Community Development

Community Development is responsible for building permits, historical preservation, subdivisions and land use permits, long range planning, and business licenses.

Building Department

The building department issues all applications for new construction and remodeling. A building packet explaining the permit process, fees, setbacks and height restrictions is available at the front counter, by mail, or as a PDF.  If you have any questions concerning building permits in Steilacoom, please call Doug Fortner at 253-581-1912.


Historic Preservation

New construction and changes to the exterior of buildings within the Historic District, as well as all multi-family houses, public structures and commercial buildings, are reviewed for compliance with the Historic Preservation regulations. A map of the Historic District (PDF) and the Historic District Design Standards are available on this website. Information on the process and the Preservation and Review Board are available from Jennifer Schreck, Historic Preservation Officer.


Subdivisions & Land Use Permits

Items Processed by Planning Department

  • Conditional use permits
  • Critical areas permits
  • Environmental review
  • Lot line adjustments
  • Shoreline permits
  • Subdivisions
For information regarding subdivisions and land use permits, please contact Doug Fortner.


Long-Range Planning

The Planning Department is also responsible for long range planning and analysis, and development of policies and regulations to comply with state requirements.


Questions regarding the Comprehensive Plan, Shoreline Master Plan, and other policy documents should be directed to Doug Fortner.

Business Licenses

All persons, corporations, partnerships, and other business entities doing business in Steilacoom are required to obtain a business license from the town. Licenses are issued for the calendar year, and expire on December 31. The fee for businesses with headquarters outside town is $75, businesses located in town pay a fee based on the number of employees.

Home-based businesses (so-called home occupations) are allowed in all residential zones. There are two classes, depending on the amount of impact to the neighborhood the business will have.


Garage Sale & Real Estate Open House Sign Permit Application

For information concerning business licenses, contact Doug Fortner.