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Population and Growth

What is the current and forecasted growth of the City of West Richland?

According to the last census, the population of West Richland in 2010 was 11,811. As of April 1, 2015 the population as estimated by the state Office of Financial Management is 13,960.

The city is expected to grow to 21,866 by 2035, according to the Benton County Comprehensive Plan population projection allocations.


Mapping

Can I buy a map of the city streets?

Yes! Many businesses find it useful to obtain a map of the city. We can print maps from our GIS showing various features such as streets, street names, zoning designations, park and school locations, etc. To request a map and receive a price quote, call Alison Greene at 967-5902.


Planning

What is my zoning?

To find zoning for your property, please consult the current zoning map. Descriptions of different zoning districts (including allowed uses) are included in Title 17 of the West Richland City Municipal Code. If you have further questions, please call a planner at 967-5902.

How many chickens am I allowed to raise on my property?

Chickens are considered “small domestic animals” in our zoning code. Other examples of small domestic animals include dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks, geese, pigeons, chickens, or other similar animals over the age of six months. The number of small domestic animals you are allowed to keep depends on your residential zoning district:

Those living in zones RM-6, R-1MBH, R-2MBH, MR-2 and MR-3 are allowed up to two small domestic animals per dwelling unit.

Individuals in zones RL-40, RL-22, RM-20, RM-15, RM-12.5 and RM-10 are allowed up to 5 small domestic animals per dwelling unit.

Therefore, depending on your zoning district and the number of pets or other small domestic animals you already have, you may be allowed to be a chicken farmer! Please note that although roosters are not specifically prohibited, there are noise ordinances in the city to consider and you are discouraged from raising roosters. There are also codes related to nuisances (offensive smells, noises, other conditions) and specific penalties for violations of those codes.

What are the required setbacks on my property?

To find minimum property setbacks, and other development regulations such as maximum building height, maximum lot coverage, etc. please see section 17.54 in the West Richland City Municipal Code.


Economic Development

Is there a local Chamber of Commerce that I can join?

Yes, indeed! The West Richland Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tri-Cities Regional Chamber of Commerce both serve our community.

I own commercial property on Van Giesen Street in West Richland and I would like to improve the exterior façade. Are there resources to help me?

Yes! Through a collaboration between Benton REA and the West Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, the city can assist you in applying for a low-interest loan for façade improvements via a revolving loan fund created for our community. Call Aaron Lambert, Community Development Director, at 967-5902 for more details and to obtain an application form.


Code Enforcement

Who is responsible for clearing the sidewalk in front of my home?

West Richland Municipal Code 12.20.020, “Sidewalk snow and ice removal,” states, It shall be the duty of all property owners or persons having charge or control of any premises bordered by city right-of-way to clean, maintain, and repair public sidewalks, driveways, or planting strips constructed thereon in a reasonable and safe condition.


Permitting

A bright yellow inspection sign-off card posted on your property indicates permits have been obtained. The City inspector will sign off required inspections on the card. Prior to construction, look for the yellow inspection card or ask your contractor why it is not there.

How much are permit fees?

Please see the City’s Master Fee Schedule for this information, or contact the Community Development Department directly for assistances.

Do I need a permit to construct a fence?

Fences up to 6′ in height: There is no permit fee, but City review is required to review location, height, and materials used for proposed fences, up to 6 feet in height BEFORE the fence is put up. A site plan showing location and setback from property lines and all structures must be submitted. For your convenience, you may contact the Planning Department to check for an existing site plan to use to draw on the location of your proposed new fence.

Landscape block walls and fences over 6′ in height: A City building permit is required: See the Fence (over 6′) Permit Application

Do I need a permit to put a small shed on my property?

A NO FEE Permit is required for detached storage sheds (including pre-built type) 200 square feet or less in size. A site plan showing location and setback from property lines and all structures must be submitted. For your convenience, you may contact the Planning Department to check for an existing site plan to use to draw on the location of your proposed new fence.

Storage sheds over 200 square feet in size require a building permit.

Do I need a permit to put in landscaping walls / retaining walls?

A City building permit is required for retaining walls, landscape block walls, and landscape rockery walls that 4 feet tall or higher.

What about Portable Carport Structures?

West Richland requires a permit for portable or temporary carports. Some carports are canvas or tarp-covered; others have metal roofing that curves down to form the sides of the carport. West Richland requires that you have a permit to place any of these on your property, even if you consider them temporary.

What is required to install a swimming pool, spa or hot tub in West Richland?

All swimming pools and swim spas require a City permit. New regulations address alarms on the back door and other doors leading to a pool. Information is available on the City website and in the Planning Department. Small, portable hot tubs and spas do not require a City permit, but must have approved safety covers. All pools, spas, and hot tubs require electrical permits from the State Labor & Industries office. Their phone number is 509-735-0100. In addition, if you are locating a pool on a property with on-site sewerage system (septic) then you will need prior approval from the health department for the location. See the information sheet: Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs, & Spas

What permits are needed for decks and patio covers?

You must have a permit to build a deck that is more than 30 inches above the ground, to construct a roof cover above a deck or patio, or to enclose (with windows and/or walls) any existing patio cover. Recently, enclosures of this type that were constructed without proper permits caused problems when trying to sell the house. Ask about new requirements for attaching a deck to a house. See the information sheet: Attached Patio Covers and Carports

I heard that since my remodel project is valued at less than $500 I don’t need a permit. Is this true?

A persistent rumor continues that only interior projects valued at more than $500 require a permit. This is not true. All interior remodeling projects require permits, except floor covering changes, painting, and similar finishing work. Also, non-structural interior wall location changes and bearing wall changes require a permit. Please call for information before you begin your project.

What licensing and permits are required of contractors?

A solicitor is required to have an individual solicitor’s license and a contractor is required to have a contractor’s license with Labor and Industries. Both also need a City of West Richland business license. Labor and Industries recommends that you always verify licensing, obtain a 2nd or 3rd quote for services, and have your contractor pick up and sign for the required building permit. Visit www.lni.wa.gov/IPUB/625-084-000.pdf for more information.