Active Building Permits in Seattle

By Ross Perez 01 Jul, 2010

The housing boom may be bust, but Seattle is still bustling with active building permits. Robert Morton found this data at, the City of Seattle's public data repository. Using his viz, you can see permits going back several years. What's going on in your neighborhood?

For me, this data brings up questions about the City of Seattle permit process. For instance, dozens of buildings downtown (I am assuming commercial spaces), have a "blanket permit for interior non-structural alterations - Administrative permit only- no work authorized". So, why issue a permit that cannot be used for anything? I am sure there is a good reason, I just can't figure it out.


Submitted by James B. on

Hmm. Some flaws in the data - on my house the "Permit issued as of " is about five years later than when the permit was actually issued.
-it might just be the mechanical permits.

Submitted by Robert M. on

Yes, the data is flawed - it's from, much of which is community-contributed data. While the linked detail page has the accurate permit information, but there's no way to get an overview.

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