Pierce County Planning and Public Works Department Industry Notice

Jan 30, 2018

Effective Immediately

There has been some legislation passed in Olympia specific to the “Hirst Decision” and its impacts on development of land utilizing a drilled “permit-exempt” well.

On January 22, 2018 Governor Inslee signed ESSB 6091 which went into effect immediately.  This bill addresses water availability to support existing and new development.  This bill changes how the County has been processing applications using drilled “permit-exempt” wells as follows:

  • The County will no longer require a hydro-geologic study associated with these applications (County Policy DW2016-02:  Building Permits/Subdivisions on New Permit-Exempt Wells is no longer in effect). 
  • Building/Subdivision Permits in the #11 Nisqually Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA):
    • Limited to 3,000 gallons per day (maximum annual average use and no metering required)
    • New fee of $500 ($300 to Ecology, $150 to County for reporting requirements)
    • Requires recording of restrictions on title (additional recording fee)
  • Building/Subdivision Permits in the #10 Puyallup-White, #12 Chambers-Clover, and #15 Kitsap WRIAs:
    • Limited to 950 gallons per day (maximum annual average use and no metering required)
    • New fee of $500 ($300 to Ecology, $150 to County for reporting requirements)
    • Requires recording of restrictions on title (additional recording fee)

This new fee will be required for the following activities with drilled “permit-exempt” wells:

  • All new residential building permit applications, including accessory dwelling units 
  • Commercial building permit application (historical water estimates reviewed and accepted prior to permit issuance)
  • Subdivisions of land 

Pierce County’s Permit Technicians and Development Center have made the necessary changes to implement this law.  As this is a new process, the County will work through the details of this bill, and identify links to WRIA maps.  Additionally, once they have created the required title notification, it will be included on the County’s Forms and Handouts webpage.