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Planning and Development Services

Do I Need A Permit ?
and other Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a building permit?

Please see our handout on Construction Exempt from a Building Permit (pdf).

How do I apply for a building permit?

1.     A Building Permit Application and Checklist are available at Planning and Development Services.
2.     Use the building permit checklist to determine what information is required for your project.
3.     Determine if the property is a legal lot. See our Lot Certification handout.

City of Anacortes
6th & Q - Anacortes, WA 98221
Building (360) 293-1901
Planning (360) 293-1900
City of Burlington
833 S. Spruce St.- Burlington, WA 98233
Building (360) 755-0077
Planning (360) 755-9717
City of Concrete
45672 Main Street - Concrete, WA 98237
(360) 853-8401
Town of Hamilton
584 Maple - Hamilton, WA 98255
(360) 826-3027
Town of LaConner
204 Douglas - LaConner, WA 98257
(360) 466-3125
Town of Lyman
104 E 3rd - Lyman, WA 98263
(360) 826-3033
City of Mount Vernon
910 Cleveland Avenue, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 336-6214

City of Sedro-Woolley
325 Metcalf Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
Snohomish County
Planning and Development Services
(360) 388-3311 or 1-800-562-4367
Whatcom County
(360) 676-6907

What information do I need to provide for a complete building permit application?
The information required for a complete application can vary depending on the scope of your project. Our Building Permit Application and Checklist outline the information required for all types of building permits. Counter staff will assist you in determining which of these items apply to your project.
An application for a NEW RESIDENCE must include:
__ Lot certification.
__ Completed permit application.
__ Site plan.
__ Residential construction plans or manufactured home installation specifications.
__ Approved sewage source (septic/public sewer).
__ Approved source of potable water (individual well, community well or public source).
__ Copy of access/driveway permit for county road or state highway.
__ Application for an address.

What fees do I pay and when?
Fees are established by resolution. Refer to Resolution #16189 or the Planning and Development Services Fee Schedule handout. The method used to calculate the building plan review and permit fees is based on a valuation of the structure as determined by the County. Payment may be in the form of cash, check or credit card (Visa or Mastercard).
At time of permit application, Permit Center staff will calculate and collect plan review, critical area review and enforcement action fees. Fees for other permits such as septic or individual well approval will also be collected.
At time of permit issuance, building permit, mechanical, plumbing, critical area site visit, school district impact fees and any other fees as determined during the review process (for example: commercial projects - drainage review, fire sprinkler plan review) will be collected.
How long will it take to process my application?
Applications are routed to the appropriate staff for review. Initial review takes place within 5 to10 working days from the date of submittal. Actual turn-around-time for permit issuance can depend on a variety of issues including, but not limited to, completeness of application, scope of project, setbacks from critical areas and applicant response time to any requests for additional information.
Submittal Tip!
Plan ahead! Know what it takes for a complete application and submit the required documents and information. Have septic, water, access (driveway) and address permits or approvals completed prior to permit submittal.

Do I need an Architect or Engineer?
An architect or engineers stamp is generally not required. Buildings of unusual size or shape, or constructed of alternative materials may require an architect or engineer to stamp the plans. A Plans Examiner can help determine this need prior to submittal.
When can I start work?
Site work may begin after the permit has been issued.
Will I need other permits?
Other permits may be required: for example, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, demolition, zoning variance, shoreline, water approval, septic permit.
Will my application expire?
An application is valid for a period of 6 months. Prior to expiration, a letter will be sent to the applicant (or their agent) notifying them the application is about to expire. You may request a one-time 6-month extension or request to withdraw the application. Requests for application extension or withdrawl need to be in writing.
When will my permit expire?
A permit is valid for three years from the date of issuance regardless of inspection frequency. Fees to renew an expired permit are 30% of the cost of a current permit. If plans have been modified from the original approval(s), the applicant pays an additional plan review fee of $50.00 per hour; minimum fee of $50.00.
What inspections will I need?
Inspections can vary for each project. An inspection card will be issued with your permit and may include:
       Setbacks, foundation footings and walls
       Framing, plumbing and mechanical
       Blocking and tie-downs (Manufactured Home)
       Electrical (inspected by WA State Labor & Industries)
       Insulation, energy code & drywall
       Skirting and venting (Manufactured Home)
       Final occupancy
How do I call for an inspection?
Call our 24-hour inspection request line at (360) 416-1330. Requests called in before 7:30 in the morning get a same day inspection. Guemes Island inspections are scheduled for both Wednesday and Friday mornings. To talk with your inspector call our office between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
If your property is located within city limits, contact your city Planning/Building Department.