This article includes information about the Street Use permit process, how to find and understand the record status, and how to understand the record targeted dates and find overall permit timelines.
You can find the following topics in this article:
- What are the Street Use permit process steps?
- What happens at each permit step and how does it get assigned?
- How do I check and understand the status of the SDOT Street Use record?
- What does Targeted For date mean and how is it determined?
- How long does the overall permit process take?
What are the Street Use permit process steps?
Street Use has different review processes based on the complexity and duration of the work. Each permit type (e.g., ROW Construction, Minor Utility, SIP, etc.) and Amendment (e.g., Revision, Extension, Date Change, etc.) follows one of these review processes.
To help you understand the process, we’ve created a description of each review process with a corresponding flow chart showing the permit steps for that process.
For short term uses with minimal impacts to the right-of-way or date change amendments. The Simple Review process has fewer steps than other review processes and does not require external secondary reviews. Examples (not limited to) include block parties, staging moving containers, extension amendments, and date change amendments.
Simple Reviews follow the steps shown in the workflow diagram below.
The majority of Street Use permits follow the Full Review process. The Full Review process allows us to route applications to external secondary review groups (e.g., Traffic Control Plan review, Hub Coordination, Roadway Structures, etc.) depending on the mobility and infrastructure impact of the work. If there are no external secondary reviews required, the permit process will be shorter. Examples (not limited to) include utility work, construction staging, material storage, and public amenities.
Full Reviews follow the steps shown in workflow diagram below. One review cycle includes the Screening, Primary Review, Secondary Review(s) (if applicable) and Review Evaluation steps.
Street Improvement Permit (SIP) Reviews
Street Improvement Permits (SIPs) have their own process due to the complexity of the work. SIP reviews have three review phases: Conceptual Review (30%), Design Review (60%), and Formal Review (90%) plus Pre-Construction Review. SIP Lite permits skip the Design Review phase.
One review cycle includes the Screening, Primary Review, Secondary Review(s) (if applicable) and Review Evaluation steps for each review phase.
SIP Reviews follow the steps shown in the workflow diagram below. Due to the complexity of this review process, the Conceptual Review, Design Review, and Pre-Construction Review phases do not show all review cycle steps in the diagram.
What happens at each permit step and how does it get assigned?
Much like SDCI does, we assign permits using industry-standard “queue theory.” We queue permits in the order they were submitted. To help you understand this, we’ve outlined what happens at each step and how it gets assigned. Each step gets assigned based on the body of work and how that group operates.
At the Application step, applications are reviewed to ensure all required documents were submitted and can move to the review phase. All applications move into one unassigned queue and are reviewed based on submittal date and priority by our Applicant Services group.
Review (Simple Reviews Only)
For Simple Reviews, this is the step of the review cycle where the core review is performed by the Primary Reviewer. The Primary Reviewer is the assigned Street Use reviewer who is responsible for leading the review process of the permit. At this step, the assigned Street Use reviewer performs a full review based on their subject matter expertise related to project location, mobility, and infrastructure impacts. At this step, the application is reviewed based on assigned date and priority.
For Full Reviews and any review phase on SIP Reviews, Screening is the first step of the review cycle. At this step, the reviewer ensures all required documents have been submitted and meet minimum requirements, and the information provided is sufficient to run an efficient review. It is during this step that secondary reviewers are identified, if required.
Based on the work group, this step is either automatically assigned to the district reviewer or is manually assigned to the reviewer by the work group’s lead. Applications at this step are reviewed based on submittal date and priority.
This section of the review cycle is where the core review is performed by both the Primary Reviewer and any required Secondary Reviewers. The Primary Reviewer is the assigned Street Use reviewer responsible for leading the review process of the permit. At this step, the Primary Reviewer performs a full review based on their subject matter expertise related to project location, mobility, and infrastructure impacts. Applications at this step are reviewed based on assigned date and priority.
Secondary Reviews are from external work groups that are responsible for decisions based on mobility impacts, schedules, and/or infrastructure impacts. The most common Secondary Reviews are Traffic Control Plan (TCP) Review, Access Seattle Hub Coordination, and Seattle Public Utilities.
Secondary Reviews are in the same section of the review cycle as the Primary Review step, and it is during this step that the Secondary Reviewer performs a full review based on their work group’s subject matter expertise. Secondary Reviewers are assigned according to their work group’s internal processes and are reviewed based on assigned date and priority.
Review Evaluation is the final step of the review cycle. At this step, the assigned primary reviewer reconciles any comments and plan mark-ups to determine if the review is approved or requires a correction cycle. This step is based on the Primary Review and Secondary Review(s) targeted date and priority.
If the review is approved, the next step is Issuance Prep or Issuance. If the review requires corrections, the next step is Screening to start another review cycle.
The Issuance Prep step is only required on certain permit types and is where our Applicant Services group reviews surety bonds, insurance, or indemnity agreements. Tasks associated with this step are assigned to an unassigned queue and reviewed by the assigned date and priority.
This step is where all inspections are managed until the permit is ready for close-out. This step and all related inspections are assigned to the District Inspector. To learn more about our inspection process, please visit our Street Use Inspections website.
How do I check and understand the status of the SDOT Street Use record?
You can find the record status two ways: on your My Records page or on the record itself. To find out what your record status means, refer to the What Does My Record Status Mean help article.
- To find the record status on your My Records page:
- Login to the Seattle Services Portal.
- On the My Records page, locate your record number and look to the right for the Status column.
- To find your record status on the record:
- You can either click on the blue hyperlink record number from your My Records page or search for the record by entering the record number in the Search All Records box.
- Once the record is open, click on the Status tab.
- You can find the status of each step in this Status section.
- An asterisk next to a step (usually) indicates that step went through a corrections cycle.
- A green check next to a step indicates that step is complete.
- An hour glass next to a step indicates that step is in process.
- No symbol means the task has not started.
- To find step-specific details, click on the arrow next to a step to expand that section.
What does Targeted for date mean and how is it determined?
Like SDCI does, we use target dates to prioritize and assign steps of the permit process. The Targeted for date found on each permit step on the Seattle Services Portal are target dates based on goals that we established for “typical” permit step timelines.
Target dates are determined based on an annual snapshot of the current service demands and our available staffing levels. We may be unable to meet our target dates if we have an unusually high volume of work compared to our available staffing levels.
It is important to understand that the Targeted for date found on each permit step represents the “typical” time it takes to process that step only. The overall timeline of a review cycle includes the “typical” time to process each permit step. This varies by review type as described in the section on permit process steps of this document.
How long does the overall permit process take?
Overall permit timelines can be determined by summing the “typical” time we are completing each permit step. Instead of reporting overall permit timelines, we determine review cycle timelines for each review type as described in the section on permit process steps and publish current timelines monthly in the Street Use Newsletter and Street Use Permitting Timelines and Updates website. For Street Improvement Permits (SIPs), “typical” review cycle timelines are determined for each review phase.
The published timelines represent the time it takes city staff to process one cycle of review. If corrections are required, another review cycle is required. Depending on the permit type, there may be a timeline difference between an initial review cycle and a corrections review cycle.
These timelines do not include the time it takes for an applicant to respond to a corrections cycle. Depending on the complexity and location of your project, you may want to add a corrections review cycle to the estimate of the overall permit timeline.
Exceptions to “typical” review timelines are made when work is associated with a public health or safety emergency, approved Affordable Housing project, or a transportation corridor improvement project. An exception can be indicated in the Permit Priority section of the Related Information page on the application as shown below.