• Jacque Coe

Mayor Durkan, Councilmembers Strauss and Pedersen Launch Temporary Free Permits for Streetaries

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced a plan with councilmembers Dan Strauss and Alex Pedersen to make new, temporary street use permits free for businesses to operate on sidewalks and streets in front of their businesses. The Seattle Local Government Affairs team has worked with the Mayor’s office on the proposal. The plan clears the way for restaurants to set up sidewalk cafes and ‘streetaries’ to expand dining occupancy in open air settings to sidewalks and parking strips. To apply for the permits, click here.

Under the plan, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will immediately start accepting street use permit applications. The Mayor will issue the emergency ordinance to allow the change, and Councilmember Strauss will sponsor the legislation.

Permits will be free and the process is estimated to take about two weeks from application to issuance. The free temporary street use permits are for sidewalk cafes, merchandise displays, and food and other vending. The temporary permits will be available for up to six months. The free permit options are as follows:

· Temporary Outdoor Café Permit: A business owner should request this permit if they are a restaurant owner who would like seating on the sidewalk or in the curb space parking. An additional permit from Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board will be required to serve alcohol.

· Temporary Merchandise Display Permit: A business owner should request this permit if they are a retail business owner who would like to expand operations outside into the sidewalk or in the curb space parking (note that this includes the point of sale).

· Temporary Vending Permits: A business owner should request this permit if they are a vendor who would like more flexibility on their vending location and duration. This includes street and sidewalk locations for food trucks and carts.

SDOT is expediting and prioritizing these types of permit applications by requiring public notice, rather than the standard two-week public comment period. However, additional review time may be necessary depending on the quality of the permit application, site complexity, and volume of requests. To read the Mayor’s press release, click here.

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