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What is the purpose of a legal lot determination?

A legal lot determination by the Permitting Department provides an applicant with a determination of legal lot(s) status based upon the parcel history, provided by the applicant, according to local and state laws governing subdivision of property.

Citizens may also perform their own property research and determine the history of a lot and/or legal status by contacting the various agencies included in the Resources for Property Research - Information on Separate Lot Status handout in PDF* (67KB) format or MS Word* (63KB) format.

For more information about legal lots, refer to the Permitting Department customer information bulletin #2, Legal Lot*.

What activities require a legal lot determination?

Before a property owner can build or subdivide, a lot must meet the requirements of a legal lot, as defined in Section 19A.08.070* of the King County Code (KCC), in order for an application to be deemed complete.

The burden of proving that a lot had been legally established, and still exists as a legal lot, is the responsibility of the person claiming legal lot status.

What if evidence shows that a lot was not created legally?

If research for evidence of a legal lot proves that a lot was not created legally, customers should see KCC 19A.08.090*, "Determining Innocent Purchaser Status."

The legal lot determination process may be used to provide a one time exemption to the subdivision requirements for an Innocent Purchaser. An exemption to the subdivision code may be requested to establish a new legal lot that is consistent with KCC 19A.08.040*.

How much will it cost?

See the Permitting Department current fee schedule for an estimate.

Where can I get an application?

How do I submit my application?

See Applying for a Permit at the Permitting Department and Drop-offs: Permits accepted by drop-off or mail*.

What is the timeline for processing this permit?

Varies depending on workload and resources available.

Notes / Comments

For more information:

  • Legal Lot
  • Resources for Property Research - Information on Separate Lot Status handout in PDF* (67KB) format or MS Word* (63KB) format

Legal authority

Title 19A* of the King County Code

Administered by

The Department of Permitting and Environmental Review. For questions, please contact the customer service at 206-296-6600.