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.
ROW Permit forms are not currently available online. Please contact the ROW Permit Office directly at 651-266-6151 to obtain the correct permit forms. Completed permit applications may be submitted in person, by mail, by fax 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.
A Public Works Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permit must be obtained to allow the tables and chairs to be placed on the sidewalk in the public right-of-way.
Existing sidewalk cafes with Obstruction Permits will receive a renewal form prior to April 1 from Public Works Right-of-Way Division.
New sidewalk cafes must meet the criteria as laid out in the Sidewalk Café Site Plan Standards. To apply for a new Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permit, submit an application form and a seating diagram for review and approval before an Obstruction Permit is issued. The review process includes a site inspection by Public Works. If you have questions, contact Public Works Right-of-Way at email@example.com.
If alcohol service is proposed on the public sidewalk, in addition to the Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permit, a Liquor Outdoor Service Area (Sidewalk) license must be obtained from the Department of Safety & Inspections (DSI). More information about the Alcohol Outdoor Service Area license is available here. If you have questions, contact DSI at 651-266-8989, or email the DSI Message Center.
TYPICAL FEES: $60 per year, valid from April 1 through October 31. Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permits must be renewed annually.
Application Requirements for a Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permit
- Sidewalk Cafe Obstruction Permit application form
- Seating diagram of the proposed sidewalk cafe area (drawn in accordance with the Sidewalk Cafe Site Plan Standards handout and the example site plan drawing)
- Certificate of Insurance with general liability of at least $1.5 million that states that the coverage extends to the area used for the sidewalk café and that the City of Saint Paul is named as an additional insured
- Permit fee of $60 per year
The placement of furnishings related to the sidewalk café must meet specific requirements as found under Chapter 106 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code. A summary of these requirements is explained in the Sidewalk Café Site Plan Standards handout, and illustrated on the example site plan drawing. The general intent of these requirements is to provide a clear unobstructed pedestrian walk through zone (minimum 48 inch width, exclusive of the curb), positioned to minimize interference with pedestrian traffic, and not interfere with emergency exiting from the building. The location for the placement of any furnishings must be approved by the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Public Works prior to placing any items on the public sidewalk.
Transportation permits are required whenever oversized or overweight equipment travels on roadways or bridges within the City of Saint Paul's right of way. 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 bridge(s), applications must be submitted at least 48 hours in advance for review and approval by the City Bridge Engineer. Permit application form
View Saint Paul Legislative Code Chapter 146 regarding truck routes and Legislative Code Section 152.18 regarding special permits for excess weight or load. View the city of Saint Paul Bridge Clearance Table, Citywide Bridge Map/Truck Routes/Restricted Bridges Map, and the Downtown Bridge Map for truck route information.
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.
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
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