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Start, Grow, or Green Your Business Stephen H. Johnson, Director
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Letter from the Mayor
How to Use This Guide
Abbreviations Used in This Guide
Hints for Successful Business District Improvements
Beautification Projects
Flower Planters
Holiday Lighting
Metro Bus Shelters
Public Art
Street Trees
Clean and Green Seattle Initiative
Enhancement Projects
Street Furniture
Pedestrian Lighting
Bicycle Racks
Newspaper Boxes
Only in Seattle Initiative grants
Forming a Business Improvement Area
City of Seattle Grants and Funding
Litter Cans
Sidewalk Cleaning
Spring Clean
Street Cleaning
Street Paving
Building/Fire Code Violations
Managing Parking
Public Safety
Street Light & Power Line Repair
Alley & Security Lighting
Crime Prevention
Emergency Preparedness
District Identification Signs
Traffic Controls
Use of Public Areas
City Parks
Sidewalk Cafes
Street Vendors
Additional Information

Create a Thriving Business District


Flower planters are a delightful way to show off your business district during the spring and summer. There are a variety of ways to display flower planters and a few important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Attach planters to a building at ground level or above head level. Planters at ground level may extend up to 2 feet from the building. Baskets hanging from a building wall must be securely mounted and located well above pedestrian pathways.
  • Attach planters to a pole (as shown). Take a look at all the different types of poles in your neighborhood. Poles that are not ideal for hanging planters include: wooden light poles, segmented metal poles, Metro bus-cable poles or traffic signals.
  • Place freestanding planters on the sidewalk or in a plaza. Freestanding planters are usually large, permanent planters placed on the sidewalk. Be sure the sidewalk or plaza area is wide enough to place freestanding planters so they do not obstruct the sidewalk or pose a hazard to the visually or physically impaired.
Frequently asked questions:

Do we need a Street Use Permit to install planters?

Yes, you should obtain a street use permit and update it annually for all planter types and locations. Submit a list of your proposed planters and poles, their location and drawings showing the container material and the type of bracket and fasteners to the Seattle Department of Transportation. You will also need to have an existing liability insurance policy that will cover up to $1,000,000 and the City must be listed as additionally insured on that policy.

Permits are also required for free standing planters.

Is there a charge for the permit?

Yes, the permit costs $101 and is good for one year. The permit is renewable for $97. There is also a field review fee of $150 that includes site plan, application, and insurance. (All permits costs are reflected as of the current fee schedule.)

Where can we get planters?

Planters can be purchased at local gardening stores or concrete furnishing/statuary shops.

Benefits and challenges of flower planters:


  • Adds an attractive detail to your neighborhood.
  • Creates a visual link throughout the entire business district.


  • Requires maintenance and daily watering.
  • Can accumulate litter, unless placement is carefully considered.