Weeds & Overgrown Vegetation

See also: Weed & Vegetation CodeTree Protection Code

What Is It?

A white man with a mustache in front of an overgrown bush.Our Weeds and Vegetation Code applies to weeds and vegetation on private property that overgrow onto any public right-of-way, including planting strips, streets, sidewalks, and alleys. Examples of vegetation are bushes and trees.

What It Isn’t

This ordinance does not cover:

Rules to Follow

Our codes require that you:

  • Trim or remove vegetation that overhangs or obstructs streets, alleys, or sidewalks. Allow an 8-foot clearance over sidewalks and a 14-foot clearance over traveled roads. See the Seattle Department of Transportation's Seattle Sidewalk Accessibility Guide for more information.
  • Trim or remove vegetation that is a fire hazard.
  • At intersections, trim so that the view of the intersection is not obstructed by vegetation. Trim any vegetation that interferes with the view of an intersection from 30 feet away.
  • Clear vegetation from obscuring traffic signs as required by the Seattle Department of Transportation.
  • Leave a 3-foot clear zone around fire hydrants as required by the Seattle Fire Department.
  • Get a street use permit to prune or remove trees in the public right-of-way.
  • Get a permit or exemption to remove vegetation from environmentally critical areas such as steep slopes or wetlands.

Read the Code

You can learn more about our weeds and vegetation rules on our Weeds and Vegetation Code page. You can also read the full text of the ordinance in our Seattle Municipal Code section 10.52.


The first-time penalty for violating this ordinance is $150. The penalty for additional violations is $500.

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.