What Do I Need?

Do I Need Land Use Review?

Certain types of projects are required to first go through a Land Use Review process to ensure they comply with regulations that help protect our environmental resources; improve the character, appearance, and livability of our neighborhoods; preserve historic and cultural resources; and facilitate appropriate provisions for transportation, utilities, schools, parks, and other public needs and services consistent with Olympia's Comprehensive Plan.

Will your project include ANY of the following?

  • A change of occupancy
  • A change of use of land
  • A new commercial and nonagricultural use of land
  • Construction of any commercial or nonagricultural building
  • Construction of any multifamily project in which more than 4 units would be contained
  • Any addition to, remodel or substantial revision to any of the above

>>YES: Learn about the Land Use Review Process


Do I Need a Permit?

Permits are required in order to ensure projects meet the requirements for health, safety and structural soundness as set forth in National Building Codes, Washington State Amendments, and the Olympia Municipal Code.

Does Your Project Include?

  • Building Construction
  • Building Alterations or Repairs
  • Building Demolition 
  • Changing the Use of a Building
  • Electrical Work
  • Excavation or Fill
  • Felling More Than 6 Trees
  • Fire Systems
  • Foundation Repair or Replacement
  • Furnace, Hot Water or Gas Appliance
  • In-ground Fuel Tanks
  • Manufactured Home Installation
  • Moving a Building
  • Plumbing
  • Reroofing
  • Siding Repair or Replacement
  • Sign Installation
  • Temporary Power
  • Temporary Signs and Banners
  • Window Replacement
  • Wood Stoves and Fireplace Inserts
  • Work in the City Right of Way
  • Yard Sprinkler Systems

>>YES: Continue to the Online Permit Portal


The following projects do not usually require permits. Click for details

One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area is not greater than 200 square feet (18.58 m2). NOTE:  Separate Electrical, Plumbing or Mechanical Permits are required.

Fences not over 6 feet high are allowed. Deer fence type may be 8 feet high when approved. View - Fences Hedges Walls and Site Perimeter Grading for specific information.

Not over 5 feet, 9 inches high

Not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting loads caused by backfilling of soil, proximity of foundations, parking, driveways or hydrostatic pressures.

Supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.

Includes unroofed platforms, decks, porches, walks and decks not exceeding 200 square feet in area, that are not more than 30 inches above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by the International Residential Code, Section 311.4. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 800 square feet that are not 30 inches or more above grade and which are not over any basement or story below and which are not part of an accessible route.

Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.

Supported by an exterior wall when projecting not more than 54 inches.

Prefabricated pools accessory to a Group R-3 (single family residence) occupancy that are less than 24 inches deep, are not greater than 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground.

Replacement of glass only. Replacement of the entire window does require a permit.

Note that even if a permit is not required, your project must meet all code requirements and development standards. View our Construction Codes page for details.


Need Help?

Contact the Permit Center at 360.753.8314 or CPDinfo@ci.olympia.wa.us