Frequently Asked Questions

How is my property zoned?

The easiest way to find out the zoning for property in Lakewood is to use our online zoning tool:

You may also call the Community Development Department at (253) 512-2261. Please have the following information available when you call:

  • Tax parcel number (this is your account number on your tax statement)
  • Property address
  • Property owner name
Where can I get more information about my property’s zoning?
Once you have determined the zoning of your property you may refer to the development standards for the zoning district in Chapter 18A.30 of the Lakewood Municipal Code .
When do I need a permit?

The International Building Code adopted by the City requires that you get a permit before doing any:

  1. construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, movement, demolition, or changing the occupancy of any building or structure; and
  2. installation, enlargement, alteration, repair, removal, conversion, or replacement of any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system.

Some exceptions to this rule include:

  • One-story detached residential accessory buildings used as a storage or tool shed, playhouse or similar use.  They must be 120 square feet or less in size, no taller than ten feet, and must be placed on the rear half of a lot with at least a three-foot setback from side and rear property lines.
  • Interior movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5'9" high.
  • Fences - Ask the Permit Counter staff or call (253) 512-2261.
  • Retaining walls and rockeries no more than four feet tall. Please call the Community Development Department to assure that permits are not needed.
  • Platforms, decks, walks and driveways - Ask the Permit Counter staff or call (253) 512-2261.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, and similar finish work.
  • Residential window awnings - Ask the Permit Counter staff or call (253) 512-2261.
  • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one-and two-family dwellings.
  • Prefabricated residential swimming pools - Ask the Permit Counter staff or call (253) 512-2261.
Where can I apply for a permit?
The Permit Counter is located on the second floor of Lakewood City Hall, located at 6000 Main Street SW.
Do I have to make an appointment with the Permit Counter staff?
No. The Permit Counter is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, we ask that you arrive no later than 4:00 p.m. in order to assure processing of your application.
What are the fees for a permit?
The fees are variable. Please contact the Permit Counter staff for more information.
Can I start work before my permit is issued?
Work on a project cannot legally begin before a permit is issued. Please obtain all necessary permits before construction.
Can I do the work myself, or do I need to hire a contractor?
Property owners may perform work on their own property. If a contractor is used, the contractor must have a state contractor's license (and/or appropriate state specialty license) and a City of Lakewood business license.
How do I arrange for an inspection?
After your permit has been issued, you may schedule an inspection 24 hours or more in advance of the day you would like the inspection to be performed. Please call the inspection line at (253) 512-2266 and leave your recorded message, providing all the information as directed; or arrange for an inspection online
Does the City of Lakewood issue electrical permits?

If your electric service provider is Lakeview Light and Power or Puget Sound Energy , electrical permits can be obtained from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) . You may contact them by calling (253) 596-3808 or you may visit them at 950 Broadway in Tacoma or at their website .

If your electric service provider is Tacoma Public Utilities , please visit their Permits webpage , or contact them at (253) 502-8277.

Find your electrical carrier with the Electrical Provider Boundaries Map