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One ADU is allowed on any residentially zoned property. It can be attached or detached but cannot be larger than 1000 sq ft and the owner must reside in one of the units. Contact staff for additional requirements.
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1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses that are 200 square feet or less. (A planning permit is still required)
2. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
3. Sidewalks and Driveways (may require an Engineering permit)
4. Water tanks supported directly on grade less than 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
5. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
6. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 30 inches deep.
7. Swings and other playground equipment.
8. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
9. Fences less than 7 feet in height from adjacent grade that do not have masonry or concrete elements above 6 feet only when a fence permit is obtained from the Development Services Department.
10. Decks, associated platforms and steps accessory to residential buildings constructed under the provisions of the IRC which are not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade plain and not over any basement or story below when a permit authorizing the location of said improvements is obtained from the Development Services Department.
11. Residential re-roof with only one existing layer and no roof decking repair.
12. Window and door replacement in-kind window replacement where no alteration of structural members, window U-value meets prescriptive requirements of the energy code, safety glazing is provided where required, fall protection is provided where required, and egress requirements are maintained.
Repairs and maintenance: A permit shall not be required for minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
1. Portable heating, cooking or clothes drying appliances.
2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
3. Portable-fuel-cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
1. Portable heating appliances.
2. Portable ventilation appliances.
3. Portable cooling units.
4. Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
5. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
6. Portable evaporative coolers.
7. Self-contained refrigeration systems containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
8. Portable-fuel-cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
9. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe; provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drainpipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
10. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
Please find your property on our Zoning web map. Please note that Skagit County Assessor information does not include your City of Mount Vernon zoning district. Also feel free to email our Permit Technicians at: PermitTech@mountvernonwa.gov, or call staff at the Development Services Department and they can assist you, (360) 336-6214.
Many properties in the City are located in the 100-year floodplain. You can look up your property on FEMA’s Map Service Center, https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search, or you can contact us and we can provide both the flood zone and what that means.
Here is a link so you can search for your plat or survey. You may be able to find property pins, or you may need to work with a surveyor to locate your lines.
The first step is to contact a Permit Technician to discuss your project. You can email, call or visit us in person at City Hall. firstname.lastname@example.org 360-336-6214
Yes, permits are required for all new fences and fence replacement. Planning permits are for fences under 7 feet in height, building permits for fences 7 feet or taller. You can apply for a fence permit through the permit portal or in person at City Hall.
Sheds up to 200 sq. ft. require shed permits, called site plan for minor improvements. One shed is allowed on a residential property. If the shed is larger than 200 square feet a building permit is required. You can apply for the permit through the permit portal or at City Hall.
Duplexes are allowed on any lot of record zoned R-1, as long a there is no adjacent duplex. There is no minimum lot size, but please keep in mind there are minimum off-street parking requirements. Each duplex requires a two-car garage for each unit.
Tiny homes on wheels are considered recreational vehicles and must meet those standards. They cannot be used for habitation. Tiny home with a foundation can be constructed with a building permit.
Short term rentals are not regulated in the City of Mount Vernon. However, in the R-1 zone, rooms can only be rented to two people.
Mount Vernon’s code updates for these bills is not currently required to be adopted until the end of 2025. Please look out for public meetings about these bills in the lead up to the 2024 Comprehensive Plan update and the code adoption deadline.
Yes, permits are required for all signs and sign refaces. The sign regulations vary by zone. Please contact staff about the requirements for your property. No signs are allowed in Residential zones without additional permits.
C-L with limitations. Here is a link to our zoning map and a link to the MVMC with additional regulations.
The C-2, C-3, C-L, and M-1 districts all allow automobile repair garages. Here is a link to our zoning map.
The C-L zone allows for open RV and/or Boat storage with a Conditional Use Permit. In building storage is allowed in other zones, please contact staff.
Mini-storage units are allowed as an accessory use in the C-2 and C-L zones. Accessory use means a use incidental and subordinate in area, extent, and purpose to the principal use.
The R-1 Single Family Residential zone allows for operation of a day nursery, as defined in Chapter 17.06 MVMC; provided, it are state-licensed and care for more than six but less than 12 children, exclusive of the child care provider’s own children, at one time.
When you apply for your Washington State business license through the Department of Revenue (https://secure.dor.wa.gov/), apply for a City of Mount Vernon endorsement or Home Occupation. The DOR will forward your information to the City.