Land Use, Building Permits & Shoreline Permits
Frequently Asked Questions:
Click on this link to view the frequently asked questions in a pdf format, (which is searchable by clicking Ctrl F and typing in the word you are looking for). You can also read the same content below. If you click on the blue text it will open a new window with the information referenced in the text.
After reading this section, if you have any questions about building in Wahkiakum County email our Building Inspector Dave Hicks, email@example.com or call his office line at 360-795-6100 Extension: 104, or his cell phone at 360-353-8074.
To expedite a response to your questions please include the parcel address, or the parcel identification number and include information regarding what you intend to do with the property. If you do not know the address or the parcel ID, use the Wahkiakum County Web Map to locate the parcel.
We are generally able to respond to questions sent by email faster than over the phone.
Submitting Permit Applications:
When you are ready to submit your application for permits it is best to call ahead and confirm with our building inspector that you have all of the necessary documents ready to submit. If you show up to the office and are missing required documents then your application will not be processed.
Schedule an appointment to submit the documents and pay for the permit application. If you show up to the office without making an appointment, our building inspector might be out inspecting properties and won't be available to answers your questions. Other office staff are not qualified to review permit applications, or answer specific questions related to permits or fees.
Read Before Hiring a Contractor:
Wahkiakum County Building & Planning Department cannot recommend any contractors, however we suggest visiting the Labor & Industries webpage to read about steps you can take to protect yourself Before Hiring a Contractor.
Use the Labor & Industries Verify a Contractor tool to determine if a contractor has a current contractors license.
Do I need a permit in Wahkiakum County?
1. Earth Moving: The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist / Application is required for all earth moving / excavation. Reference the SEPA Ordinance, the Wahkiakum County Critical Areas Ordinance, and the Wahkiakum County Critical Areas and Resource Lands Assessment Application.
2. Land Clearing: The Wahkiakum County Critical Areas and Resource Lands Assessment Application may be required for land clearing. Reference the Wahkiakum County Critical Areas Ordinance. The Department of Natural Resources Forest Practices Application may be required for land clearing.
4. Building Remodel: The Wahkiakum County Building permit application is required for building remodels. The Southwest Clean Air Agency’s Notification of Demolition Application is required for structures built before 1978.
5. Building Structures: The Wahkiakum County Building permit application is required for: houses, tiny houses, pole barns, sheds, or any other structure that will be converted to a permanent residence.
Permanent residences require plumbing, conditioned air, and need to meet Washington State Energy Codes.
Permanent residences require potable water and sewer or septic that is approved by Wahkiakum County Environmental Health Department prior to applying for a building permit.
The Wahkiakum County Building Permit Application is not required for structures that are only used recreationally, do not have plumbing, or conditioned air, and are detached from other structures. Recreational structures cannot be used as permanent residences.
6. Attached Structures: The Wahkiakum County Building permit application is required for any structures attached to other structures regardless of if the structure will have plumbing, conditioned air, or will be a permanent residence.
7. Detached structures: The Wahkiakum County Building permit application is required for detached structures if the structure will have plumbing, or conditioned air, or will be used as a permanent residence.
8. Tiny Houses: see Building Structures Frequently Asked Questions Above, and reference Labor & Industries Tiny Houses Information Packet
9. Pole Barns: see Building Structures Frequently Asked Questions Above
10. Recreational Vehicles: Recreational vehicles that will be used as permanent residences require their own potable water and sewer/ septic.
11. Fences: The Wahkiakum County Building permit application is required for fences that are over 6 feet high. The Wahkiakum County Building Permit Application is not required for fences less than 6 feet high.
12. Foundations for a house: The Wahkiakum County Building permit application is required for foundations for a house or mobile home.
13. Sidewalks, driveways, or patios: The Wahkiakum County Building Permit Application is not required for sidewalks, driveways, or patios. The County Road Approach Application is required for driveways that intersect a county road. The Wahkiakum County Public Works Department handles the County Road Approach permit application. Reference the General Services page, and the Standards for Road Approach.
14. Decks: The Wahkiakum County Building permit application is required for Decks that are over 30 inches high, or are over 200 square feet in area. The Wahkiakum County Building Permit Application is not required for decks that are less than 30 inches high and are under 200 square feet in area. Reference the Deck Construction.
15. Docks: The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist / Application is required for all work in the shoreline including new construction and maintenance. Reference the SEPA Ordinance. The Washington State Joint Aquatic Resource Permit Application Packet (JARPA), is required for all work in the shoreline. Submit all applications to Wahkiakum County Building and Planning Department. Reference the instructions in the above JARPA Application Packet. For examples of drawings click example drawing.
16. Electrical: Washington State Department of Labor & Industries require an electrical permit for all electrical work in Wahkiakum County. The Wahkiakum County Building and Planning Department does not handle anything related to electrical, contact the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries with questions regarding electrical.
18. Wood/Pellet Stove: The Wahkiakum County Building permit application is required for wood/pellet stoves.
19. Manufactured homes: The Wahkiakum County Manufactured Home Placement Permit Application is required for the placement of a manufactured home. Reference the Manufactured Home Permit Process. Contact the manufacturer of the manufactured home to obtain the details required on the permit application including foundation specification, engineered anchoring system, and approved septic and water source.
20. Manufactured home Title Elimination: For the entire Wahkiakum County including the town of Cathlamet city limits, you must get a permit for a Title Elimination through the Wahkiakum County Building and Planning office. To do that, first get the Manufactured Home Application from Department of Licensing (DOL). Once you have filled out the paperwork, bring the Manufactured Home Application and the Title for the Manufactured Home to the Wahkiakum County Building and Planning office. After Building and Planning staff have permitted and signed your paperwork you can then take it to Department of Licensing.
21. Residential Solar: The Residential Solar Photovoltaic Systems Permit is needed for any residential solar system that is mounted on a rooftop or ground mounted. An electrical permit will be required and can be obtained from Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Structural and electrical engineering is also required to be submitted with the copy of the Electrical Permit and application.
Building Department Fee Schedule
Manufactured Home Placement
Minimum Design Code Requirements
Use the 2018 International Codes linked above that went into effect November 2020.
To access other 2018 International Codes click on link below and filter by year for 2018.
Washington State Energy Codes
Boundary Line Adjustment
A Boundary Line Adjustment is a change in the location of parcel lines which does not change the number of parcels.
A Short Plat is any division of land into 4 or fewer parcels where the smallest lot is less than 5 acres.
A Subdivision is any division of land into 4 or more parcels where the smallest lot is less than 5 acres.
Short Plats (4 or less lots)
Subdivisions (5 or more lots)
Address (email address application along with a mapped location of driveway and house to firstname.lastname@example.org)