Lakewood Development Services reviews all permits, building applications, and building inspections. Use this page to find information on permits, building information, and building inspections in Lakewood.
Lakewood Permit Desk
6000 Main St SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
Phones & Email:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Permit & Service Counter:
Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Service Counter is open for general questions. No over-the-counter review or issuance of permits. Use the Permit Portal for permit submittal and issuance.
Schedule a meeting for specific project questions. Email [email protected] at least 24 hours in advance to make an appointment.
Planning Manager – Permitting
Contacting the Permit Center
We are happy to help answer questions about your permit. Because of the number of applications and questions we receive, we ask that you make an appointment or visit during service desk hours.
Visit the Permit Desk during service hours:
- Speak with our first-floor receptionist between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m, Monday-Friday. The receptionist will contact the permits team and someone will come to meet you. They may be able to answer your question, or they may need to set an appointment for you.
Call or Email:
- Your call will go to an answering machine. Describe your issue or question, or request an appointment. Please include your contact information in your message. We check messages twice daily. We will call you back shortly.
- Call: (253) 512-2261
- Email: [email protected]
- Appointments must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. We can meet virtually via Zoom or at City Hall.
Live chat in Permit Portal
- We are available for live chat through the permit portal between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Look for the chat button in the upper-right corner of the permit portal.
The Building Department no longer accepts deferred submittals for plumbing or mechanical permits.
Water availability certificates must be provided as part of the building permit submission. To obtain a water availability certificate visit the Lakewood Water District located at 11900 Gravelly Lake Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98499.
A digital copy of all plans must be provided at the time of intake.
The City of Lakewood is now utilizing a new permitting system which allows permit applications to be submitted online through a portal. All completed application forms must be submitted through the portal. The Permit Application Guide Walkthroughs provide assistance for those navigating the system.
The City of Lakewood Community & Economic Development Department prefers electronic submittal packets. Larger projects must be submitted electronically.
How to Apply:
- Choose the applicable permit from the list below
- All commercial projects are required to submit building, plumbing, and mechanical permit applications at the same time.
- Plans must be complete at the time of submittal
- Residential projects only require only a building permit at the time of submittal.
- Once the documents have been reviewed, the permit technician will enter the permit into our permit system. An email will then be sent with payment information.
- Once payment has been received, the receipt will be available online through the dashboard.
- An email from the Permit Technicians will be sent advising that the permit(s) have been approved. This will include the remaining balance that is due and whether the contractor information is required prior to issuance.
- We accept Visa, MasterCard, or check(s) (payable to the City of Lakewood).
- Please note, if check is returned as NSF there will be an applicable fee and permit will be revoked until another form of payment is received.
- Once final payment has been received you will receive an email notifying you that the approved set of plans will be available for download from the Dashboard. Please print out one full-size set of plans and keep them on-site at all times for inspection purposes.
All revision submittals should include a revision summary. The revised pages should be marked with the revision number and date, and revisions should be called out by being clouded. Revisions are required to be complete sets of plans.
- For Permits submitted prior to 10/27/2021, beginning with letters “BP” – (Example: BP-21-00001)
- Commercial Projects
- Email [email protected] a copy of the Revision Submittal form.
- A permit technician will contact you back and provide steps on how to proceed.
- Residential Projects
- Email [email protected] a copy of the Revision Submittal form, as well as any plans/drawings.
- A permit technician will respond within 48 hours of receipt.
- Commercial Projects
- For Permits submitted after 10/27/2021, beginning numerically (Example: 1234, 123)
- Complete the Revision Submittal form and resubmit the changes online through the Dashboard.
Archived Permit Lookup
If you need to find a permit that was submitted before October 2021, click the button below.
Permit Applications and Handouts
These handouts provide general information on the submittal requirements for plans associated with various land use permits. These handouts can also be found as attachments to land use application packets.
Changes to Title 18A take effect Jan. 15, 2020. Read about the changes.
- Handout 1 – Commercial Site Plan
- Handout 2 – Parking Plan
- Handout 3 – Landscape Plan
- Handout 4 – Single Family Residential Site Plan
- Handout 5 – Tree Retention Plan
- Handout 6 – Operational Characteristics Description
- Handout 7 – Tenant Improvements Site Plan
- Handout 8 – Shoreline Development General Description
- Handout 9 – Shoreline Site Plan
- Handout 10 – Integrated Sign Plan
- Handout 11 – Master Plan Guidelines
- Handout 12 – Pre Application Conference
- Handout 13: Downtown Lakewood Operational Characteristics Description
- Adult Family Home
- Commercial New Construction Permit
- Commercial New Construction Checklist
- Commercial Tenant Improvement
- Commercial Tenant Improvement Checklist
- Demolition Permit
- Interior Demolition Permit
- Manufactured/Mobile Home
- Mechanical Permit
- Occupancy Inspection
- Operational Characteristics
- Plumbing Permit
- Pre-application Permit Request
- Residential Building Permit
- Residential Building Checklist
- Revision Submittal
- Sign Permit
- Special Inspection and Testing Agreement
- Temporary Outdoor Seating Application & Checklist
- Appeal of an Administrative Determination
- Binding Site Plan
- Binding Site Plan Amendment
- Boundary Line Adjustment
- Certificate of Appropriateness for Historic Properties
- Comprehensive Plan or Zoning Map Amendment
- Comprehensive Plan or Zoning Text Amendment
- Conditional Use Permit
- Design Review
- Development Agreement
- Downtown Traffic Mitigation Fee Estimate
- Final Plat
- Floodplain Development Permit
- Group Home
- Home Occupation Permit
- Land Use Modification Permit
- Master Facilities Plan
- Multi Family Tax Exemption
- Operational Characteristics
- Planned Development District (PDD)
- Plat Alteration
- Plat Amendment
- Pre-Application Conference
- Preliminary Plat
- Reasonable Use Exception
- SEPA Checklist for Comprehensive Plan Amendment
- SEPA Checklist for Land Use Permit
- SEPA Modification
- Shoreline Conditional Use Permit
- Shoreline Exemption
- Shoreline Substantial Development Permit
- Shoreline Variance
- Short Plat
- Short Plat Amendment
- Sign Permit Application
- Site Specific Rezone
- Subarea Plan Design Review
- Subarea SEPA Checklist
- Temporary Use Permit
- Tree Removal Permit
- Wireless Facility Process Flowchart
- Wireless Facility Franchise Agreement
- Wireless Facility (SWF) Permit Application
- Zoning Certification/ Directors Determination
- Wireless Facility Process Flowchart (review time may be impacted by Proclamation 2020-05-14)
- Wireless Facility Franchise Agreement Application (review time may be impacted by Proclamation 2020-05-14)
- Wireless Facility Device Application (review time may be impacted by Proclamation 2020-05-14)
- City of Lakewood Master License Agreement Example (review time may be impacted by Proclamation 2020-05-14)
Request an Inspection
For permits beginning in BP (ex. BP-21-11111):
- Request your inspection by calling 253-512-2266.
- Please note: for a next-day inspection, calls must be received before 2 p.m. Monday-Friday.
For permits with a three (3) or four (4) digit number (ex. 1234):
- Request an inspection through the permits dashboard.
The Building Division does not perform electrical inspections.
Depending on your geographical location, either Tacoma Public Utilities or the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) performs the inspection.
Once you have determined your electrical provider, please visit the corresponding website for an application or to schedule an inspection:
Common Questions and Documents
- Master Fee Schedule
- Sign Regulations
- Downtown Plan
- FEMA Flood Insurance Information
- Commercial building permit checklist
- Manufactured/Mobile Home Checklist
- Minimum Design Criteria
- Resubmission Revision Form
- Sample: Commercial Building Plans
- Sample: Single Family Residential Application Plans
- Solar Photo Voltaic Submission Requirements (Solar Panels)
Where can I apply for a permit?
- All permit applications must be submitted online through the Dashboard. Contact the Permit Counter staff at (253) 512-2261 for more information.
Do I have to make an appointment with the Permit Counter staff to ask questions?
- No, Permit Counter staff is available by online chat or in person 9 a.m to 3 p.m. M-F. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss a permit (applications will not be accepted) please contact the Permit Counter staff at (253) 512-2261 to make your appointment.
What are the fees for a permit?
- Fees depend on the type and scope of work. Fees for various permits can be found in the City’s Master Fee Schedule. Total fees for a project will be calculated at the time a permit application is submitted. Contact the Permit Counter staff at (253) 512-2261 for more information.
When do I need a building permit?
- The International Building Code adopted by the City requires that you get a permit before doing any:
- A. Construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, movement, demolition, or changing the occupancy of any building or structure; and
- B. Installation, enlargement, alteration, repair, removal, conversion, or replacement of any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system.
- Some exceptions to this rule include:
- One-story detached residential accessory buildings used as a storage or tool shed, playhouse or similar use. They must be 120 square feet or less in size, no taller than ten feet, and must be placed on the rear half of a lot with at least a three-foot setback from side and rear property lines.
- Interior movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5’9″ high..
- Retaining walls and rockeries no more than four feet tall. Please call the Community Development Department to assure that permits are not needed.
- Platforms, decks, walks and driveways – Ask the Permit Counter staff or call (253) 512-2261.
- Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, and similar finish work.
- Residential window awnings – Ask the Permit Counter staff or call (253) 512-2261.
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one-and two-family dwellings.
- Prefabricated residential swimming pools – Ask the Permit Counter staff or call (253) 512-2261.
- Fences (Click on the ‘fences’ button to find out more)
Do I need a permit for a shed?
- Non-vehicular storage structures less than one hundred twenty (120) square feet and less than ten (10) feet in height, when placed on property where the owner resides do not require a building permit or zoning certification. However, they must be placed on the rear half of a lot with at least a three-foot setback from side and rear property lines.
Do I need a permit for a patio cover or carport?
- Yes, you will need to obtain a building permit and setbacks from the property line must be observed.
Do I need a permit for a fence?
- Fences less than or equal to six (6) feet in height and not obstructing the clear line of vision of vehicular traffic approaching the location from any street or driveway do not require a permit.
- Fences greater than four (4) feet in height are not typically allowed within the front yard setback and fences are not allowed within fifteen (15) feet of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) on shoreline lots.
- Fences greater than six (6) feet in height will require an administrative variance or major variance depending on the height.
- Fences greater than seven (7) feet in height must meet applicable setback standards and require a building permit.
Do I need a permit for a water heater and does it require an inspection?
- Yes, whether you are installing a new type of water heater or replacing an existing one, it is required that you get a permit prior to the installation and follow through with an inspection.