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Subdivision/Land Use Program

This program provides review and evaluation for the subdivision of tracts of land, proposals that may have impacts to the environment to ensure proper measures are taken to maintain environmental health.

What is a Short Plat?

When a piece of property does not have municipal sewer utility available, it must be reviewed by the Health District for proper sizing and site conditions to support an on-site sewage disposal system. This is done in an attempt to insure the likelihood of future use of a parcel as a building site.

A Short Plat is used to divide land into four or fewer parcels or lots, any one of which is less than five acres, for the purpose of sale, lease, or other transfer of ownership.

The Short Plat Process

If you are considering a short plat application, you are encouraged to request a preliminary conference. The purpose of this conference is to give you an unofficial review of your general subdivision proposal before making any financial commitment, as fees paid to the Health District are nonrefundable. This pre-application review shall not be construed to bind either the subdivider or the Health District in any respect. Our phone number to set up this conference is 509-460 4205.

Please call ahead to schedule this review to insure that you speak with personnel who are familiar with property in your area.

Considered during a preliminary review:
  • Known soil conditions in the area
  • Slope of the land on the lots
  • Source of water for the lots
  • Any existing home(s)
  • Minimum lot requirements of the County Planning Department

Before contacting a surveyor, it is advised that you complete the short plat process with the Health Department. This will avoid having to resurvey your property if your initial plans do not work given the conditions on your property and changing lot lines. If you know who will be doing your surveying work, copies of pertinent information can be shared with them by the Health District before they survey your property

Part of the application requires that a map be drawn out showing the following site conditions. You do not need a surveyor to do this map.

  • Boundary lines (existing and proposed)
  • Easements
  • Road and road right of ways
  • Drainage across the property including irrigation and natural drainage areas
  • Existing homes, building, driveways, pools, etc.
  • Existing wells on the property and with 150 feet of the property
  • Existing sewage disposal systems
  • Slope of the land
  • Ponds, irrigation canals, and other surface water on and within 150 feet of the property
  • Proposed structure and/or sewage systems
  • Signature and date on the plan

Once your application has been received by our office, it will be assigned to an Environmental Health Specialist who is familiar with the area. This inspector will look up and review records that are available in our office and advise you of the need for and placement of test holes to be dug on each parcel.

One or more test holes must be dug for each parcel. Each 8'-10' deep test hole must be dug with a backhoe and be located in the areas in which on-site sewage disposal systems would most likely be placed. Your inspector will arrange to be on the property while the backhoe is still there in case more holes need to be dug in another location on the lot. This can save you time and money as you will not have to reschedule the backhoe and inspector again on another date if more test holes are needed.

The property is also reviewed in terms of the impact wells, including those on neighboring properties, will have on the property. If the property requires a well, the minimum lot size is generally one (1) to two (2) acres.

In addition to test holes and well location, our short plat review shall include the examination of the formal submittal made to the county or city government granting final approval of the proposal. Following this examination, a written recommendation will be forwarded to the governing agency.

The short plat process generally takes approximately 2-4 weeks for Health District review. Your application is good for one year from the date it is submitted.


Once you have decided to move ahead with your subdivision, you will need to complete and turn in an application with the appropriate fee. The fee for the short plat process is $500.00, plus $40.00 per lot (example: If you are creating 4 lots, you would pay $500.00 + $40.00 + $40.00 + $40.00 + $40.00 = $660.00). Click here to download an application.

Lot Size

The size of the lots you are able to divide your parcel into depends on the purpose of your short plat (creating new lots for single family residences, apartments, industrial/commercial purposes) and the amount of useable area on the lot. Useable area is the space on the lot where an on-site septic system can be placed. It must be unencumbered by any easements or setbacks. The Benton-Franklin Health District requires a minimum of 12,500 square feet of useable area per lot in the most suitable soil conditions and up to 22,000 square feet in a clay loam soil. The sizing of the lot ultimately depends on the soil type and source of water.

You will also need to contact the County Building/Planning department to determine what your property is zoned as and what their minimum lot size requirements are for that zone. Your newly created lots will have to meet the largest minimum lot size of either the Building/Planning Department or the Health District.

Benton County Planning/Building Department
Planning Annex
1002 Dudley Avenue
Prosser, WA 99350
Prosser: (509) 786-5612
Tri-Cities: (509) 736-3086
Applications available on-line: http://www.co.benton.wa.us/benton-appl.htm

Franklin County Planning Department
Franklin County Courthouse
1016 N. 4th Avenue
Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 545-3521
Application forms: http://www.co.franklin.wa.us/planning/appforms.cfm?action=viewforms&packetid=59

What is a Long Plat?

When a lot is divided into more than 4 lots, it is considered a long plat. There are additional requirements for a long plat with our office:
  1. The plat must have a proposed name
  2. You must have a consultant
  3. Two copies of the proposed plat must be submitted

You will also need to be in contact with the County Road, Public Works and Engineering Departments to meet their requirements for roads, utilities and fire protection.

As with the short plat process, it is wise to schedule a preliminary conference with an inspector who is familiar with the area to discuss your options in long platting the property. There is no fee for this preliminary appointment. Please call 460 4205 to set up this conference.

What is the Long Plat Process?

An application for a long plat must be submitted to the Health District, with the appropriate fee.

Click here to download an application for a long plat.
Click here for the fees for a long plat.

Once the application has been received, it will be assigned to an Environmental Health Specialist who is familiar with the area. This inspector will look up and review records that are available in our office and advise you of the need for and placement of test holes to be dug on each parcel.

We generally want to see test holes dug on the proposed lots approximately every 200 ft in locations that are suitable for septic systems (i.e., fairly flat areas, away from natural drainage areas, etc.) with at least one to two test holes on each proposed lot. Because of the amount of test holes that need to be dug, the inspector usually visits the site after the majority of the holes have been dug.

We will also review what the source of water is to be - individual wells or a community water system and what the impact the placement of any wells will have on the lots.


The fee for a long plat is $700.00 plus $40.00 for each lot being created. The fee is non-refundable.

What is a Boundary Line Adjustment?

Boundary line or lot line adjustments are used whenever lot line adjustments are proposed between two or more existing adjacent parcels as long as the parcel size meets the zoning requirements. They are used to:

  • Correct minor trespasses (i.e., building a garage over the property line)
  • Add/subtract acreage to a parcel
  • Create better lot design
  • Improve access

In no case are any new parcels created.

The role of the Health District is to review the proposed changes to the boundary line to insure that each parcel maintains the ability to support an on-site sewage disposal system. The fee for a boundary line adjustment is $350.00. This fee is non-refundable. Click here to download an application.

The timeline for a boundary line adjustment is approximately 2 to 4 weeks.
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Benton Franklin Health District
7102 W Okanogan Pl
Kennewick WA
(509) 460 4200
412 W Clark
Pasco WA
(509) 547-9737

Emergency Contact Information

Personal Emergency for Medical, Police, Fire, or Other: 911
Washington Poison Center: 1 (800) 222-1222 (www.wapc.org)
Washington Community Resource Information: 211 (www.win211.org)
BFHD Public Health Emergency/Imminent Health Hazard After-Hours Reporting: 509-543-3851
The public can reference BFHD policies available in Kennewick office.
BFHD Privacy Statement:English / Spanish
Copies of the annual report available at all BFHD offices.
State and County Resources
Rules and Regulations Administered by or Governing the Benton-Franklin Health District
WAC's - RCW's
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