Accela Permit Center

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Accela Citizen Access Instructions - note that we no longer accept e-Checks

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.**

  1.   Register for your account
  2.   Check on the status of current active permits
  3.   Upload documents
  4.   Apply for new permits
  5.   Request an inspection
  6.   Pay online (debit or credit card only)

For questions, please email us at: or call 360-577-3052. 


Building Permit Notice

All building projects that include plumbing shall be connected to approved water and sewer.   As of May 1, 2021, evidence of approved water availability and sewer from the Environmental Health Unit (EHU) of the Cowlitz County Health Department shall be provided to Building & Planning prior to permit issuance.   Evidence shall be defined as a letter of approval issued by EHU.  

For more information on obtaining a water availability or sewer approval, please contact the Environmental Health Unit at 360-414-5599, press option 5, and then option 2.  Their website can be found here:  Environmental Health Unit.  

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



Permit processes flow very similarly regardless of what type of permit you are obtaining. The following steps represent what the typical process is for obtaining the appropriate permits for building a single family residence.

1. Apply for a Planning Clearance
You may check the status of your parcel online via EPIC. Planning Clearance is the first step in nearly all permitting processes completed in the Department.

2. Submit Septic Design and Water Application
The Water and Septic Approval/Permitting Processes are now independent processes administered by the Environmental Health Unit (EHU) of the Health Department. Please visit them online or at their Permit Counter for more information.

3.  Apply for a Building Permit  
This is where your building plans will be submitted with any other necessary documentation for review.

4. Permit Issuance
When all reviews are completed for your structure, including building, engineering and fire code reviews, your Building Permits can be issued.

5. Construction and Inspection
When your permits are issued, you will be given a copy of the permit and all approved plans that will be kept on site and used by the Building Inspector as your construction project is completed and inspections are made.

6. Final Inspection and Certificate of Occupancy
When all construction, fire, and septic inspections are complete and all permit conditions, if any, have been met, your final inspection will be completed and your permit status will be changed to "final." The Building Official will issue a Certificate of Occupancy.



Links to applications and forms by department.
Please note that our permit system allows you to apply online.  

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.  No photographs of site plans or documents with background images will be accepted.

How to scan to a PDF from your cell phone 

Do you have a paper document you need to scan and upload for your online permit, but don't have a scanner and/or computer?  Did you know you can scan documents right from your phone?  See below for written directions and video tutorials on how to scan documents to PDFs for iPhones and Androids.  

**Please note that scanning plans in via a PDF phone scan does not qualify as turning them in "to scale".  Plans must be submitted in their original electronic format and submitted "to scale".  Often times you can obtain your original electronic building plans from the original designer.**

Written Directions: How to scan documents on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
Video Tutorial: How to Scan Documents and Make PDFs with iPhone or iPad - YouTube 

Written Directions: How to Easily Scan Documents to PDF on Android - Make Tech Easier
Video Tutorial: How to scan a document in Android - YouTube