Community Development


Functions & Responsibilities

The Building Division of Community Development oversees building and related construction activities to protect the public health, safety and welfare of our residents and visitors pursuant to the construction codes. Chelan County enforces the International Codes, Washington State Amendments and Washington Administrative Code (WAC), all as adopted in CCC Chapter 3.04. A free online version of the International Codes is available by visiting the ICC website (Here) and hard copy of the code books can be purchased by visiting the ICC Bookstore or WABO Bookstore. Both of these versions of the Code do not include any amendments specific to Washington State. To check Washington State amendments to building codes please visit the Washington State Building Code Council website.

The Building Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the following programs and activities: International Building, Residential, Mechanical, Fire and the Uniform Plumbing Codes, Washington State Energy Code; Chelan County Code; FEMA flood protection requirements & Floodplain Development Permits; Accessibility & Washington State Barrier Free Design requirements and other Washington State and Federal laws. Activities include permit application intakes, public assistance on permit process, plan reviews, permit issuance, and inspections during construction.


Commonly requested information


Information for other common questions


Fire Prevention & Investigation Department

Fire Prevention and Investigation, or the Fire Marshal's Office, develops and manages a countywide fire and life safety inspection program in commercial businesses in the unincorporated portions of Chelan County; coordinates with area fire districts and conducts fire investigations in the unincorporated areas of Chelan County; provides comments on proposed development and plan reviews of new commercial occupancies for Fire Code compliance; and participates in the development and updates of County Wildfire Protection Plans and Wildland Urban Interface codes. 

Documents & Forms


Washington State Energy Code Compliance Forms & Links

Residential forms

Commercial forms

You must create an account and login to access the Excel compliance forms.


Floodplain Regulations & Forms

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center, or MSC, is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program. Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.



All inspections with the Chelan County must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. All requests must be made daily by 4 p.m. Inspections called in after 4 p.m. on Fridays or over the weekend will not be scheduled until Tuesday’s inspections.

To schedule an inspection, call 509-667-6635 and provide the following information:

  1. Permit Number
  2. Address
  3. Type of Inspection
  4. Date to perform the inspection
  5. Your name and phone number in case we need to call you back


Building Division Frequently Asked Questions

The WA State Residential Code exempts small accessory structures, such as tool sheds and playhouses that are 288 square feet or less and limited to one-story.  The accessory structure would still have to comply with the required zoning setbacks.

Small dwelling units less than 1,500 square feet require three energy credits, medium-size dwelling units require six energy credits, and large dwelling units exceeding 5,000 square feet require seven energy credits.

There are 7 categories to choose from and you can only choose one option from each category.

You can call the county and we can calculate your snow load for you but you will need your parcel number when you call.

The county will always provide you with the ground snow load and that will be accurately converted to the roof snow load by your design professional or truss manufacturer.

Yes, a permit is required from the county and the manufactured or mobile home must be a certified HUD home or approved by WA State Department of Labor and Industries.  The county issues the permit for the foundation system/setup only.

True Park Model RV’s are certified to the ANSI A119.5 Standard and are regulated by Washington State Department of Labor and Industries as Factory-Assembled Structures.  They can be used as permanent dwellings as long as the unit contains a WA State Insignia approved by state Labor and Industries and the unit is placed on a permanent foundation with approved utilities.

Yes, yurts are allowed to be used as permanent dwelling units as long as the structure is placed on a permanent foundation, is not used for camping or recreational uses, and meets the current building code requirements for structural, life-safety and energy efficiency.

Yes, tiny houses are regulated by the Washington State Residential Code (Appendix Q) and are allowed to be built onsite as permanent dwellings. Tiny Houses on wheels that are constructed off site must be approved by Washington State Labor and Industries as Factory-Assembled Structures.

A fence can be used as the barrier requirement and the gate access must also be controlled.  In lieu of a fence, an automatic pool cover complying with ASTM F1346 may be installed.  If the dwelling is used as part of the pool barrier then there are requirements for doors and windows that access the pool area as well.

No, per RCW 18.08.410, a residential building up to and including four dwelling units is exempt from having to have the structure professionally designed. However, elements of the structure exceeding the prescriptive requirements of the code may require engineered design, such as where ground snow loads exceed 70 pounds per square feet.

No, these structures are not regulated by the WA State Residential Code so no “building” permit is required.  However, there is a siting permit required to verify setbacks from critical areas, and property lines.

A structure that required a building permit and was constructed without the proper permit was illegally constructed.  Obtaining the permit after the structure has been completed does not deem the structure to be legal in the eyes of the code.

Permit applications are valid for 6 months and the application period can be extended an additional 6 months as long as the customer pursues their permit in good faith.  If not pursued in good faith, the application expires and is cancelled.  Once the permit has been issued it is valid for 2-years to complete the required work.

No.  Accessory structures regulated by the WA State Residential Code are garages, carports, shops, and similar structures and cannot contain habitable or living space elements or they would be deemed dwelling units.  Accessory structures can contain a bathroom since this element is not considered habitable space by the building code.

Posted: 01/29/2015 09:32 AM
Last Updated: 04/03/2024 03:40 PM

Community Development Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 19
    Jun 2024
    01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Hearing Examiner - June 19, 2024

    Posted by: Community Development

    By Zoom Video Conference or in person call 667-6518 ******HOLIDAY***********
  • 26
    Jun 2024
    06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

    Planning Commission - June 26,2024

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street
  • 03
    Jul 2024
    09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

    Hearing Examiner - July 03, 2024

    Posted by: Community Development

    By Zoom Video Conference or in person call 667-6225
  • 19
    Jul 2024
    01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Hearing Examiner - July 17, 2024

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street or via Zoom
  • 24
    Jul 2024
    06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

    Planning Commission - July 24, 2024

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street