Lakewood City Hall

Development Services

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.

Contacting the Permit Center

We are happy to help answer questions about your permit. For the fastest response to questions and inquiries we ask that you send an email to [email protected].

Email or Call:

Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • Email [email protected] for the fastest response.
  • Call us at (253) 512-2261.Your call will go to an answering machine so we can forward your inquiry to the appropriate staff. Describe your issue or question, or request an appointment, and include your contact information in your message. We check messages twice daily and will call you back shortly.

Visit the Permit Desk during service hours:

Lakewood Permit Desk
6000 Main St SW
Lakewood, WA 98499

Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • Speak with our first-floor receptionist to 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.
    • The counter is open for general questions. No over-the-counter review or issuance of permits. Use the Permit Portal for permit submittal and issuance.
    • Appointments must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. We can meet virtually via Zoom or at City Hall.


The state laws that passed in 2023 regarding allowing more ADUs and housing units on residential lots will be part of Lakewood’s 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review. These changes to what you can develop on your property will not go into effect in Lakewood until December 31, 2024 at the earliest. To keep track of how these new development options are being reviewed by Lakewood, please go to the 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review Page.

  • The State Building Code Council voted on May 24, 2023, to delay the effective date of the 2021 codes for 120 days, which changed the effective date from July 1, 2023 to October 29, 2023. On September 15, 2023, the State Building Code Council agreed on another delay. The new effective date for all building codes is March 15, 2024.
    • The Council is also entering rulemaking to modify sections in the commercial and residential energy codes to address legal uncertainty stemming from the decision in California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley recently issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

2023 Updates to Comprehensive Plan, Zoning and Regulations in effect 8/3/23

Updated zoning, regulations and policies went into effect August 3, 2023 in Lakewood.

Permit Information

How to Apply:
  • Choose the applicable permit application from the list below, all applications must be submitted electronically through the Permit Dashboard
  • Land use permits must be approved prior to building permit application
  • Plans must be complete at the time of submittal 
  • Commercial projects are required to submit building, plumbing, and mechanical permit applications at the same time. Deferred submittals are no longer accepted.
  • Residential projects only require 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
  • Note: The City does not process permits for work within mobile homes. Please contact the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).

The archived permit search function for permits that were submitted before October 2021 is currently down. If you have a simple question about the status of an archived permit, email [email protected]. If you need documents related to an archived permit, please submit a public records request.

Permit Revisions

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 Oct. 27, 2021, beginning with letters “BP or LU or PW” – (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.
    • Public Works 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.
    • Land Use 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.
  • For Permits submitted after Oct. 27, 2021, beginning numerically (Example: 1234, 123)
    • Complete the Revision Submittal form and resubmit the changes online through the Dashboard.

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.

Permit Approval:

  • 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.

Utility and Fire Review

The City of Lakewood is not a full-service agency. Sewer, water, electrical, and fire safety permits, reviews, and inspections are done by other agencies.

Fire Safety: Fire District review has been incorporated into the City’s permit process, but inspections must be coordinated through West Pierce Fire & Rescue by calling (253) 983-4583.

Sewer: Sewer service and permitting is provided by Pierce County. Please contact Pierce County’s Development Center for questions and apply through the PALS+ Permit Dashboard.

Water: 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.

Electrical: 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:

Map of Lakewood Electrical Providers

Permit Applications and Handouts


Permit Application Guide Walkthroughs

Building Permits

Planning and Land Use Permits

Public Works Permits

Downtown Subarea Plan Permits

Wireless Facility Permits

Common Questions and Documents

Commonly Requested Documents

General Questions

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 phone 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.

Permit Questions

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.

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