Permit Review Times

The process of obtaining a permit is an interactive process. Factors that influence the length of time to obtain a permit are as follows:

  • Completeness, accuracy and clarity of the plans and application - See Common Plan Review Issues.
  • Site conditions and specific lot or property issues
  • Availability of contacts (owner, agent, architect, engineer etc.) to answer reviewer comments
  • Workload of City Staff at the time of permit application
  • The extent of work proposed

Unless a permit qualifies for OTC, Express or Fast Track, it will be considered to have a Regular review time.

See our Time to Review Goals(PDF, 27KB) which indicate our ideal target review times. Please note, actual review times may vary.

Fast Track

Fast Track review is for projects that can be reviewed and turned around in approximately 2 weeks. Here are some examples:

Interior Only Tenant Improvements 

  • Area of work is 5,000 square feet or less 
  • The proposed work involves only minor structural modifications, if any 
  • Tenant separation walls may be constructed or removed 
  • The proposed work occurs on only one level or one story  

Residential Decks 

  • Refer to the Basic Decks Tip Sheet 5 for standard deck requirements. 
  • Deck may be more than one level or one story  

Roof Mounted Mechanical Units

  • Any necessary structural modifications, such as roof framing, shall be shown

Outdoor Single Family Residence Swimming Pools 

  • Pools and hot tubs shall comply with the adopted International Swimming Pool and Spa Code

Rockeries 

Retaining Walls 

  • No shoring required 
  • 8’ or less in height  

Single Family Alterations & Additions 

  • Addition is no more than 50% of existing square footage 
  • The addition may be more than one level or one story  

 Disqualifications from Fast Track review

  • Complex structural alterations 
  • Relationship to an approved Master Plan 
  • Relationship to a pending permit or a building under construction 
  • Exterior work on a building in the CBD, JBD, TL, NRH, RH, or in the LIT, PR, or RM zones in the Rose Hill Business District 
  • Changes to exterior lighting in the Rose Hill Business district 
  • Location in RSX 35, RS 35, and PLA 16 zones within the Bridle Trails Neighborhood located north of Bridle Trails State Park 
  • If located within 25 feet of a regulated slope or an area containing soft compressible soils, only SEPA exempt projects may qualify for Fast Track review
  •  If located within 100 feet of a wetland or stream or in a high landslide area, only repair and maintenance projects may qualify for Fast Track review
  •  If located within a moderate landslide area or seismic hazard area, a geotechnical report may be required

 

Express

Express review is for projects that do require plan review but can be reviewed and turned around in a relatively short period of time (approximately 1 week, depending on workload and staffing). Some examples include:

Interior Only Tenant Improvements 

  • Area of work is 2,500 square feet or less and prepared by a designer or architect 
  • The proposed work does not affect the structural system of the building 
  • The proposed work does not include a change of use 
  • No tenant separation walls are constructed or removed 
  • The proposed work occurs on only one level or one story 

Residential Decks 

  • Refer to the Basic Decks Tip Sheet 5 for standard deck requirements. 
  • New deck space is located on only one level or one story  

Ground Mounted Mechanical Units 

  • Site plan must show the location of the outdoor unit and required setbacks 

Roof Mounted Mechanical Units 

  • Method of screening is clearly identified 
  • Mechanical units are 4’ or less above maximum height limit 
  • All rooftop appurtenances and screening combined is 10% or less of total area of building footprint  

Single Family Alterations, Additions and Repairs 

  • Addition is no more than 500 square feet 
  • Alterations occur in no more than 50% of existing square footage 
  • Addition is only one level or one story 
  • Addition does not contain heated space 
  • Significant trees are not impacted by construction 
  • The existing roof line is not modified 
  • The proposed work involves only minor structural modifications, if any  

Disqualifications from Express review

  • Complex structural alterations 
  • Complex means of egress plan 
  • Change of use or occupancy 
  • Relationship to an approved Master Plan 
  • Relationship to a pending permit or a building under construction 
  • Exterior work on a building in the CBD, JBD, TL, NRH, RH, or in the LIT, PR, or RM zones in the Rose Hill Business District 
  • Changes to exterior lighting in the Rose Hill Business district 
  • Location in RSX 35, RS 35, and PLA 16 zones within the Bridle Trails Neighborhood located north of Bridle Trails State Park 
  • Location within 25 feet of a regulated slope or an area containing soft compressible soils 
  • Location within 100 feet of  a wetland or stream

O-T-C

Over-The-Counter (OTC) permitting is for projects that do not need plan review and can typically be turned around within one day. Some examples include:

Mechanical 

  • Mechanical systems and appliances located within a single family residence, duplex or registered ADU (replacement, relocation, addition, new installation, etc.) 
  • In-kind replacement of indoor equipment 

Plumbing 

  • Plumbing systems and fixtures located within a single family residence, duplex or registered ADU (replacement, relocation, addition, new installation, etc.)  

Electrical 

  • Electrical work for a single family residence, duplex or registered ADU 

Re-roofing 

  • No change to existing roof pitch 
  • No structural modifications to roof 
  • No increase in roof height or parapet height 
  • No rooftop mechanical equipment or skylight additions or relocations in conjunction with re-roofing 
  • No insulation removal, replacement or addition on top of the roof 

Single Family Repair & Maintenance 

  • Replacement of a single door or window (non-structural) 
  • Repair or replacement of water damaged decking (non-structural) 
  • Repair of damage caused by fire or wind, as long as no changes are being made

Disqualifications from O-T-C permitting

  • Penetrations or modifications to fire-rated assemblies 
  • Hospital setting 
  • Laboratory setting 
  • Exterior work 
  • Relationship to an approved Master Plan 
  • Relationship to a pending permit or a building under construction 
  • Exterior work on a building in the CBD, JBD, TL, NRH, RH, or in the LIT, PR, or RM zones in the Rose Hill Business District 
  • Changes to exterior lighting in the Rose Hill Business district

Green Priority Review

Priority Permit Review for new green home construction is a way to get faster permit processing in Kirkland for new single-family home or duplex projects.