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Visit the City of Anacortes Planning and Community Development Department page for more information or additional Planning FAQ may be found at the City of Anacortes Building Department page.

How can I get in touch with a planner to ask general questions?
A planner is available to answer general questions at the Planning, Community & Economic Development Department front counter, Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  You can either call or visit the Planning, Community & Economic Development Department located at City Hall (904 6th Street).  The phone number is (360) 299-1969.

Do I need a permit for a temporary street closure or special event? Yes. Contact Don Measamer at (360) 299-1942 for a Street Fair Application.

How can I participate in City Public Hearings?
· In person
· By letter - with as much lead time as possible so that decision makers can receive a copy and have time to review it
· By e-mail  - this should work but e-mail arriving very late in the day of the hearing may not get entered into the record.

How do I find out about pending or active projects in my neighborhood?  If you see a “Public Notice – Land Use Application” sign posted or there is construction occurring and you would like to know more about what is proposed, call the Planning, Community & Economic Development at (360) 299-1969 or stop by the office located at City Hall (904 6th Street).  Staff can provide additional details regarding the application and review process; the project file may also be viewed.

What can I do with my property? First, determine your property`s zoning.  Then, look for the specific section in Title 17 AMC, Zoning for the specific zone.  The City’s Municipal Code is available on-line on the City’s website. Title 17 AMC includes sections with the regulations for each zone, including permitted uses, conditionally permitted uses and non-permitted uses; setbacks; maximum building height and coverage and other standards. If you need help or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Planning, Community & Economic Development Department (PCED) at (360) 299-1969.

What do I need to know if I want to subdivide or short plat my property? Subdividing or short platting property involves review by the City’s Planning, Community & Economic Development, and Fire, Public Works, and Building Departments.  Most short plats are reviewed administratively, whereas formal subdivisions (10 or more lots) require a public hearing.  Prior to submittal of a formal application, an informal preliminary meeting with city staff (Development Review Group) is generally required.  The purpose of this meeting is to identify potential issues and requirements for the proposal.  Some topics of review include zoning requirements, such as minimum lot sizes and maximum density permitted; potential critical areas; tree preservation; and access, utility and stormwater requirements and improvements; etc. The City permit center has information sheets, application checklists and forms for different kinds of development proposals.

What is the process to propose and make changes to the City Comp Plan? Apply in writing to the City Planning Department by March 31 of each year. The City staff batches up the requests, holds public hearing(s), and secures a decision from the City Council later that year.

What is the zoning of my property?  You can find out what a specific property is zoned by reviewing the City’s zoning map, which is located online.   You can also call the Planning, Community & Economic Development Department (PCED) at (360) 299-1969  PCED staff can identify the zoning and provide information regarding the specific regulations for the particular zone.

Do I Need a Permit?
All commercial and residential construction in Anacortes requires a permit to ensure that safety matters are addressed. Projects that do not require a permit include: · fences not over six feet high (for height, construction and location requirements contact the Building Department prior to construction), · painting, papering and similar finish work, · residential storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses (provided the building area does not exceed 144 square feet. For height and setback location requirements contact the Building Department prior to construction), · residential window awning not projecting more than 36 inches, · shelves, counter, partitions and walls less than 5 feet 9 inches, · and temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery. Permits are required for re-roofs, and additions, decks, mobile homes, wood stoves, LP and natural gas water heaters, stoves, heaters and log lighters, wood stoves, and inserts, antenna towers, covered decks, solariums, garage conversions, membrane structures, etc. Contact the Anacortes Building Department, (360) 293-1901 if you are unsure whether you need a permit for your project, or if you have questions about building codes.

Having a Garage Sale/Yard Sale? The City of Anacortes asks that you please consider the following: · No premise may have sales which total more than 12 days in any one-year -- be they consecutive or individual dates. · Sale hours shall only be between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. · Sales must be supervised at all times, and are the legal responsibility of the resident of the premises. · Signs and the like advertising for a sale may be placed on the premises of the sale, plus other private property only with the permission of the owners. · Signs and/or directional devices may not be posted prior to 48 hours before the sale and must be removed no later than 24 hours after the last day of sale. · No signs or directional devices may be placed on public structures or land, including right-of-ways, unless established for sale advertisements by the City . · For specific safety reasons, sale signs and directional devices must not be attached to utility poles, public signs, or traffic control signs and devices. · In addition to possible personal liability for improper placed signs and/or directional devices, responsible parties could also be subject to citation by the City of Anacortes. · Sale signs may be posted on City provided kiosks available at the 32nd Street entrance to Storvik Park, and at 10th Street and M Avenue, in front of the Library. Your cooperation with these simple requirements should assure a minimum of disruption to those not directly involved with your sale – Thank You! {Ordinance No. 17.080.100}

How long are building permits good for? Permits are good for 18 monthsfrom date of issuance.

What are the allowable hours of operation for contractors building residential multi-family units? The following is from the City Municipal Code. 17.54.010 Noise. Noise levels are not to exceed those standards as established by the state pursuant to Chapter 70.107 RCW, and contained in Chapter 173-60 Washington Administrative Code (WAC). (Ord. 2316 (part), 1994). Generally, the allowable hours are from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. but there are some allowable exemptions depending on the activity and the zone.
hat happens if I build without a permit?
If you begin construction without the required permit(s), a Stop Work Order will immediately be issued by an Inspector. You will be required to apply for the permit(s) and pay additional fees (twice the amount of the permit fee). After the permit has been properly issued, you will then be required to uncover any work that has been covered so that it may be inspected prior to the release of the Stop Work Order. In some cases, regulations or codes may not permit the type of construction that has been done. In this case, you would be required to reconstruct to comply with Codes.

What is the permitting process? The permitting process for a new single family residence requires that the applicant prepare and submit for review 2 complete sets of construction plans plus a single copy of the floor plans.  A complete application will include all code-required information related to the project including, but not limited to, zoning code, building code, plumbing code, mechanical code, drainage ordinance, street improvement code, critical areas code and fire code. Prior to preparation of the construction documents applicants are encouraged to request a pre-design meeting with city staff.  This initial meeting is available to help identify local requirements or site-specific conditions that might affect the project. After this meeting, the applicant should complete the constructions documents and applications for permit. At the time of receipt of a complete application, the project will be scheduled for review by staff. Applications are reviewed on a first in, first out schedule.  Each department will prepare comments concerning any code related deficiencies found through the plan review process.  The comments are then mailed to the applicant who is then responsible for modification of the documents as necessary to satisfy the identified code issues. When the corrected documents are returned for further review, they will be scheduled for review shortly after delivery to the permit center.  When all code issues have been addressed, the permit is prepared for issue and may be obtained by the applicant with payment of applicable fees. An application expires 6 months after receipt of a complete submittal. A building permit is valid for 1 year after date of issue.  The permit holder must request required inspections at least 24 hours prior to the time of the inspection.  At this time, we schedule inspections for either morning or afternoon.  All work must be inspected and approved prior to cover.  When all required inspections are completed, a certificate of occupancy is issued for the project indicating that the community code requirements have been satisfied.
City of Anacortes Building Department City Hall Municipal Building, Third Floor 904 6th Street Corner of 6th Street & Q Avenue, behind the US Post Office Mailing Address: PO Box 547 Anacortes WA 98221 Building Department Telephone: (360) 293-1901 Fax: (360) 293-1938

City of Anacortes Planning and Community Development Department
City Hall Municipal Building, Third Floor
904 6th Street
Corner of 6th Street & Q Avenue, behind the US Post Office
Mailing Address: PO Box 547 Anacortes WA 98221
Planning and Community Development Telephone: (360) 293-1907
Fax: (360) 293-1938