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

See also: 

What Is It?

A master use permit (MUP) is a land use application. MUP and land use application are terms used to describe a review process that typically includes discretionary review. Discretionary review is review of specific criteria defined in the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC). Usually the criteria assess impacts of a proposed use or development project. This review includes:

Common Master Use Permit projects are:

We have 5 different types of MUPs, each with its own process.

  • Type I MUP. Projects, such as a 4-week temporary use, that do not need public notice. We make the MUP decision which is not appealable.
  • Type II MUP. These projects require public notice of your application. We make the MUP decision which can appealed to the City’s Hearing Examiner
  • Type III MUP. Our only type III MUP is a subdivision. The MUP decision is made by the City Hearing Examiner following our recommendation, public notice, and a public hearing.
  • Type IV MUP. These MUPs apply to large projects, such as rezones. City Council makes the MUP decision after our recommendation, a public hearing, and a recommendation by the City Hearing Examiner.
  • Type V MUP. Applications with implications for large sections of Seattle, like a Land Use Code amendment or an area-wide rezone, are Type V MUPs. City Council makes the MUP decision after our recommendation and a public hearing
  • Procedure for Master Use Permits and Council Land Use Decisions, SMC 23.76
  • Environmental Policies and Procedures, SMC 25.05

How Much Does It Cost?

Our review fee is $280 per hour. You will 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.

Steps to Get Your Permit

The steps to get your master use permit depend on the type of MUP you are applying for. In general, you need to follow these steps:

Research
Find your property information, such as zoning, permit history, and environmentally critical areas information. Read our codes to determine which standards will apply to your proposal. If you still have questions, you can attend a coaching session to get information about drainage, land use, geotechnical, or construction permits.

Permit Application
Submit a preliminary application through the Seattle DCI Project Portal to get a project number and start the application process. We also recommend that you attend a pre-submittal conference if you have a complex project, or if you are working in an environmentally critical area or near a shoreline. You need to apply for and resolve any exemption requests from certain environmental or shoreline code standards during the preliminary application process. 

See your specific land use permit type for specific application instructions.

Once you have your plans and technical supporting documents ready to submit, schedule an intake appointment through the project portal. You must upload your complete application materials before your appointment. If you can't apply online, contact Sue Putnam (206) 684-8275 Sue.putnam@seattle.gov.

Public Notice
Public involvement is a primary element of the land use application process and review. All decision types, except Type I, require public notice at specific points in the process. During the notice period, we accept public comment on the project.

Review, Decision, and Appeal
Our review, decision, and appeal process varies depending on the type of MUP you are applying for. Your plan reviewer will explain the process and what to expect when you submit your permit application.

MUPs and Building Permits
If your project involves a related building permit, we must issue the land use permit before we can issue the building permit. You can apply for a building permit at any point once your land use application is submitted. However, your project can change and evolve during the land use application review process. This can require building plan changes, which may cost you additional design fees.

What Do You Want To Do?


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