Public Works Engineering

County Engineer: Paul A. Randall-Grutter P.E.
Engineering Division Manager: Keith Elefson, P.E.

Development Review FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

 

Other questions can be answered by emailing us or by calling (360) 416-1400.

 

Question: What are the road construction requirements for a driveway?

Answer:

A driveway is a private access to one or two lots or residences.Access through another landowner’s lot requires a minimum of a 20 foot wide easement. Road names and road name signs are not required for driveways.

The driveway must be constructed using a minimum of six inches of gravel base and a 12-foot driving surface. For driveways longer than 300 feet, turnouts are required every 300 feet.  Turnouts should be 20 feet wide for a distance of 30 feet to allow vehicles to pull over and allow emergency vehicles to proceed.The maximum slope on the driveway must not exceed 12% for a gravel driveway or 14% if surfaced.

Permit requirements:

Question: What are the road construction requirements for a short plat?

Answer:

Short plat roads are private roads for access to three or four residences or lots.Short plat roads require a 20-foot driving surface and a minimum of 50 feet of right-of-way. Road names and road name signs are required for short plat roads if the road provides access to four or more lots and must indicate that the road is private.Private road name signs must be yellow with black lettering.Stop signs may also be required for private roads.

Short plat roads must be constructed using a minimum of 10 inches of gravel base and 2 inches of crushed surfacing top course. A 2% crown (slope from the left of the road to the edge of the driving surface) and a 20-foot driving surface is needed for this type of road. The maximum slope on the short plat road must not exceed 12%. The maximum slope from the edge of the road to either the left of the ditch (if required) or native soil (if no ditches are required) is 3 feet horizontal to 1 foot vertical (3:1).The maximum slope from the left of the ditch up to the top of the native soil is 1 foot horizontal to 1 foot vertical (1:1).Ditches must be a minimum of 1 foot deep from the top of subgrade (before gravel base is placed).There may be additional requirements for ditches or detention dependant on the grade of the road and the quantity ofwater that may be expected to flow into the ditches.Temporary erosion and sedimentation control are typically required to prevent the migration of sediment off of the construction site and into surrounding water conveyance systems (ditches, streams, lakes, etc.).

Permit requirements:

 

Question: What are the road construction requirements for a County road?

Answer:

A county standard road is required for all roads within a long plat and for roads providing access to more than 16 lots.Minimum county standard roads require a 20-foot asphalt driving surface with 2-foot shoulders and a minimum of 60 feet of right-of-way.Wider driving surface and/or shoulders may be required depending on traffic generated and classification of the road.Consult the current Skagit County Road Standards to determine the road requirements. Long plat roads are dedicated county roads unless a variance to remain private is requested and approved.Private roads may become county roads through a petition process through which the county accepts responsibility and ownership for the road. Road names and road name signs are required for this type of road and must indicate whether the road is private or county.Private road name signs must be yellow with black lettering and county road name signs must be green with white lettering.Stop signs are also required for county standard roads.



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Question: Can my neighbor drain water on my property?

Answer:
If the water is flowing in a natural or existing drainage system (streams, swales, or ditches), it may continue to be used. In addition, if a drainage easement has been provided, it may be used. New or substantially increased flow onto a neighbor’s property is not allowed.

Question: What is required to use unopened county right-of-way for access purposes?

Answer:
A Trail Permit is required to utilize unopened county right-of-way for access purposes for up to four lots. For access to more than four lots, a Right-of-Way Permit is required. In this case, the road must be brought up to county road standards and will then be brought into the county road system. Contact Skagit County Public Works to obtain a Trail Permit by calling (360) 416-1400.

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Question:
Is there anything I need to do to work within the county right-of-way?

Answer:

An Access Permit is required for connecting a driveway to a county road or right-of-way. A Utility Permit is needed for any other work within the county right-of-way. These permits may also be obtained by calling Public Works at (360) 416-1400.

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Question: When do I need a Fill and Grade Permit?

Answer:

A Fill and Grade Permit may be required for any grading work involving substantial ground disturbing activity (either fill or excavation) or that affects drainage in the area.The following checklist may be used to determine the need for a Fill and Grade Permit. Read about “Clearing, Grubbing, and Forest Practices” and obtain a Grading Permit application from the Planning & Development Services forms and handouts webpage.