Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to help answer any of your questions and/or assist you through the permit, land use and/or civil construction process. The City of Renton Permit Center is located on the 6th floor of City Hall at 1055 South Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057.

Permit Center hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., CLOSED from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. to walk-in services. Tuesday and Friday - CLOSED to walk in services.

We can also be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 425-430-7200.

Planning

Below are answers to some of our Planning/Land Use Frequently Asked Questions with weblinks or informational handouts to help you better understand the planning process.

If you have questions that are not answered below, we can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at (425) 430-7294.

How do I find property information such as zoning, lot size, and pending development proposals?

Launch the City of Renton's COR Maps and then simply search by address or parcel number to obtain property information about parcels within the City.

Click on the Parcel ID for more details on all pending/or approved development on the parcel. Click on Property Report to obtain King County Assessor's information that will provide the lot size, present use and year the building was constructed. By further clicking on Property Detail, you can verify jurisdiction and zoning information.

What zone allows my business?

Please refer to the Renton Municipal Code (RMC) Zoning Use Table to find what uses are permitted by zoning designation.

What if my property has a Renton address, but it is in King County's jurisdiction?

You will need to contact the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review. Their offices are located at 35030 SE Douglas Street, Suite 210, Snoqualmie, WA 98065. You may try calling a customer service representative at (206) 296-6600.

How do I submit a zoning compliance letter request for a property?

You can submit a zoning compliance letter request by visiting the Civic Access Self-Service Portal (CASSP) and uploading a PDF copy of your request and submitting the required fee(s). There is a two week turnaround on zoning compliance letters from the date of receipt. Please include your contact information (including email address), the address of the subject property, and all parcel numbers associated with the subject property in the PDF copy of your request. Registration is required first before you can submit your request. Instructions for registration can be found here: Online Registration.

One zoning compliance letter is issued for abutting properties under common ownership. If your zoning compliance letter request is for multiple properties that are not under common ownership or abutting, your request may require more than one application and fee submittal. Please contact Planning Customer Service by email at [email protected] or by phone at (425) 430-7294 if clarification is needed regarding your request.

Can I develop my property or a property for sale I'm interested in purchasing?

The Planning Division is happy to explore this for you! Please contact Planning Customer Service at [email protected] or (425) 430-7294 to talk with a land use planner about development potential. Be sure to have an address or parcel number handy. If the property has development potential we will likely direct you to have a pre-application meeting.

What's a pre-application meeting?

This is an opportunity to discuss with staff a potential development proposal and/or feasibility. Upon receipt of your conceptual plans and project description, you will be scheduled for a free one-hour meeting with a planner, development review engineer, and fire inspector to discuss the development process and requirement to proceed with a formal land use application. Pre-application meetings are scheduled for subdivisions, site development, conditional use permits, and other land use proposals to guide you towards a successful completion.

Will my house plan fit on my lot?

It’s good to know where your property lines are and establish your setbacks before designing your house and preparing your site plan. Setbacks vary in each residential zone, as well as lot coverage limitations. To better analyze your building site, please contact Planning Customer Service at [email protected] or (425) 430-7294 to talk with a land use planner to help you determine the development standards for primary and accessory structures on your lot.

What is allowed in my setbacks?

There are a limited number of projections allowed in your building setback areas, such as decks and patios that don’t exceed certain height limits, eaves, porches, and certain building projections to name a few. It’s best to check with a planner to understand the conditions associated with the development standards around building a new, or proposing an addition to, a single-family home. To better analyze your proposal, please contact Planning Customer Service at [email protected] or (425) 430-7294 to talk with a land use planner to help you determine what conditions may apply based on the development standards in residential zones.

Permitting

Below are answers to some of our Building Frequently Asked Questions with weblinks or informational handouts to help you better understand the permitting process.

If you have questions that are not answered below, we can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at (425) 430-7200.

Do I need a permit?

Building Permits
Yes, the City of Renton Municipal Code (RMC) 4-5-060E.1 states: "Any owner or owner's authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the Construction Codes and the Construction Administrative Code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit." There are some exceptions, which can be found under RMC 4-5-060E.2 105.2 Work exempt from permit.

Reroof: a permit is required if replacing roof covering or sheathing on a commercial/multi-family building or sheathing on a single family residence and will be issued over the counter. If you are doing structural alterations of roof framing (truss or rafter alterations, heavier weight roofing), plan review is required and you will need to apply for a Building Permit.

Deck: a permit is required if the deck is more than 30 inches (30") above grade. "Above grade" includes a perimeter of 5 feet (5') around the deck.

Links to additional information on the following types of structures:

Civil Construction and/or Utility Permits:
a permit may be required when a project is proposed to result in:

  • More than 500 square feet of new or replaced impervious area.
  • More than 7,000 square feet of land disturbing activity.
  • Any utility construction not limited to sanitary sewer, water or storm installation, repair, replacement, enlargement, reduction or removal.
  • Any work within the public right of way or use of the public right of way.

If you have any questions about whether you need a permit, contact the City of Renton Permit Center at [email protected]

Is my property located within the Renton city limits?

Launch the City of Renton's COR Maps to search for an address to determine if it is inside the Renton city limits.

Disclaimer: All data, information, and maps are provided "as is" without warranty or any representation of accuracy, timeliness of completeness. The burden for determining accuracy, completeness, timeliness, merchantability and fitness for or the appropriateness for use rests solely on the user. The City of Renton makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the use of the information obtained here. The user acknowledges and accepts all limitations, including the fact that the data, information, and maps are dynamic and in a constant state of maintenance, correction and update. Use of these materials constitutes acceptance of this disclaimer of liability.

Where may I apply for a permit?

Most simple over-the-counter (OTC) permits, which includes mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and re-roofs may be applied for online on the Civic Access Self-Service Portal (CASSP). For permits that require plan review, contact the City of Renton Permit Center at [email protected]

May I fax in my permit application?

No, contact the Permit Center at [email protected] if you have questions.

Most of the simple OTC permits can be applied for online, see "Can I apply for my permit online?" below for more information.

Can I apply for my permit online?

Yes, most simple OTC permits, which includes mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and re-roofs may be applied for online on the Civic Access Self-Service Portal (CASSP).

The online portal is available 24-hours a day, seven (7) days a week and enables users to apply for and receive a permits electronically in minutes. For permits requiring plan review, contact the Permit Center at [email protected].

May I pay extra to expedite my permit?

No, that option is not available.

Does the City of Renton have a Basics Program?

No, you must submit individual construction plans for each building permit.

What are the permit fees for the City of Renton?

Permit fees are determined by the scope of the project and the number of permits required. Please contact the Permit Center at [email protected] to get an estimate* for specific projects.

For a complete list of fees, see the City of Renton's Budget page for a link to the Fee Schedule.

*Estimates are not final and are subject to change.

May I get copies of plans for buildings in Renton?

Non-residential building plans are retained in the Permit Center on microfilm for most structures built after 1967. To request a search for building plans you will need to submit a Public Records Request online. Microfilmed plans will be made available to you as soon as possible. You may have copies made at a cost to you. Residential building plans are not retained by the City, they may be obtained directly from the builder.

May I start work before my permit is issued?

No, work on a project may not legally begin before a permit is obtained and is on the work site. Some clean-up and clearing (less than 500 square feet) may begin before the building permit is issued. Any work within critical areas (not limited to wetlands, wetland buffers, streams, creeks, rivers, landslide hazard areas) shall require a permit.

What are the hours construction is allowed in the City of Renton?

Construction activities that require construction or building permits and that are conducted in residential areas or within 300 feet (300') or residential areas shall be restricted to the following hours:

Single family remodel or single family addition construction activities shall be restricted to the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Work on Saturdays and Sundays shall be restricted to the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. 

Commercial, multi-family, new single family and other non-residential construction activities shall be restricted to the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Work on Saturdays shall be restricted to the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. No work shall be permitted on Sundays.

May I do the work myself or do I need to hire a contractor?

After obtaining the proper permits, a property owner may perform work on his own property or use his own employees to perform work. A tenant may work on a tenant space with permission from the owner. The only exception to this are electrical permits for which homeowners may do the work themselves if they have resided in the house for at least three (3) years.

Any work within the public right of way or on City-owned facilities shall be performed by a licensed and bonded contractor.

Where do I get an electrical permit?

OTC electrical permits and low voltage electrical permits can be applied for online on the Civic Access Self-Service Portal (CASSP).

Electrical permits requiring plan review, including but not limited to: service over 400 amps, commercial generator installation, installing/altering equipment/wiring 600 volts or over, replacing 50% or more of lighting luminaries, work in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, please see the Electrical Plan Review Requirements and contact the City of Renton Permit Center at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

May I combine my building, mechanical or plumbing permits into one permit?

No, except when applying for a new single family combination permit, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing is included with the new single family permit. There is no additional cost for this and it will simplify the plan review process, allowing the contractor to use one permit number when calling in inspections.

How do I schedule an inspection?

Inspection requests for building permits and some civil and utility construction permits may be made by calling the 24-hour Integrated Voice Response (IVR) line at 425-430-7202. Or schedule your inspection online by going to the Civic Access Self-Service Portal (CASSP). For instructions on how to schedule an inspection online, refer to the Schedule an Inspection Online Tip Sheet, you must be logged in to schedule inspections on this site. Inspections for civil and utility construction permits may be be made by calling the construction inspection request line at 425-430-7203.

Will an inspector call ahead before performing my inspection?

No, City of Renton does not have a call ahead policy, but if you would like to speak with the assigned inspector that will perform your inspection for an anticipated arrival estimate, you may contact the inspector directly after 8am. Go to the Civic Access Self-Service Portal (CASSP), click Today's Inspections for a list of the scheduled inspections, the assigned Inspector and their phone number.

Do I need an appointment?

No appointment is required but all permits are submitted electronically.   Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing permits are available online and for all others contact [email protected] for instructions on how to submit.

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