Application Services

**Changes going into effect April 1, 2019**

Permit Counter
The Planning and Development permit counter is available during walk-in hours, Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, for general questions, help with permit applications, and picking up or paying for permits.  Permit Specialists, Application Services staff, and reviewers for Land Use, residential buildings, right-of-way, stormwater, and sanitary sewer are available. In addition to our walk-in hours we are also available by phone Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. See hours of availability or email us your questions here.

Pre-Application Services
The Application Services Group provides assistance to customers and applicants in all stages of the permitting process, from initial inquiries, pre-development / feasibility and permit process to review and inspection. Application services staff often act as project coordinators on large or complex projects becoming the main point of contact for the customer through different phases of a development. A pre-development review is recommended for large commercial projects, additions, and change of occupancy. This includes new commercial buildings or uses such as industrial, mixed-use, restaurants, marijuana businesses, schools, day cares, and hospitals. The pre-development process provides guidance to the applicant and their design team to more efficiently plan for their final permit submittal.  For more information about requesting services see the Pre-Application Requests Tip Sheet.

What is a Pre-Application Request (PRE)
The pre-application process provides applicants the opportunity to present development proposals, discuss applicable codes, ask questions, and determine the requirements for a complete application prior to submitting a formal permit application. There are different types of pre-application requests:

Pre-Development Request – Option A (Effective April 1, 2019)– The Option A Pre-Development Request is a fee-for-service process that is limited to an electronic review and comment memo. The fee for this option is $1,250.

Pre-Development Request – Option B (Effective April 1, 2019) – The Option B Pre-Development Request is a fee-for-service process that involves an internal staff review and comment memo followed by an in-person meeting and post-meeting memo. The fee for this option is $2,500.

Pre-Application Request (Land Use Required) – Certain Land Use Permits require that a pre-application request (PRE) be submitted prior to formal submittal of the Land Use application. Code required PREs for Land Use Permits will not automatically be charged a fee but will also not provide the extensive level of feedback that comes with the full pre-development review. If there is a need for multi-departmental review and feedback of a project involving a Land Use Permit, a Pre-Development Request with an associated fee should be requested.

Associated Fees (Effective April 1, 2019)
Pre-application fees can be credited toward up to 100 percent of the building plan review fee of a building (BLD) permit that is applied for within one year of the pre-application request. Please note that fees charged for a PRE can only be credited towards a Building Permit (BLD).

If it is known that the scope of the request will need to be routed to multiple review groups, subject to the fees listed above, it helps to include an indication of which option (Option A or Option B) is preferred as part of the Project Description. If Option A (Electronic Review Only) is initially chosen, and it is later decided that an in-person meeting is necessary, there will be an opportunity to update the review status after the initial comment memo is provided.

How do I submit a pre-application request?
Pre-application  requests can be submitted online through our permitting portal Tacoma Permits (ACA). Select the Permits tab, read/accept the disclaimer, then select Pre-Application Request. Fill out the request form and attach concept drawings. You will receive a response within 2 business days.

Under our process, once the request is submitted, screened, and applicable fees are paid, an initial electronic review of the proposal will occur (includes review from multiple City departments and staff) and a comment memo is provided  based on that review within 1-2 weeks. After that review is complete, and the comment memo is sent out, we can coordinate an in-person meeting as needed.

What to submit for a pre-application request
At minimum, a site plan with the proposed building footprint, a project proposal, and a list of questions should be submitted with every request.

From there, the documents needed for a productive preliminary review varies on a project-specific basis. Keep in mind that providing more detailed information will help reviewers provide more specific feedback.

The following is a list of common questions asked during the pre-application process and the associated information that we will likely need to be provided to us to be able to address those questions.

Is the use allowed?

  • Building Footprint
  • Description of use
  • Floor Plan Showing Areas of Operations

What will be required for off-site improvements?

  • Building Footprint
  • Addition / Tenant Improvement / New Building
  • Valuation of Work Proposed
  • Valuation of Existing Building

Does the design meet setbacks and land use design standards?

  • Building Footprint
  • Elevations
  • Areas of proposed landscaping

Parking Requirements

  • Building Footprint
  • Existing parking layout showing existing spaces and ADA spaces
  • Description of use
  • Areas of proposed landscaping

CAPO Requirements

  • Building Footprint
  • Reconnaissance Report
  • OHWM
  • Buffer Areas
  • Base Flood Elevation

Steep Slope Requirements

  • Building Footprint
  • Top of Slope and Dimension of Building from Top of Slope

Specific Stormwater Requirements

  • Stormwater Site Plan
  • Amount of new or replaced impervious surface

No questions. I’m just filling out the PRE to fulfill the PRE requirement of a BLA or Platting Requirement.

  • Proposed site plan

Can I receive City feedback without a meeting?
Yes.  Oftentimes, the electronic review and comment memo noted above can address most questions and result in a meeting not being necessary.