Block Party Permits

Please Note:

Changes to the Street Use permitting fee schedule will be going into effect on April 1, 2018. With approval from City Council as part of the 2018 budget, we are implementing changes to our permitting fee schedule to more accurately reflect the true costs of project permitting.

For construction permits,
the permit issuance and renewal fee changes will be as follows:

  • ROWM Simple: $146 to $150
  • ROWM Complex: $305 to $313
  • Street Improvement Permits/Utility Major Permits: $146 to $4700
  • Permit modification and extension: $155 to $159

For short-term public space permits, the permit issuance fee is increasing from $146 to $175.

For long-term public space permits, the issuance fee is increasing from $146 to $224, while the annual renewal fee is increasing from $140 to $170.

Costs will be decreasing for permits for public amenities, such as street furniture and artwork. While the issuance fee for public amenities is increasing from $146 to $224 for the first year of issuance, permit holders will be allowed to renew their permits for free every year thereafter, as long as renewal is approved.

Lastly, the general rate for permit review and site inspections is increasing from $209/hour to $260/hour.

We will be hosting at least two workshops to provide further guidance and additional information through this process. Workshops will be held:

  • March 5, 10 AM - 11 AM, Seattle Municipal Tower (700 5th Ave), Floor 38, Room 3832
  • March 15, 10 AM - 11 AM, Bank of America Building (800 5th Ave), Floor 30, Room 3004

Please contact Liz Sheldon at elizabeth.sheldon@seattle.gov to RSVP.

If you have questions concerning these changes, please contact SDOTPermits@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-5253. For questions related to Public Space permits, please contact publicspace@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-5267.

Cashier Station at Street Use Permit Counter

In Addition:

Due to a high volume of permit applications and significant staff transitions, we are currently experiencing longer permit counter wait times and permit application review timelines. Please plan your trip to the permit counter and project timelines accordingly.

Permit Counter Wait Times (may vary with number of visitors)
           Construction use: 40-60 minutes
           Minor utility: 20-40 minutes

Permit Review Timelines (may vary with permit complexity)
           Arterial streets / construction hubs: 8-10 weeks
           Non-arterial streets:  6-8 weeks
           Modification requests: 4-6 weeks

(Note: Individual status inquiries may not be responded to if the permit review time has not exceeded the timelines listed above.)

With a free permit, you may temporarily close your street and use the right of way to host a block party for you and your neighbors.

Block parties may be hosted once a month by a resident who lives on the block. They may be held between the hours of 9 AM and 10 PM, and all activity and materials must be removed by the end of the block party.

For block parties that will include structures in the street or sidewalk (e.g., bouncy houses, stages, or slides), a Special Activity permit and liability insurance will both be required. To learn more about block parties and other community activation programs, please visit the program page.

Apply for a permit

Block party permits are free, and once you submit your application, you should receive notification of your application decision within 14 days. Download a block party permit application. Your application must be submitted at least 30 days before your event.

In your application, please provide the date, time, and activities provided at your block party. Be sure to also include the location of your party and your street closure information, if applicable.

Please send your completed application packet via email to publicspace@seattle.gov or via postal mail to:

SDOT – Street Use Division
Attn: Public Space Management
P.O. Box #34996
Seattle, WA 98124-4996

You can also apply in person at the Street Use permit counter.

If your block party permit application is approved, next talk with your neighbors, letting them know that you would like to host a neighborhood party that will temporarily shut down the street, but will allow local access at all times. And don't forget to invite them!

You are responsible for providing your own approved barricades, and an 8.5 x 11 street- closure sign. View a sample street closure sign. Recycling bins or furniture can be used as barricades with street closure signs attached with tape. It is also important that you have an adult at both ends of the closure.

Please note that if the guidelines listed in the permit are not followed, or a complaint is received, an inspector may revoke an issued permit and/or assess penalties.