AG 1075: Shoreline Street End

Shoreline Street Ends Permit Process Overview

Shoreline street ends are City Council designated areas for public access and occur where streets meet a shore. Our program collaborates with community partners on maintaining and improving shoreline street ends for public use.

A shoreline street end permit allows for the long-term private use of a designated shoreline street end by adjacent property owners. For more information, refer to the Permitted Private Uses section of the SDOT Director's Rule 12-2015.

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Step 1: Review shoreline street end policies and draw your site plan!

Before you apply, you'll need to develop your site plan. We have site plan templates available here, or you may create your own plan either digitally or hand drawn using a ruler or scale. (template available here). For your application to be approved, you must meet the standards outlined in Director's Rule 12-2015. The site plan (top view) should show the extent of the proposed use area. Elevation (side view) drawings should be provided for any proposed structures.If you are unsure how to meet these requirements, reach out to us and we will help clarify the requirements.

At a minimum, the site plan should include the following:

  • North arrow
  • Be drawn to scale and provide a scale bar indicating the chosen scale
  • Street name
  • Adjacent property addresses)
  • Footprint of encroachments, with labels (i.e. Private structure, fence, landscape area, yard encroachment, asphalt pavement, etc.)
  • Dimensions of the encroachments
  • Location of property line
  • Location of the shoreline boundary either the Ordinary High-Water Mark (OHWM) for freshwater bodies or mean Higher High Water for the Puget Sound  

A survey may be needed to identify the shoreline boundary or other features when conditions such as the following occur.

  • A survey of the shoreline street end or underwater street and encroachments is not available
  • SDOT field or GIS map measurements are contested by an applicant
  • When dense vegetation or topography or complex encroachment shapes make field or GIS map measurements challenging
  • When the site involves measurements of complex shapes challenging to field measure
  • When the shoreline is in a natural state and not defined by structure such a bulkhead or other retaining structure

If required, the survey must be prepared by a surveyor licensed in the State of Washington. The surveyor must have experience with determining shoreline boundaries or must work with a professional with this experience such as an ecologist, biologist, hydrologist, or another aligned profession. Survey and basemap requirements can be found here.

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Step 2: Obtain the Required Documents / Permits

If any construction activities are required, you will need to obtain a Shoreline Permit or Shoreline Exemption from the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI).

You may also need to obtain additional SDOT construction permits depending on the scope of your proposal. 

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Step 2.5: Meet with us (Optional)

You may find it helpful to schedule a coaching session with a Public Space Management (PSM) staff member. To get started, contact

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Step 3: Apply!

You can apply for a permit on the Seattle Services Portal.

First, you need to create an account if you don't already have one.

To apply, under "Create New" select "Permits-Street Use" and navigate to and select the "Long Term Use" and "Shoreline Street End" record type, or if you are applying for a public amenity only, select "Private Structures/Uses."

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Step 4: Application Review and Site Visit

We will review the application and may contact you either to request additional information or to correct any information. As part of our review, we typically visit the site to ensure the use area matches the submitted plans and meets our standards.

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Step 5: Permit Decision

After our staff review is complete, we will either:

  • Approve the application
  • Approve the application with modifications
  • Deny the application

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Step 6: Indemnity Agreement

If approved for a Shoreline Street End permit, we will draft an indemnity agreement which you must have notarized and then recorded against the title of your property at King County Records. This is one of the final steps prior to permit issuance and has separate costs associated with it.

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Step 7: Pay your Permit Fees

Once we have received the recorded indemnity agreement, your permit will be ready for payment. You must pay any applicable issuance and occupation fees before your permit will be issued. 

To learn more about current Occupation Fees, visit our page on How to Estimate and Pay Permit Fees and our Street Use Fee Schedule. Additional hourly review and inspection fees will be assessed and billed separately; please note that you will still be invoiced for review fees even if your application is denied.

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Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.