Department of Transportation Scott Kubly, Director
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Street Use Permits: Gardening in Planting Strips

Many Seattle residents are interested in installing vegetable gardens, ornamental plants, or rain gardens in the planting strip adjacent to their properties. Gardens in planting strips provide a buffer between pedestrians and vehicles, beautify the streetscape, and collect and filter runoff.

Low-growing shrubs, perennials, or groundcover are recommended to ensure that vegetation does not obstruct traffic signs and visibility between drivers, bicyclist, and pedestrians. Within 30 feet of intersections and 10 feet of driveways, plants should not exceed a height of 30 inches. All other plantings should be no more than three feet tall.  . Additional guidance can be found in the following Client Assistance Memos (CAM):

  • Gardening in Planting Strips - CAM 2305
  • Planting Strip Paving and Tree Planting Rules - CAM 2304
  • Voluntary Curbside Rain Gardens – CAM 2308

The Urban Forestry webpage has information about street tree selection and planting procedures.

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