17 - Allowing Portions of Buildings in the Public Right-of-Way

Revised on 01-15-2024

Allowing portions of buildings in the public right-of-way is the process by which an applicant is granted access to build a physical part of a building within the public right-of-way.  This permitting process originates in the Building and Safety Department and BOE only provides the approval for a portion of the building to be placed in the public right-of-way. 

Approval of this type of Revocable Permit should not be granted at the BOE staff or management level and always requires Board and/or Council Approval.  The reason each permit application requires Board and Council Approval is because there are no municipal codes or ordinances that allow for this condition.  A sample where this process has been done can be found in Council File 09-0017-S1.


Once an application has been submitted, staff should confirm the following items have been received and/or processed through the proper departments. 

  1. Board Approval (requires staff to prepare a Board Report)
  2. Proof of satisfactory insurance coverage
  3. Copy of the deed
  4. Fees paid – Always Tier 3
  5. Waiver of Damages
  6. Photographs of the encroachment area
  7. Confirm the proposed location is in the public right-of-way
  8. Confirm the position of the appropriate Council District office has been received.
  9. Stamped engineering plans by a California registered engineer
    1. The building shall be designed, such that, the encroaching portion of the building may be removed if the R-Permit is revoked without making it non-compliant with the building requirements.
  10. Plans have been reviewed by a licensed Structural Engineer within BOE.  The structural engineer would only review the portion of the plans encroaching the public right-of-way, not the entire building.  Ingress and egress must be feasible if the encroaching structure is ever removed.
  11. Written approval from Cultural Affairs for the encroaching portion of the building (aesthetically consistent with the look of the surrounding neighborhood/area).
  12. Written approval from the Street Improvement Group confirming that a street widening project is not proposed in the near future.  BOE Staff can also look at the 5-Year Capital Improvement Program.


Staff should prepare a Board Report which will be forwarded to Council for approval.  This report needs to include all technical information and conditions based on the proposed encroachment as well as the engineered plans.