Small lots on shoreline or in rural area may have issues with getting new septic systems approved.
A State Supreme Court decision (Griffin v. Thurston County) affects the ability of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to approve of septic systems for lots of a certain size.
The decision resulted in the following determinations:
- Any lot smaller than 12,500 sq.ft. that uses on-site septic and a public water source cannot be developed using waivers.
- Some lots that are less than one acre in size and lots two acres and larger in size with poor soils cannot be developed using waivers.
If you are the owner of one of the lots discussed here, and you are planning on any development that would involve new or expanded septic features, please be aware of these restrictions. We encourage you to reach out to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to learn more at (253) 798-6485 or (253) 651-2404. Please keep in mind that a shoreline variance is considered a “waiver.” Sites along a shoreline that need to locate septic features in a shoreline buffer or setback may not be able to develop the site as anticipated.