Planning and Building Department

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The Planning and Building Department helps lead the City's efforts to shape the built environment by promoting the key objectives of safety, equity, economic development, sustainability, and livability.

The City of Kirkland has launched an online mapping tool that allows users to learn about building permits, land use actions, and code enforcement throughout the city. The Kirkland Activity Map is now available and allows users to view what is happening around a selected location, share a filtered view of the map, or set up customized email alerts.

Kirkland Activity Map graphic

Most Requested

Boards, Commission, Councils, and Hearing Examiner


The Planning Commission (PC) advises the City Council on all matters relating to the Kirkland Comprehensive Plan and land use regulations. The seven members are appointed by the Council to four-year terms. The Commission meets regularly on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7 PM. in the City Council Chamber. It uses the professional staff services of the Planning and Building Department.


The City Council is Kirkland's governing body and is comprised of seven non-partisan members who are elected by the registered voters of Kirkland. The City Council meets regularly on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 PM in the City Council Chamber. It uses the professional staff services of the City Manager's office.

On July 9, 2022, Community Municipal Corporations, including the Houghton Community Council, were sunset by State law (House Bill 1769).


The Design Review Board (DRB) reviews projects for consistency with applicable business district design guidelines and approved master plans. The Board meets regularly on the first and third Monday of each month at 7 PM in the City Council Chamber. It uses the professional staff services of the Planning and Building Department.

Hearing Examiner

The Hearing Examiner conducts hearings on a variety of development projects and code enforcement cases. The Hearing Examiner meetings on the first and third Thursday of each month at 9:30 AM in the City Council Chamber. While the Hearing Examiner operates independently, it uses the professional staff services of the Planning and Building Department.

About Us

Department Director

Adam Weinstein, AICP

Planning and Building Department Director 


Adam Weinstein Adam Weinstein is the Director of Planning & Building for the City of Kirkland, where he is responsible for overseeing all divisions in the department, encompassing development review, long-range planning, building permit intake and review, building inspections, code enforcement, and urban forestry.

Adam first engaged with city planning as a local government beat reporter for his college newspaper, where he wrote stories about light rail, agricultural land protection, and downtown redevelopment. Prior to his position with the City of Kirkland, Adam managed the Planning Division for the City of Pleasanton, CA; prior to that, he was a Berkeley- and Seattle-based Principal at LSA Associates, a small urban planning consulting firm, where he worked on projects ranging from the Apple campus expansion to the development of new wineries on California’s central coast.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (where he also majored in English Literature) and a Master of City Planning from the University of California-Berkeley. 

The Planning and Building Director serves as the Responsible Official for City decisions pertaining to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).


Mission Statement and Guiding Principles

Planning and Building Mission Statement

Our mission is to assist all members of our community to plan for the future. We will guide growth and development consistent with the community's vision and in a manner that is safe, inclusive, and equitable.

Guiding Principles

Our team's guiding principles are to:

  • Recognize that we serve a diverse community and acknowledge our responsibility to plan for the needs of everyone;
  • Support and promote policies that address the inequities that exist in our community today and prevent the creation of new inequities;
  • Promote diverse options in housing;
  • Implement programs to provide housing to community members of all income levels and abilities;
  • Ensure the quality and safety of the built environment;
  • Provide quick and accurate service accessible to all community members;
  • Find practical, just, and common-sense solutions;
  • Protect and enhance our community's natural resources;
  • Be a leader in our commitment to a sustainable built and natural environment;
  • Foster a vibrant business community; and
  • Celebrate and foster an internal work ethic of collegiality, teamwork, and creativity.

Department Divisions

Coordinates office operations for the department including budget, personnel, and staff training. Provides administrative support to staff, the City Council, Planning Commission, Design Review Board, and the Hearing Examiner.

Land Use
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, 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, and a variety of community organizations in their roles of establishing City land use policies.

Building Inspectors
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. 

Plans Examiners
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.

Permit Technicians
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.