SDOT Street Use right-of-way permit rates are changing this Thursday, March 31.
In the midst of Seattle’s development surge, right-of-way permit rates have remained the same for five years in a row. This has led to deferred service enhancements and backlogs as Street Use Permit Services now reviews, inspects, and issues approximately 32,000 permits per year. The new rate model follows many months of outreach, assessment, and modeling to address our city’s rapid growth and increasing construction density. It will reward well-prepared applicants, and represents a move from use-based permitting to project-/service-based permitting. Associated updates to SDOT Street Use permit review, inspection, and issuance processes also give us the opportunity to improve technology, staff levels, and efficiencies based on service needs.
Please note that as we transition to the new rate model, the following temporary permitting service interruptions will occur:
With the new rate structure in place, most construction-use projects will save money. For example, small projects commonly include at least Use Codes 31, 44, and 47—at $146 per use. With the new project/service-based approach, the same project would pay a single $305 base permit fee covering multiple use types.
Projects that plan ahead will most likely pay less, getting review and inspection services for multiple uses under one project permit. We are also reducing the permit fee for residential-dumpster and portable-moving-container permits, saving homeowners money. Plus, inspections for those permits will now be discretionary, only occurring if a problem warrants inspection.
This new rate structure goes into effect this Thursday, March 31.
Still have more questions? Please contact us at SDOTPermits@seattle.gov.