Land Use Permits

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Land Use permits can be required by the city's Land Use Code to ensure that proposed use and improvement of property meets zoning and other requirements found in the code. Essentially, land use permits are not permits for construction; they are approvals for land development, designs and uses for future building construction.

To begin the process:

Meet with a land use planner before you start your project to obtain assistance with the development process:

  • Predevelopment Services Review (DC) provides one-time or ongoing detailed assistance and feedback on your development concept prior to submitting a permit application.
  • Preapplication Conference (DB) is a free service available only for certain specified applications and is designed to give you early feedback and direction on your development concept. It is a one-time opportunity to meet with us, present a conceptual proposal and get more specific written feedback on it. 

Explore our land use permits:

Our permits are separated by category of need. Sometimes approval across categories may be required. We have land use permits that will allow you to: 

Change a Prior Land Use Approval

These applications are necessary to amend or exempt changes to a prior land use approval:

Design a Building in a Design District

The following land use applications are necessary for any new development or significant changes to existing development, structures or signage in a design district or transition area.

They are also required for the creation of a plan for phased site development to ensure long-term conformance with the Land Use Code and other city plans, codes and standards.

Determine and Review Environmental Impacts

These applications are necessary for proposals that will disturb, develop or otherwise modify a critical area, critical area buffer or critical area structure setback. They are also required to place development or activity in a shoreline area or within 200 feet of a shoreline, and for land use proposals that require review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). 

A proposal may require that more than one of these applications be submitted.

Subdivide Property or Adjust Boundaries

These applications are required for the division of land into lots, the adjustment of an existing property boundary, the creation of a binding site plan as part of another land use application or the creation of a planned unit development.

Establish a Conditional Use

This permit is required to establish uses that are only allowed in the Land Use Code as a Conditional Use or an Administrative Conditional Use.

Request a Comprehensive Plan Amendment, Rezone or Variance

These permits are required to change a comprehensive plan designation, rezone a property or request a variance from the Land Use Code.

Apply for Miscellaneous Permits

The following land use applications are necessary for establishing specific uses or requests.

Apply for permits and submit plans online