The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Street Use division requires long-term, annually renewing, Public Space Management (PSM) permits for private encroachments in the public right-of-way. These include retaining walls, balconies, bay windows, stairs, and other privately-owned structures. The PSM permit provides the long-term tracking and record of ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the allowed encroachment. Soldier piles are also considered a private encroachment in the right-of-way and SDOT may review these as part of a Street Use construction permit or SDCI shoring review.
SDOT is in the process of updating the soldier pile permit requirements in order to have a consistent policy for all private encroachments in the right-of-way.
A PSM permit will be required for new soldier piles allowed to remain in the right-of-way, under the proposed criteria below:
- If the soldier pile is destressed, cut back and capped, or if the soldier pile is part of an existing building rehabilitation or retrofit:
- A PSM permit would be triggered with an indemnity agreement
- First year: issuance fee plus occupation fee/pile
- Annual fee: base renewal fee and no per pile occupation fee
- If the proposed soldier pile or tieback is part of a new development and is approved to remain stressed:
- A City Council- approved term permit would be required. See Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 15.65 for the term permit process.
If the soldier piles are proposed to be within 21 inches of the property line and the applicant has submitted a complete application to SDCI that includes the full shoring system by March 1, 2020, then the project is considered vested to current practice and the PSM permit would not be required.