Reasonable Accomodation

Click here to open a PDF version of this tip sheet.

Who is eligible for Reasonable Accommodation?

Any person having a disability who wishes to be excused from an otherwise applicable Land Use Regulatory Code requirement or someone acting on his or her behalf who can provide verifiable documenation of disability eligiblity and the need for accommodation.

Ramp in set back

Review Process

  • Prior to Submittal of Request: A pre-submittal meeting with a Planner is strongly advised in order to research your property and clarify the process. Requests for reasonable accommodation are reviewed on a case by case basis.  Pre-application meetings can be requested online via the org questionaire.
  • Submit Request for Reasonable Accommodation: Application documents will include a completed Land Use Application Form, a summary of the request, applicant’s justification, site plan, floor plan(s), and exterior building elevations. See reverse for additional information regarding submittal documents and requirements.
  • Contact Person Established: Once the Reasonable Accommodation request is received, a Planner will be assigned to process the request and help answer any questions during the review of the request.
  • Planning Director Issues Decision: The Director (or Director’s designee) is obligated to issue a decision on the request.  Should the decision be approved, certain conditions may be attached to ensure the proposal is compatible with the neighborhood, to carry out the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, and/or to provide compliance with the Land Use Regulatory Code.  Conditions may include things such as: location and nature of the accommodation, duration and use of the accommodation, subsequent removal of structures, screening, fencing or landscaping necessary for the accommodation.
  • Land Use Decision Public Notice: A notice of the Director’s decision will be mailed to all property owners/taxpayers located within 100 feet of the site where the accommodation is requested.
  • Appeal Period: A Request for Reconsideration may be filed or the Director’s decision may be appealed to the Hearing Examiner within 14 days after the decision is issued.
  • Concomitant Zoning Agreement: The Director may require a Concomitant Zoning Agreement (CZA) be recorded with the Pierce County Assessor as a guarantee that certain conditions of approval are met. The City will be responsible for creating the CZA and will provide it to the applicant.  The CZA must be recorded prior to issuance of Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion for the associated building permit.
  • Building Permits: Building permits may be applied for concurrent with the request for reasonable accommodation, but will not be issued until a decision on the request for reasonable accommodation is made.

All application materials must be submitted in electronic PDF format on compact disc (CD) or online at TacomaPermits.org.  See Electronic File Standards Tip Sheet G-230.

  • Completed Application for Land Use Permit
  • Site Plan
  • Floor Plan(s)
  • Exterior Building Elevations
  • A brief written summary of the request

Example of electronic plan set

Justification for Request

  1. In order to receive a reasonable accommodation, verifiable documentation of a disability may be requested.
    1. It is acceptable to present documentation from a doctor, other medical professional or a non-medical service agency as justification for the request.
    2. Please ensure all private personal information such as medical record numbers or social security numbers are redacted (blacked-out) prior to submittal with your request.
  2. Once a disability has been established, the applicant must demonstrate the need for  
    1. This means that there must be an identifiable relationship between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability.
  3. The request must be deemed reasonable.
    1. The request cannot impose undue burden or expense on local government.
    2. The request must not create a fundamental alteration of existing zoning scheme.
    3. Possible impacts such as parking, traffic, noise, building separation, etc. will be reviewed.

Sample site plan

 Applicable Regulations