Term Permits and Street Vacations

Please Note:

Changes to the Street Use permitting fee schedule will be going into effect on April 1, 2018. With approval from City Council as part of the 2018 budget, we are implementing changes to our permitting fee schedule to more accurately reflect the true costs of project permitting.

For construction permits,
the permit issuance and renewal fee changes will be as follows:

  • ROWM Simple: $146 to $150
  • ROWM Complex: $305 to $313
  • Street Improvement Permits/Utility Major Permits: $146 to $4700
  • Permit modification and extension: $155 to $159

For short-term public space permits, the permit issuance fee is increasing from $146 to $175.

For long-term public space permits, the issuance fee is increasing from $146 to $224, while the annual renewal fee is increasing from $140 to $170.

Costs will be decreasing for permits for public amenities, such as street furniture and artwork. While the issuance fee for public amenities is increasing from $146 to $224 for the first year of issuance, permit holders will be allowed to renew their permits for free every year thereafter, as long as renewal is approved.

Lastly, the general rate for permit review and site inspections is increasing from $209/hour to $260/hour.

We will be hosting at least two workshops to provide further guidance and additional information through this process. Workshops will be held:

  • March 5, 10 AM - 11 AM, Seattle Municipal Tower (700 5th Ave), Floor 38, Room 3832
  • March 15, 10 AM - 11 AM, Bank of America Building (800 5th Ave), Floor 30, Room 3004

Please contact Liz Sheldon at elizabeth.sheldon@seattle.gov to RSVP.

If you have questions concerning these changes, please contact SDOTPermits@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-5253. For questions related to Public Space permits, please contact publicspace@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-5267.

Cashier Station at Street Use Permit Counter

In Addition:

Due to a high volume of permit applications and significant staff transitions, we are currently experiencing longer permit counter wait times and permit application review timelines. Please plan your trip to the permit counter and project timelines accordingly.

Permit Counter Wait Times (may vary with number of visitors)
           Construction use: 40-60 minutes
           Minor utility: 20-40 minutes

Permit Review Timelines (may vary with permit complexity)
           Arterial streets / construction hubs: 8-10 weeks
           Non-arterial streets:  6-8 weeks
           Modification requests: 4-6 weeks

(Note: Individual status inquiries may not be responded to if the permit review time has not exceeded the timelines listed above.)

What we do

Perseus II Art InstallationWe facilitate the review process for term permits and street vacations. Term permits are for skybridges and significant structures occupying the right of way, and include utility tunnels, vehicle bridges and ramps, and public plazas and artwork. Once reviewed, term permits must be approved by City Council.

Street vacations allow property owners to petition City Council for private use of the public right of way. Street vacations permanently change the right-of-way to private use, based on public benefit.

After we complete our review of term permits and street vacations, we will provide recommendations to City Council. Term permit ordinances are valid for a period of 10 years, with the option of renewing twice for a maximum of 30 years. For street vacations, City Council will determine whether the vacation is in the public interest, as guided by the City of Seattle’s street vacation policies. Street vacations are only applicable when there is an adjacent development project planned. Conceptual approval of a vacation petition will be valid for a five-year time frame from the date of the City Council approval.

More information on the term permit and street vacation permitting process can be found in the Term Permit FAQ and the Street Vacation FAQ .

Permit application

Applications may be submitted to the Street Use permit counter.

Apply for a term permit

Please see the term permit application for additional application requirements including the deposit fee, which are due at the time of applying. View Fee Permits Schedule for a list of deposit fees.

Term permits

Starbucks Plaza InstallationsOur Client Assistance Memos are available to help provide information on term permits. These documents are designed to guide you through the review and permitting process.

CAM 2207: Skybridge Permitting Process
CAM 2701: Term Permit Fee Methodology

The Seattle Municipal Code details the regulations and requirements involved with skybridge and significant structure term permits. Please use the following links to learn more:

Skybridge Term Permits (SMC 15.64)
Significant Structure Term Permits (SMC 15.65)

Street vacations

If you’re interested in a street vacation, you will first need to notify members of your community and conduct a feasibility assessment with SDOT’s Street Vacation staff. Contact Beverly Barnett at beverly.barnett@seattle.gov or (206) 684-7564, or Moira Gray at moira.gray@seattle.gov or (206) 684-8272 to learn more.

View a complete overview of the street vacation process

For legislation and policy information, please visit these links to learn more: City of Seattle Street Vacation Policies Ordinance 120607: Street Vacation Fee Legislation