The City of Tumwater requires formal land use approvals and building permits before developing land, constructing, remodeling, or demolishing buildings and other structures. Permits are also required for other actions such as tree removal and installation of signs. Most of these regulations are mandated by State laws such as the Subdivision Act, the State Environmental Policy Act, the Shoreline Management Act, the Growth Management Act, and the State Building Code Act. These City ordinances and State regulations exist to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of our community.
The length of the permit process varies. Some projects can be fully permitted over-the-counter, meaning a return trip won't be needed. Many projects, however, require that plans be left for additional review. Several factors can affect processing times. The main influences are the type of permit, the submittal of all requested information, completeness and clarity of plans and specifications, and the volume of applications at the time of submittal. We understand that permit review timeliness is important, and always strive for a quick processing turn-around.