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Since 1996, King County's Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER) has observed guidelines setting target time periods for processing key permit applications. These targets are:

Permit type Target time period
New residential building permits 90 days
Residential remodels 40 days
Residential appurtenances, such as decks and garages 15 days
Residential appurtenances requiring substantial site review 40 days
SEPA exempt clearing and grading 45 days
Clearing and grading requiring SEPA review 90 days
All other permit applications except 120 days
preliminary plats 150 days

King County is required by state law (RCW 36.70B.080, external links) to provide a performance report on its permit timelines.

DPER performance on its permit targets for calendar year 2013 is provided below and past years also are available at DPER's yearly statistics archive.

Please note: DPER issues permits for property in unincorporated King County only. For information on property within a city boundary (external link), such as Seattle, Issaquah, Kent, etc., in King County, you must contact the city directly.

DPER Year 2013 permit processing performance summary

Building Services

KEY PERMITS*
2013
Target days Total permits Average days # within target % within target # outside target
Residential model homes (Basics) 90 272 14 264 97% 8
Residential custom homes 90 207 176 97 47% 110
Residential minor additions 15
New commercial buildings 120 21 251 11 52% 10
Commercial tenant improvements 120 30 55 26 87% 4

*Key permits are individual permit types that are considered representative of major construction groups.

ALL PERMITS BY CLOCK TARGET*
2013
Total permits Average days # within target % within target # outside target
All building permits with 15 day target
All building permits with 40 day target 495 62 325 66% 170
All building permits with 90 day target 597 89 426 71% 171
All building permits with 120 day target 509 78 446 88% 63
Totals 1,601 77 1,197 75% 407

*Excludes less than 1% of permits that did not have targets assigned.

Land Use Services


KEY PERMITS*
2013
Target days Total permits Average days # within target % within target # outside target
Conditional use 120 10 465 0 0% 10
Preliminary plats 150 0
Preliminary short plats 120 2 1655 0 0% 2
Lot line adjustments 120 39 111 31 79% 8
Right-of-way 120 3 846 0 0% 3
Clearing/Grading 45 86 437 29 34% 57
Clearing/Grading 90 5 85 4 80% 1

*Key permits are individual permit types that are considered representative of major construction groups.

ALL PERMITS BY CLOCK TARGET*
2013
Total permits Average days # within target % within target # outside target
All land use permits with 45 day target 86 437 29 34% 57
All land use permits with 90 day target 6 352 4 67% 2
All land use permits with 120 day target 62 308 32 52% 30
All land use permits with 150 day target 0
Totals 154 382 65 42% 89

*Excludes less than 1% of permits that did not have targets assigned.

For statistics from past years, see DPER yearly statistics archive.

For questions or more information, please e-mail DPERWebInquiries@kingcounty.gov.