Permit Center

The City of Sammamish Permit Center is responsible for the administration of the building permit process including:

  • Screening projects for zoning conformance
  • Screening building plans at intake to be sure they are reviewable by all appropriate agencies
  • Routing plans to review agencies
  • Tracking/monitoring the review process
  • Preparing the final sets of plans
  • Calculating fees
  • Issuing permits
  • Communicating with the applicant

Permits are required:

Any construction related project on property located in the City of Sammamish requires a permit, or set of permits, issued by the city’s building division, per:

SMC 16.20.195 “Permits Required”:

“Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code and SMC Title 16.05, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the Permit Center and obtain the required permit.”

unless the work is specifically “Exempt From A Permit” per SMC16.20.200.

Please Note: These exemptions are only applicable to required "building" permits. Other permits may still be required for work exempt from a building permit. For example, see SMC 16.15.050 for work that requires (or, is exempted from) a "tree removal" or "grading" permit (otherwise known as a "Clearing and Grading Permit").

Required Permits

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permit.

The eGov Alliance has prepared a tip sheet for single family properties with frequent questions about whether a permit is required or not.

See the Permits When Required Tip Sheet.


Re-roof permits are required under any of the following criteria:

  • Residential and commercial buildings that are installing or replacing any portion of the roof decking (sheathing), including the adding of plywood over existing skip sheathing.
  • Commercial buildings receiving a type of roof covering of a different class rating from the existing roof unless the class rating is of a higher classification. The applicant must provide written documentation of what the existing material is, and what is being replaced.
  • Commercial buildings receiving a type of roof covering heavier than the existing system.
  • Commercial buildings receiving new covering over the existing system.
  • Any building with clay tile or concrete tile roofs.

Re-roofs exempt from permits:
  • Single-family residences that are installing composition roofing over composition roofing do not require a permit (a total of two layers maximum).
  • Any building receiving a complete tear off and re-installation of the same type and classification of roofing material (tile not exempted) and roof decking (sheathing) is not being installed or replaced.
  • Alteration of roof coverings less than 100 square feet.



A building permit is required when making any modifications to a deck that is more than 30 inches above grade (measured to the lowest point within three feet of the deck).

Be aware that even if no permit is required, any modified decks or patios must still meet current land use regulations. Contact the Permit Center if you are not sure.

Permit Not Required

Most improvements on a residential or commercial lot require a permit. The following are examples that do not need a permit:
  • One story-detached accessory buildings used as a tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided that the projected floor area does not exceed 200 square feet, and there are no zoning setback issues.
  • Fences not over 6 feet in height (other fence regulations may apply).
  • Commercial - Moveable cases, counters and partitions not over five feet, nine inches in height.
  • Rockery or site retaining walls that are not over four feet in height, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or III-A liquids or in a critical area.
  • Decks, platforms, walks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade at any point within five horizontal feet, and not over any basement or story below.
  • Painting, papering and similar finish work.
  • Commercial - Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a single family home and Group U Occupancies when not projecting more than 54 inches.
Unless otherwise exempted, plumbing, mechanical and electrical permits may be required for the above exempted items.

Call the Permit Center at 425-295-0531.

Permit Process

Our goal is to provide the you with the most efficient and thorough plan review. During the submittal appointments, our experienced staff is available to review your documents and to answer any questions you may have.

Permits can be submitted in person by appointment or online at www.mybuildingpermit.com .

Over-the-Counter Permits-By appointment: For small projects, this is the place to start.
For more information, see the Over the Counter Permit Process.

Approximate Timelines by Permit Type:

First reviews take place as shown below. All times shown are from the date of submittal.

[“First review” is defined as completion of first thorough review at which time either correction letters will be issued and transmitted, or the application will be approved by each appropriate department and forwarded to the Permit Center.]

Corrections are required when we find discrepancies or items are not in compliance with code.

Permit Type 2-Days 2-Weeks 2-Months
Commercial     X
Corrections   X  
Demolition     X  
Plumbing/Mechanical (Commercial)   X  
Remodels/Additions      X X  
Revisions   X  
Single Family     X
Small Projects      X      X  

1. What are the office hours?

The Permit Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4 pm.

After hours, leave a message and a representative of the Center will get back to you within 24 hours.


2. Do I need appointment or can I just walk into City Hall if I have questions?

We try to accommodate anyone who comes to City Hall with questions, although there is not a guarantee that the appropriate person will be available for you to speak with.

Please request an intake appointment for all Paper Submittals:

  • Building permit applications, including over the counter applications.
  • Revisions to an issued permit (originally submitted in paper)
  • Corrections to and existing application (originally submitted in paper)
  • Land Use applications

Building permits can now be submitted electronically at www.mybuildingpermit.com.


3. How can I obtain help if I’m in the preliminary planning stages of my project?

If your project is an addition or remodel it may be sufficient for you to speak to one of our Planners and a Building Plans Examiner at the counter or on the phone.

If your project is large or a new residential or commercial structure you may need to submit for a Pre-Application meeting.

If your project is located in a sensitive or critical area a Pre-Application appointment may also be necessary. Call the Permit Center staff for further clarification: (425) 295-0500.


4. Do you have any handouts to help a homeowner with basic construction?

Yes. We recommend visiting www.mybuildingpermit.com for construction tip sheets and guidelines. We also have additional guidelines.


5. Can I demolish my existing house?

Yes. A demo permit is required.Please note that structures in environmentally sensitive areas may need additional oversight/review.




6. When are permits required?

  • Most construction activities require a permit. For your own protection, and best interest, it is always wise to check with the Permit Center before beginning any construction, alterations or repair work. Failure to obtain a building permit could result in a fine or an order to stop work. SMC 16.20.195 “Permits Required”
  • SMC 16.20.200 “Work exempt from a permit”
  • Removal of any trees, or grading / clearing of a property requires a tree removal permit or a clearing and grading permit.
    SMC 16.15.070 “Permit requirements”
  • Some construction activities (e.g. a new dock on Lake Sammamish, a riding arena, etc) may require a land use permit or approval prior to issuance of a building permit.


7. What is the maximum fence height without a permit?

Maximum height is 6 ft above grade.


8. What do I need to start the procedure for my permit?

Contact the Permit Center or a Permit Tech to go over the requirements for your specific project.


9. What projects do not require a building permit?

SMC16.20.200. “Work exempt from permit”

Exemptions from permit requirements of this code and Chapter 16.05 SMC shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code and Chapter 16.05 SMC or any other laws or ordinances of the city of Sammamish.


10. Are any permits available online?

 Almost all permits can be submitted through www.MyBuildingPermit.com.

11. Are any permits available Over-the-Counter?

Yes. For more information, see the Over the Counter Permit Process.

12. Do I get all my permits through the City?

No, Electrical permits are issued through the State Department of Labor and Industries.

13. What will my building permit cost?

The permit fee is based on the project valuation. Download the City's fee schedule for more information.


14. How do I find status/information about a permit when plan review is still in progress?

Check your permit status on the MyBuildingPermit website. If the information you need is not shown, please call the Permit Center for additional information.


15. Does the City have a Basics or Registered Plan process?

Yes, call our Permit Center and request a Pre-Application meeting to discuss the process. See the Registered Plan Program (Construction Guidelines #9).




16. When do I need an inspection?

After your building permit is issued, a City Building Inspector checks to make sure that your work is done according to code.

As a permit holder, you are required to arrange for each inspection. Building Inspections are requested online.

The required applicable inspections are listed on your Permit Inspection Card provide to you at the time of issuance by the City.

The City of Sammamish Building Division performs sequential visual inspection of work in progress that is under current city-issued Building, Plumbing, and Mechanical permits.

Do not cover or enclose any item without first having obtained an approved inspection by the City of Sammamish.


17. How do I schedule an inspection?

Regular building inspections are requested online and are scheduled as early as the next business day.

18. Can I find out when my inspection will be?

Inspections are scheduled in the morning the day of the inspection.  You can check the schedule here.

The order is subject to change without notice, due to cancellations or other unforeseen events. (Building permits and approved construction drawings are required to be on site for the inspection.) The city of Sammamish does not provide specific inspection times.

19. How can I help to make my inspection a successful one?

  • Arrange for access to area to be inspected.
  • Building permit is to be onsite and visible.
  • Approved construction drawings are to be readily accessible.Construction work pertaining to inspection is to be completed prior to inspector’s arrival.

20. Can more than one inspection be done on the same day?

Inspectors will only make one site visit per day. Call the inspector, prior to placing inspection request, to discuss feasibility of inspecting more than one scope of work during the inspection appointment. Call City Hall at 425-295-0500.


21. How do I check the status of an inspection?

Check inspection status here.  

The inspection results can also be determined by looking at the on-site permit record: if the inspection line is signed, this signifies approval.

If the line is not signed, and a Correction Notice has been left on site, this indicates additional work is to be completed prior to sign-off of inspection.




22. Are there starting and stopping times for construction?

Yes, construction times as allowed per Sammamish Municipal Code, section 16.05.030 are as follows:

  • Monday through Friday: 7:00 am to 8:00 PM.
  • Saturday and Holidays: 9:00 am to 6:00 PM
  • Sundays: No construction.


23. Will a minor change in design require a permit revision?

In most cases, the answer is “yes.” Any change in foot print, wall configuration, or roof design requires a permit revision applied for through our Permit Center.

There are a few instances when the “revision” can be a field approved revision which does not require additional fees or review time for a permit “revision.”

The revisions that can typically be approved in the field are: a change in post or beam species or type, i.e. Parallam instead of Glu-Lam beam; footing size; window header size, window size, etc.

These changes would typically required beam/gravity calcs to verify new sizing, and, if original structure was designed by an engineer, the changes would be required to be accompanied by a letter of approval of changes with original signature and wet-stamp of engineer of record.


24. How do I get my Certificate of Occupancy?

  • Residential (Structures approved under the International Residential Code): the permit inspection card with the “final inspection” approval signature becomes your certificate of occupancy.
  • All new structures or commercial structures involving a change of use require a certificate of occupancy: The completed/finalized inspection card will act as your certificate of occupancy until the official Certificate of Occupancy is provided (usually within 5 working days).




25. When do I need to hire an engineer? My project is quite simple.

Due to the potential of earthquake hazard in Washington most homes and additions require engineering.

Where structural elements do not meet the conventional construction requirements of the International Residential Code, those elements must be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice.

One key item concerns the amount of solid walls in the structure. (See Construction Guidelines #2 - Braced Walls Continuous w/Openings)


26. Can I use engineering created for a project outside of Sammamish, for the same structure in Sammamish?

No, not unless the engineer of record provides a letter confirming that the calculations are also applicable to the specific site of proposed construction in Sammamish.

Engineering for projects in the city of Sammamish is required to be site specific.


27. What are the design criteria for projects in Sammamish?

The following design criteria is adopted and modified per the SMC 16.05.070 (5), International Building Code (IBC), and SMC 16.05.080 (1), International Residential Code (IRC):

Criteria    IBC IRC 
Ground & Roof Snow Load  25 psf 25 psf
Seismic Design Category  D D2
Wind Speed
  110 mph
Risk Category I 100 mph  --
Risk Category II 110 mph  --
Risk Category III & IV 115 mph  --
Wind Exposure
Site specific, IBC 1609.4  --
Topographic Effects Site specific, ASCE 7-10 Section 26.8, Kzt No
Soil Bearing Site specific, IBC Chapter 18 1500 psf (Assumed)
Weathering Moderate Moderate
Frost Line Depth 12 inches 12 inches
Termite Slight to moderate Slight to moderate
Decay Slight to moderate Slight to moderate
Winter Design Temperature 26° F 26° F
Ice Shield Underlayment Required
No No
Flood Hazards
See SMC 15.10 See SMC 15.10
Air Freezing Index
145° F - days 145 degrees F - days
Mean Annual Temperature 50° F. 50° F.
Concrete Durability
ACI 318-14 for structural concrete, & IBC 1904.2 nonstructural concrete 3,000 psi for exposed & exterior concrete, IRC Table R402.2


Land Use/Planning


28. Where can I build on my property?

The City does not directly regulate where a house or other structures is built on your property; location of buildings is regulated by protection of specific features as follows:

  • All lots within the City will have an “interior” setback (i.e. a back yard and side yard setback) of between 5 feet and 7 feet from property lines, and a street setback of 10 feet to 20 feet from the edge of the street right-of-way.
  • All lots within the City have a maximum impervious surface (i.e. a maximum amount of area covered by house, driveway, outbuildings, patios, etc.) of 30 to 70% of the lot area.
  • Some lots within the City are constrained by environmentally critical areas (e.g. streams, wetlands, steep slopes, etc), which normally require a minimum buffer and setback. Depending on the type and quality of the critical area, the combined buffer and setback may range from 30 feet to 230 feet. Please note: environmentally critical areas and buffers extend across property lines.


29. How do I split my lot into two or more lots?

The first step is to schedule a pre-application conference with the city of Sammamish to discuss the proposed “short subdivision” or “subdivision” (short subdivisions create a total of nine or fewer lots). The pre-application conference form is available here.

A conceptual map of the proposed new lots should accompany the form, along with a fee.

At the pre-application conference, the City will go over the subdividing process, identify “next steps” for the applicant, discuss expected design “issues”, and provide answers to property owner questions.


30. How long does it take to split my lot into two or more lots?

On average, subdivisions and short subdivisions require slightly more than one year to receive preliminary approval with conditions.

A public comment period, public appeal period, and a public hearing (for a subdivision) are included in this timeline.

Time required for the applicant to respond to City requests for information is also included in this time; generally the permit is under review at the City between 120 and 180 days.

Following preliminary approval of the subdivision or short subdivision, the applicant will need to install basic infrastructure for the proposed lots prior to recording the lots for sale or development.


31. How many lots can I create from my property?

The maximum number of lots that can be created is dependent upon four basic items:

  • Zoning of the lot (for example, R-4 zoning allows for 4 dwelling units per net acre; R-6 zoning allows for 6 dwelling units per acre)
  • Gross area of the lot
  • Presence of environmentally critical areas and buffers on the property. Please note: environmentally critical areas and buffers extend across property lines.
  • Required installation of public or private streets.

Lot yield is calculated by deducting environmentally critical areas and buffers, and public / private streets from the gross lot area.

The remaining lot area (i.e. the net area of the lot) is multiplied by the zoned density (e.g. 4 dwelling units per acre) to calculate lot yield.


32. Can I build my garage on my property line?

No, garages (and all buildings) are subject to building setbacks (see response to FAQ #28).




33. When is a geological report required?

  • Geotechnical report must be provided when the following site conditions exist:
    • Soil bearing is assumed at other than 1500 PSF.
    • Proposed structure will be placed on a lot bordering a body of water, lakes, streams etc., i.e. Lake Sammamish, Beaver Lake, and Pine Lake.
    • Proposed structure will be placed on or adjacent to a steep slope.
    • Proposed structure will be placed in a sensitive or critical area which may include coal mine/erosion hazards, flood hazards, landslide hazards, steep slope hazards, wetlands, streams and seismic hazard areas.
  • Provide a geotechnical report prepared by a Washington State Licensed Geotechnical, Geological or Structural Engineer to include original signature and wet stamp of engineer.
    • To include original signature and wet stamp of engineer, Geological, Geotechnical, Structural.

Although the city handles most types of permits, the assistance of other agencies will be required to issue permits and inspect specific aspects of a project:

All Electrical Permits and Boilers in Excess of 200K Btu/h Water and Sewer Fire Septic and Wells

Contact Us
Darci Donovan, Customer Service and Permit Center Manager, (425) 295-0530
Missy Marshall May, Permit Technician, (425) 295-0531
Kevin Johnson, Permit Technician, (425) 295-0531
Tony Hudson, Office Assistant, (425) 295-0536
Amy Koehnen, Office Assistant , (425) 295-0535
Permit Center

Hours: 8:30 am - 4 pm, Monday - Friday

Phone: 425-295-0500
Fax: 425-295-0600