Seattle Center Purpose Statement
Seattle Center creates exceptional events, experiences, and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities.
A: General Provisions
Seattle Center is a department of the City of Seattle. It is a beautiful 74-acre landscaped campus that includes theaters, arenas, museums, and other public facilities. Its roots reach back more than 100 years as a site of Native American celebrations. Seattle Center is a reflection of the Northwest itself: the cultural diversity; the commitment to the arts, to the environment, and to education; and the love of sports and quality entertainment. With over 12 million visitors a year, it is the fourth largest visitor destination in the United States.
These rules are intended to help provide for the safe enjoyment of all that Seattle Center has to offer. Prohibited and inappropriate behavior on the Seattle Center Campus diminishes these precious assets and deprives citizens of the full use and enjoyment of the natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and peaceful repose that the Seattle Center campus provides in the center of an urban setting.
All persons on the Seattle Center campus shall be governed by these rules and regulations and by order and instructions of the Seattle Center Director relative to the use or occupation of any part of the Seattle Center grounds or buildings and shall comply with written or oral instructions issued by the Director, Seattle Center employees, Seattle Center authorized agents, or Seattle Police to enforce these regulations.
Unless clearly inconsistent with the context in which used, the following definitions apply:
- “Adequate leash” means a leash of six (6) feet in length or shorter.
- “Buildings” means all enclosed or sheltered areas on the campus, including inside buildings, under covered walkways, and under building overhangs.
- “Camp” means to erect a tent or other shelter, or to use sleeping equipment, such as sleeping bags, blankets, cardboard, tarps, or similar coverings for the purpose of sleeping.
- “Campus” means all grounds and all buildings, including gardens, lawns, open spaces, fountains, streets, roads, pathways, parking lots, garages, plazas, and sculptures that comprise the areas under the control of Director of Seattle Center.
- “Commercial Activity” means any business activity, profession, trade, or occupation requiring a City of Seattle Business License; any activity that is taxable under the City of Seattle’s Business and Occupation tax; any activity engaged in with the objective of financial gain, benefit or advantage, directly or indirectly, or any activity, including commercial speech, that proposes or offers an exchange of valuable consideration for goods or services at the time of the proposal or in the future, for consummation on or off campus. Commercial Activities include but are not limited to vending, food concessions, advertising, promotion, filming, exhibits, commercial photography, placement of telecommunication relay devices or fiber optic devices, airspace use, sub soil rights, and giving away products such as, but not limited to, food, gum, and medicines.
- "Commercial Speech" means any speech relating to commercial activities.
- “Director” means the Seattle Center Director or his or her designee.
- “Exclusion Notice” means that the recipient is no longer invited, licensed, permitted, or otherwise privileged to remain on the premises of the campus from which he or she was ordered to leave. The Exclusion Notice shall be in writing and shall contain the date of issuance. The Exclusion Notice shall specify the length and places of exclusion. The issuing individual shall sign it. Warning of the consequences for failure to comply shall be prominently displayed on the notice. The recipient will be given the opportunity to sign the original Exclusion Notice, but a refusal to sign does not invalidate the exclusion.
- “Exclusion Warning” means a written notice to a person that there is probable cause to believe that the person has violated these rules or any other applicable Seattle Center rules, any provision of the Seattle Municipal Code, the Revised Code of Washington, or other applicable law, and may be excluded from the Seattle Center Campus for a period of 1 to 365 days if the person commits the same or similar violation again. An Exclusion Warning may also provide that a person is excluded for the remainder of the day if the person has engaged in conduct that creates a significant risk of personal injury or property damage.
- “Grounds” means all areas of the campus other than “buildings.”
- “License” or “Permit” means a written authorization for a person or entity to engage in a specific use or activity on a portion or all of the Seattle Center campus.
- “Protected Speech” means verbal or written communication intended to convey a non-commercial political, religious, and philosophical or other similar message to the public, and includes distributing literature, seeking petition signatures, picketing, demonstrating, carrying signs, artistic performances, or other activities recognized by courts as entitled to protection under Federal or Washington constitutions.
- “Seattle Center Campus Rules” means these rules or other rules so entitled and promulgated by the Director.
- “Speech Activities” includes both protected speech and commercial speech. Speech activities do not include activity conducted by City employees.
- "Use” means the exercise of dominion or control over or occupation of all or part of a public place, or the right to do so. It includes constructing, storing, erecting, placing upon, or maintaining, operating any inanimate thing or object in, upon, over or under any public place. "Use" includes the placement of a table, equipment, or other similar object. “Use” does not include the placement of an inanimate object in such a location and for such a limited duration of time that, under the circumstances, no reasonable person could conclude that the public's right to use or enjoy the public place, in whole or in part, has been or potentially could be interfered with.
- “Violation” means an act or omission or combination thereof that is contrary to any campus rule or any civil or criminal provision of the Revised Code of Washington, the Seattle Municipal Code, or other applicable law.
- “Weapon” means any firearm or any instrument designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any knife having a blade of three inches or more, or any straight-edge razor, spring stick, metal knuckles, blackjack, bat, club or other bludgeon-type instrument, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, such as nun chahkas, nunchakus or shurikens, or chains, or whips, or stars, or darts, or stun gun, or taser, or any disc having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled.
- “Weapon Violation” means possession or use of a weapon in violation of Chapter 9.41 of the Revised Code of Washington, Chapter 12A.14 of the Seattle Municipal Code or other applicable statute or ordinance.
D: Director’s Authority – Rulemaking – Enforcement
The Director shall have the power to enforce these rules. The Director may, in accordance with SMC 17.04.040 of the Administrative Code, adopt, amend and rescind rules in order to manage and control the campus.
E: Licenses and Permits
- The following activities require a license, permit, or other written authorization. Engaging in any activity requiring a license or permit without a valid license or permit is a violation of these rules.
- Conducting any Commercial Activity on the grounds or in any buildings.
- Festivals, programs and other events at which more than 75 attendees can reasonably be expected to attend.
- Use of the Seattle Center name or logo or any of the Seattle Center’s images, exclusive representations, copyrighted, or proprietary material for commercial purposes.
- Attaching any signs, posters, banners, notices, or any similar objects, whether temporary or permanent, to any Seattle Center property;
- Making any improvement to or on the campus or construction of a public work, or placement of visual art.
- Using any outdoor electrical power outlet or indoor electrical power outlet for use outside; or laying cables or extending wires on the campus.
- Reserving all or a portion of any facility, room or part or all of the campus.
- The Use of sound or voice amplification equipment, other than battery-powered equipment as provided in: F (2) (d)
- The placement of a table, stand, or other structure of a dimension of greater than three by three feet, other than as provided in section F (2) (e). The placement of a table, stand, or other structure of a dimension of greater than three by three feet, other than as provided in section F (2) (e).
- Storage of placards, boxes, or supplies.
- The use of any flammable liquids.
- Any other activities that constitute an exercise of dominion or control over a portion of the Seattle Center campus, thereby limiting the general public’s ability to use that area of the campus.
- Terms and Conditions of Licenses or Permits
The Director may condition a license or permit or impose such terms and conditions as appropriate to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public and/or the campus; to protect property; to avoid or limit unnecessary interference with other uses or users of the campus; to minimize disturbance of the surrounding neighborhood; and require the user to leave the area in a condition after the activity or event as it was beforehand. For this purpose, the Director may require the user to furnish public liability and property damage insurance, naming the City of Seattle as an additional insured, in such amounts as reasonably necessary to provide recompense for personal injury or death or property damage that results from the event or activity, and/or to make a reasonable security and damage deposit, or provide a bond. The Director shall have authority to immediately suspend or terminate a license or permit without prior notice upon violation of an applicable law, a Seattle Center Campus Rule, or any material term or condition of the license or permit.
The Director may temporarily suspend a license or permit during activities or events that have been granted exclusive use rights to the campus or any portion of the campus. Exclusive use activities and events can include festivals, Seattle Center programming, Seattle Center sponsored or co-sponsored events, or exclusive licensed activities.
All licenses shall be wholly of a temporary nature, shall vest no permanent right, and may be revoked for convenience upon seven (7) days’ notice or, if the license so states, upon shorter notice.
- License Fees
The Director is authorized to charge fees for licensed activities. Fees can be based solely upon or in combination with a percentage of gross sales, a one-time flat fee, a fee per each instance the licensed activity is exercised, or the recovery of Seattle Center costs associated with the license issuance and authorized activities (or such other fee structure as may be negotiated). Issuance of a license shall also be subject to payment of fees, taxes, or charges as required by ordinance or authorized by resolution of the Seattle City Council, or pursuant to King County or State of Washington requirements, or all applicable laws.
- Permit Fees
The Director may establish and charge application fees and permit fees as provided in other applicable laws or rules.
- Refund of Deposits and Fees
The Director is authorized to refund fees, on a prorated basis, upon cancellation of a license or permit and to return all or any portion of any security and damage deposit when no longer needed or after costs that may be charged against the license or permit have been paid.
- Non-Transferability of Licenses & Permits
Licenses and permits are, unless provided otherwise in the license or permit, nontransferable. Trading, selling, or transferring permits is prohibited and may result in the immediate revocation of a permit.
F. Protected Speech Activities
- Protected Speech Activities on the Grounds Which Require No Permit
The following protected speech activities are allowed on the grounds, but not in buildings, without any license or permit and without any advance notice to Seattle Center:
- Leafleting and Gathering Signatures
No permit is required to engage in political speech activities such as the distribution of literature or the gathering of signatures unless the activity is accompanied by conduct that requires a permit under these rules. Leafleting and signature gathering is prohibited within (30) feet of building entrances. Leafleting and signature gathering are also prohibited inside Seattle Center buildings, except as otherwise provided in a license or permit.
- Carrying Signs
The carrying of signs or placards is allowed on the grounds so long as it is done in a manner consistent with these rules and all applicable laws. Unattended signs or placards are prohibited without a permit or license.
- Designated Protected Speech Locations
The Director shall designate locations on the grounds for protected speech activities that would otherwise require a permit (use of a table, equipment, or structure, amplification, etc., as provided in these Rules.) Each location has a capacity based on factors such as its size, location, and common other nearby uses.
- Designated locations are available for protected speech activities that would otherwise require a permit on a first come, first serve basis with no permit required.
- The Director may establish additional designated locations, either temporarily or indefinitely.
- A plaque will mark all designated protected speech locations with a number and/or letter inside, unless otherwise noted below, designating the maximum capacity of speakers and audience and maximum equipment size at that particular location. The Director may modify the maximum capacity of a specific designated location, based upon factors such as other authorized uses in the vicinity or anticipated congestion or mobility problems.
- The Director shall designate protected speech locations at which battery powered portable amplification is allowed without a permit. Such equipment must not be operated at such a volume that it could be clearly heard by a person of normal hearing at a distance of seventy-five (75) feet or more from the source of the sound. Seattle Center Security or other employees may request that the amplification be turned down if the amplification interferes with other authorized uses.
- The Director shall designate protected speech locations at which one small (no greater than 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet high) structure (such as a piece of equipment, a table or a self-standing sign) may be placed in conjunction with related protected speech activities, so long as the structure is: 1) not left unattended; and 2) is not placed in such a way as to interfere with passersby or other Seattle Center users.
- A map of the designated protected speech locations, along with each location’s permissive uses and limitations, will be available to the public.
- A schedule will be published that shows which areas are unavailable because of permitted activities
- If all designated sites are occupied, a person may request that the Director and/or his designee approve a temporarily location. Factors used to evaluate the request include other authorized uses in the vicinity, anticipated congestion or mobility problems, and public safety.
- Prohibition on Commercial Activity at Designated Protected Speech Locations
Use of a protected speech location for Commercial Activity is prohibited. Commercial activity requires a written license. Those engaged in protected speech activities may request and receive voluntary donations, which are not considered commercial activity under these rules. A voluntary donation means a person may participate in the activity or receive an offered item of value without regard to whether or not he or she makes a donation.
G: Speech Activities
- Speech Related Activities Which Require a Permit
- Gatherings, Demonstrations and Meetings - A gathering on the grounds that is reasonably anticipated to exceed seventy-five (75) people requires prior notice to Seattle Center and a license or permit. The Center will attempt to find an appropriate location on the grounds, based on the size of the anticipated gathering.
- The use of sound or voice amplifying apparatus in a building or on the grounds, except as permitted under Section: F. (2) (d).
- Attaching notices, stickers or similar objects to any Seattle Center property.
- Placing any structure except as provided in section F. (2) (e).
- Activities Which are Prohibited in Seattle Center Buildings Unless Expressly Authorized by the Director in a License or Permit
- Displaying Signs
- Gathering Signatures
- Actively Soliciting Donations
- Applicability of Speech Rules to Major Events
- Gated Events and Rooms or Buildings Reserved for Exclusive Use: Inside the reserved or gated areas, whether grounds, buildings, or both, the event organizers may control speech activities, both commercial and protected, and all commercial activities. Individuals who wish to engage in commercial activities, or commercial or speech activities inside the gated areas should contact the event organizers for permission.
- Ungated Events: The event organizers may, under the terms of the applicable event agreement, control commercial activities and commercial speech inside the event area. However, these rules regarding protected speech activities apply both outside and inside the event area.
H: Property Regulations
- No-Trespassing Areas – Removal or Destruction of Property – Structure or Obstructions
- It is prohibited for any person except a duly authorized Seattle Center employee or agent or other person duly authorized pursuant to law, to enter or go upon any area which has been designated and posted by the Director as “no admittance” “no trespassing,” “not open to the public,” or other similarly designated area.
- It is prohibited for any person except a duly authorized Seattle Center employee or agent or other person duly authorized pursuant to law, to remove, destroy, damage, mutilate or deface any structure, lawn, monument, statue, vase, fountain, wall, fence, railing, vehicle, bench, shrub, tree, geological formation, plant, flower, lighting system, sprinkling system, gate, barricade or lock or other property lawfully on the campus, or to remove sand, soil, plant materials, or sod on the campus.
- It is prohibited for any person other than a duly authorized employee or agent of the Seattle Center to place or erect on the campus a structure or obstruction of any kind without a license from the Director.
- The Seattle Center Campus is officially open from 7:00 A.M. to Midnight daily. (By Ordinance 92792)
I: Rules of Conduct
- Aggressive Behavior
No person shall treat any person in an aggressive, menacing, or abusive manner that would place a reasonable person in fear for their property or personal safety.
- Liquor Offenses and Controlled Substances
It is prohibited on the campus to consume, or to possess liquor, as defined in SMC Section 12A.24.010 C, or other applicable law, except as authorized by a Seattle Center License or other agreement and a Permit issued by the Washington State Liquor Control Board or its successor. Possession, sale, or use of illegal drugs in violation of RCW 69.50, the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, is prohibited.
- Animals are Prohibited in Buildings and Designated Areas
It is prohibited for anyone except those individuals with ADA service animals, public law enforcement officers, authorized City employees in the performance of their duties, or Seattle Center authorized licensees to bring any animal into any Seattle Center building or other areas designated by the Director and so posted, or to allow or permit any animal under his or her control to enter such facilities.
- American with Disabilities Act (ADA) service animals, defined as an animal that provides medically necessary support for the benefit of a person with a disability.
- Animals on the grounds on adequate leashes and under the control of an individual physically able to restrain the animal.
- Horses or dogs used by public law enforcement agencies and under the control of a law enforcement officer.
- Animals that are part of a Seattle Center licensed or sponsored activity.
- Adequate Leash Required
Any person with an animal in his or her possession must keep the animal on an adequate leash while on campus and shall be responsible and liable for the conduct of the animal, shall carry equipment for removing feces, and shall place feces deposited by such animal in an appropriate receptacle.
- Major Events
For the safety of both patrons and animals, the Director may prohibit all animals, except ADA service animals, from campus during high traffic events such as, but not restricted to, festivals.
- It is Prohibited to:
- Sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or carry any blackjack, sand-club, metal knuckles, switchblade knife, chako sticks, or throwing stars.
- Carry concealed or unconcealed on his or her person any dangerous knife unless used as a tool for work by Seattle Center employees or their authorized agents, or carry concealed on his or her person any weapon. Seattle Center employees are subject to the Seattle Center Employees Firearm Policy.
- Possess or display a firearm on the campus, unless permitted by applicable law.
- Contraband in Seattle Center Facilities
The following items are prohibited on the Seattle Center campus: illegal drugs, weapons, explosive devices, spray paint, lasers. The Director may, by posting notice, prohibit the following items from being brought into a Seattle Center building or to a particular event: alcoholic beverages, cameras, recording devices, bundles, packages, coats, blankets, shawls not being worn, umbrellas, mace, pepper spray, and containers or cases (as defined as, but not limited to, pocketbooks, purses, bags, ice chests, backpacks, cans, bottles, or binocular cases).
- Urinating or Defecating Prohibited Except in Restrooms
Urinating or defecating on the campus, except in facilities specifically provided for the purpose, is prohibited.
It is prohibited to distribute stickers on the Seattle Center campus without the expressed authorization of the Director. It is prohibited to adhere stickers to any building, structure, or other surface on the Seattle Center campus.
- Wheeled Devices
- The use on the campus of all wheeled devices, such as bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, inline skates, and scooters, is prohibited, except for:
- wheeled equipment used by disabled individuals to be ambulatory;
- children’s strollers;
- skateboards, roller skates and inline skates used in the Seattle Center Skatepark;
- wheeled devices such as bikes, skateboards, roller skates, inline skates, scooters, being used only for transportation across the campus;
- or other uses expressly authorized by the Director.
- Operation of any wheeled device in a dangerous manner or in a manner that could damage property is prohibited.
- No Wheeled Equipment in the International Fountain
With the exception of wheeled equipment used in order to be ambulatory and strollers, all wheeled devices are prohibited from entering the International Fountain.
- Vehicular Access
Vehicular access onto the Seattle Center campus requires express authorization.
- In designated parking areas.
- Authorized by a unload/load pass.
- Supply deliveries to organizations and businesses on campus shall be authorized to access the campus between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Monday through Sunday.
- Otherwise specifically authorized by the Director.
- Use of Driveways and Boulevards – Speed Limit
- It is prohibited to ride, or drive any vehicle over or through the campus at a speed in excess of the posted speed limit, or in excess of ten (10) miles per hour where no speed limit is posted.
- Areas Closed to General Vehicular Access
Except as authorized by the Director, it is prohibited to drive, operate or park a motor vehicle in an area which is designated as being closed to general vehicular traffic access, including all landscaped areas such as turf areas, shrub areas, decorative plazas; on any pedestrian walkway; and in all other areas not specifically authorized for vehicular traffic.
- Littering – Trash
It is prohibited to throw or deposit any refuse or other material on the campus, except in designated receptacles. It is also prohibited for any person(s) to dig in, rummage in, in anyway disturb trash in any receptacle.
Smoking is prohibited in all Seattle Center buildings and within twenty-five (25) feet from building entrances and exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area.
- Motorized Models
It is prohibited to operate any motorized model aircraft; dirigible, vehicle or motorized model watercraft on the campus, unless expressly authorized by the Director.
It is prohibited to ignite or maintain any fire or to participate in igniting, maintaining or using any fire on any portion of Seattle Center Campus unless expressly authorized by the Director.
It is prohibited to camp on any portion of the Seattle Center Campus unless expressly authorized by the Director.
- Violations of These Rules or of other Applicable Law
A violation of these rules or of other applicable laws may, in addition to any applicable civil or criminal penalties, result in the revocation of a person’s permission to remain on the Seattle Center campus.
J. Campus Exclusion
- Exclusion Warning
- The Director may deliver an Exclusion Warning to any person who violates any provision of these rules or any other applicable Seattle Center rule, any provision of the Seattle Municipal Code, the Revised Code of Washington, or other applicable law. The Warning shall state that there is probable cause to believe that the person has a committed a violation, shall clearly identify such law or rule, shall state the date, time and location of the violation, and shall describe the facts and circumstances relating to the violation. The Exclusion Warning shall state that the person shall be subject to exclusion from the Seattle Center Campus for a period from 1 to 365 days for any repeat violation. The Exclusion Warning shall be signed by the Director or his designated representative. The person receiving such Exclusion Warning shall sign an acknowledgement that he or she has received and been apprised of the contents of the Warning, but failure of the person to sign shall not affect the effectiveness of the warning.
- If the conduct that results in an Exclusion Warning creates a significant risk of personal injury or property damage, then the person may be removed and excluded from the Seattle Center Campus for the remainder of the day that the violation occurred.
- Exclusion Notice
The Director or his or her designee may, by delivering an Exclusion Notice to the offender, exclude from the Seattle Center Campus for a period of 1 to 365 days, anyone who, after receiving a written Exclusion Warning citing a violation of any provision of these rules or any other applicable Seattle Center rules, any provision of the Seattle Municipal Code, the Revised Code of Washington, or other applicable law, repeats the same or similar violation while on the Seattle Center Campus.
- The Director or his or her designee is authorized to adopt guidelines that may:
- Include a matrix of violations and the range of exclusion periods corresponding to those violations, including repeat violations; and
- Designate in writing who may issue exclusions, for which offenses, or for what periods of time.
- The individual need not be charged, tried, or convicted of any crime or infraction in order for an Exclusion Notice to be issued or effective. The Exclusion may be based upon activities observed by the Director, a Seattle Center employee, a Seattle Police Officer, or upon the sort of civilian reports that would ordinarily be relied upon by police officers in the determination of probable cause.
- Upon such Notice being given, the recipient shall no longer be invited, licensed or otherwise privileged to remain on the campus.
- If the Exclusion Notice is for more than seven (7) days, the person being excluded is entitled to an administrative review of the Exclusion Notice. The Director shall designate a Reviewing Officer who shall have the authority to waive, reduce, maintain or extend the Exclusion Notice based upon evidence presented during the review.
- A request for an administrative review must be mailed to the below address, postmarked within ten (10) days of the Exclusion Notice.The request must include: the name and return address or alternate means of contacting the person being excluded; and the date and time the Exclusion Notice was issued. The person seeking the review shall include in the request any written documentation he or she seeks to have considered in the review process. The Exclusion Notice shall remain in effect pending administrative review.
- Administrative reviews are typically confined to the written record and generally do not include witnesses or sworn testimony. The Reviewing Officer may, at his or her discretion, allow the excluded individual the opportunity to meet with the Reviewing Officer to orally present his or her side of the story. If applicable, a date and time for an in person hearing shall be determined and communicated back to the person being excluded. The terms of the Exclusion Notice shall be temporarily waived on the date and time of the in person hearing but shall otherwise remain in effect unless the Exclusion is waived, reduced or otherwise altered by the Reviewing Officer such that it shall no longer be in effect.
- Requests for an administrative review shall be mailed to: Seattle Center Chief Operating Officer, Ste 215, 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA, 98109
K: Trespass on Campus
- Criminal Trespass on Campus shall include any person who knowingly:
- Enters or remains on the campus without permission or from which he or she has been excluded during any period covered by an Exclusion Warning or an Exclusion Notice pursuant to these rules.
- Enters, remains in, or is otherwise present within the premises of the campus during hours within which the campus is not open to the public, or within an area not open to the public, unless the person is present within the campus to participate in an activity either conducted by Seattle Center or conducted pursuant to the terms of a license or permit issued by Seattle Center.
L: Discrimination prohibited
- It is the policy of the City of Seattle, in the exercise of its police powers for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare, and for the maintenance of peace and good government, to assure equal opportunity for full enjoyment and use of Seattle Center facilities to all persons, free from restrictions because of race, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, age, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical handicap.
- It is prohibited for any person occupying or using the campus for any event, activity or exhibition open to the public, whether or not under a license or permit and whether or not an admission or entrance fee is charged, to deny to any other person the full use and enjoyment of such event, activity, or exhibition because of race, creed, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, age, religion, ancestry, national origin or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical handicap.
Robert Nellams, Director
Date: May 21, 2014