Pre-Application Assistance

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.

We encourage applicants to learn about possible critical area information before applying. 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. 

Drawing Examples

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 confirm with our Ask A Question/Request Assistance form.

The Department of Community Development provides the following pre-application services: 

  • Critical Area & Archaeology Reviews are a free service that identifies land use designation, shoreline designation, critical area reports, and archaeology requirements that may be required for development at the time of permit application based on the entire parcel. Learn more about critical area information or email general requests directly with the subject "Critical Area Review request for TPN: #############".
  • Ask A Question/Request Assistance is a free service where we can address brief questions about a proposed development, use, setbacks, or similar questions. Use this service to determine if a possible requirement flagged in a general critical area review is needed for a specific development.
  •  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):