Develop your floor plan and get your permits in order
You've completed your business planning, applied for licenses and selected a location. Now it's time to transform your space – first securing the necessary permits.
|Permit Type||Required for||Time and Cost|
|Health District Food Service Plan Review||All||A plan review submittal fee of $195.00 is required at the time of submittal. This fee covers the first 1.5 hours of plan review. Any additional plan review time and all pre-opening inspection time is billed at the standard hourly rate of $130.00 per hour (2017 fee). The plan review takes approximately 14 days following receipt of a complete plan submittal.|
|Land Use Permits||
||The Conditional Use Permit takes 4-5 months and must be approved before building permits. Costs vary from $4,325 to $4,590.|
|Construction & Trade Permits||
||Over-the-counter permits are issued within 10 days. Remodels and new construction permits may take up to 30 days. Costs are usually based on project value.|
|Sprinklers & Fire Alarms||
||Permits at Fire Station 1: Over-the-counter permits are available for minor projects; 7-10 days for major work for each cycle of review.|
|Sign & Awning Permits||
||Base fee is $79.50, then add $75 for pole signs or $30 for wall signs, and $5 for illumination/wiring fee per sign. Usually takes 3-5 days for review.|
||The Sidewalk Cafe Permit initial review and permit fee is $300 (non-refundable). It takes a minimum of 3-4 weeks for review and processing. The annual renewal fee for a Sidewalk Café Permit is $250 per year after the first year.|
Spokane Regional Health District requires a plan review for all Food Establishments prior to operating. The plan review must be completed and approved by the Food Safety Program before any Building Permits can be issued to ensure you have the necessary facilities and equipment.
Note: Ownership transfers of existing Food Establishments that are currently permitted and operating do not require a plan review if there will be no changes in the facility, equipment or menu. Permit application and transfer fee must be submitted and approved before the ownership change occurs to avoid an Unapproved Ownership Change fee. Check with the Food Safety Program to clarify your responsibilities.
Plan Review Process provides detailed information about developing and submitting a plan, and about the approval process.
A plan review submittal fee of $195 is required at the time of submittal. This fee covers the first 1.5 hours of plan review. Any additional plan review time and all pre-opening inspection time is billed at the standard hourly rate of $130 per hour (2017 fee). The plan review takes approximately 14 days following receipt of a complete plan submittal.
When construction is complete, schedule a pre-opening inspection to verify the restaurant is in compliance with the approved plans. The annual Food Establishment Permit fee must be paid prior to scheduling the pre-opening inspection. To schedule your pre-opening inspection contact the Health District at 509.324.1560, ext. 2.
Once you've secured your location, you can apply for any necessary land use permits. Land Use Permits must be applied for before the building permit application is made.
For questions about property information or submitting an application with the City of Spokane, please call the Development Services Center at 509.625.6300 or visit us on the 3rd Floor City Hall, 808 W Spokane Falls Blvd.
Planning and Development also offers an optional free Pre-Development Conference (PDF 386 KB), that allows the applicant to meet with representatives from City departments and other governmental agencies that may be involved in the plan review process.
If you need additional information on land use, building codes, and which requirements apply to you, consider hiring an architect or other building professional to help explain.
Spokane Planning & Development reviews plans and issues permits for new construction and alteration of commercial buildings. Spokane Regional Health District's Food Service Plan review is a separate review from the Building Permit process, but must be completed prior to the issuance of a Building Permit.
If you hire a contractor, use only Department of Labor and Industries licensed contractors. Your contractors will also need to hold City of Spokane business licenses to pull permits.
A Pre-Development Conference (PDF 386 KB) is generally recommended for new development. This is an optional meeting that allows the applicant to meet with representatives from City departments and other governmental agencies that may be involved in the plan review process. These meetings help applicants determine project feasibility and provide an overview of requirements to prepare for the application submittal process.
Sprinkler and fire alarm permits are required from the Spokane Fire Department when installing, modifying, or upgrading sprinkler and fire alarm systems. See Fire Safety section in Locate for information about when sprinklers and alarms are required.
Contractors are required to be registered with the Spokane Fire Department. Fire alarm designers are required to be registered and to use the City-issued stamp for plan submittal. Permits take an average of 7-10 days.
Review and approval of fire sprinkler and alarm plans usually take 7 to 10 days. Permits fees are based on the value of the work.
Fire Department personnel are available to assist with plan review and provide technical assistance on a walk-in basis at Fire Station 1, located at 44 W. Riverside Avenue, or by calling 509.625.7000.
Sign or Awning Permits (PDF 251 KB) are required from the Development Services Center to install, alter or repair any permanent sign, sign structure, awning or strobe light.
You may also need the following permits/approvals:
If you're planning outdoor seating, installing anything that extends into or over public space, or if you temporarily need to use public areas for construction activities, you'll need a permit from the City.
Work done on arterial streets, in designated “centers” and “corridors,” affecting Spokane Transit Authority bus routes or in the downtown area, may require extended review times. Some areas may require a detailed traffic control plan prior to review submission.
Sidewalk Café Permit processing time is usually 3 to 4 weeks and costs $300 for the initial review and permit, which can be renewed annually for $250.
Revocable Permit and Licenses are issued on a case-by-case basis and costs may vary depending on the project.
Street Obstruction Permits are usually processed in 1 to 3 days and the costs will depend on the work being done and length of time the street is obstructed.
The information in this guide is accurate as of July 2015. Always consult with the appropriate department or agency for current requirements.