Phased Permit

What Is It?

A phased permit allows you to submit your construction plans for a new building in multiple pieces. For example, you can submit plans for the foundation before you submit plans for the rest of the building. Your project may qualify for a phased permit if:

  • The building is new
  • The project is large or complex
  • The construction value is greater than $5,000,000

We only review the part of the building that you submit in each phase. You need to understand that future phases can impact the current phase or be impacted by the current phase.  For example, building foundations in a foundation-only phase will only be checked for the structural loads shown on that phase.   If the loads from the upper portion of the building on the foundation change in any following phase, the foundations may have to be redesigned. Or, if the exit paths or stair shaft locations change from one phase to the next, significant redesign of a previously issued phase may be required.

It is up to the design team to coordinate phasing impacts. Lack of coordination between phases can cause delays in plan review.

You cannot use phased permits to separate out shoring and excavation work. If you do not wish for the shoring and excavation to be included in the first phase, you can get a separate permit for shoring and excavation by submitting a Preliminary Application form with a site plan to get a separate permit number for the shoring and excavation work. If you are separating out shoring and excavation from your phased project, you must apply for your shoring and excavation permit before your phased building permit application can be processed. Fees for your shoring and excavation permit will be based on the construction value of the shoring and excavation work.

How Much Does It Cost?

Fees are based on the value of your project. You pay approximately 75 percent of your fee when you submit plans for your first phase. If your project includes shoring near a right-of-way, you will need to pay an additional $2,500 at your intake appointment for Seattle Department of Transportation review. We will also charge hourly fees for certain reviews, such as drainage and geotechnical. All fees are subject to an additional technology fee. See our Fee Subtitle for details. You will pay all remaining fees when you pick up your last phase permit.

How Long Does It Take?

Each phase follows the same review timeline. We try to finish our initial review in 8 weeks. How long it takes to get your permit depends on how complex your project is, how many corrections you need to make, and the completeness of your correction responses. We recommend planning for 4 weeks per correction cycle, with an average of 2 correction cycles. After all of our reviews are complete and approved, allow an additional 6 business days for final review and preparation.

Steps to Get Your Permit

Start your application. Complete the Building & Land Use Pre-Application online using the Seattle Services Portal. You will need to include a preliminary site plan with the form.

Request a pre-application site visit. You will also need to request a pre-application site visit through the Seattle Services Portal. if you did not already submit one with your Master Use Permit.

Submit your request. Email the completed Phased Permit Request Form to

Include the following information on the form:

  • Justification why the project should be phased
  • Any special considerations
  • Project numbers for other projects already submitted or in progress
  • Description of the project
  • Proposed scope of each phase
  • Proposed schedule for the submittal of each phase
  • Proposed schedule for the permit issuance date anticipated for each phase
  • A completed Fee Estimate worksheet for each building

Calculate fees. Approximately 75 percent of your permit fees are due at intake. The are calculated based on your project value.

Get phased permit approval. Once we approve your request, we will assign an application facilitator to your project. The application facilitator will guide you through the process.

Work with your facilitator to submit your plans. Your plans for each phase should show all the work that you are proposing as part of that phase. You also need to include future work to help describe the entire project. All sheets that show future work should be clearly labeled as "Reference Only."

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.