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City Scaling Back Inspections

Update: March 26, 2020

The City of Bellevue is scaling back inspection service in response to the governor’s March 23 Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation (20-25) and the governor’s March 25 memo providing construction guidance. Consistent with the governor’s directive and guidance, the city will continue to provide inspections for essential projects and emergency conditions as described in the governor’s proclamation and memo.

Protecting the health and safety of our inspectors and the public is the city’s highest priority in the delivery of inspection services. City inspectors have been directed to not enter areas where required social distancing and the protection of public health and safety requirements of the governor’s order cannot be achieved, including areas where any parties display symptoms of COVID-19-like illnesses. Inspections will be cancelled where this directive cannot be achieved.

Contractors or owners who request inspections for emergency or essential work are asked to notify the city in advance if anyone on the job site or in the building area where the inspection will occur has experienced any symptoms of concern relative to COVID-19. Based on this information, city management will determine if the City can perform the inspection and will ensure inspectors are prepared to use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

To implement the governor’s order, city staff from the Development Services, Fire, Transportation and Utilities departments will perform inspections for construction projects for non-residential (i.e. commercial) facilities or services that are identified as essential in the Governor’s Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers list. In addition, the City will be performing inspections for any work that is emergency repair, or ensures structural integrity, including replacement or maintenance. Other inspections of single-family and multi-family residential construction will not be performed, including but not limited to inspections of new construction, additions, and remodels.

Examples of projects for which the city will provide inspections include the following:


We will provide inspections for the following emergency-related activities for both residential construction (single-family and multi-family) and non-residential construction:

Water service, sewer, storm drainage and flood prevention, furnace, heat pump, electrical systems (service, etc.), water heater, fire sprinkler, fire alarm, plumbing, weather protection, structural, and utility disconnections from essential public works facilities, such as the public water, sewer, or drainage systems. Exception: If the inspection requires entry into an occupied dwelling, please note the occupancy in your inspection request and contact the inspector between 7 and 8 a.m. for a determination on whether the inspection can and should be performed or postponed to a later date.

COMMERCIAL (not including multi-family)

The following are broad categories of possible essential projects. The city will screen requests for inspection to determine if they meet the specific criteria of the Governor’s order.


Drug stores & grocery stores

Retail supplying essential sectors

Schools (public & private childcare through college)

Government operations (state & local)

Emergency services

Food and agriculture

Energy (e.g. vehicle fueling, PSE projects)

Data and telecommunication systems

Water, wastewater, stormwater

Transportation / mass transit



Information about the inspection process, expectations and general guidelines. For information on inspection requirements in other divisions, refer to the Fire Prevention Inspection DivisionTransportation Inspection Division and Utilities Inspection Division.

Inspection Process

These are the basic steps you will take in the inspection process. Review these steps to understand what is expected of you during your construction project. For more information, refer to our Inspection and Construction Guidelines for major commercial projects and review the Inspection and Construction Publications below.

1. Get your permit

Apply for your permit online at MyBuildingPermit. The permit application process may require plan review. When your application and plans have been approved, your permit will be issued to you electronically on your MyBuildingPermit dashboard.

2. Review your required Inspections

You are responsible for obtaining all required inspections on your permit. Make sure you understand what is expected in each phase of your project.

Preconstruction Meeting: 

To better understand the requirements, schedule a preconstruction meeting (precon) with your inspector after your permit has been issued but before you begin work. The inspector will meet with you at the job site to go over the project before you start. Some permits require a precon before you can begin any work. This requirement will be stamped on your approved plans.

3. Schedule your inspections

Schedule your inspections, listed on your permit, as work is completed. There are two ways to schedule an inspection:

On the day of the inspection, visit Today's Inspections on MyBuildingPermit to view the inspections listed in Bellevue for the day and to contact your inspector regarding an arrival time.

You are responsible for scheduling all inspections and re-inspections.

Tips for a Successful Inspection:

  • Have your permit and any approved plans at the site and available for the inspector.
  • Provide the inspector with safe access to the work area and on-site access to parking.
  • Be ready for your inspection before the inspector arrives; otherwise, you may be required to re-schedule and pay a re-inspection fee.
  • Make sure the work has been inspected before covering it, and that all work has been done in accordance with approved plans.
  • Start the work within one year of the permit's issuance date and complete the work within three years of the issuance date.
  • Obtain a final inspection to complete the process and close out your permit. Most insurance companies will not cover damages that involve work not inspected as required by the city.

4. Schedule the final Inspection

When all other inspections are approved and signed off, schedule the final inspection. The sign-off on your final building inspection is your authorization to occupy the premises unless a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is required

If a CO is required, you must obtain that certificate before you can occupy your building or tenant space. Refer to the Certificate of Occupancy section below.

Certificates of Occupancy  

There are two types of Certificates of Occupancy:

  • Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO)
  • Certificate of Occupancy (CO)

To determine if a TCO or CO is required for your project, refer to the information located on your building permit or contact your building inspector. Certificates will be issued by the building official to the property owner prior to occupancy of:

  • All new commercial and multifamily buildings
  • Some substantial commercial and multifamily additions
  • Commercial tenant improvements involving a change in use 

A TCO can be issued if the project is not entirely complete if certain conditions are met:  

  • All life/safety issues are resolved
  • Only incidental work remains
  • The owner agrees to meet the conditions of approval identified by the various city departments 

A TCO is valid for 90 days. Conditions noted under the TCO must be completed and a request for CO initiated prior to the expiration date of the TCO.

For more information and to schedule a TCO/CO meeting, contact the certificate of occupancy coordinator.

Inspection and Construction Publications

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