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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a permit for your home improvement project?

Find out below. If you have specific questions, please email planningdept@mukilteowa.gov.

If you are removing trees. If you are removing a tree, you need to apply for a tree permit.

If you are pruning trees. Pruning trees located on your own property, and outside of critical areas, does not require a permit. You are responsible for following all city regulations. Tree-topping is prohibited in all areas.

Pruning of trees on slopes is highly regulated. Select limbs may be removed through windowing, inter-limbing, or skirting up methods as long as:

  • No pruning is done in the top third of the tree
  • The pruning does not remove more than 40% of the tree canopy
  • Skirting up does not go higher than 20 feet above ground level
  • All debris is removed from the slope

If you are building a…

  • Deck. No permit needed if less than 200 square feet and less than 30” from ground. If you are building (or replacing) a deck that is larger/higher than that, you will need to apply for a building permit. If you are replacing the boards on an existing deck and nothing more, a permit is not needed. Anytime handrails or stairs are altered, a permit is needed.
  • Fence. Fences are measured from the ground to the highest point on the fence. When fences are on top of a retaining wall, the fence and wall height are added together. No permit required if it’s 6 feet tall or shorter (4-feet tall or shorter within the front yard setback). If you’re building a fence taller than 6 feet, you need to apply for a fence modification permit (and a building permit if the fence is over 7 feet tall) Modifications allow a maximum fence height of 8 feet in residential zones.
  • Retaining wall. Is the wall taller than 4 feet? Will it be load bearing (supporting anything other than the dirt or the weight of the wall itself – tiered walls and walls that hold back slopes, support driveways, or support buildings/foundations are load bearing)? If you answered no to both questions, no permit is required. If you answered yes to either question, you will need to apply for an engineering permit.
  • Shed. No permit needed for unheated structures smaller than 200 square feet. If your structure is larger than 200 square feet, you will need to apply for a building permit. Regardless of size, your structure must comply with the setbacks in MMC 17.20.020 and MMC

If you are remodeling a…

  • Bathroom. No permit is required for cosmetic changes (e.g., new sink, vanity, flooring). You need to apply for a building permitany time plumbing or fixtures are moved or significantly altered (e.g., tub becomes shower).
  • Kitchen. No permit required for cosmetic changes (e.g., new counters, cabinetry, flooring). You need to apply for a building permit any time plumbing or fixtures are moved (e.g., relocation of stove or dishwasher).
  • Any demolition of walls requires a building permit.
  • Electrical work that requires new wiring, circuits, or breakers must approved and inspected by Washington Labor & Industries.

If you are replacing your…

If you are paving (or repaving) a driveway that connects to a public street, you need to apply for a right-of-way permit.

If you need to close the street. If you need to block the street for any reason – from construction work to a block party – you need to apply for a right-of-way permit.



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