Road Naming

San Juan County road naming requirements are set forth in the San Juan County Code, Chapter 15.08 - Uniform Addressing System. The following guidelines are offered to inform you of the applicable regulations, and to assist you in the application process for naming a new road or renaming an existing road.

  • Roads serving two or more parcels require a name. A road serving only one parcel is considered a driveway, not a road, and will not be named. Exceptions may apply under certain, very limited circumstances. Contact Public Works for details.
  • Each road gets one name only. Road names cannot change or terminate at parcel boundaries, subdivision lines, or other locations along a continuous road. Road names cannot follow multiple branches. The path and extent of the road will be determined by Public Works, and will follow the most evident path of continuous traveled way.
  • Road names are chosen by consensus of the affected property owners, and approved by the County Engineer. Consensus is demonstrated by submitting a petition signed by a minimum of 60% of the affected owners. Affected owners include any who own land adjacent to the road or who use the road to access their land. Each legal owner may sign the petition only once regardless of how many parcels they own. Joint owners each sign independently. We encourage petitioners to strive for full consensus (100%), and are happy to assist you in identifying the affected owners and their mailing addresses.
  • Duplicate, sound-alike, or similar names are not allowed. Similar road names are problematic for emergency responders. For this reason, duplicate name criteria are fairly stringent, and are strictly enforced. Road names beginning with the same word are, in most cases, considered duplicates, as are names containing overused words such as "ridge" or "view". Public Works maintains a list of all the existing road names on each island, as well as a list of over-used words. We highly recommend working closely with us to find several acceptable names to choose from, before making your final selection and collecting the necessary signatures.
  • Names should be pleasant sounding, appropriate, and easy to read and pronounce. Names deemed to be frivolous, complicated, or offensive will not be accepted. Names with unconventional spellings are also disallowed.
  • Miscellaneous name restrictions include: numbers 1st St., Second St., No. 3 Lane), alphabetical letters (A, B), directional references (North, South), Special characters, such as punctuation marks (Allen’s Road). Naming roads after people is discouraged except where the name has historical significance.
  • A road-type designator (Road, Lane, Way, Place…) is required. If you are unsure which is appropriate for your road, we can help. A list of acceptable road-types is available on request.
  • Under certain circumstances, an existing road may be renamed. Renaming must be approved by the County Engineer, and the proposed name must meet all the criteria for new names. A $100 dollar processing fee may be assessed. If you seek to rename an existing road, please check with Public Works staff for more information.
Helpful Information
If you have additional questions email the Public Works Department or call them at 360-370-0542.