Community Development


Jefferson County’s Department of Community Development (DCD) is your "one-stop shop" for all building, code enforcement, and land use (development review) concerns and long range planning.

How May We Help You?

DCD has recently been working on some upgrades to our website in order to improve our customer-centric approach to permitting. Please visit our "What's New!" webpage for the latest updates.

DCD offers a suite of options to answer questions and help plan development (See FAQ’s and/or Customer Assistance Self-Service Guide):

button_schedule-an-appointment Opens in new windowbutton_self-service Opens in new window 

Staff-Consultation Meeting by Appointment. This is our new Customer Assistance Meeting (CAM). Schedule an appointment or request an email to discuss more in-depth questions and projects. Examples include how critical area and shoreline regulations affect projects. Fees start at $50 for a 15-30 minute appointment.* 48 hour minimum advance scheduling is required. Customer Service fees up to $94 are credited to a permit application if the customer applies within one year from the date of the meeting.

Self-service Many tools, such as those listed below, are available to research property online. The DCD office also has a computer available during business hours for public research.

These are the most frequently used tools for researching a property:

  • Maps & GIS: This is the page that let’s you access our mapping software. It allows you to look at your property from an aerial point of view and then "drill down" to more specific information, like deed and sales information on the Assessor’s website. Need a place to start? The Land Records Mapping Application is your best bet.
  • Laserfiche: This is our archival records management software. Files we place in there are intended for public viewing and archiving. It’s full of all sorts of good stuff. We keep the link to Laserfiche on our Public Documents page.
  • Permit Database Search Tool: Have questions about what permits have been issued for the property you are researching? This is the place to start.

    Click HERE to view our most frequently asked questions.

What is it like to live here?

Watch this video to see beautiful scenery and example properties here in the county. Residents explain how community teamwork, better planning and design help overcome common development challenges such as stormwater, shoreline erosion, flooding, and habitat restoration. 

Jefferson County Community Development is following guidance from our Board of County Commissioners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH). Community Development Department recognizes that this is a stressful time for many, and want to continue to reassure you that your health, as well as the health of our employees and community members, remains a top priority. In an effort to slow the potential spread of COVID-19, the County is requesting all customers help limit person-to-person interaction.



Although this limited customer interaction means we may not always be able to assist you in-person, please be assured that DCD will continue to accept applications and review and issue development permits, primarily through phone, email, and mail.

Starting immediately, DCD will modify the way our services are provided:

•   Based on the April 24th Governors Proclamation 20-25, inspections for Phase 1: Low-risk construction work will be performed at this time.  For updated information on inspections, visit our Inspections - Construction Restart Safety Requirements Page. Please continue to use the inspection hotline to schedule those inspections. You can check inspection progress here: You can email your inspector with any questions.

•    Customer Assistance Meetings (CAMs) are still being held but we are asking customers to schedule the meeting to be over the phone or by email. You can schedule your meeting here: or by calling our front desk at 360-379-4450.

•    All pre-application meetings and customer assistance meetings (CAMs) have been postponed or converted to virtual meetings. If you have a scheduled meeting with staff and have not received communication about converting to a virtual meeting, please contact your assigned staff member for assistance. All new meeting requests will be held virtually or over the phone.

•    Payments can be made with our secure online credit card system, you will need to have your parcel number or address available: Please mail checks here: 621 Sheridan St. Port Townsend, WA 98368. If you can only pay by cash please contact our Permitting Team for assistance at 360-379-4450.

•    In person permit Intake appointments are suspended. You can now submit your permit packet by email, or by mail. We will review your permit intake package and contact you with any additional information requirements or revisions. Please note, the applications will not be routed for review unless complete so please review our submittal checklists before turning in your items.Checklists required are Site Plan Checklist and Building submittal checklist. All other application documents are accessible here.

•    You can also mail your applications to 621 Sheridan St., Port Townsend, WA 98368 or submit them via email to We do not have the ability to print out large size building plans so you will need to provide us with two sets in our new dropbox located in front of our office or by mail. Commercial project submittals must be electronic; please contact our office for a portal to submit them digitally.

•    All permits will need to be paid in full prior to routing for review. Most applications have fees listed on them, if you are unsure how much you owe for your permit you can call us at 360-379-4450 or email For us to provide you with a fee estimate will need the information provided here: Permit Estimate. All remaining fees will be invoiced and will be required to be paid prior to permit issuance.

2018 International Building Code adoption has been pushed back from July 1 to Nov 1, 2020 by Governor’s Proclamation 20-40.

We’d like to thank our customers for their flexibility and patience as we find new ways of providing services to our customers while reducing the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

We understand these service changes may be inconvenient and frustrating to our customers, but at this time Governor Inslee has issued a state-wide proclamation temporarily closing many public-facing businesses. DCD is doing what we can to mitigate risk to you and our staff. We hope by taking these steps we can help slow the spread of the virus in our community. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this unprecedented time.

  1. 2018 Code Effective Date extended to February 1, 2021

    The Washington State Building Code Council voted to extend the effective date of all of the new 2018 Building Codes to February 1, 2021. Read on...
  2. Renting Out Your Home

    DID YOU KNOW??? When you rent out your single-family home or ADU for 30 days or less (a transient rental) you need to apply for a permit from DCD. Read on...
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Port Townsend Leader Home & Garden

Check it out, it's a great reference tool with building guidelines and contacts for both the County and the City.