Planning Division

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Permit TypesForms and ApplicationsMaps and Plans
Comprehensive PlanEnvironmental Planning & Regulation

Planning is a rational way of preparing for the future. It involves the gathering and analysis of data, the examination of possible future trends, the consideration of alternative scenarios, analysis of costs and benefits of those scenarios, choosing a preferred scenario, and a plan for implementation.

- Community Planning by Eric Kelly and Barbara Becker

Planners have many resources to assist them in the decision making process, most important of which are the voice of the community, its leadership organizations, and its elected and appointed officials. With the assistance of these resources, planners can develop documents, such as the Port Angeles Comprehensive Plan, the Shoreline Master Program, various portions of the Port Angeles Municipal Code that regulate zoning, environmentally sensitive areas, subdivisions, parking, street trees and the urban forest, commercial signage, and growth management. These documents and resources guide the Planning Division in administrating, reviewing, and recommending outcomes that effect the future form and development within the City of Port Angeles.

Permit Types

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Conditional Uses
Boundary Line Adjustments
Zone Changes
Short and Subdivision
Street Vacations
Zone Overlays
Shoreline Development

The SEPA Process
Open Space Exemptions
Temporary Uses
Archaeological Review
Parking Related Variances & Survey
Wireless Communication
Towers and Telecommunication Facilities
Multifamily Tax Exemption

Fees for land use relating permits reviewed by Planning Division staff are based upon personnel costs, and if the permit requires the public process, Planning Commission meeting preparation; e.g., written staff reports.

For a comprehensive listing of land use related fees, please review 3.70.070 of the Port Angeles Municipal Code

Forms and Applications

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Maps and Plans

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Maps and plans are two types o f resources that city staff and you, as a community member, can use to better inform the decision making process. One of the most important features of a map is helping us to understand relationships between features and trends, and plans regulate how those relationships trends should be maintained.

To get a better understanding of our built environment within the City of Port Angeles, you can use our public mapping software online. If you are having trouble using the software or have any questions concerning land use mapping and development, please contact the Planning Department at 360-417-4750.


Port Angeles Comprehensive Plan

The City of Port Angeles completed its 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update and the City Council approved the plan on June 21, 2016.

Thank you to everyone who participated and provided input for the plans development!

View or Download the 2017 Comprehensive Plan Amendment (PDF)

See the Comprehensive Plan Appendix A-D (PDF)

2019 Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Housing Action Plan

Environmental Planning and Regulation

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Environmentally Sensitive Areas
Clearing and Grading
Tree Removal

The Purpose of Environmental Planning

The urban environment is a highly important element of the quality of life to the people of Port Angeles. A clean, healthy, and diverse natural environment along with a variety of historical and cultural amenities are critical elements of a high quality community.

Local environmental regulations and controls are intended to protect and enhance the area's unique physical features and to create and maintain a community with a high quality of life where the land is used in a manner that is compatible with the area's unique physical features, its natural amenities, and the overall environment.

Elements of the City's natural environment that are protected include the City's marine shoreline, the steep marine bluff facing the shoreline, the streams running through the city and the ravines that contain them, wetlands and other areas that deserve protection.

The City of Port Angeles' environmental regulations are designed to balance environmental protections with development potential to maintain the area's natural attraction and social well being.

Visit the Port Angeles' Municipal Code on Environmental Policy

Permitting Needs

Permits are required for all development and/or uses on sites with Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs).

All environmental permits shall include a completed State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist. SEPA is a standardized form that is designed to review environmental impacts of a project at the earliest possible time in the development process. SEPA review includes a 14-day public comment period. After the comment period closes, the City's SEPA Responsible Official will issue a "Threshold Determination". Depending on the anticipated adverse impacts, the threshold determination may be a Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS), a mitigated determination of Nonsignificance (MDNS) or a Determination of Significance (DS). When a Determination of Significance is issued, an Environmental Impact Statement will be required before a development may begin.


Development in shoreline areas (200 feet upland of the Ordinary High Water Mark and all marine waters north to the International border). Development permits fall into categories distinguished by their association to the water. The Shoreline Master Program contains policy and regulatory language regarding Port Angeles shorelines. See Chapter 15.08 PAMC.

Permits needed:
1. Joint Aquatics Resource Project Approval (JARPA – a standardized form that is acceptable to the City, County, State agencies, and Federal agencies for work in or near water bodies) (PDF) 

2. SEPA Checklist (PDF)

For more information, Please visit our Shoreline Master Program Page.


Development in wetland areas is strongly regulated due to the importance of wetlands to the environment. Wetlands fall into 4 categories based on their size, resource quality, and characteristics. Wetlands in the city are protected by additional land surrounding the wetland called a buffer. Wetland buffers are established based on the wetland category and are considered to be part of the environmentally sensitive area. See Chapter 15.24 PAMC.

Permits needed:

1. City of Port Angeles Wetland Permit (PDF)

2. SEPA checklist (DOC)

Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs)

Streams, stream ravines, floodplains – frequently flooded areas, geologically hazardous areas including erosion hazard areas, landslide hazard areas, and Seismic hazard areas, marine bluffs and habitat areas for priority species and species of concern. Work requiring this review include vegetation management for view enhancement on the marine bluff or stream ravine slope. Minimum submittal requirements for ESA permitting is located in Section 15.20.060 of the Port Angeles Municipal Code.

Permits needed:

1. Development proposals in any environmentally sensitive areas (PDF) require review of the project. This is an administrative review, not technically a permit.

2. SEPA checklist (DOC).

3. Work in geologically hazardous, seismic hazard, landslide hazard areas may require Geotechnical Engineer's Report in addition to permits.

The geotechnical engineering report shall:

  • be prepared by a Washington State licensed professional civil engineer with a specialty in geotechnical engineering or an engineering geologist with a Washington specialty license in engineering geology as specified in RCW 18.220,
  • be professionally stamped,
  • be based upon the best available science,
  • consider existing and proposed uses,
  • include risks of slope failure,
  • include coastal erosion rates over at least 75 years, based in part on anticipated sea level rise and storm frequency,
  • Include a certification that the proposed structure will not be in danger from erosion for at least 75 years, and
  • Include vegetation enhancement and low impact development measures that might be used as a means of reducing undesirable erosion.

Clearing, Grading, Filling and Drainage

A permit to clear trees or move soil on, to or from a site may require a permit. Thresholds for requiring a permit are:

1. Land disturbance of 7000 square feet or new/replaced hard surfaces of 2000 square feet or more;

2. More than 100 cubic yards of fill and/or excavation (Quantities of fill and excavation are calculated separately and then added together to determine the total quantity for the site);

3.Any clearing, filling, excavation, or grading in an environmentally sensitive area, critical area or critical area buffer;

4. Clearing or grading that will likely penetrate the ground water table, including the construction of ponds and reservoirs;

5. An excavation which is more than five (5) feet in depth or which creates a cut slope greater than five (5) feet in depth or which creates a cut slope greater than five (5) feet in height and steeper than two units horizontal in one unit vertical (2:1);

6. Any re-grading or paving on an area used for stormwater retention or detention or alteration of an existing drainage course;

7. Any proposal to cut down or remove more than one quarter any tree(s) that are required to be preserved by City code, plat condition, or other requirement.

Permits needed:

1. Clearing, Grading, Filling and Drainage Permit (PDF)


Tree Removal

Tree removal from private property within the city limits does not require a permit, if the tree is not located within a environmentally sensitive area or an area of disturbance is less than one acre. Make sure that the tree in question is not in the public right-of-way along the street or in the alley.

Removal and/or pruning of trees from public rights-of-way requires consultation with City staff and may require specific permits for work in the right-of-way and the submission of a 'Hold Harmless' Waiver and Release form to the City.