Planning Permits

Permits handled by the planning department, called land use permits, range from new subdivisions to sign permits to construction in critical areas. As a general rule of thumb, you probably need a land use permit or need to comply with the land use codes if your project involves any of the following activities. If you call the department at (253) 851-6170, a planner will help you determine if a land use permit is needed.


Land use permits or compliance with City codes are most likely required for:

  • Adding floor area
  • Adding or changing signs
  • Altering or modifying a façade of a building or any other visible element of a building
  • Building a deck, retaining wall, gazebo, trellis, swimming pool, etc.
  • Changes of use; establishment, expansion or alteration of the use of land or building
  • Creating, combining, removing, or modifying property lines  (lots of record)
  • Doing any exterior work within 200 feet of the shoreline
  • Establishing a new business; expanding a business
  • Installing a heat pump, fence, storage shed, etc.
  • Installing impervious surfaces  (sidewalks, plazas, parking lots, etc.)
  • Installing or changing a telecommunication device
  • Modifying critical areas and their buffers
  • Modifying landscaping, common areas, plazas, or vegetation retention areas
  • Modifying parking lot layouts or parking lot landscaping
  • Modifying stormwater facilities/ponds
  • Planning an outside event on private commercial property
  • Remodeling a building
  • Removing a building
  • Removing of trees or ground cover from, or grading any undeveloped or partially developed land, public or private in the city

Checklists | Applications | Fees

Online Permit Services

Please view the Public Permit Portal for permit information, to check permit status and schedule inspections.