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Director:
J.E. “Sam” Ryan, CBO

5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98226
Telephone: (360) 676-6907
E-mail: pds@co.whatcom.wa.us

 
Commercial Process

commercial-building

 

Commercial Project Screening
All commercial projects require a screening prior to the submittal of an application, with the exception of signs, single unit small equipment foundations, and projects of similar minor scale and impact. The application screening is conducted by a Building Service’s staff member. This screening is intended to determine the scope of the proposed project. If the proposed project requires the review of several departments, a commercial pre-application meeting may be conducted prior to the submittal of the application. In the event that a pre-application meeting is not required, staff will provide you with a “waiver” form containing a checklist of required submittal documents and the applicable application forms.

What is a Pre-Application Meeting?
A pre-application meeting is held between the prospective applicant and staff members from various county departments and agencies that may be involved in the review of your proposed project. Our goal in the pre-application meeting is to help identify any areas of concern, to inform you of the code requirements, to answer any questions you may have and to help you avoid costly delays.
Commercial pre-application meetings are conducted on Wednesday mornings and typically last for an hour and a half. Any persons involved with the project (i.e. consultants, owners, agents and/or private specialists for the applicant) are invited to attend. After the meeting, you will receive a summary of the meeting notes and review comments. Please note that the pre-application meeting is scheduled two to three weeks after a screening has been conducted and the required pre-application documents have been submitted for staff distribution.


How do I schedule an appointment to submit my commercial building application?
Appointments may be made once you have had the pre-application screening and/or meeting. A pre-application case number will be assigned to your project and must be provided when you schedule an appointment, unless your project is a commercial sign or has been determined as a minor development.
Appointments are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To schedule an appointment, please contact Planning and Development Services at 360-676-6907. Please have your pre-application number, contact information and geographic (tax parcel) number available when you call to schedule.


What documents must I submit for a commercial building permit application?
All of the documentation that is stated on either the notes from the pre-application meeting or the “waiver” received after the screening must be submitted at the time of the building application appointment unless prior arrangements has been made with staff for any deferred submittals. Staff will provide you with all of the required forms during the screening or pre-application meeting. However, many of the required forms can also be found below:

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Whatcom County Planning and Development Services at 360-676-6907 or email pds@co.whatcom.wa.us