Street Use Fee Changes Effective Immediately!

Due to rising labor costs, the Seattle Department of Transportation Street inspection and permit review rates are changing in 2017. A 2016 annual fee analysis found that adequate compensation for increasing labor costs would require an increase from $196 to $209 per service hour.

This increase also comes with some fee drops. For example, occupancy fees for installing or removing public art will go down from $146 to $138 per hour, while private temporary use of the right of way will decrease from $305 to $146 per hour.

The adjustments take effect on January 1, 2017; however, to prepare tracking systems for the change, the new $209 permit review deposit collected with applications began late December.

For more information, see the Street Use 2017 Fee Schedule Adjustments flyer.

For more details on these changes, please contact:

Liz Sheldon
Street Use Operations Manager
Seattle Department of Transportation

The Street Use team works to review, issue and inspect up to 35,000 permitted right-of-way uses per year.


SDOT Street Use Right-of-Way Permit Rates

SDOT Street Use right-of-way permit rates are changing—rewarding well-prepared applicants and moving to project/service-based permitting. In the midst of Seattle’s development surge, right-of-way permit rates have remained the same for 5 years. That’s 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.

In the new rate structure, 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 for a total of $438. 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.

Updating the SDOT Street Use permit review, inspection, and issuance process also gives SDOT’s Street Use Division the opportunity to improve technology, staff levels, and efficiencies based on service needs. Recovering the true cost of meeting the high level of need translates into better service for you. The new rate structure goes into effect March 31, 2016. For more information, contact:

LeAnne Nelson

Heads up: The Street Use Permit Services online system will be down March 30 at noon until 10:30 a.m. March 31. Street Use Permits cannot be issued during this time. Staff at the counter will still be able to accept permit applications and coach applicants on to next steps. Questions? Email

New Paving Restoration Rules Begin – October 1, 2015

Starting October 1, 2015, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will no longer provide paving restoration for new water service installations and retirements. Applicants will now need a Seattle Department of Transportation Street Use Permit (51M) for pavement restoration OR a Street Improvement Plan (SIP) showing restoration of water-service-related work, or applicable paving permits if you are working in other jurisdictions  (new service and retirements of old services).

For more information, please see or contact:

SPU’s Development Services Office
(206) 684-3333