Shoreline Street Ends

What are Shoreline street ends? 

Shoreline street ends (SSEs) are City Council-designated right of way areas for public access and occur where streets meet a shore.  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.  

Want more information on our Shoreline Street Ends program, including a map of SSEs to visit? Visit our Shoreline Street End Program

What is a Shoreline Street End Permit?

A SSE permit allows landowners adjacent to a SSE the ability to maintain existing private encroachments located fully or partially in the public right-of-way. Typical encroachments include material storage, yards, hedges, and private structures such as fences, rockeries, walls, or stairs. Individual encroachments are reviewed for their impact to access, mobility, views, and other factors to determine if they should be permitted to exist in the public right-of-way. 

Please note that private use of the right-of-way that restricts public access is discouraged and new encroachments are typically not permitted. Also note that while our long-term permits renew annually, they do not grant any permanent rights to the SSE and may be revoked with 30 days' notice.  

What about adding Public Amenities within a Shoreline Street End?

If you would like to install amenities freely available for public use within a SSE, you may apply for a free Public Amenities permit instead of a Shoreline Street End permit.  A Public Amenities permit allows approved public amenities in the public right-of-way, such as native landscaping, benches, bike racks (check with us as bike racks meeting our standards will be accepted as SDOT assets and do not need a public amenities permit), exercise machines, hanging baskets, planters, mural art, tables and chairs, and other items. 

Please note that while our long-term Public Amenities permits are free, construction permits may be required to install the amenities. Construction permits have fees associated with them. 

Interested in conducting a community project? 

Community organizations or groups may request permission to have work parties or to open street end for public use. To get started, contact!

Friends of Street Ends is a volunteer-led group that advocates for public shore access throughout the city. They have led several street end public access projects and lead cleanup parties throughout the year.

A group of people gardening and maintaining the plants at a local shoreline street end

E Prospect St Habitat Restoration Project Volunteers

Ready to apply for your SSE permit?

You can apply for this permit on the Seattle Services Portal. Use the button on the right to sign in!

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."

Review our SSE Applicant Guide for more details on how to apply, including required documents.

Related Programs


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.