Permit Workflow Improvement Project
Pierce County's Permit Workflow Improvement Project (WIP) aims to: 

  Redesign the permit application review process

  Update the Planning and Public Works Department's organizational structure to facilitate a more streamlined review process for all applications
About the project

Project timeframe:
The project launched in January 2023, and is expected to run through June 2024.

Routine permit review will continue during the project. Three pilots testing various aspects of the project will be conducted. Learn about the first pilot below.

Project team structure:
A steering group will set direction for and manage the project, with eight specialized, cross-functional teams (called Tiger Teams) carrying out tasks in key areas.

Participants include Pierce County Planning and Public Works, the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management's Fire Prevention Bureau, Pierce County Human Resources, Pierce County Finance, Pierce County Information Technology, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and representatives from the building industry.
Project objectives
Recognizing that our customer base is extremely diverse, this project will identify a path for professional customers to have access to an expedited review process while infrequent customers continue to receive individualized assistance and education. 

  Improve timeliness and reliability in application review without increasing the County’s risk 

  Reduce time to approval/occupancy

  Increase consistency in review procedures, decision-making, and customer service

  Ensure accountability for results 

  Collect and analyze data to inform future decisions
Pilot No. 1: Single-Family Plat Lot Expedited Review Path
This limited-scope, short duration pilot is intended to test new concepts in permit review and evaluate the feasibility of approving a single-family residential project in 15 days or less. 

This pilot is one of several initiatives planned under the WIP and the results will be evaluated to determine which process changes work best and should be incorporated long-term.

Key steps: 

  High-quality applications are submitted for expedited processing and review, and the participant agrees to certify that the project complies with all local, state, and federal regulations.

  The participant completes a virtual self-guided orientation, verifies their professional liability insurance meets pilot program standards*, accepts a hold harmless agreement, and meets other eligibility requirements. 
*Note: Participants in the Frontload Program with approved base plans are exempt from this requirement. 
Pilot facts

  Dates of pilot:
July 1 - Sept. 30, 2023

Pilot participants will be made up of interested members of the development community with eligible projects.

  Eligible projects:
- Must be located in unincorporated Pierce County
- Must qualify as Single-Family Residential
- The project has less than 5,000 square feet of new hard surface
- Must be located in an approved plat recorded after Dec. 4, 2015. Contact us if you need to find out when the plat was recorded

Dedicated Team IconDedicated team:
An integrated technical team reviews the application together.

Consolodated Approval IconCoordinated Review:
Applicants receive either a joint approval from all reviewing divisions or a single request for additional information, allowing for a streamlined process.
Information for Pilot No. 1 participants
How to participate

Review the Pilot Customer Guide

Fill out the Participant Interest Form

Once Pierce County responds to your Participant Interest Form:
Complete the Orientation

Once you complete the orientation, Pierce County will send you an email with next steps.

Eligibility requirements
Those interested in participating should review the Pilot Customer Guide for eligibility requirements. Highlights:

 Complete orientation 
 Verify professional liability insurance meets pilot program standards. Note: Participants in the Frontload Program with approved base plans are exempt from this requirement.
 Agree to accept "redline" changes 
 Submit high-quality application consistent with submittal standard