Did you know that the City of Seattle has an official policy on how to deal with your unpaved alley? And that essentially the policy is that they won’t do anything to fix your alley, but you still have to get approval to make any changes.

As we approach the end of winter, and the potholes intensify, we will start to see neighbors out, inspecting their alleyways and trying to band together to fix them.  The official policy says:

Unpaved Alleys – Alleys which are not paved to City standards (e.g. dirt and gravel alleys) are not funded for any maintenance, repair, or improvements by the City.  Adjacent property owners can maintain or make improvements to the alleys at their expense.  All work requires a Street Use Permit.

Essentially what this means is that you are required, with your neighbors, to maintain your alleyway.  However, if you would like to make any improvements, you have to obtain a permit.

Does anyone have any advice for neighbors looking to make improvements to their alleyways?