Event Pole Banners

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16, 2020. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications.

You can submit applications for all permit types online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone or e-mail.

Updated 11/2022

Interested in Neighborhood Pole Banners instead? 

Did you want Neighborhood Pole Banners to better identify a landmark or neighborhood? Check out the applicant guide on our Public Amenity Permit page.   

How do I get a permit for event pole banners?

This permit allows you to install event advertisement banners on City-owned utility poles that you proposed. Eligible event banners promote arts and cultural activities, such as events, festivals, and tourism programs, as well as major sporting events, announcing a specific date or time period. Banners may not be used to advertise specific products or services. They announce a specific date or time period and may be installed 30 days prior to an event and must be taken down 5 days afterward. 

Review Guidelines and Figure out Where You Want to Put your Event Pole Banner  

Banner design guidelines: 

    • Include the location and date of the event 
    • Install banners closely spaced together at similar heights to create a strong visual impact
    • Limit sponsorship and corporate logo recognition(s) to no more than 20% of the overall banner area. The font of the sponsorship may not be larger than the font of the event name.
    • Banners may not be used to advertise specific products or services.  
    • Use simple and bold graphics, while keeping your text short. Bright colors that contrast each other provide the best visual impact 

Pole Eligibility: 

    • Poles Banners cannot be placed on any poles with traffic control signals/devices, pedestrian crossing signals, or art installations
    • Metro Poles or poles with Metro attachments must have prior approval from King County Metro before receiving your permit
    • Banners may be within commercial or industrial zones, or next to major institutions or City-owned open spaces. The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (Seattle DCI) zoning map will help you to identify if the area in which you'd like to install banners has the proper zoning 
    • Event Banners may be installed 30 days prior to an event and must be taken down five days after the event. 
    • Wood poles are eligible for use if they support streetlights only, with only one wire attached to pole
      • For mounting on wood streetlight poles, you must use lag bolts. The lag bolts must be the same diameter or 1/16 - inch less than the bolt hole diameter. The bolts should be stainless steel and 4 inches in length. Once installed on wood streetlight poles, the mounting hardware must be left in place. The use of clamps or banding on wood poles is not permitted. 

An eligible wood pole

Example of an eligible wood pole with one streetlight wire. 

An ineligible wood pole

Example of a wood pole that would not be approved due to multiple attachments.

Banner Installation Specifications:

    • Banners must be installed with both a top and bottom rod 
    • Mount your banner at least 2 feet above any existing signs
    • Banners should not interfere with the visibility of traffic signals or signs, or with identified historic or artistic installations
    • If banner is on sidewalk side of pole, make sure it is at least 8 feet above the sidewalk and 18 inches back from the face of the curb
    • If the banner is on curb side of pole, follow the directions in the diagrams below:
      • When the edge of the banner is more than 18 inches from the curb, the minimum clearance for the bottom of the banner is 8 feet over the sidewalk.
      • When the edge of the banner is less than 18 inches from the curb, the minimum clearance for the bottom of the banner is 14 feet over a parking lane or 16.5 feet over a travel lane.

 

Ready to apply?

Apply at least 6 weeks before you need to install your banners. Spring and summer are busy seasons for banner requests, so get your application in as early as possible! 

When you are ready to apply, head to the Seattle Services Portal.     

Note: If you've never used the Portal before, you'll need to register and set up an account first. See this helpful article or video on how to do this.  

Once you are logged in, follow the steps below:  

    • Under "Create New" select "Permits-Street Use"
    • Navigate to and select the "Short Term Use" and "Temporary Activation" record type

Required documents at submittal - 

    • Site Plan, highlighting the specific streets where the proposed banners will be installed. See above review guidelines for more information. 
    • Design proof(s) complete with size and colors with installation attachment specifications. (View an example design proof here)
    • Specifications for your installation system if installing brackets 

Prior to permit approval - 

    • Historic/Landmark District Certificate of Approval (if in an historic district)  

Application Review & Decision 

You can check the status of your permit online through the Seattle Service Portal. We will review the application and may contact you either to request additional information or to correct any information. 
 
After our staff review is complete, we will either approve, approve with modifications, or (in rare cases) deny the application. 

Permit Issuance and Installation 

Once your permit is issued, it will be uploaded to the Seattle Services Portal. You should review the permit and approved documents. Make sure you have an Annual Vehicle Permit or Right-of-way Maintenance for installation and then you are ready to get out and install! Once you install, an inspector will go out and confirm pole banners meet our approved permit and plan. 

Permit Duration  

Event pole banners are temporary, short-term permit, so you are expected to remove the banners five days after the event is over.