Recap of the first Development Officials’ Forum of 2019

The City of Puyallup hosted this quarter’s Development Officials Forum on Friday, March 1st. The room was packed with several city staff representative jurisdictions from around Pierce County as well as MBA members. The City addressed their Lean Process overview and sought, in a roundtable format, the best permitting practices and submittal standards from other municipalities present. Other jurisdictions announced the following updates:


  • Universal Base Plan program had a few hiccups but went well
  • Permit activity is down in comparison to last year (possibly due to weather)
  • First review is still out in 30 days’ time, which is consistent with the City’s Goals
  • Many staffing changes are occurring
  • Considering using PALS+ as their permitting system


  • Very busy with their building permit activity, particularly multifamily (MF)
  • Zoning code changes will be needed to encourage more development around town
  • Seeking a developer to help create 200 MF units at their City Owned Red Apple Lot site
  • No staff changes to report


  • 2018 was a good year for building permits in the City
  • Needing to do MF production in their downtown area
  • Building permits are in a 30 day processing period/turnaround time
  • Adding new building and engineering staff, looking for a Planning Technician


  • Senior Housing is currently a big focus, most of these projects will be built out by the end of the year
  • Considering rezoning in North Orting to let up on commercial regulations
  • Processing small, infill lots
  • Turnaround is at 2 weeks on Building Plans


  • Considering establishing Impact Fees; a study for the City is going on now
  • Experiencing a normal intake of permits compared to this time last year
  • Meeting residential service levels through an internal restructure
  • ADU/DADU legislation is going through Council right now; its parameters are changing daily

Pierce County

  • Experiences similar numbers to this time last year, but more commercial and MF projects
  • 30 days out on residential turnarounds, 40 days out on commercial
  • Weather caused a bit of a staffing slowdown
  • Permit center is going through a building remodel

Bonney Lake

  • Influx of single family (SF) homes in 2019
  • 46 weeks out on redline comments for residential projects
  • Staffing needs to help in the permitting and planning divisions

Gig Harbor

  • Updating Comprehensive Plan to match current municipal code updates
  • Very busy processing SF permits
  • A lot of staff turnover and restructure within departments
  • Looking for senior planners to help with staffing needs
  • Base plans for commercial projects have been updated


  • Experiencing a lot of growth
  • Staff has doubled in size since 2015; hiring for new planners and will be promoting a staff person for the building official position internally
  • Will be undergoing a comprehensive cleanup of their entire code