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Zoning Code Interpretations

What is an interpretation?

This page contains official administrative interpretations of the City of Auburn’s code by the Planning Director in accordance with Auburn City Code (ACC) Section 18.02.060. An interpretation is a formal decision made by the Planning Director who is authorized to interpret words, phrases, and sentences in order to determine the meaning, application, or intent of any development regulation in the city code. Interpretations can be initiated by staff or through an application process and are made in accordance with the intent and purpose of zoning regulations and the City’s Comprehensive Plan. 

Previous Interpretations

MIS21-0014 - 022-09-02 - Title 18 (PDF)
Interpretation regarding vehicle distribution hubs (e.g. last-mile logistics hubs) in the C-3 Heavy Commercial zoning district.

MIS20-0014 - 2020-22-12 - Title 15 and 18 (PDF)
Interpretation regarding hotels and supportive housing, zones in which they are allowed and prohibited, and changing building code occupancy classification of hotels.

MIS20-0009 - 2020-2-9 - ACC 18.02, ACC 18.04, ACC 18.23, & ACC 18.35 (PDF) 
Interpretation regarding exterior vehicle storage in the RO, Residential Office zoning district.

MIS20-0008 - 2020-15-7 - ACC 18.02, ACC 18.07, & ACC 18.52 (
Interpretation regarding the use of residential front yards for parking.

MIS16-0026 - 2016-12-07 - ACC 18.04 & 18.23 
Interpretation of the City's various commercial and industrial zones that can be utilized for commercial vehicle storage as a stand-alone use. 

MIS16-0020 - 2016-12-07 - ACC 18.07 (PDF)
Interpretation of the zoning code provisions for "Enhanced Services Facility" in the R-5 Residential Zone.

MIS16-0021 - 2016-10-12 - Title 15, Title 18, & Title 13 (PDF)
Interpretation to establish the method of reviewing and when appropriate, authorizing the placement of storage containers.

MIS16-0009 - 2016-04-01 - ACC 18.04.810, 811, 818 & 18.31.070 (PDF)
Interpretation of allowances for HVAC equipment and property setbacks on residential developed properties.

MIS15-0008 - 2015-09-30 - ACC 18.07 (PDF)
Interpretation of the City's R-7 Residential Zone regarding multiple dwelling units.

MIS14-0012 - 2014-12-17 - ACC 18.23.030 (PDF)
Interpretation of the zoning code for permitted uses in the C-2 Central Business District Zone and whether a warehousing and distribution project proposal is a permitted use.

MIS14-0004 - 2014-06-20 - ACC 18.23.030 (PDF)
Interpretation of the uses allowed in the City's C-1 Light Commercial zone, specifically the regulations regarding educational uses allowed in the C-1 zone. 

MIS14-0003 - 2014-05-09 - ACC 16.10.100(E)(2)(A) (PDF)
Interpretation of the critical areas code for prohibiting alteration of Class IV landslide hazard areas.

MIS13-0005 - 2013-08-08 - ACC 18.21.010(F) (PDF)
Interpretation of the zoning code provision for “Lot Averaging”, and specifically the ability to apply this code section to other R-1 zoned properties not located within the “Lea Hill (zoning) Overlay”.

MIS12-0004 - 2012-3-30 - ACC 18.04.914 (PDF)
Interpretation of the Wireless Communications Facilities (WCF) code in relation to existing non-conforming wireless communication facilities and the ability to add additional antennas and up to a 50 percent expansion of ground equipment. 

MIS10-0015 - 2010-12-15 - ACC 18.69 (PDF)
Interpretation of the definition of “lot coverage” as it applies to alley access (alley-loaded) lots of less than 2,900 square feet within the approved Planned Unit Development (PUD) zone.

Submittal Process

To file an interpretation, please visit and apply for a determination. The current path to apply in is: Auburn > Land use > New > None > Determination. The written justification letter must include the specific question you want the City to address, the code section(s) or standard(s) subject to interpretation, and any related projects. The review process may take up to 30-60 days.

The current fee schedule is provided on the City of Auburn Forms page.

Still need help?

If you have any questions, City of Auburn Planning Services staff are an excellent resource for help. We can be reached at [email protected] or at 253-931-3090. Please put the nature of your inquiry in the subject line, and include the parcel number or address of the site (if applicable) and your contact information in the email.