Street Improvement Permits

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.

Status Inquiries

On November 7, 2020, we'll be migrating to our new permitting platform Accela. In order to achieve a smooth transition, our teams will be taking part in extensive training in the new system throughout the remainder of September and October.

During this time, we'll still be processing permits, but we'll be operating at reduced capacity. Since our primary concern is processing permits in a timely fashion, we will be unable to respond to status inquiries during this time if the application is within the published issuance timeframe posted on our permit webpages. We appreciate your patience during this transition.  

Estimated Permit Timelines for Street Use Permits

As of October 1, 2020, review times are currently:

For All Permit Types

  • Application timeline: 8 business days

ROWM Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 10-12 weeks
  • Single review: 3 weeks
  • Extensions: 3 weeks

Street Improvement Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 8-10 weeks
  • Corrections review: approx. 8 weeks

Utility Major Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 6-8 weeks
  • Corrections review: 4-6 weeks

PSM Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Simple review: 10 days
  • Full Review: 2-3 weeks

These are average timelines. Owing to an increase in permit applications combined with reduced capacity, our timelines are higher than normal. We are working diligently to reduce these timelines in advance of our transition to Accela in November. 

 NOTE: If a ROW Management Design Guidance meeting is required (see CAM 2109 for details) or correction cycles are necessary, additional time will be added to the timelines above.


We teamed up with Rooted in Rights to create a video to educate contractors and other people working in the right-of-way on the importance of maintaining a safe space for people to travel through construction sites. These tips aren't only useful for wheelchair users, they make sites safer for everyone! 

You can learn more about how to set up safe access through a construction site in How to Plan, Document, and Implement Pedestrian Mobility In and Around Work Zones (CAM 2110)

What is a Street Improvement Permit and when are they required?

A Street Improvement Permit (SIP) is a major Street Use permit category. Most SIPs are initiated by the Seattle Land Use Code when adjacent private property development triggers street improvements.

A SIP is also required:

  • when an applicant chooses to enhance or modify the existing streetscape voluntarily for a better pedestrian experience
  • for final plat review and the City council approval process of full subdivisions
  • for public mainline extensions such as water, sewer, and storm main in the right-of-way (ROW).

During the SIP application process, applicants will work with several different teams in Street Use. Our Development Review Team administers the review process from project inception at the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) Preliminary assessment Report stage to 30% conceptual approval of the street improvements. From 30% to 100% SIP plan approval, the review process is managed by the SIP Team.

For details on the SIP permit triggers and the SIP review process, please refer to the SIP Applicant Guides.

SIP Use Types:

Beginning in November 2020, SIP permits will have three use types: SIP, SIP Public Main, and SIP Lite. Although SIP Permits are exempt for use fees, these use categories are used to track the type of projects permitted under the SIP category and to track construction impacts in the ROW.

Use Type SIP: This use type will cover projects that require street, alley and/or sidewalk improvements according to the Land Use Code requirements that are determined as part of the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections permit process and involve more than 2,000 square feet of improvements. This use type also includes voluntary street improvements and interagency projects such as Seattle Public Utilities, King County CSO projects and Sound Transit link rail extensions.

Use Type- SIP Public Main: This use type will cover projects that require public main extensions in the right-of-way such as water, storm and/or sewer, or combined sewer main installations.

Use Type - SIP Lite: The SIP Lite use type is designed for small-scale street improvements required by the Land Use code. SIP Lite projects will have reduced review timelines as they will only need to go through conceptual (30%) and formal review (90%). Projects eligible for SIP Lite include projects with corner lot curb ramp improvements, less than 2,000 SF of frontage improvements along with curb ramps, infill development, and curb ramps triggered because of construction activity.

SIP Lite is a new permit use type for the Street improvement permit. It is designed to have faster approvals, more affordable permitting costs, and be a less stringent permit type for small-scale projects that have traditionally fallen under the SIP permit. Refer to the SIP Lite page for more information.

How do I Apply for a SIP?

To get started, go to the Seattle Service Portal. Use the button in the right sidebar to log in.

Make sure you have an account! If you do not, you will need to create an account to start your application process.

Go to Create New, Permits - Street Use and select a new record.

Under Major Street Improvement Permit, select either SIP or Final Plat Application.

Complete all required fields in the online application and upload the required documents and submit your application.

A temporary record number is assigned while creating the application so that you can review and enter all relevant information.

Once the application is submitted, it cannot be modified by the applicant and any updates have to happen through back office by our Applicant Services team. Refer to the SIP Applicant Guides for entire SIP process.

For Accela help, refer to the Seattle Services Help Center.

What documents will I need to apply?

Several documents are required throughout the SIP record review and approval. In Accela the documents are called as conditions of approval (COA’s) and as the record review progresses, various COA’s are applied automatically at different review stages. Accela will send automatic emails to the customers informing when these documents are due. See below for a list of documents that are required and optional at different stages of the SIP record.

Review Stage Required Optional
Application
  • 30% SIP Plans
  • Letter of Authorization
  • PAR
  • SIP Lite Eligibility Form (for SIP Lite projects)
Design Review
  • 60% SIP Plans
  • 60% Complete SIP Checklist
  • Project Scope and Details Form
  • Base Map Checklist
  • Survey Checklist
  • Survey Basemap
  • On-site Stormwater Management - List Approach Calculator 
  • Photos/Conceptual Image
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Geotechnical Report
  • Street Lighting Level Calculations
  • Comprehensive Drainage Report
  • Structural Calculations
  • Water Availability Certificate
  • Water main Contract Signed
  • Geotechnical Report
Formal Review
  • 90% SIP Plans
  • 90% Complete SIP Checklist
  • 90% Complete SIP Lite Checklist (for SIP Lite projects)
  • ADA MEF
  • Design Commission Recommendation
  • Environmental Impact Statement
  • Historic District Certificate of Approval
  • Holiday Moratorium Waiver required
  • LOI (Dedication or Easement)
  • Right of Way Impact Plan
  • Seattle Fire Marshall Permit
  • State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist
  • Temporary Construction Easement
  • UW/Metro Tract Permission 
Formal Review Approval
  • 100% Approved Plans
Pre-Construction Review
  • Pre-Construction Materials Submittal Form
  • Phase Schedule Manager
  • RAMS Forms
  • Traffic Control Plan (if applicable)
Issuance Prep
  • Bond
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Deviation Request
  • Indemnity
  • Proof of Notification
  • Temporary No Parking Confirmation

Visit our Permitting Forms page the various forms required based on your project scope of work at the different stages of the SIP permit review.