Form revised: December 14, 2010





Contact Person/Phone:

CBO Analyst/Phone:


Brian de Place/233-3855

Rebecca Guerra/684-5339


Legislation Title: AN ORDINANCE relating to street-food vending, merchandise displays, and sidewalk cafés; amending Sections 11.14.450, 11.16.280, 11.23.420, 11.23.440, 11.31.121, 11.72.430, 15.02.042, 15.02.044, 15.02.046, 15.02.048, 15.04.074, 15.16.010, 15.16.012, 15.16.020, 15.16.040, 15.16.050, 15.16.060, 15.16.070, 15.16.080, 15.17.005,  15.17.050, 15.17.080, 15.17.100, 15.17.150, 15.17.200, 15.91.010, and 15.91.016 of the Seattle Municipal Code; adding Sections 11.14.157, 11.14.227, 11.14.228, 11.72.195, 15.16.075, 15.17.006, 15.17.007, 15.17.008, 15.17.009, 15.17.120, 15.17.130, 15.17.152, and 15.17.250; repealing Chapter 10.10, and Sections 10.03.110, 15.17.010, and 15.17.020; amending the current Seattle Department of Transportation Street Use fee schedule by adding new vending-related Street Use permit use codes and amending vending-related Street Use permit fees.


Summary of the Legislation:


Public Place Sidewalk or Plaza vending—Use Code 19E and 19F

·         In addition to vending food from a vending cart from a sidewalk, this legislation also provides the ability for food vending to occur in other public places like pedestrian plazas or pedestrian malls and from other modes like food vehicles. While it remains unlawful to detach and park a trailer or camper in other areas of the roadway, SDOT may permit detached trailers in designated pedestrian plazas or pedestrian malls. Carts and trailers must be removed at the end of business.

Vending from the curb space or “Food Vehicle Zone Vending”—Use Code 19G and 19H

Food Vehicle for a Temporary Curb space Vending—Use Code 19I

Mobile vending of pre-packaged food—Use Code 19J

Stadium Event Vending—Use Code 19C and 19D

·         Clarify the Stadium and Exhibition Center Event vending area regulations — The legislation expands the stadium vending area to include all events that may occur at Qwest Field, Safeco Field and the Exhibition Center.  The legislation also clarifies prohibitions related to the “stadium and exhibition center event restricted vending area” surrounding Safeco Field. The legislation clarifies the vending permit procedures and regulations consistent with the other proposed vending regulations.

Vending permit application procedures

·         Creates a lottery for vendors at specific locations — The legislation permits SDOT to conduct a lottery in order to provide equal access to new food-vending locations when more than one complete application is received for a site.  Vendors that have operated with a good compliance history at a site would not be subject to a lottery when they are renewing their Street Use permit before it expires.

Street-food vending site locations

Restrictions on vending operations

·         Amplified sound — Street-food vendors will not be permitted to play amplified music or use other noise-making devices at vending locations, with one exception for mobile-food vendors of food products that Health has determined is exempt from obtaining a Health permit (as an example, prepackaged ice cream products). This exception recognizes that amplified music is an essential component of this business model.  These mobile food vendors will, however, be prohibited from stopping at a curb space longer than necessary to serve waiting customers and must comply with SMC 25.08, Noise Control. 

Establishing uniform regulations across all vending types

·         The legislation also proposes minor changes to sidewalk café and merchandise display regulations in order to establish consistent regulations for all vending types.




The City has an interest in encouraging street-food vending and the multiple public benefits it provides.  Recognizing that current regulations have tended to discourage street-food vending, the Executive is proposing legislation to amend or remove regulatory barriers. The proposal includes changes to Seattle Municipal Code Titles 11 (Traffic) and 15 (Street and Sidewalk use), and proposes to repeal the Seattle Food Code Chapter 10.10 consistent with the code’s previous incorporation into the King County Board of Health (Health) Code by Council Resolution 29615.


Nighttime enforcement funding will come from FAS, which received budget for vending enforcement in the Revenue and Consumer Protection: Revenue and Licensing Section:


Increase the budget by $40,000 for overtime costs for selected members of the Code Compliance Team (CCT) to enforce regulations related to nighttime mobile food vending, nightlife and amplified sound. The CCT will determine when enforcement outings will occur. Departments that will use the overtime resources are Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Police Department, and the Department of Finance and Administrative Services.


The Vending legislation allows for nighttime enforcement citation fees and program administration fees to reimburse the FAS CCT enforcement budget.


Finally, Sidewalk Café Ordinance 122824 established the setback and pedestrian clearance standards, which are reflected and refined in this vending legislation.


____    This legislation does not have any financial implications.  


__X__ This legislation has financial implications.  



Fund Name and Number


Budget Control Level*



2012 Anticipated Appropriation











*See budget book to obtain the appropriate Budget Control Level for your department.


Appropriations Notes:  N/A


Anticipated Revenue/Reimbursement: Resulting from this Legislation:

Fund Name and Number


Revenue Source





Transportation Operating Fund 10310

Seattle Department of Transportation

Use Code 19E and 19F- Vending from a public place sidewalk or plaza- Base Permit Fee





Use  Code 19G and 19H—Food vehicle zone vending-Base Permit Fee





19I—Temporary curb space vending Base Permit Fee





19C—Stadium Event Vending (April-September)-Base Permit Fee





19D—Stadium Event Vending (October-March)- Base Permit Fee





19J—Mobile  Food Vending-Base Permit Fee





Program Administration Fee (Daytime)-for Use codes 19E, 19F, 19G, and 19H






Program Administration Fee (Nighttime) -for Use codes 19E, 19F, 19G, and 19H





Parking/Occupation Fee- for Use codes 19E, 19F, 19G, 19H, 19C, and 19D
























Revenue/Reimbursement Notes:


See Attachment A:  Proposed Street Use Vending Fee Examples for assumption on permit volumes.


Permit fees can be used to administer the vending program, including any of the following: designate pre-approved vending sites by the Department of Transportation; designate food vehicle zones, notify property owners abutting a proposed vending site designated by the Department of Transportation; verify property boundaries and square footage of usage; sign and demarcate designated vending sites and food vehicle zones; attend meetings or hearings; prepare documents, legislation, forms, and notices; inspect and enforce permitted or illegal vending activity; or engage in any other vending-related activity as directed by the Director of Transportation.


Stadium Event Vending fees are based at a rate of $10 per event based on the average number of event days in 2010. This calculates to $170 per month for April through September and $110 per month for October through March.


The Program Administration Fee is based on the cost of administering the program; other street use permits have direct inspection dollars associated with each permit. For public place vending and food vehicle zones, the program will be administered not per vending permit, but there will be general enforcement of permitted and unpermitted vendors during both day and nighttime, in addition to the enforcement of terms and conditions on permitted carts. The nighttime program administration fee can be used by other departments for off-hour enforcement, as authorized by SDOT director. The fee pays for cost of enforcement and program administration based on two hours inspection per year per permit:

·    DAY (6AM-8PM)= $344

·   NIGHT (8PM-6AM)= $688


The Occupation fee for public place sidewalk or plaza vending is based on the occupation fees for sidewalk cafes at $1.56 per square foot of area occupied.


Parking/Occupation Fee is for food vehicles vending in a food vehicle zone. It is based on the Car Share rate model for use of the curb space for commercial purposes. The annual rate is $177 per each 4-hour period each day of the week the curb space would be used.


Citation volumes are based on 2010 data, with the expectation that second infraction volumes will increase in the second year of implementing this legislation and associated enforcement.


See Attachment A:  Proposed Street Use Vending Fee Examples for description of how specific fees apply to each use code.


Total Regular Positions Created, Modified, or Abrogated through this Legislation, Including FTE Impact: 


Position Title and Department

Position # for Existing Positions

Fund Name & #






2012 Positions*

2012 FTE*

































* 2012 positions and FTE are total 2012 position changes resulting from this legislation, not incremental changes.  Therefore, under 2012, please be sure to include any continuing positions from 2011.


Position Notes: N/A


Do positions sunset in the future?  No


Spending/Cash Flow:


Fund Name & #


Budget Control Level*



2012 Anticipated Expenditures











* See budget book to obtain the appropriate Budget Control Level for your department.


Spending/Cash Flow Notes: N/A


What is the financial cost of not implementing the legislation?  None.


Does this legislation affect any departments besides the originating department?  Yes, this legislation will affect the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) and the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).


What are the possible alternatives to the legislation that could achieve the same or similar objectives?  None.


Is the legislation subject to public hearing requirements? 

Yes. SEPA Determination of Non Significance posting 10/4/10-10/25/10, no appeals filed with Hearing Examiner.

The following groups have been contacted regarding this legislation

·         Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board                            December 9, 2009

·         Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board                            February 10, 1010

·         Capitol Hill Community Council                                December 17, 2009

·         Street Food Vendors Roundtable                               December 10, 2009

·         Seattle Food Vendors Roundtable                             April 6, 2009

·         Street Truck Vendors Forum                                      October 26, 2010

·         Seattle Chapter, WA Restaurant Assn.                      January, 2010

·         West Precinct Advisory Committee                           February 10, 2010

·         Downtown District Council                                       February 11, 2010

·         Parking Access Review Committee                           

·         Seattle Human Rights Commission                           

·         Seattle Commission for People With Disabilities       June 17, 2010

·         Seattle Commission for People With Disabilities       October 18, 2010       

·         Belltown Community Council                                               

·         Belltown Business Association                                              

·         Pioneer Square Preservation Board                            April 7, 2010

·         Chinatown/ID Special Review Board                                   

·         Columbia City Business Improvement Area             

·         Ballard Chamber of Commerce                                  September 8, 2010                 

·         Broadway BIA                                                                      

·         Broadway BIA                                                                      

·         Building Owners and Managers Assn.                       March 23, 2010

·         Denny Triangle Neighborhood Assn.                                    

·         Downtown Seattle Association                                             

·         Sound Transit                                                              June 28, 2010

·         Delridge Neighborhood Development Assn.             June 29, 2010

·         Downtown District Council Forum                            July 26, 2010

·         BIA Executive Directors                                                       

·         Mobile Chowdown Event                                          October 1, 2010


Other Issues: None.


List attachments to the fiscal note below:


Attachment A:  Proposed Street Use Vending Fee Examples


Attachment A:  Proposed Street Use Vending Permit Fee Examples


Public Place sidewalk or plaza vending-- Use Code 19E and 19F

                  2011 Assumption:    30 Daytime

                                                   17 Nighttime

                  2012 Assumption:    32 Daytime

                                                   19 Nighttime

o   $146 Issuance fee: 

§  Application review (verify insurance, business license, Health permit, Fire permit, site plan, cart design)

§  Administer lottery for multiple applications

§  Research existing and potential permitted activity conflicts

§  Permit drafting , record keeping, mapping

o   $78 Use fee:

§  $1.56 per SF (Based on 50 square feet (SF))

§  Occupation of sidewalk or plaza (same as sidewalk cafe occupation fee)

o   $344 Program Administration fee (daytime):

§  2 hours daytime inspection per permit per year (OR $688 program administration fee for 2 hours overtime nighttime inspection per permit per year)

§  Inspect permitted vendors for permit compliance

§  Inspect and enforce illegal vendors

§  Attend hearings for vending-related citations

§  Respond to vending-related complaints

Total: $568 (existing site/permittee per year –daytime)

§  $912 Total for existing site/permittee per year-nighttime

o   Add $344 Review for new sites/ applicants

§  Assume 4 new site reviews for 2011; 6 for 2012


Vending from the curb space

·         Food Vehicle zones-Use code 19G and 19H

2011 Assumption:   10 Daytime

                                             10 Nighttime

            2012 Assumption:   12 Daytime

                                             12 Nighttime

o   $146 Issuance fee

o   $531 Parking/Use fee

§  Based on Car Share rate model:  ($177 per each 4-hour period) times 3 days a week for the year.

§  Recovery of lost parking revenue based on Car Share model

§  Use of parking space for commercial purposes

o   $344 Program Administration fee-daytime (or $688 nighttime)

Total: $1,021 (existing sites per year –daytime)

§  $1,365 Total for existing site per year-nighttime

o   Add $344 Review for new sites

§  Assume 2 new site reviews for 2012


·         Food vehicle in curb space-temporary curb space vending --19I

2011 Assumption:  15

2012 Assumption:  24

o   $146 Issuance Fee

o   $86 Final Inspection

§  1/2 hour inspection per event day

§  Verify right-of-way is clean after event

o   $172 Review

Total: $404 per event


·         Stadium Event Vending (April-September)-- Use Code 19C

2011 Assumption:  18

2012 Assumption:  18

o   $146 Issuance Fee

o   $1,166 Parking/Use Fee

§  6-month permit; based on the average number of event days  in 2010 (approximately 17) at $10 per event ($170 month)

§  Use of parking space for commercial purposes

Total: $1,312 for existing site


·         Stadium Event Vending (October-March) –Use Code 19D

2011 Assumption:  18

2012 Assumption:  18

o   $146 Issuance Fee

o   $806 Parking/Use Fee

§  6-month permit; based on the average number of event days  in 2010 (approximately 11) at $10 per event ($110 month)

Total: $952 for existing site


·         Mobile food vending (ice cream trucks and other pre-packaged foods)-- 19J

2011 Assumption:  15

2012 Assumption:  15

o   $146 Issuance fee

Total:  146 per vehicle