Safe Start Permits

Get the scoop on all the permit options for outdoor spaces!

To help business owners identify opportunities to expand their operations safely, we've assembled a guide to relevant permit offerings!

What's New

What's New

We’ve made some important updates that we’re excited to share!

  • Our temporary permits for curb space and sidewalks will be valid through January 31, 2023. Please note that there may be construction or utility conflicts that result in a need to remove permitted uses for a short duration or long-term. We will attempt to provide notice 30 days in advance and coordinate to reduce impacts.
  • Additionally, we’ve modified our permit requirements to eliminate the expectation that permittees remove their outdoor cafes or temporary displays on the sidewalk or curb space outside of business hours. (If you were permitted in a load zone that is operational outside of your business hours or in a Farmers’ Market footprint, this does not apply – reach out to us if you are unsure!)
  • We are also posting structures that we have approved here. We make these available so other businesses can understand what has been approved and possibly use them for similar site conditions.
  • We're are currently updating our Applicant Checklists to reflect this new guidance. Where there is a disagreement between the checklist and this update, please follow this new guidance.


We are now offering streamlined, free temporary permits for outdoor cafes, retail merchandise displays, food trucks, vending carts, and fitness activities that are valid through January 31, 2023! We are also offering temporary street closures to support restaurants, retail, and fitness operations. 

About Using the Curb Space

Businesses applying to use a curb space (whether paid or unpaid) will also need to apply for a Temporary No Parking Permit and rent or purchase a No Parking barricade (T-39 sign) from a barricade company. A printable No Park sign with dates will be made available to you once you apply for the Temporary No Parking Permit. Simply print it out and place it on your barricade. We recommend placing the No Parking barricades 72 hours before you plan to set up, but they must be up at least 24 hours ahead to be enforceable. It is the business' responsibility to call a tow company if a car is parked in your No Park zone.

Don't Block the Way - Location Guidelines Matter!

With more sidewalk cafés and merchandise displays popping up around town in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we recently partnered with the Disability Mobility initiative at Disability Rights Washington to show why our guidelines for sidewalk café placement matter.

Before You Begin

Please note that our Safe Start permits are temporary permits that will expire on January 31, 2023. If you are interested in our standard permits, please visit the permit pages linked below for additional information: