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Special Activities & Farmers Markets

Street fairs, farmers markets, and other community events can enliven neighborhoods, encourage walking, and support local businesses. Organizers are required to apply for a special activities Street Use permit to authorize the temporary use of streets and sidewalks. A permit also ensures that departments like police and fire know about the street closure.

Program Overview

SDOT issues Street Use permits for any activity that temporarily closes a street or sidewalk except for  escorted processions, parades, or any activity in which Police Department personnel are required. This type of activity would be classified as a Special Event.

Special Activities are mid-size events that temporarily close a non-arterial street and are open to the general public. Special Activities are larger than Neighborhood Block Parties, which close residential streets and are only for people living along that particular block.

During the Special Activity, “STREET CLOSED” signs and barricades are required. These signs must meet SDOT requirements and be supplied by the group or person applying for the Street Use permit. For specific details, visit the Seattle Traffic Control Manual web page and scroll down to Chapter VIII Detours and Street Closures, or click here to learn how to properly set up barricades. Neighborhood Block Party closure signs are not acceptable for Special Activity closures.

Heavy items that cannot be moved are not allowed in the street area during the event and a street cannot be closed that is on a bus route.

See CAM 2500, Street Use Permits for Special Activities, for additional information.

Application Requirements

Fill out the application to apply for a Special Activity Street Use Permit. When completing the form, check the box for Street Barricading, Special Activities (3A) under Activities, Street Closures, and Festivals and include the following information:

  1. Estimated number of people you expect to attend.
  2. Date of your event
  3. Beginning and ending times
  4. A site plan which indicates the non-arterial street you want to close and layout of event
  5. Identify the neighborhood group or organization sponsoring the event.
  6. Provide insurance documentation with a minimum liability of $1,000,000 and the City as an additional insured. See CAM 2102 for more information
  7. For street closures, submit proof of notification that the affected property owners have been notified of the special activity. This should include contact information for these property owners (name, phone, address).

Your application must be received at least 28 days before your event.

DO NOT send in payment with your application. Fees are collected at the time the permit is issued and can be made with a credit card or a check payable to the City of Seattle. See our current fee schedule.

To submit your application:

Mail:
SDOT – Street Use Division, Attn: Annual Permits
P.O. Box # 34996
Seattle, WA 98124-4996
Fax: Attn: Annual Permits
(206) 684-5347

Email: AnnualPermits@Seattle.gov

The Street Use Permit Counter is located on the 23rd Floor of Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue. The counter's operating hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Thursday opens at 10:30 AM.

If you have questions, email us at AnnualPermits@Seattle.gov or call (206) 684-5267.

Farmers Markets

The Office of Economic Development (OED) administers the Farmers Market program for the City. An organization must meet the definition of a Farmers Market in order to qualify for this type of Street Use permit.

If your organization qualifies, OED will convene all necessary City departments in order to streamline the permitting process for the applicant. Similar to other Special Activity permits, Farmers Markets may only occur on non-arterial streets and is discouraged on Metro bus routes.

For information about Farmers Markets, contact Chris Swenson with the Office of Economic Development at 206-733-9245 or chris.swenson@seattle.gov for more assistance.


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