Building & Planning


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 the Building Division, the Planning Division and the Operations Division.

Office Holiday Closure Schedule

Our office will be closed to the public on the following days (no inspections will be held): 

  • Monday, May 29, 2023 for Memorial Day

Click here more for information on any Inspection Schedule changes.

 NEW!  Accela

Beginning January 3, 2023, all NEW permits will be applied for through Accela.  You will need to establish a new account (unless you have a current one you use with the Environmental Health Unit).  Feel free to call or email staff with any questions.  Please click the icon below to enter.

As with any software transition, there will be bumps along the way.  We appreciate your patience as we navigate that process over the next couple of months.   Our staff is available to assist you with your questions and/or permitting needs Monday through Thursday, 7 AM to 5:30 PM.

Accela Citizen Access Instructions

How to pay for my fees online using ACA

**Please note, you must choose "Continue Application" in order to proceed with completing your application.  If you choose "Save and Resume," your application will be saved in draft form and will not be submitted.**

Accela ACA Button - Webiste Updated Opens in new window

Cowlitz PermitQ

Please remember that all originally produced PDF documentation shall be submitted electronically.  Any replications of the originals, including scanned copies or size-adjusted versions, shall not be accepted unless pre-approved.  

If you already have an open/active permit, you will need to use the same email address that you used to create your account on the original permit.

Click the link below for an overview on how to set up your account and navigate the Portal.

Cowlitz PermitQ Instructions

Permit application & PDF cell phone scanning information

Cowlitz PermitQ Online Portal

For questions, please email us at:

Completed Planning Permits

Below you will find a list of completed Planning Permits based on application date.  This list will be changing frequently as permits are completed.  

Completed Planning Permits April 04, 2021 - December 31, 2021

Completed Planning Permits January 01, 2022 - January 25, 2023 

Environmental Health Unit

Is a division of the Cowlitz County Health Department. For all water and septic/sewer questions, please call 360-414-5599  ext 6426 or e-email EHU.

Utility Review of Building Projects

The EHU reviews building proposals submitted to B&P and, if applicable, sends an email requesting applicant to fill out a form.  The form captures information about the project used to determine if and what utilities require approval.

For more information, please visit the EHU's Utility Review webpage.