Right of Way and Permit Office
Contact the Saint Paul Public Works Right of Way office at 651-266-6151 or PW-ROWpermits@ci.stpaul.mn.us for any permitting needs as described below. The Right of Way office, located at 899 Dale Street North, is also open for walk-up service from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, except during observed City holidays.
What is the public right of way?
The public right of way includes streets, sidewalks, alleys and other rights of way dedicated to public use. Right of Way Permits (ROW) are required when there is an obstruction or work is being done in the public right of way.
To obtain the correct permit applications, contact the ROW Permit Office directly at 651-266-6151 or PW-ROWpermits@ci.stpaul.mn.us. Completed permit applications may be submitted in person, by mail or by e-mail. Permits will not be issued until all required information has been received including, original signatures, proof of insurance, and payment of permit fees. Payment of permit fees may be by debit or credit card, business check or cash.
Obstruction permits are required whenever an object or equipment is placed within the City's right of way (streets, sidewalks, alleys and other rights of way). Obstruction permits include Dumpster, Food Cart, Full Block Use, Hoisting, Meter Hooding, Parking Lane Use, Scaffolding, Sidewalk Use, Sidewalk Cafe, Special Events, Storage Pods, Traffic & Bike Lane Use, Utility Company Use of Right of Way, Valet Parking.
TYPICAL FEES INCLUDE: Use of sidewalk/boulevard, parking lanes, driving lanes, alleys and parking meters. With the exception of parking meters, these fees are based on 20 foot increments and vary with location. Parking meter fees include lost revenue, labor and a daily hooding fee. View permit fees. Each applicant is required to register with the Right of Way Permit Desk and will be asked to provide information regarding the obstruction as well as proof of insurance naming the City as additional insured. Right of Way staff will provide permit cost estimates upon request.
FOR UTILITY WORK: When utility work is planned that includes aerial placement such as cable, wire or equipment (not underground), the proposed work must be reviewed and approved by various city departments prior to obtaining a permit. Use the Utility Plan Review Application Form to begin the process. View City of Saint Paul Legislative Code Section 135.03.
Excavation permits are required whenever an excavation or underground work is planned within the city’s right of way (sidewalks, boulevards, and roadways). Prior to obtaining a permit the proposed work must be reviewed and approved by various city departments. Excavation Permits include Geoprobes, House Service Connection, Joint Sewer Permit, Monitor Well, Sewer, Utility Company Use of Right of Way, Tree Trench Restoration.
TYPICAL FEES INCLUDE: a base fee which varies with location and roadway traffic volumes. The base fee covers a typical one hole (4ft by 6ft) dig. Additional fees will be added for each foot of linear excavation; disruption charges may also be included for lane or total road closures - also based on linear feet. View permit fees. Each applicant is required to register with the Right of Way Permit Desk, and must provide information regarding the excavation as well as proof of insurance naming the city as additional insured
FOR UTILITY WORK: A plan review must be approved before any utility excavations may be requested. Use the Utility Plan Review Application Form for plans. View City of Saint Paul Legislative Code Section 135.03. NOTE: Large or complex utility excavations will require approval of a plan by the City of Saint Paul's Utility Review Committee prior to applying for a right of way permit. All final restoration work must be completed by the City of Saint Paul Public Works Street Maintenance Division.
Sidewalk Cafe (Obstruction Permit)
Temporary C-19 Obstruction Permit (Sidewalk Cafe) are no longer being issued. If a restaurant had a sidewalk cafe in 2021 with a Temporary C-19 Obstruction Permit, they will need to apply for a Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permit in 2022 to have a sidewalk cafe.
Food establishments, such as restaurants and coffee shops, that wish to provide outdoor seating for customers on the public sidewalk adjoining the premises must obtain a Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permit issued by the Right of Way (ROW) Division. This permit allows tables and chairs to be placed in approved public right of way areas. Questions may be directed to 651-266-6151.
Alcohol service on a public sidewalk requires both a Sidewalk Café Obstruction Permit and a Liquor Outdoor Service Area license issued by the Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI). This license allows on-sale alcohol establishments to serve alcohol in the approved obstruction permit areas and requires a separate application process. More information can be found in the Liquor Outdoor Service Area license handout. Questions may be directed to 651-266-8989 or emailed to the Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See Chapter 106 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code for more information about Sidewalk Café Obstruction Permits.
See Chapter 409 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code for more information about Liquor Outdoor Service Area licenses.
Sidewalk Café Obstruction Permit Application Process
- For NEW Sidewalk Cafés, please complete a Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permit application. Questions, call ROW at 651-266-6151 or email PW-ROWpermits@ci.stpaul.mn.us. (NOTE: Check the appropriate box to indicate if alcohol service is being proposed.)
- Complete a Site Plan of the proposed sidewalk café area drawn in accordance with the Sidewalk Cafe Site Plan Standards handout.
- For EXISTING Sidewalk Cafés, an Obstruction Permit Renewal form will be sent annually to the permittee. The completed, signed and dated form shall be returned to the ROW Permit Division with the annual permit fee.
- Obtain a Certificate of Insurance from your provider verifying general liability coverage at least $1,500,000 that specifies coverage of the entire proposed sidewalk café area and names “The City of Saint Paul” as an additional insured and delivered to the ROW Permit Division.
- The Insurance Endorsement to be included on ACORD Certificate of Liability Insurance form 25 under: “Description of Operations/Locations/Vehicles/Exclusions Added by Endorsement/Special Provisions.” The City of Saint Paul is included as Additional Insured with regard to General Liability as required by written contract. Excess/Umbrella Liability extends over General Liability to conform to minimum insurance requirements.
- Submit completed application materials along with the annual permit fee of $60.00 (plus SAC fee if applicable) using one of the following options:
1.) Mail or deliver during normal business hours to:
|City of Saint Paul
Public Works Right-of-Way Permit Desk (8:00 am - 4:00 pm)
899 Dale Street N.
Saint Paul, MN 55103
2.) Email ROW Division at PW-ROWpermits@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Sidewalk Café Obstruction Permits require an on-site inspection. To schedule an inspection appointment, contact the ROW Inspector at 651-266-9804.
Food cannot be prepared outdoors without authorization from the Minnesota Department of Health, 651-201-4500.
Sidewalk Café Obstruction Permits are valid from April 1 through October 31 each year. Your general liability insurance must be inclusive of these dates. A copy of your insurance certificate (ACORD form) shall be provided to the ROW Division prior to or at the same time you apply for a Sidewalk Café Obstruction permit. You must obtain a new permit annually prior to placing furnishings related to a Sidewalk Café on the public sidewalk.
Transportation permits are required whenever oversized or overweight equipment travels on roadways or bridges within the City of Saint Paul. Transportation permits are only required for oversize equipment or overweight vehicles. Saint Paul does not have seasonal road weight restrictions. Whenever the proposed transport route includes crossing over any MnDOT bridge(s), the applicant must submit a OW-CL form to MnDOT (address is on the form) prior to submitting the Transport Application to Saint Paul Right of Way (ROW). The approved OW-CL form must be included with the ROW application. In addition, applications with any bridge(s) on the proposed route that are exclusively on City roadways, must be submitted at least 48 hours in advance for review and approval by the City Bridge Engineer. Refer to the following links for the City Permit application form, MnDOT OW-CL form, and MnDOT bridges map.
View Saint Paul Legislative Code Chapter 146 regarding truck routes and Legislative Code Section 152.18 regarding special permits for excess weight or load. See Bridge Map and Clearances for more information including truck routes.
TYPICAL FEES: Single Trip $35 Annual $150 (View annual permit requirements). Before submitting a transportation permit application, we recommend you review the road closure list to determine if the route you select is available when you wish to travel. Each applicant is to be registered with the Right of Way Permit Desk and have proof of insurance naming the City of Saint Paul as additional insured.
Refer to the City of Saint Paul Filming Policy and Procedures for information about permits required when filming in City right of way. Contact the Right of Way Permit Desk to discuss details, provide insurance information, and apply for permits.
Additional Parks permits are also required when filming in City parks and recreation facilities. To learn more about filming in City parks and obtain required permits contact the Parks & Recreation Department at least 10 days in advance.
If your filming will include any sound amplification or require construction work (e.g. platforms, structures) you will need to obtain a Sound Level Variance application and/or prior approval from Construction Services from the City's Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI) at 651-266-8989.
News Rack Permits
News rack permits are required whenever a news rack is placed within the city of Saint Paul right of way. View Saint Paul Legislative Code Chapter 131. Each news rack permit is valid for one year beginning July 1, of each year. Each applicant is required to register with the Right of Way Permit Desk and will be asked to provide information regarding the news rack as well as proof of insurance naming the City as additional insured.
Sprinkler permits are required whenever an underground sprinkler system is installed within the City of Saint Paul's right of way (Curb to property side of sidewalk). View city of Saint Paul Legislative Code Chapter 129. If the underground sprinkling system is to be supplied with water from the Saint Paul municipal water system, a permit must be obtained, prior to the installation, from the Saint Paul Water Utility in accordance with the Saint Paul Legislative Code Section 92.03.
An application must be submitted by the property owner or their representative along with a map showing approximate placement of sprinkler heads in the right of way. Sprinkler heads and supply lines must be installed a minimum of 6 inches from any public sidewalk or curb. Request permit application forms from the Right of Way Permit Desk. Each sprinkler installer is required to be registered with the Right of Way Permit Desk and will be asked to provide proof of insurance naming the City as additional insured. For systems which link to the public water system contact Saint Paul Water Utility for permit information.
TYPICAL FEE: $25
Right of Way Policies:
- Arterial Collector Street Detour Policy
- Areaway Policy
- Small Cell Aesthetics Construction Policy
- Utility Plan and Construction Requirements Policy
- Erosion Control Policy
- ROW Permits in Historic Preservation Districts
- Permit Fee Resolution
- Pavement Marking Restoration Policy
- Sewer Utility Requirements for Installations in the ROW
- Standard Specifications for Street Openings
- Storage Container Policy
- Tree Preservation Policy in the ROW
- Temporary Pedestrian Access Route Policy
- Temporary Traffic Control Device Removal Policy
- Parklet Policy
- Roadside Memorial Removal Policy
- Right of Way Inspector Area Map
- Right of Way Contact List
- Right of Way City Project Contacts and Information Map
- 2023 Annual ROW Utility Meeting Presentation
- 2023 Ramsey County Spring Utility Presentation