BIAW Speakers’ Bureau Presentations

The Permitting Process: What You Need to Know

Attendees will delve into the complex and sometimes confusing terrain of the permitting process. Topics covered include:

  • The application process: Analysis of zoning, permitting process and alternative short cuts
  • Types of permits: special use, CAO deviations, shoreline, subdivisions, etc.
  • Better ways to shorten timelines and ensure expeditious approvals:
    Complete and quality applications
    Contracts: Phone and traditional
    Written letters: verify phone conversations, pre-application meetings, review status
  • How to overcome unresponsive staff using alternate staff and/or supervisors
  • The roll and impact of "electeds"
  • Options for 'low probablity of approval permits'
    Variances vs. CUPS/SUPS

Attendees will Discover

  • Optional processes
  • How to increase your comfort zone with staff, review bodies, and "electeds"
  • Shortcuts and how to use them
  • Appeal options

Program Length

  • 1-3 hours



Robert W. Thorpe, AICP, Principal, R.W. Thorpe & Associates, Inc.

With over 40 years of experience in the planning field and a founding member of Robert W. Thorpe & Associates, Inc., BIAW member Thorpe is a certified planner and has served as SEPA Responsible Official for several communities. Prior to founding RWT/A, Thorpe was instrumental in the development of many innovative planning programs with the City of Mercer Island. This included the development of many implemenation tools such as SEPA guidelines, Shorelines' Management program, Design Commission guidelines, zoning codes and master planned communities regulations, to name a few.

Thorpe is also qualified as an expert witness in several jurisdictions and courts throughout Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

Contact Information

Phone: (206) 624-6239
Website: Robert W. Thorpe & Associates, Inc.

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