Current Development Projects

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Kelso Unified Development Code Amendments (2024) - SEPA# LUA2024-0016

This non-project action included an audit of the Kelso Unified Development Code to identify language that required revisions due to conflicts, outdated language, and compliance with state requirements for specific uses. The audit also identified barriers to encourage quality development including outdated language and processes. Finally, the proposed code revisions make changes to the organization of the code to ensure that it's easily navigable, clear, and objective.

Construction of 1,150 sf restaurant addition with drive-thru at 98 Minor Rd. - SEPA# LUA2023-0018

The applicant requests Site Plan and Environmental Review for the construction of a 1,150 SF restaurant addition with drive-thru at 98 Minor Road, Kelso, Washington 98626; Parcel #23923, Property ID 3038491 (Section 26 Township 08 North, Range 02 West WM - Cowlitz County). Specifically, the proposed restaurant expansion will be located on the north end of an existing multi-tenant commercial building situated near the eastern side of the site. The site is zoned Regional Commercial (RC) and is bound by property zoned RC on all sides. No natural resources or critical areas are known to exist within the development area.

Determination of Non-Significance and NOA
SEPA Checklist
SEPA Routing List
Site Plan

Southwest Washington Regional Airport Fueling Station Project - SEPA# LUA2023-0028

The applicant requests Site Plan and Environmental Review for the construction of a new aviation fuel site at the Southwest Washington Regional Airport at 2215 Parrott Way, Kelso, Washington 98626; Parcel #2408727, Property ID 3038795 (Section 2 Township 07 North, Range 02 West WM - Cowlitz County). Specifically, the proposed fueling site will be located adjacent to an existing wash rack, between a row of hangers to the south and the Cascade Air FBO & Flight Training building to the north, adjacent to the Parrott Way right-of-way. The site is zoned Light Industrial (LI) and is bound by industrial development to the north, south, and east, and the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe railroad to the west. The Cowlitz River flows south approximately one-quarter mile west of the airport to its confluence with the Coweeman River. However, there are no proposed activities within the 200-foot shoreline setback associated with this waterway as part of this application.

Construction of 4800 Sq. ft. Shop and 1,500 Sq. ft. Canopy – Peterbilt - SEPA# LUA2023-0016

The applicant requests Site Plan and Environmental Review for the Construction of a 25’ x 60’ canopy as well as a 60’ x 80’ storage building in the northeastern corner of the Kelso Peterbilt site, located at 2408 Talley Way, Kelso, Washington 98626. Specifically, the proposed canopy will be attached to the eastern side of an existing truck repair shop building, and the storage building will be sited in an existing truck parking area adjacent to the site’s eastern property line. The site is zoned Light Industrial (LI) with Adult Oriented Business Overlay, and is bound by industrial development to the north, south, and west, and open space associated with the Coweeman River to the east. While the Cowlitz River flows east of the site, there is a separate parcel (Parcel #240871001) separating the river from the subject site and there is no proposed development within the 200-foot shoreline setback associated with this waterway as part of this application.

Installation of a portable concrete plant - Knife River Corporation- SEPA# LUA2023-0005

The applicant, Knife River Corporation, requests Temporary Use Permit approval for the installation of a portable concrete plant, operational for approximately one year, immediately east of the existing concrete plant at 2224 Talley Way, Kelso, Washington 98626; Parcel #2406809, Property ID 3038737 (Section 2 Township 07 North, Range 02 West WM - Cowlitz County). Specifically, the proposed concrete plant will be placed on existing concrete footing associated with a prior temporary concrete plant, approved in 2009. The site is zoned Light Industrial (LI) and is bound by industrial development to the north and south, Talley Way to the west, and the CDID#3 (City of Kelso) property dike levee for the Coweeman River. The 200-foot shoreline setback associated with the Coweeman River impacts approximately 70-feet of the subject site’s eastern property boundary. However, all proposed development is located outside of the shoreline setback. 

Willow Grove Apartments – Kelso Housing Authority -  SEPA# LUA2022-0033

Access Architecture on behalf of Kelso Housing Authority proposes to construct two 3-story buildings with approximately 32 multifamily residential units, a parking lot with 39 stalls, a community garden, playground, greenspace and other pedestrian areas on a 1.61-acre parcel. The project is located at 1106 Walnut Street, Kelso, Washington 98626; Parcel #23655. The site is zoned Residential Multi-family (RMF).

Croy Street Rezone -  SEPA# LUA2022-0031

The City of Kelso is proposing to change the zoning designation for the three described properties from Neighborhood Commercial (NC) to Residential Single Family (RSF-5). The proposed map amendment site is for the lots known as 1300 N 2nd Avenue, 206 Croy Street and 208 Croy Street – Cowlitz County parcel numbers 21668, 21669 and 21670 in Kelso WA.

Downtown Design Review Overlay Removal – SEPA# LUA2022-0030

The City of Kelso is proposing to remove Section 17.22.180 Downtown Design Review Overlay from the Kelso Unified Development Code (Chapter 17 of the Kelso Municipal Code). The proposal includes removing Downtown Design Review Overlay from the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map and the zoning map.  The Downtown Design Review Overlay is located in downtown Kelso with the approximate borders of the Cowlitz River on the west side, the middle of the block between Cowlitz Way and Crawford Street on the north side, 4th Avenue on the east side and Maple Street on the south side.

2022 Unified Development Code Update - SEPA# LUA2022-0025

The City of Kelso is proposing to make changes to the Unified Development Code – Chapter 17 of the Kelso Municipal Code.  The changes include:

  • Increasing the allowable size of ADUs
  • Clearing up confusing language in some definitions
  • Increasing the lot coverage for lots in the RSF-5 zone
  • Correcting a mislabeled column and remove confusing language in Table 17.22.020
  • Updating the requirements and language for Townhouses
  • Clarifying language about Accessory Buildings
  • Removing conflicting language about number of lots allowed in a short plat
  • Removing some of the requirements for lot consolidations involving two lots when a single dividing line is being removed.
  • Changing some comment periods from 15 to 14 days to bring them into alignment with others
  • Increasing the number of zoning districts where fire/ambulance stations, public works buildings and townhouses can be sited either permitted outright or upon receiving a conditional use permit.

Mid I-5 Industrial Park

SEPA Permit# SEP22-004 & Site Plan Review STE22-002 (LUA2022-0021)

TRJ Planning, Inc. is applying for permits to construct the Mid I-5 Industrial Park consisting of 1,406,855 square foot (SF) industrial building, up to 55-feet in height, with approximately 20,000 SF of office space.  The facility is planned to have 465 vehicle parking stalls, 541 trailer storage spaces, and 263 dock doors for truck loading and unloading.  The site is located in Sections 12 and 13, Township 7N, Range 2W, WM immediately west of Interstate 5 and south of State Highway 432 on Cowlitz County tax parcel numbers 24095 and 24385, in Kelso, WA.  The site is zoned LI- Light Industrial.

Donation Pump Station Rebuild SEPA# LUA2022-0012

The City of Kelso is undergoing a project to rebuild the outdated Donation Pump Station located on North 4th Avenue.  The new wastewater pump station will be built on the footprint of the existing pump station.  However, the existing pump station already encroaches into the required front yard setback.  Thus, a variance is requested for the new pump station to also encroach into the setback.  The project also involves replacing the existing 8-inch force main within 4th Avenue with a 16-inch HDPE force main running south from the pump station approximately 1,150 lineal feet.

The site is on North 4th Avenue immediately south of 400 N. Donation St. The zoning district is Residential Single Family 5,000 square feet (RSF5).

Expansion of Commercial Building SEPA# LUA2022-0010

Jason Hannah, on behalf of Dick Hannah Dealerships is proposing to construct and expand a new drop-off service lane and six (6) interior bays on the north end of the existing Dick Hannah Toyota building, which will be approximately 6,356 square feet. A new metal vehicle detail bay on the east side of the building totaling approximately 988 square feet will also be added. The proposed new expansions will match the existing building materials, colors, and parapet heights. The existing site is zoned GC- General Commercial.

Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment and Rezone LUA2022-0005, -0006, -0007

The proposal is to change the Comprehensive Plan’s Future Land Use Map classification for the subject property from Commercial to Industrial.  The proposal is also to change the zoning for the subject property from Regional Commercial (RC) to Light Industrial (LI). The proposal is located in Sections 12 and 13, Township 7N, Range 2W, WM immediately west of Interstate 5 and south of State Highway 432 on Cowlitz County tax parcel numbers 24905, 24385, and 2439101 in Kelso, WA.

South Kelso Railroad Crossing - Revision

LUA2022-0009 in reference to SEPA #: SEP18-007, Case #: STE18-004

The City of Kelso is proposing a railroad crossing overpass located near Hazel Street and the BNSF rail line.  Most of the property is in Cowlitz County jurisdiction. A DNS for this project proposal was originally issued in 2018, but the City of Kelso has since submitted a revised checklist that includes additional information regarding impacts at the at-grade crossing closures at Mill and Yew Streets and updated designs. This Revised DNS is issued for the entire project proposal. Improvements include tree planting and landscaping in key locations, stormwater improvements, and relocation of impacted utilities. Upon completion, Hazel Street between South Pacific Avenue and the eastern terminus of the proposed project will become a dead-end street with a turn-around. The Mill and Yew Street at-grade rail crossings will be closed upon opening of the new bridge and Hazel Street extension to South River Road. Mill and Yew Street would terminate with a cul-de-sac or hammer head to facilitate vehicle turnaround on the west side of the closed crossings.

Paxton Reservoir Transmission Main Project

SEPA Permit# LUA2022-0003

The City of Kelso is replacing the existing 16-inch asbestos cement (AC) water transmission main along S Kelso Drive to the Paxton Reservoir located adjacent to Paxton Road in Kelso (Parcels 24316 and 24317). The existing AC water transmission main will be replaced with a 16-inch ductile iron (DI) water transmission main from Paxton Road, through a newly obtained City of Kelso easement and will lead to a connection point located adjacent to S Kelso Drive. A small, packaged booster pump station with a prefabricated enclosure will also be set to an existing concrete pad. The booster pump will be located at the Paxton Reservoir site and connected to a new 4-inch DI water main providing for domestic service pressure upgrades to 15 homes within the Paxton Road neighborhood. Per WAC 197-11-800 (3)(d)- repair/rebuilding of major dams, dikes, and reservoirs shall not be considered exempt under this subsection.


Self-Storage Units

Conditional Use Permit# LUA2021-0039

Erik Bjerkman, on behalf of Catlin, LLC is requesting Conditional Use Permit review for an existing vacant warehouse structure located at 104 Catlin Street in Kelso. The proposed modifications to construct freestanding self-storage units within the profile of the existing structure will leave the existing building intact with no exterior modifications. The parcel is currently zoned as General Commercial.

Construction of 23,600 Square Foot Building

SEPA Permit# LUA2021-0024

BT-OH, LLC is proposing to construct a new pre-engineered metal building that will be approximately 23,600 square feet and will be used as a shipping facility for UPS. Sitework will include a new United Parcel Service (UPS) building, a new asphalt parking lot, and concrete staging areas. Water, sewer, fire, gas, electric, and telecommunication utilities will be extended to the new UPS building. The existing site is zoned LI- Light Industrial with the north and southwestern portion of the site lying within Airport Safety Overlay.


Zoning Change near 1600 13th Avenue S.

SEPA Permit# LUA2021-0010

William Tastad of Cowlitz County is requesting a Zoning Map amendment review for a current parcel located near 1600 S 13th Avenue in Kelso. The parcel is currently zoned as Open Space, which conflicts with the Comprehensive Plan Map’s designation of Light Industrial. The site is a previously disturbed gravel parking lot and the proposed amendment would allow Cowlitz County to construct a 3,600 square foot metal storage building with seven bays. Per WAC 197-11-800(6) Categorical Exemptions- Land Use Decisions, the proposed rezone must be consistent with and cannot require an amendment to the comprehensive plan. The applicable comprehensive plan must have also been previously subjected to environmental review and analysis through an EIS under the requirements in WAC 197-11-800 prior to adoption; and the EIS must have adequately addressed the environmental impacts of the rezone to be categorically exempt. The applicant’s proposal meets the requirements to be categorically exempt from SEPA review and a Determination of Non-significance has been issued. The proposed Zoning Map amendment also does not interfere with an intermittent slough that is near the site’s property lines and any applications for development will be reviewed at the time of building permit submittal.


Shoreline Master Program: Periodic Review

In order to meet requirements set forth by the Department of Ecology and as required by the Washington state Shoreline Management Act (SMA), RCW 90.58.080(4), the City of Kelso is undertaking a periodic review of its Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The review ensures the SMP stays current with changes in laws and rules, remains consistent with other Kelso plans and regulations, and is responsive to changed circumstances, new information, and improved data. To keep the public involved in the SMP process, the City of Kelso is initiating a Public Participation Plan to encourage public input throughout the SMP review process. Interested parties can access status updates, draft documents, official notices, minutes and other project information at the links below. This webpage will be the primary resource for all information related to the periodic review process.


2021 Levee Maintenance Project

SEPA Permit# LUA2021-0012 (SEP21-004 & SHR21-001)

The Consolidated Diking Improvement District #3 of Cowlitz County (CDID #3) is requesting Shoreline Exemption for the 2021 Levee Maintenance Project consisting of work at two locations on the Coweeman River levee and one location on the Cowlitz River levee. CDID #3 is requesting Shoreline Exemption per WAC 173-27-040(2)(b) because the work to be completed is normal maintenance on existing levees. The normal maintenance at the three levee locations will prevent decline of each levee and continue to provide needed flood protection without causing substantial adverse effects to the shoreline environment.


Construction of 26,400 Square Foot Building

SEPA  Permit# SEP21-002 & Site Plan Review STE21-001

DLC Properties, LLC has applied for site plan approval to construct a 26,400 square foot metal warehouse building on 4.31 acres.  The Assessor’s Parcel Number is 243490100. The site is located east and north of 705 Colorado Street, Kelso, WA.  The property is zoned Light Industrial (LI).


Downtown Kelso Street Rehab Project

SEPA Permit# LUA2021-003 & SEP21-003

The City of Kelso is undergoing a project to rehab some streets in the city.  The streets are: Pacific Avenue from Allen Street to Cowlitz Way; 4th and 5th Avenues between Oak Street and Allen Street; and Oak Street between 4th and 5th avenues.  The project involves milling and filling the top 2-inches of all streets; replacing ADA ramps in selected locations; replacing sanitary sewer lines on all streets; and replacing stormwater lines if video inspections show damage.


Catlin Elementary School - Temporary Site

Conditional Use Permit# LUA2021-0005 & SEP21-001

Kelso School District No. 458 is undergoing a project to temporarily site at the Catlin Elementary School 5 portable classrooms, 2 portable restroom trailers and gravel parking for 60 vehicles.  The purpose of the project is to temporarily house Huntington Middle School students for the 2021/2022 school year while the Huntington Middle School is being renovated. The site address is 404 Long Avenue.  The zoning district is Residential Mixed Density. 

Youth & Family Link 

Conditional Use Permit #LUA2020-001

Applicant’s project is to construct a 2,700 square foot building on a 0.22± acre lot.  The new building will be used for Lower Columbia College Head Start Start/ECEAP classes and neighborhood community center activities. The decision for this conditional use permit will be rendered by the Hearing Examiner after a public hearing.


Huntington Middle School Modernization

Conditional Use Permit# LUA2021-0004

Huntington Middle School is an existing middle school. Project scope is to include modernization of the main building (78,519 Sf on approximately 6.5 acres) mechanical, electrical, plumbing, seismic improvement and architectural finishes. The project scope also includes an expansion of the building to the North that will add approximately 6,000 sf to the building to house a new auxiliary gym and new main building entry. There are no anticipated building use changes at Huntington Middle School.



Construction of 30,000 Square Foot Building & 4,800 Square Foot Building

SEPA Permit# SEP20-002 

Three Rivers Land Services has applied for site plan approval to construct a 30,000 square foot building and a 4,800 square foot building on 3.06 acres.  Approximately, 9,000 sq. ft. of the larger building will be used as an indoor sports complex.  The remainder of the building will be divided into individual bays and leased to various businesses.  The smaller building, to be built at a later date, will likely be leased for a light industrial use.  The site address is 1303 South 13th Avenue, Kelso, WA.  The property is zoned Light Industrial (LI). 


Tybren Heights Road Improvements

SEPA Permit# SEP20-005

Aaron Fuller PE with Fuller Designs has applied for a civil engineering permit to upgrade the existing Tybren Heights Road (a private road which is partly located within Kelso City limits).  The project will serve 8 existing lots totaling approximately 40 acres.  


Huntington Ridge Apartments

SEPA Permit# SEP20-003 LA Hamilton, LLC - 906 Croy Street

LA Hamilton, LLC has applied for site plan approval for a project to construct a 96-unit apartment complex on approximately 10.14 acres.  As proposed, the apartments would be accessed from a driveway off of Kelso Drive North. The site address is 906 Croy Street, Kelso, WA.  The property is zoned Residential Mixed Density.

Butler Acres Elementary School Modernization & Addition

Conditional Use Permit# CUP20-001 Kelso School District - 601 Crawford Street, Kelso WA

Kelso School District No. 458 is undergoing a modernization of the Butler Acres Elementary School and to construct a 4,600± square foot addition to the school. Existing portable classrooms will be removed.  The parking lot will be reconfigured and a bus exit only drive aisle will be installed.  The City is issuing a determination of non-significance (DNS) for this project.

Youth & Family Link 

Conditional Use Permit #CUP19-001 Youth and Family Link 1107 S 4th Street, Kelso WA

Youth and Family Link is proposing a Kelso Facility to serve underserved youth and their families at 1107 S 4th, in the Wallace neighborhood. The public hearing for this Conditional Use permit is scheduled for August 14, 2019 at 5:30pm. Interested parties may attend and be heard.

Additional information will be posted here as it becomes available.

AES Office Building

AES Holdings, Inc. proposes the construction of approximately 7,000 square feet of buildings with associated parking, landscaping, and fencing at 1100 and 1200 Hazel Street. Written comments on this project will be accepted until 5PM on May 6, 2019. If you would like to comment, please follow the directions in the Notice of Application.

Wallace Elementary School

The Kelso School District proposes to replace the existing Wallace Elementary school building with a new 2 story facility aprox 46,000 sq feet in size. The original structure will be demolished after completion of the new structure.  Written comments on this project will be accepted until 5PM, March 6, 2019.

South Kelso Railroad Crossing

The City of Kelso is proposing a railroad overpass at Hazel Street and the BNSF rail line. Below is the SEPA checklist and supporting documents. A cultural resources report was done but is not available for public distribution as per RCW 42.56.300. Comments must be submitted to the City here in Community Development no later than 4 PM on January 17th. Only written comments can be taken. Please follow the directions for submitting comments found in the SEPA checklist distribution slip.

Headstart Facility at Barnes Elementary School

Lower Columbia College and the Kelso School District are partnering to add a larger Headstart facility at Barnes Elementary School, 401 Barnes Street, Kelso. The new modular will be approximately 5,000 square feet in size and have an additional 14 off street parking spaces as well as an off street drop off and pick up for the kids. Parties of record wishing to appeal the DNS must do so in writing no later than 5 PM February 1, 2019. Follow the directions for appeal on the SEPA DNS decision.