Encroachment Permits

An encroachment permit is needed anytime you wish to perform any work in the public right-of-way such as a public street or sidewalk. Applying for an encroachment permit is how you get permission to do work in the right-of-way, and assures that your work will be inspected to established standards and, upon acceptance, protects you from potential liability that may otherwise come about by substandard or unauthorized work.

Minor encroachment permits are $246
Utility encroachment permits are $919
Major encroachment permits are $2,394

Fees are waved for sidewalk repair work. 

  • Minor Encroachment Permit- This application is for temporary or minor encroachments like, flat or low level landscaping, bike racks, newspaper racks, debris boxes, temporary construction, scaffolding, tree trimming, signs/architectural features extending more than four feet (4’) into the public-right-of-way.
  • Utility Encroachment Permit- Utility encroachment applications are for encroachments by a utility or special district (water, cable, sewer, gas, etc.)
  • Major Encroachment Permit- A major encroachment application would be needed for encroachments intended to continue for an indefinite period of time like, fences or walls higher than three feet (3') above natural grade, abutments for driveways and stairs, groundwater monitoring wells.

Detailed Plan / Key Map

A detailed plan shows the exact location, a more precise extent of the workzone, the work proposed and details of the improvements.

A key map shows the general project location and approximate extent of the workzone.

Traffic Control Plan

A Traffic Control Plan (TCP) is a document that shows temporary signs, cones, and flaggers to safely direct traffic around your work zone.  'Traffic' includes vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and mobility devices such as wheelchairs.

Temporary traffic control requirements, devices, and setups can be found in Part 6 of the CA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

Part 6 includes temporary traffic controls such as for workzones.  Chapter 6H provides typical applications or general setups.  

Several CA MUTCD applications that are commoly used within the City of San Rafael are:

01 - Spacing Requirements
03 - Shoulders
06 - Shoulder, Reduced Lane
10 - Lane Closure, Flaggers
11 - Lane Closure, Low Volume
13 - Temp Road Closure, Flaggers
15 - Center of Road, Low Volume
18 - Lane Closure, Self Regulating
20 - Detour
28 - Sidewalk Closure
29 - Crosswalk, Pedestrian Detour
101 - Shoulder, Bike Lane
CA MUTCD 2014 - 6H Typical Applications (Full Chapter)

(Please note that it is the applicant's responsibility to use the latest standards and to select/develop a traffic control plan specific to the proposed encroachment.)

Insurance Requirements - Insurance.
A.  Secure a policy of broad form commercial general liability insurance naming the city as an additional insured in an amount not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) and in a form as approved by the director.
B. Liability insurance shall not be required of any utility or special district which is authorized by law to establish or maintain any works or facilities in, under, or over the public right-of-way.

Map / Records of Underground Utilities

Underground utilities can be shown on the detailed plan or as a separate map. We use this to generally locate where subsurface utilities exist, and to avoid conflicts with existing facilities.

Business Licenses

A business license is required in addition to any state licensing requirements for contractors and other businesses obtaining an Encroachment Permit. If you don't have a business license, you can apply online:

What are the City's requirements for construction?

Most common projects in the Right-of-Way (ROW) are detailed in the Uniform Construction Standards (UCS)Additionally the City has specific requirements for trenches and pavements.

Additional Information:

  • 2 lbs of Davis Black per cubic yard is required (Harvest Gold in downtown locations to match)
  • Curbs shall be poured separately from sidewalks
  • Rebar is not used in the Right-of-Way unless approved by the Department of Public Works
  • Forms are required for the lip of the gutter.  Asphalt shall be removed for installation of the form.
  • For repaving the asphalt a conform is required, with a clean cut 2' from the lip of the gutter to ensure a quality patch.
  • Cuts into Moratorium streets require full width resurfacing.  Check out the Moratorium Street Map
  • See Municipal Code Section
  • Active Encroachment Permits
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