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

Electronic submittal begins by emailing the Intake Request Form to the Planning Department at

Checklists | Applications | Fees

Online Permit Services

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