Building Permit

What is the purpose of this permit?
Permits to construct permanent buildings or additions to existing facilities are required by counties and cities, except under certain circumstances. The application requires detailed final plans for structures including electrical plan, plumbing plan, floor layout, sewage facilities, location of wells (if applicable), drainage plan, size and shape of lot and buildings, setback of buildings from property lines and drainfield (if applicable), access, size and shape of foundation walls, beams, air vents, window accesses, and heating or cooling plants, if included in the design. Permits are issued upon approval of the plans. Permit processing time varies depending on the project, but averages from six to eight weeks. Public hearings requirements also vary depending on activity proposed.

The Growth Management Act, which became law in 1990, amended the State Building Code to require that building permit applicants provide proof of an adequate supply of potable water for the purposes of the building. The three means of proof specified in the law are: 1) a permit from the Department of Ecology, 2) a letter from an approved purveyor stating the ability and willingness to provide water, and 3) another form (consult with the appropriate local government) sufficient to verify the existence of an adequate water supply. The departments of Ecology and Health developed guidelines to help local governments verify the adequacy of water supplies for individual buildings.

Who issues this permit?
Local Government - City or County
What activities require this permit?
Construction of permanent buildings or additions to existing facilities.
How much will this permit cost?
Variable. Check with local government.
Related Entries:
Legal Authority:
Local Government - City or County
Planning Departments
For assistance contact 1-800-917-0043 (Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance)
Triggering Questions:
  • Will you be constructing a new permanent building or adding on to an existing one?
  • Will you be repairing or modifying a bulkhead?
  • Will you be moving a bulkhead above the ordinary high water mark?
  • Will you be using bioengineering techniques to stabilize your shoreline?
  • Will you be building a new permanent structure or adding on to an existing one?
  • Will you be building a new permanent structure or adding on to an existing one?
  • Do you intend to modify or perform maintenance on a dock?
* Permit information last updated 3/26/2015