Permit Center

Welcome to the Whatcom County Permit Center, a one-stop location, where staff is readily available to coordinate and assist with questions regarding:
  • Structural development
  • County land use regulations
  • Permitting process
  • Natural resource regulations
  • Encroachment questions
  • Any other land use or building questions

Flood Damage Repair Permitting Process and Information

Structural Damage:
If you have experienced damage to your home or business due to a weather event, Planning and Development Services (PDS) is ready to help you quickly assess and repair your property damage. It is important that you carefully and safely assess any structural damage to your home or business.  Do not enter the building if you observe the structural integrity is compromised.

If you have sustained damage to your home or business from a storm or flood, please take photos to document the damage and verify that repairs are necessary. Bring the photos with you and come into our Permit Center. Permit Center staff will use our Building Services Emergency Repair Permit policy to assess your situation and determine if you will be eligible to use this expedited process.

Our Building Services Emergency Repair Review process allows you to get to work quickly to repair your home/business and the fees assessed are reduced to reflect the simplified process. Permit Center staff will discuss the damage and your planned scope of work to complete the repairs. If it is determined you can do an Emergency Repair you then pay the reduced review fee of $377.44. A Public Service Inspector will then come out to your location to verify the damage and permit scope of work. If the damage is more extensive it may require you to pay for additional inspections. They may also find the repairs are outside the scope of work qualifying for an Emergency Repair and you may be required to obtain additional permits or assessments to ensure the structure is safe. Any damage to the electrical system due to flooding or impact from debris will require a separate permit through Washington State Labor and Industries for the electrical work.

*Washington State Labor & Industries information regarding Flood Safety & Hazards After a Flood
*Whatcom County Emergency Management Incident Hotline 
*Labor and Industries Electrical Permitting
*Department of Ecology Shoreline Management
*PDS Shoreline Management Resource Page

Assistance Provided

Permit Center staff can provide assistance in researching, planning, and reviewing construction projects proposed in unincorporated Whatcom County.

Permit Tips:

  • All building permits large and small need to go through a prescreen (residential) or preapplication (commercial--by appointment)
  • For residential prescreens you do not need an appointment--you can walk in Monday-Friday 8:30am to 4:00pm. You will need your parcel number; scaled site plan with all structures, water source, septic system & set back from property lines; construction plans. (if your plans are not complete--you can do an initial prescreen and then come back in to have them reviewed.)
  • During the prescreen Planning, Natural Resources & Plans Examining staff will determine what specific requirements may be applicable to your project and give you a checklist of items to complete and applications needed.
  • When your checklist and all items requiring reviews are complete you can schedule your building permit intake appointment.