City of Port Townsend changes permitting, inspections process

PORT TOWNSEND — The City of Port Townsend has changed its permitting process and other procedures at City Hall in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A permit technician will notify a requester via email when a permit is ready to be issued along with an invoice for any remaining fees.

The city has requested that checks be mailed for fees.

They should include the permit number on the check or a copy of the invoice.

Once the city receives the payment, it will email a digital copy of the permit and conditions for review.

The same is true for hard copies.

Once the city receives the check in the mail, workers will mail a copy of the permit along with an inspection card and approved field plans.

Requesters can either sign the permit electronically and email it, or sign a hard copy and mail it.

City Hall is expediting permits for emergency repairs.

Those that qualify should contact the City of Port Townsend Permit Technicians at wfitch@cityofpt.us or rhill@cityofpt.us.

Apart from indoor onsite inspections, most building inspections will continue as long as inspectors keep to social distancing precautions (6 feet from others) during the inspection.

Otherwise, inspections will need to be rescheduled using the hotline number or using the city’s online portal.

“We will be deciding on a case-by-case basis the safest way to perform the inspection; some may be able to be performed using photos, others may have to be postponed until we can perform the inspection on-site,” reads a notice from city officials.

For smaller indoor inspections at residences, such as water heater replacements and heat pump installations, the city will accept electronically sent photos from licensed and registered contractors, again on a case-by-case basis. Contractors should send the photos to agarcia@cityofpt.us with the permit number in the subject line.

Installations that penetrate through walls, separating the house from the garage, must have on-site inspections as they tend to be fire-rated walls and require that the penetrations be protected.

The city planning commission will continue to send plan review comments to project contacts, applicants and owners.

Responses and revisions can either be mailed or placed in a dropbox.

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Ken Park can be reached at kpark@peninsuladailynews.com.

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