What design criteria do I need to meet?
As of July 1, 2016, the State of Washington mandates enforcement of the 2015 International Building and Residential Codes. Design Criteria

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1. What kind of work requires a building permit?
2. What is a Subdivision?
3. What design criteria do I need to meet?
4. What is a Short Subdivision?
5. How do I determine the Zoning or Comprehensive Plan designation of my lot?
6. What does ‘Unzoned’ [UZ] mean?
7. Is Unzoned land compatible with home construction?
8. What is the minimum acreage for subdivision?
9. Can I start the Planning Clearance process prior to purchasing the land?
10. I am trying to determine project feasibility, can I set up a meeting to talk about the process?
11. What is a Staff Consultation?
12. Does Cowlitz County charge Growth Management Act (GMA) impact fees?
13. I want to build a shop. What is my first required permit?
14. I want to build a house. What is my first required permit?
15. My lot needs an address, what are my options?
16. I need guidance on my multi-family project, where do I start?
17. My building site is near a stream or river, what options do I have?
18. My lot has a mapped landslide, what options do I have?
19. Is stormwater review necessary?
20. The lot is currently forested, should I harvest the trees first or talk to the Planning Department?
21. What is an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit)?
22. I want to build a second home on my lot for my aging parent(s) or caregiver, what options do I have?
23. Can I rent out my ADU to a non-family member?
24. Can I build an ADU in an Unzoned area?
25. Where can I build a three unit development consisting of the primary dwelling, and two ADU’s?
26. How many additional on-site parking spaces are required for the ADU?
27. Can I use my household well and septic system for my new ADU?