Seattle DPD is now the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections. DPD's City Planning division is now the Office of Planning & Community Development.

Land Use / Master Use Permit - Plat

See also: 

What Is It?

Platting is a process used to create or modify individual parcels of property. You need to submit a platting land use application for a:

  • Lot boundary adjustment - changes the location of an existing property line between two or more parcels of land.
  • Unit lot subdivision - divides land for the purpose of selling single-family houses, townhouses, and rowhouses, but does not create separate legal building sites. Unit lot subdivisions may be either a short or full subdivision, depending on the number of lots created.
  • Short subdivision - creates up to 9 parcels.
  • Full subdivision - creates 10 or more parcels.

We require electronic applications for all platting projects, except for full subdivisions. You can use the Seattle DCI Project Portal to submit your electronic plans.

Your project may require State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review if you are subdividing property within or near the following environmentally critical areas:

  • Landslide-prone areas (including potential and known landslide areas)
  • Steep slopes
  • Wetlands
  • Fish and wildlife habitat

How Much Does it Cost?

Our review fee is $250 per hour. You need to provide a deposit when you submit your land use application. After we accept your application, we will send you a monthly invoice for all review time completed in that billing cycle. If you do not pay your invoice, we will stop reviewing your project.

How Long Does It Take?

How long it takes us to review your project depends on how complex it is. Our ability to review your project depends on:

  • Complexity of your proposal
  • Whether environmental review is required
  • The quality of your plans and project documentation
  • Timely response to correction letters and requests for further information
  • Public interest

Steps to Get Your Permit


1. Research

Find your property information. Research your site to help you plan your project.

Determine restrictions to your project. Research the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) to determine standards that will apply to your proposal.

Attend a coaching session. We offer 20 minutes of free coaching in the Applicant Services Center to answer drainage, land use, geotechnical, or construction permit questions. If you need a longer coaching session, we offer one-hour land use or zoning sessions for $250.

2. Start Permit Application

Apply for a project number. Get a project number by starting your application online or by submitting a preliminary application in person, by mail, or by fax. You will need to provide a site plan. You must use our Seattle DCI Project Portal to submit applications for lot boundary adjustments, unit lot subdivisions, and short plats.

You must have an issued building permit before you apply for a unit lot subdivision.

Request a pre-application site visit. Pre-application site visits are required for all land use projects. Request a pre-application site visit online or submit a pre-application site visit form. Our report will include information about your next steps, potential right-of-way or utility improvements, what to include in your plans, and what to provide at your intake appointment.

Request a pre-submittal conference (optional). We recommend pre-submittal conferences for very complex projects, including work in environmentally critical areas or shorelines. One-hour pre-submittal conference fees vary based on the type of conference you need.

Apply for exemptions. You may be eligible for an exemption from environmentally critical area and/or shoreline code requirements.

Coordinate with other agencies. You may need permits or approvals from other agencies. These are the most common agencies you may need to work with for your permit type:

Prepare your plans and technical documents. Your plans should be to scale and easy to read and scan. You may need to submit technical documents including a survey, geotechnical and wetland reports, and other types of reports. Our Tips and code standards provide additional detail on the type of plans and reports we require to review your proposal.

3. Submit Plans

Schedule an intake appointment. Call (206) 684-8850 to schedule an intake appointment at the Applicant Services Center, or schedule an electronic appointment.

Pay fees. You must pay a deposit for your review and noticing fees at intake. We will invoice you monthly for additional fees review process. We will stop reviewing your project if you do not pay your monthly invoice.

Wait for public notice. Public notice is not required for lot boundary adjustments but is required for short plats and full subdivisions. We will issue a public notice for your project as required by SMC 23.76.012. If required, you are responsible for building and installing a large environmental public notice sign. Once you've installed the sign, let us know and we'll begin our public notice process.

We'll consider all public comments we receive during our review of the proposal.

Make corrections and resubmit your plans. Once all of our reviews are done, we will need to submit revised plat documents including any requested corrections. Your project may require multiple correction rounds before our review is complete.

Pay fees. Once our review is complete, you must pay any remaining fees before we publish our decision.

Read our decision or recommendation. We will publish our decision for your short plat or unit lot subdivision or our recommendation for your full subdivision in our Land Use Information Bulletin once all reviews are complete. We will also send a notice of our decision to everybody that submitted a public comment on your project. Our decision will include any required conditions of approval.

Lot boundary adjustments do not require a decision or a recommendation from us.

Submit an appeal. If you or a member of the public disagree with our decision or recommendation, you may file an appeal with the Seattle Hearing Examiner within 14 days from when we publish our decision.

Attend the public hearing. The Seattle Hearing Examiner will hold a public hearing for our recommendation on your full subdivsion, along with any appeals on your project. The Hearing Examiner will also issue a decision.

Submit your final plat. You need to submit a final plat for your full subdivision application. Seattle Department of Transportation has to approve your final plat.

4. Complete Project

Pick up permit. Once Seattle DCI has approved your project, you will be contacted to pick up your permit and approved plans at the permit issuance counter in the Applicant Services Center.

5. Apply for Construction Permit

You may apply for a construction permit at any time once you submit a land use application. However, the project can change and evolve through the land use application review process. Corrections required by our decision may require building plan changes that can result in costly design changes.

What Do You Want To Do?

Still Need Help?

 Ask Us

  • Schedule a coaching session: (206) 684-8850