Engineering Permits

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 

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.



  • Please fill out the application here: Encroachment Permit Application and submit to
  • 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 allow for up to two weeks for the review and approval of a complete application. 
  • Pay for fees during regular business hours by phone or in person at City Hall  via check or credit card (includes 3.5% credit card fee)


  • Please email or call 510-215-4321 to schedule an inspection. Please include in the email the permit number, location of work, date and time. 
  • Please contact the Engineering Division at least 72 business hours in advance of the requested date and time.  

*Notify Underground Service Alert (USA) at 1(800)-227-2600 at least 2 working days before you excavate*