Planning

The Benton County Planning Department oversees land use, zoning, comprehensive & environmental planning within unincorporated Benton County (property outside of city limits). Our most frequently asked questions are about zoning, land use rules (such running a business from your home), setbacks from property lines, and addresses. We are happy to answer any of your land-use related questions. In addition to coming into one of our offices you can reach us at (509) 786-5612 or Planning.Department@co.benton.wa.us


 
 
 
 
 
 

To join a Planning Commission or Hearings Examiner meeting telephonically: 

Dial: 509-222-2310
Meeting ID: _____#
Attendee Access Code: ____#

To join a Planning Commission or Hearings Examiner meeting via video broadcast
click here:
   
planningdept.co.benton.wa.us


 Planning Department COVID-19 Response:

In the interest of public health and safety, our office in Kennewick will be open starting May 4, 2020 to support the Building Department as they follow the Governor's April 29, 2020 memorandum related to the Implementation of Phase 1 Construction Restart, which provided clarifying information and definitions on which construction projects are considered authorized to proceed under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.
Under this definition, authorized construction includes:

  • Construction previously authorized under Proclamation 20-25 and the Governor’s March 25, 2020 memo on construction
  • Construction not previously authorized under Proclamation 20-25 and the March 25, 2020 memo that was in existence on March 23, 2020. 
  • In existence means construction activity that is: a) needed to fulfill an obligation under a contract effective prior to March 23, 2020, or b) authorized by a government-issued permit obtained prior to March 23, 2020.

At this time, ONLY the Public Services Building at 102206 East Wiser Parkway in Kennewick is open for in-person appointments and visits. The Prosser offices for these departments will remain closed to the public until further notice. 

PLEASE OBSERVE THE FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES WHILE VISITING THE PUBLIC SERVICES BUILDING: 

  • Only three (3) people in the lobby at one time.
  • Please do not block doorways.
  • Please do not wait or block the entryway.
  • Please give visitors and employees plenty of distance when entering or leaving.


Introducing the
Benton County Rural Water Supply Program

The Department of Ecology has determined that the Lower Yakima watershed is over appropriated and has required Counties within the watershed to mitigate for groundwater wells being placed within the Lower Yakima watershed. 

The Benton County Rural Water Supply Program was established to provide mitigation for any new residential use within the Mitigation Area (a portion of the Lower Yakima Watershed known as WRIA 37, as shown on the official Benton County Mitigation Area Map) in the form of acquiring senior water rights in order to offset groundwater use and managing the metering of wells.

To date the County has acquired 125 acre-feet of senior water rights and is in the process of acquiring additional water rights for the Benton County Water Bank.

This means that ALL new subdivisions, short plats or residential building permits for a dwelling unit within the Mitigation Area will be required to purchase a water mitigation package and a water meter and participate in the metering/monitoring program. 

Click here to see a map of the program areas and package information. 


Zoning

Zoning Map!


Informational Packets

Setbacks (The distance all improvements/construction must be from parcel lines, easements, etc.)

Accessory Dwelling Units (In some specific circumstances, ADU's, also known as mother-in-law apartments, are now allowed in the County)

Animal Unit Equivalents (Number of animals allowed per parcel in each zone)

Types of Homes Allowed (Some zones have restrictions on the types of homes allowed or how old manufactured homes can be when placed)

Fence Guidelines (Basic rules and information about fences in the County, what constitutes a fence and when you should call the Building Department)

Critical Areas Informational Handout
Geohazard Risk Assessment information
Geohazard Report Requirements



Who to call
when the Planning Department can't help

Have a question about property inside City limits? You'll need to talk to that City. 

City of Kennewick (509) 585-4280
City of Prosser (509) 786-8212
City of Richland (509) 942-7794
City of West Richland (509) 967-5902
City of Benton City (509) 588-3322








Have a question about building permits, codes or inspections?
Call the Building Department at (509) 735-3500 (option 7).

Have a question about Code Enforcement?
Call Code Enforcement at (509) 222-2301

Have a question about wells and septic systems?
Contact the Benton Franklin Health District at (509) 460-4205.

Have a question about ownership of property?
Contact the Benton County Assessor's office.

Have a question about property taxes
Contact the Benton County Treasurer's Department.

Want a copy of your Short Plat, Long Plat or other documents
Contact the Benton County Auditor's Recording Department.

Want a map created and/or printed for you?
Contact the Benton County GIS Department.

 


Any information submitted to Benton County is subject to the public records disclosure laws for the state of Washington (RCW 42.17) and all other applicable laws that may require the release of the documents to the public.

 

Shoreline Management Plan Periodic Update 2021

Benton County is undertaking a periodic review of its Shoreline Master Program (SMP), as required by the Washington State Shoreline Management Act (SMA), RCW 90.58.080(4). The SMA requires each SMP be reviewed and revised, if needed, on an eight-year schedule established by the Legislature. The review ensures the SMP stays current with changes in laws and rules, remains consistent with other county plans and regulations, and is responsive to changed circumstances, new information and improved data.

For more information on this process please see our SMP Update Page.

 
Contacting the Planning Department

Mailing Address:  

P.O. Box 910  

Prosser  WA 99350

 

Phone: (509) 786-5612

 

Email:  Planning Department

 

Office Locations:

Courthouse, 1st Floor

620 Market Street, Prosser  WA  and

102206 East Wiser Parkway Kennewick, WA 

 

Meetings and Hearings Location: 

1002 Dudley Avenue, Prosser WA

 
Staff

Greg J. Wendt,

Planning Manager


Michelle L. Cooke,

Principal Planner


Brian Malley,

Associate Planner


Andrea Watts,

Associate Planner


Donna Hutchinson,

Office Assistant IV


April Brown,

Permit Technician


Dale Wilson,

Code Enforcement Officer

 
 
 
 

 
Benton County    620 Market Street    Prosser, Washington 99350
Phone: (509) 786-5710 or (509) 783-1310
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