Building

Administer Codes


The Building Division of the Community Development and Planning Department administers the State adopted codes, including the International Building, Residential, Mechanical, Fuel/Gas, and Existing Building Codes; the Uniform Plumbing Code and the State Energy and Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Codes.

Personnel & Responsibilities


The department is comprised of the Building Official, Plans Examiners, Building Inspectors, Permit Planners, Code Enforcement, and support staff. They are responsible for ensuring that building construction meets the minimum standards of the building codes in effect in San Juan County.

Inspection Schedule


Inspections are typically Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez. Outer island inspections are by appointment. You may request an inspection online or by calling the Building Inspection Hotline at 360-378-6270. Check the inspector schedule the morning of your inspection, after 8:30 a.m., to find out where you fall in the sequence.
*****  Inspection Scheduling Notice  ***** 
On Tuesday, May 17th, inspections will be scheduled in the afternoon only, due to inspectors' attendance at the Energy Code class.
 

Building Permit Validity & Renewal - Conventional Permits


Please be reminded that every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work authorized by such permit is commenced within 1 year after its issuance or if the work authorized on the site by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 1 year after the work is commenced. The building official is authorized to grant, in writing, extension of time, for a period of one (1) additional year. The extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause demonstrated.

At the end of 60 months after issuance of a building permit, if construction has started but is not complete as evidenced by the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the permit shall expire. To finish work not completed at the time of expiration, a new permit shall be applied for and obtained. The valuation of construction for permit fees shall be the valuation of construction remaining that has not been inspected. The building official may authorize a single 12 month extension of the permit upon review of written request for such extension.

All fees referenced in this chapter are subject to change at any time and may be adjusted through separate ordinances, by authority of RCW 19.27.100 (Reference San Juan County Code 15.04.331).

The prior codification, pertaining to permits issued before January 27, 2015, reads, "If work is not started within 6 months of issuance or, if after having started construction, work is suspended or abandoned for more than 6 months, the permit becomes null and void. The permit may, however, be extended for an additional 6 month period upon written request of the applicant showing mitigating circumstances,"  and "Subject to Building Official approval, and provided no changes have been made, expired permits may be reactivated upon written request and payment of required fees. If changes have been made, or if new codes have been adopted since the expiration of the permit, new plan check and permit fees may also be assessed." 

Permit Validity & Renewal - Owner / Builder Permits


San Juan County Code 15.04.580 states: “Permits issued for construction of structures shall be for a period of one year, renewable for four additional years providing that the owner / builder complies with the provisions of this Article. An annual renewal fee is due until the project has been completed and approved by the county.

Construction, including all required life safety inspections under new permits, shall be completed within 5 years from the date of issuance. If construction is not completed within 5 years the owner / builder shall be required to obtain a new permit and also pay full permit fees.
  

Existing Structures

San Juan County Code 15.04.070 (4) Unpermitted structures with a date of original construction of year 1977 and older shall be presumed to legally exist.  For purposes of this section, "date of original construction" shall be considered as the date listed on the SJC Assessor's tax records.

 
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