Commercial building permits are classified as new commercial construction, tenant improvements, alterations, change of use, demolition, accessory structures, alterations, additions, remodels and/or grading and filling, etc.  The permitting process for a commercial project is setup in 4 STEPS and begins with a Pre-application Conference now accepted online via our permit portal (SmartGov).  Paper applications are no longer accepted with the exception of construction drawings.


Property Development Process
 Property Development Process



One of the first steps in planning a project is the development of an accurate
 site plan.  And, to develop an accurate site plan requires a certain amount of pre-planning and information gathering. Once you have a complete and accurate site plan, you must create a SmartGov Portal Account to begin the permitting process.


When preparing to submit your application, please note that our permitting process is designed to assist the public in steps. STEP 1: Pre-application Conference (Pre-App) will include a list of the required permits and approvals within the "Related Permits" section of your Pre-App application outlining how to proceed along with the necessary online applications to move forward in the process.  If your project has not received prior step(s) approval, application(s) submitted out of order will not be reviewed until all applicable approvals have been granted.

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What to expect when applying for Commercial Building Permits?

  • A Pre-application meeting is required commercial projects prior to submitting any development applications and provides answers to many frequently asked questions that arise when applying. Please contact the Grays Harbor Building Division to schedule a meeting.
  • Planning & Building staff strive to work closely with design teams and contractors during all phases of commercial projects to ensure expedited turn around times and careful review and approval of projects.
  • Incomplete applications cannot be accepted.  During a scheduled submittal meeting, a Permit Coordinator or Plans Examiner will go over your application packet to ensure it is complete for purposes of submittals. Please contact a Permit Coordinator to schedule a submittal meeting.
  • Payment for plan review is required at time of submittal and can be made with check or cash in office and/or by credit/debit cards through the online Portal.
  • Payment of permit fee is required in full at the time of permit issuance. You can call ahead for final payment amounts. Feel free to ask questions at any time. We are happy to help you understand the process.
  • Please refer to the Property Development Process section to learn more about this process.

What about moving my business into an existing building?

Depending upon the existing building and the proposed new business a Change of Use permit may be required for this activity to occur. Please refer to the Property Development Process section or contact a Permit Coordinator with further questions.



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Grays Harbor County
Planning & Building Division
updated 2-5-2024