The Seattle Department of Transportation Street Use Division manages the City’s rights of way, operating under the authority of Seattle Municipal Code, Title 15.
As part of this stewardship we equitably oversee, activate and regulate activities impacting safety, mobility and the environment in Seattle’s right of way space.
Our team works to review, issue and inspect approximately 35,000 permits/year. For Seattle’s rights of way we also:
- Encourage vibrant, safe, accessible and attractive shared spaces;
- Ensure quality control of permitted public and private work; and
- Coordinate all permitted construction to reduce cumulative impacts.
Starting July 6, 2015 projects with significant impacts to the public right of way may have to submit a Construction Management Plan (CMP). This will apply to most mid- to large-sized projects. The CMP helps ensure a successful project, problem-solving in advance to avoid frustration later—for both contractors and the public.
Currently a CMP is required for projects that meet SEPA-threshold reviews through DPD. Now SDOT and DPD are creating one comprehensive review to streamline the process—and we’ll be providing a guide and template. Along with the CMP tool we’ll offer some permit pre-submittal 1-on-1 intake appointments on complex projects.
Questions? Email us at SDOTPermits@seattle.gov
SDOT STREET USE: WHAT WE DO
A Street Use permit is required for any work or occupation in the public rights of way. Examples include construction by private contractors or public agencies; vending of food or flowers; neighborhood block parties; removing or planting a tree; creating a sidewalk café; etc. Construction can include but is not limited to sewer, storm, or water extensions or repairs; franchise utility work; driveway; sidewalk; curb and gutter; landscaping and trees; street lighting; paving; or any other excavation or pertinent installation in the right of way.
If you want to know if a permit is required, we can help. Contact us at:
206-684-5253 | SDOTPermits@seattle.gov
All permits issued by Street Use are subject to inspection. Inspections are required to ensure that all conditions of the permit have been met and that the public’s safety, mobility and interests are preserved. Street Use inspectors also respond to and investigate citizen inquiries about unsafe conditions or construction activity in the right of way.
Seattle is experiencing unprecedented growth and development with several areas of highly concentrated construction—which we’ve identified as construction hubs. To reduce cumulative impacts and keep Seattle moving, we are coordinating all hub area construction projects holistically. This broader approach gives the big picture of all private and public permitted work and brings project managers together to resolve issues. Utility Coordination is an integral piece of the puzzle and one we are focusing on to improve efficiencies.
Our division covers all use of the street and public right of way including public space. The mission of the program is to promote and regulate a vibrant, safe, accessible, and attractive shared right of way. The Public Space Management Program supports creative improvements with program areas for groups and businesses to take part in.
Other Permits Not Issued by Street Use
Side Sewers and Storm Connections: Property owners construct and repair their own side sewers and drainage pipes, under the regulations of the Side Sewer Code. Construction and repair of side sewers within a public street area must be performed by a registered Side Sewer Contractor. All sewer and storm work on public and private property requires a permit and inspection. The city keeps detailed records of these connections, made possible by permitting and inspections, to protect public health and safety.
For more information, visit the DPD Side Sewer web site, or call the DPD Drainage & Sewer Review Desk, (206) 684-5362.
For a complete list of permits and licenses on the City of Seattle web site click here.