The backbone of a farm operation is its working infrastructure. Whether maintaining a road, building a barn, grading new pastureland, clearing ditches, replacing drainage tiles, or building a farm pad, permits and planning is required. In King County, the Department of Planning and Environmental Review (DPER) is the permitting department for these infrastructure improvements. Before you begin to maintain, build, grade, or drain, contact DPER for assistance. In the cases of agricultural drainage and farm pads, contact the Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) to get started and they will assist you in gathering information necessary for DPER permitting. King County supports the farm economy by offering reduced rates for commercial agriculture permits.
Department of Planning and Environmental Review (DPER)
One-On-One Assistance is available at no-cost. The Permitting Department's permit center offers a full range of technical support to customers. Go to the Permitting Department in Snoqualmie to sign up for walk-in assistance, or call the Permitting Department's customer service line at 206-296-6600 for basic information about the Permitting Department or the permit application submittal process, to request application materials, or to be directed to a particular staff member or review discipline.
Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP)
Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program (ADAP)
Do you have an agricultural field with poor drainage? ADAP helps agricultural property owners improve drainage of their agricultural lands by providing both technical and financial assistance.
- In 2011, King County, the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE), and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) agreed on a set of best management practices (bmps) that allow most ADAP projects to be performed with just one permit. The streamlined permit process means that a property owner in an Agricultural Production District (APD) can comply with all local, state, and federal requirements for maintaining an agricultural waterway by having an approved farm plan prepared in conjunction with the King Conservation District (external link), following the ADAP bmps and obtaining just one permit, a Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) from WDFW, a free permit for agricultural drainage projects.
- Participants in ADAP who are also participants in any USDA programs with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or Farm Service Agency (FSA) should contact the FSA to make sure they remain in compliance with USDA Wetland Conservation Compliance; violation can result in refund of all USDA payments.
ADAP has developed bmps for addressing four of the most common impacts to agricultural drainage:
Farm Pad Program
- King County will provide technical assistance to help you locate and construct an elevated farm pad to store your livestock, farm machinery and other agricultural equipment and supplies. An annual application for assistance is due in March each year.
- King County can provide:
- ideas for possible structures;
- offer general engineering advice as to the types of soil and methods of compaction to construct your farm pad;
- assistance with permitting;
- preparation of a site plan and farm pad drawings.
- You are responsible for:
- getting a grading permit;
- any required supporting engineering calculations for building permits;
- hiring a private engineering firm to provide construction documentation if you plan on placing a building on the farm pad; and
- oversight of all construction.
King Conservation District
Agricultural Drainage Program
The King Conservation District (KCD) is developing a comprehensive set of services to assist landowners with maintaining and improving agricultural drainage systems. The program’s aim is to enable more landowners to participate in the King County Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program (ADAP) through a combination of technical assistance and matching grants. In addition, they conducted a county-wide assessment of drainage needs as the basis for future planning. Click on the link below for a preliminary report on the survey: Snoqualmie Valley Agricultural Drainage Survey. The new KCD Agricultural Drainage Program was made possible through a grant from the King County Flood Control District.
DPER Guidance Information
Customer Information Bulletins (complete list at this link; however, links below are relevant to agriculture)
- Agricultural Buildings
- Building and Development Permit Telephone Numbers
- Clearing and Grading Permits
- Critical Areas Ordinance online Fact Sheets
- Critical Areas Review
- Damage Repairs
- Drainage Review
- Flood Insurance and FEMA
- Right-of-Way Use
- Road Variances
- Small Animals and Livestock
- Surface Water Design Manual Variances or Adjustments
- Underground Fuel Tanks
- Water Problems
- Zoning Code: Overview and Summary
- Zoning Code: Permitted Use Tables
- Zoning Code: Sign Requirements