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A vibrant Seattle through transportation excellence Interim Director, Goran Sparrman

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Street Vacations

Street Vacation Process

  1. Petition Process - A Street Vacation is initiated by petition; concurrence and signature of the abutting property owners is required. (Petition requests must be in writing.)

    Upon receipt of a petition together with a $450 filing fee, and the required documents, the petition is checked for valid signatures. If the petition contains the necessary signatures, it is filed in the City Clerk's Office and referred to the City Council. Seattle Department of Transportation provides the staff support in processing petitions and preparing draft recommendations.

  2. Review and Issue Identification - A sketch (vacation map) is drafted and circulated to various departments, public agencies and community groups for their review and comment on the proposed vacation. Comments are solicited from the following offices:

    Police and Fire Departments
    Department of Neighborhoods
    Dept of Design, Construction & Land Use
    City Light
    Seattle Public Utilities
    Department of Parks & Recreation
    Seattle Design Commission
    Puget Sound Energy
    Community, Neighborhood and Business Groups
    Sound Transit
    Department of Housing & Human Services
    King County/Metro
    Qwest Communications
    Seattle Steam Corporation
    Burlington Northern Railroad
    Union Pacific Railroad
    Washington State Dept of Transportation

  3. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Recommendation - after receiving all comments on the potential vacation, SDOT will review the proposal for compliance with the Vacation Policies and other applicable policies and draft a recommendation to the City Council including recommended conditions, mitigation and public benefit.

  4. Public Hearing - The Transportation Committee of the City Council holds a public hearing on the proposed vacation. Owners and residents of properties within a 300-foot radius of the vacation area are notified of the hearing 21 days in advance. The property is also posted, the notice is included in the City's general mail release, and notices are displayed in three of the most public places in the City. A notice is also placed in the Journal of Commerce prior to the Council public hearing. Following the public hearing the Committee forwards its findings to the full Council for consideration.

  5. Final Council Approval - When all conditions are satisfied and all fees paid, the City Council passes an ordinance formally vacating the right-of-way property. The ordinance is signed by the Mayor and recorded in the King County Records for public record. A copy of the ordinance is sent to the petitioner.

  6. Fees - The fees for a Street Vacation are:
    1. Initial Filing Fee: $450 non-refundable filing fee,

    2. Post Hearing Fee: $300 for all property, but $150 for single family residential zoned property,

    3. Appraisal Fee: the actual cost of the appraisal; but $600 is the cost for single family residential zoned property.

    4. Vacation Fee: the full appraised fair market value is required for streets and alleys that have been a part of the dedicated public right-of-way for 25 years or more. All fees must be paid, all easements must be conveyed and all other conditions must be satisfied before the City Council will give final approval of the request.

The vacation process can take 8-10 months depending on the issues identified, the level of environmental review required by Department of Planning and Development, and the complexity of the project.

For specific questions and more information, please contact Beverly Barnett at 684-7564, Moira Gray at 684-8272, or at Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, 39th Floor, Seattle, Washington 98104-5043.

Street Use Permits may be obtained through the Street Use Section of the Seattle Department of Transportation by calling 684-5284 or on the 37th Floor of Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98104-5043.

For official property and land use records contact King County Department of Records and Elections, Records Division, at 296-1570 or at 311 King County Administration Building, 500 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98104.

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