Engineering Permits


City Hall now has regular public hours of 8 am – 4 pm on Monday and Wednesday, 8 am – 6 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and 8 am – 4 pm on every other Friday by appointment only. Please visit City’s website at Administrative Hours & Holidays for more information. 


  • Please fill out the application here: Encroachment Permit Application
  • . Include work plans, traffic control plans, Certificate of Liability Insurance, and any other pertinent documentation. Contractors and businesses are required to have an El Cerrito Business License in order to perform work. Please see below for Encroachment Permit requirements, City Standard Details, and Insurance Requirements.
  • Please email or call 510-215-4382 to schedule an inspection. Please contact the Engineering Division at least 72 business hours in advance of the requested date and time. 
  • If you need to submit your application or pay fees by phone (in-person payment is accepted during regular business hours), please email or call 510-215-4382.
  • Please allow for up to two weeks for the review and approval of a complete application.

Engineering Encroachment Permits

Whenever a contractor, public utility, or property owner engages in work within the public right-of-way or City property, a City-issued encroachment permit is required. Some examples of work which require an encroachment permit are:

  • Any excavation in the street or sidewalk to install or replace a sewer lateral, water service, or drain line
  • Repair or replacement of the concrete curb, gutter, driveway approach or sidewalk
  • Construction of any permanent structure such as a fence, stairway, or a retaining wall which is partially or totally within the public right-of-way
  • Pruning, removal, or planting of a street tree in the parking strip between the curb and the sidewalk
  • Temporary storage containers on the street

Engineering Permits Information and forms:

Public Right of Way

In most cases, the front property line or edge of the public right-of-way is located at the back of the sidewalk. However, there are significantly wide public right-of-ways in many parts of the city where this property line is back some distance from the street.

If you are planning to do any type of construction work close to the street and are unsure of the public right-of-way boundary, you should contact the Public Works Department at
510-215-4382 or by email.

Other Types of Engineering Division Permits: