When preparing to submit your application, please note that all application materials are submitted to DCD except water and septic, which are submitted directly to the Health Department with the associated fees. If you intend to submit a building permit, submitting addressing and right of way separately will impede intake and review of your building permit application. Our system is designed so that those processes are handled simultaneously with land use review. Additionally, using the most current forms and making sure each form is signed appropriately will help to expedite the review process.
One of the primary factors delaying permit approval is finding out that a critical area or archaeology report is required, after the application has worked its way through the line and onto the Planner's desk. We encourage applicants to submit a site assessment request via email to determine whether this is a requirement prior to submission. This form is available below in PDF and Word formats. (There is no charge for this review.)
- Important Notice to Applicants
- Request for Critical Area and Archaeology Review (PDF)
- Ask a Planner
- Ask a Building Plans Examiner
- Pre-application Form (used for complicated projects and commercial IBC work) standard permits do not typically require a pre app meeting.
Converting a Garage to Living Space
Before you Submit
The following information and assistance is provided to help you with your permit application:
- Your Land use and shoreline designation information and parcel numbers for your property can be found using the Polaris Mapping software. You will need to tailor "Map Contents" to add various layers of information.
- Existing septic and water information is now available online.
- There are Structures Exempt from Building Permits; however, they are not exempt from critical areas or archaeology requirements. If you have any questions about whether your property is subject to critical areas or archaeology requirements, please submit a "Request for a Critical Area and Archaeology Map Review," link above.
- Building & Land Use Pre-application meetings are typically used for complex building and land use projects, and for shoreline permits. There is no fee for this process and it will provide you with information about your property to determine what forms, documents, reports, and information you will need to submit with your application.
- Residential Pre-Application (RPA) process is used for determining shoreline and critical area setbacks for single family residences and to establish status of non-conforming structures. There is a fee for an RPA.
When you are ready to submit:
Building and Land Use permit application forms can be found using the menu to the left. When you are ready to submit a building permit application and certain land use permit applications, you will need to provide an estimated valuation of your project. This includes materials and labor, such as electrical, gas, fixtures, cabinetry, mechanical and plumbing equipment, and permanent systems. The valuation does not include the land, septic, or water systems.
For Building Permit Applications:
- The checklist that DCD staff uses to determine a complete building permit application is available for your reference.
- All forms and fees are to be submitted to Community Development, EXCEPT water and septic applications and fees. These go directly to the Health Department at PO Box 607, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
- Building permit fees are determined by valuation of the building. A portion of the total fee (known as the plan review fee) is due at submittal. The remainder of the fee is due upon issuance of the permit. A fee calculator for building permits is available online as well as the fee schedule (pp 1 & 2).
- ALL Building permits are now required to be submitted online, or in electronic format. DCD electronic document submittal requirements and portal instructions are here: Comprehensive instructions for building permit applications
- When review is complete and the permit is ready to issue, the final building permit valuation will be set by the building official, to determine the remainder of the fees due for issuance, and you will be notified of fees and that your permit is ready to issue.
For Land Use Applications:
- Land Use projects use one master form, but there is a checklist of additional information required for each type of application.
- Fees for land use applications are due at the time of application and can be found in the fee schedule (pp 3 & 4).
For Stormwater (Public Works):
Additional Building & Land Use Information
- Construction Regs and Design Criteria 2018 codes
- 2018 Energy code info
- Archaeology Informational Bulletin
- Ask a Land Use Planner (PDF)
- Ask a Plans Examiner (PDF)
- Building & Land Use Pre-Application (DOC)
- Building and Land Use Permitting Fees (PDF)
- 2022 Building Application Checklist (IRC -Residential work)
- DCD Electronic permitting requirements and instruction for application JUNE 2021
- Clearing and Grading Checklist
- Land Division Checklist (PDF)
- Land Use & Shoreline Checklist (DOC)
- Land Use Application Checklist (PDF)
- Structures Exempt From Building Permits
- Tiny Homes in San Juan County
- Wetlands Informational Bulletin
- Deck Guide DCA6 2015
- 2018-IRC Visual interpretation of stair codes