Section 4-9-240J is subject to an Administrative Code Interpretation: CI-136



A temporary use permit allows a use or structure on private or public property on a short-term basis. Such uses or structures may be allowed subject to modified development standards which would not be appropriate for permanent uses in the zoning designation.


The standards in this Section will be used for temporary activities characterized by their short-term or seasonal nature. Temporary uses include construction trailers, parking lot sales, temporary carnivals and fairs, mobile food vendors, and seasonal sales such as Christmas tree sales. Temporary uses regulated by this section are uses determined by the City not to be special events as defined by chapter 5-22 RMC where considerable participation and/or spectators would have a significant impact on transportation, public services, or public safety.


1. Exemptions for Construction-Related Activities: The following uses and structures do not require a temporary use permit, provided they are associated with an approved land use application and/or an active building or construction permit and approved by the Administrator:

a. Contractor’s office, storage yard, and equipment parking and servicing on or near the site or in the vicinity of an active construction project.

b. One model home located on an existing lot, and located within the subdivision or residential development to which it pertains.

c. Sales/marketing trailers used for the purpose of real estate sales and/or rental information, located within the subdivision or development to which they pertain.

2. Exemptions for City-Sponsored Events: The following uses are exempt from permit requirements: City-sponsored community fairs, festivals, or events, subject to the approval of the Mayor’s office.

3. Exemptions for Special Sales and Ancillary Events Promoting and Located on the Site of an Existing Permanent Business and Not Requiring a Separate Business License: If determined by the Community and Economic Development Administrator to be of limited duration with minimal impact on neighboring properties, such special sales/events shall not require issuance of a temporary use permit but may require a permit from the Fire Department and/or King County Health Department. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012; Ord. 5806, 6-20-2016)


The following uses or structures are separated into Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III temporary use categories. Those in the Tier I category are processed as Type I land use applications, those in the Tier II category are processed as Type II applications, and those in the Tier III category are processed as Type III applications. Projects subject to SEPA are processed differently.

1. Tier I: Examples of temporary uses in this category include:

a. Activities allowed by the base zone,

b. Mobile food vendors located in the CN, COR, and UC zones,

c. More than one mobile food vendor per lot in the IL, IM, IH, CV, CA, CD, and CO zones,

d. Vehicle sales events held on property not currently used as an auto dealership and within the Automall Area and/or Employment Area,

e. Christmas tree lots,

f. Sales events not determined to be exempt pursuant to subsection C3 of this Section,

g. Temporary manufactured homes for medical hardship,

h. Model homes (equaling the lesser of five (5) homes or twenty percent (20%) of the total lots, when located within the subdivision or residential development to which they pertain), and

i. Proposed temporary uses not listed in this subsection that are found to meet the intent and purposes of this Section, as determined by the Administrator.

j. Habitation of motorhomes, travel trailers, or campers for up to thirty (30) days and no more than four (4) times each calendar year, provided that the habitation of such vehicle may occur for no more than seven (7) days within a six (6) month period without a permit. (Ord. 5759, 6-22-2015; Ord. 5959, 12-9-2019)

2. Tier II: Examples of temporary uses in this category include:

a. Activities limited or prohibited by the base zone,

b. Mobile food vendors located in the residential zoning designations or within fifty feet (50') of a lot zoned residential,

c. Mobile food vendors operating between the hours of 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and 5:00 a.m. on a daily basis per subsection K2 of this Section,

d. Storage trailers,

e. Circuses, carnivals, fairs, or similar transient amusement or recreational activities,

f. Proposed temporary uses not listed in this subsection that are found to meet the intent and purposes of this Section, as determined by the Administrator, and

g. Personal delivery devices and associated device dispensers. (Ord. 6096, 12-5-2022)

3. Tier III: Temporary homeless encampments is the use in this category, and shall have an application fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00). (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012; Ord. 5841, 6-12-2017; Ord. 5908, 12-10-2018)


The Administrator shall consider the following factors in determining the tier level for each activity: consistency with the underlying zone, impact on surrounding zones, length of period of time for duration of activity, and hours of operation. Projects subject to SEPA are processed differently. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)


Submittal requirements and application fees shall be as listed in RMC 4-8-120C, Land Use Applications, and the City of Renton Fee Schedule Brochure.


Public notice and comment period shall be as listed in RMC 4-8-090, Public Notice Requirements.


The Community and Economic Development Administrator may waive specific application requirements determined to be unnecessary for review of an application. The Administrator may waive the permit application fee for public service activities and nonprofit organizations.


The Community and Economic Development Administrator shall, in consultation with appropriate City departments, review and decide upon each application for a temporary use permit. The Administrator may approve, modify, or condition an application for a temporary use permit. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)


The Administrator may approve, deny, modify, or condition an application for a temporary use permit, based on consideration of the following factors: (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

1. The temporary use will not be materially detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare, nor injurious to property or improvements in the vicinity of the temporary use; and

2. Adequate parking facilities and vehicle ingress and egress are provided to serve the temporary use and any existing uses on the site; and

3. Hours of operation of the temporary use are specified, and would not adversely impact surrounding uses; and

4. The temporary use will not cause nuisance factors such as noise, light, or glare which adversely impact surrounding uses; and

5. If applicable, the applicant has obtained the required right-of-way use permit. (Ord. 5917, 12-10-2018)


1. Vehicle Sales Events Held on Property Not Currently Used as an Auto Dealership: Only for properties in the Automall as shown in RMC 4-3-040 or the Employment Area (EA) land use designation are eligible for a temporary use permit. Additionally, no more than one vehicle sales event shall be allowed per quarter of the year (year beginning January 1st) per property or development as determined by the Administrator. The use must be allowed by the zone district. Further, each such event shall only be permitted for a maximum of seven (7) consecutive days per quarter. Such sales are not permissible outside of the Automall and Employment Area and are not eligible for a temporary use permit. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012; Ord. 5759, 6-22-2015)

2. Mobile Food Vendors: Vendors shall comply with all of the following conditions:

a. The mobile food vendor shall keep the Renton Regional Fire Authority permit approval and King County Health Department approval on the mobile vending facility at all times, and copies of these approvals shall be made available to the City upon the City’s request.

b. The site occupied by the mobile food vendor shall be restored to the original or better condition upon each removal of the vending unit.

c. The mobile food vendor shall not obstruct any drive aisles or ingress/egress within the site. (Ord. 5908, 12-10-2018)

3. Temporary Homeless Encampments:

a. Location Criteria: A temporary homeless encampment shall be located at a religious institution. If the religious institution is not actively practicing on the site proposed for a temporary encampment, then the religious institution must comply with all other permit requirements for the underlying zone required for siting a new religious institution and temporary homeless encampment.

b. Setbacks: The temporary homeless encampment shall be located a minimum of twenty feet (20') from the property line of abutting properties containing residential uses.

c. Visual Buffering: A six-foot (6') high sight obscuring fence, vegetative screen or other visual buffering shall be provided between the temporary homeless encampment and any abutting residential property and the right-of-way. The fence shall provide privacy and a visual buffering for encampment residents and neighboring properties in a manner and material approved by the code official. The code official shall consider existing vegetation, fencing, topographic variations and other site conditions in determining compliance with this requirement.

d. Exterior Lighting: Exterior lighting must be directed downward, away from abutting and adjoining properties, and contained within the temporary homeless encampment.

e. Maximum Residents: The maximum number of residents within a temporary homeless encampment is one hundred (100).

f. Additional Parking: Each lot occupied by a temporary homeless encampment must provide or have available parking and vehicular maneuvering area. The temporary homeless encampment and the parking of any vehicles associated with a temporary homeless encampment application shall not displace the host site’s parking lot in such a way that the host site no longer meets the minimum or required parking of the principal use as required by code or previous approvals unless an alternative parking plan has been approved.

g. Transit Proximity and Transportation Plan: A transportation plan is required which shall include provision of transit services. The temporary homeless encampment shall be within one-half
(1/2) mile of a public transit stop or the sponsor or managing organization must demonstrate the ability for residents to obtain access to the nearest public transportation stop through sponsor or host provided van or car pools. During hours when public transportation is not available, the sponsor or host shall also make transportation available to anyone who is rejected from or ordered to leave the temporary homeless encampment.

h. Code of Conduct: A code of conduct is required to be enforced by the managing agency. The code shall contain the following as a minimum:

i. No drugs or alcohol.

ii. No concealed weapons without a current valid concealed weapons permit.

iii. No menacing, threatening or assaultive behavior.

iv. No open flames.

v. No loitering in the surrounding neighborhood.

vi. Quiet hours.

Nothing within this subsection shall prohibit the temporary homeless encampment sponsor or managing organization from imposing and enforcing additional code of conduct conditions not otherwise inconsistent with this section. The managing agency shall enforce the written code of conduct. Failure by the managing agency to take action against a resident who violates the terms of the written code of conduct may result in cancellation of the permit.

i. Compliance with Health and Safety Codes: The temporary homeless encampment shall comply with all applicable standards of the Seattle-King County Health Department, or its successor. The managing agency shall ensure compliance with Washington State and City codes concerning but not limited to drinking water connections, human waste, solid waste disposal, electrical systems, and fire-resistant materials.

j. Inspections: The temporary homeless encampment shall permit regular inspections by the City, including the Police Department and the Fire Department, and King County Health Department, to check compliance with the standards for the temporary homeless encampment. (Ord. 5806, 6-20-2016)

k. Identification: The managing agency shall take all reasonable and legal steps to obtain verifiable identification, such as a driver’s license, government-issued identification card, military identification or passport from prospective and temporary homeless encampment residents.

l. Log-In and Identification: The temporary homeless encampment managing organization shall maintain a resident log for all who are residing at the temporary homeless encampment. Such log shall be kept on site at the temporary homeless encampment. Prospective encampment residents shall provide a verifiable form of identification when signing the log.

m. Duration and Frequency: Temporary homeless encampments may be approved for a time period not to exceed ninety two (92) days, including setup and dismantling of the encampment. A temporary homeless encampment may be located at the same site no more than once every twelve (12) months. For the purposes of this subsection, the twelve (12) months shall be calculated from the last day of the prior encampment at the site.

n. Public Meeting – Informal Public Meeting Required: The Community and Economic Development Administrator shall require an applicant to conduct an informal public meeting to inform citizens about a proposed temporary homeless encampment prior to submittal of an application. Notice of the informal public meeting shall be provided in the same manner as required for notice of the application, at least ten (10) days prior to the informal public meeting. Prior to the informal public meeting, the temporary homeless encampment sponsor and managing organization shall meet and confer with the Police Department regarding any proposed security measures. At the informal public meeting, a representative of the temporary homeless encampment sponsor and managing organization shall present in writing and describe the proposed temporary homeless encampment location, timing, site plan, code of conduct, encampment concerns, management security measures, and any input or comment received on the plan, including any comment or input from the Police Department, or comment or input from schools and/or child care services. Copies of the agenda and other materials shall be provided by the applicant at the meeting. The meeting shall be conducted on the subject property whenever feasible.

o. Notification to Schools and Child Care Services: Prior to any application for a temporary homeless encampment permit, the temporary homeless encampment sponsor, or temporary homeless encampment managing organization shall meet and confer with the administration of any public or private elementary, middle, junior high or high school within six hundred (600) feet of the boundaries of the lot(s) proposed to contain the temporary homeless encampment, and shall meet and confer with the operators of any properly licensed child care service within six hundred (600) feet of the boundaries of the lot(s) proposed to contain the temporary homeless encampment. The temporary homeless encampment sponsor and the school administration and/or child care service operator shall make a good faith effort to agree upon any additional conditions that may be appropriate or necessary to address school and/or child care concerns regarding the location of a temporary encampment within six hundred (600) feet of such a facility. Any such conditions agreed upon between the parties shall be submitted to the Hearing Examiner for consideration, for inclusion within the temporary homeless encampment permit. In the event the parties fail to agree on any conditions, either party may provide the Hearing Examiner with a written summary of the parties’ discussions, which the Hearing Examiner may consider in evaluating whether the conditions for the temporary homeless encampment permit are met, or the need for additional conditions upon the temporary homeless encampment permit, without violating the legal rights of the temporary homeless encampment sponsor.

p. Review Authority, Appeals, and Permit Revocation: Decision authority is at the Hearing Examiner level with a public hearing, as designee for the Administrator, and the appeal authority is with City Council. If a permit is revoked pursuant to subsection R1 of this Section, the applicant may request an appeal before the City Council. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

4. Personal Delivery Devices and Device Dispensers: One Tier II temporary use permit may be permitted and active for personal delivery device operation so long as all the requirements of chapter 46.75 RCW are met. In addition to the decision criteria listed in subsection J of this Section, the personal delivery device operator (“operator”) shall also comply with the following:

a. Device Operation: Operation shall be limited to one operator in a predefined geographic area subject to Administrator approval.

b. Public Outreach and Education: Every six (6) months the operator shall hold one public outreach event and notify Washington State Department of Services for the Blind, all property owners, tenants, and residents within the proposed boundary area, including those comprised within a three-hundred-foot (300') buffer surrounding the perimeter of the proposed boundary area, unless waived by the Administrator.

c. Copy of Notice: The applicant shall provide staff with a copy of the notice provided to the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind.

d. Device Identification: Personal delivery devices shall be clearly marked with a unique identification number for the device and phone number and email contact information for the operator and the operator shall actively monitor the phone number and email while any unit is deployed, including while a unit is missing, malfunctioned, stuck, or stolen.

e. Parking: The device dispenser and the parking of any associated delivery vehicles shall not render the host site nonconforming unless an alternative parking plan has been approved.

f. No Right of Action: No right of action shall lie against the City, its agents, officers, employees, or volunteers for damage, replacement, or repairs to personal delivery device as a result of actions reasonably taken to prevent or cure immediate risks to the public health, safety or welfare or to the environment. Such action may include, but is not limited to, a personal delivery device that must be disabled, blocked or deactivated to prevent injury, property damage or other public safety risks. (Ord. 6096, 12-5-2022)


In lieu of the criteria in subsection J of this Section, a manufactured home which complies with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards may be permitted as a temporary dwelling on the same lot as a permanent dwelling, provided the applicant demonstrates the temporary dwelling is necessary to provide daily care to an individual certified by a physician as needing such care. The primary provider of daily care shall reside on site; the manufactured home together with the permanent residence shall meet the setback, height, building footprint, and lot coverage provisions for the applicable zone.


1. General: The Administrator may establish conditions as may be deemed necessary to ensure land use compatibility and to minimize potential impacts on nearby uses. These include, but are not limited to, requiring that notice be given to adjacent/abutting property owners prior to approval, time and frequency of operation, temporary arrangements for parking and traffic circulation, requirement for screening or enclosure, and guarantees for site restoration and cleanup following temporary uses.

2. Additional Requirements – for Model Homes: In addition to the requirements of subsection M1 of this Section, General, the Administrator may require conditions of approval regarding access/roadway construction, temporary erosion control, utilities, street and lot addressing, building permits, staking of proposed lots underlying the model homes, staking of model home lot setbacks, plat approval, abatement agreements and indemnification, and security devices for removal of model homes if plat is not recorded. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)


The temporary use may also require permits and inspections from both the Fire Department and/or Development Services Division to ensure that the temporary use is in compliance with Fire/Building Codes. (Ord. 5806, 6-20-2016)


1. Standard Period of Validity: Except as specified in subsection O2 of this Section, a temporary use permit is valid for up to one year from the effective date of the permit, unless the Administrator establishes a shorter time frame. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

2. Special Expiration/Extension Periods for Manufactured Homes for Medical Hardship: The temporary use permit for a manufactured home for medical hardship shall be effective for twelve (12) months. Extension of the temporary use permit may be approved in twelve (12) month increments subject to demonstration of continuing medical hardship. The manufactured home shall be removed within ninety (90) calendar days of the expiration of the temporary use permit or the cessation of provision of daily care.

3. Extension Requests for all Other Uses: An applicant can request that a permit be valid beyond one year and for up to five (5) years at time of application or prior to permit expiration. Extension requests do not require additional fees and shall be requested in writing to the Community and Economic Development Administrator. (Ord. 5675, 12-3-2012)


Each site occupied by a temporary use shall be left free of debris, litter, or other evidence of the temporary use upon completion of removal of the use.


The Administrator may require security in conformance with RMC 4-9-060C to assure compliance with the provisions of the temporary use permit as approved if required. The amount of the security will be determined by the Administrator, but in no case shall it be less than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). The security may be used by the City to abate the use and/or facilities. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)


1. Revocation of Temporary Use Permit: Should the Administrator determine that information has been provided to the City which was false, incomplete, or has changed, such that the decision criteria in subsection J of this Section are incorrect, false, or have not been met, or the temporary use actually being used is different than or greater than that applied for, or if the use itself is a nuisance, unhealthy, unsafe or poses a substantial risk of harm to persons or property, then the Administrator may revoke the temporary use permit upon ten (10) days’ written notice, unless an emergency exists, in which case the Administrator may declare such an emergency and immediately revoke the temporary use permit. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

2. Appeal: If revoked pursuant to subsection R1 of this Section, applicant may request an appeal before the City’s Hearing Examiner.

(Ord. 4560, 11-13-1995; Amd. Ord. 4963, 5-13-2002; Ord. 5432, 12-8-2008; Ord. 5450, 3-2-2009; Ord. 5471, 7-13-2009; Ord. 5570, 11-15-2010)