Are you doing construction work or erecting signs/tables/awnings/etc in publicly-owned areas?
Permits are required for all work performed in the public right-of-way.
Each dedicated street in the City of Rochester has a public right-of-way. The right-of-way includes:
- the pavement;
- curbing and sidewalks;
- the area between the sidewalk and the curb;
- and, in most residential areas, a strip of land two feet wide extending from the sidewalk toward the residential property.
Work that requires a permit includes street openings, driveway construction, encroachments, street obstructions, new water services and renewals, water abandonments, and use of hydrants and barricades.
Street and sidewalk right-of-way permits ensure that:
- Individuals working in the right-of-way know the appropriate rules and regulations. This reduces the possibility of damage to utility lines.
- Individuals doing work in the right-of-way are properly insured against personal injury and property damage.
- Work is done according to City of Rochester specifications, codes, and requirements, thereby providing for proper restoration of public property.
- Schedules between agencies and individuals are coordinated so that they do not attempt to perform work at the same location simultaneously.
- A record of who performed specific work is maintained, in case problems are discovered after work has been completed.
- Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is adequately maintained.
State law requires you to call Dig Safely New York two full working days before you dig - not counting the day of your call, weekends or holidays.
Any excavation near underground utilities can cause injury or property damage. Call 811 and make sure underground infrastructure is marked.
Permits are required for the following activities (this is a partial listing):
- Constructing any type of encroachment (such as signs, awnings, sidewalk cafes, marquees, areaways, fully-opened doors, air conditioners, etc.) which may intrude upon the public right-of-way.
- Any type of excavation in the public right-of-way such as installing, repairing, or replacing of water services or sewer laterals, and installing or repairing of any type of underground utility.
- Repairing or replacing of any sidewalk in the public right-of-way.
- Resurfacing, widening, or closing of an existing driveway.
- Installing a new driveway.
- Installing, replacing, or removing street curbing.
- Storing materials, dumpsters, or equipment in the public right-of-way.
- Parking any heavy equipment such as cranes in a public street.
- Moving any oversized vehicles or overweight equipment or loads on public streets.
- Installing a new street that will become officially dedicated to the City upon completion.
- Erecting a new utility pole, or removing or relocating an existing utility pole.
- Requesting the City to disconnect a water service (of any size).
- Using a hydrant for dust control during demolition work.
See Municipal Code & Enforcement Activities for related code information.
How to Obtain a Permit
An individual who applies for a permit is required to provide a description of the proposed work, a work schedule, and a certificate of liability insurance. In addition, scaled drawings or plans of the proposed work, an irrevocable letter of credit and proof of workers' compensation and disability insurance may be required.
Before coming to City Hall, print and fill out the right-of-way permit application.
City of Rochester Permit Office
30 Church St. Room 121-B
Rochester, NY 14614
The office is open Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.
For information relating to specific permit fees, please download the Permit Fees for Work in the Public Right-of-Way.
Inquiries Or Concerns
Individuals with questions or concerns about permit requirements or the application process may contact the Department of Environmental Services' Permit Office in person or by phone at (585) 428-6848, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.