Development Services


Our Department is actively adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure we can continue to provide services to Residents, Business Owners and Developers that are consistent with Governor Inslee’s "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" orders.  

Even though City Hall is closed to the public we are still able to accept, process, issue, and inspect some development activities as outlined below:

  • Many of the permits our Department processes are already available on-line through our SmartGov Permit Portal.  Click HERE to be directed to a page listing which permits can be submitted through the Portal or click HERE to be directed to the portal itself.
  • Virtual In-Take Appointments are scheduled by our Permit Technicians on a first come, first served basis with priority given to re-submittals.  These appointments are necessary for all permits that cannot be submitted via our SmartGov Permit Portal and for all re-submittals. These appointments exactly correspond to our pre-COVID in-person submittal/re-submittal procedures. 
    • Applicant’s wishing to submit a non-portal permit need to contact one of our Permit Technicians at:  360-336-6214 or to schedule a virtual permit intake appointment where you will upload your permit and its associated materials to the City's FTP site.   
    • As noted above, applicant's also need to schedule a virtual intake appointment when submitting revised/new materials, i.e. re-submittals, in response to deficiency comments.  
  • Some inspections can be completed in-person by our inspectors; however, some inspections are being conducted/accomplished through a new Virtual Inspection Process utilizing Skype. Applicants will continue to request their inspection over our SmartGov Permit Portal and our inspectors will let them know how their inspection will be completed. Click HERE to view step-by-step instructions on how to complete a Virtual Inspection once it has been scheduled.  
  • Public Hearings are being held virtually by the City’s Hearing Examiner.  Click HERE to read instructions on how to participate in these virtual hearings.
  • All Pre-Application Meetings will be held virtually via video and audio conferencing software.

** Click HERE to be directed to the COVID-19 website created and updated by the State.  This website is your best resource regarding what can be open and closed and the types of work that can continue.



Under the leadership of Chris Phillips, the Development Services Department is structured to accommodate all aspects of development activity. We work with neighborhoods, businesses, and other public partners to enhance the economic prosperity, vitality and overall quality of life of our community.  Click here for a department overview.

Click HERE to read more about the Department’s permit activities over the last decade.

The Department is comprised of a Building Division, an Engineering Division, and a Planning Division. Follow this hyperlink to view the Department’s overall Staff Contact List

  • The Building Division is responsible for administering codes that regulate building construction and issuing associated permits. This responsibility includes inspections, code interpretations, plan review, and code enforcement. 
  • The Engineering Division is responsible for administering codes that regulate infrastructure design and installation and issuing associated permits; such as, sewers (sanitary and storm) and the earth disturbing activities that go hand-in-hand with infrastructure installation. 
  • The Planning Division processes both current and long-range projects and plans. Responsibilities include maintaining compliance with the Growth Management Act (GMA) Comprehensive Planning and related legislative issues as well as the day-to-day planning activities such as subdivision approvals, zoning compliance, SEPA processing, annexations, and critical area review and approval. 

 Vision & Mission Statement

The City of Mount Vernon’s Development Services Department is dedicated to being the best. We work together to accomplish the goals of the whole community, and go the extra mile to educate, streamline processes, encourage solution-oriented decisions, and provide timely and predictable permit processing. We hold ourselves, and our applicants, responsible for developments that enhance the quality of life in our community.