresses. The choice for the name shall be the responsibility of Skagit County and shall be decided upon by determining which name change impacts the least number of addresses, unless a totally different name is deemed desirable. (Ord. 17868 § 6, 2000: Ord. 17095 (part), 1998: Ord. 16681 § 6, 1997: Ord. 15435 § 6, 1994)

15.24.070 Policy on display of proper road names.

(1) County and private roads shall be signed in accordance with Skagit County signing standards.

(2) County road name signs are white characters on a green reflective background.

(3) Private road name signs are black characters on a yellow reflective background.

(4) Private ways which are not officially named roads by the County (such as private drives), shall not display personal names in the above formats. (Ord. 17868 § 7, 2000: Ord. 17095 (part), 1998: Ord. 16681 § 7, 1997: Ord. 15435 § 7, 1994)

15.24.080 Policy of County records on road naming and addressing.

(1) For the purpose of facilitating correct addressing, maps of all roads and public ways within the County jurisdiction showing the proper addresses of all addressed properties shall be kept on file in the office of the Skagit County Geographic Information Services Department. These maps shall be open to inspection to all persons during regular business hours of said official.

(2) There is hereby established an official system of road names in Skagit County as on the database in Skagit County.

(3) Names of roads in the jurisdiction of Skagit County shall remain as listed on said database unless officially changed.

(4) No new roads shall be addressed until such roads have been named. If they are extensions of existing roads, the existing names shall be continued; if they are not extensions, names recorded shall not duplicate or closely approximate road names already assigned. (Ord. 17868 § 8, 2000: Ord. 17095 (part), 1998: Ord. 16681 § 8, 1997: Ord. 15435 § 8, 1994)

15.24.090 Enforcement.

(1) Whenever any building shall be erected or located in unincorporated Skagit County, it shall be the duty of the owner to procure the correct number(s) for the property from the Skagit County Geographic Information Services Department and to display the assigned number(s) following the guidelines set forth in this Chapter. A temporary sign displaying the County assigned number(s) shall be posted at the lot while under construction.

(2) No building permit shall be issued for any building until the owner has procured from Skagit County the official number of the premises. Final approval of any structure erected, repaired, altered, or modified after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this Chapter shall be withheld by the Skagit County Permit Center until permanent and proper numbers have been affixed to said structure.

(3) Skagit County is hereby charged with the enforcement of this Chapter. Skagit County shall, upon the application or request of the owner of any property, ascertain the correct address thereof in accordance with the addressing system as set forth in this Chapter. Skagit County may charge for addressing and house numbers. The fees shall be set by Resolution by the Board of County Commissioners.

(4) Whenever the irregularity of plats, the changing of direction of the public or private rights-of-way, the interruption of continuity of public rights-of-way or any other condition causes doubt or difference of opinion as to the correct address of any piece of property or any building thereon, the address shall be determined by Skagit County. Skagit County shall be guided by the specific provisions of this Chapter and the current version of regulatory guidelines to the Skagit County Address System, as adopted by Resolution by the Board of County Commissioners, so far as they are applicable. Such guidelines are incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.

(5) Should Skagit County be notified by the appropriate Rural Fire Protection District or other concerned citizen in writing that any building, structure or premises does not have an address as herein required, or is not correctly addressed, or said address is not displayed as required herein, the owner, agent or lessee of said building structure, or premises shall be notified and required to place said property in accordance with this Chapter within a reasonable period of time as outlined below.

(6) In the event that the owner or occupant or person in charge of any house or building refuses to comply with the terms of this Chapter by failing to affix the number assigned within 30 days after notification, or by failing within said period of 30 days to remove any old numbers affixed to such building, entrance or elsewhere, which may be confused with the number assigned thereto, the occupant shall be in violation of this Chapter.

(7) It shall be unlawful for any person to alter, deface or take down any address placed on any property in accordance with this Chapter, except for repair or replacement of such address.

(8) Violation of this Chapter shall be a civil penalty and a fine of $25.00. Each separate day such violation is continued shall constitute a separate offense. (Ord. 17868 § 9, 2000: Ord. 17095 (part), 1998: Ord. 16681 § 9, 1997: Ord. 15435 § 9, 1994)

15.24.100 Severability.

If any section, subsection, clause, phrase or word in this Chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such section or portion shall be deemed a separate provision of this chapter and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this Chapter. (Ord. 17868 § 10, 2000: Ord. 15435 § 10, 1994)