Definition of a Franchise
In accordance with Chapter 36.55 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Yakima County maintains legal authority to grant franchises to interested parties. A franchise is an agreement of understanding between an authorized jurisdiction (Yakima County), and a prospective applicant that defines the rights and responsibilities of both the county and the individual or business in placing utilities in county right-of-way. The franchise sets for the conditions of placement. For more information on franchises, review the Revised Code of Washington Chapter 36.55.010 to .080
Applying for a Franchise
A franchise is requested when an individual or business needs to place utilities in county right-of-way. Call 509-574-2300 and ask for the Franchise Coordinator if you have any questions. Make sure you fill out the franchise request form (PDF).
Processing the Application
Upon receipt of the completed Franchise Application Form:
- The Clerk of the BoCC sets a public hearing date within 3-5 weeks (the date of the public hearing is determined by a 15-day public notification period, where the last notification must be posted at least five days prior to the public hearing date).
- Notification letter(s) are sent to the applicant notifying them of the public hearing date. Public Hearings are normally scheduled on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. following the BoCC’s weekly regular agenda meetings. However, times and dates can change at the discretion of the BoCC.
- If approved, the Franchise Coordinator will submit a request resolution officially granting a franchise to the applicant. This resolution granting the franchise is usually approved by the BoCC at the next regularly scheduled agenda meeting.
- The BoCC will bill the applicant the cost of the Public Notice (approximately $120). This bill must be paid before the franchise will be issued.
Right of Way Use Permits
Where the Franchise Permit grants the applicant access to county right-of-way, a Right-of-Way Use Permit (PDF) documents how the work will be performed.
The applicant can begin the Right-of-Way Use (RWU) Permit process at the same time as the franchise request, however, a RWU Permit will not be approved without a granted franchise. The applicant is required to submit a completed RWU Information Form and an approved traffic control plan for review by county staff. This permit request will be reviewed for location and construction specific information. Upon staff approval of the RWU Permit, traffic control plan, and granting of franchise, a Right-of-Way Use Permit will be issued.