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Encroachment Permit
Whenever a contractor, public utility, or property owner engages in work within the public right-of-way, a City-issued encroachment permit is required. Some examples of work which require an encroachment permit are:

  • Any excavation in the street or sidewalk to install or replace a sewer lateral, water service, or drain line
  • Repair or replacement of the concrete curb, gutter, driveway approach or sidewalk
  • Construction of any permanent structure such as a fence, stairway, or a retaining wall which is partially or totally within the public right-of-way
  • Planting of a street tree in the parking strip between the curb and the sidewalk
  • Temporary storage containers on the street

In most cases, the front property line or edge of the public right-of-way is located at the back of the sidewalk. However, there are significantly wide public right-of-ways in many parts of the city where this property line is back some distance from the street.
If you are planning to do any type of construction work close to the street and are unsure of the public right-of-way boundary, you should contact the Public Works Department at 510-215-4382 or email.

Encroachment permits are issued by the Public Works Department. The cost of the permit is based on the type of work being done in the right-of-way.  All work must conform to City of El Cerrito standard specifications and details, and will be inspected and approved by the Department.  Fees are subject to change based on the Master Fee Schedule (pdf) for the current fiscal year.

Permit Requirements