The term "encroachment" is used in a variety of contexts to refer to use of public property by someone other than the City. Examples include trenching and excavations, placing facilities in the public right of way, replacing sidewalk or placing a mail box in a parking strip. Planting vegetation is not considered encroachment.
The "public right of way" is defined to include those areas within any dedicated public roadway or other property within the jurisdiction of the City, whether or not the entire area is actually used for its intended purpose.
As provided by State law, the City requires that anyone wishing to create or construct an encroachment in the public right of way obtain permission through an encroachment permit. Any person working in the public right of way without the authority of such a permit is guilty of a misdemeanor.
The City has the authority to impose reasonable conditions on the issuance of encroachment permits. The following types of conditions are commonly imposed to provide legal and financial protection for the City from loss or liability that may arise from the work authorized by the permit:
Protection of Street
The applicant is responsible for replacing the public infrastructure in as good a condition as before the encroachment.
Hold Harmless & Indemnification
This is a standard condition that requires the applicant to pay for the City's defense and to hold the City harmless if it is sued by someone in connection with the work done under the permit issued to the applicant.
In order to protect itself in case the applicant does not have the necessary financial resources to defend against claims, the City requires that the applicant provide an insurance certificate that names the City as an additional insured.
Workers Compensation Insurance must meet minimum State requirements.
A performance bond, when required, is a guarantee that the applicant will faithfully perform its obligations under the permit. Generally, the bond amount will be equal to the value of work within and affecting the public right of way.
The City may wish to have the applicant perform any necessary repair work at its own cost for some specified period of time after the original work has been made. If repairs are not completed within a reasonable time frame, the City may do the repairs and then make a claim on the applicant or maintenance bond, if applicable, to recover the City's costs.
Traffic, Bicycle & Pedestrian Control
Proper controls will be required to minimize the impacts of the work on traffic and pedestrians.
The City requires that some temporary means of access be provided while the work is being performed if doing so is reasonably feasible.
Noise Control & Work Hours
The City has the ability to impose noise and work hour conditions on a case-by-case basis.
City Standard Specifications
The City requires that the work covered under the permit will be performed according to the City's Standard Specifications.
The applicant is required to notify the City at each point during construction so that an inspection can be conducted prior to the next phase being started. If violations are found during the inspection, the City will require that the violation be corrected prior to allowing the work to continue.
Contractors with appropriate licenses are required to do most work in the public right of way and/or easements and are typically the Permitee. The Permitee must provide proof of public liability and property damage insurance ($ 1,000,000) and Workers Compensation Insurance. See the Encroachment Permit Application Packet (PDF) for complete insurance requirements for contractors. Property owners who live at the permitted address are excluded from the insurance requirement.
Permit Process Length
A permit application with approved insurance certificates will start the Encroachment Permit process. At this time, plan checking begins. Depending on the scope of the project, four to six weeks is the time frame for issuance of Encroachment Permits during the construction season when the City receives a high volume of applications.
Encroachment Permit Note
If you are attempting to get a Building Permit and have been required to construct or repair existing facilities in the public right of way, you will need an approved Encroachment Permit before the Building Permit is issued. By starting the Encroachment Permit process as soon as you know what is required by the City's Utilities and Community Development Departments, the Encroachment Officer will be able to address your concerns.
Encroachment Permit costs vary per the number of inspections needed to complete a project. Fees effective July 1, 2005:
- $80 permit fee
- 5% of public improvement construction cost for plan checking
- 7% of public improvement construction cost for inspection services