King County Zoning Ordinance

What you see below is extracted from the 1996 Town Plan. This is our starting point, but obviously this will be updated as needed. Please add your comments below for what needs to be added, removed or updated. (Any referenced maps or figures have not yet been added to this section.)

The following summarizes the key portions of the newly adopted (6/93) King County Zoning Ordinance as it relates to the Town of Vashon. Copies of the final adopted ordinance were not available to the public at the time of this report writing (8/3/93) however, a March 10, 1993 draft was made available for review by the consultants and only minor modifications to it were anticipated by the County Clerk’s office in the final publication, The consultants also reviewed zoning maps at the County’s Department of Development and Environmental Services with the previous zoning designations to confirm current designations, and make the conversion to the new designations (see Figure 7). The following are the key findings:

  • P-suffix had originally been applied to the entire town area m order to have site plan review for new projects to assist in the implementation of recommendations made in the Town of Vashon Development Guide and the Community Plan of the 1980’5. The new zoning has taken these recommendations into consideration with the new development requirements and it may not be necessary to continue the P-suffix over the entire town planning area.
  • Changes in the dimensional standards in the R-4 zones with minimum lot width reduced from 70 feet to 30 feet and R-18, R-24, and R-48 zones from 60 feet to 30 feet will permit lots that formerly could not be developed.
  • Reduction to the maximum floor to lot ratio (FAR) from 3:1 to 1.5:1 in CB Commul1Ity Business zones but an increase in allowable height limit for mixed use projects from 35 feet to 60 feet.
  • The R-4 zoning permits townhouse development without a conditional use permit in a subdivision designated for townhouses. The Town of Vashon has a significant amount of land designated R-4.
  • R-4, R-18, R-24, and R-48 zones do permit specific retail businesses with a conditional use permit. The Town has a significant amount of land in these zones.
  • R-18 and R-24 residential zones would permit higher densities than the 12 units per acre for multifamily housing discussed in the 1986 Vashon Community Plan.
  • The CB (Community Business) zone designation does not allow residential projects as separate projects but only as part of a mixed use development. Business and Professional Offices are permitted. Mixed use projects in these zones require a minimum of 50% gross floor area to be housing with, a maximum of 75%.
  • The new zoning ordinance establishes a Special District Overlay designation that can provide alternative development standards to address unique site characteristics and development opportunities that exceed the quality of standard development. Special District Overlay’s establish alternative standards for special areas designated by community plans such as the Town of Vashon was in 1986. SDOs may waive, modify, and substitute for the range of permitted uses and development standards for any use or underlying zone.
  • Pedestrian Oriented Commercial Development with SDOs are established to provide for high-density pedestrian retail/employment uses in CB, RB, and Office zones within Urban Activity Centers.

“P” suffix will be permit on individual properties with County Council approval as a way of requiring that property to provide improvements or meet development standards or limit the range of uses permitted on that property. A “P” suffix can not lessen the development potential however.

Potential Zones will still be shown on the new zoning maps to indicate what the next zone would be if the demand for that zoning is justified in the future.

Special District Overlays (SDO’s) for the Town of Vashon would also apply to other Rural Activity Centers in the County. At the tune of adoption by the County Council, all rural activity centers would have a chance to comment on the development standards in the 500. The 500 would also be subject to SEPA review as an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance prior to adoption by the Council.


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