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): 

  • Wednesday and Thursday, November 23rd and 24th (Office closed, inspections will be held on Wed, Nov 23rd)
  • Thursday and Friday, November 24th and 25th (no inspections)
  • Monday, Nov 28th our office will be closed from 7 AM to 9:30 AM for staff training.  We will not be available to the public during this time.

Click here more for information on any Inspection Schedule changes.

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Cowlitz PermitQ

Our system is more user friendly and will allow for online permit submission, allow you to track the progress and status of your permits, make online payments, and reduce printing costs or unnecessary paperwork.  

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.  

You will need to register for a Portal account in order to submit your permit application and access the other features of our new system.  If you already have an open/active permit, you will need to use the same email address that you used 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

  1.   Register for your account
  2.   Check on the status of current active permits
    1. Notifications of any updates/changes/etc.  requests for your permit will come through the Portal.  Please log in to your account for the most up to date status information.  
  3.   Apply for new permits
  4.   Request an inspection
  5.   Pay online
  6.   Add a delegated user to your account

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 - November 21, 2022

**Changes to Credit/Debit Payments**

Effective October 17, 2022, the credit card service fee will be changed to the following:

  • Credit and Debit cards will have a 2.75% service fee for each transaction.  There is a minimum transaction fee of $2.00

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.