Construction Permit - Temporary Structures & Uses - SDCI (2024)

What Is It?

A temporary permit allows you to use a building or property for something different than its ordinary use for a short period of time. Learn how to get a building permit. Some common examples include:

  • Temporarily installing prefabricated structures such as offices or classrooms
  • Setting up tents or canopies for a farmer’s market
  • Holding an event for many people in an existing commercial building
  • Building temporary platforms or bleachers for a festival

The Seattle Land Use Code has rules for temporary uses; the Seattle Building Code has rules for temporary structure and occupancies.

  • Tip 206, Temporary Use Permits
  • Tip 306, Temporary Structure or Temporary Occupancy Permits

Some temporary permits are issued by the Seattle Fire Department. These permits include the temporary use of a building for assembly not more than once every 3 months, or the temporary installation of limited-size tents. See the Seattle Fire Department Special Events section for more information.

How Much Does It Cost?

Our fees are based on the number of temporary structures proposed and/or the duration of the proposed temporary use.All fees are subject to an additional technology fee. See our Fee Subtitle for details.

  • Fee Subtitle

How Long Does It Take?

We try to complete the initial review for temporary permit applications in 2 weeks, though actual review time depends on the scope of work. The total time it takes to get your permit depends on how complex your project is and how many corrections, if any, you need to make to your plans. In addition, if a temporary use will exceed 4 weeks, you may need a discretionary land use permit, which can significantly lengthen the permit review time.

Steps to Get Your Permit

Get your property information. Find property information to help you plan your project.

  • Tip 233, Sources for Property Information

Determine restrictions that apply to your project. Research the codes to determine allowable uses, building size limits, and construction requirements.

  • Land Use Code
  • Seattle Building Code
  • Zoning Information

Start your application. Complete the Building & Land Use Pre-Application online using the Seattle Services Portal. You will need to upload a site plan and a complete legal description for your site.

  • Tip 103, Site Plan Requirements

Request a pre-application site visit. You need a pre-application site visit if you will disturb more than 750 square feet of land or disturb any land on a site with an environmentally critical area. Request a pre-application site visit online through your Seattle Services Portal. You'll receive an email once we have added the pre-application site visit (PASV) fees to your project. After you have paid the fee, we will perform the inspection.You will receive a preliminary application report that will include information about your site conditions and any additional requirements.

Apply for exemptions. Learn more about exemptions from code requirements.

Coordinate with other agencies. You may need permits or approvals from other agencies. These are the most common agencies you may need to work with for your permit type:

  • Seattle Fire Department
  • Seattle Business Licensing
  • Seattle Labor Standards – Hiring Independent Contractors
  • Office of Economic Development

Prepare your plans. Plans should be to scale and easy to read. If your project includes a temporary structure that is open to the public or adjacent to areas open to the public, you will need an engineered design by a Washington State licensed structural engineer.

  • Temporary Structure Permit Checklist
  • Temporary Occupancy Permit Checklist
  • Tip 103, Site Plan Requirements
  • Tip 103B, Environmentally Critical Area Site Plan Requirements
  • Tip 106, General Standards for Plans and Drawings

Attend a coaching session. If you have questions about requirements for your project, contact the Applicant Services Center for permit coaching.

Schedule an appointment.Temporary permit applications typically do not require a formal intake appointment. Contact a Temporary Permits Facilitator to set up a time to bring in your application materials. Call (206) 684-8850 to find out who the current facilitators are.

Pay fees. You pay most of all your fees when you submit your application. If you submit electronically, we will notify you when you need to pay your fees, and you may pay fees online.

Make corrections and resubmit your plans. Once all of our reviews are done, you will receive an email telling you that corrected and/or additional documents can be uploaded into your portal. Your project may require multiple correction rounds before our reviews are complete.

Pay final fees. We will notify you to pay any final fees before we issue your permit.

Print your permit and approved plan set. We will notify you when we have issued your permit and the documents are available in your Seattle Services Portal. Print the permit and approved plan set and have it on site for our inspector.

Display your permit. Place your permit in a visible location on the project site.

Get related permits. You may need to get additional permits or approvals from other departments.

Request an inspection. See the construction inspections page for when to call us and how to schedule your inspection.

Close your permit. After your project has passed its final inspection, your permit information will be archived in our electronic document management system.

Remove your temporary structure. If your permit includes a temporary structure, you will need to remove it at the end of your specified time period.

Construction Permit - Temporary Structures & Uses - SDCI (2024)


What is administrative conditional use SDCI? ›

An administrative conditional use is a type of Master Use Permit that has a public comment period, a review and decision by the Director of SDCI, and an appeal process. Examples of administrative conditional uses include: Private schools in a neighborhood residential zone.

What can a homeowner do without a permit in Washington state? ›

You do not need a permit for:
  1. A storage shed with a floor area of 200 square feet or less, as an accessory to a residential house or for agricultural use.
  2. Fences 6 feet high or less.
  3. Most retaining walls 4 feet high or less.
  4. Replacement of roofing or siding for detached one and two-family houses.

What requires a building permit in Washington state? ›

Washington State statutes call for local jurisdictions (cities and counties) to require a building permit when any structural change or when alterations are made to an existing building or when any new construction is undertaken.

Do I need a permit to build a deck in Washington state? ›

Short answer, yes. You absolutely need a permit to build a deck on your property in the state of Washington. When you need that permit depends on how high off the ground it is. If you want an elevated view, more than 18-inches off the ground, then you need a permit.

What does administrative use only mean? ›

Administrative use only means that motorized access is restricted, often with a locked gate, to Forest Service personnel or those that hold an authorized use permit to access the motorized route, such as for utility companies to maintain their facilities. These routes would not show up on the motor vehicle use map.

What is a conditional use permit in Washington state? ›

A conditional use permit (CUP) allows the county to consider a use of a property that is not routinely allowed, but can potentially be made compatible through the application of project and site-specific conditions.

Do I need a permit to build a patio cover in Washington state? ›

Do I need a building permit to build a cover over my patio or deck that is attached to the house? Yes, Construction of a cover over a deck or patio requires a building permit and must meet setbacks. Shade structures or arbors where the roof is not solid may be exempt from a building permit but must still meet setbacks.

What size shed can I build without a permit in Washington state? ›

You don't need a permit to build a shed if it meets all of these criteria: The total area (or “footprint”) of the shed's roof is 120 square feet or less. The shed is a single-story building. The shed sits on a simple concrete slab, pier blocks, or soil.

Do you need a permit to replace windows in Washington state? ›

A building permit is required when installing a window where none was present, and when replacing an existing window if any structural alterations are necessary (such as when a larger header is required to be installed because the replacement window is wider than the original window).

What's the biggest size shed without a permit? ›

However, in general, most sheds that are less than 120 square feet (around 11 square meters) and less than 12 feet (3.65m) in height do not require a permit.

Do you need a permit for a deck next to your house? ›

Main, do you need a permit to build a deck? The short answer is yes. Traditional decks are considered to be permanent structures and they are subjected to the local building codes. But there are some cases where a deck permit is not required, keep reading to learn more.

Can I use deck pier blocks instead of footings? ›

Deck pier blocks are used in deck building as an alternative foundation to traditional footings. They are placed directly on the ground, and do not require digging or pouring. They come pre-formed with holes for attaching the posts of a deck, making it easy to install.

What is an administrative use permit Whatcom County? ›

Purpose. An Administrative Use Permit is required for uses which are not normally permitted in a given zoning designation, but which may be approved at the discretion of the zoning administrator.

What is a conditional use permit San Francisco? ›

A conditional use refers to how a parcel or building is operated that is not principally permitted in a particular zoning district. Pursuant to Planning Code Section 303, the Planning Commission shall hear and make determinations regarding Conditional Use Authorization applications.

What is a conditional use permit in Florida? ›

A conditional use permit (CUP) allows a landowner to use their land in a way not permitted by ordinary zoning regulations. They can address nearly any type of non-conforming use, from building height and density to setbacks and myriad other specific commercial zoning issues.

What is the purpose of a conditional use permit quizlet? ›

Explanation: Conditional use permits allow a limited number of special uses, such as hostpials, schools, and churches, in zones that would normally not allow these uses.

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