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City of Madison Development Services Center
Image: Land Development

Street Encroachment: Land Development

Contact: Email Office of Real Estate Services Phone Number (608) 266-4222
If your proposed project intrudes on, above, or under public lands, public streets, sidewalks, or grounds, a street encroachment agreement is necessary. This insures that the project will not interfere with public safety and the use of the sidewalk, terrace, street, or other public grounds.
(For more information, please see MGO Sec. 10.31)

Some examples of intrusions of public spaces are:
  • artwork
  • buildings, footings, parapets
  • permanent canopies
  • fences
  • groundwater monitoring wells
  • landscaping
  • retaining walls
  • signs
  • sprinkler systems
  • underground communication links

To save time, you can apply for your other permits at the same time you apply for a Street Encroachment Agreement. It takes about 2 weeks for a Street Encroachment Agreement to be reviewed and approved.


  1. Discuss project with Office of Real Estate Services staff

    Please discuss the feasibility of your project with the Office of Real Estate Services staff before submitting your application. Pick up your application form at this meeting.

    Where to go:
    Office of Real Estate Services
    Madison Municipal Building
    215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 312
    Madison, WI 53703
    Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

  2. Apply for Permit

    What to Include:
    • the non-refundable application fee of $500
    • a completed application form
    • a report of ownership
    • a certificate of insurance
    • three (3) copies of a drawing or survey showing how and where the owner’s property will intrude on public land. These drawings are at a scale of not less than 1″ = 10′ and paper size of 8 1/2″ by 14″. Sufficient information needs to be shown to allow staff to determine the square footage of the encroachment

  3. Permit Review

    The Privilege in Streets Committee approves, modifies or denies the application. If approved, City staff drafts a recordable agreement which includes requirements for an annual fee, insurance and a 10-day notice of removal of the encroachment. The agreement is reviewed by the City Attorney’s staff.

  4. Completion

    The property owner signs the agreement, as does the Director of the Economic Development Division. City staff then records the document at the Register of Deeds Office. City staff also forwards a copy to the owners.

    Payment of the annual fee and maintenance of the insurance certificate by the property owner is required through the terms of the agreement.

    Once your encroachment is approved, you will still need to get the necessary permits to construct your project and comply with all applicable Madison General Ordinances.

Related Forms & Handouts

Have Questions?

Contact Office of Real Estate Services - (608) 266-4222