NOTICE: The permit counter is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The last customer will be accepted at 4:15 p.m.
Development Services is responsible for overseeing the City's codes, ordinances and associated permit processes that relate to development that occurs within the City.
Frequently Asked Questions Online Permitting Planning/Zoning Building Request an Inspection Contact Us Online Business Renewals
How does development or building project review work?
Review and permitting of a development or building project generally involves review and approval of staff from the Planning and Building divisions, and depending on the scope of the project may involve review by other City departments such as Public Works as well as outside agencies such as West Pierce Fire and Rescue, Pierce County Utilities, Lakewood Water District and various electrical utility providers.
The Planning Process
Development project review by planning staff often involves two elements: 1) environmental review as required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA); and 2) review of the project for compliance with applicable zoning and/or subdivision regulations and development standards. State law exempts many smaller projects from environmental review.
Projects are required to conform with the City's Land Use and Development Code (Title 18A of the Lakewood Municipal Code – often called the zoning code), as well as any other regulations that may apply, such as state requirements or other City regulations such as the critical areas ordinance or subdivision code.
Depending on the nature of the project, it may be subject to administrative (staff) review and approval, or it might be required to go before the City’s hearing examiner for a public hearing and decision.
The current planning division can help you with questions about specific development projects and applications. We strongly recommend that you consult with planning staff prior to embarking on any development project; changing the use of any property; or altering the condition of any land through clearing or grading, tree removal, or any other action. Call or stop by the second floor of City Hall to talk to the planner on duty, who can advise you about the basics and any regulations that might apply to your project. Call (253) 512-2261 for further information or to schedule an appointment with a planner.
Applications for various planning permits are available on line. Most applications contain fillable forms that can be filled in on-line. NOTE: In order to use fillable forms the form must be downloaded using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Planning Application Packets
The Building Permit Process
Once you have determined that a building permit is required you will need to fill out the appropriate application and return it to the Services Counter in City Hall. Most applications contain fillable forms that can be filled in on-line. NOTE: In order to use fillable forms the form must be downloaded using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Building Application Forms
Due to the varied types of permits that may be needed, and the scope and size of each particular project, permit counter staff will calculate the required fee. General fees for various permit types can be found in the City's 2017 Master Fee Schedule
A checklist of required plans and other documentation is attached to the applicable building permit form. Generally, these items include: civil, plot, site, grading plans, landscape and building plans, including architectural, structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical drawings, and fire protection system.
Once a permit application has been submitted, and fees paid, the permit applications, plans, and other documentation are then reviewed for completeness by a plans examiner and other departments and outside agencies as necessary.
If the plans are found to be incomplete, you will be requested to provide revisions or missing information.
Once corrections or additional information is received it will be reviewed and if deemed to be complete and meets applicable building codes, and has received approval from all reviewing departments and agencies a building permit will be issued.
Additionally, formal preapplication conferences are available to more thoroughly assess a given proposal’s development considerations and gain input from staff in other divisions and departments, as well as outside reviewers such as utilities and the Fire District. This consultation is intended to help you avoid what can turn out to be costly mistakes or miscommunication with contractors or others working on your behalf. If you go on to apply for your project in a timely manner, a portion of the preapplication conference fee is applied to the cost of your permit(s).
Outside Service and Utility Providers
As the City is not a full service provider, it contracts or has agreements with, outside agencies to provide some essential services such as fire protection, sewer and water. If you are contemplating a development or building project within the City you should contact the appropriate provider with any questions in regard to your plans and to inquire about any specific requirements the provider may have. The following are service and utility providers for the City.
Electric (Electric Provider Map)
Telephone, Cable, Internet
Once you know what type of permit(s) you need, you can download the appropriate application materials from Planning or Building . Most applications contain fillable forms that can be filled in on-line. NOTE: In order to use fillable forms the form must be downloaded using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Fees vary by the type of permit and are listed on the top of each planning application form or can be found on the City's 2017 Master Fee Schedule .
For more information in regard to the planning and development process, call (253) 512-2261.