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Citizens give high marks for DDES reforms news release


Citizens give high marks for King County DDES reforms: Better tools, Web site and service highlighted


Citizens give high marks for King County DDES reforms
Better tools, Web site and service highlighted

King County's Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES) has received high customer satisfaction results from a recent survey measuring its year-to-date performance and progress from year to year. The department's responsibilities include issuing building and land use permits for properties in unincorporated King County, enforcing county land use and building codes, staffing the King County Fire Marshal Division, and issuing business licenses.

On the customer satisfaction survey's five-point scale, where 5 means "extremely satisfied" and 1 means "not at all satisfied":

  • 87% of customers responding gave the agency a 5, 4 or a 3 when asked about their overall satisfaction with the service provided by King County DDES.
  • 87% also gave DDES a 5, 4 or a 3 ranking for "making fair decisions."
  • DDES staff scored a 4.42 average on the 5-point scale for being "courteous and professional."

The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 4.5%.

"We are constantly looking for ways to improve the public's permitting experience and these positive numbers demonstrate we are moving in the right direction," said DDES Director Stephanie Warden. "DDES hears anecdotal stories about customers' experiences, but these survey results give us a more accurate picture of the applicant's opinions."

King County Executive Ron Sims added, "King County wants to be a national leader in customer service and innovative land use policies, so I'm pleased to see such strong, quantifiable results from one of the County's regulatory agencies that show we're delivering what we promise."

DDES handles between 6,000 and 8,000 permits each year. Staffers say this year's improved survey numbers are the result of service enhancements made over the last several years. For example, DDES has developed tools that provide for more accountability and predictability in managing the complex projects the department oversees, including up-front fee estimates and single point-of-contact permitting. Residents have also benefited from a more user-friendly Web site and improved phone services to help them manage and get through the permitting process.

For more information, contact Tim Attebery, DDES Public Affairs Director, at 206-296-6682 or e-mail