The Public Service Department issues encroachment permits for requests to place items into the City’s public right-of-way (ROW) or City drainage or access easements. The right-of-way includes City-maintained streets and sidewalks, as well as grass strips between the sidewalk and street (which the City does not maintain). Easements are overlays over private property that give the City perpetual access to provide maintenance to the City’s drainage system.
Examples of common encroachments in the right-of-way include right-angle signs, awnings, irrigation systems, and special finish driveway aprons and sidewalks. Examples of common encroachments in drainage easements include fences and occasionally broom finished concrete driveway aprons.
Encroachments are permission to place a fixture in the right-of-way or a City easement. The actual work requires a permit – Engineering Permit for work in the right-of-way or building permit for work on private property. Work on private property (including the easements) requires Zoning approval, also.
Encroachments are made in the name of the property owner or tenant. A contractor should not apply for an encroachment in their name unless they are the property owner. The encroachment is a legal document such that the owner of the encroachment takes liability for the item.
TYPE OF ENCROACHMENTS
Temporary Encroachment - Privately owned items or objects situated on, but not affixed, connected, attached or fastened to, any public right-of-way. Examples of these include non-permanently affixed street furniture, irrigation system, fences, awnings, and signs.
Permanent Encroachment - Privately owned items, objects or structures affixed, connected, attached or fastened to any public right-of-way. Examples of these include footings, building cornices and parapets, balconies, portions of a residence, HVAC units, special finish sidewalks, and driveways.
However, we treat driveways and sidewalks as temporary encroachments, as they can be removed to make repairs. Permanent encroachments are generally parts of buildings that cannot/will not be removed. They are an encumbrance on the property.