King County’s Depart-ment of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER) will begin holding weekly office hours on Vashon, where officials will be on hand to take permit applications and answer questions.
DPER, formerly the county’s Department of Development and Environ-mental Services (DDES), has had a monthly presence on the island. But officials have decided to maintain an on-island office that’s open once a week, starting next Tuesday, said Kim Laymen, DPER’s customer service supervisor.
The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the county’s community service center in Courthouse Square. Three DPER employees — Greg Wessel, Pesha Klein and Steve Townsend — will rotate duty, providing general information and advice, property-specific information and application intake for a range of permit applications that do not require pre-application meetings, Laymen said.
The increase in on-island hours was prompted by the agency’s recent move from Renton to Snoqualmie, Laymen said. The move made sense for the agency, saving it money and putting it closer to its largest base in unincorporated King County. But some islanders complained about the increased distance for Vashon residents, Laymen said.
Laymen said DPER wants to have “more of a presence on the island. ... We thought this would help the residents of Vashon to get the services they need.”