Enhanced Services Facilities and Group Homes

photo of a senior woman in a wheelchair looking out a window
About the Proposal
The County is experiencing more interest from health service providers for locating new and emerging types of group homes, as well as mental health facilities called Enhanced Services Facilities (RCW 70.97). These places provide a combination of housing and daily care for residents.

The County Council established a temporary moratorium on locating Enhanced Services Facilities while appropriate regulations are developed in consultation with the community and stakeholders.
News—7/30/2020 Update
On July 28, 2020, the Pierce County Planning Commission made its recommendation on the Enhanced Services Facilities and Group Homes proposal to the Pierce County Council, approving the Staff Recommendation (see Staff Report) with the following changes:

  1. Do not allow Level 4 Enhanced Services Facilities in urban single-family zones.
  2. Allow Enhanced Services Facilities in all rural residential and rural commercial zones.
When available, the details of the current proposal and its status can be found by searching for the legislation on the Pierce County Council website.
Get Involved
Submit comments
Submit written comments to the Pierce County Council
Attend public meetings
Joint Land Use Advisory Commission Meeting (Virtual)
July 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
Watch recording

Planning Commission Hearing (Virtual)
July 28, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
Find meeting materials on the
Planning Commission webpage

County Council Hearing (Virtual)
September 14, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

Find meeting information on the
County Council webpage

County Council Hearing
Location TBD
Questions and Answers
This section will be updated with new questions and answers as we receive them.
The proposal would apply parking minimums for Enhanced Services Facilities: One space per four beds plus one space per two employees.
All jurisdictions in Washington are required by the State to allow ESFs somewhere. Pierce County hasn’t received any applications for ESF projects in unincorporated Pierce County at this time. There are currently four other ESFs in operation: Everett WA, Spokane WA, Spokane Valley WA, and Vancouver WA.
The State of Washington legally limits ESFs to 16 beds, and the proposed regulations model that framework. If the state expands the size limitation at some point, then the regulations may need to be changed.
No. Adult Family Homes will continue to be allowed.
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Staff Contact
Erik Jaszewski, Associate Planner
Send a message or call (253) 798-3752