GovernmentDepartmentsOnline ServicesExploreHow Do I - Help Center
Click to Home
Building & Planning

Stop by our new Building & Planning Blog!

The Building and Planning Department was established by the Board of County Commissioners to carry out the effective and reasonable administration of developmental laws and standards and to accomplish county planning, building permit coordination, environmental coordination, fire / life safety, and environmental health.

It is our goal to provide fast, fair, consistent, and friendly services to the citizens of Cowlitz County. The Building and Planning Department provides a wide-variety of permitting services through three major divisions - the Building Division, the Planning Division, and the Environmental Health Unit.

One-Stop Permit Center
In our ongoing efforts to provide excellent customer service, we have a one-stop permit center available with representatives on-duty at all times from each division. Customers and the general public are welcome to visit the permit center in person or reach us by telephone during business hours.

Questions regarding regulations, the permitting process, development potential, construction activities, etc., will be directed to knowledgeable staff that can provide information and records. Please visit with us early in the development of your project so that we can be of the greatest assistance!

What's New!

Interim Regulations on Recreational Marijuana Amended and Extended

At Tuesday February 11th's BOCC meeting, Cowlitz County amended and extended its interim regulations on recreational marijuana land uses. 

The amended interim regulations allow for recreational marijuana producers, processors, and retailers to locate in Industrially zoned areas and areas designated by the Comprehensive Plan as Industrial, subject to special use permit approval.  The amendments did not effect the remainder of Cowlitz County's rural areas, where recreational marijuana land uses would still be prohibited until permanent regulations are adopted.  The interim regulations were also extended up to one year.  The goal however, is to complete the drafting and adoption of the regulations well before that.
  The interim Regulations can be viewed here.
Keep up to date on the development of the permanent regulations on our I-502 page.

Marijuana Workgroup

Cowlitz County has formed a Marijuana Workgroup to help advise the Planning Department in the drafting of Cowlitz County's Recreational Marijuana Ordinance (CCC 18.01).  This group will offer advice in developing the scope of the ordinance, bring valuable insight to the drafting process, and help develop a consistent, fair ordinance.  The Marijuana Workgroup is composed of local citizens, planning commission members, industry experts and government agency representatives.

For more information, or to keep updated on the development of the Recreational Marijuana Ordinance, be visit our recreational marijuana implementation page.

Wetland Rating System Updates
The Department of Ecology has released it's Final 2014 Updates to the Wetland Rating Systems.  Final documents are available on Ecology's website:

The Cowlitz County Critical Areas Ordinance requires wetlands be delineated using the latest amended version of Ecology's Wetland Rating System.  The Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington: 2014 Update must be used for all wetland delineations prepared for review by Cowlitz County starting June 27, 2014. 

For more information on the updates, please visit the Department of Ecology's rating system update website:

Contact Us

E. Elaine Placido

207 4th Ave. N.
Kelso, WA 98626

Ph: 360-577-3052
Fx: 360-414-5550

711 or 800-833-6384
Washington Relay

Monday - Thursday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Building and Planning - Click Here To Go Back To Building and Planning

Go To Search