Private Structures in the Right-of-Way (Fences, Rockeries, Walls)

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications.

You can submit applications for all permit types online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone.

How do I get a permit for fences, rockeries, walls, and stairs in the right-of-way?

This permit allows permittees to locate private structures such as fences, rockeries, walls, or stairs fully or partially in the public right-of-way (ROW). Please note that this use of the ROW is typically discouraged.

You can apply for this permit on the Seattle Services Portal. Use the button on the right to sign in!

Under “Create New” select “Permits-Street Use” and navigate to and select the “Long Term Use” and “Private Structures/Uses” record type.

Required documents

  • Site plan (template available here), including an elevation and cross section
  • A permit reviewer will notify you if the proposed structure requires an engineer’s report

For structures where construction activity is proposed

Your Long-Term permit from Public Space Management allows your proposed structure to exist in the ROW. When construction activity is proposed, however, a Construction Use (CU) permit may also be required.

A CU permit covers the temporary ROW impacts of construction activities related to the installation/construction of your encroachment(s). While this is a separate permit, we do not require a separate application and will review and issue both permits together. 

If a CU permit is required, we will likely identify and notify you of additional review documents that need to be submitted.

If approved, an indemnity agreement will be drafted and you will need to record it at King County Records prior to your permit issuance.

For structures located on private property

If your proposed structure will be located entirely on private property, please refer to the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) for permitting.

Please note that a structure located entirely on private property requires a Combined Application if construction activity (such as material storage) will occur in the public ROW. No PSM permit is needed in this case.