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This is a question many people may ask themselves when planning alterations to their home. A decision not to get a permit could be very costly. Some homeowners are finding when they try to sell or refinance their home, prospective buyers or lending institutions want proof that alterations are in compliance with local codes.
Without a permit and inspection on record, there is no proof. The homeowner must then apply for a permit with no guarantee that the remodel will meet the codes, and they face the possibility that the remodel must be redone or removed. This is costly and frustrating and could cause delays in refinancing or a lost sale of their home. A permit normally would provide a reasonable amount of assurance that what was proposed and eventually constructed would meet structural, fire, life, and safety requirements found in the building code.
The City does not require a permit before commencing emergency repairs. However, a permit for the emergency work must be applied for on the first business day after the work has commenced. The City of Washougal defines an emergency as something that affects basic needs. A common emergency repair that does not require a permit includes:
Securing damaged structural members, roofs, decks, or stairs in a safe and weather tight manner. You must obtain a permit before repairing damaged structural members, roofs, decks, or stairs.
A building permit is not required for the following per Section 105.2:
A mechanical permit is required to install, alter, repair, replace or remodel per International Mechanical Code and (WMC) 15.04.020(7).
A mechanical permit is not required for the following per UMC Section 112.2:
A plumbing permit is required for any installation, alteration, repair, replacement or remodel of any plumbing system regulated by WMC 15.09.10 Section 105.2 (C) to See Plumbing Permit Application and Checklist.
A plumbing permit is not required for the following per UPC Section 103.1.2:
Not necessarily, a new home has far more fees associated with it than remodels because of development fees. These development fees are not charged each time that an alteration is made. Building permit fees are based on the value (construction costs including materials and typical labor costs) of the work to be done. As an example, an alteration with a value of $10,000 would have a building permit fee (including plan review) of around $225.
Each person will have a different view of what is and is not expensive; however, a few hundred dollars now may save thousands in the future. Other permits such as plumbing, electrical and mechanical (heating and cooling) have fees based on the number and type of installations.
Penalties can be levied for those who refuse to comply with the law. The Building Division would rather see a building conform to the code than punish a homeowner. If a homeowner discovers that they did not obtain a permit when required, they do not necessarily have to tear the project down and start over. If the alteration can meet the applicable codes, they will be approved.
Our inspectors won't necessarily approve something they cannot see and may require small sections of wall or roof covering be removed to verify the construction meets the code. There can be no guarantee that some changes may need to be made, and some may not be easy to accomplish.
The purpose behind building codes is to give reasonable assurance that a home is safe from structural failure, fire hazards from electrical and heating systems, electrical shock, and health risks. The permits provide a permanent record of the work performed and inspections conducted on the project.
No. The new work must be constructed under the codes in effect today.
No. Only the new portion must meet the current codes unless the remodel creates a hazard for the existing building, such as overloading an existing beam.
For one thing, any contracted person doing work who is not currently registered with the State Construction Contractors Board is doing so illegally. Would you want this type of person working on your home?
Another reason is the registration provides some protection to the homeowner from being charged for work and materials not provided or paying twice for them (material suppliers and subcontractors can place a lien on your home if they do not receive payment from your contractor). There are also trade licenses for those persons doing plumbing and electrical work to provide some assurance that they have adequate knowledge and training in those fields.
Often there is a misunderstanding between the contractor and owner as to who is responsible for obtaining the permits. Be sure it is clear who is responsible. If the contractor were to be responsible for obtaining the permits, it would be wise to have the contractor provide proof they did so. The owner will ultimately be responsible for the work on their property.
Keep in mind that while you may be exempt from a permit, you may still be required to obtain other types of permits and/or approvals. For example, you may not need a building permit to build a 100 square foot shed on your property, but you will still be required to meet structure setback requirements from property lines required by the zoning code and the structure must still comply with building code regulations. If your property is located in a flood hazard zone, a flood hazard permit may still be required.
Visit the State of Washington's Business Licensing Service page for Washougal, fill out the forms for state application if you don't have one, and the add addendum. If you already have your state license, just the add addendum.
Our partnership with the State Business Licensing Service will allow you “one-stop” shopping when maintaining or renewing many of your state and cities licenses. In addition to filing on paper, many of you will have the option to renew your city license online. New or expanding businesses will also be able to apply for their City license online along with other state and local licenses that are in the system. We are sure you will value the savings in travel time, wait time, and bookkeeping costs that this service represents.
Right now, you do not have to take any action. Six weeks before your current license expiration date, the Business Licensing Service (BLS) will send you a license renewal form to renew your City of Washougal business license. Follow the instructions on the renewal notice.
If you are eligible to file your renewal online, the form will provide you a web address and password. You will use a credit card to make payment for online transactions. If you prefer to mail the paper renewal form, please do so in plenty of time to reach BLS before the expiration date, and include a check for the appropriate amount. If the renewal is received after the expiration date, a late filing fee will be assessed.
Many other Washington towns and cities are joining the State Business Licensing Service (BLS), and we are pleased to be among those joining in 2011. This is a proven, cost-effective program that provides benefits to you, the City of Washougal, and all businesses in the state. As more cities partner with BLS, the benefits will expand. For the City of Washougal, it means fewer resources will have to be found to handle the paperwork part of our licensing process, even as the City grows.
You may contact the Finance Department at 360-835-8501, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For questions about the State Business Licensing website, contact:Business Licensing ServicePhone: 800-451-7985Fax: 360-705-6699Email Business Licensing Service
Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.41.050 requires you to have a concealed pistol license when:
If you live within the city limits of Washougal, you can apply in person at the Washougal Police Department, by appointment only at this time. If you live in the unincorporated area of the county, you must apply in person at the Sheriff’s Office. Non-Washington residents may apply at any local law enforcement agency in Washington State.
Fingerprinting for concealed pistol license (CPL) processing have resumed as of Wednesday, July 8 by appointment only at Washougal Police Department. Moving forward, appointments will be scheduled on Wednesdays only until further notice. All applicants must wear a face covering.
To make an appointment, please call (360) 835-8701. Current CPL holders whose license is about to expire can call and staff will instruct them on how to renew.
If you have an emergency please call 911. If you have a non-emergency situation and need officer assistance please call 311.
Yes. You will need to be fingerprinted and a criminal history background check will be conducted before your license is issued.
Yes. The following requirements must be met:
If you are applying for your first concealed pistol license, it may take up to 30 days to complete the background check before the license is issued. If you do not have a Washington driver's license or identification card it can take up to 60 days.
You will need to bring:
Your concealed pistol license is valid for five years from the date your license is issued. You will not receive a renewal notice and it is your responsibility to ensure your license has not expired.
If you live within the City of Washougal, you may renew your concealed pistol license in person at the Washougal Police Department by appointment only at this time. You may renew your license up to 90 days prior to the expiration date for a fee of $32, or up to 90 days after the expiration date for a late renewal fee of $42. You must provide picture identification and your current concealed pistol license. After 90 days you will be required to apply for an original license with a fee of $49.25.
Moving forward, appointments will be scheduled on Wednesdays only until further notice. All applicants must wear a face covering.
If you live in the City of Washougal and your license has been lost, stolen or destroyed, you may obtain a replacement license. You will need to apply in person at the Washougal Police Department, during the regular business hours. The fee for a replacement license is $10.
If your address changes, you may apply for a replacement license, but this is not a requirement.
Washington has reciprocity or accepts concealed pistol licenses issued by a number of other states, so long as the handgun is carried in accordance with Washington law. The Washington State Attorney General's website provides a list of those states that have reciprocity with Washington for concealed pistol licenses.
Contact City Hall at 360-835-8501 and inquire about the business or conduct a search by business name at the Washington State Department of Revenue website.
Contact the Community Development Department at 360-835-8501 with the exact location of the sign, or stop by City Hall at 1701 C Street and look at the official Washougal Zoning Map.
A "scatter garden" is a special area set aside in the cemetery in which uncontained cremated remains may be placed in the ground. The cemetery staff will make an opening in the ground into which the cremated remains will be placed, "scattered", and then buried. The cremated remains are not recoverable once placed and no map is kept of exactly where in the garden they were placed. Detailed records of the burial of all remains in this area will be kept by the City and a memorial name marker will be added to the Memorial Stone.
No, grave markers/headstones are not allowed in the scatter garden. Each person interred in the Cremain Memorial Garden will have a bronze name plaque placed on the memorial stone in the center of the area.
Plaques placed on the memorial stone are only for those buried within the scatter garden. The Washougal Memorial Cemetery does not have a memory wall at this time for tributes to persons buried elsewhere.
The package price allows for burial with or without service set up and placement of a bronze name plaque on the memorial stone. Cemetery staff will set up the appropriate equipment for families to hold their service in the Cremain Memorial Garden. However, cemetery staff is only responsible for burial place preparation/closing; cemetery equipment set up/take down and plaque placement.
If you would like more information on scatter garden placement, or any of our cemetery services or lots, please contact Pat King, or write to us at:1701 C StreetWashougal, WA 98671
Please feel free to contact us at our Operations number at 360-835-2662 and we will be glad to let you know what we are spraying for and what materials we are using at that time.
The Mosquito Control Board. They can be reached at:
Clark County Mosquito Control DistrictSteve Kessler, ManagerSouthwest Washington Health DistrictP.O. Box 1870Vancouver, WA 98668Phone: 360-397-8430Email Clark County Mosquito Control District
For all street light related problems please call Clark Public Utilities directly at 360-992-3000.
Please have the following information ready:
You may also visit Clark Public Utilities to fill out an online form.
Contact the Streets Department at 360-835-2662 to report this to the Operations Center office. After business hours please call Sonitrol at 360-735-9509.
City Hall will be able to help you with any utility bill questions. The number is 360-835-8501. Information about utility billing may also be found on the Utility Billing webpage.
The Streets Department can be called at 360-835-2662 to report this to the Operations Center office.
The street sweeper will be out during the first full week of the month on a reoccurring basis. Please remember that sweeping may be delayed due to equipment failure, weather, scheduling, and other related issues.
This year’s festival will be very different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. City leadership and staff will lead a parade of sorts, with police and fire vehicles as well as a truck and trailer filled with ripe orange pumpkins surrounded by hay bales visiting five neighborhood parks. At each location children will be given a goodie bag filled with Halloween toys and treats and of course, a free pumpkin of their very own (while supplies last). Physical distancing and low-contact guidelines will be observed at this event to keep you and your family safe. Drive-thru participation is strongly encouraged.
In years past, local families would dress in Halloween costumes and gather at Reflection Plaza in downtown Washougal for children’s games, free snacks, entertainment and of course, a free pumpkin! Unfortunately, the event will not proceed in this way.
The Pumpkin Harvest Festival On the Go! will be at the following Washougal neighborhood parks at the times listed:
9 a.m. Hamllik Park4285 Addy Street
11 a.m. Hartwood Park2251 49th Street
1 p.m. Oak Tree Park350 W Y Street
3 p.m. Upper Hathaway Park799 - 25th Street
5 p.m. Reflection Plaza1703 Main Street
Drive-thru participation is strongly encouraged.
No, there will not be games this year. Halloween gatherings, events, or parties with non-household members that violate the gathering limitations outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan are prohibited. Learn more about the gathering limits for each phase.
Prizes will be given out in pre-packaged goodie bags along with packaged candy, while supplies last.
This all depends on the location and turnout at each park, but it would be safe to plan to be at your chosen site within one hour of the start time.
Physical distancing and low-contact guidelines will be observed at this event. Please wear a face covering…all city staff will be! Drive-thru participation is strongly encouraged.
For details contact Rose Jewell, City of Washougal at Rose.email@example.com.
This event is FREE for Washougal families. Pumpkins and prizes will be distributed while supplies last.
The Washougal Pumpkin Harvest Festival is presented by the City of Washougal, along with partnerships with Columbia River Realty who donated toward purchase of the pumpkins and Washougal Police Guild that provided reflective bags to hold the treats.
Absolutely! We are encouraging all to wear costumes at this event, but keep in mind that a plastic costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth face covering. All participants must wear a face covering.
This event will take place rain or shine!
The CDC and the Washington State Department of Health have published recommendations on how to safely celebrate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the following webpages to find out how.
CDC Recommendations for Halloween Celebrations
Washington DOH Halloween Safety Tips
While you can submit issues anonymously, for best results create an account by clicking Sign Up. Those who have an account can track the response to their issues and can also be contacted for more information when necessary to complete the request. If you have signed in, you can view your issues under the My Issues tab and you will receive an email notification when an issue has been addressed.
YourGOV currently supports the Apple iPhone and Android powered smart phones. As with the web application, you can report an issue, which in turn will be brought into the City’s Work Management solution. In addition, by using a smart phone to submit, a picture can be attached to the issue.Download the YourGOV phone application for iPhone/iPad or Android.
Maybe. In most cases, you do not need a permit to remove a tree on your property at this time. However, if the tree is located within a critical area, you may need a Critical Areas Permit in order to remove the tree. There are exemptions to this requirement for hazard trees and documentation must be submitted demonstrating that the exemption applies. The Community Development department will review your documentation and process the exemption.
If the tree is located in the right-of-way or is a street tree, you will need a right-of-way permit. One rule of thumb in determining where the right-of-way is located is to look for city owned items such as water meter boxes and utility poles. Anything between those objects and the curb is most often located within the right-of-way.
If you plan to plant within the right-of-way you will need a permit. If you're planting upon any other area of your property, you do not need a permit. No matter where you intend to plant, be sure to call ahead for utility locates before you begin digging. You can call 811 or 800-424-5555. Locates are typically performed within 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.
Yes you can. You are within your right as the property owner to remove any portion of the tree that grows over the property line. However, this is not always what is best for the tree. We encourage you to work with your neighbor to come to a solution that is acceptable to you and your neighbor while keeping in mind what is best for the health of the tree. Please weigh this option carefully; as you could be held liable if the work you do prompts the failure of the tree.
The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of street trees. All trees with adjacent pedestrian usage shall maintain 7 feet of clearance to the lowest branches. When adjacent to a roadway, no limbs or other vegetation shall extend beyond the curb line or edge of the asphalt for a distance of 7 ½ feet above the road surface.
Call us and we will help you determine ownership of the tree and whether or not the tree meets the definition of a 'hazard' tree. If the tree is located on the property of another, we can help you resolve the issue with the other property owner. If the tree is hanging over your property line, please see question number 3.
No, at this time the City does not have an urban forest ordinance; however, a tree may still be protected.
Windowing is the act of removing a select branch or two higher up in a large tree to allow for a view of a scenic area. Skirting up a tree means removing some of the lower branches to allow for a view of a scenic area or to allow for passage under the tree. Both of these are presently accepted practices. We recommend you consult with your homeowners association (HOA) prior to performing this kind of work. More often the not, there are guidelines in place requiring that only non-mechanized machinery be used in conservation areas, steep slopes, wetlands, and buffers. We encourage you to use a certified arborist.
The International Society of Arboriculture maintains a list of certified arborists and tree care professionals. You can search their database by location, postal code, certification number or last name.
Tree topping is the process of removing large branches from the canopy of a tree. This is frequently done in an effort to make the tree smaller, safer, and more manageable. The opposite is often true, however.
Tree topping is not an accepted pruning practice. Topping is detrimental to the health of the tree. It drastically reduces or removes the tree's ability to feed itself through the process of photosynthesis due to the lack of or reduction of its leaves. The large wounds left on a tree after topping are more susceptible to disease, decay and eventual failure. A topped tree will put all of its energy into regaining its height by sending out numerous small and bushy branches that are weakly attached at the removal site. Topping may then need to be repeated regularly, costing the homeowner more money in the long run.
The last day of the second month shall be known as the billing date. The bill shall be due and payable in full upon receipt.
Individuals who have questions regarding service provided by the City of Washougal Utilities are encouraged to contact the Utility Billing Department.
Utility Billing shall maintain account records for each customer that includes the customer's legal name, billing address, account number, service address, current charges and account history including consumption, past due charges, penalties and fees.
Bills for municipal utility services provided shall be issued bimonthly by Washougal Utilities, and are required to be paid bimonthly in full by the customer. Bimonthly billings shall be mailed on the last business day of the second month of service.
Typically, meters shall be read between the 12th and 17th day of every other month. Most utility meter readings are obtained every other month through a touch pad read.
Payments can be made:
All payments must be received by City of Washougal before close of business on the last day of the month following the bill date. The City of Washougal does not take any payments over the phone.
The City will provide a drop box for utility payments to be made on holidays, weekends and out of office hours.
Yes, you can make a payment on your utility account at any time. If the payment results in a credit on your account, the credit will be used on your next bimonthly bill.
Any customer who is disconnected for non-payment shall not be reconnected until payment of all charges and fees outlined in the Notice of Past Due Balance and Disconnection of Service (Delinquent Bill).
Reconnection will only occur between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m, Monday through Friday, excluding City observed holidays. Payment must be received in the Utility Billing office before 3 p.m. for a same-day reconnection. If payment for reconnection is made after 3 p.m, reconnection will occur on the next business day.
The residential application shall include:
The commercial application shall include the applicant's name, the number of employees, service address, mailing address, federal identification number, signature of the party responsible for payment.
Two forms of identification are required at the time of application for utility service. One form of identification must include a photo. The second form of identification must prove ownership of the service location. Acceptable forms of identification include, but are not limited to:
Any credit in excess of $10 remaining on a customer's utility account after the final bill has been created shall be refunded to the customer in the form of a check issued by the City of Washougal if a forwarding address has been provided.
Any credit amount if no forwarding address has been provided or if it is $10 or less remaining on a customer's utility account after the final bill has been created shall be retained by the city to cover administrative expenses.
Customers who are unable to pay their utility bill by the due date are encouraged to contact the Utility Billing office to arrange a mutually agreed-upon payment plan, with the goal of the payment plan being to bring the customer's account current. Utility Billing staff has the right to reject a proposed payment plan if it is determined not to achieve the goal of bringing a customer's account current.
Customers who are having difficulty paying their City of Washougal Utility bill may receive assistance from the City of Washougal. This assistance may include referrals to organizations, agencies, and programs which provide financial assistance, as well as other services offered by City of Washougal. Information may be disseminated regarding community service agencies, which may have programs designed to assist with payment of utility bills.
Washougal Utilities offers an automatic bank withdrawal payment option. After enrollment in this program, bimonthly utility payments will be deducted on the 20th of the month following the bill date.
If the 20th falls on a weekend or a holiday, then the deduction shall be taken on the first business day following the holiday or weekend.
More than 50 billion paper checks are processed each year. Each check progresses through a complex and time-consuming maze. Today, money can be safely and accurately transferred electronically through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system with the Federal Reserve.
You complete and submit the enrollment form authorizing the bank to make utility payments for you by electronically debiting your bank account. On the selected date (20th of each month, or first available business day), the electronic payment is made from your accounts.
Nothing! The City of Washougal does not charge for this service.
Each payment will be clearly identified on your bank account statement from your bank, savings and loan, or credit union. Additionally, each month your City of Washougal utility statement will indicate your current balance and indicate that "your bill will be paid by bank draft."
If your completed authorization form is received prior to the 14th of the month, the application will be processed and your bank account information verified. Your first bill will indicate "paid by bank draft," but this is only a pre-note. You must pay this bill by check! Your next and all future bills will automatically be paid by Automated Clearing House (ACH).
Fill out and submit the Cancellation for Automatic Utility Billing Payment Form (PDF) to the City of Washougal either in person at City Hall or by email. Notification of your request to stop this automatic payment must be received no later than the 10th of the month.
The bank and City will charge you a fee. The City of Washougal's fee for insufficient funds is $40, and you will be removed from automatic withdrawal.