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The Ins and Outs of Online Permitting & Plan Review

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
12 - 1:30 PM
Cost: $35
Credits: 1.0 CM - see below



Registration closes Monday, August 17 at 12 PM. This webinar will be recorded, and all preregistered attendees will receive a link to view the recording. Read about scholarship opportunities.

Webinar Overview

Online permitting/plan review systems that allow local governments to remotely take in applications, review development proposals, and issue permits are increasingly becoming popular. These online systems have helped public agencies and applicants achieve significant cost and time savings. Some local governments have had their online permitting systems up and running for several years while others have had to recently pivot traditional, paper-based permitting/plan review process to an online system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the efficiencies they provide, online permitting/plan review systems are likely to be part of the “new normal” for local governments in a post-pandemic world.

Educational Objectives

This webinar will highlight the online permitting/plan review systems and processes from four Washington state communities and provide valuable information on:

  • Different permit intake and plan review software programs
  • Steps needed to set up and operate an online system
  • Dealing with different types of development permits
  • Training needs
  • Communicating with applicants and the public
  • Lessons learned using online permitting and plan review

Who Should Attend?

Planners, plans examiners, building officials, appointed and elected officials, and other people involved/interested in the local development review process.


  • Leonard Bauer, Community Development & Planning Director, City of Olympia. As the Deputy Director for Community Planning and Development, Leonard manages all aspects of planning and community development for Olympia, including implementation of the city's comprehensive plan. Prior to that, Leonard was the Managing Director of Growth Management Services at the Washington State Department of Commerce for 12 years and spent 14 years as a planner and planning director at various local governments.
  • Kurt Nabbefeld, Development Services Manager, City of Bellingham. Kurt is the Development Services Manager and SEPA Official for the city of Bellingham Planning and Community Development Department. Kurt serves on the department leadership team and oversees the building and land use permitting functions for the city. He has over 20 years of planning experience in all types of land use and environmental permitting functions as well as annexations, neighborhood and urban village planning. Kurt was the recipient of the Bellingham Mayor’s Leadership Award and his planning accomplishments have been recognized with multiple Washington APA awards.
  • Erika Shook, AICP, Director of Community Development, San Juan County. Erika has been the Director of Community Development for San Juan County since 2015. She has been a planner or director of planning for various Washington State jurisdictions since 1994.  
  • Rick White, Community & Economic Development Director, City of Pasco. Rick White has worked in Community Planning for over 30 years. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, he has worked at Spokane County Planning, the City of Kennewick and has been Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Pasco for the last 11 years. He has a special interest in community economic development and provision of public infrastructure that enables commercial and industrial growth.
  • Moderator: Steve Butler, FAICP. Steve joined MRSC in February 2015 as a Planning Consultant as well as the manager of the policy team. He has been involved in most aspects of community planning for over 30 years, both in the public and private sectors. Steve has served as president of statewide planning associations in both Washington and Maine and was elected to the American Institute of Certified Planner’s College of Fellows in 2008.


Refund policy: Refunds of the webinar fee will be provided minus a $5.00 administrative fee if registration is canceled by 12 PM on Monday, August 17. If you are registered for the webinar and unable to attend, you will still be able to view the recorded webinar afterwards. However, if you cancel your registration, you will not receive a link to the recording.