Long-Term Storage in the Right-of-Way

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16, 2020. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications.

You can submit applications for all permit types online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone or e-mail.

Updated: 6/2022

What is a long-term material storage permit? 

This is a long term, annually renewable permit that allow businesses and property owners to store materials in the public right-of-way. Typically, material storage is proposed in Seattle’s industrial zones where there is inadequate space on private property to store materials and available right-of-way adjacent to the property. There are limitations on the type of materials allowed to be stored in the right-of-way. 

Our long-term material storage permits also include special permit conditions known as stormwater management best management practices (BMPs.) The purpose of these is to reduce the amount of pollutants carried in stormwater runoff (the rain or snowmelt that flows over rooftops, paved and unpaved roads, and land) and discharged to nearby lakes and streams. 

The City of Seattle holds a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Stormwater Permit from the Washington State Department of Ecology. Ecology has been delegated by the EPA to manage the NPDE Program (part of the Clean Water Act) to protect stormwater quality in the state of Washington. We require stormwater management BMPs as part of our municipal stormwater permit obligations. 

Ready to Apply? 

Check out the Long-Term Material Storage Applicant Guide for more details on the application process and requirements. 

Permit Renewal and Transfer  

Long-Term material storage permits are renewed yearly and payment can be made online. The annual fees cover a one-year period, and our permitting system will renew the permit if it is in good standing. If there are any changes to the use, you can request a change through our Seattle Services Portal

If there is change in business or property ownership and no change to the use, the new owner must apply for a new Long-term storage permit. In the application, note “transfer of ownership” in the project description field.  

Permit Duration   

It’s important to understand that Long-Term Material Storage permits are temporary in nature and do not grant you permanent rights to occupy the public right of way. We may revoke permits pursuant to  SMC 15.04.070. If a permit is revoked or terminated, the right-of-way shall be returned to its original condition.