Business Blog

SBDC to host workshop on Bellingham building permit process

I'm glad to see this... I've had a steady amount of emails/phone calls over the years from business people with questions/comments about the building permit process in Bellingham:

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center is hosting a no-cost training event on navigating the permit process with the City of Bellingham.

The seminar will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Squalicum Boathouse, 2600 S. Harbor Loop, Bellingham. Co-sponsors are the City of Bellingham, the Port of Bellingham and NW Business Development. 

This event is intended for small business owners or anyone planning to lease or acquire commercial real estate within Bellingham city limits. The presentation will focus on understanding existing building codes and the permitting process, cover top 10 ways to improve your permit experience, web resources and will include Q&A time.

Guest speakers include Jim Tinner, the building official for the City of Bellingham, and Kirsten Hawney, a permit technician with the city.

Tinner has been a building official for 15 years and brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and a common-sense approach to the permit process.  The focus of his talk will be an overview of the regulatory process with the goal of assisting potential new businesses when moving into a new location in an existing building. Tinner will provide highlights of the International Existing Building Code (IEBC) and how it can be used to benefit a new business moving into an existing space or building.

Hawney has been a permit technician with the City of Bellingham for over five years.  She will provide an overview of common questions and considerations a new business might have when moving through the permit process including:"Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Permit Experience" and a brief look at the City website and resources a business owner can use to assist in the permit process.

For more information about the permit training or to rsvp, call (360) 778-1762 or e-mail For more information on WWU SBDC visit