Fences, Rockeries, Walls, and Stairs in the Right-of-Way

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. Please read the instructions below on how to apply for a permit.

For construction use in the right-of-way and street improvement permits, please e-mail your completed application to SDOTPermits@seattle.gov.

For major utility permits, please e-mail your completed application to SDOTUtilPermits@Seattle.gov and be sure to use the subject line: Permit#_ProjAddress – UMP New Application / Modification Application

For all other permits, please apply online through the Seattle Services Portal.

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

Street Use Permit Counter: 206-684-5253

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Traffic and Parking Permit Counter: 206-684-5086

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For Check Payments

Make the check out to City of Seattle, SDOT

In a memo on the check include:  St Use, permit #, project address

Mailing Address:

SDOT, Street Use
PO Box 34996 Suite 2300
Seattle, WA 98124-4996

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. Please note that this type of use of the right-of-way is typically discouraged but may be considered in cases when necessity is demonstrated.

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

Apply to Permit Services using our Combined Application. Your public space and construction use permits will be issued together.

If approved, an indemnity agreement will be drafted and you will need to record against the title of the property 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 still requires a Combined Application if construction activity (such as material storage) will occur in the public right-of-way.