Street and Sidewalk Activities

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, 2020. 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 or e-mail.

What's New

Before you get started

We’re excited to now be able to offer these permits again. We can only issue permits during Phase 3 of the Governor’s Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery Plan, so be aware that your permit is subject to cancellation if we revert to an earlier phase.

We encourage you to schedule pre-application coaching before you apply. We can work with you to understand your proposal and determine if it is possible and, if necessary, offer alternatives. To get started, e-mail us at publicspace@seattle.gov.

What is allowed under this permit?

With a street and sidewalk activity permit, your communities or organizations can enliven streets, alleys, or plazas with a variety of activities. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Weddings or parties 
  • Community or neighborhood events 
  • Art walks 
  • Grand Openings

You cannot sell cannabis with this permit. Alcohol sales may be allowed only in certain circumstances when associated with a restaurant. 

Please note: this permit is intended for small and medium-scale events. Events with more than 300 people at one time or more than 99 people in an enclosed/fenced space require a Special Event Permit.

COVID-19 guidance: We are authorized to issue street and sidewalk activity permits subject to state and local COVID-19 guidance. As the permit holder, you must review the appropriate guidance from the Governor's Office for the type of event you are holding. You will need to submit a COVID-19 Health Action & Management Plan (CHAMP) with your application. This document was prepared by the City Special Events Office and is being used by multiple City permitting departments. The written plan may take the form most useful to you, but must demonstrate how you meet or exceed mandated guidance. 

Ready to apply?

Submit your application at least 1 month before your planned event. When you are ready to apply, head to the Seattle Services Portal by using the button to the right to login! Note: if you've never used the Portal before, you'll need to register and set up an account first. See this helpful article or video on how to do this. Once you are logged in, follow the steps below: 

  • Under Create New select "Permits-Street Use" 

  • Navigate to and select the "Short Term Use" and "Temporary Activation" record type. 

When applying for this permit, you will need:

  • Site plan showing the proposed furniture, tents, and layout of the closure area. Note: One way to prepare a site plan is to use online maps with aerial images. We have an online Traffic Control Base Map that may be useful for you to use to create a base map that you can draw over - this may double as your event layout plan required as part of the CHAMP 
  • COVID-19 Health Action & Management Plan (CHAMP) - Upload as "Other Documents" 
  • An email/letter of support from neighbors if you are impacting access to driveways 
  • Certificate of Insurance (see CAM 2102)
  • If your event will be in a Historic/Landmark District, a Certificate of Approval may be required. We'll route information directly to the Historic/Landmark District coordinator and you do not need to apply separately

Depending upon your proposal, you may need to submit additional information such as neighbor notification, a street closure plan, or traffic control plan. Your reviewer will work with you if additional documents are needed. 

Notifying Neighbors 

All Street Use permits require public notification. We recommend that you communicate with your neighbors before applying for a permit. Our notification guidelines are found in CAM 2117