Kelso Building Department

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Building Permits

The Kelso Building Department issues permits for all new construction within the Kelso city limits.  This involves the detailed examination of building plans, calculations, and specifications for compliance with building, plumbing and mechanical codes, as well as, field inspections of all aspects of construction and its various component parts and systems.

Permits are required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, or demolish a building or structure; change the use of a building; or erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system.

Helpful Information Before You Begin

  • When do I need a building permit? (PDF)
  • The City of Kelso does not issue electrical permits.  For electrical permits and electrical inspections, contact WA State Department of Labor and Industries at (360) 575-6900 or
  • All fire, life, and safety permitting is submitted to and issued through Kelso's Building Department.  Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue conducts the city's fire related plan reviews.  For specific fire code questions, contact Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue at (360) 578-5218 or visit
  • Contractors are required to have a valid Washington State Contractor's License and Kelso Business License.  For business license questions, contact Kelso Finance at (360) 423-0900.
  • Permit fees can be located in the city's Master Fee Schedule.
  • Kelso Municipal Code - Codification of the general ordinances of the City of Kelso.

Permit Center

  • Location:  Kelso City Hall, Second Floor, 203 S. Pacific Ave., Kelso, WA  98626
  • Phone:  (360) 423-9922
  • Fax:  (360) 423-6591
  • Email:
  • For general building and planning information, a department receptionist is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Permit application intake and permit issuance hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.


The City's Building Department provides inspection services for sign and demolition permits, as well as, residential and commercial inspections of mechanical, plumbing and building permits.

  • Inspections are conducted Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am to noon.
  • No inspections will be conducted on Fridays.
  • Inspection requests must be received by 4:30 pm for next day inspections.
  • Final inspection requests require 48 hours notification.
  • To schedule inspections, please call (360) 423-9922.

Plan Reviews

The complexity and completeness of all plans will affect the review time of construction projects.  For new construction projects east of Interstate 5, a current geotechnical report will be required at time of plan submittal.

Forms and Documents

Building Permit Application

Demolition Permit Application
Fire Sprinkler Affidavit 
Grading Permit Worksheet 
Mechanical Permit Application
Plumbing Permit Application
Sign Permit Application

We are currently in the process of updating and creating additional forms.  If you do not see what you are looking for, please feel free to contact our office.