Below are frequently asked permitting questions with brief answers and links to learn more.
Contact Permit Processing if you have additional questions or need more information.
Why are permits and inspections necessary?
First and foremost, it’s a health and safety issue.
- Permit review allows code experts to reduce potential hazards from unsafe construction.
- Mandatory inspections act as a system of checks and balances focused on complying with city codes.
It’s also a money issue—on several fronts.
- Proper permitting helps protect property values.
- More and more, property insurers aren’t covering damages caused by work done without permits and inspections.
- Disclosure of any improvements or repairs is required at sale whether permits and inspection were obtained.
- Many financial institutions won’t finance a purchase without proof of a final inspection.
- Without a permit, work may be subject to removal or other costly remedies.
So before a project is started, see if a permit is required.
What kind of information can I find in the permit center?
The permit center, located on the first floor of City Hall at 450 110th Ave NE, is open Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m).
Get help with general information and permits needed for development in Bellevue or its service areas. Whether you are a homeowner visiting for the first time or an experienced professional, city staff are on hand to assist you with your questions and permit needs.
Do I need a permit?
Great question! This is a challenging question to answer, and often the answer is "It depends."
In general, new construction and alterations or repairs to existing structures or systems require a permit.
Other projects that may require a permit include: removing trees, replacing a water heater or furnace, working in the right of way, modifying or changing a tenant space.
Do I need a permit to remove a tree from my property?
For most homeowners, the answer is no. A permit, however, is required if one or more of the following conditions are true:
- Tree removal results in more than 1,000 square feet of disturbance of the ground.
- The property is in a native growth protection area.
- The tree is on the city's right of way adjacent to your property.
- The property is located in Bridle Trails.
What is the permit process?
How much will my permit cost?
Permit fees depend on your project's scope of work.
Some permit fees are flat rates while other permit fees are deposits.
Building, electrical and some mechanical permit fees are based on fair market value of the work.
What online permitting services do you offer?
We offer 24/7 online permitting services through our regional permitting portal, MyBuildingPermit.com, where you can:
- Apply for a permit
- Upload plans and documents
- Pay online
- Check permit status
- Request inspections
All permit applications must be submitted online. We do not accept paper applications and plans.
Learn more about our online permitting services.
What information should be on my plans?
Your project's scope and complexity will determine which permit (or permits) you need and what type of plans and documents are required for that scope of work.
Please visit our Plan Requirements section on the Forms and Publications page for specific information to include on a variety of plan types.
What are contractor registration requirements?
Under state law, the City of Bellevue is obligated to provide written notification to all homeowners regarding the contractor registration requirements set forth in the Revised Codes of Washington (RCW), Chapter 18.27 and to advise homeowners of the risks associated with using an unregistered contractor.
Any contractor conducting business in the city must be licensed by the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries.
Learn more about contractor registration requirements. You may wish to read the noted sections in RCW Chapter 18.27 for the exact language.
What are construction hours?
Under the Bellevue City Code, noise emanating from construction sites that exceeds allowed noise levels is prohibited outside of the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. No construction site noise is permitted on Sundays and legal holidays.
If after-hours sounds from a construction site are clearly audible across a real property boundary or at least 75 feet from their source, it will be considered a noise disturbance (BCC 9.18.040.A.4).
What is an expired or cancelled permit?
Submitting the required application is the first step in the permitting process. The goal for Development Services staff is to complete our work within timeline targets and decide whether or not the application can be approved.
We have expiration and cancellation code provisions to ensure that applications actively progress through the permitting process.
It is important for you to know that a submitted application has a limited life.
How do I request copies of project plans?
We keep a copy of all approved plans and project documents for the lifetime of a building plus six years.
To request copies of the plans and project documents, submit a public records request online to the City Clerk's Office.
What are predevelopment services?
Predevelopment services (also referred to predevelopment review) is a way to get ongoing, detailed feedback and help from us on your development concept prior to submitting an application for the project.
The purpose is to help you early in the permitting process to develop a complete formal application and quality project design or to help you investigate issues that require in-depth analysis from city staff.
What is right of way?
Right of way – all public streets and property dedicated to public use for streets, together with public property reserved for public utilities, transmission lines and extensions, walkways, sidewalks, bikeways, or equestrian trails.
What is a landscape assurance device?
A landscape assurance device provides the city with monetary recourse in case all landscaping work required under a permit or land use approval is not satisfactorily completed in accordance with the conditions of the approval. The most common type of assurance device accepted by the city is an assignment of savings. An assignment of savings gives the city permission to access a special account set up at your bank in your name containing the required amount of the landscape assurance device. The city can accept other types of assurance devices—letters of credit, bonds, or other accessible sources of funds—on a case-by-case basis.