updated 6-1-23


GHCC 17.80 - Variances, Conditional Use Permits and Appeals


A conditional use is defined as a use listed in any given zone that is only permitted after review and approval by the Board of Adjustment (BOA).  The granting of a Conditional Use Permit imposes performance standards contained within Title 17 to make the conditional use compatible with other permitted uses in the same vicinity and zone (GHCC 17.08.010).

A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is the documented evidence of authority granted by the Board of Adjustment (BOA) to locate a conditional use at a particular location (GHCC 17.08.010).  The purpose of a CUP is:

  1. To assure, by means of imposing special conditions and requirements on development, that the compatibility of uses are maintained, considering other existing and potential uses within the general area of the proposed use; 
  2. The conditions imposed will reasonably assure that nuisance or hazard to life or property will not develop. The BOA may not use a CUP to reduce the zoning requirements of the zone in which the use is to locate. Such reduction of requirements shall be accomplished through the medium of a Variance.


To be eligible for a CUP, the proposed use must be consistent with Title 17 and meet the required showings per GHCC 17.80.040.  Each zoning district contains a list of allowed conditional uses.  You can learn more about these by reviewing Grays Harbor County Code Title 17.  

What zoning district is my property located in? 

  1. Visit the Planning & Building online parcel search tool.
  2. Input an address, owner name, or parcel number.
  3. From the map, click on "Change Layers" icon in the upper right hand corner and check the "Zoning" layer (this may take a few moments to display).


A project that requires a CUP must begin at STEP 1:  Site Plan Review  of the permitting process.  CUP applications will not be accepted prior to STEP 1.   A complete CUP application must be received a minimum of five (5) weeks in advance of the next scheduled meeting. 

Apply Online


CUP's are given consideration at a public hearing held by the BOA.  The BOA may deny any application if the characteristics of the intended use would create an incompatible or hazardous condition. 

Please refer to Bulletin #9 - Guide to Public Hearings for more information.



Please contact a Permit Coordinator if you have questions or need further assistance.

Grays Harbor County
Planning Division