Community Development

Permit Center is OPEN, effective May 17, 2021 


Permit submittal, pick up and payment information: 360-755-1371

Inspections may be limited and will be done on a case-by-case basis: 360-755-0077

Building and Floodplain Questions: 360-755-0077

Land Use Questions: 360-755-9717

Fire Marshal Questions and Inspections: 360-757-6684



This is the location of a number of key services offered by the City of Burlington including the following:

  • One-stop Permit Center for all land use, construction, and infrastructure permits
  • Public Information on zoning, subdivisions, environmental review, critical areas, and a variety of related topics ranging from new commercial and residential construction to neighborhood questions about fences, garages, and pets
  • Long range planning including updating Burlington’s Comprehensive Plans and Capital Improvement Plan
    • Special areas of emphasis include downtown planning and coordination with the Downtown Burlington Association and implementing the Community Connections Plan
  • Burlington’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, base flood elevation information, and coordination of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System program for Burlington

Comprehensive Plan Update

Planning Commission - June 16, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. - TELECONFERENCE

The Planning Commission meeting will take place at 5:30 P.M on June 16, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. and will be held remotely using phone/video conference technology. Members of the public who wish to listen to the Planning Commission meeting may do so using the following:

Dial-in number: 1-(774) 777-4255 

Access Code: 661-8325

The materials being considered by the Planning Commission are part of the City’s ongoing comprehensive update. The City has determined that this meeting is both necessary and routine, and that the Planning Commission must continue to hold its regularly scheduled meetings in order to comply with the periodic update requirements of the Washington State Growth Management Act. No final action will be taken at this meeting.

Code Changes – Commercial Industrial Zones: Code changes for CI-1 (formerly C-2) and CI-2 (formerly M-1) zones. Very few substantive changes have been proposed for the CI zones. The proposed changes are primarily intended to ensure the code contains a consistent list of permitted and prohibited uses and that the same terms are used throughout the code. Changes were also made to clarify the difference between light industrial and heavy industrial uses. Significant changes are summarized below: 

  1. Elimination of Business Park (BP) zone: Consistent with the draft comprehensive plan amendments, the former BP zone has been eliminated. It appears this zoning designation was originally created to facilitate the development of a planned business and industrial park north of Burlington Hill. In practice however, this zone did not contain standards or requirements that differed significantly from the M-1 zone.  
  2. Standards for potentially incompatible uses: Consistent with the draft comprehensive plan amendments, standards have been added to the CI-1 zone to address hotels, nursing homes, and multi unit residential buildings. These uses were previously permitted subject to a vague requirement that “the site be better suited to residential uses than commercial uses”. The adopted standards are intended to reserve the I-5 frontage for car dealers and other similar uses that require visibility and freeway access, mitigate the impacts of the permitted light industrial uses on residential uses, and to prevent conflicts between incompatible uses. Also, since the CI-1 zone is primarily located west of I-5, in an area with poor access to parks and public services, additional requirements were added for onsite amenities. The additional requirement were largely copied from the existing R-3 multifamily development standards. In the CI-2 zone incompatible uses, such as general retail and hotels, have been prohibited. Given that a large area of the City is available for these uses it does not seem necessary to permit theme in the CI-2 zone which is intended to accommodate industrial uses. 
  3. Differentiation between light industrial uses and heavy industrial uses. This was not clearly addressed previously and no definition was provided for “light industry”. Based on the code definitions used by other jurisdictions with large amounts of industrial development, new definitions were added for these uses and the allowed uses in each zone were sorted accordingly. Light industry is now differentiated from heavy industry by focusing on the assembly of products from premade components and materials. Alternatively, heavy industrial uses involve the processing and handling of raw materials. Also language was added regarding potential impacts. Under the proposed framework, light industrial uses take place indoors and result in little discernible impact whereas heavy industrial uses may take place outdoors and result in light, noise, and odor impacts. 

Capital Facilities Element: This item is being presented for discussion only.