Chapter 12.15


12.15.010    Purpose.

12.15.020    Definitions.

12.15.030    Right-of-way permit issuance.

12.15.040    Applications and processing of permits.

12.15.050    Repealed.

12.15.060    Permit exception.

12.15.070    Repealed.

12.15.080    Repealed.

12.15.090    Repealed.

12.15.100    Repealed.

12.15.110    Repealed.

12.15.120    Repealed.

12.15.130    Temporary street closures.

12.15.140    Purpose.

12.15.150    Utilities in good standing.

12.15.160    Design of utility installations.

12.15.170    Utility installation.

12.15.180    Types of utility activities.

12.15.190    Revocation of permits.

12.15.200    Nuisance in the right-of-way.

12.15.210    Adoption of administrative procedures.

12.15.010 Purpose.

A. This chapter manages the use and construction within the public right-of-way in a manner with the least impact to the general public.

B. It is expressly the purpose of this chapter and any procedures adopted hereunder to provide for and promote the health, safety and welfare of the general public, and not to create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by the terms of this chapter or any procedures adopted hereunder.

C. It is the specific intent of this chapter and any procedures adopted hereunder to place the obligation of complying with the requirements of this chapter upon the permittee, and no provision is intended to impose any duty upon the city of Shoreline, or any of its officers, employees or agents. Nothing contained in this chapter or any procedures adopted hereunder is intended to be or shall be construed to create or form the basis for liability on the part of the city of Shoreline, or its officers, employees or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of the permittee to comply with the provisions hereof, or by reason or in consequence of any act or omission in connection with the implementation or enforcement of this chapter or any procedures adopted hereunder by the city of Shoreline, its officers, employees or agents. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.020 Definitions.

A. “Department” means the public works and utilities department or other department designated by the mayor.

B. “Director” means the director of public works and utilities or their designated representative.

C. “Emergency” means a condition of imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of property or persons located within the city including, but not limited to, damage to persons or property from natural or artificially-created consequences, such as storms, earthquakes, riots or wars.

D. “Franchised utilities” means utilities that have city approval to use city rights-of-way for the purpose of providing their services within the city, by written franchise granted by the city.

E. “Person” means and includes corporations, companies, associations, joint stock companies or associations, firms, partnerships, limited liability companies and individuals and includes their lessors, trustees and receivers.

F. “Private use” means use of the public right-of-way for the benefit of a person, partnership, group, organization, company, or corporation, other than as a thoroughfare for any type of vehicles, pedestrians or equestrians.

G. “Policy” means a policy adopted by the director to implement this chapter, or to carry out other responsibilities as may be required by this chapter or by other codes, ordinances, or resolutions of the city or other agencies.

H. “Revocation” means the cancellation of a permit.

I. “Right-of-way” means all public streets and property granted or reserved for, or dedicated to, public use for street purposes and utilities, together with public property granted or reserved for, or dedicated to, public use for walkways, sidewalks, bikeways, and parking whether improved or unimproved, including the air rights, subsurface rights and easements related thereto.

J. “Underground location service” means the underground utilities location center that will locate all underground utilities prior to an excavation. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.030 Right-of-way permit issuance.

A. Applicability. A right-of-way permit shall be required for all construction and usage activities within the public right-of-way as described in this chapter. Additional requirements for the construction and usage of the right-of-way by utility providers are located in Chapter 12.25 SMC, Right-of-Way Franchises, and Chapter 13.20 SMC, Electric and Communication Facilities.

B. Nonexclusive Right. City right-of-way shall not be privately improved or used for access or other purposes unless a permit has been issued for such use. Permits issued pursuant to this section shall not be construed to convey any vested right or ownership interest in any city right-of-way. Every right-of-way permit shall state on its face that any city right-of-way subject to the permit shall be open to use by the general public except in those cases where specific conditions require the closure of the right-of-way to the public for safety reasons.

C. Right-of-Way Site Permit. Right-of-way site permits are a specific class of right-of-way permit that may be available for utilities or other parties who do not hold a valid city franchise in accordance with Chapter 12.25 SMC for activities of extended duration which will not further physically disturb the existing or planned public use of the right-of-way once in place. This may include structures, facilities, and uses that involve capital expenditures.

1. If the use is allowed in the adjacent zoning designation, a right-of-way site permit may be issued for:

a. Accessory uses permitted to the adjacent property such as parking, displays, and signage, provided the proposed use is not required to meet city development standards for any private property development;

b. Air rights;

c. Bus shelters/stops;

d. Fences, retaining walls, terracing, and similar structures;

e. Litter and recycle receptacles placed by private parties;

f. Special and unique structures such as benches, fountains, clocks, flagpoles, kiosks, banners, street furniture, decorations, bicycle racks, private planters, or any other obstruction to be placed in the right-of-way by an entity other than the city;

g. Sales structures, including sidewalk cafes, telephone booths or the usage of the right-of-way for the sale of flowers, food or beverages, newspapers, or other items;

h. Underground rights;

i. Utility facilities.

2. Utility facilities placed in the right-of-way under the authority of a franchised utility as defined in this chapter and mail boxes are exempt from the requirement to obtain a right-of-way site permit.

3. Site permits may be granted up to five years. If use of the right-of-way is expressly permitted by the zoning designation of the adjacent property for particular structures such as commercial awnings, the structure may be approved for an indefinite duration and is exempt from paying a periodic use fee. Each permit shall be of the duration specified on the permit and may be renewed for up to the length of the original permit, at the discretion of the director.

4. In addition to the right-of-way site permit application fee established in the city’s fee schedule, the uses listed under subsections (C)(1)(a), (b), (g), (h), and (i) of this section or fences and vegetative screens which exclude the public shall pay a periodic use fee for the right-of-way equivalent to the rental value of the right-of-way used. Utilities which pay a utility tax pursuant to SMC 3.32.030 are exempt from paying a periodic use fee under this section.

5. To accommodate the completion or as the result of a public project, upon reasonable notice, improvements or facilities authorized by a right-of-way site permit shall be removed or relocated at the applicant’s expense.

6. Upon termination of a site permit, for which the permittee does not obtain a new permit, any improvements constructed in the right-of-way must be removed by the permittee and the area restored to its original condition or better.

D. Right-of-Way Use Permits. The purpose of use permits is to allow short-term activities and temporary alteration of the right-of-way so as not to unreasonably obstruct, hinder, jeopardize, injure, or delay the use of the right-of-way for its primary functions: vehicular and pedestrian travel. All use of the right-of-way shall be for a lawful purpose and shall not breach the peace or adversely interfere with public use of the right-of-way. The location, time, and date of the use must be in accordance with city requirements. All signs for directional control and event advertising must be approved, properly erected, and removed within 24 hours of the termination of the use. The permittee shall be liable for any expense, damages, or cost required to return the right-of-way to its condition prior to use by the permittee or to an improved condition if specifically required by the conditions of the permit. The permittee may be required to advise property owners who may be inconvenienced during the right-of-way usage. Police escorts, control, and inspections may be required. All floats, stands, and use-related structures shall be subject to fire and building code requirements. Other conditions may be imposed at the discretion of the director.

1. Right-of-way use permits may be issued for the following activities:

a. Temporary complete or partial closures of traffic lanes or sidewalks;

b. Boring, jacking or pushing;

c. Construction or painting adjacent to the right-of-way that may physically impact the right-of-way;

d. Construction related to the installation of culverts, curb cuts, handicap ramps, sidewalks and driveway approaches;

e. Drainage facilities;

f. Installation of landscaping;

g. Paving;

h. Street trenching;

i. Utility installation;

j. Temporary construction devices, such as scaffolding, barricades, walls, elevators, cranes, pedestrian walkways, etc.;

k. House moves, special usage of the street and/or public right-of-way to move houses or other oversize and overweight materials and structures at specific times and locations;

l. Street runs, or races held on public streets and sidewalks on specific routes, parades and processions;

m. Assemblies, fairs, carnivals, shows, exhibitions, or large gatherings of people that may use or obstruct the right-of-way with people, vehicles, and signs and may produce noise;

n. Commercial filming or videotaping, except that associated with news reporting;

o. Parking spaces temporarily dedicated for private use.

2. Utility facilities placed in the right-of-way under the authority of a franchised utility in good standing as defined in this chapter may be exempt from the requirement to obtain a use permit if the activity is a minor or blanket activity specified in SMC 12.15.180.

3. Right-of-way use permits may extend up to 180 days, provided permits issued for frontage improvements required for a development permit shall continue for the term of the development permit. Renewals may be approved for good cause and payment of a renewal fee. [Ord. 633 § 1, 2012; Ord. 627 § 2, 2012; Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.040 Applications and processing of permits.

A. To obtain a right-of-way use permit the applicant shall file an application with the department.

B. Every application shall include the following information appropriate to the proposed use:

1. A scale drawing showing the location of the proposed right-of-way use, the location of the existing and proposed improvements, surface features such as curbs and gutters, underground features such as the location of utilities, and the limits of the work area;

2. A description of the use;

3. The planned duration of the use;

4. Applicant contact information;

5. All other information which may be required as specified in policies adopted hereunder; and

6. A traffic control and pedestrian control plan where vehicular or pedestrian circulation is disrupted.

C. The director shall examine each application submitted for review and approval to determine if adequate information is provided and if it complies with the applicable provisions of this chapter and procedures adopted hereunder. Other departments that have authority over the proposed use activity will review and recommend approval or disapproval of the application. The permit may be approved if the director finds that the application conforms to the requirements of this chapter, and may impose such conditions as are reasonably necessary to protect the public health, welfare and safety, to mitigate any impacts resulting from the use and to coordinate activities or address potential conflicts with future improvements in the area.

D. A right-of-way permit shall include at a minimum the following terms and conditions:

1. Scope, nature, and process for permitting future maintenance activities associated with the facilities installed pursuant to this type of permit;

2. Insurance, indemnification, relocation, and removal and restoration upon termination or abandonment;

3. A financial guarantee for all construction and activities within the right-of-way shall be required, unless the director determines such a guarantee to be unnecessary; and

4. Duration of the permit grant to occupy the right-of-way and removal and restoration conditions upon the end of that duration or renewal.

E. All applications for permits must be submitted 10 working days or more prior to the start of work or as required to obtain other city permits.

F. Upon submittal of a completed application the applicant shall provide the application fee according to the fee schedule adopted by the city. [Ord. 633 § 2, 2012; Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.050 Renewal of permits.

Repealed by Ord. 633. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.060 Permit exception.

A. A right-of-way use permit shall not be required of utilities for activities exempted under SMC 12.15.170 or when responding to emergencies that require disturbance of the right-of-way; provided, that the department shall be notified by the responding utility or contractor verbally or in writing, as soon as practicable following onset of an emergency. Nothing herein shall relieve a responding utility or contractor from the requirement to apply for a right-of-way use permit as provided in this chapter within 48 hours after beginning emergency work in the right-of-way.

B. Permits are not required for city public works.

C. Permits are not required for the ordinary maintenance of landscaping in the right-of-way including pruning of trees which is consistent with SMC 20.50.350(E). Blockage of the right-of-way associated with ordinary maintenance of landscaping requires a use permit. [Ord. 633 § 4, 2012; Ord. 627 § 3, 2012; Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.070 Construction within the right-of-way – Purpose.

Repealed by Ord. 633. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.080 Construction within the right-of-way – Coordination requirements.

Repealed by Ord. 633. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.090 Construction within the right-of-way – Equipment and materials within the right-of-way.

Repealed by Ord. 633. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.100 Construction within the right-of-way – Traffic and pedestrian control.

Repealed by Ord. 633. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.110 Construction within the right-of-way – Pavement cutting and restoration.

Repealed by Ord. 633. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.120 Construction within the right-of-way – Survey requirements.

Repealed by Ord. 633. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.130 Temporary street closures.

The convenience of an open roadway is consistent with the idea of good customer service. The city will discourage street closures and strongly discourage arterial street closures. In the event of street closure, the following standards apply except when a right-of-way permit issued pursuant to this chapter provides otherwise:

A. Signs notifying the public of the upcoming closure shall be posted in a conspicuous place at each end of the roadway to be closed and at all intersections associated and/or adjacent to the closed segment of the street.

B. The signs shall be posted no later than three calendar days prior to the proposed closure unless a different time period is required by the right-of-way permit.

C. Any residential street closures greater than 12 consecutive hours will require a detour route plan, signage, and a public notice published in the newspaper of record a minimum of three calendar days prior to closure.

D. For all nonemergency arterial street closures, in addition to posting signs, public notice published in the newspaper of record is required a minimum of three calendar days prior to the closure, regardless of the length of the closure.

E. For all street closures described above, the permittee is required to notify in writing the following agencies a minimum of three calendar days prior to the closure:

1. The Shoreline police department;

2. The Shoreline fire district;

3. The Shoreline school district; and

4. King County transportation division.

F. These standards shall be considered a minimum; other notifications may be required as deemed appropriate by the director. [Ord. 813 § 1, 2018; Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.140 Purpose.

The purpose of SMC 12.15.140 through 12.15.180 is to provide the requirements and conditions regarding the accommodation of utilities in the city right-of-way. The accommodation of utilities in city right-of-way shall place primary emphasis on the following:

A. Transportation operation and safety;

B. Maintaining the structural integrity of the transportation facility;

C. Preserving the aesthetic value of the facility elements;

D. Protecting the public’s investment in the roadway and associated facilities;

E. Accommodating development or improvement of the city right-of-way;

F. Minimizing the need for later adjustment to accommodate future roadway improvements; and

G. Permitting service access to utility installations with minimum interference to traffic. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.150 Utilities in good standing.

The purpose of designating utilities in good standing (UGS) is to provide a streamlined permitting process by issuing UGS certification for franchised utilities. This certification will allow a UGS utility to work in the right-of-way without a permit for blanket activity work. The UGS utility may inspect its own blanket activity work and certify that the work has occurred in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Each utility may apply for UGS certification in writing on the standard city form.

A. Approval Standards. All franchise holders are eligible to apply for UGS certification. To qualify for UGS certification, the following factors shall be considered:

1. A utility must have no more than three written notifications of noncompliance during the preceding 12 months;

2. The utility’s past documented performance in complying with city policy and requirements;

3. Terms of the utility’s franchise agreement.

Records of the actions by the utilities providing timely relocation and extension, and work that conforms to the standards of this chapter will be kept by the department and will be used as a basis for establishing or continuing UGS standing.

B. Revocation of UGS Standing. Utility in good standing certification shall remain in effect for the term of the franchise agreement, or until the UGS certification is revoked. Revocation may occur for the following reasons:

1. A UGS utility may have its UGS certification immediately revoked upon written notice by the director for gross noncompliance with city requirements creating health, safety, or roadway stability hazards.

2. A UGS certification may be automatically revoked after three written notifications of noncompliance within a 12-month period. Reasons for notifications of noncompliance may include, but not be limited to, the following list. Failure to:

a. Comply with the provisions of the franchise agreement;

b. Comply with the Shoreline development code and engineering development guide;

c. Comply with the latest edition of the MUTCD;

d. Comply with Washington State Labor and Industry rules;

e. Comply with the provisions and conditions on an approved permit;

f. Actively coordinate with city street construction projects, including attending any required design and preconstruction meetings;

g. Actively coordinate with other utilities on utility-initiated projects;

h. Respond to requests for relocation information when requested by the city;

i. Relocate utility franchises in a timely manner that is consistent with approved construction schedules;

j. Notify the city as soon as it is known that compliance with city standards for a construction project cannot be achieved (an engineering standards variance may be required);

k. Obtain a permit, when required, to work in the right-of-way;

l. Notify the city 24 to 72 hours prior to beginning work in the right-of-way;

m. Notify the appropriate agencies prior to a road closure;

n. Notify the city of canceled or completed work in a timely manner;

o. Complete all work within 12 months of permit issuance;

p. Permanently repair a pavement patch within 30 calendar days from the date of temporary restoration;

q. Restore the roadway and pavement in accordance with approved provisions and conditions;

r. Leave the project site in a manner that is safe and protected;

s. Minimize the need for cutting of pavement less than 60 months old;

t. Maintain temporary pavement restorations;

u. Remove abandoned aboveground facilities in the required timeframes; and

v. Payment of permit fees in a timely manner.

C. The director shall consider the following before issuing a written letter of noncompliance:

1. The utility’s tenure;

2. Prior performance levels;

3. Volume of work conducted;

4. Severity of the noncompliance; and

5. The existence of extreme circumstances beyond the utility’s control. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.160 Design of utility installations.

The utility is responsible for the design of the utility facility being proposed. This design, in addition to the integrity of the proposed utility facility, shall include provisions for public safety during the course of construction as well as full consideration of traffic safety and traffic accident potential for the life of the installation. The design shall also minimize disturbance to the roadway both during and after construction. In the case of proposed attachment to existing bridges and structures, the utility is responsible for submitting engineering information, including all engineering calculations, to the director concerning the structural ability of the bridge to carry the additional load. The director will make a final determination regarding the request and establish design and construction parameters for this type of work. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.170 Utility installation.

The department shall determine whether proposed utility construction is consistent with the applicant’s right-of-way franchise or permit from the city. Applications shall be evaluated in respect to the hazard and risk of the proposed construction, location of the proposed construction in relation to other utilities in the right-of-way and the adequacy of the engineering and design of proposed construction. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.180 Types of utility activities.

Depending on the type of work and the standing of the utility, a permit may be required for a utility to work in the right-of-way. In the event of conflict between the listed standards and a utility’s franchise agreement or right-of-way use agreement, the provisions of the agreement shall apply. Utility work is divided into the following three classifications:

A. Minor Activity.

1. Minor activity work does not disrupt right-of-way or traffic patterns. Some examples of minor activity work include:

a. Street lamp replacement;

b. Accessing existing manholes and vaults;

c. Raising valves;

d. Providing cathodic protection; and

e. Replacing existing aboveground meters, transformers, closures, and pedestals.

2. No breaking of any asphalt, curb, gutter, or sidewalk is allowed. No permit or notification is required for this type of work; however, proper traffic control devices must be used and any disturbance to the right-of-way must be repaired in accordance with standards.

B. Blanket Activity.

1. Blanket activity work has a moderate effect on nonarterial right-of-way or traffic patterns. Some examples of blanket activity work include:

a. Installing utility services while disturbing no more pavement than the specified maximum amount in each utility blanket agreement;

b. Installing short side services and hydrants;

c. Pushing under a street; and

d. Constructing splice pits.

2. Utilities in good standing are not required to obtain a permit for these types of activities; however, fax notification must be provided to the city 24 to 72 hours before starting any blanket activity work. Utilities not in good standing must obtain a permit prior to starting any blanket activity work.

C. Major Activity.

1. Major activity work has a major impact on the right-of-way or traffic patterns. Some examples of major activity work include:

a. Cutting asphalt greater than the square footage allowed as specified in a blanket activity permit.

b. Constructing a main line or an open cut road crossing.

2. All utilities are required to obtain a permit for this type of work. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.190 Revocation of permits.

A. The director may revoke any permit issued under this chapter whenever in the director’s sole determination:

1. The work or activity does not proceed in accordance with the plans as approved, or conditions of approval, or is not in compliance with the requirements of this chapter or procedures, or other city ordinances, state law or federal law;

2. The city has been denied access to investigate and perform inspection;

3. The permittee has made a misrepresentation of a material fact in applying for a permit;

4. The progress or condition of the approved work or activity indicates that it is or will be inadequate to protect the public and adjoining property, the street or utilities in the street, or any excavation or fill endangers or will endanger the public, the adjoining property, street or utilities in the street.

B. Upon suspension or revocation of a permit, all use of the right-of-way shall cease, except as authorized or directed by the director. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.200 Nuisance in the right-of-way.

Any activity, object or thing which occupies any right-of-way without the legal authorization required by this chapter is declared a public nuisance and shall be subject to enforcement procedures, including penalties, as provided in Chapter 20.30 SMC. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]

12.15.210 Adoption of administrative procedures.

The director may prepare and adopt policies and procedures necessary to implement this chapter. Such policies do not require approval by the city council. [Ord. 339 § 1, 2003]