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What is the purpose of a right-of-way use permit?

A right-of-way use permit: limited authorizes the use of the county right-of-way for a designated purpose and for a period of time limited to one year or less.

A right-of-way use permit: extended authorizes the use of the county right-of-way for a designated purpose and for a period of time exceeding one year in duration.

A right-of-way construction permit, which is issued by the Permit and Franchise Unit of the King County Real Estate Services, not the Permitting Department, allows utility construction work by franchised utilities, telephone companies, and Metro Transit on King County road rights-of-way.

What activities require this permit?

A right-of-way use permit (limited or extended) is required for any private improvement or use of a county right-of-way. Limited ROW use permits are required for any construction. Extended ROW use permits are required for long term use, such as for a privately maintained road. Please reference the Permitting Department's customer information bulletin #31, Right-of-Way Use*, for detailed information and application instructions.

A ROW use permit is not required for direct driveway connections from an adjacent parcel to a maintained King County road. However, connections shall be made in accordance with adopted King County Road Standards (see Drawing 3-003 - Drawing 3-004 at Site Engineering, Survey & Construction).

A ROW construction (franchise) permit is required to move a utility pole or underground utility in the ROW. Typically the utility company, not the property owner, must apply to the Real Estate Services for this permit. Real Estate Services also issues special use permits to install benches or other ROW furniture, or to schedule a block party, parade or other special event in the ROW.

How much will it cost?

See the Permitting Department's current fee schedule for an estimate.

Where can I get an application?

  • Refer to the right-of-way use permits packet for application materials
  • Request an application packet by mail by calling the Permitting Department's customer service at 206-296-6600 or
  • Pick up an application packet at the Permitting Department in Snoqualmie (see map and directions).

How do I submit my application?

See Applying for a Permit at the Permitting Department and Drop-offs: Permits accepted by drop-off or mail*.

What is the timeline for processing a right-of-way use permit?

Decision type 1: 120 days.

How long is this permit valid?

Limited ROW use permits expire one year from the date of issuance. Permit customers may apply for one one-year extension. To apply, either:

Download the ROW use permit - limited extension request form in PDF* (91KB) or fill-in MS Word* (45KB)
Request an application form by mail by calling the Permitting Department's customer service at 206-296-6600.

Please note: In order for an extension to be issued, the permit holder must be current on all fees paid to the Permitting Department and must be in full compliance with the conditions and requirements of the original permit. Limited right-of-way use permits may only be extended after the first six months of the original permit life.

Questions about right-of-way use permit (limited) extensions can be directed to Permitting Department staff at 206-296-6600.

Notes / Comments

For more information:

Legal authority

Chapter 14.28* of the King County Code

Administered by

The Department of Permitting and Environmental Review. For questions, please contact customer service at 206-296-6600.