Coordinates office operations for the department including budget, personnel, and staff training. Provides administrative support to staff, the City Council, Planning Commission, Houghton Community Council, Design Review Board, and the Hearing Examiner.
Helps guide development in a way that is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code, Subdivision Ordinance, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), and Shoreline Master Program. Also performs permit and development review and provides public information about development policies and regulations. This division also includes the City’s code enforcement staff, who support the City's public safety mission by investigating potential or actual violations of City laws relating to the built environment. Presents development projects to the Hearing Examiner, Design Review Board, Houghton Community Council, and City Council.
Policy & Planning
Prepares and maintains the plans that help shape the City’s built environment, including the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code, Subdivision Ordinance, Shoreline Master Program, local SEPA ordinance, and other growth management plans and regulations. This division also includes the City’s urban forestry function, which is responsible for helping to sustain the City’s forest resources. Staff support is provided to the City Council, Planning Commission, Houghton Community Council, and a variety of community organizations in their roles of establishing City land use policies.
Performs visual inspection of commercial and residential construction for work that is under current City-issued building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical permits. Issues corrections and approvals based on the adopted codes they are required to enforce. Assists with code enforcement investigations and works with other departments on cases involving the permit process.
Reviews permit applications for all types of construction to ensure code compliance with structural, architectural, fire safety, energy and accessibility requirements. Provides assistance by answering customer inquiries, confirms the completeness of an application and ensures compliance with city ordinances and State-adopted codes. Supports the Inspection group during construction and assists with the investigation of public complaints. Coordinates with staff in other departments related to permitting and structural issues.
Assists customers in completing permit applications by explaining building permit requirements and assessing the scope of projects. Assists customers in obtaining additional permits that may be needed for a project. Routes project documents to appropriate departments for review and tracks the permit from intake to issuance. Verifies that the permit applicants have obtained all necessary approvals and verifies professional and contractor licensing. Calculates and verifies valuations and fee payment. Tracks projects to ensure permits are completed in the allotted time period.