You have a dream. Building your dream house, opening up a new business, building an accessory dwelling unit so your parents can be close by. Staff with the Community and Economic Development Department are here to help you realize your dream. While not everything can go anywhere and buildings have to be safe and efficient, we want to help you.
Land Use Permits
There are various types of land use permit processes, ranging from decisions made by City staff with no public notice to those made by City Council after a public hearing held before Lacey’s Hearing Examiner.
Limited Administrative Review
Limited Administrative Review applications are used for development proposals that are subject to clear, objective and non-discretionary standards requiring the exercise of professional judgment about technical issues. The Limited Administrative Review decision is issued by a City staff member. Applications subject to Limited Administrative Review include:
Boundary Line Adjustments
Design Review (Multifamily, Commercial, Accessory Dwelling Unit, etc.)
Land Clearing Exemptions
Full Administrative Review
Full Administrative Review applications are those that require a decision issued by the City’s Site Plan Review Committee. The role of the Site Plan Review Committee is to review and interpret land use regulations and make administrative decisions on pertinent applications. The Site Plan Review consists of the Community Development Director, Assistant City Manager, and Public Works Director.
Applications subject to Full Administrative Review include:
Binding Site Plan
Environmental Checklist (with no underlying land use application)
Short Subdivision (Preliminary)
Site Plan Review
Wetland Development Permits (administrative review)
Quasi-Judicial applications are those that require a hearing with the City’s Hearings Examiner. The role of the Hearings Examiner is to review and interpret land use regulations, conduct hearings and make recommendations to City Council on land use applications. In addition, the Hearings Examiner holds hearings and makes decisions on appeals of permit approvals, decisions or determinations made by city officials and review and hear other matters as provided for in the Lacey Municipal Code. Quasi-Judicial applications include:
Appeals of Administrative Decisions
Conditional Use Permits
Planned Residential Developments (PRD’s)
Shoreline Conditional Use
Shoreline Substantial Development
Wetland Development Permits (quasi-judicial review)
A permit is required for any project to construct, enlarge, repair, alter, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of any building within the City.
This includes any building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, or gas system.
There are exceptions to this based on the specific exemptions listed in each code.
Even if a permit is not required, all other requirements such as setbacks from property lines and those requirements in each of the respective codes must be met, as applicable.
The Building Division processes all construction projects that require a permit under any of the codes. There may be a need for Land Use Approval (SPR, etc.), prior to permit issuance. Please see Planning & Zoning Requirements.
For Building Division processing, please complete the appropriate application and submit the number of construction plan sets, as noted on the application. This must include a site plan, engineering calculations to accompany any required engineering documents, complete construction documents, and complete energy code compliance forms. On-line permit processing is currently not available.
ll complete applications will be reviewed for compliance with the appropriate code(s). We encourage pre-submittal meetings to discuss code issues, prior to completion of any construction documents. This will ensure both code compliance and an expeditious and efficient review of the drawings for any project.
Once the plans are reviewed for code compliance, all other City requirements are met (see LMC 14.04.015 Prerequisites to Permit Issuance), and fees have been paid, the permit will be issued.
Some permits can be issued “over-the-counter” upon receipt of the appropriate fee. Examples include permits for replacing a hot water heater, adding an electrical circuit, residential re-roofing or re-siding, and other simple projects. We accept cash or check only for permit fees. Applications may be submitted by mail with a check or in person with cash or check. Mailing and physical address is Community & Economic Development, 420 College St SE, Lacey WA 98503.
General Review Timelines:
New Single Family Residence
2 weeks until the first Plan Review Letter
3-4 weeks until the first Plan Review Letter
Commercial applications require Plan Check Fees to be paid at the time of submittal.
Many plan checks can take less time; however, please allow for the above review periods in your project schedule.
The first step to a stress free process is to research. While all the information you need to map out your path forward is online, we love to talk about what we do and how we can help.
For smaller projects such as tree removal or building a deck or porch, call or come into City Hall to speak with a planner or construction inspector.
If you have a bigger project in mind, such as a tenant improvement, a new commercial building, or dividing your land, our development review team will meet with you and provide a full road map through the regulatory process and identify potential problems so you can avoid them down the road.
We are happy to offer online application and payment options for certain permits & projects.
The online construction permits are those that have historically been “over the counter” permits which require no review. If the permit you are seeking is not in the list below, please contact the Community & Economic Development Department to apply at the counter.
Air Conditioners | Furnaces | Heat Pumps | Water Heaters
Electric – Temporary Power | Add Residential Circuits or Panel Change | Low Voltage | Associated with a Sign Permit
Reroof – Commercial | Residential
Tree Removal Requests
Pre-submission Conference Requests
NOTE TO CONTRACTORS: You can submit and pay for your permit online, at which point it is technically issued and you may proceed with the work and use the portal to call for inspections. You will be able to download the issued permit from the portal, but it may take one business day to appear for download. If you don’t see the permit within 2 days, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the permit number and a request to upload the permit.
If you need to reroof your home, install solar panels, request a pre-submission conference, obtain a zoning verification letter, or remove a tree, you can now do so online.
In the coming weeks, we will be adding additional online permits, so stay tuned.
Project inspections can be scheduled by calling (360) 491-5642, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 a.m., at least one day in advance of the desired inspection date.
To schedule an inspection the following information is required:
type of inspection(s) needed
We are not able to provide an exact inspection time, but will note a preference for morning or afternoon. To find out the approximate time of your inspection, you can call at 8:00 A.M. on the day of your inspection.
Commercial Project Final Inspections
Most commercial projects require a final building inspection, a final electrical inspection, and a fire code final inspection. Some projects also require approvals by planners or engineers before occupancy takes place. All inspections can be scheduled at the same time as described above. Inspectors have three business days to complete the final inspections and, once approved, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.
If you call for an inspection and are not prepared when the inspector arrives, you may be assessed a $47.00 re-inspection fee.
The construction team provides annual maintenance inspections of most commercial occupancies in the City, including commercial establishments such as stores, schools, offices, and industrial businesses.
The fire inspections are done for the express purpose of fire prevention through education about fire prevention. We also verify that required annual inspections and maintenance of fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems have been performed and are in operational condition.
Fire inspections are conducted on an annual, bi-annual or tri-annual basis depending on the complexity and hazards contained in the building. The inspections may be performed by either staff from the Community and Economic Development Department or the firefighters from Lacey Fire District 3.