Excavation “U” Permits are issued to public utilities and telecommunication companies regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California to install public utilities in the public right-of-way per LAMC 62.02, 62.03, 62.04, 62.05, 62.06, and 62.08-62.10 (AGF) (all sections and sub-sections).
What is considered a Utility – Traditional or Wet Utilities such as:
- Unstable substances (defined by LAMC 62.00), such as:
- petroleum distillates
- natural gas at a pressure exceeding 60 PSIG
- any corrosive or toxic substance
- all liquids in transmission lines and any other substance which the City Engineer may classify as unstable
What is considered Telecommunication – Telecommunication or Dry Utilities including Phone, Video, Internet, and Data transmission cables. These are primarily low voltage wire, cable or fiber communications network companies.
Above Ground Facility “AGF” – AGF applications are utility or telecommunication applications that accompany an Excavation “U” or Excavation “E” and Revocable permits that have above ground components. The specifications and procedures for Above Ground Facilities are described by LAMC 62.08 of the municipal code. AGFs generally require supplemental power permits to power the facilities; these are permitted under the Excavation “U” Permit once the AGF application is approved. More information can be found in the AGF Application Section of this manual.
A U-Permit is NOT required in the following cases:
- No Substructure Work – Work that contains no substructure work is not reviewed via a U-Permit.
- Private Property - Work in the private property that is not in an easement dedicated to the City of LA
- State Property – Work within the Caltrans right-of-way is exempt
- Pole Installation/Removal & Pole Anchors - When located within sidewalk areas (LAMC 62.02)
- Vacated Streets – If there’s a recorded street vacation and no City of LA sewer/storm drain easements
- Potholes & Soil Borings – If permitted under an E-Permit (can be permitted under a U-Permit if the Applicant has a franchise agreement with the CPUC)
- Monitoring Wells – Typically permitted under an E-Permit (can be permitted under a U-Permit if the Applicant has a franchise agreement with the CPUC)
- Maintenance Holes (MH) – MH Opening Permits are only issued to owners of the respective maintenance holes, owner’s authorized representatives, and licensed sewer or storm drain contractors. Visit the Development Services Procedures Manual for a FAQ on Maintenance Holes for additional information
Excavation “U” Permits are divided into two primary categories, utility and telecommunication. The City also subcategorizes utility permits by small (1-99 sf), medium (100-1,000 sf), and large cuts (>1,000sf).
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are two types of permits issued for excavations in or under the surface of any public street or public place as required and defined by LAMC Section 62.02(a) and LAMC Section 62.05.
- Excavation “E” – Excavation (E) permits are generally used for private construction such as footings, basements, building excavations, tunnels and pipelines crossing streets or by utility companies which make infrequent installations. These permits typically require a cash or surety bond.
These permits are the for the installation, inspection, repair, abandonment, or removal of any tank, pipe, conduit duct, tunnel, or footing, or for any other purpose, or for any excavation on private property adjacent to a public street where lateral support to such street or improvements or property within such street is imperiled by the excavation.
- Excavation “U” – Excavation utility (U) permits are issued to public utilities regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California.
Additional information about the types of permits an Applicant should apply for based on the scope of work, can be found under "Other BOE Permits/Processes, Technical Procedures, Permit Classification Matrix".
LAWS, CODES, AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE ISSUING OF EXCAVATION “U” PERMITS
The following section of the LAMC pertain to Excavation “U” Permits:
- LAMC 41.40 - Noise Due to Construction, Excavation
- LAMC 61.03 - Surcharge for Equipment and Training
- LAMC 61.04 - Surcharge for Development of Automated Systems for the Department Of City Planning.
- LAMC 62.02 - Excavations in and Adjacent to Streets – Permits
- LAMC 62.03 - Excavations in and Adjacent to Streets – Location and Restrictions
- LAMC 62.03.1 – Notification and Location Requirements
- LAMC 62.04 - Excavation in and Adjacent to Streets - Performance of the Work
- LAMC 62.05 - Excavations in and Adjacent to Streets – Charges
- LAMC 62.06 – Establishment of a Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)
- LAMC 62.250 – Major Transit and Transportation Construction Impact Area Traffic Management
- City of Los Angeles Brownbook
- CalOSHA Article 2 - Permits--Excavations, Trenches, Construction and Demolition and the Underground Use of Diesel Engines in Work in Mines and Tunnels
- Special Order No. 015-1102 - Directional Drilling Policy (The Gas Co. is exempt)
- Special Order No. 001-0204 - Dewatering During Construction
- Special Order No. 017-1092 - Use of Asphalt Concrete-old Mix for Permanent Surfacing of Small Utility Cuts - Conditions and Specifications
- Special Order No. 009-0996 - Modification of Special Order No. SO01-0291, "Replacement of Blanket Permit for Minor Utility Excavations by Annual Permit" To Permit Larger DWP Water Services
- Special Order No. 003-0201 - Requirements for Deep Excavation Construction and Installation of Tiebacks on Sites in or Adjacent to Public Ways
- Special Order No. 06-0807 - Excavation in One-Year Moratorium Streets
- City of Los Angeles Brownbook
- Standard Plan S-477-2 - T-Trench and Pavement Restoration - Asphalt Concrete Streets -When reviewing plans, one of the most important aspects of any plan check is the trench depth and width. The bottom trench width will be used to calculate SDRF.
- Standard Plan S-251-1 – Pipe Laying in Trenches
- S-474-1 - Micro-trenching Standard Plan
- Micro-trenching Memo to BCA (September, 25, 2020)
- S-440-4 - Driveways
- Street Damage Restoration Fee Ordinance 185818 (December 6, 2018)
- White Paper - Street Damage Restoration Fee Ordinance (December 6, 2018)
- PWRS and Excavation Permit Improvement Ordinance 186854 (January 14, 2021)