Working to enhance the community's quality of life, promote the development of economic vitality and diversity, mitigate the sometimes adverse impacts of development, and promote cost-effective delivery of public services, the current planning section is primarily responsible for reviewing land development applications within Lakewood. These can vary from everyday projects such as single-family development, short plats, and tenant improvements to more complex projects such as subdivisions, conditional use permits, and master plans for “campus” type facilities. This division also staffs the Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board, oversees the designation of historic properties within the city, and administers the multifamily property tax incentive program.
How does project review work?
Development project review 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.
How do I get started?
The current planning section 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.
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).
Once you know what type of permit(s) you need, you can download the appropriate application below. Fees vary by the type of permit and are listed on the top of each application form.
- Administrative Use App (pdf 233 kB) (doc 990 kB)
- Binding Site Plan App (pdf 195 kB) (doc 419 kB)
- Boundary Line Adjustment App (pdf 152 kB) (doc 408 kB)
- Conditional Use App (doc 993 kB) (pdf 224 kB)
- Daycare (doc 362 kB) (pdf 32 kB)
- Design Review App (pdf 202 kB) (doc 975 kB)
- Final Plat App (pdf 166 kB) (doc 413 kB)
- Group Home (pdf 148 kB) (doc 452 kB)
- Integrated Sign Plan (pdf 213 kB) (doc 605 kB)
- Lot Combo App (pdf 164 kB) (doc 415 kB)
- Plat Alteration App (doc 414 kB) (pdf 163 kB)
- Preliminary Plat App (doc 414 kB) (pdf 184 kB)
- SEPA Checklist App (doc 829 kB) (pdf 218 kB)
- SEPA Modification Packet (pdf 181 kB) (doc 592 kB)
- Shoreline Conditional Use Permit App (doc 970 kB) (pdf 215 kB)
- Shoreline Exemption App (pdf 165 kB) (doc 403 kB)
- Shoreline Substantial Development Permit App (pdf 194 kB) (doc 787 kB)
- Shoreline Variance Permit App (pdf 231 kB) (doc 787 kB)
- Short Plat App (doc 415 kB) (pdf 200 kB)
- Single Family Reasonable Use Exception Permit App (doc 334 kB) (pdf 34 kB)
- Temporary Use Permit (doc 607 kB) (pdf 215 kB)
- Tree Permit App (pdf 100 kB) (doc 401 kB)
- Variance Admin App (doc 602 kB) (pdf 219 kB)
- Variance Major App (pdf 202 kB) (doc 599 kB)
- Zoning Certificate-determination (doc 397 kB) (pdf 155 kB)
What if I don’t agree with a project decision or requirements?
Sometimes the City must balance the public interest with basic property rights and specific legal requirements. Public input, comments from other public agencies, and other relevant information are compiled by the Current Planning Division and form the official record in case of an appeal. In most cases, any appeals of staff decisions are decided by the hearing examiner, and appeals of hearing examiner decisions are decided in court. The Planning Advisory Board (planning commission) and City Council do not have a role in this process.