Kelso Planning Department

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What We Do

  • The Planning Department is primarily responsible for the coordination and approval process for all proposed land development, and is also involved in a number of special projects and long-term land use planning activities. 
  • The department tracks statistical information such as population estimates and other relevant demographic information. 
  • The department performs inspections of and enforces the Critical Areas ordinance and Shoreline Master Program requirements and responds to general zoning and planning inquires. 
  • The department also provides staff support to the city of Kelso Planning Commission, serving as a liaison between the Commission, and the City Council and the public.

What is an Opportunity Zone?

  • Have you recently sold a piece of property and now have to pay capital gains tax? Are you looking for a way to defer these taxes? Consider investing in an Opportunity Zone.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017. The Opportunity Zone program was included  in that act, which was designed to provide tax incentives to investors who fund businesses in underserved communities. 
  • Investors are able to defer paying taxes on capital gains that are invested in Qualified Opportunity Funds that in turn are invested in distressed communities designated as Opportunity Zones by the governor of each state. Up to 25 percent of the low-income census tracts in each state can be designated as Opportunity Zones.
  • More Information - If you have additional questions go to the Washington Department of Commerce website, send an e-mail to or contact Sarah Lee at 206.898.2025.

Plan Reviews

The Planning Department's goal is to process all applications for land use development in an expedient manner. A complete and thorough application submittal offers the best chance for a timely review and permit issuance. To this end, pre-application conferences are required for many types of land use applications.

The complexity and completeness of all plans will affect the review time of construction projects. For new construction projects east of Interstate 5, a current geotechnical report will be required at time of plan submittal.


Public Hearings Schedule


Vacation of a portion of ROW on Minor Rd along the frontage of Parcel# 20121 Hilander Properties, LLC Legal Description and Site Plan

Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 6:00 PM.

Council Chambers

Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment and Rezone

Trammell Crow Company (C/O John Varin), 1300 SW 5th Ave., Suite 3350, Portland, OR 97201


Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 6:00 PM,

Council Chambers

Self- Storage: 

Conditional Use Permit review for an existing vacant warehouse structure located at 104 Catlin Street in Kelso. The proposed modifications to construct freestanding self-storage units within the profile of the existing structure will leave the existing building intact with no exterior modifications. 

Erik Bjerkman, on behalf of Catlin, LLC


February 23, 2022, 2:00 PM

Council Chambers



Guidelines for Outdoor Restaurant Seating During COVID-19


Requests for Proposal