Right of Way Permits

A public right-of-way refers to the area on, below, or above the following areas in which the local government unit has an interest, including other dedicated rights-of-ways for travel purposes and utility easements:

  • Bicycle lane
  • Highway
  • Public roadway
  • Public sidewalk
  • Street

Reason for Permit

The City requires a permit for anyone to perform work within the public right-of-way so that it can ensure its roads, sidewalks, etc, are being used appropriately, and to maintain the rights-of-way in proper condition, and free from unnecessary encumbrances. City staff and the City Engineer also document all utility work being installed, maintained or repaired so that there is a record of the City’s infrastructure. A permit is required for any excavation or obstruction activities that occur within City right-of-way.

Required Permits

City Code requires all parties performing work in the right-of-way to register with the City. The following permits are required:

Registration Permit

The Registration Permit (PDF) must be renewed annually. A Certificate of Liability Insurance must also be submitted to the City. A Registration Permit is required for all companies performing work within the City, whether contractors or sub-contractors.

Utility Permit

A Utility Permit (PDF) is required if you will be excavating any part of City right-of-way or if you will be hindering open passage over any portion of the City right-of-way. A residential drop, and installation of utilities into an existing conduit both require Utility Permits, and the fees are based on the type of work that will be performed. Please forward the permit application, a Certificate of Liability Insurance and detailed plans to City Hall for approval and cost.

Obstruction Permit

The City requires an Obstruction Permit (PDF) when you will be hindering open passage over or occupying a portion of the City right-of-way with equipment or vehicles. Installation or repair work on above-ground facilities would require obstruction permits. You do not need an Obstruction Permit if you already have a Utility Permit because the Utility Permit includes permission to obstruct part of the right-of-way. Please submit the permit application, Certificate of Insurance Liability and detailed plans to City Hall for approval and cost.

Usage of Dumpster or Storage Area

If you have a need to place a dumpster, storage container, commercial vehicle or trailer at a residential property where you are engaged in a commercial enterprise or project, or adjacent to a business you can apply for an Obstruction Permit (PDF) for such use. The permit fee is based upon the number of days necessary to occupy a portion of the right-of-way.

When doing a project where multiple utilities will be installed at the same time, the City encourages that all utilities be installed in a joint trench.

Submit Applications

Email Applications to Kimberly Block 

or mail all applications to City Hall:
309 Lewis Avenue S
PO Box 279
Watertown, MN 55388