Permit Process

Last Updated: 7-18-2017Print page

Design and permit activities on designated Green Streets and Neighborhood Green Streets shall follow the following process, defined below. 

Initial Contact

The proponent (developer or community group representative) can start the Green Street design, permit and construction process by contacting either the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) or Office of Planning & Community Development.

Prepare a Street Design Concept Plan

To assist in approval of a design along a Green Street or Neighborhood Green Street, applicants are encouraged to prepare a Concept Plan according to the guidelines and templates in Street Design Concept Plans. For Downtown Green Street projects seeking an increase in FAR (Floor Area Ratio) provide FAR calculations per Seattle Municipal Code Section 23.49.013.

At this point, the project proponent can decide to have the Concept Plan adopted by Joint OPCD/SDCI/SDOT Director’s Rule or prepare the Concept Plan at a level of detail suitable for Street Improvement Permit Review. Refer to Street Improvement Permits.

Existing Street Design Concept Plan Review

If an approved Concept Plan exists for the Green Street or Neighborhood Green Street, it is the responsibility of the applicant to determine if the design concept is still viable given conditions in the area or the design standards that may have changed since the approval of the original Concept Plan.

Permit Review and Issuance

After incorporating comments from the City review for the Concept Plan, the Green Street proponent refines the Concept Plan to an adequate level of design to commence a Master Use Permit (MUP) and/or Building Construction Permit process, or if the proposal impacts the street right-of-way and not private property, the proponent will want to initiate a Street Improvement Permit process. For information about how to prepare a Street Improvement Permit, including early design guidance, plan requirements, and City of Seattle CAD standards, refer to Street Improvement Permits, in particular SDOT Client Assistance Memo (CAM) #2200 and SDOT CAM #2201

Green Street and Neighborhood Green Street Construction

Construction of the Green Street that is part of a MUP or Building Construction Permit can commence once the departmental reviews for the Street Improvement Permit (SIP), MUP and Construction Permit are issued. The project is concluded by a final inspection and, where relevant, issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

For Neighborhood Green Street projects that are not part of a MUP or Construction Permit, construction can commence when the SIP is issued. The process is concluded with the approval of a final inspection of the work completed.

Sidewalks with special paving treatments (such as pavers or stamped, colored concrete) add a unique design element to the streetscape and can enhance the walking experience for pedestrians. It is important to design special paving so that it retains its integrity over time. This is becoming increasingly important as the number of utility cuts on sidewalks increases to respond to the demands of higher density development. Carefully selected colors can be mismatched as the original color fades and new sections are applied. A successful design solution will address safety, access, and aesthetics.

To assure that maintenance is considered when streetscape design features are being selected, SDOT requires a Public Space  Permit for all streetscape treatments that go beyond City Standards. The following sections provide an overview of what is expected of the property owner and SDOT regarding maintenance of streetscape features:

Responsibility: With their consent, the abutting property owners shall be responsible for the maintenance of the completed Green Street section unless there is an agreement in writing, acceptable to SDOT, which provides for an alternative maintenance and repair program. Said agreement shall be a written condition on any street use permit for a Green Street project.

Joint agreements: Proponents may enter into an agreement with other property owners adjacent to their Green Street section for shared maintenance responsibility.

Maintenance, repair and replacement: Maintenance responsibilities for Green Streets shall include on-going sweeping, debris removal, landscape maintenance, and responsibility for the repair and replacement of all auxiliary street design elements of the Green Street (i.e. fixture replacement, replacing tree grates, paver repair, replacement or repair of special amenities such as fountains, benches, and planters).