Permitting & Zoning

Before you commit yourself to leasing or purchasing a site for your business, you should first determine if the site you’re considering is zoned for your type of business.

Most experienced business people will tell you that, while they value working with leasing agents and commercial brokers, they always take the time to check for themselves the zoning on sites before signing a lease or purchase agreement.  To check the zoning on any site you’re considering in Lacey, here is a zoning map.  If you’re uncertain that the zoning for the site you’re considering will work for your business, please call one of our friendly knowledgeable Planners at (360) 491-5642.

If you plan to build a new building on your site, substantially alter, or expand an existing building, you will also need to participate in the appropriate land use permitting process such as  the Site Plan Review process (SPR).  The Planner you speak with can also step you through any land use permitting requirements that may apply to your project, as well as the timeline and application fees associated with those requirements.  We also encourage you to make use of our FREE pre-submission meeting to discuss zoning, site, and code issues prior to completion of any site plan or construction documents.

Once you’ve determined that the zoning will meet your needs, here is what you’ll need to know about permits:

When a Permit is Required

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 of the codes.  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.

View work that is exempt from permits.

For questions on permits and permitting, please call the City’s Building Department at (360) 491-5642.

How to Apply for a Permit

Each construction project that requires a permit under any of the codes is processed by the Lacey Building Division.  If the SPR process, discussed under Zoning, is necessary then that will need to be completed prior to the issuance of a permit.

For Building Division processing, please complete the appropriate application and submit the number of construction plan sets as noted on the application.  This needs to include a site plan, (site plan NOT required for interior work only) engineering calculations to accompany any required engineering documents, complete construction documents, and complete energy code compliance forms. While on-line permit processing is not yet available, the application is available on the City of Lacey website.

We will review all complete applications for compliance with the appropriate code(s).  We encourage FREE 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.  Participation in a free pre-submittal conference may also reduce the numbers and types of documents needed for a complete submission.  It may also help to provide you with a more specific timeline for approval.

Once the plans are reviewed for code compliance and all other City requirements are met (see LMC 14.04.015 Prerequisites to Permit Issuance) and the fees have been paid, the permit will be issued.

Timeline for Permits

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, installation of a solar energy system, and other simple projects.  Projects requiring plan review cannot be issued over the counter. These projects range from residential decks to large commercial buildings. Timelines for the plan review process are:

  • Residential Addition/Alteration/Remodel:   1-2 weeks
  • New Single Family Residence:   1-2 weeks until the first Review Letter or approval
  • Commercial:   3-4 weeks until the first Plan Review Letter

Many plan reviews can take less time; however, please allow for the above review periods in your project schedule.

Permit Fees

Commercial applications require Plan Check Fees to be paid in cash or by check–sorry no credit cards–at the time of submittal. Learn more about permit fees.