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Public Record Request FAQ

Office of the City Manager

City Clerk

Public Records Request

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I submit a Public Records Request?

You may submit requests via the following methods:


The quickest way to submit your request is online. To do so, please complete the online submission form.

E-mail, Fax, or Mail

Complete this form to submit your request via e-mail, fax, or physical mail.

Alternatively, you may provide the following information in place of using the form:

  1. Your name.
  2. The requested records including relevant information to help locate the records. Examples include: name of the record, date published, and address or permit number it is associated with.
  3. Your contact information (e.g., e-mail address, mailing address, telephone number).

Please submit the form or the above information to one of the below options:

  • E-mail:
  • Fax: 425-295-0600
  • Mail: Sammamish City Hall, c/o Public Disclosure Officer, 801 228th Avenue SE, Sammamish, WA 98075

In Person or Phone

You will receive a written confirmation of your request if it is made in person at City Hall or by phone. The confirmation will be deemed correct unless you respond with a statement that it is incorrect.

What public records can I request?

You may request any public record maintained by the City in existence at the time of your request.  For Police, Fire & EMS, or Water & Sewer records, please see the next FAQ below specific to these records.

You may request records such as housing permits and plans, meeting minutes, e-mails, and any other record relating to government conduct or the performance of a governmental function that is prepared or retained by the City.  The record may be in a variety of forms, such as physical or digital writing, pictures, recordings, etc.

The City of Sammamish provides access to public records under the provisions of the Washington State Public Records Act (RCW 42.56).  Anyone may request records maintained by the City. However, some content may be exempt and withheld (e.g., bank account numbers, attorney-client privileged communications, etc.). For more information on this, please view the “What is an Exemption or Redaction?” FAQ.

How do I request Police, Fire & EMS, or Water and Sewer records?

Sammamish contracts its Police, Fire & EMS, and Water and Sewer services. To obtain these records, please submit a request to the following:

What records are available online?

Below are online resources where records or commonly requested information are located.  If you do not find the record you are looking for, please submit a public records request.

Permits & Planning

  • For information about permitting or planning, please visit In the “Quick Links” menu, select “Check Status” then click on “Advanced Search”.  Select “Sammamish” under Permit/Jurisdiction.  Enter the parcel number or address you are interested in and click “Search” at the bottom of the page.
  • All Sammamish permits can be found with the “Permit Search”.
  • If you are looking for records of permits or projects from prior to 1999 (the City’s incorporation), please submit a public records request to King County.
  • For general information about parcels in King County, visit the King County Parcel Viewer.

Current Development

Subdivision As-Builts

Property, Zoning, Sensitive Areas Map

  • An interactive map with various property, zoning, sensitive areas, and other imagery layers is available via the City’s Sammamish Property Tool.

Stormwater Map

  • A map of the Sammamish stormwater system, detailed down to the pipe or catch basin, is available on the City’s Storm Bandit.

City Government Meeting Records

  • City Council, Commission, and Committee agendas, minutes, and meeting materials are available:

Ordinances and Resolutions

Hearing Examiner Decisions

City Finance Records

How will the City respond to my records request?

The City will respond to your request within five (5) business days in the following ways:

  • Make the records available for inspection or copying.
  • Provide a webpage where the records can be accessed. (Requestors who cannot access the internet may make alternative arrangements to view the records.)
  • Send copies or scans of requested records if requested, following the City’s fee schedule.
  • Provide a reasonable estimate of when records will be available.
  • Request clarification from the requestor if the request is unclear or does not sufficiently identify the requested records. (The estimate of when records will be available may be revised based on the response.)
  • Deny the request. Some public records are exempt from public disclosure. (See WAC 458-276-045RCW 42.56, and Appendix C of the MRSC Public Records Act guide for additional information.)

For additional information about how public records requests are processed, please see City's Public Records Policy - New 2023 

What are categories and why was my request assigned one?

To more fairly address the volume of requests the City receives and to be more transparent about their processing, requests are categorized into four groups. Each request is grouped according to the nature, volume, and availability of the requested records, and also the complexity of the request. Please see PRA Rules 050 and 060 for additional information.

You may be able to change your request’s assigned category and reduce the waiting time for receiving your records. This may be accomplished by contacting the City Clerk’s Office and providing additional information to assist in locating your requested records or narrowing your search to return fewer records. 


  • Original Request (Category 2): All records related to parcel #0000000000.
  • Amended Request (Category 1): All permits approved on parcel #0000000000 in the past 6 months.
When will I receive my requested records?

You will receive an expected completion date from the staff member fulfilling your request. This date is based mainly upon the complexity of your request, the backlog of requests submitted prior to yours, and scheduling additional staff necessary to assist in locating the records. The more complex your request, the longer it will take staff to locate all responsive records.

Depending on the nature, volume, and availability of the requested records as well as the complexity of the request, it will be assigned a category. Each category has an estimated range of time in which it may be fulfilled.

  • Category 1: Records are easily identified and immediately accessible, requiring little or no coordination between departments. Category 1 requests may take between 5 and 30 business days to fulfill.
  • Category 2: Request involves a large number of records which may not be easily identified, located and accessible, require some coordination between departments, or may require third-party notification. Category 2 requests may take between 30 and 120 business days to fulfill.
  • Category 3: Request meets Category 2 criteria but is also complex, broad or vague and requires significant coordination between multiple departments, research by City staff who are not primarily responsible for public disclosure, and/or review by public disclosure staff to determine whether any of the records are exempt from production. Category 3 requests may take between several months or up to a year to fulfill.
  • Category 4: Request meets Category 3 criteria but also requires legal review and/or additional assistance from third-parties in identification and assembly. Category 4 requests may take between several months or more than a year to fulfill.

A request’s category and expected completion date may change due to unanticipated circumstances. One example is that a request’s complexity is different than originally expected once staff begins processing it. Requestors will be notified should their category or expected completion date change.

How can I check the status of my public records request?

You may check the status of your request by viewing the Public Records Request Log. Should you have additional questions, you may e-mail the City Clerk’s Office at or call 425-295-0512.

To expedite the response, please have available the 4-digit request ID that was provided via email upon submitting your request.

What is an exemption or redaction?

An exemption refers to content within a public record, or possibly the entire record itself, which is protected by law and will not be disclosed. This protected content will be redacted, or blacked out, from the record. If the entire record is exempt, it will not be provided at all. In either case, the reason for the exemption will be provided along with the portion of law allowing its exemption.

See WAC 458-276-045, RCW 42.56, and Appendix C of the MRSC Public Records Act guide for additional information.

Is my public records request confidential?

No. Once the City receives a public records request, it becomes a public record. It is immediately available to the public on our Public Records Request Status webpage.

Will the City organize data or create a report for me?

No. The City of Sammamish provides access to existing public records in its possession. It is not required to collect information or organize data to create a record not existing at the time of the request.

Can I request records that are not available yet or will be created in the future?

No. The City of Sammamish provides access to existing public records in its possession at the time of the request. It is not required to provide records created after the request has been submitted. You are welcome to submit a new public records request in the future.

Can I request video from traffic cameras?

No. The City of Sammamish intersection cameras do not record. Video is not available for collision investigations or for contesting citations.

Can I use records for commercial purposes?

The City is not allowed to provide lists of individuals for commercial purposes per RCW 42.56.070(8).

Are there fees associated with public records requests?

There is no charge for requesting or inspecting a public record. However, fees may be charged for the following:

  • Copying paper records or printing electronic records.
  • Any digital storage device provided by the City to store records (e.g. CD, DVD, USB storage device, etc.).
  • A container or envelope used to mail copies to you, and the actual postage or delivery charge.
  • Information technology staff time and/or software necessary to inspect data not otherwise viewable. For example, raw AutoCAD, GIS data or code, etc.

Unless otherwise stated in the City’s fee schedule, actual costs will be charged. For more information on public records request fees, please see RCW 42.56.070 and RCW 42.56.120.

What are the policies and procedures regarding public records requests for the City of Sammamish?
What is a city clerk?

The City Clerk is the local official who administers democratic processes such as access to city records and all legislative actions ensuring transparency to the public. The Sammamish City Clerk is the City’s Public Records Officer. It is the role of this office to ensure that the City is in compliance with the Public Records Act and the City's Public Records Act Rules. The City Clerk acts as a compliance officer for federal, state, and local statutes, assists with managing public inquiries and relationships, and arranges for ceremonial and official functions.

How long are public records requests kept on the city website?

According to the Washington State Archive CORE Retention Schedules 5.4 Public Disclosure (page 150) DAN number GS2010-014, Rev. 3, the city is required to Retain for 2 years after public records request fulfilled then Destroy.