Pre-Application Requests

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**Changes effective April 1, 2019 **

What is a Pre-application request? (PRE)

The pre-application process provides applicants the opportunity to present development proposals, discuss applicable codes, ask questions, and determine the requirements for a complete application prior to submitting a formal permit application.

Certain Land Use Permits require that a pre-application request (PRE) be submitted prior to formal submittal of the Land Use application.

How to Make a Pre-application Request
Requests are submitted online by the applicant.

  • Go to TacomaPermits.org and select Apply for Permits.
  • Log-in to the Tacoma Permits portal (ACA) and select Permits.
  • Read and check the disclaimer and select Continue Application.
  • Select Pre-application Request and fill out all available information and attach PDF documents.
  • When filling out the Contacts portion of the application, it is strongly advised that an email address for the owner or owner’s representative be included, as notes that are provided cover multiple disciplines that may need to be addressed by a number of hired consultants.

When filling out the Contacts portion of the application, it is strongly advised that an email address for the owner or owner’s representative be included, as notes that are provided cover multiple disciplines that may need to be addressed by a number of hired consultants.

Associated Fees

Pre-application fees can be credited toward up to 100 percent of the building plan review fee of a permit that is applied for within 1 year of the pre-application request.

There are two fee options, depending on the level of review provided.

Option A: Electronic review and comment memo – $1,250

Option B: Electronic review and comment memo followed by an in-person meeting and post-meeting memo – $2,500

Residential Projects

Assistance for residential project inquiries (single-family dwellings, duplexes, and townhomes of 1-2 units) can be provided at the Permit Counter without an appointment or payment of fees. Permit Counter hours are listed here:  http://tacomapermits.org/contact-us. For projects that require significant research, the applicant may be advised to submit a formal pre-application request.

Active Permits

If there is already an active permit that you’d like to discuss, it is best to contact the assigned reviewer(s) directly. If you are not able to work with the reviewer directly and/or a meeting with more than one reviewer is needed, the Application Services team can help coordinate a meeting time and date. Please send an email to applicationservices@cityoftacoma.org and include the active permit number in the subject line and a list of questions and/or concerns to be addressed in the body of the email.

Over-the-Counter Requests (OTC)

It there is already a full set of plans available an “over-the-counter” request can be made by first submitting the plan set as a permit application, and then emailing applicationservices@cityoftacoma.org with the applicable permit number in the subject line and an indication that you are requesting OTC review in the body of the email. Be advised that if staff determines the scope of the project requires a more extensive review and/or if the plans require revisions, the permit will not be issued that day.

What to Submit

At minimum, a conceptual site plan with the proposed building footprint (or floor plan if all work is interior only), a project proposal, and a list of questions should be submitted with every request.

From there, the documents needed for a productive preliminary review varies on a project-specific basis. Keep in mind that providing more detailed information and listing questions as part of the application will help reviewers provide more specific feedback.

The following is a list of common questions asked during the pre-application process and the corresponding information that will likely be needed in order for staff to provide responses those questions.

Q. Is the use allowed?

  • Conceptual Site Plan (Show building footprint and property lines at minimum)
  • Description of use
  • Floor Plan(s) showing areas of operations

Q. What are my off-site improvement requirements?

  • Conceptual Site Plan (Show building footprint, property lines, and access at minimum)
  • Description of proposed work (Addition / Tenant Improvement / New Building)
  • Valuation of Work Proposed (Estimate)
  • Valuation of Existing Building (Based on ICC data)

Q. Does the proposed design meet setbacks and/or land use design standards?

  • Conceptual Site Plan (Show building footprint, property lines, access, and areas of proposed landscaping at minimum)
  • Building Elevations (Show proposed entrances, awnings, windows, modulation, materials used, etc.)

Q. What are the specific stormwater requirements triggered by this proposal?

  • Stormwater Site Plan

Q. What are the parking requirements?

  • Conceptual Site Plan (Show building footprint, property lines, areas of proposed landscaping, drive aisle and stall dimensions; label ADA stalls, compact stalls, and loading areas, etc.)
  • Description of use

Q. What limitations or permitting requirements related to critical areas (shorelines, wetlands & streams) will be involved with this project?

  • Conceptual Site Plan (Show building footprint, property lines, and location of Ordinary High Water Mark at minimum)
  • Reconnaissance Report

Q. What limitations or permitting requirements related to steep slopes on the site will be involved with this project?

  • Conceptual Site Plan (Show building footprint, property lines, and location of Top of Slope at minimum)

Q. What are the seismic requirements triggered by this proposal?

  • Description of existing and proposed use
  • Floor Plan
  • Description of proposed work (Addition / Tenant Improvement / New Building)
  • Valuation of Work Proposed (Estimate)
  • Valuation of Existing Building (Based on ICC data)
  • Indication as to whether or not the exterior walls are unreinforced masonry (URM)

Q. No questions. I am just filling out the PRE to fulfil the PRE requirement of a BLA or Platting Requirement.

  • Proposed Site Plan (Show existing building footprint(s), existing and proposed property lines, dimensions of structures from proposed property lines at minimum)

WHAT TO EXPECT
Initial Email

After a pre-application request is made, you will receive an email from applicationservices@cityoftacoma.org generally within 1-2 business days.

The initial email will either:

  • Provide immediate answers to your questions,
  • Indicate that your request is being processed,
  • Or identify additional information needed before review can occur.

In most cases, as long as a basic plan and project proposal have been submitted, the email will indicate that the request is being processed. This signifies that the Application Services Team has routed the request to subject matter experts for review electronically.

Electronic Review

Electronic Review comments can be expected back within 1-2 weeks of the initial email from Application Services. Electronic Review comments are captured within a Review Comment memo and uploaded as an attachment to the PRE record.

An email is sent to the applicant as well as any other contacts listed as part of the record, letting them know that the comment memo is available online. The 1st Review comment memo lists next steps required to move forward with the project and gives contact information for the subject matter experts that reviewed the proposal. When in-person meetings are still needed, the Electronic Review process helps to narrow down the number of required reviewers that need to attend the meeting, which makes scheduling faster and easier.

In-Person Meetings

When an in-person meeting is part of the pre-application review request, the email that is sent out after Electronic Review will identify the soonest available meeting date and the City staff that will likely need to attend, based on the comments received. Please take the time to read through the preliminary memo(s) regarding the project that are sent out prior to the meeting. Let the facilitator know if there are additional City staff necessary at the in-person meeting that are not identified within scheduling email. If requesting additional attendees, please include a list of questions/concerns you’d like to be included as part of the discussion.

How To Submit Additional Information
The following steps describe how to upload additional and/or revised attachments in Accela, if needed or requested by City Staff:

  1. Log in and accept disclaimer. https://aca.accela.com/tacoma/
  2. Under the Home option, select My Records.
  3. Select the permit number.
  4. Select the Record Info Drop Down box.
  5. Select Add Attachments.