1 - R-Permit Purpose & Definition

Revised on 06-27-2024


Graphic of a bulls eye targetThe purpose of the Revocable Permit (“R” Permit) is to grant conditional encroachment of the public right-of-way by private parties not authorized to occupy the public right-of-way. The “R” Permit review process verifies that encroachments are checked for compliance with the City’s specifications for design, use, material, and inspection.  It is important Applicants understand that R-Permits are discretionary in nature since the Board of Public Works can change BOE's recommendations.

The “R” Permit is also a mechanism to allow, in special circumstances, placement of private structures in the public right-of-way where a hardship would be created due to topography or other constraints within private property. Generally, private structures should not be permitted in the public right-of-way.

The most significant factor in considering whether the City approves a request for an encroachment of any type is the status of the encroachments of other properties in the neighborhood. If there are no other similar encroachments and the proposed encroachment is significant, it may be advisable to seek neighborhood opinion by way of a questionnaire.

Revocable Permits are granted in conjunction with a construction/installation permit such as A, B or Excavation E Permit.


Graphic of a magnifying glassA street is defined as any public thoroughfare or way, including the sidewalk, parkway, and any other public property bordering upon a public way. A street serves several purposes or uses. Primarily, it serves as a passageway for vehicles and pedestrians. The borders of streets, although in some instances not used as passageways, are still used by the public for setback purposes, and therefore should be maintained clear of obstructions where feasible.  

The following is the description provided in the LAMC Section 62.118.2

Where the City Engineer finds that a building, structure or improvement maintained or proposed to be constructed within a public street will not interfere with the maintenance or use of the street, and is not intended for use by the public, the Bureau of Engineering may issue one or more permits for the maintenance or proposed construction of such building, structure or improvement, or for an excavation in connection with such maintenance or construction.  The Bureau of Engineering shall charge and collect a fee to conduct an investigation to determine whether to issue a permit pursuant to the provisions of this section, and shall charge a fee of $556 if no field investigation is required (Tier 1 fee), and shall charge a fee of $1,854 if a field investigation is required (Tier 2 fee). If a field investigation has already been completed under a separate action (ie. LAMC 12.37 field investigation, land use report investigation), then the Tier 1 fee would apply for the Revocable Permit. If an applicant paid a Tier 1 fee and the Bureau of Engineering determines that it will be required to conduct a field investigation, the Bureau shall charge and collect from the applicant a fee of $1,298 in addition to the $556 already paid.  If the Bureau is required to prepare a report of its investigation for consideration by the Board, the applicant shall not owe a Tier 1 or Tier 2 fee, and instead the Bureau shall charge and collect its actual costs (Tier 3 fee) and a deposit of such costs as determined and collected pursuant to the provisions of LAMC Section 61.15.

Projects an Applicant may apply for a Revocable Permits include:

  1. Fences and gates that conform to Zoning Code requirements.  Over-height fences shall require a variance from the Department of City Planning (“Planning”)
  2. Pre-existing commercial pole signs
  3. Planters
  4. Tree grates 
  5. Reversed sidewalk/parkway configuration
  6. Nonstandard non-vegetative groundcover
  7. Landscape materials (except per the exemption granted by LAMC 62.169)
  8. Irrigation Systems
  9. Active or non-standard storm water capture systems
  10. Non-standard tree well sizes
  11. Hand rails
  12. Special sidewalk pavers/art pieces (embedded within sidewalk, replacing sidewalk, etc.)
  13. Awnings, Canopies, Architectural Features, Steps,  and Mechanical Equipment
  14. Marquees and Signs
  15. Gateway monuments
  16. Boat docks
  17. Emergency exit doors
  18. Minor residential encroachments on paper streets
  19. Hardscape (fountains, sculptures, monuments, river rocks etc.)
  20. Art (sculptures)
  21. Commercial conduits
  22. Electrical conduits
  23. Vaults / Access Hatches
  24. Non-Standard lights (landscape lighting, embedded lights, etc.)
  25. Gates for nuisance alleys
  26. Closure of streets/alleys prior to vacation
  27. Driveway bridges
  28. Retaining walls (not considered controversial will also require a B-Permit and structural plan check)
  29. Benches (decorative, not at bus stops)
  30. Street furniture (non-City installed/maintained trash receptacles, bike racks, etc.)
  31. Tables and chairs for sidewalk dining (fast-food or full-service)
  32. Existing underground storage tanks to be abandoned in-place (requires Board of Public Works approval)
  33. Wayfinding signage
  34. Pedestrian bridges/walkways
  35. Portions of a building or private structure
  36. Areaways

Controversial Projects:  One of the main reasons why a request may be considered controversial would be when proposed encroachments are not consistent with existing conditions of the surrounding neighborhood.  The local Council Office, Neighborhood Council or Homeowners Association should be notified to obtain their position on the proposed encroachment.  The District Engineer may consult the City Attorney’s Office on any controversial subject for their recommendation.

Underlying Fee Title:  A title concept in which ownership of all interest or estates in real property are less than or inferior to the most absolute interest one can have - that of fee ownership. It lies beneath all the other interests; it is basic, fundamental and implicit.

Pedestrian Zone:  Also known as the Pedestrian Access Route (PAR), the Pedestrian Zone is a continuous and unobstructed path of travel provided along the Sidewalk Area. The pedestrian zone is intended to be a seamless pathway for wheelchair and white cane users, composed of a firm, stable, and slip-resistant surface (typically concrete). It should be at least 5 feet wide to provide adequate space for two pedestrians to comfortably pass or walk side by side. BOE refers to the paved pedestrian path as the “sidewalk”.

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". 




The City Engineer’s Revocable Permit was created by Board action in 1974 to help assure compliance with conditions required on revocable permission granted on public easements.  The City Engineer was authorized to issue these permits on revocable permissions granted by the Board for which a Revocable Permit is not required by the Bureau of Right of way and Land.

A report which recommends the granting of revocable permission by the Board must specify which type of Revocable Permit is required.  The Revocable Permit from the Bureau of Right of way and Land is required whenever a rental fee is to be collected for the use of the property.  The City Engineer’s Revocable Permit is required for all other revocable permissions.

The City Engineer’s Revocable Permit is to be issued only after all stipulated conditions of the Board report have been complied with.  Waivers of Damages must be filed with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk and other conditions such as liability insurance be enforced.  Other Bureau of Engineering permits may be required in addition to the City Engineer's Revocable Permit.