AG 1080: Neighborhood Pole Banners

Updated 12/21

This free long-term permit allows permittees to install and maintain Neighborhood Pole Banners on City-owned utility poles. Neighborhood banners identify a geographic location or place of interest. They are installed on poles adjacent to the property or area being identified.

Interested in promoting an event with pole banners instead? Check out our Event Pole Banners webpage for more information.

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Step 1: Review guidelines and figure out where you want to put your pole banners
Step 2: Apply on the Seattle Services Portal
Step 3: Application Review & Decision
Step 4: Permit Issuance and Installation
Step 5: Permit Renewal & Maintenance


Step 1: Review Guidelines and Figure out Where You Want to Put your Pole Banners

Before you begin, we encourage you to work with your neighbors and community groups to come up with a design and consider appropriate locations for your neighborhood pole banners. The most successful projects are ones that engage your local community from the beginning! 

Banner design guidelines:

  • Use simple and bold graphics
  • Keep your text short
  • Bright colors that contrast each other provide the best visual impact
  • Install banners closely spaced together at similar heights to create a strong visual impact
  • Banner may only state the name of the area/location and may include branding slogans or logos, but no sponsorship or commercial messaging is allowed

Pole eligibility:

  • Banners may be hung in commercial or industrial zones, or next to major institutions or City-owned open spaces. The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) zoning map will help you to identify if the area in which you'd like to install banners has the proper zoning
  • Wood poles are eligible for use if they support streetlights only, with only one wire attached to pole
    • For mounting on wood streetlight poles, you must use lag bolts. The lag bolts must be the same diameter or 1/16 - inch less than the bolt hole diameter. The bolts should be stainless steel and 4 inches in length. Once installed on wood streetlight poles, the mounting hardware must be left in place. The use of clamps or banding on wood poles is not permitted.

Wood pole

Example of an eligible wood pole with one streetlight wire.

Pole Banner

Example of a wood pole that would not be approved due to multiple attachments.

  • Poles must not have traffic control signals, pedestrian crossing signals, or art installations
  • Metro poles or poles with Metro attachments must have prior approval from Metro before receiving your permit

Banner dimensions and installation specifications:

  • Banners must be installed with both a top and bottom rod
  • Mount your banner at least 2 feet above any existing signs (6" above parking signs)
  • Banners should not interfere with the visibility of traffic signals or signs, or with identified historic or artistic installations
  • If banner is on sidewalk side of pole, make sure it is at least 8 feet above the sidewalk and 18 inches back from the face of the curb
  • If banner is on curb side of pole, follow the directions in the diagrams below:
    • When the edge of the banner is more than 18 inches from the curb, the minimum clearance for the bottom of the banner is 8 feet over the sidewalk.
    • When the edge of the banner is less than 18 inches from the curb, the minimum clearance for the bottom of the banner is 14 feet over a parking lane or 16.5 feet over a travel lane.

Pole Banner 1Pole Banner2

For more information, please refer to our Pole Banner Permitting Guidelines

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Step 2: Apply on the Seattle Services Portal

Apply at least 6 weeks before you need to install your banners. Spring and summer are busy seasons for banner requests, so get your application in as early as possible!

Head to the Seattle Services Portal to login! Note: if you've never used the Portal before, you'll need to register and set up an account first. See this helpful article or video on how to do this. 

Once you are logged in, follow the steps below: 

  • Under "Create New" select "Permits-Street Use" 
  • Navigate to and select the "Long Term Use" and "Private Structures" record type
  • When prompted to input "Use Code Description," choose "Public Amenity"

Required documents:

At submittal -

Prior to permit approval -

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Step 3: Application Review & Decision

You can check the status of your permit online through the Seattle Service Portal. We will review the application and may contact you either to request additional information or to correct any information.

After our staff review is complete, we will either approve, approve with modifications, or (in rare cases) deny the application.

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Step 4: Permit Issuance and Installation

Once your permit is issued, it will be uploaded to the Seattle Services Portal. You should review the permit and approved documents. Make sure you have an Annual Vehicle Permit for installation and then you are ready to get out and install! Once you install, an inspector will go out and confirm pole banners meet our approved permit and plan.

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Step 5: Permit Renewal & Maintenance 

Neighborhood pole banners are a free, long-term, annually renewable permit, so you are expected to maintain the pole banners and replace them as needed. At the end of the lifespan of the banners, you will need to either remove the pole banners or reapply for new pole banners. If there are any changes you want to make, you can request changes through the  Seattle Service Portal.

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