Kelso Planning Department

Printer-friendly versionPDF version





What We Do

  • The Planning Department is primarily responsible for the coordination and approval process for all proposed land development, and is also involved in a number of special projects and long-term land use planning activities. 
  • The department tracks statistical information such as population estimates and other relevant demographic information. 
  • The department performs inspections of and enforces the Critical Areas ordinance and Shoreline Master Program requirements and responds to general zoning and planning inquires. 
  • The department also provides staff support to the city of Kelso Planning Commission, serving as a liaison between the Commission, and the City Council and the public.

What is an Opportunity Zone?

  • Have you recently sold a piece of property and now have to pay capital gains tax? Are you looking for a way to defer these taxes? Consider investing in an Opportunity Zone.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017. The Opportunity Zone program was included  in that act, which was designed to provide tax incentives to investors who fund businesses in underserved communities. 
  • Investors are able to defer paying taxes on capital gains that are invested in Qualified Opportunity Funds that in turn are invested in distressed communities designated as Opportunity Zones by the governor of each state. Up to 25 percent of the low-income census tracts in each state can be designated as Opportunity Zones.
  • More Information - If you have additional questions go to the Washington Department of Commerce website, send an e-mail to or contact Sarah Lee at 206.898.2025.

Plan Reviews

The Planning Department's goal is to process all applications for land use development in an expedient manner. A complete and thorough application submittal offers the best chance for a timely review and permit issuance. To this end, pre-application conferences are required for many types of land use applications.

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.


Public Hearings Schedule


Request for Right of Way Vacation- for unused ROW adjacent to 1210 7th Ave. N     Larry Wood

Plat Map

Resolution from Planning Commission Recommending the Vacation and Hearing


October 19, 2021, 6 PM,

Council Chambers

Shoreline Master Program Periodic Update City of Kelso Shoreline Master Program Information

 November 2, 2021, 6 PM,

Council Chambers



Guidelines for Outdoor Restaurant Seating During COVID-19