Recap of the Q3 Development Officials’ Forum

On Friday, August 2nd, Pierce County hosted the third quarter Development Officials Forum. County Staff discussed their front-loaded single family home review endeavor and presented on their permitting system (PALS+). They also shared with jurisdictions the remodel relocation efficiencies gained by strategically laying out permitting staff at the Annex building by providing a tour of the offices after the meeting. Other jurisdictional updates regarding permitting numbers, staffing concerns and more can be found below:

Bonney Lake:

  • Many building inspectors set to retire
  • A lot of Multifamily (MF) units are in the queue
  • White River School District raised their impact fee to $3700 (Bonney Lake is split with White River School District and Bonney Lake-Sumner School District)
  • Added another permit tech


  • A lot of industrial/commercial development occurring
  • MF on main street with 108 units; many Certificate of Occupancies coming soon
  • Many areas around town to increase density

Gig Harbor:

  • 300 homes receiving final plat soon
  • Commercial projects going in at the North end of town
  • Struggling with staff retirements and staff leaving to the private sector


  • Commercial development has been quiet
  • A lot of incomplete ADU applications are coming in (residents wanting to convert a shed into an ADU, etc.)
  • Residential is still busy; 100 Single Family (SF) permits applied for at this point in time through the year which matches last year
  • Trying to hire a plan reviewer and struggling to retain building inspectors
  • E-Permits are live yet many end up expiring because inspections don’t occur


  • August 7th is when the planning commission will review the reorganizing of the city’s Title 18A code; this item will go to full council in October
  • Western State Hospital to submit a new hospital plan
  • Many short plats are being applied for for infill
  • Moving to PALS+ permitting program
  • Looking for people building w/o permits on weekend (in 2 hours, staff usually catches 11+ people) as many people are building illegal adult family homes


  • Commercial activity is up a little
  • Not so much land is available for easy SF 
  • 300 assisted living beds complete (new)
  • Smaller MF projects for 55+ community are also going up
  • Same problem as Lakewood with illegal adult family homes
  • New permit technician is working out well

Pierce County

  • Looking to beef up staffing numbers to respond to the economy
  • MF is on the rise, like other places
  • 5 schools are under construction; 4 more are coming
  • Multi-care facilities are also being built
  • Out-routing inspections has proved to be 10-15% more effective