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Ordinance 19331

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Metropolitan King County Council (the Council) held a public hearing remotely to comply with the Washington State Governor's Declaration 20-28 (or as amended) regarding the Open Public Meetings Act on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 beginning at 1:00 PM and was continued to Tuesday, September 7, 2021 beginning at 1:00 PM.  The purpose of this public hearing was to consider adoption of Proposed Ordinance 2021-0163 (Ordinance 19331) an ordinance relating to permitting of search and rescue facilities in the rural area zone of unincorporated King County. The Council then adopted this Ordinance at the Tuesday, September 7, 2021 meeting.


Ordinance 19331 defines search and rescue facilities as multiuse facilities operated by a nonprofit organization or organizations that, under direction from or in collaboration with a law enforcement agency, utilize emergency workers to conduct search and rescue operations as described in chapter 118-04 WAC. The ordinance allows search and rescue facilities to locate in unincorporated King County subject to a conditional use or special use permit, depending on the specific uses proposed, and subject to conditions including:

  • A minimum lot size of four and one half acres.
  • Structures and parking would need to maintain a minimum distance of 75 feet from interior lot lines that adjoin RA or R zones.
  • Parking requirements would be determined by the director through the conditional use process.
  • Twenty feet of Type II landscaping would be required along street frontages, and ten feet of Type II landscaping would be required along interior lot lines. Type II landscaping is a "filtered screen" that acts as a visual separator but not a full visual barrier.
  • Use of the facility would be limited to activities directly relating to the search and rescue organization, except that the facility could be used by law enforcement and other public emergency responders for training and operations relating to search and rescue activities.
  • A demonstration of a lack of existing search and rescue facilities to adequately conduct search and rescue operations in the rural area.

A copy of Ordinance 19331 will be mailed upon request to the Clerk of the Council, Room 1200, King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA  98104, telephone 206-477-1020. It is available on the Internet at, and at  

Dated at Seattle, Washington, this 23rd day of September, 2021.


Melani Pedroza
Clerk of the Council

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