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Street Use Permitting Fee & Rate Changes | Starting April 1!

The Molly Moon’s Parklet in Wallingford has become a popular hangout spot for ice cream eaters and their families and friends.

Bust out those sunglasses!? It’s the first day of spring!

The hope of bright sunshine for more than a day and longer days to hang and work outside for all the activities happening around Seattle is upon us! Much like flowers blooming, so is our city. Starting April 1, 2018, fees for Street Use permits are changing to better reflect the size and complexity of projects, and to help cover the actual costs of meeting the high service demands.


Why are fees changing?

Nobody likes to hear that fees are changing but to meet the demands of our growing city (density, development, infrastructure investments, etc.), we have to grow the City’s permitting program to protect the City’s assets, ensure safety, and make sure you can get around during construction.

The updated fee structure will allow us to cover costs not adequately covered by the previous rate and fee structure, thereby providing opportunities to advance policy, process, and system improvements that have previously been deferred. It will also allow us to operate with the staffing levels necessary to issue, review, and inspect permits.


What you can expect.

We’re kidding, we’re kidding!! ?

We like to poke fun at ourselves sometimes,…but in all seriousness –  fee changes will be implemented based on the permit issuance date, not the permit application date. Make sure you’re fully prepared before applying for your permit. All permits will be subject to these fee changes effective April 1, regardless of when application materials were submitted. Please be aware of typical permit review and processing times.

In a nutshell:

  • Smaller, simpler projects will see smaller increases in issuance, renewal, review, and inspection fees based on cost-of-living adjustments.
  • Larger fee increases, typically for more complex projects, reflect cost-recovery adjustments.
  • Large private-development projects will see the greatest increase in fees, with the next largest increases being seen by high-impact private utility projects.

Permit issuance & renewal fee changes:

Construction permit changes:

Permit issuance and renewal fee changes for construction permits will be:

  • Right-of-Way Management (ROWM) Simple: $146 ➡ $150.
  • ROWM Complex: $305 ➡ $313.
  • Street Improvement Permits/Utility Major Permits: $146 ➡ $4700.
  • Permit modification and extension: $155 ➡ $159.

 Public space permit changes:

  • For short-term public space permits that aren’t renewed, the permit issuance fee is increasing from $146 ➡ $175. These are generally issued for less than one year in duration and include special activities and event pole banners. Permits for play streets and block parties will remain free of fees!
  • Long-term public space permits are scheduled to renew yearly and are subject to an annual renewal fee. Fences, retaining walls, sidewalk cafés, and signs are examples. For these long-term public space permits, the issuance fee is increasing from $146 ➡ $224, while the annual renewal fee is increasing from $140 ➡ $170. Annual occupation fees will also increase based on a cost-of-living adjustment for many uses.

The Molly Moon’s Parklet in Wallingford.

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 ➡ $224 for the first year of issuance, permit holders will be allowed to renew their permits for free every year thereafter, assuming the renewal is approved! Permittees are still responsible for ongoing maintenance and uses may be subject to inspections, illed at the current hourly rate (particularly if complaints related to the use).


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


Contact us! 

If you have questions concerning these changes, please contact or call (206) 684-5253; or, for public space permits specifically, contact or call (206) 684-5267.

Thank you for being part of keeping a vibrant Seattle!