Planning & Development Services Response to COVID-19

The City of Tacoma is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD). The City and Planning & Development Services Department recognizes that this is a stressful time for many, and want to continue to reassure you that your health, as well as the health of our employees and community members, remains a top priority. In an effort to slow the potential spread of COVID19, the City is requiring all employees to work from home when possible.

As of Wednesday, March 18th, our permitting counter will be closed for an indefinite period of time. Although this temporary counter closure means we may not be able assist you in-person, please be assured that PDS will continue to accept applications, review and issue development permits, and schedule inspections, primarily through our online permitting system:

Updates as of March 25th are noted in red below

  • Permit applications can be made through our ACA permitting portal, which is available 24/7. This portal allows for the submittal of applications, status updates, payment of fees, and issuance of permits. If you have an emergency permitting need such as a side sewer repair or waterline repair. Please submit your permit application online and then send an email to the review team for Right of Way Improvements with the permit number so we can further assist.
  • Payments can be made with our secure online credit card system or through our automated inspection phone line at (253) 573-2587. In both cases, you will need to have your permit number available. If you are only able to pay by check or cash, please contact our Permits Team for assistance
  • Permits that require a Right of Way (ROW) bond prior to issuance can attach an electronic PDF of the bond document to their permit application. The original hard copy ROW bond document must be mailed with a confirmation tracking number. Please include the tracking number in the application as this is needed to issue the permit.
  • Until further notice, all pre-construction meetings will be conducted as a virtual meeting or in-person at the construction site. Inspectors will take all necessary precautions including maintaining appropriate social distancing for all on-site meetings.
  • Inspection services are still available and we are operating during normal business hours. Due to the current safety guidelines for COVID-19, some inspections will now occur remotely. If it is determined that a remote inspection is possible, you will receive a phone call from the inspector to coordinate. Additionally, our inspectors will ask health-related questions prior to entering a job site. Based on the answers provided, the inspector may require the inspection be rescheduled, so any potential risks can be mitigated. Inspection services can be scheduled online or by phone at (253) 573-2587.
  • In response to COVID-19, the Hearing Examiner’s Office is doing its best to conduct day-to-day business and hearings as scheduled. Given the closure of the Tacoma Municipal Building (TMB), as of March 18, 2020, hearings scheduled will require alternative means until the TMB reopens to the public and gathering limitations are lifted. The Hearing’s Examiners office will be contacting people who have impending hearings to discuss whether they can be held by teleconference.
  • Land Use Appeals must be filed electronically to hearing.examiner@cityoftacoma.org. Contact the Hearing Examiner’s Office to coordinate payment.
  • All pre-development meetings and coaching meetings have been postponed or converted to virtual meetings. If you have a scheduled meeting with staff and have not received communication about converting to a virtual meeting, please contact your assigned staff member or project coordinator for assistance. All new meeting requests will be held virtually during our office closure.
  • Our general assistance number (253) 591-5030 will have limited staffing but will be available to answer general questions or they will direct you to one of our review teams for more specific assistance. Phone calls directed to Land Use, Commercial and Residential Building Code, Application Services, and Permit Services will be sent directly to our voicemail systems. We would encourage you to use the forms below to email our review teams. Staff will review voicemail and email messages throughout the day and respond as soon as possible with all messages returned within one business day.

We understand these service changes may be inconvenient and frustrating to our customers. We hope by taking these steps we can help slow the spread of the virus in our community. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this unprecedented time.

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