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.
All application types may expire or be canceled before a decision is reached if:
- A non-sufficient fund (NSF) check or rejected payment for submittal or billed fees is not corrected within 5 days of notification.
- Invoiced fees are not paid for 30 days or more.
- The application is dependent on another application and that application is expired or canceled. For example, a mechanical permit tied to a tenant improvement permit.
For Building, Clearing & Grading, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire, Sign** Permit Applications and Utility Extension Agreements:
- The permit, or approval for construction, is not issued within 1 year from the date of application. In some situations, the application may be granted a 180-day extension; this request for extension must be made before the 1-year time limit has passed.
- For serial major project construction applications (BB), the first one submitted establishes the vesting date; the last one submitted establishes the application life date.
- An application for a single-family construction permit is called incomplete during its formal prescreening process and all the required material is not submitted within 30 days of the prescreening date.
- An application for a more complex project (one that requires a preapplication conference) is called incomplete during the formal completeness check and the required material is not submitted within 90 days of the incomplete date.
- Additional information or revisions are requested but aren’t submitted within 90 days of the request date.
- The permit is ready to issue but is not picked up before the 1-year date.
** A sign approval that is not coupled with a building or an electrical permit has no code definition of application life and none of the above information applies.
For Land Use Actions and Approvals
- An application for a more complex project (one that requires a preapplication conference) is called incomplete during the formal completeness check and the required material is not submitted within 60 days of the incomplete date.
- Additional information or revisions are requested but aren’t submitted within 60 days of the request date.
For Sign Approvals, Request for Services, Utility Connections, Right of Way Use Permits
There is no code definition of the application life for these types of applications.
What is the difference between expiration and cancellation?
Expiration means that an action, in this case reaching a decision, has not occurred within the timeframe allowed by code. The application is not eligible for any refund. Cancellation means that the action cannot continue due to certain circumstances or that the applicant requests cancellation. The application is evaluated for potential refunds.
Why do applications have expiration dates?
These dates are intended to keep projects moving through the review and issuance process in a timely manner. Reasonable constraints were established to ensure that a proposal mirrors current code requirements and to refrain from keeping application files open for an indefinite period of time.
What if multiple applications are in review?
Each application has an expiration date and stands on its own. However, the applications for permits that are secondary to a construction permit, such as a mechanical permit to a tenant improvement permit, take on the life of the construction permit application and may expire if the construction permit application expires or is canceled.
What can you do to ensure your application doesn’t expire?
The applicant’s actions greatly influence the processing timeline.
- Submit a complete application that provides all the information needed to make a decision. Visit our permits page for more information.
- Don’t apply for a construction permit too early in the process. For example, if your project requires a design review or critical area review, the construction permit will not be reviewed until that process is substantially complete. If the applications are applied for concurrently, much of the construction permit application life can be used waiting for the other approval.
- Respond quickly when additional material is requested. (You will receive an automated phone message when you are nearing the end of the time allowed for revision submittals.) The time waiting for that additional review material counts against the application life. And a reviewer having to become familiar with the proposal after a long wait adds additional staff time, and possibly fees, to the review.
What happens once an application is canceled or has expired?
If these time frames or conditions aren’t met, the application will automatically expire or be canceled. You will receive a letter notifying you of the application status and if additional fees are due for work completed. To continue review, a new application must be submitted and fees paid.