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Are you a neighbor of King County park land? King County park lands include 175 miles of regional trails, 200 parks, 215 miles of backcountry trails and 28,000 acres of open space. These lands are the public’s natural treasures and home to many native species of plants, birds and animals. To help preserve and protect these valuable areas, King County Parks wants to work with neighbors and others who enjoy our parks to clarify boundaries and promote the proper use of park lands.

What is a Special Use Permit and when do I need one?

While private use of Parks’ property is generally not allowed, in limited cases a private use may be authorized when there is a public benefit and it is permitted through a Special Use Permit (SUP). The information below explains why SUPs are required and how to apply for one.

A Special Use Permit is required for any private use of Parks’ property and grants permission to occupy and use Parks’-managed properties for a fee. King County reserves the right to grant or deny SUP requests on Parks’ property. For more information, see King County Code chapter 14.30.

Some examples when a Special Use Permit may be granted:

  • Do you need to cross King County Parks’ property to access your property?
  • Do you regularly park a vehicle on King County Parks’ property?
  • Do you have utilities or need to install utilities on King County Parks’ property to serve your property?
  • Do you have an existing structure (a fence or gate) or landscaping on King County Parks’ property?
  • Do you want to temporarily use King County Parks’ property to provide construction access to your property?
  • Do you want to temporarily park a vehicle on King County Parks’ property?

Where are the property boundaries?

Boundaries along Parks’ property, especially regional trails and undeveloped open spaces, are often difficult to locate. Most Parks’ property boundaries are not easily discernable on site. Fences, landmarks, plat maps, utility lines, and roadways do not always reflect current ownership. King County’s iMap is a free tool available to look up property boundaries and ownership near public lands. You can search property information by entering an address or parcel number. Even with this tool, a survey may be necessary to determine property boundaries.
King County's iMap

How do I apply for a Special Use Permit?

Please contact Parks via email at or call our Parks Property hotline at 206-477-9770 to discuss the scope of the proposed use of Parks’ property with a Parks representative. A free, pre-application meeting is strongly encouraged for proposals along rail corridors, regional trails or near critical areas. 

To apply for a SUP, submit your application, a $500 non-refundable processing fee and any necessary supporting documents to King County’s Real Estate Services Section (RES). Follow the link below to the RES website to find the application form and other instructions:

How much does it cost to apply?

The application fee is $500 and is non-refundable. In some cases, a use fee and technical review fee may apply, depending on the proposed use of Parks’ property.

How long does it take to get a Special Use Permit?

It typically takes eight to 10 weeks from the date you submitted your SUP application to receive an approved SUP. Complex proposals may require additional review time. 


We are here to help! Please contact us at the following:
Hotline: 206-477-9770
For more information, see Property Management