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` ,ON JEFFERSON COUNTY <br />DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT <br />621 Sheridan Street, Port Townsend, WA 983681 Web: www.00.Jefferson.wa.uslcommunitydeveioment <br />'S 11 NC11,3� Tel: 360.379.44501 Fax: 360.379.4451 1 Email: dcd ako <br />SquareONE Resource Center I Building Permits 8 Inspections I Development Review I Long Range Planning <br />Jefferson County Code Interpretation <br />Date: January 21, 2016 <br />Issued by: David Goldsmith, Interim Director Community Development, Shoreline and UDC <br />Administrator <br />Affected: All properties within Jefferson County Washington <br />Subject: Declaration of Restrictive Covenant for consolidation of lots in common ownership <br />Summary of Issue <br />Zoning designations (including those that establish allowed residential densities) and development <br />regulations enacted in order to comply with the Growth Management Act (GMA) control the modern <br />pattern and intensity of development in Jefferson County. GMA states a variety of rural land use <br />densities should be provided for residential uses and this County is compliant in this regard. The <br />densities determined are guided by the County's analysis of Growth Management Hearings Board <br />rulings, and are based on existing development patterns, available land, projected growth rate and level <br />of service standards. <br />However, prior to the 1998 Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan being adopted which decreased the <br />maximum residential densities, Jefferson County's 1979 Comprehensive Plan allowed densities <br />consisting of Suburban (five dwelling units per gross acre), Rural (one dwelling unit per gross acre) and <br />Resource Production (one dwelling unit per five gross acres. In addition to the 1979 Comprehensive <br />Plan, Jefferson County adopted several community plans which had similar densities. In addition to <br />these densities, many plats were created and recorded in the late 1800's and early 1900's that have very <br />small lots, such as the Irondale Subdivision, which consists of lots 25 feet wide by 100 feet deep. These <br />lots are considered legal non -conforming however a land owner needs several of these lots to install a <br />septic system, meet required setbacks and construct a residence. For example, the minimum land area <br />requirement for an on-site septic system with a public water supply is 12,500 square feet, although this <br />precise number depends on the soil type. Critical areas regulations may also require more area for a <br />residential development than a single 2,500 square foot lot. <br />In the early 1990's staff consulted with the prosecutor's office as to whether a declaration of restrictive <br />covenant could be utilized in Jefferson County, modeling after the City of Port Townsend's restrictive <br />covenant. It was determined at that time that it could be utilized and a final declaration of restrictive <br />covenant was approved. The county used the restrictive covenant until November 2014 when its legality <br />was challenged. <br />The Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan recognizes these existing lots of record as legal lots of record <br />because they were created consistent with laws in effect at the time. <br />