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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!

Department Open House Announced!

The Department of Building & Planning is hosting an Open House for community members, contractors and professionals to learn about and comment on Department programs. Wednesday, January 7th from 4:00 to 6:00 at the Cowlitz County Expo Center.

The Open House will feature multiple stations at which community members can engage Department personnel on a wide variety of topics including;

*The County’s Shoreline Master Program Update
*Long Range Planning, include the County’s Comprehensive Plan Update and other proposed ordinances and ordinance updates
*Current Planning, including zoning, land use and subdivisions
*The Building and Fire Codes
*Permit Processing, including applications, staff consultations, over the counter and on-line permitting
*The new Code Enforcement program beginning in 2015

Community members will have the opportunity to ask questions of staff present as well as to leave written comments on the Department’s programs and projects. In addition to the Open House, a general overview of the Department and introduction of key staff members will take place at 4pm, followed by a brief Q&A opportunity. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

The Cowlitz County Expo Center is located at 1900 7th Avenue, in Longview, WA.
 
BOCC Adopts Limited Updates to Critical Areas Ordinance

To comply with new state requirements for wetland analyses, the Board of County Commissioners adopted limited changes to the Cowlitz County Critical Areas Ordinance at their December 16, 2014 meeting.  For more information, see the project page.

New Permit System Now Operational and Online!

We have launched a new permit system!  Brought you by Accela Automation, the new permit system greatly expands the capabilities of our daily permitting operations, and brings a whole host of new features that catapults Building and Planning into the 21st Century.   You can now apply for permits online, view permit history, schedule inspections, and even view most inspection results immediately after the inspection occurs. 

Check our the new citizen access portion of the new permit system here.

The citizen access portion of our new permit system can be found here.  Starting your own account will allow you to begin applying for permits, scheduling inspections, and keeping up to date on the status of your permit.  Please note that only permits applied for after November 17, 2014 will be viewable on the new system.  Older permits will continue to use the previous permit system portal found here

The new system will allow us to bring more accurate information easily and more quickly than we could ever before.  Stay tuned as we explore the capabilities of the new permit system, and expand our availability to our customers.

Come Visit Us on Facebook!

The Building and Planning Department has launched a new Facebook page!  We will be updating the page regularly with educational information, public meeting notifications, code update proposals, and other happenings in our department and the development world.


The Seasonal Burn Ban has Been Lifted!

The seasonal Burn Ban expired on October 1, 2014.


County Adopts Permanent Land Use Regulations on Recreational Marijuana

At a hearing held July 29th, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners adopted the proposed Recreational Marijuana Land Use Ordinance.  The ordinance identifies local land use location requirements, development standards, and application processing procedures for the production, processing, and retail sales of recreational marijuana.   
The ordinance was developed over a six-month period in conjunction with a marijuana workgroup consisting of local citizens, business owners, and industry experts.
 
  The permanent regulations can be viewed here.
Keep up to date on the development of the permanent regulations on our I-502 page.


Contact Us

E. Elaine Placido
Director
Email

207 4th Ave. N.
Kelso, WA 98626

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

TTY / VCO
711 or 800-833-6384
Washington Relay

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

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