State of Washington Commits Grant Funding to Expedite Permitting

State of Washington Offers $3M per Jurisdiction to Expedite Residential Permitting Processes


Washington State legislators have approved a new Senate Bill that, according to the State’s Dept. of Commerce, will offer up to $3 million per jurisdiction in grant funding beginning in early 2024 to expedite residential permitting processes and support permitting software modernization across the State.


A multi-pronged effort intended to increase affordable housing units, particularly  relating to housing renovations and updates, in-fill and higher-density projects, and straightforward new home construction, Bill SB 5290 includes the following initiatives:

  • Established a grant program to support local governments’ transition from a paper permit filing system to software systems capable of processing digital permit applications electronically in an online software system.

  • Requires the Department of Commerce to convene a temporary work group to study potential statewide license and permitting software for local governments to streamline existing permit review processes.

  • Establishes a consolidated permit review grant program for local governments to issue final decisions for residential permit applications in as little as 45 days.

  • Establishes project permit review time periods for permit applications that meet certain public notice and public hearing requirements (no more than 120 days to approve).

  • Amends annual performance reporting requirements for jurisdictions issuing project permits.

  • Requires local governments to refund a proportion of the permit fees if the local government has not issued a final decision by the established time period.

  • Requires local governments to use the project permit application review time periods established by this act after January 1, 2025.


To help local community development and land management agencies comply with SB 5290, two grants will be made available, with applications opening in March-April 2024, according to the Department of Commerce:

  1. Grant for jurisdictions that commit to approving straightforward residential permits (i.e., no public notice or public hearing required) within 45 days.

  2. Grant for jurisdictions to move from paper-based processes and/or outdated permitting systems and/or to add system components. Mandatory technology requirements include: digital permitting, integrated electronic plans management, integrated virtual inspections, the ability to storage large volume of video files within system, and the ability to provide semi-annual performance reporting on mandated permit approval and throughput timelines.


With initiatives and grant funding specifically designed to address permitting software modernization at both the local and statewide level, government leaders in the State of Washington are clearly recognizing the mission- critical role that modern online permitting systems like POSSE PLS play in expediting permit and development plan approvals.


Any jurisdiction awarded funds under the consolidated permit review grant program must provide a quarterly report to Commerce, detailing the jurisdiction’s average and maximum time for permit review during its participation in the grant program. Bill 5290 also sets deadlines for permit reviews, enforced by partial refunds on permitting fees when deadlines are not met.


With more than 25,000 people living on the street (Source) and one million homes needed by 2044 to meet the State’s housing demands (Source), the clock is now ticking for government agencies across the Evergreen State to modernize their permitting systems. With grant funding soon available, agencies long frustrated by outdated systems can start to evaluate modern permitting software delivering award-winning innovation and outstanding ownership value.


To see how POSSE PLS can expedite your jurisdiction’s development approval process, book a discovery demo with one of our product experts today.