Term Permits and Street Vacations

What we do

Perseus II Art InstallationWe facilitate the review process for term permits and street vacations. Term permits are for skybridges and significant structures occupying the right of way, and include utility tunnels, vehicle bridges and ramps, and public plazas and artwork. Once reviewed, term permits must be approved by City Council.

Street vacations allow property owners to petition City Council for private use of the public right of way. Street vacations permanently change the right-of-way to private use, based on public benefit.

After we complete our review of term permits and street vacations, we will provide recommendations to City Council. Term permit ordinances are valid for a period of 10 years, with the option of renewing twice for a maximum of 30 years. For street vacations, City Council will determine whether the vacation is in the public interest, as guided by the City of Seattle’s street vacation policies. Street vacations are only applicable when there is an adjacent development project planned. Conceptual approval of a vacation petition will be valid for a five-year time frame from the date of the City Council approval.

More information on the term permit and street vacation permitting process can be found in the Term Permit FAQ and the Street Vacation FAQ .

Permit application

Applications may be submitted to the Street Use Permit Counter, located on the 23rd floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower at 700 5th Ave, Seattle, WA.

Apply for a term permit

Permit Counter hours are:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 AM - 5 PM
  • Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 AM - 5 PM

Important: We do not accept payments after 4:30 PM. Applicants arriving after 4:30 PM may not receive a permit that day.

Please see the term permit application for additional application requirements including the deposit fee, which are due at the time of applying. View Fee Permits Schedule for a list of deposit fees.

Term permits

Starbucks Plaza InstallationsOur Client Assistance Memos are available to help provide information on term permits. These documents are designed to guide you through the review and permitting process.

CAM 2207: Skybridge Permitting Process
CAM 2701: Term Permit Fee Methodology

The Seattle Municipal Code details the regulations and requirements involved with skybridge and significant structure term permits. Please use the following links to learn more:

Skybridge Term Permits (SMC 15.64)
Significant Structure Term Permits (SMC 15.65)

Street vacations

If you’re interested in a street vacation, you will first need to notify members of your community and conduct a feasibility assessment with SDOT’s Street Vacation staff. Contact Beverly Barnett at beverly.barnett@seattle.gov or (206) 684-7564, or Moira Gray at moira.gray@seattle.gov or (206) 684-8272 to learn more.

View a complete overview of the street vacation process

For legislation and policy information, please visit these links to learn more: City of Seattle Street Vacation Policies Ordinance 120607: Street Vacation Fee Legislation