Community Development Department


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Call Before You Dig


Planning a home improvement job? Planting a tree? Installing a fence or deck?

Washington law requires anyone planning to excavate, including on your own property, to have the dig site reviewed for any underground utility lines. It's FREE. Protect yourself and those around you – Call 811 before you dig. For more information visit, .

When is a building permit required?
Why should you get a building permit?
When is a permit not required?
When should I contact Community Development?

If you do not see the information you are looking for, please call the Community Development Department at (425) 413-8800.

When is a building permit required?

  • To build any new structures
  • To construct additions to existing structures
  • To place a mobile or modular home
  • To remodel or repair existing buildings when the remodel involves structural members, adding or removing doors or windows, constructing or demolishing interior partition walls, replacing sheet-rock, relocating plumbing or mechanical fixtures, etc.
  • Changes in use or occupancy of an existing building
  • Installation or replacement of fuel burning appliances, such as wood stoves, gas furnaces, hot water tanks, fireplace inserts, etc.
  • Installation, relocation or replacement of signage, including painted graphics on building facade
  • Installation of telecommunications facilities, antennae, etc.
  • Commercial re-roofing
  • Residential re-roofing requiring the installation of sheathing or a change in roofing materials weighing more than the original roofing material
  • Demolition or partial demolition of existing structures
  • Grading, excavation or fill involving more than 50 cubic yards of material
  • Retaining walls greater than 4 feet in height from bottom of footing to top of wall, or supporting a surcharge
  • Fences greater than 6 feet in height

Why should you get a building permit?

There are many important reasons to obtain the required building permit(s) and to obtain the required inspections for your construction project.

  • Helps protect property value. Your home or business is an investment. If your construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by your community, the value of your investment could be reduced.
  • Saves Money. Property insurers may not cover work or damages caused by work done without permits and inspections.
  • Makes Selling Property Easier. When property is sold through a multiple listing association, the owner is required to disclose any improvements or repairs made and if permits and inspections were obtained. Many financial institutions will not finance a purchase without proof of a final inspection. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied or do costly repairs.
  • Improves safety. Your permit allows the code official to reduce potential hazards of unsafe construction to provide for public health, safety and welfare. By following code guidelines, your completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, and your friends or future owners. Mandatory inspections complement the contractor’s experience and act as a system of checks and balances resulting in a safer project.
  • It’s the Law. Work requiring permits are made such by City Ordinance. Work without a permit may be subject to removal or other costly remedies.

When is a permit not required?

Please note: Although some construction activities do not require a permit, they must comply with building setback requirements. Please contact the City for the specific setback requirements in your zoning designation.

  • To construct an accessory building used strictly for storage which is less than 200 square feet in roof area. (Subject to building setbacks)
  • To construct a deck which is uncovered and not more than 30 inches above grade at its highest point or greater than 200 square feet. (Subject to building setbacks)
  • To install or replace siding.
  • To remove and replace sign inserts in existing cabinets.
  • To replace existing plumbing fixtures utilizing existing water piping and traps.
  • To paint or wallpaper, lay carpet or vinyl flooring, install cabinets and other finish work not involving the construction or demolition of interior walls, doors or windows.
  • To build a fence less than 6 feet in height

When should I contact Community Development?

Check with Community Development before...

  • Removing any trees, particularly from lakefront property.
  • Placing banners, pennants or other temporary signage.
  • Acquiring more than 3 small outdoor animals (e.g. dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc.) or any large outdoor animals (e.g. horses, goats, donkeys, pigs, etc.).
  • Operating a daycare or other home occupation in a residence.
  • Disturbing property which may be environmentally sensitive, including wetlands, slopes and streams.
  • Paving or placing gravel or installing a driveway.
  • Constructing, replacing or enlarging a dock.

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