Pre- Application Meetings

What to Expect & How to Prepare

Pre-Application Meetings: What to Expect & How to Prepare (Image of cover)

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An ORA pre-application meeting is an opportunity to meet with the agency staff who will ultimately review your application. You can explain your project and get agency feedback before you apply for permits. This meeting is designed for complex projects that may need local, state, and federal review.

When should an ORA pre-application meeting occur?

An ORA pre-application meeting needs to occur early in the planning phase when your project proposal is defined enough to provide conceptual plans, but still flexible enough to incorporate recommendations from the meeting.

By avoiding impacts, you may avoid permits.

How will you benefit?

  • Hear feedback from multiple agencies at one meeting.

  • Learn how different agencies and permits interact.

  • Determine your best permit pathway.

  • Identify next steps.

  • Avoid costly missteps and surprises.

Contact ORA to find out if a pre-application meeting is right for your project.

What will ORA do for you?

  • Schedule the meeting and invite the appropriate agency staff.

  • Coordinate and facilitate the meeting, take notes, and prepare a meeting summary.

  • Advise you on how to prepare for the meeting.

  • Help schedule a site visit, if needed.

What will the agencies do?

  • Review your project according to their regulations and share their expertise.

  • Offer suggestions on how to avoid or minimize environmental impacts.

  • Answer questions about applications, permits, and timeframes.

  • Clarify the differences between requirements and recommendations.

  • Identify other issues or concerns and how they can be addressed.

How do you prepare for the pre-application meeting?

  • Contact ORA to schedule the meeting.

  • Prepare a draft SEPA checklist.

  • Identify potential permits by completing ORA’s Project Questionnaire.

  • Send site plans and technical reports to your ORA contact two weeks before your meeting so that ORA can distribute them to agency staff in advance. Bring a few extra copies to the meeting.

  • Come prepared to explain your project schedule, site history, current conditions, future plans, and potential environmental impacts.

  • Approach the process with a positive, problem-solving attitude. Ask questions. Use data to make your case.