Rural Commercial Zone

Quick Reference Guide

Here is a quick reference guide to your zone. This information is a summary of your zone’s purpose, allowed uses, density, dimensions, and setbacks. The tables below do not include prohibited uses. 

This information summarizes Kitsap County Code and is subject to change. For full information about your zone, please see the Official Kitsap County Code.

In all permit-related decisions, the Official Kitsap County Code governs.

Purpose

The intent and function of the rural commercial zone is to permit the location of small-scale commercial retail businesses and personal services which serve a limited service area and rural population outside established UGAs. The rural commercial zone permits small-scale retail, sales and services located along county roads on small parcels that serve the immediate rural residential population. Rural businesses, which serve the immediate rural population, may be located at crossroads of county roads, state routes, and major arterials.

(Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

Classification of zones​

​Comprehensive Plan Land Use Designation

​​Zone Classification

​Map Symbol

Minimum ​​Density

​Maximum Density

Rural Commercial

Rural Commercial

​RCO

NA

​0

This zone is not intended to accommodate population growth and therefore do not have allowed density.  However, limited new residential uses may occur in these zones which support the intent of these zones to provide employment and services.  Therefore, up to one dwelling unit may be allowed per existing parcel for the limited residential uses allowed in Kitsap County Code Chapter 17.410

Allowed Uses and Density and Dimensions Table

Please note that the tables below only include what is allowed in the corresponding zone and does not include prohibited uses.

Use Table - Permitted Use (P) = This table shows allowed uses that are permitted within the zone with the appropriate permit from the Department of Community Development (DCD). Click here to explore DCD project/permit types.

Use Table - Administrative Conditional Use Permit (ACUP) = This table shows the allowed uses that are permitted within this zone, but will require an Administrative Conditional Use Permit (ACUP).

Use Table - Hearing Examiner Conditional Use Permit (C) =  This table shows the allowed uses that are permitted within this zone, but you will be required to apply for an Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to establish conditions to protect public health, safety and welfare and subject to approval by the hearing examiner.

  Use Table Footnotes​

​12.    All buildings and activities shall be set back a minimum of fifty feet in FRL, MRO, RW, RP, RR, RCO, RI or parks zones and thirty-five feet in all other zones from a side or rear lot line. All such uses shall access directly to a county right-of-way determined to be adequate by the county engineer, and be able to provide access without causing traffic congestion on local residential streets. Any such use shall not be materially detrimental to any adjacent (existing or future) residential development due to excessive traffic generation, noise, light or other circumstances. The director may increase setback, buffer and landscaping standards or impose other conditions to address potential impacts.

64.    When a component of development is located within the rural commercial or rural industrial zone and involves the conversion of previously undeveloped land, land developed with a residential use, or land developed with a less intensive use which abuts a residential zone, it shall be treated as a Type III hearing examiner decision.

101.    Transitory accommodations allowed only pursuant to Chapter 17.505.

   Use Table Permitted (P)

RESIDENTIAL USES

Footnotes

​Accessory use or structure

(1) Where applicable subject to Section 17.410.060, Provisions applying to special uses.

(51)  Storage of shipping containers is prohibited unless allowed as part of a land use permit and/or approval. Placement of storage containers allowed only with an approved temporary permit subject to the provisions of Section 17.105.090(I).

​Adult family home

41.    Adult family homes serving one to six residents (excluding proprietors) are permitted uses. Adult family homes serving more than six applicable residents (excluding proprietors) require an administrative conditional use permit (ACUP).

​Boarding house

99.    The number of individual boarding rooms must meet the minimum density for the zone or equal six boarding rooms, whichever is greater.

102.    Boarding houses must have health district approval prior to occupancy.

​Caretaker’s dwelling

​Dwelling, existing

COMMERCIAL/BUSINESS USES

Footnotes

​Accessory use or structure

(1) Where applicable subject to Section 17.410.060, Provisions applying to special uses.

(51)  Storage of shipping containers is prohibited unless allowed as part of a land use permit and/or approval. Placement of storage containers allowed only with an approved temporary permit subject to the provisions of Section 17.105.090(I).

​Nonmotorized recreation rentals

​(95) Allowed on all port district owned property.

​Fitness center

​(100) Allowed only as micro-gyms less than five thousand square feet in size. All other fitness centers are prohibited.

​Nursery, wholesale

RECREATIONAL/CULTURAL USES

Footnotes

​Accessory use or structure

(1) Where applicable subject to Section 17.410.060, Provisions applying to special uses.

(51)  Storage of shipping containers is prohibited unless allowed as part of a land use permit and/or approval. Placement of storage containers allowed only with an approved temporary permit subject to the provisions of Section 17.105.090(I).

​Parks and open space

INSTITUTIONAL USES

Footnotes

​Accessory use or structure

(1) Where applicable subject to Section 17.410.060, Provisions applying to special uses.

(51)  Storage of shipping containers is prohibited unless allowed as part of a land use permit and/or approval. Placement of storage containers allowed only with an approved temporary permit subject to the provisions of Section 17.105.090(I).

INDUSTRIAL USES

Footnotes

​Accessory use or structure

(1) Where applicable subject to Section 17.410.060, Provisions applying to special uses.

(51)  Storage of shipping containers is prohibited unless allowed as part of a land use permit and/or approval. Placement of storage containers allowed only with an approved temporary permit subject to the provisions of Section 17.105.090(I).

RESOURCE LAND USES

Footnotes

​Accessory use or structure

(1) Where applicable subject to Section 17.410.060, Provisions applying to special uses.

(51)  Storage of shipping containers is prohibited unless allowed as part of a land use permit and/or approval. Placement of storage containers allowed only with an approved temporary permit subject to the provisions of Section 17.105.090(I).

​Forestry

 

   Use Table - Administrative Conditional Use Permit (ACUP)

RESIDENTIAL USES

Footnotes

​Adult family home

​(41) Adult family homes serving one to six residents (excluding proprietors) are permitted uses. Adult family homes serving more than six applicable residents (excluding proprietors) require an administrative conditional use permit (ACUP).

​Bed and breakfast house or vacation rental

​(34) Bed and breakfast houses or vacation rentals with one to four rooms require an administrative conditional use permit; bed and breakfast houses with five or more rooms require a hearing examiner conditional use permit. Bed and breakfast houses serving meals to patrons other than overnight guests require a hearing examiner conditional use permit.

​Home business

(1) Where applicable subject to Section 17.410.060, Provisions applying to special uses.

( 53) The gross floor area shall not exceed four thousand square feet.

COMMERCIAL/BUSINESS USES

Footnotes

​Day-care center

(14) In those zones that prohibit residential uses, family day-care centers are only allowed in existing residential structures. Day-care centers shall have a minimum site size of ten thousand square feet and shall provide and thereafter maintain outdoor play areas with a minimum area of seventy-five square feet per child of total capacity. A sight-obscuring fence of at least four feet in height shall be provided, separating the play area from abutting lots. Adequate off-street parking and loading space shall be provided.

​Engineering and construction offices

​Espresso stands

​(58) In addition to the other standards set forth in the Kitsap County Code, espresso stands are subject to the following conditions:
a.    Drive aisles/stacking lanes shall be designed to accommodate a minimum of three vehicles per service window/door (i.e., eight and one-half feet in width and sixty feet in length) with direct access to the service window. The drive aisles/stacking lanes shall be designed to prevent any vehicles from interfering with public or private roadways, pedestrian circulation, traffic circulation, parking areas or other required development amenities.
b.    Subject to provisions set forth in Chapter 17.490, drive aisles and parking areas must also be paved in urban growth areas and include, at minimum, hard compacted surfaces in rural areas. Such surfaces must be addressed with required drainage facilities. A joint parking agreement shall be required if parking cannot be accommodated on site.
c.    All structures must be permanently secured to the ground.
d.    Restroom facilities must be available for employees. Portable or temporary restroom facilities shall not be used to meet this requirement.

(72) Must be accessory to an immediate primary use.

​Equipment rentals

​Farm and garden equipment and sales

​General office and management services – less than 4,000 s.f.

​General retail merchandise stores – less than 4,000 s.f.

​Nursery, retail

​Personal services – skin care, massage, manicures, hairdresser/barber

​(54) The gross floor area shall not exceed four thousand square feet.

​Pet shop – retail and grooming

​(54) The gross floor area shall not exceed four thousand square feet.

​Tourism facilities, including outfitter and guide facilities

​Veterinary clinics/animal hospitals

RECREATIONAL/CULTURAL USES

Footnotes

​Recreational facilities, public

INSTITUTIONAL USES

Footnotes

​Government/public structures

   Use Table - Hearing Examiner Conditional Use Permit (C)

RESIDENTIAL USES

Footnotes

​Bed and breakfast house or vacation rental

​(34) Bed and breakfast houses or vacation rentals with one to four rooms require an administrative conditional use permit; bed and breakfast houses with five or more rooms require a hearing examiner conditional use permit. Bed and breakfast houses serving meals to patrons other than overnight guests require a hearing examiner conditional use permit.

COMMERCIAL/BUSINESS USES

Footnotes

​Auction house

​(55) Auction house and all items to be auctioned shall be fully enclosed within a structure.

​Auto parts and accessory stores

​(65) No car washes allowed in RCO or RI.

​Automobile repair and car washes

​(65) No car washes allowed in RCO or RI.

​Automobile service station

​(6) Where permitted, automobile service stations shall comply with the following provisions:
a.    Sale of merchandise shall be conducted within a building, except for items used for the maintenance and servicing of automotive vehicles;
b.    No automotive repairs other than incidental minor repairs or battery or tire changing shall be allowed;
c.    The station shall not directly abut a residential zone; and
d.    All lighting shall be of such illumination, direction, and color as not to create a nuisance on adjoining property or a traffic hazard.

​Boat/marine supply stores

​Custom art and craft stores

​Drinking establishments

​General office and management services – 4,000 to 9,999 s.f.

​General retail merchandise stores – 4,000 to 9,999 s.f.

RECREATIONAL/CULTURAL USES

Footnotes

​Club, civic or social

​(12) All buildings and activities shall be set back a minimum of fifty feet in FRL, MRO, RW, RP, RR, RCO, RI or parks zones and thirty-five feet in all other zones from a side or rear lot line. All such uses shall access directly to a county right-of-way determined to be adequate by the county engineer, and be able to provide access without causing traffic congestion on local residential streets. Any such use shall not be materially detrimental to any adjacent (existing or future) residential development due to excessive traffic generation, noise, light or other circumstances. The director may increase setback, buffer and landscaping standards or impose other conditions to address potential impacts.

​Marinas

​Movie/performance theaters, outdoor

​Museum, galleries, aquarium, historic or cultural exhibits

​67.    No aquariums are allowed in the RCO zone. Galleries, museums, historic and cultural exhibits should be geared toward the character of the rural area, rural history, or a rural lifestyle.
​Recreational facilities, private

INSTITUTIONAL USES

Footnotes

​Hospital

​Places of worship

​(12) All buildings and activities shall be set back a minimum of fifty feet in FRL, MRO, RW, RP, RR, RCO, RI or parks zones and thirty-five feet in all other zones from a side or rear lot line. All such uses shall access directly to a county right-of-way determined to be adequate by the county engineer, and be able to provide access without causing traffic congestion on local residential streets. Any such use shall not be materially detrimental to any adjacent (existing or future) residential development due to excessive traffic generation, noise, light or other circumstances. The director may increase setback, buffer and landscaping standards or impose other conditions to address potential impacts

​Private or public schools

​(20) Site plans for public schools shall include an area identified and set aside for the future placement of a minimum of four portable classroom units. The area set aside may not be counted towards meeting required landscaping or parking requirements.

​Public facilities and electric power and natural gas utility facilities, substations, ferry terminals, and commuter park-and-ride lots

​(16) The erection, construction, alteration, or maintenance of overhead or underground utilities by a public utility, municipality, governmental agency, or other approved party shall be permitted in any zone; provided, that any permanent above-ground structures not located within a right-of-way or easement shall be subject to the review of the director. Utility transmission and distribution lines and poles may exceed the height limits otherwise provided for in this title. Water towers which exceed thirty-five feet in height, solid waste collection, transfer and/or handling sites in any zone shall be subject to a conditional use permit. These provisions do not apply to wireless communication facilities, which are specifically addressed in Chapter 17.530.

INDUSTRIAL USES

Footnotes

​Cemeteries, mortuaries, and crematoriums

​(10) A cemetery, crematorium, mausoleum, or columbarium shall have its principal access on a county roadway with ingress and egress so designed as to minimize traffic congestion, and shall provide required off-street parking spaces. No mortuary or crematorium in conjunction with a cemetery is permitted within two hundred feet of a lot in a residential zone.

​Cold storage facilities

​(69) In the RI zone, cold storage facilities are only allowed for agricultural and food uses.

​Food production, brewery or distillery

​Recycling centers

​Slaughterhouse or animal processing

​(70) In the RCO and RI zones, slaughterhouses and animal processing may have a retail component not to exceed four thousand square feet.

​Storage, hazardous materials

​(75) All storage must be screened from public view by a twenty-five-foot buffer in order to meet rural compatibility. Applicant must also demonstrate how the storage would serve the immediate population

​Storage, indoor

​(75) All storage must be screened from public view by a twenty-five-foot buffer in order to meet rural compatibility. Applicant must also demonstrate how the storage would serve the immediate population

​Storage, outdoor

​(75) All storage must be screened from public view by a twenty-five-foot buffer in order to meet rural compatibility. Applicant must also demonstrate how the storage would serve the immediate population

​Storage, self-service

​(75) All storage must be screened from public view by a twenty-five-foot buffer in order to meet rural compatibility. Applicant must also demonstrate how the storage would serve the immediate population
​Storage, vehicle and equipment
(1) ​Where applicable subject to Section 17.410.060, Provisions applying to special uses.

​Top soil production, stump grinding

RESOURCE LAND USES

Footnotes

​Aggregate extractions sites

​Aquaculture practices

   Density, Dimensions and Design

Standard

Density and Dimensions table

12.    All buildings and activities shall be set back a minimum of fifty feet in FRL, MRO, RW, RP, RR, RCO, RI or parks zones and thirty-five feet in all other zones from a side or rear lot line. All such uses shall access directly to a county right-of-way determined to be adequate by the county engineer, and be able to provide access without causing traffic congestion on local residential streets. Any such use shall not be materially detrimental to any adjacent (existing or future) residential development due to excessive traffic generation, noise, light or other circumstances. The director may increase setback, buffer and landscaping standards or impose other conditions to address potential impacts.
​Minimum density (du/acre)

​NA

(57) Mixed use projects are not required to meet the minimum density requirements.

​Maximum density (du/acre)

​0

(19) This zone is not intended to accommodate population growth and therefore do not have allowed density.  However, limited new residential uses may occur in these zones which support the intent of these zones to provide employment and services.  Therefore, up to one dwelling unit may be allowed per existing parcel for the limited residential uses allowed in Kitsap County Code Chapter 17.410


​Minimum lot size

NA

​Maximum lot size

NA

​Minimum lot width (feet)

NA

​Minimum lot depth (feet)

​NA

​Maximum height (feet)

​35

(40) Height limitations set forth elsewhere in this title shall not apply to the following: barns, silos, or other farm buildings and structures, provided they are not less than fifty feet from every lot line; chimneys, spires on places of worship, belfries, cupolas, domes, smokestacks, flagpoles, grain elevators, cooling towers, solar energy systems, monuments, fire house towers, masts, aerials, elevator shafts, and other similar projections; and outdoor theater screens, provided said screens contain no advertising matter other than the name of the theater. The proponent seeking exception to the height limitation shall certify that the object being considered under this provision will not shade an existing solar energy system which, by the determination of the director, contributes substantially to the space- or water-heating requirements of a building.

​Maximum impervious surface coverage

​85%

​Maximum lot coverage

NA

​Setbacks
(34) Development abutting a street for which a standard has been established by the Kitsap County arterial plan shall provide a special setback from the centerline of said street or a distance adequate to accommodate one-half of the right-of-way standard established by the arterial plans for the street. The building setback required by the underlying zone shall be in addition to the special setback and shall be measured from the edge of the special setback line. The special setback area shall be treated as additional required yard area and reserved for future street widening purposes.


(48) Shoreline properties are subject to Title 22 and may have additional buffers and setbacks requirements not listed in the density and dimension tables. Properties constrained by critical areas are subject to Title 19 and may have additional buffers and setbacks requirements not listed in the density and dimension tables. Cornices, canopies, eaves, belt courses, sills, bay windows, fireplaces or other similar cantilevered features may extend up to twenty-four inches into any required yard area. In no case shall a habitable area be considered for encroachment into a required yard through any land use process. Additionally, fire escapes, open/uncovered porches, balconies, landing places or outside stairways may extend up to twenty-four inches into any required side or rear yards. Open/uncovered porches, balconies, landing places, or outside stairways shall not extend more than six feet into any required front yard and shall be a minimum of five feet from the front property line.
​Minimum front (feet)

​20

26 - No service road, spur track, or hard stand shall be permitted within required yard areas that abut a residential zone.

(​29)  One-hundred-foot setback required for single-family buildings abutting FRL or RW zones.

(41)  The following exceptions apply to front yard requirements for dwellings:
a.    If there are dwellings on both abutting lots with front yards less than the required depth for the zone, the front yard for the lot need not exceed the average front yard of the abutting dwellings.
b.    If there is a dwelling on one abutting lot with a front yard less than the required depth for the zone, the front yard need not exceed a depth of halfway between the depth of the front yard on the abutting lot and the required front yard depth.
c.    If a modification to the front yard requirement is necessary in order to site dwellings in a manner that maximizes solar access, the director may modify the requirement.
d.    On lots with multiple front yards, the front yard setback(s) in which the lot does not receive access may be modified by the director. Based upon topography, critical areas or other site constraints, the director may reduce these front yard setbacks to a minimum of twenty feet for properties requiring fifty feet and ten feet for properties requiring twenty feet. The director may not modify front yard setbacks from county arterials or collectors. Such reductions shall not have an adverse impact to surrounding properties.

(42) The following exceptions apply to historic lots:
a.    Building setback lines that do not meet the requirements of this title but were legally established prior to the adoption of this title shall be considered the building line for alterations, remodels, and accessory structures on the lot or parcel; providing, that no structure or portion of such addition may further project beyond the established building line.
b.    Any single-family residential lot of record as defined in Chapter 17.110 that has a smaller width or lot depth than that required by this title, or is less than one acre, may use that residential zoning classification that most closely corresponds to the dimension or dimensions of the lot of record, for the purpose of establishing setbacks from the property lines.

(43) Any structure otherwise permitted under this section may be placed on a lot or parcel within a required yard area if the director finds that such a location is necessary because existing sewer systems or roadways make compliance with the yard area requirements of this title impossible without substantial changes to the site.

(46) A front porch and associated steps shall meet a minimum five-foot setback from the front property line and the following requirements:
a.    Porches shall be at least forty percent open on each of two sides.
b.    Porches shall be a minimum of four feet by six feet.
​Maximum front (feet)

​NA

(41)  The following exceptions apply to front yard requirements for dwellings:
a.    If there are dwellings on both abutting lots with front yards less than the required depth for the zone, the front yard for the lot need not exceed the average front yard of the abutting dwellings.
b.    If there is a dwelling on one abutting lot with a front yard less than the required depth for the zone, the front yard need not exceed a depth of halfway between the depth of the front yard on the abutting lot and the required front yard depth.
c.    If a modification to the front yard requirement is necessary in order to site dwellings in a manner that maximizes solar access, the director may modify the requirement.
d.    On lots with multiple front yards, the front yard setback(s) in which the lot does not receive access may be modified by the director. Based upon topography, critical areas or other site constraints, the director may reduce these front yard setbacks to a minimum of twenty feet for properties requiring fifty feet and ten feet for properties requiring twenty feet. The director may not modify front yard setbacks from county arterials or collectors. Such reductions shall not have an adverse impact to surrounding properties.

(42) The following exceptions apply to historic lots:
a.    Building setback lines that do not meet the requirements of this title but were legally established prior to the adoption of this title shall be considered the building line for alterations, remodels, and accessory structures on the lot or parcel; providing, that no structure or portion of such addition may further project beyond the established building line.
b.    Any single-family residential lot of record as defined in Chapter 17.110 that has a smaller width or lot depth than that required by this title, or is less than one acre, may use that residential zoning classification that most closely corresponds to the dimension or dimensions of the lot of record, for the purpose of establishing setbacks from the property lines.

(43) Any structure otherwise permitted under this section may be placed on a lot or parcel within a required yard area if the director finds that such a location is necessary because existing sewer systems or roadways make compliance with the yard area requirements of this title impossible without substantial changes to the site.
Minimum ​Side (feet)

20,

50 when abutting residential zone

​​26 - No service road, spur track, or hard stand shall be permitted within required yard areas that abut a residential zone.

(29)  One-hundred-foot setback required for single-family buildings abutting FRL or RW zones.

(42) The following exceptions apply to historic lots:
a.    Building setback lines that do not meet the requirements of this title but were legally established prior to the adoption of this title shall be considered the building line for alterations, remodels, and accessory structures on the lot or parcel; providing, that no structure or portion of such addition may further project beyond the established building line.
b.    Any single-family residential lot of record as defined in Chapter 17.110 that has a smaller width or lot depth than that required by this title, or is less than one acre, may use that residential zoning classification that most closely corresponds to the dimension or dimensions of the lot of record, for the purpose of establishing setbacks from the property lines.

(43) Any structure otherwise permitted under this section may be placed on a lot or parcel within a required yard area if the director finds that such a location is necessary because existing sewer systems or roadways make compliance with the yard area requirements of this title impossible without substantial changes to the site.
​Minimum Rear (feet)​20,

50 when abutting residential zone

​​​26 - No service road, spur track, or hard stand shall be permitted within required yard areas that abut a residential zone.

(29)  One-hundred-foot setback required for single-family buildings abutting FRL or RW zones.

(42) The following exceptions apply to historic lots:
a.    Building setback lines that do not meet the requirements of this title but were legally established prior to the adoption of this title shall be considered the building line for alterations, remodels, and accessory structures on the lot or parcel; providing, that no structure or portion of such addition may further project beyond the established building line.
b.    Any single-family residential lot of record as defined in Chapter 17.110 that has a smaller width or lot depth than that required by this title, or is less than one acre, may use that residential zoning classification that most closely corresponds to the dimension or dimensions of the lot of record, for the purpose of establishing setbacks from the property lines.

(43) Any structure otherwise permitted under this section may be placed on a lot or parcel within a required yard area if the director finds that such a location is necessary because existing sewer systems or roadways make compliance with the yard area requirements of this title impossible without substantial changes to the site.