Street-Food Vending on Private Property
Regulation of street-food on private property depends on the location of the property. Multiple vendors could potentially come in under a single temporary use or construction permit, when required.
Street-food vending from a vehicle, such as a truck or trailer, in legal commercially-zoned parking lots is permitted without the need to obtain a construction permit. The property owner or parking lot operator must give permission for this activity and the street food truck or trailer must park in an area used for parking and cannot remain there overnight.
Property owners should consult with the Department of Public Health-Seattle and King County to understand Health requirements related to overnight or permanent operation.
Intermittent Temporary Use Permits
In commercial zones, a property owner may apply for an intermittent temporary use permit, which can allow a food vendor to operate two days a week in that location and to deviate from certain code standards due to the temporary nature of the business.
Permanent Use Permits
Property owners may go through a process to make food vending a permanent use for the property, but that will require the trailer to meet code standards and requires a construction permit.
Vacant and Underused Lot Pilot Program
Street-food vending is an allowable activity for parcels participating in the Vacant and Underused Lot Pilot Program authorized by Ordinance 123566. The program allows up to 20 properties to draw from a menu of activities, including street-food vending, that serve to provide activation and interest on vacant lots, underused sites or former parking lots. If the owner of the parcel wants to operate short-term parking on the site, street-food and/or other activities must be provided as a buffer between the parking area and the sidewalk. Participation in the pilot program requires a temporary use permit, which is valid for three years and allows a three-year renewal.
- CAM 103, Site Plan Requirements
- CAM 206, Temporary Use Permits in Seattle
- CAM 246, Requirements for Interim Use Permits (Vacant and Underused Lot Pilot Project)
- Small Business Permits
Learn more about Street-Food Vending in Seattle.
For more information on permit requirements, please contact Darlene Edwards at (206) 684-5606.