Types of Permits

Click here to open a PDF version of this tip sheet. 

ePermits – Expedited permit option for work with a limited scope. These permits will be automatically issued after completing required permitting steps and receiving payment. Once issued, the applicant can print the permit and schedule an inspection.
ePermits – Residential: Work to single-family, duplex, or townhouse buildings or structures of 1-2 units
Detached Accessory Structure Demolition with Plumbing (EDACC) Demolition of a detached accessory building/structure (whole building), which includes the capping of sewer and plumbing lines serving the structure.  This is for a residential property.
Detached Accessory Structure Demolition without Plumbing (EDANF) Demolition of a detached accessory building/structure (whole building) for a residential property.
Irrigation System Backflow Preventer (EISBF) New and replaced backflow preventers installed on or to the water line of commercial or residential private property.
Plumbing Fixture Replacement (ERPLM)

Replacement of up to five plumbing fixtures that are like-for-like.  This work includes the replacement of water heaters with the same fuel source.  This does not permit the addition or relocation of fixtures or piping.

Prohibited work includes: conversion of electric to gas for equipment replacement and increase in BTUs for equipment replacement.  Example:  replacement of a shower pan with a new shower pan of the same size. This would not allow the replacement of a shower pan with a bathtub.

Mechanical Equipment (ERMEC)

New installation allowed:  Ductless heat pumps and A/C units

Replacement allowed: Ducted and ductless heat pumps, A/C units, exhaust fans, furnaces (only conversions that do not require new venting or duct work), and heat exchangers.  Included are existing gas and propane appliance replacements with no increase in BTUs.

Prohibited work also includes: conversion of electric to gas for equipment replacement, increase in BTUs for equipment replacement, and drywall or framing alterations.

Roof Overlay (ERROOF) Roofing installation over no more than one existing layer of roof material on residential homes, with no structural or pitch changes to the existing roof.
Siding Replacement (ERSDR) Replacement of siding with new wood or vinyl siding on residential homes.
Small Demolition (ERDEM) Demolition of a single-family home (whole building) limited to clearing/disturbed ground of 7,000 square feet or less and fill amount of 50 cubic yards or less.
Street Tree (ETREE) The removal, planting, or trimming of a tree within the right-of-way, adjacent to a single-family home.  This permit also includes the barricading of the right-of-way.
Water Connection Repair (ERWTR) Repair of the existing water line serving a residential structure.  This is the line between the meter and the house.  This does not include interior water line work within the house.
Window Replacement (ERWDR) Replacement of residential windows within the same frame opening – no increase in window openings or framing adjustments, and no alterations to the structure.
ePermits – Commercial: Work to commercial buildings or structures, including residential buildings of 3 or more units
Roof Overlay (ECROOF) Roofing installation over no more than one existing layer of roof material on commercial structures, with no structural or pitch changes to the existing roof.
Strip and Reroof (ESTRIP)

Removal of existing roofing material on a commercial building, down to the sheathing, and installation of new roofing material which is similar to the previous material.

Example: removal of asphalt shingles and replacement with new asphalt shingles

Commercial Tree Planting (ECTRE) The planting of trees within the right-of-way, adjacent to commercial or industrial properties.  This permit also include the barricading of the right-of-way.
Irrigation System Backflow Preventer (EISBF) New and replaced backflow preventers installed on or to the water line of commercial or residential private property.
ePermits – Fire
Alarm (EFIREA) Installation or replacement of six devices or less.  Work must be associated with a tenant improvement (not for new construction).
Alarm Transmitter (EFIRET) Replacement of a fire alarm transmitter, and may include the installation of a smoke detector above the transmitter if required.
Sprinkler (EFIRES) Installation or replacement of six sprinkler heads or less.  Work must be associated with a tenant improvement (not for new construction).
Land Use – Permits for property line changes, zoning interpretations, and discretionary review.  Land Use Permits are sometimes required prior to receiving an associated Building or Site Development permit.

Land Use (LU)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within the Land Use application is a Permit Type selection where applicants identify which types of land use permits they are applying for.  Below are the general choices:

–        Accessory Dwelling Unit

–        Conditional Use

–        Critical Areas

–        Environmental Review

–        Extension of Permit

–        Information Requests

–        Major Modification of Permit

–        Platting/Short Plats/Boundary Line Adjustments

–        Shoreline

–        Site Approval

–        Site Rezone

–        Temporary Homeless Camp

–        Variance

Land Use Appeal or Reconsideration File an appeal or request reconsideration of an issued Land Use Decision.
NOTE:  For more information see the Land Use Tip Sheets and Submittal Checklists at TacomaPermits.org.
Residential – Any work to single-family, duplex, or townhouse buildings or structures of 1-2 units

Alteration (BLDRA)

 

Repairs, remodels, additions and/or changes to existing buildings/structures:

–  partial or interior demolition, siding, roofing, windows, decks, dormers, ramps, stairs, landings, building additions

Demolition (DEMOR) Demolition of an entire building or structure.
Fire Protection (FIRER) Fire alarm, above ground fire sprinkler.
Mechanical (MECHR) Relocate, remove, or new installation:  ventilation units, duct work, dryer hookups, exhaust fans, heating, a/c units.

New Building (BLDRN)

 

New or replaced buildings or structures:

 –      single-family home, duplex, or townhouse 1-2 units

 –      detached shed, garage, gazebo, or other structure

 –      fences over 7 feet high, retaining walls over 4 feet high.

Plumbing (PLMBR) Relocate, remove, or new: piping, toilets, showers, sinks, dishwashers, laundry hookups, water heaters.
NOTE:  Grading, paving, gravel, cut, and fill on private property is reviewed under the residential building permit, unless over 50 cubic yards of cut/fill is proposed; in which case, a Site Development permit is required.
Commercial – Any work to commercial buildings or structures, including residential buildings of 3 or more units
Alteration (BLDCA)

Repair or change to existing buildings/structures:

–        partial or interior demolition, siding, windows

–        addition, balcony, ramps, stairs, landings, roof       repair, roof overlay (requires pre-inspection)

Demolition (DEMOC) Demolition of a whole building or structure.
Fire Protection (FIREC) Fire alarm, above ground fire sprinkler, underground fire sprinkler, kitchen hood suppression, clean agent suppression system, standpipe, pump, radio enhancement system, smoke control.
Mechanical (MECHC) Relocate, removal, or new: HVAC units, duct work, dryer hookups, boilers, refrigerators and other equipment.
New Building (BLDCN) New or replaced buildings or structures.
Plumbing (PLMBC)

Relocate, removal, or new installation of: water heaters, piping, toilets, showers, sinks, dishwashers, laundry hookups, grease interceptor plumbing (sewer permit also required), backflow preventers.

Signage (SIGN)

Advertising signage painted on buildings.

Freestanding, or sign structures attached to a building.

NOTE:  A separate Site Development Permit application is required prior to or on the same day as a Commercial New Building or Alteration application for any associated site work, utilities, clearing, grading, cut or fill, paving, gravel, parking lot, restriping, landscaping, and stormwater facilities on private property.
Site Development – Projects that may require a civil engineer for off-site right-of-way construction and on-site grading, paving, gravel, cut, and fill, parking, restriping, landscaping, stormwater facilities
Noise Variance (NVAR) Variance for construction taking place on nights or weekends outside of allowed hours per Tacoma Municipal Code 8.122.

Site Development (SDEV)

 

On-site grading, gravel, cut, and fill over 50 cubic yards,

paving, parking striping, landscaping, stormwater facilities.

Work Order (WO)

 

Civil-engineered stamped drawings for right-of-way, streets, sidewalk, curb, gutter, driveway or alley approach, ADA ramp, landscaping, structures, sewer main extension.
NOTE:  One civil plan set that includes both on-site and off-site design may be submitted instead of separating the plan sets for on- and off-site designs.  However, both Site Development and Work Order applications are still required with a combined civil plan set.
Right of Way (ROW) – Minor permits for work within City right-of-way that do not require a civil engineer
ROW Construction (RCON)

–        Driveway or alley approach

–        Sidewalk, curb/gutter, or limited paving

–        Irrigation lines in the right-of-way

–        Potholing or trenching

ROW Occupancy (ROCC)

–        Private use or structure within the right-of-way

–        Ramp, railing, stairs, door swing, building     encroachment

–        Landscape irrigation, non-perpendicular utility connection

–        Sidewalk Café, Temporary Sidewalk Café

ROW Tree Work (RTRE) Removal, planting, or pruning of trees within the right-of-way.
ROW Use (RUSE) Banners, barricade, special motor vehicle, overtime parking, dumpsters, and moving containers such as PODS.
ROW Utility (RUTI) Utility installation and maintenance within the right-of-way.
NOTE:  Some projects will require both a ROW Occupancy permit and a Work Order permit due to structures or other civil engineering work within the scope of the project.  A separate application for each permit is required.
Utility Connection – Repair, replacement, remove, or new connection from the site / building to utility main
Surfacewater (STORM) Connection to City stormwater system.
Wastewater (SEWER) Connection for side sewer, grease interceptor, floor drains, toilets, sinks, dumpster pads, oil/water separators.
Water (WATER)

Connection (from the meter to the building) for domestic water service.

Permits to connect from the water main to the meter are issued by Tacoma Water, at Tacoma Public Utilities.  Please contact them at mytpu.org or (253) 502-8247.

NOTE:  Separate permits are required for utility work within the right-of-way.
Special Event – Temporary assembly permits
Special Event (EVENT) Events of 50 or more people assembling and/or traveling on public streets, sidewalks, beaches, parks, plazas, etc.
Historic – For projects located within locally designated historic districts and/or locally designated historic properties (Tacoma Register of Historic Places)
Historic Design Review (HDR) Design review is an approval process that projects involving historic properties must complete prior to the start of work or issuance of development permits.  For projects that result in visual or material changes to a historic property, approval must be given by the Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission.  For more information, visit cityoftacoma.org/historicpreservation.
OTHER AGENCIES THAT ISSUE PERMITS & LICENSES

Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) Power

mytpu.org/tacomapower

All electrical permits, power service connections, and power infrastructure.

Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) Water

mytpu.org/tacomawater

Water service in right-of-way, new water/fire meter.

City of Tacoma Public Works

Real Property Services cityoftacoma.org

Street Vacation, Deed.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department tpchd.org/records-permits Restaurants and all food and drink production/service, septic tanks and other underground tanks.

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

pscleanair.org/business

Air quality related to marijuana production and processing, asbestos, coffee roasters, and other business types.

City of Tacoma Tax and License

cityoftacoma.org

Business license, home occupation license, rental license.

State of Washington

apps.oria.wa.gov/permithandbook

Variety of required regulations and permits issued by the State.

Historic Design Review

www.cityoftacoma.org/historicpreservation

Design review for sites/buildings with historic designation or significance.

Tacoma Fire

www.cityoftacoma.org/fire

Operational Permits.